Monday, June 27, 2016

If Last Night's Game Of Thrones Were The 2016-17 Flyers

There are three things in this world that occupy the bulk of my free time and brain power. The first is the Flyers, the second is Game of Thrones, and I can't tell you what the third is because this website is rated E for Everyone.

Last night, the season six finale aired. It was, at least arguably, the best episode of the show to date and it might only be a slight overreaction to say it has established GoT as the best television show made to date.

And so, because I am a fan of ruining things to kill time at work, I'm going to give you the Flyers equivalent of each scene in last night's episode. Spoiler alert.

Loras Confesses To Homosexuality And Gets His Forehead Carved

It was a powerful scene. The once-confident Loras Tyrell, formerly known as The Knight Of The Flowers and an all-world jouster, was fully broken. His trademark flowing hair was shorn, and his cocky attitude seemed like it was from a character that Finn Jones played in another show ten years ago.

With no options left besides death, Loras committed himself to the Faith Militant and renounced all claims to Highgarden and his family's fortune. It all turned out to be irrelevant though, but more on that in the next section. The big story here was one of the cockiest, most flamboyant characters in the show's history turning into a complete shell of himself and accepting whatever fate was given to him.

Flyers parallel: RJ Umberger. Homosexuality and forehead carving aside, last year's Umberger was a totally different character than RJ's first stint in Philadelphia. He accepted the only option available to him (other than retirement/death) and spent the majority of the season in a place he didn't want to be (the press box/prison).

And then, the city exploded and the Flyers bought out Umberger, and everything that happened for the past two years/six seasons was wiped out.

Tommen Is Blocked From Attending The Trial, And Then He Kills Himself

Young King Tommen looks, longingly, from his chair out at the King's Landing skyline. We question if he even plans to attend the trials of Loras and Cersei at all. Perhaps he doesn't want to see his mother in a vulnerable state. Perhaps he can't bear to see his maybe-brainwashing-him wife. Perhaps he realizes that he's potential going to be outed as a product of incest.

And then, the choice of attending is taken away from him by The Mountain. Tommen is forced to watch his city explode, and included in the explosion are his wife, in-laws, cousin, and uncle. It's unclear if Tommen knows that his mother orchestrated everything or if he thinks she was also killed in the blast.

We don't get to find out much of what he was thinking because this happens:
Flyers parallel: I'm going to compare Vincent Lecavalier's contract to Joffrey, and then make the case that Jordan Weal is the person that came next after we got rid of that horrible contract/person (Joffrey is the horrible person by the way, because from a personality standpoints Vinny was always gracious).

We had high hopes that Weal/Tommen could be a good contributor, and then it turned out that they were both too small and largely useless. They lost out to people that were older and/or more powerful than they were, and the whole thing was rather disappointing.

Rather than throwing himself from the top floor of the Wells Fargo Center, though, I think Weal's fall next season will be down to the AHL.

Cersei Watches The City Burn, Drinks Wine, And Tortures The Woman Who Tormented Her

For the majority of the season and the seasons before it, Cersei was the victim. She was in prison, she was naked in the streets, and she was getting forced out of power by her own family. She was without her lover for most of this, and she was breaking down similar to Loras.

The difference, though, was her attitude. She was also going to hold on better than Loras because she's always been tougher than Loras. She maybe didn't mean to make her son kill himself (I say maybe there without sarcasm, because I genuinely don't know if she's just fine with it), but she saw the opportunity to seize power for herself and burn quite literally all of her enemies to the ground.

Except she saves one enemy for a special kind of spa treatment. The Shame Bell Nun, the Spoon Water Nun, the Big Ugly Nun. The person whom Cersei most closely relates to her time in prison and her walk through the streets of Kings Landing. The spa menu is waterboarding, probably a lot of Finger Yoga, and possibly rape by a semi-undead giant man?

