Correcting the Omission…

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but when one writes a blog, there’s nobody to tell them what to write or when.  Nor are there editors to tighten the narrative or catch spelling and usage errors.  Good and bad.  The truth is, I don’t limit myself in subject.  I might write about anything at any time.  But, if you’ve read much of my work, you would have to agree I focus on politics.  A LOT.  So it seems strange that, after all this time, I’ve failed to address the single most important political question in the western world.  It’s the question on every person’s lips – and I’ve written zilch on the topic.

It hasn’t been an oversight, so much.  I’ve even known that sooner or later, I was going to weigh in.  We all have opinions.  According to Francis Bacon (no relation) the sheer number of opinions stands as testament to the number that must be wrong.  Still, I’ve been hesitant to say, partly, because it involves a prediction.  I’m MUCH better at matching history with current events and extrapolating from there and we’re simply not in far enough to know for sure.  But after much consideration, and I mean a ridiculous amount, I’m ready to take a position, bold and outlandish as it may seem.  So, as they say, here goes nothin’…

I think Tyrion Lannister is going to end up on the Iron Throne.  I expect that statement received one of two responses: one, “Who, on the what?” and two, “TYRION?!?” (It’s even said with the two question marks and the exclamation point.)  If you’re in the ‘who on the what’ crowd, this essay probably isn’t for you.  You’ve got seven seasons of catching up to do and I may introduce spoilers.  But if you DO know what I’m talking about – and which civilized person in the western world doesn’t – allow me to explain WHY I expect Tyrion to “win” the Game of Thrones…

I’ve heard people opine that Peter Dinklage is the best actor on the show.  I don’t know if that’s true.  Sure, he’s VERY good but he really benefits from a great role.  His is the most fun and probably the most fun to write.  But if your character is supposed to be a pent up, play-it-close-to-the-vest type, NOT being so broad as an actor or likeable as a character actually IS great acting.  Tough call.  Too subjective.

As it happens, my hypothesis began with a simple observation: Peter Dinklage, the actor who portrays Tyrion, always receives top billing.  Okay, so…not ALWAYS.  Season One stands as an outlier but even then he received what might be called “highlighted billing.”  So, let’s talk about actors for a moment.

I’m not one.  Nor do I play one on TV.  I’ve known some – but the local kind, not the kind whose agents argue with producers about credits – or even the kind with agents.  So, consider yourself fully engulfed in the wonderful world of theoretical speculation.  One of the things I think actors seriously think about is billing – where their name appears in relation to where everyone else’s name is going to appear as the movie or TV show begins.  For the actors, it’s a matter of importance – meaning, if you get top billing (your name appears first) you’re the most important.  But there’s a nuance to that – the “highlighted billing” I mentioned before.  (I imagine there’s an actual name for the practice in the industry but as I’ve indicated, I’m not in the industry…)

In Season One, several actor’s names appear…then, “and Peter Dinklage”.  He’s the only one of the top names to receive anything that sets him apart, as it were.  …”AND Peter Dinklage.”  Beginning with Season Two and from then on, Peter Dinklage is the first name to appear on the screen as the credits begin.

Show runners know the actors are going to bitch about billing.  Through the years, they’ve come up with several tricks to reduce the tensions such concerns can create.  Maybe they list the actors in order of appearance.  Sometimes the actors are listed alphabetically.  Sometimes, it all comes down to who’s the most famous and let the bickering begin.  I think the show runners from ‘Game of Thrones’ have been using the “importance to the story” technique – telling us all along who wins…

As an example, in the early seasons, Sophie Turner – who portrays Sansa Stark, had to share billing with two other people.  Sansa wasn’t critical to the story at the time.  NOW, in Season 7, she’s the Lady of Winterfell…and ‘Sophie Turner’ appears alone during the credits.  Maisie Williams, playing Arya Stark, still shares billing with others.  Arya’s definitely moving into more of an…enforcer role…not bound for the Iron Throne…

So that’s it.  THAT’S what started me down this thought path.  Peter Dinklage receives top billing.  BUT…if you go back and watch the series again (and you should), you’ll notice that Tyrion keeps gaining experience running cities and states.  People keep mentioning how good he is at it.  He’s smart.  He’s diplomatic.  He knows when to work with enemies and when to fight.  He’s brave but concerned with the plight of the lower classes.

I know…there are some obvious problems with my hypothesis.  Daenerys Targaryen and her nephew, Jon Snow, for one, er two – and the aforementioned Sansa Stark.  I suspect Daenerys and Aegon (Jon’s real name) are going to end up back in the east screwing their hot little Targaryen brains out and Sansa will continue as Wardeness of the North.  Everyone else of consequence is – or soon will be – dead.  Jaime, I think, is going to end up Hand of the King to Tyrion.

I’ll tell you, I don’t really know HOW those last few contenders are going to play out.  Tyrion Lannister on the Iron Throne is the only REAL prediction, here.  But I think he’s going to make a great king of Westeros…

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