Game of Thrones

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Crossing the line: 'Game of Thrones' treatment of incest

Incest is a fundamental taboo in society. We recognise this for many reasons.

Yet for some odd reason it has begun to rear its ugly head within television, and it does not seem to be demonised as much as one would expect. The perfect example of this is the relationship between the siblings, Jamie and Cirsei Lannister, in ‘Game of Thrones.’ This is ridiculed within the narrative and by other characters, yet it is shown in somewhat graphic detail in the first episode. They are both very attractive actors and the act, without context is an attractive bit of television soft-porn. How are we meant to interpret this? There are a myriad of other inferences by other characters, often used to symbolise the unhealthiness or negative representation of a character, yet this seems largely undermined by the treatment then of the characters within the narrative as redeemable heroes (somewhat). A recent episode of ‘Rick and Morty’, already known for its dark humour, but on the pulse cultural reflection, a "Morty" made a wish that "incest porn was more mainstream" – it was a line used to punctuate the scene with humour before one of the "Morty’s" leapt to his death. However, this is still an open discussion of incest in a somewhat positive manner.

Obviously, this is a highly contentious discussion and one that needs to be handled carefully. However, akin to the inclusion of "rape fantasies" in much of paranormal romance, it is a concerning trend that should be discussed.

  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/fashion-and-trends/super-gross-was-this-bella-and-gigi-hadid-picture-in-british-vogue-photoshopped/story-CHriBjKH9920aDWDxKFSJO.html Check out this link... – Munjeera 3 weeks ago
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  • Why incest is taboo (and perhaps the best argument against it): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain – J.D. Jankowski 3 weeks ago
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The message that George RR Martin is trying to send with Game of Thrones

Analyze and discuss what greater meaning there is in Game of Thrones, an overarching message that Martin is trying to send to his readers (and viewers I guess) beyond the amazing fantasy, political intrigue, and gut-wrenching battles and deaths that has enraptured most of the fan base.

  • An interesting idea for a topic, especially since Hillary Clinton appears to identify with the Cersei Lannister/Baratheon character. Real life copying art? – Amyus 5 months ago
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  • Something can be said for the unabashed yet tactical killing off of characters in the series, and what relevance this has in contemporary television's trends in dependency on viewer/fan preferences/reactions. – LNwenwu 5 months ago
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  • I think it would also be helpful to analyze, or critique, i would say, his methods for promoting messages. The amount of gross sexual content in the series, for instance...is this fanservice? Necessary to the plot? What are his ways of getting his views across to others? – EricJohnson 5 months ago
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  • Is there truly an overall message that Martin is trying to send though? I personally don't believe it's that complicated. Just Westeros vs the dead with Martin just trying to make a buck off his creative and intelligent fantasy writing style. – EsportsJosh 5 months ago
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  • While I'm not sure there's a coherent "message" to be found within Game of Thrones, I do think it's been noted before how much GOT/ASOIAF deconstruct certain tropes of fantasy. The traditional good v. evil battle is muddied constantly throughout the series, and there's a quote by George RR Martin saying "the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves," which brings up GOT's emphasis on its characters largely being responsible for their actions, and the consequences that arise from them. – LucasLacamara 4 months ago
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Will Game of Thrones Inspire the Future of Television?

Game of Thrones has seen incredible, groundbreaking success, such it has developed a devout following. The success is due to multiple factors. Two of which are duration and quality. The fact that GOT is indeed a television show instead of a film, allows characters to truly develop and grow. Films generally have a time limit of three hours to develop any characters. Films on the other hand, have quality that tv shows usually do not. Game of Thrones is able to connect these two aspects, tv show length for development and film like quality. Fans are able to become much more invested than other movies or shows. In the future, we can hope that other TV shows look to invest in the higher quality, and produce great shows like GOT.

  • The showrunners for Star Trek: Discovery have named Game of Thrones as an inspiration for the format of the show. – AGMacdonald 7 months ago
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  • I sincerely hope that the success of GoT inspires other writers/producers to make series with a similarly long game view.; either book adaptations, as GoT, or stand-alone series. – JudyPeters 6 months ago
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Sexual Violence and Censorship

Do shows like Game of Thrones deserve criticism for their depiction of sexual violence, or is their portrayal justified, given the setting of Westeros as a brutal world were violence is the common place?

There’s an interesting debate to be had here about the responsibilities of show writers/directors toward how they handle sensitive topics and staying true to the fictional world they operate within.

