With March nearing its end, we look ahead to all of the madness that will take place within Game of Thrones’ final season which starts April 14th. Who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end of the series and which NCAA teams does each Thrones character represent? That’s what Game of Thrones March Madness is here to decide, the bracket sees characters compete head to head with the winner being my pick to rule Westeros when the series comes to an end. Here’s a look at the Game of Thrones bracket heading into round 2. Let’s jump right into it.
Bran Stark (Gonzaga) vs. Tyrion Lannister (Michigan State)
I was not expecting all of these upsets that have happened this last weekend, and was on the wrong side of both Gonzaga and Michigan State’s games this weekend. Bran is the odds on favorite to rule Westeros and Tyrion doesn’t really have a viable path to the throne, so pencil in Bran over Tyrion and hope no big upset happens here.
The Night King (Duke) vs. Cersei Lannister (Purdue)
The white walkers, lead by the Night King, are an unstoppable force of pure evil. So is Duke. But Duke cutting down the nets in March wasn’t as inevitable as I had thought, they lost to Tom Izzo’s Spartans earlier today. Perhaps someone will be able to take down the White Walkers in Game of Thrones’ final season, but they’ll advance to the next round over Cersei here.
Jon Snow (Virginia) vs. Arya Stark (Houston)
Battle of the Starks in round 2 of this tournament. I think both of these characters will survive the final season of Thrones but Arya has no real desire, or path, to claiming the throne. Jon wins this round.
Daenerys Targaryen (North Carolina) vs. Sansa Stark (Kentucky)
Both of these teams were upset by 5th seed Auburn, North Carolina fell to Auburn in the Sweet 16 and Kentucky got knocked out in overtime in the Elite Eight. The Mother of Dragons beats the Lady of Winterfell in this round and the same will likely happen in the upcoming season of thrones. The trailers for the new season show Sansa welcoming Dany to Winterfell, Daenerys moves a step closer to claiming her throne.
The Final Four
Bran Stark (Gonzaga) vs. Night King (Duke)
There is a popular fan theory that Bran Stark and the Night King are the same person. It’s weird and involves Bran’s ability to warg into other people as well as his ability to see the past now that he’s the three eyed raven. This could be revealed as a final big twist in season 8, and might explain why Bran is the favorite to rule Westeros in most online sportsbooks offering Game of Thrones props. Neither Duke nor Gonzaga are in the Final Four, and it’ll feel like we’re missing out watching a National Championship without Zion, the same way it’ll feel weird if The Night King isn’t in the finals of this bracket. Game of Thrones’ biggest antagonist moves onto the final round.
Jon Snow (Virginia) vs. Daenerys Targaryen (North Carolina)
If the Night King is the antagonist of Game of Thrones Jon Snow and Daenerys are the protagonist of the whole series. The first book in George RR Martin’s series that Game of Thrones is based on is called Game of Thrones, but the series as a whole is referred to as “The Song of Ice and Fire.” Many believe that the title refers to Jon Snow being the Ice as Starks are associated with Winter and Daenerys being the Fire as Targaryens are associated with fire and dragons. However, as revealed last season, Jon Snow is actually half Stark and half Targaryen. He’s the Song of Ice and Fire. Jon moves onto the final round.
Jon Snow (Virginia) vs. The Night King (Duke)
Jon Snow was betrayed by his brothers of the Night’s Watch and killed at the end of season 6. Virginia, the number 1 overall seed, was killed by the scrappy 16 seeded UMBC. No one saw it coming. Virginia is back from the dead and playing in the Final Four. Jon is back from the dead to take on The Night King in the final round. Game of Thrones is a very dark show. It could very well be possible that the Night King wins, the dead wins, and The Night King sits on a cold Iron Throne having decimated all of Westeros. But I think George RR Martin is secretly an optimist. The world is cruel, but in the long-term good always comes out on top. The cruel kings are killed, the Red Wedding avenged, the living will defeat the dead. Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen) defeats the Night King and takes his rightful spot as the heir to the Iron Throne.
Jon Snow wins. Which means Virginia will also win the NCAA Tournament. I’ve even included a prediction of the score, the Cavaliers win 66-59. People complain about Tony Bennett’s defense oriented style of play, and there’s plenty of awful think pieces about how the NCAA is terrible and how Zion would’ve made for a much more entertaining national championship. Reading that last sentence makes this feel like such a pessimistic way to end this piece. But George RR Martin always said the ending of Game of Thrones would be bittersweet.