Game of Thrones is the first book of Song of Ice and Fire series by American author George Raymond Richard Martin; a fictional-epic story set in the realm of Westeros. The main line of story is the struggle and war to reach the Iron Throne, during which several other stories are born. What distinguishes its plot is the existence of chaos in the system of government that seeks a unified leadership over this chaotic world. This research traces Nancy Katherine Hayles and Edward Lorenz’s chaos theories in the novel–as a complex and chaotic system—, shows various forces that dominate time, place, and characters who make the end of the story unpredictable. It shows the "Butterfly Effect" in the story, and since events in the history of this complex system are repeated, the role of “Fractals” is identified. The researchers show the structure of this novel is full of chaos and disorder and the author tries to create order from these irregularities.
Background of the Study: A collection of analytical readings edited by James Lowder on Song of Ice and Fire entitled Beyond the Wall (2012) examines Martin’s fantasy collection. This anthology provides a way to explore Martin’s multifaceted world. Moreover, different works have been conducted on the series from romanticism to psychological reading. However, there is not a single work from chaos perspectives. Therefore, the present research can fill the existing gap in these fields.
Methodology: This research reads Martin’s Game of Thrones through an interdisciplinary method based on Catherine Hayles and Edvard Lorenz’s theories of chaos. Martin’s works are implicitly chaotic in nature; the narrative forms problematize the linear structure and coherence presenting multiplicities of point of views that serve to augment individual insights, a carefully crafted and cohesive drama about the prevalence of disorder in life. The other major concepts of chaos like “Butterfly Effect” and “Fractals” which are overarching patterns, probable and possibly deterministic but not predictable, lied underneath the texts. The researchers aim to apply the principles of the chaos theory to the novel and explore the changing nature of this system in which truth, precision, and predictability cannot be obtained.
Conclusion: Reading Game of Thrones—having a non-linear history, full of complexity, entanglement of stories and variety of characters—based on chaos theory facilitates a more complex understanding of the oeuvre. Westeros’ chaotic world with its protective Wall functions as a closed system. However, chaos is an inevitable phenomenon that takes place due to reliance on the initial condition. Based on the “Butterfly Effect”, the smallest change in the system can cause the greatest events. Westeros is full of unpredictabilities in which consequences surprise the characters and the existence of “Fractal” adds to the complexity of chaos. History repeats itself with the same pattern for the characters; they are living in a deterministic system in which their destinies have already been decided through complex relationship.