With many houses, many words that are used. House words can encompass many things: they can act as a point of pride, as a warning / threat to enemies or a way to show wealth. Whilst some are underwhelming- like the Tyrell’s ‘Growing Strong’- many words are highly in impact. These words are from The Citadel.
8. Sound The Charge- House Wensington
Not much is known about Wensington, but for those who do not know- they are a house from The Stormlands. I like these words because they are so fit for battle and commanding, they are so fierce and strong. Whether we will ever know more about this house is unknown, but the house words are mighty.
7. Righteous In Wrath – House Hornwood
This Northern House may be small, but with these words ‘Righteous In Wrath’ a significant impact is made. The history of the House is one of death and being captive- the death of Donella Hornwood is incredibly upsetting but these words tie in nicely with the ‘North Remembers’ theme of A Dance With Dragons. The words- simply sound good.
6. Ours Is The Fury – House Baratheon
The Baratheons are known for their stubbornness, battle ready tactics and play, sheer strong will. The words “Ours Is The Fury” is remarkable in the sense that it fits so well. It’s perfect for King Stannis Baratheon, and for Gendry as well as other Robert’s bastards. The words are strong- and show the world just how tough the Baratheons can be.
5. We Do Not Sow – House Greyjoy
The refusal to meet to society’s rigid expectations is shown in this motto, as the Greyjoys are as uncompromising as they could possibly be. It goes well into the ideas of paying the Iron Price and culture of reaping pillaging. The Greyjoys live by their own rules, no one else. The words are distinct and powerful, uncompromising and vigorous.
4. We Light The Way – House Hightower
However, not all words are built for war. Sometimes its about knowledge, medicine and healing, art, loyalty and much more. House Hightower is home to the Citadel, where Novices are trained to be Maesters (and where Samwell Tarly is at the moment). “We Light The Way” is about excelling and inspiring others. In a series with multiple words, the house that sticks out are those who use it for different purposes.
3. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken – House Martell
Meria Martell said it best in “The World Of Ice And Fire”.
Meria: I will not fight you, nor will I kneel to you. Dorne has no king. Tell your brother that.
Rhaenys Targaryen: I shall, but we will come again, Princess, and the next time we shall come with fire and blood.
Meria: Your words. Ours are Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. You may burn us, my lady … but you will not bend us, break us, or make us bow. This is Dorne. You are not wanted here. Return at your peril.
The fighting spirit is shown here- not bowing, bending or breaking. And its also terribly fitting for the Martells- even though they put on an act of getting along well with the Lannisters, Doran Martell is plotting. And of course- Oberyn Martell and the Sand Snakes with Arianne Martell. The words are not particularly in-your-face, they are vague enough to be applied to multiple contexts and are always a strong threat to enemies. The Martells are the type of house people underestimate and find out to their peril too late. But you can’t say you weren’t warned.
2. Fire And Blood – House Targaryen
With the mighty, fiery roar of a dragon, an empire built on fire and blood- these words enter everyone’s jargon somehow which plays into the sheer influence and play of the legacy of House Targaryen. It’s about leadership, making yourself known to the world, finding confidence (as Daenerys Targaryen experiences in the first book), bringing justice and vengeance to your enemies. It’s about spitting fire, and causing blood. The words are simply put, fascinating.
1. Winter Is Coming – House Stark
“Our maester chuckled at me and told us that Prince Rhaegar was certain to defeat this rebel. That was when Stark said, ‘In this world only winter is certain. We may lose our heads, it’s true . . . but what if we should prevail?’ My father sent him on his way with his head still on his shoulders.”
A Dance With Dragons
No contest. House Stark have the best words, hands down. It’s a threat to enemies- Robb Stark gives a message to Tywin Lannister that ‘Winter Is Coming’ for him, Eddard Stark tells Catelyn that “Winter Is Coming” and its time for their children to start growing up. It’s goosebump enduing, that everyone goes through a ‘winter’- a period of death and hardship. The differences between the Starks and everyone else? The Starks know this. They know they have to look out for others, to be aware of what is coming. As Maester Aemon Targaryen puts it- the Starks are “right”.
This also has high significance with the themes and plot of A Song Of Ice And Fire: The Whitewalkers for instance. Preparing for Winter and experiencing Winter may be a distant thought for many- but for the Starks its a reality. That makes them tough and strong, and the members are a bit more prepared. The words touch into our fears about death and poverty, as well as the characters’ fears of the Long Night.
Any words you like that aren’t on this list? Put them in the comments!