Game of Thrones: A Battle of Reality Versus Fantasy

WIRED | 5/24/2019 | Yuval Noah Harari
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Game of Thrones is a Shakespearean drama besieged by a zombie movie. It revolves around the question “What is power?”, and in its more profound moments, it offers a leisurely meditation on the fluidity of authority. At other times, it just bombards viewers with the latest special effects.

The clash of genres is reflected in the history of Westeros itself, which can be seen as an epic battle between reality and fantasy. The plot largely focuses on one flawed but realistic family—the Lannisters—that conducted a desperate and seemingly hopeless struggle against a growing host of demonic, magical, and supernatural powers.

Noah - Harari - Author - Sapiens - Homo

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and best-selling author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

To the east, the Lannisters faced Daenerys Targaryen, who could walk unscathed through fire, and relied on ferocious dragons to burn and awe her enemies. To the north, the Stark clan was lousy at politics and finance, but the family boasted one daughter who was a shapeshifting assassin; one son who turned into the “three-eyed raven” and enjoyed the gift of divine visions; and another Christ-like step-son who died to save humanity and then miraculously came back to life. Even further to the north lurked the most terrifying (and boring) enemy of all: the Army of Dead, which relentlessly marched south to conquer Westeros and destroy all life. (Luckily the dead took their time, so there was ample scope for more interesting events to enfold).

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For a while, the most immediate threat to the Lannisters came neither from the shapeshifting Starks nor from the fire-breathing dragons, but rather from Stannis Baratheon—another competitor for the Iron Throne—who besieged the capital city of King’s Landing. Though on the face of it Stannis was a cold-blooded general, in fact he was a lackey of the powerful...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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