Written by Stannah at 4th April 2019

"Game of Thrones": The Epic Fantasy Series That Conquered the World!

Fans all over the world have been waiting over a year for Game of Thrones to finally return, so Stannah went to Westeros to find out everything you need to know and see what all the fuss is about!

stairlift-throne-of-independence

“Winter is here.”

The Iron Stairlift is a “throne” you’ve probably never seen before! It’s straight out of our Game of Thrones stairlift collection and is trimmed in several-hundred-year-old, still-sharp swords to complete the look. Well……No, even though we do have a vast array of options to make your stairlift your own, turning it into the Iron Throne is not one of them! To be honest, it doesn’t seem very safe or comfortable anyway.

Do you watch the epic fantasy show that surpassed all other HBO series and costs around $15 million dollars per episode to make? Or maybe your children or grandchildren are fans?

If you do watch it, keep reading to jump back into the enchanting world that George RR Martin, the genius behind GoT, created. But even if you’ve never seen a single episode and want to discover what this is all about, join us as we take a tour of this world – once you’re in you’ll never want to leave!

Table of Contents

Guide to Game of Thrones 
Printable map of “Westeros” to guide you through the story: know everything without watching it all!
Why do we love Game of Thrones?

 

Guide to Game of Thrones 

Most of the characters in Game of Thrones belong to a specific house or family, with their own sigil and moto. Our sigil is, of course, the faithful Swallow, and do you know what our motto “Dulcius Domo Sedere” means? Read on to find out the answer!

What is Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones is a drama fantasy television series, which was adapted from George R. R. Martin’s epic book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.. It’s an intricate story featuring 9 noble families set in a fantasy medieval magical world full of drama, intrigue, action, love and so much more. The television series was created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, both American producers, (screen)writers and novelists. In this article we will be focussing on the television series in anticipation of its latest, and final, season – season eight!

Credit: By Henry Söderlund

The tv-show has been enormously popular ever since its debut in April 2011 and has only grown over the last 7 years.

Author:                                               George R.R. Martin
Books:                                                  5
Languages translated into:               47
Seasons:                                              7 (8 in 2019)
Episodes:                                             67
Ratings S01:                                        2.52 million (average)
Ratings S07:                                        10.25 million (average)
Total awards:                                     244
Countries aired in:                            170

The image below clearly shows how immensely the show has grown over the last few years, starting with an average of 2.52 million views in season 1 to a staggering 10.26 million in season 7!

Source: Nielsen Media Research

The importance of senior characters

One of the most important aspects that makes this particular story an incredible success is the complexity and uniqueness of the characters.  Not only is the number of characters impressive, but the way in which they evolve, from what they start out as when they are introduced to the audience, into something the viewer never expected, is astounding every time. The variety of personalities, backgrounds, history, physical features and ages all contribute to making this one of the most complex and intriguing tales ever created for the small screen.

Wordsmith George R.R Martin created characters of all ages, just like we encounter in real life, empowering the older and wiser characters just as much as the younger ones (or maybe even more). That’s one of the aspects that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat – the characters don’t fit any stereotypes, and can change at the blink of an eye, showing us another side to their multifaceted character. Without getting into any spoilers, let’s look at some of the most important senior characters. Do you know any of them?

Lady Olenna Tyrell – “The Queen of Thorns” played by 80-year-old actress Dame Diana Rigg. Lady Olenna is the matriarch of House Tyrell. Her nickname comes from their House sigil which is a golden rose – the thorns signify her fierceness, power and ambition, the latter of which sometimes borders on maliciousness. She has one of the sharpest minds of all the GoT characters and is a very cunning player in the game of thrones. She not only gives grace and stature to her age group but is a great symbol of empowerment for women. A great example of this is when she grooms her granddaughter Margaery to take over from her, instead of her son whom she deems of lesser intelligence. Even though Westeros is a completely fictional world, unfortunately, it does mirror the real world when it comes to gender inequality. Lady Olenna is also the mastermind behind the assassination of one of the most hated characters, which the viewer only discovers much later, after it has happened. All of these factors combined make her one of the most important and memorable characters.

Tywin Lannister – “The Most Powerful Man in Westeros “played by 71-year-old actor Charles Dance. One of the most detested, feared and respected characters, Tywin is the head of one of the richest houses of Westeros. His family plays a very important role, as his daughter Cersei is none other than the Queen and one of the main characters.  His age is his strength and in no way makes him a frail target – in fact, it’s quite the opposite, as the wisdom and experience that he gathered over the years made him one of the most powerful men in Westeros. Viewers tend to strongly dislike him due to is evil schemes – which all have the aim of bringing more power and status to himself and his family. The absolutely atrocious way he treats his son Tyrion who suffers from dwarfism and is a fan favourite, also does nothing for his popularity. However, regardless of the terrible person that he is, he’s a symbol of money, power and wisdom.

