HBO’s Game of Thrones is about to start its much-anticipated seventh season!
To make the transition to school a bit more fun, the Certell staff decided to see what educational lessons they might find throughout the series.
Certell is a non-profit organization that combines popular media with high quality educational materials to teach common sense concepts in economics, government, and history to young adults in high school and college – Game of Throne’s prime audience! (71% of GOT viewers are 18-29 years old).
For the next seven weeks, we will be creating lessons based upon each episode. Join us as we showcase concepts in economics, government, and history as experienced in HBO’s Game of Thrones!
Season Six ended with Daenerys setting forth to conquer Westeros with a huge invasion fleet. It is easy to think of war as simply fighting, but many wars are won and lost through finance and logistics. A shipping company, 1st Move International Limited, did some calculations:
- Cost of shipping 100,000 Dothraki Horses: $10.75 million.
- Cost of shipping 264 tons of shields, short spears, swords and arakhs (curved swords): $6.5 million
- Cost of shipping 880 tons of hay, and 1,127 tons of food for the soldiers: $195.3 million
- Cost of shipping 100,000 Dothraki troops: $10.2 million
- Cost of shipping 7,500 Unsullied troops: 30 ships and $767,000
- Cost of shipping the royal council with escorts (including Tyrion’s wine supply): 13 ships and $2.5 million
- (The Dragons took care of themselves)
Total Cost: $226.1 million
We all know that war is expensive. D-Day was a similar event, and required:
- 130,000 troops
- 23,000 paratroopers
- 50,000 vehicles
- 7,000 naval craft
- 11,500 aircraft
One estimate of the total cost was $18.6 billion, or $258 billion in 2016. By contrast, the first Iraq war cos $61 billion, and the second Iraq war has already cost $1.7 trillion! You better get your kingdom while its cheap!
Of course this doesn’t begin to count the human cost.
Certell works with world-class teachers to create materials to serve the learning styles of today’s students. They use a “Read, Watch, Listen, Do” format and incorporate popular media to keep the attention of today’s media-savvy students. Here are some questions for discussion related to the Invasion of Westeros:
- Opportunity Cost. The cost of something is not just the money, but also the alternatives. The Unsullied are great solders, but they paid a high price! What are some of the opportunity costs of their prowess on the battlefield?
- Comparative Advantage: The Dothraki are formidable on land, but untested at sea. If a sea battle occurs, who among Daenerys’ troops will have a comparative advantage?
- Productive versus Protective Functions of Government: There is general agreement that one purpose of government is to protect its citizens. Governments also take up various missions (redistributing income, conquering new territory, running schools and providing other services). If you were one of Daenerys’ subjects, which of these services would you support (even if it would make for bad drama)?
- Is D-Day the right analogy for the attack on Westeros? How about the invasion of Iraq? Or Hitler’s invasion of Poland? Johnson’s escalation in Vietnam?
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