The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, April 15, 2019

"Nothing Lasts"

I have been a viewer of Game of Thrones since the first episode aired on HBO seven years ago. Late comers upon observing the popularity of this HBO classic and not wanting to be left out at the water cooler, have binged the show over the past year. I watched it week by week over seven years, not because of the fantasy content, the convoluted story lines, the magic and dragons, or the occasional sex and frequent violence. I watched because the characters were generally well-developed, complex, and multi-dimensional and because the writing was outstanding. Sprinkled through the dialogue were regular neo-aphorisms that were well-worth the price of admission.

In the first episode of Game of Thrones' final year last night, Lord Varys tells the Queens Hand, Tyrion Lanaster, why Jon Snow and the Dragon Queen keep their council of elders at arms length:
Varys: “Respect is how the young keep us at a distance, so we don’t remind them of an unpleasant truth.”

Tyrion: “What is that?”

Varys: “Nothing lasts.”
At a superficial level, the comment is self-referential. Game of Thrones ends in a few weeks. At a more plot-driven level, the comment may very well be foreshadowing—power and control exercised by the protagonists and antagonists in the story probably won't last.

But returning to the real world, it would serve us all—progressives and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and those from other parts of the world, rich and poor, young and old—to understand Varys' wisdom: "Nothing Lasts."

And act accordingly.