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Catelyn's Valyrian Steel Hand
- How is it that Catelyn hasn't lost at LEAST a finger when she catches the assassin's knife? Even if it were a regular sharp knife she should have much worse than a nasty gash. But it's Valyrian steel, which is said to cut through armor like butter. Yet it won't cut through a woman's hand?
Did Jon Arryn use the Sky Cells or the Moon Door?
- I know we never got to meet Lord Arryn but from what we've heard he seems as honorable and old-fashioned as Ned. Surely such a man wouldn't throw people out of a hole in the floor to execute them or put them in a cell that would drive them to suicide? I'm sure Ned didn't approve of it...
- Winterfell has its own dungeons, and I'm sure they're no more pleasant than the sky cells. Not so sure about the Moon Door, though. Maybe if Jon Arryn pushed the condemned through the hole personally? It is right there in the throne room after all.
- Jon Arryn is an Andal. He has no reason to follow First Man traditions.
- This is a series that runs on Values Dissonance as well as Gray and Grey Morality. He might have been a stand-up guy and just as honorable as Ned, but he was still born, raised, and in charge of a part of Westeros... and pretty big on tradition.
- Besides, when you get down to it, are the Moon Door and Sky Cells really that cruel a punishment? Keep in mind, this is a society where hanging is a common punishment, which can lead to painful death struggles for several minutes if done improperly or the executioners want to be extra harsh, and where traitors are subjected to drawing and quartering which is entirely based around causing excruciating torment to the condemned. Compared to that, a fall for a couple of seconds followed by instant death seems outright compassionate.
- "Honorable" is a word without a meaning; or rather, it's a word with whatever meaning the person using it wants it to have.
- In a medieval setting like this the cells that the Arryn have are probably the best kind of prisons in all Westeros that you can hope to end.
Sleeping in the Sky Cells?
- If you were thrown into the Sky Cells, couldn't you just turn perpendicular to the slope? Tyrion sleeps parallel to it, so he rolls down it, but hypothetically, turning 90 degrees would allow you to prevent (at least some) of the sliding. How come no one does that?
- You don't know he lay down parallel, he could have rolled around in his sleep. You ever woken up with your head hanging off the side of the bed? Depending on the layout of the room, huddling in the corner would probably be safest.
- You also have to remember the temperature. With no protection from the wind a Sky Cell would be unbearably cold, and your instinct would be to curl up to conserve body heat.
- Also, people can move around a lot in their sleep. Can't tell you how many times I've gone to sleep in a perfectly normal position and then woken up in the morning having turned completely around somehow in the night.
- No one does that because turning perpendicular means dangling bits of yourself off the edge, even if you're Tyrion's height.
- Why didn't Tyrion use the rings he was clearly wearing to bribe Mord?
- Rings are not coins. They have to be appraised and sold and you never get fair value, not least if the jeweler couldn't do much with them but have them melted down for gold because they're pretty clearly designed for a member of House Lannister. As well ask why he didn't offer the very fine clothes off his back: money is portable, instantly negotiable, and universally (well, almost) valued.
- That, and maybe Tyrion simply has a fondness for his jewelry, and would rather pay Mord in cash if he can. Tyrion didn't know that Mord would take a few goes to come round to the idea.
- A bigger question is why Mord didn't simply swipe Tyrion's rings while he was at it. He seemed inclined to rob him rather than trade with him, anyway.
- Exactly. Mord might've just taken the rings when offered and not done his part of the bargain. "Send this message and I will give you the gold AFTER" works a lot better since it ensures that Mord has to go through with it before he can get his gold.
- And what is Mord going to do with Tyrion's clothing anyway? Surely someone such as him has no children and he certainly can't fit in Tyrion's clothes. He wouldn't think that they were worth anything to him.
- Would the Eyrie's turnkey resort to blatantly stealing from a high lord, even if said lord is in his custody? Mord would likely share a sky cell with Tyrion if he was caught with an ill-gotten piece of Lannister bling. He isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he should know there's a difference between a piece of personal jewelry and a coin freely given for a small favor.
- Well, he certainly didn't have a problem with beating a high lord — and in the books (and implied in the show) he kept throwing Tyrion's food out the window instead of feeding him. It seems like the whole point of having Mord around is that he's too dumb to worry about things like that. Plausible deniability — you can treat your highborn prisoners as badly as you'd like while pretending not to know about it, and if anyone finds out, you can just blame the halfwit jailer. (Lord Manderly uses a pretty similar trick to save Davos' life after being ordered to kill him in a later book).
