If you’re well-acquainted with HBO’s Game of Thrones series, you may not realize that in addition to the excitement of rivalry, war and brow-raising scenes, you’re getting sound financial advice. Tonight’s Game of Thrones season premiere brings with it the wise house words of the families residing in the land of Westeros. These family mottoes as broad as they are, carry important lessons on topics like banking, saving money, and planning for your future.
Money Mottoes From the Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, the creator of the Song of Ice and Fire book series — of which A Game of Thrones is an installment — probably wasn’t thinking about personal finance when he crafted the house words into the story.
Many of the mottoes, however, provide great examples of how to set yourself up for financial success.
House Tully of Riverrun: “Family, Duty, Honor”
To get a better understanding of your financial priorities, itemize your bills and take note of details like interest rates, balances on each account or debt and the minimum monthly payment requirement for each. Then, determine your personal goals (e.g. paying off credit card debt, budgeting for a new home, etc.) and align financial responsibilities accordingly.
House Stark of Winterfell: “Winter is Coming”
Game of Thrones’ house Stark has literally had its motto, “winter is coming,” hit home as the great house was dismantled one by one — it just goes to show that even when circumstances are good, you always need to prepare for the worst.
The same principle goes with your finances. While you may be living comfortably now and have a well-paying job, the reality is that at any time your fortune can take a downward turn. To stay ahead of financial dangers, develop an emergency fund to cover at least six months of expenses and help you weather the storm.
House Lannister of Casterly Rock: “A Lannister Always Pays His Debts”
Sure, “a Lannister always pays his debts” is the unofficial motto of this elite house, but given that house Lannister is considered one of the wealthiest families in Westeros, the saying has evidently paid off — whether Lannisters pay adversaries what is owed in money or in death.
Attending to your financial responsibilities is a huge component of this family motto. Utilize tools like Mint.com, calendar alerts or automatic bill-pay to remind you to pay your debt on time each month.
House Targaryen of Dragonstone: “Fire and Blood”
Game of Thrones season 2 unveiled more about house Targaryen and the premiere of Game of Thrones season 3 showed off more of their prized dragons. While the TV series begins after the Targaryen reign, the house won its way to the crown by unleashing its secret weapon: dragons. These mythical creatures gave the Targaryens the edge they needed to secure the iron throne for almost 300 years prior to King Robert.
You’ll need to identify a secret weapon or resource of your own to turn to when you need to nail down a financial win. Whether that’s establishing a better line of communication with your stock broker or soliciting the advice of other financial professionals, forge bonds with those who can help you better your economic prospects.
House Tyrell: “Growing Strong”
House Tyrell had more of a prominent role in Game of Thrones season 3 with Margaery Tyrell’s betrothal to King Joffrey. As the primary house of the Reach, the Tyrells know the importance of always keeping a pulse on King’s Landing and the Iron Throne, in one way or another, in hopes of one day gaining influence over the other kingdoms.
The takeaway from house Tyrell words of “growing strong” is that you must continuously grow your funds wherever the opportunity presents itself. Perhaps you don’t necessarily need to go so far as marrying your daughter to royalty, but being aware of how you can grow your funds through certificates of deposits, money market accounts or other high-yield deposit account can help keep your green thriving.
House Baratheon: “Ours is the Fury”
To maintain control over your financial situation, it’s important to understand that improving your current circumstances (e.g. heavy credit card debt, underwater mortgage, etc.) requires constant determination. In hard times, maintaining the fury by doing proactive things like improving your credit score or resolving to remain debt-free are what keep you competitive.
Game of Thrones Season Premiere
As the series continues forward for a four season, viewers can expect to learn more lessons of betrayal, life, war — and with a closer look — money. To follow along on this epic story and glean more words from the Game of Thrones, watch the Game of Thrones season premiere airing on HBO tonight, April 6, at 9 p.m.
(Top photo: screenshot of HBO Game of Thrones Season 3 Trailer; house sigils courtesy of Futurehaus)