Night and day for months now, one single question has nagged at the back and front recesses of my troubled mind. I go to sleep thinking about it, mull over it while sipping my morning coffee, and try not to let it get in the way of my day-to-day business of being a semi-attentive stay-at-home mom. The Question: If I were a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones, who would I be?

This question is essential because right now I am sitting on the couch while my ten-month old son takes his afternoon nap. I spent the first half an hour looking back and forth from the goings on out the window, over to admiring my snoring dog on his cushy pillow bed. After I was done with that I cleaned baby bottles. I did the same thing yesterday during naptime. Sometimes, I can’t help but worry that this is what it looks like to slowly die, and I’m not even making it look interesting.

Don’t tell anybody, but deep down I suspect I was meant to be a queen.

Whenever I risk taking a look in the mirror, in my empty hands I imagine a sword and scepter, on my bare head a majestic crown, over my poor-postured back, a heavy regal cloak. Instead, what’s actually staring back at me is an unkempt 30 year-old wearing frayed yoga pants and a baggy t-shirt. Who is this drab stranger staring back at me?

No thanks to the recent onslaught of Zimbio quiz results posted on social media, my identity has been placed under strange self-speculation. I am daily faced with sort of unnecessary life questions like “What Country Are You?” or “What Kind of Tree Are You?” (Belgium and Palm Tree, if you’re interested). Other times these quizzes go deep into the machinery of who I am and crack the heavier, more crucial codes like “Which Friday Night Lights Character Are You?” or “What Infectious Disease Are You?” (Tami Taylor and Necrotizing Fasciitis). With online quizzes, after answering five or ten scientific leading questions (ex. Double Bubble or Big League Chew?) any non-psychologist can now tap into the wonky mystery behind the jigsaw puzzle of what it means to be a human.

Yesterday I finally came across the opportunity to learn which character I most resemble from Game of Thrones. The results were perfection, everything I wanted to hear:


But here’s The Problem: when I take these quizzes (which is all the time), I answer the questions through the eyes of the Me whom I wish I really were. On Zimbio, I can be whoever I want to be.

And so in Game of Thrones, I am Daenerys, who also goes by Khaleesi, the Mother of Dragons. I’m a total bombshell badass. I have long blond hair and wear leather strappy two-piece sexy-warrior suits. I raise dragons and have handmaidens who do my hair and cook my food. I command a humongous army of freed slaves who worship me. I’m always saying the most inspiring thing you’ve ever heard. I get out of bed with purpose. If I ruled the Iron Throne, all would be well in Westeros.

But the truth is that “gentle” is not a word you’d pick to describe me – unless the definition of “gentle” has evolved to mean, “intense” or “bull in china shop.” And the only names I’m taking or people I generally even interact with are 20 lbs and ten months old. It’s true, I could take him if I wanted to. But I don’t. He’s my son.

640It pains me to admit that Daenerys may not actually be my Thrones counterpart. Unfortunately though, there isn’t a character on the show who’s controlling beyond your wildest imagination, has streaks of violence, greed, insanity, and is wildly manipulative and unpredictable. Oh wait, yes there is, and he’s the terrifying boy-villain, Joffrey Baratheon. If I’m being honest, there’s another, more truthful way I could take the Game of Thrones quiz and end up with he as my character-counterpart. Every morning I wake up feeling painstakingly aware of these two dueling forces within me – Joffrey verses Daenerys. The Joffrey in me wants power, money, control, it wants to spit obscenities, and have my way at all costs. The Daenerys wants to be gentle, beautiful, adventurous, and to fight for goodness and freedom. The amalgamation of these two polar tendencies is a drab and fearful 30 year-old in frayed yoga pants and a baggy t-shirt who often sits on the couch and stares blankly out the window, paralyzed with self-doubt. Because the Joffrey in me almost always wins the day. And so I keep him locked up as best I can. I stare nervously at the front door and wonder who the world will see today – Bruce Banner or the Hulk? The answer seems out of my jurisdiction entirely.

If I reply honestly in the “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” quiz, I am Joffrey Baratheon. This truth, recognizing ones own sin and darkness, can be utterly debilitating. But that’s not all she wrote (or GRRM for that matter). Christ’s loving sacrifice on the cross means that crazy King Joffrey is slain once and for all. Light has overcome the darkness. And suddenly, to my surprise, the world really does seem like it could be mine for the taking.

It is only when I have the supernatural wherewithal to admit defeat and recognize my wealth of shortcomings that I can actually get up off the couch and face the day, sword in hand, dragons circling fiercely overhead. In that confession of weakness and inability, The Strength that surpasses all understanding fills me like blessed air in a limp balloon. A reflection of my maker, I am almost queen-like. And from nothing of my own doing I inexplicably reach out to open the front door. I look down and one foot seems to be moving in front of the other. I’m out. The sun is warm and the breeze is right and I experience a day that’s as close to interesting and exciting and genuinely perfect as days can get. This side of Westeros, that is.