I loved “Game of Thrones” when it was a left-leaning political fantasy, as creator George R.R. Martin admitted when he told The New York Times — while feeding the appetites of the Beltway media collective — that the mad boy king Joffrey was indeed the mad king Donald Trump.
I loved “GoT” when it was the most popular program in blue liberal states and less so in conservative red states. The inner, hidden nerd in me (perhaps the nerd is no longer hidden) loved it even as HBO prudently herded its cash cow away from a sexist mashup of female breasts and dragons and political revenge in tights into something else again: an epic feminist saga with strong, proud and ethical women (OK, forget Cersei) dealing with the world not as they wished it would be but as it was. And most of the men were either too narcissistically evil, stupid, venal or cowardly to do much good.
But now our watch has ended. And it’s obvious that as it ended, the show was not the fantasy of the socialist left that it started out as, but a reaffirmation of conservative/libertarian beliefs. It rejected the left’s cult of personality and worship of central authority that would decide what was best for us whether we liked it or not. And it transformed itself into a show that William F. Buckley would have loved.
It revered a strong family. It celebrated the individual, going off the grid to explore the unknown. And it displayed excellent taste in costumes and an appreciation of the Scots/Irish folk ballad.
But the main thing is that “GoT” got rid of its mad queen — or was that Bernie Sanders in a blond wig on the dragon? — who was eager to burn us all to cinders for our own good and bring the survivors to her utopia.
One monarch to sit on that Iron Throne, one queen to rule them all. And what if the people had different ideas?
“They don’t get to choose,” said Daenerys Targaryen, sweetly, as if she were Debbie Wasserman Schultz conspiring with Hillary Clinton on how to rig a presidential nomination.
Yet I hated the ending as much as the next guy. There were many holes in the show. But it reinforced the human desire for liberty, particularly if the alternative is utopia at the point of a gun (or a fire-breathing dragon), which was the way of Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Maduro and others.
All communist utopias have ended badly, with untold misery and the deaths of some 100 million people in this, our real world — not to mention the zoo animals eaten when the food is gone.
I acknowledge I’m of the minority opinion. The Twittersphere, which leans even more leftward than mainstream media, will reject my theory that “GoT” was, at its heart, a conservative saga. And many Republicans have hated the show because they fear dynamic women riding dragons. I gladly bear this cross.
When the show ended this week, tens of millions of fans went stark raving mad, just as I’d predicted. And unscrupulous psych counselors were already selling their soothing bromides online to those, who, as in the 2016 election, couldn’t or wouldn’t accept reality. And I joined them.
Later, though, I sat quietly in a big comfy leather chair, lit a fine Maduro cigar and questioned my beliefs while pondering the amazing politics of this cultural phenomenon called “Game of Thrones.”
It was a great show.
But thousands of cultish “GoT” podcasters and bloggers and writers were in a frenzy. Many turned on the show that they had followed religiously for almost a decade, seething with rage, insisting that the ending wasn’t one they had envisioned.
But Tyrion the dwarf, brilliantly played with a passable British accent by the great American actor Peter Dinklage, said it best: “What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing more powerful in the world than a good story,” Tyrion said. “Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”
Except, perhaps, network executives and producers.