You might have noticed some Houses on the whiteboard above the front desk at the gym. What in Westeros do they mean? This year we will be dividing everyone who has signed up for The Open on The CrossFit Games website up into three Houses. As a continuation of our fantasy theme, we are using Houses from the hit books and TV series Game of Thrones led by Coaches Tim, Juan, and Nick. If none of this makes any sense to you, think along the lines of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin competing at Quidditch in Harry Potter. If this still makes no sense to you, may I suggest you brush up on your fantasy literature! After each workout, we will aggregate each House’s scores and rank the Houses against each-other. Houses will be chosen at random, although bribes will be accepted. We will be pummelled by the Night King (Dave Castro) and his army of White Walkers for 5 weeks but together we can defeat them!
Led by Coach Tim Targaryen the Wise, House Targaryen’s sigil is a three headed red dragon on a black background and the House words are “Fire and Blood”. Generations of compound inbreeding have preserved in the Targaryen bloodline the classic Valyrian features of silver-white (platinum blonde) hair, and very fair, pale skin. Allegedly, this also preserved in their bloodline the ability to successfully bond with and ride dragons. They also seem to be somewhat more tolerant of extreme heat and high temperatures than other people, though they are by no means invulnerable to fire – or at least, not all of them. Unfortunately, some believe that this practice of inbreeding has also caused the trait of insanity to plague House Targaryen; though some members are known to be perfectly normal psychologically-speaking, other Targaryens throughout history have displayed bizarre, erratic and sometimes violent behaviour, succumbing to the so-called ‘Targaryen madness’.
Spearheaded by Coach Juan Martell the Passionate, he’s famous for having said: “Unbowed, unbent, unbroken’. The words of House Martell. A promise to our enemies, and a challenge to our lovers.” The Martells are famous for never having been successfully conquered by outsiders making them unique among all of the Great Houses. The House sigil is a combination of the original Martell sigil – a yellow spear – and the emblem of Princess Nymeria – a red sun – to symbolize the marriage of the warrior-queen to Mors Martell. While many of the Martells are hot-tempered, especially Coach Juan, they are a close-knit and loving family, undivided by internal rivalries such as those in House Lannister and House Baratheon.
One of the few noble Houses whose family motto is neither a boast or a threat, the House Stark family motto is a warning, one that, no matter the circumstances, will always be relevant: “Winter Is Coming.” The Starks lost power in The North to House Bolton before Coach Nick Snow the Bastard retook Winterfell after vanquishing death. House Stark is one of the oldest lines of Westerosi nobility, claiming a line of descent stretching back over eight thousand years. Known for upholding their honour, sometimes to their own detriment, The Starks are represented by a grey direwolf on their sigil.