I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones. I started with the HBO series, and continued with the books by George R.R. Martin.
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Game of Thrones is the first book in the series of novels “A Song of Ice and Fire“. Central is the clash of seven kingdoms on the fictional content Westeros. The seven kingdoms are protected by a wall of ice in the North, guarding the realm from the Others. Nobody really knows who they are, but the wall has been there for thousands of years, and it’s certain they will come back some day.
The wall is guarded by the Sworn Brotherhood of the Night’s Watch. The task of these sentinels is to protect the realm against the Others, and guard the wall so the kingdoms are kept safe from wildling raiders. They’re not linked to one of the kingdoms in particular, and are a-political in a certain sense.
The Brothers of the Watch vow to never hold land and titles, never take a wife, never father children, cut ties to their families, take no part in the quarrels of the kingdom, and live and die at their post.
When men enter the Sworn Brotherhood, they have to say the following vows:
Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all nights to come.
It’s interesting to notice that these vows can be read almost integrally as the manifesto for a good project manager.