A Game of Thrones
by George R. R. Martin
Society and Class Quotes in A Game of Thrones
How we cite our quotes: (Absolute Chapter, Character Name, Chapter.Paragraph)
Ser Waymar Royce was the youngest son of an ancient house with too many heirs. (1 Prologue.14)
Like a good pseudo-medieval society, the noble houses of the Seven Kingdoms practice primogeniture, which means that the first-born son gets all the goodies (land, title, ancestral sword, Pokemon collection). Both in Westeros and in actual history, primogeniture was super important; it meant that a lot of people had to go make their own way in the world by fighting for others.
Even at seven, Bran understood what his brother had done. The count had come right only because Jon had omitted himself. He had included the girls, included even Rickon, the baby, but not the bastard who bore the surname Snow, the name that custom decreed be given to all those in the north unlucky enough to be born with no name of their own. (2 Bran 1.70)
We know that each of the Seven Kingdoms has a customary last name for illegitimate children: Snow in the north, Stone in the Vale, Flowers in Highgarden, Rivers in the Riverlands, etc. (35 Catelyn 6.77). But how does society treat these illegitimate children?
Arya thought that Myrcella's stitches looked a little crooked too, but you would never know it from the way Septa Mordane was cooing. (8 Arya 1.3)
Royal people can get away with a lot, Arya learns. And that lesson starts in her own home, when Princess Myrcella gets a little special treatment. But can we blame Septa Mordane for trying to be nice to the royal family? They have their own executioner, after all.