When people think of "Game of Thrones," a few things that instantly come to mind are their favorite characters, the Iron Throne, and the White Walkers. Watching the great houses of Westeros battle and squabble with one another is eerily similar to watching our own governments fight and undermine each other to gain an edge in “the great game."

Climate change

However, the greatest threat in "Game of Thrones" would have to be the White Walkers, an unstoppable force of nature that not only consists of the largest “army," but also poses a threat to all of human civilization.

Unfortunately, this is arguably the most terrifying parallel between "Game of Thrones" and reality, in which our own world leaders essentially ignore the catastrophic threat of climate change due to preexisting political rivalries and economic obligations.

The comparison

In "Game of Thrones," the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest, nature deities that are basically a metaphor for the environment itself, in order to combat deforestation caused by humanity. The White Walkers themselves are essentially zombies that change the weather wherever they go and seem to be hell-bent on wiping out all of mankind. What’s worse is that in the show, nearly every great house denies the very existent of White Walkers, let alone the threat they represent, except for the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings.

So when the Night’s Watch asks for help from the major houses of Westeros, you can imagine what their responses are.

Terrifyingly enough, we see this sort of behavior in our own world as well. Much like the White Walkers, climate change is very much a response to civilization’s complete disregard of its impact on the environment.

In the same way that we’ve seen glimpses of the level of devastation the White Walkers are capable of -- Hardhome -- we’ve already seen a few examples of the destruction of climate change in the form of natural disasters over the last 17 years.

But, worst of all, the denial of the very existence of White Walkers from the houses of Westeros is spot on in terms of the kind of ignorance we’ve seen from our elected officials and world leaders concerning climate change.

No matter how much evidence is presented to them by scientists who have spent their lives studying this phenomenon, more often than not, most governments have either done nothing or not nearly enough to fight back against it. With time winding down for both the show and reality, the question of when society will wake up and address this issue is still unanswered.