Game of Thrones "Trial by Combat" Will Be Used to Determine Final Peace Settlement by Jeff Briskin
JERUSALEM. After decades of stalemated negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, an episode of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones has inspired a novel approach that will be used to finally end the conflict.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have agreed that the terms of a final peace settlement will be determined by a tournament based on the “Trial by Combat” system of legal resolution created by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin in his long-running series of novels portraying the power struggles among various highborn families on the mythical continent of Westeros.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are huge fans of the series, which is entering its seventh and final season. Both men were inspired by an episode in which the dwarf Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage), on trial for killing his nephew King Joffrey, demands that his guilt or innocence be settled by Trial by Combat. In this ancient legal ritual, a defendant’s fate rests on the outcome of a battle-to-the-death between champions representing the accused and his prosecutors.
“After years of fruitless negotiations over borders, settlements, and water rights, I realized that Tyrion’s demand for quick and definitive justice offers a similar path for Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their differences once and for all,” said Netanyahu, who has read all five books in Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series upon which the TV series is based.
Abbas, who admits he had never heard of the show until King Adbullah of Jordan sent him the first five seasons on DVD, agrees. “The dwarf has used Trial by Combat twice when he was charged with crimes he didn’t commit. Admittedly, his success rate is 1 for 2, but a 50% chance of victory is a lot better than the nothing we’re getting now.”
President Trump's son-in-law and special Mideast advisor Jared Kushner served as a mediator to establish the terms for the contest.
“If Abbas’s champion wins, Israeli will withdraw to its pre-Six-Day War 1967 borders, with minor adjustments to address its security concerns, give up all of its West Bank settlements, and a Palestinian state will be established with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.
“On the other hand, If Netanyahu’s champion wins, Israel will get to dictate the final borders of a Palestinian state, maintain control over all of Jerusalem, and build 500,000 new homes in the occupied territories.”
Kushner has also dictated the terms of the actual battle.
“Given the decades of bloodshed committed by both sides in this conflict, the U.S. government would certainly be opposed to any contest that resulted in the kind of carnage that occurred when Oberyn Martell, Tyrion’s champion, was on verge of stabbing Ser Gregor Clegane to death until the Mountain smashed the Dornish prince in the face with his fist, splattering his brains all over the ground. Ooops, I was supposed to say ‘spoiler alert,’ wasn't I? Sorry,” said Kushner.
Instead, this approach—renamed “Fight for Peace” to reflect modern sensibilities—will be a single-round, continuous match using standardized mixed martial combat rules. No weapons will be allowed. Victory will be achieved either by knockout or by voluntary submission by either combatant.
Aides of Netanyahu and Abbas are currently evaluating hundreds of well known kickboxers, cage fighters, mixed martial arts and bar-room brawlers. This whole process, along with the training of the selected champions, will be documented on a new FOX-TV reality series, HolyLand Headrollers.
The contest itself will be broadcast live on Pay-per-View, with an undercard of additional Fights for Peace that will resolve the dispute between China and Japan over contested islands in the Sea of Japan and the civil war in South Sudan.