Season 8 of Game of Thrones (GoT) has revolved around Winterfell as of now. The only non-Winterfell plot showed some clips of Cersi and her new suitor, Euron Greyjoy and most evidently, her concern for elephants.
After reflecting on the first 3 episodes of GoT season 8, it becomes easier to understand the plight of the states at the periphery of the nation and the effect of wars on them, through Winterfell.
NOTE: The seven kingdoms is considered as one country, with 7 states. The North (Winterfell) is the state at the border while Westeros is the Centre of the feudal political setup.
Cultural difference between the Centre and the border areas.
The border areas have a significant distance from the Centre. Also, the Northmen are the descendants of the First Men and follow the religion of ‘Old Gods of the Forest’.
On the other hand, the Southerners are the descendants of Andal and follow the ‘Faith of the Seven’.
These three reasons make the culture and people of Winterfell, significantly different from that of Westeros.
The people of Winterfell are conscious of the ‘foreigners’ as pointed out by characters in many episodes. ( A reason why the culture and customs of the center should not be imposed at the border, in fact anywhere.)
This phenomenon can be seen in many countries with a large longitudinal and latitudinal extent, or the ones that are very diverse.
As one moves from the center to the periphery, the culture, ethnicity and language changes. Even the people, language and culture of Dorne and that of the Targaryens is different from that of the people of the heartland like the Lannisters and the Baratheons.
Incest isn’t a taboo in the first set of people, while the same isn’t true for the second set of people.
In India, one can notice how the culture changes with climate as one goes from the north India to South India or from the West to East or North-East.
The states at the border are closer to another nation, compared to their own nation’s mainland. For this reason the people beyond the Wall sometimes infiltrate into the North, like Osha did. Similarly, people from beyond the international border infiltrate into India.
There can be many reasons for migration, like environmental factors (never ending winter), persecution (by the Night King), in search of a better life (life in Winterfell is better than the life beyond the Wall), etc. These factors are not just fictional but stand true in the real world.
LoC and Night’s Watch
In the real world, the international borders lie on the states at the periphery, while in GoT, the North is where the international border lies, i.e. The Wall. (Forget for the time being that the Night King destroyed it.)
To guard the border, Winterfell has to host the Night’s Guard; similarly, the border states have to host Border Security Force (BSF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to guard the borders and to check cross border infiltration.
Borders bear the brunt of foreign aggression and of wars
Being, at the border, Winterfell had to bear the brunt of the Night King. Similarly, our border states will bear the price if India goes at war.
In the West and North-West, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir might suffer like Winterfell; while in the North-East, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh might have a similar fate.
Like the people of North were evacuated during the war, the people of these states too are made to leave their home at times of cease fire violations or during wars itself.
Also, Winterfell was destroyed during the War and many locals (along with the army men) were killed, the border states too have a similar experience during wars.
A reason why keyboard warriors of the Centre should not advocate for India to go to war. You see, the people of Westeros were sitting safe in their homes, while the army and the people of the North were fighting and dying.
Economies of War
Another effect of war is that all the economic and human resources get occupied for the war. Working class gets busy making equipments for the soldiers, while the agricultural produce starts to get stored to feed them.
For instance, in the 1st episode of the season itself, Sansa raises a very sensible question, how will the North feed the dragons as well as the Dothrakis and the Unsullied.
She fears that the food supply might run short if the battle exceeds a few months. Or how Gendry can be seen forging swords and daggers for the soldiers.
Health or education no longer remains a concern of the ruling class as social and human development becomes second priority. Then after the war is over, it takes a long time for warring nations to recover from war losses.
Comment and tell us if you agree or disagree with this comparison.
Image Credits: Google Images
Source: Game of Thrones
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