Similar to our world, heraldry play an important role to distinguish noble Houses or singular character. But did the westerosi heraldry follow the same rules as ours ?

1 Answer 1


TLDR: Inspired, but not similar in all points

Long answer:

There are some diferences between westerosi and european heraldry, as there are lot of rules in real world that are not followed in westeros:

  • No particular jargon: In our world, there is a particular jargon to describe coats of arms, for colors and figures. For example, we don't say "a golden lion on red background" but "gules, a lion or". Westerosi seems to lack this specific kinds of terms

  • Rule of tincture: One basic rule of heraldry is the rule of tincture: metal should not be put on metal, nor colour on colour. Metal refers to gold and silver, while colors are azure(blue), gules(red), sable(black), vert(green) and purpure(purple). tincture

Therefore, some sigils like Targaryen (gules and sable are both colors) don't follow the rules.


  • Limited number of tinctures: in real world, there are only two metals and five colors, and for example, two variant of greens are both considered "vert". Therefore, some sigils like Stark's (as grey and white are both considered "argent") or Duncan's(using a color gradient) don't follow the rules.

Stark Dunk

  • I’m disinclined to upvote, 1. Because of the lack of a sourced confirmation on the level of inspiration from Western European medieval heraldry, and 2 because there certainly exist heralds that are colour on colour. tl;dr me likey sources
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 6:13
  • @Edlothiad - you mean there are coats of arms that are color on color. In English heralds are persons whose functions sometimes include heraldry. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 3:04
  • @Kepotx - in English a sigil means a seal. Many medieval and later people and institutions used and still use their coats of arms on their seals. In Westeros a sigil may mean something similar to a coat of arms. But in English the word sigil is not used to mean a coat of arms and it would be an error to to use it outside of discussion of Westeros emblems. And I feel a little uncomfortable that you didn't mention that fact in your discussion. However good a story the world of Westeros may be, it will have a bad influence if it leads to people calling coats of arm sigils. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 3:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.