The Trial of Tyrion Lannister and Bashing Libertarians

"yes they deserve to die, and i hope they burn in hell"HBOSpoilers from last night's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Laws of Gods and Men," follow.

In the episode, Tyrion Lannister is finally put on trial for allegedly poisoning his nephew King Joffrey, who died gruesomely toward the beginning of the season. Throughout the show, Tyrion, a dwarf, has pretty consistently been critical of Joffrey, the teenaged head of state in Westeros and a total psychopath. Game of Thrones is full of loathsome characters but Joffrey takes the pigeon pie. He's violently sadistic in his personal life and takes a similar approach to domestic policy, literally starving the poor while fuelling a rebellion his family is trying to quash. It's a good thing he's dead. People watching the show clapped when he died. The guests at the wedding he died at, of course, acted horrified. Joffrey's mother immediately blamed her brother Tyrion, a preposterous notion. We'll leave the Sansa Stark stuff alone because the point's about Tyrion.

As Tyrion's trial unfolded in last night's episode, the highly improbable idea that he poisoned Joffrey was nevertheless advanced by a series of more damaging witness testimony, half-truths mixed with white lies and outright falsehoods that all supported the idea that Tyrion killed Joffrey. When Tyrion's finally had enough of the betrayal of people he knew to know the truth about his innocence, he says what a lot of people watching at home were probably waiting for him to say: "I didn't kill the King, but I wish that I had."

The people in the world of Game of Thrones are, naturally, shocked that Tyrion would say such a thing. The lords of Westeros who matter have decided Tyrion would get the blame for Joffrey's death, because it worked out for all of them, and a sadistic psychopath was taken out of the picture. Tyrion made it easy to pin an obvious crime on him by being the only one to be candid about Joffrey's sociopathic behavior. And so it feels, sometimes, with the attacks on libertarianism, where good faith efforts to improve public policy outcomes by limiting the deleterious effects of government are skewered as some diabolical ploy to loot and pillage the people through corporatism, exactly that which libertarian policy solutions try to prevent.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    And so it feels, sometimes, with the attacks on libertarianism, where good faith efforts to improve public policy outcomes by limiting the deleterious effects of government are skewered as some diabolical ploy to loot and pillage the people through corporatism, exactly that which libertarian policy solutions try to prevent.

    This is the only part of the the post I understood.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "And so it feels, sometimes, with the attacks on libertarianism, where good faith efforts to improve public policy outcomes by limiting the deleterious effects of government are skewered."

    This piece is like great jazz improvisation. He takes you on a wild ride, and you know the theme he's trying to land on, but how can he stick the landing from where he's going?

    And then he does!

    Bravo.

  • cerihd638||

    Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $500 a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. www.Pow6.com

  • Madisonian||

    I wonder what triggers these autoposts; was it Game of Thrones, dwarves or Libertarians?

  • Kure'i||

    I think you meant "Bravosi."

    Oh crap. I think that's a trigger word.

  • PACW||

    "This is the only part of the the post I understood."

    Me too. I know I need to read and/or watch someday but it seems a bit of a commitment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    NO SPOILERS. Like the one in the headline.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Maybe he's talking about season one?

  • Almanian!||

    That was a Trigger Warning, Fist. Duh. way to be insensitive.

  • Kure'i||

    George R.R. Martin already spoiled it over 10 years ago.

    He's a white male, though, so par for the course with those imperious bastards. At least I think he's a white male. He might, in actuality, be a Grimmace. .

  • ||

    Oh, just fuck Salon. There might have been a time at one point in the distant mists of history when that site had an ounce of decent writing and useful discourse. Now it's just fear-filled macaques in TEAM BLUE vests flinging excrement at imagined predators.

    Useful arguments with our beloved statist colleagues would be delightful and a good use of time and page hits. Not them. Fuck them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tell us how you really feel.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I remember when it used to be a decent read, too.

    It's basically a tabloid for progressives now.

    I saw a piece over there, recently, where the whole point seems to be that when you're at an orgy, nobody wants to have sex with the Caucasian heterosexual men--because everybody knows how uncool they are.

    "He was confused and upset: with hetero whiteness comes entitlement."

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/1.....y_partner/

  • John||

    Back when Camile Paglia wrote there it wasn't bad. Now it is just a slightly less retarded but even more deranged version of Slate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it's more like the National Enquirer--with a progressive slant.

    I suspect half the stories are made up.

    Simplest explanation: they wrote an orgy story just to dis hetero white males.

  • John||

    The only viable business model for prog publications is trolling. You just print something so outrageously stupid that people from the right click on it to be outraged.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Don't underestimate the number of useful idiots who spend their entire lives looking for reasons to feel smug.

  • John||

    Them too. But the smug are not enough clicks to pay the bills. So you troll. That allows you to get both.

  • OneOut||

    It was a politically correct orgy.

  • Kure'i||

    Yes, hetero white males from suburbia are so used to having women of every persuasion give them sex whenever they want it. That totally describes my experience growing up, as a nerdy, white, middle class, hetero male.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That privileged white male can come to our orgies and fuck our libertarian wymenz.

