Whether or not you believe in astrology, there’s no denying that the description of a typical star sign reads like a practice in symbolism. Some astrologists go so far as to ascribe each member of the zodiac physical characteristics by which you may try to know a person’s sign on sight. (Of course, if this worked, there would be no need to ask the smarmiest and most abused pick-up line ever created.) Upon closer study, however, it appears that there may be something to this great astronomical classification – and perhaps George R.R. Martin knows it, because the creatures of the zodiac have been spotted in the books of his epic saga, A Song of Ice and Fire (made famous by the HBO show Game of Thrones, the title of the first book of the series).
Let’s take a closer look at each of the houses and the signs of the zodiac they most closely resemble—do you see yourself in any of these?
Tywin Lannister image by Mia
HOUSE LANNISTER: Leo the Lion
We’ll start with the most obvious. House Lannister is represented on their coat of arms by the rampant lion, and their personalities do not go against the typical Leo sign description: They are charismatic, prideful, cunning, attractive, and politically adept. They are natural-born leaders, and they have the instinctive sense of not only their royalty, but their right to their royalty. They are fiercely protective of their families. Rounding out the favorable aspects of the sign, the Lannisters are famous for their wealth and for paying their debts, whether the debt is cash, privilege, or honor. Even their appearance is Leo stock: golden manes, compelling eyes, and beautiful faces.
Happiest when: A Lannister Leo is happiest when they’re surrounded by their court of loyal admirers (even if the “loyalty” is bought), and when they’re dressed in the finest—a sign of their effectiveness as leaders.
Watch out for: their claws. Lannister Leos pay their debts, remember? And that includes any disrespect or treason, whether real or imagined. They may smile at the time, but that smile is full of fangs. Do not offend them, and for the sake of the old gods, do not provoke them by threatening to tell their secrets or harm their children.
Ned Stark Image by Le Hénanff Fabrice
HOUSE STARK: Capricorn the Goat
Winter is coming indeed. The Starks may carry the direwolf as the sigil of their house, but in no other way should you be distracted from the truth of their goatish Capricorn natures. Not only do they guard the North and constantly warn of the approach of winter, they are taciturn and duty-bound, just as any responsible winter-born Capricorn should be. The Stark Capricorns do not compromise their honor easily, but they will do it for the sake of a great love. Can’t believe that serious little Capricorn friend of yours capable of a great love? Then maybe you don’t know the secrets they’re keeping. They demonstrate only that they are not above performing every task, no matter how menial or distasteful (have you executed a deserter lately?), and still proving to their people that they are true lords and ladies. They are swarthy and dark-haired.
Happiest when: A Stark Capricorn is happiest when they’re surrounded by family or in the middle of the Godswood, enjoying some alone-time with nature.
Watch out for: their overdeveloped sense of vengeance. A Stark Capricorn will flip their shit if someone they love is hurt/killed/dishonored. The only thing that will turn off the flood of fury is the death and dishonor of the responsible party. Be respectful always, and compliment them often on their spotless reputations and ability to plan battles. Then – keep your promises to them.
Edmure Tully image by Amoka
HOUSE TULLY: Pisces the Fish
The Tullys hold Riverrun and hoist the banner of the trout. Yes, of course, that seems to make it obvious – but there’s far more. Tully Fish prosper during times of peace, but they have the sense of duty to family that does not make it possible to run from war; instead, they draw on their vast reserves of calm and strength and do what needs to be done to serve their lords and protect their lands and people. Because they aren’t naturally warlike, Tully Fish tend to forge smart alliances and strengthen them with a deep, intense love. This brings out the best in the people who serve them. They are pretty people with eyes that remind you of rivers or oceans.
Happiest when: Tully Fish are happiest when they’re safe and secure at home.
Watch out for: Tully Fish don’t strategize well. Sometimes they are impulsive, especially when they’re sad, depressed, offended, or panicked. The mistakes they make can add up to big headaches for their families and supporters. Give them space to make wise decisions, and, if possible, keep them far from the fighting and the hostages.
