If Game of Thrones legal entities existed, which formations would these Houses incorporate as?
The HBO hit has spent seven years following a central conflict in the fictional continent Westeros over which ruling house will get to sit on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms.
Oh, and there’s also an undead army coming for everyone from beyond The Wall in the North. No big deal, or anything.
Now heading into its eighth, and final, season, expectations and speculation are at an all-time high as to who will sit on the Iron Throne. Most of the Houses from early on in the series have been since wiped out. The characters are now a motley crew of mixed backgrounds, houses, and names, all trying to fight together to survive. Who lives? Who dies? You’ll get to do one or the other, as Cersei Lannister noted early on in season one with the quote “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
This is all rather bleak, so we have decided to turn our attention to imagining the Houses of Westeros in a small business capacity. If Game of Thrones legal entities existed, which formations would these Houses incorporate as? Our not-so-scientific fan theories are below to determine which entity is best to incorporate as in the GoT realm.
- Corporations — Lannister, Frey, Baratheon, Tully, Arryn
- Partnerships — Martell, Greyjoy
- B Corporation — Tyrell
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) — Stark, Targaryen
- Sole Proprietorship — The Night King
Game of Thrones houses that would form a corporation: Lannister, Frey, Baratheon, Tully, Arryn.
Why would they want to form a corporation? At first glance, it looks like I’m lumping all of the ‘bad’ Houses together. That’s really not the case! Let’s take a closer look at what got them here.
Most of the individuals leading these Houses do not have great reputations in the realm. When you separate the individual from the house itself, however, it’s easy to see each one of these houses aspiring to corporate status. A corporation is a perfect entity for anyone that wants to go global with their business.
House Lannister has kept on swinging since the first episode. The Lannisters have long aspired to rule all of Westeros. Their house requires a corporate formation for this kind of worldwide domination. Cersei Lannister already had the wheels in motion for this kind of expansion by the end of season seven. She committed to repaying her late father’s debt to the Bank of Braavos, leading by example through the family’s famous “A Lannister always pays his debts” quote. Cersei has also hired The Golden Company from Essos, with a fleet of sellswords and war elephants, to aid House Lannister in the Great Wars against The Night King and his army of undead White Walkers. There’s no doubt that she’s more than ready to form a corporation!
Incorporating as a corporation means House Lannister can attract the eyes of even more investors throughout the seven kingdoms when and if they take the Iron Throne. Cersei also has the power to issue shares accordingly to investors so they stick around — even if they turn out not to be fans of her iron fist leadership style.
Game of Thrones houses that would form a partnership: Martell, Greyjoy.
Why would they want to form a partnership? RIP House Martell. They have a bit of a history when it comes to partnerships. Oberyn Martell volunteered to be Tyrion Lannister’s champion in his trial by combat in season four. Ellaria Sand also struck a pretty good partnership with House Tyrell’s Olenna Tyrell in season six to rebel against the Lannisters.
The trouble with both partnerships was that they were formed more for personal than professional gain. Oberyn and Ellaria both wanted revenge against the Lannisters. Even Olenna was in it for revenge, since Cersei had a hand in killing her granddaughter Margaery in a massive wildfire explosion at the Sept of Baelor. Neither partnership could likely sustain properly in the long run since everyone was so focused on the present.
House Greyjoy is just as ambitious as the Lannisters, and subsequently could be a good fit for other entities extending past this one. However, they seem to be leaning towards partnerships by the end of season seven. Yara Greyjoy pledged her loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen. Theon Greyjoy, Yara’s brother, has gone through a massive redemption arc that has led him back to Winterfell, loyal again to the Stark family that he once betrayed.
This is why most businesses tend to agree to work with partners that they already know to be good people. These can be businesses with great reputations, friends passionate about the same endeavors that they are, and family members. The best partnerships are established on trust and understanding. Profits and losses are shared, decisions are made together, and all consequences hold both parties accountable.
What about Uncle Euron Greyjoy’s stab at a partnership? He won’t stop until he has married Cersei Lannister, angling to become one half of a very power-hungry couple in Westeros. Euron’s plan is to fulfill all of Cersei’s needs. He’ll do it just for her. And the throne. Mostly the throne.
GoT: B Corporation
Why would they want to form a B Corporation? This entity, and its accompanying house pairing, is a no-brainer. If House Tyrell was still around, you can bet Olenna and her granddaughter Margaery would be all about pushing the B Corporation agenda through the doors of King’s Landing.
B Corporations are corporate structures that allow entrepreneurs to run the business and earn a profit. They also serve the dual purpose of committing to do social good. The charismatic Tyrells already have more than enough money to pick the entity for its profit alone. Doing good would continue to endear them to the public, in and out of their House’s home in Highgarden. However, the ulterior motive for forming a B Corporation is that it’s a nice dig against Cersei’s corporate structure world. This would make her irritated, to say the least, and the Tyrells know it.
GoT: Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Game of Thrones houses that would form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? Stark, Targaryen.
Why would they want to form an LLC? House Stark is the house most likely in the GoT universe to open up a mom and pop shop on Main Street. The Stark family are certainly fighting for their shot to sit on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms. However, in an alternate GoT universe, we imagine they would be quite content to run a series of successful small businesses from Winterfell.
By forming an LLC, their companies would have liability protection. In the event of an unforeseen circumstance, like a lawsuit or debt, that liability protection would ensure that their personal and professional assets remain separate. Nothing to lose your head over. (Too soon to make that reference?)
I thought at length about whether House Targaryen would incorporate as a corporation or LLC. Daenerys Targaryen, the ‘mother of dragons,’ will probably switch entities to a corporation later down the line. Until then, it’s an LLC’s flexibility that has caught her eye. An LLC can take her far. There’s the flexibility to elect an S Corporation status to avoid double taxation with an LLC. You can also choose how the LLC is run with three options.
- Single Member LLC. Only one member, or owner, runs the show in a single member LLC. Daenerys would likely step into this role herself.
- Member-Managed LLC. All members of the LLC are treated equal and share responsibilities for the day-to-day operation of the LLC. Jon Snow would likely be one of the members of a member-managed LLC.
- Manager-Managed LLC. A board of managers assist in directing and operating the LLC. Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister would likely be part of this board.
GoT: Sole Proprietorship
The Game of Thrones character that would form a sole proprietorship: Not a house, but a character. Only The Night King could fully embrace a sole proprietorship all for himself.
Why would he want to form a sole proprietorship? We know about as much of the terrifying The Night King as the principle GoT characters. In spite of his rapidly expanding army of the Undead, The Night King does not plan to form a corporation or LLC that can protect his assets with liability protection. That’s because all of his assets are, well, dead. The Night King’s primary focus is to be the boss and call the shots. In conclusion, his best bet would be to form a sole proprietorship, so he can defeat the other Houses and sit on the Iron Throne. Chilling thought, huh?
Want to see which entity is the best fit for you and your business? Use our Entity Choice Wizard tool!
Do you agree with our Game of Thrones legal entities matches? Let us know by leaving us a comment below!