One of the most apt fictional comparisons is also its grimmest. British politics is an unpredictable place full of fragile alliances, heartless treachery and political beheadings right now. Yes, it's starting to all look a little like the brutal fantasy epic "Game of Thrones."
Gove himself has previously revealed that he was a fan of the HBO television show based on the long-running series of novels by cult fantasy writer George R. R. Martin.
It was never a huge leap of the imagination to think that Gove saw something of himself in Lannister. Largely unpopular with much of the public and the political news media, he was a genuine believer in Britain's exit from the E.U., something that put him at odds with much of the country's political establishment. And unlike most of his peers at the top levels of British government, Gove wasn't raised in a posh family with connections. As the adopted son of a Scottish fishmonger who worked his way up the ladder, he really was an outsider.
Writing this week, Dellingpole revealed that he saw the above video as Gove making a "veiled dig" at Prime Minister David Cameron, who had recently demoted Gove from education secretary to chief whip — a considerable drop not only in stature but also in pay. Gove had long been a key supporter and personal friend of Cameron, one of these posh peers, for much of his career, helping to provide the British prime minister with many ideas about policy. The Tyrion reference may have foreshadowed his revenge, however: As James Kirkup of the Telegraph later noted, in "Game of Thrones," Tyrion ends up killing his father Tywin Lannister, "a power broker whose love he craves yet who abuses and disavows him, confident that his son would never dare retaliate."
Over the past few days, the comparisons to "Game of Thrones" have begun to look even more apt. On Friday, the Metro newspaper in London made the comparison clear:
But now some wonder whether Tyrion Lannister, a relatively noble character in the immoral "Game of Thrones" universe, is really the correct character for Gove. The right-wing Spectator magazine has launched a competition for ideas on whom Gove could actually be. Among the suggestions is Petyr Baelish as he is "low-born," "highly ambitious" and "not going to win." Another is that he is Arya Stark, the child who becomes an assassin who is not thought of as a serious contender "but is quietly taking out her enemies one by one." Others say he could be Jamie Lannister, the "kingslayer" sworn to protect Westeros's leader, but who stabs him in the back when he goes mad.
Perhaps the most surprising suggestion came from one of Gove's Conservative colleagues in the House of Commons, Ben Wallace, who said on Twitter that Gove resembled a character who betrays the honorable Stark family and is then tortured and castrated.
You can keep extending this game onward to other characters, too. Some wonder whether the embattled left-wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn could be Stannis Baratheon, a noble leader doomed by his faith in a fanatical zealot. Others say that Corbyn and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) could be the treacherous Frey clan that orchestrated a massacre that shook the entire country.
Of course it's an imperfect comparison (thankfully Brexit has nowhere near the levels of nudity you see in the average "Game of Thrones" episode). But it does capture the fatalistic mood that is pervasive in much of British politics right now. "Winter is coming," as the characters in "Game of Thrones" often say. And as viewers know all too well, no matter who your favorite character is, the likelihood is that they will die in the end.
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