Game of Thrones: How Power Really Works

Game of Thrones: How Power Really Works

Let’s talk about the core of all communication
— the thing that determines how persuasive you are if you get what you want. In the case
of this video, if you live or die. Speaking of, I should let you know that we’ll
be exploring this particular thing through the world of Game of Thrones. So, yes, life
and death does come into play, and the thing that we’re going to be exploring is called
a “FRAME.” And you’ll see that in a lot of ways, the
Game of Thrones is really a Game of Frames, but I’m getting ahead of myself. First off,
what is a frame? A frame is, basically, all of the unstated
beliefs that give context to any interaction. The frame gives meaning to the words that
we say. So, the difference between me saying “Cool!” and saying “cool” comes from the belief
that I have when I say that word. The first thing that I want to talk about
is the importance of frames when trying to convince someone of anything. In this next
clip, the two characters whose faces that you’re going to see are passing through the woods,
when some pretty savage people who roam the mountains find them. Watch this clip and see
if you can note each person’s frame, meaning each person’s beliefs that they bring to the interaction. Clearly, there are a handful of different
frames in the scene. You have the people who are surrounding them and their frame appears
to be “You’re surrounded. We’re in control and we’re going to kill you.” Bronn, the guy
who pulls his sword has this same exact frame, except that he intends to fight so that he
doesn’t get killed. But, Tyrion, the dwarf, proposes a totally different frame. He acts
as if their friend. He acts as if he’s inviting them to share their food and their fire, like
they just stumbled upon him. The genius of this frame is that if they accept it, he
will escape with his life. So let’s watch what happens. Here, Tyrion responds in the same fashion
as the man that he’s speaking to, saying his father’s and family’s name. Again, his frame
is that they’re introducing themselves as friends, but clearly it’s not going so well. So, now, he’s tried this friend frame twice.
It’s not working, so what can you do? Because this type of situation with much, much lower
stakes is going to happen in your life. You will want someone to assume your frame but
they’re going to resist, so watch how Tyrion handles it. He totally breaks this guy’s frame with humor.
See the laughter there? In this frame, and in real life, too, laughter is a telltale
sign that someone has had their frame shifted. Usually, it’s the person who is laughing that
has had their way of viewing the world disrupted, and, in this case, the guy with the axe thought
that Tyrion should choose right then, and right there how he die. Tyrion purposely misinterpreted his question.
He added a bit of humor and that was enough to make this guy break his frame and laugh.
If you’ve ever tried to be mad at someone while they continually make you laugh over
and over and over again, you know what this feels like. It gets tough to stay mad at them
because they’ve re-framed you and they’ve interrupted your pattern of being upset. In these moments, right after someone has
shifted their frame is when they are most open to being persuaded. So the lesson here,
for your own life, nothing to do with Game of Thrones, is that if you’re trying to persuade
someone, and they’re being resistant, don’t just keep pushing. Instead, you need to re-frame
them and humor is a great way to do it. You see here? Tyrion doesn’t just plead for
their lives. Now that he’s broken their frame and at least gotten them to listen, he can
begin to persuade them. And if you’re interested, I can cover the full list of persuasion tactics
that Tyrion uses because there are many, but suffice it to say, that if someone is being
resistant while you’re trying to persuade them, the answer is not just to go over and
over again down the same path. You need to disrupt their pattern, you need to re-frame them,
and, then, you can begin to speak to their interest and speak more logically. For now,
let’s just continue talking about frames and move to insults. Every single insult you’ve ever said or heard
is a frame game. Even from the school days of “I’m rubber, you’re glue,” the goal is,
generally, to turn the insult on the person who said it, and I do not recommend engaging
with someone who’s putting you down or insulting you, I usually just try to take the frame
of this isn’t worth my time and then walk away, but it’s still informative to watch
how frames determine exactly who wins one of those back and forth exchanges. So watch
this clip. In this case, Tyrion is talking to Robb Stark, who does not like him or his
family very much. Watch here. This is a fairly straightforward insult or
even just a diss. Tyrion calls Robb “Boy,” insulting his inexperience, and then, Robb
denies it, saying that he is a lord. Tyrion responds by saying that he isn’t behaving
exactly like a lord should. So, despite his protest, Robb, the guy at the end here, doesn’t
come out of that exchange looking so great. Fighting the frame of an insult normally makes
you look like a chump. Watch this next clip in contrast. In this
one, the same guy, Robb, has become commander of a huge army, and speaking to a prisoner
from Tyrion’s family–the family that he hates. Again, same insult, same guy. You’re a boy,
you’re inexperienced, you’re just playing it war, which is really not a great thing when
you’re in command of an entire army. But this time, something has changed. Watch how, instead
of fighting the frame, Robb flips it, and he uses it to his advantage. You see that? He takes the prisoner’s own
words and uses them against him. This works much, much better because an insult is really
just a battle to see who can control who. When you get mad at an insult and you fight
it, you have already lost. But when you don’t fight the words, and, instead, changes the
frame, meaning that you turn their insult into praise for you or an insult to them,
then you have taken control. That is how you win the frame game; not by having the best
zinger, but by being the person in control. So, the third and most important frame game
that I want to talk about is “OPTIONS” and, for this, I need to give a little context
for non-Game of Thrones fans. Tyrion, the dwarf, is wrongfully accused of murdering
the king. He’s basically set-up, his trial is a total farce, and he’s told that his options
are death or to plead for his life, and to be granted exile into the coldest, northernmost
part of the world, where he basically need to work as a servant for the rest of his life.
He’s told that those are his only choices, and that he better just beg for his life,
beg for exile in order to save himself, but, instead, he creates a third option and this is one
of the most famous scenes of the entire series This is basically how Tyrion survives all
of his encounters. He creates a third option that other people don’t see. Everyone thinks
that the choice is between exile and death, and he chooses trial by combat, which, strictly
speaking, in this world, is legal, but nobody presents it to him as an option. Earlier in the series, again, when he was
wrongfully framed for another assassination attempt that he didn’t commit, he’s held in
prison until he confesses. Those are basically his options. He can die in prison or confess
to a crime that he didn’t commit. But, instead, he cleverly stages a confession and uses that
public arena to his advantage. He’s able to shame his captors into giving him a trial.
Watch this. The point is this–whoever controls the options
has the power. Your options are rarely exactly what people tell you because that’s how people
have powers; they control options. The truth is that everything that is possible changes
based on your creativity. Nothing is fixed, so you need to be resourceful. You need to
not take what other people put on the table as your only choices. When you’re faced with
a decision that says this or that, and you don’t like either choice, refuse them both
and create a third way. The way out is probably going to be different every time, but the
realization that your options are never just exactly what people say they are, and that
you can break free from the options that are presented to you, is going to be valuable
for the rest of your life. That’s how you stay alive in the Game of Thrones, and that
is how you win in the game of life. If you’re interested in learning more about
solidifying your frame so that you don’t lose these frame games and miss out on options,
we’ve actually created a separate video on improving your confidence and your conviction.
It is a real-life exercise that you can do to boost your confidence in about one minute,
and I’ve used it repeatedly in those situations where a strong frame is really, really important–from
interviews, tough conversations, first dates, all those sorts of things. So, if you want to see that video, go ahead,
click the link that will pop up right now. You’re going to be taken to another page where
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a new one that way. Also, a huge, huge thank you to every one who has subscribed. It is
because of you that I have put so much effort into these videos and make more than one a
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a ton, and it’s the reason the channel exists. So, again, thank you guys. Lastly, let me know if you’ve enjoyed this
video in the Comments. I don’t normally do fiction. This is the first time I’ve ever
done it, but if you like it, I can do more, and, if not, quite frankly, I will not. So
your guidance is going to be what determines the direction of where this channel goes next.
Please let me know in the comments. I take it very seriously, that’s why we did this
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enjoyed this video. I hope that you learned something, and I will see you in the next

