Round 8 – Geelong v Carlton: Winter is Coming


The AFL Community as Westeros
The AFL Commission as The Iron Bank of Braavos
Carlton members and supporters as The Wildlings
Michael Malthouse as Lord Commander Jon Snow
Steven Trigg as Queen Regent Cersei Lannister
The Geelong team as House Baratheon
The Carlton team as The White Walkers
Joel Selwood as Bronn
Jordan Murdoch as Daenerys Targaryen or ‘Khaleesi’
Tom Hawkins as The Mountain
Josh Caddy as Tyrion Lannister
Bryce Gibbs as Jaime Lannister
Mark Murphy as Sansa Stark
Kade Simpson as Brienne of Tarth
Matthew Watson as Hodor
Chris Judd as Eddard Stark
Troy Menzel as Darrio Naharis
Melbourne Victory’s flares as Drogon the dragon
AFL journalists as The Lord of Whispers, Lord Varys
Simon White as Ramsay Bolton
Daisy Thomas as Samwell Tarly
Michael Jamison, Lachie Henderson and Andrew Walker as members of the Unsullied
Matthew Kreuzer as Khal Drogo
Stephen Silvagni as High Sparrow
Mark Lo Giudice as Ygritte
John Elliott as The Mad King

Act 1 – Planning for the Game

The sun finally sets on a grey day against the ice-cold Etihad Wall, and shortly afterwards the Lord Commander summons his depleted army and says: “As the Seven Gods and all of Westeros are my witness, winter is coming. Dark days await us, with a winter that will last many seasons”.

His dejected troops can only shake their heads in submissive approval knowing that this year may be their very last.

Meanwhile, at King’s Landing, Cersei is spruiking veiled threats to the Lord Varys inferring that Lord Snow’s time at the helm may be over. Varys listens and responds softly: “Time will tell – he is the master of survival” and then departs to listen to the Lord Commander’s battle plan.

“If you must fight, tackle loosely. Let their men run free, except that Bronn. We must run wide and switch play – by going backwards – constantly. Remember our motto is “retreat in all instances”. Ramsay, ensure if you have the ball, kick it without looking, for it will make no difference. Those of you with man buns – Darrio and Jaime – only think of yourselves and Jaime if you err badly, blame it on your lower back. All of you, at no stage shall we be permitted to roam the corridor. To use the corridor requires skills we do not possess. We may be missing Hodor, our most abled game plan practitioner, but these once all powerful Baratheons are not what they were”.

Act 2 – The Battle ends almost as it starts

Sadly, the Lord Commander’s speech fails to motivate his forces and within minutes, the Baratheon’s have 6 majors (much credit goes to The Mountain’s prodigious behind which according to priestess Melisandre cannot be stopped by anyone but the God of Light) to a solitary one by Darrio Naharis. The Wildling’s wonder whether things would be helped if Khal Drogo and the Unsullied were available but alas this is not battle talk.

Familiar patterns emerge and by the second stanza the clash is well and truly lost. Nonetheless, it is encouraging that the game plan is adhered to with such precision, with Ramsay’s disposal execution exemplary. Only Brienne and Sansa appear to be trying and sadly Ned Stark’s valiant attempts are not what they once were. Tarly doesn’t look match fit and while he clearly reads [the play] well, in battle his efforts are somewhat superficial and hampered at the ankles on this hard turf.

The Baratheon’s have winners on nearly every front, with the heir-apparent Khaleesi and oddly Tyrion Lannister, partnering well to dominate the White Walkers. The surrender flags are up before Drogon can incinerate them.

Act 3 – The inevitable end of the reign of terror

With the battle over and the war likely to be lost, the Wildlings go their own way and all of Westeros is unsurprised. The Wildlings’ thinking is much like what it was when the Mad King ruled late in his tenure – we need to start from scratch rather than ask the Iron Bank for quick fixes.

Where will the new troops come from? Who can save us? Eternal hope is focused on the High Sparrow who appears to be groomed to be Cersei’s secret sellsword. Time will only tell.

And as for the Lord Commander, it is understood in a tense moment post battle, when asked about his future with the White Walkers and Wildings, while gently embracing him, Ygritte whispers: “You know nothing Jon Snow”.


GEELONG 6.1 11.5 18.6 22.8 (140)
CARLTON 2.4 5.7 8.8 9.9 (63)

Geelong: Murdoch 4, Caddy 3, Clark 3, Selwood 2, Kersten 2, Hawkins, Guthrie, Johnson, Gregson, Lang, Kelly, Lonergan, Stanley
Carlton: Menzel 4, Thomas 2, Yarran, Tutt, Armfield

Geelong: Murdoch, Caddy, Blicavs, Stokes
Carlton: Simpson, Curnow

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stevic, Mollison

Crowd: 32,032 at Etihad

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