- I haven't read the books but considering Lysa's extremely hostile attitude towards Tyrion, she may well have ordered Mord to beat and starve him. And even if she didn't, Mord has plausible deniability on his side for both. If Tyrion says Mord beat him Mord can claim Tyrion tried to pick a fight. If Tyrion says Mord threw his food out the window Mord can say Tyrion ate the food and is just lying. It's not like Lysa will believe a Lannister over her own jailer. On the other hand, if Mord is caught with Lannister gold on his person or in his quarters then people would assume he either took a bribe or stole from a high Lord.
- I think we can chalk this up to the creators just not thinking of removing Tyrion's jewelry in the scene.
- It's debatable whether a smart man like Mord would even know to think of things other than coins as being worthy of value or exchangeable for wealth.
- He uses one in The Pointy End to bribe Shagga.
- Tyron has his hands up to ward off Mord's blows while offering him gold, then in absolute exasperation states that he doesn't have any gold on him now. However, his fingers are clearly adorned by several gold rings. Why he doesn't use the rings as a bribe is never addressed. Two episodes later, he does use one of his rings to bribe Shagga, stating that it's worth more than everything the mountain clans own combined. One can attempt any number of justifications, but the most obvious explanation is that it's simply the show-runners' error. They probably didn't think of it before they filmed the scene, and didn't have the time or budget to rewrite or reshoot anything.
- The scene where he offers the ring to Shagga with the explanation that "it's worth more than you've ever owned" is probably more symbolic of House Lannister's influence (it's not just ANY solid gold ring but a Lannister signet) in matters other than wealth. He is the queen's brother after all.
- Or the gold is literally worth more than the entire tribe owns. Remember, in the next episode Tyrion describes a single silver stag as unusually high payment for a whore. Gold is worth a lot in Westeros.
- I always thought the "commanding a high price" thing was down to the fact that it was a silver stag for each of the guards...
- Debatable. Doesn't Tyrion toss Theon a copper coin for his next tumble with Ros? It might be fair to say that with all but the cities on a barter system, that any minted coinage is worth more than we'd normally expect.
- Yeah, there have been a couple of references to various whores to the effect of: "Anyone with a few coppers can own you for the night"
- The ring itself is worth literally more than all the tribe owns, but it does show how much wealth and power the Lannisters have at their disposal. If just one of their little trinkets is worth that much, imagine how much they could do for the hill tribes.
- It could be that his rings (aside from the tiny little pinky ring on his left hand), being a silver colour in appearance and offered to Shagga with the mention of high-quality steel, were in fact made of high-quality Lannister steel rather than gold.
- No one wears steel jewelry, much less a Lannister.
Theon swearing fealty to Robb
- It seemed strange. Why did Theon swear fealty to Robb and think that he could get Balon to swear fealty to the Starks too? He's a Greyjoy. The Greyjoys are traditionally enemies of the the Riverlords and the Northern Lords. Wouldn't that essentially be giving up his inheritance? I did some reading and Theon never swears fealty to Robb in the books and he certainly doesn't try to get Balon to swear fealty. Why did the writers have Theon swear fealty and try to get Balon to swear fealty to Robb in the show?
- Perhaps because it's less complicated than the way it plays out in the books; Robb offers Balon a kingship, Balon rejects it because he's culturally offended by the idea of taking a gift, and decides to take a kingship by force with the Starks as his primary target. Either way, the stumbling block is that Theon has been away from home too long to realize how unlikely his father would be to take Robb's offer. If he were more familiar with his culture/his family, he'd either have convinced Robb to change the terms or been more diplomatic in the way he proposed them to Balon.
- I see what your saying, but in the books while Robb "wants to give him a crown" him a crown, that Theon and Robb intend for the Iron Islands to be an independent nation as well. And in the books when Balon reads that Robb said he would give him a crown, Theon tries to correct his words. Why would he swear fealty to the II's traditional enemies in the show? Is he just an idiot?
