Premier League Teams as Game of Thrones Houses
The Premier League is a cold and bitter battlefield that rarely experiences prolonged eras of complete peace and harmony, much like the fictional continent of Westeros.
Game of Thrones is a phenomenon much younger than England's top tier of football, but the rivalries, allegiances and heated feuds share some striking resemblances with the Premier League.
Using the relationships held between certain clubs and houses, as well as their geographical location in Westeros—not to mention house ideologies and mottos—we've converted each of the Premier League's inhabitants into a house of their own.
Arsenal: House Targaryen
The Targaryens are a proud, sophisticated and noble people, who used to have the ruling of Westeros until they were ousted from power by Robert Baratheon.
Arsenal, too, have enjoyed long spells of time on the English throne, but not for some time have the North Londoners experienced great dominance within their realm.
In Game of Thrones fiction, Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen are two of the only surviving members of their bloodline, having seen the rest extinguished at the latter end of their previous bout of power.
Much like the Targaryens, Arsenal may come back to control domestic matters. With the use of Daenerys' dragons, in this case perhaps representative of several key squad members, they could once again reign supreme.
Back in 1888, the Arsenal crest featured three cannons as opposed to the one of modern times, making it even more coincidental that the Targaryen sigil depicts a three-headed dragon.
The Targaryens' old stronghold in King's Landing was also referred to as the Red Keep.
Aston Villa: House Cerwyn
House Cerwyn is what's known as a vassal house: not as imposing as a great house, but no less capable of garnering respect among their peers should they possess the will to do so.
And they put themselves in good stead to do so through their sigil motto: "Honed and Ready."
This is extremely similar to Villa's even more simplified modus operandi of "Prepared," showing that both parties have an interest in always being on attention around their mightier foes.
Cardiff City: House Glover
It may not have been the way of old, but Cardiff City now find themselves bearing the red crest, not too dissimilar from the scarlet shield and silver gauntlet that adorns House Glover's sigil.
Perhaps the greatest similarity between these two teams, however, is their natural surroundings.
House Glover's lands are located along the Bay of Ice and extend into the Wolfswood. It wasn't long ago that Cardiff was the bustling hub of coal exchange thanks to Cardiff Bay, previously known as Tiger Bay, and the Welsh capital is surrounded by verdant scenery.
In Westeros, House Glover swear fealty to House Stark, but we expect no such respect in our reckoning.
Chelsea: House Tyrell
House Tyrell is, like the Targaryens, a bloodline consistent with the finer things in life, which ruled from The Reach, located in South West Westeros.
Their most prominent characters in Game of Thrones fiction are assuredly Margaery and Loras, daughter and son of Lord Mace Tyrell, who each marry into the families of others so that their community may prosper.
One might liken Chelsea's long-term allegiance with Roman Abramovich as something similar in terms of tactic—jumping into the proverbial bed with another in the pursuit of furthering one's own needs.
Though elegant in manner, the Tyrell's sigil—a golden rose on green field—is symbolic of their ability to become rather prickly when the occasion calls for it, not always as beautiful and harmless as they may first appear.
Crystal Palace: House Thorne
Not far from Crystal Palace's own struggle for power, House Thorne is a group hanging on to what control they still have among Westeros' bigger, more intimidating groups.
The Thornes are directly sworn to the Iron Throne in King's Landing, and like Palace, hold a more personal relationship with the establishment. After all, the Eagles' name comes from the Crystal Palace that used to exist in Hyde Park and was of some significance to the Royal Family.
House Thorne's sigil has a silver flail cast on a red background, so while not quite an Eagle, it is perhaps representative of Tony Pulis injecting a more Thorne-like approach into his side, whose new-look defence is turning many an enemy away.
Everton: House Greyjoy
A Great House very closely associated with the water and staying true to one's own traditions, House Greyjoy aren't the most welcoming of hosts.
And Goodison Park isn't the easiest place to travel, as many a Premier League outfit are aware—considering Everton have lost just twice at home this season.