Flyers parallel: Cersei handled breaking down better than Loras, and Mark Streit has handled his own breaking down better than Umberger. He maybe didn't mean to break his penis along the way, but he has a little left in the tank to exact his revenge on all of his haters this season.

I'd be on the lookout for Heartbreak Streit this season, and maybe be extra careful if you're an NHL player who's ever cheapshotted him or talked shit during a game.

Everyone Wants To Bang Jaime

First of all, women, Bronn is just as much of a catch as Jaime. Neither one of them is going to marry you, and they have equally cool stories to tell while you're all getting drunk at the feast. Chicks dig guys with blonde hair and unbroken noses (and a fuckton of money), so of course everyone wants to fuck the Kingslayer.

Until he tells two of the girls serving wine for the Freys how cool Bronn is, and then they take him to the champagne room.

There's no Flyers parallel here, I just wanted to rant about how shallow some women can be. Bronn is a great person and he deserved to be loved. He shouldn't have needed a referral from Jaime to get the backroom invitation.

Sam Goes To The Biggest Library Ever And Cums In His Pants

After a long journey south (which, thankfully, we didn't have to watch a lot of), Sam and Gilly arrived in Oldtown. Sam was granted entry into the largest library in the world, and he as awestruck as Arya when she saw the Hall Of Faces or Tyrion the first time he saw boobs.

He's a nerd, he'll largely stay in the background for a while, but his work will give us a TON of insight about the dragons and, more importantly, the white walkers.

Flyers parallel: Analytics. Nerds in the background who are lowkey really important? Bang. Maybe we need something better than Corsi, but more ways to measure hockey games will develop over time. You might hate Sam (you do), but he's an important piece of the puzzle.

Melisandra Admits To Burning Princess Shireen And Then Gets Banished

The was the most disappointing scene of the episode for me, because I thought there could have been more passion on both sides. Davos, for as much as he loved the princess, should have killed Melisandra himself after seeing what she did to the whole Baratheon family. The Red Woman, for her part, accepted her banishment without much of a fight.

Jon Snow, caught in the middle of his two most trusted advisers, ruled on a compromise that really is not going to benefit anyone. He loses the magic ace up his sleeve, he pisses off the lieutenant that's remaining with him, and he allows this psycho cult leader to find new people to brainwash and light on fire.

Flyers parallel: Scott Hartnell's contract. Yeah, there's an obvious benefit and I guess something had to be done. But we lost a major contributor with red hair and we didn't really gain anything except a little peace (in real life, for Jon, and on the salary cap, with Hartsy).

The New Squad Is Grandma Tyrell, The Sand Snakes, And Varys

There's obviously another squad on the way to join them, but more on that later. For now, we got back to Dorne to see Grandma Olenna OWNING the Sand girls and establishing her dominance over them. Like Cersei, her future evaporated the day her heirs died; she's just out for vengeance now.

I cannot wait for the "Grandma Kills Cersei" scene, and I'm glad the Sand Snakes are going to just be a small piece in a huge army. Let's spend as little time with those horrible accents as possible.

Flyers parallel: Laughton-Cousins-Read. The squad has someone that people on the other team really hate (Cousins/Sand Snakes), someone who has the potential to be a major factor down the road (Laughton/Varys), and someone who is old and wise (Read/Olenna).

And when we pair them up with the other help that's on the way for them, they look like they're primed to do big things. And maybe Grandma Tyrell will die and Matt Read will get traded or bought out.

Daenerys Dumps Daario

In the most heartbreaking scene of the night, our girl Dany The Dragon Queen made the tough (but politically savvy) decision to break up with her longtime boyfriend. They had been through so much together. The first time they met, Dany gave her classic "A week ago I had no army; a fortnight ago I had no dragons" speech. Now she has the full-grown dragons, the multi-layered army, and a thousand ships to sail them all across the sea.

And, because there's work to do once she gets across the sea, she can't bring a lover. She's going to have to marry for feudal alliance reasons, and she can't have the sexy guy from the guerrilla army hanging around threatening potential suitors.