- Theon pledges his own allegiance, not the Iron Islands' — nor does he ever expect Balon to bend his knee to Robb. Robb's contract states that he gives Balon the crown in exchange for alliance in the war against the Lannisters; nowhere does it state that Balon and his successors become vassals of the Starks. Also, Theon doesn't really consider the matter from an Iron Islands point of view, because he's too young to really remember the feud between Starks and Greyjoys, has been out of touch from the II culture most of his life, and the Starks are the closest thing he's had for a family. Basically, Theon didn't really know his father anymore and expected him to respond more like Ned Stark would've.
- Actually, Theon does try to get Balon to swear fealty to Robb. "Rise up against them and they could destroy us. But if we pledge fealty to them, they'll give us Casterly Rock." And Yara says, "You'd have our father bow down to your other family?" It's a far cry from what he says in the books. "I will lead the attack myself, if it please you. As my reward I would ask that you grant me Casterly Rock for my own seat, once we have taken it from the Lannisters." Maybe your right though. In the show (but not the books), the Starks are portrayed as the closest thing to family for him. Which is pretty sad and pathetic honestly. Still, the heir to the Iron Islands swearing fealty to the North is pretty stupid.
- Ah, forgot about that part. I figured Theon bending his knee to Robb was not stupidity, but instead a result of some quick opportunistic thinking. Someone had just presented the idea of making Robb the King of the North, and Theon figured that by being one of the first to support a new king he would be much better off at the end of the war — hell, he was probably already thinking that Robb might support the Iron Islands' independency if the crown prince would be such a loyal and trustworthy friend as Theon. However, expecting Balon to actually bow down to a Stark or swear fealty on behalf of the Iron Islands really was stupid.
- Theon has lived in the North for too long. Despite his bluster about the superiority of the Ironborn, he's long since absorbed the Northerners' way of thinking, essentially becoming more Stark than Greyjoy. Swearing fealty to Robb made sense to him because of that.
- Maybe your right. I must be mixing things up, because in the books the only Northerner he cares about and really accepts him is Robb which is clearly not what HBO is going for the show. I'll chalk Show!Theon swearing fealty to Robb up to stupidity.
- I think that somebody (probably the writers) have confused fealty for alliance. What Robb wants from Balon Greyjoy is an alliance (if a bit of lopsided one, as Balon correctly notes). That's not the same thing as fealty, precisely.
Why is Sansa so rude to Septa Mordane?
- In Episode 6, Sansa is even more rude and bratty than she normally is. What was the point of her "I just realised, I don't care" line.
- This is Sansa pre Character Development. Sansa who wanted to be Queen and Happily Married to Joffrey. Having spent time at King's Landing, and a lot of time around Cersei, she's picked up some nastier habits on what she thinks southern ladies act like. She's trying to forget her roots and Septa Mordane is subtly reminding her of that. She associates the Septa's training with being a child, so she's trying to act like Cersei who doesn't get talked back to by anyone.
- Sansa's also still feeling sad about Lady being killed for something Arya did, and Jory Cassell recently dying in a brawl with Jaime Lannister. Her father's friend was killed for attacking her fiancee's uncle. Relations between her family and the one she's to marry into are crumbling before her eyes - and lashing out at an old woman is easier than trying to deal with what else is going on.
How, exactly, did Ned not anticipate Littlefinger's betrayal?
- Littlefinger said, again and again, that he was untrustworthy. Then, when he offers great advice to Ned (seize the throne for yourself), Ned scoffs at his advice and basically tells him to fuck off before implementing his own plan. And just earlier, Ned was offered aid from the (much more) honorably Renly and refused. There's Honor Before Reason and then there's carrying an Idiot Ball.
- That's sort of the point. While Ned is largely a pretty likable guy who cares for his family and friends, his rigid adherence to honor regardless of the circumstances is his Fatal Flaw. He assumes that if he's straight with someone, they'll be straight with him in return, and it bites him in the ass.
- Littlefinger reiterated his untrustworthiness precisely to make himself seem harmless. It defused Ned's fears of him.
- Littlefinger explains it in the whore-porn scene: "Slowly. You're not fooling them, they just paid you. They know what you are. They know it's all just an act. Your job is to make them forget what they know. And that takes time. You need to... ease into it"
- Correct — Littlefinger is actually a master at this game of manipulation and deceit, as the rest of the story will show. He got Honor-driven Ned to trust him by telling him *not* to trust him... which made him sound like an honest man, compared to all the other court suck-ups.
