Noble Blood From Aaron Mahnke - Podcasts To Listen To

History Intersects With True Crime

The Prolific Aaron Mahnke

If like me, you are a fan of history and true crime podcasts, the Noble Blood podcast is one you should look to find wherever you order your podcasts from. The combining of history, myth, and true crime is the holy grail for us who are fans of these genres with the Lore podcast from Aaron Mahnke being the gold standard of listens over the last few years. 

With Mahnke partnering with iHeartRadio to front his Cabinet of Curiosities show and executive produce other podcasts the stage is set for more impressive podcasts to make their way to the internet for us to enjoy.

Noble Blood Podcast

Mahnke has teamed with the author Dana Schwartz to create the Noble Blood podcast which has become one of the most listened to shows, according to the iTunes charts, following the release of the first episode on July 9th, 2019. 

The podcast focuses on the royal families of Europe throughout history as these have formed the basis of many of the stories told on major TV shows of recent times. For example, George R.R. Martin has been known to take the tales of the ancient royals of Europe and weave them into his books. In fact, the basis of the Game of Thrones franchise is the English battle for the throne known as the War of the Roses.

Just like the work of Aaron Mahnke, Dana Schwartz does not simply follow a specific timeline for her podcast, instead choosing to move around the history of Europe taking in episodes based n the last days of the French Queen Marie Antoinette and more modern dynasties such as North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. The tales told are usually on the macabre and shocking side and told with a literary flair one would expect from a published author such as Schwartz.

This history podcast may retread ground we have heard before, such as the story of Marie Antoinette, but for the majority of us, the stories from World War II and the closed-off world of North Korea are less well known. 

A Welcomed Change Of Format

At a time when we seem to be flooded with true crime podcasts looking into every unsolved murder in the world, the attempt to bring a world we know little about to life with some literary flair is the kind of podcast I can get behind as it provides me with a little escape from the gruesome details of modern true crime stories.

Dana Schwartz has worked closely with Lore creator Mahnke and the history podcast they have created shares many of the same features as its illustrious predecessor. However, Schwartz has made a subtle change to the structure of Lore as she is not trying to give a huge overview of a place or time in history and link it back to the modern-day.

For example, the first episode of the podcast tells the story of the last days of Marie Antoinette as she awaits her fate after being arrested at Versailles. This is a part of the story of the French Queen we have rarely heard. The majority of films, TV shows, and books tend to focus on the opulence of the French monarchy and the many myths circulating about her private life. 

By placing the focus on the last days of Marie Antoinette following her arrest, the podcast has the chance to delve deeper into the personality of the queen who was a reviled figure in France for centuries. 

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One of the stories that shocked me about Marie Antoinette was her unwillingness to interact with those who plotted to free her from her captivity and taking her to freedom. As with most historic stories, there is a sense of intrigue with coded messages sent to the deposed queen in captivity telling her to prepare for rescue. Despite often being seen as a selfish, spoiled person who had lived a life of luxury, Marie Antoinette replied with a coded message of her own stating simply, "negative."

Forging New Ground 

When I heard the premise of the podcast, I must admit I had my reservations as another history-based podcast seemed to be a listen I would struggle to find time for. I was also concerned it would be too similar to the path already trod by Lore, particularly after I heard of the development involvement of Aaron Mahnke.

After listening to the first episode I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the show and the fact it was not a copy of Lore in any way. Schwartz herself is an engaging and knowledgable host who has a voice of her own when it comes to telling such intriguing and macabre stories. The focus is undoubtedly on the darker portions of the stories being told but the stories also help bring historic figures to life with our understanding of them improved upon as we listen.

In my opinion, the details explained by Schwartz are some of the most entertaining parts of the stories she weaves throughout the podcast. In the first episode, Marie Antoinette is refused the necessary materials to fill her time with the crafts she would complete as the queen of France in Versailles. Instead, the innovative queen found she could remove portions of wall coverings and weave them into the crocheted artistic works as she awaited the fate she undoubtedly knew was coming her way when her sentence was finally passed.

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Subscribe To Noble Blood

On the whole, I am looking forward to hearing more from Noble Blood as I believe the stories being told are important for the future as they span European history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Taking excursions into the North Korean dynasty is part of the first season I am particularly looking forward to hearing because the country has been closed off from the outside world for decades. 

This history podcast should be a popular one for fans of Lore who are looking to focus a little more on the darker side of the stories of royal families from around the world and throughout history. As the season progresses, Schwartz and Mahnke should enjoy a massive amount of listeners taking in the stories they choose to tell in the coming weeks.