The highly anticipated Korean Drama Arthdal Chronicles was just released through TvN and Netflix on June 1, 2019.
And after just the first two episodes, there has already been some backlash with some viewers complaining that the show is copying the high profile show which just recently came to an end: Game of Thrones.
I have to admit that the moment I began watching, Game of Thrones immediately came to mind even before I heard about the controversy. While there are some definite similarities, after completing (lol like the only 2 available episodes) I don’t think it is fair to make such assumptions.
Lets take a look at why people are saying this, and debunk the arguments.
Tagon = John Snow
So what? They are both wearing fur.
John snow wears fur for two important reasons. Firstly its damn cold in the north and secondly, his house’s sigil is the wolf.
Tagon wears fur because fabrics would have been expensive, taken a great deal of time to create and, is not as durable as leather. Early people wear leather and fur, that’s all there is to it.
For both men, the fur gives them distinction as leaders. It is a common trope that the leader is strong and fierce. The fur symbolizes who is the head of the pack by drawing on wolf behavior.
Taealha=The Red Woman
Red is a symbol of power and sexuality. Caeser and his armies wore red. Jessica Rabbit? Red. The Moulin Rouge? Red.
Put a woman in a red dress and the viewer instantly knows that this woman is confidant, powerful, sexy and a force to be reckoned with.
As for the “hood” well,
The Red Woman the hood keeps her out of the cold. She only wears red- so what other color would her hood be?
Taealha these are early times and if you look closely, clothing / sweing/ tayloring is kept pretty simple. What could be more simple than draping a square cloth around yourself? Nothing I tell you. we are evoking the elegance of Greece- which hasn’t even happened yet.
Flower Crowns=Children of the Forest
Why is this even being compared?
Children of the Forest they are thier own kind of being- they are like fairies or nymphs or something
Flower Crowns you’ve got a tribe of humans dressing up for a festival. No fairies. This is not everyday wear.
To be honest- I think that opening the show with this as an introduction is what started this whole comparison in the first place. Game of Thrones is just so fresh in our minds after the final season, that we can’t help but see the comparison. I think we’ll all be afraid of our blue eyed friends after the trauma GoT gave us.
BUT belive it or not- piecing, glowing eyes, blue or any other color for that matter, are NOT NEW. GoT did not invent this. Lets look at superheros for example.
We could play this game all day.
Take a look at the visual comparisons yourself and see what you think:
The Battle For the Throne
Groups struggleing to be the leader is not exactly a revolutionary idea. That is how cilvization works. Look into recent history and you’ll see imperialism- how is that any different?
While in Game of Thrones you have different houses fighting for the throne, here we have tribes seeking to dominate one another- and to be honest, that seems a lot more plausible. Driven by a desire for wealth, comfort and resources, the tribes fight hopeing to build a more stable nation- its not all politics and title seekers like GoT.
We’ve got to agree with Forbes that “battles at the dawn of time do not make the Arthdal Chronicles Game of Thrones“, in fact the Arthdal Chronicles takes place eons before the world of GoT would ever have existed.
I have to admit that if anything- this one is a bit of a struggle. But I’m going to attempt it anyways.
I can definitely understand that the wall- isn’t really NECESSARY and that it seems like a GoT copy. BUT while it may have visually been inspired by GoT, you can’t deny that big walls like that are part of many other stories and shows (Think of Attack on Titan, Donald Trump etc)
The concept that a civilization builds/uses a wall to protect itself from the ‘other’ is not new. What do you think moats are for in castles? If anything, this wall is different since it is a natural barrier to unexplored territory rather than a deliberate attempt of protection.
But yeah- I’ll give it to you- this aspect does ring Game of Thrones.
Lets not get carried away by trying to find similarities between the two. Its complicated to do worldbuilding and creators often resort to classic tropes and symbols as ways of organizing ideas and to imply character traits etc.
Think about how the Divergent series are organized- organized traits given to different groups. Game of Thrones does EXACTLY the same thing (see this video If you don’t believe me).
Think of colors- black is usually associated with evil or mystery and is usually worn by men, whereas white is usually associated with goodness and is often worn by women. Since your Game of Thrones fans, think of John vs. Dany- black and white right there.
My point is, it is easy to find similarities when these authors are trying to express and convey a lot of information in s short period of time. They are definitely playing off what you as an audience already know.
SO? Don’t get too worked up. The tropes you see repeated from GoT- arn’t exactly Game of Thrones originals anyways.
Overall, we really wouldn’t say that Arthdal Chronicles is Korean Game of Thrones.
Have you watched this new TV series yet?
Do you agree or disagree with us?
Let us know in the comments below we’d love to hear your thoughts!