- Also don't forget his wife, one of the few other honorable people in the show and someone Ned trusts completely, vouched for Littlefinger saying that they have been friends forever and that he would do anything for her . . . and I guess she was right he would do anything For Her, up to and including betraying her and killing her husband.
- This does seem to be a fault with the choice of actor for Littlefinger in the show. In the book he's able to be convincingly charming when he has to be, and his motives are never really clear for that reason. Aidan Gillen however plays him like a slimy villain who seems Obviously Evil. Chalk it up to dissonance between the writing and acting.
Is Bran's revival related to Lady's death?
- S 1 Ep 2 "The Kingsroad" — In the final scenes of this episode, it shows alternating cuts of the comatose Bran sleeping on his bed, and Ned holding Lady right before he kills her. Then, the second Ned stabs Lady in the heart it cuts to Bran opening his eyes. Now, in the books he shows a very strong spiritual connection to animals and expresses a lot of changeling qualities, but I don't think GRRM ever made a connection between Lady and him. Funny editing, or is the show going another direction?
- Well, the wolves seem to have a spiritual connection to each other, as well as to their humans, so Bran might have picked up the shock of Lady's death via Summer. But really, I think it was just a bit of Birth/Death Juxtaposition.
- I thought that as well, except Summer himself doesn't react.
- According to the audio commentary there is no connection, and it just came out suggestive in the editing.
How did Ned figure out who the father was?
- Okay, so Ned looks through the book and sees the Baratheon-Lannister unions all produce children who look like Baratheons, fine. He reaches the conclusion thanks to Sansa that the children are not, in fact Robert's. Fine, makes sense especially considering how Cersei and Robert very openly feel about each other. Then here is the one thing that makes me scratch my head: he jumps to the conclusion either as or before he meets with Cersei in the godswood that the father is, in fact, Jaime Lannister. Now, maybe he was just making a fortunate guess based on his dislike that Cersei freely admitted right after being accused, but I at least can't quite follow the logic. This was also my only real headscratcher from the books so far. By no means a deal-breaker, but still a bit odd.
- It's a little more expanded upon in the books, but basically the book Ned was reading also contained the history of the Lannisters, not just the Baratheons. They're large and old families and the book goes back centuries, and every time Baratheon wed Lannister, whether male to female respectively or vice-versa, every single time the child had black hair. In addition, while we only met one, the book also makes clear that there are other bastards of Robert's out there, one of which Ned saw (who had her father's hair) and one of whom he's heard description of (and is the spitting image of his father at that age). Finally, there is a pretty short pool of blond people who could have fathered Cersei's children: the Targaryens are dead, Loras Tyrell is too young (as well as super gay, though Ned probably doesn't know that)... that pretty much only leaves someone from Cersei's own family. Of which Jaime is by far the likeliest candidate. On top of that, Ned figures out at the same moment that's probably the reason why someone tried to kill Bran. It's circumstantial, but it supports his theory, and there isn't exactly a Magna Carta to hold him back.
- Sansa gives him the clue in "A Golden Crown" — she whines that Joffrey is a lion, like his mother; he's nothing like a Baratheon. Ned gets a certain "A-ha" look...
- It's also mentioned more than once in the books how much Joffrey looks like Jaime.
- But Jaime's twin sister is Joffrey's mother. The fact that Joffrey looks like Jaime doesn't really mean anything.
- Actually it does. Given that Cersei and Jaime are supposed to look at a lot a like (more so the books than the show) and the kid winds comes out in the very same, it gives Ned some more circumstantial proof.
- Plus, if you know anything about genetics, you'd know that twins that are brothers and sisters can only be fraternal twins, which means that they wouldn't, in general, look more alike than any other brother and sister.
- I thought when Ned asked Cersei: "Your brother... or your lover?" he was sort of testing the ice, not being certain about Jaime being the father yet. Cersei's response confirmed it.
- The books suggest, though not outright state, that Cersei and Jaime were far less subtle and discrete than they should have been or thought they were. Tyrion, Littlefinger, Varys, and their uncle all knew without them knowing they knew. Its likely Ned picked up on some signs that they were fucking that he wrote off because they were siblings, and once he discovered that Robert couldn't be the father, he thought back to that.
- Also remember that both Jon Arryn and Bran were both attacked to protect this secret, which very strongly suggests that the affair is ongoing. That further narrows the list of suspects, not the least of which because Jaime was probably the only blonde in Winterfell when Bran fell.
