Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Kovács, G.
“I’m all that stands between them and chaos:” A monstrous way of ruling in A Song of Ice and Fire (2020) Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 7 (1), art. no. 70.

DOI: 10.1057/s41599-020-00562-3

Open access

The article explores Tyrion Lannister’s rule in King’s Landing in the second volume of A Song of Ice and Fire books, A Clash of Kings. In the reception of ASOIAF and the TV show Game of Thrones, Tyrion was considered one of the best rulers, and the TV show ended by making him Hand to a king who delegated the greatest part of ruling to him. The analysis is based on Foucault’s notion of monstrosity in power, which is characterized by a monstrous conduct and includes the excess and potential abuse of power. The article argues that monstrosity in his rule reveals deeper layers in Tyrion’s personality, which is initially suggested to be defined by morality. The article also comes to the conclusion that his morality limits the scope of his monstrous methods, which eventually leads to his fall from power. © 2020, The Author(s).

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