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Five Libertarian Lessons in HBO's Game of Thrones

For libertarians it may seem like winter is always coming



The latest season of HBO's Game of Thrones ended Sunday. The show, which has garnered record-breaking ratings for HBO and has also become one of the most pirated TV shows of all time, follows the stories of the royal families and politics of Westeros, a fictional amalgamation of mostly medieval European states. Nevertheless, because the show—based on a series of novels by George R.R. Martin—focuses more on humans and the way they interact with each other than on magic (though there is plenty of that), it provides a jumping off point for conversations on issues like rape and radicalism. Because libertarian ideas are largely based on human action, there are some libertarian themes to glean from the show, too. Spoliers, obviously, to follow.

ever thus to deadbeats

1) The rule of law is more important than brute force for social order

Much is made in Westeros about bloodlines, the right to rule, and the force needed to exercise that right. The death of King Robert Baratheon in the first season led to several seasons of jockeying by his brothers and other pretenders to the Iron Throne. The strength of a claim rested primarily on the strength of the army behind the claimant. Thus, Joffrey, the son of Robert's wife, Cersei, and her twin brother ascends the throne while Robert's younger brother Stannis has to figure out a way to bring his own family's forces under his command before attempting to take King's Landing. In the meantime, the presence of multiple claimants to the throne encourage Balon Greyjoy, a regional lord, to reassert his realm's independence from the Seven Kingdoms ruled by the Iron Throne.

Joffrey, meanwhile, is ill-prepared for power and moves immediately to abuse it, disregarding custom and any base standard of morals to literally do as he pleases as king. He beheads Ned Stark even after promising to pardon him, leading to war. He signs off on the murder of Ned's son, Robb, during a wedding. He also torments his subjects, is loathed by all, and eventually poisoned. Rather than making any effort to find the real killer, Joffrey's grandfather, the power behind the throne, instead uses his death to try to eliminate the dwarf son he detests. "The true moral of the story," Charli Carpenter wrote at Foreign Affairs, "is that when good rules are disregarded, disorder and ruin follows."

2) Debt is ruin

typical dem

One of the key lessons throughout Game of Thrones is that when you pay the bills you call the shots. "A Lannister always pays his debt" is the unofficial motto of House Lannister, which not coincidentally appears to wield the most power of any family in Westeros. While the Iron Throne remains technically in the hands of the Baratheons—Joffrey and later Tommen are the product of Cersei Lannister's relationship with her twin brother but are legally Baratheons, considered the children of Robert—Tywin Lannister, the patriarch of House Lannister, holds the position of "hand of the King" for both of his grandsons. Yet even when Robert ruled, he acknowledged Tywin's influencebecause the kingdoms owed so much money to the Lannisters. Naturally, the government of the Seven Kingdoms doesn't operate within, and eventually turns to the Iron Bank of Braavos for funding. It appears by the end of the fourth season that that bank has decided to back Stannis Baratheon in his quest to seize the Iron Throne—a stark lesson about how real the threat posed by national debt can be.

3) Government is theft

enemy of your enemy

Even with—or even because of—the significant debt the government of the Seven Kingdoms owes to the Lannisters and to the Iron Bank of Braavos, the government also relies on the King's men to loot and pillage the populace it claims to govern. The government's reliance on what it can pilfer from the kingdoms is made clear when young Joffrey, not yet a king, explains to his mother that he believes the lack of a royal army makes the king weak. How would he solve it? By requiring each kingdom to submit men to his army. In the latest season, the king's men (also known as the Lannisters' men) are shown as marauders, using their royal backing to take what they want as they push through the country. Contemporary governments offer more services than the government of Westeros, but the relationship between the property of the governed and the needs of the government is quite similar. What the government needs, it takes. The king's men may not terrorize America's streets, but it's easy to see the parallel between that kind of pilfering and actions like asset forfeiture and even the use of eminent domain to enrich interests connected to government officials.

4) Tight borders are anathema to freedom

border security ftw!

