The personal sigil of Brynden “Blackfish” Tully from Game of Thrones.
DISCLAIMER: THE SYMBOLS IN THIS SET ARE FROM THE HBO TV SERIES, NOT THE ORIGINAL NOVELS.
Based on author George R.R. Martin’s famous series of novels (collectively known as “A Song of Ice and Fire”), the television series “Game of Thrones” first premiered in 2011 on the channel HBO. It is set in a fantasy world heavily based on the society and culture of the European Middle Ages. Two primary continents, known as Westeros and Essos, make up the bulk of the visible landmass in this world, with the former being featured in storylines much more frequently. While typical elements from fantasy stories, such as dragons and various forms of magic, are seen throughout the series, in the long run these generally take a backseat to the military conflicts, political machinations and family dynamics that are the principle focus of the story.
The continent of Westeros is made up of many different regions, each of which has its own culture and history. Most of these regions form constituent parts of a single political realm, which is presided over by a ruling monarch. While the monarch holds ultimate power over the realm, local governance of each region is handled by a “Great House”, a noble family whose members answer directly to the sovereign. House Tully is one of these Great Houses, and their sigil is a silver trout on a field of blue and red.
Within the world of Game of Thrones, there are various members of Great Houses who bear what have been called “personal” sigils. In terms of design, these sigils are typically the same as that of the Great House, but with one or more aspects of their coloring altered. Brynden Tully is a case in point. The younger brother of Hoster Tully, the former patriarch of the House, Brynden distinguished himself in the War of the Ninepenny Kings (an event forty years prior to the start of the series) and was knighted for his efforts. When Brynden returned home he discovered, to his dismay, that Hoster had arranged a diplomatic marriage for Brynden in order to establish an alliance. Refusing to be strong-armed into a match that he had no say in making, Brynden essentially broke familial ties with his brother and earned the nickname “Blackfish” (in reference to House Tully’s sigil and his outsider-like position) as a result. His personal sigil, therefore, reflects his story.