Table of contents

Game of Thrones III.1-5

On the need to acquire

War shows with unique clarity the weaknesses of men. The Lannister queen learns that she does not really rule anything. She has only survived because of her father, whom she rules no more than her son. So many powers move in the land, she can only keep up appearances.

The Lannister dwarf is charged to rule over the kingdom’s monies. He shares the princes’ low opinion of the job. But the kingdom is someone’s kingdom & nobody rules the kingdom who cannot afford it. He learns about property & that liberality is the sure way to bankruptcy. He must learn how necessary acquisition is to survive. Even the richest, compared to what there is to be taken, are poor…

The Lannister prince learns how much he had relied on his family. He is captured, humiliated, his sword hand cut. This reminds him why he killed a king once, who in his madness wanted to burn the city. His innocence reminds him of saving the innocent. He also learns what it is to have necessity drive him, how parlous to take survival for granted.

Their enemy, Robb Stark, has not only left enemies in his rear, but loses his capitol to a raid. The belief that there is a fate worse than death is strange in a man who wants to avenge his father. He should know justice needs to be done & otherwise there is none. Worse still, the belief that he needs or can afford to be generous will destroy him. His father’s death did not teach him about his father’s failure. His father’s great virtues blind him to their defect. He learns he needs men & he learns that they do not need him.

The Targaryen girl learns to seem stupid & to betray people. She learns to break contracts or promises or oaths & to deceive people to their death. She also learns that the best way to acquire is to take from those who are hated , that the most just conquests are defensive, & that generosity comes easily when you take other people’s property.

She quickly acquires an army, proving that the art of war is more important than arms, & arms more important than money. With arms & dragons, how can she be defeated?

Jon Snow learns the lessons of the North: Nature kills everything she can; betraying people is necessary to learning deception, which is necessary to survival. A bastard likely has a better grasp of the problem of legitimacy, & therefore more opportunity to succeed.

Finally, the little deceiver who started it all, Littlefinger, acquires a title & a principality to protect his riches, proof that the life of crime is best.

The third season of the show, even more popular than the previous two