About 'Alpha+Good'

Alpha+Good (a bad wordplay on Orwell's "double plus good" and old machismo - I'm the realest after all) is a side project that belongs to 'Onklare taal' ('Unclear' or 'Unripe language'), the umbrella of several literary projects in Dutch.

This section is almost exclusively in English and comprises my ongoing thoughts on progress, gender, politics and various other social themes. Why is this in English why everything else in Dutch? Because I want to gun for a much wider audience here. Also, my literary English isn't good enough, otherwise I would always write in English.

Are you a little lost? This link will take you right back to my home page.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

'Game of Thrones': the killer hit list (I)

After seven seasons of 'Game of Thrones', perhaps it's time to take stock not of who's left, but of who's good at leaving people behind. In other words, which group, faction, family, clan or Great House is the best at sending people to their untimely deaths?

First, let's define the factions kills are awarded to. Bannermen of Westerosi Great Houses get their kills awarded to their suzerain House, with three exceptions: people killed by the Hound after he said "fuck the king" and before he joined the merry Brotherhood Without Banners are awarded to 'Rogue Clegane'. Fatal casualties in the name of the Houses Frey and Bolton are awarded to these Houses and not the Tullys or the Starks in the period after the Red Wedding until their demise.

The same is true for Houses that switched allegiances. House Karstark and Umber became Bolton loyalists in season 6, and House Mormont is split between ser Jorah, who spent his time serving House Targaryen, and little Lyanna's men, who fought for the cause of the Starks. House Tarly's efforts in putting men and women into an early grave are split between House Tyrell and House Lannister, after their curmudgeonly patriarch turns cloak to House Lannister in season 7. In addition, the Night's Watch erases all previous loyalties: Jeor Mormont's kills are awarded to the Crows.

The deaths that can be attributed to House Baratheon are a combination of kills from forces commanded by Robert, Stannis and Renly, opposed as they may have been in the earlier seasons. The same is true for House Greyjoy, split as it currently is between the ironborn under the rule of Euron and under the rule of Yara and Theon.

Offscreen deaths are only counted if they're mentioned in the show. When taking into account big battles or massacres, I've deferred to either the show's wiki pages at the Game of Thrones Wikia, or when this information was hard to come by, I looked at the source novels by George R.R. Martin himself. If neither was possible, I made a guesstimate. Terribly scientific, I know.

But without further ado, let's go down the list, starting with the group, faction, House or clan with the least attributed kills.

#26. The Lhazareen

Kills? 1
Who? A pastoral people from South-East Essos
Do they still matter? No.

Derisively called the 'Lamb Men' by the Dothraki, they live up to their soft reputation by boasting the lowest kill count of all. Yet, their one kill is a big one: the witch Mirri Maz Duur is saved from being raped and killed by the Dothraki by Daenaerys, and repays the favour by turning a sick Khal Drogo into a bed-ridden, comatose shell of his former self. Even if Dany herself ends up mercy killing Drogo, it's clear who got the ball rolling.

#25. The Sparrows / animals that aren't direwolves or dragons

Kills? 2
Who? An order of religious fanatics and, well, simple animals, respectively
Do they still matter? No. The High Sparrow got what he wished for.

For all their religious fervour, the Sparrows boast very few actual kills. Although we can assume they did murder their fair share of people they deemed corrupt or not having sex the way their holy writ prescribed it, the show only has two people killed by them. This is matched by the animals in 'Game of Thrones': a stag kills a direwolf and a stag also means the end of Robert I Baratheon.

#24. The Faceless Men

Kills? 10
Who? An order of religious assassins operating from the city of Braavos in Essos
Do they still matter? Kind of.

Despite being a heavily talked-up faction and possessing a supernatural prowess at killing and remaining unseen, the show's tally of kills from the Faceless Men remains rather low. But that's what they'd want you to believe, no? Their finest moment is when Jaqen H'gar helps Arya Stark escape Harrenhall and conveniently, sneakily kills a few Lannister soldiers.

#23. Commoners

Kills? 15
Who? The proletariat
Do they still matter? Not really, at least not to most powerful people

Though they mostly remain an anonymous mass of dirt-caked faces, the commoners have shed their fair amount of blood, ranging from the Riot of King's Landing when the unsufferable Joffrey gets hit with shit to the alleyway kills the former slaves make on their masters when liberation from Dany's forces is imminent in Meereen.

#22. House Martell

Kills? 16
Who? The Great House of Dorne, the southernmost of Westeros' Seven Kingdoms
Do they still matter? Hard to say, they're all dead

House Martell appears to be all talk and no action. Even worse, part of their paltry kill score is killing their own, with the Sand Snakes and Ellaria's power grab. They also managed to kill a teenage princess and a captain buried to his neck in the sand. Seven hells, even supreme cool guy Oberyn couldn't fully kill the Mountain and got his head bashed in instead.

#21. The Qartheen

? 21
Who? The city of Qarth is a rich trade city in the south of Essos
Do they still matter? No

Like House Martell, the majority of victims attributed to the Qartheen are their own. Xaro Xhoan Daxos and the Undying conspire to kill the city's Council of the Thirteen and murder a few more random people in a bid to gain control of Dany's dragons and become the city's top dogs. It doesn't work out well for them.

On to part two.