These is what I heard in a recent episode of Game of Thrones, a famous TV show:

I suppose it's hard for a fanatic to admit a mistake. Isn't that the whole point of being a fanatic? You're always right. Everything is the Lord's will.

This is Merrian-Webster's definition of fanatic:

marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion

So, how does being excessively enthusiastic about something imply that the person will be always right about it? Can anyone explain to me how the usage of "fanatic" here is appropriate, if it is? Does it have another lesser-known meaning?


They're specifically talking about a "religious fanatic"...

Religious fanaticism is uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm related to one's own, or one's group's, devotion to a religion – a form of human fanaticism which could otherwise be expressed in one's other involvements and participation, including employment, role, and partisan affinities.

Note the section in bold above.

Yes, the quote says "You're always right" but it's not actually saying that they are actually right, it's saying that, from the fanatic's point of view, they believe that they're always right.

You can not make them doubt their religious devotions or beliefs. So the fanatic can not make any mistakes.

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  • Alright then. So with the phrase "religious fanatic" a sense of self-righteousness comes into picture. Hmm. Just another question. Is being a fanatic (not religious) add a touch of negativity? For e.g. if I say "John is a fanatic of football", does it make John be perceived as an irritative, unreasonable football fan? (You get the idea, don't you?) – John Red May 25 '16 at 19:06
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    Yes, definitely. If you're saying that someone's a "fanatic", particularly with the right tone of voice, that can be a very negative thing to say (but doesn't have to be). And I'd say that is definitely intend in the dialogue. Clearly, he has a negative opinion of the Red Priestess and he's trying to show her in a slightly diplomatic way that he doesn't agree with their religious zealotry (also a good word to add to your vocabulary for this sort of situation). Now, keep in mind, we call people "football fans"... and this does not carry that negativity despite coming from the same root. – Catija May 25 '16 at 19:12
  • Yeah, that makes sense. (You watch the show too!) – John Red May 25 '16 at 19:16

I believe you understand the word fanatic correctly - what you're missing is the meaning of this:

. Isn't that the whole point of being a fanatic? You're always right. Everything is the Lord's will.

In this conversational style, the author is not try to say that fanatics are always right. Nor is he saying that everything is the Lord's will. The actual meaning of those three sentences is this:

Isn't that the whole point of being a fanatic? You THINK you're always right. You THINK everything is the Lord's will.

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  • Yeah, I got that. I think I didn't phrase my question right. I wanted to ask, why does being a fanatic imply that the person would think she is always right? Self-righteous seems the more appropriate word. – John Red May 25 '16 at 19:12

The show is taking the second part of the definition — "often intense uncritical devotion" and using that as something true of every fanatic, which is a bit of hyperbole. "Uncritical devotion" means they are not going to ask questions about their fanaticism; if they think "the Lord's will" involves a particular thing, they won't criticize or think twice about that.

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I believe the process taking off from being a fan, trough a reality or even a fantasy of violence explains the metamorphodis here. Let's take the spoiler makers as the most unique example to specify the term; fanatism. Fanatics as we all know, always want to achieve others' and want others rely on their ideas and/or midset. Question is, how do spoiler makers make themselves convinced to spread the scenes and scripts so quick. Those could be the missioners of that land of knowledge or fanatically saying; wisdom.

I am not sure about the relevancy of the illustration above; although being a cool fan always bring a property of an intellect. However obeying some star wars jedi rules or become a super ranger in frp campaign. All aplies to misery in the end. Misery of wasting time.

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  • I didn't understand anything :/ Was that your purpose? Simple English please! I am sorry I don't know dem big wrdz. – John Red May 28 '16 at 3:16

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