Ever since the dishevelled-looking High Sparrow first appeared on Game of Thrones last year the Internet has been making a not entirely flattering comparison between him and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And Jez does have a few things in common with the religious zealot. They both don’t look like much, leading their enemies to underestimate them, and they’re both soft spoken in a reassuring yet authoritative manner.
This led us to wonder whether other real life politicians had any similarities to your favourite Thrones characters. Who else would fit in if we took them out of Westminster and dropped them into Westeros?
To answer this query, we gathered the UNILAD maesters from across the seven desks of our office and compiled a list of politicians, exploring the weird real life parallels they have with some of Westeros’s most brutal characters.
Now there were a few obvious ones: John Prescott’s most definitely the real life equivalent of The Mountain – they both love a good scrap – and Theresa May would love GCHQ to have as many little birds as spy-master Varys, but to be on this list there had to be more than a passing similarity.
Robert Baratheon/Tony Blair
Robert Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals etc etc is infamous for having led the people of Westeros into a grand war, known as Robert’s Rebellion.
The uprising was supposedly begun to defeat the Mad King, but in fact Robert was motivated by the ‘kidnap’ of Lyanna Stark, who he loved.
Well that’s because it sounds an awful lot like ex-PM Tony Blair, who exploited the climate of fear after 9/11 to take Britain to war with Iraq.
Ostensibly we went to war to depose Saddam Hussein – the Mad King of Baghdad – but in fact there were far more selfish reasons for the fight. Not a kidnapped fiancée, though, we went to war for Blair’s one true love – oil.
We now know this helped to destabilise the Middle East, leading to the rise of ISIS and the current civil war in the region – ironically, much like what we see in the Seven Kingdoms during the first few series.
Ned Stark/Nick Clegg
As everyone in Westeros knows, Ned Stark was too honourable by half, and that made him an easy pawn to manipulate in the great game of thrones.
His mistake of course was to trust the treacherous Littlefinger, it was doing this that led to Ned’s capture and eventual execution at the hands of the King’s Justice, Ser Ilyn Payne.
While Nick Clegg’s demise may not be as literal as Ned’s, there are definite parallels between the two.
Both Nick and Ned were the second in command, one the Deputy Prime Minister and the other the Hand of the King, and both teamed up with someone they knew they couldn’t trust, Cameron and Littlefinger.
It was their naivety that was the downfall of both men. Nick thought he could still be popular after going into a coalition with the Tories, while Ned thought he could keep his head after attempting a coup.
Ultimately both men lost it all, the Warden of the North his life, and Clegg his job as leader of the Liberal Democrats, as he dragged the party through one of their worst ever election results and practically wiping them from the face of UK politics.
Stannis Baratheon/Ed Miliband
While the connection here may not be too obvious, it seems that in both Westeros and Westminster even brotherly bonds have no meaning in the quest for power – and no families know that better than the Baratheons and the Milibands.
Stannis, fearing the threat of his younger brother Renly, used the foul and wicked sorcery of Melisandre to summon a shadow assassin to brutally murder his own brother and clear the way to power.
Ed Miliband may not have gone so far as to literally stab his brother David using shadow magic, but a biography of the brothers claimed that Ed had been working away in secret for months, planning his leadership bid and eventual betrayal.
When the time to strike came, Ed had the backing of the trade unions, allowing him to edge David out and become Labour leader, thus solidifying his legitimacy as the one true challenger to the current leader in the capital.
In the end though, Stannis failed to take the kingdom from Joffrey, just as Ed failed to take it from Cameron, and they both moved up North to lick their wounds (well, North London in Ed’s case).
Balon Greyjoy/Nigel Farage
Poor Balon Greyjoy was forced to bend the knee to Robert Baratheon after his own failed Rebellion, and the old man has resented the Seven Kingdoms ever since.
His once proud island, which used to be feared and respected, was reduced to nothing but a principality in a greater kingdom, and forced to pay taxes to a throne he had no respect for.
Greyjoy constantly bangs on about the ‘old ways’ and the fading traditions of his home. He’s portrayed as an outdated loon, who makes the occasional bid for power and sometimes even wins a few minor victories – in the show he manages to take a few provincial strongholds in The North.
But ultimately Greyjoy is a joke, and certainly not a major player in the Great Game.
Remind you of a real life politician? One who’s proud of his island home, hates external influences trying to influence and tax him, and is constantly going on and on about the old ways being lost?
Be honest, it sounds like Nigel Farage doesn’t it?
The pair even share a dislike for outsiders, Greyjoy thinks that anyone who isn’t Ironborn is weak, while Farage’s views on people who aren’t British are well documented.
On the surface of things, comparing Scotland’s own Nicola Sturgeon with Jon Snow’s wildling lover Ygritte may seem superficial and obvious.
Yes they’re both strong northern women with a fiery crop of red hair and an attitude to match, who don’t take shit from anyone, and of course they both live behind a wall.
Ygritte behind the colossal ice barrier guarded by the Night’s Watch, while Sturgeon sits behind the slightly less impressive Hadrian’s Wall, watched over by the dreaded World Heritage security guards.
However the parallel’s run deeper than that, as ultimately both women are committed to the same goal – freedom for their people. Ygritte fought so the wildlings could be free from meddling outsiders in the south, who were trying to impose their way of life on her people.
On the other hand, Sturgeon campaigned valiantly for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, and was willing to risk her career for it.
And most importantly, they both have great chemistry with a Jon Snow…