Thrones season is upon us!
Winter has come and gone, and we finally got the long-awaited closure to a show that made us cry, scream, and suffer for so many years. But now that it’s all over, the survivors have to find something to do with their lives. How about earning a degree to pursue a real career that doesn’t have to do with raising dragons and fighting ice zombies? Therefore, we have imagined the ideal study destination for some of the key characters in the now classic fantasy/sci-fi HBO series Game of Thrones to help you choose the next step in your educational journey! Read on to get inspired and maybe you can follow the path of your favorite hero to earn a degree in a unique, magical place.
“It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”– Oberyn Martell
1- Cersei Lannister: France
Going by the often-overused stereotypes of French people, Cersei would fit the mold perfectly. She is a beautiful yet unfriendly woman who has a habit of drinking to cope with a series of unhealthy life choices, and although we don’t know whether she is fond of eating frog legs, it is clear that if cigarettes existed in the GoT universe, she would be chain-smoking on a daily basis. In her student fantasy, Cersei rules over Europe from atop the Eiffel tower, clutching a glass of the finest Bordeaux while updating her Instagram story, hashtagging croissants and hoping her dad approves of her lifestyle. But that’s none of our business.
In the North, everything is better. It is known. A strong economy, unwavering loyalty, and the enduring need to pave the way for others are the values of the North. In this regard, Eddard Stark leads by example, being for many the moral compass and father figure of the first season of the show, before suffering his untimely demise. With their unmatched infrastructure, social values and systems, Sweden and Finland bring various unique benefits to international students coming to pursue their dream programme. These Nordic countries are also the ideal place for a proud northerner looking for a break from the city life, in need to get their head back on their shoulders.
3- Danaerys Targaryen: Morocco
For an international student who loves blazing heat, arid deserts, and unique challenges, Morocco may be the ideal place. Similar to her experience in Essos, joining the Dothraki and proving herself to be a fearless leader and breaker of chains, studying in the Maghreb is a challenge Danaerys Targaryen would complete without breaking a sweat. In fact, some of the most notable and breathtaking locations in the country are places she’s already familiar with and conquered: Ouarzazate (Pentos), Essaouira (Astapor), and Ait-Ben-Haddou (Yunkai/Pentos). What is more, the savory North African culinary culture will give you a dragon’s breath, whether you are into spicy tajines or tasty traditional mint teas.
4- Theon Greyjoy: Ireland
Putting a map of Europe side by side with one of Westeros, it’s easy to pinpoint exactly where the Iron Islands are meant to be. The personality of the Irish also reflects that of those who do not sow. Proud and independent, both of these lands believe that in order to live you must first drown, although in the case of the Irish they are most likely to drown in one of their many rich, local beers, while the ironborn drown in seawater. Theon Greyjoy, along with the rest of his family, would not hesitate to study in Ireland, if only for the sumptuous rocky landscapes reminiscent of the isles of Westeros.
5- Margaery Tyrell: Croatia
The Tyrells, rulers of Highgarden and wardens of the South, are known for their motto: “Growing Strong.” This relates accurately to the stunning Mediterranean land of Croatia, a country that has been growing for the past 24 years since the end of their war for independence from Yugoslavia. This timeless resilience coupled with the graceful scenery of this pearl of eastern Europe would surely make it Margaery’s study destination of choice. After all, Croatia’s Dubrovnik was the main filming location for Margaery’s most highly coveted prize: King’s Landing (and the crown that comes with it, of course).
6- Jon Snow: China
International students feel it’s important to find a country that matches their needs, habits, and personality. Jon Snow, the former bastard, lord commander of the Night’s Watch, king in the North, and eventual rightful heir to the Iron Throne is above all a man of honor with a particular fondness of impressive walls meant to keep enemies at bay. With this curriculum, there is no better place for a student like Jon looking to earn a degree abroad than China, the land of dragons.
7- The Night King: Russia
Who said that ruthless, icy killers did not need to get an education? Maybe it’s the reason the Night King is angry in the first place. After all, the white walkers are the furthest people from the Citadel in all of Westeros, yet they deserve knowledge same as everybody else. And what better place than Russia for a merciless leader who can effortlessly unite various forsaken peoples across a vast and cold territory? So if like the Night King, you live off your thirst for knowledge and unrelenting drive, this is your destination!
8- Arya Stark: Italy
A headstrong, feisty student such as Arya would fit perfectly in Italy. She’s a nimble, independent individual who could roam around the streets of Venice or Florence with much ease, checking items off her travel guide as she once checked names off her list of victims. All along the duration of show, Arya has made wonderous things happen to herself when it seemed all was doomed, so there is no doubt she would make a great international student. When you charge headfirst into an exam, just make sure to stick it with the pointy end! What do we say to failure? Not today.
9- Oberyn Martell: Spain
The people of Dorne are known for their likeness to warm weather and good southern wines, making them very at ease in the Spanish environment. In this setting, as long as he does not get into fights, Oberyn – and any other international student in Spain – will have the time of his life basking in the culture. Between all the distractions, however, let’s just hope studying in Spain won’t make your head explode!
10- Viserion: Canada
Any student who has gone abroad to Canada for their studies will tell you that going up north will quickly turn you into one of them, and as we saw in season 7, Viserion was in a similar predicament. Additionally, Canadians are renown worldwide for their warmth, and this is the least we can say about this reptile. These are all reasons that a beast such as Viserion would fit perfectly in this haven of North America.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who your favorite character is, nor where you choose to study abroad. What matters is that you take the leap and start living the life you deserve: a life of adventure, risks, and discovery. Oberyn himself said it best, “It’s a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”