The Black Person’s Guide to Game of Thrones - Enjoy

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A semi-satirical examination, from a black cultural perspective, of the Game of Thrones phenomena

The Root, July 2017

I was talking to a friend about my weekend plans, and I told her that I probably wouldn’t do much because I’d probably have the bubble guts nervously awaiting the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Her reply perplexed me, shook me to my core and made me rethink many of the choices that I’ve made in my life.

She simply turned and said: “Game of Thrones? What’s that?”

I’ve heard tell of people who don’t watch *Game of Thrones (*not in person, mind you, because I would never associate with those people), but I can comprehend logically that there are people who exist and don’t watch Game of Thrones, obviously. I mean, there are the Amish, people in comas and those who choose not to subscribe to HBO, but I thought everyone else must be watching #DemThrones.

Now I understand the level of shock people feel when I tell them I’ve never tasted ice cream and don’t want to. They stare at me with the same pitying disbelief I feel when someone doesn’t understand what I mean when I say that Willow and Jaden Smith remind me of Jaime and Cersei Lannister.

Game of Thrones is not just a television show; it is entertainment, a primer on the art of war, a family drama, a weekly action movie and a new-millennium philosophy lesson. Even Barack Obama has said that it taught him more about politics than any textbook.

But for some reason, it hasn’t caught on with the black audience because ... well ... I guess because dragons are white-folks shit. But there is one reason I recommend that we as a people incorporate dem Thrones into our viewing habits:

It explains wypipo.

GOT is basically an all-encompassing analogy for white America and should be studied in the same way seventh-grade English teachers make their students dissect Animal Farm or Lord of the Flies to understand society. If you are late to the Thrones party, use the Q&A session below as a primer for everything you wanted to know about dem Thrones but were afraid to ask.

What is Game of Thrones about?

The show is about white-on-white violence. The show is about a turf war between different gangs who want to win the ultimate prize: the Iron Throne.
And you know that if there’s one thing wypipo love more than territory, it’s thrones.

But aren’t there superpowers, dragons and monsters and shit?

Yes, but the supernatural elements of the show are used as analogies and symbolic metaphors.

So what do the dragons stand for?

White privilege.

And the monsters?

Wypipo.

What about the actual white people on the show?

Oh, they are also metaphors—for Caucasians.

Wait. Is everything about white people?

Exactly! But Game of Thrones teaches us that not all white people are the same. That’s what I’m trying to show you, if you’d stop being so racist!

Me? How am I being ... OK, so are there any black people on the show?

Yes. There is a group of castrated warriors who were once slaves, called the Unsullied.

What? Let me guess, they were freed by ...

White people. Yes. A blond lady named Daenerys, who is impervious to fire, was born with the ability to ride dragons and was gifted at birth with dragon eggs that would eventually hatch. Daenerys rode the dragons (or her privilege) to save the slaves. And of course, after she frees them from lives dedicated to fighting in wars for their masters, they decide to spend their lives fighting for her—their “queen”—and help her ride her privilege dragons all the way to the Iron Throne.

So they dedicated themselves to the white-savior woman because she saved their people’s masculinity. Oh, this is getting kind of interesting. But if the show is about politics, white people and privilege, is there someone like Donald Trump?

Yes, they are the Lannisters, the symbol of white privilege. Everyone thinks they’re rich, but they really don’t have any money. However, no one in the Seven Kingdoms has seen their tax returns. They exist mostly by colluding with forces outside Westeros to keep their power by any means necessary. Tiffany Trump is played by Peter Dinklage, who is ostracized by the family. There are also Jamie and Cercei, twins whose lifelong love affair has produced three children who are all dead.

Man, this sounds interesting now! I just wish there were more black people.

Well, there are the Starks, who I refer to as “our cousins.”White people. Yes. A blond lady named Daenerys, who is impervious to fire, was born with the ability to ride dragons and was gifted at birth with dragon eggs that would eventually hatch. Daenerys rode the dragons (or her privilege) to save the slaves. And of course, after she frees them from lives dedicated to fighting in wars for their masters, they decide to spend their lives fighting for her—their “queen”—and help her ride her privilege dragons all the way to the Iron Throne.

So they dedicated themselves to the white-savior woman because she saved their people’s masculinity. Oh, this is getting kind of interesting. But if the show is about politics, white people and privilege, is there someone like Donald Trump?

Yes, they are the Lannisters, the symbol of white privilege. Everyone thinks they’re rich, but they really don’t have any money. However, no one in the Seven Kingdoms has seen their tax returns. They exist mostly by colluding with forces outside Westeros to keep their power by any means necessary. Tiffany Trump is played by Peter Dinklage, who is ostracized by the family. There are also Jamie and Cercei, twins whose lifelong love affair has produced three children who are all dead.

Man, this sounds interesting now! I just wish there were more black people.

Well, there are the Starks, who I refer to as “our cousins.”

Who are the Starks?

The Starks are a family who chilled in their own segregated neighborhood, not bothering anybody. Ned was the father, and he had five kids. He was also raising his nephew Jon Snow. (His sister got knocked up by this crazy guy, and ... you know how we do.) Anyway, Ned let his homeboy convince him to take this “good job,” let his daughter marry a white boy and moved his family into a white neighborhood. Ned fell for the trap, and the Lannister/Trumps cut his head off because Ned knew about the Russian collusion. ...
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