Game of Thrones Symbolism: Brotherhood Without Banners

Game of Thrones Symbolism: Brotherhood Without Banners


“So what are you fighting for?” “Life.” The Brotherhood Without Banners
is the Game of Thrones’ answer to Robin Hood
and his Merry Men. Unlike almost every
other group we meet, they don’t believe in
hierarchy or noble blood, they could care less
who sits on the Iron Throne, and they’re not out for self-gain. The Brotherhood is fighting a losing,
but very important, battle – looking out for the common man. “The Lords of Westeros
want to burn the countryside. We’re trying to save it.” Ask yourself: Who has suffered the most
in Game of Thrones? Could it be Catelyn Stark, who watched her son
die in front of her eyes, moments before
her throat was slit? Sansa, who’s watched
her family be hunted down while she’s held captive
by multiple sociopaths? Theon Greyjoy, who grapples
with intense PTSD both for the abuse
he’s suffered and the wrongs
he regrets committing? You might even argue it’s everyone’s favorite rage-filled,
grieving mother, Cersei. Yet in fact the BIGGEST
victim of all in this story is a character without a name: the people of the Seven Kingdoms. “Ser Gregor will head out with 500 riders and set the Riverland on fire
from God’s Eye to the Red Fork.” In any war between big powers, it’s the regular citizens
who are the casualties. Everyone in this tale
preys on the common folk. The people endure
scorched earth tactics, constant pillaging, “Raiders come plundering, steal our food,
steal our silver.” and the attacks of violent,
opportunistic individuals who take advantage of the chaos. “Who were they?” “I stopped asking a while ago.” There’s a food shortage due to the war
and, lest we forget, winter is here. “He’s weak. He can’t protect himself. They’ll both be dead come winter.” The Brotherhood is the only organization that takes any interest in helping
the people with all of this insane hardship. This scruffy bunch of misfits might not be the champions
the people would choose, but they’re all they’ve got. “There’s no story so good
a drink won’t make better.” They’re also probably the newest
faction we meet on the show. It might seem only
yesterday that Ned Stark sends Beric Dondarrion
and a small group of men to the Riverlands, to apprehend
the terror that is the Mountain. “I charge you to bring the King’s justice
to the false knight Gregor Clegane.” So the Brotherhood is born
from an honorable man’s orders to stand up to dishonor and injustice. That original cause failed,
but its spirit lives on as the Brotherhood remains together,
pledging to protect the common folk. “These were the King’s people
the lions were savaging. If we could not fight for Robert,
we would fight for them.” Going into Season 8, what remains of the Brotherhood
has relocated to the North to defend against
the White Walkers – the greatest threat to
the people of Westeros. The scenery might have changed,
but the fight remains the same. So let’s take a look at
the Brotherhood Without Banners to explore what it means to be
“for the people” in Game of Thrones, and why staying true to that cause
isn’t always so simple. “You and I won’t find
much joy while we’re here. But we can keep others alive. We can defend those who
can’t defend themselves.” Before we go on,
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of Mubi for free! “I’m not fighting so
some man or woman I barely know can sit in
a throne made of swords.” The Brotherhood doesn’t have the sigil of a great house,
or official words we can read into, but the group’s LACK of
these things is significant. The fact that it’s “without banners”
is so central it’s in the name “Who do you fight for?” “The Brotherhood Without Banners.” The meaning of being “without banners” is that this group doesn’t (and won’t)
fight for any great house. Instead, the Brotherhood stands
AGAINST banners that hurt the poor. Here’s Beric uttering the closest
thing we get to a motto: “No matter whose cloak you wear –
Lannister, Stark, Baratheon – you prey on the weak, the Brotherhood without Banners
will hunt you down.” Because the nameless regular people
of Westeros don’t get a fancy sigil, the Brotherhood rejects
the self-importance of a banner, too. They seek no name-recognition,
glory, or power. The other word in their name holds
another key to their identity: they’re a BROTHERHOOD. This group is revolutionary
in the Seven Kingdoms because it’s democratic. “You just said you were
serving Lord Beric.” “He may be their leader,
but they chose him.” The Brotherhood’s similarities to
Robin Hood and his Merry Men are uncanny. “Tell the sheriff for every
harm he does these people, I will visit it back on him tenfold.” The Brotherhood is led
by a disgraced nobleman with a decorated veteran for
