Who Would You Cast In Game Of Thrones: Trump Edition?

If you thought the presidential election played out like a season of The Apprentice, the aftermath has begun to feel more like Game of Thrones. After all, the president-elect’s inner circle is made up of mostly family and loyalists — ethics experts are no doubt settling in for a long four years — while many of Donald Trump's Cabinet members bring with them draconian policies and worldviews (see here, here, here, and here) that seem more Westeros than Western civilization. Has Beltway power jockeying ever been this riveting?

With that in mind, we bring you the Game of Thrones: Trump Edition matching game. We've paired some of our favorite (or most reviled) characters with their real-life doppelgängers. Some of the comparisons practically wrote themselves. (You mean Bernie Sanders doesn’t have a sackcloth in his closet?) To be clear, we didn’t assign the entire Trump family to one sigil — no family, real or otherwise, could fill those Stark or Lannister shoes. To play this game, we distilled the essence of our nation’s latest colorful cast of political characters and assigned them potential GoT alter egos.

It's all in good fun, and we invite you to chime in with your thoughts. If you disagree with some of our choices, let us know! (Respectfully, please — we’ll leave the sword fights for the Battle of the Bastards.) Nominate your own missing characters by naming them in the comments below. Over time, we will update accordingly.
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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Donald Trump is…
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
The Mad King

In much the same way Trump seemed like he might transform the GOP when he first launched his bid for the presidency, Aerys II Targaryen, later dubbed the Mad King, initially ascended the Iron Throne as an ambitious reformer of Westorosi government. Like Trump’s figurative cry to “drain the swamp,” Aerys hated the stink of King’s Landing. And like Trump’s love of gaudy real estate, Aerys wanted to build a new city in white marble. Both men have seemingly short attention spans with a tendency to toss out bold ideas as quickly as they come up with new ones. Loyalty and vengeance are also core principles.
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Steve Bannon is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Tywin Lannister

Like Steve Bannon, the patriarch of the Lannister clan, and “hand” to the Mad King, is a strategic and ruthless consigliere. Neither has any compunction about aligning with darker forces to push their own agenda. For Lannister, that means ordering troops to ransack and pillage the villages of his enemies; for Bannon, it’s fanning the flames of white supremacists vis-à-vis his media company, Breitbart. Lannister knows the power of words. As he tells his son Tyrion, “Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.” No doubt Bannon would agree.
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Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images.
Ivanka Trump is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Margaery Tyrell

Both Ivanka Trump and Margaery Tyrell are equal parts beauty and ambition, striving for status and power in a universe of brutish and sexist men. They are sophisticated, savvy, and hep to the ways that the traditional trappings of femininity can be handy tools in a woman’s arsenal. Still, one never knows if their philanthropic efforts are borne of genuine moral conviction or personal gain. In much the same way that Tyrell takes excursions to the poorer parts of King's Landing to curry favor with the masses, Trump hit the campaign trail to sell a softer, friendlier image of her father to American women on both sides of the aisle.
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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
Jared Kushner is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Jaime Lannister

It’s hard to know exactly what to make of Jared Kushner. (Is he really the guy to make peace in the Middle East or just a convenient emissary of a powerful family?) The same could be said of Jaime Lannister. Both come from pretty dysfunctional clans: Lannister, we all know, is involved in a torrid affair with his own twin sister, having secretly fathered her three children. While Kushner’s situation isn’t quite like that, his own father’s backstory is also the stuff of melodrama. Neither can ever truly escape their family’s past. Nor do they really want to. While Jaime Lannister feels pressure to assume his rightful place as heir to the Lannister seat, Casterly Rock (you know, the family business), Kushner is reportedly settling scores and seeking a post in his father-in-law’s administration. Force for good? We’ll reserve judgment till next season.
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Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.
Tiffany Trump is…
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Myrcella Lannister

