ByAmanda Penley, writer at
Illustrator for Moviepilot ++
Amanda Penley

Game of playing cards?

Yes - Game of Thrones, but in your pocket. The four major houses, represented as the four suits in a deck. When I dive into a fandom, I don’t swim in the shallow end. I’ve read all of the books, tune in every Sunday for a new episode, and for my designs, I wanted everything, to the last detail to be well thought out.

Thus my research in to the metaphysical nature of what a deck of cards is. Playing cards have been around a very, very long time. Dating back to as 9th century in China and by the 14th century rounding around all of Europe. The deck we see mostly around the US and Europe is the French design ( that being Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds.) Now what I found to be the most intriguing is the symbolism around the four suits.

All the four suits represent different seasons, Spades, for instance — embody winter. Along with wisdom (ding, ding, bran), acceptance, and transformation. I mean, does that not SCREAM house Stark?

Next, the suit of hearts — springtime, home, heart, emotions….ect. So I’m sure, some people are scratching their heads trying to connect the Lannister’s to the suit of hearts. When you look back through the books, and the show- love is the driving motion for the entirety of this house. “ The things I do for love”- Jaime Lannister

To continue, we have the suit of clubs- which represents summer, debauchery, youth, irresponsibility, and the mind. Oh and house Baratheon, and the troope that follows comes to mind. I mean, this is exactly what Robert Baratheon stood for — and I know we haven’t mused with him for the past 6 seasons, but his actions for Lyanna Stark made the foundation for the stories we know and love.

And Lastly, the suit of diamonds. Ah yes, diamonds that represent fall, judgement, fire, career, and responsibility. Hello, Daenerys — the suit of diamonds is calling. Yes, for the stormborn, who in all of her glory — with or without the dragons — can destroy the patriarchy with a lick of flames, is our Queen of Diamonds.

Each card, also has a piece of symbolism that represents who the character is — and what makes them special. For example, Jaime and Cersei are on the same card, split in two — for they were born as twins and never ‘really separated’. Cersei is swinging her shame bell ( couldn’t resist) while Jaime is holding his gold hand high for all to see. Sansa, who is/was referred to throughout the series as ‘little bird’ or dove, is shown with an uncaged bird flying out of her palm. So look closely, I designed these to be very flat, and vector, and minimal — but with enough information to inspire and excite a major book fan, or incite the passion of a up and coming watcher of the series. Enjoy and thank you for reading!

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