a second-in-command, and they have a marksman who
only misses when he means to. Robin Hood happens to be
all of those things, so it’s as if these three together
add up to one Robin. Thoros and Friar Tuck are both
clergymen with a taste for alcohol. “I thought you were
the bravest man I ever saw.” “Just the drunkest.” Both groups fight tyranny “The Brotherhood Without Banners
is rallying the commoners against us.” and they have a larger-than-life,
almost magical aura about them. “So I advise you move,
because I’m done talking.” At their core, these are
mostly good people with a generosity of spirit,
a rarity in Westeros. “You can finish your
meals before you go. It may be awhile before
you see another.” Most fundamentally, the Brotherhood
shares Robin Hood’s central value: justice. The famous idea of “stealing from
the rich and giving to the poor” is another way of saying
“restoring justice to an unjust world.” “Because, sire, the poor, you see. He gives them what he takes, So, well sire,
they love him.” Robin Hood may be an outlaw, but that’s because
the laws of his government are wrong, corrupt and inhumane. The same is true for the Brotherhood. Soon after they’re formed by Ned Stark, that honorable man is falsely accused
of treason and beheaded. So by continuing to exist
they situate themselves outside of, or against, the law. Still, this is the Westeros
version of Robin Hood, and that’s far from the Disney one. Game of Thrones is known for finding
the complex in what seems simple, and fighting for the honorable
cause of the common man can be a murky, even dirty,
thing in this world. Whereas Robin and his merry outlaws
are incredibly successful in taking down the King of England, here (more realistically) Beric and his men have pretty
limited success through guerilla warfare. For the most part they’re powerless
against the better-equipped, “They’re just foot-soldiers
in the Great War.” often more an annoyance than
a real threat to the powers that be. “We think it was an infiltrator from
the Brotherhood Without Banners.” “Pretentious name for
a band of outlaws.” In order to become more effective,
they need means, which creates
a moral dilemma. The people they’re protecting
aren’t in any position to fund them. So the Brotherhood has to
compromise a lot to stay afloat “You’re selling me.” “Don’t think of it that way.” “But it is that way.” “It is. And it isn’t.” “More is than isn’t.” And while Robin Hood’s MO is to
steal from the rich and give to the poor, the Brotherhood sometimes
has to sacrifice the poor as well. Gendry is enchanted by
the Brotherhood’s ethos and sees them as a new family. “These men are brothers. They’re a family. I’ve never had a family.” But they sell him to Melisandre
to pay for their efforts. “We can’t defend the people
without weapons and horses and food. And we can’t get weapons and
horses and food without gold.” When Gendry later meets
the Brotherhood’s leadership again, they stand by using and
betraying him for the greater good “You sold me to a witch.” “We’re fighting a great war. Wars cost money.” They believe it’s
a necessary evil to sacrifice and betray individual persons
in order to serve the people at large. The Brotherhood has pride
in being inclusive of all types. “You look like a bunch of swineherds.” “Some of us were swineherds. And some of us tanners and masons.” But, like the Night’s Watch, the Brotherhood casts its net so wide
it might bring in some bad fish. In Season 6, members of the Brotherhood
bully a religious community for resources, “Food, then. Protecting the people is hungry work.” “I’m sure it is. You’re welcome to stay for supper.” before coming back to slaughter
them all and take what little they have. These men don’t reflect
the Brotherhood’s ethos and are punished. “It’s the Brotherhood’s good name
they’ve dragged through the dirt.” But this episode calls into question the group’s discipline,
recruitment model, and judgment. The Brotherhood can appear
compromised and amoral as they justify almost any means
necessary for their noble ends, and they sometimes forget that it matters not just WHY,
but also HOW, you fight. “Letting him go was the right thing. I have more reason than
most to want him hanged.” “It’s just my [bleep] luck that I end
up with a
band of fire-worshippers.” The Brotherhood isn’t
just a political group, it’s also a religious one. “Once we sought to bring
the King’s justice to the realm, now we bring the Lord’s.” Its members worship
R’hllor, the Lord of Light, who’s also known
as a “fire god” and whose names include
the Red God and the Heart of Fire. So the Brotherhood is most
associated with the element fire. Beric has a flaming sword, and the Brotherhood invokes fire
both literally and figuratively in their pursuit of justice
