Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones “keeps it real”. It gets rid of all the social delicacies in favor of “honesty”. The result is a brutal, totalitarian social fabric. The Western World that has thrown away it’s welfare state.

In Game of Thrones those who speak truth are powerful and those who lie are weak. Those who penetrate others and themselves with the rod of truth are always respected, by every character, without exception.

Game of Thrones is a modern totalitarian and Neoliberal fantasy. Characters live to know everything about everyone who is or can be a threat to their power-goals. Their words are weaponized, armored, or supportive as the need arises, but never otherwise.

As a result of this brutal madness, this “keeping it real“, everyone is afraid. There’s no security in Game of Thrones, only whatever confidence characters can muster by means of whatever control they can exert on the world around them.

Because everyone is afraid, everyone seeks to dominate. Peace is obtained only through domination, the same ideology which rules the American and Israeli states.

In episode 7 Cersei Lannister says “When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die”. Noone in the series even considers the third option, the insight of the 1984 movie War Games: the only way to win is not to play. The characters in Game of Thrones are in a state of perpetual war, against whoever and whatever stands in the way of their ambitions.

The psychological backdrop for the series is the awakening of an ancient, powerful, mystical, awe-inspiring evil force, which provides a justification for the “no pain, no gain” ideology of the characters. Game of Thrones tells us that only through perpetual training, perpetual suffering, perpetual sacrifice, perpetual honesty, perpetual war, will we become strong enough to face the ultimate evil.

And then, so the myth goes, we will obtain eternal peace. Or death. The same thing.

As the world suffers under the “no pain, no gain” of Austerity and the continued rule of neoliberal ideology and as a result accelerates towards the apocalypse, so the world experiences Game of Thrones. Unlike in the real world the totalitarian ideology in Game of Thrones won’t turn out nearly so badly. It’s fictional fantasy, after all.

One Response to “Game of Thrones”

  1. Carmen the Salsa Says:

    This was really excellent. Thank you. Have you ever found another similar reading of the show (or its general aesthetics)?

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