Game of Thrones may be leaking oil a bit as it chugs to the series finale Sunday night, but its ability to maintain a formidable market share of the cultural zeitgeist remains impressive. A glut of websites will have to find new streams of content soon to fill the void — ours included. So we’d be remiss if we didn’t take one more bite of the apple.
Here are sports media personalities as GOT characters.
Sandor Clegane – Stephen A. Smith
A formidable foe with an unstoppable motor always looking to mix it up with the biggest and the baddest. He operates best when he has an enemy and seeks to destroy him with either the sword or a blistering take. He cares not for those who are offended by his blunt way of speaking. When you look back on this era years from now, you’ll find yourself remembering him with a surprising amount of fondness, and the nagging thought that he might’ve been better than the rest. The guilty pleasure that’s grown on you over the years, like it or not.
Night King – Dave Portnoy
He was the Big Bad Guy and not particularly complicated. He sought world domination at any and all cost and the ushering of a Long Night. Sounds a bit like a Blackout Party. Say what you want about both guys but they are forces to be dealt with, forces that don’t care what you think of them. They’re backed by a veritable horde of followers ready to take down any who cross their king. Both are forces poised to usher in a completely different time, for better or worse.
Jon Snow – Bill Simmons
He’s made a few stops and built an impressive following wherever he’s gone. He worked his way up the ranks at his first stop before circumstances forced him to go rogue and build a group loyal to himself. But where does he really belong? What is is his true identity? Is he a writer, a podcaster, a producer? Or is he all those things? Is he something different to everybody? He’s the person the average fan looks at as their avatar, who they’d be in this complicated world.
Daenerys Targaryen – Jemele Hill
And now for a look behind the curtain. The concept for this post was hatched, much like a dragon egg, before this Sunday’s episode. Dany’s legacy has grown, let’s say, increasingly complicated. But for nearly the whole series she’s been able to harness a power no one else has been able to. She makes flying through dangerous terrain easy. She’s done it in the face of those who doubted her and done it on her own terms. That’s left her a polarizing figure as we get near the end here.
Cersei Lannister – Skip Bayless
Some just want to watch the world burn. They’ll stop at no cost to ascend to the biggest stage, to capture the biggest marketshare. Burning bridges? No problem. Blowing the whole damn thing up on the ‘reg? Sure. While love and adoration fuel so many, a true heel basks in the warmth of hate. To be reviled is to be feared.
Jaime Lannister – Troy Aikman
He was the golden child of NFL royalty, who consorts with shady characters but cleans up quite nicely. The early years were truly glorious, but those accomplishments have faded with time. His arc has been long and winding, with some enjoying the transformation and others not buying it.
Tyrion Lannister – Dan Le Batard
Le Batard has been underestimated and overlooked for years while quietly ascending near the top of the mountain. His quick wit and cerebral maneuvering are tempered by an insatiable desire to drink deeply from life’s cup of humor. Those who tire of his ways do not truly understand them from the start. Like Tyrion he is loquacious and deep, a fine companion who always seems to be thinking a few moves ahead.
Lord Varys – Adrian Wojnarowski
Woj has little birds floating all over the NBA. No one is more tuned in than him and no reporter has more power than him. Who are Woj’s sources? Like Varys, he’s exceptional at keeping that a secret too. Both have a notable blind spot in their sources (Daenerys, LeBron James) that can come back to haunt them. Woj is the puppet master pulling all the strings behind the scenes and he does it in a quiet, tactical way.
Sam Tarly – Adam Schefter
Schefty didn’t have to carry bowls filled with crap to get to the top of the NFL breaking news mountain, but he has put in some serious work. He reads scrolls, I mean texts, 24/7. Literally, when he’s on T.V. he’s also working the phones to get inside info and pass it on to the masses. Like how Sam will fight White Walkers, Schefter will venture out of his comfort zone and work the sideline for NBA games in a sacrifice for the greater good. Working at the Citadel of sports doesn’t hurt either.
Brandon Stark – Tony Romo
Not sure if Tony Romo can warg into a three-eyed raven or not, but the man sure knows how to predict the future. Like Brandon Stark, he seemingly knows everything that’s happened and everything that’s to come. Also like Brandon, he disappears in crunch time to the chagrin of all his fans, flying off to far off lands as the largest wars approach. Anyone wanna go to Cancun with Jessica Simpson?
Arya Stark — Barstool Big Cat
Big Cat is the common sports fan’s hero; a charismatic character who is just starting to harness his immense powers in the media world. Will he take over Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne? No. That’s not him. But, like Arya, he’s everyone’s favorite character to watch and pull for as the world burns around him. Will Big Cat be the end of Portnoy, as Arya was the end of the NK? Perhaps, perhaps not. Who’s to say?
Sansa Stark — Rachel Nichols
Did the red hair play a role in this? Yeah, of course. But look deeper and there are other similarities. Both are strong, intelligent women who use their talents to tactically win every battle they fight. Nichols might be the smartest, most versatile host ESPN has, transitioning from studio shows to live events seamlessly. Thankfully, Nichols didn’t have to kill her biggest enemy to get ahead in life.