The eighth and last season of Game of Thrones has started and brought with it all the magical madness of Westeros. The show has been paved with stories of treason, love, hate, epic battles and people breaking into places.
We know that Westeros is still stuck in the medieval era, but can you imagine how many lives could have been saved with the help of tech solutions? To illustrate that, we’re taking you on a trip to the Thrones and pointing out the six times Westeros could have done with a visitor management system. Buckle up!
Disclaimer: this blog post contains spoilers up to season seven. If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones and don’t want to have it ruined, stay away. We’re about to geek-out, big time.
1. The Catspaw Assassin Attempting to Murder Bran Stark
As you may or may not remember, the first episode of Game of Thrones (“Winter is Coming”) ends with 10 year old Bran Stark being thrown off a tower in Winterfell after witnessing incestuous acts performed by Queen Cersei and her twin brother Ser Jamie Lannister. That fall results in Bran entering a coma and when he awakes he has lost the ability to walk. So yeah, just your usual everyday average pilot TV episode.
In the following episode, “The Kingsroad”, a catspaw assassin is sent to kill Bran Stark in his bed while who is still in a coma. The assassin sets fire to a tower in Winterfell as a distraction away from comatose Bran. To the assassin’s bad luck, Bran’s mother, Lady Caitlyn Stark refused to leave her son’s side to attend the fire. She has staff for that sort of thing.
When he enters the room, the assassin says “You weren’t s’posed to be here”, revealing his intention. Lady Stark fights the would be assassin with her bare hands to stop the murder of her son. Ultimately, it’s Bran’s direwolf, Summer, that tears out the killer’s throat (‘Summer is Coming’ is a lesser known saying of the Starks referring to this moment). Lady Caitlyn then assumes that Tyrion Lannister, Cersei and Jamie’s younger brother, was the one behind this and takes him hostage. This sparks the initial conflict between Starks and Lannisters which leads to the War of the Five Kings.
How VMS could have helped
The catspaw killer was evidently an unwanted visitor. An invader if you will. Had Lady Caitlyn thought of implementing a visitor management system outside Bran’s chambers, the Killer would not have been able to enter the room. A VMS could have had the following effects:
- Seeing a slick “Stark Family” branded VMS would have intimidated the assassin, potentially causing him to turn away and abandon his plan.
- The assassin would not have the required clearance to enter the chambers.
- He would have a printed visitor badge when entering the chambers, which would state exactly who he is.
- Lady Caitlyn would have been notified that a visitor who wasn’t pre-registered was there to see her son.
- The assassin would have to enter his details to the Kiosk, making it easy to see who he was, who he was there to see and track down the mastermind behind the crime.
If they had a VMS, deaths could have been avoided, Lady Caitlyn wouldn’t have hurt herself and the War of the Five Kings might never have happened.
2. The Three-Eyed-Raven Cave Attack
Back before winter came, we were introduced to Hodor, a simple-minded Winterfell stable boy of incredible body mass and stature. He is a barrel on legs. Hodor’s real name is Wylis, but after experiencing a seizure that mentally crippled him when he was a child, he could only speak the nonsense word “Hodor”, which later became his name (somewhat like a Pokemon).
After Bran Stark loses the ability to walk, Hodor becomes his faithful servant, carrying him around everywhere, as he is the only one large and strong enough to do so without getting tired that isn’t the Mountain. Hodor and Bran become inseparable and eventually Hodor companies Bran in his journey beyond the Wall alongside Bran’s little brother Rickon, wildling Osha and siblings Jojen and Meera Reed. Their goal was to find the Three-Eyed-Raven, a mythical creature that speaks to Bran in his sleep and who supposedly has the answers to defeating the White Walkers. When you put it like that Bran definitely sounds crazy.
Their expedition is tough, but finally they reach the cave of the Three-Eyed-Raven. However, we’re talking of Game of Thrones here and there is a plot twist the size of The Wall in this story. In the fifth episode of season 6, “The Door”, the Three-Eyed-Raven’s cave is attacked by Wights (Zombies with brain freeze). Bran (who is also a warg, meaning he can enter other creatures minds and see through their eyes) wargs into Hodor’s mind to make sure he would “hold the door” (the cave’s back entrance) so Bran and Meera could escape. Hodor dies to save the two.
How VMS could have helped
If Brand had implemented a VMS at the entrance of the cave, the wights would not have been able to enter without signing in, one by one, or using a group sign in function. Now obviously the wights would have been in the system’s watch list, therefore, they would have been flagged by the system and denied entry.
That’s without mentioning that the wights are not the brightest of minds (brain freeze) and wouldn’t have been able to understand the system anyways. That’s two times that Bran could have done with a VMS and prevented deaths.
3. Assassination at the Tower of the Hand
In episode 2 of season 4 “The Lion and The Rose” the public had the pleasure to witness the death of hateful King Joffrey Baratheon (cough…Lannister…cough). Right after his death, the Queen Mother, Cersei Lannister, accused her brother Tyrion, without a second thought, of murdering her son. Tyrion, then, is taken to trial and sentenced to death by his own Father, Lord Tywin Lannister.
Tyrion demands a trial by combat. But his champion, Oberyn Martell, has his skull disgustingly crushed by The Mountain (Ser Gregor Clagane). However, Tyrion’s brother, Ser Jamie cannot bear to see his brother die, so he releases Tyrion in the middle of the night. Their plan is to get Tyrion across the Narrow Sea to the continent of Essos with the help of Varys. However, Tyrion detours and pays a visit to his father at the Tower of Hand. He sneaks in through a secret passage and finds his ex-lover Shae in bed and his father in the privy. He murders Shae by choking her with a necklace he had gifted her previously and kills his father with a crossbow in the privy.
