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So the whole TV series was called the "Game of Thrones", implying that there was a game.

Scene from episode 6 of season 8, "The Iron Throne"

Cersei said

when you play the game of thrones you win or you die

The rules are obviously very simple, the last one left ruling or sitting on the throne alive wins. It does not have to be that throne with all the swords, that obviously is just a chair.

"Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy

Based on how the series ended in the final episode of season 8, did Brandon Stark won the "Game of Thrones"?

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    there is no throne left, so there is no winner.
    – ashveli
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 13:40
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    or you can say Drogon as winner because you know why :p
    – ashveli
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 13:42
  • 4
    Didn't he become the king? What exactly constitutes "winning" the Game of Thrones, what were the rules for the game? Wasn't the iron throne destroyed? Not sure what do you want to know.
    – Luciano
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:21
  • I have no idea why this would be "opinion based" , it is obvious that Bran won.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 21:59
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    Then... yes. You've defined the phrase so that the question is just asking "Was Bran the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms at the end of the show?", and you already know that the answer is yes. Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 22:17

1 Answer 1

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So the whole TV series was called the "Game of Thrones", implying that there was a game.

The name "Game of Thrones" was not chosen to describe the whole show's story as one "game".

The show was named after the first book in the series of novels it is based on, "A Game Of Thrones", which corresponds to the first series of the TV show, in which Ned Stark was dumped into a deadly political game he didn't understand. That's the game that the titular phrase "Game of Thrones" was coined for: the game where Ned reluctantly played, lost, and died.

You can argue that there are more games of thrones throughout the series, but the name "Game of Thrones" was not chosen with those in mind, and the show-runners couldn't have had the series's eventual ending in mind at the point the show was named.

The title of the show was therefore not chosen as a pointer as to how the ending was intended to be interpreted.

In various interviews, the show-runners discuss that:

  • They chose the name of the first book, rather than the name of the series ("A Song Of Fire And Ice"), because it was more accessible to non-fantasy fans. Their initial pitch for the show was "The Sopranos in Middle Earth" and they wanted the broadest possible appeal.
  • At first, they weren't expecting to necessarily succeed in getting funding to film the entire series, including books that hadn't (and still haven't) been written - they have said that one of their main goals initially was to do well enough commercially to be able to reach a third season and film the "Red Wedding" scene [I can't find the interview where they said this at the moment].

Did Brandon Stark win the "Game of Thrones"?

This is subjective. You can argue he did by becoming king, or you can argue that nobody did, because the throne was destroyed, or because the nature of the game was changed by Bran's election, etc etc.

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    I disagree that the fact that the ending wasn't written at the time the show was named suggests that the title isn't linked to the ending. The show is named for the deadly political game, to which Ned Stark is our first introduction. But that political game continues right through the finale - as long as there are multiple people vying for the throne, the game continues. The title of the show doesn't stop being applicable after Season 1. Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:51
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    Right, the previous wording was open to misinterpretation, I've rephrased it Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 22:19
  • He won the Game by not playing, modern problems require modern solutions
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 15:31

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