Two or three years ago, David French, the National Review columnist, blogger, and civil rights lawyer, wrote a lengthy piece on Game of Thrones entitled, “A Game for Our Time.” In it, French posited that the TV series, if not quite an allegory of modern times, at least contains interesting lessons for 21st Century Americans.

At the time, I thought French’s essay was interesting, but I was pretty sure Martin just wanted to write an entertaining story.

Now, after watching the very final episode of GOT a week or so ago, I’m not so sure. I’ve decided that there really are lessons to be learned from GOT.

Those readers who are GOT fans but haven’t yet watched the entire final season may want to quit reading, at least for now. I realize there are still those who plan to catch up later by streaming the show or playing it on DVD. I don’t intend to give everything away, but probably will reveal enough to poison the well for some folks.

GOT, as its fans know, is about the dynastic struggles for the throne of Westeros, an imaginary continent on an imaginary world that is both like and unlike our own. Technology is at a level analogous to the High Middle Ages in Europe, but with some wrinkles like magic, giants and fire-breathing dragons thrown in.

One of the contenders for the throne is Daenerys Targaryen, a young woman who begins the series in exile on the nearby continent of Essos, in hiding because her father, “the Mad King”, was overthrown some years earlier, and she and her brother had to flee. For most of the eight-year series, she is built up as a sympathetic character, plucky, brave, and determined.

By the end of Season Six, she has hatched and raised three dragons, become the ruler of the nomadic Dothraki and of at least two cities, attracted loyal followers, built an army and obtained ships to launch an invasion so she can claim her throne. In the process, lots of people get killed; but they are Bad Guys, so that’s okay. The viewer feels she has earned the right to call herself, “Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains.”

Doubts begin to emerge in Season Seven, when the young Queen ignores advice from a trusted adviser to banish rather than execute men who have pledged themselves to one of her rivals, and refuse to recant. She has one of her dragons burn them alive. But she ends Season Seven and begins Season Eight on a good note, lending her troops and her dragons to stop an invasion of zombie-like walking dead from the far North.

Then she turns her attention to completing her conquest of Westeros by taking the capital, King’s Landing, where the series’ arch-villainess, Cersei Lannister, had been crowned Queen. She takes the city by the simple expedient of burning it to the ground with her surviving dragon, in the process killing the innocent as well as the opposing troops and the evil Queen. One trusted advisor deserts her, and she has the dragon burn him alive, too.

Then comes the clincher. Addressing her assembled victorious troops, she tells them that “the war is not over”, and won’t end until the whole world is “liberated” under her rule. I won’t tell you what happens next, but it is a big part of why so many fans were unhappy with series finale.

But the lesson dawned on me as I watched her deliver that speech. Daenerys Targaryen is bent on creating a Utopia. She is convinced she is just the person to do it, and doesn’t care how much harm is done, or who is killed, in the process. That lesson ought to resonate with us.

Some of my friends watch that episode and see the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was brought about in large part by men who believed it the first step in changing the political culture of the entire Middle East. We know how well that worked.

Others watch it and think of the whole panoply of potentially destructive Utopian proposals now being advance by candidates for President and members of Congress. The Green New Deal. Medicare for all. Let’s punish the successful by taxing their capital “wealth” as well as their income. Better yet, let’s ruin our economy in the name of pretending to end “climate change.” All advanced by eager and glassy-eyed enthusiasts who are convinced they will create Utopia.

If they get their way, instead they will cause much harm. Utopians always do.