One of the most important settings in Game of Thrones is "the Wall," a megastructure built to separate the Seven Kingdoms from the more brutal lands north of the Wall. The Night's Watch, populated by criminals and young men with no place in their society, guards the Wall from Castle Black, charged with keeping the barbarians north of the wall from coming south. Deteriorating conditions, meteorologically and otherwise, are leading to a mass influx of refugees headed for the wall. The militarized border has helped turn these migrants into an invading force. As one of the "wildlings" from the North explains it, there's no difference between them and the residents of the Seven Kingdoms except that the former ended up on the "outside" of the wall and the latter on the inside. Arguably, the wall itself contributed to the disparities between the North and the Seven Kingdoms—the restriction of the freedom of movement of people and goods will have that effect. Without a wall, the wildlings of the North would have developed mutually beneficial economic relations with the residents of the Seven Kingdoms, perhaps even becoming a part of the polity. Instead, they are refugees or invaders.

5) Team loyalty in politics is dangerous

their last names aren't the problem
White House

A lot of the commentary about Game of Thrones seeks to connect the operation of the royal houses of Westeros to the Kennedy, Bush, and even Clinton families of the United States. "Could Americans one day say, without irony, 'The House of Bush' or 'The House of Clinton'?" John Blake asks at CNN. The distinct possibility that the 2016 election will come down to a race between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton helps this flawed analogy along. Yet, while George W. Bush may have been "second of his name," he was only the second president in America's history to be so. His father, meanwhile, was the first sitting vice president to be elected president since John Adams, America's second president and the last president to have a son ascend to the presidency as well. And when was the last time a Kennedy was relevant?

Instead, the royal houses of Westeros and their political influence in the Seven Kingdoms have more in common with the major parties of the United States. Just as many people in Westeros will base their political opinions on the house to which they have pledged loyalty, so too do many people in the U.S  base their political opinions on the party, Democrat or Republican, to which they have pledged loyalty.(Mercifully, this trend is declining.)

NEXT: On Game of Thrones Finale, Neoconservativsm Is Scrutinized

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  1. Looks like it is another GoT day at H&R…

    1. i know, right??

  2. Guys, I was *joking* about changing your slogan to “A Game of Thrones Fanzine, with a Sideline in Free Minds and Free Markets.”

    1. Way to leave WTF hangin’ bruh!

  3. I didn’t see last night’s episode yet. I’m not reading this post or any of the comments and am only here to say


    and then I’ll watch it tonight and come back here and look at all the dumb shit everyone wrote. Because everyone but me is dumb.

    1. Fist of Etiquette|6.16.14 @ 1:39PM|#
      “I didn’t see last night’s episode yet”

      Neither did I and there’s a good chance I’ll never see it:

    2. Ahhhh you too must wait til after to work to crack open that torrent file… I think it’s time to recognize that instantaneous GoT is a right!

      1. Oddly enough I subscribe to HBO, which it turns out is pretty expensive. More than I realized, but I like that HBOGO.

        1. Yeah. I need to find someone who has HBO but is too technologically illiterate to make use of their HBOGo account. Then I’ll be set…

          1. I sign up for HBO near the end of the season, watch it on On Demand, then cancel. Costs about 10 bucks for the season.

            1. I suspect seasonal subscribers are their bread and butter.


    1. May the Warrior protect you.

    2. The message board is dark and full or terrors.

  5. As we speak, Kathy Young is writing her article about how both sides are wrong about Game of Thrones, Chapman is working on a Cliff’s Notes-style summary, Elizabeth Nolan Brown is writing up her analysis on the creepy parallels between the social conservatives and one of the villains in the series, etc.

    1. Elizabeth Nolan Brown is off wherever whores go writing a story.

      1. [insert joke about Congress here]

      2. So who will be left to write the story about wherever whores go to write stories?

      3. Say that word again.

    2. I’m sure there is a poll is the works too.

      1. Foodie blog for the GoT Food Truck/Wagon.

    3. I’m still waiting for Nick to explain how the House of the Undying further underscores the relative sameness of the two major parties.

  6. Dan Brown is furious that no one sees the obvious code-lingo in GoT = Jesus, something.

  7. So no Stoneheart, eh?

  8. We need Leonard Jeffries to write a guest piece on the racism of GoT, and how, see, all the white people originally came from North of the Wall…

    1. Gawker Media has GoT racism stories so covered.

      1. You mean the *jew-run* Gawker Media?

  9. 5 libertarian lessons from GOT

    1. Trust your antisocial instincts
    2. If you insist on not being a total hermit, you’ll wish you owned a gun
    3. Prostitutes are people too
    4. Wouldn’t this be so much easier if you had a gun?

    1. “Wouldn’t this be so much easier if you had a gun?”

      Well yeah.

