Claim: "Game of Thrones" is about Climate Change


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Ex Think Progress editor Zack Beauchamp thinks “Game of Thrones” Season 6 proves that the show is about Climate Change. The following contains some spoilers apparently – so if you survived past season 3, look away now.

In “The Door,” we learned that the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest, as a weapon in a war against humanity.

The Children of the Forest are a nature-worshiping magical race who lived on Westeros before humanity’s arrival. After the humans came, they went to war with the Children of the Forest over territory. The creation of the White Walkers, powerful monsters specifically designed to kill humans, was the Children’s response.

So that means the White Walkers are a quasi-natural backlash to humanity’s growth and expansion. Today, they have spun out of anyone’s control and threaten the very foundations of human civilization. Yet humanity is ignoring the White Walker threat in favor of internal squabbling.

It sounds a lot, in short, like the problem of climate change (other than the part about the White Walkers being “designed”). This parallel has become increasingly clear over the course of the show — as this video shows:

Read more:

The video which “proves” the connection:

Is Game of Thrones a metaphor for climate change? Maybe. But if the Game of Thrones White Walkers are a metaphor for climate change, they demonstrate once again that when Hollywood wants to make the climate scary, they have to make it cold.

102 thoughts on “Claim: "Game of Thrones" is about Climate Change

  1. …Ummmm, I didn’t see very much “Catastrophic Glo.Bull Warming” in that video !! Are they agreeing that we are headed for another Little Ice Age ??

  2. “Winter Is Coming”. It’s about a coming ice-age. Natural climatic variations in a non-industrial society.

    • Didn’t they mention in about season 3 that when winter came to Westeros it would last for years and would allow the White Walkers to be able to survive south of the Wall?

    • Of course it is about climate change…..they are living in a fossil fuel free world! See how much better everything is without gas, coal and oil?

    • If they want a book about climate change, and ice ages, they should read THE CASSANDRA SANCTION by Scott Mariani. Good thriller too.

    • In magical worlds, you don’t need an ice age to have a winter that lasts for a really long time. I know, it’s weird, but that’s why they’re magical!

      • me neither, Josh is a true cartoonist, blunt at times , subtle when needed, very well done! ( and I loved the line, by none other than a work of Mann)

      • As soon as I saw that the figure was Mann, I started looking for the hidden hockey stick. Josh always gets one in somewhere.

    • I once saw an Adirondack chair made from hockey sticks. I damn near swooned at the sight, and Josh’s cartoon reminded me of it!

  3. I have never watched the show. I assumed it was a liberal author who wrote fiction depiciting non-liberals who killed mercilessly and had orgies, except for the white nice guy called “John Snow” and liberal readers loved it because it mean they were superior to those fictional people, liberal Hollywood picked it up, showed the killings and the nudity and the liberals loved it even more.
    or something. I really could be wrong.

    • Game of Thrones is the never ending story of good versus evil that has been the backbone of good fiction since story-telling began. What sets it apart from other fiction is the gigantic scope of the author’s imagination. Have loved the show since it started, & only recently read the entire series of books.

    • @ Tobias, never watched it either , must be our name? i have found that in most of these shows (?) a few minutes decides for me if they are worth watching in the first place, so far most of them don’t get past 15 seconds, I prefer watching ” How is it made” and so on, and fishing shows at least there is some value in those.

  4. George Martin is an environmentalist, but it’s a stretch to say that his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels, begun in 1996 with “Game of Thrones”, is “about” climate change. It was inspired by the real War of the Roses and the Scott novel “Ivanhoe”.

      • I’ve never spoken to him about it, but he might better be considered a conservationist. His main environmental cause is wolf preservation.

    • Speaking of the Wars of the Roses and climate, the Battle of Towton, Yorkshire, possibly the largest and bloodiest battle ever waged in England, which brought young Edward of York to the throne, was fought in a snowstorm on Palm Sunday, 29 March 1461. The weather figured prominently in the Yorkist victory, as their side’s arrows outranged the Lancastrians’, thanks to the wind.
      And the Little Ice Age wasn’t even close to fully cooled off from the Medieval Warm Period yet then.

      • Add some forest dwellers, dragons and dwarfs to the actual history and you’d have all the blood, gore and lust any audience could want:

      • Please do not darken Tolkien’s door with such a statement.
        The difference is Tolkien’s lore is interesting. He opened, shut, and locked the genre behind him.

