The Crooked Kings of Westeros

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” -John Acton

game-of-thrones-season-4

-Image from HBO’s Game of Thrones

 

In many tales of fantasy and medieval times we see a story of a corrupt king. These kings are greedy and only do things to ensure their spot on the throne. They end up committing horrible selfish acts because they’ve been driven mad with the power that they hold. Not all kings are good leaders. By examining and analyzing the decisions that the characters make in the show, Game of Thrones, one can see that the amount of power that a character obtains is correlated to how corrupt that character may become; this is important because it suggests that power may not be as great as everyone believes it to be.

“We strive for power, influence, and wealth regardless of who we might hurt, and we rationalize our actions with phrases like, “it’s for the good of our family.” -Jamie Adair

http://history-behind-game-of-thrones.com/interviews/gotdeep

Those who become corrupt are so blind with the power that they hold that they do not realize the harm that they cause. They just keep driving themselves to gain more power, no mater the cost. Using excuses like their family to justify their nefarious acts.  We see this as corruption takes a hold of Theon Greyjoy when he takes over the northern city of Winterfell.

TheonGreyjoy's downfall.gif

Theon slaughters two children to cover up a mistake that he made, and when Theon and his men were about to become attacked he shouts a battle cry. His own men then betray him! Theon was completely blind to the fact that he had become corrupt with the power that he had suddenly acquired. He was so corrupt that his own men, his allies, decide to knock him out and hand him over to the enemy.

Early on in the show it became apparent to most that King Joffrey was not necessarily a good leader. He would order his guards to kill civilians, kept one of the Stark daughters as a prisoner in the kingdom, and he also was known to enjoy inflecting pain on people. As Joffrey gained more and more power, we see him committing worse and worse acts throughout the show. He kept putting his kingdom in danger, but also himself as he commits these risky acts. Meanwhile, his father, Tywin Lannister is fighting the War of the Five Kings, taking advantage of Joffrey’s position and power to make sure that the spoiled sadist, Joffrey, but more importantly the corrupt Lannisters as a whole, will stay in power.

 

Joffrey gifThis is the scene in which Joffrey orders the execution of the “treasonous” Ned Stark. Joffrey had Ned Stark beheaded in order to keep the secret of his origins. Joffrey was the result of an incestuous relationship between Queen reagent Cersei Lannister and Ser Jamie Lannister, her brother.

One reason that Joffrey has become so corrupt is that he has been spoiled all his life, this makes him feel like he is above most people. User Blazfemur, from a form website brings up this point in his comparison between King Joffrey, and Ramsay Snow.

Because of Cersei, and Tywin, and their vanity as well as dignity in appearance, Joffrey has inadvertently inherited pride, a taste for lavish indulgences. Because of this, Joffrey would never dirty his hands directly when dealing with those beneath him, instead having others, whether they want to or not, do the dirtywork for him (i.e. beating Sansa, decapitating Ned, etc). It would be beneath the king to soil his expensive clothing, have an underling do it.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/104497-ramsayjoffrey-a-psychological-analysis-of-the-two/

 

Because of the setting that Game of Thrones takes place in, Westeros, the amount of corruption that some people acquire is because of the fact that having power made people predominate when it came to ruling over lands, and other people. Out of the many cases of misuse of power, one tends to stand out, that case being Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Lord Roose Bolton.

Ramsay Snow has a very specific set of skills. He also enjoys practicing the traditions of House Bolton. Ramsay is extremely powerful, as he has the resources available from his father. Ramsay, the man leading the assault on the City of Winterfell,  was the one who wanted Theon Greyjoy. In return for Theon, Ramsay offered Winterfell safety. Ramsay took Theon back to the Seat of House Bolton, the Dreadfort.

Ramsay Snow gif

Ramsay Snow, looking happy as ever as he tortures Theon Greyjoy.

 

House Bolton has a gruesome tradition where they would flay their prisoners, as well as any enemies that they managed to capture… alive. The act of flaying meant to take a blade and skin the top layers of skin off of someone, revealing muscle and raw flesh. House Bolton would do this regularly, as they teach their children, “A naked man has few secrets… a flayed man, none.”

Ramsay happily tortured Theon Greyjoy in one of the Castle’s dungeons. He inflicted immense amounts of pain, cut off body parts, and drove Theon as we knew him to fall apart. Ramsay broke Theon, both mentally and physically. He renamed Theon, “Reek.” Ramsay would use his power to inflict pain and suffering. It was one of his favorite hobbies. If that is not a corrupt use of power, than I’m not quite sure what is.

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Map of Westeros

http://quartermaester.info/ – A great website that I used to gather more and more information about the lands of Westeros, using an interactive map. home to some of the more corrupt lords and kings, Westeros has many territories, with a vast diversity of rulers and kings, all trying to gain as much power as they can.

