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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Mental illness in Game of Thrones

I ought to rename this 'The Game of Thrones Blog' considering how much I write about it. I watched a video on YouTube about mental illness in this wonderful epic fantasy which inspired me to write my own post. Westeros is clearly not the place of emotional and mental stability and utopian joy.

Psychopathy. Ramsay Bolton, Joffrey Lannister and Euron Greyjoy are the most obvious characters that spring to mind. They all embody traits of lack of empathy, enjoyment of inflicting pain on others, narcissism, sadistic behaviour, no remorse, and doing everything to further their self-interest. Littlefinger also evokes traits of psychopathy due to his superficial charm, glib, egotism, manipulation, murdering people to further his own agenda, and pathological lying.

Narcisstic Personality Disorder. Viserys, Cersei and Tywin Lannister evoke traits of NPD. They all have an inflated sense of self-importance; Viserys calls himself 'King' and the Dothraki 'savages', assuming his (albeit rightful) birthright without trying to get to know the ways of the Dothraki and humble himself before the Khal. I wouldn't personally class Cersei or Tywin as psychopaths as both do love and care for their families, and they don't inflict pain on others 'for fun', it's as a means to further their end goals of power. They all exhibit meglomania; I guess Daenerys does too, as do a great deal of the characters that desire the iron throne or a place of high status.

PTSD. The clearest case of post-traumatic stress disorder is poor Theon Greyjoy, who suffered years of psychological and physical torture at the hands of the evil cunt Ramsay Bolton. It's sad that his behaviour of jumping off the boat was viewed as cowardly rather than realistic. I think it shows a lot of our conditioning of seeing superficial heroism on TV, as opposed to realistic behaviour. When Yara initially came to his rescue, Theon was unable to leave with her, and appears to suffer bouts of psychosis and Stockholm Syndrome. His mind often flashbacks to memories of his abuse and trauma.

Alcoholism. Tyrion Lannister is one of the more mentally healthy characters in the show/books, but he and his sister clearly have drinking problems. Tyrion and Cersei are often seen numbing their pain and distress with alcohol, and Tyrion appears to be distressed whenever he is in a situation where he can't drink.

Depression. A great deal of the characters most likely suffer from depression, but some clear examples are The Hound, Jon Snow and possibly Stannis Baratheon. The Hound suffered years of abuse at the hand of his brother - he may suffer from PTSD as well and gets panic attacks when he sees fire, flashing back to when he was burnt. Jon Snow was emotionally abused by Catelyn Stark for being Ned's bastard (as far as they know), and possibly suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder due to the harsh cold Northern weather. The Stark children may all have depression and some form of PTSD due to losing their father; Arya and Jon use violence as ways of lashing out. Stannis is described as a staunch, serious guy who never smiles; that could be his personality or he could be depressed due to feeling outcast from his brothers, or unappreciated in his family, or from losing his parents at a young age.

Bipolar Disorder. Lysa Arryn isn't a very nice person; is she 'crazy' or does she have bipolar? Her mood swings from extreme places of euphoria and mania to severe depression. She also has an unhealthy relationship with her son; she is over-protective of him and seems reluctant to ever let him away from her. She still breast-feeds him as a young boy. It's possible she has Borderline Personality Disorder, exhibiting unhealthy attachments to people, chronic mood swings, impulsive behaviour and fear of abandonment by her son and Littlefinger.

Psychosis. The 'Mad King' Aerys Targaryen 2nd may have been suffering from dementia or paranoid schizophrenia, which caused his downfall. However, with respect to the magical elements of the show, Bran potentially warged into his and told him to 'burn them all' meaning the white walkers, but Aerys interpreted it as burning his own people.
The Targaryens of Hogwarts! They have the right hair, anyway.
Not everyone is 'nuts'. I reckon the more mentally stable characters are Varys, Jaime, Sansa, Tyrion (minus his drinking), Robb Stark, Ned Stark, Samwell Tarly, and several others. Quite a few of the characters are well-adjusted to their present situations despite the traumas they have undergone.

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  1. Mental illness in Game of Thrones is very well explained in your article and I must say you have such a great creativity in your work too. I loved reading your blog.

    1. Aww thank you very much! I really love Game of Thrones and this post was fun to write!

  2. I loved your "Mental illness in Game of Thrones " post. It is very interesting to read this post. Thank you so much for sharing this!. Looking forward for more excellent post.


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