I binge watched Season 6 of Game Of Thrones this weekend, and while doing so I was reminded of those quizzes that flood Facebook where they ask you what GOT character you would be. And countless people take these quizzes or else they wouldn’t appear on your Facebook and countless people come to the same conclusion. They like to believe that they would be a Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, or Jon Snow when in reality, if they were plucked from our world into theirs, they would be nameless farmer #347763, destined to be slaughtered by rogue Wildlings, roving gangs, or one of the many conqueror families that are bound to happen upon their little hamlet. I’m not saying this to be insulting, because it would be the same for me and just about everyone else.
Thinking of TV and movie universes this way, it’s easy for most places to become a bummer. My favorite movie is Jurassic Park, but if we assume that the JP universe is the real world with the ability to create dinosaurs, then I’m at a loss. I’m not a paleontologist, a chaos theorist, botanist, or lawyer. And as far as I know I’m not the grandchild of a billionaire, so I’m just an average guy who doesn’t know Jurassic Park exists until Ian Malcolm writes his tell-all book. If we ignore the two sequels and jump to Jurassic World, I’m me but I don’t have the money to fly to Costa Rica. Hell, I don’t have the money to go to Disney World.
Think of your favorite TV show or movie. Do you really think you’d be a Jedi? No. You probably vote Empire because it would be unsafe not to. You probably have Empire propaganda on your front lawn. Think of your grades in middle school and high school. Think of yourself as a pre-teen/teenager. Now imagine yourself at Hogwarts. Imagine all those nameless and faceless students you see in 8 movies/read about in 7 books. Imagine moody, temperamental you but with magic ability. If you’re not in the top percentile in your house or class, what will you do after graduation? The truth is, not everyone can be a Hogwarts professor or get a job with the ministry. The wizarding world will still need wizarding baristas and retail jobs. Or will they, since magic is like the real world equivalent of robots takin our jobs? And don’t even get me started on the yearly school-shooting that must happen at Hogwarts. Surely some unstable child must snap at least once a year and Avada Kedavra their peers.
But there’s a bright side to all of this. No, you’re probably not the protagonist in Westeros or Middle Earth. You’re probably not the chosen one in these pre-determined universes. But you still have the rest of your life to be the protagonist in your own, and if you’re lucky you can make it just as exciting.