Two of the world's most successful entertainment franchises ended their seasons dramatically within the past two days:
Game of Thrones Sunday and the Chicago Blackhawks Monday. Both have dominated their competition this decade. Both have set incredibly high standards. Both have maxed out their budgets. Both feature a man pulling the strings with a lot of late nights ahead to keep things working next season. So, in celebration of these two beloved entities, why not mash 'em up? I present the 2014-15 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks – if they were Game of Thrones characters.
You didn't. I did. Sorry. Hashtag clickbait. Just enjoy it. No one gets hurt. It's good, clean fun. And yes,
here be spoilers. Watch out.
Bryan Bickell: Hodor. A tower of a man who succeeded in the past but ended up in the press box. Will the franchise use him more next season?
Scotty Bowman: Lord Varys. A master strategist. Maybe he doesn't have a hand in anything. Or maybe he's secretly in on everything. No one knows exactly what this brilliant bald man is up to.
Stan Bowman: Melisandre. Had a vision, made it come true and probably has to burn a significant chunk of the operation the ground to make things work going forward.
Corey Crawford: Brienne of Tarth. Some say a badass. Others say you could remove this person and nothing would really change. A polarizing member of the franchise.
Kyle Cumiskey: Jaqen H'ghar. The face changer guy. A man played in the playoffs. Or did he? Would we recognize him on the street? He is everyone. And no one.
Scott Darling: The Mountain. A big, bearded, resilient guy who came back from impossible odds to become a success story.
Andrew Desjardins: Ramsay Bolton. Changed teams. An undisciplined grinder but a guy you go to war with. Better he fights with you than against you.
Niklas Hjalmarsson: Drogon. The big fella blocks many enemy attacks, even when they hurt him. His management still has him under team control, but for how long?
Ser Davos Seaworth. Forever underrated. Everyone likes him. A gifted veteran performer who shines in a supporting role.
Patrick Kane: Daenerys Targaryen. The franchise's tiny superstar. So dominant and no one generates more razzle-dazzle effects on camera.
Duncan Keith: Cersei Lannister. Just keeps on keeping on. Takes a beating, logs significant minutes every season and always seems central to the franchise's fate. Also, was one of the first characters to make an impact. Keith was drafted in 2002, before any of the other key core members. Cersei got things started when her, er, indiscretions were discovered by Bran Stark.
(Thanks to those who pointed out it was Jamie Lannister, not Cersei, who threw Bran from the tower.)
Marcus Kruger: Grey Worm. Missing that all-important scoring asset but effective in a defensive role.
Joakim Nordstrom: Samwell Tarly. Relatively young kid. Hard to see him becoming a truly important player. Wouldn't really notice if he changed franchises.
Johnny Oduya: Littlefinger. Not as crucial as he was last season. Seems like he'll align with the highest bidder next season.
Brad Richards: Jaime Lannister. His body has betrayed him. He's not the dominant force he once was. But he's still plenty useful. And handsome.
Michal Rozsival: The Hound. Injured. Nowhere in sight by season's end. Probably finished? It still hasn't been confirmed, though.
Joel Quenneville: The Night's King, a.k.a. terrifying horned white walker leader guy. Those eyes. Those icy blue eyes. And every time you think his troops are done for, he raises his arms and revives them to resume conquering.
David Rundblad: Winter. Been talking about his potential for many years, but he hasn't truly arrived. Maybe he finally will next season.
Sansa Stark. Really broke out last season and expectations skyrocketed. Didn't disappoint but didn't meet expectations this season. Still plenty of time for this youngster to rise up.
Brent Seabrook: Podrick Payne. Doesn't get a ton of credit, but he plays a faithful second fiddle. Comes up big in the clutch from time to time.
Patrick Sharp: Tyrion Lannister. A crucial franchise contributor, underrated in his attacking skills. Rumored to have feuded with his own house, very likely to change banners by next season.
Bronn. He's grimy, slimy, almost villainous, and you don't want to go against him…but you can't help but like him. He has a certain charm.
Arya Stark. Still young, but already quite icy-veined and deadly. You get the sense this will be the face of the franchise someday. If only Arya made like Teuvo and wore a visor this season.
Kimmo Timonen: Stannis Baratheon. Had a good run and was crowned a king, though it's debatable how much he earned the honor. Retired, more or less.
Jonathan Toews: Jon Snow. Serious as hell. Heroic as hell. Stoic. And very much alive. I insist. Very. Much. Alive.
Trevor van Riemsdyk: King Tommen. He's nowhere near as prolific as his older brother yet, and comes with considerably less hype, but there's still time.
Antoine Vermette: Jorah Mormont. Appeared to be an excellent supporting player in a defensive role at first. Then he struggled and betrayed those who invested so much in him. Then he redeemed himself in the eleventh hour. That said, is still likely a goner from this franchise very soon. Unrestricted free agency, greyscale, potato, potahto.
Kris Versteeg: Daario Naharis. Franchise brought him back after a stellar debut, but this time around you'd swear he's
not the same guy.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin