In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of Daenerys Targaryen’s journey in A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.
Note: The A Game of Thrones book have so many storylines and point-of-view characters that I decided to focus on one character’s journey, Dany’s journey in particular.
Case studies, I think, are a great way to learn the structure of stories. So, let’s get down to business.
Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.
Dany’s Journey in ”A Game of Thrones”
Hook — The character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — Dany is first introduced as a meek young woman who is submissive to Viserys, her older brother. Viserys is determined to marry Dany off to a powerful Dothraki warlord in order to get an army so that Viserys can take back the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms (which he believes is his by right). Dany is scared, but she has no means to refuse her brother either.
Plot turn 1 — The event that sets the story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. The conflict is introduced and the character’s world changes. This is basically when the character sets out on his/her journey.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — Dany marries Khal Drogo, the Dothraki warlord, and is thrust into a world she doesn’t know — the Dothraki people and their ways are foreign to her — but her marriage to Drogo marks the beginning of her journey. This also marks her setting off on a physical journey since she will ride with the Dothraki to Vaes Dothrak (the sacred city of the Dothraki people).
Pinch point 1 — This is where more pressure is applied. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — Dany find that the life with the Dothraki is difficult. Her body aches after spending her days on horseback and, added to that, she feels lonely. Viserys still fight with Dany every chance he gets, and even though she finally fight him back, she doesn’t want any harm to come to him.
Midpoint — The character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — By the time Dany and the Dothraki come to Vaes Dothrak Dany is pregnant. She no longer feels intimidated by the Dothraki and their ways, and she has fallen in love with her husband. Viserys, however, still believe he has the power over Dany and the Dothraki people after selling his sister to Drogo. He’s grown impatient because he hasn’t gotten his army yet. He, therefore, threatens both Dany and her unborn child in Vaes Dothrak. He breaks Dothraki law by drawing a blade in the city, and is ultimately killed by Drogo, who dumps a pot of molten gold over Viserys’ head. Dany watches impassively and realizes that Viserys was a fool. Shortly after, when an assassin attempts to poison Dany, Drogo decides to help Dany reclaim the Iron Throne and the Dothraki under his command set off sacking villages.
Pinch point 2 — This is where even more pressure is applied. The story takes the ultimate dive. The character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — Drogo has taken ill after a wound following the Dothraki warrior’s raid of a village. He is no longer able to ride, which makes him useless in Dothraki culture. He is near death and Dany orders Mirri Maz Duur, a priestess / healer / Maegi, to save Drogo with magic and thereby goes against the advice she receives. Dany goes into labor as Mirri Maz Duur performs blood magic, and when Dany wakes days later she is informed that her son was stillborn, which was a consequence of the blood magic to save her husband. She also learns that Drogo lives in a catatonic state and that most of the Dothraki people have left. This is Dany’s darkest moment because it seems that she has lost everything.
Plot turn 2 — Here the story moves from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. The character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — Dany decides to take control of her own destiny. She’s had dreams about the three petrified dragon eggs she got in wedding present throughout the story and decides to put them in her husbands funeral pyre. She also has Mirri Maz Duur bound to the pyre. After Dany sets the pyre on fire, she walks into it herself.
Resolution — This is the climax of the story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, the character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.
Dany’s journey in A Game of Thrones — When the fire from the pyre is dying, Dany emerges from it unharmed and with three living dragons. She is no longer the meek girl her brother sold to Khal Drogo. Now she’s a leader of the Dothraki slaves that stayed with her after Drogo’s death, the first female Dothraki leader.
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There you have it. Hopefully it’s helped you to see how the Seven Point Story Structure works.
Do you think case studies of stories are a great way to learn story structure? Would you want me to publish more case studies here on the blog?
Do you want a Scrivener or Microsoft Word template that will help you with your story’s structure?
The Story Structure Template is designed to help you create and develop your story and its structure.
It includes a template for the Three Act Structure, one for the Seven Point Story Structure, and one for The Hero’s Journey structure so that you easily create or develop your story from the structure you like best.