The sigil of House Manderly 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” 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. Each region also possesses any number of “Vassal Houses” who owe their loyalty to the governing Great House in one capacity or another. House Manderly is one of the Vassal Houses in The North, and their ancestral home is known as White Harbor. Located at the mouth of the White Knife River in the southeastern part of the region, White Harbor is the only true “city” to be found in The North, and the Manderlys have grown wealthy on the trade of grain and other lucrative commodities that pass through its port. Their sigil is a white-skinned merman with green hair and tail emblazoned on a blue-green field and holding a black trident. Their motto, if they have one, has thus far not been revealed.
In the history that George R.R. Martin developed for his world, he does not explicitly state why a merman serves as House Manderly’s sigil, but he does provide sufficient backstory on the House itself. The Manderlys were originally a powerful House from The Reach, a region located in the southwestern part of Westeros (for full details, see the symbol for ‘House Tyrell’). A thousand years prior to the series’ beginning, they were exiled from The Reach (the reason is unspecified). They were granted sanctuary in The North and given control over White Harbor and its extensive surrounding lands, where they have remained ever since.
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