unspoken assumption

“One thing that I am trying to get at in the books a political aspect if you would is to kind of show that this stuff is hard. I mean I think an awful lot of fantasy and and even some great fantasy falls into the mistake of assuming that the good man will be a good king that is all that is necessary is to be like a decent human being and then when you’re king of course everything will go swimmingly and you know you even Tolkien and you know who is the I think my respect for Tolkien and no second to none and all modern fantasy flows from Tolkien. But there’s an unspoken assumption in his books there that you know Return of the King Aragorn is the king now everything will be will be hunky-dory you know the land will prosper and it’ll be wonderful and the crops will be good and there will be justice for all and the enemies will be defeated and you know you never you never actually get into the nitty-gritty of Aragorn ruling and you know. What of his tax policy and how does he feel about crop rotation and you know where how does he handle land disputes between two Nobles both of whom think that they should have this particular village so they take turns burning it down in order to establish this claim. This is the hard parts of ruling and be it in the Middle Ages or now and of course it’s not enough to be a good man to be an effective ruler and it never has been you know. If it has been you know Jimmy Carter would be the greatest president of the 20th century I mean he’s clearly I think the best human being to be president in my lifetime but he was not a particularly effective president for all his his decency and his humanity and his compassion when his undoubted intelligence I mean the man was a nuclear engineer and then in a navy but nonetheless he failed at it and I’ve been there were some examples of medieval kings in in history who were terrible human beings but they were nonetheless very good Kings for their country. So it’s complicated and it’s hard and I wanted to show not just with it with the women but you know you see in my books repeated examples of both Kings and and the hand of the King – Prime Minister. If you would trying to rule and and whether it be Ned Stark or Tyrion Lannister or Tywin Lannister or you know Daenerys Targaryen in the latest book Cersei Lannister in the in the book before that and trying to deal with some of the real challenges that affect anyone trying to rule the Seven Kingdoms or even the city like Marine and it’s hard you know. We can all read these books or look at history and say oh so-and-so was stupid that made a lot of mistakes look at all these stupid mistakes they make but these kind of mistakes are always much more apparent in hindsight than when you’re actually kind of faced with the decision about. My god what what would I do in this situation how do I resolve the thing do I do the moral thing? But what about the political consequences of the moral thing? Do I do the the pragmatic cynical thing and just kind of screw the people who are screwed? But it I mean it’s hard and I want to get to want to get to all of that and be it a male ruler or a woman woman’s ruler…”

George Martin

George Martin On Politics

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