  • Bobarian||

    TWTANLW

  • DFG||

    "...fear-filled macaques in TEAM BLUE vests flinging excrement at imagined predators."

    Nice. I remember Salon was going to be a new paradigm of on-line magazine writing. Instead it's turned out to be a left-wing campus newsletter for the permanently aggrieved.

  • Drake||

    Weren't Tyrion and Jamie blond in season 1?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They're supposed to be all the time. It's actually a pretty big plot point, considering the whole series kicks off with the "the seed is strong" stuff.

  • Drake||

    I know - but they seem to have run out of hair dye for the male Lannisters.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's really dirty in the dungeons of Westeros.

  • Warren||

    It's a pretty big plot point that all the Lanisters are red heads.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    You might be trolling, but the plot point is that they're blondes.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Okay, I love libertarianism, Game of Thrones/ASOIAF, and Dinklage's amazing performance last night as much as anyone...

    But this is a hell of a stretch. If you wanted an open thread to talk about the show, just do it. We're game.

  • ||

    So. What the fuck was the point of the whole shitty Bran getting captured subplot? Where the fuck is Coldhands? Why the fuck are they completely rewriting Cersei's character? Why the fuck do the writers not realize that se would never admit to herself that Joffrey was a monster, much less to her arch-enemy Margaery? Why the fuck did they get rid of Arya killing The Tickler in the inn at the crossroads? Why the fuck do the writers think they're better writers than GRRM? Why the fuck are they doing their best to ruin his story?

  • Almanian!||

    There's no sugar coating it - Warty is not entirely pleased with the Game of Thrones writers...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    We should bring that meme back.

  • Almanian!||

    I JUST DID

    *glares at Auric*

  • ||

    There's no sugar coating it - Almanian! is upset with Auric.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just wait until next season, when they all drop the Westeros setting for Miami. Jamie as Crockett, Tyrion as Tubbs.

  • ||

    TYRION VICE

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm thinking Ned Stark not dead in the role of Lt. Castillo.

  • cavalier973||

    It wasn't until book four or five before I finally accepted that Ned was dead. The way his beheading was handled, including Sansa's thoughts that "it didn't even look like" her dad had me thinking there was a switcheroo in there, somewhere.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ah, ha! Now Martin has you where he wants you!

  • Drake||

    I would watch. I would be mad, but I'd watch.

  • Brett L||

    Dany could be the female drug lord who uses her voodoo to keep foot soldiers and rival gangs in line.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, and we keep the dragons.

  • JWatts||

    No, they'd all have Dragon tattoos, of course.

  • JWatts||

    They could even be called: The Dragon Army. ;)

  • Dweebston||

    I haven't kept up with the series, but I did finish the books, and I seem to recall Martin has a fairly strong hand in the former. Seems possible to me that he's setting up the series to end earlier and differently from the books, since it's swiftly catching up to the as-yet unpublished book six.

  • some guy||

    This is exactly it. Martin knows HBO series will have to finish before the books, so it can't have the same ending. If you're going to change the ending, you might as well have some fun with it and create a whole new story. I'm enjoying it.

  • Madisonian||

    The books have no ending, as of yet. GRRM took 4 years, more? to write book 5 after book 4. I personally think he will let HBO determine the ending and then write the final one.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Why the fuck do the writers think they're better writers than GRRM?

    Probably because the show writers have read what GRRM did with the fourth and fifth books. *barf*

  • Auric Demonocles||

    What the fuck was the point of the whole shitty Bran getting captured subplot?

    "Oh no, we can't have this group of characters just traveling along with no real action for half a season!"

    Where the fuck is Coldhands?

    He's not going to be in this season (which pretty heavily suggests he won't be in the show at all).

    Why the fuck are they completely rewriting Cersei's character?

    I dunno. They bought her idiotic POV about everyone mistreating her for being female?

    Why the fuck do the writers not realize that se would never admit to herself that Joffrey was a monster, much less to her arch-enemy Margaery?

    They're dumb and that scene was ridiculous. She also shouldn't have suddenly been in favor of making Margaery queen again.

    Why the fuck did they get rid of Arya killing The Tickler in the inn at the crossroads?

    She already had him killed by Jaqen.

    Why the fuck do the writers think they're better writers than GRRM? Why the fuck are they doing their best to ruin his story?

    Cause everyone thinks themselves to be awesome at everything.

  • Brett L||

    They have to abandon the GRRM because otherwise they have a hard stop at the end of next season.

    Also, saw your post over the weekend about returning to Rome II. Glad you found something you like.

  • ||

    The huge battles still bog down on my PC and the turns still take too long, but other than that it's pretty fun. I had forgotten how much I enjoy making an entire enemy army panic and run by charging their rear with cavalry.

  • Drake||

    I think they are trying to adjust the story timing to keep all the actors busy and end the season with the proper bang.

