7 Reasons why Game Of Thrones is so Third Culture

7 reasons why GOT is so Third Culture

It is a global phenomenon, a show loved around the world for over 7 years now and it keeps getting better.  Here are just 7 more reasons to love this show, because it’s just so TC!

1. Diversity

Third Culture is all about providing a platform for as many races, cultures and viewpoints as possible – we are therefore of course a huge fan of diversity in representation in a show as possible!  There is SO much Diversity in Game Of Thrones.  Diversity in terms of sexuality, in terms of race, in terms of “who can be a hero?”

Can we also give a shout out to some of the most bad-ass, complex, well-developed and beloved female characters of any show…ever?!

Much diversity – and its awesome to see

1. B – where are the Asians?!?

Gotta add a little criticism here – I know its challenging to be 100% diverse and include everyone…  But in 7 seasons and almost 0 Asians?  Whats up with that GOT?!

Nevertheless, we will still give the show mega points in diversity especially in its complex portrayal of the Dothraki.  Often referred to as “foreign savages” by the more “civilized” Westerosi; we get a completely different perspective of the Dothraki as Dany becomes one of them.

The Dothraki are just a different people, with their own culture, their own superstitions, their own fears and their own traditions.  Even the great Khal himself, Khal Drogo, was transformed from ferocious warlord, to loving husband, once Dany was able to bridge the cultural divide and better understand her man.

Khal Drogo – Never forgotten!

It is a powerful message that we must remember.  That just because a culture may not be as developed technologically, does not make them inferior or that there is nothing to be learned from them.

There have been many occasions when the apparent Dothraki “savages”, have displayed more compassion and honour than their Westerosi rivals.

This too can be said of the “free folk” who live north of the wall.  The differences between the people are minuscule, the thing that separates them, whether they were born north or south of the wall.

Despite inferior technology the Dothraki are still the most feared army on an open battlefield:


2. Dany is so TC.

Speaking of our beloved Khaleesi.  Dany herself, is so TC!

Although born in Westeros, she has almost no memory of it, having fled as a child when Robert took the Iron Throne. 

She is then faced with a very Third Culture dilemma.  By blood, she has a rightful claim to the Iron Throne, in a land she has not been to in years.

“A foreign invader.  One with no ties to this land.  An army of savages at her back”

In fact in Season 7 this is an argument that Lord Tarly makes when he explains to Tyrion, his choice support Cersei:

“Say what you will about your sister.  She was born in Westeros, she has lived here all her life…”

Lord Tarly calls Daenerys “A foreign invader.  One with no ties to this land.  An army of savages at her back”


So why would Dany want to return to Westros?  Perhaps initially, to regain your birthright, to avenge your family.

But what about after she fully became a Dothraki alongside Khal Drogo?

Dany learned the language and the customs of the Dothraki, indeed she retains her title of Khaleesi:

Several times Daenerys has been faced with this question – should she return to attempt to rule a land that she cannot even remember, a land where she will have to conquer and to force those who do not know her or love her to “bend the knee”.  She could have stayed in Mereen she became the “breaker of chains”; followed by people who adored her, with a man who loved her, on a continent just as large and just a prosperous as Westeros!?

Nevertheless, Daenarys has always picked duty to her family, to her house, to her blood to her birthright.


3. Real Human Problems

The world is complex.  Life is complex.  Being Third Culture is complex, especially when facing some convoluted issues that affect the whole world live global warming, over-population etc.  It is also equally challenging to carefully tread the boundaries of sensitive subjects that put in opposition things like traditional vs progress.

Game of Thrones does not shy away from the tough subjects and we see our characters struggle with the issues: like Daenerys struggling to deal with overthrowing slavery, but continuing the tradition of gladiatorial combat.  Or how Cersei attempts to manipulate the influence of religious zealots, only for it to backfire.

The sides are never so clearly divided as black and white and often even our perceptions of these characters change.  How often have people gone from loving to hating a character, only to loving them again.


4. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes

As Game of Thrones has characters that are so complex, so we get a range of heroes and villains.  Not just in their look, but where they stand on moral issues.  Bravery can take many forms, you might be bold like Jon Snow or be useless on a battlefield but unflinching when confronting Greyscale. You don’t have to be Brienne of Tarth, as Arya is just as deadly. Good people can do bad things, and bad people can something do good things especially in the right moment.

Being Third Culture is not like a religion where there are clear steps to follow.  Instead it is a movement, a way, a desire to do whats right as best we can.


5.  Extremists are never good

Wether on GOT or in life, I think its safe to say, extremists are never good.  Following the previous point, life is complicated, and to take such an extreme, inflexible view of the world leaves no room for compromise or possibility to understand an other’s point of view.

There are many religions in Game Of Thrones


Is there only one correct one? Is that even the correct question to be asking?


6. One people – but divided nation

When you look at the “7 kingdoms” as one nation, they are all Westerosi.  But the country is divided and in the midst of a civil war.  Mostly, seemingly because of arbitrary geographical reasons. But aren’t they all Westerosi?

Sometimes when you remove yourself from the situation and view it in the realm of a fantasy – it can seem ridiculous and tragic that brother would be pitted against brother – that friends end up killing one another.

What is it that makes a “people”?  Blood?  Ideology? Religion?  Wealth?  Geography?

7. Winter is coming

Third Culture is an inevitability. This is not a threat to those who are opposed to “globalisation” or “diversity” or “integration”.  But people are mixing. Populations are growing – people are merging faster either as immigrants or as refugees.  But still we are a divided people are rarely if ever just see ourselves as one race – the human race.

While we are divided, there are impending, imminent, extremely dangerous world issues that affect us all – just like the arrival of the white walkers:

Issues such as climate-change, overpopulation, the rate of advancement of technology.  These global issues are all that will matter in the future and…well…”winter is coming”.

It is ridiculous that in GOT the 7 Kingdoms is in the midst of a civil war, when the dead are at the gates! But what about the real world?!

It is 2017 – shouldn’t we get past some of our trivial differences already in order to face greater global threats? Does the world really need a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, an impending meteor strike, or a seemingly unstoppable undead army at the door in order for us to all come together?!

“The enemy always wins.  But we still need to fight him…we can defend those who can’t defend themselves”

Beric Dondarrion so eloquently put it when asked by Jon Snow, “what is he fighting for”:

Beric:  “Life.  Death is the enemy.  The first and the last.”

Jon:  “But we all die.”

Beric:  “The enemy always wins.  But we still need to fight him…we can defend those who can’t defend themselves”

Jon:  “I am the shield that guards the realm of men”

Beric: “Maybe we don’t need to understand anymore than that.  Maybe that’s enough”

What a call to arms!

Third Culture unite! For winter is coming!



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