Writing the Middle Ages: Medievalism in Contemporary Literature

Module code: EN3112

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO series Game of Thrones have recently inspired more people than ever before to read and watch fantasy inspired by the Middle Ages. Martin builds on (and in reaction to) J. R. R. Tolkien’s medievalism in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which also inspired a wide range of medievalist fantasies for adults and children. This module explores the work of authors such as Martin and Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, John Gardner, Susan Cooper, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Crossley-Holland, and Joanne Harris.


  • 20 one-hour seminars


  • Essay, 2,000 words
  • Portfolio containing one piece of medievalist fiction (1,500 words) and one reflective essay (1,500 words)*

*The assessment for the module will be either essay (60%) and portfolio (40%) or essay (40%) and portfolio 60% - whichever yields the higher mark.