July 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Westeros Watch Part Twenty-Two

Jimmy and Tom return to Westeros for a discussion of the season five episodes "High Sparrow" and "Sons of the Harpy".

After a one week hiatus as Jimmy conducted a vital fact-finding mission to a far off land, he and Tom are back to discuss more Game of Thrones.

This week, the guys are covering the episodes “High Sparrow” and “Sons of the Harpy”.

tomk:  Alas Ser Barriston…

jimmy:  Yeah. That one hurt.

tomk:  And it’s not in the books! He’s still alive there!

jimmy:  Really? Those bastards!

tomk:  Even the actor was a bit surprised. But he sure took a lot of the Sons of the Harpy with him.

jimmy:  And saved Grey Worm. Was the sequence at least in the books?

tomk:  Not in the slightest.

Grey Worm takes a lot of those guys out too.

jimmy:  He does. But he’s only alive thanks to Ser Barriston.

tomk:  Barriston was the greatest swordsman in Westeros for a reason, but even the great ones can lose to superior numbers.

jimmy:  I hate those Harpy guys.

tomk:  Well, now you have a reason beyond “creepy masks”.

jimmy:  True.

tomk:  And after he told Dany that nice story about Prince Rhaegar…

It’s almost like they were giving the old man one nice humanizing moment before he died.

jimmy:  Walking Dead does that all the time. Someone does something nice or becomes the moral compass of the show, you know they’re gone.

tomk:  Stannis’ days must be numbered after that chat with his daughter.

jimmy:  Maybe. Though getting the healers for her was something he did before the series, so he may be ok. In this instance anyway.

tomk:  It’s the nicest he’s been to anybody so far.

jimmy:  Yeah. He’s dead.

tomk:  We saw a character we like die. Stannis isn’t that guy.

Though that leads me to ask you, Jimmy…what do you think of Stannis?

jimmy:  I think he’s probably always been a bit rough around the edges, but a good and honorable man. But his (rightful) obsession with the throne and the influence of the Red Woman have corrupted him.

tomk:  Stannis isn’t exactly a villain, but he’s hardly someone we might really root for.

jimmy:  Good description. Some of his methods are highly questionable.

tomk:  True. But the series did make an attempt to make him seem humane when dealing with his daughter. He isn’t completely cold to the world.

Besides, I was making a mental list of Characters Jimmy Hates, and that came out like so:

1. Forking Ramsay
2. Cersei
3. Living Joffrey
4. Dead Joffrey
5. Sons of the Harpy
6. Negan
7. The entirety of House Watson
8. Captain Kangaroo, he who tortured poor Mr. Moose with ping pong balls.

No Stannis.

jimmy:  An extensive list like that is hard to argue.

tomk:  We all have our lists.

jimmy:  Some lists include a lot of cleaning and minding no ones business.

tomk:  Stannis loves a clean, if dark and dank, room.

jimmy:  I was thinking more of the artist formally known as Arya Stark.

tomk:  She should set her list aside for now. Arya Stark has a list. A nameless girl does not.

jimmy:  Exactly. That other nameless girl is moving up the “hate” list.

tomk:  The waif? I saw her on an episode of Black Mirror. That actress is older than she looks.

jimmy:  Is that her name?

tomk:  Yes. The waif.

jimmy:  Nameless girls have weird names.

tomk:  She has her duties. A girl must serve.

jimmy:  Arya has her limits though, she wouldn’t throw Needle away.

tomk:  She will never not be a Stark.

jimmy:  Well, she can’t be both no one and a Stark.

tomk:  Obviously.

Not-so-obvious: there’s more to being a Faceless Man than wearing disguises and murdering people.

jimmy:  Yes. A lot of chores apparently.

tomk:  They handle all aspects of death. You didn’t know they ran a funeral home?

jimmy:  Appears that way. I would not want the job of cleaning those bodies.

tomk:  That is a real world job. Face-changing assassins are something else and everything has an apprenticeship period.

jimmy:  I know it is a real job, I still wouldn’t want it. Nor would I want the job of “water tester”.

tomk:  Every job has duties that people don’t like.

jimmy:  No doubt. And Arya is willing to do pretty much anything to get what she wants.

tomk:  Well, up to a point. She’s still a kid and a nobleman’s daughter.

jimmy:  Who’ll stab a guy in the throat.

tomk:  She will when she gets to that part of her lessons. Right now she’s still dealing with wax on/wax off.

jimmy:  I think we’ve waxed philosophical enough about Arya. I feel like you had more to say about Stannis and I changed the subject on you.

tomk:  Nah. I’m good. What about Sansa?

jimmy:  Sansa? Well, Sansa is forked.

tomk:  Forking Ramsay…

jimmy:  At least she made it back to Winterfell. None of the rest of them have/will. But damn. Could she have worse luck? Betrothed to Joffrey. Married to Tyrion. Now heading towards a marriage with Ramsay. Whoever inspired Sansa really pissed GRRM off.

tomk:  GRRM did not marry Sansa off to Ramsay. It was a completely different character.

