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Game of Thrones and the Cubs’ Long Winter (Part 3)

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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

We conclude our Game of Thrones-Chicago Cubs character and player pairings in a big way, beginning with the team’s fiery and gritty ace Jon Lester.

In this wrap-up of the three part series, we look once more at our two favorite interests and their most compelling characters. Those, of course, being the Chicago Cubs and “Game of Thrones.”  If you haven’t had the chance to look at Part 1 or Part 2 in the series, make sure you do so as well.   And, if you’ve been waiting for The Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, to show her face, your patience will be rewarded.

Grumpy. Gruff. Gritty. Emotional. Surly. Fearless. A warrior with a perpetual chip on his shoulder. Are we talking about Jon Lester or Sandor Clegane here?!?  Otherwise known as “The Hound,”  Sandor Clegane has spent most of his seven seasons on Game of Thrones being annoyed with pretty much everyone.  When you watch Jon Lester take the mound for one of his 30 starts every year, he looks like, well… like he’s annoyed with pretty much everyone.  Neither one cracks a smile very often, but both are formidable characters who have a well-concealed soft spot.

Lester is more likely going to stare down an umpire or would-be basestealer with a deathstare than smile or laugh on the field.  He’s more likely to yell about something than tell a joke while on the bump or the bench.  He is a fiery competitor who knows nothing but battling, being stubborn, and carrying on.  Every time you count him out or think his career is done, he lets you know that was a mistake. He has been one of the best free agent signings ever in Chicago, with some positing he is actually the best pickup any Chicago-based team has ever had.

Not only did he overcome cancer while playing baseball, he has also helped two different once-cursed ballclubs turn themselves into perennial winners.  He has the respect and admiration of not just his own teammates, but pretty much everyone in baseball.  In short, he is a generally quiet, yet intense presence who changes the attitude and aura surrounding whomever he happens to be with at that moment.

The Hound, burned on the side of his head and face for taking one of his brother’s toys as a child, has a generally cantankerous disposition that usually makes all of his scenes gloomy and morose.  He is tough, a loner and generally seems like a misanthrope.  Check out Jon Lester on days he’s pitching. Sound familiar? When The Hound hears news he doesn’t like, you can be sure someone’s head will roll.   Beware, umpires across the game!

Despite all this surliness and the tough exterior, there is something nice and something good inside of The Hound.  Ditto for Lester.  Both of these guys, despite their gruff exteriors, are guys you want on your side when you’re staring down an impossibly difficult foe.

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