HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” now in its last season, is the most popular TV drama about politics since “The West Wing,” and – in its own weird dragon- and magic-filled way – it’s even more realistic. While there are no elections in Westeros, the imaginary land where the show takes place, it is a dissection of power and how it’s used: military and diplomatic strategy, alliances and compromise. In honor of the forthcoming series finale, we’ve identified which figures from contemporary New York politics best embody the major characters.
Daenerys Targaryen = Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Young, telegenic and ambitious, she started with nothing but a belief in herself. Her progressive message won her fast-growing power and a cadre of adoring followers, and every rival who underestimated her has lived to regret it.
Jon Snow = New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
Earnest and well-intentioned – but polarizing among the rank and file – he’s prone to strategic miscalculations and ineffective leadership.
Joffrey Baratheon = President Donald Trump
The impetuous, vindictive, spoiled scion of a wealthy landowning family, this blond bully is a boastful coward who avoids fighting in wars but mocks the bravery of those who did. In power, he is enabled by cadre of amoral courtiers.
Sansa Stark = former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton
She learned through serial mistreatment at the hands of cynical men to be a savvy, skeptical and hardheaded official, always pointing out the practical challenges to her allies’ idealistic vision.
Littlefinger = Gov. Andrew Cuomo
He pursues his interests with shrewd detachment, playing rivals off one another and always putting himself at the center of negotiations.
Arya Stark = state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi
This pint-sized young badass packs a powerful punch, and takes out older men on a crusade to restore her family’s honor.
Cersei Lannister = former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Tough and cunning – critics say ruthless and intimidating – she knows how to use power.
Lord Varys = U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer
A cautious, pragmatic operator, he prizes stability and would rather make a deal than go to war.
Samwell Tarly = state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
He keeps an eye on the books. It’s not a glamorous job, but someone has to do it.
Ser Brienne of Tarth = State Attorney General Letitia James
A tall, powerful woman, she made history when she shattered the glass ceiling.
Lord Walder Frey = state Sen. Simcha Felder
Never concerned with anything larger than what will get the best deal for him and his minions, he sells his allegiance to the highest bidder – but he pays the price when the team he betrayed comes roaring back.
Theon Greyjoy = former state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
At first he seemed like a good guy, then he became a bad guy. After that didn’t turn out so well for him, he apologized and tried to rehabilitate his image.
Tyrion Lannister = former Gov. Eliot Spitzer
He’s the smartest guy in the room, and he knows it. Besides arrogance, his weakness is a fondness for prostitutes.
Margaery Tyrell = U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
She has a knack for connecting with the public, but she’s willing to shift her allegiances depending on what will advance her ambitions.
Tywin Lannister = Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
As a pillar of the establishment, he has a bigger influence behind the scenes than in front of the cameras.
Stannis Baratheon = Zephyr Teachout
A determined foe of the brat on the throne, this honorable, aspiring leader has a loyal following but never wins.
Renly Baratheon = New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
The charismatic, bearded young dynamo isn’t waiting his turn.
Lord Roose Bolton = former state Sen. Jeff Klein
A disloyal lieutenant who switches sides to aggrandize his power, only to end up vanquished by a young upstart.
The High Sparrow = Cardinal Timothy Dolan
The local leader of a socially conservative religion, he enjoys significant political influence and a wide following among the public. He’s been known to feud with the secular political leadership when he thinks it’s contradicting the church’s morality or harming the church’s interests.
Beric Dondarrion = Anthony Weiner
He keeps coming back from the dead – and then dying again.