Governing is hard… with dragons

Peter Dinklage as "Tyrion Lannister" in Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage as "Tyrion Lannister" in Game of Thrones

We talk a lot about governing here at The Last Word, and HBO’s Game of Thrones (returning for a second season in April) is, oddly, a great example of why governing is hard.

The show and the brilliant/exasperating books upon which it is based are about how the role one plays in the fight to gain power is very different from the actual role one must play when one wins, and as Robert Baratheon discovered, it’s not nearly as much fun to rule as it was to fight (and drink, and swear, and hunt, and… you get the idea.) There are people constantly clamoring from the cheap seats, claiming they could do better (including Baratheon’s own wife) and when they get the power they desire, they discover it’s not at all what they thought it would be. Motives are unclear, people get hurt, and honor and sacrifice are not always rewarded. Usually it’s quite the opposite. (See Stark, Eddard.)

It’s people at their worst, which is probably why the show feels like a perfect complement to the presidential election this year. If only we could have dragons and swords in our debates

Winter is coming…