The fourth season of Game of Thrones is hitting its stride, and the episodes are just as tumultuous as we've come to expect. But you know what makes Westeros look like nursery school? REAL HISTORY. George R. R. Martin is a self-confessed history buff and has repeatedly encouraged aspiring writers to look back in time for inspiration. No matter how brutal, sexy, or shock-filled your fiction is, you will find that history beats it every time. Here are some events and figures that Martin based his books on, but beware: there are lots of spoilers for those who aren't caught up with the show!