GOT 8 Coming: What Science Protocols Would Help Westeros?

Marc Songini
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Sure, the popular Game of Thrones exists only in a fantasy universe in our minds and on TV screens. And science exists in the real world. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to think about where some scientific protocols might help GOT’s many and beleaguered characters.

So, we offer the following random and unsystematic sampling of (presumably) useful JoVE content. Unfortunately, we doubt even a smart guy like Tyrion Lannister will ever get a chance to view it, particularly given this is GOT’s final season.

Coping with stress: Barring some fast moves by Jon Snow and Daenarys Targaryen, Westeros faces the end of life and civilization (or what passes for it). So for starters, we share this video: Experimental Research Examining How People Can Cope with Uncertainty Through Soft Haptic Sensations (University of Cologne).

From soft haptic sensations article

Winter is coming: Any regular GOT viewer has heard that refrain time and again. So what does Westeros do about it? Well, we have a protocol to help fight the frost, called Fabrication of Superhydrophobic Metal Surfaces for Anti-Icing Applications (University of Granada). JoVE also has very specific subzero plant research: Identification of Plant Ice-binding Proteins Through Assessment of Ice-recrystallization Inhibition and Isolation Using Ice-affinity Purification (Queen’s University).

Valyrian (and other) steel acquisition/maintenance: Given the upcoming war, having a supply of reliable weaponry is crucial. And all the metallic parts of everyone’s swords, shields, spears, arrows, etc. must be in first-rate condition. While we don’t have an exact recipe for the crucial anti-white walker Valyrian steel, we do have a protocol for the “synthesis of a metalloid tin cluster compound.” It’s called The Synthesis of [Sn10(Si(SiMe3)3)4]2- Using a Metastable Sn(I) Halide Solution Synthesized via a Co-condensation Technique (University of Tübingen).

Dealing with dragons: Dragons are crucial to GOT and now one of them is a flying undead ice Godzilla coughing blue flame. So, we offer the closest thing we can find to figuring out dragons-in-motion: Testing Visual Sensitivity to the Speed and Direction of Motion in Lizards (Macquarie University).

Shot from protocol from Macquarie University

Rebuilding the ruins: We’ll end this blog on a positive note: We think a ruined Westeros could benefit from some building construction-related know-how. A great place to start is the structural engineering collection from the JoVE Science Education library.

With that, enjoy the final GOT season and stay current with JoVE’s ever-expanding content portfolio. And a special thanks to all the great scientists whose work we cited in this blog!