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Instead of following the pattern set in other books where justice always prevails and there is no real question on whether the unjust will be punished, Game of Thrones creates a sense of tension because nothing is for certain. Many characters that could be considered as the epitome of justice and goodness end up dead because they were not cunning enough. Such a character is Eddard Strak who, despite his desire to make things right and his loyalty towards the King, ends up being killed because he can’t adapt to the world filled with malicious characters. Justice is not as valued in the world created by J.R.R. Martin as it is the ability to survive through whatever means necessary and adapt to the world they live in.
Another common theme found in the book is betrayal. This theme appears even in the prologue where Will, a Sworn Brother, betrays his companions and deserts the Night Watch to save himself. Sansa is another character that betrays her family and herself when she molds herself to be the person Joffrey wants. The Queen betrays her husband by having him killed and by lying to him about the true father of her children. Other characters that are linked frequently with betrayal is Jamie Lannister, who killed the Mad King even if Jamie was supposed to protect him, Varys, the Spider who knows everything about everyone.
Probably the most evident and present theme is the fight for power and also the description of power, which is in a constant change. The power shifts from one House to another and there is a distinction between Royal power and the political one. The King doesn’t represent the ultimate form of power in the realms created by J.R.R. Martin because the king’s authority is constantly questioned and attacked. Apart from the political and royal power, we could also talk about the type of power some characters have over the others. The book is based on the fight regarding the regal power but it is clear that sometimes, the regal power is less influential than the strength possessed by individual people or Houses.
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