Friday, August 25, 2017

Game of Thrones:Metaphor for America Anno 2017

 By now, I am no longer the only one who sees a parallel between the Game of Thrones’ White Walkers and Donald Trump’s “base.” But the analogy occurred to me quite some time ago, so I still claim originality.

The epiphany hit me several weeks ago. The analogy fits. I suddenly realized that Game of Thrones is about the titanic struggle between the resurgent forces of neo-fascism in America, and the rest of us.

In this show, the greatest threat of all are the White Walkers. I suddenly realized that these represent the Trump base!

Think about it: On August 12, we saw the Trump base in action again. A group of white supremacist-KKK-David Duke-following-confederate-flag-waving neo-Nazis held a violent demonstration, murdering an innocent young woman and hurting many others.

I now understand who these folks are: They are our White Walkers! Like those lugubrious creatures, these people are zombies, they are already dead or dying from Oxycontin and other terrible habits, and they derive their energy from dead racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic ideologies. They live in the past.

On the side of good are John Snow and his clan, the Starks. And then there is Daenerys, the blond warrior queen who is mother to a bunch of dragons. She is Hillary Clinton.

John Snow knows that the White Walkers are about to wipe out humanity. He implores Daenerys to join forces with him to fight the White Walkers. Unless they unite, humanity is doomed.

The August 20 episode presented a horrific battle between a few valiant defenders of humanity lead by John Snow, and an innumerable horde of white walkers, the army of the dead, led by their supreme leader the Night King. The situation seems almost hopeless. There is an almost infinite number of White Walkers.

Have you ever checked out the comments section of most of the articles-of-the-hour on websites such as the Yahoo home page? For example the latest article about Trump’s deplorable statements after the Charlottesville Nazi march, or his Phoenix speech on August 22? These articles are followed by thousands upon thousands of comments posted by trolls, and NOT ONE in a hundred is critical of Trump. Instead, the overwhelming majority of the trolls spew venom at liberals, the media, African-Americans, etc. It’s scary.

In the aforementioned battle, Snow and his men are saved at the last minute by Daenerys and her dragon-children, but not before one of them is killed by the Night King.

I am still not sure what exact metaphor Game of Thrones represents, apart from the fact that the White Walkers and the millions of irrational, hate-spewing, white supremacists now on the march in America are both equally frightening.

* * * * *

I just came across someone else’s analysis of Game of Thrones: Michael Harriot’s very funny The Black Person’s Guide to Game of Thrones. According to Harriot, Game of Thrones is entirely about how white folks fight for power. In it, the Lannister dynasty represents the Trump family. Except for Tyrion-the-dwarf-Lannister, who is the only good Lannister, and therefore is the equivalent of Trump’s estranged daughter Tiffany.

Asked whether Game of Thrones features any blacks, Harriot mentions Queen Daenerys’ army, which consists of castrated former slaves, who gained their freedom thanks to her.

In addition, there is the Stark clan. Although they are white, they can be viewed as blacks’ “cousins:” They live all by themselves in a segregated area, minding their own business, yet the Lannisters keep waging war against them and beheading them.

Harriot sees Daenerys as the Queen of white privilege. When she wages war, her dragon-children are the functional equivalent of a bunch of F16 jet fighters (It’s me saying this, not Harriot). Her enemies, armed with bows and arrows, don’t stand a chance.

There are also the Wildings. These are free people who live in the frosty wilderness beyond the wall. They are the most vulnerable to the deadly White Walkers. Harriot says that these represent the poor white rednecks. I disagree. I see them more as the Mexicans. After all, they live beyond the wall. Plus, in Game of Thrones these Wildings are potential allies against the chief enemy - the White Walkers. If my Trumpian analogy is to hold, they can therefore not be the poor white rednecks, who are such an important part of Trump’s base.

Harriot’s conclusion is that “winter is coming.:” Brrrr...The White Walkers.

Our analyses differ somewhat, but either way, we can see that there is a big problem ahead of us - both in Game of Thrones and in America. On that, Harriot and I can agree.  We probably also agree that good and evil exist both in reality and in fantasy. Viewing today’s terrible political trends through the lens of fantasy may be one way to make them more bearable.
© Tom Kando 2017;All Rights Reserved
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