      It woould also be much easier to deal with the ice zombies if I had one of those flamethrower Sherman tanks they used at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

      1. And that Kananaga used at San Monique.

    2. 6. Speak softly and carry a big sword.

  10. I don’t watch the show, and i didn’t read the books. Looks like H&R is just an exclusive little club at which I’m not welcome. Fine, I’ll take my lurking and my occasional witty comment elsewhere. I’m sure HuffPo or Gawker will welcome me with open arms.

    But I won’t go to Lew Rockwell. NEVER there.

    1. They don’t let you comment anyway.

    2. Good luck with that they sanitize their database from any commentariat that doesnt jive with the statist jargon

  11. There are no libertarian messages in GoT. What makes Martin’s writing so good is that it’s just pure human interaction without any political bent on his part. No ideology distorts how he has his characters act. That’s why his characters are so “real”. He’s not obsessed with demonizing merchants as capitalists or anything like that. He’s just telling a really intricate story.

    1. Which is surprising, given his political leanings. So good for him.

    2. “What makes Martin’s writing so good what it is is that it’s just pure human interaction entertaining sex and violence without any political bent actual effort put into plot or character arcs on his part.”

      1. also, I hear he really likes to describe *food*

        1. I wonder how he does this, because it looks like any food that is around him ends up inside him immediately.

      2. Very little of the sex in the books is very sexy.

        Aside from that time Jon Snow spent in the cave it is all pretty horrible.

        Joe Abercrombie writes way better violence then Martin.

        Neal Asher also writes some pretty awesome violence but that is in Sci-Fi not sword and socery

        1. Asher does excellent large-scale violence. Richard Morgan does excellent small-scale violence (when Kovacs goes on his revenge rampage in Altered Carbon after being virtually tortured and Real Deaths every single person in the building, it’s fucking amazing). Martin’s violence, however, is much more shocking. He’s very good at surprising you with sudden violence, which is even more impressive when you consider he’s doing it in written, not visual, form.

          1. I mean the actual description of the violence.

            Martin’s violence is shocking because like you said it is sudden and the repercussions of it is laid bare and honest….

            But the actual description of the action and the blood and gore is pretty lack luster.

            With Abercrombie you get none of those “danced around his opponent” and “they spared trading blows” bullshit. You get were a character put his foot before a strike, the feel of the weapon in the hand, the crunch of a blow, the location and entrance of the spear tip into a person’s flesh and the screaming gurgling bloody aftermath of it.

  12. I feel the show jumped the shark when they kids up north reached the tree (which looked a lot like a Windows desktop background) and then ripped off the skeleton fight scene from Jason and the Argonauts.

    That and the actress that played the Child of the Forest came off like a 10 year old in a church Christmas pageant.

    1. The skeleton fight was like watching a bad video game. Jojen getting killed was pointless and stupid.

      1. Yeah that whole scene was fucking terrible.

        1. It reminded me of that commercial for some game for people’s phones that was on a bit back where skeletons dragged bombs around. It reminded me of that a lot.

          Is the fast animated skeleton like the fast zombie? Kind of stupid?

          1. They were very what’s-it-called, the Borderlands 2 Tiny Tina DLC.

            1. Yes, good point. And they were just as annoying as those fuckers were when you found out that a single hit from one of them was enough to blow your shield and half your health.

              BUTT STALLION

              1. Never seen GoT but this just made me laugh my ass off, I had it in true vault hunter mode and went off to go kick some ass with my level 40 commando… not so much and the fight for your life time goes fast as fuck in TVH mode.

                Fucking zombies

            2. YES! I was trying to place her!

              Thank you.

      2. Yes, but Bran’s whole story line is fucking stupid – even in the books. Fanstastical and pointless in the extreme.

      3. Every time I see a skeleton fight scene I am reminded of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..feature=kp
        scene in Jason and the Argonauts.

      4. The start was pretty good…..when the hand grabbed him.

        But yeah the skeletons jumping out like spawning monsters in Dark Souls was pretty bad.

        One thing that was also good is i thought everyone was going to be fine…and then that knife started stabbing Jojen in the chest and i was like “Holy shit!! WTF!?!?”

        It was a surprise.

    2. For me it jumped the shark when Spock was killed by Ewoks.

      I hope I got my cultural references right.

      1. Just don’t mention that Bothan spies were paid by the Ferengi.

      2. Live long and prosper, you must!

        Man, I miss those blue people. What happened to them?

