There is no shortage of complexities within HBO's incredibly successful flagship series, Game of Thrones. Between the masterfully crafted story, the incredibly believable characters and the painstakingly detailed world, the entire Game of Thrones experience comes across as a very human one. There are some very valuable lessons to be learned from the fantastic world of Westeros and Essos - most of which are pertinent in the real world (maybe with the exception of anything having to do with Dragons.) So here's ten things we learned from Game of Thrones.
Please Note - there ARE SPOILERS here. So if you haven't caught up with season 3, tread VERY lightly through this article. Otherwise, you may see something you're going to hate (and it definitely won't be our fault.)
1) Life Is A Shade Of Gray...
...kind of like dirty snow. We start out all clean and white, but inevitably, a truck or plow comes by and piles a bunch of crap on top of us, making us look a little less pristine. If there's one thing Game of Thrones does, it's show us that there are very few purely good and purely bad guys in reality. Good people do bad things, and bad people do good things.
Unlike many highly fantastical stories, the Game of Thrones series doesn't polarize "Good" and "Evil" as inherent and mutually exclusive. We are all products of our environments, and that life really isn't as easy as black and white, Sauroman and Gandalf, Harry Potter and Voldemort.
2) Always Pay Your Debts
Lannisters - love em' or hate em' - their words are spot on. Always, ALWAYS pay your debts. There are a zillion reasons why. Because, your house or car might get repoed, Lannisters might kill you or because you might bankrupt an entire kingdom. The boons of having a good credit score are multitudinous and generally good for your well being.
3) People Die Easy, Memories Die Hard
It's very easy to get rid of individuals. Westeros has no shrotage of assassins, mercenaries, starved and depraved individuals who will slit a throat for a groat (fun fact - that's a type of Westerosi coin.) The problem is, whatever they were killed for leaves a legacy that doesn't die so easily.
In fact, killing someone important often makes them a martyr, and arguably, their legacy becomes more dangerous than they ever were. So if you, for example, slaughter a man and his family under your own roof in the guise of hospitability, that's something the world will forever remember.
4) For the Night Is Dark...
...And full of pretty much everything that wants you to die in the most uncomfortable way possible. White walkers, Faceless Men, treacherous Qartheen and strange red-haired women who give birth to shadow babies. Just remember - things can ALWAYS get worse. Don't ever fall into the "well at least it's not raining" trap - because when life trips you up, it usually serves up a kick-in-the-balls while your down there.
The key is really knowing how to weather the storm at it's absolute worst, and preparing for things to hit the rockier bottom below rock bottom.
5) Some Minds Are Sharper Than Swords
If there's one thing I've learned from Game of Thrones, it's that wit and thinking on your feet will keep you alive considerably longer than a broadsword. From Tyrion's clever manipulation of the jailer at the Eyrie, to his ability to leverage the tribesmen of the Vale, and his excellent stewardship of Kings Landing while his father was away, the smallest of the Lannisters exemplifies what it means to have a mind as sharp as a tack.
Had Tyrion failed in any of his endeavors, he would have easily been overpowered by those who were physically stronger than him. However, Tyrion proves again and again that a strong mind can keep a strong arm at arms length.