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Theatre / Westeros: An American Musical

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Look at the picture and try guessing which two works are being combined

"Fools who trust too much soon wind up dead."
Littlefinger, "Small Council"

Westeros: An American Musical is a musical parody of A Song of Ice and Fire and its live-action TV adaptation Game of Thrones, set to music from Hamilton.

After losing his Hand of the King and foster father Jon Arryn to disease, King Robert Baratheon enlists his foster brother Ned Stark as his new Hand. Ned soon discovers that Robert’s younger biological bothers Stannis and Renly are the true second and third in line for the throne due to all three of Robert’s supposed children actually being the produce of his wife’s Cersei’s affair with her own brother. Unfortunately, the Deadly Decadent Court claims both Robert and Ned’s lives almost as soon as the news starts spreading. In their wake, Cersei and her family do their best to keep her oldest son Joffrey on the throne. Meanwhile, Stannis is ready to take the seat that is his by force, and Renly’s boyfriend has a sister with eyes on the Queen’s crown.


The play focuses mostly on the events in King’s Landing and the Lannisters, with Stannis and his entourage being a close second. Robb Stark, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow’s storylines get minor focus, while the rest range from brief mentions to complete absence. The play doesn't have much of a Fourth Wall, either.

There are two versions of the play on the creator’s YouTube channel. The first, released in a song-by-song format, was performed in 2018 and covers events from A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings to the tune of songs taken from the first act of Hamilton. The second, performed in 2019, was released as two videos: Act I that is an expanded rework of the 2018 version, and Act II that covers events from A Storm of Swords with tunes mostly taken from Act II of Hamilton.


