Judging by the social media response, the only people to appreciate the “Game of Thrones” series finale might be politics and history nerds like myself.
Daenerys’ speech to her Dothraki cavalry and Unsullied infantry among the burned out ruins of King’s Landing might not have exactly given me chills but it certainly rang some familiar bells, and not just because I’m nearly finished reading Orlando Figes’s excellent “Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991”. While the monochromatic visuals of military formations had something of Leni Riefenstahl to it, the rhetoric was pure Sergei Eisentstein (or would be, if he did not make silent movies). In other words, it was the perfect illustration of why we should be wary of high-minded utopianism.
Daenerys, the Breaker of Chains who wants to destroy “the wheel” (the metaphor for the oppressive system) ends up being the biggest mass murderer of the show. But that’s just the beginning – there is the rest of the world to “liberate” in a sort of a “permanent revolution” that Trotsky would have heartily applauded. There can be no peace until the forces of communism have defeated the forces of capitalism.
Looking at King’s Landing, shrouded in the rain of ash, one can only wonder how many people would actually be still left alive after Dany and her armies have finished liberating everyone. It all starts with noble sentiments but ends up in piles of bodies, from Russia to Westeros. It’s the absolute moral certainty that yours is the one true way that leads you to gulags and genocide.
“What about all the other people who think they know what’s good?” Jon Snow asks his Queen. “They don’t get a choice,” she replies, in a pure distillation of Marxist-Daeneryst philosophy.
The road to the Iron Throne is paved with good intentions.
Only a dragon and a bottle of bleach separates Alexandria Occasio-Cortez from Daenerys Targaryen.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.
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