If this past season of Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s that the women of Westeros should not be underestimated. In a world traditionally ruled by men, viewers were treated to an ascension of powerful ladies stepping up and taking charge.
But the success of these dangerous dames isn’t just an exercise in great fiction. It’s also a reflection of how women in the real world are taking on roles and responsibilities previously left to men – especially when it comes to money.
Here are some of the best financial lessons you can learn from the women of Westeros.
Cersei Lannister – A Lesson in Debt
After Cersei helped orchestrate the death of her husband, Robert Baratheon, their son Joffrey took over the Iron Throne and Cersei helped him rule.
But they inherited a kingdom that was barely cohesive and heavily indebted to the Iron Bank of Braavos. Despite all her faults and bad decisions, Cersei finally repaid the Iron Bank in full. In the midst of war and grief, she found a way to improve the Seven Kingdoms.
Takeaways: According to a survey from Key Bank’s financial advisors, men are more likely to manage the household finances, so when they pass away, the women are suddenly saddled with the responsibility of providing for their family while working through their grief.
Like Cersei, modern women are capable of not only organizing their family’s money, but also surpassing their husband’s abilities. If you find yourself widowed, consult a fee-only financial advisor if you’re unsure how to proceed. A professional can answer all your questions and provide legitimate guidance on how to handle life insurance money, retirement accounts and more.
Daenerys Targaryen – A Missed Opportunity
The rightful heir to the Iron Throne is known for her beauty, royal lineage, and of course, her three dragons, her biggest weapon in fighting the Lannisters.
The dragons are also one of the keys to defeating the White Walkers and saving humanity, so when her ally Jon Snow sends a raven asking for her help, she flies off with them.
Instead of only taking one dragon up north, as she did during the battle with the Lannisters, Dany takes all three even though she’s the only one who can ride them. It’s during this fight beyond the Wall that the Night King takes advantage of the commotion to fling an ice spear at the dragon Viserion and kill him.
Takeaways: If you have costly assets, like three dragons, it’s important to keep them safe. The same goes for other assets, such as houses, cars and family heirlooms. Even priceless goods, such as your life or your grandmother’s wedding ring, should be insured.
Renters or homeowners insurance policies can protect your property from theft, damage and fire and ensure that you’ll be able to replace your possessions if something happens.
Don’t put off getting an insurance policy. The cost is often minimal and can save you from being homeless or having to replace all your valuables in the midst of tragedy.
Brienne of Tarth – An Opportunity to Negotiate
Brienne of Tarth is one of the most singular characters in “Game of Thrones.” Born a lady, she wants to be a knight and spends most of the series finding and protecting the two daughters of Catelyn and Ned Stark.
Brienne is ridiculed for her looks and her skills as a fighter are not taken seriously in the beginning. It’s only after she defeats Loras Tyrell in a tournament that she receives the respect she deserves.
Takeaways: Brienne’s struggles mirror what many modern face in the workplace when they try to succeed. They have to prove their worth countless times before they’re taken seriously. Unfortunately, Brienne fails to leverage her strong position and her past deeds as a reason for a raise.
After they succeed, women should continue to fight for their worth in negotiations and only accept the same as their peers.
Now having proven her worth, Brienne could negotiate with Sansa and Arya for the rights to a castle or a permanent position at Winterfell. Once those around you know your worth, you have more leverage in negotiations.
Olenna Tyrell – Why it is So Important to Have a Financial Advisor
The Queen of Thorns was one of the most beloved characters until her surprising death at the hands of Jamie Lannister. Olenna Tyrell had aligned herself with Daenerys to avenge her family’s death and see Cersei destroyed.
Unfortunately, this time the Lannisters were one step ahead, but even in her death, the witty matriarch has much to teach us. Olenna’s decision to back Dany was an emotional reaction, not one based in the shrewd decision-making she was known for.
Takeaways: Acting emotional is understandable, but it can be detrimental to your life and your finances. Investing based on a gut feeling or because you “really love a company” can lead to substantial losses, especially if you aren’t properly diversified.
Anytime you’re handling large sums of money, whether you’re investing or dealing with a surprise windfall, you should think before you act. A financial advisor can help you see past your own emotions to determine the most logical course of action. It could save your nest egg – or in Olenna’s case, your life.
But anyone can benefit from having a financial advisor. It’s not just for those who are feeling emotional – in fact, many financial advisors hire their own financial advisors! We all can benefit from having an impartial person manage our money, even if we think we’re cautious and responsible.
Book a Free Appointment with a GuideVine concierge today!