Tag Archives: game of thrones

2 days till Game of Thrones S6!

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After a year of research on Game of Thrones, I thought I might be desensitized to the hype of the sixth season but as it turns out, I’m not! Hope it outdoes the fifth 🙂

-VD

 

Fill out a survey for Game of Thrones Research, please?

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Hi everyone! I’m in my final year of college and am currently working on my research dissertation in psychology. My research is on the personality traits and and preferences of the viewers of Game of Throne between the ages of 18-30. Anyone across the world can take it by opening the link below which will take you to a survey I prepared to collect data. If you could spare some time to fill out the survey, I would really appreciate it! Also, feel free to pass the link along to other people who might be interested! Thanks for your time!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1E9-v5bIHrD-0RylM5fkiMVZh4juxHcXET859psm7444/viewform

If anyone has any queries, please feel free to email me at veda.dandamudi@cep.christuniversity.in 🙂

Thoughts on Game of Thrones: The Dance of Dragons

Warning: Spoilers and honest opinion ahead

Frankly, season 5 of GoT hasn’t been my favourite although that isn’t to say it hasn’t shocked me, especially episode 9. Here’s my take on it:

1. I am absolutely disinterested in Arya’s storyline this season, although there’s a blip in my curiosity now that Ser Meryn Trant has come to Bravos. Finally, I feel like she’s going to do something interesting.

2. Shireen’s death seemed to alert everyone to how cruel and sadistic Stannis can be but I always felt that was apparent. It wasn’t as if he suddenly started making fanatical religious sacrifices to the God of Light. He’d burned many before his daughter and killed his own brother in a dishonorable way( I really liked Renly). He’s wrapped around Melisandre’s twisted fingers and is willing to do anything to win besides actually fighting his battles and conquering. I don’t know why Stannis was ever the Mannis when all he ever did was sacrifice others to further his cause instead of dealing with it head on. Also, that glimmer of love he seemed to have for Shireen conflicts with his actions in ways I can’t seem to reconcile. Selyse surprised me too.

3. Why sacrifice another female character (Shireen) to further a male character’s development(Stannis)? It’s already been done this season with Sansa and Ramsey. Though Sansa’s rape wasn’t out of the ordinary what with all the rape and violence on GoT, it felt unnecessary. At this rate, I expect every female charcter to be brutalized at some point or the other. Come up with something else to cook up drama.

4. I feel terrible for Davos and wonder how he’ll react to Shireen’s death. Their relationship was one of the few heart warming one’s in this brutally cold TV show.

5. I was terrified that Jorah would die and for once, I was not made to mourn yet another of my favourite characters (they’re really dwindling now). But he’s still going to die of grayscale 😦

6. I feel disappointed that after such a great stint as Hand of the King and being a very interesting character, Tyrion has blanched this season into a gift being shipped across the sea, getting lost somewhere along the way but then finally reaching the recipient. Season 3 and 4 Tyrion was my favourite and I want him back. But I do like how he’s fighting a bit more. Go Tyrion.

7. Drogon and Dany flying off with Tyrion. Daario, Jorah and Mellisandei watching was a great way to end the show. It gave me goosebumps. Brilliant. (Although, Dany maybe you should give your friends a lift too?)

Social Psychology is Everywhere

We know a lot of things about people around us but what exactly makes them tick? That’s what psychology is all about and social psychology in particular is everywhere. It’s in the books we read, the movies and TV shows we watch and the social interactions in our daily lives. It’s funny how after studying the subject for an entire semester, you know the reasons for a lot of common phenomena. So much of what we learned in class was actually something we already knew, just unaware of what it was in psychological terms.

And I just had to connect it to TV shows and books!

