Ertuğrul is the focus of Diriliş: Ertuğrul, a TV series that could possinly be the Game of Thrones rival you didn’t know about (Credit: Tekden Film) Ertuğrul: The Resurrection (AKA Diriliş: Ertuğrul) is the Game of Thrones style epic we never knew we needed until last week. But what makes Diriliş so special? A compelling storyline, perhaps? A hero who we can relate to but also invest in? Or, maybe its the epic battle scenes you’re often treated to? So far we’re convinced it’s all three, but one of the main lynchpins in Ertuğrul is titular character funnily enough. Rather than spread its plotline around an ever-revolving cast of players in the limelight, the show keeps itself central to the story of the man who helped father the Ottoman Empire.
And if there was any doubt about in your mind about it being worthy of a watch, we’ll point to the two hour-long episode runtime as well as its mammoth run across four seasons to date (the current one is believed to clock in at 36, so that’s 72 hours’ worth of TV in one season alone). What kind of setting are we talking about? Is it a real-life Westeros? The series is set in ancient Anatolia at a time when the Sultanate of Rum ruled much of the region that makes up modern day Turkey (Credit: Tekden Film) Well for those not too au fait with the ins and outs of 13th Century Turkey and the first Ottoman Sultan (Osman I) we’ll give you a brief intro to Anatolia during the time of Ertugrul. Safe to say Game of Thrones fans will be able to see correlations between the period and George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic, though it comes minus the dragons and White Walkers. Anatolia as a region was a mass of separate principalities, empires and states back then. At the time that Ertuğrul was alive the Byzantine Empire was beginning to wane in its powers, though it was still a force to be reckoned with. There was also the threat of Crusaders, as the city of Constantinople learned only too well, with Christian warriors travelling through the region on their way to supposedly reacquire Jerusalem on multiple occasions. Finally there was also the threat of the Mongol horde who rode across most of Asia and Europe during this time, conquering and pillaging vast regions. And, if that was enough there was always the Sultanate of Rum to deal with, who ruled over much of the land and was supposedly responsible for giving Ertuğrul his big start. But who was Ertuğrul Gazi, and what makes his story so appealing for a TV series that worthy of a three-day binge? Ertuğrul is a lynch-pin in the history of the Ottoman empire and therefore modern Turkey as a nation, given that he was the father of Osman I (Credit: Tekden Film) Ertuğrul is a lynch-pin in the history of the Ottoman Empire and therefore modern Turkey as a nation, given that he carved out a principality in Anatolia with the frankly mental odds arrayed against him at the time. A brief glance at history will tell you that he was a warrior and the father of Osman I, who was the founder of the empire which lasted from 1299 to 1922 – wherever you’re from that’s an impressive stretch of time. Besides raising the boy who would one day create such a historically important dynasty, much of Ertuğrul’s life remains a mystery. We know that he was the father of Osman because of artefacts from the Emperor’s rule, such as, coins having been discovered saying as much.