Is Your Castle Protected from Undead Devastation?View to Le Mont Saint Michel in Normandy France under the storm.
Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones TV series and A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Of course, if you understand the references in this totally factual guide, you’re probably all caught up on every gory detail just like we are. Enjoy.
As every good Westerosi knows, when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. Whether you’re a sell sword, a faceless man, or the Mother of Dragons, the risks of living in this beautifully cruel universe are high. When you stack on the fact that winter is seriously coming (shout out to the Night’s King!), there has never been a better time to think about insurance. Thankfully, you have resources like Obrella (a subsidiary of Braavos’ Iron Bank), to properly assess your insurance needs. You’re surely familiar with the phrase, “Valar Morghulis,” translated from old Valyrian, meaning “All men must die.” Though the essence of the phrase still rings true today, we also believe in “Valar Insurance,” roughly translated as “All men must insurance.” So before your night’s watch is ended, here are five things you should get insured if you want to play the Game of Thrones.
Tyrion Lannister, thinking back on his visit to Winterfell, remembered, “Great strength in those stones, a sense that within those walls a man might feel safe.” Unfortunately, the strength of Winterfell’s stones didn’t hold up for Ned Stark and his house. Surely Ned Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Roose Bolton, and (hopefully soon) Ramsay Bolton would agree that staying Lord of Winterfell is not as easy as it might seem. Let’s channel our inner Three-eyed Raven and rewind Westeros time back a few years. Imagine if Ned (with his still-attached head) had invested in home insurance before losing castle Winterfell (and his head). The neighborhood is nice, albeit a little chilly, and the castle is very well kept, so you can expect high reconstruction costs. The reconstruction costs alone might have given Robb Stark the financial edge to purchase himself a few new alliances, and the Red Wedding would have been remembered as a pleasant evening. Just saying.
The Wall is a massive fortification stretching 300 miles long and 700 feet tall and is essentially the only thing standing between the White Walkers and our beloved Westerosi citizens. I don’t know if you have seen any White Walkers lately, but let’s just say it’s not looking great for the Wall and the Sworn Brothers of the Night’s Watch. Because the Wall is the largest structure in the Game of Thrones world, the only thing we can compare it to is the largest structure on earth. The Kingdom Tower currently under construction in Saudi Arabia, will be a mile high and have an insured value of $1.5 billion. Sure, nobody but the White Walkers wants to see the Wall come crashing down, but just think about all the fashionable black leather that could be purchased with that commercial insurance money.
Dragons and Direwolves
Granted, an insurance policy that pays in Gold Dragon and Silver Stag coins hardly makes up the loss of a live dragon, but at least you’ll get enough money to build 1,000 ships—in case you were in need of moving a massive army across the Narrow Sea. The closest thing to a dragon on earth is probably a private jet, which has an insured value of around $10 million. Most property insurance companies would probably give amazing deals for those who fall under the Mother of Dragons demographic.
Out of a sample size of five direwolves (named Ghost, Nymeria, Summer, Shaggydog, and Grey Wind), exactly 60 percent of them have tragically died. You may think that those disenchanting odds implies a steep pet/property insurance rate, but there are many pet insurance providers that cover veterinarian/maester costs.
Unless you know of a reliable dragonglass dealer, it’s likely that Valyrian steel will become a hot commodity in the wars to come thanks to its special White Walker-slaying properties. Considering nobody knows how to create new Valyrian steel (that knowledge went down with the Valyria ship), it’s safe to assume that you should look into property insurance if you own any of the precious steel as soon as possible. Valyrian steel has a funny way of slipping out of the custody of its owners, so you should act fast if you happen to have Ice, Longclaw, or Oathkeeper in your property.
On earth, a 19th century Masonic sword may be insured up to $30,000, so you can imagine how valuable a generations-old Valyrian steel weapon would be. Whether you’re the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, King of the Andals and the First Men, or Samwell Tarly, chances are you will want some good property insurance.
It’s an uncomfortable fact that people die when they play the Game of Thrones. Like, a lot. So before you go about conquering the North or trying to prove some Lannister misdeeds, we strongly recommended that you think of your loved ones and invest in some life insurance. Borrowing the Iron Island phrase, “What is dead may never die,” we prefer “What is dead may never die but could leave lots of money to your family.”
A quick note: Your insurance rates may increase if you hang around devotees of the Lord of Light, thanks to the fact that you can’t really be sure if certain corpses they encounter are actually dead. Westerosi life insurance carriers are still talking about the great Jon Snow debacle of 2016.