Mahabharata and Game of Thrones

5 Similarities between Mahabharata and Game of Thrones

Growing up in a Hindu family, you must definitely know the epic mythology of Mahabharata, which is considered the longest poem in the world. There are a lot of stories that originate from this one epic poem, including the Bhagavad Gita, and today it is the base for much Hindu literature.

On the other hand, there is the epic HBO show Game of Thrones, which is based on the book series A Song of Fire and Ice by George RR Martin. Both being amazing works in the field of literature, have few similarities and today we will take a look at it.

Mahabharata was estimated to take place around 3000 BC and is considered a real story, as there have been a lot of archeological findings from that period. Kurukshetra, the place where the war of Mahabharat, lies in modern-day Haryana, India.

If you ever go to Kurukshetra, you will find a lot of red mud as it is said that a lot of blood was spilled during the war, which has turned the mud red. It is the story of the rivalry between a hundred Kauravas and five Pandavas, who were cousins, for the throne of Hastinapur.

A Song of Fire and Ice is a fictional story written by George RR Martin and takes place in 297 AC. This set of novels inspired the HBO series Game of Thrones, which first aired in 2011, and since then the show has become so popular that it is regarded as one of the biggest TV series ever made.

The show has altogether 8 seasons and a new prequel is being planned. It is the story of Westeros and tells about the clash between nine novel houses to get the iron throne.

Although one is a fictional story, while the other one is presumably real, these both epic stories have got a few similarities, the biggest one being the fight for the throne.

In no way, we are disrespecting Mahabharat by comparing it to a fictional story Game of Thrones. We are just pointing out some of the similarities and we don’t mean to promote any offense.

So let us see the five similarities:

5. The Characters:

If we look at the framework of some characters, we see some similarities between the characters of both stories. Let us start with Yudhisthir from Mahabharata and Robb Stark from Game of Thrones. Both of them are the eldest son of the family, and both were great in their own way, but definitely not a very great leader.

Mahabharata and Game of Thrones

Other characters are Shakuni from Mahabharata and Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones. Both are cunning, and have a huge power to manipulate anyone. Also, both of them are the maternal uncles of the reigning Kings. Also, Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger can be resembled to Shakuni as they both are very great masterminds and they had a huge hand in starting the war as they both set the teams against each other.

Another set of characters are Gandhari from Mahabharata and Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. They both are strong women and deeply cared about their sons, and most of their action came as a protection for their children. Plus, both these women were highly manipulative.

Gandhari’s husband Dhritarashtra was a blind king, and so was Aemon Targaryen in Game of Thrones.

Also, both Ashwatthama and Melisandre are immortal, and it is believed that Ashwatthama is still alive till date.

4. The disrobing of Draupadi and Sansa:


The disrobing or popularly known as “Cheer Haran” of Draupadi is one of the main highlights of the whole mythology. After the Pandavas lost the game and everything including their throne to their cousins Kauravas, Duryodhan and Shakuni set a plan to take revenge from the Pandavas by disrobing their wife Draupadi in the court of Dhritarashtra, in front of everyone.

As a result, she was humiliated badly and everyone just kept watching Dushanana disrobe Draupadi, as no one could help her at that moment. She prayed to Lord Krishna, and being a friend helped Draupadi by wrapping her in an infinite saree till Dushanana got tired and fell down.

There was also a scene in the second season of Game of Thrones, when Joffrey presented Sansa in his court after the death of her father Eddard Stark. To send a warning to her brothers, Joffrey orders Ser Meryn to beat Sansa and then makes him strip her in front of everyone.

But in the meantime, Tyrion arrives with Bronn and saves Sansa, and tells someone to cover her. The Hound comes forwards and covers Sansa with his cape.

3. Karna and Jon Snow:

One of the biggest similarities between these two epics is the story of Karna and Jon Snow. Karna was the son of Kunti and the sun God Surya. Kunti was granted a boon to bear a child with desired divine qualities from the Gods, and when she wished for it, Karna was born to a teenage Kunti.

Fearing what the society will tell her, she abandons Karna in a basket on the Ganga river and he is discovered by Radha and Adhuiratha, who are Shudras (lowest caste in the Hindu caste system). So all his life, he had no idea of his real identity and faced a lot of humiliations from everyone for being a Shudra.

Jon Snow

Similarly, Jon Snow was also born to Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. While the forces came to kill them, Lyanna gave Jon Snow to Ned and told him to protect the child at all cost.

As a result, Ned had to take care of Jon Snow as a foster parent and as he cannot reveal Jon’s true identity, he was called a bastard child of Ned, because of which Ned’s wife Catelyn is not fond of Jon like her other kids.

Both Karna and Jon knew nothing about their true identity until Lord Krishna and Sam Tarly told them respectively.

All their life, they were humiliated for being lowborn, while in reality they were equal as everyone else and possibly the rightful heir to the throne.

2. Draupadi and Daenerys Targaryen:

The leading ladies of both the stories: Draupadi and Daenerys, have set a huge example for a lot of women regarding the power they hold. They both are worshipped as Goddesses by the fans, and they both have a similarity related to fire.

In the story of Mahabharata, Draupadi was born to King Drupada of Panchala while he was performing a yagya for the birth of his son Dhrishtadumnya. After Dhrishtadumya came out of the fire, Draupadi came out too, surprising everyone. So this shows that Draupadi was a fire born.

Draupadi and Daenerys Targaryen:

In the same manner, if we look at Daenerys from Game of Thrones, she is untouched by the fire. Although she was born from her mother’s womb unlike Draupadi, her actual birth as a strong woman was at the time when she decided to die along with Khal Drogo and lit herself in the pyre. But surprisingly, the next morning, the fire didn’t even touch her and the three dragon eggs were also hatched, giving birth to Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt.

1. Maester Aemon and Bahlika:

In Mahabharata, Bahlika was the second son of King Pratipa. After the death of the king, Bahlika’s elder brother, Devapi, was not allowed to sit on the throne because he suffered from leprosy.

As a result, the throne of Hastinapur was passed to Bahlika, but he didn’t accept the offer as he didn’t want to be the King, so the throne was given to the youngest prince, Shantanu, and he became a very great king.

Maester Aemon and Bahlika

In Game of Thrones, there was a character named Maester Aemon. He was the third son of King Maeker I, and after his death his older brother Daeron, and his second brother, Aerion, was sent to exile, it was Aemon who had to ascend the throne.

But he refused and gave it to his younger brother Aegon, and lived his life as a Maester and later joined the Night’s Watch to avoid politics for the throne.

So we can see how similar the storyline of both these characters are.

Hence, these are the five similarities that we found between the Hindu epic Mahabharata and the literature gem Game of Thrones. What do you think about these similarities? Do let us know.


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