Game of Thrones Hands Us Lessons on the Chief of Staff Role

The Hand of the King/Queen Pin

WHILE A HAND’S BACKGROUND VARIES, THEIR LOYALTY TO THE LEADER IS CONSTANT.

Going back to the very first king of Westeros, Aegon the Conquer, all the way to Jon Snow, King of the North, we see that each King chooses a Hand based on their own preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and in some cases, simply by those who they trust the most. There is no line of succession for the role of the Hand.

ONE’S OWN CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP CANNOT BE SACRIFICED, EVEN AS A HAND.

Loyalty, integrity, and commitment to good are all characteristics that come to mind when we think of Ned Stark. Throughout the first season of the show, we see those qualities tested, ultimately coming to a head when he resigns as Hand to his best friend King Robert when Robert demands he lead a charge to kill Daenerys Targaryen — a potential rightful heir to the throne as the daughter of King Aerys II, the king who Robert usurped. Ned did not see Daenerys as an immediate threat, nor did he believe in killing a young woman. We now also know that Ned was protecting another descendant of King Aerys II, Jon Snow.

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