and retribution for the guilty. “Strike this man down
if he is guilty. Give strength to his
sword if he is true.” The Lord of Light is inspired by
the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism, which considers fire
the agent of purity and truth. And fire is seen by multiple religions
as representing the divine flame. Just as any individual flame
is engulfed by fire as a whole, each member of the Brotherhood sees himself as an indistinguishable
part of the collective divine will. Fire and light can represent
enlightenment, truth, or wisdom. And the Brotherhood’s members
feel they have seen the truth, both about their Lord
and about their world. The element is linked
to fervor and zeal, just as the Brotherhood
may appear to some in the Seven Kingdoms
as fanatical extremists. As we see in the Targaryens, with their
capacity for both power and madness, fire has a duality to it. “Every time a Targaryen
is born, the Gods flip a coin.” It’s both the spark of life and
an unstoppable force of destruction. And we see this duality
in the Brotherhood, too, whose enlightened mission is complicated
by contradictions and a darker side. In Greek mythology, Prometheus,
in defiance of the gods, stole fire for humanity,
enabling progress and civilization. There’s a Promethean aspect
to the Brotherhood too. They are taking from
the Gods of this society, to enable a better life
for the people (again echoing Robin Hood,
but with a more spiritual bent.) Prometheus was
punished for his deeds, and the Brotherhood, too,
has been relentlessly hunted, their numbers dwindling while
Beric pays with his frequent deaths. “Every time I come back, I’m a bit less. Pieces of you get chipped away.” The Lord of Light is also known
as the God of Flame and Shadow. “For the night is dark
and full of terrors.” [In unison] “For the night is dark
and full of terrors.” and shadow
(the inverse of light or fire) Is a symbolic element
for the Brotherhood, too. These men fight in the shadows – they use guerrilla warfare to
strike far bigger and superior forces. They’re also some of
the only people we meet who’ve had firsthand
experience of death. “The other side? There is no other side.” Members of the Brotherhood
fully expect to die for their cause (maybe more than once.) “How many times have
you brought me back?” “This makes six.” This capacity for resurrection
defines the Brotherhood. While this collection of men came
together thanks to Ned Stark’s orders, the Brotherhood found their true calling
and began in earnest after a faithless priest accidentally
revived his best friend. “I felt his heart thud
beneath his breast. His body shuddered as
the fire of life rekindled inside it.” In fiction, divine resurrection
often imbues a character with a renewed or
clarified sense of purpose. In the Brotherhood’s case, the revival gives purpose to
both the revived and the reviver. “The Lord of Light is keeping
Beric alive for a reason. He gave a failed, drunk priest
the power to bring him back for a reason.” Before Beric was brought back, Thoros was a lustful drunk
who was a priest only in name. “I cared more about
the King’s cellars, but I joined Lord Beric
for the adventure.” and Beric was a glory-hunting
tourney knight who got outwitted by,
of all people, the Mountain. “Ser Gregor isn’t called the Mountain
because of his subtlety, yet he took us by surprise
at the Mummer’s Ford.” And then there is the Mountain’s
brother Sandor Clegane. “You’re the worst [bleep]
in the Seven Kingdoms!” who is also potentially
brought back from death. “Thought you were dead.” “Not yet.” While it’s left unclear, the Hound is at least thought
to be dead before he wakes up. “I was about to give
you a proper burial. Then you coughed.” Eventually, despite his
deep skepticism, the Hound, too, must acknowledge
that he shares their mission. These resurrections
make the Brothers feel they’re on earth to
carry out a higher cause. “We are part of something
larger than ourselves.” Yet that doesn’t mean they
KNOW what that cause is. “We serve the Lord of Light. The Lord of Light needs this boy.” For Melisandre, faith is all about finding
and empowering the promised one. “He’s the Lord’s chosen,
born amidst salt and smoke.” And that’s also true for
other worshippers we meet: “Daenerys has been sent
to lead the people against the darkness in this war and
in the Great War still to come.” But for Beric and Thoros, it’s about… “I don’t know. I don’t understand our Lord.” They accept what they don’t know. [In High Valyrian] “I ask the Lord for
His favor, and He responds as he will.” And when they get
an unexpected sign from the Lord, they listen and change paths, like when the Hound defeats
Beric in a trial by combat, and they realize their Lord doesn’t
