August Trivia: The Game of Thrones Law Quiz

August 17, 2014

Always looking for new ways to make law interesting for our clients, we recently ran a contract workshop for some software developers. One client appeared reluctant and said he’d rather be at home watching Game of Thrones than sitting in a ‘dull’ contract workshop, so to encourage him to come we ran a ‘Thrones’ inspired quiz at the end, just to check everyone had been listening. It went down well and SCL kindly agreed to indulge us by reproducing it here to fill those quiet moments in the office over the summer when it seems that everyone else is somewhere you’d rather be and the only e-mail you get is from bloggers. All answers and observations welcome, but just like our quiz, they will probably not be taken too seriously.

1.      For many moons the Night’s Watch has been at The Wall protecting the people of the Seven Kingdoms not only from the marauding wildlings beyond but also the White Walkers. In the present day, most believe they never existed and are just myths, spoken of in the same breath as ghosts, goblins, grumpkins, or snarks. Suddenly one harsh daybreak the Men of the Nights Watch see riders approaching from the north beyond The Wall. ‘Wildlings’ the call goes up and two blasts of the horns are given. At the head of the riders is Mance Rayder, the ‘leader’ of the Wildlings and even known as the King Beyond the Wall. He says he comes in peace and seeks sanctuary south of The Wall as reports have been coming in that the White Walkers have returned and an army of the dead is approaching.

The two men able to offer sanctuary are Master at Arms Ser Alliser Thorne and Jon Snow. Both know Rayder, who was himself once a man of the Night’s Watch before deserting; Alliser does not trust him and reminds Snow that Rayder broke his sacred vow when he left the Night’s Watch, but Snow is obliged to give Rayner clemency as Rayner previously showed him mercy. What if everything Rayder says is a lie? Can he be trusted this time? Does Snow have any obligations at all to the King Beyond the Wall?

2.      On an isolated stony outcrop at Slavers Bay, Daenerys Targaryen is lost in thought. As every mother does from time to time, she is having a problem with one of her children. Unlike most mothers, her ‘child’ is a fire breathing dragon, Drogon, named after her husband. His behaviour is becoming unacceptable, flying off for days at a time, not doing what he’s told and incinerating herds of sheep whenever the opportunity presents itself. She is at her wits end.

Is she not ‘The Mother of Dragons’? Did she not enter her husband’s funeral pyre and hatch him from an egg? She made a contract of ancient magic when she gave of blood and fire, but it seems the Drogon’s loyalty is limited in time. She asks her trusted servant Missandei to tell her if the ancient writings of the Dragonlords may have been misinterpreted in some way. Missandei studies the dusty ancient tomes and implores her ‘to take what is yours’, but cannot clarify the true position. Dany remains convinced that the dragons are hers by virtue of her actions, but she wrote no blood contract. Do they belong to her and can she keep and control them for all time?

3.      Tyrion Lannister is in a bit of a fix. When he took over the job of Lord Hand at his father’s request he thought it would be all booze, banquets and bedlam. What he didn’t realise was that Stannis Baratheon, the First of His Name and the self-entitled ‘One True King’ was heading straight for Kings Landing with one of the largest armadas the Seven Kingdoms had ever seen. His father and brother, the true warriors in the family were up in t’North fighting Robb Stark and he was all that was standing between Stannis and the Iron Throne. Fortunately, what he lacked in stature, Tyrion more than made up for in intelligence and at once consulted the great libraries for help. He instructed all the Maesters he could muster from the Alchemists Guild to produce Wildfire, a highly volatile material which can explode with tremendous force and burns with a fire that water cannot extinguish.

Under the constant threat of violence, the Guild produced an amount of Wildfire the likes of which has never been seen since. Realising less Wildfire is needed to create the same effect, the Guild make and deliver the Lord Hand with less, yet demand the same coinage for its delivery. The master of Whispers lets slip to the Guild that the Lord Hand is discontented, but they delivered the Wildfire (albeit less quantity, but more powerful), where might his contractual claim against them lie?

4.      Having a rivalry as old as time itself the Great Houses of Martell and Lannister never miss an opportunity to get one over on each other. House Martell’s extreme location on the peninsula of Dorne has sometimes caused the Lords of Sunspear to feel political isolation. In his last visit to King’s Landing, Prince Oberon of House Martell came across some potentially damaging information as to the parentage of King Joffrey Baratheon. Not only could this destabilise the Lannisters’ authority within the Seven Kingdoms but potentially give rise to a raft of pretenders and claims to the throne from outside of the Kingdoms!

The Lannisters immediately dispatch riders to discuss this very delicate situation with Prince Oberon, however his ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ mantra means that he will not give in and seeks that this information is released throughout the world. Cersei sees to it that King Joffrey decrees no such disclosure be undertaken beyond of the Seven Kingdoms. Appearing to capitulate, Prince Oberon tells his House to keep the information secret, whilst instructing his vassals to release it anyway and in particular to the Houses out of favour. Is he in breach of his duties and if so, which ones? Is this a release beyond the Seven Kingdoms? 

5.      King Joffrey is unhappy that merchants at Kings Landing are selling miniature ‘Iron Thrones’. He believes that as king only he has the right to determine who reproduces the throne. How might he prevent this and what laws may he be required to decree?

6.      A chill wind begins to blow across King’s Landing and the sea is beset with waves higher than ships, the like of which have not been seen for nearly a generation. The wheat crop has failed so the price of bread will rise causing unrest across the Seven Kingdoms. To warm themselves against the cold they have become unused to, the Lord Hand’s vassals collect firewood from the forest, leaving it denuded and there is little wood for the sword makers, who cannot fulfil the King’s call to arms. The sword maker wishes to become unbound from his contract (but will probably be killed if he does). Does he have any legal redress?

7.      The alarm is raised when the Crows cry ‘wildlings’ in eery mist falling across the Wall. The Wall begins to crumble as the White Walkers defeat the Night’s Watch at Castle Black. Furious, Robb Stark, ‘the King in the North’, calls for his bannermen; ‘Winter Is Coming! How could the Wall fall?’ and threatens to sue the heirs of Brandon the Builder. His faithful scriveners issue suits claiming breach of warranties and damages. The heirs of Brandon, now called BTB, claim they have a contract (signed in blood of course) relieving them from all liability especially destruction by mythical creatures. The scriveners must prevail, what should they do?

This quiz was devised by Adam Whitfield-Jones, Solicitor and Joanne Frears, Director IP, Innovation & Technolgy, both of whom actually do real work too at Jeffrey Green Russell Limited. and

The Editor has not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones so denies all responsibility for inaccuracies and encourages responses by way of comments on the web site. Queries directed to him will be met with bemusement.

The name Game of Thrones is © and is a registered trade mark of HBO® Inc. as are the characters and their names. The above quiz is not an accurate account of any story lines and is intended entirely as a teaching and instruction tool within the field of ‘fandom’.