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5 Lessons Learned from Watching ‘Game of Thrones’

April 8, 2016
Lesson #1- Do NOT sit on that throne.

Lesson #1- Do NOT sit on that throne.

Out of all the reasons to watch Game of Thrones (violence, nudity, ripped-from-history storylines), learning life lessons isn’t one of them.  Nobody watches Game of Thrones for morality lessons.  If they do, they’re probably disappointed.

Sympathetic characters get killed in horrible ways, and villains seem to thrive.  That’s a horrible morality lesson.  But if you don’t watch with a good vs. evil perspective, Game of Thrones can give you some practical advice about how to be successful (and avoid getting yourself killed)

All of the lessons below are taken from Game of Thrones quotes.  I’m not going to explain the context of the quotes (except for a couple) because that might potentially spoil the show for somebody who hasn’t watched it yet.  But even if you haven’t watched it, you can learn from these quotes.  Plus, if you use these quotes in everyday conversation, others will think you watch the show and will automatically hold you in higher regard (as long as you don’t tell them you don’t watch the show).

Here are five great  Game of Thrones quotes that teach valuable lessons about life:

  1.  “You know nothing.”

Life is easier if you understand that you know nothing.  Most problems are caused by people who think they know more than they really do.  Unfortunately, those people who don’t know anything are great at pretending they know a lot of stuff.  If you can admit you know nothing, you can avoid a lot of stress.

Plus, saying “You know nothing,” is a great response to a lot of insults, especially if somebody curses at you and you don’t want to resort to profanity.  If somebody else says “You know nothing” to you, all you have to do is sneer back and retort: “YOU know nothing.”

           2. “You are a king.  And that means you don’t have to do everything yourself.” 

At first, I thought this was sound advice, until a season later when the person who gave this advice murdered the king he had been speaking to.  Then I realized, just about every king who has died in Game of Thrones has perished partly because he let somebody else handle important business.  Therefore, what I learned was:

        Being king means you have to do the important stuff yourself. (It’s not in quotes because I made it up myself.)

Ideally, a king wouldn’t have to do everything himself, but every time kings trust their subordinates to important matters, the subordinates screw it up or betray them.  This is true for non-kings as well in real life.  If something important has to be done, do it yourself.  If you can’t, watch carefully over the person who does it for you.

              3.  “A Lannister always pays his debts.”

You don’t have to be a Lannister to pay your debts. And on Game of Thrones, the Lannisters furthered their own problems by not paying off their debt to the Iron Bank.  In reality, everybody has to be in debt sometime.  It’s one way to get ahead in life.

But if you take a debt, it’s very important to pay it back.  If you don’t, the people you owe will always get their money back, one way or another.  If they can’t get their money back, then most likely you have a very rich (and sometimes deadly) enemy to deal with.  I don’t like having enemies, especially rich ones, so I always pay back my debts.

             4. “Knowledge is power,” but “Power is power” too.

Yes, knowledge is power, especially if you have knowledge about the people in power, but if the people in power find out that you have knowledge about them, the people in power might have you killed, and if you’re in power and you find out that somebody has knowledge about you, don’t threaten them because then the people with knowledge know they have power over you and might use it to destroy you.

In other words, keep your mouth shut.  That’s almost always good advice.

             5. “Any man who has to say ‘I am the king’ is no true king.”

If you’re in a position of authority, it’s not a good idea to remind everybody.  It undermines your authority.  I once had a teacher in junior high who couldn’t control the class, and out of frustration he shouted, “I am the teacher, and you will do what I say!”  The class laughed at him (I didn’t), and a bunch of students farted.

In school, farting is power.


I’m sure that anybody can find the lessons they want to find by watching Game of Thrones.  What lessons have you learned from watching Game of Thrones?


Here are two books that you might enjoy while you’re waiting for the next episode of Game of Thrones.

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From → Pop culture

  1. Umm lets see. I learned that you trust no one, especially the Lannisters. Women are nothing, just something to be bought and sold, and do a bunch of other horrible stuff to. Nothing is sacred in the Game of Thrones, and I think my favorite people are the little man, and the super tall and slightly scary blonde lady.
    And in our house, farting is power too!!!

  2. To be fair, GOT villains occasionally die horrible deaths too.
    I’m not sure what lessons I took from the show, but one of the more common themes is that standing firm on your principles in all circumstances rarely leads to anything good.

  3. That to be an actress in GoT means getting your knockers out on a regular basis – unless your name’s Lena Headey? That no, you REALLY don’t want to be king because they usually die nasty deaths (and often by members of their own family)? That there’s only one way to survive and that’s being a more ruthless, bigger bastard than the next guy – or gal?
    And that if you’re a British character actor, you will, eventually – inevitably – get a job in Westeros.

    • “And that if you’re a British character actor, you will, eventually – inevitably – get a job in Westeros.”

      Those jobs in Westeros often don’t last very long. Character actors need work, though, and they can brag later that they got killed in a horrible way on Game of Thrones. If I were a character actor, I’d take that job.

      • Yes – I bet the pay for dying in a revoltingly imaginative way is brilliant. All the Maesters so far have been Brits and some of them are still around and still have all their body parts. I wonder if they all chat in their agent’s offices – ‘Have you done”Thrones” yet love?’ ‘No, darling, but old Charlie Dance has just been shot with a crossbow by his son the dwarf, so I think I’m in with a chance next series.’

  4. These are great quotes and I love that you have drawn lessons from them.
    I remember wonderng whilst reading the series how old George came up with so many different and inventive ways of offing someone. Every now and then he throws in a classic slit throat, run through with a sword etc. but generally it is public beheading, squelched head, set fire by a dragon, run through by a wild boar and let’s not forget killed by the red witch’s shadow baby. Meanwhile old Georgie really hates celebrations doesn’t he? It’s not a party in Westeros until someone has been offed!

  5. Bastard will conquer on GOT… lol

  6. 1. was expressed by Socrates this way: “_I_ know that I know nothing.”

    An unnamed German expanded this into: “He who knows nothing and knows that he knows nothing knows more than he who knows nothing and knows not that he knows nothing.”

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