Matching the Characters of Game of Thrones with their Survivor Counterparts

This post is by Andy Sayers, co-host of The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast

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In this week’s podcast, we played a game of deciding who would win the game of Survivor: Westeros, picking from the pool of characters from HBO’s series Game of Thrones based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. In doing so, we naturally starting comparing characters to successful Survivor contestants of the past.

But instead of just picking a few comps, this post will attempt to match most of the vast array of characters with former Survivors. Which Survivor type will most likely sit on the Iron Throne?

Note: This post will have spoilers for the first three seasons of the show, but not the books (which I have not read). And, of course, all seasons of Survivor.

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Tyrion Lannister = Rob Cesternino

Introduced as comic relief characters that quickly revealed themselves to be master strategists, neither Tyrion nor Rob C are physically intimidating in a world that seemingly values strength but in reality, rewards cunning. Unfortunately, no matter how well they play the game, both had victories snatched from them at the very end by beautiful, entitled women (Tyrion by Cersei after the Battle of Blackwater, Rob by Jenna Morasca… who isn’t a bad Cersei comp, but I went another way). Oh, and if your instinct was Tyrion = Leif, leave now. This is not the post for you.

Also, I know Rob did his own Game of Thrones inspired podcast. I haven’t listened to it to yet, so any potential crossover between his content and ours is coincidental.

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Cersei Lannister = Corinne Kaplan

Acid-tongued bitches fueled by bitter hate, who are still fiercely loyal to those closest to them (her brother and son for Cersei, Marcus and her Gays for Corinne). Neither of them are half as good at the game as they think they are.

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Jaime Lannister = Tyson Apostol

Both were snarky, cocky assholes when we first met them, albeit blessed with the skills necessary to dominate challenges. But after each was humbled by a more clever opponent (Jaime with Robb Stark, Tyson with Russell), we got to appreciate more of their humanity. Now let’s see if Jaime can once again dominate with one hand like Tyson did with one arm.

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Joffrey Baratheon = Colton Cumbie

Look at those faces. Could they be more punchable? Both of these immensely hateable characters enjoy sadistically mistreating others when they’re on top, but then run and hide when things get tough. This might be the easiest comp on the list.

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Tywin Lannister = Richard Hatch

Two villains you can’t help but admire, both Tywin and Richard were playing the game long before anyone else even understood how.

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Daenerys Targaryen = Kim Spradlin

Initially underestimated, but ultimately victorious, the Mother of Dragons and Kim both win people over to their sides with ease. Just as Kim had everyone on her season falling all over themselves to do her bidding when they got lost in her baby blues, so has Khaleesi won over armies of people from all over the realm. Kim just needs to add about 15 more nicknames to catch up to Mhysa, the Stormborn, the Breaker of Chains, etc.

Khal-Drogo James-Clement

Khal Drogo = James Clement

Two seemingly unstoppable physical specimens who were eventually befelled by infection.

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The Unsullied = Erik Huffman

Well, at least before Jaime Dugan got a hold of him.

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Robert Baratheon = Rupert Boneham

Two big, burly, bearded men who will let out a mighty roar to any who wrong them. Both fall prey to the real strategists and villains that surround them. Neither understand that this is game of strategy rather than brute force. Plus, seriously, look at those pictures.

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Stannis Baratheon = Mike Skupin

Battle-hardened warriors who lack the social game to truly win people over to their side and can’t seem to understand why everyone isn’t interested in playing as pure a game as they. Both have gotten way too familiar with fire.

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Renley Baratheon = John Carroll

Renley thought he had the game won. He had the better navy, the most bannermen, an alliance with the Tyrells, the people loved him. So he took it easy, expecting his brother’s surrender. John Carroll was in control of Survivor: Marquesas, having the superior numbers against the remaining Maraamu players and a sub-alliance with numbers over Kathy, Neleh, and Paschal. Neither saw their blindsides coming. At least the Rotu Four didn’t have to deal with shadow monsters.

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Margaery Tyrell = Parvati Shallow

First class schemers unafraid of using their considerable good looks and sex appeal to get what they want. Even if you know they’re just using you, it’s pretty hard to resist.

Olenna-Redwyne Tina-Wesson-Australia

Olenna Redwyne = Tina Wesson (Australian Outback Edition)

Two older women navigating a game seemingly designed for strong young men by using their social prowess to get what they want. If you bring them into your circle, they just might beat you at your own game.

Theon-Greyjoy Matt Elrod

Theon Greyjoy = Matt Elrod

Both were introduced as young men looking for a showmance with perhaps a little bit too much hero-worship for the great men they were placed with. Eventually, they’d spend an entire season suffering in isolation from everyone they know.

