12 brand archetypes in Game of Thrones characters
Game of Thrones is back.
And what better way to celebrate this monumental event than to assign the 12 common archetypes - often used in brand strategy - to GoT characters (obvs).
Bran (The Innocent)
The Innocent is a happy optimist. And, like Bran, they look for the good in people. It’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures; as a seven-year-old, there’s nothing quite like a climb on the roof - or a cheeky bit of archery.
The Innocent is noble and pure at heart, and Bran dreams of one day becoming a knight. He’ll never judge (despite catching an eyeful of royal incest). And, even after a lengthy coma, he’s quick to forgive.
Free of corruption, the Innocent seeks harmony in the realm.
Desire: For the world to live in love, peace and happiness
Goal: To be happy. In this case, that means being an all-seeing, three-eyed raven
Motto: The glass of Westorosi wine is half full
Strategy: Do the right thing and stay optimistic - despite those trippy dreams
Fear: To be punished for doing something wrong. The roof - stay off of the roof.
Weakness: Being naive or gullible
Lord Varys (The Sage)
The Sage understands the power of information. Lord Varys (aka The Spider) is obsessed with knowledge, and he’ll leak it to any interested party. Sharing wisdom, Varys teaches his tricks to those loyal “little birds”.
He claims that it’s all about keeping order and peace, but this naughty Eunuch loves a good gossip. However, The Sage is fundamentally guided by the truth. And in Vary’s own words: "I did what I did for the good of the realm."
Desire: To find the truth
Goal: Use information to understand the world
Motto: The path to happiness is paved with knowledge (the truth will set you free)
Strategy: Seek knowledge and spread the truth
Fear: Being misled, and blood magic rituals
Weakness: Can appear arrogant / loves a spot of thieving
Ayra Stark (The Explorer)
Like Ayra, The Explorer craves adventure. She’s the daughter of a lord but wants to discover the world on her own terms. The Explorer is ambitious and brave, and our Ayra dreams of being a warrior. On the flipside, they can be restless, aimless and a bit flaky.
This archetype stays current with the latest trends, e.g. “the best swords for plunging”, “Frey son pie recipes”, etc.
Adventure means enlightenment and Ayra is focused on self-discovery.
Motto: Don't fence me in
Goal: To experience an authentic and more fulfilling life
Fear: Being trapped, getting poisoned - or posing as an orphan boy again
Strategy: To seek out and experience new things
Weakness: Aimless wandering or becoming a misfit
The Hound (The Rebel)
“I’ll strangle you with your own guts”
Like our prickly Hound, The Rebel archetype loves a radical idea. The Hound fits this revolutionary mould - he shakes things up endlessly. Craving revenge, as he did on the Brotherhood Outlaws, their greatest fear is powerlessness.
This archetype won’t go along for the ride if the system isn’t working. Instead, they’ll overturn it. The Hound is action-orientated and says exactly what he thinks. The Rebel is the alternative to the system; The Hound is the subculture. Lost faith in the regime? Inspire change.
F*%k the king.
Motto: Rules are made to be broken (bring me the wine)
Goal: Overturn a broken system
Fear: To be powerless, and fire
Strategy: Disrupt and destroy
Weakness: Crossing over to the dark side
Melisandre (The Magician)
The Magician wants to make sense of the universe - they’re obsessed with how things work. Likewise, Melisandre is a student of the game; she studied all of the books.
This Red Priestess reckons she can help Jon Snow win the great war and, generally, this archetype wants to make life better. The Magician is a charismatic healer - she’s also driven. And what’s more driven than not needing to eat or sleep? Melisandre only does these things to appear normal. With that in mind, she can be dishonest, disconnected - or sometimes manipulative.
Watch this space my little Wildlings...
Motto: I make things happen
Goal: To make dreams reality
Fear: Unintended negative consequences, e.g. becoming a slave again.
Strategy: Live by your vision
Weakness: Ego - she’s the best in her order apparently
Jon Snow (The Hero)
Jon Snow is, unquestionably, The Hero. Despite being birthed from difficult origins, this is a character with stable beliefs. He wants to fight for the side that fights for the living. That’s pretty admirable, right?
Courageous and skilled, The Hero proves their worth through acts of immeasurable bravery. How about that time he saved his BFF Samwell Tarly?
