12 Brand Archetypes in Game of Thrones Characters

29 April 2019

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

GoalTo be happy. In this case, that means being an all-seeing, three-eyed raven

MottoThe 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

GoalUse information to understand the world

MottoThe 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

StrategyTo 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.

MottoRules are made to be broken (bring me the wine)

GoalOverturn a broken system

FearTo 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)

GoalUse your power to save the world

FearBeing seen as a”chicken” and getting betrayed

StrategyTo 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.

MottoYou’re the only one

Goal: Relationships with people, work and surroundings that they love

Fear: Being alone and unloved

StrategyBecome 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.

MottoYou only live once

GoalEnjoy 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

GoalTo belong

FearGetting 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

FearSelfishness, 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.

MottoPower isn’t everything, it’s the only thing

GoalCreate a prosperous family or community

FearChaos or being overthrown

StrategyExercise 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

GoalRealise a vision

Fear: Mediocre execution, and having to go back to that wretched King’s Landing

StrategyGain artistic control and skill

Weakness: Perfectionist

This was a contentious topic at Bozboz. Do we deserve the Iron Throne? Or are we Krackening up? Sorry.

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