Game of Thrones has undoubtedly carved out a place for itself as one of the most celebrated television shows of the 21st century. Adapted from George R. R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series, it transports viewers to the intricate and treacherous world of Westeros and Essos.
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This sprawling narrative introduces us to a vast ensemble of characters, each with their own ambitions and destinies, as they navigate the unforgiving and fantastical realms of Westeros and Essos. Within this intricate web of power struggles, alliances, and betrayals, the noble houses of Westeros stand as pillars of influence. These great houses wield authority as Wardens of specific regions, exerting control over Westeros’ economic and political landscapes.
Throughout the show’s gripping eight seasons, these noble houses leave an indelible mark on the story, shaping the destiny of Westeros and its people. While some may fade into obscurity by the series’ end, their legacies and contributions remain etched in the annals of television history. Game of Thrones, with its intricate storytelling and compelling characters, continues to be a cultural phenomenon that captivated audiences worldwide.
House Tyrell, known as the Lords of the Reach, held a unique position of power in Westeros. Their fertile lands and agricultural prowess made them the primary suppliers of food to King’s Landing and much of the Seven Kingdoms. At the helm of this influential house was the formidable Olenna Tyrell, a matriarch known for her shrewdness and wit.
Yet, the fate of House Tyrell takes a tragic turn as Game of Thrones reaches its conclusion. The explosive destruction of the Sept of Baelor claims the lives of Mace, Margaery, and Loras Tyrell. Shortly thereafter, Jaime Lannister carries out Olenna’s execution under Cersei’s orders. This grim chain of events results in the official extinction of House Tyrell. Mace, leaving no illegitimate heirs, and Margaery and Loras perishing without children, mark the end of this once-prominent house.
House Tyrell, known for its cunning and adaptability, had risen to power after Aegon’s Conquest. With its resilience, it might have eventually recovered from this devastating blow. Unfortunately, Cersei’s ruthless actions leave no Tyrell alive to carry on their legacy, rendering their house extinct in the garden of Westerosi noble houses.
House Tully, the Lords Paramount of the Trident from their stronghold Riverrun, initially emerges as a formidable force in the Game of Thrones saga. They solidify their influence through strategic marriages, such as Cat’s union with the Starks and Lysa’s marriage to the Arryns, positioning themselves as key players.
However, the course of House Tully takes a tragic turn during the infamous “Rains of Castamere” episode, one of the series’ most iconic moments. A significant portion of their forces perishes, with Edmure Tully being taken captive by the Freys. This leaves Riverrun’s defense in the hands of his uncle, the Blackfish. The Blackfish’s valiant stand against the Lannister army eventually leads to his demise, and Riverrun falls under the control of the Freys. Only after the war against the Lannisters concludes does Edmure regain his freedom, yet his abilities in both battle and politics appear limited, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the future of House Tully.
House Tully, once a force to be reckoned with, now faces a precarious and uncertain future in the ever-shifting landscape of Westeros.
t the outset of the series, House Baratheon enjoys a commanding position, with Robert ruling from the Iron Throne, Stannis overseeing Dragonstone, and Renly holding sway as Master of Coin and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands. Joffrey, Robert’s supposed heir, solidifies their dominion over Westeros.
Yet, beneath the surface, cracks in their legacy begin to appear. Stannis and Robert’s lack of legitimate heirs casts a shadow of uncertainty over the family’s future. The three Baratheon brothers meet their fates due to their own ambitions and actions, leaving House Baratheon seemingly extinct. However, a glimmer of hope emerges as Daenerys legitimizes Gendry after the Long Night, breathing new life into House Baratheon.
As the series concludes, House Baratheon finds itself surprisingly revived, though Gendry’s inexperience as a lord may pose challenges as they navigate the complex political landscape of Westeros. Their future remains uncertain, but House Baratheon, once on the brink of extinction, has been granted a second chance to thrive in the evolving world of Westeros.
The Martells, known for their defiance during Aegon’s Conquest, had a unique path to joining the Seven Kingdoms through marriage rather than blood. For much of Game of Thrones, they remained on the fringes of the main events. However, the arrival of the charismatic Oberyn Martell in season 4 brought them into the spotlight as he sought vengeance for his sister’s death, ultimately meeting his own demise and sparking conflicts with the Lannisters.
