“Game of Thrones” returns on Sunday, and with it, the inevitable onslaught of “winter is finally here” memes and a sudden obsession with dragons, knights and internecine feudal politics. But the show isn’t just warmed-over fantasy tropes. Its conflicts have become part of our public discourse, and Westeros, its fictional kingdom, has become an allegory for America.
This isn’t the first time a medieval fantasy has served this purpose. “Lord of the Rings” grew out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s traumatic experiences as a soldier in World War I. It achieved widespread popularity in the United States during the 1960s and ’70s, when hippies joked about electing the wise wizard Gandalf as president and wore “Frodo Lives!” buttons, an emblem of their solidarity with the idyllic, communal life of the Shire.… Seguir leyendo »