want this man to die just yet (even if they struggle to
see his latent potential.) “Burn in hell!” “He will. But not today.” This hesitance to kill
someone they shouldn’t is the inverse of Melisandre, who rushes to sacrifice people on
the off chance that might help her side. The Brotherhood’s trusting
in their Lord’s unknowable will pays off when
the Hound joins them. So this story shows
what true faith looks like — it entails the patience to let the grand design
be revealed slowly over time, and perhaps never in full. By embracing his own limits, Beric embodies one of the Brotherhood’s
most compelling virtues: humility. Stannis is driven to
the Lord of Light by self-interest. We can see it in the lusty way
he looks at Melisandre, turned on by the idea of the power
he believes she can give him. The shadow monster
she gives birth to, fathered by Stannis
to kill his own brother, embodies the dark selfishness
at the root of his religiosity. But the Brotherhood’s brand of faith
makes no demands of its Lord. And it’s telling that, while
both Beric and Stannis die, only one gets to come back
and fight another day as only one is truly devoted
to their Lord’s will, whatever that turns out to be. You might see some parallels
between the Brotherhood and Communist or Socialist
movements in history. Both espouse some degree of equality
in a world that’s resolutely unequal, and are based on relatively new
ideologies that the upper classes view as radical and
potentially dangerous. But Communists and Socialists
in real-life history tend to be atheistic
or agnostic, focused on building
a better world on earth, rather than promising
paradise in the afterlife. So it’s striking that by contrast
the Brotherhood is so fiercely religious. Perhaps this speaks to the fact that in this world it’s more or less impossible
to achieve any semblance of equality. But it also reveals that
the battle being waged here has supernatural, spiritual aspects. The Brotherhood positions itself as
for life itself, fighting against death. “Death is the enemy.” And while there’s
a sense of fatalism in the Brotherhood’s
death-filled storyline, it’s inspirational how fully
they’ve given up control and are willing at any moment
to lay down their individual lives in the fight for all life. “You’ve lost your priest. This is your last life.” “I’ve been waiting for
the end for a long time. Maybe the Lord brought
me here to find it.” By Season 6, the Brotherhood’s job
in the Riverlands’ nearly done — they’ve weakened
the Freys’ hold on the region, giving Arya an opening
to finish them off. “Winter came for House Frey.” And the Brotherhood sees that
the deepest threat to the people is coming from the North. “Good and bad,
young and old, the things we’re fighting
will destroy them all alike.” The R’hllor faith speaks of
the cosmic struggle between the Lord of Light
and the Great Other. “There are but two –
a god of light and love and joy, and a god of darkness,
evil, and fear. Eternally at war.” So in the eyes
of the Brotherhood, this battle with the White Walkers is
a face-off with the ultimate enemy, death, what all their efforts have been leading up
to. “The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him.” None of the “banners” we see
in Game of Thrones truly put the interests
of the people first, if they take them
into account at all. The Lannister philosophy on
this subject is well-known: “A lion doesn’t concern himself
with the opinions of the sheep.” The more high-minded
Stark and Baratheon forces, too, are guilty of hurting the vulnerable. The Tyrells put on a spectacle
to be beloved by the people. “From now on,
we’re going to take care of you. All of you.” but it’s mainly for political gain. And Daenerys, who
frees countless slaves as she advances
toward Westeros, isn’t without self-interest
in this enterprise. As each time she tells the slaves
to rise up and take their freedom, this enables her army
to take each city. Comparing all of these approaches
with the Brotherhood’s philosophy might get us thinking about
the kind of rhetoric we hear in our lives, from the powerful expressing
concern for everyday citizens. The Brotherhood reminds us that any person who seeks to retain power
can’t truly put the people first. Actually serving the common good
is a tough, thankless, sometimes ugly job. Despite the flaws in their approach
and the limits in their effectiveness, the fact that the Brotherhood exists
at all is revolutionary in this world. So we have to give this group its due for staying loyal to the people,
valuing actions over words, and always keeping their eyes
on the biggest picture of all. “You can’t see us,
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100 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Symbolism: Brotherhood Without Banners”

