Disruption. Headhunters. Execution. Yes, the cutthroat nature of modern corporations could rival any of the hand-severing antics of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Perhaps that’s why the stock photography site ShutterStock recently unveiled a series of mock ads featuring the houses of Westeros as contemporary businesses.
Although the fantasy series, based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, is nominally about chaotic battles, heaving bosoms, and soaring dragons, what it’s really about is an epic power struggle among several organizations with different world views. It’s not that big a leap to see an analog in the rancorous ongoing battle between, say, Apple and Samsung. Rather than merely redesign the houses’ sigils for modern style, ShutterStock has used some of its own stock images to create legit-looking depictions of the show’s major players in a whole new context.
Game of Thrones has indeed flirted with branding before, but never like this. Each of the houses has been considered across a number of factors—including belligerence, wealth, and dragon possession—in formulating the various businesses. The Greyjoys’ history of piracy contributes to their status as a cruise ship, just as Daenerys’ dragons make Targaryen House airline-appropriate. And even though a Lannister always pays his debts, that noble house has been reimagined as the kind of business that never seems to pay—an investment bank.
Have a look through the rest of the family businesses in the slide show above.