From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones

  

by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones Themes

A Game of Thrones Themes

Power

No question about it: A Game of Thrones is all about power. Where does power come from? And what do people do with it? The biggest struggle in the book is the conflict over political/royal power in...

Betrayal

A Game of Thrones is chock-full of betrayals, treachery, and abandonment. (Also conspiracies, subterfuge, manipulations… should we go on?). Even the people who are incredibly principled do their...

Family

Family is the basic unit for a lot of political decisions in A Game of Thrones. If two men are fighting, it's rarely just an issue between two individuals: it's a clash between two major houses and...

Society and Class

Society is no picnic in A Game of Thrones. Our heroes and villains (and just regular people) have to navigate a social jungle filled with dangers. One of the main difficulties is that there are so...

Principles

In A Game of Thrones, principles are often questions of duty and honor. Oh, and they're never fun. No one ever says, "my principles tell me that I should eat this pie." Pretty much everyone in this...

Coming of Age

A Game of Thrones is not a kid's book, that's for sure. But many of the most important characters in this book are pretty young, and we watch them grow and mature when faced with a crisis. Or, more...

Justice and Judgment

In a book where the good guys are usually the first to die, justice doesn't seem to prevail. But this is what makes A Game of Thrones so engaging: the good guys might lose out and the bad guys migh...

Memory and the Past

There's a famous quote from William Faulkner: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." That's a pretty good summary of how the past works in A Game of Thrones. It's like throwing a rock into a...

Strength and Skill

Strength and skill come in super handy in the struggle for power. It's all about deciding who is better: stronger, smarter, more skilled, meaner, or just better dressed (in armor). Whoever has more...

Gender

Gender is a lot more constraining in A Game of Thrones than it is in our world (we hope). The roles for men and women are pretty narrow: women are pretty and nice; and men are strong and capable of...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement