The hidden meanings and secrets behind each Game of Thrones House banner


Sigil: The two stone grey towers and bridge of the Twins, on a dark grey field, surmounting an escutcheon of blue water
House words: We stand together
The hidden meaning: They’re not going anywhere, and they’re not posh. Deal with it. 

The explanation: Such a wonderfully simple sigil. The castle on the Frey’s sigil is The Twins, a set of two keeps on each side of a river, linked by the Stone Bridge (imaginative name, we know). Here they exact tolls from anyone who wants to cross, which quickly made the House filthy rich. However, this rapid rise to the aristocratic ranks is looked down upon by the older noble families. Do the Freys care? No. They’re proud that the Twins have made them rich and that honor or war hasn’t played a role in their ascension, and they wear it on their sleeve as a way to flip the middle finger at ancient families like the Lannisters and Tyrells. Seven hells, their sigil is their castle after all!  


Sigil: A rampant black bear on a white field, surrounded by a green escutcheon
House words: Here we stand
The hidden meaning: Finally, they’re ready to fight 

The explanation: Judging by the fact that in earlier seasons the Mormont’s bear used to be striding (on all fours) and now it’s rampant (stood on its hind legs, its paws outstretched like the Lannister’s rampant lion), I’d say the Mormonts have changed quite drastically. Proud of the bears that roam their island - named Bear Island, funnily enough - they often compare their islanders to the giant furry mammal. Current ruler Lyanna Mormont says they fight with the strength of 10 mainlanders, so it’s no wonder that their house words are ballsy. It’s not just the male warriors you should fear either. Because husbands, brothers, and fathers would sail away to fight, the women left on Bear Island quickly learned that they need to be skilled with the sword to defend their land from invaders. You’re likely to find an equal amount of male and female soldiers on the island, so the house words are a challenge to other Houses to come and fight them - especially now that they’re backing the Starks’ claim to the North. 


Sigil: The head of the Titan of Braavos on a green field (former), now a black mockingbird on a yellow field (current)
House words: Knowledge is power
The hidden meaning: Don’t. Trust. Them. 

The explanation: Petyr Baelish (or Littlefinger), our favourite manipulator, is the last surviving member of House Baelish. His grandfather was an ordinary sellsword from Braavos, hence the Titan of Braavos being their former sigil. With Littlefinger’s meteoric rise to the top of the aristocratic food chain, he elected to rebrand the Baelish house with his unassuming mockingbird. So unthreatening. Wrong. Just like the mockingbird, who will lay eggs in other birds’ nests just like cuckoos, Littlefinger is not to be trusted. His schemes undermine other Houses while on the surface he acts like a caring friend. The cheerful yellow field could refer to his new riches, as well as being nice and happy to further disarm any accusations of underhand dealings. 


Sigil: Three black dogs on a yellow field
House words: Unknown
The hidden meaning: They’re just as tenacious as guard dogs 

The explanation: Handily Gregor Clegane has gone into why three dogs symbolise House Clegane. His grandfather looked after the dogs at Casterly Rock, the Lannister’s seat. One autumn year Lord Tytos Lannister (Cersei and Jaime’s grandfather) came across a lioness in the woods, and it would have killed him - were it not for Gregor’s grandfather. He came up with his dogs, three of which attacked the lioness to save Tytos. Understandably the Lannister patriarch was grateful, so he gave him lands and a towerhouse and made his son - Gregor’s father - a squire. As he puts it, “the three dogs on our banner are the three that died, in the yellow of autumn grass. A hound will die for you, but never lie to you. And he'll look you straight in the face.” There you have it. House Clegane aren’t one for dissembling or lying, and will protect their charge till the death. Definitely a family you want on your side. 

Read more: Who is allied with who in Game of Thrones - and what it means for season 7

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.