Ned Stark on the Iron Throne

If you want to survive in Game of Thrones, this is how you must play.

Game of Thrones is loaded with characters that are best described as brutes, rather than men. In Westeros, you either win or you die. Therefore, to survive, you must play by certain rules.

Catch the double bill of Game of Thrones S3 that airs from Monday, 1 June from 23:00 on M-Net Edge (113), also available on Catch Up online and on your DStv Explora.

Let the games begin:

1. Get ready to get your hands dirty

Game of Thrones has always driven this point home: victory belongs to the man whose hands are the dirtiest, either through scheming, lies, betrayal or murder. Cersei arranges Robert’s murder so that her inbred son can occupy his place in the realm. King Joffrey Baratheon beheads the father to his betrothed for fear of being challenged.

2. Never trust a Lannister

Actually, the title should have been ‘Never trust anyone’ but the Lannisters are the best schemers and the most treacherous breed in Westeros. The family that has learned this the hard way are the Starks who’ve trusted so blindly, and lost immensely.

3. The Iron Throne is the limit

While the Iron Throne may not offer total immunity from your enemies’ wrath and scheming, it gives you the ultimate authority to use and misuse power. So many men have been slain, some have had their tongues cut out, others have been tied up and murked, all in the name of the king.

4. Learn to swing a sword

In Game of Thrones, cowards die, at least for those who can’t hide behind their mantle of power a la King Joffrey. A man who can swing a sword has a fighting chance against the enemy even if he isn’t the strongest.

5. If possible, get yourself a fire-breathing dragon

A dragon is a weapon of war used to rein terror on enemies. Dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen unleashes her dragons to her enemies and watches as they are reduced to ashes.

6. Two is better than one

There is strength in the numbers. Build an army of men by forming alliances with other houses but by no means should you put even a shred of trust on them.

7. Show no mercy, expect none

In Westeros mercy is never reciprocated; show a man mercy today, he’ll be your prosecutor tomorrow.

8. There is no honour among men

Promises will be broken, men will be beheaded, others will be poisoned by those they trust, friends will betray friends, sons will slay their fathers all for the control of the Iron Throne. It is honour that gets you killed, the sooner you learn this, the sharper your survival instincts will become.

Upgrade to Premium today to catch Game of Thrones S3 from Monday, 1 June at 23:00 on M-Net Edge.