A Claim of Grown

A Claim of Grown

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One of America’s most renowned cartoon characters Calvin, from Bill Watterson’s syndicated comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, once sardonically said, “Childhood is short, maturity is forever”. In the novel, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, the young characters of the narrative establish that Calvin’s naively spoken statement has become their reality. Throughout the novel, it is evident that in order to abolish wickedness, and for righteousness to prevail, one must take on responsibilities greater than oneself, ultimately resulting in the maturity of one’s character. Three characters that epitomize Martin’s theme are Bran, who discovers a dark secret and pays the price of his childhood; Jon, who struggles to come to terms with his new unexpected and lonesome lifestyle; and Daenerys, who conforms to her brother’s cynical intends throughout her youth. Martin uses these three characters to reflect the hardships of everyday youth and vivifies the reality of Calvin’s unpretentious remark to his fabricated friend, Hobbes.
Among the youngest of the characters, Bran is one who is forced to desert his childhood and mature hurriedly. One day when he was climbing an abandoned tower, Bran stumbles on the main antagonist and her twin brother having sexual intercourse. He was incidentally pushed out of tower in hopes to take Bran’s life in order to silence him: “’How old are you, boy?’ ‘Seven,’ Bran said... the man looked over at the woman. ‘The things I do for love,’ he said with loathing. He gave Bran a shove. Screaming, Bran went backward out the window into the empty air... The courtyard rushed up to meet him” (85). Consequently, innocent Bran is forced to grow up hastily as he simultaneously learns the principles of fornication and the harsh truth that not all can be trusted. Furthermore, when Bran survives the fall and finally regains consciousness, he has the misfortune to discover that he is paralyzed from the waist down: “He wanted to be down there, laughing and running. Angry at the thought, Bran knuckled away the tears before they could fall. His eighth name day had come and gone. He was almost a man grown now, too old to cry” (237). As Bran begins to integrate into his daily life, he must evidently accept that he will never walk again; he will always be dependent on others because of his crippling injuries. Additionally, before Bran can become accustomed to his immobilized state, his elder brother departs in order to lead an army to war, leaving Bran as Lord of Winterfell to govern the large northern dominion: “Beyond the castle walls, a roar of sound went up.

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.. Bran knew [they were] cheering for Lord Stark... They would never cheer for him that way... He might be lord of Winterfell while his brother and father were gone, but he was still Bran the Broken” (582). Ultimately, Bran must overcome his ordeals and take the position of his brother as Lord of Winterfell; he is forced place the domain’s interest before his own. Martin exemplifies everyday issues society’s youth must endure and overcome, through his young strong-willed character; throughout the novel, Bran’s childhood continuously fall short, nonetheless, he manages to conquer the barriers that infiltrate his young experienced life.
Another character who overcomes the hurdles of maturity is Jon the bastard, who is obliged to accept his unendurable fate. As Jon’s family begins to separate, his father’s wife confronts him, displaying her true hatred for her husband’s bastard son. After Bran’s fall, she decisively commands Jon’s leave, forces him to join the brotherhood of the Black Knights, and instructs him never to return to Winterfell. Upon leaving, she wishes Bran injuries were inflicted Jon and says, “I should have been [him]” (95) who fall from the tower, rather than Bran. Subsequently, Jon’s entire life is alters, as he is obligated to leave the only family he is familiar with and fight for an apathetic cause. Moreover, as Jon arrives at the Black Knight’s fortress, he struggles with his segregation and seclusion; rather than collaborating with the knights, Jon wallows in his own melancholy. As a result, Jon is quickly reminded that the unforgiving fellowship rids its soldiers of their past and treats them unsympathetically as a unit, rather than individuals: “On the Wall, a man gets only what he earns... He’d heard it said that bastards grow up faster than other children; on the Wall, you grew up or you died” (520). At this moment, Jon begins to accept his determine fate as a Black Knight, and takes on the adult responsibilities of the newly militaristic lifestyle. Eventually, Jon’s will and commitment to the Black Knights is tried as he receives information concerning his father’s death. Frivolously, Jon deserts his devoting society to avenge his father. However, once having cleared his head, Jon keeps to his vow of commitment and return to the Black Knights: ““Forgive me, Father. Robb, Arya, Bran... forgive me, I cannot help you... This is my place. ‘I am... yours, my lord. Your man. I swear it. I will not run again’” (784). Despite Jon’s self-indulgent reasons, he maturely acknowledges where he is duty-bound and needed the most. Through effort and endeavours, Jon embodies Martin’s premise for individuals between doing what is righteous, and what is effortless.



Works Cited

a Game of Thrones
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