The Game of Thrones Guide to the 2012 Transition, Part 1

The HBO series Game of Thrones returns for a second season this month.  The show, which could be described as either “Soft Core Porn Lord of the Rings,” or “Harry Potter for  Middle-Aged White Dudes,” is set in a fantasy realm loosely modeled after medieval Europe with a plot that is equally loosely based on the history of the War of the Roses.

Given that the entire series revolves around a series of bloody power struggles in which amoral individuals quickly kill off the few characters with integrity before then turning on each other in a highly stylized circle jerk of naked ambition, I thought the show would make a useful guide to 2012 and the current leadership transition in China, a transition which is not going quite as smoothly as the Party leadership perhaps hoped it would.

So, with that…the Game of Thrones Guide to the 2012 Transition, Part 1.  Part 2 can be found here.

(Yes. There are all kinds of spoilers but I figure if you’ve made it this far then you’ve already seen the show.)


Tyrion: Where do I begin, my lords and ladies? I am a vile man, I confess it. My crimes and sins are beyond counting. I have lied and cheated, gambled and whored. I’m not particularly good at violence, but I’m good at convincing others to do violence for me. You want specifics, I suppose. When I was seven, I saw a servant girl bathing in the river. I stole her robe and she was forced to return to the castle naked and in tears. I closed my eyes, but I could still see her tits bouncing. When I was 10, I stuffed my uncle’s boots with goat shit. When confronted with my crime, I blamed a squire. Poor boy was flogged, and I escaped justice. When I was 12 I milked my eel into a pot of turtle stew. I flogged the one-eyed snake, I skinned my sausage. I made the bald men cry into the turtle stew, which I believe my sister ate. At least I hope she did. I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel….

My initial list of ‘favorite Game of Thrones Quotes’ turned out to be 90% Tyrion, which shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone who has seen the show.  Peter Dinklage as Tyrion is basically the series’ Omar. He gets all the best lines and doesn’t waste any of them. This is, by far, my favorite Tyrion moment from Season One.  Facing probable defenestration unless he confesses to a crime he actually didn’t commit, he instead breaks into a veritable sonata of humble brag vulgarity.

The Chinese Internet sensation for this particular nanosecond is a series of pictures supposedly snapped by a Chinese gangster doing…well, gangster things.  Counting money. Driving his car. Stepping on a dude’s neck.  There’s a heavy whiff of the South China Tiger about the photos, but these days people here are so conditioned to believe any crazy ass rumor that involves gangsters or officials (and the line is often thin in many local jurisdictions) mainly because those rumors that turn out to be true usually end up involving unbelievably jackshit stupid and craven examples of human behavior.  After awhile you get used to just being witness to all kinds of corruption, whether the egregious deeds of high officials or the local hot pot restaurant that recycles gutter oil.[5]

Nevertheless, in nine decades of self-criticisms and forced confessions it’s doubtful that the CCP ever came across anyone so archly proud of their depravity as Tyrion, but there’s also little doubt that between his stature, his hobbies, and his gift for amoral politics, the little man would have made a sterling cadre.


Robb: If we do it your way kingslayer, you’d win. We’re not doing it your way.

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