It seems that Game of Thrones is all the rage right now. Which seems correct because the show is awesome. Obviously, the books are way better, but I know a good deal of people who are just show watchers and not book readers. After all of the recent excitement on the show, I started thinking about how New Hampshire is similar to the fictional kingdom of Westeros, particularly the region of Westeros known simply as The North. Caution: There may be slight spoilers ahead.
1. Our Winter
Winter did come to NH and it was awful. This winter was so long and cold that it certainly felt like the Westerosi winter that the Starks are fond of warning us about. I mean, we had snow in late April! I’ll bet that is what a Stark would call a summer snow.
2. Our Ruling Families
It seems as though each small town in New Hampshire has a family that has been there forever and kind of calls the shots. Like the Starks of Winterfell, the Boltons of the Dreadfort, or the Umbers of the Last Hearth we each have our own ‘ruling’ family in each town. They might not be actual nobility, but they might be able to trace their lineage back to nobility and/or they have lived in that town since the town was founded.
3. Our Wilderness
While we may not have weirwood trees, we have plenty of others. With over 100 state forests, we might as well be our own Wolfswood. I’m not so sure about the population of New Hampshire’s dire wolves, but I know we have a multitude of other northern animals like bears, deer, and coyotes. We have so much wildlife in our own state that all of the nobility in New Hampshire could each take one of the animals as a sigil and I’m sure we’d have some left over.
4. Our Traditions
While some in King’s Landing would say that the northerners are known for their coldness of manner (I’m looking at you Cersei), we in The North know better. Every town in New Hampshire has its own traditions, much like each area in Westeros and those traditions are held in the highest of importance. And guests are always treated hospitably and with respect, unless you are Walder Frey (but he doesn’t live in The North, so I’m leaving him out).
5. Our Motto
Live Free or Die sounds very similar to the way of life of the Wildlings of Westeros. While the Wildlings are technically not in The North, they still live north of the Wall, which, to my mind makes them part of The North. The Wildlings, or the Freefolk as they call themselves, live by their own rules and pride themselves on being free. While we are a bit more civilized than the Wildlings, we are also very proud of our own freedom.
We don’t have any White Walkers or dragons or dire wolves in our midst, but I’m sure we’re just not looking hard enough. What would be on your list of similarities? What about how we differ from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world?