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Thursday, May 23, 2019

The thing with an agenda

Gregory Hood points out the creepy Deep State aspects of the strange ending of A Game of Thrones:
The political settlement that ends the series is even more implausible. “Bran the Broken” possesses magical powers of seeing events in the past, present, and future around the world. He has mostly sat around the past few seasons, occasionally making awkward comments. Nonetheless, the lords of Westeros make him king, based on a speech by Tyrion. Democracy is laughed off, but some form of elective monarchy is created. Bran’s sister Sansa declares the North should be an independent kingdom, and Bran agrees, thus ceding a huge part of his realm as his first act. Why other kingdoms don’t also immediately secede is left unexplained.

Obviously, Westeros is a world of fantasy, where magic, dragons, and giants can be found. Yet as George R. R. Martin repeatedly states, it contains a low amount of magic for a high fantasy series, and the focus is on political realism and cynical maneuvering. Naïve audiences who hadn’t read the books got the message when Ned Stark had his head chopped off. Supernatural beings only work in fiction if they operate in a context where they are comprehensible. Characters must respond in believable ways. The idea that lords with their own agendas and interests would agree to have an odd cripple with no blood connection to the ruling dynasty is absurd.

Yet this is just lazy writing and not important unless you are deeply committed to a television show. If we accept “King Bran,” what’s the real message? It’s that he represents the rule of Narrative, which is to say the rule of media, rather than the rule of tradition, heroism, or even intelligence.

Tyrion justifies the choice of Bran by saying he has the best story. “The boy who fell from a high tower and lived. He knew he’d never walk again, so he learned to fly,” he says. “He crossed beyond the Wall, a crippled boy, and became the Three-Eyed Raven.” Many online wits observed just about every other character (Jon, Arya, Sansa) had a better story.

Yet Tyrion says more than this. He argues that stories are ultimately what unite people more than armies, gold, or flags. “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” he says. “Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.” (He obviously hasn’t heard of online deplatforming).

Much earlier in the series, Varys posed Tyrion the question of what power really was. Varys said “power resides where men believe it resides.” Tyrion now goes further—power lies in the ability to shape belief.

If any one person has this power, it is Bran. “He is our memory, the keeper of all our stories,” says Tyrion. “The wars, weddings, births, massacres, famines. Our triumphs, our defeats, our past. Who better to lead us into the future?” This is an echo of Orwell—“Who controls the past controls the future.”

Indeed, Bran shows he doesn’t just know about events, he can shape them. Earlier in the series he said he could never be Lord of Winterfell, because he was now the Three-Eyed Raven. He wasn’t really Bran anymore.

Now however, he accepts the crown. “Why do you think I came all this way?” he says. Though he claims he doesn’t want to be king (indeed, earlier in the series he says he doesn’t really “want” anything anymore), he overrules Grey Worm’s objection to making Tyrion Hand of the King. “I’m king,” he says in justification. Bran also shows more emotion and personality after becoming king, though not much. There’s not really “one” person ruling the realm through the power of story (of narrative). However, there’s clearly something with an agenda of its own.
Bran as king doesn't make any sense at all... except perhaps as predictive programming and rule by AI. The obvious king from a logical perspective was the Gendry the blacksmith, the bastard of Robert Baratheon and the most-legitimate claimant to the throne.

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53 Comments:

Blogger Nate May 23, 2019 8:11 AM  

the end is stupid beyond words. First of all... the king should be the guy with the best story? to quote aaron Rodgers... Tyrion has a better story. Jon Snow has a better story. Sansa has a better story. literally everyone has a better story than bran.

And Bran didn't want it? Its plainly obvious that Bran manipulated everything that happened... and made it work out the way he wanted it to work out.

Blogger Nate May 23, 2019 8:12 AM  

of all of the rutheless disgusting characters in GoT… Bran is the worst.. and it isn't even close. Ramsay Bolton looks like a decent sort of fellow compared to Bran.

Blogger Harambe May 23, 2019 8:26 AM  

THE NIGHT KING DID NOTHING WRONG

Blogger buzzardist May 23, 2019 8:31 AM  

Bran made perfect sense from the twisted perspective of someone who doesn't understand leadership. Martin creates a world where statecraft matters, and he embraces that. However, we never see a strong sovereign leader in Westeros. Robert could have been that leader, but he embraced whoring, drinking, and hunting rather than ruling after his conquest. His son reveled in petulant, cruel exhibitions of his own power. Cersei didn't care if people respected her or loved her, but she would crush anyone or anything that threatened her or her family. Danerys had a revolutionary utopian vision of the world, and she became as cruel or perhaps even crueler than Cersei in pursuing that vision. What united all of these failed leaders? They sought power.

So why Bran? Because he didn't want power. His body was broken, so he couldn't fall into the fleshly vices of Robert. He was sober, and so he wouldn't fall into drink. He wasn't given to revenge and rage because he saw how every event in history fit together to become the present. He doesn't want power, but he will wield it responsibly for the benefit of the people. He is Martin's perfect philosopher-king.

Except that this is all nonsense in the real world. Bran had no charisma. No one would follow him. No one would love him. No one would fear him. They might fear his magical knowledge, but that's the kind of thing that most people would use as an excuse to assassinate him. Bran has no allies, no armies, no supporters. Only Tyrion really wants him, and anyone with ambition could probably topple Bran quickly, especially if a few of his early decisions upset many people. Bran's reign would be necessarily short and messy, in spite of his magical gifts.

Blogger Sillon May 23, 2019 8:39 AM  

Tyrion is right, those with the best stories rule the world.

And no one questions them.

Now where did I leave my 6 gorillion... this head of mine.

Blogger Purge187 May 23, 2019 9:03 AM  

Slightly related - a former cast member named Souad Faress is a false rape accuser:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11585958

Blogger Bellomy May 23, 2019 9:16 AM  

Haha! I must say, if they put Gendry the blacksmith on the throne I would admittedly have gained a tiiiiiiiiny bit of respect for the writers.

If people are mad about this, the responses to that would be HILARIOUS.

Blogger Nate May 23, 2019 9:31 AM  

if there is a lesson in A Song of Ice and Fire... and there isn't... but if there is... its that the only thing that matters is The Will to Power.


Mao would love it.

Blogger Harry_the_Horrible May 23, 2019 9:39 AM  

@4
"Bran had no charisma. No one would follow him. No one would love him. No one would fear him."

Not a GoT fan. Didn't read the book and hardly watched the show at all.
But, believe or not, more than one Holy Roman Emperor was elected to the office for those very reasons.
If you're looking for king you get away with ignoring or defying, then maybe Bran makes sense?

Blogger SemiSpook37 May 23, 2019 9:56 AM  

@1

So you're saying that Rodgers' appearance in the penultimate episode (complete with death by dragon fire) wasn't just a coincidence?

Blogger Mocheirge May 23, 2019 10:06 AM  

I haven't followed the show or books, so just going by this article and overheard conversations at work... Bran sounds like he has the most intersectional points. Everyone in the show is white, so you're left with picking a leader based on something other than race. It sounds like the womyn are all stronkindependent, so the weak cripple is the most oppressed. Even better if his handicap is because of gravity, which is a patriarchal concept meant to hold people down.

Blogger Max Boivin May 23, 2019 10:12 AM  

Westeros is more like an empire than a kingdom. Each kingdom has their own people but they are all ruled over by a single "king". Now, the person ruling the empire get the right to rule because he suffered so much (in big part due to the mean blond people) and he has such a good story and he is a real special boy. He was chosen from an early age, having vision of the three-eyed raven, it was his destiny to rule the world. All that was needed was that a woman invites some foreigners to destroy the empire first, then, once enough has been destroyed, he could take his well deserved place on the throne.

Oh, the ruler's people are allowed to have their own nation. Nobody else can, but the relatives of the special boy, they suffered enough, they can have their own homeland and nobody should object to that.

Blogger Darcy May 23, 2019 10:22 AM  

We should look at both of Tyrion's speeches -- the one he made to Jon snow before Jon assassinated Dani, and the one he made at the end where Bran was selected to be king.

In the first speech, Tyrion wryly points out that everyone cheered the queen's brutality while she was punishing evil men, particularly elites who enslave and harm children. He then goes on to imply that this naturally leads to that leader becoming a Nazi and slaughtering innocents by the thousands/millions/6 gazillions.

In the second speech, Tyrion chooses someone with no charisma or legitimate claim to the throne, someone the people would never, love or follow or go willingly to war for, which means that the real power will reside in a room of hand-picked elites who claim their rule by having "better stories."

Maybe this ending was chosen out of elitist fear, given our current political environment. The message: "Do not follow powerful leaders who deliver swift and severe justice, lest millions be slaughtered at the flip of a proverbial coin."

This message backfired because the audience has spent nearly a decade cheering on the punishment of evil elites and found the sudden change unrealistic and ham-fisted. The audience felt betrayed, much like Westerners today all over the world.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 23, 2019 10:22 AM  

I am so glad I didn't waste any of my life watching this.

Blogger camcleat May 23, 2019 10:24 AM  

I have never watched the show or read the books, so take the following comments more as a meta observation than a specific remark about Game of Thrones. One thing I find utterly fascinating is just how hard the Butthurt Meter has pegged with this finale.

Since the meter is pegged, I can't really say for sure, but gut read is that GoT has outdone Ghostbusters (2016), Star Wars and MCU for online negative reaction.

It's clear people get very emotionally invested in these entertainment franchises. And why shouldn't they? "It's just a movie/show" is empty sophistry. These things represent culture and provide a pulse on the state of the society we live in.

That is, the quality of writing in GoT, Star Trek Discovery, Netflix's Lost In Space, etc, reflect the health of our culture in far better ways than any federally funded sociology study ever could.

My theory is that people are not so much upset that Star Wars got gutted or Star Trek is "no longer good," but that they are upset that their culture is being destroyed; these entertain thermometers are just the evidence of the destruction that they are able or choose to see.

Blogger David Ray Milton May 23, 2019 10:30 AM  

I would say that Bran has by far the most disappointing story in the whole series. Three or four seasons ago, whenever they started to build up the three-eyed raven stuff, I was excited to see how the writers were going to incorporate his unique powers into the greater story... and the writers had so many chances.

Would he warg the dragons or the Night King?

Would he use his all seeing vision to out maneuver his enemies?

Would using his wisdom prevail in a superior strategy?

No, Bran just sat there. Did nothing. At all. The entire last season.

Gamma hero becomes king.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 23, 2019 10:45 AM  

All of the shows fans across the political spectrum are complaining about the writing this last couple of seasons. Basically since they ran out of books they could adapt to the screen.

I think one of the biggest problems the show's writers had was that they took Martin at his word that he was subverting Tolkein's tropes. Martin was lying because of course that is what fat little Gammas do.

Here's my view of what Martin was actually doing when he wrote Song of Ice and Fire.

George R.R. Martin’s “brilliant subversion” of Tolkien’s trope was nothing more than trying to use those tropes but ending up defaulting into what he is. A horror writer. Here is a link to the original letter letter Martin wrote outlining Game of Thrones, if you don’t believe me. There is nothing in this about subverting Tolkien in the name of high SJW art.

I’m sure Martin tried to write that book. I mean come on, look at how much money Jordan was making back then. If you weren’t trying to write epic fantasy, you were in the wrong business.

But heroic fantasy is all about the action. It’s about battle and the being in the now that comes from knowing you are on a three day roller coaster ride and it has no tracks. The feeling of triumph from looking at the body of a guy who was doing every fucking thing in his power to end your life and you made him fail that.

All of that stuff is beyond Martin’s grasp.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 23, 2019 11:10 AM  

In a nutshell I think that's what Martin did.

He wanted to cash in on the money Robert Jordan was making but ended up writing horror in fantasy setting. When you look at it that's what Game of Thrones is.

Blogger LiveForever May 23, 2019 11:12 AM  

Every single alpha/sigma character is either humiliated or brutally killed. Jamie is crippled, Ned beheaded, Robert poisoned, the Viper has his head crushed, Tywin is killed by his dwarf son whilst sat on the toilet, Rob killed at his own wedding etc. And a cripple a dwarf and a woman end up ruling Westeros.

George RR Martin was clearly bullied by Chads in school and took revenge on them all through his writing.

Blogger Unknown May 23, 2019 11:27 AM  

The funny thing, is that early on, before the trek north and three-eyed raven bit, I noted Bran and Dany were of similar age, though Dany older. I thought they would end up marrying, and Bran becoming the king to her queen as the last Stark heir.

Blogger Damelon Brinn May 23, 2019 11:45 AM  

I have at least three books on my shelf in which the inquisitive boy from chapter one ends up the king. But they actually had stories that led them there. They were the protagonist or one of the main characters throughout and learned to be heroes and *became* king. Bran mainly disappeared from the books when Martin started creating new characters like a magician pulling scarves out of his sleeve. At times I wondered if he'd forgotten about him.

It's as if Martin or someone familiar with the books told the TV people how it was supposed to end, so they wrote the ending in the last page of the show bible and then forgot about it and started doing whatever they wanted with the characters, even though none of it fit the ending.

Blogger Balam May 23, 2019 12:01 PM  

buzzardist wrote:Bran had no charisma. No one would follow him. No one would love him. No one would fear him. They might fear his magical knowledge, but that's the kind of thing that most people would use as an excuse to assassinate him. Bran has no allies, no armies, no supporters. Only Tyrion really wants him, and anyone with ambition could probably topple Bran quickly, especially if a few of his early decisions upset many people. Bran's reign would be necessarily short and messy, in spite of his magical gifts.

You really made me wonder what would happen. If someone tried to kill Bran obviously he would see it with his powers, and then try to stop it. If the man could not be reasonably appeased he would be killed before he could execute the assassination. You'd have to kill the guy after that, and the guys who would be mad about that guy dying for seemingly no reason besides being upset at Bran.

Talking to guards, accountants and assassins all takes time no matter how much 3 eye raven power you have. A large portion of Bran's time would be spent setting up the mass roundups of future killers and the purges necessary merely to preserve his own life.

Bran's not dumb either and would use his powers to try to engineer the love, fear or loyalty his own weak charisma could not. That would mean setting up false dramas, false flag attacks for sympathy and false dangers to rescue people from. All bad things that happen to anyone close to a seer like this who can change what they see are false because he could have stopped it, if he cared to look.

Looking at it from the outside it would be a reign full of mass purges of dissidents, false flag attacks and endless propaganda about how great Bran is and how all good things flow from him. He would be indistinguishable from Stalin and Kim Jong Il, and he even has the claimed writ from the heavens to justify it like the 'Scientific Government' or 'Kim Jong Il is a god' with his raven stuff.

Blogger J Van Stry May 23, 2019 12:20 PM  

This is what happens when you hire cheap third rate writers to finish someone else's work. I'm not really a fan of Martin, but even he writes better than this.
But we shouldn't be surprised. If originality existed in hollywood, they wouldn't be remaking movies constantly.

Blogger Matt May 23, 2019 12:26 PM  

Let's be real: the show went downhill with Ned Stark's execution.

Some cool moments, some highlights, Hardhome was excellent. But other than that, I never gave a damn about any of the characters.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl May 23, 2019 12:53 PM  

I really dislike fantasy stories, so I skipped both the books as well as the show. I only made an effort to search up torrents after reading 100s of outraged comments on every site I visited.
Obviously, I have no real idea what's going on, (as well as intensely disliking the 3 episodes I watched).
The only interesting part was trying to guess if that Danerys(sp?) chick was modeled after Dick Cheney or John Bolton & what a hoot it was when the manlet dood gave her the blade.

Blogger FUBARwest May 23, 2019 1:10 PM  

If the intention was for the audience to get that Bran manipulated the events to end up on the throne then they executed that incredibly poorly. It does appear that way whether they wanted it to or not. Not sure if that makes Bran worse than Danny, or Cersi but he's now in the running for most evil character in the series.

Blogger NateM May 23, 2019 1:18 PM  

Rob killed at his own wedding etc. And a cripple a dwarf and a woman end up ruling Westeros.


Worse, Robb has his head cut off and his wolf's head sewn in it's place, further humiliation of the heroic alpha. Though honestly I was hoping in Winterfell RobbWolf would be raised from the dead and Jon fights him to the death

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 23, 2019 1:28 PM  

They put future Stephen Hawking in charge.

