The sigil of House Hightower from Game of Thrones.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s famous series of novels (collectively known as “A Song of Ice and Fire”), the television series “Game of Thrones” 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 large continents, Westeros and Essos, make up most 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, they generally take a backseat to much larger themes, such as military conflicts, political machinations, and family dynamics.
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 they hold 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 monarch. Each region also contains an extensive network of lesser noble houses called “Vassal Houses”, who owe their loyalty to the governing Great House. House Hightower is one of the Vassal Houses in the Reach, and their ancestral home is known as Oldtown, a large and vibrant cosmopolitan center on the southwestern coast. The sigil of House Hightower is a white tower with a red flaming top on a field of grey, and their motto is “We Light the Way”.
The meaning of House Hightower’s sigil is explained in the backstory that Martin developed for his world. The city of Oldtown is a thriving seaport that receives ships from all over the known world, and the skyline of city is dominated by a massive 800 foot tall tower. Called the Hightower after the city’s ruling family, it functions not only as a residence for said family, but also as a lighthouse to signal and guide incoming ships.
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