December 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Westeros Watch Part Nine

Hey, look, Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts on the Game of Thrones episodes "A Man Without Honor," and "The Prince of Winterfell".

Jimmy Impossible is loving Game of Thrones.  Tom enjoys going through the show with him.  And now, we come to episodes seven and eight of season two, “A Man Without Honor,” and “The Prince of Winterfell”.

tomk:  So, we’re headed for a big ninth episode, but first, let’s consider how much things move here for this pair of episodes. We have Theon sinking deeper, Cat and Robb making bad choices in the name of love, Dany knows who took her dragons, and Jon Snow knows nothing.

jimmy:  He knows he probably should have beheaded his fiancé.

tomk:  Ah, but see, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” is something she says to him. A lot.

jimmy:  Ah, well played. And she was right of course.

tomk:  Not many characters on this show have a catch phrase, as much as we might want to hear Tyrion cry out to the god of…let’s say boobs and booze.

jimmy:  He was pretty distraught over the thought of losing Shae.

tomk:  He got a bad scare. It’s only lucky for him Cersei and her people are so incompetent they grabbed the wrong whore.

jimmy:  But it just goes to reinforce once again that no one in this story should even attempt to keep anything secret.

tomk:  Yeah…unless you’re Arya and you’re serving drinks to your family’s archenemy.

jimmy:  I’m sure that’s only a matter of time as well, but was the first person I thought of when I said that. That chapter seems to be drawing to a close anyway with Tywin leaving and her following suit.

tomk:  Small observation: Arya’s List does change over time, but Tywin’s name never gets on it.

jimmy:  She thought long and hard about driving a knife in the back of his neck though.

tomk:  True, but Tywin was probably nicer to Arya than he was to anyone else for the entire run of the series.

jimmy:  As long as she watches herself.

tomk:  He was suspicious. She only quit when she heard she’d need to serve the Mountain drinks.

jimmy:  Well, true, but I think more to attempt to leave and warn Robb.

tomk:  Or at least get back to Winterfell. We were told in season one that there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.

jimmy:  And there is! Thanks to the greatest fake-out that everyone saw coming the second it happened!

tomk:  Or who saw the actor’s name and in the opening credits.

jimmy:  Even before that. At the end of episode 7. (And Sean Bean’s name appeared in all season one episodes and we know how that worked out for him.)

tomk:  Well, there’s no fooling you, Jimmy. Even with a show with a notoriously unexpected murder rate, you know they didn’t kill off Bran and Rickon, the Forgotten Stark.

jimmy:  This show is much like The Walking Dead in that way, so I’m used to main characters (sometimes surprisingly) biting it. But it’s almost never not in full view of the audience or without build up. So the deaths of he boys just seemed too “easy” in this case and not worthy of their stature in the show. That and Theon is an incompetent and whiny little troll.

tomk:  True, but I did watch the producer chat on episode seven, and they brought up Theon as a character who mostly wants somewhere to fit in, and not a completely irredeemable person like, say, Joffrey. Note the look on his face when the charred corpses are brought out and Maester Luwan gives that anguished cry. Look how he wanted to reimburse the farmers before the big guy who’s been egging him on the whole time told him the farmers were dead. He’s not happy with himself, even if he is a whiny little troll.

Plus, we saw Yara actually cares about him, and a lot of the grief she’s given him is just the public act for their asshole father.

jimmy:  I can agree with that. But Theon better get to redeeming fast.

Also, producer chat?

tomk:  OK, I watch it off HBO Now, and later season episodes will end with a bit where the show’s two producers talk about the making of the episode and what, thematically, they were shooting for. Earlier seasons have that under “extras” it looks like.

jimmy:  Ok. Cool.

tomk:  Usually, it’s a three to four minute recap of the highlights and what they wanted to do. For episode 7, they were very proud of how the scene where Tyrion almost comforts Cersei over how her life turned out, and how much Joffrey was an uncontrollable monster, but he doesn’t really know how, and how Dinklage and Headey sell the scene without speaking.

jimmy:  That is a great scene. Cersei smiling is almost as disturbing as when Batman does.

