The Game

*GOT Spoiler Alert

Luke 22:47-48 Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?

In the series Game of Thrones, Ned Stark, like Jesus sacrifices his life while trying to achieve the greater good for the people of the seven kingdoms.  What instigated the demise of Ned was that he had too much faith in the people he trusted, Lord Varys and Lord Baelish which contributed to his downfall. Similarly, for Jesus it was one of the chosen twelve, Judas that assisted in the Pharisees quest to have Jesus sentenced to death. So, what were the motives that led to the betrayal?

I would argue in Varys and Lord Baelish’s case it was to strengthen their own power so their influence on the decision-making process of the political and economic policies in the seven kingdoms would lead to their preferred outcome. Contrastingly, for Judas he perceived that the goal of Jesus’s mission conflicted with his own purposes which led to his betrayal. The question is did Judas, Varys and Lord Baelish’s actions enable them to achieve their own objectives? However, ultimately, they were destroyed by the leaders who they went to for their betrayals.

For wicked men are found among My people, They, watch like hunters lying in wait; They set a trap, They, catch men.  Jeremiah 5:26

I sometimes wonder if people walk into a situation that may contain many pitfalls, i.e. high risk, high rewards. For Jesus it was going to Jerusalem knowing that the hierarchy of the Jewish faith and the Roman rulers perceived that he was threat to their own power, while the crowd saw Jesus as the one who could overthrow the power base. However, in this instance, Jesus was writing his own narrative where he would challenge the Jewish and Roman Leaders on how their rule differed from his own mission which was to proclaim God’s Kingdom. Additionally, the crowd turned on him when it became abundantly clear that his life’s end goal was not to overthrow the Jewish and Roman rulers but to sacrifice his life so that everyone would have the opportunity to gain eternal life.

Conversely, with Rob Stark who hears of death of his father, Ned and immediately assembles the Northern armies to oppose the rulers and the armies who ordered Ned’s death.  Instantaneously, Rob Stark is enacting force creating a conflict between selfish ambition and what he perceives to be for the Greater Good.  The Northern Armies massage his ego with cries of “King of North”, and encourage his actions to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, one of the Commanders of the army, Rob Bolton, defected to the enemy and was promised the position of Warden of the North. It culminated in what the Stark’s believed to be a Wedding Celebration that would result in a strong alliance with the Frey’s instead it was a trap that resulted in the death of Rob Stark and his mother. Hence, Rob Stark’s narrative of becoming King of North was reliant on the allegiance of the Commanders of the North endorsing him as leader and in Rob Bolton’s case that loyalty could be brought for him to defect to the enemy to enhance his own power and position. Thus, Rob Bolton by setting the trap demonstrated his lust for power hardly a template for future job security.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

 Jesus’ unconditional love for the marginalised sets him apart from other leaders as he was all about inspiring them to change their lives which in turn saw them in many cases go on to change other peoples’ lives, e.g. Zacchaeus who vowed to give half his possessions to the poor and pay back 4 times the amount to those who he cheated in tax payments. Therefore, for Jesus it was about empowering people to change through his teachings, miracles and his ability to exhibit his love for people that he hoped would inspire them not only to change heir own circumstances but for others as well. Hence, creating a better world.

Contrastingly, with Jon Snow, who has the story reaches its conclusion wants what is best for the Seven Kingdoms not what is best for Jon Snow. He is a person who is loved by the people and his peers but is reluctant to be King not because of the responsibility but it is role that others would not stop at any lengths to dethrone him. I believe that Jon doesn’t want to be preoccupied with making decisions about maintaining his own power but rather how can we best feed and clothe the people of the Seven Kingdoms just not for the present but for the future.

Hence, Jon Snow wants to leave a legacy that can be read about in books for thousands of years to come. Just like Jesus whose gospel teachings have continued throughout Christian Churches. However, for Jon the question is what sacrifices will he have to make for this to happen?

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