We’ve all read the stories that talk about various workplace scandals, from office hookups to tales of embezzlement, deviant behavior and corporate backstabbing. These stories have become more common with the rise of the tech industry and the rise of the startup mentality: getting funding and getting it fast. This work hard, party harder mentality has given rise to more and more toxic work environments as both the periods of work and play become more extreme. These days, it’s not uncommon to hear about workplace scandals coming from large corporations such as HubSpot or even Google.

Yeah, Google has problems and lots of them. I believe Google has the ethics of Roose Bolton, plays nice one second and then flays the skin off your bones another. But that’s a rant for another day.

Compared to today’s startups, are there any work environments that are worse? Wallstreet maybe? Well, how about the kingdom of Westeros? Although fictional, Game of Thrones various Kingdom’s give us a look into the worst of the worst.

The Faceless Men of Braavos

This cult of mystic assassins may sound great, but have you ever tried to join a mystical cult of assassins? Neither have I, but I imagine it’s similar to CrossFit or Soulcycle. You have to live and breathe the life, even to the point of being tortured for your “betterment.”No pain, no gain right? I’m sure that’s how new member Arya Stark feels after being blinded and forced to fight in the back alley’s of Braavos. I think the Faceless Men of Braavos could probably write the most horrible employee training manual. Employees will be required to sweep dirty floors, clean bodies, remove faces from bodies, and be blinded and beaten.

Castle Black

Let’s start with Castle Black. I would have once considered Castle Black a fairly decent working environment, not very toxic to say the least. Every member of Castle Black knew his role and worked towards a common goal — defend the wall. But then Winter came, reeked havoc, and broke the hearts of millions of Game of Thrones fans everywhere. When things got tough they couldn’t keep their sh@t together, and they quickly turned and cast blame on each other, ultimately turning on Lord Commander Jon Snow. Literally stabbing him in the back.

The Kingdom of Mereen

Fear change much guys? Of course they do. Daenerys, Queen of Dragons, came in to right the wrongs of this kingdom. Setting free all of the slaves, but was faced with so many toxic members of society that an uprising was inevitable. And you can’t blame her. As a CEO she would have done all the right things. She tried to implement change, she leveraged a key influencer to help aid in the adoption of the new direction of the kingdom, but the one problem she had was never taking care of the cancer that plagued her kingdom. She had toxic citizens on her hands and just like any toxic employees they can spread their toxicity.

House Bolton

Fear. If there’s one thing to be said about the House Bolton it’s that they DGAF. They run their operation through fear and oppression. They’ll commend you for a job well done one second, and then lock you in a cage with the dogs another… or worse (Theon Greyjoy anyone??). When upper management aka Roose Bolton is such a nasty person, what do you think happens to the people who take orders from him? This is a prime example of top down toxicity and I hope to see Roose and Ramsay flayed by a rusty spoon before the end of the series.

King’s Landing

Oh King’s Landing. In such a brief period of time how many different Kings have ruled? What makes this such a toxic environment is the constant backstabbing and detachment from the people. The King and his Hand have no idea what the people really want, and as a result there is constant uproar. They’re basically Comcast. Everyone puts up with them because they have too, but nobody can stand them. From Robert, to Joffrey, to the lame Tommen — none has been capable of properly running the kingdom. I’m sure the people can only hope that Sir Pounce is the next to ascend the throne. The Kings of Westeros also have another fatal flaw — their ability to choose a good team to support them. Whether it’s Lord Varys or Peter Baelish, someone is always working behind the scenes against whoever is sitting on the throne. As King of Westeros you have a 99% chance of dying by ridiculously treacherous means.

Being employed or in charge of one of the Kingdoms of Westerns comes with a single guarantee — that you will work in one of the most toxic environments that is completely lacking in professionalism. Climbing up the Westeros corporate ladder ensures that you’ll end up 6 feet under, but staying still means either being a victim of sexual harassment or being asked to put your life on the line for a King you care nothing about.