Study Guide

A Game of Thrones Power

By George R. R. Martin

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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 the Seven Kingdoms; but power is also portrayed through warfare, or even the supernatural. (Quick, who would win in a fight: Cersei or the Others? Or Mirri Maz Duur?) But here's the bottom line: in A Game of Thrones, power isn't anything close to absolute. Power is continually shifting and changing, and even when you've got it, there's always someone else who's ready to snatch it from you.

Questions About Power

  1. Does A Game of Thrones say anything about power and its connection to morality? Is all power immoral? Or is it possible to use power for good?
  2. Are there any forms of power that the powerless have? Think about Arya, Sansa, Bran or Rickon: children have less obvious power in this book, but do they hold any power over others?
  3. We've talked about some types of power – political, military, supernatural – but what other types are there? What about the law? Or social custom?
  4. Who is the most powerful character in this book and why? How does power make you feel about this character?

Chew on This

In A Game of Thrones, power is always about violence: the most violent character is always the most powerful.

Power means nothing in A Game of Thrones. If you might lose it tomorrow, what good is it today?

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