It was devastating to watch Daario pour his heart out trying to convince her to bring him to Westeros, knowing that her mind was already made up and his words were largely useless.

Flyers parallel: If the Flyers don't re-sign Ryan White I will kill myself. He is our Daario Naharis and we need him to come along with us for the journeys and wars ahead of us.

I can feel myself starting to tear up just thinking about a world without Whitey. Ron, get this man locked up as soon as possible.

Daenerys Names Tyrion Hand Of The Queen

Of course, the person pulling the political strings behind the previous section was the most cunning dwarf politician not named Rand Paul, Tyrion Lannister. The Dany-Tyrion pairing is interesting on both sides. Dany has spent her whole life being used, and now she has a top political adviser who simply wants her to succeed. Tyrion has spent his whole life battling to try to prove that his height doesn't stop him from being good at what he does, and now he has an outlet for all of his knowledge and ability.

There is also seemingly no romantic or physical attraction between them, which is big because (1) Tyrion likes to fuck things and (2) they may or may not be siblings.

Flyers parallel: Our top defensive pairing, Michael Del Zotto and Radko Gudas. MDZ the hot dragon princess (or at least that's what I've heard from the Philly club scene) and Gudas is his complementary wingman.

Separate, they have obvious flaws. Together, they balance each other out.
Occasionally Dany wants to burn thousands of people alive for fun and Tyrion has to tell her not to do that. Sometimes Radko Gudas wants to blow up a teenager's skull at the blueline with two minutes left in a blowout game, and maybe Del Zotto can work on controlling Gudas just a little bit next year.

Fucking Arya, Man

I literally sat up and threw my hat across the room in disbelief when she ripped off the mask to reveal her face. I don't know if there were any signs that would have tipped off the viewers, but it came out of left field for me. I was expecting Jaime to kill Walder Frey, but Arya's Cartman-esque tactics were amazing.

On the heels of her last appearance, which was the most ridiculous sequence the show has aired to date, this was a very welcome return to the ruthless, talented Arya that we're all hoping for in the future.

Flyers parallel: Ron Hextall at the 2016 NHL Draft. We've all been aboard the Hexy train for a couple of years now, and it's largely been him building up to greatness just like Arya. We've seen different tactics and a variety of moves made, all with one goal in mind: revenge/the Stanley Cup.

But then there was that absurd stabbing/chase/rehabilitation thing with Arya, and then Ron Hextall passed on Kiefer Bellows and Julian Gauthier and opted to trade the 18th pick to New York Islanders. My faith was shaken in both instances. I thought Game of Thrones was going to start getting away from physical reality or making the show's main characters actually invincible. I thought Hextall was showing shades of Sam Hinkie by rolling draft picks into more draft picks.

And then the Flyers landed centers German Rubtsov and Pascal Laberge and goalie Carter Hart (links are to Broadstreethockey's summaries of each player). The team targeted high-IQ players with a defensive focus, which will complement the incoming offensive-minded blueline prospects. They also added the WHL goalie of the year (who also happened to be the best goalie available in the draft).

And then Arya ripped her face off and slit a man's throat after she fed him a pie made out of his own sons.

All is right in the world.

Sansa Curves Littlefinger... Again

Christ man, Littlefinger is a creep. Credit to Aidan Gillen as an actor because he just keeps upping his creepiness level around Sansa. Being friendzoned is awkward, and the best way to avoid the awkwardness is just put hundreds of miles between yourself and the girl who's not interested in you like that.

But when that girl is the daughter of another girl who friendzoned you, and then you sold that girl to a sadistic rapist, and then you connived your way into an army (killing that girl's aunt in the process) and used that army to try to get the girl to makeout with you?

I mean just fuckin' give up dude! Thanks for re-establishing the Starks at Winterfell but this girl doesn't want the responsibility that you're trying to give her, and she probably also realizes that you're a fucking asshole who's trying to get your own ass on the Iron Throne.