I rarely pay attention to these things, but this plot summary for episode 7 at the Game of Thrones wiki made me laugh. It covers all the bases, but tells you nothing in it’s correctness, but vagueness. “Jaime meets a distant relative; Dany receives an invitation to the House of the Undying; Theon leads a search party; Jon loses his way in the wilderness; Cersei counsels Sansa.”

tomk:  That is the same description from HBO’s streaming service.

But say, did you realize this was the first time we’ve seen Jaime in a while?

jimmy:  Yes, probably swiped from there, but struck me as funny. And yes, I noticed Jaime hadn’t been around. I’m glad(?) they referenced him sitting in his own shit. And he sure had little use for that distant relative. Well, that’s not right. He had a use for him, just not what his cousin would have wanted.

tomk:  That was a sneaky scene, as we saw Jaime and the cousin warming to each other, only for Jaime to remind us why he’s so hated at this point in the series.

jimmy:  I wasn’t surprised though. Especially as the started getting closer and closer together in the pen.

tomk:  But what did you think of Cat letting him go on condition Brienne make sure he lets Sansa and Arya go?

I mean, on the one hand, Robb is naturally furious. On the other, Lord Karstark was probably going to try and kill Jaime anyway.

jimmy:  I think that was the impetus. As much as they hate Jaime, he is worth much more alive then dead. Particularly in trade for the girls. And with Robb not there, could she protect him through the night?

tomk:  I really think she just wanted her daughters back. Do you really think Cat wanted Sansa to have the “birds and the bees” talk with Cersei?

jimmy:  Dear God no. Not that I wanted to hear it either. In either case, an awful lot of people were concerned about the whole thing.

tomk:  It’s a medieval setting. Sansa is old enough to get married now. And everyone more or less knows she doesn’t want to.

jimmy:  Even Cersei who tells her she doesn’t need to love Joffrey, much to Sansa’s surprise.

tomk:  But Sansa sticks to her story. And even Cersei knows loving her son is really, really hard.

Besides, it’s not like Cersei loved Robert. Heck, she more or less admits to the whole Jaime thing in the Tyrion-tries-to-comfort-her scene.

jimmy:  She does. And Tyrion looks super uncomfortable about it.

tomk:  Wouldn’t you?

jimmy:  For sure. Jaime admits it too in his “Ned was a jerk wasn’t he?” speech.

tomk:  CERSEI IMPOSSIBLE: The moose and I have a wonderful relationship that outshines anything else in my existence.
JIMMY IMPOSSIBLE: Er, I think I want a beer.

jimmy:  lol

tomk:  Jaime is still a little more circumspect.

Besides, this is like the time to criticize Ned. The Hound casts doubt on whether or not Ned liked killing.

jimmy:  And another conversation about him wanting gold and the Throne.

Poor old Dead Ned.

tomk:  I get the impression these sorts of statements are more about the people making them than Ned. The Hound can’t conceive of anything more fun than killing, so everyone must feel that way, right?

jimmy:  That’s a good observation.

tomk:  As for Jaime, remember the speech he gives Cat when she calls him a man without honor. He talks about all the oaths he took, and then questions whether it was even possible to keep all of them. I’d remember that speech for later. But the point here is maybe Jaime is tired of being judged by and against the Ned Starks of the world.

jimmy:  Unless he holds true to his name of Kingslayer, I don’t see him redeeming himself any time soon.

tomk:  So, you believe Jaime, like Joffrey, is irredeemable?

jimmy:  He’s got a long way to go. I don’t think there is any hope for Joffrey.

tomk:  Is there anyone besides Joffrey at this point you think is irredeemable?

jimmy:  Cersei is the obvious one, but could come around. Tywin just seems to be on the wrong side. Like many. It’s not about right or wrong, but what side you are on. Except Joffrey. Stannis is heading down a similar path, though I doubt he is ever as cruel.

tomk:  Stannis is, above all else, a stickler for rules. But he can be lenient. That’s why Davos is only missing fingers instead of being dead for smuggling.

