We are nearly two weeks away from the Super Bowl. The Big Game. The Final Battle of the latest NFL season.
And while being a fan of the NFL can be trying (see this article from two years ago for more on the topic), this has been a good year to be a good Vikings fan. But rather than keep my Vikings fandom to myself, I would like to take this moment to try to convince all my fellow Game of Thrones fans that they should be Minnesota Vikings fans as well.
Let’s consider a few reasons:
They are the Kings of the North.
This isn’t just something I say, although it is something I do say. During the latest season–upon clinching the NFC North title–shirts began circulating declaring the Vikings to be the “kings of the north.”
And it’s not just that they’re kings of the North. Defending the North has become a war cry among Vikings fans, just as the North has become a way to describe Minnesota itself.
So considering that the Starks are the some of the prominent heroes of Game of Thrones and their land is the North, this is immediately a reason a Game of Thrones fan might choose to call the Vikings their team.
The latest game against the Saints proved that The North Remembers.
In 2009, defeat collapsed upon the Vikings when Brett Favre threw a game-ending interception to end it all. The defeat was on a monumental scale. So monumental that the only things one can really accurately compare it to are a) Ned Stark getting his head chopped off or b) the Red Wedding.
This ’09 playoffs defeat against the Vikings was presided over by the villainous Sean Payton. A grinning and cruel leprechaun of a man, famous of his unethical bounties and childish japes. In short, Sean Payton is to the Vikings as Walder Frey was to the Starks.
Seeing Payton lose to the Vikings last Sunday was the karmic equivalent of Walder Frey being murdered by Arya Stark, years after the offending act. The North’s revenge, because The North Remembers.
Their promotional materials and get-hyped videos have some real GOT vibes
Consider this monologue from one of their videos:
“This is the North. The land of the ice and snow. Home to the warrior. His will protects this land. It flows through us all. It beats in our hearts, making us stronger, more relentless. Transforming everything it touches. The battle will be waged. We will defend the North.”
So they aren’t just the Starks. They’re also the Night’s Watch. The swords in the darkness. The watchers on the walls. The shields that guard the realms of men.
Even the Mountain has a cameo appearance at Vikings games.
Sure, he’s a Lannister stooge, but this is pretty cool:
No joke. The Vikings visited Iceland, met the Mountain, got a new cheer, and then brought the Mountain back to Minnesota to get everyone fired up.
This is real:
The very nature of the NFL has a GOT-esque quality
Westeros had the War of the Five Kings. The NFL gives us the War of the Four Quarterbacks, three of whom are wildly unlikely.
This tweet summed things up nicely recently:
Teddy Bridgewater gets hurt, which prompts Vikings to acquire Sam Bradford, which allows Eagles to start Carson Wentz, who gets hurt and whose replacement, Nick Foles, will play for NFC title next week, possibly vs Case Keenum, who’s starting because Bradford got hurt. Got it.
— Ben Shpigel (@benshpigel) January 14, 2018
The constant dethroning, the rises and falls of power, the crushed rebellions and surprising victories and cruel tyrants. Blake Bortles and Nick Foles and Case Keenum are like the contenders in the aftermath of the War of the Five Kings, unlikely heroes thrust into positions of power while the fool on the Iron Throne backs the Patriots.
And it’s not just the power grabs and falling dynasties. It’s the sigils, the flags, the chants, the war cries and drums.
So hey, it looks like we’re all living in Westeros, whether we like it or not. And if you’re going to be in Westeros, might as well support the good guys: the Kings of the North.