You win or you cry
"Game Of Thrones? Isn't that the show with a metric tonne of blood, guts, and flaccid male members on display?" Why yes it is, casual viewer, yes it is. But it's also more, much more. Game Of Thrones is old school 'event television' in an age of instant accessibility - a bit like that one prom date who made you wait for a kiss - as opposed to just power washing the inside of your gum line eight seconds in. HBO's monstrous opus delights in toying with its audience, laughing at its expense, punishing our joyful naivety - sort of like Dark Souls but with way more gratuitous nudity.
Speaking of video games, wouldn't it be fun to see which gaming icons could fill the tattered, blood-filled shoes of Westeros' favourite players? No? Anyone? Well too bad, I'm going to do it anyway - there are some startling similarities between the heroes and villains in GOT, and your favourite viddya game characters. So, without any further ado, here's TV's Game of Thrones as staffed by virtual actors. Begin!
Spoilers ahead for GOT series 1-4.
The Hound & Arya - Ellie & Joel (The Last of Us)
Every show needs an odd couple, right? A lover and a fighter, a crook and cop, some sort of renegade manta ray and his stuffy, 'by-the-book' companion? Now that's entertainment! Of course, Game Of Thrones is no exception to this rule, with grunty Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane buddying up with the firebrand Arya Stark. Sure, they're both pretty good at killing stuff, but all talk of organ gouging aside both parties remain quite unalike. He's big, she's little, he's gruff, she's tactful. He fights for gold, her for revenge. What similarities they do share don't so much relate to one another as they do to another equally rocky relationship from the hallowed annals of gaming.
Yes, it's The Last of Us' Ellie & Joel. Don't see it? Well try this on for size. Both duos include a young girl grieving for a lost friend and a man - ashamed of his past - who maintains a difficult relationship with his brother. Likewise both girls are perceived as being highly valuable, to the point where some pretty major players even consider them vital to the future of their respective realms. This is turn convinces both men to shepherd the girls to their destinations in order to collect a sizeable pay cheque. Swish! Good right??? *desperate nudging intensifies*
Joffrey - Salazar (Resident Evil 4)
'Incest. Not even once'. This kingly inbred rules the realm like a rich kid on a tweenaged power trip. "Yes my liege, One Direction are expected presently - they wouldnt want to miss your super sweet 16th now would they? Oh and if you wouldn't mind maiming a couple of them like you did that last bard we'd all be pretty damn appreciative". Hell, the kid even gave his sword a great big emo name. "Hey, I'm Hearteater, I'm like, pretty close to the darkness and stuff". What's not to loathe?
So why Salazar, then? Well believe it or not, this creepy Castellan is almost the exact same age as Joff. He's also incredibly annoying, decidedly vicious and wields way more power than a man-child of his temperament ever should. Plus, I hear they're both pretty vulnerable to the old 'rocket to the bonce' routine... Now if only RPGs existed in the GOT universe. See what I just did there? More layers than a Night's Watch codpiece, baby!
Brienne - Samus Aran (Metroid)
The first name in Westerosi women's lib, Brienne of Tarth might best be described as a suffragette with a sword. Despite pledging allegiance to anything that moves, this awesome Amazon is far from susceptible, though she does bear a rather large weakness for unavailable men. Get it? 'Bear'. Oh never mind. Armoured to the gills and racking up kills, battling Brie could conceivably be played by any one of hundreds of fierce females avatars, though few are quite so suitable as Metroid's Samus Aran.
For starters, both gals insist on wearing a proper set of armour - rather than the usual chest-bearing death suits favoured by the likes of Soul Calibur's Ivy. Likewise, both women are equally susceptible to the strange charms of their commanding officers, though they do eventually get their acts together. Add to that their similar levels of grit and determination, integrity and err blonde hair and you have yourself a pretty decent doppleganger.
