To honor the return of Game of Thrones, we remind you with these themed previews that in the game of BTSH — You win or you die (just kidding, you go get beers like everyone else).
As the Night King marches south and the white raven lands at Winterfell, just as the Master of the North has predicted, winter is nigh. So, as they do in the Vale, sit back, make yourself comfortable and latch on to this teet of content. Ned did tell us that winter was coming, after all.
The Hound (Fuzz) vs Arya Stark (LBS Inc)
By Arya Stark
A formidable warrior reeling with scars and presumed dead by many after losing several recent battles, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Fuzz) rolls into week 12 on a two game winning streak. Though the Greyjoys may be the ones who say “what is dead may never die,” The Hound has proven that early season stumbles alone are not enough to fell one of the most fearsome warriors in BTSH. Whatever the standings may say, few have the raw power and killer instinct to go toe-to-toe with Clegane any given week.
Arya Stark (LBS Inc), on the other hand, comes into this game having dropped two straight battles. Perilously close to seizing the throne last season, Arya’s had an inconsistent start to the year, alternating wins and losses but failing to seize the momentum of last year’s run. A recent training stint with the Faceless Men, an elite guild of assassins based on the east coast, and a return to her trademark brand of speed and creativity will be key in a mid-season showdown with her former traveling companion and chicken enthusiast Sandor Clegane. But will it be enough for her to be baking celebratory Frey Pies come Sunday?
Death Prediction: An 87 degree forecast spells trouble for the fire-averse Hound. Arya sticks him with the pointy end and grabs the W.
Ned Stark (Cobra Kai) at Beric Dondarrion (Mega Touch)
By Ser Dontos
Well liked, well respected, and full of unreached potential, Cobra Kai has historically played the game with honor. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always lead to victories in the time when it is needed most. Will they ride their current win streak to the end? Or will their story be cut tragically short by a team later in the season that worries less about honor and more about winning?
Mega, on the other hand, has had a tough year and has died many deaths. Each time they have fallen, however, they bounce back and fight their next opponent valiantly. Has each death made them weaker? Perhaps. But maybe they have a few fights left in them for when it counts. Fire up those blades.
Death Prediction: Ned keeps his head and issues Beric a death from which even the Lord of Light cannot bring him back. Cobra Kai 5-2.
The Wildlings (Instant Karma) at Littlefinger (Corlears Hookers)
By Tormund Giantsbane
Led by a Giant and supported by their fearless bearded warrior and other formidable free folk, these barbarians bow to no one. Unbound by the oaths and loyalties of the Seven Kingdoms they play by their own rules and care not for the principles of Kneelers or Crows. Reveling in their savage ways they only honor the old gods of Tompkins Square Forest because Karma has a whole other meaning north of the wall.
Littlefinger on the other hand, fully understands that chaos isn’t a pit, but a ladder that is climbed one rung at a time. Always on the come-up, his Hookers approach each Sunday’s battle as just another notch on their quest for the BTSH PBR Throne. Having been appointed Lord of Harrenhal by questionable valor at the Battle of the Blackwater and keeper of Vale through a shameless marriage, there is little they won’t do to advance one move closer to their ultimate goal. For them, the climb is all there is.
Death Prediction: As cunning as Littlefinger is, the free-folk ain’t got time for that and send him flying through the moondoor like so many a feckless bride.
Tyrion Lannister (Gouging Anklebiters) vs. Daenerys Stormborn (Filthier)
The Anklebiters drink, and they know things. A crew that has had their fair share of tainted love, battle scars, and occasionally feeling small; they are also the life of the party, and rely on their wits to outlast, and outmatch (whoops careening towards Survivor).
Then we have Filthier, an ever evolving group of powerful players, coming back from a complicated reputation, light coming out of the darkness (just go with me). Can the dragons of filthier breath fire onto the troop of court-jestering Anklebiters?
Or perhaps, will the drive in the belly of the survivor outmatch the firepower of the great beasts looking to reclaim their glory of days past?
Death Predicted: Daenerys (Filthier)…
Samwell Tarly (Dark Rainbows) at Jamie Lannister (What The Puck)
By Tormund Giantsbane
Even though he is consistently overlooked for not resembling the definition of a Night’s Watchmen, Samwell is no slouch when it comes to balls and bravery. Armed with dragon glass, wits, and now a Valyrian sword (probably the most coveted weapon in all of Alphabet City) he is on a quest to unlock secrets of eliminating the White Walkers. After having already defeated one, he could be the savior of the Realm – our true hero.
A former champion out for redemption, Jamie Lannister, minus one hand and one Valyrian sword, has learned much from his humbling adventures. If anyone can return from both twincest and Bran tossing, Jamie’s your man. Will the Kingslayers solemn odyssey back into the fold be enough? Methinks not.