- Let's not forget Jon Arryn's final words "the seed is strong," which would suggest that Joffrey is more then half Lannister.
- I took that whole thing not as an admission of incest (Ned was just probably "testing the ice" with the incest thing), but merely an indicator that Joffrey wasn't Baratheon. It doesn't matter WHO Cersei's sleeping with, as long as it isn't Robert, Joffrey's in trouble, and Ned had just come to the conclusion that Baratheons have a dominant dark hair gene. The rest everyone else pieces together just because they all hate the Lannisters and want to believe it.
- I always thought it was pretty obvious how he figured it out. When Ned found out that Robert wasn't the father, he likely remembered what Catelyn told him: Bran's fall and subsequent assassination attempt on the day almost every man in the royal entourage was out hunting — everybody except Jaime Lannister, that is. From there it's an obvious connection from the secret of Cersei's children to what Bran saw that day that made the Lannisters try to kill two people who came too close to their secret.
- I wondered why he decided that Joffrey couldn't be a Baratheon based on hair color, but never looked at his own children with suspicion.
- It's more like he looks at all three children and notices ZERO of them have black hair when historically EVERY child of a Lannister-Baratheon union have had black hair.
- Good question. I think because he noticed in the book that every child of a Baratheon has always had black hair regardless of the wife's coloring (so he's basically the Gregor Mendel of Westeros...)
- Or the husband's. Baratheon women all had black-haired children too.
- It should be common knowledge (in Westeros as well as real life) that kids sometimes don't inherit the hair color of their darker haired parent — and sometimes they always do (since neither of these is an uncommon occurrence). Jon Arryn and Ned not only studied the history book to find out that Baratheons never seem to produce blonde-haired offspring, but they both also confirmed that EVERY known bastard child of Robert's had his black hair. This would be reason enough to assume that Robert is one of those people who can only beget dark-haired children, thus making his three "legitimate" blonde-haired kids look suspicious. The Stark family probably didn't have a history of always being dark-haired, so Ned wouldn't have a reason to be suspicious of his own children.
- This thread got me thinking, why are Lannisters still all blondes? Their hair colour is obviously a recessive trait, and they have beed marrying people of other Houses throughout the history. Unlike Targaryens they didn't practice incest (before Cersei and Jaime) to preserve bloodline, so shouldn't there be more diversity in hair colour among them?
- It is possible, though very coincidental, that all the women who married into the Lannister family had one dominant brown allele but one recessive blonde allele - which is how it's possible for two brown-haired parents with such genes to make a blonde child. A Lannister woman who married into another family wouldn't be considered a Lannister anymore, and her children would be counted as part of her husband's family. The books say that the history goes back hundreds of years, but in the show it could just be how the Lannisters have ended up right now. We don't see any from before Tywin's generation, and there are varying degrees of hair colour among his own children (Tyrion is quite dark, though this is more because they didn't want to dye Peter Dinkage's hair too light).
Jorah doesn't believe in dragons?
- When they're going to the market in Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys says something about how useful dragons would be to conquer Westeros, and Jorah gets all dismissive, saying he only believes what his own eyes tell him, that who knows what really happened hundreds of years ago etc, all seeming to imply that he doesn't believe the dragons ever actually existed. This is crazy, though! There were a load of dragon skulls on prominent display in King's Landing until relatively recently (seemingly within Jorah's lifetime), they aren't there anymore but plenty of people still alive must have seen them. does he think the skulls were all fake or something, along with Daenerys's eggs? Not to mention that the Targaryen dragons only died out a century or two before, not as long ago as the White Walkers or anything. It's like someone in the real, modern world not believing in dodos or the Aztecs or something.
- Well in fairness to Jorah, actually making fake dragon bones and putting them on display isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility. We are talking about a dynasty with a known history of insanity after all. But I don't think that speech was meant to imply that Jorah literally doesn't believe in dragons. I think it was more a way of illustrating his cynical attitude toward those in power. The Targaryens have been using their connection with dragons to justify their right to rule, even long after all the dragons have died out. So Jorah is really pointing out that all the bluff and bluster about dragons is really just hot air. Power comes at the tip of a sword, not from old tales of past glory.
- It's possible Jorah never actually saw the dragon bones — I don't think it's been confirmed whether or not he'd been to King's Landing before Robert took the throne.