    I'm assuming they will work through Books 4 and 5 on a single timeline. And I doubt we'll get the kingsmoot and all the new Ironborn characters until next year.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    This will teach you to stop reading the books BEFORE watching the movie/show.

  • Free Society||

    So. What the fuck was the point of the whole shitty Bran getting captured subplot? Where the fuck is Coldhands?

    I think you just answered your own question. The lack of Coldhands is replaced by the 'getting captured subplot'. They're probably waiting til later to introduce him, or they're not going to introduce Coldhands at all in order to avoid revealing his identity (which remains a mystery in the books) to television viewers.

    Why the fuck are they completely rewriting Cersei's character?

    How did they do this? I thought the show does a good job of showing her cuntiness.

    Why the fuck do the writers not realize that se would never admit to herself that Joffrey was a monster, much less to her arch-enemy Margaery?

    She in the books, did acknowledge that Joffrey was a monster. If I recall correctly, she even did say to Margery after Joffrey's death. Not that I care enough to browse the book for a quote...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    She's faaaar more unsympathetic in the books than the show (even if she's still unsympathetic in the show).

  • Free Society||

    I disagree. In the books we actually get full POV. We are privy to the thoughts of Cersei. I found her far more sympathetic in the books where you get a huge insight into her fears and motives. Whereas in the show we only get her point of view within the royal bedchamber while she drinks wine and bitches to whomever is there.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I disagree. In the books we actually get full POV. We are privy to the thoughts of Cersei.

    That's exactly why she's less sympathetic (besides a few other changes like the sept sex).

  • ||

    The sept sex was just bad direction, I think. They didn't realize how rapey that would play onscreen.

  • Free Society||

    The sept sex was just bad direction, I think. They didn't realize how rapey that would play onscreen.

    It's not rape if it's your twin sister. Fact.

  • mlebauer||

    Kind of agree. But those getting wound up over the rape aspect haven't been paying attention to the character development, and are too wedded to their gender studies courses.

    Jamie and Cersei are twins and have obviously known each other their whole lives. They've been incestuous lovers since at least puberty. They know each others' boundaries very well. It's a case where 'no' definitely doesn't mean NO.

  • Free Society||

    I didn't say I fell in love with book Cersei. But in the books we get to see why she does what she does (think Maggy the Frog) even though in the books she is even worse in many regards. It's a rational sort of evil, not a mysterious sort of evil that she acts from.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But in the books we get to see why she does what she does

    Which makes her look even worse.

  • ||

    They're probably waiting til later to introduce him, or they're not going to introduce Coldhands at all in order to avoid revealing his identity (which remains a mystery in the books) to television viewers.

    Which is a mistake, just like leaving out Strong Belwas.

    How did they do this? I thought the show does a good job of showing her cuntiness.

    The show is attempting to make her a multi-dimensional character. SHE IS NOT. She's a stupid spoiled drunk twat who vastly overestimates her competence, and that's all she is.

    She in the books, did acknowledge that Joffrey was a monster. If I recall correctly, she even did say to Margery after Joffrey's death. Not that I care enough to browse the book for a quote...

    Where? I don't remember it, and I've read the series three times.

  • Free Society||

    Which is a mistake, just like leaving out Strong Belwas.

    Defintiely an error in judgement. But it's safe to say that we will not see Belwas, but there is still time to see Coldhands.

    The show is attempting to make her a multi-dimensional character. SHE IS NOT. She's a stupid spoiled drunk twat who vastly overestimates her competence, and that's all she is.

    She can be a multidimensional cunt. I think she is exactly as you describe her, and when you turn her over she is still a cunt on other side, but we do get a good deal of POV and history of her in the books which we aren't given in the series.

    Where? I don't remember it, and I've read the series three times.

    As have I, and I do remember for all that anecdotal evidence is worth. Like I said, I don't care to browse the Cersei chapters for a quote but one of the ASOIAF wikis had this;

    "Even Joffrey. He was all I had once. Before Myrcella was born. I used to spend hours looking at him. His wisps of hair, his tiny little hands and feet. He was such a jolly little fellow. You always hear the terrible ones were terrible babies. ‘We should have known, even then we should have known.’ It’s nonsense. Whenever he was with me, he was happy. And no one can take that away from me — not even Joffrey."

    Granted I think she was talking to another Lannister, not Margery for this one.

  • ||

    I vaguely remember what you're talking about, but I think Cersei was talking about Joffrey's evilness like she thought it was a virtue. Like she was unable to distinguish cruelty from strength. Goddammit. I really don't want to read the goddamn books again to find out.

  • Free Society||

    but I think Cersei was talking about Joffrey's evilness like she thought it was a virtue

    I don't think she thought it as a virtue, but she thought it was irrelevant to her unconditional love for Joffrey. I know at some point after the Battle of Blackwater she bitched to her dad or Jamie, about his sociopathy and she spoke of his behavior as if it were a liability.

    I really don't want to read the goddamn books again to find out.

    Hmmmm I know the feeling. You could try browsing the ASOIAF forums, but their moderators run the place like Auschwitz. I got banned numerous times for "foul language", which is odd considering the language in the books...

