Like just about everyone else, I watch Game of Thrones, and both can't wait for and dread the finale on Sunday. George R.R. Martin created a rich world with characters that are fierce and fascinating and complicated. Although it's set in a fantasy world, the show has examined a number of interesting themes around very real-world issues, particularly on power and leadership. Really, Game of Thrones is an extreme competition between family businesses. Taken in the context of business, the residents of Westeros and Essos have a lot of powerful advice.

Of course not every character can be as honorable as Ned Stark. But even those less-than-upstanding offer important business lessons when pushed to their limits. While the real world business consequences may not be as immediately life-or-death as in The Known World, the advice remains.

Here are quotes from Game of Thrones to inspire you to get down to business:

1.     "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." - Cersei Lannister

2.     "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." - Ned Stark

3.     "Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister

4.     "A lion does not concern himself with the opinion of sheep." - Tywin Lannister

5.     "The big fish eat the little fish and I keep on paddling." - Lord Varys

6.     "I need you to become the man you were always meant to be. Not next year, not tomorrow, now." - Tywin Lannister

7.     "The past is gone for good. You can sit here mourning it's departure, or prepare for the future." - Petyr Baelish

8.     "People die at their dinner tables, die in their beds. They die squatting over their chamber pots. Everybody dies, sooner or later. Don't worry about your death. Worry about your life. Take charge of your life, for as long as it lasts." - Petyr Baelish

9.     "Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is." - Petyr Baelish

10.  "I was nothing at all. And when you're nothing at all, there's no reason to be afraid." - Samwell Tarly

11.  "It's a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don't want to be most of us." - Oberyn Martell

12.  "No one can survive in this world without help. No one." - Jorah Mormont

13.  "The occasional kindness will spare you all sorts of trouble down the road." - Cersei Lannister

14.  "No matter who you are, no matter how strong you are, sooner or later, you'll face circumstances beyond your control." - Cersei Lannister

15.  "So many men, they risk so little. They spend their lives avoiding danger. And then they die." - Petyr Baelish

16.  "Remember what you are and what you are not." - Ramsay Snow

17.  "I will not become a page in someone else's history book." - Stannis Baratheon

18.  "Angry snakes lash out. It makes chopping off their heads that much easier." - Daenerys Targaryen

19.  "Fear cuts deeper than swords." - Arya Stark

20.  "I failed. Good. Now go fail again." - Davos Seaworth

21.  "It is beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long, you'll drown." - Three-Eyed Raven

22.  "The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted." - Mance Rayder

23.  "It doesn't matter what we want. Once we get it, then we want something else." - Petyr Baelish

24.  "A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. That's why I read so much." - Tyrion Lannister

25.  "Any man who must say 'I am the King' is no true king." - Tywin Lannister

26.  "A ruler who kills those devoted to her is not a ruler who inspires devotion." - Tyrion Lannister

27.  "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives." - Ned Stark

28.  "The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No, you're a dragon. Be a dragon." - Olenna Tyrell

29.  "There is only one thing we say to death: Not today." - Syrio Forel

Published on: May 15, 2019
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