Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players & Pawns – which are you?

This is part 1 of 2 parts…

I was going to move off my Game of Thrones metaphor for a couple of posts, but my last blog on “Players, Pawns and Little Finger” brought something interesting to my attention.  I have to admit that it was something I found deeply disturbing…In that post I embedded a YouTube clip on Little Finger’s monologue “The Climb”.  In the monologue he describes chaos as a ladder that he intends to climb in order to achieve ultimate power.

Apparently, many people have found this monologue “inspiring”.  A few indicated that they listen to it every day as it gets them going in the morning, implying that it helps them realize that they are in charge of their own destiny. 

Once again…here is Little Finger’s monologue…

Chaos is a ladder.  Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again.  The fall breaks them.  And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse.  They cling to the realm, or the Gods, or love.  Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.  – Littlefinger GOT – Season 3.

For those who wish to watch the Little Finger monologue, you can click here.

Ok – there is so much WRONG with this scenario that I don’t even know where to begin.  In fact I needed to have my brains unscrambled in order to address this in a half-way coherent manner.  But let’s give it a try shall we?

Let’s start with the most obvious problem…

What makes any of these nascent Little Fingers think they are actually players?

This type of “inspirational” thinking assumes a great deal.  It assumes that those who are making the “climb” are really and truly players in the game and not one of the pawns.  Do those that think they control their own destiny actually control it?  Probably not.  For starters, if you are posting crap like that on YouTube, the likelihood that you are truly a player is nearly nil.

From an even more pragmatic perspective, in the Game of Thrones world we are living in, only about 0.1% are actually potential players.  That’s one in a thousand.  At this point even most of the top 1%  being marginalized, they just don’t know it yet.  Unless you are in the tiny sliver at the top, you are not really a player.

Hubris makes pawns think they are players – and so they sacrifice themselves…

One of the biggest problems with this line of thinking is that a large portion  of the disenfranchised actually consider themselves to be players in the game.  This is how the player-wanna-be’s get sacrificed. Its  a trick played played by the players on the pawns.  They draw you in as a confidant – implying that you are one of them and then get you to behave in a way that is in their best interest.

Talk about “illusions”.  This is perhaps the biggest of them all. It is this arrogance that causes people to vote against their own interests over and over again.

So  for those who think they are players,  I would suggest a candid look in the mirror before indulging in this supposed exercise of moral relativism.  Are you truly a “player” or are you just being played?  If you have to ask, you are not in control of the chess board and you have no idea who actually is.

Power is a curious thing…Power resides  where men believe it resides. Its a trick, a shadow on the wall.  Varys – GOT – Season 2.

In part 2 – I will discuss why this type of philosophy is so damaging to innovation and progress.

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