Blogger Blaidd May 23, 2019 1:35 PM  

Tyrion turned into Jordan Peterson in the last episode. He speaks just enough truth to get people agreeing with him, then spouts some nonsense and concludes with lunacy.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 23, 2019 2:24 PM  

Just remembered something "Khaleesi" was the 500th most popular name for baby girls last year.

How many little girls going to Kindergarten now were named after this psychopath?

Blogger Robin May 23, 2019 2:36 PM  

Despite the veneer of sense in making Bran king, they’ve all but guaranteed a fresh civil war when he dies. I also thought that Gendry was the obvious choice before Bran was chosen—he has a similar lack of ambition and isn’t politically beholden to anyone, and the continuation of the Baratheon dynasty would have made sense. Given the way Bran behaves as well, he’d make a terrible king. He wouldn’t even be inclined to defend himself against assassination. If it was “his time to die”, he’d have foreseen it and would just let it happen.

I’ll still read what Martin publishes, because I’ve enjoyed the series of books thus far, but now it will be under a cloud of morbid curiosity to see if he repeats the same mistakes.

Blogger Fuzzums Wuzzums May 23, 2019 2:36 PM  

All the elements of Jon Snow becoming the TV show's Night's King are there:
- they established time-travel memory with Hodor
- Night's King was a protector of the "True North" until he suddenly decided to turn on the Three-Eyed Raven for an unexplained reason
- the Night's King character in the book, although a different character, was himself a Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who went North of the wall where he fell in love with a woman with pale skin and blue eyes (both features Ygritte had)
- it is also suggested in the book that the Night's King was a Stark by blood
- TV show's Night's King was impervious to fire just like the Targaryans were
- bearded redheaded guy from Jon's posse kept saying how Jon had the "True North" inside of him, how men around him just followed him as a leader whether friend or foe, how he could even easily ride a dragon (all traits that can also be applied to the Night's King)
- the Night's King was made by those wood children by stabbing him in the heart with a knife (Jon got stabbed in the heart as well by a child)
- the Night's King led the army of the dead, Jon himself was technically the undead too
- soyboy Sam somehow escaped 2 encounters with the Night's King's lieutenants; this would make sense because Sam was's Jon's closest friend and if he does indeed become the Night's King then the White Walker lieutenants would know not to kill Sam
- killing Bran would cancel Jon's legitimacy to the throne, which would not put Sansa and Daenerys at odds with each other, which would make Daenerys less paranoid, which will lead to King's Landing not being destroyed, which would lead to Jon marrying Daenerys and live happily ever after
- in episode 2 Arya successfully sneaks up on Jon in front of that crying tree much like Arya sneaks up on the Night's King in the same exact place

It's right there. Hiding in plain sight.

From a production standpoint if you're gonna make a spin-off show it makes sense to leave some breadcrumbs to give the new story legitimacy. It also makes sense to sacrifice a season: leave the audience wanting for more, enrage the fanbase, use the writers as scapegoats which you then kick out, create an online petition to gauge the audience's need for more GoT, sell the spinoff as a "fix" because the fanbase demanded it.

Furthermore if I'm not mistaken all those breadcrumbs of Jon becoming the Night's King started appearing after the show went ahead of the books. This means they were planning this disastrous last season for years. Look at season 8 compared to the other seasons: all actors are in one location, the grand battle with the army of the dead happens at night, we don't really see King's Landing except one street and a bunch of narrow corridors, the armies are always shown from far away, at least 2 errors in set design which they didn't bother to fix either with reshoots or CGI, etc. Season 8 was created on a tight budget, either GoT didn't really make any money or they're saving it for the spinoff.

Hiding in plain sight.

Blogger tublecane May 23, 2019 2:38 PM  

A Robot King could easily represent the Progressive Dream of rational government. And the bureaucrats shown at the end of the episode were as unqualified and potentially incompetent as real deep states. One of them just got a lordship through literal extortion, another clearly had no time to earn his status as Grand Maester.

However, since Bran is an underwritten character, we don't know how he thinks. We don't know what motivates him, how he feels about things, whether he's evil. For all we know he could be a secret agent of the Children of the Forest out to take down mankind.

