Call for respondents: The International Game of Thrones audience project

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“Winter Is Coming”.  A slogan on anti-Erdogan posters in Turkey.  A banner carried by women at anti-Trump demonstrations.  A hand-written poster held up by desperate refugees held at the Greek border. The title of a book by former chess champion Gary Kasparov warning the West about Vladimir Putin.

The wide spread of the most popular slogan from the book and TV series Game of Thrones is truly remarkable.  It is being used by many to voice fears, anger and resistance to cruelty and inhumanity in many places.  Even George RR Martin declares ‘Winter is coming’ after Donald Trump’s victory.  But elsewhere the slogan is also being used as a quick reference point for sales brochures, training sessions, and policy initiatives.

What’s going on? How is this fiction series being taken up and used by so many different groups – far beyond its ‘fantasy’ world?  A major international project is right now trying to find out.  A team of 40 researchers in 12 countries is recruiting responses to a specially designed survey, gathering all kinds of people’s responses to Game of Thrones.  Already, 4,000 have completed the survey – which could throw light on the wide significance of this game-changing storyworld. Go to www.questeros.org to take part in the project, and see who we are.

To know more about the research and its purposes, contact Professor Martin Barker (mib@aber.ac.uk).

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