Who Chooses The Rulers

Who Chooses The Rulers

They’re still complaining about the Game of Thrones in my family.  In my observation, they’re downright bitter.  I watched the series too, not from the very beginning the way they did; but I picked up later.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I had to admit it held my interest from the start.  It was sort of like watching a novella; high drama with lots of intrigue and back-stabbing, double-dealing and two-faced liars, accompanied by magical creatures and brutal executions.  Something for everybody.

The episodes built steadily over a long time toward a climax.  Who would rule the iron throne when it was all said and done?  Would it be Jon Snow?  The proclaimed “hero.”  What about Arya, the warrior.  She did slay the King of the Nightwalkers, after all, even if they wasted the importance of her character for last three or so episodes.  And wasn’t she the most evolved character?  A trained killer, the one who suffered alone as she plodded along fighting for survival, killing only those deserving her violence. 

What about crafty Circe?  Mesmerizing in all her evil.  In our political system or on reality television she’d be a super star. Best of all, we could watch from afar and judge her lack of morals.

 And then there was Daenerys, the developing idealist.  She didn’t have as much experience as Circe, but she’d fought long and hard waving her sword of idealism in the face of the people.  Of course, we all know how dangerous idealism can be.

And last, but not least, Sansa, not as calculating as Circe, or as fearless as Arya, and not as bold as Daenerys, she still knew how to twist the knife, so it came out on her side.

None of these females ended up ruling Westeros.  Circe died, (with her lover, who was her brother), whimpering in fear, her drive to conquer gone, as the castle collapses around them.   Daenerys loses her mind, along with her idealism, and her drive to save humanity and establish a better world, and is put to death by our male hero, after she demolishes a city and its people.  Arya is efficiently moved aside as there is no place for her there any longer, and Sansa is overlooked, and passed over, the way most women are when it comes to promotions.

So, who was chosen as the fearless leader?  Why, Bran The Broken, of course.  Was this because the white male had to succeed no matter what?  Was the show trying to mimic real life?  And what about Tyrion?  Every time he messed up he was assigned more power to determine the fate of the kingdom’s subjects.  Is the premise to be learned that only men are fit to rule?

I listened to a lot of reasons as to why everyone was disappointed in the show’s ending, mostly about the improbability of the conclusion. But I was disappointed for my own reasons.  By pulling Bran out from under the rock where he usually stayed, doing the least, and ignoring the more deserving experienced female characters, the show honored the theme of traditional white male privilege once again.

When I heard over and over the complaints from my family, (mostly male), about the ending, and the last scene where the newly established council sat around in a half circle to manage the fate of their subjects, I realized that they probably didn’t see the ending as regressive and backsliding the way I did. But they knew there was something wrong when two powerful queens were summarily dismissed to make room for a young male.  They just haven’t put it all together as to why and what it means in everyday life, and in business and politics.  But it made them think.  I take that as a good sign.