God’s not supposed to talk back. That’s kind of the point.
Quick takes: I took some well-deserved heat last week for saying Tywin was right, and what I meant was, from his perspective, he was making the smartest moves there were to ensure his family came out on top, and neither of his kids had any answers back other than Daddy I Don’ Wanna, which always gets on my nerves. So I phrased that badly. I do think Tyrion gets a raw deal, but honestly, name me somebody on this show who doesn’t get screwed over by life, and his continued Internet status as some kind of Nice Guy’s Stand-In sometimes makes me confuse the character with his fanclub. Unfair of me.
Speaking of Tywin, can we please have some kind of Red-Keep-Cam which shows him and Olenna having lunch forever, playing chess and sniping at each other? Those two badasses, I swear. As an addendum, I would pay cash money for a show in which Edmure Tully said whiny things to the Blackfish, who then beats him like a pinata. And huzzah, Catelyn Stark gets one line in a scene which in the books is ENTIRELY HER DOING AND IDEA. Did the actress run over the writers’ dog or something?
There was a lot of yelling on the Internets about how unnecessary/gross/degrading Ros’s death was. Here’s why I disagree: Littlefinger doesn’t come across as particularly dangerous. Scheme-y and scenery-chewy and a little too moustache-twirling-ly in love with “playing the game,” I mean he’s oily and gross, but dangerous? I don’t know if I bought him as the real kind of threat you need to buy him as for what’s coming. Handing Ros over to be trussed up and murdered by Joffrey? Okay, I buy it now.
So there’s one movie about God that I love more than any other and it’s this one. If you haven’t seen it, and this is me so you know I’m not so much proselytizing for Jaysus as telling you to watch a great overlooked performance by a hell of a talented actor, go run and watch it now.
If you have seen it, remember this?
You talk to God because you’re sure he can’t talk back. Won’t talk back. Won’t even bother. Screw him, basically, he’s an asshole who lets thieves get rich and saints get shot and never, ever lets the Cubs win the Series. He makes it rain on circus day, and I’ve been asking for years but there’s still no pony in my parents’ garage.
You talk to him and talk to him and talk to him, and take solace in the knowledge that he’s a jerk and you can blame him for everything because he’s not actually there, and then, just when you’re sure he’s a huckster and a liar and everyone else is deluded and you’re the only one who’s figured it out? That’s exactly, and I mean exactly, when he poleaxes you. And you can pretend all you want but nobody’s ever really ready for that message, come across the firing line. When the gods wish to punish us, says the easy platitude, they answer our prayers.
Wrong. It’s not punishment, the answer. It just feels like it because we have no other words for this. And everything we said we always wanted, everything we climbed toward, driving our axes into the ice, comes rushing in at once.
Thoros of Myr said the words and did the work. He mouthed the prayers they taught him to mouth, he sang at the nightfires and tried to turn Robert Baratheon, of all people, toward this fire god on his High Priest’s orders. But he never really believed it until Beric Dondarrion died beneath his hands, and then he called, and his god came.
We think the worst thing is that you’re not what you said you were, and somebody found that out. The worst thing, the hardest thing, is that you’re everything you said you were, and you found that out. He was faking it, and now? It was all true.
Gendry thought this was a brotherhood, a place where the good of all would be put before one man’s desire. It is. When the good of all is gold for weapons, food and horses, he’s put in chains and carried off. This was exactly what they told him it was, what he’d been praying for. What he wanted.
Arya Stark shot arrows into straw men, whispering names as the shafts hit home. Head, tits, balls. Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne. But the straw men move in real life, and you have to let go without thinking, without aiming. Your eye knows where you’re going even if you don’t. When the straw men present themselves to her, when the names she’s been whispering rise before her, she’ll have to shoot fast enough to keep them at bay. She can’t do that yet. She’s still learning. She’s trying to get ready.
But you can’t get ready, not for an answer from your gods. The answer, the voice, it never comes at the right time. It’s always in the middle of a dinner party, or on a weekend when you were supposed to go to Napa Valley with some friends. What I’m calling God, by the way? Don’t get hung up and reduce it. Self-knowledge. Vocation. An idea, even. A person. The point isn’t the voice, it’s the fact of the reply, and knowing that nobody’s prepared for their lives to come and claim them.
You know who’s least prepared of all? The person who’s been begging for an answer for years, in the dark, even though he’s sure it’s all a lie.
Just a story we tell to make children behave.