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I just started reading Game of Thrones. I’m probably not more than an hour (audiobook) into the story, but I was struck by a life lesson that one of the Lords bestows upon his son.

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.

He goes on to explain that when a leader hides behind an executioner, he forgets what death looks like. He should have to see the man’s eyes and hear his last words. If he does not have the stomach for it, then maybe the man does not deserve to die.

It makes me think of the death penalty. The people passing judgement are not the ones swinging the ax. I’m not even sure how we execute people. Is there a person involved? Could you be on a jury if the death penalty was on the table? What if you had to end that life with your own hands? Just some of the food for thought in the early chapters of Game of Thrones.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne