The White Walkers are Climate Change Part 2

About two months ago, on the weekend of the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, I published an article laying out my theory that Game of Thrones is an allegory for the Climate Change problem that our world must face now, and that each of the characters (or group of characters) have real-life representatives in the Climate Change realm (a.k.a. our material reality).

I want to write about this because it’s fun for me to think about, and I’m amazed at how well Game of Thrones tracks our Climate Change situation. I don’t have to try very hard to make these comparisons, and doing it helps me smile at a dire situation.

Here is a list of the comparisons that I made in the first article:

Now that Season 7 is over, here are a few comments about how well my theory held up over the most recent seven episodes of Game of Thrones.

  1. The White Walkers are tracking as Climate Change. They are increasing their size and power, just as the increased amount of energy in the atmosphere is fueling more extreme weather events and destruction around the globe. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are the tip of the iceberg and only effect a small percentage of the world’s population. Other storms hit other places just as hard if not harder.
  2. House Stark is doing better than the Democratic Party.
  3. House Lannister is a bit weaker/smaller than Companies that Value Profits Over Everything Else, but otherwise the analogy still applies. I’d like to change the name, though, and call it Organizations that Value Profits and/or Power Over Everything Else.
  4. Women are still matching Sansa Stark quite well, while the Youth are playing out as Arya. Everyone is maturing, and learning to set their own plots and execute their own strategies without being so transparent about it beforehand.
  5. I wish that Technologists were as humble and yielding as Melisandre in Season 7, but nope. There are a lot of Technologists who believe that human ingenuity will save humanity and allow developed countries to continue their over-consumptive lifestyles, but at what cost to life?
  6. Jon Snow is still an Environmental Justice Activist! Jon Snow keeps on building bridges, connecting dots, and inspiring different groups of people to fight alongside one another against the common enemy. I see this happening in the real-life work of Environmental Justice Activists around the world.
  7. Drumroll for the craziest part . . . Daenerys and Beyoncé are tracking one another in unexpected and amazing ways. In Season 7, Daenerys finally sees the White Walkers and loses one of her Dragon children to the Army of the Dead, so she forms an alliance with Jon Snow and commits to defeating the White Walkers before pursuing the Iron Throne. Over the past couple of months, Beyoncé had twins and made a few social media appearances to keep her fans happy, but then Hurricane Harvey, fueled by Climate Change, wreaked havoc on her home city of Houston, Texas. And Beyoncé took action immediately – she even talked about how Climate Change is a social justice issue in a new video. I’m blown away by her response to this disaster (and her ability to connect the dots in her video), and I hope that all of her fans take her message as seriously as I do, because there is real power in numbers committed to facing the problem of Climate Change right now.



The Animals of Animalia

My podcast begins by saying that I interview people who are “keeping things alive in work and play,” but I more-or-less never bring up the play part.

So this is a fun post that lists out the animals depicted on each letter page of Animalia by Graeme Base. Well, not all the animals, only the ones that are obvious and “real” (not a painting, photo, or statue in the illustration). And I didn’t look any of them up (if I am missing any, which I am, please let me know!).

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The White Walkers are Climate Change

For the past couple of years, I have created a theory that Game of Thrones is an allegory for the Climate Change problem that our world must face, and that each of the characters (or group of characters) have real-life representatives.  I’ve talked about my theory with close friends, but I never expected to talk about it in public. I dismissed my theory as a buzz-kill that lets my fascination with Climate Change and how people react to it (or not) overtake my ability to simply have fun with an escapism television show.

So last week, I was surprised to see that Vanity Fair published an article about how many people have noticed the parallels between Game of Thrones and our Climate Change problem, and then the author proceeded to name which real-life person in our Climate Change reality matched up with Game of Thrones characters.  I feel so validated.

But beyond the satisfaction of validation, I disagree with most of the matchups in the article. Furthermore, with only a handful of exceptions, I see many of the individual characters as representatives of groups of people in the Climate Change story, not necessarily individuals. I don’t have a perfect Game of Thrones/Climate Change matchup for every character (and I am no Game of Thrones expert; I watched the show once and never read the books), but this connection between fiction and real-life is a beautiful, unintentional phenomenon resulting from George R. R. Martin’s masterful storytelling skills. I believe in the power of story to change minds and hearts, and I am grateful to witness it happening in one of my favorite tales.

So allow me to explain how I interpret the Game of Thrones characters, and the connections I make between them and their real-life representatives that are involved in humanity’s challenge to survive Climate Change (whether they are aware of it or not).

Continue reading “The White Walkers are Climate Change”