In both Game of Thrones and its prequel, House of the Dragon, hair colour has a deeper meaning than most people realise. Discover why hair colour matters so much in George R. R. Martin’s worlds.
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In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, genetics and hereditary traits are not just background details but integral components of the complex web of relationships and power dynamics that define the realm. One of the most striking examples of this is the importance of hair colour, which serves as a visible marker of a character’s lineage and potential claim to the throne.
Whether it’s the silvery locks of the Targaryens or the dark hair of the Starks, hair colour plays a key role in both Game of Thrones and its prequel series, House of the Dragon. But why is this seemingly superficial trait so important in a world of dragons, magic, and political intrigue?
As it turns out, hair shade is a visual representation of the genetics that determine a character’s traits, including their physical appearance and their likelihood of inheriting certain abilities or weaknesses. In a world where bloodlines and family ties are everything, the colour of one’s hair can mean the difference between life and death, victory or defeat, and even the fate of an entire kingdom.
The dark hair of the Starks is often seen as a sign of their Northern heritage and the harsh, unforgiving environment in which they live. Unlike the golden-haired Lannisters or the platinum-blonde Targaryens, the Starks’ colouring is not traditionally associated with the regal, aristocratic appearance that many noble houses value. Instead, their dark hair and rugged features make them look more like fierce warriors than gallant knights.
This perception is not without its drawbacks, however. Some of the other noble houses may dismiss the Starks as uncivilized or barbaric. But for those who know the true strength and resilience of the Stark family, their hair colour is just one more reason to respect and admire them, proving its importance. It serves as a reminder of the Starks’ unwavering commitment to their land and their people and their willingness to do whatever it takes to protect them.
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The platinum-blonde hair of House Targaryen is perhaps the most iconic physical feature of any character in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. With its silvery-white sheen, the Targaryen hair is instantly recognizable and serves as a symbol of the family’s unique connection to the magic and mysticism that permeates their history.
From the dragon-riding conquerors of old to the current generation of exiled heirs and mad rulers, the Targaryens’ pale hair is a testament to their otherworldly origins and the powerful forces that have shaped their destiny. For fans of the series, the Targaryen hair is not just a physical trait but a powerful symbol of the family’s enduring legacy and the role they will play in the future of the Seven Kingdoms.
It’s also worth noting that the world of Game of Thrones follows some real-life genetic rules, including the presence of recessive and dominant genes. The clearest example of this is when we look at Jon Snow, aka Aegon Targaryen. Despite his close ties to the legendary Targaryens, Jon inherited the dark hair colour of his mother, Lyanna Stark. And speaking of recessive genes…
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The golden hair of the Lannisters is a symbol of their wealth, power, and strong sense of honour. Their fair locks are associated with the splendour of their ancestral home, Casterly Rock, and their reputation as one of the most influential families in Westeros. However, this gilded hair colour also proved to be their undoing when Ned Stark discovered the truth about Cersei’s incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime.
By noticing the similarities in hair colour between Cersei’s children and her brother, Ned was able to unravel a web of deceit that would ultimately lead to his downfall and set the stage for the war that would define the series. The golden hair of the Lannisters may be a mark of their prestige, but it also serves as a reminder of the cost of their ambition. This shows the importance of hair colour as a significant marker of a character’s lineage.