The Westeros Watch Part Seven

Yes, more Game of Thrones talk as Tom and Jimmy work their way through season two.

This week, we’re looking at the episodes “That Which Is Dead May Never Die” and “Garden of Bones”.

jimmy:  I was going to start this chat by saying how awesome Tyrion is, but then the climax of episode four turned the “WTF?” dial up to 11.

tomk:  You mean between Qarth, Hallenhall, Joffrey’s idea of a kinky threesome, Jenny fave Brienne of Tarth, the Tickler, a surprisingly supportive wife for Renly, Arya’s list of names, Robb meeting a sweet nurse, and a host of other things, you only really remember the last bit from episode four? Huh. Must have been something big to shake up Casa de Impossible.

jimmy:  It’s not all I remember, but yeah, whatever it was that crawled out of the woman in red’s womb at the end there.

tomk:  And you thought having sex with her was just Stannis following his obvious sexual desires.

jimmy:  Since he sent he off where and when he did, I guess he was aware of what she had inside her, especially since it seems like it was only weeks at best she was pregnant.

tomk:  Well, it’s a bit vague how much Stannis knows and understands of what Melisandre is doing. He only knows she gets results.

jimmy:  I guess she couldn’t go alone, but it speaks to Stannis’s trust in No Fingers (I can never remember most of their names) that Stannis allowed him to witness that…or he’s about a “HBO logo, ‘Last time on Game Of Thrones’ and opening credits away from an ugly death.

tomk:  Davos? Nah, he’s in pretty good shape. He was one of Martin’s new POV characters.

jimmy:  That’s what I figured. He’s in pretty deep now though.

tomk:  He’s Stannis’ right hand man, even if he is missing three fingers.

jimmy:  Or after the birth, maybe it’s Renly that’s in deep.

tomk:  Someone is.

Renly might end up looking worse than when his hot wife went topless.

jimmy:  Why does she look so familiar? …from the neck up anyway…

tomk:  She was Tom Cruise’s wife in Valkyrie or something.

I think the actress herself is Dutch.

Unless you mean Margaery Tyrell.

jimmy:  Renly’s wife I mean.

tomk:  That’s Natalie Dormer. Broke her teeth playing Anne Boleyn on The Tudors, and tempted Captain America as a blonde in First Avenger.

Here she is competing with Tommy Lee Jones for Cap’s affections.

jimmy:  Maybe that’s it.

tomk:  The Tudors was a good dry run for Margaery, a very minor character in the second novel who becomes a lot more important down the road. I think you should get the impression she plays a certain game involving thrones very well.

jimmy:  She seems to know what it takes to please her king…even if it means sharing him with her brother in apparently the worst kept secret in Westeros.

tomk:  It’s right up there with Joffrey’s parentage.

jimmy:  Lol, excellent point!

tomk:  Joffrey’s parentage seems to only be a secret to Joffrey right about now.

jimmy:  The little bastard. He deserves everything coming to him.

tomk:  Tyrion tried to give him a…well, I guess “thoughtful” is the right word…gift, but Bronn had some thoughts on whether or not you could teach certain people lessons.

jimmy:  Using words that made me laugh, but we’ll keep out of this chat.

tomk:   Yes, those sorts of words. Generally accurate as used on the show but not in the chat.

jimmy:  I do really hate Joffrey, but I guess that’s the point. Speaking of points, I was really thinking something else was going to happen with that staff that he gave to Spanking Prostitute #2.

tomk:  That might have been worse.

jimmy:  Definitely worse.

tomk:  Speaking of worse situations, and not just the unwhelming second Mountain, Arya’s situation keeps getting worse.

jimmy:  Yes. Very different situations, but neither of the Stark girls are in very good places.

tomk:  Well, Arya keeps picking up mentors. She also gets a very different view of war than anyone else. She sees what it does to the common folk.

jimmy:  Good point. And while Sansa is in a difficult situation as well, she’s completely disconnected from commoners. Sure, she doesn’t want Robb to die, but that’s about the extent of it.

tomk:  Sansa can’t want Robb to die too loudly, of course.

Not even with Tyrion.

And Robb’s new lady friend gives him some insight on battlefield deaths, but Arya sees what war does to the commoners, and her own high ideals (that Stark trait again) don’t mean much when all you want to do is live.

jimmy:  Sansa has no real reason to trust Tyrion besides him saving her from Joffrey being a *censored*. He’s still a Lannister. She isn’t privy to everything else he is up to.

And Arya and Gendry are, ironically, lucky that Tywin showed up when he did.

tomk:  Very true on Tyrion, and he recognizes that himself to his own credit.

Ironic that Arya and Gendry are saved? Also ironic they end up together given who their respective fathers were.

jimmy:  Ironic they are saved by Tywin. And good point on their ancestry.

tomk:  Yes, well, Arya does have the advantage of knowing who Tywin is while he has no idea what she looks like.

jimmy:  But he’s one of the few smart enough to see through her disguise.

tomk:  If he knows to look. Let’s hope she doesn’t give him a reason to.

jimmy:  I mean he spotted right away that she was a girl.

tomk:  Well, that makes him sharper than his soldiers and the Mountain, but being a girl is hardly a unique thing Arya has going for her.

jimmy:  I guess I totally didn’t recognize Mountain #2.

tomk:  I wouldn’t have either if Arya hadn’t referred to him by that name. He’s just a tall dude this time, though he probably has more lines than the other two Mountains put together.

jimmy:  So more of a Molehill.

tomk:  Well, maybe.

jimmy:  At least Finn Jones is looking more familiar…not that I want to talk much about Iron Fist.

tomk:  A giant woman beat the snot out of him. That’s noteworthy.

jimmy:  Haha, very true!

So, question, is that camera trickery or is she that much bigger than everyone? The scene where she is walking Cat to her tent she looks especially massive. And she plays Captain Phasma correct?

tomk:  Yes, that is Captain Phasma. I’m not sure how big Gwendolyn Christie really is, but I think that time it was a camera trick.

jimmy:  I was thinking so. Like Hagrid.

tomk:   Something like that. She’s just a somewhat homely woman who wants to be a knight.

jimmy:  Well, I mean the camera trick was like Hagrid, not Christie. Dear God, I don’t want Jenny after me!

tomk:  Too late. She heard from Watson you bad mouthed three different strong, female protagonists.

jimmy:  Uh oh.

tomk:  Don’t worry. No one ever believes Watson. He’s less popular than Stannis at the ice cream social.

jimmy:  Ha.

So, what claim does Renly think he has to the Throne?

tomk:  He would be behind Stannis, and people don’t like Stannis.

Ask yourself this: does Renly look like a bad king?

jimmy:  Compared to Joffrey and Stannis?

tomk:  Well, he has the pageantry down and knows the importance of image in politics. He was also smart enough to marry a wealthy and well-connected wife with a large army.

jimmy:  Who as discussed will do anything for him.

tomk:  As long as he knocks her up.

jimmy:  Seems to be the popular thing to do.

tomk:  It’s the one task a king has to perform.

jimmy:  Yes, you wouldn’t want to die and have there be any controversy about who is the heir to the throne.

tomk:  But if Robb were not an option, are any of these guys striking you as “good king” material? Stannis is inflexible in every possible way, Balon just wants to rob every one else, Renly is all about appearance, and Joffrey is insane.

jimmy:  Robb does seem the best bet…but he doesn’t want it.

tomk:  Robb has other problems, though we haven’t seen any yet aside from the whole “trusting Theon” thing.

jimmy:  They all have their issues. I doubt any candidate would be perfect. Especially growing up in that atmosphere.

tomk:  Maybe monarchy doesn’t work.

Do we have any alternate forms of government to look at?

Oh yeah! Qarth!

jimmy:  We haven’t seen much of Qarth yet. They’re sticklers for the rules. Well, 12/13th of them are.

tomk:  A city without a single ruler? That must count for something, and they tell us it is the greatest city that is or ever will be.

I mean, it’s not Montreal, but what is?

jimmy:  Montreal’s ok. But I only know they have great poutine, cheap beer and dancers of an adult variety.

tomk:  Well, those may be more than Qarth has. We’ll just have to wait and see.

jimmy:  I’m sure things won’t go well, but probably not a good idea to piss off the lady with the dragons.

tomk:  The tiny things that don’t eat? Meh.

jimmy:  They’ll get bigger.

tomk:  Not if they starve first.

jimmy:  I was pretty certain that dead horse would be a meal for them.

tomk:  Only if they eat it.

jimmy:  That’s what I mean. It was like “I can’t get them to eat, I don’t know what they eat.” Horse collapses. I see where this is going, but it surprisingly doesn’t.

tomk:  They probably already had plenty of horse meat. Dothraki are hardly lacking for that stuff.

jimmy:  True. I thought about that after. It just seemed like a logical progression. Either way, I have a feeling they’ll find food in time.

tomk:  Oh, I am sure they will. I also assume dragons need water like everything else. Really, Dany got lucky that one guy decided to take pity on her group.

jimmy:  For no apparent reason…besides loving dragons. Or the chance to see a dragon at the very least.

tomk:  I am sure there are other reasons. Everyone has other reasons. Kindness to the Dothraki doesn’t make much sense by itself.

jimmy:  They almost don’t seem Dothraki anymore. More outcasts.

tomk:  Yeah, well, they got the clothes and the curved blades. That counts.

But maybe Dany is hope for outcasts everywhere, someone who can change the world for the people who may need it the most, like Dothraki feminists and, uh, dwarves, bastards, and the disabled sons of beheaded noblemen to name a few.

jimmy:  Definitely. You know this already, but will be interesting to see how she interacts with and who she allies with if (I assume when) they finally make it across the water.

tomk:  Hey, maybe with all those dead things, everyone in Westeros will flee the other way!

jimmy:  Maybe. But Dany sure is a tough one. Far from the little girl pushed around by Drogo and (eww) felt up by her brother in episode one. “If you don’t let us in, we’ll come back and burn this place to the ground.” I’m paraphrasing. The “if we don’t let you in you’ll die and we won’t have to worry about it” loophole is a bit of a problem though.

tomk:  OK, maybe she hasn’t thought those things through as much as she should have. She’s still a formidable woman.

jimmy:  A lot of strong women, no wonder Jenny’s a fan.

tomk:  Yes, but given the proclivity to rape in the storyline, I know plenty of women who aren’t.

So, what else…hey, how about Tyrion owning the Small Council?

jimmy:  Fawk, that was so awesome.

And so well shot.

tomk:  Tell each guy a different story and then wait to find out which one Cersei hears about…

jimmy:  Brilliant.

tomk:  Pycelle was so bad at that. At least Littlefinger got angry.

jimmy:  He also got to raise the ire of the Queen, which I’m sure was a satisfying end result as well.

tomk:  And nothing he said about his niece was actually wrong. She’s a princess who will be married off and the capital may not be safe.

jimmy:  Very true. He’s probably not the one who should be making such decisions in general though. Damn he’s awesome.

tomk:  Well, actually, forging political alliances probably is part of the Hand’s duties. Cersei isn’t supposed to. Theoretically, Joffrey could, but this is Joffrey we’re talking about.

jimmy:  Could be about the Hand, though he’d probably run it past the King and Queen, not have her hear it through back channels. In a normal situation. And I don’t think we can depend on Joffrey to do much of anything correctly as far as the Crown goes.

tomk:  True, but Cersei doesn’t want any of her kids out of her sight. That’s good for a (probably overprotective) mother, but not for a queen.

And Cersei may be the only one in the capital that cares enough about keeping that girl around. Tyrion loves his niece, but he also knows how these things work.

Of course, had someone else leaked information to Cersei, it might be interesting if Tyrion would still follow through. Dorne, the southernmost kingdom, is actually the best of his three suggestions.

jimmy:  Not that it really mattered what the actual suggestions were, as he just flushed out a mole…and agreed to let him go in the end, after another great scene where he calls out his cousin for sleeping with the Queen. And then sets him up as an informant.

tomk:  You get the impression he’s really good at this, even if he hates riddles.

jimmy:  And knows how to make a threat.

tomk:  It helps that Bronn seems to like him. Plus, he got Shae a job. A job she is clearly unsuited for, but still a job.

jimmy:  Yeah, that scene is awkward. And shines an unflattering light on Sansa who was making inroads to being interesting. She does seem to come around a bit in the end.

tomk:  Well, she’s still Sansa Stark. Even as a prisoner engaged to a monster, she has some outlets to be her usual self.

But, gee, Jimmy…are you starting to feel sympathetic towards Sansa?

jimmy:  I have since Ned lost her head. She’s in a horrible situation and the scene where Tyrion saves her is just brutal. She seems like a character that will change and grow throughout the series, but whiny season one “I love Joffrey” Sansa, I’ve got no time for.

tomk:  She’s got a ways to go, but right now she’s just doing whatever she can to keep her head down. That Joffrey almost executed her with the World’s Worst Gift for a Psychotic Tyrant because Robb keeps winning makes her position even more precarious.

But Robb did meet a nurse of some kind that appears to be giving him ideas on being a better person. Plus, Arya now has A List. Anything else jump out at you for this pair of episodes, Jimmy?

jimmy:  I think that’s it besides getting the feeling that you don’t want to make an enemy of Arya.

tomk:  Let’s just say I tried to find a nice picture from Google Images of Arya’s list, but the names change around and there’d be spoilers for future episodes if I did.

jimmy:  Well, we don’t want that.

tomk:  No. What we do want is to actually watch some future episodes!

jimmy:  That’s the best plan I’ve heard all day!

Arya’s List from Martin’s novel, with names for minor characters who never really appeared on the show.

And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon for the next two episodes “The Ghost of Harrenhal” and “The Old Gods and the New”.

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