Become the Master of Coin with Game of Thrones Monopoly

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“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” - Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones is the name given to the popular HBO series based after George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, for which the first book is titled. Ripe with political intrigue and set in a fictional, medieval time which resembles the ‘dark ages’ more than it does a pleasant Renaissance, Game of Thrones has become ingrained in today’s pop culture.

But a property isn’t considered to be a true representation of pop culture until it has been immortalized as a Monopoly game. Right?

Game of Thrones Monopoly, licensed by Hasbro and created by USAopoly, is surely going to garner some interest from fans of both the novels and HBO series, and Monopoly collectors alike. But just because you dress it in black and ship it north of Winterfell, doesn’t mean it’s a member of the Night’s Watch.

It must first take the oath.

Concealed in a black box, with the four main houses adorning its lid, Game of Thrones Monopoly immediately invokes a feeling of mystery. What will be inside? How deep into the mythos will they go? Well fear not, this game isn’t just a gimmick. They stripped down the traditional game and built it from the ground up as masterfully as the HBO series’ opening sequence. Other than the four corners: Go, Just Visiting, Free Parking and Go to Jail, this game immerses you into the heart of Westeros.

“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.” - Jeor Mormont

And there’s plenty of the things we love in this game. A detailed map of Westeros fills the middle of the board. Nations and important locations make up the properties while Villages and Keeps replace the modern amenities of houses and hotels. The instructions are neatly rolled up like a scroll and sealed by a red ribbon, adding to the nostalgia that comes with the fictional world. Let’s not forget the mystical, pearlescent appearance of the die that are cast, to determine your movements around the Seven Kingdoms. Tokens, that are reminiscent of important symbols and artifacts that any fan would recognize, are included to represent your interests:

“I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.” - Robert Baratheon

Wise words from a foolhardy King. However with this game there is a chance that victory will be aided by a community chest of cards. Seeking knowledge and guidance from the Many-Faced God will grant you rewards if you’re fortunate to land on ‘Valar Morghulis’. While ‘The Iron Throne’ will empower you to take control of the game with insurances that will keep you out of jail. These cards offer thematic events and situations as they provide you rewards and penalties along the way. From the stony backgrounds to the silvery-piped borders, the cards are a real treat and show the level of detail placed into the making of this game.

“A Lannister always pays his debts.” - Unofficial motto of House Lannister

Is there another game that personifies this quote any more accurately than Monopoly? The only way to win Monopoly is to own everything, including the money. The cards that represent the properties and lands of the Seven Kingdoms are printed with the same vintage font consistent across the game, including the symbol to represent the ‘Gold Dragons’ currency. Depending on which Hand of the King you ask, holding onto money isn’t always easy. Some Kings were spend-thrifts, others were penny pinchers. What will your strategy be as you move around Westeros, buying up lands and seeking to bankrupt your opponents? Each of the seven major houses have been represented on the various denominations available in Game of Thrones Monopoly:

  • $1 - House Greyjoy
  • $5 - House Stark
  • $10 - House Baratheon
  • $20 - House Targaryean
  • $50 - House Martell
  • $100 - House Tyrell
  • $500 - House Lannister

“The man who fears losing has already lost” - Syrio Forel

Ascending the Iron Throne and ruling over the Seven Kingdoms is the primary goal for the characters in Game of Thrones. And this board game, by its nature, has players attempting to accomplish this by the very act of buying everyone out of power. The traditional game of Monopoly has been beautifully recreated in a way that takes you inside of the fictional world of George R.R. Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’. While many will act like a craven, when posed with the possibility of playing a game as daunting as Monopoly, fear not, there is a quick-play option: eliminate 1 player and see who possesses the most riches after that.

What about the properties? The four main houses make up the railroads and The Wall and The Red Waste replace the utilities. Kings Landing as Boardwalk was an obvious choice but the decision to use Braavos for Park Place was curious. The omission of locations such as Dorne and Highgarden were disappointing, however in a game with limited real estate, certain favorites were bound to get iced.

This board game will be a wonderful addition for any Monopoly enthusiast, Game of Thrones fanatic or collector of either property.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0