Game of Thrones came smashing back on to our screens last night for series 5.
Fans of the show will know it’s not all about sword fighting, castles and dragons. There’s more family drama than an episode of EastEnders and mothers fiercely defend their children.
Obviously, being set in a magical realm, Game of Thrones’ mothers do have some questionable practices. We’re not sure we’ll be taking our 7-year-old to see his first beheading any time soon. We’re looking at you Catelyn Tully.
But while Game of Thrones isn’t the most obvious parenting guide, there are lessons to be learned…
1. Don’t spoil your child…
… or it’ll go to his, erm, head.
Joffrey is without doubt the most hated character in all of The Seven Kingdoms. He’s been spoilt rotten by his mum Cersei and never reprimanded for any of his wrong-doing.
As a result, the spiteful boy-king is bad to the bone. In series 1 he forced his then fiancée Sansa Stark to look at the decapitated head of her father Ned. Then, in series 3, he threatened to serve her brother Robb’s head to her at their wedding feast. Charming.
Maybe if he’d spent a bit of time on the naughty step he wouldn’t be such a bad egg!
2. Teach girls to fight…
… and they might save your neck (or at least avenge your death).
Arya Stark was never any good at needlework and couldn’t think of anything worse then staying quietly indoors like her more obedient sister Sansa. So when she wanted to learn how to use a sword she did so under the nose of her mum.
Her half-brother Jon Snow gave Arya her first sword ironically named ‘Needle’ and her dad Ned hired an instructor to teach her to fight in secret.
Now, at the beginning of series 4, Arya is alive and plotting revenge for the death of most of her family at the Red Wedding. Meanwhile, her helpless sister Sansa is stuck in King’s Landing and married to Tyrion Lannister. Go Arya!
3. Encourage a strong bond with animals…
… and your child will have a friend for life.
The Stark children each adopted an orphaned Direwolf in series 1 and while they don’t make the most convenient pets – they’re wolves the size of small horses – they are fiercely loyal. Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria attacked Prince Joffrey (hurrah!) to defend her owner, while Bran Stark’s direwolf Summer is currently defending him beyond the Wall. We’re sure we’d want a giant wolf if we were in the land of White Walkers and Wildlings too!
4. Don’t live your dreams through your children…
… because pushy parenting gets you nowhere.
We didn’t see as much of Cersei Lannister in series 3, and that might be because her power as the King’s mother is limited. As her son Joffrey grows older he’s getting more difficult for her to manipulate and she is resigned to his cruel nature. But that’s what happens when you invest all of your hopes and ambitions in your precious offspring. Of course, if she hadn’t made him into a monster, perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad.
5. Stick together…
… or you’ll become unstuck.
Remember when the Starks were together and happy? Two words: Red Wedding.
No matter what’s happening, don’t send each of your children to a different corner of the kingdom. You were stronger together! Weeps…
So what parenting tips will season 5 have to offer? We’ll be waiting…