The Game of Thrones Retrospective Format

Alex Vernik
Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist
Posted on
Nov 22, 2021
Updated on
Dec 19, 2022
Table of Content

Inspiring and insightful, Game of Thrones is packed full of wisdom that can be applied to daily life and interpersonal relationships. 

Scrum teams - and any corporate or recreational teams for that matter - are a collaboration of working parts that are most effective and strong when they work in harmony as a whole. Retrospectives are a fun and fruitful way to optimize productivity and morale. 

What Is the Game of Thrones Retrospective Format?

The Game of Thrones Retrospective strategy is a thematic pop culture Retro! 

Game of Thrones is one of TVs most-watched shows ever, and has a die-hard fandom (of all genders and ages), making it a recognizable theme for most staff. 

The Game of Thrones Retrospective strategy uses popular themes and components of the show to represent aspects and talking points of a Sprint/Iteration. Members can then weigh in on the various comments, offering solutions and counter-feedback while the team recaps the previous sprint, and plans for the next one

When Can The Game of Thrones Retrospective Be Used?

Retrospective meetings work best when everyone involved is able to give immediate feedback in detail. It should therefore take place very soon after a completed venture/segment. 

These Retrospectives will lead to action-based tasks and goals for the future. Ideally, team members can begin applying these new strategies while they're fresh in their minds (shortly after the Retrospective). 

Who Is This Format For?

Everyone who participated in the Iteration should be in attendance so that a well-rounded perspective is achieved and everyone's voice is heard and valued. The meeting should also include any relevant management, partners, testers, and customers! 

This specific strategy is great for Game of Thrones fans and people who learn best through metaphor and allegory. Everyone can appreciate a mundane (and sometimes monotonous) discussion being transformed into something fun!  

What Makes The Game of Thrones Retrospective Format Effective?

This format is an imaginative and simple way to identify issues and transform a quotidian experience. The team can use this format to make SMART goals for the coming iteration and optimize their performance. Plus, anyone who's seen Game of Thrones is going to love this exercise. It can also be elevated with costumes and decor! 

How to Generally Execute the G.O.T. Retrospective Format

Generally in a Retrospective meeting, regardless of the theme/gamification, you're going to want to establish a few things: 

  • What went well?
  • What made things difficult?
  • What were some motivators?
  • What surprised you?
  • What can be improved?
  • How did we size up to the pre-established goals?

These are the matters that should be reflected on and discussed, and that will be underlying the fun themes/metaphors. If you follow this format, your team should definitely experience a boost in productivity

For this Retro method, the team will discuss the following Game of Thrones comparisons:


Nymeria represents 'what went well'/ what made things fun and pleasant. Was there an area that ran really smoothly and should be repeated in future projects? 

White Walkers:

White Walkers are the malevolent forces within the project. What made things difficult/which parts were challenging? What antagonistic forces can be removed for better efficiency next time?


Tyrion helps vote Bran into a ruling position (the iron throne) at the end of the series, making him a motivating force helping towards a major achievement. What incentives or benevolent forces made parts of the process easier or more fun? 

Moon Door:

The moon door is known for the spontaneous and unexpected swallowing of people, dropping them into the Vale below. This represents the element of surprise in the past venture. The team can weigh in on what came up unexpectedly and how they tackled it.

The Wall:

The Wall in Game of Thrones used to be impenetrable but was breached and rendered ineffective. This literary tool will help the team identify what aspects of the process went mostly well but needed some patchwork tweaking to refine to perfection. What reparations will fortify the team/process?

Retrospectives are all about editing to achieve the ultimate refined systems of efficiency!

Iron Throne:

Winning a seat in the iron throne is the ultimate goal in Game of Thrones, making it the perfect representative of the team's main goals. Goals were ideally set in the previous Retrospective, making this Retro the perfect time to reflect on whether those goals were attained and executed as discussed. If not, why not?

What are future goals?

Each of these sections will be answered on a retro board from each member and will be later discussed one-by-one eventually leading to action tasks and new approaches for the future.

Game of Thrones Retrspective board
GoRetro Game of Thrones Retrospective Template

How to Run A Game of Thrones Retrospective In GoRetro 

To run a Game of Thrones Retrospective in your GoRetro interactive retrospective dashboard, go in and create a new board. In the creation options, for template, you’ll want to select “Custom 5 Columns.” Then, once the board is created, you’ll rename columns one through five as Nymeria, Tyrion, Moon Door, The Wall, and Iron Throne. 

From there, you’ll be able to use your custom Game of Thrones retrospective board to recap your previous iteration while planning for the next one, all thanks to GoRetro, the most user-friendly and multi-faceted Retro platform out there.

About the author

Alex Vernik
Engineering Ops Specialist

Engineering leader, passionate about coding products and value creation. Vast experience with managing R&D teams at various scales. Embracing innovation and transformation for constant improvement.

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