Friday, 8 April 2016

Introducing A Certain Ripening: the politics of Game of Thrones.

Season six of Game of Thrones comes marauding over The Wall on 24 (US) and 25 (UK) April and its depiction of troubled nations, exotic threats and flawed leaders couldn't come at a more appropriate time.

Much has been written about the 'real' history of GoT and the ways in which George R R Martin has drawn inspiration from the kings and battles of medieval and early modern Britain. Ed West's The Realm and Den Of Geek's series do especially fine jobs in this regard.

This website aims to take up themes which are more political than historical within the Game of Thrones canon, both literary and televisual.

There are four areas of political science that stand out in the plots of GoT:

how political order comes about and is maintained
political economy
the interaction of law, justice and politics
international relations

Politics, wrote Howard Lasswell in 1936, is about who gets what, when and how. Nearly 70 years before, Otto Von Bismarck had put it more starkly (geddit?) as "the art of the possible, the attainable; the art of the next best". This realpolitik view dominates the plots of GoT but ideology and normative judgements also drive the stories and characters.

All these tensions, and others, will be explored by A Certain Ripening

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