Opinion | “Game of Thrones” Characters as 2020 Presidential Candidates


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“Game of Thrones” production still.

By Devi Ruia, Staff Columnist

In honor of “Game of Thrones” returning this past Sunday for its final season, here are some hot takes about which of its characters most closely align with some of the current (or presumed) 2020 Presidential Candidates.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones” (if you really read between the lines.)

Joffrey Baratheon: Donald Trump

This one is pretty obvious. Baratheon was a spoiled, entitled rich boy born into a powerful family much like Trump. Neither is particularly politically savvy. Instead, they allow advisers to deal with most of the day-to-day aspects of policy making — and it’s when they don’t listen to them and act impulsively that things go awry. In addition, both are rather despised by the general public and intolerant of those with differences. However, Baratheon hasn’t been a concern for several seasons on the show, but Trump is unfortunately still in charge.

Daenerys Targaryen: Kamala Harris

Targaryen has consistently been one of the fiercest competitors for the Iron Throne on “Game of Thrones.” She has wowed other characters and audience members with her “badass,” progressive leadership much like Harris. Both Targaryen and Harris are charismatic leaders who work hard to achieve their progressive goals. A large part of Targaryen’s goals throughout the series was to free slaves and ultimately make life better for the people of Westeros.

Harris mirrors this in her campaign platform — her slogan is quite literally “For the People”. Both are fierce fighters for equality who seem to want to rule to help and protect others — and both are my personal choice to win both the Iron Throne and the Democratic nomination, respectively.

Jon Snow: Pete Buttigieg

Snow started the series as an underdog. As the bastard son of Ned Stark, not many thought that he really had a chance at the Iron Throne early on. Similarly, as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg wasn’t taken very seriously by political pundits and voters when he announced his presidential candidacy. Now, Snow is viewed as a serious contender for the Throne, similar to Buttigieg who is currently polling third among likely Democratic Primary voters.

The similarities don’t end there. Snow is a figure of authenticity and morality, one of the few characters who is not obsessed with playing manipulative political games but instead just wants to save people. Similarly, Buttigieg is also viewed as unrehearsed, though less reluctant to take this seat of power than Snow.

Sansa Stark: Kirsten Gillibrand

Stark is a smart political power player. She started out with less than stellar goals and opinions — much like Sen. Gillibrand who, in the beginning of her career, had more conservative views about immigration and guns. Stark evolved, like Gillibrand, and is now a much more intelligent politician. Sansa also fed Ramsay Bolton, a rapist, to his own hounds (hell yeah). While Gillibrand is a little more lawful when dealing with sexual predators, she is still a fierce advocate for survivors. Despite all of this, Stark is undervalued by viewers much like Gillibrand is currently being undervalued by voters in the 2020 race. Still, both have a chance at the Iron Throne and the White House, respectively, and neither should be discounted by the public.

Mance Rayder: Bernie Sanders

Rayder was the leader of the Wildlings who was all about bridging inequality. He didn’t believe in the corrupt 1% holding all the power, much like Sen. Sanders, and neither is willing to sacrifice their principles. They also both lost their first battles. Although in typical “Game of Thrones” fashion Rayder paid with his life while Sanders is still alive and able to try for the Presidency again.

Robb Stark: Beto O’Rourke

Robb was a bold character with a moral compass and a desire to lead for the people. He also had a decent strategic mind. All of these are qualities that O’Rourke possesses. O’Rourke was a bold, progressive fighter in the Texas Senate race that proved his strategic grassroots campaign skills by losing by a much narrower margin than was expected for a Senate race in Texas. Hopefully O’Rourke’s bid for power ends happier than Robb’s — though really it wouldn’t take much to have a happier ending than him.

Catelyn Stark: Elizabeth Warren

Catelyn was undervalued and unfortunately ignored. She consistently gave great advice to Robb that would have prevented their downfall, and unfortunately he disregarded her great ideas. Catelyn was also rather undervalued by audience members and all of this makes her similar to Warren. Warren has been rolling out great policy proposals throughout the entirety of her campaign so far. She has more concrete ideas of how to bring about change and solve problems than any of her fellow candidates, yet the media and voters are mostly ignoring her, like Robb ignored Catelyn. Still, there is more time for voters to start paying attention to Warren — but it’s much too late for anyone to listen to Catelyn — though if they had, the Red Wedding really could have been avoided.

Ned Stark: Joe Biden

Ned was a man of principle that led by honor and goodwill more than political manipulation. He is much like Biden in this respect, as Biden is still stuck in the realm of “old politics,” wherein sides can disagree but people ultimately respect each other and can even become friends. Unfortunately, in today’s partisan times, Biden’s willingness to trust and even like those across the aisle is rather naive. While trusting and associating with the wrong people could potentially cost Biden the White House, it will at least not lose him his head the way trusting Littlefinger lost Ned his.