In order to decide which characters that I wanted to discuss and analyze, I used this website, where the author did a wonderful job analyzing almost every character that you see throughout the show, and book. https://racefortheironthrone.wordpress.com/archive/cbc-analysis/cbc-analysis-game-of-thrones/

Relating the corruption of the characters in game of thrones to the amount of power that they hold, I also wanted to know about the political themes that we see in the snow, This website was very useful in doing so. http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/what-game-thrones-teaches-us-about-politic

As dark and nefarious as some of the characters in the show are, I always find it extremely entertaining to see the paths that each of the characters take throughout the Game of Thrones.

 

 

 

 

 

Websites mentioned

http://history-behind-game-of-thrones.com/interviews/gotdeep – Comparing Game of thrones to History

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/104497-ramsayjoffrey-a-psychological-analysis-of-the-two/ – Analysis between Ramsay and Joffrey

http://quartermaester.info/ – Interactive map of Westeros (Other mode of media)

https://racefortheironthrone.wordpress.com/archive/cbc-analysis/cbc-analysis-game-of-thrones/ – character analysis

http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/what-game-thrones-teaches-us-about-politic – Relating Game of Thrones to modern day Politics

 

 

Sources

Attewell, S. (2013, April 5). CBC Analysis: Game of Thrones. Retrieved November 5, 2015.

Puschak, E. (2013, October 2). What Game of Thrones teaches us about politics? Retrieved

Adair, J. (2013, December 19). Dragonlords, Dark Ages, and Deeper Meanings in Game of Thrones.

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My Way of Life.

Sitting at the end of Golec Avenue, I protect the Cul-de-sac. I am the guard rail at the end of the road. There are four houses that reside on this street, I’ve watched over them for many years. Many families call this street home, where their children run and play. People sit on me, waiting for a friend, or just to stop and think. Snow plows bend and break me, but the families who live here have fixed me. I protect them from falling over the edge of the road into the forest below. In the summer the grass grows, covering my legs in flowers and greenery. The people who live here maintain the grass, the road, and myself. I am grateful of their presence on this street, where I live as well.

There is a big blue house on this road, a family used to live there but it is empty right now. I could remember the mother, the father, and the children of this house. Friendly and happy they would live their life. I’ve been here to watch them grow from children to adults. I was here to see the children move out, and to see the many family members who would come to visit. This family was great friends with all of the other families who live on this street. They would host barbecues and invite the whole street. It smelled delicious. I have watched the yard sales, and I’ve been here to witness the harsh winters. I was completely covered in cold snow, but the family from the blue house dug me out. This family moved out and now the big blue house is empty.

Next to the big blue house is a large white house. This house overlooks the valley behind us, with its tall wooden deck on the side of it. The family at this house has two children. I can remember seeing them play in the yard with their friends. Laughing, having fun, enjoying life. The father and the mother took time to make the yard look perfect. They would trim the bushes and plant the flowers. They would clean the spider webs off of me, and patch up the broken parts of me. I remember the lemonade stand they set up, and how excited they were. Those children grew, they went from playing in the lawn, to mowing it. The children, now adults, have left for collage. I loved this family.

Each winter the snow plow would drive speedily down the road, pushing aside all of the snow that had accumulated. When it reached the end of the dead end, it would keep going. Every winter it would slam into me, bending, breaking, or tearing a piece off of me. Why he did it, I would never know. The inhabitants of the large white house would weld a new piece of metal onto me each winter, they would fix me up and repair the damage. I could hear their frustration as they found out the snow plow did this. I am glad they were here. I witnessed children falling off of their bikes, crying as they got scraped against the asphalt. Years later I saw as those same children began to drive cars. Now those children are gone. They left for collage, but their families still live there.

As I have lived at the end of Golec Avenue, I experienced so much. Life happened around me, as people evolved and grew I was here. As people sat on me, I supported them happily. It was my duty to protect these families, as they have protected me. They let me experience life and witness their joy. I’ve seen their sadness as well, but without those moments of sadness their joys wouldn’t be as great. I am not envious, I am content as I sit here guarding the edge of the street. The family who used to live at the big blue house is gone, I wish they would come back.  I hope to see the children who have left the large white house as well, and I’m sure those families miss them as well.

Where I am from.

I am from keyboards

from Hewlett Packard  and Dell

I am from the house on the mountain

tall, white, and looking over the valley

It sounded like the forrest

I am from the evergreens

the burning bushes

with leaves of bright red

STANZA II

I’m from the birthday parties and excitement

from Ann and Gil

I’m from the corny jokes

and being late to school

from I can do anything

never give up

I’m from believe what you want

science is awesome

 STANZA III

I’m from Hartford and France,

Crepes and Brie cheese.

From the time my brother got lime disease

and when he plays volleyball.

 STANZA IV

Bermuda

I am from logical thinking of the east coast