James Comey Testifying Before the Senate Was a Lot Like Game of Thrones
The biggest news story of the week in America has been former FBI Director James Comey’s long awaited testimony before congress regarding Donald Trump and his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, as well as Trump’s alleged obstruction of the resulting investigation. Over the course of three hours, as Democrats pushed him to state that Trump had criminally obstructed the investigation while Republicans continued to harp of Hillary Clinton’s emails, Comey offered little in the way of actionable facts, though he did provide some nice soundbites.
Meanwhile, outside the political realm, something just as important was happening: the seventh series of HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones continued getting closer. The network announced the lengths of this season’s episodes yesterday, including the finale, which will clock in at an epic 81 minutes, or approximately half of a James Comet senate testimony. That correlation, and the timing of the news, isn’t the only thing these two stories gave in common. If you think about it, Comey’s testifying was actually a lot like Game of Thrones.
Westeros, the setting of Game of Thrones, is home to all sorts of mystical creatures, from dragons to direwolves to Frankenstein’s monsters. Included among them are giants, like the late Wun Wun, who died valiantly fighting for Jon Snow in last season’s Battle of the Bastards. He was killed by the cartoonishly evil Ramsey Bolton.
James Comey is also a giant. Standing at 6’8”, he towers over 99% of the population, just like Wun Wun. It could also be said that he metaphorically died valiantly at the hands of a cartoonishly evil villain, having been fired by Donald Trump, seemingly just for doing his job investigating him.
I Have No Idea What Any of It Means Without Reading a Bunch of Recaps
When I watch Game of Thrones, I always enjoy the spectacle, the violence and the nudity and everything in between. However, there are a million little things in every episode that go over my head: characters who I don’t remember in the slightest coming back after long absences, actions with political implications I don’t grasp in the slightest, references to the novels on which the show is based that I would never understand since I haven’t read them. I need recaps to lay all that stuff out for me in plain English.
The same is true of Comey’s testimony. I have no idea how significant anything he says is without people summarizing it and telling me what I need to pay attention to; once they do that, I pretend that I actually knew all along. I imagine the same is true for a lot of people.
An Incestuous Rich Person Holds Power
In Game of Thrones, the Queen Regent of Westeros is Cersei Lannister. The Lannister family is famously the most wealthy family in the Seven Kingdoms, though its been implied over the last few seasons that they may be skating on reputation more than actual held wealth at this point in the show’s timeline. This isn’t Cersei’s defining character trait, though; that would be the fact that she loves to get down in some incestuous sex with her brother, Jamie, and also that she loves being drunk on wine all the time.
Donald Trump is also from a wealthy family, having gotten his start on the road to being so rich that he’s famous for it with a $1 million loan from his father. Unlike Cersei, that IS his defining trait, but he’s no slouch regarding the incest either, since he seems to want to have sex with his daughter Ivanka pretty badly. Trump doesn’t drink, but rumors do persist that he loves doing cocaine, so that’s something.
The World Is a Depressing Hellscape
Westeros is a pretty grim place. Good-hearted people tend to die, bad guys tend to win, no one is to be trusted, and, as a long winter approaches, an army of undead warriors whose ranks swell with every life they take threatens to crush the living, making any progress within the world of normal humans potentially futile. It seems like a pretty awful place to live, especially for the poor, who live and die at the whim of the rich and powerful. Upward mobility is limited Little Finger stands out for being able to move up in the world, and he could only do that by being particularly devious and good at playing politics. Death is almost a welcome respite.
The real world is also pretty depressing. There are no undead monsters, but I guess you could sort of stretch that metaphor to apply to worker drones, who wander around lifelessly and sell their souls just to survive. Almost half of America voted for a stupid syphilitic businessman who can’t even make money from casinos because they’re just that racist. Upward mobility on a large scale is a myth. This is the world in which James Comey testified before senate, testimony that will probably prove futile, because it seems like everything is proving futile right now. Death is almost a welcome respite.
So. Yeah. That’s why James Comey testifying is like Game of Thrones.