Though Myrcella Lannister never saw much screen time, who wasn’t rooting for the sweet, innocent, kindhearted daughter borne of the incestuous relationship between siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister? And could you blame her for savoring her time in Dornish exile, romancing her intended away from the crazy antics of her twisted family? It was hard not to feel similarly for Tiffany, Trump’s daughter by former beauty queen Marla Maples, who was raised by her single mom in California. Only a (Lady) Stoneheart wouldn't feel even a twinge of compassion for the young Trump, relegated off camera for much of her upbringing. The upshot: She’s been largely shielded from the hot, unforgiving spotlight now cast upon her half brothers and sister. Everybody wants the best for Tiffany Trump, bless her heart.
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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Melania Trump is…
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Sansa Stark

Picture it, season 1, when a wholesome Sansa Stark wants nothing more than to marry a prince and trot off into the sunset. But marriage (both of them) has been something of a cold shower for the ginger-haired beauty, to say the least. Perhaps the same could be said for Melania Trump, the former jet-setting model who married Donald Trump and proceeded to live a luxe life of leisure, if those old Twitter posts are any indication. Now he’s president, and she is reluctantly forced to assume the very public role of first lady. It took Stark six seasons to shed her shell and rise to the occasion. We’re hoping Melania Trump can withstand the notorious pressures associated with the office and werk it the way she wants. We’re rooting for you, girl.
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Kellyanne Conway is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Cersei Lannister

When Kellyanne Conway made the cable news rounds in an effort to derail Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming secretary of state ("I'm all for party unity," she told CNN, "but I'm not sure we have to pay for that with a secretary of state position"), sources inside Trump's inner circle said she was going rogue. "Instead of driving Donald Trump's message, she's pushing her own agenda," said one aide according to MSNBC. Indeed it seemed like a move right out of Cersei Lannister’s playbook. As queen, Lannister is often making end rounds around the powerful men in her life, including her two sons, to accomplish her goals. Both are battle-scarred political survivors who know how to navigate the Game of Thrones perhaps better than anyone. And at the moment, it’s looking like both are winning.
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Hillary Clinton is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Tyrion Lannister

What could Hillary Clinton and Tyrion Lannister possibly have in common? Plenty, it would seem. Both are equally complex figures, irrationally hated for the condition of their births. And as result of that condition — his dwarfism, and her gender — both were forced to adapt to a world that rewarded healthy-looking straight white men, learning to shrug off unbridled verbal abuse. But the scars are visible. For Clinton, who struggled to balance her feminist worldview with traditional standards of femininity, it meant sacrificing authenticity. Tyrion Lannister self-medicated with wine and women. Though both are highly qualified to win the Game of Thrones themselves, the moment their stars got too bright, they were banished. Clinton and Lannister are billboards for insurmountable family baggage and cosmic injustice. But they are also the Game’s unlikeliest heroes, always fighting another day.
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Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images.
Bernie Sanders is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
The High Sparrow

When we first meet the High Sparrow, he's an empathetic religious figure looking to help the poor by agitating against King's Landing elites. (“We are living in a world where greed has become for the wealthiest people their own religion, and they make no apologies for it.”) It all seems so well-intentioned, until the veil starts to slip, and all that populist power starts to go to this holy man's head. The same rapturous reception greeted Sanders on the campaign trail. The disheveled senator from hippy Vermont galvanized millions of young supporters by railing against Wall Street, the 1 percent, and a "rigged" system. As the primary wore on, Sanders seemed to buy into his own mythology: He met the pope, compared himself to a rock star, and invited Trump to a one-on-one debate. But when it seemed apparent that he would lose, he vowed, in that trademark Brooklyn-ese, to help elect Hillary Clinton. We all know how that turned out.
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Elizabeth Warren is...
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Brienne of Tarth

Ah, the righteous women warriors, so wedded to their honor and principles that they're willing to fall on their swords to prove it. Brienne is an actual knight of course, and her word is her bond. Duty bound to honor and protect the people she serves, she makes good on an oath to kill Stannis Baratheon. She also returns Jaime Lannister to King’s Landing (as she told Catelyn Stark she would) and never quits when it comes to protecting Sansa Stark. And then there's Elizabeth Warren, who not only shares a similar haircut, but also wages a relentless battle against her sworn foes, be they too-big-to-fail banks or the president-elect. If we've learned anything from these formidable women, it's to underestimate them at your own peril.

See a pairing we missed or have an alternate casting to propose? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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