What the “Red Wedding” Can Teach Us About Money

What the Red Wedding Can Teach Us About MoneySpoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!

There. I warned you. Don’t say I didn’t. But, just in case you don’t get it, let me break it down for you. If you ever plan on reading or watching the Game of Thrones series – heck, even if you think you might ever plan on getting involved with it – stop reading this post now. Seriously, I don’t mind. Just go ahead and Tweet it and move about your merry way. It won’t hurt my feelings. I promise. I’d rather you didn’t read this one post and not ruin one of the greatest moments in the history of fantasy novels/television.

Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!

OK. Final warning….

Here we go!

It has been close to a month now since the Red Wedding episode aired on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and fans are still recovering. Seriously, nerds everywhere were losing their freakin’ nerdy minds! It was all anybody was talking about for over a week. You would have thought that George R.R. Martin himself had died. (Dear God, please don’t let that happen!!! There are still 2 books left to come!)

Of course, for those of us who have read the books, this was one of the nights we had been waiting for. As the legions of non-readers uttered a collective horrific gasp, we readers emitted a cathartic sigh of our own. You see, since the beginning of the show, we have lived knowing that this moment was coming. Some of us have waited YEARS to talk about it. YEARS, I TELL YOU!!! Trust me, we felt the same disgusting feelings that you feel now, only we couldn’t share our grief with anybody because it would ruin the show/books for you. Now, we finally have people to share this with…and boy did people ever share on social media! To see all of that angst was…well…freakin’ awesome.

Holly has not read the books. Throughout the Game of Thrones series, Robb Stark has been her favorite character. As she mewed at how hunky he was, I had to bite my tongue, thinking all the while that I couldn’t wait to see her reaction to the Red Wedding. She thought something was amiss a few weeks prior, however, the only words she could muster during the action was, “Is this really happening?” I just looked at her full of despair and said, “Yes.”

As much as I’d like it to be, this is not a Game of Thrones blog. It is a blog about money and frugality. So, let’s talk about some financial lessons that we can learn from the Red Wedding.

Pay Your Debts

Awwww, yes. If only Robb had kept his word, none of this would have happened. When Robb decided not to follow through he forgot one very important thing: a Lannister always pays his debts. Ooops.

Let’s face it. Debt sucks. Nobody likes to pay on a debt. The fun part is in accruing it, not paying it back. However, debt can easily lead to dire consequences in your life too. It can create budgeting problems. It can create credit problems. Most importantly, it can turn you into a slave to your lender. The best course of action is to not go into debt at all. However, if you are in debt, pay it off as quickly as you can. It may save you from a financial knife in the gut.

You Can Win the Battles but Lose the War

So, you’ve landed a job with a great salary. Sweet! You are much further ahead in the game than most people already. However, you’ve got to be vigilant. Simply earning a lot of money does not mean that you have won just yet. Many people who make a lot of money still live outside of their means. They make a lot, but they end up spending more. Robb Stark also earned a lot of capital through winning every battle he fought. Unfortunately, he spent it all (dishonoring the Freys, killing off Karstark, etc.)…and now his head has been replaced by his wolf’s.

Never Trust a Spurned “Ally”

Why, oh why, oh whyo did Robb ever go back to Ohio the Twins? You would think that he would have known better than to trust a prickly old man. Always know who you are dealing with and what their terms are. Lenders are out for themselves, and they will bring the hammer down if you show them up. Remember, if you play with fire – eventually – you are bound to get burned.

Keep Your Head

When you are making financial decisions, you really need to do so with a clear head. Sure, we all make some impulsive decisions with our money from time to time. However, when it comes to the big decisions, be sure to do it with a clear, rational, mind. These major decisions can have a profound effect on your life. Poor Robb Stark made a decision with one head, and it cost him the other (more important) one.

BAM! There you have it. I hope that I didn’t totally ruin the Red Wedding for you. Seriously though, I tried really hard to warn you.

Are there any other financial lessons we can learn from the Red Wedding? Oh who am I kidding? Sound off about the Red Wedding in the comments below! But please, NO FUTURE SPOILERS!!!!!

 

 

About Greg

Greg Johnson is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who believes in living life now while saving for the future. He is the co-founder of the personal finance website Club Thrifty, where he brings the awesome sauce each and every day.

