Julia Gillard compares Game of Thrones to her time as Australia's prime minister

Ms Gillard said power was 'pursued relentlessly' in both Westeros and the world of politics

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The Independent Online

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has compared her time in office to hit HBO show Game of Thrones.

Writing in The Guardian on Monday, as the fourth series of the fantasy epic premiered in the UK, Ms Gillard said “power [is] pursued relentlessly” in both Westeros and the world of Australian politics.

She said: “I first felt the addictive power of Game of Thrones when I was prime minister, living in a world where power was also pursued relentlessly, albeit far less colourfully. Certainly the characters of my world were nowhere near as good looking or exotically dressed."

The leader of the Labor party from 2010 to 2103 said that once she started watching the show based on the books by George RR Martin, “fiction and reality started to collide”.

And she said her favourite character was Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke: “After all, what girl has not yearned for a few dragons when in a tight spot?”


Reviewing the first episode of the new series, Ms Gillard recalled what it was that made her fall in love with Game of Thrones, after binging on the first series over three days of Christmas leave in 2012.

“The genius of Game of Thrones is that in this rich imagining of a world redolent of the medieval, the rules of a middle ages morality play have been so thoroughly discarded,” she said.

“It is not the story of Everyman… Instead, the lot of the everyman and everywoman forms only a backdrop to the story of would-be rulers and their clashes for power. These titans, and those who surround them, overwhelmingly and stubbornly refuse to conform to the simple premise of triumphant good versus vanquished evil."

And she praised the strength of the women portrayed in the series.

“In this world of constant war, female characters have never been relegated to the sidelines. They confound the stereotypes. Being a wife or being a whore does not mean being a bit player in a male drama.”

But Ms Gillard refused to hypothesise on the possible outcomes of the multi-faceted narrative.

“We cannot yet see how this will come together - whether the long arc of this story will take us to Everyman's judgment day, where good is rewarded and evil punished,” she said.

“We can't even imagine what this will look like, when good and evil intermingle so seamlessly in the words, deeds and souls of so many. How much will we learn in season four?”

On Twitter users expressed mixed reactions to the former prime minister's review.

Some people appreciated the link made between the cult TV show and contemporary politics.

@MaxWinCowie tweeted that the piece was “surreal but terrific fun”, while @robbibt said: “This is amazing.”

But others were not quite so impressed by Ms Gillard’s parallel.

@p_rpah tweeted that the article was “bizarre”, while @dirktherabbit suggested Ms Gillard had taken her comparison "a bit far”.

And @La_Raconteuse said: “1 April was last week, wasn’t it?”