Game of Thrones, written by an American author George R. R. Martin, was the first novel written in the series of great visionary novels. It was first published in 1996.The name has been borrowed and used in various novel-based works, including television series “Game of Thrones”.
There are about three principle storylines in the novel. At the beginning of the story, Winterfell Lord Eddard Stark executes a deserter. He does this on behalf of several kingdoms in the land. Another serious form of villainy is seen when the five children of Eddard together with the bastard son are targeted for attack (Martin 2). A lot of deaths were witnessed during the struggle for the throne. We observe that there were many allies during the struggle of kingship. Eddard allied with King Robert, which resulted to the death of King Jon Arryn. As much as Eddard supported the ideas of King Robert, he agreed to conduct investigations so as to establish the consequences that led to the death of King Robert.
However, Lord Aryan’s widow and a lady by the name Catelyn Stark appeared to have some secrets regarding the death of Lord Arryn. They accused the wife of King Robert of being responsible for the death of the Lord. According to the story, Lord Arryn’s death was a result of the two factors: political intrigue and poisoning (Diamond 45). It was revealed that Lord Arryn was poisoned by the wife of King Robert. This was the family’s strategy aimed at gaining a full control of the kingdom. As much as King Robert might have considered this as heroism, this is regarded as one of the worst acts against humanity.
Another form of villainy is witnessed when Cersei commits incest with her twin brother. Despite their attempts to conceal it, the entire nation gets to know about it. Bran, who witnesses the incest, narrowly survives. But the worst thing is that Bran enters coma. Thereafter, there are attempts to assassinate Bran. However, Catelyn comes to rescue him.
In the three storylines, various characters show bravery. Lord Eddard Stark comes out as a hero. He stands for integrity and honesty, which leads to his death. His son Robb is also a hero. He follows in his father’s footsteps and is later declared the King of the North. He takes the challenge of returning his father alive and goes to the grandfather for support. And on the way, robb kills his enemy, Jaime, the queen’s brother. He fights and conquers as the King of the North.
Heroism is also seen when King Jon Aryan dies. In the struggle for Lordship, many people allied, which led to his death. Despite this being an evil act of killing someone so as to gain power, it is also a form of heroism (Larry 8). A hero is always judged by the number of battles he/she wins. This is evident when both Edward and King Robert overthrew a Lord called Jon.
Jaime is a hero as well because he fights to conquer his enemies. When they are found to be practicing incest, he tries to kill the witness many times; he ensures that his son is proclaimed king just for the sake of his family. When he realizes that his immediate enemy is campaigning for support, he fights in the sea but, unfortunately, gets killed.
Daenery is a hero as she stands up for her family. She is sold by her brother, but she stands up for her husband when the brother tries to fight him back. She stands up for him even when the double-minded witch ends up incapacitating him. She revenges and kills this witch. Daenery is ready to die with her husband, but she manages to come out of the fire with the dragons. This makes her to be named the Mother of Dragons.
The palace is full of immoral people. Queen Cersei is immoral as she sleeps with her twin brother and even gives birth to a child from him. She is an impostor as she cheats on the king and makes him bring up this child and die knowing he has an heir from his blood. After this, she schemes with her brother and kills the king’s advisors.
Selfishness is depicted in the character Renly, the King’s younger brother, as he thinks of how he can take over after his brother instead of fighting for his brother who is lying helpless on the deathbed. Realizing what had happened and seeing that his plans to be king forcefully fail, he runs away with the best of the warriors. Viserys is so selfish that, instead of thinking about his sister’s happiness, he betroths her to Drogo. When he seems to be least interested in his conquest, he tries to separate this couple and kill their new found joy. He tries to do this publicly but is later ashamed by being outwitted by the Brother in-law. Betrayal as a vice is seen in the character of Littlefinger. His actions led to Eddard’s capture and final death.
Basic Themes as Presented by the Characters
There are several themes that are evident in the story. One of them is the theme of politics. There are many kings in the story. Among them are Lords Arryn, King Robert, and Eddard, who became the king of Winter Fell after the death of Lord Jon. Political contexts are always characterized by a lot of uprisings and rebellions. We witness the wife of King Robert plotting the death of Lord Arryn so the husband could become free of competitors. After the death of King Robert, there are a lot of power struggles to fill his position.
Inhumanity and Wars
This is a theme that is also witnessed in the kingdom of Winter Fell. There are a lot of civil wars that are rampant in the kingdom. There are especially many uprisings aimed at overthrowing the king Arryns. Eddard is arrested and this further brings a lot of unrest in the country. These are in attempts to rescue Eddard.
Upon the death of Lord Arryn, the wife or the close next of kin is not given any opportunity to become the leader of Winterfell. Instead, we observe that Eddard becomes the King. Likewise, after the death of King Robert, the heirs were not the right people to hold the office.
Eddard was betrayed by Littlefinger. Subsequently, it led to the arrest of Eddard. Littlefinger failed to arrest the guards that were in the city. Lord Eddard Stark, who is the Lord of the Winterfell, initially appears the main hero. He is dependable and supportive to the king. He has the responsibility of condemning and executing a deserter. Following the death of the king’s highest advisor, King Robert visits Eddard to ask him to become the new king’s advisor. He accepts this offer despite his instincts, at the same time he promises his wife to scrutinize his predecessor’s death, who happens to be his wife’s brother in-law.
