How Game of Thrones Teaches You To Put Some Respeck On Your Home

I've been a Game of Thrones fan since the beginning, and it's just now hitting me that while this show displays the full range of human complexity to the point that it'll leave your head spinning (can I really hate Jaime Lannister?), in its simplest form, this show is about home. The concept of "Home" is so crucial in this story that it is synonymous with family: House Stark of Winterfell, House Lannister of Casterly Rock, House Bakare of Atlanta (okay, that's my home, but it's still kind of badass, hehe). And they fight and steal and kill to defend their homes, to return to their homes, to rule their homes, to put some respect on that name.

I was reminded of the concept of "home" while I was with my Mom in her South Carolina hometown. I watched her light up with nostalgia as she showed us the house where she was born, where her school once stood, our great-grandmother's house, and then we came to her old house that she hadn't seen in decades.

And even though it was abandoned and halfway burnt down, her face lit up. She was home.

When my Mom was born, she was brought home to this house and grew up here. This house is the beginning of her story. When we pulled up, she realized that it had caught on fire, and even though she's lived in and owned a dozen houses since this one and hasn't lived in this house in almost 50 years, it bothered her to see the house in that condition because it's still her home and the memories were still there. She told us about climbing the fruit trees that once ruled the backyard and how she'd stuck a fireball up her nose when she was a kid and had to run to the neighbor across the street to help get it out (the remedy: a handful of pepper and a sneeze). She told us about walking up to the school where her mom taught which was right next door. It dawned on me that this house and this town hold all of her memories of her mother who passed away when she was a child. I realized that not only are her roots there, but mine are as well. And my daughter's. It's the beginning of our story too.

When Daenerys Targaryen finally, FINALLY, pulled up on the shore of Westeros, I almost cried (shut up!). For 6 seasons, this woman has been fighting tooth and nail to return home...and she finally made it with 3 dragons, a fleet of ships, an army, and the most perfectly curled ponytail I've ever seen. I mean just fresh spirals. The moment was so momentous that no one, not even Tyrion's chatterbox self, spoke. The look on her face was, no lie, the same look on my Mom's face when we pulled up to her childhood house They'd both come home, and there really is no place like it.