Comments

  1. Haven’t read the books or watched the show, but I’ve already heard about this episode. I’m amazed that you bit your tongue for three whole seasons. Holly is a lucky girl, haha! So if there are still two books to come, what’s going to happen with the show? Will they wait for the books or just keep rolling along with their own storylines?

    • I saw an interview with the author and he said that HBO is authorized to finish the show without the final books. Apparently they have an outline of what happens at the end. The show doesn’t follow the books exactly though so that would probably work.

      Plus, it takes forever. We’ve already had three seasons (30 episodes) and we’re only halfway through book 3. Book 5 is already written and he’s working on book 6 so it will take a while to catch up.

  2. I think there is a lot to take from the Song of Ice and Fire series, some financial and some just plain realistic outlooks on life, however dim. I like the “pay your debts” one.

    Spoiler to everyone: the series has no end because George Martin dies of a heart attack before finishing it, due to too many mutton chops and lemon cakes. Hurry up!!!

  3. I will come back and read this post after I watch the show. I plan on watching and would rather not have the spoiler. I did have to make my daily comment, though ;)

  4. My wife was pretty shocked when the Red Wedding happened! The good news for her, is that she pretty much realized that none of the characters are safe when Ned was killed early on.

    I haven’t read the books or anything, but I feel like someone is going to have to pay for this “debt” at some point.

  5. Honestly haven’t watch this show. Anyway, I agree with you that in making financial decision we should have strong commitment to do it. This commitment can help us to be more focused on the things that can help to improve our final decision.

  6. Didn’t read it, sorry. That show is on my list to see, even though I’ve never watched an episode.

  7. I like what you did here with this post :) I guess I should mention that your family will also get burned…or stabbed/slashed.

  8. Funny! I’ve never seen the show but the lessons are good ones. Especially the last one!

  9. This blog post just made my day! Any way to incorporate Game of Thrones (one of my favorite shows) and finance is a winner in my book. :) I have to admit, I was both shocked and not-surprised all at the same time when I saw this happening.

  10. I don’t actually watch the show – but I love how you tied the two together. I do know people who watch it and haven’t read the books..their reactions were all pretty much the same as Holly’s.

  11. ‘There are still 2 books left to come!” Lol, our thoughts exactly. But he still looks in good condition so there’s nothing to worry about right? :) That shady old Frey looks suspicious from the beginning. I wouldn’t trust him either. Although, that Roslin girl was indeed beautiful. Good points on relating the story with debt. ;)

  12. I don’t follow GoT, but I did infer from the social media buzz that something epic happened. Great financial learning lesson tie-ins!

  13. Having a strategy/plan for your personal finances is important! I have never seen Game of Thrones, but having a plan can avoid the pitfalls of life.

  14. I’m going to read the books before next season. The Red Wedding definitely shocked and appalled me. But Robb was really crazy if he thought he was going to get away with everything. He was to confident in himself.

    • Definitely read the books! If you love the show, you’ll love the books. They don’t move quite as quickly, but because of how each chapter is written from a different character’s viewpoint, you get an even more in-depth look at what each character is thinking.

  15. I am OBSESSED with GOT!!! I was devastated when they killed off Robb and Catelyn Stark because Ned is my favorite all-time character and I guess I wanted justice for him and his family :( Please do more Game of Thrones related to Personal Finance posts in the future :)

  16. Wait, is this show on PBS? Nice way to tie it back to finances, though we all really know you just wanted to write the ENTIRE POST about your disgust and angst over Game of Thrones :)

    Never read the books or seen the shows (don’t have cable!), but it sounds like a wild ride. :) And yes, using the wrong brain never works out well in the end…

    • Ha! Your the first to comment on that little nugget Jacob! And you’re right, I totally wanted to write about Game of Thrones.

  17. I have heard good things and many people have been talking about it, but I don’t have HBO, so I guess I will have to wait and see it after the DVD comes out. I really feel that I am missing something great over here.

    • You are missing something great. Season 1 and 2 are out on DVD. (Shameless plug: you can buy them by clicking the links above!)

  18. Didn’t read the post….so behind on the season….now your post title has me wanting to get a babysitter all weekend and watch the whole season!

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