jimmy:  Then Sophie Turner sure pisses off the writers. Probably by taking all the animals home with her.

tomk:  Maybe they knew she’d be a terrible Jean Grey.

jimmy:  Haha. The Gods bringing balance to the universe.

tomk:  She has to drop Cersei down a reactor shaft to save a relative she doesn’t know she has yet.

jimmy:  Lol. I’m looking forward to that!

tomk:  In the meantime, this plot line actually went to a different character in book five: Sansa’s friend Jayne who disappeared after the Lannisters captured Ned’s people in the first book. Officially, Ramsay is marrying Arya though most people seem to know the girl isn’t really Arya.

jimmy:  And I wonder why they changed it for the show…

tomk:  Sansa has to do something every year. It prevents her from going Dark Phoenix.

Plus, Theon remembering himself might mean more if he tries to help Sansa as opposed to a forgotten supporting character the audience barely knows.

jimmy:  Which is the way it happens in the books I assume?

(Though he doesn’t do much here besides hide from her.)

tomk:  Theon is still very broken.

jimmy:  I still like him better than the Boltons.

tomk:  Most people do.

Theon is, at his worst, a sniveling weasel looking for approval that is never coming, and someone who is very conflicted over his actions. Ramsay and Roose are just bad dudes.

jimmy:  So perfectly reasonable people for Littlefinger to arrange a marriage to Sansa with, whom he claims to care about.

tomk:  Littlefinger doesn’t seem to understand how love works.

Considering he is primarily a brothel owner and he pushed his wife out the Moon Door, this is hardly shocking.

jimmy:  He was never able to acquire his one and only love. And now he will do whatever he needs to to obtain ultimate power.

tomk:  That doesn’t end well for many people.

jimmy:  He kinda looks like Littlefinger, just needs a goatee.

tomk:  He’s that or the Night King.

All of them owe money to the Iron Bank of Braavos.

jimmy:  That’s ok. Mace Tyrell will sort all that out.

tomk:  Yeah. Sherlock Tyrell is on the case…Westeros is so screwed…

jimmy:  haha

tomk:  Speaking of screwed….the Faith Militant.

jimmy:  Is this High Sparrow storyline in the books?

tomk:  Yes.

Cersei puts the guy, something of a religious fanatic, in charge of the Church of the Seven and lets him revive the Faith Militant because she thinks she can control the guy. She is very wrong.

Considering the Faith Militant is like a more violent version of the Spanish Inquisition, that is not surprising.

jimmy:  No one expects the Faith Militant.

tomk:  Unfortunately, the Faith Militant’s chief weapons aren’t limited to surprise, fear, and an unwavering devotion to the High Sparrow.

I mean, they just arrested Loras on the street and were really doing a number on some of the brothel clientele.

jimmy:  I have a feeling I’m not going to like those guys.

tomk:  For you, not a bad bet. They did arrest Iron Fist, but otherwise, who knows?

jimmy:  Arresting Iron Fist is fine. The reasons for his arrest are not.

tomk:  OK, you are tough but fair.

Unlike the Sand Snakes.

jimmy:  Before we get to that…what is the joke about Watson and Sand Snakes that seems to come up occasionally?

Or do I want to know?

tomk:  When we did the death pool for the last season, Watson wanted to explain why he knew what he knew about one of the Sand Snakes.

Specifically, the one on Netflix’s Iron Fist.

jimmy:  I see. So…the Sand Snakes…

tomk:  Are Oberyn Martell’s illegitimate daughters. The books say there are seven, but only three are seen doing much because the others are still very young.

Elaria Sand is the mother of only one of them, and I don’t remember their names so don’t ask me which one aside from “the short-haired one”.

jimmy:  And “that one that was on Iron Fist”.

tomk:  I know them by their weapons. Iron Fist-woman has a whip, one uses a spear, and the third…well, you’ll see.

jimmy:  A butt scratcher?

tomk:  I said you’ll see. She may be Watson’s favorite.

jimmy:  Because of this?

tomk:  Sure. Why not?

jimmy:  Sorry. Once I got that stuck in my head I had to post it.

tomk:  I blame Watson.

jimmy:  Indubitably!

tomk:  But I guess I can appreciate something that just gets lodged in your head.

jimmy:  lol

tomk:  You’re just meeting the Sand Snakes right now. I don’t want to put it all on them, but the Dorne plotline is not a popular one for a reason.

jimmy:  They’re not the most likable bunch.

tomk:  And they already know two more likable characters are in Dorne.

jimmy:  Tyrion and Bronn were great together, but Bronn and Jaime might be funnier.

tomk:  They are quite the mismatched pair. Especially as Bronn hints he knows what the princess really means to Jaime.

jimmy:  Yes.

