For Missouri fans, the long winter began last year. Now it’s the middle of the summer which means… the end of HBO's Game of Thrones.
For college sports fans, winter is a welcome time, full of sports, tailgating and a general lack of undead. In Game of Thrones, winter is the exact opposite of all those things. We could be in for a "War of the Five Kings"-esque event with the Brexit, but, nah let’s not go there.
So while summer continues in reality and "The Winds of Winter" approaches in Westeros, let’s get the #content machine rolling and take a look at Missouri icons, past and present, as if they were characters on Game of Thrones.
*SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GAME OF THRONES TV SERIES*
House Stark or The Big Ten of Westeros
Robin Pingeton as Sansa Stark
It’s not hard to draw this comparison, especially with the events of this past week’s episode. Sansa is the ultimate avenger, rising from bad political couplings and her own naivety to become the cold, calculating leader of the Stark revolution.
Pingeton has spent five years at Missouri, building the women’s basketball program up from the ashes. She now commands a frightening, fun team that slayed its Ramsay Bolton by marching into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The sky’s the limit now for both as they seek to take their respective Iron Thrones.
Sophie Cunningham as Arya Stark
"A girl is Sophie Cunningham of Columbia. And I am staying home."
I don’t think anyone doubts Sophie Cunningham could’ve been a Faceless Man. As a McDonald’s All-American, she had her pick of of places to grow into a legendary basketball assassin. Instead, though, she pulled an Arya and took her skills to the hometown team.
Admittedly, Sophie is already kicking butt while Arya still has to make it back to Winterfell, but they’re both badass and both have the ability to bring glory to their house.
Kim Anderson as Ned Stark
Kim Anderson is a lot like Ned Stark, the guy you want to root for with the husky voice and the bloodlines of a champion. But there’s a stubbornness there that you know is going to bite them in the end. Whether it’s insistence on not playing the game of thrones or a strange recruiting strategy, sticking with the "set in my ways" ideals isn’t the best way to traipse about the world.
I didn’t want it to be this way. And maybe you can escape your Sean Bean fate yet.
Maybe Kim’s head won’t be on a pike in the season finale. But if I’ve learned anything from George R.R. Martin…
House Lannister or "Our bad years are better than the Stark’s good years"
Blaine Gabbert as Jaime Lannister
Maybe this is just a personal thing, but Blaine falls right into the Kingslayer role. Charming, good-looking and just a bit too smarmy for my taste, Blaine was the guy you alternately loved and hated. Without some of Jaime’s more, um, unsavory characteristics, Blaine had the talent to conquer, just like Jaime did. But whether it was mental hang ups or unfortunate injuries, Blaine never really fulfilled on all his promise. He’s still got a chance to be a solid role player in the Riverlands, er, the NFL.
Ehren Earleywine as Tyrion Lannister
Stubbly, grumpy and irresistible, Earleywine is the tremendous leader we want to see survive to the end. Like Tyrion, his methods can be a bit unconventional and his mouth can be harsh.
He seems to have a heart of gold and seems to get the job done when it counts. His proven track-record and loyal supporters make it hard to justify getting rid of him, but can he survive an internal investigation?
House Targaryen or S-E- C! S-E- C! S-E- C!
Gary Pinkel as Daenerys Targaryen
The underdog. The unexpectedly powerful. The game-changer.
Dany’s final impact in Game of Thrones has yet to be seen, but it’s looking pretty peachy at the moment. Gary even had his three dragons not too long ago.
Both Dany and Gary are conquerors, balancing minor losses with big victories. The metaphor loses steam once you consider that Pinkel has passed the torch and Stormborn hasn’t, but how much fun would it be to see Dany yelling "Dracarys!" while wearing a headset and a visor?
Yes, we’ve already made this comparison.
Independent or Who cares about a bowl game when the Night King is coming?
Drew Lock as Jon Snow
Is he dead? He looks dead. But he’s gotta come back right?
Drew and Jon are the dudes that everyone is hyped about until a bad offensive line and some mutinous brothers turned them into mincemeat and the world’s worst poke cake. But look! Jon’s alive now, and he’s (probably?) The Prince That Was Promised! In fact, I don’t think that’s a bad nickname for Drew. Plus, they’ve both got the flowing hair. You can trample them both, but there’s no stopping Azor Ahai.
Charles Harris as Tormund Giantsbane
They’re mean. They’re rough. They’re underrated. And they’re here to mess you up. Tormund and Charles Harris are freight trains. No one can stop them and no one should try. Harris for Heisman and Tormund for the Throne.
Mike Anderson as Littlefinger
What Missouri icons do you think compare to Game of Thrones characters?