Game of Thrones

5 May 2017

As the series opens, additional threats begin to arise in the icy North and in the eastern continent of Essos. It is a cultural phenomenon based upon a world of fantasy and valor delving into the culture of Westeros, a similar culture to that of Western Europe, and Essos, similar to that of Eastern Asian culture. Aspects derivative of both primordial and contemporary traditional cultures are predominately seen throughout.

Represented is a medieval time period in which kings reigned and classes were divided into highborn and lowborn sects. The traits of this medieval culture are directly correlated to the culture of the Western European society in which kings and nobles are still significant. The impact of the medieval is important in the sense that, in comparison to the modern day inertia, medieval culture offered more than that of technology and advancement. Within this culture, there was a purpose. There was no day to day monotony or leisure rather there was a need for survival and a necessity of skill.

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This culture allowed those within it to xperience the world firsthand and learn of the cultures different from their own. The series is engulfed with the cross-cultural veracities and has revealed the cultural parallels and variances that are also presented within our own reality. Like the culture of Western Europe and Asia, Westeros and Essos share common traditions and rituals. It demonstrates the magical abilities and mythical beings that cultures around the world have once before believed in or currently believe in.

For example, the eastern cultures of Asia believe in dragons and monsters, as well as magical capabilities and manifold of divinities. In western culture, however, although magic once existed within the society, it is not demonstrated within the modernized tradition as it is in eastern culture. The western culture is also more intellectually educated and further advanced, in a political sense. Essos, the culture of the east, is widely based on survivalist and tribal instincts.

They serve as more of a cold society, in the sense that they are stuck in the primeval conviction and order of their civilization much like that of primitive tribes worldwide. In this type of society, practices such as slavery, polytheism and cultural ritualism are still prevalent. They function as a more nomadic and embryonic race as compared to the progressive sovereign society within Westeros. Even the context of their names is a cultural reference. The religions within the two different cultures are also similar to the religious customs and beliefs found within western and eastern culture today.

In Westeros, they pray to the old gods and the new, but imminent religious beliefs are correspondingly represented. Once a polytheistic society, the west has evolved into a monotheistic society by discounting the old gods and finding religious sanction in the one true god. This is represented within the current history of western society when religion was polytheistic and altered into the new era of monotheism, as demonstrated within mythology and the Bible. Another correlation of cultural impact within the series is the ritualistic and ceremonial sanctions demonstrated within western and eastern society.

The cultural traditions are shared between reality and fiction. In Westeros, they snared the ceremonial customs ot wedding and reception rites as well as the traditional family crests and mottos. As seen within modern western culture, the tradition of consummation is also practiced after a marriage eremony. This is commonly seen amongst royalty and kingships that are found in western European cultures. In Essos, however, though they share the traditionalism of wedding ceremonies and aphorisms, their cultural traditions are more engrossed upon that of ritualism.

For instance, in Dothrak’ society, if a Khaleesi can finish an entire raw stallion heart without vomiting, her son will be strong. If she fails, it’s a bad omen. The reasoning for eating the heart of a stallion is on account of the pious reverence of the steed, which is seen as a divine being in their beliefs. Dothraki traditions are basely found upon strength and courage, both of which result in power. Westeros finds their power through conquering and combat, in a political sense, whereas Essos finds power through warriors.

If a Dothraki warrior is defeated, the victor cuts off their braid to shame and dishonor them in their loss. This is seen amongst other traditional nomadic societies such as the Mongolian warriors. The wall surrounding the seven kingdoms can also be culturally compared to that of the Great Wall of China, in a sense that is protects citizens from an imminent threat. Collectivism and individualism are amidst many of the mechanisms that frame the western and eastern culture. Western culture of today is demonstrated as an individualistic society where concern is only shown for one’s self.

Eastern culture, on the contrary, is more collectivistic in the sense that they are concerned for the welfare and well-being of their citizens. In Westeros, the royal family cares not for the citizens of Kings Landing or the citizens of the seven kingdoms rather they show their concern for themselves and those closely related or associated with them. Across the arrow sea, however, the dwellers of Essos care for their community in the sense that, although primal and oppressive, they make sure that each member is cared for and equaled to their ruler.

Within this cultural mixture, Daenerys is involuntary flung into the primitive society of the Dothraki being forced to serve as their Khaleesi. She experiences firsthand the cross-cultural mix of customs and traditions of the Essos culture that she was not formerly habituated to. She serves extraordinarily as their queen and plans to adjoin the two cultures into one realm for her to rule. Overall, I as both captivated and intrigued by the topic of this particular assignment. Game of Thrones, being one of my many favorite shows, is both interesting and compelling in story and stature.

I really enjoyed breaking down the components of the show and discovering the inner workings that make it such a remarkable and absorbing spectacle. I could nearly relate every chapter of the book and material discussed within the class to the plot and story development within the show. I was well endowed with knowledge of Game of Thrones due to my slight fixation with the medieval and renaissance culture. It fascinates me to see a time period where survival was instinctual and necessary rather than trivial and lethargic.

Also, the magical and fantasy portion is also something I find incredibly fascinating. Sometimes fiction is a necessary to experience so that the reality of life is not so demanding and harsh. I do not think I could find anything that was not previously discussed within class or the book. As a society goes, this series had all of the similar components seen within societies worldwide. It is all basically the same rubric when discussing societal principles and customary practices. This activity allowed me to revisit the incredible fantasy that is the fght for the Iron Throne.

I love reiterating the most gripping parts and reviving the tales interlaced together so exquisitely by the author. This genre is in fact one of my favorites. Initially, I did not think that I would be interested in this activity but the more I set my mind culturally to Game of Thrones, the more eager I became to do it because I was able to find the links between the cultures of reality and the cultures demonstrated within the fiction. Though I previously had some knowledge of the cultural aspects in Game of Thrones,

I did not think to focus on the cross culture and cultural mixture, although those are two major features. I was primarily set to a leisure mindset of enjoying the show, but now I am culturally attuned with the inner workings of the society within the storyline. I was already aware of the cultures of monarchs and tribes; I Just did not think to compare the two. This activity is actually one that struck my interest, and I would recommend it to those whom enjoy breaking down the components of a story to understand the meanings better. It was entertaining and intriguing to learn so much about something I previously enjoyed.

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