Film Commentary 02: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is a television series that takes its setting in the Medieval ages, amidst the battles and power struggles of the different houses. From the television show’s title, there is already a clear distinction how it is a manifestation of conflict amongst the powerful. Provided that it takes place in the aforementioned time period, the methods presented in this series happen to be barbaric in the form of killings, and even sexual assaults. The show reveals a reality in the medieval ages as to how noble families strive to pursue power and resources, that result into bloodbaths. The show reveals how these noble families have taken a rational disposition on things, aiming to achieve domination over the other, or as the show highlights, the throne.

The beauty in understanding political violence, with Game of Thrones as a reference, is that the area of social culture and norms were taken into account to understand the different manifestations in the series. For example, as one can clearly recall from the show, it is grounded on brutal killings to the point that these appear to be normal occurrences in the show. These killings were brought about by personal interests, as different people, and or noble groups, were motivated by their personal objective. Hence, a clear exhibition of realism in the medieval ages. Another example in which this can be found is the instances of betrayal in the series (i.e. Baelish betraying Ned). In the series, there is also a sense of repression that occurs with the objective of incest amongst families. It was clearly portrayed in the series that the objective of such doings was to avoid impurity, and to ensure that power remains among a certain family. Thus, revealing to the audience that incest or rape was even for the purpose of repression and hold of power, rather than mere pleasure.

From these ideas, there is a surfaced complexity when it comes to understanding Game of Thrones. It is not a show that is intended to just pleasure those who love violence, or those who are interested to witness brutality in the medieval ages. Game of Thrones is an exhibition of how the different forms of political violence have gone beyond actions that only occur one-time, or a few times. The show reveals how political violence can grow deeply into the societal norms. Hence, explaining why it has become normal in the series’ plot to have bloodbaths in brutal killings, and rape whether to assert supremacy or to repress others from joining a noble bloodline.

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