Game of Thrones as an investigation into the question of being
There is an ontological underpinning to Game of Thrones.
The throne represents the answer to the question of being. How ought one to act? What is the transcendent form of being? What sort of life will grant you the throne?
To sit on a throne is to rise above mankind. It is to be part king, part man. This is a common allegory found throughout fiction and mystical writing. To the Christian it is Jesus who sits on the throne and in whom answer to the question is found. Then question for us then becomes who does Game of Thrones place on the throne? Who is able to "sit" above the pain, misery, and death of our world (as exemplified by the hundreds of melted swords)?
"I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one." - Robert Baratheon
Within each of the main characters we find represented a mode of being. Game of Thrones is an investigation into how these modes fair when put against the cruel reality of Martin's fantasy world. Is the honest man given the throne? No, he is killed. Is the cruel and worldly boy given the throne? For a but a moment, but never truly. His thirst kills him in the end. Is the shrewd and calculating spymaster given the throne? No, he is pushed further and further away as he becomes overwhelmed by his manufactured reality. Game of Thrones answer to the question of being therefore is that there is no answer - there is only the "game".
And while the characters play out the game, far north and out of sight rests an ominous wall. The wall is death. To stare off the edge of the wall is to stare into the abyss. It is nothingness, it is non-being.
This is the truth of it all. Winter is coming. You can ignore it, you can play the game, but does it matter in the end? What character escapes death? Who can run from the white walkers? The greatest of Martin's heroes have all died. No one is fit to sit on the throne.
Perhaps it will not end this way. Maybe Jon, who is represented as a Christ-like figure, will take throne. Even then, would it be authentic, genuine? Would the throne not melt away the minute he tried, in much the same way as Viserys Targaryen's crown?
Published on 08 Nov 2018 at 08:08PM