Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Game of Thrones" Analysis featuring Drew Galloway

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. AKA I send Drew a wicked long email and he responds. Here ya go!

Robbie Vogel <>
May 13 (6 days ago)
to Drew

So clearly my previous effort asked you far too many questions. I got a little excited, it's Game of Thrones, what are ya gonna do? 

So, if you scroll past my nonsense ramblings, I've only asked two questions this week. And I'm trying to keep this short and sweet. Less is more.

Ok, here we go.

First, this episode (307 - "The Bear and the Maiden Fair") was written by George R.R. Martin, author of the original book series. This immediately excited me, but then I remembered that if I had my way, he would be locked in a dungeon, similar to the one in which we find Theon, finishing the novels before he dies of old age.

Also, did you know GRRM is a Jets fan?

Moving on.

Quotes of the week include the following:

Random Stark bannerman (possibly a Tully, I don't care to look it up): "I've seen wet shits I liked better than Walder Frey."

Bronn had a terrific day, with: "How did marrying a whore work out for you the first time?"   and    "You waste time trying to get people to love you, you'll end up the most popular dead man in town." and also  "You pay me to kill people who bother you. Evil notions come free."

Jaime with a Catholic priest joke to his doctor: "So why did the Citadel take your chain? Did you fondle one boy too many?"

Back to the notes. 

I think Robb's girl is a Lannister spy. They've already departed from the books in not making her a random maiden from the West (which would actually have given her a better possibility of being a Lannister spy, incidentally), and she writes in a language that Robb can't read. She's using her feminine wiles to win his heart, while her head spins circles around his. SPOILER ALERT: I think she's got something to do with the planning of the Red Wedding.

Either way, we now know that this relationship is well and truly fucked. There's no hope for them in the long term, and not really even in the longer short term. And why is that? Because Robb did the unthinkable. He said the one thing that you are ABSOLUTELY not allowed to say in this series. 

He said he loved her. 

My actual note reads: "NO NO NO ROBB NEVER SAY THE L WORD." Love was the theme of this episode, and love is nearly impossible in this society.

Think about any relationship in this story. Every single one is completely screwy. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE in this story has something even resembling a healthy, loving relationship. And not just romantic love either. Take the crazed parental love of Lady Arryn, Cersei, or Cat (or Dany, if we're really getting weird). Or the grumbling, vengeful rage that first Tyrion, and now Cersei, feel for their father. And don't even get me started on what Jaime and Cersei have. 

The only relationships that were presumably happy and kind of normal were those of Ned Stark (dead), Jon Arryn (dead), and Tywin and his unnamed wife (long dead). 

It seems, when playing the Game, there is no room for love in the equation.

This is why I love watching the Jon-Ygritte dynamic. It's clear that Jon is no wildling. His upbringing still hangs heavy about him like a cartoon rain cloud, and occasionally forces him to spout unhappy truths like his "Six times" monologue. He loves Ygritte, but he grew up south of the Wall. He knows that love is useless.

She, on the other hand, is a hopeless romantic and an extreme pragmatist all wrapped up in one flame-headed wildling. I think this is why I love her so much. She repeats the Jason-Mraz-inspired Tyrion-Shae mantra ("You are mine, and I am yours") with a zeal that makes you believe that SHE believes it. She's in it for Jon. Realistic about the future, which most likely includes her early death, but desperate and unashamed to spend her present with the man she loves. 

See my question #1 below for more on this concept.

On another note, George R.R. Martin is a horny old bastard. There was a serious amount of nudity on this Mother's Day episode, including a scene plucked straight from a Saw knock-off porno: the Varys-ization of Theon Greyjoy. I can only imagine the awkward familial interactions this scene in particular spawned (pun intended) in living rooms around the country. 

If you haven't seen it, please view this Tyrion and Bronn "Calvin and Hobbes" picture.

It's perfect. Bronn dispensing simple truth bombs while protecting the little one from all manner of seen and unseen enemies.

Speaking of truth bombs, Shae drops them as well. Tyrion is surrounded by truth-flinging brunettes. Kind of the exact opposite of his family. Probably the way he likes it. What I'm wondering is, why does Shae like him so much? She doesn't seem to care about money, clearly can't have any illusions about power, and has to remain hidden at all times. Seems like a shitty way to live, especially if your reward between the sheets is someone who was once mistaken for a child between the sheets by Tina Fey

Quick random timing question: The last dragon died out with a skull no bigger than an apple. The monster ones that roamed the skies and melted Harrenhal died 300 years before that. I kind of thought dragons lived for at least several human lifetimes, but it would seem that there had to be at least 7-10 dragon generations between the carriage-headed dragon of 300 years ago and the apple-headed one of, let's say, 75 years ago. How long do dragons live? Are we talking dog years here? If so, are Dany's three going through their teen angst, or does that come when SPOILER ALERT Drogon up and peaces the fuck out for weeks on end? 