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Lord Varys = Sandra Diaz-Twine

Savvy information brokers who will move to whatever side helps them the most, they’ll let others play the game from the front while they secretly control it from behind the scenes. Sadly, this is my only cross-gender comp, which may show a lack of imagination on my part.

Little_Finger Brian_Heidik

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish = Brian Heidik

Strategic manipulators who everyone knows is a snake, but they still manage to scheme their way to the top, proving you can still be a snake and get people to give you want you want. Also, both have some association with the sex trade.

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Samwell Tarly = John Cochran

Mercilessly taunted in their early go rounds, these two loveable, harmless dorks could not have seemed less suited for their roles. But each would go on to score surprising and impressive victories against formidable opponents (Cochran against all-stars, Sam against a White Walker. Comparable).

Jon-Snow Fabio_Birza

Jon Snow = Jud “Fabio” Birza

Two pretty young men who manage to survive with little help from allies. Both are frequently told that they “know nothing”.

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Eddard “Ned” Stark = Colby Donaldson

Two honourable, accomplished men who thought they could win by “playing the right way”. Both were horribly, horribly wrong.

Catelyn_Stark tina-wesson

Catelyn Stark = Tina Wesson (Blood vs Water Edition)

They were once great, noble women to be admired for their cunning, tenacity, and social bonds. But as they got older the game changed and so did they. In the end, their over-emotional play and poor negotiations cost their allies and cost themselves. And, yes, I’m using Tina twice. Sue me.

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Robb Stark = Malcolm Freberg

Charismatic, handsome young men who absorbed early losses only to rebound with surprising success given their relative ages. Each were capable of very exciting victories in battle; each fell painfully short of winning the war.

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Sansa Stark = Natalie White

Seemingly empty vessels just being used for their beauty, but they seem to keep hanging around while everyone else goes by the wayside. Also, probably both unfairly hated by certain sectors of the internet.

arya-stark ciera-eastin

Arya Stark = Ciera Eastin

Callow young women thrown into chaos without a full understanding of the dangers they face who ultimately turn things around to get some kills under their belts. May weigh about the same.


There you go, 23 Game of Thrones characters with their Survivor counterparts. Feel free to let me know which ones you don’t agree with, as I’m sure John will have no problem doing the same. Or better yet, offer suggestions for the characters I couldn’t place, be it Melissandre, Ygritte, Bran Stark, Hodor, or anyone else. Comment below or send us a tweet: @purplerock using the hashtag #SurvivorGoT. And don’t forget to listen to this week’s podcast and subscribe on iTunes.

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Andy

Co-host of the Purple Rock Survivor Podcast and the Canadian of the group, Andy has been watching Survivor continuously since the very beginning and likes to treat that as some kind of virtue to lord over others.

Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cook Islands, Palau, The Amazon, Cagayan
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino
Andy
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  • Little Emma

    I love the Robb Stark and Malcolm comp. Over all, very good list.

    I think Stannis and Skupin is an even better matchup than you gave it credit for, because didn’t Skupin get pretty religious post-Australia?

  • Billy

    Great list. Surprised you didn’t do Brienne of Tarth. Amanda Kimmel? Stephanie Delagrossa nee? Danni Boatwright? Depends on how Brienne finishes up.

    The Starks are dead on, Jon Snow more than you might know. Arya less sure since her trajectory in the books is still very up in the air.

    Only quibble is Varys= Sandra. Okay except that people liked Sandra and no one likes Varys. I’m thinking Jonathan Penner circa Cook Islands. He’s crafty and knows the game yet everyone is suspicious of him whether he’s on their side or not.

    Also, depending on how the current season turns out, Kass might be a better match for Catelyn Stark.

    • I racked my brain, but couldn’t come up with a Brienne comp that didn’t feel forced. I wanted a challenge beast who was intensely loyal to his/her original tribe, then intensely loyal to their new swapped tribe. Couldn’t find a match.

      Why Sandra works for me is her ability to listen in on other people’s conversations and know everything that’s happening around camp. No one’s done that better that we’ve seen.

      I wasn’t going to mention anyone from this season of Survivor, since there’s too much of their story left. Plus, I’ve been so wrong about everyone so far that it’d be a really bad idea.

    • Rob

      Kass’s vote last week is kind of like when Catelyn kidnapped Tyrion: A rash, emotional decision that ultimately cost her the whole game. Catelyn is much more likable though. I don’t see any good counterparts for Brienne. A mountain of a woman (challenge beast), not well-liked in her tribe (though not because she’s a snake), loyal, unattractive, insecure. Maybe she’s season 7 Rupert. His tribe liked him more though.

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