Death Prediction: it has been a good ride for Jamie, but brains always (well, usually) triumphs over brawn
Khal Drogo (Sky Fighters) vs Gregor Clegane (Denim Demons)
By Arya Stark
Khal Drogo was the rare warrior to retire undefeated and while the Sky Fighters have died a few deaths this season, they remain formidable in both talent and execution. Olivier and the Teytelbaum brothers keep the pressure on the opposing netminder with their fearsome culture and arakhs, but don’t count out Vlad, their newest bloodrider. With the skills to beat any army in an open field and the horses to do it, it should be no surprise that the Sky Fighters have only been felled by the championship winner each of the past two years.
Gregor Clegane, better known these days as Ser Robert Strong, has seen better days for sure but that hasn’t stopped him from being a name on the schedule few want to see. Clegane had a reputation for being among the dirtiest players in the game, willing to do whatever it took to get the win by any means necessary (even if it involved destroying someone’s head with his bare hands) but as of late has softened up en route to a softer, more decent public perception. Whether that is due to Jen’s leadership or Clegane’s current lack of a soul or any emotions associated with it remains to be seen but one thing is for sure; this is one quality showdown.
Death Prediction: Drogo may have retired without a loss but Gregor lives on, undead and possibly stronger than ever.
Lyanna Mormont (Tompkins Square Riots) vs Davos Seaworth (Gut Rot)
By Arya Stark
Westeros may not be the most conducive environment for feminism but make no mistake, Lyanna Mormont (Tompkins Square Riots) marches to the beat of her own drum each and every day. Even when confronted by total psychopaths like Ramsay Bolton (no BTSH analog available, thankfully), she sticks to her guns and demonstrates the bravery and gumption worthy of someone hailing from a place called Bear Island. The Boltons may not have liked it, but I’m pretty sure Suz and crew did en route to a minor upset over Mega Touch last week (sorry Brady).
Davos Seaworth (Gut Rot) is a man who has worn many hats in his life. A lowly smuggler from the slums of Flea Bottom, Davos risked it all during Robert’s Rebellion to save the Baratheon army’s tenuous hold on Storm’s End, a major blow that helped end the war. Just like Gut Rot, Davos is well-liked, has persevered through much adversity only to come out stronger on the other side, and has a tendency to end up on an island with no shirt on. Still, with four more wins than all of last season already on the books, it would be a mistake to underestimate the man known as The Onion Knight.
Death Prediction: Davos finds his shirt and his winning spirit. Celebratory onions are the surprise snack of choice during the all-star game.
Tyene Sand (Poutine) vs. Sansa Stark (Gremlins)
Sultry Sansa (Gremlins) takes on Tyene Sand (Poutine) in a fiery match this Sunday. Just as both women as young, fierce, and not afraid of a little blood, Poutine and Gremlins have exactly the same record going into this next game (8-3). The red-headed up-and-coming mastermind has been unsure of when to fight, and when to lay low, just as the Gremlins weren’t sure if the first half against WTP was over last week when a goal snuck in like an unexpected marriage to a sadistic monster.
The young, fearless Tyene (Poutine) on the other hand knows that you want a good girl (of which they have quite a few), but sometimes you need a bad pu$$ay – which is why they hang on to a BSA. Dorne keeps its poison close, and its women closer.
Death Prediction: Sansa (Gremlins) finally loses the Game and Tyene’s (Poutine’s) sexy but poisonous ways win the day.
Oberyn (Butchers) vs. Benjen Stark (Math)
Oberyn (Butchers) has some fierce women in the family, and spins a web with a great deal of charm. Never shy of showmanship, the crimson gang from Dorne shines in this hot sunny weather. Not the beefiest character, but Oberyn relies on speed and agility to defeat even the scariest foes. Pro-tip: Make sure you hear the whistle blow, celebrating too early can cause a big headache.
Benjen Stark (Math) is always a steadfast rock for the family. He can be cursed, and falling apart, but he’ll still show up to help out (and then party afterwards). Don’t be disarmed by his niceness though – there’s quite a few dangerous offensive plays in the works from this crew…and as per usual for Benjen – ain’t nothing but a family thing.
Death Prediction: Oberyn (Butchers) puts on a show, and then takes a late death blow from Benjen (Math).
Tywin Lannister (Fresh Kills) vs. The White Walkers (Rehabs)
By Ser Dontos
Experienced and skilled, the Fresh Kills command respect whenever they step on the courts. Their tactical mindset allows them to beat teams by precision and strategic formations. At times, they seem unstoppable. That is, until the Winter winds blow in and bring on a seemingly unstoppable challenger from the North.
The Rehabs are a dominant force against all of their opponents and after each season they seem to grow even stronger by acquiring those that once fought for other forces. Will this be where their winning spree ends, as they march to face their match?
Death Prediction: Unlike the show, Tywin survives and beats back the creatures from the North. Fresh Kills 4-3.