Omid Safi: The Connection Between Game of Thrones and Mystic Poetry

“Rumi says that every one of us is a jackass, with wings of angels tacked on. And that’s a good starting place for thinking through the characters in GOT. ”
— Omid Safi


Death is in the air, or rather just outside the wall. This week it’s likely that we’ll be saying goodbye to some beloved Game of Thrones characters, that is unless they rise again to fight their old friends on behalf of the Night King.

Violence in battle and on the domestic front has been one of the themes of the show from the start. Omid Safi, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, is a fan of the show, which might be unexpected since his work often explores how violence leaves both people and societies scarred.

However, Safi, a specialist in Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islamic thought also sees appealing connections between the humanity he finds in the show’s characters and the ideas expressed in his favorite writers. Below, he talks about those connections and the strengths (and weaknesses) of how the show portrays violence and issues such as race and ethnicity.

Read this fascinating interview at the source:


Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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