‘Game of Thrones’ Creator: Climate Should be Politicians' ‘Number One Priority’

Game of Thrones fans know “winter is coming.” What they didn’t know was the most popular show on HBO is also a “parallel” to governments now facing the threat of climate change, according to a New York Times Style Magazine interview with its creator.

George R.R. Martin told the Times Style Magazine “climate change should be the number one priority for any politician who is capable of looking past the next election. But unfortunately, there are only a handful of those.”

He complained that climate change is “going to destroy our world,” while people are fighting over important and unimportant matters — saying, “none of them are important if, like, we’re dead and our cities are under the ocean.”

Columnist Farhad Manjoo had asked Martin to respond to the interpretation of Game of Thrones as “a perfect metaphor for understanding climate change.”

Martin said although he began writing it in 1991, “there is — in a very broad sense — there’s a certain parallel there. And the people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of ‘winter is coming.’”

He called it “a great parallel” to “what I see this planet doing here, where we’re fighting our own battles.”

Martin’s interview was part of the “Greats” issue, celebrating “people who have inspired us to forge a different world of our own.”

Other Times columnists and staff asked Martin additional questions. Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd asked which character most resembled President Donald. J. Trump. Martin’s answer was Joffrey because “they have the same level of emotional maturity.”

There were also questions about what politicians could learn from Westeros, whether he anticipated the books/show would become so popular, and what are his favorite books and TV programs, where he gets his hats and about beard grooming habits.


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Environment Global Warming The New York Times Magazine Farhad Manjoo
Julia A. Seymour's picture