Daenerys Targaryen image by David Desbois
HOUSE TARGARYEN: Scorpio the Scorpion
Targaryen Scorpios are determined, loyal, reserved, and proud, which can cause them to be very loved or very hated. They are suspicious by nature, and therefore distrustful; it takes a lot to prove to a Targaryen Scorpio that you love them. However, once you’ve proven yourself, they have the backbone and loyalty to take you to the top with them. A good Targaryen displays amazing flashes of wisdom, much like the fire of their dragons. Desire is their word: when the desire overwhelms their logic, they fail. But if the desire serves them? There is no stopping them. Targaryen Scorpios reflect danger in their hypnotic eyes.
Happiest when: A Targaryen Scorpio is happiest when they’re governing the world of men from the back of a dragon.
Watch out for: Do not wake the dragon! Targaryen Scorpios do not fear to lash out and punish any transgression, and if they are allowed to go a bit crazy, they become sadistic and vindictive. Do not betray them. Do not provoke them. It’s far better to let sleeping dragons lie.
Robert Baratheon image by Amoka
HOUSE BARATHEON: Taurus the Bull
A young Baratheon Bull is a fierce fighter in battle and a deep strategist. You want to make sure you keep them in battle, though; an older Baratheon Bull can sink too quickly into his earthly vices: wine, women, and the hunt for both, and they won’t stop retelling the stories of their conquests and reminiscing on the past. They care little for the trappings and intrigues of court and they bore easily. A romantic Baratheon Bull will go batshit if the object of his affection is killed, and it won’t be enough to punish one person; they’ll want to wipe the offender’s entire house from the earth. They’re just stubborn enough to pull it off, too. Young Baratheon Bulls are almost irresistibly sexy, and they love to indulge in sex.
Happiest when: A Baratheon Bull is happiest when they’re fighting, fucking, or feasting.
Watch out for: That prideful stubbornness. They don’t take no for an answer. Also, don’t insult their honor or deny them their “rightful” place. The only good news about pissing off a Baratheon Bull is that you know it right away; they don’t play guessing games. You’d better go ahead and hide out over the Narrow Sea.
Asha Greyjoy image by Rosettez
HOUSE GREYJOY: Cancer the Crab
A house that rules from a harsh island environment and keeps to themselves, the Greyjoy Crabs don’t seem to have that many friends or, even, positive traits – but look no further than Asha to redeem them. The Greyjoy Crab overcomes the limits placed on them to achieve much. They are sensitive, tenacious, resourceful, and self-contained. Asha proves her worth by taking her place in the world instead of waiting to have it handed to her. The Greyjoy Crab expects the family to prove themselves, too; when her brother demands reinforcements to help him hold Winterfell, Asha sends a token force and insists he stand or fall on his own merit, but when Theon fails, Asha tries to ransom him. Greyjoys are attractive in a cocky, confident way.
Happiest when: Greyjoy Crabs are happiest when they’re left the hell alone.
Watch out for: The crazy, self-centered ones. They’re touchy and moody. It’s hard to crack through the shell of a Greyjoy Crab, and if they think you’re incompetent, it becomes ten times harder. All you’ll get out of them is mockery, and, in extreme cases, treachery.
Loras Tyrell image by Amoka
HOUSE TYRELL: Libra the Scales
The scales of justice, might, and loyalty can tip at a whim, and in A Song of Ice and Fire, those whims usually belong to the Tyrells. They are known for being attractive, graceful, and intellectual, and they command vast armies and fortunes. Just like their astrological counterparts, The Tyrell Librans are courted by every contender for the throne. Their allegiance lies with whoever shows them the most respect, but even that is calculated and weighed carefully. They know instinctively how to make people love them, be it throwing food to the starving people of King’s Landing or winning tourneys as a handsome knight. Tyrell babies are some of the prettiest people in Westeros.
Happiest when: Tyrell Librans are happiest when they’re allowed to be the center of attention, and when they know they hold the fate of the kingdom in their balanced scales.
Watch out for: Duplicity. Those scales tip often. Always be the most attractive offer on the table, or you’ll find yourself without your lucky Tyrell by your side – even worse, you may find them off helping your enemy to your throne.
