Here at HitchSwitch, we know the significant value behind a name. Whether it’s a name given to us at birth, a name we’ve chosen for ourself, or a name we’ve taken from our partner, we know a name is a whole identity. It is how people come to know us, to identify us, and to remember us. The value a name holds goes beyond the characters it consists of. A great example of the importance of name can be found in HBO’s Game of Thrones, where a character’s House name says everything about them.
According to HBO, the most epic fantasy show ever created has gathered a staggering 17.4 million viewers on the night of its premiere, breaking any previous records it held! If you’ve seen GoT news, memes, or spoilers all over your feed and have yet to watch the Emmy award-winning show, then you seriously need to get on it now.
The show’s power to trigger all emotions has left its audience invested and engaged. Since the first season aired in 2011, people from all over the world watched as their favorite characters started as weak and powerless, to overcoming their vulnerability. Some of our favorites made it through and rose back into power, and others got their genitals cut off and almost died.
Thanks to George R.R Martin’s unwavering will to kill off any character I’ve loved, I have spent the majority of the first seven seasons with a box of tissues glued to my lap. But I will tell you this; it is immensely satisfying watching the characters of the show go from being in a dark and vulnerable place to reclaiming what is rightfully theirs and demanding their right to power.
Here’s how our favorite characters evolved over the past eight seasons.
Names play an essential role in this show. Characters will always present themselves with the title of their House. There’s no doubt that names affect how others will perceive them. The sigil of the Starks is a direwolf on a white field (snow), a fierce creature that emerges from the depths of the cold, and is forever loyal to their owners. The Starks are also obnoxiously loyal, but their loyalty is what got most of them killed. The words of House Stark are some of the most prominent throughout eight seasons: Winter is Coming.
Jon Snow: So beautiful. So innocent. His whole life, Jon has been playing the bastard and downplayed by everyone. After joining the Night’s Watch, becoming a spy beyond the wall, dying and coming back to life, Jon is ready to head back home to Winterfell in a scrumptious man bun and few battle scars where he’s named King in the North. After befriending Dany, we have yet to see what’s in store for the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Sansa Stark: Sansa starts out a foolish young girl, who was in love with the queen’s son. After witnessing her father’s execution at the hand of her future husband, her character undergoes a drastic change. Sansa goes through hell as she was held prisoner at King’s Landing, but eventually escapes. Her shift in wardrobe hints that she’s not that foolish little girl anymore, but a leader ready to take back her power and kill for revenge.
Arya Stark: By far, Arya Stark has undergone the most changes. She was one of the youngest characters to debut on GoT, and she has survived on her own after her father’s execution. She disguises herself as a boy and befriends The Faceless Man. She is taught sword fighting, and how to be a trained assassin. In fact, she avenges her family by killing Walder Frey for what happened at The Red Wedding. We see her in season 8 all grown up, her weapons on her side, and ready to kick some ass.
When someone says Targaryen, you automatically think white hair and the Mother of Dragons. The sigil of this House is a three-headed dragon on a black field. There’s a long history behind the Targaryen rule, which yes, ended mostly in fire. After their nation of Valyria was destroyed, Aegon Targaryen and his sisters flew to Westeros on three dragons and destroyed anyone and anything that stood in their way. Their House words are “Fire and Blood,” so maybe it’s best to give them what they want…
Daenerys Targaryen: The definition of “started from the bottom; now we’re here.” Dany started out meek and submissive, and unable to get her way. After marrying a Dothraki, she found her inner power and took control after her Khal Drogo died. With three baby dragons behind her, Dany begins preparation to take back the Iron Throne. Little by little, she builds an army and makes a name for herself. We see her in the eight seasons with Jon Snow, planning to fight the Night King.
Throughout the seasons, you hear the common phrase “A Lannister always pays their debts,” but did you know their House words are “Hear me Roar”? Talk about obnoxious. We learn that a Lannister always does pay their debts, and not always in money. Their sigil is a golden rampant lion on a red field, to show off their royalty, wealth, and strength. Don’t forget that the lion is the king of the jungle. If you’re going to pick an animal to represent your strength and power, it might as well be that.
Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion’s character was immediately lovable from the very beginning. He was the ugly duckling of the family, but his sharp wits knew no bounds. He stood for what was right, and his kind nature made him tolerable to others. After being falsely accused of Joffrey’s murder, he fled to Essos where he’d later become Hand of the Queen to Daenerys Targaryen. At the beginning of the show, we see that he was desperately trying to uphold the Lannister name, but feeling unwanted, he paved his own path to power.
Jaime Lannister: If you were to tell me that this guy was going to be my absolute favorite character by the end of the show, I would not have believed you. Jaime was extremely loyal to Cersei, and his love for her is what made him a prisoner of Robb Stark. After getting his right hand cut off, Jaime barely escaped with his life and traveled back to King’s Landing. With some help, he was taught to sword fight with one hand. Due to the journey he experienced on the road back home, Jaime’s perspective has changed, and he’s not the same person we loathed in season one.
As the characters developed, they’ve grown to realize the meaning of honor, integrity, and the power a name can hold. With the last season in play, it’s challenging to foreshadow what will happen. After all, this is a show that killed off its main character in season one (Ned Stark). Regardless, it’s best to wait and see, and pray your favorites don’t get killed off.