It’s funny how we get so lost in the brilliance that is Game of Thrones. It takes us to unforeseen lands where wildfire can destroy entire fleets of ships. Where dragons are mothered by the most powerful of women. Where monstrous men crush skulls with their bare hands, and where a dwarf, in a world that does not see him as anything more than a diabolical disaster, could be responsible for said wildfire, be hand to the mother of dragons and be the reason an innocent man’s skull could be crushed. Tyrion Lannister certainly brings a large piece of the puzzle together and is an integral cog to making the Game of Thrones wheel turn.
So what is the message that George R. R. Martin is trying to convey? What is he trying to get across to his readers and the watchers of his show? Could it be a reflection of our own society? The depths of its corruption? It certainly seems that way, everyone is trying to get a piece of the pie, everyone wants power, all for different reasons. Though, just like our own politicians, in reality it’s for the same reason- the allure of looking over your fellow man with contempt, standing taller than them as they whimper in the shadows of a forceful presence. But of course a leader is only as good as the people around him or her, perhaps this is one of the many layered messages he wishes to convey. Good men or women can turn to greed in a heartbeat given the right circumstances, so having a voice on their shoulder to even them out may be even more important than soldiers that defend their rule.
No matter how you look at it, it reflects, with perfect symmetry, the corruption and misguided views of the leaders who supposedly are only out to do what is right for the people, when in reality they are out for themselves. Even Daenerys Targaryen has an agenda of her own. It may well be for the betterment of the world around her, but essentially she has succumbed to the allure of power.
But what if the message is not so complicated? What if it is something that every man woman and child has to face in their lifetime? What if it is nothing to do with corruption or power? What if it is simply this: Death, no matter who you are or what you have achieved, is coming for you. You can not buy your way out of it. You can not seek to hide or find shelter from its influence. If you send soldiers to destroy it, it will simply slap you down and take you anyway. Death is the true equaliser, one of the few things we all have in common, and if you see it coming, you may very well fight for your life, but know, eventually it will come and take us all.
I don’t know how the series will end, it could go a number of ways, but what I have taken out of the books and the show, is simple: I will not waste my life squabbling over insignificant things. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are a king or a queen, a peasant or a farmer, you will look into the eyes of death and no amount of begging will save you. Cherish your life, embrace it. Hug your fellow men and women, laugh, smile and bask in everything the world has to offer, but do not get hung up on the things you do not have, for one day you will have nothing but the welcoming smile of an old friend who has been waiting to greet you since the day you were born.
Image credit Peter Pham | Flickr
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