George Sphrantzes was the Emperor Constantine XI's personal secretary and friend. According to his own account of the conquest of Constantinople, his daughter Thamar (named Therma in the series) was 12 years old when the city fell and was taken into captivity by the Turks, dying in the Sultan's harem in September 1455 of an infectious disease. Therefore, the series inaccurately portrays her as having escaped to the island of Chios. There is also no evidence that Thamar and Giovanni Giustiniani Longo, the leader of the Genoese mercenaries, were in a romantic relationship. See more »
Powerful and bingeworthy
This is a historical fiction docuseries, showing the Fall of Constantinople from a Turkish perspective. Historical fiction is by definition not fully historically accurate, because past events are placed on a narrative arc and dramatized in order to build a strong story. Accept this and you'll be a happier viewer.
The iron-willed Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror is beautifully played by Cem Yigit Uzümoglu, who's destined to become a global star after this memorable performance. Because of Cem's passionate portrayal of the young Ottoman ruler Mehmed II, I found myself rooting for him in spite of the tragic fates of many soldiers, mercenaries and innocent civilians.
This series was produced and directed by a Turkish film team, and most actors are also Turkish. Critics who claim that the series is biased in favour of the Romans are clearly missing something. In this particular story the Romans are defending themselves against an attack, and many of the victims are civilians, so there's bound to be scenes where we sympathize with them. This is how good storytelling works, and it would have been a creative failure not to include that side of the story.
'Rise of Empires: Ottoman' is a powerful, visually impressive and absolutely bingeworthy series that will linger in my mind for a very long time.
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