The shields that guard the realms of men: heraldry in game of thrones

Hardy, Mat 2018, The shields that guard the realms of men: heraldry in game of thrones, Genealogy, vol. 2, no. 4, Special Issue: Heraldry and Coats of Arms, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.3390/genealogy2040048.

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Title The shields that guard the realms of men: heraldry in game of thrones
Formatted title The shields that guard the realms of men: heraldry in game of thrones
Author(s) Hardy, MatORCID iD for Hardy, Mat
Journal name Genealogy
Volume number 2
Issue number 4
Season Special Issue: Heraldry and Coats of Arms
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2018-11
ISSN 2313-5778
Keyword(s) Heraldry
Game of Thrones
GRR Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire
Summary The vast popularity of the Game of Thrones franchise has drawn a new and diverse audience to the fantasy genre. Within the pseudo-medieval world created by G.R.R. Martin, a great deal of detail has gone into establishing coats of arms for the characters and families that are depicted. These arms fulfill an extremely important role, both within the arc of the story and as part of the marketing collateral of this very successful series. This article examines the role of arms in the Game of Thrones universe and explores how the heraldic system transcends the usual genealogical display and functions more as a type of familial branding. An exploration of some of the practices and idiosyncrasies of heraldry in the franchise shows that whilst Martin sets his foundation firmly in the traditional, he then extends this into the fanciful; in much the same manner as he does with other faux-historical aspects of his work. This study is valuable because Game of Thrones has brought heraldry from being a niche interest to something that is now consumed by a global audience of hundreds of millions of people. Several of the fantasy blazons in the series are now arguably the most recognisable coats of arms in history.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/genealogy2040048
Field of Research 190204 Film and Television
190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 950203 Languages and Literature
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018 by the author
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