  • There's a fine line between violence and sexual violence in particular being shown in context and becoming gratuitous voyeurism and, in my opinion, Game of Thrones has stepped over this line many a time. Yes, of course we all know that the world in which the stories are set is a violent one, reflecting our own middle-ages in that respect, when life was cheap and a self-appointed 'Elite' could determine someone's fate almost at a whim, but I am still of the opinion that there are far darker horrors lurking within the mind than can ever be successfully portrayed on screen. Sometimes a suggestion of violence can be more menacing than the act itself - less is more. Game of Thrones sells itself on its barbarism, so the writers/directors are somewhat obliged to stay as true as possible to the source material, but I do wonder just how often boundaries are being deliberately pushed just to see what they can get away with. – Amyus 8 months ago
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  • An interesting argument. Game of Thrones is a go-to for promoting sexual violence; however, shows like Sons of Anarchy and Outlander have had more graphic sexual assaults and yet they are not mentioned in the debate (in general, not specifically yours). It might be interesting to investigate. – AGMacdonald 8 months ago
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  • Apart from shows, it would be better to even consider films like 'Blue Valentine' here. – Vishnu Unnithan 7 months ago
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  • Censorship of sexual violence doesn't appear to be the best course, as we have seen how censorship can actually limit the amount of awareness and information about sensitive topics. I think TV and movies provide a platform to start discussions and communication about sexual violence. This something that happens more than we would like to think, even in modern times. Perhaps the question is not whether or not to show it, but rather how can it be shown in a way that doesn't glorify sexual violence. – KRawlyk 6 months ago
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Death of Static Characters in Game of Thrones

Whether it is Ned Stark’s everlasting nobility or Joffrey Baratheon’s undying wickedness, a static character in Game of Thrones always seems to perish. Analyze this idea and why this may be the case. Compare unchanging characters to dynamic ones and analyze why changes in character lead to success.

  • Interesting topic, it'd be intriguing to read whatever kind of explanation someone might try to come up with. But first I think it's important to discus in these notes what makes a "static" character to help the future writer of this article along? Are there exceptions to the rules? I feel as though some characters seem dynamic when in reality we they've been motivated by the same thing this whole time, we just didn't know what that was. Who is static, who's dynamic, and who's in trouble of becoming static and killed off because of this theory? – Slaidey 1 year ago
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  • I agree with Slaidey in that knowing who is truly dynamic vs. static may be premature at this point. Especially in light of the fact that some characters who are declared dead, may in fact be still alive (the Hound). But being unsure of the ultimate outcome certainly makes the discussion more interesting... – heliddick 1 year ago
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  • Yes, a substantial counterargument you'll encounter is that it's not the static characters that die, just the ones that are not central enough to the story that we have to know their complications. Ned's death and Littlefinger's persistence may be some of your strongest cases of proof, but Catelyn's death and Daenerys's continued living may not be in your favor. – IndiLeigh 1 year ago
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Book Series to Television Series: How Does the Story Change When an Author Starts Writing for Viewers Rather than Readers?

With popular book series titles making their way into television, authors seem to be forced to make a switch between writing long-form prose and writing with the television audience in mind. Does the narrative change, for better or for worse, when an author is acutely aware that the next book will be formatted for episodes rather than novels? George R.R. Martin’s celebrated Game of Thrones series is a prime example of how an author feels the pressure of a viewing audience baring down as opposed to writing novels at a leisurely pace. What effect does this have on the story, characters and plot when an author is pressed to satisfy an episodic format at a mainstream pace?

  • Interesting topic. I think J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts screen play is another good example of an author moving from writing for readers to viewers. – C8lin 1 year ago
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  • Would be very interested to read this article, as at the moment I cannot think of another TV show besides GoT where the writer of the books also wrote episodes for the show! – Sonia Charlotta Reini 1 year ago
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A psychological reading of the characters from "Game of Thrones"

The HBO success "Game of Thrones" brings on screen a wide variety of characters with clear mental issues. From Joffrey’s violent nature, which lacks any form of remorse, to Ramsay’s damaged personality or Jamie and Cersei’s incestuous relationship (also Sansa Stark, Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy can be interesting examples). It would be fascinating to use psychoanalytical concepts, taken from Freud, Jung or Klein, in order to offer a reading of these characters and their backstories and objectives.

  • This would be so cool to read and an interesting topic to explore. I'm not an avid watcher of "Game of Thrones" myself, but I think that psychoanalytic theory and concepts can be applied to any fictional character, whether they be literary or cinematic. Freud, Jung, or Klein would all be of course good places to start - anyone interested in researching this would I think also be inclined to check out the work of Erich Fromm (philosopher/psychologist). His work in "Escape from Freedom" is a great analysis of authoritarian, sadistic, and masochistic character-types - theories which could be applied to characters such as Joffrey. – kyletsakiris 1 year ago
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Dothraki Tribalism and the Ubermensch

"It is the right of the strong to take from the weak." (Martin, 758)

The sociopolitical structure of the Dothraki people is governed by the strong, with tribal communities gravitating around warriors who have proven their greatness in battle. This is seen most evidently when Khal Drogo’s khalasar is disbanded as soon as his strength begins to falter, prompting several of his strongest subordinates to name themselves new Khals to form new khalasars with whoever will follow. This ideology is the reason why none of the Dothraki had any respect for Viserys, who had no true strength of his own, but felt entitled to the Iron Throne by being a descendant of the old dynasty. Though the Targaryen reign was ushered in by the brute strength of Aegon the Conqueror and his dragons (a method of asserting one’s right to rule much in line with this Dothraki system), the establishment of a monarchy after the victory changed the game (of thrones).
Discuss the differences between these two methods of governance. Which one might prove to be more effective for selecting leaders (both in Westeros and in the real world)? How does the Dothraki reverence for individuals with power reflect the Nietzschean view of the ubermensch? How might it mirror the real-life rises to power of autocratic leaders from Julius Caesar, to Napoleon Bonaparte, to Fidel Castro? In what ways might this need to respect the ruler illustrate a sort of precursor to our modern democracy?