Maester Aemon Targaryen – “Maester of the Night’s Watch “– played by actor Peter Vaughn, who sadly passed away during filming at the age of 93. His character is one of the oldest in the series. He’s a “Maester” which is a wise person or a doctor, who has dedicated their life to study, knowledge and counsel. When the story begins, he’s already 100 years old. His character has had a very interesting life before the first book begins, which we dip in and out of as the story develops. As Maester of the Night’s Watch, he’s extremely valued due to his wisdom and life experience, again, showing how age is glorified in the world of Game of Thrones. When he dies, his loyal student, Sam, says the following of his beloved Maester: “His name was Aemon Targaryen, he came to us from Kings Landing, a Maester of the Citadel chained and sworn brother of the Night’s Watch, ever faithful. No man was wiser or gentle or kinder (…) He was the blood of the dragon but now his fire has gone out and now his watch has ended”. Many fans were truly sad when his character passed away, and he also holds the status of being the only person to die of old age in Game of Thrones! (which isn’t true of course, but it sure looks that way!)

From top left to bottom right: Walder Frey, Lady Olenna Tyrell, Jeor Mormont, Tywin Lannister, Maester Aemon Targaryen and Brynden Rivers

Brynden RiversThe Three-eyed Raven” – played by 89-year-old actor Max von Sydow. The character is also known as “Lord Bloodraven” and only appears in season 4 and season 6 of the series. In season four, the character is played by actor Struan Rodger, but he only appears very briefly. A very mysterious character, many fans didn’t really understand his importance when he was introduced. We meet him as the Three-eyed-raven, a somewhat magical character, who is of great importance and who is all-seeing. He guides one of the younger main characters to take the very important role of the three-eyed raven for the end of the story, which we’ll see in season 8. Again, we see that his age is what gives him his strength, value and importance.

Walder FreyLord of the Crossing “– is played by 76-year-old actor David Bradley, although the character is 90 years old. Some Game of Thrones characters are so inconceivably evil that everybody immediately hates them and spends every episode hoping they die a horrible death. Walder Frey is one of those characters – an egocentric, cruel man who sits at the head of house Frey. He’s also responsible for one of the most memorable scenes in the entire series called; “The Red Wedding”, in which he was supposedly establishing a bond between his house and the noble Starks, one of the most important families in the GoT world. Of course, we won’t tell you what happens – that would spoil it for you! You’ll just have to watch the episode for yourself. Walder Frey has one of the most satisfying endings, where fans see justice prevail, which isn’t always the case in Game of Thrones. Even though he’s one of the most hated characters, he’s also one of the most memorable and important to the entire story line.

Lord Commander Jeor MormontThe Old Bear” – played by 70-year-old actor James Cosmo. The Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch during the first 3 seasons, and a very likable character, Lord Mormont is a kind of father figure to one of the younger main characters. He is an embodiment of strength, honor, value and justice. He’s a true archetype hero who believes in good and has been through a lot to be where he is today. Loved by many of his men due to his strong, resolute leadership, he too is a character that many fans won’t forget. In his case, his age is without a doubt one of his strengths, which he wears proudly. His advice to one of the most important main characters, Jon Snow, truly shows what kind of man he is: “you want to lead one day? Then learn how to follow.”

When is Game of Thrones, season 8 returning?

April 14, 2019.

It has been a long wait for fans. There were rumors that it might be in January or in April, but there’s no certainty. Many fans have started to re-watch the entire show, or at least season 7, so that it’s still fresh in their minds before season 8. We recommend you do the same, or if you don’t feel like watching all 67 episodes, try following our shortcut marathon guide of only 30 episodes!

When did the other Game of Thrones seasons start?

Printable map of “Westeros” to guide you through the story: know everything without watching it all!

As you might have suspected, we’re all pretty big fans of Game of Thrones at Stannah. That’s why one of our content writers – who is clearly the number one fan here – got really excited when season 7 came out. He decided to create a “shortcut marathon guide” consisting of *only* 30 episodes (instead of 67) which will give you a clear overview of all of the storylines and characters. You will understand at least 75% of the main story, and once you’ve read this, you’ll be ready to watch season 8!

If you don’t want to read the books, and you don’t want to watch all 67 episodes, but you do want to understand most of the story, feel free to click on the link below to access our one-of-a-kind shortcut printable guide to Game of Thrones! Stick it on your fridge, hand it out to friends, families or colleagues or use it as a reminder of what happened before the return of season 8!

Why do we love Game of Thrones?

 “There is no greater power on this earth than story”author Libba Bray

Do we just like a good story? Could it be that simple? Then, why do we like some stories but not others? Dr. Adam Galpin, a lecturer in Media Psychology at the University of Salford has shed some light on the subject. We’ve summed up his thoughts about the psychology behind the phenomenon. According to him, people love Game of Thrones because:

  • It has very high-quality production.
  • People love heroes and anti-heroes.
  • It makes us think about our humanity.
  • It’s just very very good, well-made television.
  • It creates delicate balance between intrigue and pay-off.
  • It’s an opportunity for transportation – an escape from real life.
  • Due to its complexity, it requires engagement and concentration.
  • Both the sexual and the violent scenes are considered to be arousing.
  • There is a high level of “transportation” due to the intricate storylines.
  • Both life and death are portrayed unpredictability and realistically in the show.
  • It’s a catharsis, because of the show’s deep investment in getting to know each of the characters.