  • mlebauer||

    Cersei admitted to Tywin that she can't control him. He was characteristically disappointed in his progeny.

  • Lucky Jack||

    Strong Belwas was only cut because he let them cut him.

  • Free Society||

    Why the fuck did they get rid of Arya killing The Tickler in the inn at the crossroads?

    I believe in the show, the Tickler was killed at Harrenhal. And at the inn she killed another of the Clegane crew instead, Raff the Sweetling I believe.

    Why the fuck do the writers think they're better writers than GRRM? Why the fuck are they doing their best to ruin his story?

    Probably something to do with the limitations of time and resources in the real universe where we are portraying the limitless time and resources of a fictional universe.

    But I think considered, they're doing pretty well at being true to the books. GRRM even thinks so.

  • ||

    GRRM likes cashing in. He knows he's going to eat himself to death before he finishes, so he might as well have as many hookers eat spam off his penis as he can before he strokes out.

  • Drake||

    On the show she kills Polliver at the inn. Here is a Winds of Winter pre-read that includes Raff the Sweetling.

    http://www.georgerrmartin.com/.....of-winter/

  • ||

    Oh yeah, I read that. Arya as a sexy slut super-assassin should be really fun in the last two books.

    But this is what I'm talking about. Her scene where she kills The Tickler is important and cathartic. They gained absolutely nothing by having Jaquen H'Gar kill him in Harrenhal. It was just laziness, and they had to play catchup later and have her kill a lesser bad guy in a less emotionally satisfying way. This isn't the kind of error that good writers make.

  • ||

    The problem is that they don't have as much time in the show to slowly roll out her evolution into a killer. I think having her kill the Tickler back in Season 2 would have been too much too soon. This way they draw it out. Plus they link it up to a specific emotional connection to a character that the audience can relate to. They couldn't put hours and hours of the tickler torturing people on film to make the audience hate him, but they could show Raff killing Lommy.

  • mlebauer||

    The show DID put inordinate time into Ramsey Snow torturing Theon Greyjoy.

  • robc||

    I dont watch the shows until the DVDs come out in February, but that was the problem with season 2 and 3.

    The stuffed they screwed up in season 2 required them to play catch up in season 3. Did they not understand why Season 1 worked so well? They fucking followed the books. Yeah, there were some small modifications, but that is expected when doing an adaptation. But there is no need for creativity, Martin did that already.

    And there is the problem, the writers dont want to be adapters, they want to be creators. Which is fine, create their own damn universe.

  • ||

    Yes yes yes. Do they not notice that the parts of the show that work best are the parts where they're the most faithful to the books? You'd think professional writers might remember from college what the Greeks wrote about hubris.

  • robc||

    I saw season 1 before I started reading the books. And so I wasnt pre-biased by the books, but when I read book 1 immediately after the season, that was obviously true. The minor modifications in season 1 were the weak parts.

  • Bobarian||

    Season 1 followed the book really well, but that was also the best book in the series.

    GRRM got bogged down in a lot of side stories and sub-text, and dropped characters for entire books. #4 was bad enough at this that he managed to turn a lot of people off.

  • cavalier973||

    What Warty said.

  • ||

    Where the fuck is Coldhands?

    Better question: "Where the fuck is Catelyn?"

    Also what was that bullshit raid to free Theon at the Dreadfort all about?

  • ||

    Yes. If they cut out Lady Stoneheart, that will be amazingly stupid. At least they had Shae do what she was supposed to do. Now they'd better have Tyrion do the thing he's supposed to do to her.

  • ||

    Lady Stoneheart hasn't really done much in the books yeat, I suspect her role is yet to be revealed.

    Actually I bet that they are holding it back to make it that much more of a surprise when she shows up in Season 5.

  • Kure'i||

    I'm wondering if Lady Stoneheart will be the last scene of the season.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That will be the last scene of Episode 10.

  • Kure'i||

    And why is Cersei telegraphing so much to Margaery? Why spoil the Reek surprise by showing his transformative process? Why didn't Sam cross paths with Bran? Why'd they make the Red Viper into Freddy Mercury?

  • Almanian!||

    Oh boy, gay thread warning!

    NTTAWWT.

  • Deputy Van Halen||

    It's just a song about holding hands.

  • Almanian!||

    I just had a granola bar - one of those old-school ones that are like dried straw with sugar?

    It was DELICIOUS. I love those things - oats and honey, mushed together and dried up. You know you've EATEN something - carb wise. It's better than a fucking piece of bread.

    Anyway, what were we talking about?

  • ||

    Try eating those things when you're stoned outta your head. Even MOAR delicious.

  • waffles||

    What makes you think he isn't?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Did you ever eat a granola bar?

    Did you ever eat a granola bar... on weeeed?

  • John||

    The point that is lost in this is that the thing that people feared most during the middle ages was chaos and civil war. It sounds great to kill the king but a good king was the one thing that stood between some sense of order and the various nobleman burning the country down trying to take the throne from each other.

