Everywhere I’ve looked today I’ve been met with election fever; I saw Ed Miliband wink at me from a sign on the bus, David Cameron watched with unblinking eyes as I relieved myself in a public toilet, I even saw Nigel Farage peeking out over a woman’s breast pocket. They are everywhere…Just like the political leaders of Westeros. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television at the moment and so in attempt to make election day slightly more tolerable here’s a few parallels between George RR Martin’s Westeros and Queen Lizzy’s Britain.
The Political Climate
Britain is in a state of extreme political turmoil, the post-recession situation is putting pressure on the countries finances and is causing a division between the population and the countries political powers. The northern region of Britain is trying to succeed from the rest of it as Scotland pursues an agenda towards independence. There is a strong debate over climate change that we may be too late to even act upon. And to cap it all off, Britain is taking part in a war in a far off land with another culture that hates and fears us.
In contrast, Westeros is in a state of extreme political turmoil, the post-Stark/Lannister war situation is putting pressure on the countries finances and is causing a division between the population and the countries political powers. The northern region of Westeros is divided from the rest of the country by a hundred foot ice wall. There is a strong debate over whether Winter is coming even though it may be too late to act upon it. And to cap it all off, Westeros is on the verge of war with a far off land and a another culture that hates and fears them.
It would seem, that there are a few similarities then.
With a stronghold in the South of the land we have the Conservative party. Supporting the country with their own finances, and hoping that buys them respect. Led by a bunch of elitists who have little respect for the average resident of the country, the Conservatives answer to solving the countries problems seem to lay between selling all its assets and disregarding the lower classes.
A once strong party who had a large stake in the south until losing out and being backstabbed in their coalition with the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats are now in a significantly weaker position than they used to be several years ago when England was in its last period of political change. The Liberal Democrats have strong moral principles but are now looking for any ally in the coming days.
With a strong political backing and an eye on climate change, the Labour party are ready to make a play for British leadership. The Labour party perhaps have the best chances of taking over from the Conservatives but have less resources to draw upon. It is possible that before the election is finished we may see a Coalition form between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party.
The Boltons and the Tyrell
A new rising party growing in the North (and the South) is UKIP, playing the role of house Bolton. They believe that Britain must thrive on its own; defying the morals of both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party. Meanwhile the Green party, much like the Tyrells, are a party of little outright power but with a lot of connections to many other parties, they are popular with the next generation of citizens and may be instrumental in the future of the country’s rule.
Why is it useful to think like this?
Life can feel boring sometimes, in fact it can be boring a lot of the time, especially to someone engrossed in the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. A lot of the time it can feel like the mundane world of politics is something you can’t be bothered with. But when you reconceptualise the situation to the world of fantasy you create a personal connection that allows you to make decisions that are both more fun to make and give you a better grasp of the situation. Also, it allows you to feel like Jon Snow, and who doesn’t want to be Jon Snow?