Warning: this post contains spoilers from the Game of Thrones Season 3, episode 9, The Rains of Castamere, as well as details from the novel A Storm of Swords that it is based on.
There’s so much on my mind this week that I could probably divide into three or four mediocre posts, but there are enough parallels to combine them into one. As the NBA and NHL playoffs continue, Game of Thrones had a moment book readers have been waiting for years to see.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are the LeBron James and Dwayne Wade of hockey. Two whining stars as John Tortorella aptly put it. While incredibly talented, Crosby and Malkin really make it difficult for us to like them. They’re arrogant, they get hung up on the things they can’t control, and through two games, as soon as they meet a team that isn’t afraid of them, they melt like the winter snows in Dorne. ESPN is ready to put these guys in a discussion that have no business being in yet, which leads me to my next analogy…
Sidney Crosby will never be Wayne Gretzky for the same reason LeBron will never be Michael Jordan. Seriously! Enough with these stupid discussions. Does the NBA need every superstar to be the next Jordan? I don’t feel comfortable comparing Kobe to Jordan, let alone LeBron. The same goes for Crosby. Since the day the Penguins won the 2005 draft lottery, Crosby has been hyped as the next big thing. Gretzky captained the Oilers to four Stanley Cups before being traded to Los Angeles and making the game exponentially more popular in the NHL’s biggest non-traditional market. Gretzky’s wedding was nationally televised in Canada, getting as much hype as a British Royal wedding. Gretzky had so many assists, that he wouldn’t even need his goals to be counted to still be the NHL’s all time points leader. Even if Crosby wasn’t the arrogant whiner he is, his legacy would never be as important to hockey as The Great One’s.
The Bruins are the Walder Frey’s daughters of the NHL. At least according to Jarome Iginla. Look, I’m just as mad at what Lord Frey did to The Young Wolf as the rest of you, but I can see where he’s coming from.The Bruins had been on Iggy’s original list of teams he’d like to be traded to, but then Sidney Crosby gave him a call. Robb Stark swore to marry one of Lord Frey’s daughters to be able to cross the river without Lord Frey blabbing to Tywin Lannister (a steep price I’ll admit, especially considering Robb’s sister Arya would have to marry one of the hundreds of Frey offspring as well), but in the heat of battle, he developed feelings for Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter. He chose the prettier girl over the one who would really help him win the war. The Bruins are saying all the right things and being nothing but classy in the media, but they might as well start playing The Rains of Castamere in the Garden when the series goes back to Boston. Iginla, like the rest of his Pittsburgh teammates have done nothing through two games against the bitter but disciplined Bruins. Before all this Iginla, like the King in the North, was all about honor, class, and playing the game the right way. This is why he has to pay for it when he goes back on his word. We sympathize with Robb Stark because he’s fifteen and doesn’t know any better. Iginla is in his mid-30s and decided to go where he thought it would be easier to win the illusive Stanley Cup, the only accolade missing from his Hall of Fame resume, rather than the place where he could help more and where he could have a bigger impact. Peter Chiarelli sends his regards!
Claude Julien is the Bruce Bochy of the NHL. It’s not just because they both have large heads, I swear. Neither one is particularly excitable or charismatic. They approach ever game with the same level head, and they know when to push all the right buttons in big games. Before the fall of 2010, neither one had won a championship, but after Bochy’s Giants rolled over the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, their second in three years, Claude Julien’s Bruins are knocking at the door with another deep run, but you’d never know how successful they’ve become in recent years. They’re still the same guys they were before.
Roose Bolton is the Evil Abed of Westeros. I love the way they’ve protrayed the Lord of the Dreadfort on the show. He’s been played as one of those friends that everyone thinks is a little weird, but nobody really suspects the cruelty that lurks behind his cold eyes. Cold. Cold cold cold. That’s Roose Bolton. I loved the way they had him as Catelyn Stark’s date for her brother’s wedding and how he wanted to be the one who gave the scheme away to her. The look in his eves when she discovered the armor he wore to the wedding was priceless. Lord Bolton was Ned’s bannerman before he was Robb’s and Roose and Cat may very well have met at Cat’s wedding before the Northmen marched south to defeat The Mad King. Roose is detached from it all. He has his morbid quirks, leeches and his love for human flaying, to amuse him as he plays the game of thrones just to see what will happen. While Evil Abed wanted to return to the Lame Timeline to saw off Jeff’s arm, Roose has more than just chain mail up his sleeve going forward.