Game of Thrones, politics


WHILE impatiently waiting for the next, and hopefully, final season of the Game of Thrones on HBO, let me settle for the equally colorful, exciting, perhaps manipulative moves in the local political scene, as the filing of candidacy is much nearer. I have always thought that elections in a so-called democratic country like the Philippines can give Westeros a run for its money when it comes to power plays and calculated machinations.

In as much as the fantasy series features noble families and lesser families that are beholden to them, elections here can also feature political families, both the entrenched and emerging, and scenes which can be far stranger than fictitious ones. The infamous Maguindanao massacre is no less bloody, notorious or traumatic than the Red Wedding during the War of the Five Kings in which Robb Stark and the rest of his bannermen were murdered at the pretense of wedding feast, which is how GOT Season 3 ended.

Political families continue to be nourished to these days, and alliances can be passed on through generations, in the same way that inter-generational feuds last a long time. In some places, political families are part of a people's heritage, perhaps a reminder of how our boat-riding early ancestors formed and governed communities formed by families which bonded together.

Families still provide the fundamental training ground for future political roles, even in cities like San Fernando where there are no dominant political dynasties, but a few plutocracies which continue their own political traditions.

In Westeros, political alliances are often sealed with strategic partnerships and marriages, there may also be some examples mirrored in real life, especially among the scions of the political and social elites.

In real life, as in fantasy, political loyalties are often fluid, if not downright treacherous, and are, maybe, only as good as your money's worth or convenience. Wasn't it Quezon who said that his loyalty to his party ends where his loyalty to his country begins? Since then, political parties have been numerous and misleading, with mass turn coating and color changing depending on who is the next dominant force.

As the election season descends, it will be fascinating to watch colors and slogans, which can be as symbolic and interesting as sigils and house words too. All of a sudden I am reminded of the yellow ribbon of the Liberal Party and the florals of House Atienza from past elections. Will I be seeing a lot of pink and fuchsia from local houses in San Fernando, will blue remain unchallenged by intermingling yellow or orange? Will sigils of gold, boars, or flowers make an appearance in the upcoming elections too?

Electoral slogans may easily be translated into both official and unofficial mottos, whether it be Lingap at Lugud, Agyu Tamu, Magsilbi Tamu, or what not. My personal favorite, in the fantasy world is, House Lannister's unofficial motto, “A Lannister pays his debts.”

Under all these trappings, whether in fantasy or real life, is the seemingly endless pursuit of power, not of only for the good that it may do, but power as an end in itself.

For those of us who prefer to be on the sidelines, or sidelights, watching and not participating, let us brace ourselves as the elections, and winter is coming.


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