An Australian high jumper who made it to the finals at the Rio Olympics on Sunday has the support not only from his home country but that of the Game of Thrones fan base. Brandon Starc — not Stark — has gained approval from fans of the TV show as he gears up for the high jump final.
Brandon Stark is of House Winterfell in Westeros and his currently known as the new three-eyed raven and the reason behind Hodor being messed up so badly the only thing he could ever utter was “Hodor.” Also known as Bran Stark, this Game of Thrones character had a little accident in Season 1 of the TV series when he witnessed the siblings, Jaime and Cersei Lannister, doing things siblings should never do with each other. As a result of this, Jaime pushed him out the tower window and poor Brandon Stark would never walk again.
Jaime pushes Brandon Stark out of the window in Season 1 of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ [GIF via HBO][/caption]
Brandon Starc, on the other hand, is an elite Australian athlete currently competing at the Rio Olympics. Starc competed in and qualified for the high jump final which will be held on Tuesday.
Brandon Starc cleared 2.29 meters in the semi-final on Sunday night at the Rio Olympics after a battle worthy of Game of Thrones proportions. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Brandon Starc “twice missed the height at 2.29m in the middle of the stadium on Sunday night, and then had to pause because Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was about to run the 100m.”
The 22-year-old Sydneysider had his mother and girlfriend in the stands looking on as he qualified for the finals. His brother, cricketer Mitchell Starc, watched from afar in Sri Lanka where he and the rest of the cricket team are currently playing. Mitchell had to get up at 5 a.m, local time, to view the event on television.
Game of Thrones fans have promptly gotten behind Brandon Starc, even creating the hashtag #HouseStarc on Twitter. The official Athletics Australia Twitter account quickly got behind the cause, using a slightly altered Stark sigil to help publicize when the high jump finals would be aired in Australia.
Starc’s clearance confirms his spot in the high jump final! – Wednesday 9:30am AEST pic.twitter.com/KfC944QWRP
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) August 15, 2016
But the Game of Thrones references do not stop there. Many people jokingly made reference to the fact that Brandon’s namesake, Brandon Stark of House Winterfell, cannot walk. And yet, here is Brandon Starc performing in the high jump at the Rio Olympics.
— rachel (@titsarelit) August 16, 2016
Of course, because Starc is from Australia, many fans have now started referring to him as the “3-eyed wombat.” Other fans gave a shout out to Hodor, suggesting Bran Stark is not actually disabled but just can’t be bothered walking. Another interesting thing that Game of Thrones fans pointed out is the similarity in appearance the two Brandon’s have.
So, Australia has a high jumper who’s not only a dead-ringer for Brandon Stark, but wait: he’s called Brandon Starc. pic.twitter.com/euh7Z3wgCD
— Richard Parkin (@rrjparkin) August 15, 2016
Further, fans have also made reference to the fact Brandon just might be practicing for another high jump, of sorts — that of having to clear the Wall in Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Of that, fans of the show will just have to wait until 2017 to find out if Brandon Stark will be able to qualify. For now, however, fans can tune into the Rio Olympics tomorrow to see Brandon Starc compete against Tihomir Ivanov (Bulgaria), Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) and Dimitrios Chondrokoukis (Cyprus) in the men’s high jump final.
[Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images]