The UNH January term (J-term) course schedule became available to students on Friday, Oct. 15 and registration opened on Monday, Oct. 24. Having survived midterms, it’s time for students to consider spring scheduling, and many undergraduates may be looking to knock a discovery requirement out of the way.

“If [a professor] is trying to offer a class that students need to take in order to graduate, J-term is a good time to do that,” Registrar’s Office Academic Student Services Assistant Brianna Smith said.

Out of dozens of options, one class that is new to J-term this 2016-17 academic year is Game of Thrones: Power and Politics in Renaissance Europe (HIST 498), taught by history professor Elizabeth Mellyn. The class also fulfills a historical perspectives discovery requirement.

“I plan on using the themes of the series [Game of Thrones] as a launching pad for studying similar themes in European history,” Mellyn said, adding that the class will focus on the “turbulent” 16th century.

In addition to reviewing posted lectures establishing historical context and important concepts, students will read texts that address power and sovereignty. Grading for the class will be discussion centered, with students answering short questions, reading peer responses and responding to at least one other person.

This will be Mellyn’s first time teaching an online J-term class. She said she has learned that many students build their schedules by scrolling through UNH’s course search “looking for titles that pique their interest.”

“I realized immediately that I had to start with my stuffy old course titles,” Mellyn said in regard to redesigning her classes to attract students. She said that a student in one of her classes came up with the idea to name the J-term course after Game of Thrones.

Having recently started watching the HBO series and reading the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, Mellyn has admittedly become a “Game of Thrones” fan. “Frankly, I can’t get enough of it,” she said. “Hands down my favorite character is Ned Stark.”

“‘Game of Thrones seems to be playing a similar role in the imaginations of young and old alike, drawing them back to Europe’s bloody past,” Mellyn said. “George R. R. Martin based his narrative on actual people and events in European history… The themes he introduces are perennial and speak both to the deeper parts of our human nature as well as the big questions all societies grapple with.”

Though “familiarity with the book or cable series will certainly make the class more fun,” it is not necessary to have read or watched Game of Thrones in order to succeed, Mellyn said.

The deadline for students to enroll in a J-term class is Dec. 23, with Jan. 3 being the last day to add or drop classes on Webcat. No RAC number, instructor or advisor signature is required to sign up for a J-term class, according to the university’s website.

Winter is coming, and with it comes J-term. Don’t be left in the cold where the White Walkers can get you; sign up for Mellyn’s class before it’s too late.

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Executive Editor