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Monday, June 13, 2011

Game of Thrones: Five Life Lessons After Last Night's Shocking Episode

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 9:50 AM

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There's much to learn about the real world from the fantasy world of HBO's Game of Thrones series. Set in Westeros, a made-up medieval kingdom where the battles take place offscreen but the whoring is always on it, the gritty series -- like the excellent George R.R. Martin novels it's based on -- offers much helpful instruction for the attentive.

For example: horse heads are detachable; horse hearts are delectable. Also: Spoiler alerts actually matter sometimes, because whoo, boy, if people told you what was coming in episode nine rather than let you hit it yourself, you should find yourself a Needle and stick 'em with the pointy end.

Anyway, here are five real-life lessons, all of which presume you've seen through last Sunday's show:

Be Specific.

When demanding that a vicious and literal-minded warlord king grant you a golden crown, it's best to specify which crown you mean. Adding, "By this I mean the one across the Narrow Sea that is in fact my birthright and not the one you might improvise out of melted ingots" is simply the kind of effective communication management demands.

Avoid "Moral Clarity."

Always doing the right thing -- rather than the pragmatic thing, or the politic thing, or the thing that the Lannisters don't see coming -- might edify your spirit and do proud whatever gods you hold to. It also might lead to your beheading before your kingdom and your daughters.

Marriage Takes Effort.

This is true even among royalty! Let's say you find yourself married to a king who remains desperately in love with a dead woman. And let's say that, as years go by, and that king becomes weak and corpulent, and you come to understand that he is in every way beneath you and your line, you take the not-as-unreasonable-as-it-seems step of fathering children with your wicked hot twin brother. When all that happens, remember: You still have to strive to find something to hold it together, at least until such time as that king gets gutted by a boar. Sit down with your spouse and find whatever it is you share and can dedicate yourselves to together -- like hate!

UP NEXT: So you want to kill a child. Are you a terrible person?

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Alan Scherstuhl

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