Game of Thrones, Art or Entertainment?
Few television series grip a nation, nor the world, like Game of Thrones has. Created by D. B. Weiss and David Benioff, it is adapted from the stories of creative genius George R. R. Martin. Best described as a fantasy drama, its tense themes and powerful plotlines have drawn in the masses, and made a possibly niche fandom into a thriving community. However, while the story is undoubtedly key to the series as a whole, it’s the aesthetics that have caused such a stir among the masses, and the entertainment industry.
Many a scene has been steeped in atmospheric mists and dense shadows so deep they look barely penetrable, and as such it has brought into question (at least on a purely visual level) whether Game of Thrones is art or entertainment. There are various locations around the world that are home to the show, from the rolling greenery of Ireland to the sundrenched shores of Malta, there is no end of diversity in the locations utilised by the creators. What is more, when you observe these places separately from the show, you begin to realise just how creative the team has been in order to achieve such an awe-inspiring set.
In fact, the series has gone far beyond that of other TV shows, and has produced a number of icons so recognisable that even those (select few) who haven’t seen Game of Thrones are able to recognise them immediately. The show has developed into more than a commodity, it is a cult following with unprecedented levels of interest – there are action figures by Dark Horse, clothing ranges from HBO, online slots from Lucky Nugget Casino based on character profiles, and of course fan penned fanfiction. In all of these avenues they have used the aesthetics as a means of translating the art from one medium to another, and due to the incredible visuals of the show, have done so virtually seamlessly.
Although this may read as selection of merchandise that further cements the idea that Game of Thrones is primarily entertainment and not art, think for a moment of other pieces of art that has embedded itself into society. Think of Van Gogh for example, his work has resonated so much with people that they even included his story in Doctor Who, not to mention you can purchase phone cases, notebooks, and even attire inspired by Gogh. When we look at those two examples side by side, there seems no doubt that, visually, Game of Thrones is art.