Are you worried that your Game of Thrones addiction will hinder your English learning? Are you concerned that your daydreams about riding dragons are getting in the way of your progress as a kick-ass ESL student? Fear no more. I’m a Game of Thrones junkie, too, which is why I’ve decided to help you turn that distraction into a strength. I’ve talked before about how creative writing is one of my favorite ways to build vocabulary (see #3), and in this post, I’m going to give you 14 ESL writing prompts inspired by Game of Thrones. Get out your quill and parchment, Stepper…it’s time to start writing!
Not a Game of Thrones junkie? No worries! Check out these 7 ESL writing prompts inspired by America’s National Parks.
🚨 SPOILER ALERT 🚨
These writing prompts contain spoiler alerts from Seasons 1 – 7 of Game of Thrones. If you don’t want to know what happens, go to a different post instead. You might like these ESL writing prompts about birds.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #1
Language isn’t just about the words you know, it’s about how you use them in different situations. We often find ourselves describing people and events, but how does our language for this change in different situations?
If you are setting up two friends on a blind date, how would your language be different than the language you would use to describe your earliest memory with your sister? What kind of language would you use to give a toast at your brother’s wedding? What if you were telling someone why you don’t speak to your ex anymore? Each situation brings out different language.
With this ESL writing prompt, I want you to think specifically about the language you would use in a eulogy. Do you choose to write a eulogy for a small, intimate gathering? Or do you write a public eulogy heard by thousands of people? In the eulogy, do you tend to use a lot of slang, or more formal vocabulary? For extra practice, give a dramatic reading of your eulogy after you write it. How does the rhythm of your speech change, as well?
As always, use your dictionary! You will get the greatest benefit from these ESL writing prompts if you push yourself!
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #2
I’m not someone who generally enjoys battle scenes, but watching the Dothraki in battle took my breath away. They were so graceful atop their horses, like dancers.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of simply using adverbs to describe the actions you see. “They fought beautifully“, “they fought gracefully“, “they fought skillfully“, “they fought savagely“, etc. This is fine when you’re at an intermediate level, but as your English level advances, you need to push yourself.
The vocabulary of the English language is incredibly rich. It’s why I love this language so much! Instead of using a basic verb plus an adverb, dive into your dictionary and find some advanced verbs to use instead. I’m not talking about esoteric academic vocabulary. Unless you’re studying for the IELTS or the TOEFL, or you’re pursuing a career that uses that type of vocabulary, I don’t suggest you spend much time learning those words. You won’t sound natural…you’ll just sound like you’re trying too hard. I’m talking about the words that native speakers know and use, but that they never expect to hear from a non-native speaker. Native speakers will expect you to say that the Dothraki shouted or screamed as they came over the hill, but they would be shocked to hear you say that the Dothraki howled, or shrieked, or wailed, or whooped. Native speakers all know these words, but we rarely hear them from non-native speakers. Think about these types of words in your own language, and use your dictionary to find them in English.
Using expressive verbs like this will make your speech more varied, and far more expressive. What are some of the specific actions that you see in the battle scene where the Dothraki ambush the Lannisters? With this writing prompt, I want you to push the limits of your vocabulary.
I love verbs, so if you find any that you particularly love, please share them in the comments! You can help your fellow Steppers grow their vocabulary, too!
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #3
In the first writing prompt, I asked you to think about the specific language of eulogies. Now, I want you to think about the specific language of doctor’s notes. In a doctor’s file, are the notes typically in long, complex sentences or simply in sentence fragments? Is the language flowery, literary language or more technical in nature? What kinds of words do you need to know to talk about psychological issues? What kinds of words relate specifically to The Hound’s history? Get writing, my creative ESL rock star!
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #4
One of the delights of Game of Thrones is the rich world George R.R. Martin has created. The world these characters live in feels real.
In this ESL writing prompt, I want you to close your eyes and let your mind wander through someplace in the Game of Thrones world. Where do you gravitate towards? Look around you. Who are some of the people you see there? Choose one of them, and create a story for them. Who are they? What do they do for a living? Are they good, bad, morally complicated? Do they have a family? What do they want in life? What do they want right now? Do they have any opinions on the events from Game of Thrones? Are they even aware of the events from Game of Thrones? Brainstorm everything you can about this person and their life, and then write a story about them.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #5
Cersei is dismissive, cynical, blasé, and she thinks about everything in terms of whether or not it furthers her goals. She is fiercely loyal to her own family, and she is willing to be brutal in order to protect them.
What would Cersei make of your activities yesterday? Would she be bored thinking about them? Would she see them as a threat? Would she see potential for turning them to her own advantage? Something else?
With this ESL writing prompt, I want you to step into the mind of this conniving queen of Westeros!
turn something to your advantage
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #6
What values are important to you? What ideas represent who you are on a fundamental level? What are you all about?
In this English writing prompt, I want you to think about how you can craft a myth to go along with those values or ideas. What will your myth say about your house? How will it distinguish you from other noble houses?
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #7
When you think about the language of disapproval, you might automatically think about actual phrases we use to directly express our feelings. “I don’t like it when you…” or “I don’t think it’s very productive when you…”
But now pause and think about how people actually interact. How many people are direct when they’re communicating something unpleasant? Some people are, but many people go about it in a roundabout sort of way. Some are bossy and overbearing, and some are timid and avoid confrontation. There are endless possibilities. In this story starter, I want you to think specifically about indirect ways of communicating.
Try to draw from your own experiences as you respond to this ESL creative writing prompt.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #8
Whether it’s giving birth to a demon assassin or having an encyclopedic knowledge of history, the characters in Westeros boast an amazing set of abilities. Which one would you most love to have? How would you use it?
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #9
The Night King is a fascinating character. He has such a profound influence on the story, and he conveys so much without ever speaking a word.
Imagine how powerful it would be to hear his voice. Start writing!
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #10
With this ESL writing prompt, you are going to start right in the middle of the action. The very start of your story is an unexplained situation. Use your imagination, and let the events unfold.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #11
What makes a place appealing to you?
The weather? The geography? The history and culture? The prosperity of the place? The character of the people? The social equality within their society? The philosophies and religious systems people believe in? Their level of scientific advancement?
Now, think about the various places in Game of Thrones, and respond to this ESL writing prompt.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #12
How you tackle this writing prompt is up to you. Maybe you describe obvious physical or personality traits of the characters you choose, or maybe you reference events they’re involved with, or emotions they have towards other characters, or symbols associated with them, or prophecies about them, or something else.
Game of Thrones ESL Writing Prompt #13
Personally, I’m gaga for Oberyn. 😜 How about you?
Game of Thrones Writing Prompt #14
When Bran had his vision about the Mad King, it was quick and choppy and chaotic. Other visions were slower and allowed him to take in more detail. How would your writing style change in each scenario?