Game of Thrones is known for “killing off” its characters – those who are hated, but most definitely also characters who are very much loved. Because of the fact that a main character can die just as easily as the “bad guy”, it makes you more anxious and emotionally involved, which makes it all the more exciting to watch.

1,243 characters have died in the past 7 seasons! The Washington Post has made a very clear and detailed overview of the deceased characters, covering each one from the main characters to a random raven killed to prevent it from sending a message. Take a look, the artwork is pretty amazing! And what a job this must have been!

Game of Thrones locations:

One of the other reasons why Game of Thrones is so enjoyable to watch is due to the amazing photography. The landscapes are breath-taking, and you can see that this is a production of the highest quality. Over the last few years, several countries have been featured on the show, so we’ll show some of the most memorable places where the story takes place. Now, if you want to have a more complete list, check out this link.

Minčeta Tower, Dubrovnik, Croatia (House of the Undying)
Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Several scenes were shot in the lovely country of Croatia. This is just one of the enchanting landscapes you can expect to see. Filmed at the highest point along Dubrovnik’s city walls, it is seen in season 2 in a scene with the powerful “Khaleesi”, Daenerys Targaryen.

Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland (King’s Road)
Source: Condé Nast Traveler

You’ll see a lot of the enchanting countryside of Northern Ireland in Game of Thornes. It is used for the scenes set in the northern part of the fictional land of Westeros.  This particular gorgeous scene are beech trees which were planted along this country road in the 18th century. As they’ve grown together, they’ve formed a mysterious corridor which seems perfect for the show and is used as the main road: The Kings Road. However, due to the flocks of fans coming to visit this amazing place, the local government has had to close to road, leaving it only accessible to vehicles that actually need to use it. You can still visit it, but you’ll have to go on foot.

Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco (Yunkai)

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

This UNESCO World Heritage site can be found in the city of Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco, and it dates all the way back to the 17th century. This Moorish pearl can be found between the city of Marrakech and the Sahara dessert. In Game of Thrones it’s the backdrop of the city of Yunkai.

Caption: Grjótagjá, Iceland (Jon Snow’s Love Cave)
Source : Condé Nast Traveler

Iceland was another country that has seen its tourism grow considerably after Game of Thrones aired. Several locations are filmed in this beautiful European country and the scenery is sure to take your breath away. The lake above was the set of a very memorable scene where one of the main characters has a beautiful encounter with the love of his life. What a perfect place for love!

Castillo de Almodóvar del Río, Spain (Highgarden)

Source : Condé Nast Traveler

The warm Iberian colours of Spain are also host to several Game of Thrones scenes. Featured in all of the 7 seasons, Spain can truly call itself a Game of Thrones country and the perfect getaway for thousands of loyal fans. The Castillo de Almodóvar del Río is a perfect example of a real-life castle that can easily transport you to a mythical land full of adventure and mystery.

What do we know about Game of Thrones season 8?

Casey Bloys, HBO boss, did explain that this last season took so long to prepare because they wanted to make the final 6 episodes as strong, well-made and perfect as they possibly could. And while the first two episodes will be around the average ‘Game of Thrones’ hour, the series’ final four episodes will hit the 80-minute mark. So, here are the official run times for each episode:

Episode 1: 54 minutes
Episode 2: 58 minutes
Episode 3: 1 hour, 22 minutes
Episode 4: 1 hour, 18 minutes
Episode 5: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Episode 6: 1 hour, 20 minutes

A Game of Thrones community, Watchers on the Wall, is a group of writers and fandom contributors who created a place for fans to come together, and they have been posting all kinds of interesting news about the coming season. For example, we can expect bigger and more impressive battles than ever before, as they’ve reported that one of the biggest battles ever took no less than 55 nights to shoot! That’s an extraordinary number! That does make us realize how much work they’re putting into this final season, and that it will most definitely be worth the wait!

Take a look at the video below, posted by online community Watchers on the Wall, to get a glimpse of season 8. (if you listen carefully you can even hear the extras shout!)

Stannah and Game of Thrones: “Dulcius Domo Sedere

So, you might still be wondering what Stannah and Game of Thrones have in common? We don’t blame you! But when you think about it, Game of Thrones is all about family, honour, quality and having the freedom to live your own life. We at Stannah share those values! Stannah has been an independent, family-owned and managed company for over 150 years, has overcome a century and a half economic turmoil. We work hard to deliver the best possible products to give you back your independence and freedom – we just do it without all the death and bloody battles!

If Stannah were one of the noble families playing the game of thrones in Westeros, our house moto would be: “Dulcius Domo Sedereas you might have seen on our gorgeous House banner at the beginning of the article. The Latin sentence translates to: “It’s sweet to stay (or sit) at home”! Don’t you agree that that’s perfect for us? We really do try to make your life sweeter by providing safety and independence in your own home. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this epic story just as much as we do, and if you don’t already watch it, we hope this article has made you want to dip your toe into the spectacular pool of imagination that is the Game of Thrones universe!

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