Illustration via Max Fleishman (Licensed)
The game part of Game of Thrones is about to get an even bigger dose of fantasy this season.
Last season, The Verge decided to launch a Game of Thrones fantasy league among some of its writers, and this year the league is getting even bigger. Teaming up with fantasy site Fantasizr, the Verge is making it possible for anyone to start a Game of Thrones fantasy league for season 6.
It’s brilliant, really. We’re in a landscape where everything from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to the Kardashian-Jenner media empire can be turned into a fantasy sport, and Game of Thrones is a perfect show to do that. Like your typical fantasy football league, you tally up points based on the actions and plays made by the people on your team. But instead of tallying up touchdowns, field goals, sacks, fumbles, and interceptions, it’s all about power: what characters can kill other characters, who can play the political game, which characters are making love (and war), and how characters transform.
Whether you use the Verge’s league or decide to create your own point system among friends and family like Nerdist did a couple years ago, the most important part of any fantasy league is the draft. In the Fantasizr league, you can choose from dozens of characters and a list of “special teams,” which are made of different armies, groups, religions, and creatures.
As a Game of Thrones beat writer and the first winner of the Daily Dot fantasy football league, I’m here to guide you through that draft. And to make it more fair for show viewers, we’ll be sticking strictly to the show canon—a point that’s even easier as Game of Thrones goes off-book this season. Some of your top player choices may be obvious, but what happens once they're picked?
“You’re in the great game now, and the great game is terrifying,” Tyrion Lannister warned in one of the new Game of Thrones trailers, which is the perfect sendoff for those trying to game the game. Start preparing to pray to the old gods and the new.
These are the players who have consistently stepped up their game and taken control. They are proficient in many of the scoring categories.
Cons: Starts off as a Dothraki prisoner; is led to Vaes Dothrak where the dosh khaleen (widows of former khals) live; the Sons of the Harpy probably want her dead; she commands that people die, but her followers and dragons do the killing.
Cons: He may still be a drunken wreck over Shae; King’s Landing probably still wants his head; Varys may end up screwing him over.Stannis Baratheon’s righthand man; larger focus in footage and press; appears to negotiate with the Mormonts and joined Sansa’s cause in the trailer; not great at killing but does it anyway.
Cons: Going against the Boltons; a fan favorite, so ripe for an emotional death; the characters he was closest to, Stannis and Shireen, are dead.Motivated for revenge; politically savvy; has many allies; she understands the ties between sex and power.
Cons: Had a fall from grace; unpopular both in King's Landing and among fans; guilty of many of the crimes against her; has others kill for her.
Cons: Has a crisis of faith; her chosen king Stannis is dead, her death count is only indirect.seen releasing flames towards Tyrion in latest trailer; giant, adorable, flying killing machines.
Cons: Rhaegal and Viserion are still locked up (and pissed); Drogon was last seen exhausted and injured; they're not fully grown.
Risks that might pay off bigThese characters might bring in big numbers for some episodes but may come up short in others.
He’s totally not staying dead; he's good with a sword; he's been able to inspire loyalty among some men. Hardhome on their side.
Cons: They've historically only shown up about one episode a season; can be killed by dragonglass and Valyrian steel swords.
Cons: Can’t really fight for shit ever since losing his right hand; Cersei is his weakness; he lacks political savvy.Faceless Men; a skilled assassin in her own right.
Cons: Has to get used to being blind; a bad liar; still holds onto her own identity; the Faceless Men aren't happy with her.
Sansa StarkPros: Can rally the entire North to her side as a Stark; politically savvy as Littlefinger’s protege; hellbent on revenge on the Boltons.
Cons: She's unlikely to do any direct killing; might be taken advantage of by new allies.
Could go either wayThey're important players for sure, but they might not always bring you the points you want.
Cons: Just came off a somewhat aimless season; has to clean up after Podrick Payne’s messes.
GhostPros: His master was killed and wants revenge.
Cons: Swords can sometimes be swifter than direwolves; may not appear after the first episode for budgetary reasons.
Samwell TarlyPros: Had the political smarts to get Jon elected to Lord Commander; heading towards the educational center of Westeros.
Cons: Can’t really fight or defend himself; not a big player in the political game.
Will they even appear? Who knows!Pounce That Was Promised.
Cons: Hasn’t been seen since season 4—and there’s no known plans to bring him back.