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Having just watched the two hour documentary on the making of Season Eight of Game of Thrones, I found myself, the next evening, experiencing a flash about its significance.

The stars of this doc are not the actors, but everyone else that made up the production crew, those actually known as ‘below the line’: the location managers, the hair stylists, the masters of prosthetics, the ‘master of snow’, the set designers and builders of sets, the ‘crafts services’ people who keep everyone fed in between the actual meals, and last but not least, the extras, small-time heroes who radiate such dedication and bonhomie that they do achieve star status.

But the heart of this real-life drama of creating fictional life, is how all the various players merge into a team, a team of the utmost solidarity, a team that subordinates self-interest for the greater good of the production. Everyone depicted in this documentary shares a transcendent esprit de corps. Months of night shoots, endless workdays, foul weather, sudden changes of plans, crushing schedules, and enormous pressure somehow do not diminish their ardor.

And this is because the Game of Thrones legacy was a shared dream, a fantasy which materialized out of an entire community working together, like some miraculous hive whose only goal was to deliver this epic drama in which the good are consistently destroyed by the evil, in which greed and lust for power rules, but in which eventually arises an alternate reality, one in which strong wills and fealty to an intuition of the Good ultimately prevails. I believe that George Martin’s saga, drawing as it did upon the rise and fall of many recorded earthly empires and upon the mad architects behind them, will stand as a true grail of speculative historical fiction. There will probably never be another epic that so accurately probes every possible contortion and twitch of the human psyche, so deftly envisions every possible resulting calamity, and yet imagines, battle by battle, a conceivable victory.

The flash about significance came as a recognition that this story, of the making of a story, can be seen as a possible paradigm for how humanity can heft its mutual strength into re-forging a world that is imperiled not only from without but from within as well. The forces of evil and greed (which are seemingly undifferentiated from those in the epoch of GOT) are now corralling and driving us into a chute of hatred and fear, into a dark place of denial and ultimately oblivion.

In Game of Thrones, the White Walkers, the paramount villains against whom all the previously warring empires must join forces in an attempt to defeat, are apparently invincible because undead. Yet their defeat comes at the hands of (and thank you, George Martin) the heroic girl warrior, Arya Stark. And that story was made visceral as hell because an entire group of creative people worked together to lead us through every dire struggle and type of human (and post-human) predation until she lands that fatal blow to the White Walker King.

My thought, then, is if this great consortium of passionate creators can muster the energy to deliver such an astounding masterpiece, why the hell can’t the rest of us take up the banner to do the same to protect and reclaim the miraculous masterpiece called Earth?

Just watch this documentary (it’s actually really cool) and contemplate what it would be like if someone like the Master of Snow (who grew up in orphanages and was released out onto the street at 16, yet exudes an infectious joy throughout) were to apply that same energy toward helping us restore the climate, if someone like the Production Designer, a woman who designed and engineered the set for King’s Landing and whose every psychic fiber was aching by the end of the production, were to help us reimagine the infrastructure of global civilization, if someone like the star extra could keep our spirits lifted as we all did, and if a whole host of Arya’s channeled their youthful zeal into this mission. And guess what – between Greta Thunberg and the Sunrise Coalition, we already have them at work.

Yes, it took 7 months or so to produce Season 8, and yes, it would take a bit longer to change things up planetarily, but these GOT creatives showed that shared vision and passion, that muscular will and sacrifice, can build new worlds.

If it were actually possible that Andrew Yang could get us each the grand a month he campaigns with, if our employers would each support 6 month work sabbaticals, if we could all sign up for the tasks we’re most equipped to do – all of which must rest on whether we can learn to let go of business as usual, of instant consuming and self-gratification – maybe we could actually build together this new world that we all can envision if we try.

And now is the time to try, to rise up, to seize the pencil and pad, grab the shovel and cable, rein in the filaments of light and direct them into a perfect beam of determination set upon re-establishing our claim on our rightful Empire, the planet Earth.

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