For all the people who claim watching TV is pointless, I challenge you to find a better way to learn how to live and receive top quality entertainment AT ONCE.
I am a proud “Game of Thrones” fan, so sue me. I laughed at Tyrion Lannister’s witty jokes and heavily wept when Daenerys Targaryen lost her baby. I did a little dance when the evil Joffrey met his death and felt my heart shatter to pieces when Hodor sacrificed himself.
In real life, there is never an easily or clearly defined good or evil. “Game of Thrones” is gritty, realistic and unafraid to showcase the intricate complexities of life. The more I watch, the more I think there are plenty of useful life lessons offered in between the lines.
Lesson 1: When attacked, remain quiet
As Daenerys was negotiating with the master of the Unsullied Army that she hoped to enlist for support, insults were thrown wildly from the c-word to the b-word, and everything in between. Daenerys kept her cool and showed no sign of comprehension, effectively playing dumb. Only after gaining full control of the army did she reveal that she had, in fact, understood every word. With that, she then ordered her dragon to set the wicked man on fire.
Being sometimes underestimated is a part of life—as a woman, as the youngest person in the room, or as “the nice one”—and people will perhaps see you as an easy target. Let them fall for it.
Ignore the simplistic name calling or shit posted about you on social media. The loudest voice does not necessarily win the war.
Ignore the simplistic name calling or shit posted about you on social media. The loudest voice does not necessarily win the war. Ultimately, your actions and accomplishments will bring you the respect you know you deserve. People have eyes. They can see the truth. Eventually, you will have the last laugh. Just look at Daenerys.
Lesson 2: Be sensitive to the feelings of others
Being a leader requires one to be innovative, strong and have a vision for the future. It also means that you sometimes might have to make decisions that will anger or hurt others.
When Jon Snow decided to allow the wildlings into Castle Black, while not properly addressing the feelings of betrayal from his men, they responded by killing him. Had he taken the time to acknowledge and explain these feelings, would his men have then understood?
Remember to stay open and respect the feelings of others. Be ready to explain and back up your decisions and actions. Do not make any promises on which you cannot deliver and when making agreements, always follow through on your word.
Lesson 3: Have compassion for all
We are often quick to judge people for their actions or decisions. When they behave in ways we oppose, we simply attribute their actions to bad character instead of trying to understand it. Image a woman that jumps ahead of you in the queue at the Hong Kong-China border. The immediate response might be to shout at her to get lost and go to the back of the line, but what if her screaming, sick child is on the other side of the counter and she’s just a worried mom trying to hold her baby ASAP.
In “Game of Thrones,” the writer builds up each story to help you understand why the characters act the way they do. Theon betrayed the family who raised him because of his conflicted and unfortunate past. Cersei fights tooth and nail to protect her children and Jaime acted purely for his love for Cersei.
The more you understand about a person’s upbringing and circumstance, the easier it is to empathize and understand what makes them tick. Try to find this perspective and judge less while giving more compassion. In other words, let the damn woman jump your queue.
Lesson 4: Think fast and act slow
A person in rage will suffer tunnel vision and make consistently poor decisions. I know because I recently suffered from an episode like this myself. My personality is tough and can withstand most forms of personal attacks with relative grace and dignity. Still, there are those times when some low-life stoops low to curse my husband and babies and I suddenly turn into Cersei Lannister, the ultimate and most awesome bitch that ever lived. Is it good? Where should the line be drawn?
Stannis, solely guided by emotion, made a terrible mistake that finally cost him his life. With half his army abandoned, his own daughter sacrificed for nothing and his wife dead from suicide, he had nothing left. So with animalistic aggression, he attacked Winterfell, failed miserably and ultimately met his end.
In the midst of great difficulty, nothing may seem to go right, no matter what you do. Compound that with the people around you being complete assholes and the only thing left to do is take a step back and wait.
Let your mind clear and separate yourself from your emotions. Blindly moving forward to attack in the heat of the moment will only conclude with your beating, much like Stannis.
Still, when all else fails, get a dragon and burn them all.