With the next "Game of Thrones" season not coming out until 2019, I am sure many are looking for anything to try and fill the time with, and surely on top of the list will be rewatching the first season, or perhaps reading the books. Whether that applies to you or not, spoilers ahead as I examine the first book of the series (and roughly the first season) "A Game of Thrones!"
It seems 90's kids raised on Disney movies aren't the only ones raised on myths and legends of princes and princesses, fantastical beasts, and battles between good and evil, which conveniently end tied up nicer than a bow. Sansa Stark has the exact same image in her head when the King comes to visit her father. Near everyone is a story character come to life, the queen is beautiful, and her brother is everything a knight should be. And most gallant of all is the prince, Prince Joffery, her betrothed.
And as we are introduced to the world of Westeros through the rose-tinted eyes of Sansa Stark we are introduced to one of the major themes in "A Game of Thrones": deception. The entire world, as Sansa sees it turns out to be false, and eventually crumbles before her eyes as the truth reveals itself. Of course, the truth is a fickle thing, and Sansa doesn't get to see it quite as clearly as the reader eventually does, and even that may not be so sure, but I am getting ahead of myself.
In this story, there are perhaps two characters who have a gift for seeing at the heart of what is going on. One is Sansa's sister Arya, who dislikes the Prince from the beginning, and is taught in her "waterdancing" lessons to "see with her eyes" to see what is truly there.
So when we see everything fall apart for the two sisters it is Arya who is safe from the hands of the Lannisters, and Sansa is forced to watch every fantasy she had be torn from her, and replaced with a more horrid reality.
The other character who is able to see clearly is Tyrion, who with his eyes of two different colors seems able to see any situation from at least two points of view.
So it is up to the reader, who has the benefit from so many different perspectives, to try and see through the deception. At the end of all of this, "A Game of Thrones" is a tale of Kings, and who should rule is at the heart of this story. So, who should rule? It is up to the reader to try and see for themself. We are told that Prince Joffery shouldn't rule because his claim is illegitimate, but it certainly helps that he is also an awful King. Robert's claim to the throne was (we are told) more legitimate than Eddard Stark, but who would say that the kingdom wouldn't have benefitted from Eddard as King? Even King Robert says as much.
And so whether you are just picking up the series, or you are starting for the first time. Try and see through the high talk of the Lords, and the games they play, and ask yourself, who would you rather have on the Iron Throne?