A professor at Antioch University in California argued this month that Game of Thrones encourages its audience to embrace white supremacy.
Antioch University Professor Timothy Malone argued that Game of Thrones pushed a “white supremacist” message in a recent column. Malone argued in the column that “white supremacist” themes appear throughout the plot of the popular show, which recently aired its final episode.
It is whiteness as social capital – you may be poor and at the bottom of the hierarchy, but at least you’re not Black, (or in this case, an ice zombie). That’s why they were located beyond the wall (the prison). In the show, they become deputized in the struggle against White Walkers; in reality, the device has been to turn some percentage of them into cops and prison guards with good benefits to ensure their loyalty to white supremacist capital. The key here is that the Wildings are fundamentally on the human side of the “human vs. subhuman/contaminant” binary, just relegated to the role of front-line enforcers of the order.
Malone argues that the fictional television show encourages its multiracial audience to adopt the mindset of “white supremacy.”
The ideological work further comes in the form of crafting identifications with a particular house: Targaryen, Lannister, Stark. With whom do you identify? Are you “team” Stark? Targaryen? Lannister? All offer different configurations of neoliberal white supremacist capital for its multicultural audience to cheer for.
On May 18, Malone doubled down on his beliefs during an interview with Salon. In the interview, Malone argued that the modern white supremacist worldview is inspired by fantasy fiction works like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
The Nazi and other white right-wing types who are using that imagery as we saw in Charlottesville and elsewhere are not invested in the real history of medieval or ancient Europe in the first place. What they are invested in are things like “Lord of Rings” and “Game of Thrones.” These white supremacists are not scholars of European history.
The professor has not expressed his opinion on the series finale of Game of Thrones.