A tradition we started a year ago was casting the new season of Game of Thrones with members of the Chicago Bears roster. This came about after Pro Bowl lineman had declared Jay Cutler “The One True King of the North”.
I love comparing the two. The Bears are one of the league’s most storied franchises and Game of Thrones is filled with generational lore. It references the glory days of each House, and Winter is always looming.
Since the original list, a year ago, things have changed drastically. Departures and additions to the team have been very similar to the show. Characters have developed and players have evolved. So let’s look at the current Chicago Bears roster and see how they stack up on Game of Thrones.
Kyle Long / Jon Snow
The biggest debate since the end of Season 5 was “Is Jon Snow dead or not?” Besides the correlations of leadership, pedigree, and loyalty, Bears fans had wondered “Is Kyle Long a guard or tackle?”
Jon rose to the ranks of Lord Commander, killed a White Walker then briefly united the Night’s Watch and the Wildling armies while alive. Long was a 2-time pro bowler as a guard and was awarded again as a tackle, making him the first Bears offensive lineman to named to the Pro Bowl each of his first 3 seasons. Fans of both will get their answers in due time.
Alshon Jeffrey / Daenerys Targaryen
After proving doubters wrong over the course of his impressive young career, the Bears placed the franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery to hopefully work out a favorable deal for both sides. At full strength, he’s a devastating force down the field…like Daenerys is with her dragons. Daenerys’s reign is wounded for the time being, much like the questions to Jeffery’s health during the 2015 season. Reunited with her dragons, she can maker her move on the rest of Westeros. One hope’s a new deal with the Bears would have Jeffery poised to do the same in the NFL.
Jay Cutler / Jaime Lannister
A year ago, we had Jay Cutler paired with Stannis Baratheon, “The One True King of the North”. Unfortunately, Stannis couldn’t keep his head. However, Cutler is still quarterback of the Chicago Bears and appears rejuvenated with John Fox’s staff. Jaime Lannister was referred to as “The King Slayer” having literally killed kings and also blamed getting them killed, like Cutler when he was once called a “coach killer”.
The two have had their ups and downs in the public eye. It seems they both needed some humbling, suffered setbacks and injuries, and have adopted antihero statuses for it. Much weirder on Jaime’s end, but being fathers has helped them both in their maturations. You’ll see myself and others Tweet #CuttyDoesIt when Jay slings touchdowns. Might have to start #JaimeDoesIt this upcoming season too.
Pernell McPhee / The Mountain (Zombie Mountain)
Two words: He’s violent.
Pernell McPhee is also coming off an injury and hoping to bounce back even more violent. The Mountain is about to do the same now that he’s been brought back to annihilate everyone on behalf of Cersei. I call him Zombie Mountain, because I’m very sure he’s 1/3 brutal strength, 1/3 rage, and 1/3 dead. McPhee is likely half and half of the former two.
Willie Young / Daario Naharis
Willie Young had to switch roles last season and had to prove to coaches that he could still get to the quarterback doing so. Daario switched roles going from mercenary to trusted advisor to Daenerys, as well as actors. Both showed they are effective no matter what you do with them and are cold blooded killers…relative to their professions.
Tracy Porter / Tyrion Lannister
Like Tyrion, Tracy Porter was very successful in the beginning. Porter was a Super Bowl champion and Tyrion served as Hand of the King. Porter was then cast off after injuries and playing on unsuccessful teams while Tyrion was disowned by his father (who he would kill for it). Porter got a fresh start and a new contract after a successful first season with the Bears, and Tyrion is now temporarily in charge of Meereen after dream-teaming up with Daenerys.
Jeremy Langford / Arya Stark
Jeremy Langford had the opportunity to prove he can be a feature back during his rookie season with the Bears, and took full advantage of it. Arya got a similar opportunity learning the assassination techniques of the Faceless Men and ALSO took full advantage of it. The Bears seem to be in the market for a new running back, hesitant to give Langford the reigns of the backfield, and the “Many-Faced God” took Arya’s sight. I imagine both will only grow from their experiences.
Zach Miller / Sansa Stark
Over the course of his career, Zach Miller has faced setback after setback when it comes to injuries. Sansa has had to deal with the same, in WAY MORE BRUTAL instances. They both now appear due after their struggles. Miller shined while healthy for the Bears last season and was awarded a new contract. Sansa escaped another evil asshole husband and should have some support waiting for her outside of Winterfel.
