chapter  5
Machiavellian fantasy and the game of laws: rex, sex and lex in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
ByWilliam P. MacNeil
Pages 23

Though structured by oaths and judgments, Game of Thrones’ life-world is one in which realpolitik trumps law to such an extent that it has been called ‘Machiavellian.’ This paper will to take up and explore this Machiavellian fantasy’s law/politics nexus, investigating notions of ‘the prince,’ civic republicanism, and Pocockian ‘virtue, trade and commerce.’ Here, the series’ real ‘Machiavellian moment’ resides in an intervention—Daenerys and her dragons—which will substitute a ‘game of laws’ for the ‘game of thrones,’ thereby engaging its central allegory: of global climate change in which ‘winter is coming.’