I love Game of Thrones, I’ve read all the books twice (and own them all) and have watched the whole show so far. I also love nationalism and unique national identifies, like those displayed in Europe. So I’ve decided to combine both my passions and match each of the main Nine houses of Westeros to a European country.
House Stark is very much so German. A proud Northern house with an obsession for Honor. The parallels do not end there, the common Stark saying “Ice and Iron” is very reminiscent of the phrase “Blood and Iron” coined by the German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck a little before WWI. The similarities continue, a main theme in the latest season of GoT was Jon Stark trying to unite the smaller houses that once pledged loyalty to house Stark to once again join through appeals to honor and shared history. This is much like how Prussia (and the Bismarck) tried to once again unite a broken Germany by appealing to honor and shared history.
The Targaryens are the house that put westeros on the map and civilized the continent. They are mythic and wielded technology far ahead of their time before it was all destroyed by a massive volcano blast. To me they are Greek/ancient Roman, the ancient Targaryen cities filled with advanced technology sound like the classical civilizations of Rome and Greece where modern day Westeros is the medieval age Europe. The massive volcano explosion that wiped away their civilization is reminiscent of Pompeii in Rome or Volcanic Eruption At Thera In 1646 BC not far from Crete. The main sell point is they were the first civilized men in Westeros just as the Greeks were in Europe
Red haired and river bound the House of Tully is very much so Irish. The first and most obvious comparison Is the trademark red hair they both share. The second and biggest give away is location. The Tully’s seat is the Riverlands which suprise, contains a lot if rivers and flat green planes. Ireland matches that description to the letter, and many of those rivers are famous for their Trout fishing locals, it just so happens that the Tully sigil is a trout. Also Tully is an Irish sur-name so thats a dead give away
Martel is Spain easy. The Water Garden which is the seat of House Martell was chosen to be a Spanish castle in the TV show, the executives obviously want the Martells to be associated with Spain. The house also shares a name Frankish statesman Charles “The Hammer” Martel (only one L) the man responsible for saving Europe from Islamic expansion and setting the table for the liberation of Spain from the Islamic Caliphate. Finally both Dorne (home of House Martell) and Spain are both large Peninsulas with similar climates.
House Tyrell could not be more French, Tyrell as a irl surname comes from old France. The Tyrells have one house sworn to them called the arbor which is famous for its golden wine, much like the champagne region of France. The coolest comparison I found is that both the French and the Tyrells share a history of chivalry. The Tyrells are considered the founders and heart of chivalry in Westeros, in our world chivalry was founded in France under Charlemagne and the word Chivalry even comes from old French. The French monarchy commonly used a lys, a type of flower simlar to a rose, as a sigil. You know who else uses a rose a sigil… House Tyrell
Greedy, inbred but undeniably powerful. These traits belong to two people, lannisters and *shutters* Anglos. The Lannisters are as British as it get, the name lannister is a twist on the very British surname Lancaster. The coat of arms for Lancaster sports a golden lion on a red field, just as the Lannister’s does. The name Lancaster comes from the city on northeast England which was hit hard by the Norman invasion, this explains the plantagenet lion on the crests. Making the Lannisters not only English, but Norman
House Greyjoy are kick ass vikings. Their house words are “we do not sow” referencing the fact they get a majority of their supplies not from farming but instead raiding and sacking costal towns (plus rayping the local women) much like Vikings. The sigil of House grey joy depicts a Kraken on a black field, the kraken is a very famous sea monster from Scandinavian mythology and equally Important to the people of the iron isles, the ancestral home of House Greyjoy. Greyjoy long ships also share similarities to viking warships. The people of the iron islands do not worship the main land gods, called “the seven”, but instead their own “drowned god”. This is reminiscent of how Scandinavian countries fought the spread of Christianity through Europe and clung to their pagan traditions.
House Baratheon is The balkans or the Austrian empire. Just like the real balkans house Baratheon is characterized by infighting. Robert representing the war like German/Austrian part, Stanis being the cold hard Slavic portion and Renly being the more warm blooded med portion. Just like the Austrian empire they were the top dog but we’re brought to their knees by infighting and England (Lannisters). What really suprised me was the geographical similarities between the balkans and the stormlands (the home if house Baratheon), both are described as having rocky shores and mountainous interiors. The super cool part was both are subject to abnormally powerful winds, the stormlands get their names from these winds while the balkans have something called the Bora which are extremely strong periods of wind and rain.
Switzerland through and through. This one is the shortest and simplest conection. House Arryn is known for two things, the tall mountains of the Vale that they call their home and being neutral during the War of The Five Kings. Switzerland is known for two things as well, the tall mountains of the Alps they call their home and staying neutral during the Two Great Wars. Also chocolate and watch making but I couldn’t find any real conections
hope you enjoyed this adventure into the nationality of the Nine main Houses of Westeros! Feel free to critique my picks in the comments or leave some love
See ya on the flip side,