On the Power of A (Good) Story: Why Game of Thrones Had to End (This Way) And What Can Slavoj Žižek Tell Us About It?

  • Ivana Gačanović Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Keywords:
Game of Thrones, Slavoj Žižek, popular culture, feminism, revolution

Abstract

During and after the airing of the last season of “Game of Thrones” there had been a multitude of critical reactions from the viewers around the world. This article is centered particularly around the criticism of the socio-political commentary found within the show. In that regard, the focus will be on an analysis of a short article written by Žižek, published in online edition of The Independent, titled “Game of Thrones tapped into fears of revolution and political women – and left us no better off than before” in which he outlines his own critique of the show. Since Žižek is one of the most renown intellectuals of our time, I find Žižek’s beliefs and the way he outlines them worthy of analysis, especially since the analysis is about the most globally popular show of the second decade of the 21st century. Contextualizing Žižek’s writing into a more basic critical discourse which had developed around the way the writers, Benioff and Weiss, decided to end the show, here I shall shed light on a couple of points which are in either direct or indirect link with the source text. The following aspects shall be considered: Firstly, the influence Žižek has on his like-minded audience and on what his influence is based upon, i.e. what are his responsibilities as a well-known, outspoken intellectual; then, continued breakdown of certain aspects of the plot and character development from the show about which Žižek himself has written; finally, “Game of Thrones” itself will be taken into consideration as a work of fiction and as a global cultural phenomenon. One of the main goals of this article is to showcase the dangers of reading these kinds of “instant” articles without applying the necessary levels of critical thought, especially when they bear the signature of a worldwide renown intellectual. But maybe even more important than that, is to show how there lies a possibility for multiple different ways of interpreting and enjoying the show, of how open it is as a work of fiction; to indicate how important it is to study such a cultural phenomenon within anthropology with a holistic approach.

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Published
2019-06-27
How to Cite
Gačanović, Ivana. 2019. “On the Power of A (Good) Story: Why Game of Thrones Had to End (This Way) And What Can Slavoj Žižek Tell Us About It?”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 14 (2), 461–486. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v14i2.3.