Game of Thrones: Can Night King win with top-down economy?

WASHINGTON — It was dragons vs. zombies in burning fight during this week’s “Game of Thrones,” a dispute that expected provides only a spirit of what lies forward in HBO’s strike series.

Yet a epic stage also lifted an mercantile question: Can a White Walkers’ command-and-control economy better their disorganized, squabbling Westerosi opponents?

The Associated Press’ economics group explores this question, as good as a flourishing adversary between sisters Sansa and Arya Stark, in a latest part of a audio series, “The Wealth of Westeros.” We were assimilated by Carolyne Larrington , a highbrow of Gothic English novel during Oxford.

The icy, humanoid White Walkers have mobilized a fearsome, instinctive army of zombies opposite a race of Westeros, a Europe-like continent where a uncover mostly takes place. Their top-down, centralized proceed can be intimidating from a troops perspective. It can also assistance an economy accelerate temporarily, as a Soviet Union’s did after World War II.

But this week’s part provides clues about a shortcomings of this approach. When a White Walker is killed by Jon Snow, all a zombies combined by that White Walker also die off.

In other words, in a complement with no particular liberty or decision-making, a White Walker army is invalid though a leaders.

By contrast, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and their compatriots brawl ceaselessly about strategy, though their less-centralized proceed allows people like Snow to take risks and make their possess decisions. Historically, economies that concede entrepreneurs to do a same have supposing larger wealth than those run from a tip down.

Some other highlights from this week’s show:


One warn this deteriorate has been a flourishing guess and malignity between Sansa and Arya Stark. Both have suffered terribly after their mom and oldest hermit were killed during a barbarous “Red Wedding,” and a scars they bear seem to be pulling them serve apart.

This week, Arya attacks Sansa for a minute she wrote — opposite her will — years earlier, propelling her comparison brother, Robb, to oath his faithfulness to a spoiled, immorality King Joffrey.

Larrington, who wrote a book patrician “Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature,” as good as “Winter Is Coming: a Medieval World of Game of Thrones,” pronounced a dispute is startling for a time, since it doesn’t involves a regretful rivalry.

“When sisters tumble out in normal stories like this, it’s customarily over a man,” she said. “They both wish a same man,” though that’s not loyal in this case.

“It’s not like they both wish Littlefinger, we meant God forbid,” Larrington added. “They’re not going to destined paths like many Gothic women would have done, that is removing married during utterly a immature age. They are indeed fighting for power, fighting for self-determination, and it has cost both of them utterly a lot.”


The show’s catchphrase, “Winter Is Coming,” refers to both a harsh, extended winters that can final for years in Westeros as good as a White Walker invasion. It’s prolonged been seen as a embellishment for meridian change.

Just like meridian change, a hazard is two-fold: The people of Westeros have to figure out how to better a White Walkers, and also how to remonstrate many of their compatriots that a hazard is real.

In “Game of Thrones,” a White Walkers haven’t seemed for thousands of years, so it’s not startling that many characters on a uncover courtesy them as myths.

But even with all a advances in scholarship and communications, it’s still formidable to grasp accord in a United States — and globally — on either tellurian warming constitutes a critical threat.


The White Walkers now have their possess zombie dragon, after murdering one of Daenerys’s dragons and capturing a corpse. This raises an engaging doubt of troops plan that has been complicated by economists who specialize in diversion theory: Now that both sides have weapons of mass destruction, will they reason behind from regulating them, as complicated chief powers have done? Or will it boost a incentives for one side to strike first?

This is “Game of Thrones” we’re articulate about, so a protected answer is a latter one.

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