The show runners for "Game of Thrones" have struck a new development deal with HBO. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will create a series called "Confederate" set in an alternate reality in which the South won the Civil War and is a functioning nation in the modern age, complete with slavery as an institution. The show will chronicle the run up to the "Third Civil War" and, like "Game of Thrones," will feature a broad cast of characters from both sides of the Mason Dixon Line. However, quite a few people on social media are not taking the news very well.

An alternate Confederate world story gets push back

What is it about the concept of "Confederate" seems to be so triggering is unclear. The alternate universe is likely to contain quite a few atrocities, including slavery, racism, discrimination, and the open display of the Confederate battle flag. However “Game of Thrones” is a series that features mass murder, rape, incest, and snarky comments from Tyrion. “The Man in the High Castle,” now running on Amazon, is set in a far worse world in which the Nazis won World War II and are running death camps and crematoria in the American heartland.

It could be that the same visceral loathing that is causing ancient Confederate monuments to be taken down all over the South has spilled over into popular entertainment.

The idea that a world could exist in which the hated Confederacy won is just too terrible to contemplate. Of course, people who feel triggered by “Confederate” will have the option of not watching the show.

Civil War alternate history an old tradition

Stories that are set in an alternate reality in which the South won the Civil War constitutes an old tradition in science fiction.

“Bring the Jubilee” by Ward Moore is set in an alternate reality in which Lee won the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederacy is a super power, and the Union is reduced to developing world status. Harry Turtledove has written a massive series that reimagines, among other things, both world wars fought with the Union on the side of Germany and the Confederacy on the side of the allies.

The Point Of Departure in that series was the so-called captured orders that in our world fell into Union hands, allowing the Army of the Potomac to confront the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam. In the alternate world, the orders never were captured, and Robert E. Lee won the Civil War in 1862.

What the point of departure for “Confederate” has yet to be revealed. It is hoped that the show runners will have studied their Civil War history. Otherwise, they will take grief from history buffs and re-enactors as well as the triggered ones.

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