Game of Thrones and Dissertations

September 20th is George R.R. Martin’s birthday. Let’s take a quick trip around Westeros to see how the characters there fit into your dissertation journey…

(SPOILER ALERT, obviously.)

Ned Stark

Most dissertation students start off like Ned Stark. They think the show is all about them, only to find out that the rest of the cast get a lot more screen time. They feel like if they do their research and follow the rules, then everything will be alright…only to get their head cut off!

Brandon Stark

Be careful note to spend so much time researching that you never get anything done. Make sure that you’re not so far inside your own head that you can’t communicate effectively with your committee.

Lady Olenna

“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.” Hopefully, you won’t have a Queen of Thorns on your committee. One of my students called me, upset after her final defense. I couldn’t figure why she would be upset. There no way she could have failed her defense, right? No, her Lady Olenna committee member told her at the end of the defense that hers was the least relevant, most marginal dissertation that committee member had ever approved. My student was crushed and said she didn’t know what to say. She should have done her own Lady Olenna mic drop and just said, “Thank you.”.

Tyrion Lannister

If you have the choice, you want to be Tyrion Lannister. Underestimated since Day One. Smart enough to figure your way out of any situation. Fully committed and always successful (sometimes despite himself).

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