Game of Thrones: Health Hazard?

It's apparently bad for children's brains.

That's according to Graeme Whiting, a British private school teacher getting a lot of attention for claiming that George R.R. Martin's books, along with the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, are dangerous. They're "bad for the subconscious brain."

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Why? Because they're "mystical and frightening" and can encourage acting out. The alternative is simple and far more wholesome: Shakespeare.

Of course. But where would do you start with the Bard? How about Macbeth which has witches, regicide, suicide, and murder of young children? Or Hamlet, with its themes of adultery, madness, and incest, more suicide, and a stage filled with corpses at the end.

Then there's always King Lear which features wanton torture and encourages treating one's father like dirt so that he wanders off into a storm and goes mad. Romeo and Juliet proffers the charming message that young love leads to death and disaster.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream starts with banishment, is filled with magic, bestiality, plus fairies at war. And let's not forget the rape and cannibalism in Titus Andronicus --that's another good wholesome lesson about family values. Nothing frightening there, nope.

I'm assuming Graeme Whiting believes that the poetry of the plays will keep the children from understanding exactly what they're reading. Or maybe not. If this man doesn't distinguish clearly between the words "brain" and "mind," who can say what he's thinking?

Lev Raphael is the author of The Vampyre of Gotham and 24 other books in genres from mystery to memoir that you can find on Amazon.