GAME OF THRONES Fan Art Renders Last Supper Meaningless

When memes collide, meaning is often lost. A short history of dumb Last Supper/pop culture mash-ups.

The art on this Game of Thrones Last Supper piece is nice. I like the style. But that's about all it has going for it, since the artist seems to have no actual understanding of The Last Supper, its construction or its meaning.  This image, nice and empty, embodies a lot of my problems with modern internet fanart. 

Let's backtrack for a second. The idea of posing characters in a formation resembling The Last Supper can be traced, in the modern pop era, to The Sopranos. This magazine image includes creator David Chase, which sort of screws the whole thing up, but does at least attempt to get the characters in the right poses. Ignoring the fact that there are too many people on the left (imagine the two kids are merged into James Minor and you get the joke here), we see the Livia is the Judas. It works! I like Carmela in the basic John position because there's irony in casting her as the most adoring apostle.

So this picture gets it pretty much right. It makes sense in a larger way, you can map some of the characters to the Biblical twelve, and even though Tony isn't exactly Christ-like, you can't quibble with him in the middle. And the family's Roman Catholicism makes the entire image appropriate.

That idea was quickly copied throughout TV land. A few years later Battlestar Galactica did it with a final season promo shot. That image isn't great in terms of matching Da Vinci's actual Last Supper; the characters don't quite line up correctly with their Biblical counterparts, for one thing. Some of the figures are mirrored from where they should be in a real re-enactment of The Last Supper, but at least the religious allegory makes sense with this show. And beyond that, some of the positions appear to be almost inspired - Baltar as the fawning John to Head Six's Jesus, Lee in the Judas position (unless the mirroring - which has Chief holding Peter's knife - means that Lee's back to Head Six is related to Matthew, turning away from Christ to ask Simon for guidance. That implies more thought in the project than I think was actually put in). 

Lost followed, cementing the Last Supper as a way of celebrating your show's final season. As with all things Lost the visuals are pretty right on - this is a show that always made sure it nailed the references, even if the references didn't mean anything. Again, though, the picture sort of screws up the two most vital figures - why is Locke the Christ character and why doesn't the picture really nail down a Judas? Technically, Kate is the Judas in that picture, since Sayid is in the Peter position. I think we're supposed to look at Sayid as the Judas. 

From there we have seen too many Last Supper knock offs to count, including a truly dismal one for House. It's an easy reference to make, especially for fan artists, but nobody makes it right. And while I know there's a pedantic streak running through me here, it bugs me that people just throw characters around a table with a central figure and say 'Derp derp, Last Supper!' I really hate this Star Wars one for a lot of reasons, but especially because it dumbly casts Han as Judas and doesn't even have Lando in the picture, when he is the perfect Judas figure.

The latest one is this Game of Thrones piece. I can make arguments for why Head Six and Locke are the Christs in their particular images (especially because those pictures were promo pieces created before the final seasons aired), but why the hell is Tyrion in the middle? Game of Thrones has a Christ figure all but screaming in your face, and his name is Ned Stark. Who, by the way, is standing in the Judas spot (more or less. There are too many figures at the table). The rest of the thing is a mess, having absolutely no meaning at all. Why The Last Supper? Because it's a popular thing on the internet when mashed up with genre characters, that's why. The end. 

I'd love to see someone throw this out and redo Game of Thrones Last Supper with some meaning. Hell, I'd just settle for some fandom mash-ups that have actual thought behind them. Simply mushing together two  things you like isn't particularly interesting, and it certainly isn't meaningful at all.