      • Jeff,
        And what a mixed lot that family was. Its last two generation of cousins self-destructed, taking most of the old nobility with it.
        No one is sure how well any of its kings spoke English before the time of Richard II and his first cousin Henry IV, who deposed Richard. Henry IV is probably the first Plantagenet king to speak English as his mother tongue. Richard could speak it well, supposedly using the Cheshire dialect of his archer bodyguards, same as the Green Knight poet.
        Henry II of course spoke Angevin French. Richard I’s and John’s mother tongue was probably literally their mom Eleanor’s Gascon dialect of Occitan, the distinct language of southern France, related to Catalan. Or maybe its Provencal dialect. John’s son Henry III also probably spoke Occitan or Angevin French natively.
        His son Edward I probably spoke the Norman French of the English nobility, but may well have picked up some (Middle) English, too. His probably homosexual son Edward II the same. Edward III almost certainly could get by in English, and his son Edward the Black Prince of Wales as well. As noted, the Black Prince’s son Richard II could speak English well.
        Henry IV’s son Henry V had to study French as a foreign language. His son Henry VI’s Middle English would not be easily intelligible to Modern English speakers, but that of Edward IV and his brother Richard III might have been more so. Henry VII Tudor spent so much time in exile that he might have adopted the earliest Modern English on his return. His son Henry VIII surely spoke Early Modern English, so would be somewhat intelligible, but less so than his daughter Elizabeth and, in the next generation, Shakespeare.
        Middle English (c. AD 1100 to 1500) is basically modern English with Old English vowels. Its grammar got progressively simpler as well. The vowel shift started around 1450.

  5. Ah, we should all become like the mother of dragons and be immune to fire … and Hansen’s boiling oceans, of course.

  6. Any work of literature that accurately portrays humanity can be read in about a zillion ways. Any work that smacks you between the eyes with its meaning is almost guaranteed to be crap.
    I am sure you can read climate change into Shakespeare.

  7. In a similar vein, we have Paki and the Greens telling us we should all become Vegans to prevent Climate Change.
    If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans

  8. Story telling, just story telling. Poor low quality story telling.
    Try reading the original Ragnarok or Gilgamesh. Odd how modern theater can not improve on the original epics. Guess the demons of the past are just more real then their present day counter parts.

    • Climate Change, Mike. Climate Change has ruined modern storytelling. It’s ruined everything.
      Even re-runs of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood aren’t as fascinating anymore.

  9. Humm….or “children of the forest” represents the average Sunni Muslim, who then creates the “white walkers”, or ISIS, to destroy “those in charge” (western civilization). Leaders in said western civilization (Obama and company), deny white walkers are a threat, calling the white walkers “the JV squad” and state they have greater challenges to “solve” (mythical AGW)….smh….

    • I’m a White Walker. English parents and lived in Canada almost 60 years without sunshine! I almost glow in the dark. Just waiting for Trump to build the wall. Then we can play hockey in the forest undisturbed for a thousand years. El nino is done. Winter is coming!

  10. The Climate Change religion is about a magical substance that can do anything, but only if it comes from mankind, i.e. it’s anthropogenic.
    If the producers & writer want to make GoT like Climate Change, they will need to invoke a magical substance, that by the human’s very existence they produce it, and this substance is responsible for every bad thing that might happen.

    • Dragon flatulence. Breeding XL Dragons of War had a very deleterious effect on the climate. Anthropogenic Global Warming through dragonogenic methane. And of course the CO2 emitted as a result of their flaming effusions.
      You should go to work in Hollywood as soon as scientifically degreed, oh warrior of freedom.

      • Which explains why winter is coming. All the dragons are gone except for 3. Maybe they can prevent the coming ice age.

      • Or is it unicorn flatuence?
        At any rate, the work beasts of mankind’s efforts.
        And then fairy dust standing in for aerosols to save the day?
        Could too much fairy dust though could bring on harsh winters?

      • Great plot point.
        Deploy them at the ice edge and keep them stoked with whatever they need to make flames, even if virgins.

    • Or maybe the magical substance should be fairy dust, made to satisfy evil human desires for warmth, sustenance and transportation.

  11. Since analogy there, except for the fact that we are not altering the atmosphere or climate in any detectable manner. Nice fiction, yes.

  12. Good ol’ Vox – ‘splaining everything to us, because they think we are idiots. Or at least Children of the Forest.

  13. I don’t think it is about climate change. I watched several episodes before they introduced dragons and magic into the mix. I lost interest after those introductions. I also I hate the way they are always doing their women from behind.

    • Maybe meant to be quaint and old-fashioned. I don’t know.
      Thank God at least the dragons don’t hanker after virgin human females.