The play provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The Sand Snakes accompany Oberyn to King’s Landing instead of Ellaria, resulting in them debuting the equivalent of an entire book early. This gets plenty of mention in their debut song, "Hisstorically Inaccurate".
    • This is also technically the case for Ser Robert Strong, due to Gregor Clegane getting promptly resurrected after his death.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Loras in Act II. In Act I, he co-conspires with Renly to make Margaery Robert's mistress and is the figurehead of the Tyrell army in "The Siege of King's Landing". In Act II, Olenna has to intervene to keep Loras from getting harassed by the Sand Snakes and he's mostly silently helping out with whatever Olenna and Margaery are up to.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • The play drops most, if not all, of the alcoholic Dirty Old Man only interested in the money Littlefinger pays him aspect of Dontos. The elements of this aspect that remained in the play fit with a more heroic version of his character, as they can be legitimately read as Littlefinger having used Dontos' genuine care for Sansa to his own ends, only to kill him once he had outlived his usefulness.
    • The Hound's most questionable action in the play is not keeping Joffrey from beheading Ned Stark. Other than that, he's competing with Dontos for the most sympathetic of the men interested in Sansa.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • One of Littlefinger's lines only makes sense if the viewer knows of Brandon Stark's story, namely the fact that he and Littlefinger once had a duel for Catelyn's hand (you get no points for guessing who lost), and that he died trying to get Lyanna back from Rhaegar. Knowing that Lysa Arryn is Catelyn's sister is also needed to understand Littlefinger's affirmation that Lysa is "the sister he prefers" which is spoken almost an entire song before any line in the play itself mentions that she's Sansa's aunt.
    • Ser Dontos spends the entire play in a fool's outfit. While he mentions his I Owe You My Life situation in regards to Sansa, nobody ever spells out that the incident consisted of Sansa convincing Joffrey to make Dontos his fool rather than killing him. The play also omits him being an alcoholic and actually being paid by Littlefinger for his more heroic actions, which strips his death from the Asshole Victim aspect it had in the original story.
    • "Sword in the Darkness" ends with someone telling Jon Snow they knew his father and that he was a good man. The fact the father is Ned Stark is bound to go over the head of anyone not already familiar with the story, as there is no mention of a familial relationship between Ned Stark and Jon Snow anywhere else in the play.
  • Affectionate Parody: The musical pokes a lot of fun to the original story's plot and some of the less popular changes Game of Thrones brought to it, but also puts emphasis on its awesome moments. The author and lyricists also clearly love the story enough to adapt it to several Hamilton songs.
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack: The modern music is just as out of place in the retelling of a fantasy story as it was in Hamilton.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: "The Red Wedding", which focuses on the reaction of the Lannisters to an event in which many of their opponents died, is basically And There Was Much Rejoicing: The song.
  • Anyone Can Die: Let's not forget the story that's being parodied here:
    • "Plot Development": Robert.
    • Ned Stark dies between the end of "Plot Development" and the beginning of "Stannis Refuted".
    • "Crownless": Renly.
    • "Hisstorically Inaccurate": The raven serving as narrator for Act I.
    • "Stark to Finish": Robb and Catelyn.
    • "The Groom When It Happened": Joffrey and Dontos.
    • "Talk Less, Stab More": Oberyn.
    • Shae and Tywin little after the end of "Congratshaelations".
  • Anything but That!: Littlefinger's reaction to the prospect of having Stannis as a King.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: An uplifting take on the trope shows up in "The Siege of King's Landing", when Tyrion is giving himself a pep talk:
    Tyrion: A very small man can cast a very large shadow.
  • Bizarre Seasons: Grenn points this out in "First Watch", as he has trouble understanding how the "Seasons lasting several years" thing even works.
  • Black Comedy: When the source material is Dark Fantasy in which Anyone Can Die, this par for the course for an Affectionate Parody.
  • Cross-Cast Role:
    • There is nobody with dwarfism in the cast, so Tyrion is played by one of the shorter women.
    • The same woman plays Joffrey, Jon Snow, the shadow-baby who kills Renly and Edric Storm.
  • Composite Character: The Sand Snakes take on Ellaria's role as the character tagging along with Oberyn to King's Landing who ends up witnessing Oberyn's death in his fight with Gregor Clegane.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: During "Knight's Watch Defeated", Davos re-iterates his disapproval of Stannis' plans of sacrificing Edric while Shireen is in the room and covers Shireen's ears while he does so.
  • Decadent Court: It's to the point that "Small Council", the play's counterpart to "Aaron Burr, Sir", changes the "talk less, smile more" line to "trust less, conspire more". The following song, "Plot Development" is about several members of the royal court having their own little conspiracy underway.
