Valar Morghulis:Ten Lessons From Game Of Thrones

I apologise in advance if I am about to confuse people who have no idea what Game of Thrones is. Just think about how some of us have no clue when you go on about your favourite football team. A few months ago, I was having a conversation with the son of a good friend of mine. He was telling me about how he is a big fan of the American TV series Game of Thrones and I said, ‘me too’. He almost screamed in shock. By the time we finished our discussion, my young friend was so impressed that he declared me the hippest Auntie ever. Game of Thrones is based on the series of books known as ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (ASOIAF) by George R.R. Martin. The books of ASOIAF are pretty dense, complicated and can be convoluted (an average of 700 pages each) but they tell a story of power, leadership, gender, love, sex, magic, religion, diversity, betrayal, family, loyalty, the list goes on. In essence, even though the story is based on events in an ancient, mythical land, it is a story for today.

The television series started in 2011 and has not only generated an ardent following around the world, it has also inspired academic research and enquiry. Educators around the world are increasingly turning to popular culture to get their book-shy students to read more or understand complex concepts. According to a recent article in Vanity Fair, at least 12 Universities in the US, Canada and the Philippines are running short to full semester courses on Game of Thrones. Harvard University has started a Medieval Studies class using Game of Thrones as a roadmap for the students and recently I took part in a survey of Game of Thrones fans which aims to assess the relevance of Game of Thrones to contemporary society. I will not attempt any detailed description of the show here. I will just give a very brief summary and go into lessons that I feel are worth mentioning. There are 8 major families in the mythical world of Westeros, all fighting to occupy what is called the Iron Throne. The occupant of the throne rules all the ‘Seven Kingdoms’ in Westeros. Over time, the fortunes of the families change as the struggle for the throne intensifies, with one of them almost wiped out, one literally blown away and the others plotting and scheming to hang on to power. There have been six seasons so far, with two more to go before the series wraps up in 2018. The viewers do not know who will survive to occupy the throne and this has spawned an industry of predictions and speculation. Now, some lessons from this beloved series.

 1. Appearances Can Be Deceptive.

We go through life passing silent judgement on people we don’t know well or are meeting for the first time. Tyrion Lannister is an ugly dwarf, always drinking and joking and loves the ladies. He is also the son of Lord Tywin Lannister, one of the most ruthless men in Westeros and head of the dreaded Lannister family. Yet Tyrion is one of the most brilliant strategists in Westeros, well read, with a mind like an encyclopedia. He is also one of the most honourable and courageous men in the Kingdom.

  2.  There Is Usually More Than One Narrative

One of the most popular characters in the series is Jamie Lannister, older brother of Tyrion Lannister. Jamie is known as ‘The King Slayer’ because he killed King Aerys Targaryen, a.k.a. The Mad King. Jamie was the trusted head of the King’s Guard, and for him to be the one to strike the blow to kill the King he had sworn to protect was the height of dishonor. This treasonable act followed him throughout his life and stigmatised him wherever he went. However, when he had the opportunity to tell his own side of the story, it revealed that the Mad King had discovered something called ‘Wild Fire’ which was the modern equivalent of a nuclear weapon. He had given orders for the Wild Fire to be unleashed on the city, and it would have killed thousands of innocent citizens. Jamie prevented that from happening. Before we jump to judgement on hearing half of the story, let us get the full picture.

3.  Visionaries Have Always Paid A Price

Throughout the ages, there have been people who held strong convictions and died for them. Lord Eddard Stark of House Stark died in the very first season and we could not believe they would kill off the ‘Hero’. Jon Snow was killed off too, but was brought back to life. Visionary, honest, outspoken men and women of conscience still get killed for their beliefs either literally or metaphorically.

Full version in the new book

 

Ake Design 3

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

Source: Abovewhispers

Sign up for Updates

22 Responses to Valar Morghulis:Ten Lessons From Game Of Thrones

  1. Gloria Ogunbadejo July 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Hahaha…..Brilliant analysis of an extremely complex storyline but as you have incredibly shown, as relevant today as it was in its time, nuances and all. I wait with waited breath as winter approaches…..I am a gamer!!

    Reply
  2. Femi Diipo July 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Awwww… I was having goosebumps just reading this. This is a wonderful analysis of GOT and the lesson drawn are even more fantastic. Ma’am, we gotta sit down together one day and just talk about GOT. Valar morghulis

    Reply
  3. Dom Dom July 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Wonderful!!! Ma’am, who would have thought you’re a fan of game of thrones, loud whispers just keep getting exciting and didactic in all ways. This is awesome and the countdown to July 16 is real

    Reply
  4. Bisi Fayemi July 10, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you Gamers! Winter is almost here………….

