I do not apologize for posting yearly on the Game of Thrones. Tens of millions of people watch the show and thus its analysis of the structure of politics reaches far more people in contemporary American than does that of Hobbes and Machiavelli. And its sketch of the political world is quite insightful and revealing.
This season ends with three forces contending for the Iron Throne of the Kingdom of Westeros and each of these forces sees the essence of politics completely differently. For the Starks, one of the seven aristocratic houses in the Kingdom, political and social behavior should be guided by tradition. Living in the most rural, northern part of the kingdom, they worship the old gods, and believe in norms of honor and reciprocity that have developed over centuries. As a result, they are the only noble family that behaves consistently nobly. That wins them loyalty from many of their retainers.
But their adherence to tradition is also their tragic flaw.