The rabid fans of HBO's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones have been waiting for almost a year for the third season, which premieres this Sunday. For the past two seasons we've seen fearsome battles, buckets of blood, dragons and, frankly, way too much incest. Westeros is a rough place and the people who live there just cannot get along. The great houses of Westeros are really the world's worst neighbors.
Take the Baratheons. Big brother Robert started a rebellion years before the show began, but he eventually united the seven kingdoms in peace. But once he was dead his brothers (charming Renly and hard-ass Stannis) turned on each other, each believing they deserved the crown. They pulled the rest of their neighboring houses into the fight, which eventually claimed Renly's life and, later, most of Stannis' men. These brothers could have fought together, but instead their quests for glory have led them up shit creek without a paddle. Seven hells!
When you have an awful neighbor, you might put up a fence so you don't have to deal with them. When you're a northerner in Westeros and those bad neighbors are giants and zombies, you put up a 1,000-foot wall made out of ice and have a brotherhood of celibate warriors dedicated to defending it. A white picket fence does not cut it in the Seven Kingdoms.
Then there's the Starks and Lannisters, the show's main adversaries. Noble Ned Stark paid the price for discovering twins Cersei and Jamie's extremely squicky twincest, losing his head after admitting to a crime he didn't commit. Ouch. His daughters were forced to watch and have each endured their own load of suffering at the Lion's hands, with Sansa engaged to marry psychotic teen king Joffrey. When we last saw Jamie he had recently been freed from Stark captivity, but is still under the watchful eye of the extremely badass Brienne of Tarth, Catelyn Stark's sworn sword. These families are both too proud to suck it up and make peace for the good of Westeros. Pride, in fact, is what makes the great houses the worst neighbors ever. They've put too much stake in their titles and lands and reputations to ever back down from a fight.
Case in point: the Freys, lords of the crossing. Lord Walder, known as the Late Lord Frey for his reputation of showing up tardy to battles, made a deal with Robb Stark in the first season. Robb needed use of their bridge to make a move in battle and Lord Frey demanded that the Young Wolf marry one of his daughters in return. Last season Robb made the impulsive decision to marry a very hot nurse instead. Anyone who has read A Storm of Swords, the George R. R. Martin penned tome that season three is based on, knows that the Freys are about to prove that while a good neighbor may forgive such a slight, a neighbor in Westeros can't let something like that go unpunished.
On April 27, 2013, host a Neighborday party. Join this global celebration and follow the conversation at good.is/neighboring.
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