#GHgot: Flagstaff Keep

Between John Mahama and Ned Stark, Flagstaff Keep is a shared dream.

Mahama’s rise to power is similar to Ned Stark’s (intended brief) ascension to the Iron Throne. The northern alliance was to be sealed by appointing Ned Stark to the Small Council as the King’s Hand. On the one hand, the move ensured the allegiance of the vast reserves of the North’s armed forces. Between them, Winterfell, the Dreadfort, and Bear Island, controlled some of the most hardened soldiers in all of Westeros. White Harbor controlled an important port as well, and their loyalty to the Starks never wavered despite their open alliance to the Boltons. The clans of the mountains would bleed for their Lord if the cause arose, as was seen when Stannis offered them a chance to free Ned’s girls. Thus, the alliance would have forestalled any kind of future trouble for the king in the south, giving him enough time to whore and birth more bastards.

On the other hand, with Ned by his side, a much sober Robert Baratheon would have commanded the most important battalions that would thwart any form of rebellion from the other houses. His claim to the Iron Throne was by right of conquest, and as Renly Baratheon proved to Stannis, just about anybody with enough forces behind them, dragons even, could stir up trouble. But with this guarantee from the North, coupled with Ned’s alliance with the Riverlands and their combined connection to the impenetrable Vale, it would have taken another Aegon the Conqueror-styled attack to shake the corridors of power. Of course, it also helped that Robert himself was a childhood friend of the Starks. They fostered together at the Vale where Jon Arryn treated them like his sons. In addition, the marriage that was to be between Sansa and Joffery would have made up for what was supposed to be Lyanna Stark’s betrothal to Robert.

Politicians play a game of sentimentalities when the fancy takes them. They pander and they play a game of meekness and loyal, stick-chasing puppies when it comes to seeking power. In Ghana, it has come to represent the norm for anyone seeking power to strike a balance between the north and south. And the North, grouped together in the peculiar sufferings and troubles as they were, any Gonja running mate represented his Sissala or Wala brethren. Both Mills and NADAA have towed that same line with Martin Amidu (and later Mumuni), and Bawumia.

It was in keeping with this that Mills chose John Mahama as running mate to consolidate the northern support of the NDC. It was to show the three northern regions that they cared. That even if SADA would eventually fail, they indeed cared. They cared enough to make a “son of the North” the second-in-command.

After his death, Mills was succeeded at the Flagstaff House by his running mate, John Mahama. Even before the people came out to elect him as president in 2012, JD Mahama served as the interim leader of government affairs for the last few months of that tenure. Like many political historians of Ghana’s democratic journey would tell you, he had eight years to serve as president of his country. Two terms. He did one term, and then it all went south, literally.


Ghana’s Game of Thrones (#Ghgot) is an analysis of events and characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and the Ghanaian political scene. Rather than drawing a like-for-like comparison between the characters considered, the features seek to juxtapose events in the characters of the series with similar events on the Ghanaian scene. Thus, it is a typical “4 Game of Thrones Moments on the Ghanaian Political Scene,” or “The 3 times John Mahama was Ned Stark,” kind of analysis. Unless where stated explicitly, the parallels drawn are to be taken at face value. They are in no way an attempt to predict or portray the real political and moral lives of the persons concerned.

This is written without judgement.

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