Theon - Eric Sparrow (Tony Hawk's Underground)
No righteous cause is complete with its very own 'Judas' figure, i.e. some traitorous turncoat to collude with the enemy and gum up the gears of progress. As far as Game Of Thrones is concerned, Theon Greyjoy is that villain. Don't let the name fool you - 'Greyjoy' may sound like some sort of Scottish outdoor music festival - but what it really pertains to is a set of sullen, rain-soaked islanders all vying for independence. Again, that does sound an awful lot like Scotland. Bear with me. Fearing for his rep, Theon winds up betraying his best bud in Rob. From there, things take an almost immediate turn for the worse, with plenty of 'stuff' getting set on fire, and credit being taken for tasks that havent actually been accomplished.
Sound familiar? It should, because that's the same damn thing that happens to THUG's Eric Sparrow - a snivelling excuse for a buddy who routinely deceives and endangers the player in pursuit of his own selfish ends. Sure, burning a drug dealer's car may not be quite so bad as turning two healthy farmboys into Bran-flavoured kebabs, but you get the message.
Daenerys - Tetra (Wind Waker)
'Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and the Mother of Dragons'. And errwait, is that everything? Sort of feels like I'm missing something here. 'Eater of horse hearts'? 'Seducer of face-swapping male escorts? 'Nude fire-walking enthusiast'? Gah, never mind. All you really need to know about Danny is that she's a super shrewd, thoroughly wilful individual who just so happens to command three tank-sized dragons. Depending on the circumstances she can be, at turns kind-hearted, calculating or uncommonly cold. A little bit like
Wind Waker's very own Tetra. You see, both are essentially good-willed, if occasionally heavy-handed leaders, who often find themselves prey to bungled kidnapping and/or assassination plots. Plus, they're both orphaned princesses - orphaned princesses who're out to reclaim lost kingdoms no less, which all things being equal, isn't exactly the most common of calling cards.
Stannis - Stennis (The Witcher 2)
No, I'm not just getting lazy, The Witcher's would-be king Stennis is actually an awful lot like GOT's balding Baratheon. Like Stannis, Prince Stennis has perhaps the strongest claim to the throne of anyone around. The trouble is that no one out there particularly gives a fig. It seems in fantasy (as in high school) excellent references and an immaculate scowl are really no match for plain, old popularity. Simply put - Stan & Sten are really more 'chess club' than 'cheerleader' and they both know it.
Thats why each of these sad sacks insist on winning their throne by force, after pursuing a little bit of necessary subterfuge that is. It also doesn't hurt that they look quite a lot alike. Oh and they're both up against a successful Joan of Arc-type, sapping away the support of general citizens. Something tells me CD Projekt RED had a certain someone in mind when designing old Stenny.
Jon - Allistair (Dragon Age: Origins)
Meet the one man in Westeros who's both a legitimately nice guy and a total bastard. Yes, you've guessed it: it's ladies' favourite Jorrrn 'you know nothing' Snorrr. It seems Jon's had to endure some rather sucky circumstances in life, not least of which was a step-mum who prayed for his infantile death. Yikes. Still, things could've been a whole lot worse. For one thing, he might have been raised among the other 99% of society. You know, the folks who don't just miss out on fancy banquets but on most basic nutrition as well. Indeed, in a world where the peasantry appears to do little more than sheathe noblemen's swords within their person, Jon boy ought to count himself lucky. Well, at least until he was called up to fight in the least glamorous, most hopelessly unwinnable war in Westeros.
In many way's Jon's plight is similar to that of Dragon Age's Alistair. Both are bastard children - the result of a chance coupling between nobleman and commoner, which leads them to struggle with questions of identity, family and loyalty (i.e. whether to pursue the same path as their relatives or follow a more personal cause). Oh and they both lose their virginity to a crazy lady. So there's that.
Bran & Hodor - Taimi & Scruffy (Guild Wars)
Involuntary BASE jumper and all-round piggyback enthusiast Bran Stark becomes all the more intriguing with every passing season. His legs may not work but his mind damn well does - allowing Bran direct access to all sorts of vicious and menacing creatures. It's a bit like the mind control aspect of Abe's Oddysee, just with a few less gun-toting bug-men and way more simpletons laying the smack down. Enter Hodor, Bran's lovable manservant and the intellectual equal of most reality TV stars. Together they help to make up for one another's perceived shortcomings. Or - to put it more accurately - Bran pilots his buddy's brain around like a big fleshy Megazord.
Their relationship is an awful lot like that of Taimi and Scruffy, a pair of mismatched adventurers found in the Guild Wars series. Taimi, it turns out, suffers from a rare degenerative disease that also precludes her from walking. She therefore depends upon a much larger guardian to carry her around and keep her safe, in this case a mechanical 'golem' piloted via mind control. Not only that but this intrepid duo also undertakes a perilous adventure of their own, not in pursuit of a raven, but of an equally mysterious siren named Scarlet.
Melisandre - Ammon Jerro (Neverwinter Nights 2)
Melisandre, or 'Mad Mel' to her mates is easily one of the most enigmatic characters in all of Westeros. As chief advisor to Stannis Baratheon, Mel commands more power than many of the realm's crowned kings combined (a fact evidenced by her 'shadow baby shower' antics back in season two). It should go without saying that finding a gaming match for Melly was damned hard work - and in the end, the only character who even came close was a bloke. Gah. Stick that in your erotic fan fiction.
Neverwinter Night's Ammon Jerro is that very fella. Like Melisandre, Jerro has also operated as a court mage and advisor, preying upon those around him as part of a larger crusade against the malicious god of shadow. Yet, despite that mutually benevolent goal, neither party is exactly averse to employing dark and demonic creatures as part of their plan. Plus, they look totally alike
Jaime & Cersei - Dante & Vergil (Devil May Cry)
Ah, the Lannister twins, Casterly Rock's incestuous siblings and the creative team behind one totally bonkers boy-king. Choosing a suitable set of stand-ins for this covert power couple was a wee bit tricky, hence the inclusion of two blokes. That being said, Cersei certainly makes no secret of her yearning to be a man, at least in terms of the social status it would afford her. Indeed, she even reveals that she was often mistaken for a lad while growing up, so uh that gets me off the hook right? There are some other factors too...
For one Jaime is oftentimes just as flippant as Devil May Cry's Dante, refusing to take anything particularly seriously. He's also obsessed with seeking out a genuine challenge, a boisterous goal that eventually gives way to proper maturity. Oh yes and he fancies Trish, a lass he openly admits looks just like his mum. Score one for incest. As for Vergil, well let's just say that he (like Cersei) took the less honourable route to living up to his father's name. Both sets of characters live in their father's shadow, and both share a strange affection for one another - even when butting heads. Game. Set. Match. Maybe
Littlefinger - Erol (Jak & Daxter)
Littlefinger (so named because all of his fingers are little, or something) is a nasty, wee mainstay of the Game Of Thrones universe, regularly plotting up schemes, scheming up plots and generally making a big old nuisance of himself. Buoyed by his successes on the emerging pimp market, Baelish would later squirm his way onto the advisory council of the Baratheon dynasty, receiving the 'disposable Batman villain of the week' moniker of 'Master of Coin'. "Look out Batman, he's throwing coins!" etc etc. While many video games can lay claim to a similarly slimy advisor, few come quite so close as one Erol from Jak and Daxter.
Like Baelish, Jak & Daxter's own advisor-turned-megalomaniac was also spurned by a woman, a fact that led him to challenge his love rival and in turn receive a massive ass blasting. Admittedly, Baelish never launched a hoverbike into anyone... but I digress. Both men recovered from their humiliations only to reappear more obsessive and calculated than ever before, cutting deals with some of the worst partners around and becoming powerful leaders in their own right.
Tyrion Lannister - Ghost (Destiny)
Yeah, I went there.
You know nothing!
So, what do you make of this video Game Of Thrones? Which picks are bang on, which were hopelessly off base, and who else deserved a mention? Have your say in the comments below, and remember: I'm only covering Game Of Thrones series 1-4 here, so be a dear and don't reference any book spoilers. Cheers yo.