The Westeros Watch Part Thirteen

Jimmy and his Ms. Impossible are loving Game of Thrones.  Tom is enjoying a rewatch.  Join them as they discuss the season three episodes “Kissed by Fire” and “The Climb”.

tomk:  Well, what do you think of Jaime Lannister now?

jimmy:  Quite the tale.

tomk:  Ryan says Jaime only acted to save Tywin, but that ignores his saying he also worked to save every innocent person in King’s Landing.

And then Ned Stark found him first.

jimmy:  And he believed Ned would never believe him.

tomk:  He was probably right about that.

Ned did have a very black-and-white worldview.

jimmy:  Yes. And you have to wonder if all of it is true. Though nothing screams, “Hey, the Mad King would never do that!” And this is obviously a byproduct of Jaime being a POV character, instead of getting the opinions of him from others.

tomk:  His story matches up things he’s said in the past. He told Robert the Mad King’s last words were “Burn them all,” just like in his story. And remember back in season two when he went off on Cat about how it would be impossible to keep all the vows he made?

He said, specifically, what if he couldn’t both serve the king and protect the innocent?

jimmy:  It seemed sincere, but this is Game of Thrones so we, well I, will see. He definitely seems more redeemable now than Cersei.

tomk:  OK, I wouldn’t normally do this, but nothing that has come up since this episode aired has suggested Jaime made that whole thing up. It appears to be true. Tyrion will later mention it as a true story.

jimmy:  Fine. 😛

tomk:  A little skepticism is fine, but I think giving a character that might have been a clearcut villain up until now a speech like that actually is a very Game of Thrones thing.

It makes him more complex. He can still be the sister-screwer that pushed a ten year old off a balcony and be the man who saved thousands in the capital. Besides, it also shows why he had what seemed to be some deep animosity towards Ned Stark. Ned probably gave him his reputation.

jimmy:  Fair enough. And he sure is doing his best to protect Brienne.

tomk:  True there too. Which does lead to an interesting question: why exactly is Lord Bolton, one of Robb’s men, letting Jaime go? Sure, he gives an explanation, but it still seems weird.

jimmy:  It was a little confusing. But it seems he is more afraid of retaliation from Tywin than from Robb. He surely knows that Cat let Jaime go and how Robb has treated her since, but not aware of him somewhat hypocritically killing Lord Karstark for his own treason.

tomk:  Yeah, Robb really screwed up there. Everyone, and I mean everyone, from Talisa to Cat to Edmure, told him to spare Karstark at least until the war was over.

But, you know, Stark men don’t bend very well.

jimmy:  Right up to the point Karstark’s head came off, I was fully expecting the exercise of the execution to all be for show. A warning. Blade comes down in front of or to the side of him. But I guess Game of Thrones don’t play that.

tomk:  Actions have consequences. There was no way Robb was going to please Karstark after Jaime killed the man’s other son. Karstark was never going to be allowed to kill him, and Cat was never going to be punished since, you know, she’s the king’s mother and even the Starks aren’t that hardcore. But Karstark killed two young boys under Robb’s protection. He was in a bad position, and now he’s stuck in one where his dumbass uncle has to marry a lesser lord’s daughter and can’t even pick out one for himself.

jimmy:  That seemed a bit “do as I say, not as I do” from Robb as well.

tomk:  Robb learned his lesson. Mostly.

Or, you know, he has a heroic flaw.

jimmy:  He’s his fathers son for sure.

tomk:  Yeah, that’s for sure.

jimmy:  And I know Karstark wanted revenge, but that seemed pretty gutless.

tomk:  Karstark was already pretty upset.

But he didn’t hide what he did.

jimmy:  No, he owned it. But killing two 14 year old boys that were already captured?

tomk:  Karstark was probably trying to make a larger point, mostly about how Robb never really punished Cat.

jimmy:  C’mon. He like, chained her up for a little while. Or something.

tomk:  Plus, you know, Robb married the politically wrong woman.

jimmy:  Well, no one can dictate who others can marry.

tomk:  Except Robb. And Tywin.

jimmy:  In fairness, Robb did give Edmure a “choice”. Tywin went to great lengths to make 4 lives completely miserable.

tomk:  That’s the Lannister way.

jimmy:  Ms. Impossible was wondering how he could just dictate (to Sansa in particular) that these people had to marry each other?

tomk:  Sansa is a hostage. She has to do as her “hosts” tell her.

As for Loras, he just needs to make the arrangement with Lady Olenna. And, as head of his household, Tywin’s own children will do as he says.

jimmy:  Those forced marriages are sure to work out and not cause any friction between the Lannisters and the Tyrells.

tomk:  Can we at least agree Sansa has the worst gaydar in Westeros?

Loras here looks like he just read the script for Iron Fist.

jimmy:  Lol. A sword swallower through and through.

tomk:  The old lady certainly has a way with words.

jimmy:  Tywin had the last ace up his sleeve though.

tomk:  Interesting to watch his reaction to the incest “rumor”,

jimmy:  It’s like every other “secret” on this show…everyone knows everything. He’s just trying to cover it up.

tomk:  Or in very deep denial.

jimmy:  That too. And definitely NOT a homersexual.

tomk:  Nope. Nothing incriminating along those lines.

jimmy:  Well, that just replaced the whale in my nightmares.

tomk:  That’s actor Charles Dance in a pre-GoT Sasha Baron Cohen movie…which someone added the other heads to.

jimmy:  Living up to his name.

tomk:  Maybe. I’m guessing you would prefer to segue out of this topic.

jimmy:  Yes, how about to something more disturbing, the death of Ros.

tomk:  Yeah, as she is a character largely added to the show to just pop up everywhere, I am not sure how to feel about her, especially since her point in the narrative seems to be “Littlefinger knows everything.”

jimmy:  Like I said earlier, everyone knows everything. Keeping secrets is not a strong skill in Westeros.

But it also showed Joffrey’s continued growth as a monster. And Littlefinger’s for that matter, as he knew exactly what was going to happen.

tomk:  Littlefinger has his reasons. That reason being “Chaos is a ladder.”

jimmy:  It is something he revels in and uses to his advantage.

tomk:  Yeah, Ros’ death seems to be there just to say something about Littlefinger and nothing about Ros.

jimmy:  It says she’s expendable.

tomk:  Which given her general role on the show as “that one prostitute” is not that surprising.

jimmy:  Who seemed pretty much retired anyway.

I didn’t have strong feelings for her character, but hated to see her go out that way.

tomk:  I think she was a rather controversial addition to the narrative. She doesn’t really appear in the books much if at all (I don’t remember her in any of them), but for some reason kept appearing on the show and ultimately not doing much but hang around.

jimmy:  Also a teacher and a spy. But I could see the need to condense various random whores, etc, into one character for simplicity.

tomk:  Yeah, except there aren’t any memorable or important whores or whorehouse scenes near Winterfell where she starts off.

Besides Shae, there is maybe one memorable whore in King’s Landing. There might be some noteworthy ones near Castle Black, but Ros never goes there.

jimmy:  Well, they can’t show them all or what they are up to. It’s not Game of Whores. (Though it does feel like it at times.)

tomk:  That’s the porn parody. Directed by Watson, because we can’t do one of these things without an obvious Watson joke.

Though it does occur to me that Ros as a character is so unimpressive I never bothered to learn whether her name was “Ros” or “Roz”.

Something you and I haven’t really bothered to discuss, though, is Bran’s trip north.

jimmy:  Not a lot. We talked about Bran being a warg.

And having the Sight.

tomk:  Well, maybe it’s because Bran’s journey so far isn’t overly noteworthy.

So, let me say something about his new companions: Meera and Jojen Reed are the children of Howland Reed. He’s one of the lesser bannermen of the Stark family, and Howland is one of Ned’s closest friends.

He’s also the only man alive who may know who Jon Snow’s mother is.

jimmy:  Really? Was that in the show or from the books?

tomk:  The books, though something in a later episode helps establish that on the show without being too explicit.

And that is all I will say about that.

jimmy:  Cool. In either case, the journey North has been mostly uneventful thus far, and seems to be more about explaining what is going on with Bran.

tomk:  That is also something that would be a problem in the books. Bran’s journey is more internal than external. He has few particularly exciting encounters along the way (the show adds a couple), but mostly it’s about him learning stuff.

jimmy:  I think I just said that. 🙂

tomk:  Well, you were right about it.

And this time, the books back you up.

jimmy:  Once in three seasons. Not bad!

tomk:  But that does mean it makes Bran’s journey not very eventful when you consider all he has for conversation is the Forgotten Stark Rickon, two direwolves, Hodor, an epileptic, a Wildling, and a girl hunter he might have a thing for in some versions.

jimmy:  Sounds like a Peter Jackson movie waiting to happen!

tomk:  Yeah, but not because this is Martin and not Tolkien.

jimmy:  Bran’s story is interesting and seems to potentially lay the groundwork for happenings in the future, but in terms of stirring up conversation it’s been lacking. Maybe when we see/learn more about his new traveling companions.

tomk:  Or even just more about his old ones. Maybe we can learn about Hodor’s opinions on Westeros’ crippling debt problems.

jimmy:  Lol

Or why he can only say Hodor.

tomk:  And what that word even means. A tidbit from one of the novels has a servant at Wintefell, an elderly woman named Old Nan who is known for telling stories and appeared in an episode or two of season one, is that he wasn’t always that way and Hodor is not his actual name.

jimmy:  Stop making me want to read the novels, Tom Kelly!

tomk:  As an English teacher, that is my actual job.

jimmy:  Touché.

tomk:  But if we want to talk book characters: Shireen Baratheon, Stannis’ daughter, finally on the show with a sad little song.

jimmy:  Yeah, was she mentioned before? I know there was talk of his wife locked away in a tower and not producing any sons.

tomk:  Well, she had some sons…pickled in jars. Mrs. Stannis is not well.

She’s also a religious fanatic from the looks of things.

But Shireen? This is her first appearance on the show. She appears in the second book, a victim of Greyscale (that’s what’s wrong with her face).

jimmy:  Someone used the wrong printer settings when they created her?

tomk:  Um, no.

Greyscale is a normally fatal disease that is highly contagious. Stannis managed to mostly cure Shireen, but it left her permanently disfigured.

jimmy:  The show never says what is wrong with her. But sets up Mrs. Stannis being potentially crazy quite well. And the further we go, the more followers of the Lord of Light we are coming across.

tomk:  And some of them are more crazy than others.

Mrs. Stannis? Crazy. The various members of the Brotherhood Without Banners? Well, no moreso than any other religious person on this show.

jimmy:  Those Brotherhood Without Banners guys sure can take a punch, or a maiming, or, you know, a death.

tomk:  Just the one guy.

jimmy:  I wasn’t sure what to think during the fight. I couldn’t see them killing the Hound, but this is Game of Thrones. And seemed odd to introduce this new leader and have him dispatched so quickly.

tomk:  But you’ve seen that guy before!

Sort of.

jimmy:  Sorry. Re-introduce. Either way, those trails by combat usually don’t work out so well for both parties.

tomk:  That’s Beric Dondarrion. Ned Stark dispatched him (with a different face) to capture the Mountain.

He’s still trying…

jimmy:  Well, if he can’t beat The Hound, he can forget about The Mountain.

tomk:  The Mountain killed him once already.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  Well, he can stay in the woods for now. The Lord of Light must have a reason to keep bringing him back as less and less of who he used to be.

jimmy:  I’m sure he does. I think Melisandre is more surprised by it all than Arya.

tomk:  Well, she can make shadow babies. Thoros the doubting drunk can raise the recently deceased.

And Arya, well, Melisandre sees a lot of death in her future.

But on the subject of Melisandre, a quick side note.

She gets some POV chapters in one of the later novels, and there is someone who scares the crap out of her, a character who never appears on the show.

Stannis has a court jester with a lot of facial scars named Patchface.

Patchface almost drowned once and seems to have suffered brain damage. He sings a song quite a bit that may be predicting the future.

Melisandre is afraid of Patchface.

Why bring that up? The song Shireen sings both in the episode she appears in and over that same episode’s closing credits is Patchface’s song.

Then again, Melisandre doesn’t go to see the Brotherhood in the books. Robert had another bastard son in the Baratheon family fortress of Storm’s End that she grabs instead.

jimmy:  I guess I should have paid more attention to that song.

tomk:  Well, try again:

Not so much for prophesies in that version as it’s mostly sad. It may also reference the deaths of Stannis’ parents in a storm at sea, but I’m not sure about that.

jimmy:  So a lot about shadows, snow falling up and birds with scales. Can’t say we’ve seen any of that.

tomk:  She’s singing about being under the sea.

Since it originally was given to the book character of Patchface, there’s fan speculation Patchface has something to do with the Iron Islanders’ Drowned God, hence the reason Melisandre is scared of him.

jimmy:  I’d be scared of him too with a mug like that:

 

tomk:  The assault rifle doesn’t help.

jimmy:  Think of the God you’d be in Westeros with one of them. Or a chainsaw for a hand.

tomk:  What about a giant Elvis robot armed with a chainsaw and a shotgun that was controlled by an alien that crossed Bruce Campbell and MODOK and was voiced by Campbell?

jimmy:  All hail the king of Westeros!

tomk:  Yes, well, sadly, he isn’t there. We have to choose from guys like Stannis, Joffrey, or Robb.

Or Dany. There’s always Dany.

jimmy:  Sounds like we have a choice between Robb and Dany.

tomk:  Sure, as long as Robb doesn’t cut your head off.

jimmy:  But if he did that, the entire Impossible Army would abandon him and go home.

tomk:  There’s an Impossible Army?

jimmy:  If I was on Game of Thrones, there would be.

tomk:  These guys?

jimmy:  Sure. Why not?

tomk:  Well, that should just about do it for the White Walkers. Next up, Jon Snow invents oral sex.

jimmy:  Did he invent it…or just bring it to the North?

By going down South…

tomk:  And we have another Watson joke.

Look, it’s clear that Ygritte found one thing Jon Snow does know.

And that she didn’t.

jimmy:  Between Jon and Pod, they are sure showing that experience in these matters don’t mean a whole lot.

tomk:  Sometimes, maybe it just takes a little creativity.

jimmy:  They’ll have to compare notes when they inevitably have to team up to fight the White Walkers.

tomk:  Yeah, somehow I don’t think Jon is the type to compare notes on these sorts of things. Not really the Stark way and all. Don’t kiss and tell, just maybe bring your wartime bastards home to your wife.

jimmy:  And he might be heading that way as he puts himself in deep…under cover.

tomk:  Hey, relief sex after you scale the Wall would be nice.

Though I do wonder how they’re getting down…

jimmy:  Krazy Karpet?

tomk:  Well, there are lots of unmanned castles along the Wall. Presumably, they are near one of those.

Jon did spill the beans on which ones were empty.

jimmy:  What is Jon’s goal here? Just to get himself back to the Wall? He’s clearly not turned from the Night’s Watch.

tomk:  Ygritte even knows this.

His goal is the same goal he’s always had: bring some valuable intelligence about Mance Rayder and the Wildlings to the Watch.

jimmy:  And Old Eagle Eyes is pretty suspicious.

tomk:  Tormund is a little suspicious too.

The big difference is, I like Tormund. Eagle Eye can go back to those Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

jimmy:  That’s why he looked so familiar!

tomk:  Well, he wasn’t your Uncle Steve Impossible.

jimmy:  God rest his soul.

tomk:  He didn’t warg into a moose, did he?

jimmy:  He’s not Bran.

tomk:  For all I know, it means something else in Canada.

jimmy:  Anyway…

tomk:  Yes, anyway…hey, Dany has an army now and the army has a leader named…Grey Worm.

And Jorah is looking to see if Barriston knows Jorah was spying on Dany for Robert before. Fortunately for Jorah, Barriston doesn’t.

jimmy:  Good thing he was never invited to those small council meetings.

tomk:  It would have probably been very frustrating for a guy like Barriston.

jimmy:  Probably true. And neither of them seem too impressed by Thoros and his flaming sword. Though both seem committed to Dany.

tomk:  Thoros’ flaming sword, in one of the books, was revealed to be an ordinary sword dipped in a little Wildfire. Thoros didn’t let on he actually replaced his swords rather frequently.

jimmy:  A little Wildfire goes a long way.

tomk:  Except, well, now it looks more legit. Beric lit his with his own blood.

jimmy:  Great trick at parties. Needs to be careful around propane BBQ’s.

tomk:  So, let’s see…well, we covered a lot of the big stuff. Davos is learning to read. That might be something. Stannis’ wife has those babies in jars. And…what else do you have for me, Jimmy?

jimmy:  How about Robb’s plan to take Casterly Rock?

tomk:  Hey, maybe we’ll actually see the place!

Poor Robb…hasn’t lost a battle, but he doesn’t seem to be able to win the war.

jimmy:  And not even not win, but appears to be losing.

tomk:  Well, we’ll see how his plans go, won’t we?

jimmy:  Yes. Once he gets the Freys on his side.

tomk:  That means appeasing Walder.

Well, I think that’s everything aside from Theon’s story making everyone queasy.

jimmy:  Dear God, I am so sick of that. Maybe not as sick of it as poor Theon, but I look forward to it ending.

tomk:  I think that’s all I want to say about Theon and That Guy right now.

jimmy:  Ugh. That Guy.

tomk:  That Guy truly works at being The Worst.

jimmy:  He’s doing a good job.

tomk:  I’ll give him that much

jimmy:  Theon’s a weasel, but doesn’t deserve this.

tomk:  Does anyone?

jimmy:  Maybe Joffrey.

tomk:  Maybe That Guy. Whoever he is.

jimmy:  Yes. I wouldn’t be sad to see the tables turned on him.

tomk:  Anything else for this week, Jimmy?

jimmy:  Not a lot. It’s confirmed that Joffrey and not Cersei tried to have Tyrion killed. And did we mention Melisandre making off with Gendry?

tomk:  Sort of.

jimmy:  Well, let’s see what she does with him.

And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon as Tom and Jimmy will no doubt have plenty to say about “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” and “Second Sons”.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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