  • This is a fascinating topic! An I think I can closely linked the prevalent political metanarratives regarding the conceptualization of democracy in our post-colonial world. However, I don't think that this sociopolitical structure illustrates a previous system. Instead, I think the khalasar was Martin's way of decrying the weakness a impotence (despite the claims of universality) of the broken Western political system. Between Trump and Khal Drogo, i'll take Drogo any day. – AnaMRuiz 2 years ago
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  • Great topic! I think it's important to look at how monarchy has failed repeatedly in Game of Thrones. Even Robert Baratheon used Dothraki methods of taking what was his, he just led a rebellion, stormed in and sat down. Although Baratheon is related to Targaryen it was a non-linear ascension. You'd think people would learn to instill a democracy but once in power prideful houses want to do everything in their power to keep the reign for their descendants no matter how unfit they may be... It's all very "history repeats itself." – Slaidey 1 year ago
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Females within Game of Thrones

There is a variety of female characters within Game of Thrones, between the fierce, capable Arya, the strong noble Brienne, and the manipulative conspiring Cersei. There is a range of female characters, unlike I have seen in one show before. Examine some of these characters, and provide examples of how some of these roles help or hinder the complexities of women, and their roles on television.

  • oh, man, this is such a good topic to write about - arya especially in the new season (so far) and how she has overcome her complexities in life, Cersei also, and even daenerys targaryen. – scole 2 years ago
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  • Yes, I actually wrote a paper on this around two years ago. I took a feminist approach, so just saying. – ismael676 2 years ago
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  • A very interesting topic for sure. As a feminist I often struggle with the fact I like watching game of thrones despite how problematic it can be especially in regards to how women are portrayed regularly. But then there are so many powerful women as well... – Lilith 2 years ago
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  • I would also take into account the rigidly patriarchal world that these women live in. I find it very jarring how the men talk about the women around them and how they treat them. – ckmwriter 2 years ago
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  • Don't forget Sansa. Her character has dramatically changed since season one. Can't leave out Daenerys either. – KennethC 2 years ago
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  • Intense topic--I admire and applaud whomever takes on this vast and dynamic topic. The females, especially this season, have been spectacular. They are more than just mere set decorations, but pivotal characters driving the plot and making major moves, more so this season than any other. If there were to be any subtitle for this season it would be "The Year of the Females." They were such a force: the good and the bad. Great topic, one I hope to read, very soon!! – danielle577 2 years ago
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  • Additionally, we can't forget about Catelyn Stark, Margaery Tyrell (her grandmother, Olenna, is awesome too, to be honest), Yara Greyjoy, and to a smaller extent Ellaria Sand or Gilly. This show is chockful with powerful, goal-getting women. There is so much analysis to be done! – Suman 2 years ago
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Political structure of Westeros

The quest for the Iron Throne is what has brought Westeros into its current mess. What needs to be done in order to bring unity back into Westeros, politically? What about the current governmental structure isn’t working? Does there need to be a shift in how Westeros is governed? How did it all work before? Based on how the TV show is going, what type of government is needed and what kind of leader? And who best fits that mold? I always thought it might be better if Westeros was divided and governed by their respective divisions. Ex: The North would be a sovereign nation and governed by the head house of the North, and so on. But would this sort of system work? Could it work, and how so?

  • Wow! This is a really interesting topic and you discuss such intriguing topics pertaining to politics and social mores. Yet, how does one expect Westeros to become a politically viable governmental structure when you have mad tyrants trying to capture the throne? Also, look at the "time" in which this series takes place. Though we do not have an actual timeline, as this is a fantastical book/show series, we can infer that this time period was not one where democracy or the acts of politically correct modes of government would be of utmost importance. The only true hope of having a possible fair ruler was Ned Stark...and I think we all know how that turned out. This is an interesting question because as the series continues, and everyone is battling and killing for the throne, one must wonder, what will happen once the throne is actually one? Will peace be restored and all seven kingdoms abide by the "rightful ruler?" – danielle577 2 years ago
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  • This is a really interesting topic, especially with Dany actually moving into Westeros now. I think this would definitely be interesting if you discuss the theocracy, and the growing power of the Sept (what's going to be done about that?). Especially, with the idea of the people gaining their power, and how in essence, a very small group of people rule over a very large group of people (who have been war torn and are probably fed up). I think the question comes down to: how would the divisions interact? How would they deal with say, the displacement of people in Riverrun? What about people who don't have such large natural resources (The North/The Ironborn). – ninamicanovic 2 years ago
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  • I think there needs to be a definite distinction made between the show and the book here, since the two have diverged significantly. There is an entire history of government in Westeros (and some in Essos), but a lot of what is book canon isn't show canon, so anyone who wants to write this would likely have to just focus on the show or the books I think – Darcy Griffin 2 years ago
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