Elections Are Coming.
Though commonly misconceived of as being a fantasy show about dragons and fairies, at its heart, Game of Thrones is all about politics.
Largely inspired by actual political events throughout history, such as the War of Roses, Game of Thrones represents a variety of governmental styles and diplomatic themes: totalitarian regimes, monarchies, free states, slave-driven economies, and even a coup d’état or two. And while major battles, undead armies in the North, and awe-inspiring dragons may make the whole show a lot more fun, underneath all the CGI and fantasy, the political plots are fascinating.
Now Game of Thrones is taking a stab at more democratic, real-world politics in the most creative way. Who would you vote for? Here’s how you can do it!
All dedicated Thrones fans need to see this.
Meet the Game of Thrones Party
This election season has been especially tumultuous thus far. Voters who are either 100% pro-Trump or 100% for Hillary dominate the scene, praising one while slandering the other, and Americans feel more divided than they have in recent history. For those who still find themselves somewhere in between, or who wish there was a third-party candidate to vote for, this election may feel especially trying and stressful. Given either candidate’s popularity ratings—which are not so glorious—antipathy towards our bipartisan system is swelling, and people are looking for a savior.
And what do you know: That doesn’t sound all that different from Game of Thrones. While the richest and most powerful toy around with the globe like some sick game of chess, most of Essos and Westeros’s non-noble populations find themselves helpless amidst conflicts and wars they never asked to be a part of. Could their sentiment mirror our own, and could these two worlds merge?
Now, your third party candidate could be one of your favorite heroes or villains (or in-betweens) from Game of Thrones. At TheGOTParty.com, an ongoing vote is being held over the next month or so to elect a GoT candidate for November’s election. Though the fictional character will not actually appear on the presidential ballot, the GoT vote does a good job of parodying the presidential election in the mean time.
Wait; but Why?
Why, you ask? Why go through the trouble of creating this entire site solely to select a candidate that doesn’t even exist?
Clearly, the aim behind this site is promotional. Links abound directing site visitors to purchase and download Game of Thrones Season Six, and this bizarre approach during election season is a surefire way to at least keep GoT relevant during the long wait before Season Seven debuts next summer (don’t remind me.) Conveniently, the site coincides with Season Six’s digital release. Inventive marketing.
On the other hand, Americans boast a lengthy history of writing-in fictional or otherwise unlikely candidates on their ballots. A 2013 article explored the history of why Mickey Mouse is such a popular write-in candidate, so why not keep up with the times by voting for a Game of Thrones character instead?
If nothing else, choosing a fictional candidate is a privilege we’re lucky to have in our country, whereas many others ban such a practice. In fact, some of our country’s greatest politicians were write-ins, including Herbert Hoover, FDR, and JFK, all in state primaries. Whether an escape from reality or a tongue-in-cheek way to protest the two major Parties, a write-in is an important right bestowed upon Americans that shows how direct our democracy can be.