Season seven of Game of Thrones begins tonight, and in honour of the epic fantasy we will be looking at the seven great houses of the Montreal Canadiens (affectionately known as “Habs”) alliance.
Coat of arms: A wolverine Passant Sable holding a shield Gules, cross Argent
Words: “Unfazed, Unaverted, Unbroken”
House Pacioretty of the Western Isles is the principal house of the alliance. Known for its consistency, it has been one of the more efficient on the battlefield in recent history.
House Pacioretty has always been a bulwark for smaller houses in the Habs alliance like houses Danault and Desharnais (now departed). This, along with his aptitude in defensive war schemes, is one of the reasons House Pacioretty’s lord, Maximillian, was crowned King of the Habs just a few years ago.
Despite their consistency and accolades, there are many doubters in the Canadiens realm that feel like house Pacioretty disappears when the going gets tough.
Pacioretty’s words — "Unfazed, Unaverted, Unbroken" — perfectly describe how they feel about their doubters, as well as referencing Lord Maximillian's seeming indestructibility — after all, he suffered what could have been a crippling injury in a tournament once, and yet lived to ride again. The Paciorettys are as consistent as they come and will be leaders in the Canadiens alliance for many years to come.
Coat of arms: A grinning bulldog Passant Guardant
Words: “First in Battle”
House Gallagher of the Eastern Planes is the vanguard of the Habs alliance. As the first line of attack in every major battle the Gallaghers are known to provoke their enemies by drawing their attention so other alliance members are given time to work.
House Gallagher isn’t just a clan of agitators as they have an uncanny knack for changing the tides of any battle, their arrival striking joy into the hearts of their friends, and terror in those of their foes.
Due to their reckless natures, members of House Gallagher often suffer the most grievous losses, but they are a remarkably resilient clan. As their coat of arms suggests, the warriors of House Gallagher possess a bulldog's tenacity, and always return with smiles on their faces, ready to attack again.
Of no one in the house is this more true than Lord Brendan: at the forefront of every charge, and steadfast at the side of his sworn brother Alexander of House Galchenyuk.
Coat of arms: A gold lion rampant on a field of scarlet
Words: “Family, Fealty, Future”
House Galchenyuk is a landless, but proud, house. Dividing their time between the lands of the Western Islands and Centreville, the Galchenyuks have not yet been granted any permanent holdings by the Habs small council.
The council desires its houses to be responsible in war, and House Galchenyuk has been deemed a chink in the alliance’s defence. Many disagree with the way the Galchenyuks have been treated, as there is belief that a supremely mobile cavalry unit (such as the one led by Lord Alexander, heir of the house) is far better suited to lightning-quick offensive strikes than to plodding defensive manoeuvres. The last two years have seen the small council trust House Galchenyuk a little more with the heavily contested lands of Centreville where their cavalry can be deployed to the best effect.
The next few years will be crucial for House Galchenyuk and the small council when it comes to their partnership. Whether they opt for self-preservation with the Galchenyuks playing a more limited role, or choose an alignment to take greater advantage of the offensive capabilities of the house, will be a vital decision for the alliance’s future.
Coat of arms: Argent gloves on a field azure
Words: “Skill is Coming”
House Drouin of the Lightning Lands is a new member of the Canadiens alliance and it comes wielding substantial magics that have been missing from the attack. House Drouin was once a clan prophesied to rise to greatness in the alliance of the Lightning Lords, but due to a falling out with its former small council, it has declared for the Habs.
As followers of the old gods, House Drouin believes in arts that were lost in the Age of Enforcers — magic and trickery. As currently represented by Lord Jonathan, they have become renowned for devastating and dazzling feats on the battlefield.
House Drouin’s words, “Skill is Coming,” conjure dread in the hearts of opponents while inspiring confidence in allies.
Coat of arms: The Canadiens alliance colours with a heart substituting the crest
Words: “Loyalty and Grace”
House Markov of Old Town is the most ancient house remaining in the Habs alliance. It is a name blazoned through the history books. House Markov is one of the most battle-tested in the alliance, even when compared to the glory days when they held the Castle of the Silver Chalice for a record period of time. The Markovs prefer to make up the rear guard, and are more known and respected for assisting even the smallest houses in the heat of battle, though have surprised many an opponent with a successful stealth attack in their history.
Although the house has faced extinction more than once, it has shown remarkable resilience, returning repeatedly to the same heights. Lord Andrei, the leader of the house may be getting on in years, but he still has the skill to put much younger men to shame.
Despite the mentioned achievements, House Markov and the Habs small council are in serious debate about the future of their position in the alliance. The Markovs are just as battle hungry as ever, but the council is apprehensive about their ability to bare the brunt of an assault, insisting on a more limited role in the army going forward.
As their coat of arms suggests, the Markovs bleed the colours of the Habs alliance and many believe it would be a shame to see their time on the field come to an end. The resolution of the dispute is highly anticipated, with many wondering how the alliance can carry on in the current regime without their greatest tacticians.
Coat of arms: A man in a mountain
Words: “Ours is the Defence”
House Weber of the Mountain was a newcomer to the Canadiens alliance last year after his former alliance suddenly turned on its leader. It was not without controversy as House Subban of the Habs alliance took up Weber’s place. This split the kingdom, half believing the alliance got stronger and the other half believing the alliance would soon meet its doom.
Nicknamed the “men of the mountain,” those of House Weber are known for destroying any army trying to pass through their territory. The defensive skill of the newest addition was felt immediately. The Webers didn’t just deflect the attacks of enemies, but saw the fewest casualties of any house in the realm.
House Weber was able to turn detractors into believers last year, forming a great partnership with the nearly impenetrable fortress of House Price.
Coat of arms: A crowned portcullis
Words: “What is coming may never pass”
House Price of Goalskeep is the most important house in the Canadiens alliance. In the last four years House Price has withstood (and broken) countless sieges by enemy armies, and only once faltered.
Two years ago there was a freak fire within Goalskeep when the Prices were away on a battle against the Oilers alliance. Many believe it was the jealous rival Bruins alliance that snuck in and caused the destruction. Working to rebuild their ancestral keep, the Prices were unable to join the Canadiens alliance in battle and it could not have been a greater catastrophe. The Habs suffered loss after loss and could not muster a true attempt on the Castle of the Silver Chalice, and the alliance suffered a fall from glory.
House Price was able to rebuild in record time, and joined the alliance’s forces again last year, picking up where it left off and restoring its respect in the realm. The Prices returned the alliance to their formidable ways.
The Prices ascended rapidly as a great house and are already being spoken of as one of the most likely to endure this troubled time. The accolades have come from friend and foe alike. With House Weber and the new addition of noble House Alzner, the Prices’ defensive prowess may only continue to grow to legendary status.
If the Canadiens alliance is going to one day claim the throne, it will be in large part thanks to the heroic deeds of House Price. Their current leader, Lord Carey, promises to be one of the greatest war leaders the realms have ever seen.
There are many other important houses in the Canadiens alliance like houses Shaw, Petry and Lehkonen. Feel free to relate their tales in the comment section.