If you have been on the internet at all this week, you have probably heard that HBO's hit series Game of Thrones is returning for its fifth season this Sunday. Even if you have never watched the show, you're probably still aware of this because nearly every website in the world is doing some variation of "Which Game of Thrones character are you?" or "What if [popular TV show or movie characters, players on a sports team...basically any noteworthy group of people] were Game of Thrones characters?"
It makes sense when you think about it. Game of Thrones is an insanely popular TV show, so why not create a flimsy tie-in to your website and use it as clickbait? This phenomenon has become so rampant that Deadspin posted this great tongue-in-cheek article yesterday: "What If Game Of Thrones Characters Were Game Of Thrones Characters?" It's safe to say that this idea is more than played out. I even jokingly sent out this tweet on Thursday morning:
According to the internet this week I should probably be writing a "Which Game of Thrones Characters Are These #Vikings Players?" article.— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) April 9, 2015
But then I started getting suggestions in my replies. Like, really really really good ones. A lot of them. And then I started thinking of a few that were too funny not to share.
So screw it, we're doing it too! Here comes your Game of Thrones clickbait!
(After all, this is still a lot better than reading your 3,783rd mock draft of the week. We're still 3 weeks away from the real thing so there will be plenty of time to talk actual football later.)
Before we get started, a disclaimer:
***IF YOU AREN'T CAUGHT UP ON THE SHOW AND DON'T WANT ANY MILD-TO-MODERATE SPOILERS, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T READ ANY FURTHER. THIS SHOULD ALREADY BE FAIRLY OBVIOUS, BUT NOW YOU CAN'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU.***
Another less important disclaimer: I am horrible at photoshopping and I didn't spend more than 5 minutes creating any of the hacky images you see below. They're bad; I know they're bad. This whole idea is terrible in the first place, so I made pictures that matched the theme.
There. Shall we begin?
MATT KALIL = HODOR
I figured I'd start with the easiest one first. Hodor is a very large man of very few words (well, technically just one word: "Hodor") that is charged with protecting his smaller friend from harm. However, he is often limited in this task due to his uncoordinated movement and propensity to become easily rattled. Hodor is always trying his best to do the right thing but his best intentions often have hilariously bad outcomes. Sounds a whole lot like the Vikings left tackle, doesn't it?
CHRISTIAN PONDER = JOFFREY
Joffrey became king not by earning it but by being handed it because the previous king was gone. Joffrey didn't accomplish much while in power. In the few moments he was able to drum up some good will with his subjects, it was usually because of the beautiful woman calling the shots behind the scenes. (I realize the Sam Ponder/Cersei Lannister comparison doesn't completely work here but bear with me.) Everyone universally loathed Joffrey for four seasons. When he finally left, everyone rejoiced. Yep, that's Christian Ponder alright. Although I'm not sure which fate is worse: being poisoned or getting shipped to the Raiders.
EDDARD STARK = GREG JENNINGS
Ted suggested this one on Twitter, and the comparisons are perfect. Stark always did all the right things, was loyal to a fault, and was almost universally respected. That didn't stop him from abruptly getting whacked. Life isn't fair in the NFL or Game of Thrones.
BABATUNDE AIYEGBUSI = GREGOR CLEGANE AKA "THE MOUNTAIN"
Pretty sure I don't need to explain this one. And I'm also pretty sure I didn't need to paste Babs' head on The Mountain's body since they have about the same build.
CHAD GREENWAY = BARRISTAN SELMY
Barristan Selmy was one of the bravest warriors of his time. According to his bio on the Game Of Thrones wiki, Selmy "has a reputation for honor and chivalry that is second to none." He swore allegiance to only one house and never wavered from that loyalty no matter what was thrown in his way. Despite his advanced age, he still wants to contribute to the cause he believes in and will sacrifice whatever it takes to fulfill his pledge. Thanks to reader Erik Jensen for coming up with the perfect analogy to our very own Chad Greenway.
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER = JON SNOW
Jon Snow is one of the most beloved characters on Game Of Thrones; Teddy Bridgewater is one of the most beloved Vikings. Snow has been constantly discounted because of his upbringing and status but is crucial to the survival of his men. Bridgewater has been constantly discounted because of his falling draft stock and skinny knees but is crucial to the success of his men. Relocated to the North, Snow has embraced the difficult task of rallying his troops against seemingly insurmountable odds with only a deteriorating wall to protect him; likewise with Bridgewater. The future of mankind largely depends on Snow's vision and ability to lead; the same could be said about Bridgewater and the future of the Vikings. (Thanks to @mcarlson710 for getting the ball rolling with this one.)
