In Game of Thrones Season 5 we find out that Cersei Lannister is a big fan of second amendment rights and is keen on giving the people of the Seven Kingdoms the right to bear arms.
Apparently she has failed to understand the reason such rights exist in the first place: to curb kings or tyrants from infringing on the rights of the people. Cersei didn't get the memo that she is that tyrant.
"I am the king! The queen is in prison and there is nothing I can do." -- King Tommen
Tommen's words bring back Tywin Lannister's observations from Season 4, when King Joffrey reminded the small council that he is the king: "A man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king."
With the High Sparrow as a champion of the people, it seems the church's weapons now make the people a faction in the notorious game of thrones. The Queen of Thorns is clever and astute, but she has no leverage over the High Sparrow. She makes some hollow threats about not sending anymore crops to King's Landing, but, unimpressed, he answers with a Fight Club's Tyler Durden-like question about who does she think actually sows her fields.
"The Father judges us all, sons of high lords, sons of fishermen." -- High Sparrow
Want to know more about Westerosi political systems? Check out Game of Thrones Academy's video on the subject.
When we take all this into account, it begs the question: who now rules Westeros? And King's Landing? Is it the Lannisters? The Tyrells? Or maybe the Church of the Seven, thanks to its own military wing that enables it to enforce its religious doctrines, on nobles and smallfolk alike?
The political system in place in the middle ages was basically a caste system that had the lords holding all the lands, the knights enforcing their law and the common people working hard and paying taxes in exchange for protection and the right to live on the lord's lands. That's feudalism, in a nutshell.
In order to rule, the royal house needs the support of other houses, as well as their armies. Because when these houses clash and their armies fight, all hell breaks loose, as we witnessed when the Starks called up their banners to fight the Lannisters and Stannis Baratheon attacked King's Landing.
It's not easy to balance all the other interests of all these competing houses, and if that wasn't complicated enough, Cercei now promoted a new faction into this rare and powerful company.
"Gods ' laws must be applied to all, equally." -- High Sparrow
And if a there was a feudalism 101 course for young rulers, the first thing the teacher would tell the students would be: do not, in any case whatsoever, give the people weapons.
Cersei's rationale, up until the moment she was thrown in a cell, was that it would be a surefire way to take the Tyrells down a notch without incriminating herself. But since the Church of the Seven has its own thing going, its own ideology and goals and a different constituency to answer to, this policy decision is basically tantamount to political suicide.
Arming religious fanatics -- what could go wrong, right? Surrendering the monopoly on the use of force in a strict class society that is based on the nobles disenfranchising the poor? What a great plan!
"You are the few, we are the many. And when the many stop fearing the few..." -- High Sparrow
So now Cersei's weapons have turned the High Septon from a mostly ceremonial position into the most powerful person in King's Landing. If the queen confesses, he tells her, she can ask for mercy. In the meantime Queen Margaery is in prison with very unqueen-like looks and words. This scene demonstrates beautifully the new balance of power in the Westerosi capital.
Surprisingly, Tommen is the only one who understands the ramifications of having the Faith Militant around. He knows there is only one way out: an all-out war. Because -- and you can ask the NRA about that -- once you give the people weapons, they tend to want to keep them. In order to take them back you basically have to pry them from their cold dead hands.
Check out Gil Kidron's YouTube channel Game of Thrones Academy for unique content about Game of Thrones and history
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