Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones — When worlds collide, which Marvel hero will take the Iron Throne?
'What if the Ice and Fire World of Game of Thrones collides with the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Who would sit on the Iron Throne?'
Contemporary pop culture's two biggest stars are aligning this April as Game of Thrones and the Avengers stories come to an end within weeks of each other. For over a decade, we practically grew up (or just grew older) with these characters, had complicated love-hate relationships with some of them and became (almost unhealthily) emotionally invested in their journeys.
We don't know how Avengers: Endgame or Game of Thrones will end. We don't know which beloved characters will make it out alive and who will get permanently snapped (or worse - turned into a wight). But we do know there's an epic battle coming. So, we've been patiently — and at times over-eagerly — spending an immoderate percentage of our days looking for theories on the fandemonium that is Reddit.
As we sit around reading these theories — from the credible to the downright cock-and-bull, our mind starts to wander and then wonder various "What-Ifs" of our own. The following piece of speculative fiction is a result of one such hyper-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, intensely vivid bout of daydreaming.
"What if the Ice and Fire World of Game of Thrones collides with the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Who would sit on the Iron Throne?"
I can hear a lot of Game of Thrones fans going: "MCU is a delightful little tea party compared to Westeros — a world with complicated moral systems; where characters aren't simply good or evil (they're psychopaths, assholes and lesser assholes); and where weddings turn into bloody funerals. The show has something important to say about global power politics, about climate change denial and more." The Marvel fans counter that with a: "At least, I don't have to worry about my mum walking in at the exact moment the scene shifts to Littlefinger's brothel or Theon Greyjoy's mangled bits." And before the pedants begin with their "You're trying to inject comic book logic into a fantasy world", I'm going to remind you this is just a fun, frivolous exercise, not a dissertation for Worldbuilding 101.
At times, it's just fun to give our beloved characters a bigger sandbox to play around in. That's all.
So, here's what I think would be the Avengers' fate in the world of Game of Thrones.
Iron Man aka Anthony of House Stark, First of His Name
He was an opportunistic arms dealer. He was a billionaire playboy. He's narcissistic, pompous, and often reckless and self-destructive. But he's also a genius with a quick wit, bewitching charisma and a sweetass robotic exoskeleton. Though he is loud, vain and frankly a bit of a dick in the earlier Iron Man films, he sure captures our hearts with an interesting shift in moral compass in the Avengers films. He perhaps has the defining character arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While the unapologetic capitalist Tony in his decadent days would have fit in well with the equally ambitious Lannisters, the self-less Avenger — we now know him to be — would have sure made the Stark name proud and further enhanced their legacy.
Fate: Tony and Tyrion exchange some signature quips, bond over daddy issues and start Stark-Lannister Enterprises, the largest defense contractor either side of the Known World
Captain America aka Steve of House Rogers, The First Avenger
Unlike Tony Stark, Steve Rogers has an almost unwavering moral clarity even before he becomes a superhero. His honour and nobility came first; his power and ability second. Despite his old-fashioned patriotic values, he has the courage of his convictions, making him the ideal leader of the Avengers. He brings together superheroes with disparate motivations and personalities to form a formidable cohesive whole that can take on intergalactic threats.
While he is hardly the strongest Avenger, his purity of heart is his greatest strength. The fact that he would never crave for the Iron Throne is what makes him worthy of it. But, in the cruel, unscrupulous world of Game of Thrones, a man like him is likely to suffer a fate similar to — or worse than — Ned Stark.
Fate: Poisoned by Cersei during high tea
Hulk aka Bruce, Bannerman of House Stark
Hulk is not just some dumb rage-filled monster. He's not just some brutish thug you call upon whenever you need someone to smash or suckerpunch a giant flying worm-like alien in the face. He is a character with psychological depth, only not properly explored in MCU. Bruce Banner and Hulk are two people fighting for control over one body. While the former deems this co-existence to be a curse, the latter is just trying to come to terms with it as best as he can.
The only worry with the big green guy living in Westeros is he could be easily manipulated by any of the fiendish forces for some evil enterprise. And what if our green behemoth turns into an icy blue one (akin to Viserion), with his eyes glowing with the same blue tint as the White Walkers. Sorry, Banner/Hulk on Iron Throne is not feasible.
Fate: Turned into a wight by the Night King
Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, House of Black and White
In the comics, Black Widow starts off as a villain, a KGB spy trying to steal Iron Man’s technology during Cold War. She ultimately defects to the United States, just like in the movies. But her scandalous past and her shifty skills as a renowned spy and assassin will sure be appreciated by the guild of the Faceless Men in Braavos.