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  • How do you compare the brotherhood to communists? That makes zero sense. Seems to resemble Christianity more to me. Even the death and resurrection is spot on

  • Jaimi Cottrill says:

    Any group that follows a Lord or God that demands the sacrifice, especially of innocents, is not just, or for the people.

  • I'm glad you mentioned the parallels between Brotherhood Without Banners and Socialist/Communist movements. As a Communist myself, I identify much more strongly with the Brotherhood than any other group/house in the show 🙂

  • You also have to understand that the reason they are religious in the game of thrones universe is because gods exist in the game of thrones universe.

  • Elliott Henderson says:

    You mean they COULDN'T care less. Saying they could care less means they do care! Why does everyone get that phrase wrong!

  • "Mankind will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
    – Denis Diderot, an 18th century French philosopher

  • JOSE LUIS GOMEZ RAMIREZ says:

    Really good content. I would like to add that in the Peasant's War, there seré groups of faithful with communist values and organization, like the people led by Thomas Münzer. Also, commenting on the Parallels between socialist guerrilla and the Brotherhood, consider the religious motivation of

  • Actualy, nothing is revolutionary about the BwoB. It is simply the "convert or die"medieval xianity, which never cared for the people, only for personal gain.

  • Maekar I Targaryen says:

    My vote for who has suffered the most is Theon. Just thought think back to every scene he is in and try to remember the last time he smiled. Or was doing anything but suffering. Mid season 2? Alfie Allen will probably need to check into a psychiatric hospital after this series is over. And also, he was the plaything of GoT's number one sadist; Ramsay Bolton. Congrats Theon, you just won!

  • Maekar I Targaryen says:

    I really wish they had introduced Lady Stoneheart. This was GRRMs way of deconstructing the Merry Band of Outlaws fantasy trope. After she takes over for Beric they become a gang bent on nothing but vengeance against the Freys for the RW. Thoros even says as much to Brienne in Feast for Crows when she, Pod, Ser Hyle Hunt, Septon Meribald and Dog (can't forget Dog) come across them after an ambush. During Brienne's POV chapters she comes across smallfolk on the roads running to King's Landing (cough, sparrows) who could use the BwoB for protection against other marauding free companies Brienne comes across. Mostly the remnants of Vargo Hoat's Brave Companions from Harrenhal. These raiders are used as a contrast and soon as a reflection of what the BwoB used to be and what it is becoming. Lady Stoneheart, in her thirst for some Frey blood, has led them away from their true purpose, a purpose that originated from her husband's order to bring justice to the Riverlands. In the show we instead get a somewhat less morally ambiguous BwoB who are still led by the righteous Beric on their merry (ok, not that merry) adventures.

  • These videos are wonderful. I really hope you do the Wildlings. When Tormund showed up I was so happy he was still alive that I litreally jumped for joy.

