With a week to go before Game of Thrones returns to our screens, Sesame Street have produced a parody of the hit TV series—where the bloody feuds and wars are settled not by sword, sorcery, or dragon but by playing a game of musical chairs…
It’s certainly fun—with Muppet versions of Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon all battling it out, as a typically lustrous-locked Tyrion Lannister and (the unfortunately named) Grover Bluejoy look on.
While Sesame Street have brought some knowing humor to proceedings, there is an interesting article by Paul Mason over at the Guardian which asks “Can Marxist theory predict the end of Game of Thrones?”:
If you apply historical materialism to Westeros, the plot of season five and six becomes possible to predict. What happened with feudalism, when kings found themselves in hock to bankers, is that – at first – they tried to sort it out with naked power. The real-life Edward III had his Italian bankers locked up in the Tower of London until they waived his debts.
But eventually the power of commerce began to squash the power of kings. Feudalism gave way to a capitalism based on merchants, bankers, colonial plunder and the slave trade. Paper money emerged, as did a complex banking system for assuaging problems like your gold mine running dry….
There is a reason so much fantasy fiction adopts the conceit of a feudalism that is always in crisis but never overthrown. It forms the ideal landscape in which to dramatise the secret desires of people who live under modern capitalism…
Future social historians, as they look back on the popularity of Game of Thrones, will not have much trouble deciphering the inner desires of the generation addicted to it. They are: “all of the above” plus multipartner sex.
Trapped in a system based on economic rationality, we all want the power to be something bigger than our credit card limit, or our job function. Nobody sits at home watching the these dramas imagining they are a mere slave, peasant or serving girl: we are invited to fantasise that we are one of the characters with agency – Daenerys Targaryen, a beautiful woman with tame dragons, or the unkillable stubbly hunk that is Jon Snow.
You can read the full article here.