100 thoughts on “Game of Thrones: How Power Really Works

  1. Wow…I’ve never commented on any YouTube video but I MUST with this video. The nuances and subtitles that you have amazingly articulated are super helpful as well as enlightening. Aaaand subscribed!

  2. Charlie, would it be a lot of trouble to make a video on Captain America?
    Captain America needs a breakdown because he's a great leader from whom you can help us learn from.
    And as a Marvel Fan yourself, I'm sure you'll have fun making it.

  3. But in most of time when someone is upset then you tell a joke, they will not laugh, they increase their level of madness even 4fold than before! I still cannot get it how the joke work..

  4. I love this stuff, a new subscriber here. When explaining what ppl do daily it seems complicated until an example is given then you think oh wow yeah I remember when the same happens to me or I responded back in a similar way and I got the outcome I want. It’s not as intersecting when you just do or respond in a way that got you what you wanted after some clever dialogue but when the science of dialogues and why some responses work better than other, that’s interesting and because not everyone knows the science of conversation and dialogs and how to keep the upper hand, they just do what worked for them in life and got them success tho you do need to be somewhat clever, sharp and not shy to speak or accepting your options especially when what you rather have is not one. I’ve seen some ppl completely shut down in defense of their character tho claimed were false and I’m like why don’t you speak up say this or that explain this or that and how it came about and how one perceives is relative and all that but some ppl just don’t or don’t have the skill or bother.

  5. Dude…could you maybe make all of the 1/6th courses available ala carte? Like, your videos seem cool, but I'm way less interested in first impressions offer (even at the discount price) than I am in the conflict videos.

