With the much-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones nearing its conclusion, Rutgers University medievalist Larry Scanlon discussed the medieval traditions, genres and motifs that have influenced the cultural juggernaut and its source material, George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels.

Scanlon is a professor in the Department of English at Rutgers–New Brunswick’s School of Arts and Sciences, with an expertise in the literature of late medieval England. Though Game of Thrones is set in another world and reflects influences from periods before and after our world’s Middle Ages, Scanlon called it “TV’s most watchable medieval show.”