If you’re like me, you’re sick and tired of watching HBO’s Game of Thrones with all these “book readers,” smirking and nodding every time another character gets knocked off. Well, now that ol’ Balon Greyjoy has been tossed to his death, and the series has entered mostly uncharted territory, I think we’re all on even ground here. So it’s high time we kicked off a Game of Thrones survival-style fantasy league.
Our concept is simple, but feel free to expand and modify for your own GoT fantasy leagues. In this case, we’re banking on more characters getting killed off over the balance of season six (otherwise this won’t be too much fun). If history is any indication, however, that shouldn’t be a problem.
To honor The Seven, seven Idlers comprise the league, drawing from a player pool divided into seven groups. We started with a strictly defined number of available characters — 49 divided equally among House Stark, Team Targaryen, House Lannister, Old Gods and the New, The Wall, Friends Like These, and The Rebels. Draft strategy was going to be important. Since each team has to roster one character from each group, avoiding a guy like Ser Alliser meant you had to draft a different character from The Wall before you ran out of options.
We used draftlotto.com to randomly generate our draft order, but there are lots of ways to determine this, including some fun in-person draws that you can use to kick off your episode three viewing party on Sunday.
Scoring works thusly: starting with episode three of season six, each character earns one point per episode in which he or she appears. If a character dies at any point this season, all of those Appearance Points are voided. If the character was directly killed by another rostered character, then the killer assumes all of the Appearance Points that had been accrued by the victim up to that point and adds them to his or her Appearance Point total. Additionally, each time a character kills another rostered character, he or she earns an additional Kill Point. Kill Points stay with a character even if he or she dies over the course of the season, and cannot be stolen by another character.
The stakes: Each time a character on your team dies, you must immortalize his or her passing with body art. A quote, or artwork if you’re feeling ambitious. Level of permanence: Sharpie or better. Then, of course, share a pic with the world. Additionally, at the end of the season, the team with the highest point total takes home The Trophy. [We don’t know what that is yet, but rest assured we’ll argue about it over the next few months.]
Abominable Snow-Bran – hltchk
House Stark: Bran
Team Targaryen: Missandei
House Lannister: Tommen
The Wall: Jon Snow
The Old Gods and the New: Lancel Lannister
Friends Like These: Olenna Tyrell
Analyzing these groups was one of the most fun aspects of the draft. With the first pick, Jon Snow was the obvious choice (he can’t die AGAIN can he?), but also obvious for his group, as The Wall is a tough place to stick it out and I don’t imagine any of those characters lasting too long. And you know Mr. Snow is going to have a big kill or two. I was really surprised Bran and Yara dropped to me in the second round, so I quickly snatched both of them up with my back-to-back picks. I have no idea what to expect from Bran, but since he missed out on all of last season, I’m betting he appears in every episode this time around, with sweet new powers to boot. Yara, with her father killed by her uncle, is out for blood; hoping she racks up the kills soon. I felt like Tommen is a pretty safe pick. While being King doesn’t guarantee you safety as we’ve all learned, he is now surrounded by Jaime and Cersei, the latter of which has the Mountain at her beck and call. Tommen is Cersei’s last child left; she’s gonna give it all she’s got to keep him alive. He’s also excused from the whole mess the High Sparrows are investigating regarding Margaery and Loras. Olenna is probably not going to do much I imagine, and neither will Lancel. Missandei I’m a little worried about. While she does have the protection of Grey Worm, with Dany and Daario no longer around, I’m not sure how much longer she can last. I suppose it all depends on how quickly Tyrion and Varys can turn Meereen around.
Continue reading You Win or You Die: Game of Thrones Fantasy League