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Change your major to Hodor and take this ‘Game of Thrones’ college course

Winter is coming—and so are finals.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 22, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 10:15 pm CDT

Jon Snow may learn something after all.

Game of Thrones is joining the likes of Miley CyrusBeyoncé, and Bruce Springsteen as the University of Virginia plans to offer a summer class on the beloved TV series and novels it’s based on.

Lisa Woolfork, an associate professor of English, is running the four-week, discussion-based seminar and plans to split the focus on A Game of Thrones, the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, and the first three seasons of Game of Thrones the television show.

Spoiler-phobes don’t have to worry about discovering what happens in future television seasons, either.

“One of the goals behind this class was to teach students how the skills that we use to study literature are very useful skills for reading literature and TV in conjunction,” Woolfork said. “‘Game of Thrones’ is popular, it’s interesting, but it’s also very serious. There are a lot of things in the series that are very weighty, and very meaningful, and can be illuminated through the skills of literary analysis.”

While plenty of other English classes focus more on the classics, George R.R. Martin’s novels are on the other end of the spectrum: current, hugely popular, and still on-going. But Woolfork plans to use the themes to aid the class’s analysis and argue that the visual medium of the show only enhances the story.

The course hopes to tackle racism, fanfiction, gender roles, and the novel’s mode of storytelling to turn readers’ ideas of a character on their heads by reading things from their perspective, among other things.

With the books expanding even further than the show, these students will have plenty to dive into this summer.

H/T Jezebel | Screengrab via HBO GO

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*First Published: Jul 22, 2014, 11:13 am CDT