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Background Information:

The figured world I would like to observe is the world in the Song of Ice and Fire series. It is
currently one of my favorite book series that I have ever read. The world and story are so
immense that is easy to get truly immersed in the story itself. George R. R. Martin is able to
create a world so vividly in writing that it is difficult to put the book down at any point.
In the Song of Ice and Fire books, the world is set in a fictional world that has two main
continents: Westeros and Essos. This world is populated by a wide manner of different creatures
and is set in a medieval type of setting. There are familial houses that are constantly vying for
control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. People are either born into a house or they are
essentially peasants in Westeros. Essos, a more loosely governed area than Westeros, has many
different social norms and practices based simply upon the town you are in. Societal norms
dictate that your god or gods come first, your house a close second, and the kingdom comes last
for many of the big houses in Westeros. Everyone is making deals with other houses to get a
stronger footing in the political landscape of Westeros as a whole. Although the various houses
seem to be consistently at each others throats, a lot of the houses have similar base practices.
They all value honor as the highest characteristic in a man.
Observations:
Season 1 Episode 1:
Opening (00:00): At the very beginning of the episode, three rangers of the Nights
Watch are going ranging. They walk out from beneath the wall and into the forest. One of
the rangers notices a camp of mutilated wild men and goes to tell the other rangers. When
he returns to the spot, the bodies are gone. The rangers are then attacked by others and
one of the rangers somehow escapes. The Starks are in Winterfell. Arya and Sansa are
training their needlework while Bran, Jon, and Robb are training archery when Ned gets
the news that they have captured a deserter.
15:00: Ned Stark has just executed the deserter while Bran, Robb, Jon, and Theon
watched. As they are riding back to Winterfell, they encounter a mauled stag. When they
begin looking around for what killed the stag, they find a dire wolf with an enormous
length of antler lodged in its throat from the stag. The dead dire wolf has 5 pups with her.
Ned Stark says they would be executed for a quick death, but Jon Snow convinces him
that it is a sign. 5 wolf pups, 5 Stark children. As they are leaving, Jon Snow notices
something move in the underbrush. A sixth pup is there, all white with red eyes. Jon says
its the runt, and Theon points it out as Jons pup.
18:00: The camera goes to Kings Landing, where a burial procession is underway. Jon
Arryn is dead, and the Septons are preparing his body for burial. Cersei Lannister is
watching the procession from the wings. Jamie Lannister enters to talk to Cersei and tell
her that she worries too much. Cersei is worrying that Jon Arryn found out about Jamie
and Cersei. Jamie assures her that if Jon Arryn told the king about them, that they would
be dead and put on display already.
21:00: Ned Stark is cleaning his great sword, Ice, under the heart tree of his Gods wood.
Catelyn joins him and mentions that she still feels like an outsider in the eyes of the Old
Gods. She also says that a raven brought word of Jon Arryns death. Jon Arryn was a
father figure to Ned and naturally his death comes as a shock to him. Catelyn then goes
on to say that the king and his entourage are riding for Winterfell. Ned mentions that if
the king is coming all the way to Winterfell, then there could only be one thing that he
wants.
25:00: The king, Robert Baratheon, has arrived in Winterfell. He has brought his entire
entourage which includes his three children, the queen, the kings guard, and many
others. The first thing he says to Ned as he arrives is youve gotten fat showing their
relationship off. It has been nine years since theyve last seen each other. Robert then
goes and meets the Stark children. He then says he wants to pay his respects and asks
Ned to escort him to the tombs.
33:00: We join Daenerys in Pentos. She is looking out over the ocean. She is then joined
by her brother, Viserys, offering her a gift from the owner of the manse, Illyrio. They
then talk about how she is soon to be married and that if she wants Viserys to be king that
he needs her to be perfect. Daenerys mentions that Illyrio has never asked them for
anything, but Viserys counters with the point that when he rises to power, he wont forget
his friends. They then meet with Khal Drogo, who Daenerys is to marry. When he meets
her, he gives her a look and then rides off. Viserys then inquires why he left and if he
liked her. Illyrio assures him, that if Drogo didnt like her, theyd know.
