Friday, December 13, 2019

Winter is Coming

As with Breaking Bad, every single season of Britain’s Got Talent and the OJ Trial, I managed to see not a single second of the phenomenon that was Game of Thrones.

That’s quite an accomplishment, especially the OJ trial (you have no idea) and I was sorta proud of it. I am afraid, however, that I recently—and through no fault of my own—joined the GoT cult.

It was the fault of an autumn storm that ravage the northeast cost of the US last October. As a result of the storm, we were stranded on Nantucket (an island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts) and that resulted in a good deal of unexpected downtime that cried out for reading material. And so, I visited one of the town’s two bookshops and picked up a copy of Game of Thrones, simply because it was a thick book and I assumed it would keep me busy for a while.

It did. But it also gripped me. The story was riveting and the backdrop, fascinating. It kept me mesmerized on the island, as well as when we returned to the mainland, and continued to do so when we made it back to Blighty, where, in the safety of my office, I accidentally bought season one of the acclaimed series.

I only meant to see how much it cost, so I clicked on the BUY button, thinking it would take me to a page showing more options, but instead, it dinged my credit card and sent an email saying I’d just bought it. I suppose I could have returned it, but I thought, “What the hell, the book was good.”

And so, I watched Season One of Game of Thrones, and found that just as fascinating as the book. It also amazed me that, although the book was published in 1996 and the series debuted in 2011, it still resonated with me.

There were warring kingdoms, men and women bent on acquiring power at any price, rulers with no regard for the law, who were interested only in personal gain, while those with honour and a deep regard for integrity were vilified by lies, branded as traitors and ruthlessly dispatched.

Now, I’m not saying that Game of Thrones is an allegory for Brexit or our current, post-truth culture in general, or the recent general election in particular, but it is fair to point out that the UK just elected a man who cannot open his mouth without telling a lie and who has no qualms about breaking the law as long as it gets him what he wants.

That said, there wasn’t much of a choice and, say what you will about ser Boris, he has united the country. No more of this power-sharing, or minority governments, all those he met on the field of battle fell before him. Although he failed to conquer The North, and holds little influence beyond The Wall, the realm is no longer split 48% to 52%, and while some might use electorate turnouts and actual vote percentages to dispute that, those numbers count for nothing; all that matters is how many blood riders…um, I mean, Conservative Members of Parliament, he has behind him, and the colloquial term for that is a shedload.

So now, we must wait as see what this once and current king makes of himself. This is only Season One, there is a long way to go. We must wait, and watch, and be vigilant.

And heed the ancient words of the house of Stark:

Winter is Coming.