|[The banner of House Stark flying in Saint Paul.]|
Well it’s time to up the ante.
Biking down Summit Avenue yesterday, I happened across the banner from House Stark flying from a mansion just West of Dale Street. That’s far out of Council President Stark’s Ward 4 territory, so there must have been some kind of invasion.
The rest is Westerosi/Saint Paul history.
Caveat: If you're a Game of Thrones fan, do not read too much into this fictional list. Almost any resemblance between living people and the actual plots of the books or TV show is entirely coincidental.
The Great Houses of Saint Paul
House Stark - This one’s the easiest, because of the aforementioned name of the City Council President. Everything from Hamline-Midway along to the city border (except the islands of House Greyjoy) are the Stark lands of the North. Highway 280 is the wall. Winterfell is Groundswell, the castle (coffee shop) where you’ll often find the King of the North or other Stark bannermen holding court.
House Greyjoy - Of all the Saint Paul neighborhoods, Saint Anthony Park is most like the Iron Islands. Originally a separate city, intended to be a bourgeois enclave, its curving streets and quaint village atmosphere make these lands an isolated refuge amidst a sea of industrial concrete. These days, the Iron Islanders do not spend much time raiding their neighbors. But who knows, that could always change. Pyke can be found at the Como/Carter intersection at the castle Muffaletta.
House Lannister - Highland, of course, a very wealthy house at the West edge of Westeros. They are almost always in the center of the political scrum at King’s Landing (downtown). The “Village” is a thriving city that relishes its pastoral facade. Casterly Rock is the Highland Theater. The Highland Villager always pays its debts.
House Tyrell - This house is Summit-University, also wealthy. Highgarden is one of the Summit Avenue mansions, like the James J. Hill house or maybe up on Crocus Hill. Grand Avenue supplies wine to the Saint Paul lands. House Tyrell are also in the thick of the striving for the iron throne, and their armies are a fulcrum of power. It’s difficult to get downtown without going through Tyrell lands.
House Martell - There was a recent coup by a young woman in House Martell, which lies across the Sea of Dorne (a.k.a. the Mississippi River) to the south of King’s Landing. People sometimes think the people from Dorne are foreign because they have accents. Actually it's just the Southernmost part of Westeros, though many people remain confused. The District del Sol is how you say “Sunspear" in Spanish. The airport and marina offers ships and trade links to distant lands across the Narrow Sea.
House Baratheon - King’s Landing is Downtown. Here is where the high court meets. The Mayor’s office is the Iron Throne, and the
House Targaryen - A formerly ruling house that has been exiled to the East after "the mad king" (a.k.a. Randy Kelly) was deposed. House Targaryen has a special relationship with dragons (i.e. industrial labor), though dragons are believed to have disappeared from the land. Dragonstone is the Hamm’s Brewery, a somewhat abandoned impenetrable fortress.
House Arryn - Mounds Park and Highwood, an isolated part of the realm. The mountains of the Vale can be found around Mounds Park and Battle Creek. The Eyrie sits high atop Dayton’s Bluff at the Swede Hollow Café. Currently ruled by a woman, it takes some convincing to get the Knights of the Vale to march into the wars of kings.
House Tully - Lake Como is the river lands. Because of the railroads of Saint Paul, crossing the river lands at the middle of Westeros challenges every army, and one must convince the rulers at Riverrun (the Como Pavilion) to allow for safe passage. The struggle for power here is fierce. Harrenhall is Bandana Square, a failed attempt to build a massive castle that is all but forgotten today.
Other neighborhoods are lesser houses. Mac-Grove is likely House Frey, pledged to House Lannister. (No offense meant, Mac-Grove friends!) The North End is House Mormont. The West End is Tarth.
Beyond the wall is Minneapolis. Saint Paulites look down upon these gods-less people with bizarre notions of democracy. Though we also fear them, and try everything in our power to keep them out. It’s never enough, and Winter Carnival is Coming.
Across the narrow sea lie the suburbs. Braavos is Maplewood, where the Iron Bank of 3M rules. Woodbury is Pentos, a great trading center, though the goods are odd. Slaver’s Bay is White Bear Lake, and Lake Elmo is Yunkai, one of its "independent city-states" in the midst of chaos these days. Whatever you do, don't get bogged down in politics here!
And last but not least, the Dothraki horde are Wisconsinites. They routinely invade the land with their barbaric-seeming rituals. If you find yourself in their way, pray for a quick death.
|[The House Stark banner flying near Dale Street with a direwolf in the foreground.]|