Game of Thrones
For this assignment, I decided to analyze the show Game of Thrones, and its online communities. As one may already know, this show was and continues to be a very popular topic that you can take in many different ways. With only watching a little bit of the series, I get the sense of controversy like male and female nudity, rape, and killing off a character that was so loved the producers had to bring that character back. Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama series that its audience can analyze through dominant, negotiated, and oppositional perspectives.
The blog I will be analyzing is called Watchers on the Wall: A Game of Thrones Community for breaking news, casting and commentary. The dominant perspective is the overall meaning that most of the audience interprets from the content given to them (Hall, 1980). The thread I am analyzing is called, “Is Jon Snow Aegon Targaryen (son of Rhaegar)?” The basic argument of this thread is if Jon Snow is the son of prince who was assassinated or not. The dominant perspective seems to be represented well by a reply from a user whose screen name is Geralt of Rivia, who said, “Jon is for sure not Aegon in the books or show. If so, it’s invented by [David Benioff & D.B. Weiss] because it doesn’t make sense why him being Aegon is damn important. His name is most likely one of the leak traps lads was talking about, so it could be Aemon as his name.” Most of the other people active on the forum seem to agree that Jon Snow is not Aegon.
The negotiated perspective is when someone from the audience can see where one side is coming from, but also understands the argument against what is being said. Hall discusses the negotiated point of view by stating that, “it acknowledges the legitimacy of the hegemonic definitions to make the grand significations (abstract)’ while, at a more restricted, situational (situated) level, it makes its own ground rules” (1980). A reply from the user Wimsey is a negotiated perspective because this user legitimatizes both side of the argument and then takes a stand of his own. This user states, “The question at this point is not so whether Jon is Rhaegar’s eldest son (he is not), but whether Jon, too, was named Aegon. As Jon might well have been named after Lyanna learned of Aegon’s apparent demise, this is quite feasible.” A majority of the users in the forum do not choose to take the negotiated point of view because they have strong opinions that are either “yes” or “no. Their fandom does not allow them to see an alternate point of view.
Another perspective seen in this forum is from the oppositional side of things. The user Maria states, “Jon’s name could be Aegon in the show. Ned finds Lyanna, tells her what Tywin did to Rhaegar’s children, so she names her son “Aegon” in memory of Rhaegar’s murdered son. She might have easily done the same thing in the novels.As for Aegon in the novels: I always thought that he would defeat Cersei, who would burn down King’s Landing and probably die, along with Tommen. Aegon would be king when Dany arrives, leaving her with the moral choice Wimsey described. However, GRRM likes his Dany. I don’t think he’d allow her to fight the rightful king, nor would he allow her to give up her life’s ambition.” This user agrees with the initial main argument that most people would disagree with; therefore, that is what makes her opinion the oppositional point of view.
De Kosnick (2016) mentions that the type of fans who are in these sites who do not receive pay for the content they are writing. De Kosnick (2016) compares these fans to volunteers who participate because they love something, not because they are being compensated. It is clear that they are doing this out of their love for the show, Game of Thrones. These fans spend a lot of time making their arguments and backing them up with evidence from the show. While analyzing the forum, I realized that during these discussions people are writing a lot of content that has been well thought out and researched. These fans can go back and fourth for days because they have one thing in common, and that is their love for the series. Even though many of the users took different perspectives, they never attacked each other personally or acted with animosity. This was a place where fans could come and have a debate on whether or not they agreed with the question that any user could ask. This was just one blog I found, but I am sure with the popularity of this show, there are many more out there.