  • Decapitation Presentation: The ultimate fate of Ned's head, courtesy of Joffrey.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • A few Wildling characters get this without outright becoming The Ghost. Among the Wildlings seen in "Sword in the Darkness", only Mance is named on-stage. However, three actors are credited for playing Wun-Wun, Tormund and Val, all three of which are recognizable among the handful of actors standing in for Mance's army.
    • In Act II, Loras is seen much more than he's heared, after having had a more active part in Act I.
  • Double Entendre: Right after "Hand-Holding", a song that is all about how much Ned and Robert care about each other, the narrator calls the Hand of the King position Ned accepted during the song a Hand-job. She also mentions that Ned next needs to meet Littlefinger, or, in her own words, "get a Littlefingering".
  • Friendship Song: "Hand-Holding", which is about the friendship Ned and Robert shared in their youth and their expectations of being a good team as King and Hand.
  • The Ghost: Several characters get demoted to this, so many in fact that it gets pointed out for some of them:
    • The raven serving as narrator first thinks she misread her cue card when she narrates about Ned Stark travelling to King's Landing with two daughters, due to only Sansa actually appearing in the play and Arya getting relegated to a few mentions.
    • During "I'll Be Back", Daenerys asks the audience to not ask her where Viserys is. It can easily be read as a nod both to Viserys being dead by that point and to the fact that Daenerys is the only Essos-located character seen in the play.
    • When Stannis burns the leeches to curse Joffrey, Balon and Robb, the fire's response to Balon's leech being thrown in is Balon's voice complaining about not being in the play.
    • Near the end of "Stark to Finish", the Red Wedding gets interrupted due to Catelyn getting baffled by Jaime's physical absence from the play. Robb points out the fact that Jaime's capture by the Starks was mentioned earlier in the play ("Hand of the King" and "Robb Stark"). To top things off, the early part of "Stark to Finish" itself alludes to Catelyn releasing Jaime.
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song: "King Robert Baratheon" is about how much of handful Robert was to both his parents and Jon Arryn as a child and a teen, got better thanks to Ned's influence, lead a sucessful rebellion, became King, quashed a rebellion, then let himself go. By the time the song finishes, the company is signing about Robert currently being in a brothel, fathering yet another bastard he won't pay any attention to.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: The Sand Snakes strong-arm and murder their way into becoming the narrators during Act II.
  • Hufflepuff House: The play's version of the War of the Five Kings is more of a War of the Four Kings, with the Iron Islands being the faction losing out. Both the Lannisters and Stannis seem to simply consider Balon just an extra person contesting their authority while considering each other the more immediate problem. The Lannisters ultimately only interact with the Starks, Stannis' faction and Renly's faction over the course of the play, while Stannis' faction only has confrontations with the Lannisters and Renly's faction. The Iron Islands ultimately only play a role in the Stark-focused portions of the story, and that role consists of raiding various parts of the North entirely off-stage and being the faction in favor of which Theon defects.
  • Interactive Narrator: The raven in Act I of the 2019 version. She interacts with the audience as a narrator, but also has a few exchanges with the characters when she deems it necessary to move things along.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child: This comes up concerning Tyrion:
    • He mentions this as one of the reasons he needs to prove himself to the rest of his family in "Hand of the King".
    • When Cersei fears that Tyrion's methods will get the entire rest of the Lannister family killed, she speaks of their mother as if she's Tyrion's current record of getting family members killed.
  • Misplaced Sorrow: If a person essential to her current plan to become Queen dies, Margaery tends to mourn the plan rather than the person who died.
  • Mundane Utility: Able to resurrect a dead body? Do it early enough after the death and it saves other people the trouble of needing to move it.
  • No Fourth Wall: The play keeps several Breaking the Fourth Wall moments from the Hamilton songs. On top of this, it has such things as characters casually pointing out differences between A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones or acting out romantic scenes between specific pairs to please the audience. The Interactive Narrator also tries to kick the Sand Snakes out for showing up too early and gets killed over it.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Many songs have this for various reasons:
    • "Hand-Holding", "Small Council", "Plot Development", "First Watch", "Red Woman", "No Waiting", "More Than Jest Friends", "Hisstorically Inaccurate", "The Dorne Identity", "Growing Concerned", "A H(e)art Inflamed", "Stark to Finish", "Opposing Council", "Hostile Witness", "Talk Less, Stab More", "Sword in the Darkness" and "The Storm's End" are all indicative of what the song is about, but don't actually appear in the lyrics.
    • "Stannis Refuted" and "Knight's Watch Defeated" inherit the feature from their respective Hamilton originals, "Farmer Refuted" and "Schuyler Defeated".
