This YouTuber psychoanalyzes 'Game Of Thrones' Season 8 episodes
Israeli Gil Kidron, who runs the ‘GOT Academy,' explains his unique approach and reveals who will sit on the Iron Throne.
Gil Kidron watches "Game of Thrones" at 4 a.m.
He lives in Israel, which is seven hours ahead of the Eastern United States. So while everyone in New York is watching the hit HBO fantasy drama, Kidron is watching right along with them. When the show ends, he heads to breakfast with his friend, Noga Ariel Galor, who's getting her Ph.D. in psychoanalysis and hermeneutics at Bar-Ilan University.
Over a plate of shakshouka, they discuss the most recent episode. What political issues were brought up? Are there any historical equivalents? What psychological aspects were introduced? "Each episode, we try to look at the most interesting topics so that we can really go deeper," Kidron told From The Grapevine.
The New York Times recently reported on the cadre of "Game of Thrones" superfans who post videos to YouTube shortly after each episode airs. While most of them are simply recapping that night's show, Kidron and Galor go a step further. With their "Game of Thrones Academy" channel, they psychoanalyze the characters using academic techniques, as if John Snow was lying on the couch in front of Freud. The formula has proven effective. They've had more than 9 million views on their videos.
"Wherever I go in the world – New York City, Berlin Warsaw, Holland or Tel Aviv – people approach me and say, 'I watch your YouTube channel,' So there's probably like .000001% of the population that have watched these lectures that I do. But somehow, wherever I go, there is someone that watches the videos. This is the fun part."
It helps that, unlike most "Game of Thrones" recappers, Kidron posts a new video just about every single day. "This is like high season for me," he said with a laugh. "It's like a hotel. Now people are coming in."
He's invited other academic friends to collaborate as well, including an evolutionary biologist to discuss the scientific aspects of "Game of Thrones." He's expanded his offerings to include philosophical takes on everything from "Harry Potter" to "Breaking Bad" and "X-Men." He's psyched about seeing this weekend's "Avengers: Endgame" and hopes to record a podcast about it, which is yet another media platform he's now added to his portfolio. He's co-authored a book called "The Thrones Effect: How HBO's Game of Thrones Conquered Pop Culture."
The former novelist and dad blogger, who works out of his home in Tel Aviv, has cobbled together a new career as a pop culture philosopher king.
With the last episodes of "Game of Thrones" now airing on HBO, we asked Kidron if he had any predictions for the final episode. "I can safely say, and people can put money on it, that the character of Sansa Stark will be the queen of the united seven kingdoms. She will be the absolute monarch. This is the way that it's going to end."
He continued: "The driver of the plot is the instability of the medieval feudal system – with the different lords and the different royalty. So Sansa Stark will be the solution to that problem."
Looking at the popularity of the series, it would seem everyone with a TV set watches the show. And yet, there are still "Never Throners" who have not watched the show and can't participate in office water cooler talk about dragons and ice zombies. Asked how he would convince someone like that to hop on board the "Game of Thrones" bandwagon, Kidron was quick with a response. "Are you interested in politics? Are you interested in history? Are you interested in the human psyche? If you're interested in that, then you'll be interested in 'Game of Thrones.' It's all crammed together with incredible characters and just sprinkled with a little bit of magic and fantasy to make it all bigger than life."
So with "Game of Thrones" ending, what will the 40-year-old Kidron do with all his free time? "I'm finally going to have time to explore more stories." He said that instead of focusing on one show, he hope to tackle certain topics – like ancient Greece in movies or the nature of perception of reality in TV – and analyze various TV shows and movies through those lenses. "I don't think there will be one show that will capture a global audience just like this," he said, before adding, "I feel ready to move on."
But then he caught himself: "I just need to give myself some breathing room until the 'Game of Thrones' prequels."
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