With President Robert Baratheon’s death and his succession by the vice-president Joffrey Lannister, of the Lion Alliance, known for being the first lady’s protégée and criticized by many for being considered too young and therefore inept to take office, the world has been watching the unravel of Westerosi politics with rapt, uninterrupted and wholly unprecedented attention.
While the majority of the conservative parties have expressed their approval of the current administration and announced their plans to support Lannister’s run for presidency on next year’s elections, the former coalition between the Lion Alliance and the Storm National Front seems to have reached its end. Stannis and Renly Baratheon, both brothers and close counselors of the deceased president have expressed their intentions of running for office.
“Joffrey Lannister has been steering this great nation towards the abyss.” Stannis affirmed recently during an interview. “The Lannisters have been keeping themselves on power through patronage and personal fealty, and that kind of power relationship is unacceptable on a democratic state.” Renly, on the other side, seems to be using his charismatic persona as the basis of his campaign, gaining popular support with a discourse of plurality and social welfare.
What seems to be a common issue for both candidates, however, is the scrutinizing of their personal lives. The nature of Stannis’s personal relationship with his campaign manager, Melisandre of Asshai, who is accused by many of religious fanatism has been questioned repeatedly, almost as much as Renly’s marriage to socialite and philanthropist Margaery Tyrell, which assured Governor Mace Tyrell’s support for his campaign.
Another pressing matter in the United State of Westeros that will influence in the outcome of next year’s election is the northern separatist movement. Leaded by Robb Stark, son of former Iron House Chief of Staff Eddard Stark, who played a major role on the Baratheon administration and was later imprisoned and executed for treason after President Joffrey took office, the movement seeks the independence of the northern states from what they affirm is a despot and corrupt government.
Representatives of the movement affirm that Lannister has been steamrolling the legislative and judiciary while attempting to bypass constitutional term limits and expand his presidential power. As a result, Stark’s supporters see a separatist war as a last-ditch effort to restore democracy in the face of an increasingly authoritarian president.
Also a challenger for the Lannister re-election is Daenerys Targaryen, daughter of former Westerosi dictator Aerys Targaryen. With the endorsement of the Revolutionary Dothraki League and of the departed USW Secretary of Defense Barristan Selmy, the famous human rights advocate is a major player in the game. Her approval rates, however, are held back by the fact that a big part of the population still associates the Targaryen name with the violence and cruelty of Aerys’ regimen.
In the midst of a major food crisis, with a civil war building up and a highly unstable border being held up by a decrepit branch of the army, the world is apprehensive for the Westerosi people. What seems to be in game is not only a position for office, but the future of an entire nation. The Iron House has never been so fiercely disputed, and in this game every move could lead to either victory political death.