    • "Shae No To This" is the parody of "Say No To This", but retains none of the instances of the titular sentence.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Daenerys is one in the play. "I'll Be Back" reminds the audience that she doesn't have an heir and can't have children. "The Storm's End" has her point out that the turmoil that has happened by the end of Act II would make it a good time for her to try getting the throne... but that she first needs to conquer three different major cities on another continent than the one on which the rest of the characters live. "The Storm's End" is not only the last the audience sees of her, but the last song of the entire play.
  • Pokémon Speak: The play's version of Bronn only says his own name if he speaks at all. Hodor, the canonical holder of the trait, isn't in the play.
  • Pun-Based Title: "More Than Jest Friends" (jester + more than just friends), "Hisstorically Inaccurate" (a snake's hiss + historically inaccurate), "The Dorne Identity" (Dorne + The Bourne Identity), "Shae No To This" (Shae + "Say No To This"), "A H(e)art Inflamed", "Stark to Finish" (Stark + start to finish) and "Congratshaelations" (Shae + "Congratulations").
  • Shipper on Deck: The raven narrator states that she "ships it" after "First Watch". She isn't specific on whether she means Jon/Sam or Sam/Gilly.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: A frequent consequence of reducing the roles of some characters:
    • Lancel Lannister is given all the credit for actually killing Robert, but only gets a brief mention in "Plot Development".
    • Tyrion mentions his life getting saved by his squire near the end of "The Siege of King's Landing". The squire in question isn't heard of before nor after the fact.
    • Robb's wife isn't seen at all, but the fact that she isn't a Frey has a huge impact on the Stark storyline.
  • Song Parody: A decent portion of the Hamilton songs get this.
  • Succession Crisis: Robert's death creates one. Joffrey would have been Robert's proper heir if he had actually been Robert's son, but he's not and Joffrey's family won't let others take him off the throne without a fight. Stannis is the rightful heir, but quite unpopular. Renly has the backing of a family with a large army and their own ambitions to get more political power.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Oberyn volunteering to be Tyrion's Trial by Combat champion is phrased as one of those:
    Oberyn: Actually, I totally believe he's innocent, and I'm definitely not using it as an excuse to battle the Mountain in front of an audience for confession purposes.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Both "King Robert Baratheon" and "Hand-Holding" hold a big, shining beacon for fate. The former boasts about the mere fact that Robert is alive, while the latter has Ned and Robert sing of a future time in which both of them will be dead. Robert realizes this in "Hand-Holding" and goes out of his way to specify that they are imagining that time to be quite a few decades away.
    • Cersei reacts to Tyrion demanding Trial by Combat by saying that nobody is going to volunteer to be his champion with the Mountain representing the Crown. While the character who famously volunteered to be Tyrion's champion in both book and TV canons is in the room.
  • Truer to the Text: Zig-zagged considering the play’s parody nature, but quite a few elements make more of an appearance than they ever did in Game of Thrones:
    • Leo Lefford makes an appearance in "Hand of the King".
    • Roose Bolton wears pink, which is the main House Bolton color in the books. The TV show went with Red and Black and Evil All Over.
    • Sarella Sand is among the Sand Snakes.
    • The animosity between the Reach and Dorne, which was absent from the TV show.
    • Shae is played as the Gold Digger she is in the books.
    • A hairnet is used to get the poison used to kill Joffrey where it needs to be, while the accessory was changed to a necklace in the TV show.
    • Edric Storm serves as Melisandre’s source of King’s blood, while this part of his storyline was given to Gendry in the TV series.
    • Robb marries Jeyne Westerling in this version.
    • Coldhands and Ser Cortnay Penrose are among the name-dropped characters.
    • The actress playing Catelyn is also credited as playing Val, which indicates that the blonde Wildling woman seen in "Sword in the Darkness" is supposed to be her.
  • Twice-Told Tale: The play is its own blend of the book and TV continuities, but also clearly expects the audience to be familiar with at least one of the official versions of the story it’s telling. Plot elements can get anything from proper exposition to Adaptation Explanation Extrication, depending on the whims of the Interactive Narrator and characters. The fact that the plot is being retold with Hamilton songs is also best appreciated if the originals were listened to beforehand.
  • Understatement:
    • The following exchange from "Knight's Watch Defeated":
    Stannis: I never thought I'd have to kill my own Hand.
    Davos: As your Hand, I don't think that's very good plan.
    • After getting framed for murder and losing his Trial by Combat, Tyrion comments that he's "having a bad year".
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: "No waiting" from the 2019 version gets interrupted because a certain Lord Lin-Manuel of House Miranda sent a "cease and desist" notice due to too many similarities with "Wait for it". "Lady in Waiting" from the 2018 version covered the entire song, and was the one that retained the most lyrical similarities with its Hamilton counterpart.
  • Zombie Gait: A resurrected character leaves the stage walking with both arms in front of them.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


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