This next week in my “American Literature: Origins to the Civil War” class will feature a blog project in which students (now formed into groups of 4) will compile research and write a blog post comparing one religion from The Game of Thrones HBO series to American Puritanism.
So far this semester, we’ve read Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, and Michael Wigglesworth. This week students are reading Edward Taylor and Jonathan Edwards as they begin their work on these collaborative blog posts for our class blog.
There are several religions in the series to compare to Puritan Calvinism. 6,000 years prior to present GoT time, the Andals, who believed in the Faith of the Seven, slaughtered the Children of the Forest because their magic was an abomination to their faith. The latter even in name beg the comparison to Native Americans. In present GoT time, the Faith is revived and militant in King’s Landing, largely led by the High Sparrow who proselytizes through means of fear and torture, demands public confession, and acts as judge. Likewise, the Puritans were highly suspicious of doubt and they demanded public conversion, not to mention the judgments passed during the Salem witch trials. One might alternatively compare the Puritans to the followers of the Lord of Light, who wait for signs from him and believe that he has chosen whom to save.
These are just some of the connections I’m asking my students to make in a collaborative group project. I, for one, look forward to our class debate over which religious group from GoT the Puritans are most like. Read more about the assignment and feel free to borrow my lesson plans embedded within…