Bava Posted February 24, 2014 Share Posted February 24, 2014 If you keep the racism and social darwinism out and just look at the overman from an idealistic perspective, the overman is basically just a very independent, self-confident person that celebrates its individuality. I believe that this is not a point which is special to the works of Nietzsche. From this point of view I think it is really hard to argue that the work was inspired by Nietzsche, because we just don't exactly know what GRRM was inspired by. If there are paralells between aSoIaF and Nietzsche I take a conservative stance and see it as a coincidence, because, as one of the previous posters said, they are both (GRRM and N) writing about life. Hence I think that it is basically impossible to make predictions of what might happen later on aSoIaF based on the work of Nietzsche, especially as ideas like the eternal return are not found in aSoIaF. One of the central points of Nietzsche's philosophy is, as the posters before me have already pointed out, the criticism of the Euro-Christian society, its values and morals. He despises them because those morals and rules make people miserable. In German he nicely points this out with the words compassion (Mitleid) and suffering (Leid), if you have compassion with one person, that suffering also aflicts you. Hence the necessity for the overman to overcome and destroy the Christian morals, in a way reverse all values and create his own individual morals and values. This is also symbolized in the transformation from camel (endure suffering) to lion (destruction of old "bad" morals) to child (new beginning creation of own standards, overman). After the destruction of old morals and some metaphysical constructs there is the imminent threat that nihilism might takeover. So it is not false to say Nietzsche is associated with nihilism. However Nietzsche is definately not a nihilist because he postulates the overman to fill the void with own morals and values. If we search for the overman we need to find an independent, individual and creating person with own personal morals. I don't believe that there can be one character in the books that really represents the overman, because all characters are in a way integrated in the society and thus not totally independent like Zarathustra in his individual, independent cave. Generally I believe a social and not solitary overman is quite impossible, because dependence immediately kicks in as soon as there are other people around. However, we might find instances when characters displayed overman characteristics. The Ironborn aren't an example for the overman because they are not creating but just destroying. In the sense of the transformations above, they are lions, not children. This point of view is highly supported by their words: "We do not sow". Tywin shows definitely some overman actions, yet he is not completely overman. He values family so much and always claims that, everything he does, he does for the House of Lannister. If you consider the presence of Shae in his bed, many people assume that he, just like Tyrion liked to "use" whores. He hid his whoring though and condemned Tyrion for the same character trait, not very overman like. Same goes for the Iron Throne in general. I'm pretty sure Tywin would have loved to sit on the Throne and be the King. It must have been agonising to see Aerys or later Joffrey on the Throne, while he was running the entire kingdom. Still he played according to the rules of westeros. There is not even a pinch of overman in Ned Stark. He is (probably) the most honorable character in the series, keeping his vows, doing the right thing, being so utterly depdent. He didn't want to be Hand, but thought for Robert, he had to do it. You already mentioned the possibilities to seize the Throne for himself, which Ned let pass and the list goes on and on. The only character that is maybe worse is Brienne. Jaime has become one of my favourite characters throughout the series. I think he has some overman moments but they are certainly not in the end of the story (ADWD). One of those moments might be when he slays Aerys, forsakes his vows and follows his own value. The strongest moment is when he decides to go to KL and claim Cersei as his wife, acknowledge the children and give a shit about the rest of the world. Unfortunately that doesn't work out. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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