42:00: Jon Snow is training in the yard of Winterfell when a man rides up. When the man
inquires if the training dummy is dead yet, Jon turns around and sees his uncle Benjen
Stark, a brother of the Nights Watch. Benjen Stark came down to honor the king in the
name of the Nights Watch, so he continues on to the feast. Then Tyrion appears and calls
Jon Snow a bastard and tells him that he would like to see the wall. He also says that if
you wear your title like armor, no one can hurt you with it.
50:00: Daenerys and Drogos wedding. There is a procession of guests giving gifts to
the newlywed couple. There is feasting and fighting and dancing. Two men then begin to
fight over who gets a woman and one ends up dead after the fight. Ser Jorah Mormont, a
knight of Westeros, is then introduced and gives Daenerys books as a wedding gift.
Magister Illyrio then gives Danny dragons eggs. Then Drogo gives Danny a silver horse
and they ride off.
58:00: The episode ends with Bran climbing one of the old towers in Winterfell. He hears
a woman gasping and goes to a window on the tower to investigate. He then sees Cersei
and Jamie Lannister having sex. When Cersei notices him watching, Jamie stops and
grabs Bran. He then asks Bran how old he is. Jamie proceeds to go on to say The things
I do for love before throwing Bran out the window. The episode ends.
Mock Interview: I am interviewing Robb Stark
David: So Robb, how has it been going since you declared yourself the King in the North?
Robb: Obviously war is no game, Im still young but I feel that I could be a good ruler.
David: Well what do you plan on doing differently, then?
Robb: See the difference between myself and King Joffrey is that I am a fit ruler. Whether that is
only a ruler over the North or all of Westeros remains to be seen.
David: Ok, well what do you plan on doing after the war has settled?
Robb: Well since my father died, I need to be the leader of Winterfell and protect my family. The
Wall is also an important matter and cannot be taken lightly.
David: So you mentioned Ned, how hard is it to be separated from your family and have no idea
what has befallen them?
Robb: Its hard, Im still fairly young and I know that in a better world I wouldnt even be
thinking about fighting a war right now. But thats life, sometimes you have to take the things
that you feel like you deserve.
David: Robb, what has the hardest part about the war been, other than being away from your
family?
Robb: War is hard. It is both mentally and physically taxing. I would have to say that riding
around on the horse a lot has been a serious trial on my lower back.
David: What about you makes you a good leader for troops?
Robb: I would have to say that even though I am young, I was trained by a great leader and
picked up a good bit of his style.
Assignment 1: Definitions and Notes
Actors: The actors are the people or characters that play a role, whether that role is important or
insignificant, in the happenings of a place, time period, or TV show. Actors in a TV show often
make more of an impact on the world as they become more important. In the Game of Thrones
series, there are many important actors that have importance at different time periods.
Eddard Stark: Eddard Stark is the patriarch of the Stark family and the ruler of
Winterfell. During the first series of GoT, he also becomes the Hand to the King, an
important governing role in the Seven Kingdoms. Eddard, also known as Ned, is the
embodiment of the just leader, putting justice and truth above all else in leadership and as
a man. Ultimately, this leads to his demise because he searched for the truth even when it
was ill advised.
Catelyn Stark: Catelyn Stark, Ned Starks wife, is the mother of the Stark children and
the Lady of Winterfell. Catelyn was originally a Tully before she married Ned. She plays
the role of mother and protector of her children and always has their interests and safety
in mind. That being said, she has an immense distrust and hatred for Jon Snow.
Robb Stark: Robb Stark is the son of Ned and Catelyn Stark, and is the eldest of the five
children. Heir to Winterfell, Robb Stark has been groomed as a man and a warrior by his
father so that he will be fit to take the throne one day.
