We’re less than a month away from the final season of Game of Thrones and while we’re already mourning the fact that we will no longer be able to stare at John Snow’s luscious flowing locks, we are excited to finally get some closure. But before we get carried away with fan theories and final-season predictions, we wanted to take a step back and analyze the nine major GoT houses, the house vigils, and their meanings.
So today we’re going to combine our two favorite things — logo design and Game of Thrones — and fill you in on what each house’s color scheme and symbol means and how the psychology behind both relates to the personas of our beloved GoT characters.
House Motto: Winter Is Coming.
Sigil: A running grey direwolf on an icy white field.
Logo Colors: Grey and white.
The gray and white house sigil of House Stark pairs perfectly with their surroundings in Winterfell: a white and bleak winter landscape. The color white symbolizes purity, goodness, and honesty, while gray symbolizes sophistication, minimal emotions, and conservation. Some often associate gray with loss or mourning which seems fitting given the hardships House Stark has dealt with over the past seven seasons. However, each Stark character is a symbol of good throughout the series and serve as protagonists in a realm of antagonists.
The gray running direwolf symbol is an excellent choice for the family’s sigil. Not only is the direwolf the most famous creature of the North, but also the wolf is a very loyal, family-oriented animal. The Starks put their family members and their family’s honor first and foremost, just as a wolf pack always makes decisions that will benefit the entire group. The running wolf (as opposed to one sitting or jumping) can be attributed to the character’s constant need to be on the move throughout the series in order to avenge their fallen family members and strive for peace in Westeros. The direwolves in GoT are fiercely loyal to their masters, often to a fault, and play an integral role in both the novels and the TV series.
House Motto: Hear Me Roar.
Sigil: An upright roaring golden lion on crimson.
Logo Colors: Gold and crimson.
House Lannister’s choice of crimson and gold is fitting for the actions and personalities of the characters throughout the GoT series. The color gold is often associated with royalty, glamour, and prosperity, while crimson stands for nobility, passion, and strength. The Lannisters occupy King’s Landing and Casterly Rock throughout the majority of Game of Thrones, and Kind’s Landing is the crown jewel of Westeros. The Lannisters each carry themselves highly and have an air of nobility about them. Their passion for power is fueled by the strength of their ability to manipulate others throughout the series in order to achieve their goals.
The lion symbol is also fitting for those of House Lannister. While the gender of the lion on the sigil is unknown, it represents both the male and female characters of House Lannister. Cersei Lannister is similar to a lioness; fiercely protective of her children and cunning hunters who prey upon the weak. Male lions “king of the beasts” are handsome, territorial, and paternalistic. Jamie Lannister, while not as malicious as his sister (and lover) Cersei, will still go to great lengths to protect his family.
House Motto: As High As Honour.
Sigil: A sky-blue falcon soaring against a white moon against a blue sky.
Logo colors: Blue and white
Probably one of the most symbolic logo designs of all of the GoT houses, House Arryn’s blue and white sigil is fitting for both the characters and the location of the Eyrie. Eagle’s nests are known as eyries; these large nests reside in high places such as on cliff, atop mountains, and nestled within great trees. Eagles tend not to stray from their high perches, which is exactly what the characters of House Arryn do throughout the series. Lysa Stark fiercely guards her son high up in Eyrie, a castle atop the Mountains of the Moon. The crescent moon image on the sigil represents the Mountains of the Moon. The falcon that accompanies the crescent moon symbolizes height and agility. The only way enemies can attack the Eyrie is via a steep, winding path (very fitting for their house motto). However, the house often isolates themselves and do not easily trust others due to their distance.
While the color white is often associated with light, this doesn’t necessarily need to be the light of the sun. The light of the moon shines just as bright for House Arryn. White also symbolizes purity and perfection something that Lysa Stark strives for when it comes to ensuring her son Robin is fit to lead. The sky blue color of their house sigil represents the soaring tower within which these characters live. This sky-blue is also the last color foes of House Arryn see before plummeting through the Moon Door.
House Motto: Growing Strong.
Sigil: A large single golden rose against a green field.
Logo colors: Gold and green.
Green and gold are the perfect color combination for House Tyrell. While the color green most notably stands for growth, balance, health, and money, it also stands for greed and envy. The envious Tyrells are constantly trying to improve their standings in Westeros, hence the marriage arrangement between Tommen and Margaery and the subsequent murder of Joffrey by Alerie Tyrell. The family is also well-off when it comes to money, which is why they reside in the beautiful Highgarden castle. As we discussed earlier, gold stands for royalty, glamour, and prosperity all of which House Tyrell exudes.
The golden rose icon displayed in their sigil symbolizes hope, grace, beauty, and joy. However, just because the rose is beautiful, doesn’t mean it cannot hurt those who handle it. House Tyrell’s sneaky maneuvres to gain the upper hand through the GoT series is often a thorn in House Lannister’s side. The rose, like other flowers, do not last forever. As we see throughout the course of the series, House Tyrell grows from a small bud to a rose in full bloom, only to wither and wilt at the end of Season 6.
House Motto: We Do Not Sow.
Sigil: A golden kraken against a black abyss.
Logo colors: Gold and black.
