Game of Game of Thrones. Episode 1.

Return to the Battlefield: A ‘Game of Thrones’ Fantasy League Rematch

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Way back when season Six of Game of Thrones first aired, our group of dedicated Game of Thrones watchers decided to play Fantasizr’s Fantasy League using Game of Thrones characters as team players. We had a lot of fun with this “Game of Game of Thrones,” and the whole experience made the show that much more engaging for us. I wrote about the results of each game as the season unfolded here on GeekDad.

Alas, we were unable to play in Fantasizr’s Game of Thrones season seven fantasy league because the show aired right when our family spent a month driving a Jucy Trailblazer around the U.S. in the Summer of 2017. But this year, we four team managers have returned to Westeros with four new teams, and last Sunday the ultimate battle for the Iron Throne kicked off.

Game of Game of Thrones. Episode 1.

The Season Eight Draft

We drafted our teams on Sunday, right before we watched “Winterfell,” the premiere episode of season eight. After randomly selecting our draft order, I ended up in the fourth position. By the time it was my turn, Jon Snow, The Night King, and Daenerys had been picked. But I was able to draft Arya Stark and Cersei Lannister—both powerful choices. And that got me thinking I was going to try to go for a women-only team this time around.

This decision, of course, prevented me from drafting some of the heavy hitters like Tyrion Lannister, The Hound, and all three of the dragons. My plan was stymied when Brienne of Tarth was taken in the second round before I could recruit her, but I did manage to select Sansa Stark and Yara Greyjoy. I also picked up Lyanna Mormont, and I’m hoping her unique charm will translate to high scores. I missed out on Daenerys’s advisor Missandei (I waited one round too long) and Gilly (who, frankly, I completely overlooked). In the end, I managed to draft an almost all-female team. The only gender exception I have is Varys, who I opted for in hopes of nabbing big points that come with his often witty remarks.

Season Eight Kickoff: The First Game

Fair Warning. If you haven’t yet watched “Winterfell,” the first episode of this season’s Game of Thrones, don’t read any further! Seriously! Ahead there are certainly spoilers.

Game of Game of Thrones. Episode 1. Spoilers.

This week’s big winner was the Nightshade Ninjas with 65 points. The manager of the Ninjas took the whole crown in season six, and she’s off to a good start again this season. Her big winner was the audacious Euron Greyjoy with 35 points for, well, his audacity. (His tryst with Cersei didn’t hurt, either.) The Ninjas only had two other scorers this game: Qyburn, who brought in 10 points for interrupting Bronn’s dalliance, and Daenerys, who raised 20 points for dragon-riding.

My own Harrenhal Halberdiers (the only team name returning from the previous season) claimed second place thanks to Queen Cersei’s 35 points, achieved primarily for the activities she pursued with Euron, but also for her quick wits and for drinking a lot of wine. I also received 20 points from Sansa Stark, awarded for her one-liners, her defiance of her new queen, and generally knocking Jon Snow down a few pegs. My hopes in Varys saying something points-worthy were dashed, so I’m not sure if he’ll even be sticking around for the rest of the season.

Our third place team was No Ygrittes with 50 points. The manager of No Ygrittes had the good fortune to be the first to draft. Of course, she chose Jon Snow who netted 25 points this week, all dragon-related. Theon Greyjoy scored an improbable 20 points with some boat-related violence, and—lest we forget the sharpest of the sharp tongues in Westeros—Tyrion Lannister landed 5 points for his witticisms.

In last place this week is the Night Kings, who managed to score a mere 30 points—most of those from Bronn, everyone’s favorite mercenary, who was enjoying his time with the ladies to the tune of 25 points. Additionally, Tormund Giantsbane brought in 5 points for a witty remark, perhaps pertaining to eyes. Although the Night Kings scored low this week, we can’t count them out yet—they have a good number of power players just waiting to take the field.

However, everyone missed out on this week’s top scorer—the undrafted Ser Beric Dondarian, one of my favorite secondary characters from the novels (and one I surely would have drafted if he fit my team’s concept). He was named this episode’s MVP with a whopping 75 points for his timely and merciful dispatching of young Lord Ned Umber with his flaming sword. The equally un-drafted (and now un-draftable) Ned Umber earned a solid 25 points for this memorable death.

Will anyone be picking up high-scoring free agent Beric Dondarian for game two? I know I won’t, even if I’d like to—I have a concept to stick with. We’ll see when next week’s Game of Game of Thrones airs. Right now, it’s anyone’s game.

If you want to get in on the fun of being part of a Game of Game of Thrones League, head over to Fantasizr before the second episode airs on Sunday. In the meantime, check out Julia Alexander’s episode recap with full points breakdowns over at The Verge.

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