How the 'Game of Thrones' finale reminds us of the 2020 presidential race

Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

If the last couple election cycles have taught us anything, it's that the road to the White House is paved with more town-hall meetings than any one human with a functioning soul should ever be forced to watch.

If the last eight seasons of "Game of Thrones" have taught us anything, it's that the American electorate pays much closer attention when the battle between candidates involves medieval weaponry, man-eating hounds and winged dragons who destroy empires with fiery puffs.

Sunday's "Game of Thrones" series finale promised to reveal the victor of the struggle for the Iron Throne, and 19.3 million viewers tuned in to see a new leader crowned, or watch all the show's remaining survivors slaughter one another. Either way, it would be the last few moments in a fantasy land where outdated voting machines and Russian meddling have no bearing on who wins.

But alas, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) didn't ascend on her dragon amid glorious beams of divine light in one final breathtaking victory, and Arya (Maisie Williams) didn't wear the face of her adoptive brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and steal his birthright in one last stunning, deceptive twist.

The reveal happened during what can only be described as another damn town-hall meeting.

VIPs from the Seven Kingdoms, many of whom we haven't seen in years (and at least one Dornish ruler we've never seen), assembled to pick a new monarch in the wake of Queen Dany's demise. She turned tyrannical before she ever had the chance to govern the realm, and was murdered for the greater good by her lover and nephew, Snow.

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The meeting wasn't totally CNN fodder: They met in a dragon pit. At least one participant threatened to cut another's throat. Leather was worn by all.

But the tone was familiar, even to those of us just starting to pay attention to the ever-growing field of 2020 presidential candidates: "My lords and ladies, I suppose this is the most important moment of our lives. What we decide today will reverberate through the annals of history," said out-of-the-blue candidate Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) -- last seen capitulating to Jaime Lannister in Season 6 -- as he rose from his seat to suggest himself as ruler. "I stand before you as one of the senior 1/8leaders3/8 in the country, a veteran of two wars. I'd like to think my experience has led to some small skill in statecraft and --"

"Uncle," interrupted an exasperated Sansa. "Please sit."

If only we could import her to the real world for the next 1,000 years' worth of campaign speeches leading up to the 2020 election.


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