This ridiculous bout of eternal winter that we’re currently experiencing in New York has been especially weird for me, as it must be for all fans of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones. After all, we won’t shut up about how winter is always coming all the time, and now it won’t go away. It’s a painful reminder that most of us probably wouldn’t last three seconds in the world of Westeros, and that as comforting as it is whispering the phrase “I am the blood of the dragon” during difficult yoga poses and too-hot showers, I am not actually as badass (or as burnproof) as a true Targaryen.
But on the other hand, I have a lot of non-New York friends and relatives who occasionally look upon my residence in Manhattan with awe that anyone can stand it there for more than three seconds, and it got me thinking. Manhattan and Westeros aren’t that different as far as neighborhoods are concerned, are they?
Now, I’m obviously not the first person to wonder about this — I’m not even the first person to wonder about it on the internet — but I haven’t seen anyone lay it out kingdom to neighborhood before without making some really huge leaps of logic. Not that I haven’t made some leaps, too, of course, but I think what I’ve come up with is pretty sound. Check below to see which sovereign house you’d be swearing fealty to if we all became playthings in George R. R. Martin’s world.
Beyond The Wall: Everything above Harlem, plus the Bronx
You live far beyond where the average tourist dares to tread. The snowplows always get to you last, if they come at all. All the rich people downtown pretty much assume that you are horrible savages, but have any of them even met you? Of course not, they’re just assholes who think they’re better than you because of where they live. Screw those guys.
The Night’s Watch: Columbia University
Idealistic young people leave their comfortable homes, live in a stone fortress with unexpectedly strange colleagues and little to no financial support, pile ample amounts of stress on themselves and swear off being able to have a normal sex life ever again — all for an undergraduate degree, which, like being a Ranger, is really not as impressive as it used to be anymore.
Winterfell, of House Stark: Upper West Side and Central Park
Where we keep many of the cultural and historical artifacts that nobody’s interested in anymore. Feel free to pay tribute to Old Gods on the Great Lawn, but it probably won’t go over well with the softball players.
The Vale, of House Arryn: Upper East Side
Known primarily for its old people, less-than-sane wealthy women, and ridiculously coddled children who don’t know how good they have it.
King’s Landing: Midtown, Times Square
Oh, sure, it seems like a wonderful place – if you’ve never actually been there. But the first time you step idealistically before the TKTS staircase (which is basically the closest thing we have to a big centrally-located chair made of swords) and immediately get shoved by no less than three families of fanny-packed Midwesterners on their way to see Mamma Mia, you’ll find that it’s a hell from which you cannot escape. No, really, you can’t, because those Midwestern tourists are still in front of you. Please move, tourists. Please. I want to go back to Winterfell now.
The Riverlands, of House Tully: Murray Hill, Gramercy, Stuyvesant Town
You’re probably super into your family. Everyone always forgets about you when they’re listing off neighborhoods.
Highgarden, of House Tyrell: West Village, Chelsea, Greenwich
Stylish, successful, and pretty dang friendly with the LGBT community, this part of town looks like the perfect fit for anybody. However, we can’t shake the sneaking suspicion that some of you are quietly scheming to take over the whole city and replace it with your very specific brand of upper middle class pretention. Looking at you, NYU.
Castlerly Rock, of House Lannister: Tribeca, Soho
You have so much money that you don’t even know what to do with it. Maybe you’ll star in a reality show where your entire family shouts at each other for forty six minutes. Maybe you’ll buy out all of Marc Jacobs. Maybe you will go to eleven different clubs and order thirteen different bottles of $300 champagne, most of which you will spill on the sexy club girls who are following you around. We don’t know, but we want to know. We want to be you. We also hate you.
The Stormlands of House Baratheon: Financial District
Either you wear suits all the time and never smile, or you’re a former fraternity bro who parties way too hard on the weekend. Possibly both.
Dorne, of House Martell: East Village, LES, Chinatown, Little Italy
A huge, colorful, ethnically ambiguous part of town – and aren’t you proud of it! You do your own thing and don’t care what the rest of the city thinks. Which is really the best for everyone, because the rest of the city doesn’t really get you anyway.
The Iron Islands, of House Greyjoy: Staten Island
You’re probably still very waterlogged from Hurricane Sandy. People love to make jokes about how awful you are. You can’t help worrying that they might be right.
Essos and The Free Cities: Brooklyn and Queens
You have lived here all your life and don’t see what the big deal is. Or you moved here when Manhattan got too expensive and won’t shut up about how amazing and “colorful” it is. Of course, once you’re making enough money you’ll totally move back and rule that bitch, but the guy who runs your local bodega doesn’t need to know that.
Note: I originally wrote this as a test article for an editorial assistant internship at a fancy online start-up. They did not hire me. I decided to edit it and slap it up here, because damn it, I need attention for liking Game of Thrones!