We love Game Of Thrones, but it's not without its flaws. So we ran a 100-percent accurate simulation to see how the story would have played out if the characters didn't spend half their time sleeping around, torturing each other, and talking about their feelings. The highly advanced technology we used was Nintendo's Advance Wars: Dual Strike, a 2005 video game about anime characters fighting with tanks.
No gratuitous boobs in this, but we're sure somebody on the internet has fixed that by now.
We created a map, let the game's artificial intelligence run amok, and watched as years of rambling storytelling were ruthlessly condensed into 38 minutes of all-out warfare. We also got drunk, watched porn, and grew beards, for maximum authenticity.
So here's Westeros, which most of you know better than your own country:
And here's our perfect 1:1 recreation:
Nintendo / Ed Stevens
*Play for full effect*
The Starks and their allies are red, the White Walkers are blue, and the Lannister-Tyrell alliance is green. Dorne and the Freys' Twins start off neutral, while Stannis is cut because being overlooked is his lot in life. The Iron Islands are represented on the side, but the Greyjoys aren't, because the only thing they've achieved in five seasons is one very uncomfortable fingering scene, and that can't be recreated on a Nintendo console until Bayonetta 3 is released.
Across the ocean is Essos, where Daenerys (yellow) has spent five years yelling about slaves while acting entirely with her impressive eyebrows. Here's her part of the world:
Nintendo / Ed Stevens
Mother of dragons, first of her name, breaker of chains, protector of pixels.
Now we need to create the Advanced Wars equivalent of 20,000 bearded men who want to kill each other. Game Of Thrones has more political factions than most real countries: Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Tyrells, Martells, the Night's Watch, white walkers, wildlings, the Targaryens, the dozens of interchangeable one-dimensional villains Daenerys has butchered, rogue actors like Littlefinger, that kid who's way too old to be breastfeeding, and on and on and on. But because most of them are ultimately irrelevant -- just like in real life -- so we're chopping this story down to the essentials. First up are the Starks, whose 18,000 men were mostly peasants with pointy objects. So assuming each unit represents 2,000 men, here's what Robb's forces look like:
"Nine's more than enough to invite to a wedding, right?"
The thing that looks like a duck with wheels represents his mounted units, while the soldiers carrying poster rolls / RPG launchers are his knights. And just to his north is a horde of white walkers, which we'll assume have overrun the wildlings. As for Team Lannister, they start with 20,000 well-trained and equipped soldiers, as well as a small navy ...
... while Daenerys has 8,000 Unsullied, 2,000 mercenaries, other miscellaneous soldiers, and three dragons represented by stealth bombers. See, our high-end simulation technology is flawless.
Right down to the dragons' baffling decision to not simply eat every fleshy human and rule the planet their damn selves.
Snow falls as the war begins, and the very first thing the Starks do is march 2,000 men north to Castle Black and kill 1,000 white walkers.
"You know murder, Jon Snow."
Fuck. Yes. The walkers were teased from the very first scene of the very first episode, only for 47 more hours to pass before Jon killed a single one. But there are no stories about incest and long shots of people walking endlessly through the wilderness here. The Starks get down to business, taking the walker threat seriously and acknowledging that having the realm's only line of defense against a terrifying supernatural horde be a collection of poorly-trained rapists isn't a great idea. While Jon immediately starts the war we've been waiting for since episode one, Robb marches the rest of his troops toward the Twins.
It's amazing the progress you can make in a war when you don't wait for all your soldiers to die first.
In the show, the Lannisters dealt with their enemies mostly via political machinations and cunning plots. But our Lannister AI said to hell with all that. They also march on the Twins, as well as sending Jaime and Bronn with 4,000 men to take Dorne by force ...
... and two assassins equipped with wildfire (represented by remote bombs) straight at the heart of Dany's forces.
Where, in keeping with the law of the land, they stop and wait while other people do shit.
Dany, meanwhile, sends one team to take Qarth while the rest of her troops march on Meereen, condensing four seasons of wandering and whining into one bold move.
Fire cannot kill a dragon, but boredom can.
