Study Guide

A Clash of Kings Power

By George R.R. Martin

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Sometimes power in fantasy can be as simple as a sword swing, but in A Clash of Kings, power is a much more nuanced affair. Varys uses information to levy his influence, while Joffrey's authority comes simply being the son of a now dead king. Littlefinger has immense power over people because he controls the flow of money. The Hound is strong, but if strength equals power, then why do others dominate his choices? As such, there are many varieties of power in this world, but which is the most powerful power? We honestly couldn't say.

Questions About Power

  1. What power do you see as the most powerful power in Westeros and why? Who wields this type of power the most effectively? What does this tell you about the nature of power in the novel?
  2. Dany lost her source of power with the death of Khal Drogo. Does she obtain a new type of power by the end of her story? If yes, what is it and how does it affect your reading of this theme? If not, then why not?
  3. How does Tyrion lose his power by the novel's end? What does his fall from prominence suggest to you about the theme of power?
  4. Joffrey is supposed to be the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms? Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Jon and Daenerys's journeys to unknown countries bring new understandings of power to the Song of Ice and Fire series. Daenerys's interactions in Qarth show the power of trade and commerce while Jon's encounter with the wildlings suggests a type of power in community.

In each novel of the series, a central character overreaches for power and succumbs to a disturbing fate. In A Clash of Kings, this character is Theon.

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