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Shocking true story behind 'new Game of Thrones' series that has perfect Rotten Tomatoes score
Featured Image Credit: FX

Shocking true story behind 'new Game of Thrones' series that has perfect Rotten Tomatoes score

A new show on Disney+ is being called the 'new Game of Thrones' and has a shocking true historical story behind it

When a new historical drama of any kind comes out we all have the same question, ‘how much of that was made up?’

In the case of the new series that dropped on Disney+ this week being called the ‘new Game of Thrones’, this question is more pressing than ever.

Set in Feudal Japan during the early 1600s, it portrays a power struggle after a throne is usurped and is based on a bestselling beloved novel. Sound familiar, Game of Thrones fans?

Where this show differs however, is that whilst Game of Thrones is a fantasy world inspired by real events, the ‘new Game of Thrones’ is based on real events, but with all the names and some details changed.

The show - called Shōgun - is based on a real life power struggle that saw Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu founding the Tokugawa Shōgunate. This feudal government ruled Japan for nearly 200 years, and it's creation is the basis for the power in the show.

Shōgun feels deeply unbelievable for one obvious reason - the show which is set in turn of the century feudal Japan has a white British guy as one of the lead roles.

This, however, is one of the areas in which Shōgun is most historically accurate.

The character, John Blackthorne, is based on a real life British sailor William Adams who, just like Blackthorne in the show, was the first known Englishman to set foot in Japan.

John Blackthorne in Shogun.

Details of his life are changed for the show but specific bits, such as him speaking Portuguese and communicating with the Japanese warlord through Jesuit priests, are ripped straight from history.

Again, despite Jesuit priests seeming an odd faction to appear in Japan at this time, Portuguese priests were found in Japan as early as 1543.

They were sent to try and convert the population to Catholicism and set up trade routes only Portugal would have access to for years.

The book the show is based on, also called Shōgun, was written in 1975 by James Clavell - part of a series of beloved historical fiction novels featuring Europeans in Asia throughout history.

Shogun (1980).
Paramount Television.

This is not the first adaptation of the novel either, with a mini series produced in 1980 being a beloved classic. Seemingly, 44 years on, another hit adaptation based on the novel is on the cards as Shōgun is a hit.

Whilst the 2024 show only has two episodes out at the moment, it has received rave reviews, leading to a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating and Empire calling it ‘gripping television’.

Topics: Game of Thrones, Disney Plus, Film and TV