  6. Ah, but to demand a trial by combat means the challenger must use the "combat weapon" that the challenged chooses.

  7. Grear video! All your videos are extremely useful… following your suggestion, I told one of my bosses, that he did a great job on a presentation he did and the next day he asked me to join him in another meeting we held. In that meeting I did notice that everyone pointed their bodies toward me and I was able to articulate some of my ideas confidently and effectively.

  8. I've decided to take control of my life by initiating my own options. I'm not very sure why I got expelled from school thereafter.

  9. …it's safe to assume that if they really wanted to kill them, they would have long before the conversation. The fact that Tyrion realized that is where intelligence wins.

  10. @7:10 I think Tyrion really would have chosen to go to the Wall, and it's only Shae's betrayal that changed his mind

  11. You know you're going to have to incorporate the Emperor's throne room scene from Return of the Jedi at some point, right? All kind of framing going on there!

  12. Amazing how being a commentator is such an easy job, you can never be wrong at describing what others do 😂😂😂 while doing nothing yourself…

  13. You will never see this, but would like you to frame Bruce Willis in the last boys scout. The scene when he uses humor to get the thug laughing and then kills him. Also when he ask's another bad for a light

  14. Wow! That tiny actor has a strong, deep voice. Shocking! Usually like the Vernon actor (?) they have a very high pitched voice. This would be like Anthony Robbins having a helium voice. Weird! I've heard of this show but never seen 1 scene b4: I typically shun trendy crap and I don't like medieval times settings at all. Anyway, I don't understand British accents so thanks for the CC. Interesting video. I guess that's what I naturally do with cops: I disarm them (what you call break the "frame") by giving them the unexpected. By the time they left grinning, they never realize I what I did is I completely manipulated them & they did my bidding while I was pretending to do theirs. (Ya can't disarm a cop with a weapon, you'll lose every time!) Works every time. I learned that from yet another TV show.

  15. I commend you on your cognitive ability and mental acuity. Plus your analytical skills are impressive. The channel is a great source of advice that everyone would benefit from. My only criticism in this video, and I’m not sure if this bothers you or not, but twice in the video you called Tyrion, Peter Dinklage, a dwarf. Now I certainly would appreciate it if someone heard me use that word, to kindly inform me that the word dwarf is a slur and no longer used to describe individuals like Mr. Dinklage. The polite & proper, not to mention technically accurate, descriptor is ‘little person.’ I just figured that you would want to know. The videos are great. Please continue to make them.

  16. Dear Sir, I very much enjoy your work. I've seen two of your videos now starting with one with Jordan Peterson. It's very impressive understanding and practical psychology. I must watch more to learn from you. Please carry on . Dr. Stephen Newdell

  17. loved the video. I have to watch a few more time to help me recall situation in my past that I could have used this information.

  18. this was great. Could you do one on the tv series suits? I reckon it would be really interesting given that framing people is what they basically do the whole show

  19. I was once teased by the school bully for wearing an unfashionable brand of jeans. I said to him, "It's true. I've never really cared much about following fashion trends. I always thought it more the sort of thing girls worry about." It did the trick. 1. I showed him I wasn't hurt or intimidated by his teasing (which leaves a bully without his main weapon) and 2. Left him either having to abandon the fashion concern or acknowledge that he was focussing on something that tends to be more of a concern for girls (which it was and probably still is), thus impugning his masculinity. He walked away without a word.

  20. My boxing coach growing up is probably one of the most dangerous men I’ve ever known yet he could talk his way out of any dangerous situation lol

  21. Great teaching, you really brought out a new love in movie watching! There's so much to look for! (In real life AND when you have a great director/actors/author!)

  22. The last part is a game changer for me, especially for job interviews. If you're offered couple of options to answer a question you are by no chance obligated to pick one up. Unfortunately life is nothing like school where you're given a couple of options and one of them is completely correct. Best is to think quick if those options are any good and if not, you can say, hm I actually think that it would rather be like this and that. When I was younger and did my first interviews I very religiously always answered what I was asked, maybe a residuum form the school testing system. The results were very poor and sometimes kind of humiliating as I ended up defending an option I never really stood by in the first place. Realizing, you can always come up with a third option was big for me.

  23. If I would have such a majestic, deep voice, I would also get out of every life threatening situation, hahaha. And I know. I'm a woman. But still 😀

  24. I really hope that "South Park" brings back the 'Member Berries just so they can say "'Member when "Game of Thrones" was good?" "I 'member!"

  25. Games of Thrones is just a movie. Of course things work out for Tirion, when author likes to be so.

    If you want to show how power works, give real life stories.

  26. Ehhh, power is power. Not the fake "money or knowledge is power".

    What's the real power behind the US? It's not a politician or a general. It's a well trained and violent military.

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