Words: Fire and Blood
Sigil: A three-headed red dragon breathing flames on a black ground.
About them: The former ruling family of Westeros now reduced to one member, Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, aka the Khaleesi, currently to be found in Slaver’s Bay where she is both amassing an army and waging an emancipation campaign.
Strengths: Good tactician. Frequently underestimated. Dragons.
Weaknesses: Mercenary soldiers with flowing locks and something of the mid-90s male model about them.
What others will make of your choice: You love power but you also understand the quality of mercy. Few can resist you.
Words: Winter is Coming
Sigil: A grey direwolf on a white field
About them: Upright, northern, honest, prone to making stupid decisions due to rigid moral code. Currently all separated from each other and facing varying fortunes following patriarch Ned’s unfortunate beheading.
Strengths: Good in battle, honourable, solid family ties, direwolves.
Weaknesses: A fatal tendency to do the right thing in a world where good guys finish last.
What others will make of your choice: You are loyal, tenacious, admirable - and liable to end up dead.
Words: Hear me roar
Sigil: A golden lion rampant on a crimson field
About them: Wealthy, politically astute, devious, often malicious, good with words and for the most part lacking in scruples. Currently the ruling family in Westeros for precisely those reasons.
Strengths: Good game players, rich, not afraid of hard decisions, always pay their debts.
Weaknesses: Make The Borgias look functional. Have nurtured a psychopath and placed him on the throne. Occasionally rather too fond of each other.
What others will make of your choice: You are ruthless, power-crazed, amoral – and surprisingly good at making people laugh.
Words: Ours is the Fury (Robert and Renly), The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors (Stannis)
Sigil: A black stag on a gold background with a crown (Robert and Renly), a crowned stag in a fiery heart (Stannis)
About them: Robert Baratheon had a great war and a terrible peace. Having long settled for a state of near permanent inebriation during his reign, he was killed while hunting. His youngest brother Renly was murdered after trying to claim the throne on Robert’s death. Middle brother Stannis, who ordered Renly’s death by black magic, is currently plotting his path to the throne with the help of a Red Priestess.
Strengths: Good in battle (Robert), charming (Renly), morally right and unafraid to make hard choices (Stannis)
Weaknesses: Drunk and careless (Robert), frivolous and unthinking (Renly), rigid and prone to murdering opponents with magic (Stannis)
What others will make of your choice: Politics bores you but you’ve always got time for a strong drink and a good tale (Robert). Politics bores you but you quite fancy the trappings (Renly). You are right but repulsive, although some say you’re just a bit misunderstood (Stannis).
Words: Growing Strong
Sigil: A golden rose on a green field
About them: The Lords of Highgarden are also the masters of PR, playing the game with honeyed words and understanding the power of a strong image. Margaery Tyrell is about to become Queen of Westeros, her grandmother Olenna is on hand to provide shrewd advice while brother Loras, former lover of now deceased Renly Baratheon, is pondering the horrors of a life married to Cersei Lannister.
Strengths: Great at PR, good at the game, very wealthy, genuinely love each other.
Weaknesses: Greedy, obsessed by power, not necessarily as clever as they think they are.
What others will make of your choice: You are very charming on the surface but what lies behind the carefully constructed face you present to the world?
Words: As High As Honour
Sigil: A white falcon and crescent moon on a blue field
About Them: Following the death of Jon Arryn, his wife Lyssa, Catelyn Stark’s sister, has secluded herself in the Eyrie with her young son.
Strengths: A nearly impenetrable fortress home. An ability to stay above the fray. Close mother and son bond.
Weaknesses: Isolated. Not entirely sane. Mother and son bond perhaps too close.
What others will make of your choice: You are all about motherhood; other people’s petty affairs are not your concern. Visitors are not welcome and may well leave by the Sky Door.
Words: We do not sow
Sigil: A golden kraken on a yellow field
About them: A family of reavers and raiders raised on the harsh, forbidding Iron Islands, the Greyjoys prefer plunder to favours i.e ‘paying the iron price’. Family head Balon has declared himself a king in the aftermath of Robert Baratheon’s death; daughter Yara (Asha in the books) is apparently holding Deepwood Moat in the North, son and heir Theon is being graphically tortured by a nameless villain following a failed attempt to seize the Stark stronghold of Winterfell.
Strengths: Good in a fight, brave, not the sort of people you mess with.
Weaknesses: Not so good at strategy, thinking things through or having any sort of a plan. Prone to rash decisions. Entitled and a bit weaselly (Theon).
What others will make of your choice: You like to rush headfirst at things. Be careful or you could pay something rather worse than the iron price.
Words: Not yet revealed by George R R Martin
Sigil: Two blue towers united by a bridge on a silver-grey background
About them: Bannerlords to the Tullys, greedy for advancement, currently preparing for the marriage of Edmure Tully to an as-yet-unnamed Frey daughter after Robb Stark withdrew from his own proposed Frey wedding.
Strength: Is in their number. Lord Walder Frey is much married and has numerous children and grandchildren. The bridge with which they control the river crossing making them important strategic allies.
Weaknesses: Unpleasant, venal, out for themselves.
What others will make of your choice: Who cares about popularity, you’d just like to be on the winning side.
Words: Our blades are sharp
Sigil: A flayed man red on a pink background
About them: Bannermen to the Starks. Roose Bolton has just sent Jaime Lannister back to his father – raising questions about how loyal he is to Robb Stark. His son has apparently retaken Winterfell following Theon’s capture.
Strengths: Great tacticians, clever, astute readers of the game.
Weaknesses: Cold, unfeeling, out for their own personal gain.
What others will make of your choice: You are scary and unpleasant but as this is Westeros you may well still win the game.
The Brotherhood without Banners
Words: Egalitarian outlaw bands don’t have words
Sigil: See above – although their leader Lord Beric Dondarrion is known as the lightening lord and his house sigil is forked purple lightening on a black starry sky.
About them: A rag-taggle group of outlaws and condemned men lead by Dondarrion and pledged to assist the ordinary people of Westeros.
Strengths: Helping the needy. Guerrilla warfare knowledge. Resurrection.
Weaknesses: Broke. Tendency to sell out for cash. Long-term career prospects not great.
What others will make of your choice: You are passionate about the underdog but not always to be trusted.
Words: Words? What use are words when you’re trying to survive Beyond The Wall?
Sigil: The free folk have no time for pretty pictures.
About them: To the people of the Seven Kingdoms a bunch of illiterate savages, to themselves a proud collective of the truly free.
Strengths: Brave, fierce, answer to no one, largely unstoppable.
Weaknesses: Undisciplined, ill-organised, not particularly good at tactics, facing a terrifying army of undead white walkers on one side of The Wall and the might of Westeros on the other.
What others will make of your choice: Who cares about rules? You just want to be free, to do want you want to do. Disagree? You naaw nothing…
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk