July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Westeros Watch Part Ten

Jimmy and Tom are finishing up season two with a discussion of the episodes "Blackwater" and "Valar Morghulis".

Jimmy sure was disappointed when season one of Game of Thrones ended and Jaime Lannister was captured in a huge, offscreen battle.

Let’s see how he feels about the end of season two as he and Tom discuss the episodes “Blackwater” and “Valar Morghulis”.

tomk:  So this was a quiet pair of episodes.

jimmy:  Shall we skip them? Not much to talk about.

tomk:  Well, I mean, there was that whole Battle of the Blackwater. And the House of the Undying with a surprise cameo. Jon is in the Wildlings, Jaqen offered Arya a job. Robb got married. Tyrion saved the city but got punished instead of rewarded. Stuff did happen.

jimmy:  Fine.

I guess the producers had enough money to allow Tyrion to remain conscious at least part of the battle this go round.

tomk:  Well, gee, you’d think that whole episode made up for Jaime captured off-screen before.

jimmy:  Heh. Yes, well at least this time there was an actual battle scene.

tomk:  The Hound sliced some random dude in half!

jimmy:  Yeah, Ms Impossible was NOT happy about the amount of gore.

tomk:  Why? Just because Stannis gave some guy the closest haircut of his life…

But we can say this much: Stannis isn’t a coward. He led his own army from the front and without a helmet. Contrast that with Joffrey running away the first chance he got…

jimmy:  Also not a coward? Tyrion.

tomk:  Tyrion knows things, like how to keep men motivated. It helps if the king is there. If he isn’t, then a good (practical) speech helps.

jimmy:  Yeah, Ms Impossible was NOT happy when it looked like Tyrion was dead.

tomk:  He’s not dead!

Heck, in the books, he loses his nose. Here he just gets a bad scar.

jimmy:  A bad ass scar!

tomk:  But don’t worry. Every named character except for Davos’ religious son survived the battle.

jimmy:  Man that wildfire scene was awesome.

tomk:  It was, wasn’t it?

You don’t mess around with flamable Ecto Kooler.

But wait, I am sensing a theme: Ms. Impossible wasn’t happy with stuff!

jimmy:  She hates gore…which makes it odd her two favorite shows are probably this and Walking Dead. *shrugs*

tomk:  Maybe she just loves shambling corpses.

jimmy:  She was pretty excited when they showed up now that you mention it.

tomk:  That may be the best cliffhanger ending to any season thus far.

jimmy:  I think you’re right!

tomk:  I’ve seen more than you. That may hold true for the next few seasons.

Sam looked a White Walker in the eye and probably soiled his armor.

jimmy:  I would have.

tomk:  One blast of the horn means a ranger is coming in. Two means Wildlings. Three…White Walkers.

jimmy:  This is a solid joke only Jenny will get:


tomk:  Looks also like a solid joke only Watson would make…

jimmy:  Burn!

tomk:  I would guess Grenn and Edd were glad of the White Walkers coming for one reason: it got Sam to shut up about Gilly.

jimmy:  He might be a little smitten our little Samwell.

tomk:  He might be a lot smitten if that White Walker decides to smite him on the spot.

jimmy:  The Walker didn’t seem overly concerned with him.

tomk:  It’s hard to say. There’s never been any clues given as to what the Walkers really want.

jimmy:  They probably just want to go South on vacation where it’s warm and there’s no snow and deal with the fact that it’s ruled by an unqualified cry baby that you just want to slap, like the rest of us Northerners.

tomk:  Did you just compare Trump to Joffrey?

jimmy:  Did I?

tomk:  You are a Northerner.

That is all I will say about that.

But since we brought him up…Joffrey. He lost his dog.

jimmy:  Yeah, he’s not a big fan of fire.

tomk:  Or Joffrey from the sounds of things…

He likes killing and maybe Sansa.

jimmy:  I don’t think you can blame him for either.

We’ve discussed his liking Sansa before. But almost seems brotherly. And since he’s not a Lannister, he doesn’t sleep with his sister.

tomk:  Man, typing in new comments sometimes leads to weird comment symmetry.

He’s leaving with or without her.

Sansa went back for something interesting. She still has the doll Ned gave her.

jimmy:  Of course. She still loves her father. And is probably one of the few reminders she has of happier days in Winterfell.

tomk:  Considering how she reacted when he gave her that doll, there’s a whole lot of regret in that action.

jimmy:  I would say Sansa has a lot of regrets since Season 1 Episode 1.

tomk:  Yeah, but she didn’t realize them until maybe Season 1 Episode 7 or so.

jimmy:  Girls. *shakes head*

tomk:  Arya didn’t have that problem. She has a whole different set of problems.

jimmy:  And the friendship of a shapeshifter.

tomk:  He’s not a shapeshifter. He just changes faces.

jimmy:  Well, faceshifter doesn’t have the same ring to it.

tomk:  No. But that’s a cool word.

jimmy:  Faceshifter™.

You heard it hear first.

tomk:  Jimmy Impossible: PR director for the Faceless Men.

jimmy:  Too bad that’s the last we’ll ever see of him.

tomk:  Yeah, I am sure that coin he gave Arya won’t lead to something else involving the Faceless Men.

jimmy:  I agree.

Though he did also give her the secret password: Klaatu Barada Nikto

tomk:  He’s from Braavos and he changes faces. There are some unproven fan theories that he’s also Syrio.

jimmy:  Interesting. We never did see him die…

tomk:  And the first time we saw Jaqen, he was a prisoner.

jimmy:  And this last time we ever see him, he’s a free man. Thanks to Arya.

tomk:  So maybe she earned that audition to that elite assassination organization.

jimmy:  She’s cunning enough.

tomk:  And she wants to learn…after she is reunited with her family. Including Sansa.

jimmy:  Sansa! Sansa! Sansa!

tomk:  Hey, their family is bigger than either of them is aware.

jimmy:  So you mentioned previously that Martin wrote episode 9. I think this also might have been the first episode to take place at a single location?

tomk:  I believe you are right. Shortest opening credits cast list thus far since they only put the actors who actually appear in any given episode in the credits.

jimmy:  I’ve noticed that. And usually only the locations that appear too? I can’t remember what this opening showed.

tomk:  Locations can be tricky. See episode nine.

jimmy:  That’s what I meant. Did nine have multiple locations in the opening?

tomk:  But did you notice each cast member has his or her character’s sigil next to his or her name?

jimmy:  I’m not sure I did, but will take note to pay attention next time!

tomk:  It’s very specific. The actor playing Jorah has the Mormont bear.

jimmy:  Jorah, able to lose his charge to a building with no doors.

tomk:  It was a magic building powered by meth heads.

jimmy:  Like cocaine, meth is a hell of a drug.

tomk:  There were plenty of illusions around Qarth. Having most of them in one phallic tower certainly helps.

jimmy:  I was a little surprised the whole Qarth thing wrapped up so quickly. I guess no one warned Old Jamie Madrox that dragons breath fire.

tomk:  They do it on command.

jimmy:  They love their mommy.

tomk:  Especially Drogon.

jimmy:  And as much through the seasons that Dany tries to avoid violence, she’s quick to punish those that cross her in the 10th episode each year.

tomk:  Dany does believe in mercy, but don’t piss her off.

jimmy:  For sure.

And don’t take her dragons.

tomk:  What did you think of the visions?

jimmy:  It was nice to see Drogo again, but a very heartbreaking scene with their son there as well.

Great job at the end though having him return to being catatonic as she walks away.

tomk:  It was certainly unexpected. Dany’s visions from the novel, and her whole reason for going to the House of the Undying, were very different.

The book version goes as follows: Dany is schmoozing all over Qarth trying to find help getting across the Narrow Sea, and she’s trying the warlocks. The dragons were never taken. One opts to to tag along, Drogon. She goes in and sees multiple visions. One is the past, her brother Rhaegar with a “prince that was promised”. Another is a prediction for the most famous scene from book three and possibly the whole series. Later she gets to the actual Undying and is held prisoner, but they show her various weird visions and give her a prophesy. She will light three fires, there will be mounts (presumably three dragon riders), and three betrayals. The betrayals will be for blood, gold, and love. Dany later figures the blood one is the witch who did what she did to Drogo. As it is, the Undying plan to hold her forever but Drogon pops up and barbecues some kind of heart thing floating over a table and instantly kills all of them.

jimmy:  And you said Dany’s arc from the books would be boring!

tomk:  That’s the one highlight!

The rest of it is boring!

It didn’t read badly when I read the book, but it would have come across as rather dull by comparison for the show. It’s a lot of her reflecting on her needs and learning what she needs to do to be a real ruler/conquerer. She learns a similar lesson on the show, but learns it in a very different manner. No betrayals, no “king of Qarth”. Heck, that guy lived in the book and returned for a cameo in book five, where he and Dany have a cordial relationship. No mystery vaults full of nothing in particular.

jimmy:  And definitely not full of food or water.

tomk:  Or natural light or even a vent for fresh air.

jimmy:  Don’t mess with Daenerys.

tomk:  Look, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Dany.

jimmy:  Lol.

tomk:  But tossing Drogo in was particularly heartbreaking and surprising. Plus, it was the dragons screaming that pulled Dany away from there. Beyond that…the Iron Throne in an empty room where clearly Winter has Come? The gate through the Wall? Those can’t be good things.

jimmy:  Good for Joffrey haters.

tomk:  As much as it might be nice for Joffrey not to sit on the throne, that seems to be going too far in the other direction.

jimmy:  Fine.

So, what were the point of the visions? And what if she chose to sit on the throne or stay with Drogo? Would she have been lost to the Multiple Man forever?

tomk:  Well, the Throne was probably a portent of doom to come if someone doesn’t do something about, say, the White Walkers.

That might be why the Wall was there too.

Drogo? He could have been a trap, or at least a past thing Dany needed to let go of.

jimmy:  That’s true. And as you said it was the dragons that brought her back.

tomk:  The magic returned with the dragons.

Of course, it looks like the White Walkers were doing something before the dragons returned, so who knows what caused what?

jimmy:  It probably let them know it was time to head full steam ahead, all hands on board for the South.

tomk:  Or whatever they’re doing. They apparently had to make a pit stop at the Fist of the First Men first and take care of the Night’s Watch.

jimmy:  Well, that is the celibate group that’s supposed to stop them.

tomk:  Yeah, good thing they aren’t heavily outnumbered by walking corpses or something. They need Daryl Dixon and Michonne right about now.

(I looked those names up.)

jimmy:  Heh. And well done. They could definitely use those two. And they are best skilled with swords and crossbows so they’d fit right in.

tomk:  Everything I know about The Walking Dead I learned from this:

jimmy:  We’ll have to get you into Walking Dead next…

tomk:  We can switch it up when we’re done GoT perhaps.

YOU can be the experienced guy!

jimmy:  A below average experienced guy according to Watson, but that’s a whole other story.

tomk:  He’s getting the exchange rate wrong.

jimmy:  Heh. I hope so. In either case…I don’t think the Night’s Watch has enough men.

tomk:  You’re only saying that because they told you as much back in season one.

jimmy:  You think I remember that?!?!

tomk:  It was last month for you, so yes.

jimmy:  Well…maybe. But also because they have like 5 guys and there is a bajillion undead.

tomk:  That is another good clue.

jimmy:  We should talk more about episode nine. Like, the betrayal of Tyrion.

tomk:  That’s the thanks he gets for saving the city. Well, Cersei did say she’d get him for daring to send her daughter to safety.

jimmy:  Cersei was a bit more drunk and insane this episode.

tomk:  Drunk Cersei may be the best Cersei.

jimmy:  Sansa would tend to disagree.

tomk:  Sansa probably believes Dead Cersei is the best Cersei.

jimmy:  This is true.

tomk:  But Tyrion was saved because he was good for spotting talent with his assistant/squire in the form of Podrick Payne.

jimmy:  Yeah, Pod stepped it up!

tomk:  Pod sticks around.

jimmy:  Good. And then we also had poor old Tyrion being stripped of his duties as the hand and shuffled off to some hovel as Cersei and her faithful think they’ve had the last laugh.

tomk:  There apparently is no reward for doing your job well when the only immediate relative that even likes you is a POW.

jimmy:  More a POB (prisoner of Brienne) these days.

tomk:  She doesn’t serve the Starks.

She will bury the dead.

jimmy:  She proved those points pretty clearly. Also proved how good a warrior she was. I think Jaime might be second guessing his boasting about besting her from slightly earlier.

tomk:  Yeah, well, she already made Iron Flowers look like a punk, so you are probably already a huge fan.

jimmy:  Ha. Good point. But that’s not hard to do.

tomk:  Impress you or beat Iron Flowers?

jimmy:  I thought that was ambiguous. 🙂

Beat Flower Fist.

tomk:  I see. Impress you by beating Iron Flowers.

jimmy:  Iron Fist sucks. Ok. Is that what you’re after?

tomk:  No. Just reestablishing our priorities.

jimmy:  As for Brienne, I’m indifferent at the moment. But I can see why someone like Jenny would be a big fan.

tomk:  Brienne would make an awesome knight if it weren’t for the fact she lacks a dick…or did until she took custody of Jaime.

jimmy:  Zing!

tomk:  Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week! Be sure to tip your waitress!

But now that Cat has dispatched the best prisoner her family had to maybe get her daughters back, Robb clearly won’t take her advice anymore.

jimmy:  Like the advice not to get married and piss off a powerful but shaky ally?

tomk:  A powerful, shaky, temperamental and possibly vengeful ally.

jimmy:  Yeah. That guy.

tomk:  I’m sure it’ll be fine.

jimmy:  Phew! Good. I was a little concerned.

tomk:  Robb married for love in a world without. We need that in this world!

I mean, look at Theon! Aside from Yara, nobody seems to love that guy!

jimmy:  Speaking of dicks…

tomk:  Well, there isn’t a Stark in Winterfell anymore.

So here’s a question: if the Iron Islanders were surrendering Theon to the army outside, who sacked and burned Winterfell?

jimmy:  Ms Impossible asked the same question. I assumed they did on their way out and were taking Theon home…but I guess we’ll learn more in the future.

tomk:  Those guys were not sneaking Theon past an army of 500. Theon should have just snuck out and took the Black.

jimmy:  Bah! What do you know????

But you’re probably right. Though Theon had no desire to meet up with Jon Snow.

tomk:  I can’t imagine why. He didn’t really kill Bran and Rickon. Just two other small children…

Maester Luwan seems to see Theon wants to be a good man.

jimmy:  Not that it will do much good now.

tomk:  For either of them from the looks of things.

That was a good, rousing speech he was giving. But this is GoT. Those things never work out the way you think they will.

jimmy:  Yeah, I was a little surprised they clobbered him and headed home.

tomk:  They used up all the money on the Battle of Blackwater Bay.

jimmy:  Haha, that’s true.

tomk:   Still, we don’t really know what happened there yet. Someone burned up Winterfell.

jimmy:  Robb is not going to be happy.

tomk:  Robb may be a little too distracted to notice for now.

jimmy:  The honeymoon period.

tomk:  So, there’s no Stark in Winterfell. Let’s review where the Starks are at the end of season two:

Robb and Cat are campaigning in the middle of Westeros.
Sansa is a prisoner in King’s Landing with the promise of possible Joffrey Rape even if Margaery is now set to be the queen.
Arya is traveling North on foot with Gendry and Impossible favorite Hot Pie.
Bran and Rickon, both believed dead, are headed North to Castle Black.
And Jon may be becoming an honorary Wildling after killing Qhorin Halfhand.

jimmy:  And now we know what happens to Winterfell when there’s no Stark in Winterfell.

tomk:  Yeah. They let the Homeowner’s Insurance lapse.

Of course, it might also mean bad times for the entire North, largest of the Seven Kingdoms.

jimmy:  Maybe. I dunno. I have a feeling Season Three is going to be a lot more chipper.

tomk:  Well, how could it possibly get worse for people we like?

jimmy:  I don’t think it can. But hopefully it gets a lot worse for the ones we don’t.

tomk:  That’s true. Did you have anything to say about Jon in the North? The novel makes it more explicit that Halfhand essentially told Jon to kill him so Jon could get in tight with Mance Rayder, the former Night’s Watchman who is now King Beyond The Wall.

jimmy:  I think in the show it was a bit more of just “do what needs to be done”, but almost every fight in this show ends up in bloodshed and death.

tomk:  It’s almost as if using bladed weapons is acutely dangerous…

But consider this if you will: Wildlings value their freedom. They don’t generally have kings. Why do they have one now?

jimmy:  Well, you don’t have to kneel to him.

tomk:  True, but why do they have one now?

That’s an question for later.

jimmy:  Good question. People need leaders though. All you need is a bunch of people running around doing what they feel. You can’t always be like the boy.


The Wildlings aren’t devoid of leaders. They just tend to be more tribal and factional, not one guy in charge overall.

jimmy:  That’s why God invented season threes.

tomk:  Should we move on to that then?

jimmy:  Sure. Looking forward to seeing Sam crap his pants. Hmmm…wait…

tomk:  Maybe that’s how you scare a White Walker away!

And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon as Jimmy and Tom start season three with the episodes “Valar Dohaeris” and “Dark Wings, Dark Words”.