How I learned to love the Lannisters *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime Lannister

I’ve always been a geek, but I think Game of Thrones was the first role-playing strategy board game I’ve ever played — and I’d only played it once, last year. Yeah, terrible, I know. My friends had been bugging me to get into board games for the longest time, but the idea of sitting around throwing dice and moving tiny plastic pieces on a board for 6 hours did not appeal to me.

Game of Thrones board gameHowever, apparently if I’m really into a TV show, I can be made to try anything related to it. So I gave it a shot. It took six hours to finish the one game. My friend who was game master said it usually takes even longer with experienced players. Ow. Anyway, I played House Stark. It’s not something I would recommend to anyone — your territory is so far away from the other kingdoms, and your supply line is the crappiest. But I chose it anyway because of loyalty to Sean B– Ned Stark and his family. Three seasons into the HBO series, and I’m still rooting for House Stark. Even if they’re clearly not the smartest bunch in the Seven Kingdoms.

Seriously, they’re kind of lovably dumb. Ned seriously underestimated Cersei when he gave her and her kids the chance to escape with their lives after he discovered her betrayal, and he paid for it with his life and the safety of his own family. John Snow had one prisoner and he ended up getting lost in the wilderness and getting captured by wildlings. Robb Stark thought nothing of slighting a known depraved pedophile for luuuuv and gleefully put himself and his family in a vulnerable position, and they ended up getting slaughtered. Sansa acts like an idiot for the entirety of season one, but she was a kid, so we can forgive her.

Then there’s House Lannister. They’ve taken over the Seven Kingdoms through treachery, but somehow I can’t get myself to hate them. Because you gotta admire how smart they’ve been so far. Tyrion is clearly a brilliant man, and so is his father (a murderous, rape-ordering kinda guy). Cersei is too, only she tends to get stupid when her children are involved. But let’s not forget, she still managed to get her son Joffrey the crown. Jaime has a bad rep — he did try to kill poor little Bran Stark twice. But he’s charming and funny, and anything bad he’s ever done was to protect his family. OK, there’s his incestuous relationship with his sister, but no one’s perfect.

So yeah, I’m still rooting for the Starks — particularly Arya, who’s plucky and smart — but it’s kinda great that the enemy she has to overcome is a worthy opponent in this game of power. The Lannisters are a lot of fun, and I ship Braime and Tyrion is adorable. Please, George, don’t kill them.*

*I understand there’s more of the story in the books, and it may be too late for my plea, but whatever.

By Tania Arpa

Thinker, writer, skeptic, spy. Geek. I do my own stunts. Follow me on Twitter at @TaniaArpa.

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