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A Game of Endzones

Welcome to A Game of Endzones! Here at ClemsonPaws we are big fans of A Game of Thrones (Both the HBO series and the A Song of Ice and Fire series of books).  We found a way to tie them in with our other favorite thing, College Football, and now you have this.  Be advised that there are spoilers here, so if you are not current you may have some unwelcome surprises within these pages.

House Arryn of the Vail is a very proud house. They sit upon very advantageous territory (the Atlanta Metroplex) but somehow have failed to turn that advantage into true power.  They overestimate the influence that they have throughout the Realm based on their local power and have been hurt by a series of weak rulers.  Recently, the Hill Tribes (Georgia Southern, Georgia State) and neighboring lands have raided the Vail and stolen away some of their best resources (recruits).  They have put their faith in Lord Baelish (Kirby Smart), who is of the Vail originally, to return them to prominence; however it is likely that Baelish has his eyes on a higher prize (Alabama) and will leave them by the wayside if the opportunity presents itself.

House Baratheon of Storms End are one of the great houses of Westeros much like The University of Southern California is an elite Program in the world of College Football.  Their charismatic leader, Robert Baratheon (Pete Carroll) took advantage of the power vacuum that was left with the deterioration of House Targaryen (Miami) and took the Iron Throne for himself.  He established a dynasty in his own name but he was distracted by drink and women (the NFL) and allowed his house to fall into ruin at the hands of the Lannisters.  Baratheon’s sons (Lane Kiffin) turned out to be Lannisters born of incest and aided in the eventual destruction of House Baratheon.

House Bolton of The Dreadfort are a treacherous and feared house.  Legend has it that they have the skins of many lords in their great hall (the turf that Florida State collects after wins on the road) including that of former Stark Lords.  House Boltons embrace their reputation in the realm and proudly display their Flayed Man.  The Scion of their house, Roose Bolton (Bobby Bowden) brought them to unprecedented heights before being betrayed by his heir apparent, Ramsey (Jimbo Fisher).  Ramsey enjoyed success for a time but has been put in his place once again with the return to power of House Stark.

House Frey of The Crossing is a vile family that is both despised and mocked in the Realm.  They think that their possession of a key strategic advantage makes them powerful, when in reality it simply makes them a tool for greater houses.  They allied themselves with House Lannister in order to gain an upper hand on House Stark and perpetrated a hideous act of betrayal when they slayed Robb Stark (Tajh Boyd) in their house.  They have very strange customs and have woven their bridge into every facet of their life much like the Gamecocks have done with their Chicken mascot and the phrase “Cocks.”  Their aging paterfamilias (Steve Spurrier) brought them to unprecedented heights but was slain by Arya Stark in the first phase of their eventual downfall at the hands of House Stark.

House Greyjoy of Pike is the ruling house of the Iron Islands.  Much like Oregon University, they have found success by raiding the more fertile lands of their neighbors for food (recruits).  They have their own religion (Nike Uniforms) that nobody else really understands regardless of how proud they are.  They came close to becoming a great house within the Realm by taking advantage of a power vacuum in fighting between other families but they were quickly knocked back down after the death of Baylon Greyjoy (Chip Kelly).

House Kettleblack is well known for their lack of scruples.  They are a house with little history to their name however they have made a name for themselves through questionable alliances.  They rose to power quickly under less than honorable circumstances and are unapologetic about how they came to be there.  The leader of House Kettleblack, Ser Osmund (Art Briles) took advantage of a helpful situation and used it to bring his house to prominence.  He is on a collision course with a reckoning though as his allies are likely to abandon him at the first sign of trouble.

House Lannisters of Westeros are a powerful family and were the Kings of the Westerlands before Aegon the conqueror unified the 7 kingdoms.  Much like House Lannisters rule the Westerlands, Alabama rules the SEC West and is the most powerful program in all of college football.  They are able to outspend most of the other powerful houses and have established a dynasty on the Iron Throne through ruthless persecution of their enemies.  They stand in the way of the House Stark (Clemson) regaining their ancestral rights as Kings in the North.  Lord Tywin Lannister (Nick Saban) took over after his predecessors nearly ruined a great family dynasty and has restored the Lannisters to prominence while brutally defeating his enemies both on the field of battle, and off of it.

In the world of Westeros, Dorne is described as being as far south as south goes.  This is also a good way to describe Baton Rouge, the home of Louisiana State University.  The people of Dorne are a mixed group with ties to both Westeros and Rhoynar, much like the people of Louisiana embrace both their French and Anglo cultures.  The Dornish customs resemble those of the Cajuns, both through their strange infatuation with reptiles and their love of spicy food.  House Martell rule Dorne much the way that LSU owns the state of Louisiana, seldom allowing the best of their warriors to leave the confines of the state.  They are fierce warriors, especially on their home turf, and they are feared throughout the Seven Kingdoms.  The Red Viper, Oberyn Martell (Les Miles), is a cunning and dangerous fighter known for his tendency to allow emotion to get the best of him.  Enigmatic and prone to lapses in judgement, both Oberyn and Miles were eventually brought low by their stubborn refusal to bend to the will of House Lannister (Alabama).

House Stark of Winterfell is an ancient and noble house and  the Warden of the North.  Their ancestor, Brandon the Builder (Danny Ford) laid the foundations for power for years to come.  Better judgement forced them to kneel and pay fealty to the Aegon the Conqueror (NCAA Violations) and they allowed themselves to be relegated to their own vassal state.  After years of mediocrity, they are on the verge of regaining their place as Kings under the guidance of Jon Snow (Dabo Swinney).  Like Jon Snow, Swinney had a difficult childhood and is loyal to a fault. They both rose above their challenges and have made a name for themselves throughout the Realm.  House Bolton sacked their ancestral home of Winterfell (FSU, 2013) but the Starks rebuilt and took vengeance on House Bolton by defeating Ramsey on the field of battle outside the Dreadfort (Doak Cambell).

House Targaryen ruled Westeros for many years after Aegon the Conqueror (Jimmy Johnson) came and laid waste to anyone who dared oppose him.  He established a dynasty that lasted for many years until in breeding tore the house apart after a series of poor leaders failed to maintain a hold on the Throne.  They were betrayed by House Lannister, who was thought to be their ally and House Lannister has now taken their place as the Dynasty of Westeros after a brief reign by the Baratheons (USC).  The last hope of the family, Danaerys Targaryen (Mark Richt) has been building strength in exile but now is on the verge of returning their house to prominence.

House Tully of Riverrun is the beneficiary of advantageous location.  Situated in the fertile riverlands (Texas), they have the ability to exert dominance on their neighbors due to geographic superiority.  Though they are powerful, a series of poor leaders has made them a shadow of their former self in spite of recent success.  Like Mack Brown, Lord Hoster Tully retained control of his House for too long after he had passed usefulness and his heir, Lord Edmur (Charlie Strong) has proven incapable of returning the house to prominence.  They are a sleeping giant, but until they have better leadership they will continue to be overshadowed.

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