  14. Obsidian.
    GoT is trying to tell us that the key to defeating climate change is obsidian.

  15. A story derived from the war of the Roses but with magical elements. By the end of the first book the characters had not even met up, so I felt cheated and read no further. I saw season 1 of the TV series. Brilliantly acted and very character based; just too bloodthirsty for my liking. Tongues and hands cut off, burning alive, beheading. Nobody could take anything serious from this story and apply it to the modern world. It is simply too fantastical. Perhaps of passing interest is the analysis of medieval European civilization and interaction of the nomads with that civilization. However the influence of the church is totally ignored.

    • “Brilliantly acted and very character based; just too bloodthirsty for my liking. Tongues and hands cut off, burning alive, beheading. Nobody could take anything serious from this story and apply it to the modern world.” You haven’t been following events around Daesh in Syria and Iraq, have you?

  16. Oh my,,,I am confused…did they change back to Global Cooling again? The Children of the Forest actually use fire (i.e. heat) to battle the evil white walkers. So, heat is good again?
    BTW, if the Mother of Dragons runs for president I am voting for HER. I mean, she has DRAGONS. How cool (or warm?) is that?

    • Yea, apparently the Tv series has now diverged so far from what has been written in A Song of Ice and Fire its almost hilarious. It was the Children of the Forest that gave the First Men the secrets of defeating the White Walkers/Wights and The Others: dragonglass (ie – obsidian)., I’m confused as to why the Tv series now says The Children made the White Walkers to kill the First Men (or more likely, the Andals). To make the story CAGW religion is an incredible disservice not only to the fans, but literally reeks of propaganda. Hilariously ironic is the fact that many compare Martin’s work to Tolkien’s when Tolkien was quite adamant in his dislike of allegory, since it was easily used as propaganda.

  17. “Season 6 proves that the show is about Climate Change”
    Of course it is. Winter is coming!

  18. Aside from the leftist bias that EVERYTHING in the entertainment industry is sprinkled with, the main story itself is not about “climate change”. They live on a world that has several years of summer, and several of winter, and they are variable times. Figure out the orbital mechanics that can make that happen.
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed GoT since the first episode. It’s a gigantic, sprawling story with dozens of “main characters”, so in order to keep people entertained who can’t follow the actual story they mix in some gratuitous sex and nudity. I don’t mind.
    I can see how someone could suspect this is yet another kick at the AGW meme, but I don’t think it was ever intended to be.
    Any show that lets us watch Emilia Clarke emerging unscathed and naked from a funeral pyre with three baby dragons has my undivided attention.

  19. Martin stole most of his ideas from Tolkien. The story lacks the moral depth of LoR. It’s pretty much gratuitous sex and violence which is just the principle means by which Hollywood turns off our brains and controls our emotions. AGW via the MSM does the same thing using fear. If we don’t start using our brains more we will soon be unable. Movies, TV, ads, politicians are all manipulating us 24/7.

    • To be fair to Martin, it’s hard not to be influenced by what you have read when creating something new. Especially something as brilliant as Tolkien’s work
      HBO are to blame here.
      There is one similarity to “climate change”
      The HBO show started diverging from what the books said years ago and the divergence has increased ever since, to the point where HBO is now making most of it up, bit like Surface temperatures and satellite temperatures 😀

    • Read and love both series, I have study Tolkiens work and know most of the back story and history. The two have pretty much nothing in common. Martin simply took English family royal history and put in a world with magic and dragons. He compressed the time line for the coming and going of LIA’s to make a great massive world dilemma to juxtapose with Royal family politics. Most Fantasy writers use a ultra evil bad guy to create this type of drama. The books have nothing to do with AGW if anything they are a strong advocate for natural cycles.
      Tolkien’s books are based around his love of langue and oral history from old England and Norse history, his level of detail in his histories will never be touched by any writer again. He spent his whole life developing the history, langue’s and legends, the books where just a small part of the world he created.

  20. And still missing it all: “…(other than the part about the White Walkers being “designed”).” That is the only correct part of his attempted analogy: AGW was also designed to be “a weapon in a war against humanity”.
    Par for the Vox/Think Progress course. Make up stuff and say it is true, mention something that is true but claim it is false. Neither thought nor progression occurs.

  21. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!
    in form and moving how express and admirable!
    in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like
    a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!
    And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me:

    • It’s not about “climate change” per say, but there are messages in all shows now, be they SJW, Feminism or whatever, advocacy groups get their messages into shows.

  22. Meh. If you’re worried about how a fictional novel written about a fictional land where its fictional characters are ignoring the bogeyman and you think it is proselytizing the innocent peoples of the world, then there is really no way to comfort the paranoia that haunts you.

    • Thank you. I thought I was the only one noticing the paranoia creeping around here.

