Major Papers


Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular television series of all time. Concerned with the way mainstream pop culture can been used to promote and uphold neoliberal ideology, this paper will be exploring the degrees in which neoliberalism informs or is resisted by Game of Thrones’ narrative. The purpose of this study is to discover the degrees in which the medium of narrative driven television can be used to resist dominant ideology. As such, I conduct a content analysis to explore the latent content of Game of Thrones’ narrative to discover the type of messaging that could be taken up by its large audience. I focus primarily on criticisms of neoliberalism, as well as neoliberal discourse to form the basis of my analysis. However, my focus surrounds conversations on power, wealth, and class within the series, rather than every aspect that neoliberalism may inform. Dialogue and key events are examined as they draw parallels from neoliberal society at large. This paper finds that Game of Thrones is capable of criticizing neoliberalism but is unable to provide an alternative to the world it is criticizing. The ending of Game of Thrones, where a solution or alternative to neoliberalism is offered, is in many ways a contradiction to the very criticisms it made. From here, it is decided that while Game of Thrones’ narrative does not fit the mold of neoliberal discourse, as its ability to be taken up by its audience is weakened by its ending.

Primary Advisor

Michael Darroch

Program Reader

Kyle Asquith

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Communication, Media and Film

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year