Game of Thrones – There is a good reason why “Thrones” is plural (possible spoilers)
There was a great post on reddit the other day forecasting the death of Bronn in the upcoming books due to his recent ascension in status. This got me thinking about the root of danger faced by various characters and in the end I decided that it is not so much about winning the game or dying as the famous line suggests. Really, the biggest threat a character faces is in their own lack of self-awareness leading them to overreach. Bronn has transitioned from the game of swords to the game of thrones and this is not a transition that many can make and survive. For example, Robert.
I would argue that there is a good reason thrones is plural in the title and it’s not because there are multiple kings and multiple thrones. It is that every man is the king of his own castle. It doesn’t matter where in the game you are, how powerful or weak, there is always going to be someone trying to seize your throne or use you in their game to seize another. The higher you climb the more people will want your throne and the more people will want to use you to seize that which they have their eyes set upon. Further, the higher you clime the more you have to lose and that which you value will always be able to be used as leverage against you.
When Bronn was just a sellsword he had very little but was strategically powerful as a piece in the game for others to use. Tyrion, noticing this value, used him to his own ends with great success. This put Bronn in a relatively safe position where while many may want to use him few would be inclined to try and take what was his. This afforded him protection by those who might use him, in this case Tyrion. There was little to use against him as leverage beyond the coin you offer of which few could match Tyrion.
Now that Bronn has more to lose there are other, more sneaky, ways of enlisting his help (if he truly cares about those things and would not sacrifice them at a moments notice, which is yet to be seen). There are more who want what he has, and will desire to seize his “thronw”. Finally, there are going to be more who wish to enlist his help and, if this fails, may consider eliminating him from the game as a viable move against his current master.
The trick is not to play and win or not play at all. No, the trick of the game is not to over reach. Those who do lose their grip and fall. We have yet to see how sturdy Bronn’s footing is and if he has over reached. If he has he might not have much time left. But if his aspirations match his ability he may be sitting quite comfortably in his new position for quite some time.