Why Game of Thrones is a knockout bracket – TV review

Mike Grist Book / Movie Reviews Leave a Comment

Before the last US election (2012) there was an intensely mad and squabblish Presidential Primary for the GOP, during which a whole heffalump of oddball candidates popped their heads up, beat the crap out of each other in televised debates, then died dramatically politically. At the end one victor was left standing to go up again his highness, Barack Obama, to become King President of all the realm.

As it with the GOP, so it goes with the GOT (Game of Thrones).


Perhaps it is utterly obvious that everything we see in GOT is a knockout tournament winding up to a final national election for all of Westeros, in which the Primary winner will go head-to-head with the unstoppable rise of an old incumbent, the ice zombies from the North. These guys have been on the political ticket since way back in the First Men days, but it’s been a slow (cold-) burn, building up from the ice-roots.

The bracket of GOT Primary contenders looks something like this:

Stannis Baratheon —————————————————————-
Tommen Lanister —————————————————————-
A Stark ——————————————————————————– VS. Ice Zombies
Daenerys Targaryon—————————————————————-
Cluster-$%&* of Littlefinger, Iron Islanders, Boltons, and others——

A whole bunch of contenders have already fallen by the wayside, including a few Starks (Eddard and son [Ron Paul and Rand Paul]), Lannister/Baratheons (fat Full Monty Robert Baratheon [Newt Gingrich] and Joffrey crossbow-whore Baratheon [uh, Santorum?]), the male Targaryon, very early on [Rick Perry], and maybe some others.

They’re all dead. They got knocked out in the elimination rounds, but others sprung up in their places, like Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, and what have you. Some of them had come to Jesus moments (Lord of Light’s Stannis Baratheon), some lost their balls along the way (poor Theon Greyjoy), and others just can’t keep up with the funding requirements (Stannis again).

But it is a knockout. It is the structure of the story, and it is leading towards an almighty clash against the ultimate winner of the Primary (strait-laced Romney) and the fixed enemy, the Ice Zombies.

But, as with the GOP Primary, isn’t it obvious who will win the GOT Primary?

A Song of Ice and Fire

I read on a blog somewhere that the ultimate combatants are apparent, because it’s in the saga name for the books- Ice and Fire. Who is Ice and who is Fire? Ice is Ice Zombies. Fire is Dragons. Baddabing, Badda-boom. And isn’t that exactly how George R. R. Martin has set things up?

Daenerys has met none of the other contenders yet. Apparently (from what I’ve read of the books) she will not meet any of them for several seasons yet. She’s basically governor of her state (Massachusetts), doing good stuff before flip-flopping (free the slaves, indenture the slaves), keeping herself in reserve while she builds car elevators in Meereen.

She won’t clash with the other contenders until the end. In the meantime, we’ve been raised on a diet of early no-hopers. There was no way the Starks were going to become rulers of Westeros. They had no claim anyway. The only one with claims are Lanister Tommen and Stannis, so surely the next season (season 5) is going to be them sucking up the other contenders for support at speaking engagements, smacking the turds out of each other, and finding a winner.

In this season (4) we basically dealt with Mance Rayder. Ha, I didn’t even put him on the bracket. He was an utter also-ran, with less hope than the Starks. Now he’s Stannis’ bitch.

So, that’s where it’s going. The winner of Stannis vs. Tommen will face off with Daenerys at some point, then Daenerys (after learning empire management very slowly and leisurely in Meereen) will lead her dragons and all of Westeros up North to fight the Ice.

Queen of Westeros

She’ll die, I expect, in the fight. Very noble and pure, restoring honor to her family name. Probably, weirdly enough, I expect after that a Stark will become King/Queen of all of Westeros. Actually, I’m going to put my money on Arya Stark becoming the new Queen, after all the dust has settled. I suppose every other noble with a possible claim would have to be dead, but yeah, why not?

Long Live Arya, a new take on an Iron Lady (we all saw her shed no tears for the Hound). Here’s to lots of blood, sexposition, pithy Tyrion quips and a helluva entertaining ride as we look forward to the last stages of the GOT Primary. Hurrah!


P.S. In season four, wasn’t there quite a lot of coincidence? It seems a bit cheap, contrived, and inorganic to have Brienne of Tarth not only get her first hint about the whereabouts of Arya from the fat baker’s boy in a random pub, but also then stumble upon Arya and the Hound 10 miles away from the Bloody Gate, not even on a road or anything. Both astronomical coincidences. Also, to a lesser and more forgivable degree, wasn’t it fortunate that the champion Cersei chose was the Mountain, who had a sworn enemy in Oberyn Martell, who also just happened to be in town at the time he could get his revenge while at the same time saving Tyrion?

What the hell, fortune favors the bold. I go with Oberyn. Brienne’s magical journey through the Shire though, I don’t buy. Lazy writing? Maybe, and only really noticeable because the clockwork intermeshing of everything has seemed so earned and organic.

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