Ruling their patch, known as the Iron Islands off Westeros' West Coast, the Greyjoys live by the motto "We Do Not Sow," made in reference to their living off the water and their own means.
This stubborn mentality is what has made the core of their people strong, meaning they have no need for great riches or splendour to go about achieving their goals.
Ringing any bells?
Fulham: House Tully
In terms of colour schemes, there's not much held in common between House Tully and Fulham—the former sporting red, blue and white, while the Cottagers are best known for their white shirts.
However, the two hold near-identical ideals, with the Tullys' sigil motto of "Family, Duty, Honour" striking as something that one might associate with one of the most old-fashioned outfits in the Premier League.
Craven Cottage is a perfect example of just how much tradition matters to a club like Fulham, which is very much accommodating of its families and encourages placing faith in what's old and proven.
House Tully is also sat near Riverrun, holding a close connection with the waters of their lands, as do our West London comparatives.
Hull City: House Mormont
For a large portion of this season, the KC Stadium was a near impenetrable place to travel in Premier League circles, just as House Mormont has proven to be on Bear Island in the past.
The Mormont share a deep connection with these feral, yet majestic creatures and protectors of their lands. And, while a tiger isn't of the same family, Hull City still have a similar understanding with their sigil bearers.
Mormont's sigil reads "Here We Stand," and Steve Bruce's side have at times this season showcased a similarly rebellious nature.
Liverpool: House Baratheon
In Game of Thrones fiction, the series sees House Baratheon split into three factions following the death of Robert Baratheon, but their banners are united for the sake of our list.
The house motto is "Ours Is The Fury," encapsulating a lifestyle that one could easily associate with the often aggressive nature of Liverpool, or at least the approach with which they've ripped into the Premier League title race this term.
Despite being one of the younger Great Houses in Westeros, Liverpool boast an all-encompassing power on the continent, which has unsurprisingly brought them a host of enemies, arguably more than any other family in the land.
The Baratheon's sigil is a black stag on yellow background, an honour they took from House Durrandon following its sacking, which we'll see later on is of particular significance among our Premier League representatives.
Manchester City: House Lannister
The Lannisters are one of the most powerful houses in all of the Three Kingdoms. They are also one of the main story arcs in Game of Thrones, centralising around figures such as Cersei, Tyrion, Jaime, Joffrey, Tywin and others, each of whom boast differing amounts of control from within their controversial setting.
Manchester City have assumed a position of power in the Premier League since being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.
Their dominant manoeuvre in taking King's Landing as their own following the death of Robert Baratheon through his illegitimate son Joffrey has drawn the ire of many in Westeros, as has City's tactic in moving to the head of the Premier League.
The motto of the house is "Hear Me Roar," due to their sigil depicting a lion on guard. However, a more unofficial motto exists in "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts," which is ironic considering the hundreds of millions that have been invested into the City "project."
Manchester United: House Martell
Some may feel Manchester United are deserving of a house comparison boasting more current power in Westeros, but House Martell have maintained a strong element of power from afar.
Martell's people aren't of the same appearance to others in Westeros, with a more olive complexion as opposed to some of the paler skins of the more northern territories.
The Red Devils have always had a more continental feel, being one of the first big clubs to truly embrace foreign acquisitions.
Something of particular significance here, however, is the fierce relationship the Martells share with the Lannisters, and that their stoic motto reads: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."
Newcastle United: House Bolton
Newcastle United and House Bolton each share the trait of being the northern-most institution of their respective environments, the Magpies ruling from Tyneside while the Boltons reign over The North.
St. James' Park has been known as something of a fortress in its time, and House Bolton's headquarters of the Dreadfort might draw particular resemblance to the Newcastle of the 1990s.
Known as one of the darker houses in Westeros, the Boltons' motto of "Our Blades Are Sharp" is an aggressive message to send, even if slightly empty given the club's recent form.
Norwich City: House Gardener
One of only three Great Houses of Westeros to ever go extinct, House Gardener don't bear much significance on the rest of their opponents and enemies these days.
