The Inspiration of The Odyssey: Similarities Between The Odyssey and Game of Thrones, Part 2

“Rethinking Game of Thrones” is a new series of articles by longtime fan Jonathan R. Meyers in which he reevaluates characters, scenes, themes and events in Game of Thrones in the context of the entire 8 seasons with a view towards better understanding and appreciating the third act including the final season and the ending.

Part 2 of 3 – Lines Which Connect

In part one of my piece comparing The Odyssey by Homer to Game of Thrones, I noted parallels between the setting and some common themes that ran through both epic tales. In reading The Odyssey, there were some notable lines that while not necessarily indicative of broader themes, nonetheless were strikingly reminiscent of either characters or concepts in Game of Thrones. Below are lines from Homer’s The Odyssey along with an image of what came to mind from Game of Thrones. These lines connect to Game of Thrones sometimes so directly, that the author and showrunners must have had Homer in mind while making the series.

“…A son has many problems to face at home when his father is gone and there is no one else to help him.” The Odyssey, Book 4, Lines 170-173

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“[His] twelve children live there with him, Six daughters and six manly sons. He married his daughters off to his boys…”The Odyssey (Book 10, Lines 6-8)

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“…the Olympian god, sends happiness to good men and bad men both, To each as he wills.” – Nausicaa, The Odyssey (Page 90, Lines 193-195)

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“Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?” – Jaqen H’ghar, Game of Thrones (S6E5)

 

The Odyssey’s hero embodies one of its central themes, which is that the capacity to defer satisfaction and endure suffering is as necessary for success as the ability to perform brilliant feats.” – Sheila Murnaghan from her Introduction to Stanley Lombardo’s translation of The Odyssey

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“…no one in the entire army worked as hard, and all he ever got for it was pain and sorrow…” The Odyssey, Book 4, Lines 109-112

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“…And his words beat down on me like dark wings.” The Odyssey (Book 11, Page 176, Lines 648-649)

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Part 3 of this series is forthcoming on HBOWatch. The article, called “The End: Victory, Exile and Controversy” will compare the endings of The Odyssey and Game of Thrones in terms of both how the story concludes and public perception of the ending.

 

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