Before he can leave to take his new office, his last born son, Bran sees the queen committing incest with her twin brother. The brother tries to kill him; Bran survives, but loses memory. Meanwhile Mrs. Stark travels after her husband to warn him of the danger he might be in. Upon arriving, she is secretly informed (by her former admirer, Littlefinger) that the sword which was supposedly used to injure her son is Tyrion’s, one of the queen’s brothers. While she was returning, she met the supposed killer of the former advisor. She then captures him and takes him to the widow, who unfortunately loses in the battle. This later leads to a fierce battle led by the queen’s father against Stark.
As Lord Stark arrives in the capital, he assumes his office and the ruling of Westeros, since the king is more of a knight than a ruler. He soon realizes that the assumed heirs of the kingdom were fathered by the queen’s twin brother. He cannot share this information with the king who is bed-ridden after the unsuccessful hunting expedition. He shares this with the king’s younger brother who runs away. He tells Littlefinger who betrays him. Stark and his daughter are captured, his men are killed and the queen’s eldest son assumes kingship.
The arrest of Lord Stark results into wars in different places of the kingdom. Acting against his mother’s and the council’s advice, the king beheads Eddard Stark, making Stark’s eldest son Robb to assume Lordship after his father. On hearing this, Lord Stark decides to request help from his maternal grandfather. But across the sea, the ships of the queen’s twin brother are waiting for Lord Stark. Stark devises a victorious plan against his enemy. After a continuous debate, Lord Stark is made the King of the North.
The preamble of this novel commences with the outer kingdom northern side in the wilderness. This kingdom is separated from the northern kingdom by a wall. It is led by the order of the night’s watch. The small group of rangers encounters “the others”- a small group of unknown enemies thought to have died long time ago. These enemies kill almost all the rangers; only one escapes to the south and is taken as a deserter by Eddard at the beginning. Jon Stark, the bastard of Lord Eddard, is motivated by his uncle, Benjen, to go to the north to join the night’s watch. He is disillusioned when he realizes that this is just but a strict group guiding the wildlings.
Jon joins the tough group. Benjen leads the group for a tour of duty and they do not return. After some time, two bodies are found and they try to harm the leader but Jon intervenes and saves him. When he hears that his father has been taken hostage, he is ready to join his half brother in war, but his friends try to convince him not to do that.
Viserys Targaryen stays with his sister, Daenery’s in Pentos. Viserys is the only surviving heir of Targaryen. He betroths Daenary to Drogo, a warlord of Dothraki, in exchange for use of his army to reclaim the lost glory. Their host gives Daenery dragon eggs as wedding gifts. When Viserys realizes that Drogo is partially supporting him, he tries to separate his sister from him. It takes some time before Drogo takes his position.
As the last Targaryen, Daenerys decides to go after their lost glory. Someone tries to poison her. Drogo decides to revenge, but, unfortunately, he is wounded and dies. His wife walks to burn with him, but she comes out safe and sound with baby dragons at her chest. The remaining citizens declare her a leader.
The theme of heroism is brought clearly from the first line by introducing Lord Eddard as a hero who had the responsibility of condemning and executing the deserter from the “night’ watch”. This deserter seems to be responsible for the deaths of the wildlings and Benjen’s disappearance. His sons are witnesses of this. Jon is trusted by the commander of the rangers. With him on his side, the commander can easily do his work. Robb later succeeds his father and becomes the King of the North.
Comparison of the Two Forms of Heroism
In general, the Starks stood for social justice and integrity. They led and conquered their enemies; so, they can be finally named as the leading heroes. Cersei is a wicked fighter as she ensures she gets back whatever was hers. She is married to someone she did not love, and, hence, she never gave birth to any of his children and instead had children from her twin brother. She ensures that her son becomes the king and even ends up killing her husband and becoming totally free. Although she acted immorally, she did that in the quest for happiness.
One of the heroes is the person who rescued Bran from assassination. Bran and Cateyn combine efforts to escape from the assassinator. This is also evident between Eddard and King Robert. Both these kings united against their common enemy called Lord Jon. Immediately after the death of King Robert, there are attempts by the two families to unite. This was aimed at preventing the Lannisters from coming into power. They also have plans to arrest Cersi. This is a strategy for retaining power in their hands. The heroic characters are motivated to gain power. They adopt alliance as a strategy to gain power over their opponents.
One villain in the story is the wife of King Robert who killed Lord Arynn. We observe that there are similarities between the heroes and the villains. They both have strong will to gain power. The heroes use alliance strategies, but the villains use evil means to gain what they want.
Heroes like Eddard Stark and Robb Stark stood for integrity and social justice for the helpless. This is the main motive of all the wars they engaged in.
In the USA, President Obama comes close to these characters. This is seen by the war he declared against the Al-Qaida and the final elimination of Osama, the world’s worst terrorist leader. The Lannisters were wealthy and worked underground to maintain their status quo. They were so ruthless and inconsiderate. They can be compared to today’s rich politicians.
Medieval Times: The Concerns of Americans
The major concerns of the Americans in the 21st century include politics. In addition, the modern Americans are concerned with the issues regarding depopulation. They believe that overpopulated areas should be depopulated so that people can live in a free and healthy environment. Thus, politics play a crucial role in eliminating of the barbaric culture. Americans claim that the poor governance being experienced in various parts of the world is responsible for the underdevelopments that are witnessed (Diamond 23). However, there are positive changes that have been experienced across major regions of the world. The major concerns of Americans are liberalism, the ability of people to make decisions regarding trade, political issues, and democracy at large. Americans are championing for adoption of democracy to other parts of the world. This is in attempt to promote good governance to other regions of the world. Liberalism in the United States of America involves social reforms that strive to improve the lives of the minority across the globe. Thus, they are promoting the enhancement of humanitarian laws.