On the battleground, The Hero is determined to leave their mark. Unfortunately, this is often at the risk of great sacrifice. Remember that tear-jerking farewell to Ygritte - his first love - in the battle for Castle Black?
“You know nothing Jon Snow.”
The first one is always the hardest, mate.
Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way (for Jon, even death wasn’t the end)
Goal: Use your power to save the world
Fear: Being seen as a”chicken” and getting betrayed
Strategy: To be strong and competent
Weakness: There’s always another battle to fight (those pesky Whitewalkers won’t slay themselves)
Margaery (The Lover)
The Lover archetype lives to make you feel special. In all aspects of life they're thinking: what’s love got to do with it? In Margaery’s eyes: everything.
Prepare to be seduced by ideas - like Tommen in a candlelit chamber. But with The Lover, it’s never a quick fling. They want to create relationships that go the distance. This archetype is an arranged marriage in Westeros. Yours truly - forever.
Motto: You’re the only one
Goal: Relationships with people, work and surroundings that they love
Fear: Being alone and unloved
Strategy: Become as beautiful as you are clever
Weakness: Outward desire to please others. She brought Loras - her bro - into the bedroom with Renly in an attempt to please him. ooo-err
Tyrion (The Jester)
“He’s braver - but I’m better looking.”
Comfortable in their own skin, The Jester likes to stand out from the crowd. Tyrion is unrestrained and unhinged; he’s a happy black sheep. Basically, The Jester lives for the moment. Just because it’s work, why shouldn’t it be fun?
Take a walk on the wild side - start that feast early. And, make sure it’s the first of many courses.
Motto: You only live once
Goal: Enjoy themselves and lighten the world
Fear: Being bored - or boring others
Strategy: Stand on the edge of the wall and p*ss off of the edge of the world
Weakness: Can waste time. They’re brilliant but lazy
Gilly (The Regular Girl / Guy)
We’re the same you and I - that’s how The Regular One sees it. Unpretentious and humble, they’re Captain Dependable. Familiarity is Gilly’s friend and she’ll blend in at all costs. But, this Regular Girl needs her Regular Guy.
Enter Samwell Tarly.
But, don’t underestimate them - ordinary people do extraordinary things. No one has quietly travelled as far as Gilly, surviving giants, dragons and undead armies. In The Quest, the quiet ones hold the key (or ring) to everything.
Motto: All men and women are created equal
Goal: To belong
Fear: Getting left out
Strategy: Be down to earth with solid values
Weakness: Can blend in and lose identity
Daenerys (The Caregiver)
The Caregiver lives to nurture and protect others. She’s got your back. Like Daenerys, they have a strong maternal instinct and, in the face of love they’ll do anything. Yeah, we’re looking at you Drogo.
The Caregiver is innately generous and compassionate. However, they can also be seen as manipulative and codependent - it didn’t end well for Viserys (ouch). If you’re on their side, though, they’ll never exploit or harm you. At least not knowingly.
Motto: Love your neighbour (and your dragons)
Goal: Help other people
Fear: Selfishness, ingratitude or losing a child
Strategy: Do things for others
Weakness: Being exploited
Cersei (The Ruler)
“You might find a bit of armour quite useful once you become Queen… perhaps before.”
The Royal shade.
Basically, The Ruler wants to provide the world with security and stability - by any means necessary.
In Cersei’s case, she’ll do whatever it takes to get to the top, causing a whole realm-full of chaos along the way. But, The Ruler believes that by taking control they can actually prevent chaos.
In leadership there’s freedom. And removing Robert was the first step to liberation.
Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing
Goal: Create a prosperous family or community
Fear: Chaos or being overthrown
Strategy: Exercise her power; send them all up North and reign supreme
Weakness: Unable to delegate (and gets a tad jealous)
Gendry (The Creator)
The last archetype is a true visionary. Non-conformist and entirely authentic, they’re looking to create something unique. And who better to fill the position than Flea Bottom’s number one blacksmith?
Gendry is a true innovator. Do you know how hard it is to make a double-bladed dragonglass axe, Hound? Very.
Motto: It can be done
Goal: Realise a vision
Fear: Mediocre execution, and having to go back to that wretched King’s Landing
Strategy: Gain artistic control and skill
This was a contentious topic at Bozboz. Do we deserve the Iron Throne? Or are we Krackening up? Sorry.
Let us know who we missed in the comments below.