Game of Thrones: Night King’s 10 Leadership Lessons

Night King’s rule demonstrated the consistency of strengths and weaknesses that define many dictatorships throughout history.

Season 8 of the TV series Game of Thrones demonstrates the main strengths and weaknesses of dictatorship very clearly, from the Inca Empire to Stalin’s Communist project.

(================= possible spoilers alert====================)N


  • Unsurpassed ability to concentrate all available resources on a task of the highest priority.
  • Short response times, quick cycles of learning and innovation.
  • High maneuverability. No effort wasted on building consensus and following the rules.
  • Lower maintenance.
  • High ability to absorb peripheral shocks and tolerate attrition.
  • Political cohesion and ideological consistency.


  • Extreme vulnerability to any failure at the top level, like incapacitation of the dictator, his miscalculations, isolation, treason of a key aide or gatekeeper.
  • A shallow pool of talent and a narrower range of experimentation and learning.
  • Fragility: poor at regrouping under pressure and reassembling itself under a changed framework.
  • Power succession is a critical, almost never successful, bottleneck.
Game of Thrones Night Kings merit list
Game of Thrones: Night King’s merit list

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