That’s also why a fairly good man like Davos believes in Stannis.

I’m not sure Stannis would even be fighting for the crown if he didn’t think he was next for it. He might not care. He’s a bit upset Robert gave Renly the Baratheon homelands of Storm’s End (which, as described by Martin, is an awesome fortress built to withstand near nonstop hurricanes), though giving Stannis Dragonstone (the Targaryan homeland) may be a bigger reward Stannis just doesn’t recognize.

jimmy:  That’s all well and good, but conjuring up demon smoke babies to kill your brother doesn’t look good on your resume.

tomk:  True. But we’re still not sure how much Stannis knows about demon smoke babies. Moot point since he still wanted Melisandre to kill his brother.

jimmy:  Yes. He probably didn’t want to know, as long as the job was done.

tomk:  Davos may feel the same way right about now, but Stannis made him a nice offer en route to King’s Landing.

jimmy:  The ironic position of Hand?

tomk:  His other hand has all its fingers.

Besides, he listened to the boss’ speech on all the animals his people ate while they were under siege. That has to be worth a reward.

jimmy:  So not surprisingly, Qarth is dangerous.

tomk:  Moreso for people who live there from the looks of things. Lousy warlocks…

jimmy:  Yeah, Madrox has not aged well.

tomk:  And gee, the House of the Undying sounds like such a pleasant place to pass the day away.

jimmy:  The Thirteen know all about passing away.

tomk:  Hey, speak well of the dead! Like that spice trader or the other guys who maybe had names…

jimmy:  Heh. For the leaders of a powerful city, they sure didn’t last long.

tomk:  They didn’t know how to react to a sudden case of monarchy.

jimmy:  I keep thinking about your comment that Dany’s story from the book would have been unfilmable or unexciting or something, and the whole Qarth thing almost feels like filler, especially with how quickly they are dispatched.

tomk:  Oh the Qarth story is still less than thrilling right now, but it would have been worse before.

jimmy:  Feels like they are killing time to keep Dany away as long as possible and to let the dragons grow up.

tomk:  Dany does take her old sweet time going back to Westeros.

jimmy:  Especially considering the way others seem to be anywhere they want faster than the ravens.

tomk:  Things are slower in Essos.

But to be fair, Dany doesn’t have an army or anything that would make an invasion a good idea right about now.

jimmy:  Fair enough.

tomk:  It’s not like she has an army of Wildlings.

jimmy:  Jon’s working on that.

tomk:  From the wrong side, yes. Though Qhorin Halfhand still thinks Jon can make up for his mistake.

jimmy:  But at what cost?

tomk:  You’ll just have to wait and see.

jimmy:  We’ve discussed whether Jaime is honourable or not. What about Jaqen?

tomk:  Jaqen H’kar? He’s from a whole different belief system.

jimmy:  Yes, but he seems honor bound to Arya.

tomk:  Well, Arya saved his life and he owes her three.

He’s Arya Secret Awesome Murder Friend.

If only he were someone who could help train her…

jimmy:  He could easily have broken that vow, especially when given his own name.

tomk:  Is that his name?

He keeps referring to himself as “a man”.

As in “A man can only go so far. A man does not want to hear about Cersei Impossible and the Moose.”

jimmy:  That’s true. Well, he got her point, real name or not.

tomk:  She was smarter than he was there.

jimmy:  She’s smarter than most, but probably lucky to be ending her charade with Tywin.

tomk:  And hey, Gendry and Hot Pie are going with her. She has friends!

jimmy:  Hot Pie. Lol

A fellowship for a new generation.

tomk:  That’s the character’s name. He’s a fat kid who loves baking.

jimmy:  I know it’s his name, just makes me laugh.

tomk:  Well, we need some laughs in a world this grim.

jimmy:  They usually come courtesy of Tyrion.

tomk:  We can get some lighter humor in the fact that a guy named Hot Pie actually exists. Beyond him, for funny names, the best we can do is the Night’s Watch member called Dolorous Edd. He’s generally depressed.

jimmy:  There’s not a lot to be happy about. Unless you’re king.

tomk:  Well, true. You can always tell who a king is.