Blogger tublecane May 23, 2019 2:49 PM  

Why did this show about legacy and family make pretty much all the main characters disinterested in having children? We have no idea if any of the Great Houses will persist. Tyrion is Lord of Casterly Rock and unwed. Sansa is Queen of the North and unwed. Jon is the last Targaryen, and he just took another vow of chastity. Gendry proposed to Arya, but aside from that shows no sign of producing heirs. Arya is uninterested in her family now. Sam has a kid, but it must be illegitimate because he took a new vow of chastity too. Edmure had a kid, but who knows if it's alive. Robin Arryn has no apparent wife or child. The Grejoy Lady is a lesbo.

One of the most aggravating aspects of the last couple seasons was the complete lack of interest in marrying off Jon and Dany, who allegedly were in love. Even before anyone knew they were aunt and nephew. Where is anyone's concern for future stability? Remember how proud Robb was when he found out he was going to have a baby? Don't any of the remaining characters feel like real human beings?

One character was pregnant recently: Evil Queen Cersei. But she didn't show much concern for her child until moments before her death.

Blogger tublecane May 23, 2019 2:59 PM  

@21- Funny thing, the writer-producers of Game of Thrones based the way they made the show partly on a previous HBO series called Rome. That show featured a character of the type you describe: the boy who would be Augustus. At first no one would follow him. He's bookish and peevish, physically weak and though clever and possessing a capacity for cruelty, he was sheltered and a Momma's boy.

That show only lasted two seasons, but they actually allowed to see how such a character could grow, make friends, build alliances, and eventually become the undisputed ruler of his empire. With Bran, we didn't even get to see him for an entire season. When he returned, he didn't do much.

Blogger Fuzzums Wuzzums May 23, 2019 2:59 PM  

tublecane wrote:owever, since Bran is an underwritten character, we don't know how he thinks. We don't know what motivates him, how he feels about things, whether he's evil. For all we know he could be a secret agent of the Children of the Forest out to take down mankind.

All we know about him is that he "doesn't want anymore" i.e. he's 100% objective, fair, and balanced. Just trust him, ok. Why did the Night's King want to kill him anyway? Because the Night's King is fake news, that's why.

Blogger Garuna May 23, 2019 4:02 PM  

Just remembered something "Khaleesi" was the 500th most popular name for baby girls last year. How many little girls going to Kindergarten now were named after this psychopath?

Now they'll all go by "Kelly" or something.

Blogger Skyler the Weird May 23, 2019 4:14 PM  

Maybe they'll hire Vox or Wright to finish the last two books when Rape Rape keels over from a heart attack.

Blogger RedJack May 23, 2019 4:31 PM  

I admit I bailed on GOT a while ago... But Bran?

For the love of Shakespeare why? Have they never seen a leader? Ever tried to lead? Bran would be a puppet king. That would actually be a good story, but he is not a leader.

Now a dark adviser, a confessor type character, maybe. But by giving a large portion of the kingdom away all he did is set the stage for another struggle.

Blogger Matt May 23, 2019 4:52 PM  

Bran the Boneless

Blogger weka May 23, 2019 5:23 PM  

After the first season and third book... I stopped too late

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 23, 2019 5:27 PM  

Bran makes more sense as an adviser, not as a leader.

The Royal Council should have just grew a pair and made Jon king. Yes, he killed their queen.

And Conan killed his king to claim his crown.

Blogger Daniel May 23, 2019 7:46 PM  

Agreed

Blogger turk187 May 23, 2019 7:54 PM  

Gendrys claim is stronger than Johns?

Blogger OvergrownHobbit May 23, 2019 8:12 PM  

@19 https://tempestinateardrop.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/blast_from_the-past_words_of_wisdom.png

Blogger Refuse to buy overpriced May 23, 2019 8:20 PM  

Bran could have saved King's Landing, but he didn't.

As the Three Eyed Raven, he knew that Dany was destroying the capital and largest city of Westeros.

He could have warged into Drogon and put a stop to it.

But he didn't. Apparently he was content to warg into a horse to save his sister, while letting everyone else burn.

Dany was the worst possible monarch for Westeros - an SJW with an indestructible napalm machine, supported by foreign hordes and a demonic religion.

