1. Bill Compton is Benedict Arnold
True Blood’s Bill Compton has flip-flopped his allegiances more times than we can count–sometimes fighting for and sometimes against “the authority,” depending on which cause suits his needs at the moment. Compton is a natural fit as Benedict Arnold, the American soldier who defected from the Continental army in favor of the British in return for a hefty salary.
2. Joffrey Baratheon is King George III
The link here is painfully clear. King George III of Great Britain and Ireland was so off his rocker that he used to plant cuts of meat in the hopes of growing a beef tree. One of the causes of the king’s mental afflictions is thought to be a hereditary condition, no doubt made worse by the inbreeding needed to cultivate a royal pedigree of political alliances between the European states. Does any of this sound familiar? Game of Thrones’ King Joffrey is the offspring of a romance between his mother and her twin brother–his parents are both mother and father and aunt and uncle. Awkward. But Joffrey is also possibly the series’ most unhinged character, which is saying a lot.
3. John Adams is…John Adams
OK, we’re cheating a bit here, but the miniseries John Adams expertly chronicled the life and times of the first vice president and second president of the United States with all the finesse you’d expect from the good people at HBO. We just couldn’t not make John Adams into John Adams.
4. Peggy Olson is the Marquis de Lafayette
The French nobleman, Marquis de Lafayette, moved stateside (well, colony-side) at the tender age of 19 to fight for the American cause. Despite his age, he rose to become the youngest general in U.S. history. That got us thinking about characters who rise to achieve success in the face of adversity–much like Peggy’s assent into the executive ranks in the face of the 1960s’ prolific sexism on Mad Men.
5. Will McAvoy is Thomas Paine
John Adams once said that without the pen of Thomas Paine, the sword of George Washington would have been raised in vain. Paine was a British-born journalist who emigrated to the colonies just in time to become part of the revolution. He wrote the hugely influential pamphlet, Common Sense. Our pick for Thomas Paine is News Room’s Will McAvoy–whose spirited eloquence builds a pedestal for all journalists to aspire to–though we imagine Thomas Paine thought a bit less highly of himself.
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