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Game of Thrones character Jon Snow with the text 'Life Lessons' positioned over the topHBO / BBC Three

Life lessons from Game of Thrones

Four superfans share what they’ve learned from the show

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Game of Thrones has been on our screens for so many years and has become so jaw-droppingly popular that, in many ways, it feels like an old friend.

We’ve grown up with the show. Fans have held Game of Thrones weddings. And parents have even been naming their tots after their favourite characters. Who knows, perhaps one day there'll even be a baby Grey Worm out there?

The programme, based on the best-selling books by George RR Martin, has also inspired some serious thinking about the life lessons we can learn from Jon, Dany and Tyrion as they battle for survival in Westeros.

In fact, a new self-help book, Win or Die: Lessons for Life from Game of Thrones, written by business expert Bruce Craven, analyses the major players in the Game of Thrones world and dishes out advice based on how the show’s characters learn to face "conflict, build resilience, and improve their long-term vision”.

“Westeros is a harsh, volatile, and bloody landscape, but so is the real world,” Bruce writes. “Every day you're presented with challenges; decisions on which roads to take, which risks to confront and whether you should go for the option that's outside of your comfort zone. From the middle of the battleground, it can be difficult to see where the victory lies.”

And this isn’t the only book that applies Westerosi legend to real life. Authors Tim Phillips and Rebecca Clare put together Game of Thrones on Business in 2015, which will apparently teach you how to network like Littlefinger, inspire your team like Daenerys, and not lose your head (Ned Stark, we're looking at you).

Here, four Game of Thrones superfans tell BBC Three the most important life lessons they’ve learned from the epic show.

The lone wolf dies but the pack survivesHelen Sloan/HBO/BBC Three

The lone wolf dies but the pack survives

Samantha, 30 (who still isn’t over the Red Wedding)

One of my all-time favourite moments has to be when Sansa and Arya outsmarted Littlefinger at the end of season seven. It’s such a satisfying moment that shows just how much Sansa has grown and how the Stark sisters have learnt to work together. We've seen them both grow up and struggle to become who they're meant to be - and I think that's very relatable.

Game of Thrones taught me I shouldn’t be too trusting of people when I don't know their motives - specifically at work. I’ve had managers gain my trust and offer to be a mentor to me, only for them to turn around and cancel my contract. Other times co-workers have offered to help me present my idea in a meeting, only to have them present it as their own and take all the credit. Not everyone cares about keeping to their word, and sometimes it’s good to stay wary.

‘The pack survives’ is the life lesson that sticks with me the most from Game of Thrones, because there's only so long the lone wolf can keep afloat on its own. You need friends, family and people you trust to help you through life’s big battles.

Hopefully, we’ll get to see the human pack survive the fight against the dead in season eight.

Know YourselfHelen Sloan/HBO/BBC Three

Know yourself

Douglas, 27 (who is planning his own Game of Thrones-themed wedding)

I feel a special connection with Jon Snow. He is, primarily, an avatar for growing up and finding yourself. He's lost at first, following a path that's set out before him because he's following in the footsteps of his uncle Benjen. I was in my early twenties in university when the show began and was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, so I see a parallel in that search for meaning and development.

Through Jon, I’ve learnt about the need to steel yourself against your fears and to focus on a passion. My own passion is writing, actually. I want to be a fiction writer. Last October, I published a short story for the first time and, although I've been writing for a while, I only recently made a serious attempt at publishing anything.

Another character who truly knows himself is leader of the free folk and ‘King Beyond the Wall’ Mance Rayder, who, when faced with execution by fire, sticks to his convictions and says: "The freedom to make my own mistakes is all I've ever wanted." That’s such a powerful quote which really resonates with me.

Oh, and another important life lesson: when you hear the Rains Of Castamere at a wedding, run.

Keep your friends close and your frenemies closerMacall B. Polay/HBO/BBC Three

Keep your friends close and your frenemies closer

Joseph, 43 (who is obsessed with Ygritte saying “You know nothing Jon Snow”)

I think Game of Thrones has influenced many lives, including mine. Even after eight seasons, what Tyrion said to Jon Snow about him being a bastard really stayed with me: “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

I always thought I was different growing up, and other people around me said that too, so I’ve been taunted to the point of crying by other kids for being soft - effeminate - and having big eyes and teeth. But life taught me to know and appreciate myself for who and what I am. Now I prefer to be different.

When Tywin said: “A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep”, that gave me the courage to believe in myself. I work in healthcare and when I got my new role at work, for example, I could sense disbelief from others that I'd been the one to get the promotion. There were lots of raised eyebrows and I received a generally frosty reaction from my colleagues - lots of people incredulously saying, “Um, okay.”

But, I’m doing my best to be a lion and prove them wrong.

Out of the flames, you'll grow strongerHelen Sloan/HBO/BBC Three

Out of the flames, you’ll grow stronger

David, 32 (who is such a big fan that he has a Game of Thrones tattoo)

I like all the usual suspects - Daenerys, Jon, Arya and Tyrion - but my all-time favourite is Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound. I have a Hound tattoo, so I definitely feel a connection to him. He's someone who’s gone through redemption. His whole life has just been hating and fearing his brother after he was burnt and so he made everyone else fear him as a result.

Despite this, he has a moral code and sees things the way they really are. Over the course of the show, he has looked out for both Stark girls and, after almost dying in a fight to protect Arya, has come out the other side a better person who's now fully on the side of 'good’ against the White Walkers. Just a great character.

"Out of the flames, you'll grow stronger" is something to always keep in mind when you're struggling with life or going through hard times. Not everyone has to fight a dragon, but everyone has their own problems to face and to overcome.