Game of Thrones is a great show, but Westeros is a health and safety firm’s worst nightmare. From rickety castles to dodgy cooking, the average episode makes us more nervous than the Hound on Bonfire night. Here are just eight lessons the characters could learn from our various courses, in order to bring down that famously high mortality rate.
The entire events of the show could have been more or less avoided if Bran Stark hadn’t fallen from that tower, all the way back in episode one. It’s probably a bit late to reprimand the kid himself, though – after all, he hasn’t done too much climbing since.
No, I’m afraid this is all about irresponsible parenting. A Site Supervisor Safety Training course could have nipped this in the bud, helping them to identify risks around Winterfell and implement solutions. If the Lord of Light brings back Ned or Catelyn, they deserve a serious telling off.
Wall’s well that ends well
Jon Snow, the illegitimate heir of Ned Stark, has been dispatched to the Wall at the behest of his stepmother. As a curious soul who wants to feel a bit taller, Tyrion Lannister decides to tag along. He joins Jon Snow 700 feet up, and fulfils his lifelong desire to wee off the top of it. This is a workforce in desperate need of workplace safety training.
The fact that this Wall is both made of ice and lacks railings makes it an accident waiting to happen. And as workplace injuries go, falling from a 700ft sub-zero slab is pretty serious. The banished delinquents at the Wall might not be willing to change, but Tyrion is smart enough to be earmarking it for improvements – although it might be best left until after they’ve killed the White Walkers.
King’s bumpy landing
Fast forward to season 2, and things have got a little out of hand in King’s Landing. Demonic fop King Joffrey is caught in a riot, the High Septon has been killed, and the Hound ends up rescuing Sansa. This is a classic symptom of poor event management.
Proper health and safety supervision could have turned this stampede into an orderly protest, distributing the baying mob more evenly through the grimy streets of King’s Landing. The former site of the Sept of Baelor meanwhile could be turned into an excellent town square for future demonstrations.
Later in the season, the Lannisters find themselves surrounded by the armies of King Stannis, having been distracted in the fight against Robb Stark. In a flash of inspiration, Tyrion plunders a store of volatile Wildfire, and uses it to roast the opposing fleet.
While this was an ultimately effective military strategy, we saw no attempts to ensure the safe storage of the ageing wildfire, which remained in place below the city for several seasons. There was also no clear process for safely handling the wildfire as it was packed onto a dummy ship. This was a near miss that could easily have been solved with a control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) certification.
Littlefinger and Definitely-Not-Sansa are hiding out at the Eyrie in season four, where the Stark kid’s creepy aunt Lysa lives in isolation. After she sees Littlefinger kissing Sansa – who reminds him of her mother, a.k.a. Lysa’s sister – Lysa quickly turns on her niece, and threatens to push her out the ‘Moon Door’ in the high castle. Littlefinger steps in, and pushes Lysa out instead.
The very presence of the Moon Door breaks every rule in the book: any breaches in the floor should be at the very least clearly marked and cordoned. Worse still however is standing right in front of said breach while talking to the least trustworthy man on the planet. We’re willing to let this one slide, just because she really had it coming.
I get knocked down, but I get up again
Brienne and Pod are one of our favourite Westerosi tag teams, right behind Arya and the Hound, Arya and Tywin, and Arya and Hot Pie. However, Brienne has been attempting to train Pod in swordsmanship for what must be five straight seasons now, and it hasn’t worked yet (skills with a different sword notwithstanding).
Brienne is clearly an enviable fighter, having dispatched the Hound and the Knight of Flowers in single combat. However, her teaching technique clearly needs improvement. A Level 3 Award in Education & Training would help her to be more inclusive and understanding in her teaching method, rather than knocking Pod over until he gets it right.
A feast for Freys
We’re into season 7 now, and things got off with a bang. Pintsized assassin Arya Stark, having seen off the mother-murdering Lord Frey, arranges an impromptu feast for his extensive family. They all toast to his health, and immediately lose theirs, as the wine is poisoned. Arya crosses a hundred or so names off her list, which must be more of an essay at this point.
If we presume that the Frey wives and maids weren’t in on this plan, then there’s been a serious lapse in food safety. That wine should have been sealed and stored away from prying hands, and tested before it was cleared for consumption. It might have killed a taster or two, but hey: that’s the price you pay for safety.