What Charges Would 7 'Game of Thrones' Favorites Face If Westeros Were Reality?

7:00 AM 7/2/2016

by Ashley Cullins and Josh Wigler

If you play the game of thrones in modern-day Los Angeles, you win or you die — or you face some serious time behind the iron bars.

HBO

After the explosive season 6 finale of Game of Thrones, and with no future George R.R. Martin installment to read until season 7 premieres, The Hollywood Reporter decided to write its own bit of fiction surrounding the show.

If the events in the Seven Kingdoms were playing out in modern-day Los Angeles (Westeros Hollywood, if you will), what criminal charges would some of the fan favorite villains and heroes be facing?

Cataloging each and every action that could be criminal would be more tedious than Arya Stark's training at The House of Black and White. So here are some of the charges seven characters would likely face in light of their most infamous moments. 

  • Cersei Lannister

    Courtesy of HBO

    If there were a singular criminal mastermind in the Seven Kingdoms, it would be Cersei Lannister.

    Countless people have died as a result of her quest for control, including all of her children. Most recently, she destroyed several city blocks with the vibrant green flames of Wildfire. That definitely puts her on the hook for felony arson and could easily be seen as an act of domestic terrorism. It's also not a leap to consider Wildfire a weapon of mass destruction, which would put Cersei behind bars for life in California state prison.  

    Her twincest relationship with Jaime would also add up to 3 years to her sentence, and California's incest law would require her to register as a sex offender. 

    While she sits as Queen atop the Iron Throne, clad in black leather, she may be untouchable — thanks to sovereign immunity. However, if we liken her role to that of the President, she'd likely be impeached and then tried as any other citizen.

  • Tyrion Lannister

    Helen Sloan/HBO

    Tyrion has done well for himself across the Narrow Sea, but he's still a fugitive who killed his father and prostitute ex-girlfriend.

    Not all homicides are murder, and since Tyrion didn't plan to shoot Tywin with an arrow as he sat on the toilet it could be considered voluntary manslaughter, which could carry a sentence of 3-11 years in prison. Given the circumstances that his father had just sentenced him to death for a crime he didn't commit, Tyrion might be able to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser sentence. 

    Shea's death could also be considered a crime of passion, and therefore voluntary manslaughter. After Shea betrayed Tyrion during his trial, he found her in his father's bed. However, since she immediately reached for a dagger, Tyrion could argue that his actions in that moment amounted to justified homicide in self-defense.

    His proclivities for brothels could saddle him with a misdemeanor solicitation charge and a few months in county jail or a fine. 

  • Daenerys Targaryen

    Courtesy of Helen Sloan/HBO

    As her name suggests, the Mother of Dragons has repeatedly used dragons to unleash death and destruction upon her enemies. 

    This shouldn't come as a shock, but California doesn't have a law that addresses death by dragon. The closest it comes is a statute on failing to control a "mischievous" animal that causes death or serious bodily injury. Under that statute, Daenerys could be charged with felony involuntary manslaughter, which could carry up to four years in jail and a $10,000 fine. If the courts realize she can instruct the dragons to kill, while there's no dragon-specific case law, it's safe to guess the charges or punishments could be elevated.

    She could also face felony arson and first-degree murder charges for the Dothraki hut she burned to the ground with the Khals inside — but, seeing as she had been kidnapped and threatened with repeated sexual assault, the court could consider it self-defense.

  • Jon Snow

    HBO

    Jon Snow may know nothing, but he's one of the least criminal characters in Game of Thrones and several of his potentially illegal actions have been for noble causes. 

    For example, killing Mance Rayder to spare him from being burned alive could be considered obstruction of justice. While it was a touching moment, it could land the King Crow in jail. 

    If you consider the Night's Watch akin to a branch of the U.S. military, then Jon walking away from his service could be considered desertion. As it seems clear he has no intention of returning to Castle Black, that desertion would result in his dishonorable discharge and up to five years in prison. It remains to be seen if he'd get off on the technicality that his death legally ended his watch.

    It's not a crime, but the Night's Watch could also potentially sue Jon for breach of contract for breaking his vows during his relationship with Ygritte, although I'm sure he'd be able to find an attorney who would argue the contract was "unconscionable."

  • Arya Stark

    HBO

    Oh, Arya Stark: the formerly-sweet, young girl who obsessively recites a list of people she plans to murder for their wrongs against her family. 

    Her methods range from gross (Walder Frey) to vicious (Meryn Trant) to eerily calm (Polliver).

    In the Song of Ice and Fire books, Arya is younger than she is on the TV series, which would help her in the court of law.

    In California, minors can be charged as adults if they are 14 or older. Her exact age isn't known, but the guess is she's about 16 at the end of the sixth season. Minors are not eligible for the death penalty, even if they're tried as adults, so Arya could be looking at 25 years to life in state prison for each count of first degree murder.

    Seeing as her crimes are numerous and clearly premeditated, chances of her cutting a deal are needle-slim.

  • Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger)

    Helen Sloan/HBO

    For a man who rarely gets his hands dirty, Petyr Baelish has his fingers in everything. Littlefinger did push his wife Lysa Arryn to her death through the Moon Door, but he generally arranges for others to do his dirty work. For example, convincing Lysa to poison her first husband and tell the Starks the Lannisters were responsible, eventually sparking a war between the houses.

    In similar fashion, he conspired with Lady Olenna Tyrell to poison King Joffrey at his wedding. When Sansa Stark later questioned him about Joffrey's death, he coyly responded "Who helped me with this conspiracy?" before admitting he was behind it. "A man with no motive is a man no one suspects," he said.

    It's now clear his motive is the Iron Throne, but if he were to be caught the conspiracy charges would put him in a different uncomfortable chair — one in a prison cell. Conspiracy to commit murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. His ownership of a brothel would also add a few years to his sentence for felony pimping and pandering.

  • Ramsay Bolton

    Courtesy of HBO

    Saving the worst for last, Ramsay Bolton is arguably the vilest, creepiest character of all time. His love of watching others suffer seemed to know no bounds.

    The good/bad news: the former evil Lord of Winterfell met his demise, so the courts can't punish him. Had he survived, Ramsay would be facing charges for kidnapping, torture, animal cruelty, baby murder and rape.

    In California, being married to someone does not equal consent. So his horrific wedding night with Sansa in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" would be considered a felony. His capture of Theon Greyjoy would put him on the hook for aggravated kidnapping, — since he caused him severe bodily harm as well — which comes with a potential life sentence, as does the aforementioned first degree murder.

    However, the insanity defense still exists in California and Ramsay could have served his time in a state mental hospital instead of a prison. 

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