Kevin White / Bran Stark
Well, there’s the obvious. Both Kevin White and Bran Stark sat out last season. White did so because of an injury that kept him off his feet and, well, Bran wasn’t walking around anyway. Both are returning with high expectations in their respective upcoming seasons
Eddie Goldman / Hodor
Eddie Goldman came to the Bears with White in the same draft. While he did play his rookie season, it’s not like he had much to say…like Hodor. Hodor will also be returning with Bran Stark and like Goldman, he’s capable of kicking serious ass.
Danny Trevathan / Davos Seaworth
These are two big time free agents from the offseason. Danny Trevathan comes over from Denver, where he won a Super Bowl. Davos goes to The Wall after helping Stannis conquer much of the North. They’re both somewhere familar, Trevathan reunited with his former head coach and Davos in a place that housed him for a short while. Both will be quality additions for whom they are aligned with, both on gameday and in battle.
Robbie Gould / Ser Jorah
Robbie Gould is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and Ser Jorah is a decorated knight. Both lost some favor with their fan bases, Gould after missing big field goals and Jorah keeping secrets from Daenerys. They’re both fighting back to regain favor and trying to remind everyone of their accomplishments. Jorah also has a HUGE crush on Daenerys…I personally don’t know much about Robbie’s love life, but I do know the female demographic of Bears fans love him.
Kyle Fuller / Melisandre
These two are being tasked with resurrecting the dead, in their own ways. I, like many, am very confident it will take Melisandre’s “Red Woman” voodoo to bring Jon back to life. I also believe it’s going to take Kyle Fuller showing his shutdown defensive back potential to bring the Bears defense back to life as well. In his first two seasons, Fuller has shown flashes of greatness. But like Melisandre, he’s also gotten everyone killed…in coverage.
Eddie Royal / Petyr Baelish
Eddie Royal is a survivor in the NFL. Not the biggest or the most talented, but he has gets the job done and always has a home. Petyr Baelish is similar in the way that he’s adaptable. I don’t think Royal is necessarily scheming in order to watch the world burn, but he’s savvy and cunning like “Little Finger” that keeps him useful on most teams. He’ll have something to prove this season to remain so with the Bears, like Baelish will for Sansa Stark when they meet again.
Ryan Pace / Varys
GM Ryan Pace is orchestrating this new era of Chicago Bears football and I believe Varys is subtly doing the same in Meereen. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Ser Jorah found Tyrion and brought him to Daenerys Targaryen. Varys has wanted that alliance to happen for a while and feels he’s on the winning team now, just like Pace after a seemingly successful Free Agent period.
Jerrell Freeman / Bronn
Jerrell Freeman comes from the Indianapolis Colts as one of the league’s most consistent inside linebackers who is ready to make some noise with a new team. Bronn has done the same, joining Tyrion as a mercenary but eventually teaming up with Jaime on a rescue mission of his daughter. Both suffered injuries and are looking to bounce back and provide sold enforcement for their new teams.
Lamarr Houston / Theon Greyjoy
Both Lamarr Houston and Theon Greyjoy took heavy blows to their hubris and were looking for redemption. After signing a big contract with the Bears, Houston injured himself for the season doing a sack dance. Theon was also hurt badly below the belt after getting too cocky (pun seriously intended). Houston was productive providing big sacks down the stretch and Theon FINALLY saved Sansa. Will things get better for these two or will their arcs go another direction?
Matt Slauson / Brienne of Tarth
Slauson? Badass warrior. Brienne? Also a badass warrior. Both are tasked with protecting those who they promised to; Brienne has the Stark girls and Slauson has Jay Cutler. Both have also faced adversity to where they are now as Slauson grew up with a stutter and Brienne grew up a woman in seemingly a “man’s” world.
Akiem Hicks / Tormund Giantsbane
Akiem Nicks was brought in to solidify the Bears’ front 7 against the likes of the Packers, Vikings and Lions. Tormund was brought in to do the same, uniting his Wildling people with other men to face off against the White Walkers…essentially the Packers, Vikings and Lions. In a Bears fan’s world, they are one in the same.
Bobby Massie / Giant “Wun Wun”
Bobby Massie is also new to the Bears and he is a big bad 6’6, 316 pound man who is set to play tackle next to Kyle Long. Wun-Wun is a big bad 15+ foot, one ton (at least) giant who was set to fight alongside Jon Snow. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. What we do know for sure is that they both have a hell of a mean streak and will be prepared to kick some ass.
Any other player/character comparisons you can think of? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! Game of Thrones Season 6 begins Sunday, April 24th