By Jim Smoger
I am a fan of the HBO television series Game of Thrones, which started its final season a couple of weeks ago.
The conclusion will come when one of the characters leads a total military victory, or diplomatically manipulates his or her way onto the Iron Throne.
My feeling is the show has gone downhill from a few seasons back. There just isn’t enough sword fighting and angry wolves as there used to be.
But I wonder if the growth in the popularity of Game of Thrones is a reflection on our current political conditions? Is there something that we see in the sub-plots and intrigue that reminds us of watching CNN and Fox News on a daily basis?
Game of Thrones takes place in a Middle Ages setting, but it is possible to take the show’s most popular characters and impose them on real characters in politics. There are currently more announced or potential Democratic candidates for President than there are regular characters on the TV show.
Here is a partial listing:
Cersi Lanister/Donald Trump. The current occupant of the Iron Throne is Cersi Lanister who is really nasty. She fires people left and right and put two sons on the throne, one of which was murdered and the other who jumped out the window to his death. Lanister was once forced to endure a “walk of shame” through the streets, and then blew up half of the city in revenge. However, even though she does bad things, she has a dedicated base who are willing to fight for her no matter what.
Jon Snow/Amy Klobuchar. Jon Snow is one of the leading contenders for the Iron Throne and called the “King of North.” Snow, like Klobuchar, is well-known for building coalitions with trolls, people who wear heavy coats, iron miners, and so forth. She made her candidacy announcement in January outside as snow flakes were falling on her shoulders. Like Jon Snow, her leadership drawback is that she is a little too careful and will get chewed apart by the likes of Lanister/Trump.
Daenerys Targaryen/Bernie Sanders. Daenerys is the show’s most popular character and known as “The Mother of Dragons.” She gained her power by freeing slaves and instituting socialist reforms in the kingdoms she took over. She had one of her dragons burn to death a group of capitalist businessmen after they asked her to surrender. But, much like Sanders, behind the scenes she became a millionaire while advocating for socialism. One way she is unlike Sanders is that Daenerys’ hair always looks perfect even after flying around on a dragon.
The Night King/Joe Biden. I realize this is a controversial comparison because The Night King is a bad guy while everybody loves Joe Biden. The point is that they are both leading armies of the dead. The Night King has an actual army of zombies behind him. Biden is being followed by a lot of old baggage from the Obama and Clinton Administrations. You also get the feeling the Night King has a problem with hugging people too much.
Sansa Stark/Kamala Harris. Sansa and Jon Snow think they are sister and brother, although we found out late in the previous season that was not exactly correct. Like Sansa and Jon Snow, Klobuchar and Harris agree on most things, except that Sansa doesn’t want to make peace with her enemies. Viewers know her angst is going to catch up with her eventually.
Gendry/Pete Buttigieg. Gendry is a character who has only shown up in a couple of episodes, but everybody loves him. He is a humble blacksmith and sometimes warrior whose unknown background puts him in line to the throne if everyone else is killed. Incidentally, Buttigieg is the Mayor of South Bend, Ind. While that is an important job, it makes him about as qualified to be President as Gendry is to take Cersi’s place.
There are many other Game of Thrones characters I could have drawn parallels to. Tyrion Lanister, for example, reminds me of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. “The Hound” is like Senator Elizabeth Warren.
We’ll find out in the next month how Games of Thrones will be settled. As far as the real political game, it will go on for months and months. I wish there was more sword fighting.
Editor’s note: The writer, Jim Smoger, is editor of the Wheaton Gazette newspaper–and an occasional contributor to the Pelican Rapids Press.