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Ian Cole Talks Game of Thrones

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

“Game of Thrones” is exactly that. The TV show is primarily about several noble houses in a fictional world competing for the right to sit on the Iron Throne.

So we asked the hilarious and entertaining Ian Cole, who’s a huge fan of the HBO series and recapped Sunday’s Season Five finale for the website, to tell us which of his Penguins teammates he thinks would be most suited to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

His choice? This year’s Penguins MVP, Marc-Andre Fleury.

“He’s such a good dude; he’s such a good guy,” Cole said of the goaltender. “He’s obviously still really good at what he does. But I feel like he’s fair, he’s honest, he’s a good person. I think he’d be a good king. Not saying that other people wouldn’t. I’m not saying 'Sid' (Sidney Crosby) wouldn’t. But 'Flower' would be a good king."

After explaining his reasoning, Cole immediately began laughing once he realized something.

“If Flower was going to be king, it’d have to be an all-French Small Council, obviously,” he joked.

In the show, the Small Council is comparable to the President’s Cabinet. So Cole went ahead and picked a few more teammates to fill three key positions on the Small Council.

The king’s chief advisor and the executor of his command in the Seven Kingdoms, filling in when he’s not present.

Cole: “I think the Hand of the King would be ‘Duper,’ because he’s the old, wise one.”

The man in charge of the Kingsguard, who are the royal bodyguards of the Iron Throne and the finest knights in the Seven Kingdoms. They are sworn to protect their king and the royal family with their own lives, to obey his commands, and to keep his secrets.

Cole: “I think ‘Tanger’ would be the captain of the Kingsguard. I could see a little Jaime Lannister in Tanger. He’s a guy that’s just confident in himself.”

The person charged with gathering intelligence from around the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. They have a vast network of spies.

Cole: “I’m trying to think where I would put ‘Perry.’ He certainly wouldn’t be in charge of the money. He wouldn’t be the Master of Coin. Maybe the Master of Whisperers? I feel like he’s really in tune to Twitter and stuff. He always knows what’s going on. So I’ll put Perry as the Master of Whisperers. The new Varys.”

Cole also answered some other questions about Game of Thrones for those of us diehard fans out there. His answers below…

Favorite characters (Ian was supposed to rank them, but couldn’t decide on any particular order):
- Arya Stark
 “I really hope Arya figures her stuff out, she might be maybe No. 1 or 2. She’s up there.”
 - Lady Olenna Tyrell
 “Grandma Tyrell, she’s pretty cool. Gma Tyrell might be top-three.”
- Bronn
 “Bronn would be top-three for sure, too.”
- Daario Naharis
 “He’s just such a stud.”
- Jon Snow
“He seems like the most down-to-earth, normal guy on the whole show.”
- Ygritte
 “I really liked Ygritte because she was awesome. I thought she was a babe and a half.”
- Tormund Giantsbane
- Tyrion Lannister
- Daenerys Targaryen

Least favorite characters, in Cole’s own words…
“Joffrey (Lannister), Cersei (Lannister) and Ramsay Bolton are definitely up there. That awful Night’s Watch guy, Alliser Thorne. Myranda. Walder Frey. That guy who’s now dead from Meereen that Khaleesi was going to marry (Hizdahr zo Loraq). I didn’t like him but he probably wouldn’t be top-five. Tywin Lannister, I really didn’t mind him. He was kind of admirable in being a jerk.”

If you could be in a House, which one would you choose?
“I’d want to be from the free city of Braavos. Be one of the Faceless Men; be nobody. That’d be cool.”

If you could be any character on Game of Thrones, who would you be?
“I wouldn’t mind being a sellsword, like a Second Son. I definitely wouldn’t want to be an Unsullied. I wouldn’t mind being a Faceless Man. I like the wildlings too, so I wouldn’t mind being one of them either. I think the structure of the whole Seven Kingdoms and the structure of the different houses, I feel like I’m not a huge fan of the caste system. I feel like I wouldn’t do well in that (laughs).”

Who has the best luck on the show and who has the worst luck?
“Sansa has the worst luck. Best luck? It’s got to be that Second Son guy (Daario Naharis), a hired sword. He goes from fighting in the pits of Meereen to the leader of the Second Sons to being with Khaleesi to becoming part of her inner circle. That’s some pretty good luck.”

If the White Walkers took on the dragons, what would happen?
“The dragons would win because anything forged by dragonfire, anything from dragons or dragons by themselves kill White Walkers, no problem. So dragons would win for sure.”

Who’s more clever and conniving, Littlefinger or Varys?
“I kind of like Varys. I dislike Littlefinger more than Varys.  I would say Littlefinger is more of a snake. Littlefinger actually does bad things to people. I don’t think Varys necessarily does bad things to people.”
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