As an adoptee, I have great affection for all characters, mythical, imaginary, and historical, who share my status as a man who was born without his biological parents joined in marriage. The word for us, through history, is “bastard.” Don’t worry, fair readers, us bastards are comfortable with the word. We know its true meaning and know how others respond to it. It may be you who is not at ease with the word and the reality.
So it may be no surprise that one of my favorite little scenes from the series Game of Thrones is when the Imp, Tyrion Lannister, gives advice to the main bastard character of the series, Jon Snow.
“Let me give you some advice, bastard,” says a drunken Tyrion. “Never forget who you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor.”
In other words, make your apparent weakness your strength and own the fullness of your identity, regardless of what anyone may say. Good advice for a bastard. I should know. And so should Jon Snow.