Entertainment is one of the most important aspects of human life. According to Turner (2012), acting gained popularity long before Western civilization. The need to present real-life incidents in the form of a movie has been one of the most important parts of entertainment. It presents a unique scenario where a real-life event would be presented in the form of a show where no one would feel victimized.
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The emergence of technology has helped a lot in developing movies, some of which have become very popular. Many people have addicted to various movies based on how they view life. This has seen several entertainment companies come up with various television series not only as a way of earning income, but also to try to present what the world was like in the past, what it is presently, or what it could be in the future.
HBO’s television series ‘Game of the Thrones’ is one of the most popular television series that has attracted the attention of global followers. It has become more than just a television show, creating a new breed of entertainment where fanatics are presented with something unique. On the other hand, fanatics have also gained a special space in the world of entertainment, forming a new culture that has defined what entertainment companies present to them. This research paper will analyze HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ based on contemporary communication theories to determine the new role of television shows in the world of entertainment.
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is a movie that seeks to depict the ancient kingdoms where power was gained and protected by the sword. A kingdom’s strength would be determined by its ability to win battles both in it’s land and foreign lands. According to Winkler (2009), different television shows are always presented in different ways based on their content. It would be important to analyze the process of representation of this show on television. According to Symbolic Interaction Theory, actions of people are always motivated by the meanings of what they assign to events, people, or things within their environment, especially when they are minors (Santas, 2008). Young children are quick to learn, and they always base their character and actions on what they see or hear. They find it easy to reproduce what they see in movies.
For this reason, this show is always restricted to late hours at night when it is assumed that children are asleep. This is so because it represents some adult content that may pollute the minds of children. What is represented in the show may not be appropriate for children because of the level of violence and the nudity, both of which tries to depict what is very common in our community? To enhance deep understanding of ‘Game of Thrones’, it would be necessary to analyze some of the episodes in season three of the series.
Textual Analysis of the Episodes
Season 3: Episode 1
In episode 1 of this series, we meet Jon Snow, who has fled his kingdom to a foreign nation. He is arrested by the soldiers of that nation on suspicion that he could be a spy. He is taken to the king, who questions his intention. Jon tells the king that he has fled his country because he believes that they are not fighting for the truth. Although the king accepts him, other soldiers of this nation treat him with a lot of suspicions thinking that he is a spy.
On the other hand, Tyrion Lannister is seeking refuge in a village that is nearby his father’s kingdom. He is an intelligent man who is keen on inheriting his father’s kingdom. He is presented as a cunning man who uses his knowledge to benefit himself. This earns him a lot of hatred not only from his father but also the only sister who considers him self-cantered. He hires Sir Bronn as his guard to protect him from his enemies.
Bronn is depicted as a selfish soldier who is immoral and greedy. Tyrion is visited by her sister, who was interested in knowing where she was hiding. He finally decides to visit his father in the palace to claim royal protection and many other rights he feels he deserves to be given to him as a royal family. However, the father rejects him, calling him a greedy and manipulative dwarf who can neither inherit him nor be given royal treatment. The father even doubts the possibility that he is his true son. He also blames him for his mother’s death. He makes it clear to him that his presence in the palace not be tolerated.
At this point, it would be interesting to analyze the relationship between the king and his children and what this presents in society. The king loves his eldest son and his daughter. However, he is very cold towards the youngest son, who is a dwarf. This hatred may be due to the suspicion that the father has towards the son over his true intention in the fight for power. However, an analysis of the behavior of the three children shows that they have the same ambition, only that Tyrion is more intelligent than the other two siblings. The argument between the king and Tyrion reveals the truth about this hatred. The father hates the son because of his physic and the fact that his birth resulted in the death of the queen. The king, therefore, considers him a curse. He is a painful reminder of the queen’s death.
Given that he grew to become a dwarf also confirms the curse. That is why the father reminds him that his presence in the palace shall not be tolerated. His brother and sister hate him because he is more intelligent than them. They also associate him with their mother’s death.
In this episode, we also meet Daenerys, the daughter of the king who was overthrown by King Robert Baratheon. She is exiled in a foreign land trying to spare her life from the current king who is determining to wipe the entire her family. She is building an army to reclaim her father’s throne from King Baratheon. This further presents the fight for power that existed in the ancient communities and is still present today. She is determined to gain power that she feels unfairly taken away from his father. Although she is presented as a power-hungry person just like other royal families who are seeking for power, she is very fair in her efforts to regain the family’s lost glory.
Season 3: Episode 2
In season 3, episode 3, of this series starts with a spirited hunt for soldiers by Daenerys in the foreign land. With his loyal men led by Sir Ser Jorah, she sails to Narrow Sea hoping that she would get someone to sell her an army that she can use against King Baratheon. Guided with her dragon, she finally reaches Essos, where she expects to get men who can fight. She meets a master of slaves who has trained 8,000 men into fine soldiers who are very loyal and does anything they are commanded to do.