Random Note Time: 

In which I jot down what I jotted down while watching the show.

This scene with Tywin and Joffrey wouldn't have been in the books, as neither of them were POV characters.

 Grey Worm looks like Colin Kaepernick

How long does it take to set up these elaborate camp tents for Robb and Dany?

Dany is becoming RUTHLESS in her emancipation efforts. Interesting to look at why. She was sold as a slave, but made the best of it (understatement) and became Khaleesi of the greatest khalasar on the Dothraki Sea. Conversely, she saved a woman from becoming a slave (Mirri Maz Duur) and, because she had not saved her in a more timely fashion, it cost her the life of her beloved Khal Drogo and her unborn child, who would have been the Stallion that Mounts the World.

You'd think she'd want to enslave everyone.

Foreshadowing from Tyrion as he gives Shae "chains of gold." I was wondering how they would make that future scene work, as the item denoting the Hand of the King is now a stickpin, rather than a necklace. 

I think Arya is confused. She proclaims to follow Death as her only God. SPOILER ALERT This is foreshadowing for her future efforts across the Narrow Sea.

However, the only encounters she's had with death besides that of her father have been from the hand of Jaqen H'Ghar, who follows the Red God aka the Lord of Light. So really, she's a follower of that religion.

Finally, it seems no good deed goes unpunished for Jaime Lannister. Saving Brienne from the frying pan of being raped by Locke and his followers earlier in the season, he's now unintentionally thrown her into the fire of being held ransom for far more than her father can ever pay (due to Jaime's lie that Brienne's father owns all the sapphires in the Seven Kingdoms). This is highly typical of George RR Martin's world, where nothing good ever works out and oftentimes, everything positive turns negative.

Also, if Jaime had hopped down into the bear pit with no sword and no right arm and said "I immediately regret this decision", that would have been awesome.

BUT more importantly, from this situation comes my second and final question. Read on. 

Question # 1: To borrow a line from Haddaway and the Butabi brothers "What is Love?" 

But seriously. More to the point, what can people who have to play the Game (nobles, highborns, etc.) reasonably expect from their romantic relationships? 

Question # 2: There seems to be no form of media in this society. No printed news, no books that haven't been written by hand, and certainly no long-distance communication except by faulty ravens. How did this affect the Jaime-Brienne fiasco that played out in this episode, and how do you think it has affected the series as a whole? Think about how Westeros views Dany and vice versa, and how the various Kingdoms of Westeros feel about different events. 

Finally, I would be remiss without mentioning THE UNDISPUTED BIGGEST COMEBACK IN THE HISTORY OF HOCKEY



Drew Galloway
9:23 PM (14 hours ago)
to me
Ok so first point----the guy with the incredible line about liking wet shits more than walder frey is breydan the blackfish tully---reasonably important character

I like your theory on robb's woman---they have departed a lot so it wouldnt be a shock if she betrays him............BUT i doubt it now that they made her knocked up---b/c of this she clearly must die when robb dies so their son is killed so sansa becomes heir to winterfell (b/c everyone assumes rickon and bran muffin are dead)

Arya is the best.....her death response was chilling. I cant wait until she becomes the ultimate assassin----think jason bourne meets uma thurman (kill bill) meets jack bauer meets----------WAIT 24 IS BACK?!?!?!!???!????? Holy shit a subject for another day (and thread)

On to your questions:

1) Sex. Then less sex as they cheat on each other. Then death. There is basically no hope for any good relationships. On the surface, ned and cat's relationship seemed great----but then we found out she was promised to his brother, ned fathered a bastard (allegedly), and ned is never home always fighting & then getting his chopped

2) good point about the media. Everything is done through ravens so it presumably takes months (atleast) to receive news in westeros and even longer coming from across the sea.  It affects the series by creating more uncertainty. Nobody knows whether dany is a threat or not. Nobody knew where tywin was leading the army until he showed up & crushed stannis. Although curiously winterfell heard quite quickly about ned's death. So maybe there's inconsistancy. But your point remains. I like it.

Pumped for next week.....aka tomorrow

No comments:

Post a Comment