However, the house—founded by Garth Greenhand—depicts a green hand on a white field as its sigil and holds a deep association with nature and the life around us, something to which Norfolk's Norwich City can indentify.
Southampton: House Stark
At the start of the 2013-14 season, Southampton were very much the flavour of the month, earning the respect of the Premier League masses and encouraging early talk of a possible top-four finish.
The same could be said for House Stark in the GoT series, where Sean Bean did a fine job of bringing us into deep appreciation for the small outfit who reigned from Winterfell.
Despite their size, though, the Starks' relationship with other powers—selling off their young assets to bigger powers in a bid to thrive, led them to becoming powerful when fighting in their own territory.
St. Mary's Stadium has also become a difficult place to travel these days, and the Starks' wolf sigil, significant of an animal that copes better in a cohesive unit, also shares some similarities with Mauricio Pochettino's stratagem.
Stoke City: House Clegane
House Clegane is best known for two things in Westeros: Gregor and Sandor Clegane, the two brothers born of this bloodline, known as "The Mountain That Rides" and "The Hound," respectively.
This pair of brutes might fancy a trip to Britannia Stadium were they to attend a Premier League fixture, where, despite Mark Hughes' best attempts at creating a new dynamic, the Potters still hold a reputation as one of the Premier League's tougher hosts.
The analogy of not being able to beat Stoke City at the Britannia on a cold Tuesday night in February might also apply to the not-so-accommodating statures of the Clegane siblings, who are more brawn than brains.
Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth may audition as a third musketeer.
Sunderland: House Reyne
One of the most famous musical compositions in Game of Thrones is "The Rains of Castamere," made in remembrance of House Reyne's destruction.
The Reynes were regarded as one of the most wealthy and powerful houses in Westeros, and while Ellis Short may not divert all of his funds toward the Black Cats' cause, he certainly isn't shy of a penny.
House Reyne also happen to sport a red and black lion with flames on his tail, not unlike Sunderland's Black Cats.
Swansea City: House Durrandon
As previously mentioned, House Durrandon was conquered by Orys Baratheon, who then chose to take their sigil as his own in a statement of control, much like Brendan Rodgers now sits as something of a shining pin on Liverpool's lapel these days.
The Durrandon line rule over the Stormlands, and although Swans aren't known to take well to such fierce conditions, these Swans appear to be a particularly tough breed.
And such is the story of Swansea City, who despite coming from the far-off setting in South Wales, are capable of crackling with all the power of thunder from time to time.
Tottenham Hotspur: House Arryn
Tottenham's cockerel mascot isn't quite as gracious as the white falcon that represents House Arryn in Game of Thrones, but the white and navy colour scheme is enough to link the two parties together.
The Arryns hold neutrality in The War of the Five Kings, instead choosing to simply guard their own borders while retaining some power as one of Westeros' most well-respected families.
This could be used as an illustration of Spurs' frustrations at being frozen in what seems like an eternal struggle to crack the elite of their lands.
West Brom: House Mudd
It's said that House Mudd "once ruled as Kings of Rivers and Hills," a sentiment that those in the West Midlands might be familiar with, having not won a first division title for more than 90 years.
Now extinct, the Mudd house could be found at Oldstones, an abode even older than the Hawthorns, which was built in 1900.
West Brom's West Midlands surroundings aren't quite as shrouded in nature as the club of days gone by, but the Baggies still share some of that personality with House Mudd.
West Ham: House Frey
A vassal house of House Tully, House Frey may bow to their lords in a way that West Ham might not toward Fulham, but the two London outfits still share close fealties in a geographical sense.
The Frey sigil, likes West Ham's, shows castle towers in what some might interpret as an indication of their stronghold-like defence, but both parties actually hold castles close to their hearts.
The Hammers are widely regarded as a family club, with fathers passing knowledge of the club onto their sons and daughters, and in that way House Frey is the same—albeit in a more, shall we say, "intimate" fashion that need not be discussed here.