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Poscheschnik, G. (2018). Game of Thrones—A psychoanalytic interpretation including some remarks on the psychosocial function of modern TV series. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 99(4):1004-1016.

(2018). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 99(4):1004-1016

Film Essay

Game of Thrones—A psychoanalytic interpretation including some remarks on the psychosocial function of modern TV series

Gerald Poscheschnik

Cultural products such as films or TV series can be understood as articulations of socio-political fantasies that contain conscious and unconscious elements. At first glance, Game of Thrones, a fierce medieval show full of violence and sex, appears to offer hardly any topical references. Psychoanalytic examination, which unveils the series from its unmistakable vesture, reveals essential elements and their relations that bear remarkable parallels to prevailing socio-political fantasies. The circumstances on the fictitious continent Westeros provide a diagnosis of a descending culture whose rulers are completely absorbed by intrigue for power and influence. They refuse to notice anything that does not serve in retaining their power. The North, cut off from Westeros by a tremendous wall, can be considered a repository for the repressed side effects of their own doing. These effects threaten their own existence in the long run. The distant continent Essos stands for the hope that there may be a shift or an alternative world. Psychoanalysis can not only contribute to the understanding of the unconscious content of TV series with its method, but can also theoretically explain how such series are individually received and mentally processed. For this, object relations theory from Winnicott is used. His concept of transitional space offers the possibility to understand mental processes that take place while watching television. The article concludes with general remarks about the meaning of television series as cultural phenomena and the object of research of psychoanalysis.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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