Next-gen is dark and full of terrors...
Its hard out there for a Game of Thrones character, what with all that life-and-death political intrigue and being able to set your watch by the murder of your friends and family. All that stress has to get to a person. That person may just want a bloodless moment away from it all. Alas video games are not where said person should look for comfort, if only because--right now, anyway--there doesnt seem to be any means of electricity or programmable computers in Mr. Martins world.
If there were, though, that would be a great way to wind down, exchanging real murder and mayhem for the digital kind. Plus, if we know our Game of Thrones characters--and our DVR says we do--there are plenty of recent games that fit them perfectly. Here we have the games the Game of Thrones characters would be playing now if they could, based on the most rigorous scientific research. (i.e. we read the books and know all the secrets you dont--and yes, something bad does happen to your favorite character. Sos you know.)
Ned Stark: The Last of Us
Ned Starks a traditional kind of sap--er, guy--who fights for truth, justice, and the Westrosian Way. However, after he starts serving as the king's right hand man, things get complicated, and it becomes harder to make the honorable choice when it puts everything he cares about at risk. That's why Ned might find something compelling in The Last of Us.
Joels pretty much everything Ned hates: vicious, opportunistic, and back-stabbing. Ned would probably throw the controller down in disgust if it wasn't for the games opening, where he could undoubtedly sympathize with the way Joel loses a loved one. A few more hours and it starts to look like Joel and Ned have a lot in common--average guys in the thick of disaster, who want to do good and take care of their families while it becomes impossible to manage both. Ned might be mad when he's forced to make the dishonorable decision at the games end, but it would be a temporary anger. After all, his tune changes once hes put in that spot himself.
Daenerys Targaryen: Pokemon Black and White 2
Lifes dealt Daenerys a pretty rough hand, what with losing not only her husband and child but also the power she needs to take back her kingdom. Then she has to start from scratch, building an army from the dregs. What would help a frustrated Khaleesi extract herself from the perils of preparing to reclaim her throne by bloody force? Pokemon, of course. Naturally.
Pokemon Black 2 or White 2 (or both, if she's committed enough), would be perfect for a lady like Daeny. They combine her love of raising dragons with her burning desire for an army of her own, and with hundreds of Pokemon to catch she'd have all the firepower she needed to take back the throne in her fantasy world. At the same time, she'd be able to care for and raise them, just as you would expect from a mother of dragons. Sure, they may not be real and she'd only get to work with a few at a time, but leave her be. A girl can dream.
Jorah Mormont: Bioshock Infinite
Booker DeWitt knows what it's like to hit rock bottom. Shamed by the evil deeds of his past, he takes up a job spying on a mysterious girl in the hopes of rebuilding his assets and crawling out from under his own poor choices. Only he starts to care about her, sees how powerful she is, and soon he's at her beck and call, willing to do anything for her. ...Did I say Booker? I meant Jorah Mormont, Daenerys' bodyguard.
This similarity definitely wouldn't bypass Jorah, who would probably be taken in by the story of Infinite because of how closely it resembles his own life. Maybe there's hope for him after all--if Booker can make up for the murders he committed years ago, maybe Jorah can move past the shame of selling slaves. If Elizabeth learns about Booker's betrayal and ultimately still cares about him, maybe Jorah doesn't have to fear Daenerys finding out about him spying on her. And maybe, in the end, Booker makes the ultimate choice, then Jorah oh. Erm, maybe not that part.
Arya Stark: Thief
Arya Stark knows the price of too much honor, and while she slinks through the forests of Westeros on the run from the law she has no intention of paying the same. So, if she managed to steal a gamebox while on the run, she might find a virtual friend in Garrett, who knows as well as she does that honor is for suckers.
Thief is the kind of game that highlights Arya's own sneaky qualities, while appealing to her desire for something more. While Garrett admittedly can't do much once he's seen, he's got the strength to put a man to bed with a whack to the back of the head, something Arya would no doubt enjoy. Plus, Thiefs all about screwing over people like those who destroyed her family and forced her into hiding, and it would quench her thirst for revenge, all from the shadows she knows so well. And hey, by the time she grows up she'll discover the originals. Taste comes with age.
Theon Grayjoy: GTA 5
You'd almost feel bad for Theon if he wasn't such a tool. Desperate for acceptance and affection, he nonetheless treats those around him like garbage, and has a nasty habit of burning bridges before he's done crossing them. If only he had a safe place to get all that out of his system without backstabbing across the country like hes trying to set the record, he might be better off. Maybe, just maybe, GTA V could do some social good there.
While GTA: San Andreas has more of the rags-to-riches story Theon is going for, GTA 5 has plenty of protagonists going from zero to hero by mercilessly tearing through Los Santos. Theon's vicious impulses could be satisfied by stealing fancy cars, hiring prostitutes and road-raging through crowds of defenseless civilians there, instead of doing the equivalent for real. It may not be healthy, but it's a better alternative, and maybe everyone would feel less compelled to smack him over the back of the head and leave him on the side of the road.
