Life Lessons From the Men of Game of Thrones
A few weeks ago, we did a piece on lessons fans could learn from the ladies of Game of Thrones. The women of Westeros have continually proven brave and ferocious, with an intellect to rival their male counterparts. However, most GoT men lack the levelheaded clarity that women like Dany, Brienne, and Catelyn Stark seem to share. Essentially, they constitute some of the worst role models in the Seven Kingdoms. It’s usually wiser to do as they say, not as they do. And even then…
Nevertheless, there are a few rays of sunshine that pierce the clouds (no, that’s not dragon’s breath).
Fight for what is right and good.
You know the quote from The Dark Knight, the one where Gordon says Batman isn’t the hero we need but the one we deserve? Well, Jon Snow is the hero we need AND deserve by now, goddamnit. Every Sunday night when I’m screaming and yelling at the television to do as I say and team up with this nobleman or spare that fool, Jon’s presence silences me. He consistently surrounds himself with capable supervisors and loyal friends, and above all else he is committed to doing what is right. His moral compass is made of Valyrian steel as is his dedication to his family. In a bloody game of crowns and power, Jon is a rare leader who understands people’s plights and who actually cares. And he will selflessly do what’s right until he dies…again.
Stand for what you believe in.
The Little John to Jon’s Robin Hood, Tormund is the perfect soldier, but not just because he is a savage fighter. Tormund knows a great leader when he sees one, and, once enlisted, nothing shakes his loyalty. Even after Mance Rayder’s death, Tormund continues to carry on Mance’s ideas of freedom and comradeship under the Jon’s leadership. He is a simple man of simple principles, and we wouldn’t have him any other way.
Learn from your mistakes.
The beauty of Davos is his unending modesty, and with such modesty he consistently recognizes his own faults. He admits his mistakes, carries them around with him (literally), and learns from them. He believed in all the good things about Stannis, but he knew when it was time to move on to a more capable commander. Time and time again, he reconciles with foes (Melisandre, wildlings, Brienne) and seeks to understand his shortcomings as well as theirs. Season two Davos would never sought out the Red Woman’s advice or sought her help in bringing back Jon Snow. After the Battle of the Bastards, Davos held tight the pouch that contained the finger bones Stannis cut off as punishment for smuggling, reminding us that, even in times of victory, Davos never forgets the man he used to be and those who aided him in becoming a better man.
Don’t be afraid to break familial chains.
Now I’m not saying anyone should shoot their father with a crossbow while he sits on the toilet. However, Tywin Lannister’s death allowed Tyrion to realize he didn’t have to live by his family’s expectations. His journey towards independence and self-actualization led him to the queen of dragons, where he has embarked on his greatest work as an advisor. As Tyrion constantly reminds Dany—and himself—they are not their fathers, and they are so much more than a family name. Breaking away from family, in any way, can be terrifying and intimidating, but it allowed Tyrion to see himself as an individual rather than a cog in a larger machine.
His next step? Hopefully hopping onto one of those dragons (*cough* Viserion *cough*) and flying beside his queen.