The battle begins! This week we are focusing on our North Wall section of the bracket and there are some heavy and hot hitters in this group. This group includes the overall number one seed and some fan favorites.
Let’s get started.
Jon Snow (1) versus hot pie (16)
Here is what we know about Jon Snow?
He knows nothing.
He is a (soon to be not so secret) Targaryen.
He’s really good at fighting/brooding.
Boats make him super horny.
What we don’t know is how his story is going to end. Sure he is the number one overall seed here and it stands to reason that, in a perfect world, He and Dany would have a boat baby, conquer Westeros, and live happily ever after with the realms at peace. We know that this isn’t a perfect world though, so there is just as good of a chance that he sacrifices himself for the people in order to stop the Night King and leave Dany with a boat baby and no captain.
Enough with the boat jokes? I can’t make that promise.
While I think he’s the main reason that the white walkers and the Night King get defeated, I also believe that we are spending too much time focusing on that prior to the season. That story line is going to be wrapped up by episode 3 if you ask me and the final episodes are going to actually wrap up the series. The end of the series stuff like “how does Jon feel about who his real parents are?” and “did I really just make a baby with my aunt?” or “I’m so good at boat sex that I should start my own Westeros web series now that the war is over.”…. Ok, last one, I promise. The actual end of the series is going to be epic, but it’s not about the Night King, it just can’t be, or how would that be satisfying? Sure we see the good guys win, but what happens between Cersei and Dany? What about The Mountain and The Hound showdown?
There is just too much to wrap up, so while Jon is really good at fighting and will defeat the Night King, he sucks so bad at politics that he could easily get murdered (again) and never see it coming. What if Jamie Lannister has a change of heart and doesn’t really want to be on their side and figures the best way to waltz back into his sisters bedroom is with the news that he murdered Jon? Can that be ruled out? Who knows, but one thing I’m certain of is that the main plots to the end of the series do not revolve around the Whites. It’s North against South and all eyes will turn to Cersei by the middle of the season. Going into the final season though, he has to be the odds on favorite to end on top…..especially on a boat!
I regret nothing, Jon Snow.
On the flip side of Jon Snow, we have Hot Pie. Sure he’s the 16 seed and sure, he may not be the prince that was promised, but if I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that if you can bake a good piece of bread, then you have a chance with any woman. There is a 80% chance that my wife married me strictly because of my baking abilities. OK, maybe higher, but let’s not push the issue. So let’s just say for the sake of argument that Hot Pie leaves his home and heads off to Westeros at the news of the Night King coming in hot.
He sets up shop near the castle and a lonely Queen Cersei decides to leave the castle in search of a place to eat her feelings. She rolls into the new shop recently opened because of so many good Westeros Yelp reviews and eats the best Shepherds Pie she has ever had. Cersei at this point doesn’t give a shit about politics or appearances anymore and tells Hot Pie to pack his shit because he hit the jackpot. The next month Hot Pie does nothing but bake dinner rolls and feed Cersei and she jumps into a carb fueled love affair with Sir Pie and they get married. Arya then comes in disguised as someone else and murders Cersei. Upon seeing Hot Pie is the next in line, she decides it’s best for everyone to let him be in charge and sticks around to protect him.
The next 20 years are a time of peace while everyone only cares about the celebrity chef turned King. Hot Pie ends up on the Iron Throne. Roll Credits.
Winner - Jon Snow, of course. Who doesn’t want to see Hot Pie win though??
tormund giantsbane (8) versus gendry baratheon (9)
I am going to start this by saying that the Game of Thrones spin-off that I want to see is Tormund and The Hound in a half hour sitcom where they share an apartment in the North. Tormund is a fan favorite and might be my favorite “non-Hound” character. He’s an absolute delight and every single second he is on screen he commands adoration. This isn’t about fan favorites here though and the one thing we know about him is that Tormund gives zero fucks and will run face first into a battle. He is really, really, REALLY good at killing things and what sets him apart is that he seems to enjoy it.
That is going to prove problematic because as we discussed earlier, the battle against the Night King is going to end fairly quickly into the final season and what we’ll have left is the Iron Throne drama. As much as I would love to see Tormund hanging around until the end, I just can’t picture a world where he isn’t killed in the big battle against the Whites. I hate saying that, but can you think of another resolution to his character? He is loyal to Jon, but he’s not going South after the battles end. He is a Wildling first and foremost, so what happens then? That battle ends and he tells Jon that he’s out and going back North of The Wall? So the last we see of him is just going home and running away from the final battle? What about Tormund leads you to think he’s going to live happily ever after?
There will be SEVERAL characters that don’t make it out of the battle with the Night King alive and if you go from there to Westeros, then where does Tormund fit in? The safer bet is probably that he fights to the bitter end and dies protecting his people and is a big reason they survive. If I’m thinking logically on where the season moves after that battle, then I can’t logically think of a place for him. UGH! I hate to say it, but I think Tormund ends his run on the show with a sword in his hand on the battle field.
Gendry, on the other hand, has the blood a King running through his veins. He’s an expert at rowing, so you know that he’ll be in with Jon on the boat stuff too. Logically, he came back after all of this time, knows Westeros because he lived there so long, has royal blood, and is good in a pinch. All of that leads to him being capable of fitting in after the Night King has been beaten.
Also, outside of Jon, who is going to rule some of these other kingdoms when it’s over? With his name and royal blood, he’s a sure fire pick to be handed a castle and bride when all of this is over. If they really tie up everything post “Iron Throne” battle, then can’t you just see the most eligible bachelor in Gendry being a perfect match for the most eligible bachelorette Sansa Stark? If the show does anything, it finds resolutions to previous plots, and the fulfillment of Roberts “let’s unite our houses” line with Ned’s “I’ll find you a suitable match” line comes full circle with Sansa who would appreciate someone who will protect her and not be a complete asshole at all times.
Sansa probably wins the “most emotional baggage” award by the end of the series too, since we are on the subject. Poor Sansa has been put through some terrible shit in her life, so a quiet rest of her days with a nice guy running a kingdom would be nice to see.
Winner - Gendry….I’m sorry Tormund, nobody was pulling for you harder than me. That’s what she said.
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can reach him at email@example.com