[X-posted at Newapps] As the third season of Game of Thrones has ended, this interesting reflection, written by Adam Brereton, contends that A Song of Fire and Ice by G.R.R. Martin and the TV series based on it simply don’t work, because they do not obey what Chesterton has termed “elfin ethics”:
according to elfin ethics all virtue is in an ‘if’. The note of the fairy utterance always is, ‘You may live in a palace of gold and sapphire, if you do not say the word “cow”‘; or ‘You may live happily with the King’s daughter, if you do not show her an onion.’ The vision always hangs upon a veto. All the dizzy and colossal things conceded depend upon one small thing withheld. All the wild and whirling things that are let loose depend upon one thing that is forbidden.
In GOT, however, this rule doesn’t apply: people who do break oaths (like Robb Stark) get killed in a horrible way, but people who are honorable, try to do the right thing and don’t break oaths (like Eddard Stark) also get killed in a horrible way. In this, Martin differs from other fantasy writers, like H.P. Lovecraft or J.R.R. Tolkien. We can expect something like the massacre of the Starks at the Red Wedding to occur on a biweekly basis. So, Brereton concludes
Westeros just doesn’t work. Unlike Tolkien, Lovecraft and Peake, it is not a consistent creation. Where does the good exist?…In Martin’s broken world, good only resides in individual acts, only as long they don’t get you killed, which more often than not they do.
The intuition that fantasy works should have some moral compass, or indeed, that fantasy universes should ultimately be just worlds, is compelling. Indeed, as Mitch Hodge argues in this draft paper, we even have a strong intuition that the world, au fond, is a morally just place. People intuitively regard the world as a just place: the good prosper, the wicked suffer.
PBS TV Series Closer To Truth is hiring for the following positions:
Digital Editorial Director
Digital Marketing Director
Please send your resumes/CVs to email@example.com with the job title in the subject line.
Click here for further details of the positions.
Closer To Truth (CTT) is a not-for-profit, content-driven broadcast and media enterprise that deals intelligently with fundamental questions–cosmos, consciousness, God–treating the topics with sophistication and subtlety. A global journey, CTT is the world’s definitive digitized web-based filmed archive and television series of cosmology/physics, brain/mind and philosophy/theology, providing intimate, candid conversations with leading scientists, philosophers, theologians, scholars, and creative thinkers. CTT enables views that are diverse and conflicting as well as thoughtful and insightful.
CTT is broadcast weekly on PBS stations in the U.S. and internationally. CTT has a growing resource of over 2,100 high-quality HD digitized web-based videos of more than 200 renowned experts, primarily scientists and philosophers. In addition, CTT has produced and broadcast ~200 integrated, artistic CTT TV episodes. Together, the web-based videos and TV episodes constitute the largest, most accessible and most compelling archive of its kind on cosmos, consciousness, God. Positioned for broad public and educational audiences, CTT is redesigning its website; repurposing its video content for multiple platforms; stressing interactivity and user engagement; establishing strategic alliances; and building a CTT community.