    Reply
  5. Kes July 10, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Yipppy very correct, winter is very near. Let the countdown begin.

    Reply
  6. Akpes July 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    This is a good one ma’am. You are always on point. July 16 is around the corner, I can’t wait.

    Reply
  7. Princess July 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Forcing Queen cersie to walk naked for the atonement of her sins wasn’t chilling at all. That is injustice, the Queen was supposed to walk naked with the man she committed adultery with.

    Reply
  8. Julie July 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    The movie game of throne is a very ubiquitous one. Anyone who haven’t seen the movie has missed. I must confess is a perfect movie, if you have not seen it please go grab your copy now.

    Reply
  9. Olakunle Olajide July 11, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Like seriously, see analysis on GOT, WOW!!! I think i would need to break my words on not to watch series again just because of this illustrations. Okay, i am one of the low percentage of people to have not seen GOT, but i will change that soon. Kudos to you ma’am, i never knew you could have time for series movies. So so cool.

    Reply
  10. Oluwatosino July 12, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Waoh….. Incredible….This is Epic… Lovely analysis. Even people like me that haven’t watched GOT will be interested in doing so now. The ten lessons analyzed are just the best for me. Menn, I was just waohed while reading the ten lessons. Abovewhispers.com just keep feeding me with the best everyday.
    God bless you Mrs Bisi Fayemi. I love you ma.
    am so going to start watching GOT asap…… LMAO

    Reply
  11. Toluene July 12, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Nice one ma….. To think that am surrounded with people that watch GOT and are all waiting for July 16. I have all season 1 – 6 on my system, and am yet to even watch it. But with this beautiful breakdown and well analyzed lessons from our dear mother Mrs Bisi Fayemi, I am so joining the *GAMERS* Club…… Lol…..
    The ten lessons analyzed are brilliant. God bless you ma.
    Am joining the GAMERS……….. Yiiiiiipppppiiiieeeee. Lol

    Reply
  12. Olumide July 12, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my worrrrrrrrrrld!
    Mama is just too dynamic. jeeezzzzzz! I can’t get over this article. Game of thrones for real? woooooooow! I am shocked. I am dazed. Valar Dohaeris! Winter is here!

    Reply
  13. Gloria Olaniyi July 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Ah! This is the kinda woman I want to be o. A phenomenal woman. A woman who isn’t restricted in learning. I really wish to meeting you one day. You are my mentor ma, I am becoming better intellectual and morally.
    God bless this platform. You are impacting lives.
    Just imagine my shock when I saw the title and the reading flow was engrossing. I love you ma.

    Reply
  14. Adebukola Daniels July 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I am not a fan but I am getting the seasons and watching all of them. I mean, if this great woman can watch this? what’s wrong with my overly fanatic self?

    Reply
  15. Amina Shittu July 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I have never seen the movie before but the rush in which I am getting started with it ehn, I can’t explain. This is so sweet..I mean, the narrative is just so sweet, applicable and explicit. Phenomenal woman, that’s who you are

    Reply
  16. Bisi Alawode July 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I think Abovewhispers should organize an afternoon with Erelu Bisi-Fayemi. Where we can meet with her, ask questions and draw from this well of knowledge. I am really amazed!

    Reply
  17. Bolanle Olatan July 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Just take a look at this! Jeez! Ekiti, smh for your state. What you have lost is deep. Too deep. This is amazing!

    Reply
  18. Akpegbe July 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    At Amina shittu you have missed. Well it ain’t too late you can go get the season 1 and start from there, you won’t comprehend it if you skip any season.

    Reply
  19. Branny July 12, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    @ Olumide momma is always on point. #team gamers# on point.

    Reply
  20. Bisi Fayemi July 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    @Bisi Alawode, your wonderful suggestion has been noted. The Above Whispers team is planning some offline events before the end of the year. We will keep you posted!

    Reply
  21. DSEED July 12, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Super! Such an incredible analysis. Have not seen the movie before but this has given me the insight of the movie and I have been able to pick one or two things which are helpful.

    Reply
  22. Olakunle Olajide October 18, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    So i eventually saw the whole seasons of GOT. This article actually spurred me and i eventually did it. Rght from season 1-7. The plots, twists, betrayals, courage, battles, army of the dead, dragons, unsullied, dothrakis, iron bank, night watch, bravos, lord of light and so much more. It was so intriguing and captivating. I’m so antcipating the war between the living and the dead especially with the night dragon destroying the wall already.
    Arya Stark remains my best act.
    Valar Morghulis.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of new posts by email.