Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An analysis of the Morals in Game of Thrones: Sex, Honor, Power, and Loyalty

Game of Thrones season three is coming in March and I finished season one in December. I've had a lot of time to think about this decision, and I've decided I'm not going to watch GOT anymore. I was going to title this "why I've decided not to watch GOT anymore" but then I came up with a classier title.  In this post, I'm taking a look at some of the themes of GOT and how it has a great deal of violent and sexual content.

There is too much nudity and sexual content in game of thrones, which is to be expected as almost every television show or movie contains sexual elements in modern day. I don't think that people should go out of their way to put in the movie, but it is most likely going to be there. I personally felt like there was only one really unnecessary and bizarre sex scene and that was the one with Petyr talking about Catelyn Stark and being creepy. Apparently there is also another similar sex scene in season 2.

Sex in Westeros comes from the failure of men to love and treat their women well. Prostitutes live in every city. Fathers, uncles, brothers arrange political marriages for their daughters, nieces, sisters. Most often these arranged marriages have abusive husbands. An exception to this is Nedd and Catelyn Stark who do genuinely love each other. Joffrey abuses Sansa, his betrothed and leaves her to be  raped (she is rescued however).

Game of Thrones is also very violent with death, blood, guts, and traitors, lies, secrets all in a war over power. Everyone is trying to get the Iron Throne and none do it honorably. Honor is a theme in GOT and is possessed by only one true character----Nedd Stark, lord of Winterfell. Everyone else disregards honor, because, well, if they were to act honorably, none of them would have any power. Loyalty also comes into play here, because no one in King's Landing (the capital of Westeros) is on Nedd's side. The saddest part about GOT is that Nedd gives up his honor to save his daughters, but fails. Sansa ends up a captive of the Lannisters and Arya is headed to the wall alone, a long journey that is sure to be full of adventures. In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. If you have a code of honor or a sense of morals, you die is what GOT says.

The biggest theme is power. Everyone is trying to get it, no matter the cost. Robb Stark sends 2,000 men to be killed so that he can defeat Jamie Lannister's army and capture the man. Robb Stark, who was supposed to be as honorable as his father turns out to be a failure, because he breaks his promises and can't keep his word. As for the other claims to the throne, Stanis Baratheon kills his own brother and joins a mysterious cult that worships fire and forces everyone in his army to join it. Theon Greyjoy, who has been raised alongside Robb Stark, abandons him and returns to his father's house and takes up an army and murders Bran and Rickon, the two youngest Stark children. So much for loyalty. Joffrey, my least favorite character, orders the murder of many people, abuses Sansa and his younger siblings.

Power corrupts and makes monsters out of men in Games of Thrones.

Other themes that I disagree with are the idea of destiny. Jon Snow, Daenerys, and Arya all have great destinies, but at the loss of people they love. They all lose everything and I wish I could see where they could go. The three of them and also Nedd are my favorites. I don't think that "only death begets life." That's only in GOT where death is an ever present force that influences the choices of the characters. In reality, death cannot do anything, only life can.Life begets life and children are born despite it all.

My main issue with GOT is that it's written as there there is no right and wrong, and I disagree. Right and wrong and morals exist. In GOT the characters just ignore them and do whatever it takes to get power.

On a final note, the characters I liked the best are those who refused to play the game of thrones. Maybe that is the lesson to be learned from GOT after all. That we can look at the world of Westeros and our own world and choose not to let power rule us. We can walk away and find our own purposes and create  our own destinies.