    They lived in a completely different world and a completely difference set of circumstances than we do. There really are not a lot of lessons in government to be learned from the middle ages. The circumstances were so different that it doesn't translate very well.

  • Lord Humungus||

    John Derbyshire touched on this - discussing slavery:

    To illustrate the point, here's a quote that has nothing to do with slavery. I've taken it from Chapter 4 of Steven Pinker's fine book The Better Angels of Our Nature. Quote:

    In 16th-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to the historian Norman Davies, "The spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized."


    End quote. Here's my question for you, listeners: Do you think the people watching that spectacle were evil people?
  • Lord Humungus||

  • some guy||

    I blame peer pressure and the degredation of the traditional family unit.

  • John||

    No more evil than people are now. They just had totally different sensibilities, because their experiences were so different.

    Imagine living in a world where you were one bad harvest away from starving, where a single fox getting lose in your chickens might mean your children starve or seriously go without. You would have a totally different view of animals and nature than your typical 21st century American has.

    There is also a theory that says that since infant mortality was so high, people didn't bond with their children. They couldn't because you couldn't risk the emotional devastation of losing a child you were close to. Since people didn't bond with their children, the children grew up without the kind of empathy and socialization we grow up with now.
    In many ways we do allow our better nature to show today more so than in the past. This is a luxury afforded us by your relative wealth and security.

  • ||

    There is also a theory that says that since infant mortality was so high, people didn't bond with their children. They couldn't because you couldn't risk the emotional devastation of losing a child you were close to. Since people didn't bond with their children, the children grew up without the kind of empathy and socialization we grow up with now.

    That's an interesting thought. If it's true, it might help explain why farmers overwhelmed hunter-gatherers so easily. Not only did farming societies have larger populations, but hunter-gatherers had much lower rates of disease due to not living among animals and not having much contact with other groups. If they had lower infant mortality rates, they'd bond more and have more empathy, and maybe thus be less bloodthirsty.

    Now that I think about it, there are contemporary accounts of Indians being utterly horrified by the colonists' style of warfare. Indians tended to engage in traditional warfare, where you raid a village, kill a few men, and steal a few women, but the colonists fought to win and wipe out their enemies. It would be quite interesting if infectious disease explained the different approaches.

  • John||

    Interesting point about the Indians. I hadn't thought of it that way. The Indians, in North America at least generally practiced limited warfare. They were totally dumbfounded by the total warfare the Europeans waged.

  • JWatts||

    More importantly, there was a fundamental cultural misunderstanding. Many of the Indian tribes assumed that raiding a village and stealing a few women was a normal event. Whereas, to the European colonists, it was an indicator of the start of a war.

  • Lucky Jack||

    Indians generally practiced limited warfare because they needed to - societal structure of hunter-gatherers does not allow for mass mobilization, absolute authority and strict discipline needed for "civilized" warfare. They could neither field a large percentage of their population for long, nor force the discipline of ordered ranks needed for the "grind" of decisive close combat.

    That being said, if they had an opportunity to wipe out village of unprotected women and children, they were often more than happy to do so.

    Lawrence Keely covers this quite well in "War Before Civilization".

  • ||

    The 3 inch spear head embedded in Kennewick man's hip disagrees with you.

  • ||

    IMO, infectious disease explains why people think that money is evil.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    Do you think the people watching that spectacle were evil people?

    Well they were French, no?

  • OneOut||

    "The point that is lost in this is that the thing that people feared most during the middle ages was chaos and civil war."

    Interesting.

    I tend to think that numbers one and two would be food/shelter and then the hot chick in the next village over.

  • ||

    then the hot chick in the next village over.

    According to "A world lit by fire" it was not the hot chick in the next village but the 2nd cousin next door.

  • ||

    I read somewhere that in the dark ages that the lifespan of commoners actually went up slightly.

    it was something hilarious like life expectancy going from 32 to 37.

    Still it was a longer life.

    There might be something too this chivalry thing....at least the part about protecting the small folk....or at least parts about not slaughtering them wholesale.

  • Michael Price||

    No it's just that wars were limited and didn't generally target the peasants. That's not because the nobility were nice, they were just almost always broke, or so close to broke that losing a battle (let alone a long war) could finish them. They kept away from killing peasants because they knew if they did it, their enemies would retaliate. Being captured was bad, it cost you cash. Having your peasants killed cost you permanent income.

  • mlebauer||

    Good comment. I don't get "Reasons'" attempt to connect Tyrion's trial to Libertarianism. That philosophy wouldn't have worked in a middle ages context. And Tyrion isn't a Libertarian, rather a relatively balanced autocrat with a reasonable complex about his dwarfism.

    Perhaps they confused Libertarian with Libertine, which describes Tyrion well.

  • Free Society||

    People who point out the sociopathy of the state are often castigated as diabolical plotters with sinister motives. But beyond a tenuous abstraction there's really no connection. I love ASOIAF, but I'll be the first to tell you about the author's political inclination towards socialism and disdain for property rights.

  • Drake||

    And his love for massively overweight characters. Have we met one fat bad guy yet?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Maybe Illyrio?

