But it’s also easy to see lots of compelling parallels with our own society in George R.R. Martin’s fictional world.
In an interview with the New York Times, the 70-year-old writer even set out a surprisingly apt comparison between US President Donald Trump and the puny, blood-thirsty King Joffrey.
“I think even during the campaign I said that Trump reminded me most of Joffrey,” Martin said. “They have the same level of emotional maturity. And Joffrey likes to remind everyone that he’s king. And he thinks that gives him the ability to do anything.
“And we’re not an absolute monarchy, like Westeros is. We’re a constitutional republic. And yet, Trump doesn’t seem to know what that means. He thinks the presidency gives him the power to do anything. And so, yeah, Joffrey is Trump.”
But the most important message of the Song of Ice and Fire series, according to Martin, isn’t political - no, it’s the threat of climate change.
“It’s kind of ironic because I started writing Game of Thrones all the way back in 1991, long before anybody was talking about climate change,” he said. “But there is — in a very broad sense — there’s a certain parallel there.
“And the people in Westeros are fighting their individual battles over power and status and wealth. And those are so distracting them that they’re ignoring the threat of ‘winter is coming,’ which has the potential to destroy all of them and to destroy their world.
“And there is a great parallel there to, I think, what I see this planet doing here, where we’re fighting our own battles. We’re fighting over issues, important issues, mind you — foreign policy, domestic policy, civil rights, social responsibility, social justice. All of these things are important.
“But while we’re tearing ourselves apart over this and expending so much energy, there exists this threat of climate change, which, to my mind, is conclusively proved by most of the data and 99.9 percent of the scientific community. And it really has the potential to destroy our world.”
Game of Thrones season 8 returns for its final run in 2019.
Get the ShortList email
Get exclusive shortlists, celebrity interviews and the best deals on the products you care about, straight to your inbox.
(Images: HBO / Getty)