As in many bloody, multipolar conflicts, certainties in Martin’s world are few, and loyalties easily shifted. A reversal of dynastic fortunes is typically swift and cruel.
But the show could have benefited from a bit of Marx to balance out all that Machiavelli.
In the real world, economic substructure informs the political agenda. In Game of Thrones, however, all politics is personal.
War and peace are based on alliances, allegiances, debts, and vendettas between the high and mighty — never on something as mundane as the price of wool or access to exotic spices.
How the cartography of Game of Thrones explains the world
This is a mashup made by @Subcide of the one that The Oatmeal made of his experience.