Over-justification

Some of us do things for rewards like money, status and grades and they’re extrinsically motivated. On the other side of the coin, are people who do things for personal satisfaction without expecting rewards of any kind and these people are intrinsically motivated. Research has shown that intrinsic motivation diminishes for activities that become associated with an extrinsic reward. That’s called over-justification.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll remember Jack Gleeson who played Joffrey Baratheon. Well, he said that he wanted to quit acting because it became more of a job and less fun. So once his acting was associated with pay checks and fame, his love for acting diminished making play feel like work. That’s how his acting became over-justified.
Fundamental Attribution Error
This is the tendency to focus on the role of personal causes and underestimate the impact of the situation on someone’s behaviour. This is why we make the mistake of assuming that an actor in real life is the character he or she plays on TV. We think Jennifer Aniston is Rachel Green, Jim Parsons is Sheldon and so on.
Aaron Paul who played meth addict Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad once said in an interview that he’s had fans come up to him asking for some ‘crystal’ and that they genuinely believed that he was a drug addict in real life. He had to clarify that he is the exact opposite of Jesse in that regard. So you see, people didn’t take into account that he is an actor hired and paid to play a character on a TV show and they jumped to the conclusion that he is Jesse.
Beauty Bias
It’s been found that there are benefits to being with beautiful people. Average looking people can benefit from being seen with a physically attractive group, by rule of assimilation. People viewing this group would perceive the average looking person to be more attractive.
Does this ring any bells? It’s quite similar to Barney Stinson’s Cheerleader effect! As a group, people look more attractive because their features average out but on looking at each individual you’ll find it’s not quite so.
Psychological Reactance
When a freedom you enjoy be it in terms of thoughts, actions and feelings is threatened, it seems even more appealing and you try harder to reinstate it.
Remember Joey and his determination to sleep with ‘the hot nanny’? The fact that Ross and Chandler kept stopping him from hooking up with her made the idea of the hot nanny even more attractive.

Childhood amnesia

Ever wonder why you can’t remember anything from your early childhood, like it was some blur in time and then everything became clearer a little later? It’s called childhood amnesia. It is not possible for your autobiographical memory to recollect anything before the age of 3-4.

In a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, the protagonist mentions this clearly:

“Except I can’t remember anything before I was about 4 because I wasn’t looking at things in the right way before then, so they didn’t get recorded properly.” – Christopher Boone
*All pictures courtesy of Google

Breaking Bad vs. Game of Thrones

Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are leading examples of high-quality television programming, something that was not conceivable earlier. Sucking audiences into their respective worlds, both shows are at the top of their game but I can’t help but feel they are not on the same level. One show, in my opinion, has the upper hand. (Before going on  I have to say I love both shows.)

Now, I know people who have watched Breaking Bad and those who have watched Game of Thrones but not many who have seen both and more importantly loved both enough to judge which is better. Quite obviously BB fans would defend the show against GoT fans and vice versa but I’d be very interested in finding what fans of both shows have to say. As for me, I am more inclined to say Breaking Bad is the better TV show.

I find that Breaking Bad serves better as binge-watching material. I had finished season 2 in a day, that was how gripped I was. When it came to Game of Thrones, I couldn’t watch more than 2 or 3 episodes a day. This made me question why that was.

Well, the most clear reason I could think of was the fact that in Breaking Bad the focus lies on a set group of characters and their stories are told better. Walt and Jesse’s journey across five seasons is fascinating to watch, blurring the lines between moral and immoral in ways very shows have. Mike, Saul and Gustavo Fring were amazing characters, so it’s not as if only the protagonists hold viewers interest.

On the other hand, I feel that in Game of Thrones,  there are quite a lot of characters who have potential and sadly we don’t get to identify with them as much because they are killed off. While GoT fans argue that it is the fact that no character is safe makes the show that much more interesting, I feel the stories of certain deceased characters weren’t developed properly and ended up becoming  merely pawns in the drama. Then there are quite a few characters who I’m just not interested in and their story arcs are something I fast forward. If I were being honest, the only characters I truly like are Robb, Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion. I don’t really care much for the others. (Yes, this also can be said of the books, not strictly the TV show.)

But what Game of Thrones does a remarkable job of  is portraying what is written in the books so well. However, it’s very Freudian in its emphasis on violence and sex. At times, the nudity just seems overbearing in the first season and it decreases as the show progressed which was a relief. Breaking Bad doesn’t rely on sex and aggression for its drama to such an extent.