  • Drake||

    He seemed moderately decent. I liked him teamed up with Tyrion on their drunken gluttonous road trip.

  • Raston Bot||

    Even the enormous yellow slaver that died from the pale mare was compassionate toward his chattel.

  • John||

    For sure they are Free Society. Of course sometimes the state is right and they really are diabolical assholes. Lenin questioned the state and as bad as the Tsar was, I am still siding with the Tsar in that situation.

    The problem is who is the brave dissenter and who is the sociopath asshole who just wants to take over and make things worse? Not always easy to tell.

  • Free Society||

    Some would find my motives sinister, if they are under the impression that their government is a moral entity. I don't share that delusion.

  • JohnLocke||

    I find the opposite, granted I know he is an avowed liberal, but is books are highly libertarian. On the subject of property rights, are you a book reader? If so, remember when J gives the Ws access to property in the G? That whole thing, J's whole motivation in doing that, is personal property, ownership, is good for society. Personally I think he is a long time Democrat, and is more a partisan than an ideologue, but if you sat him down and really picked him apart you'd find a lot of libertarianism in there, perhaps surprising even him. I certainly find it in his books.

  • John||

    I have not read the books and was speaking more generally about the medieval world and not about the books.

    Now that you say that, if there is one lesson to get from the time, it is the value of private property rights. When land stopped being owned by the king and owned by whoever had clear legal title, the world got a lot richer.

  • Free Society||

    Now that you say that, if there is one lesson to get from the time, it is the value of private property rights. When land stopped being owned by the king and owned by whoever had clear legal title, the world got a lot richer.

    I think if anything, these books show us HOW NOT TO implement property rights. In these books, the small folk own property at the pleasure of their liege lord. If a band of robbers murder a property owner (at least in a time of war) they can claim his property. As for the lords and their holdings, they maintain them at the pleasure of their liege lords, thus in ASOIAF property rights belong to those who serve the state. That's not the kind of property rights we, as libertarians, value.

    Look at how Roose Bolton treated a local mill owner's property rights. Look at how properties were transferred owners in the Riverlands during the War of the Five Kings.

    When the hound was trying to infiltrate the Twins on the premise that he was there to sell pork for the feast, the guards barred his entry and demanded the totality of his goods anyways. That's not exactly a reverence of property rights on display with the people of Westeros. The most libertarian thing about Westeros is the outlawry of slavery, but that's about where the list ends.

  • robc||

    remember when J gives the Ws access to property in the G?

    That took me too long to translate.

  • Free Society||

    I find the opposite, granted I know he is an avowed liberal, but is books are highly libertarian.

    How in the world are these books "highly libertarian"? I don't mean to sound snarky, but what about it is libertarian? The feudalism? The autocracy? The "power in a king's blood"?

    If so, remember when J gives the Ws access to property in the G? That whole thing, J's whole motivation in doing that, is personal property, ownership, is good for society.

    I am a reader and yes I remember. The Romans settled barbarian tribes along their frontiers in exchange for military services and taxes, but that was not a random act of liberty then and it shouldn't be looked at that way now. Moreover, the Ws weren't given property, they were settled there essentially as tenants. Nor does property and feudal contracts automatically translate into libertarian principles on display.

    Personally I think he is a long time Democrat, and is more a partisan than an ideologue, but if you sat him down and really picked him apart you'd find a lot of libertarianism in there, perhaps surprising even him. I certainly find it in his books.

    From what I recall of numerous interviews and blog entries from GRRM, he is farrrr more concerned with fanciful notions of "social justice" than he is with any notion of liberty.

  • ||

    the author's political inclination towards socialism and disdain for property rights.

    Huh?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    At first, I wasn't sure what this summary of a GoT episode had to do with libertarianism. The more I read, the less sense it made -- until finally, in one glorious push, the article ends with one sentence tenuously connecting us all back into the great current of libertarianism. This thin filament of philosophy is brief but memorable, graciously refusing to overstay its welcome. Others may criticize or even wonder why this is on Reason. Some may even be so bold as to cancel their subscriptions. Pay heed to none of them. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

  • ||

    They didn't spend column inches on weak comparisons between libertarians and pop-culture fantastical dwarven outcasts when Postrel was running the place.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Damn straight. For a magazine called Reason...

  • Marshall Gill||

    I am going to subscribe so that I can cancel my subscription.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I actually have a subscription to threaten to cancel now!

  • Sevo||

    And this is about a goddam TV show?
    What, are we training a new generation of treckkies who will spend their lives going to conventions?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaB_G1WNT70

  • cavalier973||

    It's "Trekkers"

  • Raston Bot||

    Yara at the dreadfort was a nice action scene and change from the books but, so far, the only point being to show how bad of a mindfuck Ramsey put on Theon.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    That scene was exciting but also comical in retrospect. What? She goes all the way to the Dreadfort, an ardius journey, gives a great speech, and then like 15 minutes later she just turns around and goes home?