Bran was the second worst choice - a one man surveillance state, with a proven disregard for the lives of his subjects. Also, as the Three Eyed Raven he is practically the high priest of the Old Gods. Making him king of all Westeros is guaranteed to complete the demoralization of Andal society by destroying respect for the Faith of the Seven. The first meeting of his small council is already planning government subsidized brothels.

Look at the larger picture.

The troubles of Westeros began with the Targaryen invasion 300 years previously. The Targaryen's were foreigners of Valarian race ruling over the Andals. They brazenly flouted laws of the Gods with their incessant incest, undermining the entire basis of Andal society. With this horrible royal example, is it any wonder that the great houses also began violating the laws of the Gods? (Cersei/Jamie incest, Red Wedding betraying hospitality, etc.)

Robert's rebellion was a good first step towards liberating Westeros from the Targaryen yoke and restoring the purity of Andal society.

Westeros needs a king who can finish the job.

Qualifications:
1. Supported Robert's rebellion.
2. Is an Andal, worships the Seven.
3. Was not complicit in the crimes of the Lannisters, but also is not anathema to the Lannister loyalists who bravely defended Westeros against Dany and the hordes of Essos.
4. Has an intact military force, and a proven record of military competence.
5. Can command the respect of the North, despite the differences of race and religion.

For all these reasons, the best man to found a dynasty to replace the Targaryens as rulers of Westeros would be Yohn Royce.

Royce fought against the Targaryens during Robert's rebellion. The Vale stayed out of the civil war longer than any other region, and suffered the fewest losses. Royce commanded the Knights of the Vale who saved the Starks from the Boltons, and also helped defeat the Night King, but he did not enthusiastically support Dany's invasion.

He meets the basic threshold of competence, and should be acceptable to the Starks, the die hard anti-Targaryens, and the die hard anti-Lannisters.

(The Baratheons are a failed and extinct dynasty, represented only by a bastard with no power base or accomplishments who was only raised to prominence as a puppet of Daenerys Targaryen)

Blogger Robert What? May 23, 2019 9:25 PM  

I thought that the final season, certainly the last two episodes, were the producers' big parting FU to their loyal fans. And dont let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Blogger Ann May 23, 2019 9:51 PM  

Watched seven seasons then canceled my HBO. I guess I wasn't too heavily invested. (The reading here is much more intriguing.) But I did see the finale by signing up for a free HBO trial five days before the finale, quickly bingeing the last season, watching Chernobyl to date, and then canceling. I only seem to watch about one show here and there. Nothing on network TV anymore; I have the sense that real life is getting more dire and more interesting. But I like to watch a little something as I fold my laundry. As for my take on the finale, the music gave it satisfying closure. A great deal didn't make sense but I am not wasting two more hoots about it.

Blogger Rhys May 23, 2019 11:40 PM  

I donno shit about GoT...but from the sound of it, "Bran" was the secret king of the series...

Blogger tublecane May 24, 2019 12:15 AM  

@44- Well, everyone appears to accept Gendry as Robert's bastard. Jon's parentage is still a secret to all but his cousins and Tyrion.

Additionally, Jon is a hostage of the Unsullied at the end of the show, and at the council he is a no-starter because Greyworm would refuse to let Jon go if it meant he'd get the throne.

Blogger tublecane May 24, 2019 12:20 AM  

@46- Couldn't Bran still save King's Landing? Based on the Hodor sequence he can time travel and alter the future.

Such speculation is a side-effect of granting vast unexplained powers to characters with mysterious motives.

Blogger braq May 24, 2019 1:03 AM  

Bran was the secret king all along. His anemic story-line in the books devolved further and further into parody, as the narrative was HBO'd beyond the point to which Martin's irredeemable plot had plummeted.

Even if degenerate slug GRRM had finished the series, as a secret king himself, Bran would have always been the final hero.

Blogger Matthew Hopkins (MHN) / Sam Smith May 28, 2019 3:38 PM  

I think the problem here is watching 8 seasons of Game of Thrones. I bought the 1st season box set and concluded, "why watch it?"

I threw it away. I read about a third of the first book and... that went too.

No reason to watch it for the gratuitous sex (frequently between unattractive models).

No reason to watch it for the plot.

If you want mindless sex and violence with a pretence at politics then Rome, or Spartacus: Blood and Sand (both also from HBO) are better.

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