Cinematic Thanatourism and the Purloined Past: The “Game of Thrones Effect” and the Effect of Game of Thrones on History
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With an average weekly viewership of twenty-three million people from 170 different countries, HBO’s ultra-bloody fantasy series Game of Thrones is the most-watched television show on the planet. Despite Westeros’s high body count (or some would say because of it), fans of the show are flocking in unprecedented numbers to the locales where the show is filmed. This chapter argues that the Game of Thrones virtual dark tourism industries in contemporary Iceland and Northern Ireland appropriate the identity and history of fictional places in order to invent a new model of national identity that destabilizes the definition of “history” through the act of overwriting it.