    If she thought Theon was too far gone she should have just killed him. Leaving him with Ramsay was just cruel.

  • scareduck||

    Great point.

  • MJGreen||

    The directing was pretty laughable. First Ramsay arrives and stands around to make a lame quip, and then it ends with Yara and co watching him slowly release the hounds. It's like when a character is surrounded but the bad guys only attack him one at a time. Just rush Ramsay and kill him before he can release the dogs! Or, you know, kill the dogs.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Pretty much a verbatim conversation took place on the couch last night.

  • Drake||

    And he wasn't wearing armor. Didn't The Hound just give a lecture on what happens to guys in sword fights without armor? Yara, (Asha, whatever) fight with throwing axes. She would have just chucked one into his chest.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    To be fair, they did need to show that somehow. In the books it's obvious because of the Reek POVs, but I don't think the show got that across even with the shaving scene.

  • ||

    I think they put that in there because for a long time Theon and his sister are absent in the books.

    Basically the show is putting the actors on life support until they start playing a bigger role.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's definitely part of it. That's why Bran stopped by Craster's as well.

  • JohnLocke||

    I find Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire to be highly libertarian, though perhaps I am just seeing what I want to see. It is odd, George R.R. Martin being an avowed liberal, but his writing seems very libertarian. One of his self admitted overarching themes is how the peasants get shit on by government, how power corrupts. There are very obviously libertarian themes of private property, pride of ownership, and tragedy of the commons on display. I don't want to spoil things for people to be more specific. He points out how good people aren't always good rulers and bad people aren't always bad ones. (and in interviews he specifically mentions Carter as a good person but a horrible president). Obviously he is anti-slavery, takes a dim view of cronyism. In later books there is a rather obvious point about the separate of church and state.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    He's a combination of David Simon and Tolkien.

  • robc||

    It is odd, George R.R. Martin being an avowed liberal, but his writing seems very libertarian.

    Joss Whedon is very liberal and his heroes are always libertarian. He has commented on it, and hates it, but it somehow keeps happening. Maybe he should clue in to something, somehow.

  • ||

    The show "Agents of Shield" is a nothing but sucking the cock of big government stomping on liberty for the common good.

  • ||

    Which is why it sucks.

  • Free Society||

    Property ownership in ASOIAF is nothing like the property rights libertarians value. Property rights in the book are afforded to those who serve the interests of the state. Your property can be stolen by the state without recourse. People can murder you and take your house or place of business with no more claim than your death.

    There are many many examples of property rights being disregarded entirely. I posted some instances of that further up the thread in response to one of your other posts about the liberty orientation of Westerosi society. I love liberty and I love ASOIAF but I think your confirmation bias has gotten the better of you if you really think these books put any libertarian principles on display in the behavior of characters and institutions.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I think I understand the connection. Salon in Cersei in Libertarianism is Tyrion, right?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They're all Benjen.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I actually like the comparison.

    Like Tyrion libertarians are wise but hated. In addition, we have little power, yet we're always suspected to be political deviants.

  • cavalier973||

    And we want to know where the whores go.

  • ||

    Pretty much. Just as the left will never admit that their precious offspring is a psychopathic monster.

    And whenever a socialist government falls, it's always because evil capitalists poisoned it.

    We didn't kill communism, but we wish we had.

  • Game of Thrones fan||

    TRIAL BY COMBAT, COCKSUCKERS!

  • Brett L||

    Interesting. What is the protocol when one of the named plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit thinks the settlement negotiated by attorneys to be inadequate?

    Michael Devine, one of the four named plaintiffs in a class action of 64,000 people, described the tentative settlement as "grossly inadequate" in a letter to the judge in the case.
  • scareduck||

    I wish this were more fully developed. The meat of this piece is in its final sentence, but it left me wishing for more.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I think I much better pop culture comparison would be Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

    The conspiracy has already infiltrated the halls of power. It happened right under everyone's noses, and it's kind of embarrassing considering all the surveillance of other suspected threats.

    Some might think that libertarianism is the threat. But the real threat already has complete power and control over the country.

  • MJGreen||

    You mean the KOCHTOPUS?

  • Warren||

    I demand trial by combat!

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    I've seen enough of Game of Thrones (roughly 15 minutes) to realize that it's basically a bad soap opera mashed up with rape scenes. In other words, it's porn, complete with the obligatory dwarf. How anyone can watch a full episode without drowning in their own vomit is beyond me. The only lesson libertarians can take away from such garbage is that the vast majority of modern day serfs are still only interested in bread and circuses.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And what is your problem with porn?

  • ||

    If any more words come dribbling out that cunt mouth of yours I am going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.

  • ||

    So very true.
    I recall just recently having had a discussion with Tony about a similar fact when it comes to discussion of political correctness.

    People on the left are forever forcused on the semantics. You used the wrong word to refer to Native Americans or the disabled, or women, and so the discussion turns into an analysis of why you are racist/sexist, rather than the underlying topics.

