My blogs have been a little heavy, controversial, and otherwise overly serious the last few posts. That can be a bad thing. As a breather for myself, and for readers, the next few posts will be dedicated to Game of Thrones… which I realize is not exactly a light-hearted series as I sit here and type this. Nonetheless, what I write here will not denounce any sacred cows -unless some new religion has sprouted from this series. That hasn’t happened right?
Hopefully, other fans of the series will share their thoughts on the character’s alignments here.
So, to show my high school geek stripes, let’s discuss the alignments of the Game of Thrones cast. You know Lawful Good, Neutral Evil, True Neutral etc. This will be divided up into three blogs by the modus operandi of the characters, I.e. Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic.
Oh… and just so I’m clear this is pre-4.o alignments. The 4.0 continuum is far to one dimensional.
If you have never heard of alignments before, please check out this article here.
Without further ado, here is my first.
I'm Lawful Good, so Lawful Good it hurts...
If alignments have Platonic forms, than we’ve found an incarnation in Eddard Stark. Professor X and Aragorn wish they were as noble as Eddard. And speaking Platonism, one of his most Lawful Good traits is his reluctance to take up political power and his slow acquiesce to do so. Many Machiavellian minded readers might think that Eddard is a naive or lacks will i.e. he sees what’s effective, but is too good and honorable to execute. I disagree: Eddard sincerely believes that doing the good thing is the effective thing. How else do you explain his willingness to stand-up against his best friend, and the his’s advisers over the issue of assassination plans against Daenerys Targaryen?
Even when Law and Goodness seem to be in conflict, Eddard tries to keep both intact. During the wolf incident along King’s Road, Eddard reluctantly carries out the execution of his daughter’s dire wolf -by the Queen’s order- but he does it the most good an honorable way. He even tries (vainly) to make it up to his daughter later.
And we all know the end point Stark’s goodness and duty lead him. The point at the end of pike. So Lawful Good. So lawful good it hurts.
By the way, all of you table-top RPG kiddies who aren’t quite sure how to play Paladin? Just ask yourself one question: What would Eddard do?
I'll run you through.... after throwing a fit.
I considered King Robert for my Lawful Neutral -and I still fee like he is- but I chose the relatively minor character Sir Barrister Selmy. Let’s work backwards. What offended Sir Barrister? Was it suddenly being on the same side as his former opponent, Eddard Stark? No, they had a nice and pleasant conversation. How about working for a King who some feel decry as usurper? Doesn’t bother sir Barrister one bit. What about the next coup, when the queen -with transparently vile opportunism- overrides King Robert’s dying wish? A little, but not much.
The only time Sir Barrister raised a fuss was when he was dismissed from his duty, and I might’ve cried for the guy. He’s upset because he can no longer serve. Who is king and what their values doesn’t really seem to register for poor sir Barrister. He simply wants to do his dutiful role for the realm.
You only *think* you got me cornered.
Blend together Lucuis Malfoy, Scrooge, and Michael Corleone and you have Tywin Lannister. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Lawful Evil character written this well, and they are hard to write. Tywin isn’t just some angry, bitter, verbally abusive old man -(and there is more than one in Game of Thrones). He’s puppet stringing master mind who could have you killed as easily as he wipes his ass with gold-foil.
Tywin Lannister is like a mafia don who has spent years and years getting everyone in his pocket until he is completely untouchable. Even King Robert admits that he can’t move against this guy or his family. In the monologue before his son Jaime, Tywin explains that Lions need not fear sheep and their house -the Lannisters- is a house to be feared. It sounds like the worst parts Neitzche and Machiavelli put together. Furthermore, there’s no way he qualifies as Neutral or Chaotic Evil. Tywin, as the head of the powerful noble house, is far too invested in the system to disregard it even if it wasn’t working for him. And just look at that guy! Do you want to cross him?
Arguably, Tywin has not done anything heinously evil, but he is very concerned with Lannister name. When Tywin reprimanded Jaime for his fight with Eddard, it was a reprimand for not killing Eddard. Do you think that Tywin was ignorant of Cersai’s plots against John Aron, or the letting loose of “the Mountain” on peasant villages? Hard to imagine him not keeping close tabs on his adult children. Thus, I don’t think the apples fell far from the tree. He is guilty -at the very least- by complicity.
For the next blogs, I’ll write the Neutral Good, True Neutral, and Neutral Evil characters. Thanks for reading and commenting.