The master does not understand the English language and uses a young lady to act as an intermediary between her and Daenerys. The master is very abusive, calling Daenerys a whole and a bitch, but the young lady uses softer words when doing the translation. The master did not know that Daenerys knew Valyrian until the sale was completed (Cogman, 2011).
Daenerys is given the soldiers in exchange for her dragon. As soon as she takes over command over the soldiers, he orders them to destroy the city and kill everyone who was ever referred to as a master. She also orders her dragon to kill the slave master and reclaims it back. On the other hand, Tyrion has visited a sorcerer to determine the real intentions of his sister.
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It would be important to analyze the incidents leading to the sale and what transpired after the sale. All along Daenerys pretended not to understand Valyrian, the language that the slave master was using during the transaction. The master was very abusive towards her and showed a lot of contempt. However, she withstood the abuse until the end of the transaction. When she was handed over power, she unleashed her wrath and killed the master and destroyed the town. She also reclaimed the payment she had made for the slaves, which means that she acquired soldiers at no cost. Her act may be considered revenge for the abuse from the slave master. Actions of Tyrion show that he did not trust the sister and considered her a potential threat to his life.
Season 3: Episode 3
In episode 3, Jon Snow has perfectly been integrated into the foreign army. Although other soldiers are still suspicious of his real intention, the army chief in this foreign land has embraced him. He helps in planning for an attack of his kingdom. He gets romantically involved with Sansa, one of the soldiers who arrested him and handed him over to the king. Sansa was also suspicious of Jon’s intention, but she became fond of him. Lord Bolton is arrested by officers commanded by Sir Jerom (Benioff & Weiss, 2011). He is accused of the murder of the late King.
Daenerys is still determined to accomplish her mission, and she is steadily advancing towards her kingdom with her soldiers. However, she is very tolerant of them. She tells them to choose their leader, and Grey Worm is chosen. She even gives them the liberty of choosing their name other than those that have slavery connotations. In this episode, Jon has a conspiracy against the foreign army that he pretends to support. This does not become apparent until the army gets to war. On the other hand, Daenerys id portrayed as a determined and focused lady who is advancing with a military that is very loyal to her. She represents justice.
Critical Analysis of the Show Using Relevant Theories
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is a television series that may be classified as an institution of entertainment. This epic show tries to bring out entertainment as a way of learning the past and the present about our community. According to Foley (2007), learning of historical events has been one of the most interesting studies. However, in a world where people fear reading books, this show presents a perfect way of presenting the textual information in audiovisual form. As an institution of entertainment, ‘Games of Thrones’ gives an account of royal families fighting for power. The show is presented in a manner that reflects what took place in the ancient kingdoms.
As shown in various episodes, the show does not depict any form of technological advancements. The major weapons used are swords, bows, and arrows just as they were used traditionally. Sorcery is common, and long travels are made by seas. Kingship is highly patriarchal, but the culture allowed women allowed to assume leadership in cases where there was a vacuum, and that are why Daenerys is fighting to take the throne that was grabbed from her father. According to George (2003), most of the series and movies are always a representation of textual information. The books ‘Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones’ Wars of Roses are textual information that has been related to this show.
Various theories of communication can be used for further analysis of this show. In this series, Communication Accommodation Theory is exhibited in the translation made by the girl during the negotiation for the purchase of slaves. In episode 2 of this show, we see the girl trying to come up with more respectable words when her master calls Daenerys a whore. She is trying to ensure that there is no confrontation between the two sides.
Littlejohn and Foss (2008) say that when communication breaks down, confrontation may be unavoidable, and this is what the young, intelligent girl is trying to avoid. According to Baldwin, Perry & Moffitt, (2004), “Face-Negotiation Theory is concerned with how people in individualistic and collectivistic cultures negotiate face in conflict situations.” This theory is presented in various scenes in this show. When Jon Snow runs away from his kingdom into a foreign land in episode 1, he is faced with a scenario where he has to defend himself (Parker & Mathews, 2011). He is forced to explain himself in the cultural context of the foreign people to convince them that he is innocent. The commander is also forced to understand Jon in his cultural context.
HBO’s ‘Game of Throne’ is an epic show that depicts the ancient cultural practices and history of Europe. Several conflicts come up in this show as people fight for power. The show portrays a community that is full of betrayals, conspiracy, prostitution, corruption, and other evil practices. The royal families fight each other to gain power, while common people fight for money and a sense of recognition. The series is more than just entertainment. It is a true reflection of the history of ancient Europe.
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