CORDARRELLE PATTERSON = KHAL DROGO
When he first came on the scene, Khal Drogo looked like an unstoppable force poised to dominate everything in his path. His incredible physique, unflappable attitude, and unique hair quickly made him a fan favorite. And then suddenly he was gone, relegated to the dreams of what he once was for the people that loved him. Totally the Game Of Thrones version of Flash.
But props to this Twitter suggestion for Cordarrelle:
@eric_j_thompson Cordarrelle Patterson as Jon Snow. For he knows nothing.— Drake The Doctor (@VikingSkoldier) April 9, 2015
BLAIR WALSH = ARYA STARK
While both are often looked down upon because of their small stature and belittled position, both are extremely accurate and work tirelessly to perfect their craft. You can never count out Arya or Walsh no matter how long the odds (or field goals) are. (Shoutout to @SctPlgrmVsThGPP for the suggestion.)
JOHN SULLIVAN = GREY WORM
Because Grey Worm is a fierce and relentless fighter. And he's the leader of an army called "The Unsullied". "Sully" is the leader of "The Unsullied". Get it? Hey, not all of these comparisons have to be that intricate.
RICK SPIELMAN = PETYR BAELISH AKA LITTLEFINGER
Littlefinger technically has a title of power, but his incredible ability to manipulate others allows him to acquire much more than his position calls for. Lord Baelish is constantly working behind the scenes for his own personal gains. Some of his greatest victories have come from others doing all the dirty work--much like Spielman does to the Browns every year in the draft.
ADRIAN PETERSON = DROGON
I had the toughest time figuring out who the best fit would be for Adrian Peterson. I had some awesome suggestions from Twitter:
Tywin Lannister, because he wasn't kind to his smaller son. (via @jonjonjon19)
Walder Frey, because he took perceived slights against him as a way to destroy all of his relationships. (via @egjensen8532)
I had more than a few suggestions that AP was actually Joffrey thanks to AP's perceived bratty attitude.
Ted suggested that AP was Sansa:
@eric_j_thompson AP = Sansa. She's royalty, but became whiny and needy, and now is just looking for a bigger better deal.— Ted Glover (@purplebuckeye) April 9, 2015
I got a couple suggestions that AP should be The Hound for varying interesting reasons:
@eric_j_thompson the hound..the butchers boy.. but then you forgave him, but now you're okay if he's gone, well served character
— Teddy 2 Gloves (@SteveLamplugh) April 9, 2015
@eric_j_thompson the hound..the butchers boy.. but then you forgave him, but now you're okay if he's gone, well served character— Teddy 2 Gloves (@SteveLamplugh) April 9, 2015
An interesting take that AP was actually Theon Greyjoy:
@eric_j_thompson theon greyjoy. Loyal best friend until he sees an opportunity, something of his own doing happens, loses everything— Josh Little (@Paradime24) April 9, 2015
But in the end I had to settle on Adrian Peterson being Khaleesi's most dangerous dragon, Drogon. The dragons are nearly impossible to stop; their brute strength and devastating attacks let you know they are not of this world. They helped Daenerys rise to the position she has. Much like Adrian Peterson is the face of the franchise, the dragons are the defining icon of Game Of Thrones. But just like with AP, nobody knows for sure what the future holds for the dragons, especially Drogon, the most aggressive of the three dragons. The older he gets, the more unpredictable he becomes. If Drogon is on your side, your army is nearly unstoppable; but can he be reigned in before turning on you and annihilating the very thing he helped you build?
Sounds an awful lot like the Peterson situation right now, doesn't it? If AP rejoins the Vikings' "army" this season they will be a force to be reckoned with. But just like with Drogon, it may be too late to turn back now.
MIKE ZIMMER = DAENERYS TARGARYEN AKA KHALEESI AKA MOTHER OF DRAGONS
[Sorry. I couldn't bring myself to horribly Photoshop Zimmer's face on the Mother of Dragons' body. Out of respect to both Coach Zimmer and the gorgeous Emilia Clarke.]
While other people currently enjoy all the glory and spoils of holding the throne, Daenerys has been quietly building a massive army. She has taken people from all walks of life and united them for a singular cause: domination. The Mother of Dragons is a fair and kind leader yet won't hesitate to cut down anyone who dares get in her way.
The same could be said about the Coach of Vikings. Others might hold the NFC North and NFL thrones right now, but watch out for Zimmer. With the army he's building (including the aforementioned "dragon" or not), it's hard to see how the Coach of Vikings won't be a major player in deciding who sits on the throne in the very near future.
I could obviously go on and on with this but I think I'll stop here. The good news is that you don't have to! Give your suggestions for any characters and/or players I missed in the comments. Bonus points for including crappy photoshops with your comparisons like I did.