Jaime Lannister: Assassins Creed 4
Jaime Lannister and Edward Kenway are two peas in a devil's pod: Roguishly handsome and horribly arrogant, they both become infamous one bloody way or another. While Jaime might find Edward's rise from poverty boring and trite, he could certainly enjoy the bluster, taking a break from dull political life to gain new glory cutting down enemies at every turn. Of course, there might be something deeper to it, too--the anxiety of a man who feels like he's done everything right, and things still go wrong.
For all intents and purposes, Jaime should be a celebrated knight who brought the current king to the throne, but is instead seen as a traitor. Once he's captured by the Starks it's all downhill from there. Someone like that could no doubt see himself in Edward, who struggles to do right by his wife and make a name for himself, all for it to come dramatically crashing down around him. Not a happy story, but maybe there'd be some relief in that for Ser Jaime, seeing himself in the pixels.
Joffrey Baratheon: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
You know that annoying kid on Live, the one who won't stop swearing inanely, playing terribly, and then blaming everyone else when he gets killed? Thats Joffrey in a nutshell, and a psychopathic child like him would love love love some Blops 2.
Thats not to downplay the strategic elements of the game, which Joffrey would probably end up liking at least a little--he shows interest in plotting army advances and doesn't see enough battle to implement them on his own. However, he rarely thinks his plans all the way through, so when the opposing team dodged his shots or he stood still long enough to get himself sniped, the whole match would descend into shrieks of violent tween rage. Above all Joffrey's there for the killing and maiming, even team-killing if he sees fit, and anyone who disagrees with him is going to get an earful of misused cursing. Oh, and you can bet teabagging's gonna be a thing. And sniping. Joffrey would so be a camper.
Jon Snow: DayZ
DayZ is one of the most punishing releases of the last year, a game where you not only have to deal with the zombie hoards, but also silly things like finding food and water and making sure you don't bleed to death. Plus, it's a permadeath game, so skip a few too many meals and you can find yourself back at square one. It's a challenge to say the least, and one that Jon Snow is already set to take on.
Stuck in the northern terrain where the series' psychopathic snow zombies roam, Jon Snow knows the feeling of trying to survive a harsh climate with flesh-eating monsters on your tail. DayZ is the sort of game he would excel at, because it would be a great opportunity to put his tried and true skills to the test while helping him prep for situation's he's yet to encounter. You know nothing, Jon Snow, but maybe you still have a chance of escaping the digital hoards.
Tyrion Lannister: Civilization 5
What Tyrion lacks in respect from his fellow men, he more than makes up for in smarts. The brightest of the Lannister clan, he puts his mind to great use in court politics and biting sarcasm, both of which get him into trouble more often than they help. It might be wise of him to divert some of that IQ to more conventionally strategic things, and Civilization 5 would be right up his alley.
Coming off a strategic victory that fortified the royal palace against intruders, Tyrion would feel right at home drafting battle plans, building and directing armies, and negotiating with foreign powers as the game demands. While he might be bitter about being forced to do it in a game rather than real life, every great career starts somewhere, and proving victory in a game might be the first step toward honing his skills and gaining the respect of his family. Except Tywin Lannister would never stand for that nonsense, and as any parent knows playing video games would prove once and for all that Tyrion is a failure of a son. Yeeeah, hes not winning that game.
Cersei Lannister: The Walking Dead
Cersei Lannister knows what its like to have few options. She has the power to order someone drawn and quartered for making her tea wrong, but often enough she feels helpless, at the mercy of crazy men who control the throne. Her desire to make choices of consequence is constantly thwarted, so its easy to see her turning to a game to deal with the frustration. For better or for worse, The Walking Dead might be the perfect option for her.
It isnt just the ability to make impactful choices that matters here, though that is certainly a big part of it. What would really sell The Walking Dead for Cersei is Clementine, who would undoubtedly remind her of her own daughter, and she can protect Clementine now where she couldnt help Marcella before. Of course, there is a bit of a downside: Cerseis the type to think her incremental choices really didnt matter come the ending, so chances are it wouldnt leave her feeling as empowered as she had hoped. Sigh--as always.
Sansa Stark: Nintendogs but really Okami HD
Love her or hate her, Sansa Stark is one smart lady, and deep as her desire for vengeance is, she knows how to keep her true thoughts under wraps. Shes also one of the last of the noble Stark line, and even if she no longer has her direwolf, it lives on in her memory. Sansa might find comfort in a game that reminds her of her canine friend, and stick to something like Nintendogs to keep suspicious eyes satisfied. Thatd all be a cover, though, for nights spent burning the midnight oil with Okami.
The great white wolf Amaterasu (a creature just like the Starks direwolves) would appeal to Sansa in a lot of ways, particularly the part where she saves the world from encroaching darkness. Sansas seen enough encroaching darkness for ten lifetimes, so a game where she finally gets to banish the evil she has to kowtow to everyday would be a perfect fit. By daylight shed stare dreamily at her benign dog-raising game, but thats all just to throw them off the scent. Say what you will about Sansa, shes got a brain in her head and a howl in her heart.
...but the fire burns them all away
Think you can challenge our Game of Thrones know-how? Have a different idea for what your favorite character would pop into their console, or want to add a new character to the list? Were we just wrong wrong wrong about Jaime Lannister and you command us to face trial by combat? Tell us in the comments below, and watch your tongue, or someone might decide to relieve you of it.