  • Love your work! Not sure what you have planned next but if you’re taking any ideas, a Red Dead Redemption video I think would be super interesting and fun to watch! Specially a character study of Arthur Morgan! Just a thought, though I’ll continue to watch no matter what! Keep up the great work!😊

  • Johnny Eclectic says:

    Socialism has been the most deadly ideology seen on earth. It overtook Islam despite being around for one tenth the time. The upper classes might think it is dangerous, and they would be factually accurate.

  • This video was great until it lauded socialism and communism. Both systems have killed millions, often through starvation, a slow and miserable way to die.

  • ChasseurBritannique says:

    "Where as Robin [Hood is]… incredibly successful in taking down the King of England"

    Taking down??!! Robin Hood fought FOR the King of England, AGAINST a pretender to the throne.

  • Mark Stevenson says:

    Your link to a communist uprising and saying that most of these movements were atheistic shows a lack of understanding of Medieval religious movements . These were very often proto socilist and inherently tied to their religion. A rare anachronistic miss in your otherwise solid analysis.

  • Sadly. The show Brotherhood just became beric and thoros. What happened to the rest. There are one of my favorite parts of the books

  • Weren't the guys the Brotherhood hanged for pillaging that settlement not actually members of the Brotherhood? I thought Thoros and/or Dondarrion stated that they were posing as members.

  • Robin Hood didnt steal from the rich to give to the poor. He took back the peoples money taken through unfair taxes

  • sujammalover 16 says:

    The brotherhood without banners remind me alot of the radical hussite factions such as the taborites in the hussite wars. Both the taborites and brotherhood were deeply religious and theocratic in nature, however were against all forms of material hierarchy and fought in open combat with the nobility despite being out numbered and supplied. They believed in radical redistribution of wealth to the people and common ownership of the earth's resources. In fact modern Marxism and communism today can be traced back in ideals to the radicals in the hussite and early protestant movements.

  • SkaterBlades says:

    "They could care less who sits on the iron throne"

    So they do care, at least a little bit. Oh Americans and your butchery of common phrases. Still the rest of the video is top notch as always 👌

  • Briandon Stark says:

    "The White Walkers, the greatest threat to the people of Westeros."

    Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!

  • Briandon Stark says:

    For real though, I know this is book-only, but you REALLY should have addressed the Brotherhood's corruption by Lady Stoneheart.

  • Comparing the brotherhood to communist Guerrillas is not accurate. The brotherhood is trying to help the people and do not want power. Communists want to steal power and remove people's rights. It is more accurate to say that the brotherhood would oppose any communist insurgents because the communists are the thieves and raiders that the brotherhood opposes.

  • Haris Sarris says:

    Stole from the government and tax collectors.* Robin Hood stole from unjust governments, not random wealthy people.

    The communists are the government, the brotherhood fights the governments. They are more libertarian than anything, shame on a channel for even vaguely trying to twist this into pro communist or pro Socialist propaganda. Also, communism isn't some new hip idea, it's an old failure of an idea that kills more innocence than most sick ideologies.

  • This was a great omniscient exploration of the Brotherhood Without Banners. I especially appropriate the comparison between the Brotherhood's relationship with the people and the other houses in the story. A

  • C. D. Dailey says:

