You may have heard of the HBO show Game of Thrones. It’s filled with gorgeous geography, devious characters, and gratuitous sex. Kind of reminds us of South Florida for some reason. So here is our take on South Florida as Game of Thrones.
Miami is our King’s Landing. This is the center of the action, the power seat of South Florida. The Lannisters and the Miamians are the richest people in the world. They spend 8 dollars on a beer. At a bar. And those are just the Miamians: the Lannisters would totally spend 9. Miami has a small council that has been plagued with liars and thieves (although no eunuchs that we know of). Miami and King’s Landing are the beautiful yet seedy, politically slimy cities of riches amid crippling poverty; there’s prostitutes, violence, jousting, Art Basel, melees, baseball stadiums, and wonderful music. Miami even has its own Littlefinger, the most scheming and duplicitous man in the city: Jeffrey Loria. Littlefinger and Loria both have an uncanny ability to get people to do things that are against their best interests. This comparison might not be totally accurate though: we think Jeffrey Loria is a bigger liar than Littlefinger.
Fort Lauderdale is our home, our Winterfell. We are humble and steadfast. It’s not cold exactly, but we do like our wine. We may not be concerned that winter is coming, however global warming could have a disastrous effect on our city. Perhaps our words should be “The Tide is Rising.” Although we love the quaint canal-laced city we call home, we travel south to Miami/King’s Landing for entertainment at the Fillmore, Grand Central, sporting events, etc., yet Miamians would probably push us out of windows and behead our family members to continue their way of life. We live north of that city but can’t stay away. Fort Lauderdale is Winterfell, the City of the North (at least before that dick Theon Greyjoy burned it to the ground).
Far to the south beyond Miami, across the Narrow Sea, is an exotic land that is Dothrak, Qarth, and Astapor all wrapped up in one. Cuba has a different political system, they speak a different language, and they might even have dragons. Ask Kennedy about that one.
Far to the north beyond West Palm Beach, there is a wall 700 feet high separating our realm from the wild lands beyond. The rest of Florida is the land beyond the wall, populated by Wildlings that we know little about and do not understand. They fear different things than we do and pray to harsher gods, like the White Walkers and Tim Tebow.
Humorless old Stannis Baratheon is stuck out on Dragonstone with a crazy redheaded religious lady who has an unnatural hold over him, so maybe he lives in Davie? We don’t spend a lot of time in Davie but we imagine that city is lousy with mesmerizing redheads on horseback.
The Iron Islands, home of the Greyjoys, are the Florida Keys. While our Keys are no doubt warmer and more inviting than the Iron Islands, both are surrounded by water and apparently lawless, and there’s only like five people who actually live there. Watching Balon Greyjoy makes us think of the old-timey Florida Keys, the drug and rum-running, give-your-son-away-to-settle-a-debt Florida Keys. We love those Keys.
Certain groups of characters in Game of Thrones spend a substantial amount of air time just kind of wandering around. There’s Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth; Arya Stark, Gendry and Hot Pie; and Theon Greyjoy (between his torture sessions). They are stuck in the Everglades where travel is treacherous, wild beasts might eat you, and there’s always danger of running into an unruly band of airboat enthusiasts.
We don’t want to get too caught up in comparing local individuals to the mostly-terrible Game of Thrones characters, but Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Jack Seiler must be one of the kings in King’s Landing, even though he lives and rules over our Winterfell (because there’s only one Ned Stark). Seiler’s certainly not the terrible King Joffrey Baratheon. Mayor Seiler is the late King Robert Baratheon. Like Seiler, King Robert was a man of the people who loved to throw raucous celebrations for his city, and Mayor Seiler seems like the kind of guy who throws a couple back and enjoys a party. Plus Seiler is the immediate successor to the Mad Mayor Jim Naugle Targaryen. We pray to the old gods and the new that Mayor Seiler’s rule does not end in an unfortunate encounter with a wild boar. Perhaps he should steer clear of next year’s Python Challenge.
Thankfully we do not live in the Game of Thrones world. It is a horrible violent place where the main character (existentially speaking, that is either you or me) may be killed at any moment. We South Floridians live in a realm of love and happiness and eternal summer, at least for now. For the tide is rising.