06 April, 2014
Game of Thrones as Theory | Foreign Affairs
Game of Thrones as Theory | Foreign Affairs: Lords and kings no less than oath-breakers are punished for violating custom and agreement -- either explicitly or through the inability to convert their hard power into material successes. Contrary to Cersei's assertion, kings cannot always "do as they like": Ned and the chivalry he represented may appear to have been the loser at the end of book and season one, but Joffrey's disregard for basic standards of justice will return to haunt him as it did his predecessors. The true moral of the story is that when good rules are disregarded, disorder and ruin follow -- just as Thucydides' story of Melos, some argue, when paired with his description of Pericles' death and Athens' fall, is meant to suggest that the gains that power achieves without justice cannot endure.