House Greyjoy is known in both the books and the HBO series as a force to be reckoned with when other houses meet them on the sea. The Greyjoys are known as sea-faring raiders who terrorize the coastal towns of Westeros, seizing whatever they believe to be useful for their house. They do not care much for gold, only glory and the bragging rights that go along with conquering others using brute force. Ironically, they chose gold as one of the two colors in their sigil. Gold symbolizes power and strength in this sense, which are the two characteristics the Greyjoys portray in battle. The color black is also associated with power, strength, rebellion, and aggression which again perfectly describes the raiding behavior of this house.
The kraken symbol couldn’t be more fitting for House Greyjoy. The kraken is a mythological sea creature from Norse mythology that is known for terrorizing seafaring ships and taking town whole vessels in one fell swoop. The Greyjoys are unbeatable like the kraken when met on the open sea, but like this mythological sea creature they do not stand up against foes on land. This is explicitly seen throughout the GoT series when Theon Greyjoy attempts to take Winterfell and ends up in the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
House Motto: Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.
Sigil: A red sun pierced by a golden spear against an orange background.
Logo colors: Red and orange.
House Martell of Dorne is located in a climate quite opposite that of Winterfell. Dorne is a region just outside of Westeros that has a desert-like climate, which makes their sun and spear logo an appropriate choice. The bright red color of the sunburst symbol represents glory, war, determination, and desire all of which are emotions that can be found in any of the Martell characters. The Martells have a long history of warfare and conquest that dates back before the present day Game of Thrones setting. 1,000 years earlier, Princess Nymeria sought to conquer Dorne and unify the country. The red sun is the perfect representation of the passion each Martell character has for their country. The orange background symbolizes the warm temperate climate these characters reside in, while the golden spear was that of Mors Martell (Princess Nymeria’s sigil was the red sun).
The sun icon with it’s bursting flames is a nod to how aggressive, passionate, and often showy nature of the Martell characters. Each of the women is hot-tempered and whoever upsets them will feel the heat and eventually suffer the consequences. The golden spear that pierces the sun is a nod to their unwavering goals to protect their lands and their family. Spears also symbolize levelheadedness, agility, and teamwork.
House Motto: Our Is The Fury.
Sigil: A crowned black stag on a golden field.
Logo colors: Black and gold.
While the presence of House Baratheon characters is dwindling as we approach the end of the HBO series of GoT, their iconic house sigil manages to leave a lasting impression on the audience. The golden field background of the house sigil represents prosperity, wealth, power, and conquest. However, it’s important to note that this sigil was once not that of House Baratheon. Before the present day events in Game of Thrones took place, the Baratheons conquered House Durrandon and adopted (i.e. stole) their house sigil and motto as their own. Robert Baratheon, however, did live a luxurious lifestyle and was obsessed with wealth and power. The black-crowned stag symbolizes royalty, authority, aggression, and death all of which can easily be attributed to Robert Baratheon.
The black-crowned stag is a unique icon that warrants some attention. The stag the king of the forest is the protector of all other animals. Stags also represent masculinity, strength, and cunning. The basic understanding of stags is that the larger the antlers, the longer the animal has been alive and thriving. House Baratheon’s stag has large, prominent alters, symbolizing the strength and longevity of the house. The golden crown around its neck gives the sigil an additional air of royalty. It is also fitting for Robert Baratheon, who briefly ruled the seven kingdoms.
House Motto: Family. Duty. Honour.
Sigil: A leaping silver trout against a rippling blue and red tide.
Logo colors: Silver, maroon, and blue.
While the Tully’s aren’t as prominent in the HBO series as they are in the book series, House Tully is another family not to be trifled with. While their house sigil is a fish, don’t underestimate the slightly bland choice of icon compared to those of the Lannisters or Starks. The Tully’s are incredibly loyal to others within their house as well as with allies such as the Starks. House Tully’s sigil is one of the very few with three colors: blue, maroon, and silver. Maroon symbolizes confidence, creativity, risk, and strength all of which are keen characteristics of a Tully character. The color blue means loyalty, wisdom, and trust again, all attributes of the Tully family. Silver is associated with industrial, graceful, and ornate. Unlike gold, however, silver tarnishes and the color fades. The same can be said about the Tully family, whose only surviving members are Edmure Tully, Roslin Tully, and their son.
The trout may not be the most aggressive looking fish in the sea, but it is one of the strongest swimmers and easily adapts to its environment. The trout symbol stands for hospitality, coherence, and loyalty; often working together in large schools to achieve a common goal. House Tully characters also work towards a common goal and are slippery enough to evade a perilous situation.
House Motto: Fire And Blood.
Sigil: A red three-headed dragon against a black sky.
Logo colors: Red and black.
There is quite possibly no house vigil more appropriate to the Game of Thrones series than House Targaryen’s. A major thematic element throughout the seasons and the books is dragons, and no house but the Targaryens is better known for handling these mythical creatures. The color scheme for their logo is black and red — two colors that symbolize power and authority, regality and formality, and mystery. The blood-red hue (unlike the maroon colors of other houses) is a telling sign of how aggressive and powerful House Targaryen is. Mad King Aerys shed blood on a regular basis before the Kingslayer stepped in. The black background on the vigil most strongly symbolizes mystery. There are dozens of fan theories out there that relate to the Targaryens and their dragons.
That leads us to the three-headed dragon symbol. While dragons are understandably fiery, ferocious, and greedy, they are also heroic. The three-headed dragon symbolizes the three Targaryens (Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys) who traveled from Valyria to Westeros and claimed the throne. Fan theories surrounding the vigil believe that the three-headed dragon is more symbolic of three current GoT characters.