Game of Themes: Family Loyalty

CliffsNotes August 28, 2014



Game of Thrones

Blood is thicker than water, right? This week we’re delving into the literary theme of family loyalty. Since day numero uno, authors have been braiding this theme into their stories. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues (Romeo’s family) and the Capulets (Juliet’s family) suffer a bitter rivalry that essentially wipes them all out.

 Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women provides a very different example of family loyalty. The March sisters live in poverty with their mother, Marmee. Marmee’s asking Aunt March for money inspires one of the March sisters – Jo – to provide for her family too. Jo comes home with $25 for her family for cutting and selling her hair! How many girls do you know nowadays who would sacrifice all of their hair to provide for their family? #LoyalSis

Game of Thrones also knows a little somethin’ about family loyalty. While the Starks are littered across all of Westeros, each member finds him or herself on a quest to reunite. Their late patriarch, Ned Stark, was beheaded defending the honor of his family. Oh, and also because EVIL baby-king Joffrey didn’t like him.

Oberyn Martell (the sassy newcomer from Dorne) traveled to King’s Landing to seek revenge for his sister, who was murdered and raped by order of the Lannisters. If you’re up to date on the show, you know to what lengths Oberyn went to honor his sister and his family name.

The Lannisters also exemplify this “family-before-anything” credence. Jaime, as the heir to Casterly Rock, is forced by his father to sacrifice his oath as King’s Guard to continue the family line. Bossy Daddy Tywin forces Tyrion to marry Sansa Stark, a big no-no in this family feud. Remember, Tyrion’s nephew, the evil baby-king Joffrey, had her dad Ned executed! Oh yes, and the Starks and Lannisters started a war against one another thanks to all of the above.

PHEW! And you thought you had family drama! Your name and family are worth dying for in the realm of Westeros. They are dead serious about family loyalty – as in, be-loyal-to-the-family-or-you-are-dead serious. 

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