How Nassau is a lot like Game of Thrones

Hello all. I’ve been back in The Bahamas for two months now and I’ve noticed a few things. I’m an avid reader, voraciously so. I am also primarily a fan of fantasy and sci-fi genres. That being said I’ve come to notice a few things about this precious island called New Providence and it’s similarities to feudal Westeros. Let us begin.

1. We have Direwolves, known as the Potcake

Let’s talk about this for a second. The Stark family’s sigil is the Direwolf, now if we were to take New Providence to be one giant family house, our sigil would be the Potcake. Why? They are everywhere, and much like the Direwolves, they’re huge.

2. Like the Kings fighting for the Iron Throne, everyone has a sweetheart

Like King Robert Baratheon, or the leader of any house (Frey, Martell, Greyjoy), someone always had a sweetheart. This is directly analogous to New Providence and The Bahamas at large because like these giant Kings of Westeros, everyone has a sweetheart. They place a lot of stock on marriage but erry’one got them a sweetheart. Men. Women. Alike.

3. Violence everywhere. Westeros has an excuse though (claiming the Iron Throne and all) what excuse do we have?

If you’re a fan of the books or you’ve just watched the series on HBO, I’m sure you’ve noticed a common thread? Yes? Oh yes, it’s the violence. From Day 1 GOT was a violent series. And greets me when I step off the plane and hop into my ride to my new apartment? Violence on the radio. Violence on the newspapers. Westeros had an excuse though, a million Kings all vying for the one true throne. We though, Nassauvians, don’t have much of one. I shouldn’t be afraid to live alone, but I am.

4. Cersei was born into wealth. Daenerys has dragons. What do Bahamian women have to do to get into power?

If you’re a woman in Westeros, chances are your lot sucks. Your opportunities suck. Your life expectancy, also sucks. Now we’re a bit better than them but certain themes do reoccur, in that like Cersei born into power or Daenerys who gained it (through dragons no less!), women have to be born into some semblance of power (coming from a powerful family or have a modicum of wealth or opportunity) or work their butts off doubly hard to get it.

5. Like Sansa, Daenerys, Cersei or Arya, women don’t have a ton of options

We get to the next thing! Women don’t have a ton of options. Sansa, Daenerys, Cersei and Arya are all prized for their marriageability. I’d like to think that as Bahamians we’re beyond this concept, beyond looking at women as alliance makers and breakers, but at the end of the day, what options do Bahamian women have? Things like race and class intersect with this as women born into positions of privilege (class/race) will have relative chances of upward mobility but not everyone though.

Let’s go back to Westeros, the common woman, the farmer’s daughter or fisherman’s wife, unattached to a castle or man with a fancy title, what options did she have? None.

6. Shitty. Roads. Everywhere.

Riding their carts over wobbly terrain, Westeros travelers have it hard, and like our fantasy brothers and sisters, those potholes, dips, dents and bumps don’t make Nassau roads no darn better.

7. High Born. Politicians.

Like the ‘high borns’ or the nobles in Westeros, we have our own set all vying for their own Iron Throne. What are they called? Politicians! What do they want? To win elections!




Why you should never date a man who uses the phrase ‘Ise a man.’

I can already feel any male reader rolling his eyes or scrunching his nose as if something reeks. And something does, but it’s not this article… I hope. Anyway, the pungent smell that I’m referring to is the common use of the phrase ‘Ise a man’. Allow me to put it simply, if you are a man, I shouldn’t need reminding. Just be it; talk is cheap. As the patriarch of the leading family in Game of Thrones, Tywin Lannister so eloquently pointed out to his too-young-to-be-a-king grandson “Any man who must say ‘I am the king’ is no true king’. I will link that scene here because the delivery is fan-friggen-tastic. Now, on his best day Tywin is a cold, systematic, heartless wolf; but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t give his offspring some invaluable advice in those hard truths. Anyone who is even a casual viewer of Game of Thrones knows that Joffrey, to whom Tywin is speaking is a psychopath of the grandest kind, he tortures his people for fun, wanted to sentence a man to death for tossing poo at him, repeatedly abused his betrothed physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually because as king, he felt he could; he had that right. Because of his behaviour, he lost the respect of his people, his family, his friends, even his mother wished she never spawned him. Now he has to remind people that he is king because no one considers him in that way.

The same applies to a man who must consistently remind people that he is indeed a man. This is not because he thinks the people around him are in anyway confused about his sexual organs, it’s because he has something to prove. Either he knows he’s a complete asshole or for whatever reason, he’s insecure. Which is fine, we are all insecure about things at some point, anyone who says otherwise is lying, a sociopath, or both. It’s the fact that he needs to remind you is the problem. Because like Joffrey, (hopefully not exactly like Joffrey…) rather than┬ásimply display the attitude and behaviour of a ‘man’ (king in Joffrey’s case) to gain the respect he thinks he deserves, he’s gonna prove it in other ways.

They perceive disrespect in normal everyday conversation, demand respect without giving it, often with a disregard of the other person’s feelings. Essentially, they have a pretty warped view of what it is to BE a man, so since internally they feel they aren’t living up to said view, they are going to remind you of who they think they should. They’ll remind you with this phrase, they’ll remind you with condescending put downs, they’ll remind you by checking your phone and controlling your schedule, they’ll remind you by keeping you from seeing your friends or family, until eventually they’re reminding you with their fists.

So readers, this is a warning to you. Beware the man who says ‘Ise a man’.