Now that GoT is finally back on our screens, we get to see which one of our favourite characters George R. R. Martin decides to kill next. Montreal is no Westeros, but suppose the city were to engage in some kind of fight to the death, which neighbourhood would win? Who would survive? WHERE WOULD OUR KHALEESI RISE?! I've concocted a special, 'Montreal-ized' version of Westeros as a blue print of this, for you to enjoy. For you folks that aren't Game of Thrones nerds like me, I've included also explanations. You're welcome.
SPOILER ALERT! This article contains spoilers from season 1-4.
1. The Wall - The West Island
The Wall is home to the Night's Watch - a sort of neutral military that guards the huge ice structure that separates the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros from other lands. The Night's Watch is not associated with any Noble family or Great House, which means they only fight for their own protection and the Wall.
Just like the constituency of the Wall, there isn't much around it - a few noble families and a couple of landmarks, basically the equivalent of the Catalogna soccer complex and a few modern castles on Lakeshore Drive. Its borders begin after the airport (the only safe way out), and extend along the lines of Dorval. What's beyond the Wall, you ask? Very simple: its border does not extend beyond Pointe Claire. Thus remember, what lies beyond the Wall are terrible wildlings; dwellers of the extreme West *shudders*.
2. The North - Montreal East
House Stark is, to begin with, the largest family in Westeros, and is also the most united as well (minus a bastard son, Jon Snow, but hey, we aren't all perfect). As rulers of the North, House Stark possesses the largest territory in Westeros. Though labeled 'exiled' after the takeover of the Targaryens, House Stark is still considered a Great House. After the terrible betrayal of their allies, House Frey, most Starks are publicly believed to be dead, except for Sansa Stark, but in reality 4 of the 5 legitimate Stark children are actually alive.
Now why is House Stark and its ruling, The North, comparable to Montreal East, you ask? Other than being itself the most Northern point in the city, they share similar traits. Just like the north knows how to handle winter, the east side of the city knows how to party. As it is for the Starks, tradition is extremely important. We may not have large castles, but the homes on Gouin sure serve as reasonable comparisons. Another trait that ties The North and the East Side Montreal is honour - I mean, have you heard the screams coming from people's home during the FIFA?
3. River Lands - Lachine
Who are these people again? Before being stripped of their lands and titles by Lord Walder Frey at the Red Wedding, House Tully ruled over the River Lands. Their most notable members are Edmure Tully, still held captive by Lord Frey, Catelyn Stark and Lysa Arryn (both née Tully). We all know Catelyn Stark, but who is Lysa, you ask? She is Lady of the Eryie, and lives in the Vale (see description below).
One key element: the water. The River Lands (appropriately named), share a territory similar to that around the Canal Lachine and its surrounding areas. No wonder their sigil is a fish backdrop! That being said, we highly doubt the Canal and the St-Lawrence River are ideal places to fish nowadays, but they sure were once upon a time. It's also quite a dainty area, with lots of adorable bistros, that hopefully won't become as deserted as the River Lands with the government's new bill regarding smoking on terasses.
4. The Vale - Mercier/Hochelaga-Maisonneuve
Remember that scene where Lady Lysa is breastfeeding her eight year old child *cringe*? Yup, that's the future King of House Arryn (although God knows what he's up to nowadays (THANKS GEORGE R. R. MARTIN). Lady Lysa, on the other hand, was murdered by Lord Petyr Baelish on his visit to Sansa's aunt, by being pushed through the Moon Door, the palace's notable death trap.
Now what does that have to do with Hochelaga? Well, as much as these people can be a little out of the ordinary, House Arryn has some pretty sick architectural skills. I mean, that Moon Door doe! I think it's a pretty cool way to X out your enemies. There's nothing comparable to that in Montreal (thankfully), but we think the Olympic Stadium has quite the architectural prestige. Besides, with God knows how many holes it has in its roof, it's like it has its own little Moon Doors.
5. Stormlands - Côte St-Luc
For those of you who do not remember, House Baratheon is currently divided into two factions. When Robert Baratheon ruled after his rebellion over the Mad King, everything was in order; Robert had the Crownlands (see below), and Stannis Baratheon, his brother, had the Stormlands (once he killed his other brother Renly with the help of Melisandre, a red priestess). With the advent of King Robert's death, it seemed obvious that Joffrey would rule - however, Ned Stark wrote a letter to Stannis when the former found out that Cersei's children were the results of an affair with her brother, leaving them to be illegitimate children of Robert, and unfit to sit on the throne.
It's large, it's close to the city's central hub, and it's full of surprises - Montreal's arrondissement Côte St-Luc is not just the typical mid-city borough. It's the perfect place to go for a jog, it is located close to the airport and the Montreal Jewish General, but what surprises most are the mom-and-pop owned businesses, which have so much to offer.
6. Westerlands - Town of Mont-Royal
'Hear Me Roar' - the signature words of the House, though we won't be hearing much from them quite soon. Their estate, Casterly Rock, was once quite prestigious, and with Cersei Lannister's marriage with Robert Baratheon, their grip to the Iron Throne was to become quite strong. However, with the death of Joffrey and Tywin, the Lord of the Westerlands, this leaves the Lannisters with little power. Tywin's brother is deemed unfit to rule, Jaime is a soldier in the King's Guard Tyrion is wanted dead by Cersei, the latter is basically useless and last heir, Tommen Baratheon, is wed to Margaery Tyrell, which is practically running the show.