Jon Snow: Jon Snow is the baseborn son of Ned Stark. His mother is unknown and he is
very close with the Stark children except for Sansa. Ned took him as his own and raised
him until Ned left to become the Hand. Jon then was forced to take the Black of the
Nights Watch with his uncle Benjen Stark. Jon Snow is a honorable man and a good
friend, while also being a strong leader.
Sansa Stark: The eldest female child of the Starks, Sansa is the typical princess type.
Well-mannered and soft spoken, she is a people pleaser and subscribes to the ideals of
being a true lady. This causes her to bump heads often with her sister, Arya.
Arya Stark: The youngest daughter of the Starks, Ayra is the wild child. She wants to
fight with swords and go on hunts instead of learn needle working and other lady-like
skills of her time. She has a very close relationship with Jon Snow, and she is always
getting herself into trouble.
Brandon Stark: Bran Stark is the second youngest child of the Stark household. He is
curious and loves to explore, which causes him much displeasure after he falls and
becomes paralyzed from the waist down. Once lively, Bran begins to struggle and feel
trapped in the body that he used to be able to climb to the top of the world in.
Rickon Stark: The youngest Stark, Rickon is but a toddler in the early stages of the
book. Pampered and ill-mannered, Rickon often exhibits himself as the archetypal baby
of the family.
Robert Baratheon: The king of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, Robert was a
powerful ally during the rebellion that he and Ned Stark were a part of. Robert is a portly
man who is more interested in whoring, eating, and drinking than running the kingdom.
Robert often makes rash decisions and can seriously transgress when it comes to others.
Artifacts: Items in the world that have some sort of importance to a character or group of
characters. These can be physical or emotional and have a lot of sway in the daily lives of the
characters.
The Dire Wolves: The dire wolves are the pets of the Stark children. Found after the
execution of a deserter, there are six dire wolves. Grey Wind is Robbs, Ghost is Jons,
Lady is Sansas, Nymeria is Aryas, Summer is Brans, and Shaggydog is Rickons. The
Dire wolves play an important role to each of the Starks, and they exhibit similar
characteristics to each of the Starks children.
Ice: The familial great sword of the Stark household, Ice is Ned Starks weapon. Made of
Valyrian steel, it is one of the sharpest blades in the Seven Kingdoms. It shines blue in
the light and is intricately carved. It has been passed down through the Stark generations
to Ned, and will one day fall to Robb.
The Dire Wolf Crest: The crest of the Stark household, the Dire Wolf represents all
Starks as a whole. Showing the ferocity and strength of the Stark house, the Dire Wolf
remains a terrible sight to behold to both enemies and prey. The Dire Wolf is the top of
the food chain, and the Starks view themselves as the premier house in all of the Seven
Kingdoms.
Neds Honor: Ned Stark is known for his honor. He believes that a leader should carry
out his own verdicts. Therefore, Ned Stark does the executing of people that he orders
executed. Ned values his honor and the honor of others above all else, which ultimately
ends in Neds demise.
Communities of Practice: Communities of practice are the groups of people that share similar
ideals or goals in the world. This can be a distinct group of just a number of people who happen
to be similarly driven.
The Starks: The Stark family is the most powerful family in the north. The liege lords of
many banner men, the Starks have been tasked with being the Kings in the North.
Although the kingdom is ruled by one king at the moment, the Starks remain the
authority in the North and no Northman will bend to the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms if
the Starks do not do so first.
The Seven Kingdoms: The alliance of all seven regions in Westeros, the Seven
Kingdoms is a grouping of city states that has come together in the interest of combined
strength in numbers. Ruled by Robert Baratheon, the Seven Kingdoms have gradually
become weaker and weaker as an alliance since the fall of the Dragon Kings
(Targaryens). This contains all of the houses in Westeros.
The Nights Watch: The watchers on the wall, the Nights Watch protect the kingdoms
of man from the various monsters and wild men that occupy the area North of the Wall.
Lord Commander Jeor Mormont leads the Nights watch, while Jon Snow, Maester
Aemon, Samwell Tarly, Pyp, Grenn, Halfhand, and Benjen Stark are notable Nights
Watchmen.
