Keaton Benfield: “Game of Thrones” PRIDE Day Presentation Feature Story

Winter came to Piedmont at noon on Wednesday during the Lions’ Piedmont Research Innovation and Discovery Exhibition in the form of junior English major Michael Adams’ presentation. “Jamie Lannister: From Byronic Hero to Ironic Hero” tackled all seven seasons of “Game of Thrones” as excitement builds for the epic conclusion to the acclaimed television series.

Adams explored character Jamie Lannister’s significance to the show, delving into his complex motives, as well as those of his sister Cersei Lannister, just two of many others who wish to rule the kingdoms from the coveted seat on the Iron Throne, no matter the price.

“I think the reason that I chose “Game of Thrones” in particular is because it has kind of flown under the radar as far as literature is concerned,” Adams said. “I know it is pop culture and it’s a lot of fun, but I think that there is a lot of analysis that can go into the characters. I think it’s definitely worthy of critical looks.”

During his presentation, Adams said that both Lannisters experience mimetic desire, a theory proposed by French philosopher René Girard, where a person desires a particular object and then acts upon it.

Because of this theory, fans can create thoughtful predictions about the show’s ending and how this concept impacts all other characters who are also seeking the Iron Throne.

“You’re going to see an event, a specific period of time and you’re going to see it through several characters’ perspectives,” Adams said. “It really gives you a more full sense of what’s going on in the world.”

Dr. Hugh Davis, an associate professor of English and chair of the Department of Humanities said that looking at “Game of Thrones” with Girard’s theory in mind gives viewers a better understanding of its universe, as well as today’s society.

“I think mimetic desire gives us a pretty interesting way to look at the formation of culture and to understand what’s going on in today’s world,” Davis said. “Everything you see online is driven by mimetic desire.”

Various Piedmont students who are fans of “Game of Thrones” attended Adams’ presentation, giving some a brand new perspective to think about when viewing the show as it moves forward into its final season.

“I hadn’t thought about it like that yet and all of the similarities,” sophomore Julie Dreier said about the two Lannisters. “It’s a little bit easier to understand and a little bit easier to see the foreshadowing, I think.”

Along with his analysis of the show, Adams acknowledged the book series, sharing his own experience as well as the advantages of reading the books if one is a fan of the show and its plot-driven characters.

“I highly recommend the books,” Adams said. “The books were the first thing that I got through up until where Martin’s actually written, of course, and we are now ahead in the show versus where we are in the books.”

Due to this current state of the book series, the conclusion is unknown to all fans of “Game of Thrones,” further encouraging discussion on how the story could end.

“Now the people who’ve read the books are getting a surprise,” Dreier said. “So, that makes it a little bit more enticing to watch.”

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