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A Game of Thrones, written by George R.R. Martin, challenges the differences between good and evil; and if there could be something in between. Throughout the book, characters are faced with difficult decisions that challenge their morals and beliefs. Some characters commit evil acts for the sake of their family’s well-being. Other characters do too much good and it puts them in danger. This confuses readers and makes them question whether some characters are good or evil, or if there could be a mixture of both.
One character, whose name is Jaime Lannister, commits a vile act in the beginning of the book in the name of “love”. At first, readers may despise his character and see no good in him. However, as the story progresses you learn more about him and see that he’s a caring father and brother who would do anything for his family. As his character develops, readers may start to appreciate him more and question whether the good in him outweighs the evil.
There are many more examples of characters like Jaime Lannister. Martin explains that he doesn’t believe in just “good and evil” and makes his characters complex, having both good and evil traits so it’s more realistic. Not everything is black and white, sometimes there’s a grey area. Now, having learned about these complex characters, the world these characters live in is even more complex. You now have seven kingdoms, all with different leaders and families ruling, with both good and evil in them, pitted against each other. It’s hard for readers to choose sides, as all the characters have some bad and good in them.
George R.R. Martin uses the fictional world to show the grey area between good and evil. While in many works of literature there is a definite line between good and evil, Martin makes it more true to life. He tests the morals of characters and what they’re willing to do in order to get what they want. Some characters completely abandon their morals while others stick to them no matter the consequences. This is how humans behave. You can rarely look at a person and determine whether they are “good” or “evil”. Perhaps someone robbed a bank, but they did it in order to provide for their family. You can find many examples like this in the news, or even choices that leaders choose to make. There are incidents in history that are still questioned today on whether they were morally acceptable or not. Did the good outweigh the evil? Was the reward greater than the consequence? George R.R. Martin writes about these issues beautifully, and although it’s fictional it applies to our world in so many ways.
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