Who by Common Trial: Game of Thrones Thread

Branstark

Brandon Stark came all this way. From his bed at Winterfell, he came all this way to walk again, and he never will. 

Quick takes: HELL YEAH STANNIS BARATHEON. See, this is why I love him, this, and the devotion of Davos who's all, "Kneel before my royal boyfriend before I cut you, inferior bitches." He rides to the rescue and then sizes up Jon Snow all, "Yeah, you've got your dad's stick-up-the-ass-ness but I dig that in a fellow." 

In the books, Jaime frees Tyrion and then tells him that Tysha, Tyrion's whore-wife mentioned in season one, was never a whore at all, but a sweet crofter's daughter who loved Tyrion sincerely and was raped by the Lannister guards. THAT'S why Tyrion kills Tywin (and to a lesser extent Shae) and is so ruined by it. Since they went out of their way to mention Tysha in season one, I don't know why they'd skimp on her now. If anything, it preserves the notion that Tywin might not be a horrible monster. Trust me, he was. 

And in defense of Shae, for a moment for the Tyrion fanboys: Think about how powerless she is, in King's Landing. Everybody knows she's a whore, everybody knows she's been banging Tyrion, everybody knows she's ten kinds of a liar, and Tyrion dumped her rather unequivocably in favor of Sansa a few eps back. If Tywin asks her to come to his bed, if he offers to pay her, well, I don't see why what she's doing is any less understandable than what Tyrion does when he finds her there. 

Also in the books, it's not Brienne who wounds the Hound. Some rando inflicts a minor injury which festers, and Arya leaves him to rot, because he doesn't deserve the gift of mercy. 

And I don't know what the fuck on earth we are doing with Jaime at all right now. His timeline is so irretrievably hosed, for no narrative reason I can discern, that I can't even tell you what book he's in anymore. 

I've always loved the idea of the Stark children with their wolves. In the books, they can all slip into their wolfskins (all except Sansa, because Lady is dead, which …) and become other creatures: Wilder, fiercer, roaming farther and tasting blood. They go to sleep powerless, but they hunt in their dreams. 

That's all growing up is: Skinchanging. That's all life is, one stage to the next. Different smells in your nose, different tastes in your throat. In Westeros when the daughter of one family marries into another, she slips into his cloak. She changes her skin, becomes someone else. Cersei Lannister wore crimson and gold, the colors of a lion, and when she was sold in marriage to a man who would never love her, all that brightness was smothered under Baratheon black. 

What all that skinchanging teaches you, more often than not? That the colors you wore once, you'll always wear, underneath. Cersei slipped into the skin of Robert's bride but she never stopped being a lion. She never stopped fucking Jaime and she never stopped loving her father and she never stopped wanting to be the king she knew she couldn't be. She seethed, inside her borrowed cloak, and she waited, and her hour's come round at last. 

Danaerys Targaryen slipped into the skin of a benevolent goddess, the Breaker of Chains and the Mother of Dragons. She roamed beneath that cloak for years, glorying in the hunt: Her children flew high and proud, and her armies freed the enslaved. But now the skin doesn't fit: Her freedmen willingly chain themselves because freedom without bread is nothing, and she must shackle her children below the ground, and roll the stone across their tomb. You can feel her bewilderment: This is her new self, and it's unbearable. 

Arya Stark's father found her a water dancing teacher, and her teacher found her a willing student, and Jaqen found an orphan bent on vengeance, and the Hound found a wild refugee. Brienne of Tarth swore her vows as a knight, and put on armor. It didn't matter a bit, come time to keep those vows, and all that she promised, she promised to the dead. Mance Rayder became a King-Beyond-the-Wall, and even in defeat would not strip his colors. 

Bran Stark slipped into Summer, and tasted a deer's hot blood on his tongue. Bran Stark slipped into Hodor, and fought monsters and demons. Bran Stark slept, and dreamed wolf dreams, and trusted that one day he'd be what he once was, a small boy who climbed high towers, who never heard a wolf's midnight cry. 

You will never walk again, said the man knit into the weirwood tree, said the three-eyed raven of Bran Stark's dreams. You will never be what you were, before you traveled all those miles, and felt the insides of all those other skins. 

You'll be what you are now, which is more. 

A. 

4 thoughts on “Who by Common Trial: Game of Thrones Thread

  1. mellowjohn says:

    “Also in the books, it’s not Brienne who wounds the Hound.”
    true, but it was one hellacious fight, very well staged.

  2. mellowjohn says:

    p.s.
    “Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.” –A Storm of Swords

  3. I also liked this plot track for Pod & Brienne way better than the path their journey took in the books and am hopeful it means something new and completely different for them.

  4. jame says:

    Beautiful.

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