Axel Horn 1 (Transl. by: Oleg Kil'dyushov 2 )
  • 1 Independent Researcher, Schillerstraße 52, Erfurt, Germany 99096
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Game of Thrones: Cultural Pessimism as a Winning Formula

2020, vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 183–192 [issue contents]

In the narrative of Game of Thrones, a fantasy television drama, well-known elements of fantasy-media products successfully blend with their new forms. These elements connect to a specific emotional regime which refers directly to the emotional cultures of contemporary societies through its pessimistic coloring. Cultural pessimism stems from the complex, problematic situations in Europe and America which shape the context in which the television drama originated, and provides a glimpse into the social and political subconsciousness of these societies. The article attempts to reveal these situations by studying the actions and motivations of the drama’s characters, as well as the dramatized means and social framework of the action. The analysis shows that Game of Thrones can be read as a form of a cultural reworking of the experiences of the social and political upheavals in European and American societies. Cultural pessimism is a recipe for the success of this serial drama, but ultimately there is little that can counteract the destructive attitudes that dominate the cultures of contemporary Western societies.

Citation: Axel C. (2020) «Igra prestolov»: kul'turnyy pessimizm kak retsept uspekha [Game of Thrones: Cultural Pessimism as a Winning Formula]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 19, no 1, pp. 183-192 (in Russian)
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