The Lannisters: The main antagonists to the Stark household, the Lannisters have only
their goals in mind. Cersei and Jaime Lannister are twins, Tyrion Lannister is the dwarf,
and Tywin Lannister is the patriarch. The Lannisters are from the south of Westeros and
are interested in taking over the Seven Kingdoms. Cersei was married to Robert
Baratheon until his death and then she became the queen regent while her son Jeoffry
ruled. Tywin led the troops of Casterly Rock (the Lannister home) to battle against the
Northmen and Stannis Baratheon.
Literacy Practices: The ability to communicate is hindered in medieval times. Long
distances cannot be spanned easily, and most trips from city to city take days. Literacy
practices are the way that people communicate, and the mediums through which they do so.
Ravens: Essentially all communication that happens between cities is carried by
ravens. The maesters train ravens to carry letters to the maesters in other cities. Most
notably, the statement black wings, black words, says that if someone is sending or
receiving a raven then there must be bad news.
Reading: Most people in both Westeros and Essos are illiterate. Mostly it is only the
nobility or the maesters of the Citadel that have ample opportunity to learn to read.
Peasants and common folk for the large part do not know how to read or write and it
has become a status symbol for the upper class.
Domains: The domain is a common or shared goal amongst groups of people or
alliances. Domains bring people together as well as tear them apart.
A Unified Kingdom: Families such as the Lannisters and the royalty of Kings
Landing have a vested interest in keeping the Seven Kingdoms together. It would
keep them powerful and make sure that they can keep their enemies and their
allies in line.
Rebirth of the Targaryens: The last dragon, Daenerys Targaryen, is the blood
claim to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. She is currently in Essos, building an
army so that she can lay claim to the throne and retrieve the right by blood that
she has to rule.
The King in the North: The Northmen and the Starks have split off and have
declared themselves the Kings in the North again. Like in the past before Aegon
the Conqueror, the Starks want to add power to the name that they had in the past
as kings in the North.
The Protection of the Wall: The Nights Watch is all about protecting the
kingdoms of man. The enemies beyond the wall are the enemies of the light and
all mankind as a whole.
Reflection:
This paper posed some very specific challenges for me. Initially, I just wanted to use the
books as my main focus, but I quickly realized that I had to use the show as well to reach a
broader audience. Most people that know about the Game of Thrones show would likely have
seen said show before they had read the books. When I came to the observation part, I had
chosen to use the first episode because it explains a lot of the back story and introduces integral
characters to the story arc. Although there are three different arcs, it is fairly simple to grasp if
you are paying attention. I think that when I decided to change from writing a book observation
to the show observation, it really made the observation section more full. Another weakness I
had was the interview. I was not certain who to interview or what to ask, and it really took a
good bit of time to decide on the questions. If possible, I would like to go back and add more or
interview more people. A strength I had would definitely be describing various people or
situations. I have read the books multiple times and have also discussed the series with other
people, so I believe that I have a firm grasp on everything that is going on in the stories. I would
like to watch the show more to getter a better feel for what the producers left out of the original
book story. I really think that I excelled the most with the actors. Ideally I would have put every
important character in the actor section, but then I would have more than twenty characters and it
would feel burdened. I truly believe that all of my comments from the peer review helped me. It
often takes an outside eye to really see the flaws of a work. There were specific comments in the
interview section that really gave me some more ideas. Aba pointed out that you should always
be sure that people know if you actually interviewed the person or if you are just making a mock
interview. Emari pointed out that if you use the word well over and over, it can sound like you
dont know what you are talking about or if you are trying to add extra words. If there is a place
that I feel I went above and beyond, it would be either the observations or the characters. The
characters are very fleshed out and I have given a very good framework to get someone
interested. During the observation, I had caught myself trying to write down everything that was
happening in the episode. I forced myself to pack a lot of stuff into each entry. At one point I was
trying to write an entry every 3 minutes of the episode. If possible, I would write down
everything that happened in the show, but that would be incredibly difficult to read. I often find
myself struggling to find the balance between too much information and too little.