Watching Game of Thrones in 2020

*This article will contain spoilers for Season One of Game of Thrones*

 

    In the weeks leading up to the Election Day, I threw myself into media-related distractions. Specifically I decided to watch “Game of Thrones,” knowing it was intricate enough to fully capture my attention. While this was my first time watching the show, the series has been out for so long that I knew some of the major plot points. I knew Daenerys gets dragons at some point, I knew the Stark family was important, and I knew that the show had won a lot of awards (269 to be exact). And I can honestly say that none of that prepared me for the actual show. 

 

    First of all, I wasn’t prepared for the level of violence and gore in the show. It was alarming how quickly I became desensitized to it all, after multiple decapitations, stab wounds, and even someone burning alive. While it was a lot to handle, I have to say that it really brought me into the world. The show held nothing back, which meant that it felt almost unbearably real. Along with the violence, the show does not shy away from nudity in the slightest. Even three seasons in, I’m still unsure how I feel about the amount of naked women. There are moments when it felt like they’re being objectified, but also moments where it felt powerful. The best example is the season one finale, when Daenerys stands before her people holding her dragons, the fire burning away her clothes but leaving her unscathed. Emilia Clarke, the actress that plays the famous Targaryen, even talks about how empowering that final scene was for her, because it was the first time in the show where her nudity was completely unrelated to sex. 

 

    Without a doubt the best part of the show is the characters. Not because the characters are good, in fact almost all of them are problematic in some way. It’s the fact that the characters are complex that makes the show so good, because there’s no one true villain that’s just evil for no reason. There are the White Walkers, who seem to be the “big bad” of the world, but 95% of the conflict is caused by every character having their own problems and motivations. 

 

    Watching “Game of Thrones” now, there is an alarming amount of parallels to the 2020 Election. The decision between Joe Biden (a less-than-ideal candidate) and Donald Trump (one of the worst Presidents in U.S. history) is almost the central theme of Game of Thrones, where viewers struggle to decide who should be the one to sit on the Iron Throne. There are decent choices, and bad choices, and catastrophically bad choices, and there isn’t a clear winner until the last possible second.