Some things never mix. Like oil and water. Perhaps that was your reaction to reading ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘cloud communication’ in the same sentence. But maybe we shouldn’t be so hasty in dismissing the idea.
Winter is coming. The Stark motto has become unanimous with the show and evokes emotions even in casual watchers. The hit TV series (yes, this is about the show, not the book) captured hearts and became a raving success with its diabolical plotlines. Fans couldn’t help loving, yet hating the show at the same time for piling hardships on their favourite characters.
Shouting at the TV screen just doesn’t cut it though. So I decided to pen down a reimagined world where the right tools could have been a huge help to our protagonists.
You’d be surprised by the number of tragedies prevented, and rightful justice quickly served if our beloved (yet mostly controversial) characters were equipped with modern cloud communication tools.
Let’s explore how these tools could have been used as weapons for their medieval politics.
Of course, a world of internet telephony would be entirely different. However, for the sake of this thought experiment, we’ll discuss the impact of this technology in light of a few major events.
Disclaimer: Huge spoilers ahead.
1. Broadcast the twists and turns of the seven kingdoms to the public
“Sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.” — Robert Baratheon
This use of foreshadowing wasn’t clear to us at the time. But soon enough, we saw the Baratheons (and Lannisters, shh), Joffrey, Stannis, and Renly, claiming the Iron throne, while Robb Stark was declared King in the North, and Balon Greyjoy wanted to be King of the Iron Islands. Lots of names, lots of claims.
With the war of the five kings and the subsequent rise of the queens, coupled with the capital’s own deadly internal politics—the throne saw new owners very often.
Understandably, the common people wouldn’t have the time, energy, or motivation to keep track of such privileged squabbles.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if every time a ruler died and a new one was crowned, the council could simply send a voice broadcast to the whole continent of Westeros? Similarly, broadcasts could be used to warn people of impending dangers like war announcements, and give timely updates about important events like royal weddings or funerals.
This way, several people can get instant information without any interruptions in their daily routine. This is actually extremely important if you think about it. After all, if the unaware populace failed to show respect to the newly-crowned kings, Cersei would have had them beheaded. Or blown up (RIP Sept of Baelor).
2. Our favourite goody-two-shoes, Ned Stark, could have lived
Eddard (Ned) Stark was introduced as an honourable, intelligent and mighty man. He was perhaps the only character no one seemed to hate. As the obvious protagonist of the first season, we had high hopes for him.
And we saw all those hopes fall with his severed head.
Still from the Game of Thrones (HBO)
Sadly, his honour brought his downfall. Robert Baratheon made his Hand the regent, but Cersei, in her typical fashion, dismissed his claim and crowned her son. If only Ned could have recorded his conversation with Robert and shared it with the Small Council, his legitimacy would have been protected.
With HD quality proof of Ned’s authority, he couldn’t have been accused of treason and executed impulsively. Can you imagine how the game would change if the head of House Stark remained alive? Perhaps we’d have a different King in the North to cheer for.
3. Secure conversations with cloud encryption mean better-kept secrets
Secrets, deceit, conspiracies. These are all on the daily agenda for our characters. Undoubtedly, the ‘game of thrones’ is majorly about who can be the sneakiest. Think of Varys and Littlefinger. Could there be any plotline that didn’t involve their meddling?
As part of the king’s council, they oversee all the politics in the realm and rather shape the events. They could, in fact, be made even more powerful with cloud tools. With high-quality call encryptions, there would be no fear of sensitive information getting leaked or overheard. What if Varys failed to save Tyrion’s life because of leaked communications? With cloud services at hand, there’s no need to worry about that.
Furthermore, number masking provides anonymity to our players. They can easily act as catalysts for major events when their messages are delivered without revealing their identity—that is when their real number is replaced with a virtual alternative.
Even the general public would’ve benefited since they would not have to travel far and wide through dangerous routes to deliver messages. Quick information transmission in a secure manner would have certainly changed lives and the course of many wars.
4. The Iron Bank would be equipped with top-notch IVR services
The Lannisters always pay their debts. Well true, they’re totally loaded. The fact that they’re so rich causes them to be hugely influential—so what they say, goes.
But imagine if we could have reduced this disparity by making the Iron Bank easily accessible to all the houses, as well as the crown. The continent wouldn’t be so dependent on Lannister gold if people could call up a free phone number to contact the bank for seamless service.
“Hello, you’ve reached the Iron Bank of Braavos, your one-stop solution for all monetary needs. Press 1 to open an account, press 2 to apply for a loan, press 3 to speak to our representative…”
An IVR service like this would make them so much more approachable. People are not only greeted pleasantly, but they can also opt for self-service and quickly resolve their issues.
As a result, the Lannisters would have had a lesser influence on the throne. Perhaps Cersei and Robert would’ve never gotten married. If she instead married a man who actually loved her, would she be less…evil?
Still from the Game of Thrones (HBO)
5. Daenerys could have avoided rebellions and made her way to Westeros sooner
Let’s take a quick detour away from Westeros to the eastern continent of Essos. Dany, a.k.a., the mother of dragons, spends the majority of the series in the free cities.
While it’s arguable whether she suffered from the Targaryen madness or not, she did win hearts through her kindness and strength displayed in the earlier seasons. Her main goal was to abolish slavery, protect the people and bring them peace, albeit with three huge dragons in tow.
Still from the Game of Thrones (HBO)
Daenerys could have attained her goal sooner with cloud communication tools in her aid. We know she wanted to help the common people, and therefore it was important for her to communicate with them effectively.
Sending out survey campaigns with outbound call centre tools would have come in handy here. If she could gauge the needs and responses of the public, she could have managed or prepared for the rebellions in a better way.
She could have also maintained a closer look at the cities of Meeren, Yunkai and Astapor by video conferencing with the respective councils regularly. Who would dare to challenge a queen who sees everything, and travels first class on dragons?
6. Bran could have become the three-eyed raven without going beyond the wall
If you don’t get nightmares thinking about the ominous happenings beyond the wall, you’re braver than I am. Now imagine Bran, a young and sheltered kid who knows about the horrors in the true north, voluntarily making a trip where he knows he’ll be hunted by icy monsters.
Terrifying, is it not? Not to forget the heartache of losing Hodor (I bawled).
But what if all that could be avoided—who needs the all-seeing raven when you have the all-seeing cloud technology? Bran could have simply held a video call with the Three-Eyed Raven and taken over his duties virtually.
That’s the beauty of the cloud. It doesn’t matter if you’re (literally) stuck in a cave. You can still enjoy high definition conversations with people across the continents.
On a personal note, maybe Bran wouldn’t have become so creepy if he hadn’t suffered so much on his journey. Our King of the Six Kingdoms could have been chirper!
7. The white walkers could have been defeated earlier
The best is often saved for the last. So here you go. Even the first scene of the series was about the white walkers, and they continued to be omnipresent as a menacing threat throughout the show.
Tyrion Lannister once said, “Why is that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?”
This was perhaps one instance where Tyrion was not that wise. As it turns out, the world really should have tried to find out what was on the other side.
Still from the Game of Thrones (HBO)
That fallacy could have been corrected with the use of cloud communication tools. The biggest problem here was that people believed the walkers to be old folklore—a scary story to make the kids go to bed on time. The reality of the situation didn’t dawn in until they themselves knocked on the door (or The Wall).
Instead, if people could have recorded and broadcasted the white walkers from the get-go, things would be different. A simple email blast or file transfer would be enough proof to neutralise the threat on time. Don’t let them form an army in the first place!
Jon Snow knows nothing—except that white walkers exist and they’re coming. If Jon quickly sent the proof to Dany, the Battle of Winterfell could have been avoided.
Further, Samwell Tarly was studying at the Citadel and came across vital details about these deadly monsters. He could have utilised the resources there to transmit information to Jon in real-time. A simple unified communications platform could ensure that he held efficient and regular meetings with Castle Black, the front line of this war.
Is there really a conclusion? The possibilities of using the cloud to transform the happenings of the series are endless. Avid fans can spend hours debating the merits and downfalls.
But one thing is certain—life could’ve been easier for the people of the seven kingdoms with the use of technology and Internet-based communications. Of course, betrayals would’ve also been nastier.
Take, for instance, the final season when Jaime is sent to kill Olenna Tyrell (the smartest and most savage woman ever), and she reveals that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey. Her famous last words were: Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.
Imagine if she could have relayed this message to Cersei in real-time over a conference call. We could never be ready for the explosion (no puns intended) this confession would’ve caused.
We live in a world that runs on technology, and it’s impossible to imagine life without the benefits of the Internet and its associated services. That’s what makes reimagining a medieval world more fun. It even shows us how lucky we are to have such innovations in our lives—so why not make the best use of them?
What world would you like us to imagine next empowered with cloud communication? Drop a comment down below!
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