Also, the fact that Breaking Bad was written for television makes for better episode story arcs and cliffhangers. Game of Thrones as book series has to be broken down into ten episodes so some can be quite dragging especially when a character you look forward to seeing does not have many or any scenes. (Yes, I get very bored when Tyrion isn’t around.) I guess that’s why some GoT seasons aren’t as interesting.

That’s why I believe as a TV drama, Breaking Bad works better.

January 2015 Reading Round Up

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Here’s the round up of all the books I’ve devoured in January:

Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin: Finally I’ve gotten round to reading this series and the first book did not disappoint. I find it interesting to read from a multitude of characters points of view, each chapter acting as a scene of the show and slowly building. Martin can be merciless with his plot twists which make Game of Thrones so interesting. It’s quite easy to get immersed in this intricate fantasy.

Verdict: Game of Thrones is merciless and addicting.

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi: Embroideries is a wonderful read, making you feel like you’re gossiping with a group of Iranian women who have countless stories to tell. To speak behind others’ backs is the ventilator of the heart, the author’s grandmother says and that captures the spirit of this graphic novel. Virginity( and faking it), sex and how penises are non-photogenic are some of the humorous aspects touched upon.

Verdict: Emroideries is a great, witty and hilarious read.

Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith: Bone was interesting but I wouldn’t say it was the best of graphic novels, in my opinion. It does, however, prompt you to want to find out what happens with the subsequent installments. The characters are funny and adorable which is nice.

Verdict: Bone is an average graphic novel better suited for younger readers.

Selected Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe: Having heard how Poe is the master of the macabre and eerie, I found the stories in this book to be a bit of a let-down overall. I did however, enjoy The Masque of the Red Death for the interesting personification of the plague. Other tales I found worth reading were The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat.

Verdict: These selected stories don’t really send a chill up your spine.

*George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl: This is one of my favourite Dahl books and it was enjoyable to read once again. Check out my re-read post about it!

Verdict: Please grab a copy for a refreshing and humorous break!

* Re-Read Challenge

E.X.A.M.S

A week of exams had me left deflated through out, with a severe lack of motivation to study when all I really wanted to do was read A Clash of Kings and watch Game of Thrones. Yet I suppose Tyrion Lannister’s words never seemed better fit for life than now:

 “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

By far one of my favourite quotes from a book, it has led me to think of exams in a different albeit greatly dramatized perspective, more or less to make it seem worthwhile as I question their necessity…


 

E.X.A.M.S

There are battles and wars fought with swords and gunfire, skilled in bodily strength but there are trials and tribulations to test the mind as well. They are now, in modern times, called examinations.

It is known how wars are not won in a single day but by fighting many battles and triumphing. Examinations, it can be said, are a war of their own in which our plethora of subjects ranging from arithmetic to psychology serves as battles.

Just as swords are sharpened on stone, so too is a mind with the aid of books. Knowledge is a powerful and complex weapon, you see. It can win wars just as well, perhaps better, than a spear through an enemy’s eye.

Armed to conquer mathematics we wield swords of logarithms and formulae of circumference and integration. Against, literary theory we load our crossbows and let it slip arrows showering terms of ‘binary opposition’, ‘polymorphously perverse children’ and ‘ostranenie’  like fire upon a battle field. Wearing armour doused and oiled in ‘electric potential’, ‘escape velocity’ and ‘restitution coefficient’, we shield ourselves against physics. With these abstract weapons and shields, we go off to defeat exam after exam, slaying biology, french and chemistry alike… or perhaps they slay us.

In the end, we come out as victors or the overthrown. I hope the victors do not aggrandize their conquests nor that the overthrown diminish their capabilities.

Why?

Because they are inevitably meant to fight more wars, years to comes, term after term with the coming and going of pleasant summers and foul winters.

It is my solemn hope that we do not lose track of what we are truly (or perhaps somewhat falsely) fighting for.

Our future. Our fate.