Cast of Game of Thrones and Ramadan in one sentence may not naturally yield in your mind together, with former being characters of a hit TV show and the latter a month of fasting – but for me in more ways than one they have this past week. Not solely for the basic fact that it is now Eid so signalling the end of Ramadan and well time I will have to catch up on the finale fate of characters for season 6 Game of Thrones (GoT), or that both entities have officially ended their season for another year.
But, rather surprisingly for reason that both the cast of Game of Thrones and Ramadan this 2016 have caused myself and many people observing either one to think about the poor, those destitute around the world and in particular the poverty stricken Syrian children, families affected by the current refugee crisis.
I delve into the organic charitable features between these two further below, which inspired my Arya Stark “Syrian Girl No More” and “Dear Ramadan” lyrical shared within this post. For the present though I shall start upon commendable fact that a mainstream entertainment show, Game of Thrones has progressed to being a show that is setting sharpened standards for television and showbiz on both filming and charitable fronts.
Really I am just one of many millions GoT fans, and it is not a surprising fact since the Game of Thrones fierce storylines, epic battles and ancient realms meeting superstitious fictional creatures against vividly electric staging really have taken TV show filming to record heights. I am a little guilty to say I was one of the stalking bunch searching to see if Jon Snow was alive or not for an entire year, even watching trailers repeatedly for clues, nostalgically hyper when Season 6 came around finally affirming Jon Snow was safely alive. In particular, I have been hooked on the portrayal of strong female leading characters since it is not the stereotypical portrayal showcasing power = evil woman but rather the truth of both extremes existing. For instance the layered story of the becoming malicious Cersei of House Lannister, to the resourceful Stark sisters and the definitive Daenerys Targaryan, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of chains.
Ok, I really need to stop here on this topic as I could dedicate the writing post to these female protagonists alone – which itself gives plaudit to GoT riveting character representation. GoT is understandably a multi award winning show, and I am just about content with my viewing being limited to a weekly slot on Sky. However, my TV viewing saw an unexpected turn this week when when I received an even more novel surprise from the Game of Thrones cast. The individuals who play the magnetising GoT characters in fact came to life from middle earth to the 21st century in the most charismatic human way with their collaboration alongside the International Rescue Committee (IRC) for the “Rescue Has No Boundaries” campaign.
Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark and Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth recently visited IRC refugee camps in Greece . Their tour captured on film a story that truly matter’s – the worst ever refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II. The cast members of Game of Thrones are reverently even more magical off screen, having taken the time out of their schedule and utilised their social platform to raise a viewing glass on the plight of those in dire need . Joining GoT houses with IRC, shedding light on the humanitarian work is such far cry from the world of showbiz entertainment; it really would have been easier route to not get knee deep in forefront of what is discomforting view of any human eye, especially with growing odd climate of stigma to the refugees, and just got by with typical support tag in print. But in classic GoT bold fashion they are bringing the #RescueHasNoBoundaries campaign to life by actively interacting in a way that makes a historic viewing of a cinematic show’s engagement with humanitarian causes.
The cast members voiced critique and plea with EU leaders to review factions placed for migrant movement from the March Turkey agreement. Their tour also reminded us at home that these kids were once in schools like our kids, these folks are professionals they had jobs in medicine, law, commerce not simple welfare hungry individuals, they are people who want their life in their homes they had, take back their country to before it was hijacked by ruthless monstrous thugs – but they can’t, they are stuck. Liam Cunningham, in much a Ser Davos like passionate manner really hit home when he relayed the cause of the pain being manmade,
“Not because of a tsunami, not because of an earthquake, not because of a famine; because people in offices in capitals around the world have decided to visit them with cruelty. I’d love to grab them by the back of their neck and bring them into the camps and just say “Look, look what you’ve done”. Absolutely, unquestionably shameful”
Maisie Williams has admiringly grown with her witty character Arya Stark on the small screen; her work ethic with a flourishing body of acting resumé is praiseworthy in itself and at just 19 years old Maisie Williams earned another level of respect with her energy to help and poignant assertion:
“For me it is about the children, children with so much potential, so many hopes and dreams. Where is the humanity that makes it acceptable for them to languish in refugee camps – in Europe?”
Sadly in many ways to me, and I’m sure others the epic mass refugee problem does at times seem far too surreal to co-exist on our very doorstep. One could more easily imagine it befitting a Game of Thrones production, and an Arya Stark script lines resembling something like:
Ghastly fact is this above pseudo script is too real, for far too many. We have numbed ourselves to the daily headlines as there seems to be no full stop of suffering coming to a close, and I as others have felt overwhelmed to know where to help. So I would say it is even heroic that the cast of Game of Thrones have resoundingly brought back issues to the surface via tangible means of imparting the core issue’s and spotlighting key policy problems disadvantaging the Syrian reguees. Importantly, also giving the affected Syrian people a chance to not just be a number but a world stage to share their narrative. The GoT involvement also highlights the endeavers done by IRC, who are working to facilitate help for all international borders affected by humanitarian crisis, and ultimately what IRC need from the public in order to continue their disaster and conflict response work. To keep updated about IRC projects you can go to IRC website (click here), and to view videos of GoT cast members work with IRC click here
Finally, to conclude the month of Ramadan and resonating common theme with IRC organisation team up with cast of Game of Thrones that it is shameful not to spend at least some of our given wealth, whether it even be sharing old toys and clothes which we would’ve otherwise thrown away to help those who greatly need it – I sadly reflect here: