WARNING: Spoilers! If you haven’t seen any of Season 8, or don’t want to know what happens in any season of Game of Thrones, don’t read any further.
Game of Thrones has been a frequent topic of discussion on R2C2, a podcast hosted by Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and YES Network broadcaster Ryan Ruocco. Evidently, the hit show is also a popular topic in the Yankees clubhouse. Earlier this week, Sabathia gathered the Yankees’ most avid Game of Thrones fans for a roundtable discussion after the hotly debated penultimate episode aired last Sunday. Here’s what we learned during a 50 minute recording featuring Cameron Maybin, Adam Ottavino, Mike Tauchman, Zack Britton, and Tommy Kahnle.
Mike Tauchman is the ‘Maester’ of the Yankees’ clubhouse
Everybody agreed right off the bat that Tauchman is the go-to guy for Game of Thrones knowledge in the Yankees clubhouse. Tauchman revealed that he not only watches the show, but has also read the books and “spent a lot of time on the Reddit forums and Wikis.” The Yankees outfielder explained that he first got invested in the show while rehabbing from an injury in extended spring training, a time when he put in his work early in the morning and didn’t have a lot to do after about 9 AM most days. Tauchman’s thoughtful examinations of the show’s characters and storylines carried much of the panel’s discussion.
The Yankees are not content with Season 8 so far
Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are on the hot seat in the Yankees clubhouse heading into the series finale. Zero members of the roundtable gave sparkling reviews of Season 8, and the general consensus is that the past two seasons have been rushed, a feeling shared by many fans of the show.
Sabathia was the most outspoken, going as far as to call Season 8 “trash,” among other things. Tauchman pointed to the mishandling of Tyrion’s character, a departure from political storylines, and “shock value for shock value’s purpose” as some of his biggest critiques. Kahnle was disappointed in the handling of the Night King’s character arc, and Britton was less than impressed with Grey Worm’s performance at the Battle of Winterfell.
While acknowledging that they still enjoy watching the show and bonding over it with teammates, the group went as far as to debate if Game of Thrones might be having one of the five worst series endings of all time.
Predictions before the series finale
At the conclusion of the podcast, Ruocco asked each roundtable member to make their predictions for the series finale Sunday night. Here’s a breakdown of their predictions:
Maybin: Jon Snow kills Daenerys and takes the Iron Throne. Arya rides off on the horse Maybin believes Bran sent her.
Tauchman: Nobody ends up on the Iron Throne and each kingdom rules itself separately. Arya and Jon leave Westeros, Tyrion kills Daenerys, and Sansa “might really mess things up.” Jon reunites with Ghost in the North.
Ottavino: Sansa will be the only one with any experience left to rule. Daenerys definitely dies and Arya might die.
Britton: Sansa ends up on the throne and Daenerys ends up dead “after her showing last week.”
Kahnle: Tyrion could end up on the throne, Arya will use her faceless abilities to kill Daenerys, and Jon will leave for the North.
Sabathia: Sansa ends up on the throne with Tyrion “in some kind of way together,” and Arya kills Daenerys. Also noted he’ll be “f****** pissed” if Arya dies.
Ruocco: Tyrion ends up on the Iron Throne but Sansa rules the North.
Yankees find parallels in Game of Thrones
When prompted to discuss their favorite characters, it was fun to see members of the roundtable intentionally or unintentionally find some parallels to themselves. Ottavino noted how he enjoys Arya’s habit of listing names of her future victims every night before she goes to sleep. “I feel like I do that,” he joked. The Yankees right-hander also enjoyed the time Arya “went away and trained where nobody knew she was.” Sound familiar?
Tauchman, the Yankees “26th Man” during their recent double header, explained why he likes the secondary characters from earlier seasons the most. “It’s that type of character that makes the show great,” he said. “The way they’re written and the way their character is, they’re not secondary, they’re fan favorites.” And if that’s not the perfect parallel between Game of Thrones and the 2019 New York Yankees, I don’t know what is.