Game of Thrones’ Strong Anti-War Message

Game of Thrones’ Strong Anti-War Message

After eight seasons of viewers putting up with cruelty and warfare or simply innured to it on Game of Thrones, they finally put on a very strong anti-war message, in episode 5, “The Bells”.  Here, viewers were shown the horrors of the destruction of a city and its innocent population by an Air Force bombing.  Here, it was the fire-breathing dragon guided by the vengeful Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) who carried out the fire and explosive force air attack.  This occurred after the city forces had surrendered, and the bells had rang, after being arranged by Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).  Had vengeance and ruling by fear not held sway, Daenerys would have captured a prosperous city of Kings Landing and able working population.  Arya Stark and Jon Snow were both a witness to the destruction, and you can imagine their change of heart towards Daenerys.

The comparison to our modern warfare could not be more real.  Even in World War II, bombing attacks on civilian populations were carried out by Germany on England and Russia, as well as US attacks on Japan and Germany, ending with two atomic bomb attacks on Japan.  These continued in Vietnam.  Recently, Assad wiped out his political opposition in Syria with such attacks, and was saved with aid by Russia and Iran doing the same.  Now we have such attacks and a starving population in Yemen.   The elimination of ISIS’s caliphate seem’s to have been carried out the same way.  This saves having troops on the ground and their casualties.  What’s left is destroyed cities, deaths, casualties, and refugees.  There is never any money or enough doctors who can rebuild or care for the victims.

Now that we are in the nuclear age, do we really believe that all of the nuclear weapons are only aimed at strategic targets, and in a way that will minimize direct civilian casualties.  While Russia may have moved military manufacturing to the east during WWII, that is certainly not true of Europe or the US.  While missiles are in isolated bases, nuclear fallout could travel a long way, especially since bombs may explode at some altitudes over areas, and mushroom clouds rise tremendously high.  It was estimated that even limited nuclear war such as Pakistan-India of about 50 bombs each could set up a nuclear winter that could starve the earth.  Nuclear bombs targeted to Europe would easily result in radioactive fallout in Western Russia.  China and South Korea are adjacent to, and Russia and Japan are nearby to North Korea, and fear any nuclear conflict there, not to mention above-ground testing. 

Fire breathing dragons or snakes apparently arose from fiery meteor tracks  in the skies.  They are legendary in many ancient cultures.  One is recorded about 2000 B.C. In the “Epic of Gilgamesh” as the monster Humbaba in Mesopotamia.  Even then, people conceived of and feared fire destroying Air Forces.  Dinosaur bones were interpreted as dragons by the fifth century B.C.

Today, literally, we are engaged in a trade war with China, with a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of imports, and now $60 billion of Chinese tariffs in response.  Like massive civilian bombing, this trade war hits all consumers and sellers in clothing, shoes, and electronics.  Oddly, dragons are a common symbol in Chinese art.  The Dragon dance is also used in parades as a scary monster.

One could speculate that if Jon Snow had only taken over, the slaughter would have been avoided.  The Senate stood up about our providing bombs and bombers to Saudi Arabia, and passed a bill to block our delivering them.  But Trump remained loyal to his billionaire buddies in the House of Saud, and vetoed the bill.  Anyway, Jon Snow will not be able to take over that easily either.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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