Sigils and Mottos of the Houses of Westeros
Each house’s heraldry is defined by its own unique sigils and is complemented by family mottos that give some insight into their distinctive personalities.
Here is a description and comparison of the sigils of the different houses of Westeros:
Their sigil is a red, three-headed dragon set against a black field. Their motto is “Fire and Blood”. The three-headed dragon represents Aegon and his two sisters – who also happened to be his wives. It is also symbolic of their three dragons, which played a vital role in their successful conquest of the kingdoms of Westeros.
In the book, House Stark’s sigil is a running direwolf on a white field. In the HBO adaptation, only the head of the monster is shown and there is a hint of green in the background. Either way, the sigil denotes the importance of the direwolf to House Stark. A direwolf is a powerful creature that is larger than most wolves and can grow to the size of the horse. It is typically spotted in the North as it is accustomed to cold climates. In the beginning of the series, each of the Stark children forms a special bond with their own direwolves. The motto of House Stark is “Winter is coming”.
The sigil of House Greyjoy is a golden kraken against a black field, which befits their culture as seafarers and raiders. Their motto is “We Do Not Sow”.
Their sigil is a silver trout leaping over a field of blue and red. The trout may be symbolic of the Trident, as the Riverlands is situated between the forks of this river. The motto of House Tully is “Family, Duty, Honor”.
The sigil of House Arryn is a falcon soaring against the moon. Some versions depict a blue falcon against a full, white moon. Others show a white falcon and crescent moon against a dark blue field. The motto of House Arryn is “As High As Honor”.
Their sigil is a roaring, golden lion against a crimson field. Whether representative of the large amount of gold in their lands, their physical traits, or their strength and power, the sigil certainly befits House Lannister in numerous ways. The official motto of their house is “Hear me roar!”, though another popular saying attributed to them is that “A Lannister always pays his debts”.
Their sigil is a golden rose on a green field and may be symbolic of their lands, which are the most fertile in all of Westeros. Ser Loras, a popular knight from the Tyrell family, is known as the “Knight of Flowers”. Their motto is “Growing Strong”.
The sigil of House Martell is a sun pierced by a spear against an orange field. Their castle is aptly named “Sunspear”. Their motto, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, is indicative of their resilience, a trait that was showcased when their House successfully withstood the Targaryen invasion.
The sigil of the royal family, one of the youngest Houses in Westeros, is that of a crowned black stag on a golden field. Their motto is “Ours is the fury”.
With the exception of the three-headed dragon sigil of House Targaryen, there is no official meaning or history behind the sigils.
Some fans think that the animals such as the direwolf, kraken, and lion, represent the strongest creatures in the Stark, Greyjoy, and Lannister territories. The sigil of a flayed man for House Bolton, a vassal of House Stark, likely takes after from their custom of flaying men.
Other sigils are still very much open to interpretation. The above list is a mere description and comparison of the sigils of the great houses of Westeros, and only covers the great houses.
To truly appreciate the rich culture of all the houses and how their sigils fit their personalities, you can visit George R. R. Martin’s official website which also offers a beautiful, visual comparison of the sigils of the different houses of Westeros.