Oh, now we know Joffrey shouldn’t be a king.

jimmy:  Ha!

tomk:  So, anything else we want to bring up? Like how Robb went up when Talisa took her dress off?

jimmy:  I’d rather not talk about Robb going up.

tomk:  That’s more of a Watson joke anyway.

But is Talisa worth burning his bridges?

jimmy:  One would think no, but rare in this world to see two people get together because they actually are attracted to and care about each other.

Burn bridges…nice.

tomk:  Trivia note: Talisa is played by Oona Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter.

jimmy:  Explains her bowler.

tomk:  As long as it doesn’t explain her mustache.

jimmy:  I think she’s good there. Interesting though. I’d have never known that. Not like you are watching and are like “she looks familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it…”

tomk:  It’s a change from the book. Talisa is mostly an original character.

jimmy:  So Robb doesn’t fall in love on the battlefield?

tomk:  Not really.

Keep in mind we never get Robb’s perspective, so we only see what happened through Cat’s eyes.

Robb was off and was wounded in battle. He was recovering in the castle of some distant Lannister cousins under the care of their daughter Jayne.

As he was injured, mourning the perceived deaths of his younger brothers, and 15 years old or so, he and the girl had some comfort sex.

Robb realized he had two options: dishonor the anonymous Frey girl and marry Jayne who, as she was no longer a virgin would not be able to find a husband too easily, or dishonor Jayne and marry the anonymous Frey girl. He chooses the girl he knew versus the theoretical one, but he was backed into a bad corner by his own, Stark-like honor.

jimmy:  So similar but completely different.

tomk:  Yes.

But this version of Robb is older and more developed, so his reasoning is a bit different. We’ve seen him interact with Talisa and bond with her as they challenge each other’s assumptions. Now he just needs to make it up to Walder Frey. And he sure seemed reasonable when we met him!

jimmy:  Robb does say though that when he made the deal for the bridge his father was still alive and it was a very different war. He’ll likely still need to make amends with Frey, but the bridge is not as important now.

tomk:  But he broke his word. Cat warned him extensively against that even back when he was still listening to her.

jimmy:  Oh, no doubt.

But just part of Robb’s justifications.

Anything else to cover before the big ninth episode? Hard to believe we are almost finished 2 seasons already.

tomk:  Not that I can think of. We should keep an eye on Roose Bolton, the guy who urged Robb to send his bastard son to retake Winterfell.

jimmy:  If I’ve learned anything in my 42 years on this mortal plane, it’s not to trust guys named Roose.

tomk:  Too close to Moose I’d wager.

jimmy:  Lol. You may be right.

tomk:  CERSEI IMPOSSIBLE: You will never understand the connection I have with Moose Bolton.
JIMMY IMPOSSIBLE: I really need another beer.
GEORGE RR MARTIN: I need to look over my script for episode nine.
ROBB STARK: Where’s The Kingslayer? I think I’d rather spend time with him.
JOFFREY: Tell me more! Or else!

jimmy:  Heh

So Martin writes 9 I take it?

tomk:  Yes, he does.

jimmy:  Well no wonder he can’t get the books finished, writing so many episodes every season.

tomk:  That was his reason for stopping after season four. Some have speculated he finished book six recently because he started taking on a few other outside projects.

jimmy:  Don’t tell Ryan.

tomk:  Ryan doesn’t believe anything until the book hits shelves. I don’t generally either, but I don’t hold to the concept that, say, Red Rising is automatically better in part because the books were finished even though you could probably fit the whole trilogy inside one of Martin’s novels.

jimmy:  So, let’s see what kept Martin so busy in 2011/12 shall we?

tomk:  Yes. Let’s.


And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon for the conclusion of season two with the episodes “Blackwater” and “Valar Morghulis”.