10 Worst Things About Westerosi Medical Treatment

Living in Westeros is tough. Assuming constant war and poverty didn’t kill anyone, disease certainly will. Based heavily on medieval Europe, game of thrones showed viewers that Westeros and the surrounding lands have several questionable and unnecessary medicinal practices. It is not surprising that diseases appear in one way or another in the condensed imaginary world of George RR Martin.

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Dragon House aggravates this trend with the difference of two hundred years between it and A song of ice and fire. Fans of the show’s sense of realism will cheer in joy and recoil in horror at what the people of Westerosi go through to stay healthy.

This article contains spoilers for Dragon House

ten The people of Westerosi have very little understanding of germ theory

Understanding germs and pathogens and how they spread disease is still considered modern knowledge. While humans seem to have always had a basic understanding of the spread of disease, the people of Westeros still had little knowledge of how this science works.

Fortunately, people in those days understood that touching a sick person increased the risk of contracting the disease. However, simple basic hygiene exercises seem rare in daily life in the Seven Kingdoms, such as hand washing and regular bathing.

9 Westeros treatment methods are ancient

Without the convenience of modern technology and the understanding of medicine, maesters must resort to every tool and technique at their disposal to treat their patient. Some of these ancient practices are considered morbid or confusing by today’s standards, leaving Dragon House viewers are scratching their heads.

The most recent example in Dragon House is the treatment for the infected hand of Viserys I in “The Rogue Prince”. The Maester orders Viserys to rest his hand in a pan of maggots so they can eat the dying flesh. As the show progresses, it is apparent that the treatment has not been very effective.

8 Not everyone can afford medical help

Being a commoner is difficult, which is very evident in Dragon House. The worst part about being a commoner was the obvious lack of resources, especially currency to afford the same goods and services that the nobility had. In Westeros, it is clear that the common people are not very well off and do not have the means to pay for professional maesters.

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What makes their situation worse is that the Seven Kingdoms seem to be in a constant state of conflict, either battling foreign powers or with each other. As a result, people are taxed more heavily. The few resources available to the commoners are given to the rulers and their entourage.

seven Plagues are constantly in season in Westeros.

The Seven Kingdoms are a hotbed of disease, home to a plethora of known fluxes that have spread across the continent. Westeros alone has documented around 20 diseases and at least four epidemics in its long history. This means that healers in Westerosi are constantly scrambling to find medical resources for the next plague to come, which usually arrives during the colder months.

Some notable illnesses include grayscale, chills, and green fever. Their mortality varies and some are from foreign countries, but they are known to have decimated part of the population. It’s safe to say that when winter comes, it brings an unwanted gift.

6 The Seven Kingdoms don’t have enough healers

The Maesters are game of thrones‘ scholars and the closest thing the people of Westeros have to board-certified doctors. They are trained in many academic fields at the Citadel and graduate when they make a necklace made of multicolored chain links. The main problem is that there are not enough of them.

Since the Citadel offers all kinds of scholarly tutelage, not all maesters are healers. Combined with the number of resources needed to make a living from their knowledge, it stands to reason that there is a shortage of doctors in the Seven Kingdoms. For this reason, many commoners resort to shamans, barbers and charlatans who have never completed their training.

5 The magic no longer exists

In many fantasy shows, magic is a common commodity. Something that looked like magic was a massive presence in Westeros in the form of the Children of the Forest and the First Men, but now it’s gone. Magic is only found in undesirable areas like the city slums and beyond the wall in the form of Hedge Wizards and Woodland Witches, respectively.

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Typically, a single spell is more than enough to heal a wound, but that’s a privilege the Seven Kingdoms no longer have. What doesn’t help the situation is that what little magic is left in Westeros, other than generic healing spells and charms, is reserved for non-medicinal purposes.

4 Drugs are a thing of the future

Surgeries and amputations are commonplace in a world where people can win or die. Today there is the convenience and luxury of anesthetics. However, this is not the case in Westeros.

Like how the Middle Ages had special herbs and roots to serve as painkillers, Westeros has dream wine, willow bark, and the poppy’s trademark milk. These certainly helped, but there isn’t much that these materials can do; they certainly wouldn’t numb the pain of surgery. While this point isn’t a mark against medical practices in Westeros, it’s still vastly inferior to what the modern era has.

3 There are only a few hospitals in House Of The Dragon and Game Of Thrones

Hospitals used to be the place where people could take in someone in trouble who had nowhere to go. In Westeros, no one seems to have anywhere to go except for the occasional monastery or inn. However, these places have few appearances in Dragon House.

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Looking at the map of Westeros and the distance between landmarks, there doesn’t seem to be much room for hospitals. Even in the books, whenever a character is sick or injured, they usually stay at camp, an inn, or someone’s house to recuperate. How anyone manages to survive in Westeros with so few opportunities for health checks is anyone’s guess.

2 It’s hard to tell if Westerosi antiseptics work

Maesters tend to use the tools at their immediate disposal to cleanse and heal wounds. One such material is fire milk, a parallel to isopropyl alcohol that creates a burning sensation when applied to wounds. The treatment of this era came from knowledge based on empirical observations. This means that the people of Westeros wouldn’t know for sure if they’ve cured the root cause of the infection.

With methods like these, it’s no surprise that patients eventually succumb to their disease. When it seems that all hope for the patient is lost, all the maesters can do is turn to the poppy’s milk and hope they go in peace. The Citadel must innovate before its techniques become obsolete.

1 Westeros’ isolation makes it vulnerable

From what has been shown of the Seven Kingdoms view of outsiders, the citizens do not seem to have a favorable opinion of them or the places they come from. Westeros’ constant warfare with native and non-native forces has left them isolated and vulnerable to foreign-born diseases. When and if an alien plague begins to spread, the odds of Westeros being brought to its knees are high.

This does not mean that the continent should open its borders to everyone. However, steps must be taken to ensure that anything from beyond the sea does not become a massive threat.

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