    That is interesting. I wasn't aware of the Brotherhood without Banners until you mention them. They are easy to overlook because they play a minor role ane they are not flashy. The connection to Robin Hood is interesting. I noticed that there is a similarity of Jesus and his disciples. Jesus helped the poor. He was a religious person. He was associated with light. He came from the dead. This is all like the Brotherhood without banners. Christianity is a lot like Zoroasteranism and the religion of the Lord of Light. It has a dualism where the good guy is associated with light and the bad guy is associated with darkness. Jesus and Robin Hood were both far ahead of their times. There efforts to aid the poor is like the way the modern government is. The start would be democracy, where everyone including the poor had the power to choose thier leaders. Then thier are laws and programs that help the poor. These are things like welfare, public education and medicaid. Socialism is the economic system where the goverment regulates the economy and helps the poor. Communism is an extreme version of that. I think that religion and elping the poor go together very well. Religions tend to frown upon excessive carnal pleasures. They also have a strong moral code, which helps them gain favors with the deity. So a religious person would criticize the rich for their obscene amounts of wealth. They would also aid the poor in charity, because that is part of thier morality. Jesus is a perfect example of a religious person aiding the poor. There are other examples. Siddhartha gave up his luxurious life of a prince, when he discovered poverty. He advocated helping other people. He went on to become the founder of Buddhism. Moses also gave up his luxurious life of a prince. He freed the Hebrew slaves from the Egyptians. Martin Luther revolted against the carnal indulgence of the Catholic Church. He founded Protestentism. He aided the poor by giving them bibles and freeing them from a pope. Karl Marx claimed that religion was "the opium of the people". That is a trick that the rich people use to make the poor happy and to prevent revolts. Communist regimes follow this and forbid religions. I think Marx was far too cynical and materialistic to truly understand religion. So having the Brotherhood without Banners being both charatable and religious makes perfect sense to me. The group doesn't have an animal, and they wouldn't want one. However I wonder about this, because I am obsessed with animals. 6:16 The Robin Hood version I am most familiar with is the Disney movie with the furries. In that movie Robin Hood and his girlfriend are foxes. When I think of it, it would fit the Brotherhood without Banners. The main stereotype of the fox is being sly and cunning. That does fit the roguish nature of Robin Hood. I want to move beyond that. The fox is another dog-like animal. The mightiest is the wolf. That fits the Starks, which are the leaders of the north. Other northern houses have doglike animals. The Mormonts have the bear. The Boltons don't have an official animal, but Ramsey has dogs. Ned Stark helps for the Brotherhood without Banners. So fox fits in well with the other animals. A fox is a small animal and it is not intimidating. Yet it is very flexible and adaptable. It has even been able to live in cities. This is like how the Brotherhood without Banners don't show off, but they can live very well out in the wilderness. They are as opportunistic as a fox. Robin Hood isn't the only Disney fox. There are two more noteworthy ones. Like Robin Hood they are both oppressed by someone stronger than them. However they are good natured and managed to survive until the end. Nick Wilde is the fox from zootopia. As a fox and preditor he falls victim to the discrimination of Zootopia. He does help overcome the discrimination, and he has a noble desire to do good. He eventually becomes a police officer. Todd is the fox from Fox and the Hound. He is hunted by the hounds. However he befriends one of the hounds, Copper. The friendship helps to save his life. Todd eventually settles down in a wildlife reserve. The good intentions and survival despite a brutal world fit the Brotherhood without Banners. Of all the factions, they are the major underdogs, pun intended. Foxes are associated with fire for some reason. There is a word for bioluminescent fungi, called foxfire. There is an internet browser called Firefox. The Japanese foxes, kitsuni, have the ability to shoot fire and lightning. Many of the foxlike Pokemon are fire type, like the Vulpix and Fennekin lines. That is funny. I have a guess here. The most famous fox species is the red fox. As the name suggests, they are normally a red or orange color. Maybe that reminds people of fire. The Brotherhood without Banners fits, as they use fire a lot in thier religion.

  • Very different from communist and socialist groups who actually end up hurting the people and suppressing freedom in the name of equality.

  • Wtf. Why are there no examples of Starks not caring about the people. Maybe it is because you can't lump in the Starks with the Lannisters and Tyrells. Why don't you bring up that one time when Ned Stark slaughtered those children so he could make sure Rob Baratheons bastard wouldn't get away. Oh wait. That wasn't Ned Stark at all. I love the brotherhood without banners, but I think Ned Stark's philosophy is a huge part of what drives the brotherhood.

  • Also, maybe you shouldn't use communism as the example of the nice guy who is always looking out for others. Lol

  • All elements can be both nurturing and destructive. Fire IS NOT the only element with this capacity. And frankly, I find Martin's one-dimensional portrayal of the Targaryens as the only ones capable of madness, etc. rather tiresome.

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