Can you hear that? It’s the sound of muffled sighs and perhaps a few sobs from homes and offices around Australia.
Game of Thrones is over for another season and fans are processing the fact that it’ll be at least 18 months till a new series lands.
Yes, it’s going to be a long time between flagons for our favourites. How will we cope without a weekly dose of Jon, striding around, looking #hotAF and smouldering in his fur? Or Dany blowing s**t up with her dragon children? It’s going to be difficult, that’s for sure.
One thing we can take from having GoT cruelly yanked from our lives (again) is the lessons that it leaves us with. Lessons like “getting jiggy with a sibling never ends well” and “dragons, make sure they’re dead… always.”
There’s also a bunch of parenting gems hidden amongst the broader messages. We’ve chosen five of the best parenting lessons from Game of Thrones, just for you.
Before we progress it has to be said: SPOILERS PEOPLE. If you haven’t watched the last couple of episodes then do yourself a favour. Step away from the screen till after you’ve seen it. We don’t want to ruin your week.
1. Choose the male role models in your kids lives wisely
Good male role models are few and far between in GoT, it has to be said. Yes, you can argue that Ned WAS a good choice for his sister Lyanna as guardian for Jon, but then what happens? Ned winds up dead and the Stark boys (and girls) start down a path that frankly leads to some pretty weird s**t (it has to be said that Bran really seems to have gotten the roughest end of that particular stick).
Stannis burns his own daughter at the stake and ‘Uncle Jamie’ is really ‘big daddy Jamie’, both scenarios which are twisted beyond contemplation. We reckon Jon would have made an excellent mentor for his younger brothers but that plan went the way of the wall very early on. The message is clear. Choose the menfolk in your kids lives carefully. Generally, you won’t deal with the undead and ritual stake burnings BUT never underestimate the role of the ‘role model’.
2. Say ‘sayonara’ to gender roles
If Arya Stark has taught us anything (apart from many, varied methods of revenge), it’s that gender and more specifically, gender roles, are an illusion. The youngest daughter of Ned and Catelyn, Arya was always expected to follow in older sister Sansa’s more ladylike footsteps. Sewing and needlepoint weren’t really her thing though. The writing should have been on the wall in Season 1 when Ned warned his daughter against ‘playing’ with swords.
“Little ladies shouldn’t play with swords.” – Ned Stark
“I wasn’t playing and I don’t want to be a lady.” – Arya Stark
YEEEES Arya, you badass. Look, we wouldn’t recommend that your little girl follows in Arya’s exact footsteps – be wary of pie-baking daughters if that happens – but it’s always worth remembering that our kids choose their interests based on what appeals to them. And this is regardless of whether they happen to be traditionally ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ focused, so embrace that curiosity and enthusiasm, however it comes.
3. Fostering respect helps avoid issues down the track
It’s always said that you can’t ‘buy’ respect. You earn it. As a parent, building a respectful relationship with your child from the get-go is essential. Cersei really dropped the ball with Joffrey and it didn’t take long for the sadistic lunatic tendencies to take full flight. Or take Season 6 favourite, Ramsay Bolton AKA the successor to Joffrey as ‘most evil character ever to grace the GoT screen.” His relationship with his father was shaky at best, but once the small grains of respect he did have for him slipped away, carnage reigned. Cast your mind back… and shudder.
Most children will not enjoy torture and castration in the same way Joffrey and Ramsay did, but fostering respect AND maintaining it can be a tricky prospect, especially with tweens and teens. Remember, it’s worth persisting for the long term health of your parent-child relationship.
4. Family is number one
It could be said that GoT is really just an enormously over the top family drama (think The Bold and The Beautiful on steroids). Blood is well and truly thicker than water when it comes to the various families and alliances in GoT. Whether it’s Cersei avenging the deaths of her father and children, Sansa, Bran and Arya uniting against Little Finger (finally) or Theon taking to the seas to try and find his sister Yara, family is the one thing that triumphs every time, regardless of kingdom, which is something we can all learn from.
It’s also important to remember that other family rule, and it’s this. Though you can’t pick your family, you can pick your lover. Preferably not from your family.
5. It’s okay to let children run wild
Keeping children chained up – whether with real chains or metaphorical ones – is a bad idea. Just ask Daenerys. She tried to keep her ‘kids’ stashed away indoors and what did it get her? Just a bunch of surly, grumpy children who wanted to eat all the wrong kinds of foods. Same for us parents. Sometimes there comes a time when you have to set the rules aside – if only for a few hours – and let the offspring run wild. Even if chaos ensues. Letting toddlers and children get all that wild energy out is always the better option. Unless it ends with being turned into an ice dragon, but that’s a lesson for another day…
6. If in doubt, just ask yourself; ‘What would Jon do?’
Yes we said five lessons, but you really can’t write about Game of Thrones without at least ONE sexy as hell Jon Snow shot. You’re welcome.
Crazy Game of Thrones fan? Check out these glorious GoT inspired baby names, for the true obsessive in all of us.