There’s no denying that Disney is part of our identity. Like learning to read or write, we were taught from a young age the truths of life from men and women in far off lands. The morals, ideals and fallacies of life were depicted through beautiful princesses and princes with swords.
We watched them with envy and love, engrossed in their stories and absolutely obsessed with their outcomes. We followed them to Disney World where we visited their castles and bought lunchboxes adorning their faces.
We bought all their movies, books and Halloween costumes. We were obsessed with a fantasy world, one of heroes and villains, monsters and dragons, kings and paupers.
Now, if you take a moment and look at everything you so loved about your favorite Disney movies, you should begin to notice a resemblance to many of the archetypes in our new obsession,“Game of Thrones.”
It’s the story of princes and princesses in a fairytale land with dwarfs, dragons and evil queens. There are magic potions, cups of poison and advisors with hidden motives. There are kingdoms and moats, thrones and giants.
There are betrayals and love, arranged marriages and babies born with special gifts. There are prisoners and secrets, hidden evils and lurking threats. And come on, does Sansa Stark not look exactly like a Disney princess?
The more I delve into the fourth season and partake in all too serious discussions about my favorite princesses and kingdoms with fellow fanatics, I can’t help but think how “Game Of Thrones” has merely created another form of Disney, just with a lot more nudity.
Because some of the perks of being an adult include getting to watch porn and extreme violence. Now that we’re older, we expect to watch Prince Eric and Ariel have sex and Cinderella torture and hang her wicked stepmother — and maybe even sell her stepsisters into slavery.
We expect to see Pocahontas strip for John Smith and the wolf and the hound tear each other to shreds. Who knows, maybe we’d even like to see a little incest between Wendy and her older brother, or at least some action between her and Peter Pan.
But I don’t think that’s why we love “Game of Thrones” so much. We love “Game of Thrones” because, like Disney, it’s another world we can live in, another way to pretend we’re not really part of this one.
For one hour, once a week, we get to live in someone else’s world, in kingdoms and across oceans we’ll never know. We get to watch our favorite women marry the evil princes and babies stolen from their mothers and taken to magical forests.
Because even though “Game of Thrones” has brothels and incest, the structures of the gruesome fantasy books are almost identical to our childhood fairytales.
Snow White’s poison apple is Joffrey’s poison cup. Maleficent and Melisandre are both bitter witches who have complexes about not being invited anywhere. Both Jasmine and Khaleesi have no qualms about getting with a man who climbs in through the window with a sword.
Little Finger, like Ariel, wants to be part of a world that he was not born into. Pocahontas, like Arya, must face the destruction of her kingdom by ruthless men who want nothing more than gold. Margaery, like Belle, must learn to live with a beast, taming him so he will not kill her or her family.
Snow White and Shae are both women who must live with a dwarf as they hide from the evil queen. And Sansa is forced to live with evil family members who are insecure about her youthful looks.
They are stories that make your toes curl and your blood boil. They are stories about hardship and peril and we await their happy endings.
We hope that Khaleesi, like Jasmine, does not let her advisors steer her wrong and that the men she surrounds herself with love her for the right reasons.
We hope that Melisandre is destroyed by Khaleesi’s fire-breathing dragons and that Margaery is able to stay in the castle after the beast is dead. We hope that Sansa is not forced to marry Little Finger, but finally meets her own prince charming and that Arya is able to show the Hound the way of nature and peace.
However, because “Game of Thrones” is for adults and we are older and stronger now, we no longer expect the happy endings we were always given in our favorite Disney films. We have learned that sometimes the bad guys win and good doesn’t always triumph over evil.
We know that good men can die and beautiful princesses don’t always get to marry the prince. We know that happy endings should no longer be expected, and that’s why “Game of Thrones” is for adults and Disney is for children.
Photo via Game Of Thrones