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Is HBO’s Game of Thrones series Anti-American?

Updated on June 18, 2013

If you are a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones (as I and millions of Americans are) you are probably aware of the first season where former president of the United States George W. Bush’s likeness was placed on a spike in company with Eddard Stark’s (Sean Bean). This led to a "blogosphere" uproar and subsequent apology by HBO, “We were deeply dismayed to see this and find it unacceptable, disrespectful and in very bad taste. We made this clear to the executive producers of the series who apologized immediately for this inadvertent careless mistake. We are sorry this happened and will have it removed from any future DVD production.” I personally found it mildly amusing and not unsurprising given Hollywood’s political disposition.

I was however, surprised to see during a viewing of the second season a possible second instance of political chicanery. During King Jofferey’s “name day celebration”, the character Ser Dontos Holland (Tony Way) is to fight in a dual. Ser Dontos arrived drunk and disheveled and hardly prepared to fight. King Joffrey took this as a personal insult and commanded that Ser Dontos be put to death. Sansa Stark (Sophia Turner) subsequently pleads for his life and is made a Fool in the court on her suggestion.

What is interesting about this scene is Ser Dontos’ armor. His armor appears to be decorated like an American flag. Is it a coincidence that this knight made Fool is adorned in what appears to be a revered American symbol? I am sure that it is just a coincidence that the chest plate is decorated with a blue field with white crowns (instead of stars) adjacent to red and white stripes.

What about the cast? The preponderance of the cast hails from the British Isles with a couple of Germans and only two Americans. Well, “truth be told” this fact is hardly surprising as the Song of Fire and Ice (a historical fantasy novel) by George RR Martin is fashioned after England’s own War of the Roses. It stands to reason that the British accent would be more appropriate to the screen adaptation. The producers of the show, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are American as is (arguably) the most dynamic character in the series (so far), Tyrion Lannister (aka The Imp) played by Peter Dinklage.

President Bush’s likeness on a spike, a fat drunken knight decorated like Captain America, a cast that hails from across the Atlantic Ocean; I do not believe that these observations support an assertion that HBO’s Game of Thrones is Anti-American. More than likely these perceived slights are the work of snarky members of the Game of Thrones production team.

In any event, the series is excellent. This series is enjoyable for the readers of the Song of Fire and Ice and the audience that has no experience with George R.R. Martin's opus. I am looking forward to the next installment and will be diligently looking for the American flag lapel pin on Mance Rayder when he is introduced next season!

Who is your favorite Game of Thrones Character?

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      babette_47@yahoo,com 21 months ago

      Daenerys and tyryon are my favorites, these two have full of idealistic principles which tends me to admire them.

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      TeerionAllTheWay 3 years ago

      Teerion is my favorite character, especially because he is being played by an American! God bless America.

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      isaac 3 years ago

      hahaha, what a pathetic article...

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      Kat 3 years ago

      Ser Dontos' house sigil is red and pink stripes with three crowns on a blue chief (see here: ) You can tell from the screencap that it's a faded piece of armor and that the white stripes are actually faint pink.

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      Edvinas 4 years ago


      I used to love America. When I was a kid that is. Until I grew up and took off my pink glasses of being naïve. If only you could observe yourself from my point of view, from my perspective :) sad sight

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      Edvinas 4 years ago

      A nation of freedom and rights is afraid of being portrayed for what it is. The nation that has a movie industry that has insulted every possible nation, creed, religion, race in the world in it's movies. How arrogant a mass of people can get, to state freedom of speech and opinion, but shiver and rant when someone makes a subtle mocking gesture towards them. Cowards and demented morons. Everyone has a right to freedom and free speech, that includes insulting. Just be a man and deal with it. I've seen americans mocking other cultures for years. It hurts when you get a counter kick does it?

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      Ilinalta 4 years ago

      @Zeke the Burly -- You just demonstrated Zollo's point about American insecurities quite well. Bravo.

      I don't want describe to any excessive length about why your naïve babble about how the U.S "in the 20th century saved the Brits from speaking Deutsch", by which you mean "saved" them in WW2, is utter shit. I guess to any short-sighted, brainwashed and undereducated individual it might seem that way. It's people like you that make us look bad - no wonder some of the British population can't stand us (and many other people from different countries, for that matter).

      But enough anyway, it's a petty problem on your behalf.

      I think it's fair to say that the issue only arises with small details such as this as a result of some certain Americans and their insecurities (whether you like it or not). I could point out many small details which make the English look bad in Game Of Thrones, but I guess they don't seem to care either way. Funny that.

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      Zeke the Burly 4 years ago

      @Zollo the Fat -- "American insecurities"?! Try British insecurities. America kicked the Brits' tails back to their little island, and in the 20th century saved the Brits from speaking Deutsch. And the Brits are still wringing their hands over these little tidbits of history. Sorry to burst your little British-centric bubble.

      That being said, it's indeed an addicting series. I can only hope the book series can be salvaged after the debacle of book 4 -- I still haven't recovered after flinging that piece of dreck out the window halfway through.

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      lyanna 4 years ago

      it's "a song of ice and fire." and it is NOT a historical fantasy novel!

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      Zollo the Fat 4 years ago

      The knight's armor fits the sigil of his house as was in the book, though the white should be pink. This might have just been the custom designers decision, and I think I could understand why one with any sense of fashion would pick white over pink. I doubt the custom designer was thinking anything more than, "does this look good".

      The head I'm guessing was just a prop they had around that looked good for the job. That's how filming works. You work with whatever is around (no one certainly made it specifically for this show). Of course, I'm sure they had a laugh as they dressed up GW for the part, but anyone would.

      I think the attention given to these minute details shows more about American insecurities than it does about the producers political ideologies.