Fate: A woman has no name
Hawkeye, Brotherhood Without Banners
No one's really sure how Hawkeye survived the first two Avengers films with just his acrobatics and archery skills. Like Black Widow, he is practically useless against superhuman threats, even if he plans to trade in his bow and arrow for a samurai sword in Endgame. He's just an everyman and his best hope would be to join a guerrilla paramilitary group like Brotherhood Without Banners and protect commoners of the Riverlands and rest of the Known World, from whatever nefarious forces looking to prey on them. At least here, he won't be the runt of the pack or the butt of mean jokes.
Fate: Killed by Drogon in a friendly fire incident
Ant-Man, Scott of Flea Bottom
Speaking of butt and jokes, who knew Ant-Man would be so vital to the MCU? In the comics, Scott Lang actually steals Hank Pym's Ant-Man equipment and Pym Particles to save his daughter Cassie's life and even saves the Fantastic Four once. When he was introduced in the MCU, you thought Ant-Man was a mere palate cleanser between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
In a world where fathers sacrifice their newborn sons to White Walkers and rape and burn their daughters, there's an obvious need for more positive male role models and good father figures. And there aren't better dads in MCU than Lang, who's more than a hero to his daughter.
Fate: Kills the Night King by expanding inside his butt
Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff, Lady of Light
She defeated the Dark Phoenix (in the comics) and single-handedly destroyed an Infinity Stone. Although the MCU version of Scarlet Witch is not as strong as her comic counterpart (on account of her powers manifesting through HYDRA experiments with the Mind Stone), she is still a formidable force with incredible telekinetic and mental manipulation abilities.
Her powers might even make the Lord of Light envious and she is sure to attract a fan following in the Free Cities of Essos. Only, she needs to learn to sustain an accent for longer than one movie.
Fate: Scarlet Goddess and the Lady of Light
Black Panther aka T'Challa, King of Wakanda
He's an honourable king and a fearsome warrior. His Vibranium suit allows him to absorb and store kinetic energy and then release it back as a supercharged attack. He has the Dora Milaje and a fierce army of soldiers behind him. His kingdom of Wakanda is a self-sufficient economy and a technologically advanced nation, thanks to its supply of Vibranium.
If dragonglass and Valyrian steel swords can splinter a White Walker into pieces, wait till the Night King and co get a load of Vibranium spears.
There really isn't a more worthy king than T'Challa in all of MCU and the Known World but the question remains: Will he claim the Iron Throne or prefer to stay out of the limelight and operate autonomously from the rest of the world? I think the latter.
Fate: Becomes the largest exporter of Vibranium, making dragonglass and Valyrian steel obsolete
Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers, Protector of the Realm
"Why did arguably the most powerful Avenger show up only when half the universe was snapped into oblivion?" was the question on everyone's mind ahead of Endgame. "There are a lot of other planets in the universe, and unfortunately they didn't have you guys," replied Captain Marvel in one of the recent promos. So, MCU's newest hero is not just Earth's saviour but the self-appointed guardian of the entire universe. This also means it's better to call on her only in the gravest of emergencies considering she's not only got the continents of Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos to serve and protect but also the nine realms, from Asgard to Alfheim and more.
Fate: Assembles a group of Avengers on each planet across all realms
Doctor Strange, The Two-eyed Raven
Doctor Strange can manipulate time, create weapons and shields out of energy, teleport and travel between dimensions. He's the Sorcerer Supreme and Earth’s foremost protector against magical and mystical threats. Here's what he is not: A whiny little kid who never does what he's told and lets the Night King into the cave, killing Hodor, Summer, and the three-eyed raven. Yes, we need a new greenseer in Game of Thrones and Bran's not it.
Fate: Eliminates fresh White Walker threats before they can rally an army of the undead
Thor of House Odinson, the Asgardian God of Thunder
Taken down a peg by hubris, Thor is forced to learn the meaning of humility and prove himself worthy of his father's throne before he loses his royal right to his jealous trickster brother, Loki. It's the quintessential origin story. In the hands of Kenneth Branagh, the Norse God of Thunder had become a pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue-spouting machine but thanks to Joss Whedon and Taika Waititi, he's now got a deadpan sense of humour to match his mighty hammer.
Also, the kingdom of Westeros is essentially an ungodlier version of Asgard and Thor has already taken down a Night Queen of sorts and her army of dead — his sister, Hela, the goddess of death.
He somehow re-ignited the dying neutron star Nidavellir and survived its blast. He almost singlehandedly defeated Thanos even though he was armed with all six Infinity Stones. With the Stormbreaker and the rest of the Avengers, I don't think it should take him too long to make sure Winter stays put north of the Wall.
Thor is my one true king!
Fate: The Asgardians in search of a new home settle in Westeros, where Thor and Jane Foster rule the Seven Kingdoms side-by-side and everyone lives happily ever after…
Avengers: Endgame opens in cinemas worldwide on 26 April, 2019.
(All images courtesy Marvel Studios)
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