Game of Thrones: A Viewer’s Defense

Books and Film Adaptation

“A book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader. That’s why we go to the movies and say, ‘Oh, the book is better.'” Paul Coelho

If I had to explain, (er defend, to anyone, including myself) why I have watched every episode of Game of Thrones, I would say, “Read the Bible.”

Picture I took last year in a museum in Glasgow, Scotland, because these heads remind me of the “many-faced god” depicted in Game of Thrones.

Raw and ravenous, Game of Thrones amplifies story themes the Bible tells with sparing detail.

The “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” written in 1861 during America’s Civil War, the words describing God’s wrath could have derived from Revelation 14.

And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.


Read the Old Testament. Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus . . . blood everywhere. Note the history in 1 and 2 Samuel, Chronicles, Kings and on through the prophets––Major and Minor––concluding in the New Testament with the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Read chapter 6 of the book of Revelation for a preview of God’s judgment.

Graphic. Imagination extends beyond pages in a book or images on a screen.

The Grapes of Wrath

World history is littered with enough fragments of man’s inhumanity to man to reconstruct stories that represent truths most people would prefer to hide or ignore.

Ignorance is no excuse, my mother would say.

Consciously or unconsciously, like Julia Ward Howe, George R.R. Martin derives themes from the Bible.

Pride, being what it is, convinces people they can do whatever they want, whatever it takes to survive in a game for whatever stakes the ego erects. In Games, the bold, the bad and the ugly wrangle for thrones where rulers set rules he or she can break while breaking anyone and everyone who disturbs his or her peace.

Believe it or don’t, the Bible records graphic scenes as disgusting as some of the worst scenes displayed in the HBO production of Game of Thrones.

The series has garnered a wide and diverse following because stories within the story tap into something visceral about the ongoing struggle to gain and maintain power. Hunger and thirst for more power proves insatiable.

Viewers cannot guess which main character will die next in pursuit of the pinnacle of power represented by the thrones. It’s a deadly game.

Personified by the un-dead, the zombie story thread may well represent the voracious appetite of Evil, whose only goal is to destroy everyone.

Winter has come and unless human beings unite against the common enemy, not only will every person die physically, each one will continue in a tormented and tormenting state of existence.

Every character in Game of Thrones encounters the same Enemy from within in the form of ambition, lust, selfishness and ruthlessness. A face-off with the many-faced gods, including the god of self, who will win? Not just a battle. Can anyone win the war?

That’s biblical too.

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. …” Revelation 1:3


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