The sigil of House Tully from Game of Thrones.
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 ancestral land is known as The Riverlands. Located in the center of the continent, this fertile area is crisscrossed by many rivers (hence its name) and governed from the castle of Riverrun. The sigil of House Tully is a silver trout on a field of blue and red, and their motto is “Family, Duty, Honor”.
The trout is a clear reference to the rivers that form the basis of life in The Riverlands, and the meaning behind House Tully’s motto is explained in the history that George R.R. Martin developed for his world. Due to their location in the center of the continent and lacking any significant natural barriers, The Riverlands have been a primary battleground in Westeros for thousands of years. More often than not, these conflicts have devastated the region and its people, and usually prompted political change among the ruling houses of the area. House Tully has a long tradition of stabilizing these political circumstances by marrying its members (both male and female) off to neighboring Great Houses. This is done in order to form alliances that would protect The Riverlands from invasion by one side or another. The Tully’s motto is a reflection of this philosophy, and Tully children are always made aware of the importance these words and how they could effect their future lives.
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