In a few short weeks the biggest show on television returns. Blood, gore, violence, expletives, titillation, compelling characters, riveting plots, an awesome theme tune and incredible catchphrases have intertwined to make Game of Thrones the must see spectacle of the decade. The show that my Dad calls “that goofy pish about the dragons?” is by far my favourite on television, so in waiting for the 6th season I thought it would be fun to write an article, looking through a Song of Ice and Fire lens. Below is a list of footballers and who I feel are their Westerosi counterparts.
Warning: May contain spoilers for the show.
Lionel Messi – Tyrion Lannister
Messi and Tyrion was an easy pairing, both men are slight in stature, yet more than compensate with their intellect, using their unrivalled smarts to allow them to escape the clutches of their foes. Both are fan favourites in their spheres of influence and cause rapturous applause any time the camera pans across these miniature giants. And who knows? If it wasn’t for the growth hormones that Barcelona are reported to have given to Messi as a youth, then there is every chance they would be the exact same height.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Jaime Lannister
Another easy duo, as these two share so many traits. While I do not know if CR7 has pushed any children from towers or what his relationship with his sister is like, he does mirror the Jaime significantly. Both are classically handsome, are loved and hated, in their worlds, in equal measure and most annoyingly never tire of boasting just how talented they are… WE KNOW!
Jack Wilshere – Joffrey Baratheon
I have to point out from the off that I have never met Jack, not even for one of his numerous, post-nightclub smokes, but what I have read in the papers and seen on TV, he has more than a few passing similarities to King’s Landings pouty King. Both seem to carry a petulant, air of entitlement, that the world owes them their station in life. Both also show a reluctance to demonstrate why they are in their roles; Joffrey shrugs, huffs, kills prostitutes and makes subjects fight to the death, whereas Wilshere’s crime is the far more grievous – being injured… all the time.
Robert Baratheon – Neil “Razor” Ruddock
This one was by far the quickest to link; one is a former warrior who at his peak was a force of nature, a man to be feared through a combination of strength of arm and personality, yet now has slumped into an obese, laughing stock who all too regularly blunders in public… the other is Robert Baratheon.
Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) – Mesut Ozil
Both men are constantly in the centre of play, obfuscating their true intentions to ensure things constantly flow in a direction that suits their interests. Feints, dummies and taunts are all used to compensate for a lack of upper body strength. Who knows what they will do next?
Sandor Clegane (The Hound) – Roy Keane
Men that are fiercely loyal to those that employ them, until, that is, the moment they are crossed, as both the Lannisters and Sir Alex Ferguson found to their detriment. Both are strong, powerful men that have honed their skills to the point that they are feared and respected through their lands. I think I would struggle to meet the gaze of either man for too long. Keane’s most famous rant, the one he made after eviscerating Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland, is like something straight from the HBO show “I’d waited long enough. I f****** hit him hard”. Intense men.
Theon Greyjoy – Sol Campbell
Quite simply, both men will be remembered for being turn cloaks, men who betrayed the folk that raised them and made it possible to be the adults they are, by joining their sworn enemies. In the same way people will forget that Theon’s dick is in a decorative box, people will forget that Sol Campbell scored in a Champions League final, why? Because they’re both traitors.
Tywin Lannister – Sir Alex Ferguson
Both are the Machiavellian overlords who slowly but surely fought their way to the top of their worlds, utilising their ruthless nature. Emissaries and journalists alike have been reduced to quivering puddles of goo after a withering look from either of these men. Cross these titans and you will never get a second chance, just ask Robb Stark, or Jaap Stam.
Beric Dondarrion – Henrik Larsson
Beric Dondarrion is the charismatic leader of the notorious ‘Brotherhood Without Banners’, a man who has a constant habit of dying at the hands of his enemies, only to be revived by his best pal Thoros of Myr. During the course of the series Beric has been revived something like eight times, one less, I think, than Larsson has recalled himself back into the Swedish national team. Just when you thought that the Swede’s career was finally in the ground he would return, and often with explosive consequences.
Oberyn Martell – Johan Cruyff
Both men are larger than life personalities that value the manner in which they carry out a task just as highly as the outcome of said task. If they can execute something in a flamboyant manner, then there is absolutely no excuse for failing to do so. The manner of Oberyn’s loss to ‘The Mountain’ mirrors Johan Cruyff and his Dutch side’s loss to Germany in the 1974 World Cup final; both started with our heroes notching a hit early on, then resting on their laurels, only to be crushed in a brutal fashion. It is a darker world without these men.
Jon Snow – Wayne Rooney
Snow was the hardest character to find a partner for and in the end I landed on Wayne Rooney. The two have a massive fan following, yet for the life of me I cannot fathom as to why. They constantly make odd decisions and make things harder for themselves and their teammates, as demonstrated by Rooney’s numerous dismissals and Snow’s lenient nature. And you never know, if Wayne keeps investing a king’s ransom in his artificial hair then he may just share Snow’s luscious locks. Tenuous I know.