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The Iron Throne Awaits a Prince: How Game of Thrones Employs Realism to Reflect and Reinforce Niccolò Machiavelli’s Theory on Political Leadership

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In critical conversation about the political theory of Game of Thrones, academics are often quick to compare the series with Machiavellian ideals and therefore assert that The Prince can be used as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the

In critical conversation about the political theory of Game of Thrones, academics are often quick to compare the series with Machiavellian ideals and therefore assert that The Prince can be used as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the way that Game of Thrones characters cope with political intrigue. Those who compare Game of Thrones and The Prince argue that because of the political realism and similar notions of human nature in Game of Thrones, the series perpetuates Machiavelli's idea that goodness and morality are not sufficient means by which to gain and sustain political power. When Game of Thrones began, many speculated that it adopted Machiavelli's deeply pragmatic paradigm of a successful ruler, but as the series progressed it seemed to reveal a more idealistic theory of leadership. This paper explores the relationship between these two works to determine if Game of Thrones ultimately perpetuates Machiavelli's philosophies about how to successfully acquire and maintain political power. After comparing the political tactics set forth in The Prince to the actions of the characters considered most idealistic and most Machiavellian in Game of Thrones, it is determined that Game of Thrones conclusively embraces Machiavelli's attitude toward successful political leadership, as the characters who seem to be most idealistic ultimately act in alignment with the theories set forth in The Prince.

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2018-05

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Royal Bastards of Medieval and Renaissance England: A Literary Analysis of Illegitimacy in Le Morte d'Arthur, King Lear, and Game of Thrones

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The relationship between a fictional character and its reader is one built on sympathy. Likable characters who combat personal adversity or who possess culturally acceptable and praised characteristics at the time of the fictional work's publication garner compassion from its

The relationship between a fictional character and its reader is one built on sympathy. Likable characters who combat personal adversity or who possess culturally acceptable and praised characteristics at the time of the fictional work's publication garner compassion from its audience. Does the same kind of reader reaction occur when characters of an unfavorable social status begin to transgress specified cultural attitudes to better themselves? In this paper, I examine the role of three literary characters of illegitimate birth: Mordred in Sir Malory's Le Morte d' Arthur, Edmund in William Shakespeare's King Lear and Jon Snow in George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. I question how negative cultural attitudes at the time of each work's publication affect the way each character conducts himself whether as an agent of assumed social chaos or an autonomous bastard whose actions strive to transcend his undesirable birth rank. Each of these three characters represents specific types of bastards. Both Mordred and Edmund are bastard villains. Mordred's actions are pure unforgiving evil, and his destruction is self-indulgent and justified, to the audience, due to his illegitimate birth. Edmund is more complex, as he emotionally manipulates both the reader and other characters in the play, vacillating between a victimized bastard and a power hungry political player. Jon Snow is least like Mordred and Edmund. He endures the typical Renaissance era social and familial ostracism, and works to separate himself wholly from his illegitimate reputation while subconsciously seeking to prove himself worthy of legitimate respect.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Entrepreneurial Cosplay in The Witcher and Game of Thrones

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By analyzing The Witcher and Game of Thrones fandoms, this research examines whether cosplayers adhere to social media or canon expectations of gender, sexuality, and violence. The study focuses on six canon female characters and how cosplayers emulate them on

By analyzing The Witcher and Game of Thrones fandoms, this research examines whether cosplayers adhere to social media or canon expectations of gender, sexuality, and violence. The study focuses on six canon female characters and how cosplayers emulate them on TikTok and Instagram. Along with a quantitative analysis, ten cosplayers were interviewed regarding their experiences with the fandom, source material, and cosplaying. The prediction was that cosplayers might conform to the standards of social media and the expectations of the social material; however, the findings implicate that fantrepreneurs mostly exclude sexualization and violence in their content, which suggests that cosplay continues to be used for transformative purposes.

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2022-05