VLADIMIR PUTIN IS BASICALLY TYWIN LANNISTER

WIRED | 8/11/2018 | Geek's Guide to the Galaxy
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FORMER CHESS CHAMPION Garry Kasparov sounded the alarm about Vladimir Putin’s regime in his 2015 book Winter Is Coming. The title echoes the motto of House Stark from the HBO series Game of Thrones, and that’s no accident.

“As you can guess, I’m a big fan,” Kasparov says in Episode 321 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “I recently had a great experience touring some of the spots when they were shooting in Belfast, taking my wife and my daughter, who are also big fans of the show.”

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Kasparov sees many parallels between life in Westeros and real-world politics. He says that Americans—like our fictional counterparts—are so consumed with petty squabbles that we’ve ignored a gathering threat.

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“People are not ready for the challenge, for the evil that is coming from the North,” he says. “We have to make sure that we are ready for the challenge, because the damage caused by this too-bleak winter will depend very much on our ability—or inability—to make ourselves ready to defend the values of the free world.”

According to Kasparov, the Game of Thrones character that Putin most resembles is the wealthy lord Tywin Lannister. “I don’t think anybody is even close to Putin in terms of the amount of money this person—or group of people—can move around,” he says.

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But unlike Tywin Lannister, Putin was not born into great wealth and power. In some ways that makes his early career more like that of Littlefinger, the master schemer who pulls strings from behind the scenes.

“Littlefinger was engaged in conversations with top players, and he was very good in actually finding their weaknesses, and ways to get under their skin, and make them comfortable by talking to him,” Kasparov says. “And that’s exactly what Putin did in the...
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