We don't know if they always pay their debts, but this district sure looks like it can afford it. Go for a car ride on Laird Boulevard, and you'll see for yourselves; there are several lovely estates that we wouldn't mind calling home. Just like Casterly Rock, there isn't much going on in the Westerlands - it's the people that are interesting, not the land. And the same goes for TMR - though they may not have several acclaimed restaurants, what makes this borough interesting are the crafty Montrealers that call it home.
7. Crownlands - Downtown Montreal (Ville-Marie)
After his successful rebellion over the Mad Targaryen King, King Robert Baratheon ascends to the Iron Throne for 17 prosperous and peaceful years. His wife, Cersei Lannister, has Robert assassinated by her cousin after her three children are born and old enough to rule. The capital of the Crownlands is King's Landing, where the current monarch, Tommen Baratheon, resides. Although Tommen is the product of Cersei Lannister's incestuous affair with her brother Jaime, the child still holds the name Baratheon. Now isn't that a lovely recipe for scandal?
King's Landing is where everyone wants to be, and where most of the action happens. First, Littlefinger's whore house ain't got nuthin' on all those obscure massage parlours and strip clubs between Beaudry and Lionel-Groulx. Second, downtown has the same characteristics as King's Landing. It's loud, it has beggars, filthy rich people, several shops of all kinds, and most important of all, taverns and bars to get your drank on. Third, King's Landing has one pretty important landmark; it's the King's castle. And for those of you who haven't noticed yet, Montreal has the McTavish Reservoir, which looks like it came straight from a Disney movie. All it needs is an incestuous couple and few crazy dead dudes!
8. The Reach - Le Plateau Mont Royal
The Tyrell family live in the Reach, a large fertile piece of land - appropriate for their motto, 'growing strong'. Currently ruled by Lord Mace Tyrell, (though most believe that his mother, Olenna, holds the true power), this house knows no boundaries. Lord Mace's oldest daughter, Margaery, was first wed to Renly Baratheon, whilst the latter enjoyed more the company of Margaery's brother Loras. Once Renly was killed, Margaery was then re-married with Joffrey Baratheon, and thus began the influence of the Tyrells in King's Landing. Now that Joffrey-the-ass is dead, she is betrothed to the former king's brother, Tommen.
The Tyrells are the hipsters of Westeros. They are sly as anything. Just like the Mile End, House Tyrell is new, fresh, and seems to want to take over. Notice how Margaery Tyrell is always nagging at Cersei - it's a fight between the established lioness, with a strong influence (hello there, Sir Winston Churchill Pub), and the young and up and coming new challenger (looking at you, Club Social). We don't know who will win this bitch fight, but one thing is for sure - we'll have loads of fun sitting down with our popcorn and watching it go down.
9. Dorne - Ahuntsic/Villeray
What can be said about House Martell? It is the only Great House that had not bent to the force of the Targaryens, and boast of not having been part of the Seven Kingdoms for a long time. Their sigil is a symbol of the unification of Oberyn Martell's (seen above) father, Mors Martell, to Princess Nymeria's sigil, the red sun. Princess Nymeria was a true warrior, beating the Targaryens with her skilled warfare. She arrived on the shores of Dorne and burned the ships right away, to keep cowardly soldiers from the temptation of going back home. Oberyn, brother of the current king Doran Martell, still had some beef with the Lannisters, who savagely killed his sister Elia and her children. Unfortunately, he did not live to avenge her death, and was killed during a trial by combat whilst defending Tyrion Lannister.
They're sort of exotic and their women are BAMFs. Just like Villeray/Parc Ex./Ahuntsic/Cartierville, these areas may feel a little left out of the action sometimes, but fear not - while everyone else is fighting and getting all caught up in the whole 'an enemy of my enemy is my friend' business, House Martell will be chillin' like a bunch of villains, 'cause ain't nobody that truly want to mess with them. Do not be fooled by their common appearance - Cartierville/Parc Ex. people WILL fvck you up - just don't get in between them and their jam.
10. Mereen - Côte-des-Neiges
NOW SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME BEFORE YOU START YELLING. The truth about House Targaryen is that afterthe death of the Aerys II the Mad King, everything became kind of messy. The Targaryens were exiled and their reign came to an end, after 300 years. The few surviving Targaryens fled into exile away from Westeros, leaving only Viserys (who also dies) and Daenerys, children of the Mad King, alive. With Daenerys storming in with her dragons, House Targaryen has become the talk of the town again, and I don't know about you, but half the reason I watch GoT is because she's in it; there's something about her that just speaks to me, and it's not her bangin' bod (amiright fellas?).
Well here's the deal about C.D.N./N.D.G.; there's just something about it. If you've ever hung around Côte-des-Neiges (or if you live there), you know what we mean. First of all, it's a massive colloquium of cultures, and second, there is always something going on. Besides, what better than the St-Joseph's Oratory, the largest church in Canada, to act out as a replacement for the pyramid that presides over Mereen? So yes, House Targaryen is awarded to Côte-des-Neiges, because it is so cool, has so much to offer and because Montreal would not be what it is without it.