The Parallels Between ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Wire’

The Wire is by far my favorite TV drama of all-time. David Simon’s journalistic background mashed with his incredible story-telling abilities and his knowledge of the city of Baltimore created TV perfection. The way David Simon wrote the show, it made the viewing audience unsure of who was the leading character really until the show ended. The leading character is the city of Baltimore.  David Simon touches on the corruption in the government offices, the illegal drug trade, the school system, the police department, the newspaper, and on the docks. Along the way major characters develop but there isn’t any Tony Soprano, Walter White, Don Draper type leading characters.


Now, I just started getting into Game of Thrones by binge-watching the first two season in like 3 days so I was all caught up for the season 3 premiere. I have been following the third season Sunday-by-Sunday and I am completely in love with the show. I have not read the books but I may one day in my future. Right now this show is everything because there is no predictability, I have guesses on how the third season will end tonight but I don’t have any confidence in any of them.

This show reminds me so much of The Wire because there is no clear cut hero. From the jump Ned Stark was the obvious protagonist. Ned Stark was the good, noble soldier who deserved to be king and he was probably the best man for the job–definitely better than Joffrey or Stannis. I saw a strong correlation with Ned Stark and  Maximus Decimus Meridius. But Ned got his head cut off at the end of the first season leaving me conflicted of who to root for now in this show.


As I sped through season 2 completely cultivated in this show, I realized that I don’t care who is the protagonist anymore, this show is just great. I would be happy to see Daenerys Targaryen or Robb Stark rule the kingdom but they do not give off that hero vibe that Ned did. Whenever Ned was on screen you knew this is his show. This show has grown so much that there can be an entire episode about Bran Stark–my least favorite character by far–and I would still be satisfied because I feel guaranteed that there will be intrigue in every episode.

The Wire and Game of Thrones do great jobs of themes for seasons and episodes. The writers for both shows are not concerned with giving equal screen time to each character because the story is the star of both shows. The Wire caught flack from the public about the second season and fifth season because the show pulled away from the police and the street hustlers to expand the story-line and Game of Thrones caught flack for so many main character deaths (specifically Robb Stark and Ned Stark) but both shows still gained critical acclaim.

Both shows touch on politics so well and how everyone has to answer to somebody else. Several characters in both shows want to be in command but once they get that control they are overwhelmed by the responsibility and still never feel truly in charge. I doubt I will ever call Game of Thrones a better show than The Wire  but as of right now it is third on my all-time list behind The Wire and The Sopranos.


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