How ‘Game of Thrones’ is just like UC Berkeley

A man in a fur coat looks to the distance with an expression of worry.
HBO/Courtesy

“Game of Thrones” and UC Berkeley may seem like two different things on the surface. One is a fantasy television show with political intrigue and backstabbing characters. The other is a university in the real world. When looking below the surface, however, “Game of Thrones” and UC Berkeley have plenty in common. Here are some of the ways UC Berkeley is just like “Game of Thrones.”

Competitive culture

An obvious comparison is the level of competition in “Game of Thrones” and at UC Berkeley. In “Game of Thrones,” everyone is trying to excel and be the best they can possibly be. That usually involves trying to sabotage rivals and working with friends to get ahead. Similar behaviors can be seen in curved classes at UC Berkeley. Everyone is trying to be the very best and at the top of their classes, so they’ll work with someone else to get ahead until helping that person starts to hurt them — then, they leave them out to dry. Not everyone acts like this at UC Berkeley or in “Game of Thrones,” but the competitive nature is part of the landscape in both.

A large cast

“Game of Thrones” is known for its massive cast. UC Berkeley also has a massive student body. Much like “Game of Thrones,” UC Berkeley has so many people it can be hard to remember names. And both have so many people that you don’t have to remember the names of some people as you probably won’t see them for quite awhile.

Politics play a large role

UC Berkeley is sometimes infamous for its political climate. It’s a climate that can feel impossible to escape — and the same goes for that of “Game of Thrones.” Many of the characters are trapped in political machinations of others, while some fully embrace their political nature. For both, politics is a defining characteristic in the mind of the public.

Various animals

In “Game of Thrones,” the various animals that the characters have allow them to achieve their goals with less stress. Dragons and Direwolves may not visit campus, but we do occasionally get llamas and dogs. While we don’t have fantastical animals, we can use the ones we do have to relieve stress as we try to achieve our goals here at UC Berkeley.

You can do plenty of reading

“Game of Thrones” the television show is based on a long book series. With each book close to or more than 1,000 pages, there’s plenty of reading you could do. This amount of reading probably sounds like what you’ve been assigned to read this semester. Much like with “Game of Thrones,” however, you could skip the reading. You’d just have to hope the important bits will be covered in lecture, like hoping the show will cover the important and interesting parts of the books.

As much as UC Berkeley and “Game of Thrones” are similar, at least we don’t have dragons breathing flames down upon us or nightwalkers about to invade our campus. Then again, Daenerys never had to do three midterms in one week — so, who knows what would truly be better.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected].