Game Of Thrones 101: U.S. University Offers Class On HBO’s Fantasy Series

The Game of Thrones phenomenon is spilling over into academia.

The University of Virginia is now offering a summer course about the HBO series and the books on which it is based, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The class’ 24 students are analyzing how the fantasy story was adapted for the screen.

Game of Thrones has inspired a summer course at the University of Virginia.
Actress Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Professor Lisa Woolfork told UVA Today:

“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. 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”.

Unsurprisingly, students were eager to enroll in the class. Alexandria Shofe, a UVA English student said:

“There’s a lot of detractors who say Game of Thrones is not really worthy of academic attention, so I think in a way the class legitimizes it for us. All the stuff we’ve read on it says it’s breaking out of fantasy’s literary ghetto”.

Since Game of Thrones debuted on HBO in 2011, it has become the network’s most popular show of all time. In the fourth season, an average of 18.4 million viewers watched Game of Thrones, according to Variety.

The fantasy saga has taken on a life of its own; inspiring fan-fiction, a Wikipedia-style site dedicated to the fictional world of Westeros and — of course — the University of Virginia’s course.

Right now, the course is only open to current students and only offered during the summer term. As a final project, students in the Game of Thrones class are asked to collaborate on a new chapter for the fantasy series.

Fans itching to learn more about the upcoming fifth season might not have long to wait. HBO’s Comic-Con panel — scheduled for this Friday — is likely to reveal casting and shooting information.

As reported in The Inquisitr, Spain will stand in as the fictional kingdom of Dorne in season five. A new report from Vulture suggests that several Moorish castles are being considered as shooting locations, including Sevilla’s Alcázar, Cordoba’s Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, and Grenada’s Alhambra.

For scenes set in King’s Landing, the Game of Thrones crew will return to Croatia. Over the past four seasons, Dubrovnik has subbed in as the capital of Westeros, but now the Croatian city of Šibenik is also on the shooting list.

Game of Thrones season five is expected to be released in April 2015.

[Image source: Twitter]