Oberyn Martell image by Amoka
HOUSE MARTELL: Aries the Ram
What kind of house is able to fend off the inexorable advance of dragons and remain independent and free? The house governed by the stubborn, warlike Ram, of course. Martell Rams carry their heritage of warrior queens and headstrong kings (called princes) proudly. They do not show fealty easily, preferring to join other noble houses through marriage rather than defeat. No matter their aggressive heritage, Martell Rams are smart enough to smell a bad fight, and disciplined enough to stay out of it if possible. If not possible, they will fight, but always with one cynical eye trained on their supposed “masters.” They are exotic people, with almond eyes and dark hair.
Happiest when: Martell Rams are happiest when they’re trading with the Free Cities and reminding other houses that they belong to no one.
Watch out for: Poisoned blades, wines, and tongues. If you have something they want, it’s better to marry one of them and “share” the thing than endure endless battles trying to keep it.
David Bradley as Lord Walder Frey on HBO’s Game of Thrones
HOUSE FREY: Gemini the Twins
Histories are written by the victors, and the future history books of Westeros won’t be very kind to House Frey. The house symbolized by the Twins will be depicted as faithless guest-slayers in the end – but so much of their faithful past will be forgotten. The Frey Twins shouldn’t be so vilified; they have been creative, intelligent servants to their lords in the past, and they’ve been largely ignored and mocked for a lot of that time. During that time, they managed to grow in numbers, wealth and strength, and have lots of children and happiness. No matter how patient, there are only so many broken oaths they can bear, however, especially when it’s at the hands of old friends.
Happiest when: Being included, whether it’s wars, parties, weddings, or tourneys.
Watch out for: An offended Frey is the most dangerous person in the world. Because of their dual natures, they’ll be able to laugh with you while wielding a dagger behind your back – so watch your back and keep your promises.
Khal Drogo image by Chary Chu
DOTHRAKI WARRIORS: Sagittarius the Archer
You know them, of course – the adventurous, free-spirited people who ride through life, jovial and ambitious, just like the Dothraki. They are fair. They are honorable. They are idealistic. And yes, they have legendary tempers. Sure, maybe they’re a bit superstitious, and their rituals seem . . .odd, but they always leave you with the impression that you’d like to run away and join them someday on their long and exciting ride. Dothraki Archers can make fantastic lovers when they’ve found the right person who will explore with them and not try to tie them down. They’re dark-eyed and have a simmering sort of sensuality.
Happiest when: Discovering new things, people, places, and ideas, and conquering them all with their intelligence and strong will.
Watch out for: That temper. Also, they can be irresponsible and tactless when they’re threatened or bored. Keep them moving if you want to keep them happy and keep yourself healthy.
Jon Snow Image by Symphonikaa
THE NIGHT’S WATCH: Virgo the Virgin
Go ahead and laugh. The men of the Night’s Watch won’t care that you think it’s ridiculous to give up inheritances, marriage, and even sex in defense of Westeros. They don’t mind. They’re busy being the reliable sentry at the Wall. They’re organized and brave. They’re worried, of course – it’s cold as fuck where they are, and getting colder as winter closes in. They don’t have enough men to defend against the wildlings, let alone the Others. They could produce logistics and charts and actuarial analyses to prove these claims, but at this point they’ve lost their greatest allies and are sure no more help is coming. So why do they persist? For their brothers. When the entire world forgets you, you turn to each other. No matter where they come from, they wear the black of duty proudly.
Happiest when: Their supplies and cash are secure and the people who rely on them are satisfied.
Watch out for: Deserters. The austerity of the life at Castle Black can be too much for even the stoutest, and those who desert can be half-mad and overly creative with their stories.
Ygritte image by Anja Dalisa
THE FREE FOLK (Wildlings): Aquarius the Water-Bearer
Freedom: most of the people south of the Wall talk about it, but according to the Free Folk Aquarians, none of them really know what it means. The “kneelers” have to obey their lords and laws, but the Free Folk have none of these obligations. In fact, they believe that the whole word was once free, but southern lords stole that freedom with their steel. As a result, they rebel against any attempt to domesticate them, even so much as to shun the concept of marriage. The ultimate free spirits, Free Folk Aquarians trust only themselves and work only for themselves, and will only organize to defend each individual’s right to remain free. They look like themselves.
Happiest when: resisting authority and creating their own versions of family and community.
Watch out for: Revolution – either by sword or ideology, the Free Folk Aquarians will challenge you to see the world a different way.