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Never having gotten into Game of Thrones, I wasn’t concerned about what the creators might turn their collective hand to next. If Facebook hadn’t decided to tell me, I’d still be completely in the dark about the possibility of a show called “Confederacy” hitting the air.

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Inspired by The Man in the High Castle, another show I don’t watch, the GoT folks went looking for another war to use as a hypothetical and came up with the American Civil War. “What if the South won the war?” they asked themselves. Commenters were not enthusiastic about where an alternate Civil War timeline might end up. They mentioned the blinding whiteness of GoT’s cast and the fact that people of color are often still treated like second class citizens now. The creators of the show keep saying we shouldn’t judge the show until we’ve seen it. (Although evidently it was okay for the network to green light it just on the concept, since a script didn’t exist till later.)

We as a nation have never made any kind of reparations for slavery. We have a president who wants to preserve all those statues of confederate generals. (I forget, how many statues of Hitler does Germany have?) We live in a world where people of color are five times more likely than white people to be shot and killed by police. I’d say anyone who wants to fantasize about the South winning the Civil War has more than enough fodder in our actual world without the GoT folks going to all the trouble to make a cinematic one.

If you’re going to play Revisionist Historian, can’t we think outside the box a little here? So many scenarios haven’t yet made it to prime time. I have zero desire to write for television and I’ve never made it out of the middle class so my idea of big money is still very negotiable. Let’s talk percentages. You bring the world a new television show, and I get to redo my yard. Win-win.

Let’s take a trip back through the mists of time.

It’s the year 312. Constantine looks up to the sun before going into battle and sees what looks like a cross in the sky. He considers devoting his life to Christianity, before deciding the sign was actually an ankh and swearing his endless devotion to Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. 

Fast forward to the 21st century. No, this would not be a show about Christian persecution. The Great Persecution officially ended in 311, by edict of Galerius, then emperor of Rome – well, emperor of Western Rome, because around that time Rome got weird, but the point is the same. Christianity trundles along making converts here and there, but it doesn’t get the help of political leaders forcing their subjects to swear fidelity under pain of death. The shape of the resultant future is yours to imagine. Personally, I’m seeing a major resurgence of Ra worship under Louis XIV, the Sun King.

 

Or maybe that’s too far back. Let’s go to…

1241. Genghis Khan’s descendants have overrun most of Asia and are now pushing the Mongolian Empire into Poland and Hungary. In this universe, the death of the current Khan does not cause the military leaders to go running back to Karakorum to elect a successor. They receive word that the Khan’s dying wish was for them to conquer all Europe, so they do.

Resulting in a 21st century better or worse than the current one? Up to you to decide. Some sources label Genghis Khan a genocidal maniac who killed entire civilizations when they refused to surrender to him and forbid eating in accord with halal or kosher practices, pushing a form of Daoism on all his subjects. Others say he unified disparate tribes, practiced a form of meritocracy unusual for the time and was open to learning from different religions. Mongolia reveres him as a founding father. By contrast, most of the Middle East sees him as Satan’s more blood-thirsty cousin. You’ll be loved and hated for whatever decision you make.

 

Too much imagination required? Maybe. Let’s try this…

It’s 1347. The fleas in the Mongolian steppes prepare to infect their local rat population with Bubonic plague. Before they get the chance, a freak heat wave hits the area, maintaining weeks of 100+ temperatures, killing off 95% of fleas. The few remaining don’t have the plague germs. The Black Death never happens.

Maybe this leaves future possibilities too open. The Black Death is estimated to have killed off a third of Europe, and while documentation is scarce, may have done as much damage in the Middle East and Asia. It hit Russia at the beginning and the end of its three year cycle of devastation. Historians make a good argument that the Great Pestilence of the mid 14th century started events that would result in the Reformation, the end of feudalism and eventually the Industrial Revolution. What kind of world would we live in today if Mama Necessity hadn’t forced those changes?

 

And if you really want to deal with the effects that slavery has left on our nation, well, here’s a thought:

The Supreme Court in 1896 hears the arguments of Plessy v Ferguson and decides separate isn’t equal after all.

There’s an alternate universe I’d actually like to see.

 

I may be proven wrong and the Game of Thrones crew might create a show that is exciting in its diversity and thought-provoking in its storylines. But I’d have to see it to believe it.

Kimberly looks forward to all those lucrative TV offers she will be getting…in yet another alternate universe.

 

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