Explaining The Ukraine Crisis Using 'Game Of Thrones': 7 Things They Have In Common

Is that Vladimir Putin or Tywin Lannister? When it comes to the Russian Federation and the reigning puppetmaster in Game of Thrones, sometimes it can be hard to tell one land-grabbing lord from another. Russia's early 2014 annexation of Crimea has nearly sprung into a full-fledged war of the (G)7 Kingdoms, so there's no time like the present to start figuring out what the heck is going on over there. We're here to expound on the similarities between Game of Thrones' Westeros and real-live Russia, so you can explain what's happening with Ukraine to your buddies too glued to HBO to know what's going on in the world. Explaining sans-GIFs is hard work, after all.

No metaphor is perfect, and the George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones universe is almost as complicated as the real world's. This isn't meant to be a perfect analogy, but a quick way to talk about unfolding geopolitics in GIFs featuring your favorite TV show, which everybody's game for, right?

There's some fancy footwork going on here.

At times, Ukraine has really been played.

It's hard to tell whether the ruling party is super rich or actually has no assets at all.

It's a secret.

And speaking of, we really don't know how much money Putin has. Remember, Putin, the Iron Bank always gets paid in the end.

There's a badass female ruler involved.

Yeah, we're talking about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, what of it?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

There's some masked soldiers who seem suspiciously well-trained in combat.

Like, "Oh, I thought it was just a masked man, but WHOOPS, it's definitely more than that."

What's up with the blonde guys who always seem to be seated on the throne?

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Who's the rightful leader here? Something seems a little off. Maybe even incestuous.

Oh, and the main guy looks pretty good astride a horse.

Like we said: Tywin, or Putin?

And what's with all the dogs?

Puppies everywhere.

Image: HBO, Getty Images