    3. I liked the craziness of having a Jason and the Argonauts fight come outta nowhere, but it was poorly executed and way too long. Killing Jojen seemed unnecessary (maybe it was a contract issue?), but I did like the injured skeleton just wailing away on him. For all the times we see a monster come back to life and continue fighting, it was cool to see one succeed effortlessly. It would have been nice for them to give Jojen a scene with more substance than, “We need to get you north!” before he died.

      But yes, biggest disappointment is the Children of the Forest being… children. With chapped lips and unkempt hair. They should’ve saved money in that awkward CGI skeleton fight and put it towards giving the Children some decent make-up.

  13. The king’s men may not terrorize America’s streets,

    They don’t? Someone needs to read some Balko.

    1. They mostly terrorize America’s yards, homes and nurseries.

  14. The Night’s Watch, populated by criminals and young men with no place in their society, guards the Wall from Castle Black, charged with keeping the barbarians north of the wall from coming south.

    If Mexico was full of man-eating ice zombies, I’d be more in favor of militarizing our border with them.

    1. How does he not understand that the wildlings are incidental to the story?

      1. Yes and no. Protecting the South from the wildling is the pretext for the Wall. No one besides the Night’s Watch believes white-walkers actually exist.

        1. A 15-second scene featuring an army of white walkers beginning a march to the south would have salvaged the season for me.

        2. Either way, using GOT as an example of why border control is bad is absurd.

          The free passage of cannibals, raiders, rapists, foreign kings with armies, and Others – all really bad – Mkay?

          1. That wall is going to prove pretty darn ineffective against dragons. Oh wait, they’re coming form the South.

      2. The Wildlings like the Starks are all descended from the First Men.

        There is a war of civilizations and religion going on in the subtext of the story and I get a feeling the Wildlings and the North are going to play a big part in it.

        1. Their ancestors all came over on the Mayflower from America.

  15. “Tight borders are anathema to freedom”

    Way to miss the fucking point and shoe-horn in your political opinion.

    You think they raised a 100-mile long 300-ft tall wall to keep out wildlings? Mance wasn’t lying last night when he told Jon they weren’t invading the south, they were running for their lives.

    A tight northern border is the only way to prevent an extinction event when winter comes.

  16. Lets’ see, first the show was about “scrutinizing neoconservatism” and now it’s about “libertarian lessons”.

    Maybe the show shoud be on C-SPAN instead of HBO

  17. What I learned from GOT:

    Boobs would make the History Channel more entertaining.

    1. Well, yeah. Because boobs would make__________ more entertaining.

      1. Fill in the blank: Mythbusters

          1. I don’t know what this means.

            1. this is why there are no libertarian women

              1. Ah. I’ve seen TIWTANFL.

      2. Wendy’s commercials.

        1. And AT&T commercials.

          1. But not Progressive commercials.

    2. This. And there are some boobs on Vikings that would be really nice to see.

      1. Vikings has nudity when it airs in other parts if the world. Floki’s wife had a full frontal scene and there was a boob shot of Bjorn’s girl.

        Thanks, FCC. We should totes give them control of the internet, y’all.

        1. I keep meaning to watch that. I always think I’ll watch it when I’m on an airplane and I never do.

        2. No Katheryn Winnick?!?

          1. You would have felt the thrum of the entire web if that had happened.

          2. If not Winnick, at least Jessalyn Gilsig. I mean really, Floki’s wife? Talk about a rip off.

        3. I would love it if the FCC overstepped there, it may be the spark for the powder-keg country that we need to fire all the incumbents

  18. I’m planning on starting the series soon.

    There weren’t any spoilers in this thread, were there?

    1. Nope, Sean Bean had the week off.

      1. And nobody got married.

  19. I think this is a good change. No, really. Sure, I was originally drawn here by Balko’s top-notch investigative work, but I honestly prefer having all of my news being tied into GoT. Can the next article be about how Cantor’s primary loss is reminiscent of the killing of Tywin Lannister? How the ruling of Westeros is redolent of federalist themes? How gay marriage would have caused peace and stability in Westeros through the marriage of Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell? The possibilities are endless!

  20. Can we talk about Fargo now?

    1. How about Lillyhammer? I just started watching.

      1. I say Rick and Morty, but I’m a bit biased.

        1. Rick and Morty is FUCKING AWESOME. Shit like……Curse Purge Plus………or Ball Fondlers. Truly brilliant.

          Stay scientific.

    2. Is that show any good? I loved the movie, and I’m afraid the show will ruin it for me.

      1. Totally unrelated to the movie; they just wanted to cash in on the name and Coen Bros feel. The TV show started off well but has become really, really boring. I’m trying to keep going with it but it’s not making it easy.

      2. I think it’s great.

        Completely different story from the movie, but similar tone and feel.

    3. Is that worth watching?

      1. We’ve enjoyed it. Still great, typical Coen weird plot stuff, and I think Billy Bob Thornton is fucking BRILLIANT in this. And the supporting case are uniformly good, IMHO. I’d suggest you try one episode, you’ll wanna see more.

        1. It has nothing to do with the Coen Bros other than the name. It doesn’t even take place in Fargo. The name is a blatant attempt to get people to watch because of the movie.

          1. The Coen brothers are executive producers of the series.

            The movie Fargo didn’t take place in Fargo either.

            The series uses the flavor of the movie but uses unique characters and plot lines. The setting and genre are the only real commonalities.

            1. Executive producers don’t do shit except collect a paycheck usually. They’re executive producers because that’s how they got them to agree to allow the show to use their movie’s name and general look.

              The show seemed to have good ideas but it’s like they’ve stalled and can’t go anywhere with it. I’m a few episodes behind at this point so maybe it gets better, but they weren’t making me eager to try.

              1. Whatever. *shrugs*

        2. It does start a bit slow, but picks up momentum in about the 3rd episode.

          Quality-wise on par with True Detective imo.

          1. ^THIS.

            I actually think it’s better than True Detective since it manages to be both horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

            I couldn’t believe how much tension they wrung out of the last episode with just a car ride. Not to mention the fact that they made Martin Freeman’s Lester go from a wimp to the most despicable person on television in only 5 episodes.

            1. Lester was very repressed and fearful. Getting away with murder was liberating for him.

          2. True Detective is better IMO.

            Fargo is really good, but in term of acting chops, Matthew McConaughey is light years beyond anyone in it.

            True Detective has you mesmerized with nothing more than McConaughy sitting in a chair delivering a monologue.

  21. Although I got sick of all the new characters in books 4 and 5, I am interested to see where GRRM goes with the Old Town story line.

    There is a lot that has to happen in the last two books. Wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to 8.

    1. 8? Only of Brandon Sanderson is waiting the in wings.

  22. So this Game of Thrones thing is a TV show or something? Sounds interesting. What’s it about?

    1. An excuse for husbands to ogle at titties with their wives in the room without getting slapped in the back of the head.

    2. I think it replaced “Breaking Bad” when that series concluded.

    3. It’s about a pedophile who solves crimes in his spare time.

  23. The only libertarian lesson that I’ve learned from GoT is that Winter is Coming.

    1. We in Michigan coulda told you that…

      *adusts wool Carhartt hat*

      1. My fingers are so frozen I left out the “J” in adjust!

        1. The spelling Nazis aren’t as much bad as the grammar Nazis here around.

  24. All I care about is seeing Kalisi naked.

    1. Go back to season 1 then. It’s banned by her contract now. No wonder she likes contracts.

  25. All of these lessons such as they are are better learned from reading history. The part about “closed borders” is especially hilarious. How did those open borders and trade work out for the Romans? Libertarians great fault is that they lack the intellectual imagination to understand that sometimes people just are not like them. Young, violent men benefit from a society ruled by violence and thus have no interest in settling down to trade. Those young men who lurk outside the wars are not oppressed masses who would settle down to a nice life as a blacksmith or farmer if only they could. They are important people in their world and have no interest in creating a settled civilization because doing so would make them the unimportant brutes they are. Opening your lands and inviting them in isn’t going to change that.

    It is of course highly debatable how much the lessons of past civilizations dealings with barbarians and nomadic peoples applies today. Probably not much at all and certainly not much in relation to the issue of borders. Whatever those lessons, “just let them in” isn’t one of them. Perhaps maybe not every issue relates back to pot, Mexicans and gay sex.

    1. Young, violent men benefit from a society ruled by violence and thus have no interest in settling down to trade.


      It was the Soldiers, both wolves and lions, who raped every Inn keeper’s daughter between the Twins and Kings landing…not just random hooligans.

      1. Indecently another lesson of GoT is don’t be an Inn Keeper’s daughter and if you find yourself being one then run as fast and as far away as you can.

      2. If I am a soldier, why do I want to end the war? War allows me to make a living and rape and pillage. Why would I want an end to that?

        In a world like 14th Century Europe or GOT, soldiers are random hooligans.

        1. Right, the purpose of being a soldier- on campaign for many months- back in the day was the promise of plunder. It has been this way since the days of the Persian Empire at the least.

  26. The big lesson of all medieval and a lot of ancient history is that if you don’t have a solid rule of law and civic institutions, various great families will end up laying waste to the country in endless civil wars over control. The way the medieval world initially dealt with this problem by creating strong central monarchies. That worked fairly well, provided you had a good king who left a good heir. When you had a bad kind, which was most of the time, or the king didn’t leave an heir or the heir was a child, which was a good portion of the time even with good kings, the whole system fell apart. So the solution that arose over time, in England most of all, was the rule of law and the respect for individual rights that slowly over time made it more difficult for the great families to fight over the thrown or for bad kings to terrorize the country.

    Obviously, this had little effect at first and sometimes had no effect. The English aristocracy damned near killed itself and the nation during the War of the Roses and again in the wars of religion. The upside of those horrors was to finally convince the country and most importantly its leaders to commit to civic institutions and the rule of law so that such things could not happen in the future.

    1. Don’t forget the influence of the Levellers and Covenanters and other religious fanatics. Without all those English and Scottish lunatics raving about what god told them in the 17th century, we may never have evolved a doctrine of freedom of conscience. It’s interesting how our liberal (in the old sense) world was created by so many decidedly illiberal influences.

      1. At first they were terrified of a religous war happening there like it did in Germany. So they clamped down on any religious dissent. Tudor England was a police state. That of course didn’t stop the wars from breaking out. Only after they suffered through the wars did they decide that the only solution was to let people have freedom of conscience. If you deny each side the ability to use the government to oppress the other, people stop wanting to kill each other and start to leave each other alone. Funny that.

  27. I forgot to mention, they LEFT OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT about Tyrion’s storyline…

    During the scene where Jaime lets Tyrion out of the dungeon, they left out the part where Jaime tells Tyrion that _________ wasn’t really a _______!!!! .

    I mean, what the fuck. That is so important to Tyrion’s motivation. This way it seems like Tyrion just decides to go visit the Tower of the Hand on a whim, instead of just escaping.

    1. Yes, that really was a huge omission.

      1. Yeah, I noticed that too. It really alters the nature of Tyrion and Jaime’s relationship going forward.

    2. …Huh. I knew her story had something to do with Tyrion’s decision, but I assumed it was something else. I just looked up the actual revelation and, yeah, they should have used that in the series. That bumps Tywin into a whole other level of despicable, and does a lot for Tyrion and his relationship with Tywin.

      Although I definitely like them leaving Jaime and Tyrion as best bros. I assume that, so far, they haven’t run into each other again in the books?

      1. Tyrion is on another contient so no.

    3. I don’t think Tyrion’s first wife was ever mentioned in the TV show.

      Also it is pretty safe to talk about her now…not as if she is ever going to show up on the show and at this point in the story everyone should pretty much know about her anyway.

      For people who did not read the books Tyrion was married to some common girl when he was in his late teens and he ran off with her. His dad caught her and let his guards rape her then had Tyrion rape her and pay her being told she was only a whore trying to steal the Lanaster gold through marriage.

      Jaime when he released Tyrion told him that she never was a whore and she was just some farm girl thus revealing that she probably did love Tyrion and her marriage to him was legit.

      Also the conversation between Tyrion and Tywin before Tyrion shot and killed his dad was about his wife not about Shea….in fact i think Tyrion killed Shea after he killed his father.

      1. It was mentioned–once, back in season 1. It’s in a scene where Tyrion, Bronn, and Shae are talking in Tyrion’s tent before the big S1 off screen battle.

        The scene also left out Tyrion’s angry response to Jaime, where he falsely admits to killing Joffrey and tells him that Cersei’s been getting it on with Lancel, the Kettleblacks, and anyone else around.

        But in the book, Tyrion does kill Shae before killing Tywin.

        1. Good point. The revelation that Cerceis been cheating on him is what drives Jaime away from Cersei.

          Fuck. I don’t mind them screwing with minor plot points, but when they start altering the mental states and motivations of the major characters that really pisses me off.

        2. I’d been so focused on the lacking Tysha bit that I totally forgot about him lying to Jaime. That does screw things up. We could have done without the bug story, perhaps?

          What this serves to do is make both Tyrion and Jaime more innocent. Not very GRRM!!

      2. Tyrion’s relationship with Tysha is the key to his whole character. It’s the reason he like prostitutes, and the reason he visits whorehouses so much – he’s looking for Tysha. It’s why he hates his father so much.

        The fact that his first love, who actually loved him in return, contrary to what he had believed for the last 20 years, was brutally raped at the command of his father, rather than being paid, is a pretty major plot point, IMO.

        1. I mean seriously, imagine you spent the last twenty years thinking that your first love was a whore, only to find out that she wasn’t. She was just an innocent girl who loved you. And by the way, that scene you thought was her fucking your fathers guards for money was actually her being gang-raped by them, while you watched.

          If only your loving brother had told you that sooner, before you wasted twenty years of your life searching for her in whorehouses.

  28. The other lesson from these sorts of stories and history is how much people before the modern age lived in fear of chaos and societal breakdown. We are so rich now that we forget that yes civilization and order can break down and when it does the consequences are catastrophic. People in the pre modern world didn’t have the luxury to forget that. If the King died without an heir or the aristocracy rebelled, the country was plunged into chaos. An army marching through an area could mean starvation for the locals even if it was a friendly army. When the army came through, the food in the area went to them first. People just could not survive on their own. If their community was destroyed they were likely destroyed with it or at least the children and old and anyone too weak to live off the land. That fear drove a lot of what people did.

    1. +1 Thomas Hobbes

    2. “An army marching through an area could mean starvation for the locals even if it was a friendly army. When the army came through, the food in the area went to them first.”

      I felt that the 7 Samurai did a better job of illustrating this. There is a scene where the Samurai are getting all pissy that the Villagers had hidden Sake from them even though they were there to help. And the young guy basically points out that it is because the “Good Samurai” and the “Bad Samurai” are no different to the villagers. They are just guys who come in and take, take, take.

  29. Why does every GoT post have a picture of the Calisi? Are you just hoping she’ll relent and get naked again on last time?

    1. Naked and on all fours again. Best use of her time

  30. Regardless of whether there are actually elves in in, Game of Thrones is still Elf Shit and I will not partake. What, Heinlein’s no longer the libertarian genre writer par excellence?

    1. The children of the Forest are basically elves.

  31. Without a wall, the wildlings of the North would have developed mutually beneficial economic relations with the residents of the Seven Kingdoms,

    More likely they would have just had a lot more raiding parties.

  32. Martin Van Buren is sad. The author forgot of his election as Andrew Jackson’s Vice president in 1832 and being elected President in 1836.

    1. But we still commemorate Jacksons bloody and genocidal presidency by keeping his mug on the 20$.
      he really is a sad VP

      1. And ironically, Jackson is the guy who ended the Bank of the United States. He just couldn’t keep it from coming back as a WhiteWalker known as The Fed.

  33. It’s a quite libertarian society. Inherited privilege. Wealth comes from shiny metal. No taxes that I’m aware of. I’m sure someone, somewhere, is shouting into the wind “nonaggression principle!” And as we know, that’s all it takes.

    1. Libertarianism? Not sure what you mean by inherited privilege. Wealth comes from creating value, not shiny metal. Westaros has taxes. Joffrey says this is one of the methods he would deal with the north and why he wants his own royal army…so he doesn’t have to beg this lord or that for support. As to the last point, Westaros is a pretty good example of what libertarians try to tell people. The government does not protect you, they use you. When the war breaks out, what does Cersei, Queen Regent, say to do about the peasants coming into the city to seek refuge? “They belong in the fields, not our capital.” The King and Queen Regent are supposed to protect the peasants, but they only do when it’s convenient and are even mostly disgusted by them.

  34. Somehow I think that statists view Game of Thrones as a cautionary tale on what happens in the absence of a strong central government.

  35. thats very very cool. i extremely agree with this The rule of law is more important than brute force for social order.

  36. It really amazing guy and always good look and awesome.

  37. Yea, rule of law is better than brute force social order. Agreed with this one.


  38. Agreed with all except the number one. Opinions differ for everyone though.

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