Game of Stereotypes

One of the reasons why Game of Thrones is such a popular series is because it appeals to its audience’s desire for escapism. The elaborate costumes and enchanting accents serve as a mental diversion, and a way of coping, for those who wish to withdraw from the pressures of the real world and shrink away into a safer fantasy world. However, Thrones seems to channel so many contemporary political, social and sexual concerns, that its less of a fantasy and more of a reflection of the modern world. In the era Game of Thrones is taken place, women led very traditional lives and tend to be submissive to their husband or father. Today, gender roles evolved and women are rarely oppressed, allowing for a new term to enter modern society. Feminism has always been so taboo and misidentified that some groundwork must be laid. To put it efficiently, feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” The setting of the series made women seem inferior and subservient, however, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom for these female characters. Since the beginning, there have been many moments where they took back their power and strongly defined their feminist identities, matching and sometimes beating the show’s men at their own game. Among the show’s setting in a feudal, agrarian society with battles and blades, and magic and monsters, the series also begins with a scene portraying female empowerment. As the daughter of Ned Stark, the Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, Arya is expected to marry well, have children, and raise a prince or two into kings, but Arya continuously rejects her fate. Arya has a moment with her father where she denounces her obligation and expresses who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life. This moment is introduced with a question when Arya asks her father: “Can I be Lord of the Holdfast (a fortress)?” Her father laughs, smiles, kisses her forehead, and tells her, “You will marry a high lord and rule his castle, and your sons shall be knights, and princes, and Lords.” To which she confidently looks her father in the eyes and daringly denies, “No, that’s not me.” Arya successfully sends a message to all women that you can be whatever you want and no one has the right to define you, even your own loving father. She wants to run around barefoot, take up sword-fighting lessons with the best swordsman in the kingdom, and doesn’t mind if she gets dirty doing all of it, proving to us that she wasn’t made for the fluffy comforts of a lady or a princess.
Game of Thrones is an ideal reflection of the social contemporary issues that are present in Sophocles’ Antigone. There’s a prevalent pattern of fearlessness and courage between Antigone and Arya. Patriarchy was alive and well in Ancient Greece, where Antigone took place, as well as in Arya’s era. Despite both societies being a male dominated culture, both Antigone and Arya didn’t allow their limits to restrain them from their accomplishments. Sophocles paints Creon as a sexist ruler with a low opinion towards women leading to Creon’s downfall, similarly how women in Game of Thrones often surpassed masculine power and beat them at their own game. 

-Lauren Ishay, Team Vesta

 

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How to win the Game of Thrones..?

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Game of Thrones, a very popular TV series by HBO has just released new season which absolutely rocks! The series take place mainly in the continent known to us as- Westeros. Westeros is the home for several major houses in the series, as well as home for King’s Landing. As the name suggests, King’s Landing is the place where the king and the royal family is located. As you can see on the map below, King’s landing is fairy small compared to the other kingdoms, and yet has control over all of them… Right? Well, that was the case before Cersei Lannister got the power. First of all, only Kings were the true rulers of the Seven Kingdoms, but many dramatic events have made her one and only Queen of Westeros.

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Long Before Cersei sat on the iron throne, she already have played her Game of Thrones, How? Well after king Robert tragically passed away, their son – Joffrey had been crowned and therefore announced to be the king. Due to the fact that he was still young and unknowing of the crown matters, his mother – Cersei was technically ruling instead of him. However, not long after he was associated. That was very heartbreaking for Cersei, but she still had another son that could take a place of Joffrey. And he did, Tommen- youngest of Cersei’s kids became the new king. He was way too young however, thus making his mother the undercover ruler of seven kingdoms. After sometime, Cersei has destroyed something that he dearly valued, which led him into taking his life. Left with no other descendants, she became one and only ruler of seven kingdoms. Now that you know a brief description of events led to Cersei’s reign, I can take you to my next point.

Throughout the history, humankind have faced several dictators, most of which have been eliminated. Most of the time, dictatorships are practiced in the closed societies. What do I mean by that? I mean societies are that not welcoming new ideas, and new people; Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are the few of the dicatoators that practiced their reigns in such societies. What both of them have in common other than living in a closest world away from everytone? Well, people under their dictatorship feared and despised them (although couldn’t really show it due to the fear factor.) Another common trait? They did not concern themselves with the opinions, suggestions and such of the common people, or anyone else really. Sooner or later this kind of behavior leaves people no other choice but to bring them down, which ultimately stops their reigns. Why am I saying all this? Well, although some world-class dictators have been eliminated, some still remain. For example – Kim Jong-Un. North Korea is one of the undeveloped , closed to everyone countries. He is arguably one of the worst dictators yet to exist. People in North Korea are suffering, dying of hunger and other aspects while he lives perfectly fine. Sounds similar… similar to Cersei Lannister! She, just like Kim Jong-Un, does not care of the well-being of her common people, making herself a perfect dictator. History repeats itself, and as long as people won’t find courage to rebel, the dictators will live their life as selfishly as ever before, and people will continue suffering.

In the play given to us – Antigone, Creon, arguably is the dictator. He demands that one of the son’s body mustn’t be buried, which goes against God’s will, and anyone’s moral standard. Antigone, certainly felt that it was wrong to left dead body unburied, and she did what she had to do – burry him. “I urge no more; nay, wert thou willing still, I would not welcome such a fellowship. Go thine own way; myself will bury him.”(Antigone, 69-72)As things progress, he realized that if only he did not command that, everything could have been fine. But, what happened – happened, and let to awful outcomes. Chances are that people would still do something they believe is the right thing to do, even if it was said not to do so.  Everything he cherished and valued has shattered right in front of his nose, and they happened faster than anyone would predict. The point being- If you do not concern yourself with concerns of commoners, (or anyone actually), you WILL lose everything you love. Cersei never considered anyone has ever suggested to her, not even her two brothers, the result? Both brothers turned away from her, all three kids dead, and she lost her rule over half of the kingdoms in Westeros. Moral of the story- be open-minded, see different approaches to situations, and most importantly, consider suggestions of others. None of the personas mentioned above will ever succeed, their reigns will only continue while people fear them. Cersei is not an exception, her Game of Thrones just might be over on a near future.

Diana Dubitskaya, Team Mercury

#Elsewhere #TeamMercury #GameofThrones #Antigone #CLAS2 #Dictators