When I started reading Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin, I noticed a developing theme: family loyalty. That got me to start thinking about my own family and what I would do if I was in their situations. This book is set in a medieval time period where the main family, the Starks, is separated because the father has to be the Hand of the King. The six children have to be very loyal to one another in order to keep their family together. So how would I be able to handle that?
I fight with my siblings a lot, and so do the Starks. They don’t realize it, but their family name is their most valuable possession. Each sibling is very different from one another. Robb is a natural leader, Jon is a half brother, Sansa is a lady, Arya is a tomboy, Bran is an explorer, and Rickon is a child. My siblings and I are all very different, too. I was able to connect more with their experiences because I go through some of the same things almost every day.
An example of one of these sibling conflicts is when Sansa disgraced Jon in front of Arya. “‘Poor Jon,’ she said. ‘He gets jealous because he’s a bastard.’” Arya immediately retaliated and defended him, saying that he was their brother. He may be different than them, but he still is a part of their family. Later, Bran was injured after a fall off of a window ledge. Jon came to say goodbye to his younger brother because he had to leave. Lady Stark, Catelyn, despised Jon because he wasn’t her son. Jon knew that but went to Bran anyway because he loved him. He was loyal to his little brother even though they had their differences.
After checking on Bran, Jon went to Arya because she was sad that people were trying to force her to act like a lady. He comforted her and gave her a custom made sword of her own. Jon helped his sister accept her differences from the other girls and helped her become unique in her own way.
The main plot starts when a stranger tries to kill Bran when he was bedridden. His mother, Catelyn, defended him with her life and was able to save him. That was a huge act of love towards her family, and that made me wonder if I would be able to do that for somebody else. She then journeyed to the South to find out who tried to kill her son. She wouldn’t stop for anything until she knew who it was. This is another act of love and loyalty because she had to revenge her child’s attempted assassination.
Meanwhile, Lord Stark, Ned, had to keep Sansa and Arya from fighting over everything. He told them, “I am weary unto death of this endless war you two are fighting. You are sisters. I expect you to behave like sisters, is that understood?’” Ned knew that their family had to stay strong, so he had to break apart his daughters’ conflicts.
While Ned was dealing with his girls, Catelyn found that Tyrion Lannister, an imp and brother to the Queen, had a role to play in Bran’s failed killing. She was staying in an inn undercover to return to her city when Tyrion came to the same inn. He blew Catelyn’s cover, which made her even more angry towards him. She asked if the other hotel guests were loyal to her family name, and they were. She then ordered them to seize Tyrion and to bring him to court. Catelyn was loyal to her family and finally found who might be trying to kill her son. She was also relieved because there wouldn’t be any more harm to her children. For now, at least.
Every situation that the Starks went through, I wondered if I would do the same thing for my family. I still don’t know if I would or not. These types of events are those that you wouldn’t know what to do unless you were actually enduring it. The Starks made the right decisions for most of the conflicts that arose, but being a perfect family isn’t what matters. They have to be loyal to one another.
In Game of Thrones, being loyal to your family is what matters most, even if they have their own differences. Each member of the Stark family is unique, yet they need to be loyal to each other in order to survive. They each have their own conflicts that must be resolved, but they can’t let those problems get in the way of their relationships with one another.