I like the jokes where Bronn has to do all the work because of Jaime’s missing hand.

tomk:  The hand did stop a sword.

jimmy:  Yes. He is getting good at that aspect at least.

tomk:  Or just lucky.

jimmy:  Perhaps.

tomk:  But he may need to be careful. The Sand Snakes may be easily startled, but they soon come back and in greater numbers.

jimmy:  And they’ll go all Chuck Norris movie on you and bury you up to your neck in sand and then cover your head with a bucket full of scorpions.

tomk:  And there are the dogs, and the bees, and the dogs with the bees in their mouths so that when they bark they shoot bees at you.

jimmy:  They do their worst!

tomk:  But speaking of odd pairings, if we skip The Worst, Tyrion has a new traveling companion.

jimmy:  A very friendly one at that.

tomk:  You mean the Dany lookalike with no pants when you say that, right?

jimmy:  If I did, I would have to capitalize it as FRIENDLY.

tomk:  Ah.

jimmy:  Or should the VERY be capitalized? Anyway, I meant Jorah And The Unnecessary Kidnapping.

tomk:  Was it unnecessary? Sure, Tyrion was going there anyway, but Jorah wants back in.

jimmy:  As a bargaining chip for Jorah it still makes sense.

tomk:  Depends on how flexible the Queen is. Hopefully more flexible than certain Lord Commanders for Jorah’s sake.

jimmy:  She’s still pretty hurt. It might not buy him any favor. And she’s no fan of the Lannisters, so they could both end up dead. (Though I doubt it.)

tomk:  That could be why Jorah is delivering Tyrion: so Dany can kill an enemy.

Jorah most likely figures Dany will want Tyrion and she can do whatever she wants with him once Jorah hands him over.

jimmy:  He is the most wanted dwarf in Westeros.

tomk:  I suppose. He’s not in Westeros anymore. And he’s caught between two Sarah Connors.

jimmy:  Hey! It’s Webster!

tomk:  Webster is Sarah Connor?

jimmy:  No, your image. Never mind. But yeah, Jorah’s a little obsessed with Dany, but we already knew that.

tomk:  True. But all Dany wants right now is to never hear about the fighting pits again.

jimmy:  Well, when there’s no Netflix, you gotta do something and chill.

tomk:  Chilling is for the Wall.

jimmy:  Not if you’re Janos Slynt.

tomk:  Well, 75% of him can still chill.

jimmy:  He’s had this coming for awhile though.

tomk:  Yeah, well, you don’t mouth off to the Lord Commander when he gives you an important job.

jimmy:  Even his buddy Thorne knew better than to get involved.

tomk:  I get the impression Slynt wasn’t all that bright for some reason.

jimmy:  We at least know he was cowardly. And Jon get some measure of revenge for the murder of his father…whether he knows it or not.

tomk:  I don’t think Jon is all about revenge. He just showed why Slynt’s line of BS about connections and such means nothing either in the North or the Night’s Watch.

jimmy:  Connections outside the Night’s Watch also mean nothing to Jon as he again turns down Stannis and politely asks when he’s leaving.

tomk:  Stannis doesn’t seem to understand the Watch any more than he understands the Wildlings.

jimmy:  Davos and Melisandre also try to convince Jon to help them retake Winterfell. Luckily, Davos uses a different tactic.

tomk:  Davos is practical. It makes him very valuable in the grand scheme of things.

jimmy:  And probably not Jon’s type.

tomk:  Considering Ygritte died like two days ago, Melisandre isn’t either.

jimmy:  Mourning periods don’t seem to be overly long in Westeros anyway. Margaery and Tommen are already married.

tomk:  Margaery hardly missed her previous husbands.

But Tommen got some. Now he wants to do stuff like defy the Faith Militant to rescue Iron Fist.

jimmy:  Or send his mother away from King’s Landing.

tomk:  You don’t want your mom hanging around while you get some. Totally kills the mood.

jimmy:  There’s no doubt about that.

Especially when your wife is telling your mom how exhausted she is after the wedding night.

tomk:  Reminds me of when a female friend told me her mother-in-law gave her lingerie at her bridal shower…

jimmy:  Ewww.

As a viewer though, it was nice to see someone score points against Cersei.

tomk:  However temporarily.

jimmy:  Yes, always fleeting.

And back to your original point, Tommen is not looking like he will have much of a backbone as king. Backing down when the going got tough trying to get Iron Fist freed.

tomk:  What was his option? Massacre people in the streets?

jimmy:  No. Not that previous us kings wouldn’t have. Hopefully he is falling back to come up with a plan. Though Margaery doesn’t think so, as she runs off to get her grandmother involved.

tomk:  There really aren’t any good options since Cersei allowed the Faith Militant to come back.

jimmy:  Yeah. Those guys are going to be trouble.

tomk:  Cersei ruins everything.

jimmy:  Indeed.

So what’s left for this set? I was thinking of Winterfell, but we have covered that somewhat.

tomk:  Perhaps we should move on. Probably get another wedding soon.

jimmy:  Man, there can’t be many people left to get married.

tomk:  Wait until Bronn marries Arya!

jimmy:  At least we like both of them.

tomk:  True. But while stranger things have happened, it’s rarely things we like…

And so our Watch continues.  Be back soon as Tom and Jimmy cover the episodes “Kill the Boy” and “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” and see if stranger things do indeed happen.