Reading Politics into ‘Game of Thrones’ Goes Up in Smoke

Earlier in the final season of “Game of Thrones,” Elizabeth Warren wrote a piece that cast Daenerys Stormborn as the hero we need and how we need fewer Cersei Lannister types. Warren somehow managed to work in both feminist and economic political arguments in a short paper. This was annoying but the latest episode, “The Bells,” shows how silly it is reading your politics into a show.

In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, the feminist icon Danny (for ease of spelling I will use her nickname) ignored the bells that signaled the city had surrendered and rode her dragon around, devastating the city and upwards of a million people. From a historical standpoint, sacking a city in an orgy of violence is common. For those that paid attention to the show and her character’s development, she had a violent streak that often expressed itself in burning to death her enemies.

Game of Thrones itself has often subverted narrative genres as well. The noble knights of the realm such as the dashing, handsome Jaime Lannister are in secret incestuous relationships and throw little kids out the window when discovered. The most protective and honorable knights, the Hound and Lady Brianne, are not knights at all (until very late in the show for Brianne). The Hound literally looks like a monster, though he spends most of his time trying to protect the Stark children, and Lady Brianne is mocked and ostracized for being a masculine female. The traditional heroes of the story, the Stark family, are famously abused, beaten, and killed while the villains of the story often succeed and prosper. As one sinister villain jeered, “if you think this has a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention.” Or as another character said, “if you want justice you’ve come to the wrong place.”

So the dramatic turn to the Mad Queen burning everybody shouldn’t have been surprising on a number of levels. All of this should have been sound reasons to avoid reading too much politics into the story. It’s also rather annoying. Politicians try to jump on anything that is popular to try and make their points. Even though liberals dominate Hollywood they complain that shows and movies don’t match their visions exactly. For example, they complain that too many dark-skinned characters die first. Though, the death of Danny’s adviser is one of the major reasons she wanted retribution. In short, liberals ignore character development and the character of the show to insert their politics and lecture people. On top of that, Warren’s reading of Danny as a feminist hero won’t stand up very well when the Dragon Queen killed up to a million innocent civilians in graphic fashion.

This could have been avoided by simply enjoying the show on its own merits, but this would mean that liberals can’t pursue their favorite hobbies of moral sermonizing about anything and everything. I’m glad it went up in smoke like the fictional city of Kings Landing.

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Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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