  23. The HBO show is little like the books.
    The show for me ended at season three, it’s pure garbage now.
    The books are certainly not about “climate change”
    The longer the show goes the less like the books it is. Now it is a string of long uninteresting conversations, gratuitous violence and soft pron, yes I said pron to avoid possible filter 😀
    This last episode, they put a man sausage right in my face lol Last week they bring a character back just so they can stick a knife in her neck and let us watch her dying spasms.
    HBO have destroyed what started out to be a brilliant show.

    • the books for me ended after number three when most of the sympathetic characters got killed off. I haven’t watched the TV shows.

  24. I’ve read through all the comments concerning “Game of Thrones” and I think everyone is missing an important part of the plot line. There is a very clear analogy to CAGW fear mongering and the role played by the evil, but sincere, High Sparrow. High Sparrow is the fundamentalist cult leader that Queen Cersei promotes to get back at her enemies – with full implementation of the law of unintended consequences. Not only are her enemies laid low – but so is she. She narrowly escapes by performing the “walk of atonement”, but is actively plotting to have the whole Sparrow faith destroyed (with extreme prejudice). I like to think that Queen Cersei represents our “right on” celebrity/activist classes (what Delingpole refers to as the “Wankerati”) who will probably react quite the same way when they realize that the CAGW movement exists to confiscate all their lavish houses, cars, aircraft and over-the-top lifestyles. So yes, GOT is definitely relevant to the current out of control Green movement …

    • That’s a bit of a stretch as neither of them have anything to do with the impending doom they all will soon have to face. Not to mention the White Walkers, whom can only survive in sub-zero climates, were created in response to the impending annihilation of a magical species (called The Children of the Forrest) 10,000 years ago when the ‘First Men’ came to Westeros.

      • Point taken: I just wanted to comment on what might be considered a parallel related theme in that the role played by the High Sparrow has analogies to some of our more fervent CAGW High Priests/Priestesses (Al Gore, David Suzuki, Naomi Klein, Naomi Orestes, etc etc)

      • Well yes I suppose, after letting what you said sink in, in that respect it does somewhat parallel the conflicts between various radical tribalistic factions we have here in the real world. However, I think it would be more inline with contemporary genderism and racialism and the many emotionally driven movements (BLM, CAGW, SJW, etc) that revolve around these highly bigoted pseudoscientific quagmires.
        It seems to me that the only movements that bare any inkling of rationalism or humanism are all of the countermovements… Which have yet to form any platforms of their own?
        So I guess in some respects, we’re all Tyrion Lannister!

  25. Game of Thrones is set on a planet with an eccentric orbit which experiences predictable ice ages every few generations. Long enough for the very old to remember them, but also long enough for them not to be taken seriously by the young (mostly everyone else.) The Stark family has a tradition of preparing for the next one – partially because they’re effected first, living so far north.
    So, yes, climate change is a big part of the story. Natural periodic climate change. It’s an interestingly scientific element of world building in a fantasy story filled with dragons, blood magic, ice zombies, clairvoyance, and other magical horrors.

      • Ah well. I was just going on what I understood from reading the books. I expect the Wiki has better sources than me. It DOES seem like there’s a pattern of major ice ages and warm periods every few generations from the way the characters talk about the “Winter” that is coming.

  26. Read The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal by James Franklin (3rd JHU 2015) Much better than TV, an all-day sucker.

  27. Is this a shtick which I see before me,
    The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
    I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
    Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
    To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
    A shtick of the mind, a false creation,
    Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
    I see thee yet, in form as palpable
    As this which now I draw.
    Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going;
    And such an instrument I was to use.
    Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the other senses,
    Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,
    And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
    Which was not so before. There’s no such thing:
    All sorts of magic in the Scottish Play, witches, ghosts, ghostly daggers, insoluble blood, walking woods …

  28. There’s no name for ‘the world’ that The Game of Thrones takes place in. But after rewatching all 4 seasons, before the 5th season came out, I came under the impression that their summers and winters are 5 years long. However, it seems it’s a lot more unpredictable than that:
    “A major feature of the world the narrative is set in is that it experiences long seasons of varying length, usually lasting at least a couple of years each. Historically, the seasons have been known to last up to a decade in extreme cases, though these only happen once every century or so. The length of the seasons is completely unpredictable and varies randomly.”

    • The alternate explanation for the length of the seasons is that the writer is lazy and couldn’t be bothered to keep up with details like that, nor could he be bothered to come up with any coherent explanation for what he was doing.
      I think that concept qualifies as a “major feature” of that world.

  29. A fantasy novel involving ‘Children of the Forest’, giants, dragons and white walkers causing ‘climate change’….. I don’t know about the rest of you but that’s actually a more realistic argument than the current one!

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