How VMS could have helped
So, first of all, somebody in the Red Keep had to know about this secret passage. And as all entrances, it should have been protected. The front door of Lord Tywin’s chambers was protected by two guards at all times, so why didn’t they take some measures to safeguard the other entrance too? If there were a visitor management system kiosk at the secret passage, Tyrion would have had to sign in. Consequently, his father would have gotten a notification straight away. He would’ve been able to hide Shae and, well… get off the privy before being surprised.
4. The Red Wedding
The Red Wedding is the name for the massacre commanded by Lords Walder Frey and Roose Bolton in season 3, episode 9 “The Rains of Castamere”. In what was, at the time, the most brutal episode of Game of Thrones, Robb Stark, the new King in the North was supposed to marry Lord Frey’s daughter, Roslin. Their marriage would seal an alliance between the Starks and Freys, securing an army and safe passage across the River Trident. Robb Stark, however, broke his vows and married Talisa, a nurse from Volantis.
In an attempt to stop a war, a marriage was arranged between Roslin and Lady Caitlyn Stark’s brother, Lord Edmure Tully. After the two were wed, Lord Frey gave a command for the musicians at the party to start playing The Rains of Castamere. This was, unbeknownst to the Starks, a signal to begin the massacre. The musicians revealed themselves to be disguised killers, hired to murder the Stark’s and those loyal to them. Lady Catelyn, King Robb and Queen Talisa died and their army was decimated.
How VMS could have helped
The Red Wedding was a massive event which gathered hundreds of people together. For an event of that magnitude, a better visitor management system (or just any visitor management system) would have made a massive difference. One that made sure all visitors were signed in and wore a badge stating who they were. If all were wearing badges, the musicians would not have gotten away with the murder, as their badges would say exactly who they are, murderers. The Freys would be wearing badges saying “traitor” as well as Roose Bolton and his men.
Upon seeing the “murderer” and “traitor” badges on musicians and their hosts respectively, the Starks would’ve realised that they were about to be double-crossed and could high tail it out of there.
5. The Faceless Men
We get the first glimpse of The Faceless Men on season 2 episode 10 “Valar Morghulis”. The Faceless Men are a society of assassins based across the Narrow Sea, in the free city of Braavos. This society worships the Many-Faced God, the god of death.
‘Death has many faces.’
The Faceless Men believe that death is a religious sacrament and merciful end to people’s suffering. They forego their own identity, becoming “No One” in exchange for having the ability to shapeshift and change their faces. They use other people’s faces to grant the gift of death to those who they have been paid to murder.
By using other people’s faces they can sneak into unexpected places and come and go as they please. In season 6 episode 10 “The Winds of Winter”, Arya Stark, who had then become a member of the Faceless Men, sneaks into Walder Frey’s castle , kills one of his servants, and using the servant’s face to sneak into his great hall, slits his throat. If you’d somehow forgotten, Lord Frey had previously murdered Arya’s mother and brother at the Red Wedding, while having them as guests.
How VMS could have helped
Recently Teamgo Visitor Management System has launched FaceID. An extremely powerful integration that brings face recognition to the forefront of the digital workplace. If Lord Walder Frey had VMS with FaceID activated at the gates of his castle or even the door of his great halls, Arya would not have been able to sneak into the castle in the first place. FaceID technology has made such leaps and bounds the faceless men’s tricks would not be enough to fool the system. In reality, though, we were all pretty happy that Walder Frey was taken by the Many-Faced God. So, we’ll let this one slip.
6. Sons of the Harpy Attack
After freeing the slaves from the cities of Slavers’ Bay, Daenerys Targaryen acquired a new and powerful enemy. Entitled the Sons of the Harpy, this new society is composed of former Slave Masters who are unhappy about their power and businesses being stripped away. They plan an uprising in the city of Mereen, the most powerful of the Slave Cities.
The Sons of the Harpy stage attacks across the city to weaken Daenerys’ forces. While doing so they wear Harpy masks to send a message. In episode 9 of season 5 the issue culminates when Daenerys reopens a fighting pit, in an attempt to achieve a diplomatic solutions for the issues between her new Government and the Slave Masters.
Things go astray during the grand opening of the fighting pit. Ser Jorah Mormont, who along with Tyrion Lannister has been sold into indentured servitude (a thinly veiled form of slavery) is in the pit, to prove his worth to Daenerys. As the fight is about to begin he turns to Daenerys, raises his spear and throws it towards her. Narrowlying missing her it instead slams into the chest of someone wearing a Harpy mask, weilding a knife, with the intent of killing Daenerys.
Members of the Sons of the Harpy appear littered throughout the crowd and chaos ensues. Daenerys and the members of her guard have to fight for their freedom.
How VMS could have helped
Since this is an event a VMS would provide an extra level of security and screening during the entry process. If Daenerys had thought to use a feature like pre-registration or group sign-in and create a list of guests she would’ve known exactly who was there, and could print badges upon arrival.
If she had a watchlist set up she could also see if any known members of the Sons of the Harpy attended the event and could turn them away at the entrance. Yet again a VMS would’ve saved countless lives!
Look, we’re not saying that a Visitor Management System would fix all of the problems in Westeros, but it sure would fix a lot of them. If whoever is on the Iron Throne implements a strict Visitor Policy across the Seven Kingdoms they might have a bigger population to rule over…
If you’re like Jon Snow and know nothing about Visitor Management Systems why not check out this handy guide?