Fictional universes are commonly regarded as places we’d like to live or escape to. Ideal paradises where everything is better. You know, like Disney movies, the wizard-ing world, or Mel Gibson’s life in What Women Want until he grows a conscience and starts caring about people instead of exploiting them.
But alas, not all fictional universes are made to feel like you’d pack your bags and move there in a heartbeat. That warm and fuzzy feeling doesn’t follow certain places. Some fictional universes are so grimy and horrific that you’d rather have to eat Donald Trump’s hairpiece than live there.
If we are getting down to the worst of the worst, you’ve got to start with Westeros. Fuck living in Westeros.
I’ve finally gotten on board with the Game of Thrones craze. Each episode keeps me more hooked than the last, but also makes me thank Lil’ B that I don’t live there. You know why they call it Game of Thrones? Because both the name and premise of The Hunger Games were taken.
In Westeros, you’re dicked from the get-go. Despite this being a world where magic exists, dragons can live, and a woman can literally sit down in a blazing inferno and come out with an unharmed birthday suit, you’re still dealing with medieval times. Medieval times, in general, were an absolute shitstorm when it comes to living conditions, but the world of GoT is like the dark ages on heroin and PCP.
Even to make it to Westeros “post-grad” life, you’ve gotta get lucky as hell. If you even survive childbirth (remember, medieval times sucked) then you’re flipping a coin on your birthright. Sure, possibly you end up the child of a lord, or hell, even the bastard of a lord wouldn’t be so bad. On the flip side, you could end up the child of what seems like many of the slave-holding communities, and get your package snipped right out of the womb. Better yet, maybe you’ll be sacrificed to become a frozen walking dead creature out of the gate. Sounds lovely.
Being born in Westeros is like going all-in blind in poker – maybe you win and end up in a penthouse at the Bellagio, but there’s a better chance that you end up in the back alley of a casino sharing needles with a guy named Sick Pete. Unfortunately, that back alley is actually a torture chamber and Slick Pete is actually Ramsey Bolton cutting off your johnson like a sausage link.
Just surviving childhood would be a struggle. You’ve got your normal medieval problems like disease and starvation, coupled with the fact that you live in the most violent imagination of a place possible. Walk down the wrong street in Westeros and you’re likely to get stabbed or offend the wrong person, which also leads to you getting stabbed; even kids aren’t exempt to this in GoT. Hell, you could be minding your own business doing kid-shit in a field somewhere when suddenly a dragon burns you to a crisp like a lazy KFC fry cook.
Even if you survive that childhood, that childhood was likely shit. Any child growing up in Westeros saw enough smut to make anything from the Vietnam War seem like a fist fight that got a little out of hand. It’s a miracle if your whole family makes it to adulthood, just as it’s a miracle if you don’t get thrown into prostitution or a child army. It’s like having the option of growing up either locked up in Neverland Ranch or in war-torn parts of Africa.
But say you grow up, that’s great. If you’re not mentally insane or the son/daughter of a lord, then it’s off to be either a nameless soldier or toil in a profession that makes you expendable to a random death scene. Again, it’s medieval times, so if you’re not rich everything you own is shit and you likely also smell like shit. The kicker is that you also live in a place where the #1 cause of death is random stabbing, so unless you’re walking around covered in steel there’s a good chance at some point you’re going to catch a stray blade.
But maybe you grow up as a lord. Great right? Wrong. While you live a life of more comfort and excess, how enjoyable is that really? If you’re going the Season 1 Tyrion Lannister route of nothing but drinking and fucking, good news, either your liver will fail or you’re gonna get a hybrid of Syphilis/AIDS. Yet again, despite magic existing in this universe, the magic of a thin piece of latex to protect a constantly-fornicating population is somehow not a thing. You know who fucks on that show? Everyone. You know who wraps up/pulls out/uses any sort of protection? No one. It’s like Charlie Sheen’s sex dungeon everywhere in Westeros.
Being a lord or a person with any sort of power in Westeros might have its perks as opposed to being a castrated slave warrior or a brothel employee, but even being elite is shitty in GoT. While your life may be comfortable, you’ll definitely hate your spouse, and will also spend your entire existence just trying not to get killed by your enemies. No one has more enemies than anyone who’s worth a shit in GoT.
On the most unlikely circumstances that you somehow exist comfortably without the constant threat of someone John Wilkes Booth’ing your ass, all it takes is a walk through whatever place in the realm you live in to realize that it’s all terrible. Maybe you’ll see a rape, or a beating, or walk past a head on a spike. Doesn’t matter what you see, it’s going to be like watching a train crash into a children’s hospital.
Game of Thrones is the best show on TV, hands down. I’m already panicking about the wait for Season 7. But good God, there’s not enough money on this earth you could pay me to live in Westeros..
Game of Thrones fan? Subscribe and listen to Oysters, Clams & Cockles and listen to them break down the unbelievably thrilling season finale, “The Winds of Winter,” while simultaneously trying to emotionally recover from how awesome the episode was.
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