    This makes it impossible to have a serious good faith discussion. As soon as one touches a sensitive nerve, you get attacked. And yet, it's impossible to have a real dicussion without touching any sensitive nerves. So you become the villian for having the balls to attempt to say things other people are afraid to say.

  • Free Society||

    Kinda like an argument with my wife. She pokes me with a proverbial stick and as soon as I mutter a profanity or show any anger, the underlying argument ceases to exist and all that remains is a discussion of how rude I just was.

  • Free Society||

    I thoroughly love my wife and all, but god help me when there's something to argue about. The trick to winning is trying not to have an aneurysm from all the frustration.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That seems to be a universal tactic.

  • Free Society||

    Liberals and wives agree.

  • ||

    In this case, we're not even being provoked to anger, we're making a serious argument, and then all of a sudden it's like "OMG! You used the word SPADE! I can spell the racism from here! Hey, look everyone, RACISTS!!"

  • Free Society||

    I've lost track of the number of times that people have accused me being bribed. I'll say "Dodd-Frank is a terrible law", next thing you know every proggy in the thread accuses me of taking cash payments directly from Mr. Wells Fargo himself.

  • Tony||

    If you're too lazy to figure out how people in modern polite society refer to each other then it's your own fault if people ignore your arguments. You are not entitled to decide what other people are called, and it's really not that difficult to get up to speed.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Fuck you, you disgusting, immoral, pathetic, pig.

  • Tony||

    You're a walking parody of a Randian.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I'm not a "Randian" dipshit.

    You are, however, an immoral diseased pig.

  • Free Society||

    We don't live in a polite society because people like you are a dime a dozen. It takes so little thinking power to arrive at the conclusions that you do, that it's no wonder so many people share your opinions. You, your rhetoric and your ideology appeals to the lowest common denominator.

  • Not a Libertarian||

    This would have perhaps been an easily settled question 50 years ago, but which on balance is the more libertarian genre, Science Fiction or Fantasy?

  • lap83||

    That can probably answered with the question, which has a keener grasp of human nature? The other one's the more libertarian genre.

    I kid, but seriously, a libertarian-approved happy ending is not a realistic scenario..."and then they all realized that government was way too big and doing more harm than good, so they reduced the governing body to a hamster running in a wheel. Then, to everyone's surprise, the world did not come to an end. Although the politicians had to find actual jobs. Other than that, everyone lived happily ever after."

    That sounds like a delightful fairy tale to me, but still a fairy tale.

  • Tony||

    That's quite a stretch even if it weren't 100% true that libertarian policies are tailor-made to loot wealth from the many and hand it over to plutocrats. Even if you don't believe they are and are acting in good faith. In that case you're just immune to evidence and stupid.

    Tax cuts for the rich don't help the little people. Deregulation doesn't help the little people. The dismantling of social services doesn't help the little people. The only winners in your scenario are the ones who had wealth; now they have a lot more.

    It's not enough to just say you're against corporatist corruption and that in some utopian version of the world it would magically disappear because... squirrel!

  • angus||

    Tony,

    Solutions to corporatism uber alles:

    Your solution lock up all the greedy b-stards.

    These guys solution let all the greedy b-stards go bust.

    Both of these have merit, but are utterly opposed to each other. So you get the existing set-up:

    Dem - tax more and offer XXXL subsidies.

    Rep - tax less and offer XXL subsidies.

  • Free Society||

    That's quite a stretch even if it weren't 100% true that libertarian policies are tailor-made to loot wealth from the many and hand it over to plutocrats.

    How is it, that without political power, that people could be loooted by libertarians? Commerce? You have to take a Marxist line of reasoning to believe that voluntary trade is exploitation and theft.

  • Tony||

    Come on, the whole argument is that we won't have any abuses if we just get rid of the rules. Like we wouldn't have any theft if we got rid of laws against theft. Brilliant!

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Deregulation doesn't help the little people.

    I suppose the deregulation of the airline industry is a special exception?

    I keep waiting for the socialist utopia that makes corporate corruption magically disappear. I mean, if we're going to embrace nirvana fallacies, we might as well do so without double standards.

  • mlebauer||

    Reason, I love you, but Tyrion Lannister = Libertarian on trial doesn't work. Perhaps you meant Libertine? That fits him perfectly. Tyrion as ruler would be a cunning and sometimes ruthless autocrat with a flexible moral code. He's much more his father's son than Jamie, albeit with an ethical side.

    The trial is a spectacle of progressive social injustice ("they're persecuting me for being a dwarf") rather than anything to do with Libertarianism. Re-reading the weakly connected analogy at the end, you're not saying Tyrion is a Libertarian. Rather that Libertarians are like Tyrion, scape-goated to serve corporatist interests. That may be true for both cases, but the connection here is weak.

  • angus||

    Tyrion Lannister is a self absorbed dwarf and who is gifted the storyline a heroic figure entirely due to his accident of noble birth. He doesn't do anything, he initiates no schemes, is mostly a cynic monologue and is a passenger in other peoples plots. He talks a lot and might do something later, but is too wishy-washy to make a difference.

    Yes, I can see him as a libertarian.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement