What's more cringe-inducing than Jaime Lannister coming face-to-face with the kid he pushed out a window in order to cover up the fact he was banging his sister? This article by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), titled "The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters," for starters.
Warren's 2020 Democratic presidential nomination isn't going so well, which has forced the senator to make desperate bids for attention. Her The Cut article is more of the same, ham-handedly name dropping a bunch of Game of Thrones characters and plot points in an eye-rolling, how-do-you-do-my-fellow-kids sort of way.
"Daenerys 'Stormborn' Targaryen has been my favorite from the first moment she walked through fire," writes Warren. This is like saying George Washington is your favorite president, The Godfather is your favorite movie, and if you could have dinner with any person living or dead you would pick either Albert Einstein or Jesus. Yawn.
Why does Warren love Daenerys? Because she's "a queen who declares that she doesn't serve the interests of the rich and powerful … a ruler who doesn't want to control the political system but to break the system as it is known." But this is quite a stretch. Aside from her campaign to abolish slavery in Essos—a crusade that destabilized an entire region, claimed the lives of thousands of people, and may very well have failed (sound familiar?)—Daenerys is mostly a conventional monarch with conventional entanglements, goals, and tactics. She counted the extremely wealthy Tyrell family as among her most powerful allies until enemies wiped them out.
Warren also loves Daenerys because she sees something of herself in the strong female politician who has dared to play a man's game. But she doesn't love that other strong female politician: Indeed, much of the piece is about why Queen Cersei is bad. Banks! Too big to fail. Privatization! Seriously:
Unlike Dany, Cersei doesn't expect to win with the people — she expects to win in spite of them. When Cersei's brother (and lover) Jaime begs her not to wage a war — arguing that they don't have the warrior strength of the Dothraki or the allegiance of the other houses, she replies with all the confidence in the Seven Kingdoms: "We have something better. We have the Iron Bank." Rather than earn her army, Cersei's pays for it. She buys 20,000 Golden Company mercenaries — though they arrive without their legendary elephants — with funds from the Iron Bank. But Cersei has no intention of sending her private army north to help defeat the army of the dead — that's Jon and Dany's problem. No, Cersei's army will sit back and wait for whatever comes their way. Cersei's betting on the strength of the bank to get her through the biggest fight of her life. It never crosses the mind that the bank could fail, or betray her.
Cersei is a tyrant who burned most of her enemies alive. But Daenerys has also roasted a lot of people—including some who already surrendered and were no longer a threat to her, as Samwell Tarly tearfully reminded viewers in the season premiere. If Daenerys displaces Cersei and captures the Iron Throne, for many inhabitants of Westeros it will feel a lot like swapping one tyrant for another. The same could be said, of course, in the event that Warren defies the odds and captures her own Iron Throne.