The “Game of Thrones” series finale is Sunday night — and the world will be watching, including a host of major leaguers.
With the battle for Westeros coming to a conclusion after eight seasons, we asked a few ballplayers-slash-superfans to weigh in on HBO’s hit show with their predictions, favorite characters and more.
Who will end up on the Iron Throne?
Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals: No one. They’re gonna smash it and give it back to the people of Westeros. Sansa will smash it. It’s gonna be like individual states. Dorne, Winterfell and the North, the Iron Islands — there’s no more central government.
Tony Sipp, Nationals: I’d say Jon Snow. As much as he doesn’t want it, destiny is destiny. Everyone wants him to be it. He’s the people’s choice. I believe in fate.
Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: Sansa Stark.
Hunter Pence, Texas Rangers: Not Daenerys. I mean, slaying innocents? You can’t really vouch for that. So it’s probably going to be Jon Snow. Arya hasn’t killed green eyes yet. She’s on the white horse, which is symbolic of purity and death. So I think the assassin’s going to make the final assassination. It’s been foreshadowed for a while now.
Shawn Kelley, Rangers: Tyrion Lannister.
Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers: I think now the Starks are going to basically team up against Khaleesi. She’s the mother of dragons, she’s kind of losing her mind. So I think the Starks will team up on her, she’ll fight back, which will end up, I think, killing Jon, which will then kill Khaleesi, which leaves Sansa on the Iron Throne.
Michael Conforto, New York Mets: I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that they need to round out. Right now, it seems like Jon’s gonna be on there. But he’s going to have fight Daenerys for it, so I don’t know. I guess I’d have to say Jon. That’s my gut feeling. The original author of the book(s) [George R.R. Martin] would have ended things different. It just seems so Hollywood that Jon’s gonna end up being the guy on the throne.
Noah Syndergaard, Mets/Lannister soldier in Season 7: I have no clue. I haven’t really had any speculation at all. I don’t really care because it’s not up to me.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Doolittle: The Arya story arc has been my favorite. In the first season, she was the daughter of royalty and she lived in a castle and she was getting sword-fighting lessons from Syrio — then her whole journey. Now she’s coming back and she’s been a badass in the last couple of seasons. She was keeping the list. She was out on her own for so long. I’m done with predictions because I’m like oh-fer, but I just want Sansa and Arya to be happy.
Sipp: That’s tough. I’d like to say Jon Snow, because of his integrity. He was the underdog and rose up the ranks and ended up being royalty without knowing it.
Bryant: Tyrion. I feel like he’s done the best job from the first season to the last morphing into who he needed to be, all while being limited. No one gives him any respect and he’s worked his way up. He’s got to be one of my favorites. Also, Daenerys and Jon.
Schwarber: Arya Stark. She’s a BA. Badass.
Pence: Arya has been my favorite character from the get-go. I’ve been saying that for a long time. I’ve always liked the whole monk, Zen, when she did the Faceless Men thing. But even as a kid she was always stealth. No cares. Not conforming to what’s expected of her. I can relate to that a lot. Everyone tells me I’m awkward and weird and can’t do this and that.
Kelley: Jon/Aegon. He’s the only character that cares about others more than himself.
Gausman: Arya Stark because she’s been through so much but always knew what she wanted to be. And she’s had that kill list forever.
“Arya has been my favorite character from the get-go. … No cares. Not conforming to what’s expected of her. I can relate to that a lot. Everyone tells me I’m awkward and weird and can’t do this and that.”
Stripling: My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister. I think he’s the smartest character. He’s not a fighter, so they had to build his character as best they could, and they did a good job of it, making him a really sophisticated character that you build some equity into just because you like him, you like his story.
Conforto: Probably Arya. She’s always been extremely defiant. Always had a chip on her shoulder, always had that list of names of people that she was determined to go get. She went through a lot to get back to where she is and now she’s this badass warrior type. She’s just been my favorite character to follow throughout the show. Her journey back with all the Starks — it’s just been cool. The whole Gendry thing was weird for me. Because you almost look at her as a little sister, like the rest of the family does. You watch the show from when she’s so young. I don’t know — that was bizarre to me. It was a little cringy.
Syndergaard: Daario Naharis was pretty cool. He was just a badass. Cool character. I don’t like how they switched actors. I like the first one better. I thought he was more badass.
Which major leaguer reminds you most of a “Game of Thrones” character (or vice versa)?
Doolittle: We did “Game of Thrones” dress-up in 2017. I was Tormund. But [Dodgers slugger] Justin Turner‘s beard is more red and his hair is longer, so he profiles better as Tormund. We had a draft for the character that you were going to dress up as. A couple guys passed on Tormund because they thought it should be mine, so I was super stoked to get him. Had a lot of fun with it.
Sipp: The Dodgers guy with the red beard — Turner. I got that from him right away. When we were out in L.A., they played the “Game of Thrones” music when he was coming to the plate. It could’ve been just a coincidence, but when they played that song, I immediately thought of Tormund.
“Noah Syndergaard’s long, blond hair reminds me of Khaleesi.”
Pence: Jayson Werth, even though he’s not playing anymore. He’s a wildling. He’s huge and hairy and smashes baseballs and dives and spits and grunts.
Kelley: Sean Doolittle as Tormund. And Trea Turner as Joffrey.
Stripling: Noah Syndergaard’s long, blond hair reminds me of Khaleesi.
Conforto: The easy one is Noah [Syndergaard]. I mean, he was in the show and he was a Lannister soldier. He’s just got that Lannister look.
Syndergaard: Probably none. I don’t like giving compliments to opposing players.
ESPN’s Eddie Matz, Jeff Passan, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez contributed to this story.
Read full story