So to recap, after a single day of combat, Jon is in charge of the Night's Watch and leading the battle against the walkers (which, on the show, happened in season five), Robb is at the Twins (season two), Dany's taking Qarth (season two) and Meereen (seasons three through five), while the Lannisters and Tyrells are actively engaging both of them with actual military tactics (season hasn't-happened-yet). But while our simulation is cutting the show's fat, it retains its flair for sudden and dramatic deaths. Sorry, Kit Harington groupies, but the light goes out of Jon's beautiful doe eyes on Day Two.
"For the article."
He exploded, and then his corpse vanished, so there's no convenient resurrection or Jesus metaphors for him. But he takes thousands of walkers with him, and it fulfills something Jon predicted in the show -- that the Night's Watch could survive one night of attacks, but not two. Things go better for the Starks south of the Wall, as Robb, free from the sexy distractions of Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, begins his conquest of the Twins.
Amazing what you can get done when you keep your Little Tramp all zipped up.
No sooner do the Starks lay claim than the Lannisters massacre 2,000 of them in a single gruesome day. In no dimension is holing up with Walder Frey a good move.
"The Lannisters send their fuck yous."
Meanwhile, their wildfire-armed assassins bring Dany's dragons to the brink of death, and they wipe out three-quarters of her Unsullied in the process -- a tactic that is shockingly more effective than one glass of bad wine and Jorah Mormont's fickle boner.
The Unsullied's nonexistent boners were simply no match.
Dany responds by merging her dragons into one three-headed terror with some horrible arcane magic and then, ugh, retreating to Meereen and Qarth to rebuild / sit around and grimace. So just like in the show, we get one awesome dragon moment, followed by a whole lot of nothing.
With pixels, it was too hard to tell if she shit herself this time.
On the third day of conflict, the Lannisters and the Starks start their epic battle ...
... while the white walkers seize Castle Black. We're three episodes into the Nintendo DS version of Game Of Thrones, and while there are no tits (a feature we are supplementing by browsing "Busty Asian Beauties" while the simulation runs), everything else is way more awesome.
Aside from Joffrey still running amok instead of choking on poison and vomit.
On the following day, Daenerys flies her hydra-dragon over Dorne, an important world event the Starks and Lannisters completely fail to take note of because they're too busy massacring each other.
Had the real Daenerys thought of this, George R. R. Martin could've moved on to not finishing a whole other series years ago.
Jaime and Bronn's troops capture Dorne by standing on it, which is slightly more realistic than the fights they got into there in the show:
"First take, nailed it. Cut!"
The Starks are forced to give up ground at the Twins to hold the Wall ...
... while Dany's King Ghidorah kills 200 of Jaime and Bronn's men.
You make Jaime fight without Brienne constantly saving his ass, and look what happens.
Despite all the awesome action happening elsewhere -- a three-headed dragon attacks a city held by two fan favorites -- the camera decides to focus on Meereen, where absolutely nothing occurs. Huh, it's weird that season five's storylines play out exactly the same in both versions. It's a great tactic, though -- Dany announces her intimidating presence to Westeros with an attack on the one stronghold that resisted her distant ancestors. That will get her more support than five years of sitting around and grumbling ever could.
Over the next few days, the Starks hold Castle Black but lose the Twins to the superior numbers and resources of the Lannisters, Dany expands her holdings in the East, and Jaime and Bronn flee Dany's dragon, which moves on to harassing Highgarden. The Starks are confined to the North, but there's a glimmer of hope -- the Lannisters land 4,000 men at the Wall, in an apparent sign that they're willing to put aside their differences and battle the Walker horde ...
... Kidding! The Lannisters immediately attack the Starks, right in front of the horde of ice monsters that want to kill them all and rule their corpses. Which is absolutely what a bitter, vengeful, and drunk Cersei would do. For her, it's better to see the world destroyed than to see her enemies succeed. And all their attack does is benefit the walkers, as there are now even fewer good men standing between them and civilization.
If you can't trust an incestuous, murdering wino, who can you trust?
With that incredibly destructive act, everyone in the Seven Kingdoms must be cheering for Daenerys' dragon to slay the short-sighted Lannisters and save Westeros. So it's a bit anti-climactic when the exhausted dragon runs out of energy, crashes, and dies. Maybe don't take your storytelling cues from this particular event, George.
The dragon is exactly how Martin feels after writing more than ten words a day.
Still, Daenerys soldiers on, taking most of Essos with good old-fashioned soldiers alone.
No Unsullied victory teabaggings, cause, you know ...
The Starks and the Watch successfully repel the Lannisters in the North, while in the South, Moat Cailin continues to hold out remarkably well (just like in the show). But their numbers are depleted, which means ...
... the white walkers are south of the wall for the first time in 8,000 years, and we're still in season one. The Lannisters are able to occupy Winterfell, the seat of their most hated enemy, but it's a Pyrrhic victory. The walkers soon push them out and seize the North, and with the new resources available to them, they start fielding tanks. We shall assume these tanks are undead. Thanks a lot, Cersei.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
Arya may have escaped and Sansa is probably being sexually assaulted somewhere, but otherwise, the Starks are dead. The last hurrah by the North is a screaming kamikaze attack on the walkers led by Ramsay Bolton -- an oddly heroic yet sufficiently crazy way for the show's most hated character to make his exit. The Lannisters and walkers begin fighting, while Dany builds boats, lands her vanguard, and finds the southern half of Westeros almost completely undefended.
Everyone was distracted while mourning the tragic death of the guy who castrated dudes and raped girls.
She immediately marches on King's Landing and defeats the remainder of Jaime and Bronn's weary soldiers.
Sisters and prostitutes everywhere are inconsolable.
Jaime dies in the city he saved, at the hands of the daughter of the madman he saved it from. It's a dramatically satisfying conclusion to his character, and it begins the great Targaryen-Lannister-Frost-Monster War. The Lannisters are able to rally their troops and defend King's Landing, but at too much of a cost. The white walkers march to the Twins and start slaughtering them. It's unclear if the dying soldiers are able to grasp the narrative irony and thematic significance of being massacred there.
"The Braaaaains Of Castamere."
Dany lands additional troops and makes another attempt at King's Landing, and the Lannisters are unable to fight off her naval assault -- as they did Stannis' on the show -- because they blew their wildfire on their assassination attempt. On Day 22 of the conflict, Daenerys captures King's Landing:
With the Mother of Ghidorah on the Iron Throne, the Lannister and Tyrell armies disband and their cities declare their loyalty to the new Queen. At this point, the walkers have overrun the North, but Daenerys has the heartland of Westeros and the combined might of Essos behind her. It's numbers versus resources, with the only question being how efficiently those resources will be used. So it's the fight the show has been hinting at for years, reached in under half an hour of simulation time.
The "Previously On Game Of Thrones" intro will be nothing but an ad for the one-disc complete series DVD.
To avoid being overrun, Dany immediately retreats to build her forces and otherwise sit around doing nothing, because while you can take the queen out of the shitty plotline, you can't take the shitty plotline out of the queen. But Daenerys' decision also highlights her ruthless side: She lets King's Landing fall to the white walkers, the entire capital city slaughtered and zombified merely so she can rally her troops.
We're starting to think she might hold a grudge.
But it works. The Queen gets her army, lines it up along the banks of the Trident -- where the Targaryen dynasty fell in the first place after Daenerys' older brother died in battle -- and now she's either going to restore her family's name or doom the land to a reign of endless darkness.
Or spend three more seasons sitting around debating which is better.
It's the final epic struggle, with every character who's survived to this point putting aside their differences to battle a supernatural threat to their very species. Turns out they don't need a dragon at their backs, because the true dragon ... is teamwork.
The battle takes almost as long as the rest of the war combined, but Daenerys does it. They retake King's Landing. Fictional humanity is saved!
"It's Queen's Landing now. Any objections? No, didn't think so."
From there, she drives the white walkers back beyond the Wall, then marches into the far North and topples their frozen stronghold. The Seven Kingdoms are reunited, and their greatest threat is destroyed.
Her traditional warrior garb of a red ball cap, power suit, and half-undershirt struck mortal fear into her enemies.
Oh, and Bran got eaten by zombies at the start of all this, because no one cares about him.
So there you have it. The dragons are a paper tiger, and Dany will become Queen not through their power, but by giving Westeros what it's lacked for so long: a ruler willing to unite people against true evil. Jon will give his life fighting the white walkers. Jaime will die trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the people he loves. The Lannisters, in their arrogance, will fail to learn from the mistakes of the Starks. History repeats itself, as the final battle occurs on the same ground where this conflict began years ago. And, most importantly, a decade-old Nintendo game can tell an epic story more efficiently than a big-budget HBO series.
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