If you enjoy TV or fantasy novels, there’s a zero chance you’re not a fan of Game of Thrones. So you’ve read all the books five times, and you’re caught up on all the HBO episodes. You’ve visited all your favorite fan theory sites, and you’ve listened to Herbert Costa’s cat Arya meow the Game of Thrones theme song enough times to drive your own kitties up the walls.
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What do you do now? There are still days to go until the season premiere!
Well, my friends. That’s when you sit down and figure out which breed of cat each Major House of Westeros would be. I mean, we’ve all wondered, right? The Stark sigil might be a direwolf, but really – what cat would a Stark be? The Lannister sigil is a lion, but let’s get domestic on this. Are the Tyrells a breed like the Persian, or something less conventional? I am prepared to argue about this at length.
And so, I present:
The Cat Breeds of Game of Thrones!
Photo by Nickolas Titkov, unaltered, used under a CC license
As Lords of the Vale, House Arryn makes their home at the Eyrie, high in the mountains. Their words are “As High as Honor.”
The Arryn cat breed would be Turkish Angoras. The Turkish Angora is a delicately-featured and elegant cat breed, with silky coats that are best combed twice a week. These cats are pliable and playful, just like Robin Arryn (though thankfully much prettier and less inclined to pout). The breed is thought to have been born in the Turkish mountains, and its medium-long coat is functional protection against those elevated climes. The breed was also nearly wiped out just over a century ago due to indiscriminate Persian breeding – much like the Arryn line has so sadly diminished.
Photo by Robert Couse-Baker, unaltered, used under a CC license
This House hails from the Stormlands, and as such are a hale people with very strong hearts. Their wordsare “Ours is the Fury.”
The Baratheon cat breed would be the Burmese. Burmese have variable body types but strong core features, and are sturdy and surprisingly weighty for their size. Just like Stannis, Robert, and Renly Baratheon – all variations on a strong genetic theme. They behave as if they were born to rule, keeping themselves the center of attention and easily communicating their needs. Spirited kittens give way to confident adults, who prove fearless and are known to reach beyond their grasp. They’re also too trusting, so never leave one alone with Cersei Lannister.
Image: Afrida Nawar via flickr
This House rules the Iron Islands: a band of salty sea-farers, raiders who prefer to pay the iron price through pillage and rape. Their words are “We Do Not Sow.”
The Greyjoy cat breed would be the Nebelung. Nebelungs are a long-haired variant on the Russian Blue cat breed, and were developed in the 1980’s by Cora Cobb. Their name actually translates from the German as “creature of the mist,” being a description of their silky silver-tipped blue coat. Those coats are also double-layered and water-resistant. Their wide green eyes contribute to the mysterious sea theme, and their habit of following their owners evokes Greyjoy reaving parties stalking ships and settlements. Nebelung cats also prefer to evaluate a situation before diving in, and can easily turn away from those who do not reciprocate their overtures.
This House rules the Western reaches of Westeros and are rich and powerful political predators. Their words are as declaratory as they are: “Hear Me Roar.”
The Lannister cat breed would be the Orange Mackerel Tabby. Specifically the long-haired orange mackerel tabby. Now, I hear you saying that’s not a breed, but hear me out: these cats are majestic, and certainly look the part with leonine grace. Just like my very own Tiger Jack. What? He RULES this house, people, and suffers no one to disrespect his family – Tiger Jack won’t even let my brother’s cat near the food until his little sister Daenerys has had her fill. And he does it all while looking like a king.
Long-haired Orange Mackerel Tabbies also require regular grooming to always look their best, which speaks to the decadently pampered state of the Lannisters – but this does not downplay their inherent strength. They can be garrulous and gluttonous, but also very affectionate and protective of their family. They also tend to be bullies, and what is more Lannister than that? (Tiger Jack is all of these things.)
Photo by Jodie C, unaltered, used under a CC license
This House hails from the far north of Westeros, where the cold lingers harshly and the people live with brutal deliberation. Their words are “Winter is Coming.”
The Stark cat breed would be the Norwegian Forest Cat. These cats are large and hardy, with a rugged and waterproof coat fit for the cold of their native Norway. They grow up to be well-muscled with large frames. Despite their thick, long coats, they actually require little grooming – they should be brushed about once a week, generally. That’s something most of the Stark children, including Arya, would agree with for their own unruly hair! Norwegian Forest Cats prefer the comforts of hearth and home, and make sure all snuggling therein is done on their terms. They tend toward short bursts of activity followed by quite a bit of lazing about – perfect for Winter in northern Westeros.
House Targaryen, the conquering House, the outcast House that boasts dragons and genius – or madness. Their words are “Fire and Blood.”
The Targaryen cat breed would be the Khao Manee. The Khao Manee breed hails from Thailand, allegedly bred by Siam royalty, and sports a glossy, pure white coat. These cats also tend to have jewel-like eyes, sometimes gold, sometimes blue, sometimes one of each. These physical characteristics echo the Targaryen appearance of silver-white hair and odd-colored eyes (purple, of course, for Targaryens). Khao Manee are also relentless creatures – aggressively friendly, and actively playful with curiosity that can’t be turned off. Further, they’re credited with an advanced sense of naughtiness. Khao Manees are just the right cat to conquer a continent with the right tools – they’ll even ride on your shoulders.
Photo by Adam, unaltered, used under a CC license
The last of the Major Game of Thrones Houses is a House of great beauty, ample resources, and twisting subtlety – all characteristics of the rose evoked by their words: “Growing Strong.”
The Tyrell cat breed would be the Cornish Rex. This cat breed features a very elegant body length, with large ears and curly coats. Their coats, in fact, are one of their most remarkable features – incredibly silky and soft, there’s nothing else quite like it. I think Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers, might find some kinship to the Cornish Rex in the unique beauty department. These cats look dainty, but they’re very resilient with strong muscles allowing for high jumps and fast maneuvering – a subtle metaphor for the clever machinations of Tyrells like Margaery and Lady Olenna. These cats are highly social, with very active and playful natures. They will quite easily take root in your heart.
That’s it! That’s most every Major House in Game of Thrones as a cat breed, complete with persuasive arguments.
Wait, what? We still have how long to go until another new episode?
Oh, dear. Best hit the comments to leave your thoughts on my cat breed choices or argue your own. We’ve got some time to kill.