Their allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen took a toll on their original succession line, with the Sand Snakes orchestrating the deaths of Prince Doran and Prince Trystane. Despite these losses, the Martells emerged from the war relatively intact, especially after Cersei dealt with the Sand Snakes. As the series concluded, a new Prince took the helm, although his identity remains shrouded in mystery, partly due to the show’s uneven handling of the Dorne plot.
While the proud kingdom appeared to be integrating into the Seven Kingdoms without actively pursuing independence, it left lingering questions about the Martells’ future role in a transformed Westeros. The once-feared viper seemed to have lost some of its bite by the series’ end.
House Arryn, known for its seclusion and reluctance to engage in conflicts, kept a safe distance from the chaos of Westeros. The Lords of the Vale refrained from participating in the War of the Five Kings, intervening only when Littlefinger manipulated young Robyn into aiding Sansa Stark in her quest to reclaim the North. However, Robyn remained within the protective walls of the Eyrie, and the Knights of the Vale suffered minimal losses during the Battle of the Bastards.
Remarkably, House Arryn concluded Game of Thrones with little change from its initial state. Robyn continued to hold the title of Lord Paramount of the Vale, commanding arguably the most formidable army in Westeros. His trusted advisors ensured his well-being, and his cousins held influential positions as the Queen in the North and the King of the Six Kingdoms, both indebted to him.
The Arryns adeptly navigated the game of thrones by, in essence, not actively participating. While the show’s finale left much to be desired, it treated House Arryn favorably, allowing them to maintain their secure position.
In the closing moments of Game of Thrones, the Targaryens find themselves in a rather dire situation. Daenerys meets her end, carried away by Drogon to an undisclosed location, while Jon faces exile beyond the Wall, wrestling with his Targaryen lineage and contemplating renouncing it.
Nevertheless, even if Jon were to disavow his family name, he remains a Targaryen with significant influence among the free folk. He may not claim the title of King Beyond the Wall, but he will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the new way of life for these independent communities. As for Daenerys, one mustn’t dismiss the possibility of her return. Game of Thrones has seen its fair share of character resurrections, and dragons, possessing near-human intelligence, could have transported her to an enigmatic destination from which she might reemerge. So, while the series concludes with the Targaryens seemingly vanquished, history has taught us that few forces can truly extinguish a dragon’s flame.
When it comes to playing the game of thrones, the Lannisters are undoubtedly the masters. Tywin’s ruthlessness paved the way for his family’s ascendancy, orchestrating Cersei’s marriage to Robert and propelling the Lions of the Rock to the very pinnacle of Westerosi power. Granted, Cersei, Tyrion, and Jaime might not have quite matched Tywin’s cunning, but they held their own, playing the game with a tad more shortsightedness.
Despite their imperfections, the Lannisters managed to maintain their dominance throughout Game of Thrones. Cersei ascended to the throne as the Queen of Westeros, while Tyrion served as the capable Hand of the Queen to Daenerys. Even after the dust settled from the war, Tyrion continued to wield power as the Hand of the King to Bran, ensuring the Lannisters retained their prominent position in the political landscape of Westeros. And let’s not forget that Tyrion still had the option of entering into a strategic marriage and securing the Lannister lineage, erasing any concerns of their family line fading into obscurity. In the end, it’s safe to say the lions of House Lannister roared triumphantly.
The Starks, in the end, emerged as the undeniable victors of the game. They may not have been the most adept players, but they possessed a unique strength: unity. Unlike the other houses, they stood together, complementing each other’s weaknesses and presenting a united front that ultimately secured their survival and rise to prominence.
In the grand scheme of things, no other house enjoyed a more favorable outcome than the Starks. Sansa rules as the Queen in the North, Bran assumes the throne as the King of the Six Kingdoms, and Jon, exiled as he may be, becomes a prominent figure among the free folk. The Starks’ status as the most powerful family in Westeros is crystal clear as the curtains close on Game of Thrones. While many of the show’s storylines remain open-ended, the resounding victory of the Starks stands as the most conclusive and triumphant development in the grand finale.