"Games of Thrones" fans at the University of Virginia just had the opportunity to take the class of a lifetime.
An English class, which met five days each week for 2 hours and 15 minutes, focused on the George R.R. Martin series. It was offered as a four-week summer course.
"This class will use the work of Martin (one novel and many episodes of the HBO series) to explore the notions of literary and visual representation (How does a character in the text come to life on screen?), racialism (Is Martin’s view of race and region indebted to Tolkien’s or does it exceed it?), fan fiction (Why were so many viewers outraged by The Red Wedding? Why does the series prompt such loyalty?), and gendered dimensions of power (How do women in the series exert control over their own lives and the lives of others?)," the class syllabus read. "This course will carefully assess one of Martin’s written works, while paying close attention to the strategies HBO uses to bring it to a mass audience."
Twenty-four "serious and engaged" students took the seminar and did well, associate professor Lisa Woolfork, who taught the course, told ABC News.
She provided them with a chart to ensure that they read the episodes carefully "using similar protocols for studying literature," and at the end of the four-week course, she challenged them do complete group projects analyzing the series and its rabid audience.
"We were engaged with the questions generated by carefully reading the first book, then using that as a basis for exploring the connections between the first three seasons of the TV series," she said.
"We spent a lot of time discussing the ways that Martin's narrative broke genre limitations and the phenomena that 'Game of Thrones' has been become within and beyond its book and TV depictions. We also considered the motivations and consequences for significant changes made on TV show."