Flyers parallel: Stop trying to make Andrew MacDonald happen. He makes a ton of money, yes. He also actively makes everyone around him worse (except for the guys on the other team, who he makes better). It sucks to have $4 million in dead cap money for a defenseman in the minors, but we can't keep throwing him out against NHL competition and giving up possession, entries, and scoring chances.

Sansa needs to kill Littlefinger and Hextall needs to bury A-Mac with the Phantoms. They welcome his leadership, it benefits the younger guys in the system, and he's a capable minutes-eating defenseman in the minor leagues. But Baelish and MacDonald both need to stay away from the big leagues, at least as far as my teams (Flyers and Starks) are concerned.

R + L = J

I nerded the fuck out when Bran attached himself to the Weirwood tree. I was nervous that they weren't going to show us the end of the Tower scene, and if I had to wait ten months to get confirmation then I probably would have ended up in an insane asylum.

I especially liked three things about the scene.

First, Young Ned looked around before he walked up the stairs again, and this time Bran did not yell. So let's all calm down with the "Bran can control the past" theories because they're absurd and they're not going to happen. That was white walker magic and a special Bran/Hodor connection because they were both sitting in the tree.

Second, Lyanna was cast well. She was Stark through and through, and she would have been as attractive as advertised if she weren't bleeding to death.

Third, they didn't just come right out and say "I am Lyanna Stark and this is my son who is the offspring of Rheagar Targaryen." That would have been lame. The just-out-of-earshot whisper followed by "Robert will kill him if he finds out" is enough of a confirmation for the diehard fans that genuinely needed it.

It was cleverly done and deftly shot, and it transitioned perfectly to the King In The North scene. I think it's a little absurd that they keep hammering the 9-year old girl down our throats (like really, are a bunch of grizzled war veterans going to really respect the word of a girl who weighs as much as one of their legs?) but if you weren't jacked up after that scene you were probably either dead or asleep.

Flyers parallel: Prov + Rov = (100 Emoji). We all kind of know he's the real deal and it would be a SHOCK if he turned out to not be. It was just a matter of time until we found out about Jon's dragon blood, and it's only a matter of time now until Provy becomes one of the best defensemen to ever come through the Flyers organization.

Cersei Is The Queen, For Now

In the earlier section, I said Cersei was Mark Streit because those two dealt with aging/being in prison better than their counterparts. The penultimate scene of the episode was Cersei being crowned Queen once again, only now she has no family and the only thing she has to live for is her own intrinsic desires.

She's going to do a lot of burning and killing her enemies, I imagine, and she's certainly going to be the type of rule who is feared instead of loved.

Flyers parallel: Once again, Streit will be "crowned" an alternate captain this season. It's a familiar role for him and Cersei both, and it's also one that will likely be short-lived.

Cersei has a whole gaggle of enemies who want to murder her and take her crown, and Streit's contract is up after this year. I'd bet he retires from professional hockey - or at least North American professional hockey - and his 'A' will likely go to either Jake Voracek, Michael Raffl, or Michael Del Zotto.

Team Dany Is Headed For Westeros

Some of the most iconic scenes in the Game of Thrones catalog are the birds-eye view "heading out for battle" shots. Dany marching out of Astapor with her dothraki army and her dragons comes to mind as one of my favorites.

Last night, the season ended with something we've been waiting on for a very long time. Daenerys Stormborn, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, has her army on a course for Westeros. We've seen what the various pieces of her army can do, we know the world they're sailing to is vulnerable to a large-scale outside attack, and we can't possibly wait until fucking April to watch it happen.

Flyers parallel: A much-awaited army on the way to restore a dynasty from a few generations ago? That sounds like a naval unit of ships full of Provorov, Sanheim, Morin, Hagg, Konecny, Rubtsov, Leier, Laughton, Cousins, and Gostisbehere.

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