Posts Tagged ‘Game of Thrones’

Lessons From Game Of Thrones – The death of Princess Shireen…

June 14, 2015

Game of Thrones - Littlefinger - Chaos MonologueAs we approach the end of the 5th season of Game Of Thrones,  I always marvel at how fantasy like this manages to put the brightest and darkest aspects of our humanity in a perspective where we can actually see ourselves for what we really are.

Like all GOT fans, I found the terrible end met by Princess Shireen to be quite heartbreaking.  For those who don’t know the series, Shireen was a young princess who was sacrificed “for the greater good” as a sacrifice to the “Lord of Light” by being burned at the stake.  The person who gave the order to do this terrible act was her very own father (Stannis Baratheon) who was convinced by a Priestess that he was “destined” to rule the seven kingdoms of Westerous. But, in order to accomplish this  that “sacrifices” had to be made.

Yes, I know that it is only a TV show but like many other fans of GOT, most of us were very attached to her character because she was compassionate, kind, down-to-earth young girl who refused to be drawn into the cruelty and religious fanaticism that was the norm in her world.  Surrounded by her fanatical mother, father and the “Red Priestess” she rejected fanaticism in favor of  reason and compassion.

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Lessons From Game Of Thrones – Living in the shadow of oligarchy…

May 26, 2015

Oligarchy - Lessons from Game of ThronesLike many fans of Game Of Thrones, I am often surprised at how the show forces us to look at ourselves in the mirror and contemplate our own relentless march towards oligarchy.  For those who don’t watch the show, the “Game Of Thrones”  is literally a game played by a few great families at the expense of all below them.  They don’t govern, they rule and to the victor belongs the spoils of both power and wealth.

Our constitution is not a shield against tyranny…

There was a time, not long ago, when most Americans would have arrogantly assumed that we had risen beyond such  stark differences between the haves and have nots.  Cloaked in the protections of our constitution middle and working class Americans felt safe from the exploitation that dominates feudal societies like the ones seen  in GOT.   Trade unions supported the middle and working classes and the “one man, one vote” concept of our republic would  ensured that the very structure of our government would prevent any backsliding  towards oligarchic rule.

What we forgot was the lessons of history.  That power and money has a relentless propensity for concentrating itself in the hands of a very few.   We forgot that  if left to its own devices, without checks, balances and constant vigilance,  any capitalistic economy would always push relentlessly toward plutocracy.  Unfortunately, with our eyes off the ball, we took a 30-year political nap and woke up to a nightmare.

The Powerful Prey on the Powerless…

In the first episode of season 5 Tyrion and Varys have a conversation about power and justice.

Tyrion: What is it that you want exactly?
Varys:  Peace. Prosperity. A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless.
Tyrion: Where the castles are made of gingerbread an the moats are filled with blackberry wine.  The powerful have always preyed on the powerless.  That’s how they became powerful in the first place.
Varys:  Perhaps.  And perhaps we’ve grown so used to the horror we assume there’s no other way.

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Lessons from Game Of Thrones – Geeks don’t get no respect

September 2, 2014

In the world of Game of Thrones where the sword is mightier than the pen, it comes as no surprise that geeks, dweebs, intellectuals of any stripe, get almost no respect.

Tales of the two biggest (and smallest) GOT geeks….

Samwell Tarly,  though high-born and bookish was neither brave nor athletic so his farther abandoned him to the Night’s Watch which was generally a dumping ground for bastards, rapists and murderers.  Actually  Samwell  was given a (cough…) choice, he could die in an “accident” in a hunt or he could take a life oath to serve in the night’s watch.  Ok that’s not a choice, but you get the picture.

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Lessons From Game of Thrones: Invention & Innovation Requires Public Commitment

July 16, 2014

In the very first episode of a Game of Thrones,  10-year-old  Branden Stark had an unfortunate “accident”. He was pushed from a high window and nearly died. Although he survived, he was paralyzed from the waist down.  A few episodes later,  the decidedly book-smart and wealthy  Lord Tyrion Lannister offered Bran a gift.  He designed  a special saddle so Bran could ride horseback once again.

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Invention often happens that way.  Someone with the technological know-how and the money, sees a need and acts to fill that need.  This is but one of the more minor routes to discovery and invention.  It is simple, direct, but far from the most likely.  For the most part, big gains and earth changing discoveries are generally not sprints; they are marathons.

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Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players – Pawns & Market Chaos…

June 22, 2014

This is part 2 of 2 parts

In my previous post on “players vs. pawns”  I brought up a disturbing trend that I saw on a  YouTube comment thread.  The video was about the famous Little Finger monologue from season 3 of the series.  A disturbing number of people found this monologue “inspiring” and a metaphor for the acquisition of security and success in the United States today.  To say that this is deeply disturbing indicator of the state of our union is an understatement:   Once again – here is the monologue…

Chaos is a ladder.  Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again.  The fall breaks them.  And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse.  They cling to the realm, or the Gods, or love.  Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.  – Littlefinger GOT – Season 3.

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Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players & Pawns – which are you?

June 14, 2014

This is part 1 of 2 parts…

I was going to move off my Game of Thrones metaphor for a couple of posts, but my last blog on “Players, Pawns and Little Finger” brought something interesting to my attention.  I have to admit that it was something I found deeply disturbing…In that post I embedded a YouTube clip on Little Finger’s monologue “The Climb”.  In the monologue he describes chaos as a ladder that he intends to climb in order to achieve ultimate power.

Apparently, many people have found this monologue “inspiring”.  A few indicated that they listen to it every day as it gets them going in the morning, implying that it helps them realize that they are in charge of their own destiny. 

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Lessons from Game of Thrones – Players, Pawns & Littlefinger…

June 9, 2014

There was a time in America when the political powers that be actually feared the wrath of the people. Our elected officials were regarded as public servants and woe be to them if they did not enact policies that served the interests of their constituents.

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Lessons From Game Of Thrones – Melisandre and extremism as an antidote to reason…

June 6, 2014

The human race has always lived in the shadow of dogma.  It has perverted our history in many a violent way and has sowed the seeds of self-destruction for more than one society.

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Lessons from Game Of Thrones -The Sansa Stark Syndrome…

May 23, 2014

OK, I confess, I’m a big fan of GOT. GRR Martin’s cast of characters presents us with many life lessons  and analogies that can be applied to this world as well as the fantasy world of Westeros.

Is Sansa Stark passive and shallow? 

While watching some clips on YouTube I found myself glancing at the comment thread and noted that people tended to be particularly annoyed by the Sansa Stark character.  Apparently she is too “passive” and was being unfavorably compared to her badass sister Arya.

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