At its core, Game of Thrones is a story about family. It is about how far one must be willing to go to protect one’s family. It is about choosing which family one belongs to, and in making that decision, whether blood ties reign supreme or whether “adopted” families can be one’s true family. It is about the power that stems from one’s family connections. It is about marriage bonds, which are meant to tie two families together in alliance or two people together in love, and what happens when such bonds are broken. These are among the topics that we will discuss in this series regarding the role of family in Game of Thrones.
In the medieval world of Game of Thrones, power seems to come from blood connections, for blood is, after all, what ties families together, and it is family that determines one’s position in the world. It is from blood that the nobles and aristocrats of this world earn their wealth, their power, and their influence. Even the right to be a leader—to be king—is inherited through blood. Even so, we often see exceptions to this rule. Some characters, like Littlefinger, are able to rise to power through their own ambition and cunning without the aid of any blood connections. Some families are tied together by something other than blood: an oath, a common goal, a shared belief, or simply convenience. Sometimes, the importance of blood is purposely ignored and tossed out the window in favor of other interests.
The following post contains SPOILERS from Game of Thrones. Do not proceed unless you wish to see the discussion of MAJOR PLOT POINTS from Season 3. (more…)