- I think the point he was making was that while it would be nice to have dragons to reclaim the throne, the dragons are dead (if they existed at all, since they died many years before he lived) and they won't be getting help from anything they don't have.
What exactly is Syrio Forel's job?
- He is a short Braavosi man who has his own generously sized chamber in the middle of the Red Keep. He does not have any official job, even the Lannisters' soldiers call him the "dancing master," and not a single soldier in King's Landing is trained by him — not only do they not use even remotely the same style, but they don't treat him with any respect, either. Why did he live in the city, let alone the castle, at all? Where did he get money?
- Presumably he's a fencing master and is being paid by Eddard Stark. I think that "dancing master" is used because it wouldn't be considered appropriate for a girl to be taught fighting, so Syrio is officially giving Arya dancing lessons. That being said, it is possible that Syrio does actually teach dance and/or that fencing would be referred to as dancing — since everyone in Westeros fights with broadswords or jousts, maybe fencing is considered just for show, not combat.
- If he was just the resident fencing instructor, then even if fencing was looked down on as a girlish style or a kind of dance, everyone would be aware that he at least knows his way around weapons — however, the guards initially expect him to be entirely harmless. Either he's a professional dancing master who Eddard happened to know was an expert fencer as well, or he was brought in specifically by Ned to train his daughter under that cover story. I'd guess the latter.
- Person who read the books here to help! Syrio is from Braavos, a town across the narrow sea akin to Venice. The blade Needle is a blade made in the style of the "Water Dancers", the preferred way to fight over in Braavos. So when Ned found out about the sword he looked into finding an instructor skilled in the blade over in Braavos. Syrio was/is the "First Sword of Braavos" which meant that he was a high skilled fighter for the main lord over there. The Seven know why he decided to go to the Red Keep and teach Arya, but he did. Also, yes, "Dancing Master" is a cover story for the sword training and also clear because Arya's learning the "Water Dancing" style of swordplay.
- he could have been there as a mercenary, maybe run into trouble back home so he fled to Westeros, making his way as a sellsword until Ned find him and offer him a better job
- He used to be the "First Sword of Braavos", basically a personal bodyguard to the leader of one of the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea. Why he's in King's Landing isn't fully explained but presumably his old job gave him enough coin to travel as he wished. When Ned found Needle and decided that Arya needed formal training he hired Syrio. As stated above, his being her "dancing master" was just a cover story.
- Thing is, during the medieval and renaissance periods in real life, it was quite common for fencing masters to give dancing lessons as well, because the basic skills and footwork transferred over. Assuming that aspect of historical culture got carried over into Westeros, they really should have been aware of at least the possibility that he was an able swordsman, even if his main source of coin was as a dancing master. Hell, the fact that he was the former First Sword of Braavos (which would be something they would most likely have heard even if he hadn't declared that fact to them, tavern rumors being what they are) should have told them that he had skill, and if he was in truth working as a dancing instructor they should have known he'd definitely still be in shape. Essentially, I think if "dancing master" is a cover story, it is at best going to be the sort of blatantly obvious polite fiction to placate the worst gossips. Especially considering the only person who seems in the least bit taken in by it is Sansa. I think the majority of their arrogance in that scene comes from a combination of racism, belief in the superiority of their style of swordsmanship (and the design on their swords), and a firm belief that no-one could seriously hurt a man in full armor using only a stick (at least, not before he or his equally armored mates shoved 28 inches of steel down the throat of whoever tried).
- His own chamber? In the books, they practice in one of the dining halls in the Tower of the Hand with all the tables pushed to the side. I don't think Syrio actually lives in the castle...
- It's possible that he was there to teach younger members of the royal family dancing, and Ned was informed that Syrio was also First Sword of Braavos. Everybody knew him as a dancing instructor, and it would be very likely that a girl of Arya's age would be given dancing lessons while in King's Landing (and therefore entirely possible that a dancing instructor would be there, given that Arya is only a year older than Princess Myrcella).
- Syrio might also have been in King's Landing to attend the Hand's tourney, if only to study the fighting styles of possible opponents (we see Bronn doing this in the book).
- To answer the question of 'Why didn't the people facing him show any awareness that Syrio Forel was a trained fighter?' Answer: Because Sir Meryn is a barely-competent thug and the Lannister common soldiers with him were ignorant twats.
- In Sansa's last conversation with Septa Mordane, she refers to Syrio as the dancing master, implying she at least thought Arya was getting dance lessons. But also when Ser Meryn comes to the lesson, his cover story is that Ned wants to see Arya. He was expecting a child and a servant to obey him at once. It may not have been surprise that Syrio could fight, but that he was standing up to them at all. In the previous scene when Septa Mordane heads the soldiers off, they seem surprised that this old woman is walking towards them as opposed to trying to flee or save herself.
Why didn't Syrio pick up a sword?
- Fighting off four armed soldiers with only a wooden sword is awesome, I think we can all agree, but they all had swords just lying on the ground afterwards. Kinda makes his Heroic Sacrifice less powerful when it seems so pointless.
- If you listen to the audio as Arya flees, there is much metal clanging and screaming. Since Syrio already had his training sword cut in half, one wonders if he did not indeed pick up a sword to continue the melee. There is an awful lot of fighting noise as she runs, so we can imagine the fight was far from over, and he must have extended the combat somehow.
- In the books, it's made pretty clear that water dancing is very different from Westerosi fighting, as it uses rapier-type swords and quick, light-footed movement above all, as opposed to the longswords of the Seven Kingdoms. It could be that Syrio]just wouldn't be effective with one of the Lannister guards' swords.
- I figure that it was an effort to show mercy to Arya. Get her to run away before he starts killing the guards, in an attempt to preserve as much of Arya's innocence as he can. Seeing her dancing instructor kill people in front of her may not be something that he wants Arya to see and remember. Especially since the majority of his instruction has seemed to be along the lines of teaching Arya how to stay alive in a sword fight, rather than how to kill her opponent.
- With sharp weapons, those amount to the same thing — as indeed Arya shows a moment later when she kills the stableboy. The guards on the ground, incidentally, were dead or dying — never mind the absence of gore.
- Getting knocked on the helmet with a wooden sword may cause a concussion, but it's quite unlikely to kill you, at least unless repeated several times over. Those helmets do have padding, after all. The fact that there are several screams after Arya flees does indicate that more than one person dies painfully afterwards, so the chances are that Syrio does pick up the sword. The knight of the Kingsguard can be seen in a later episode unharmed however, so unfortunately it's likely that he killed Syrio, unless he jumped out of the window or something.
- Actually the screaming and metal clanging was not from Syrio but from a different room where the Lannisters were killing the Stark servants and guards, indicating to Arya she could not go that way.
- In the book, Syrio kills the non-Kingsguard guards using just his wooden sword, all while Arya is watching. He exploits gaps in their armor and leaves them all dead, illustrating the effectiveness of quickness and footwork against non-armored/partially-armored opponents. However, Arya leaves before Syrio fights the fully-armored Kingsguard, and the reader is left to assume that Syrio falls to the armored opponent.
- Defeated =/= killed. As above, it's rather difficult to kill someone with a wooden sword by striking them in the head. Knock them out? Perhaps. But outright killing them? Unlikely.
- I feel that it should be noted that it's very hard to "knock someone out" (as in induce total unconsciousness) for an extended period of time through blunt trauma without killing them, or at least without causing permanent brain damage. The guards on the floor are most likely either awake or dead.
- His wooden sword is pretty effective in the book. He whacks one guy in the throat, jabs another in the eye, and breaks a third's wrist. Not to mention the one who got used as a human shield.
- It should be noted that his actual fate is never revealed. Unlike virtually all offscreen deaths, Goerge RR Martin has never confirmed nor denied that Forel died, probably to leave himself an opening in case he wants to include Forel in future novels.
- It's also important to remember that the wooden swords have lead cores. That's going to put a lot of weight behind a blow. This, and the fact that Syrio is more agile than the guards and can exploit obvious weaknesses (he was in the middle of explaining the advantage of keen observation), you can see how he could deal significant damage to them.
Why did Jaime give Tyrion's dagger to Bran's would-be assassin?
- Catelyn is no Miss Marple so I get that she needed a pretty obvious clue the Lannisters were involved, but there doesn't seem to be a reason for Jaime to do something that so obviously implicates his house.
- Well it hasn't been mentioned exactly who sent the assassin, so there's no point in headscratching over this until we have all the facts.
- The most common suspect is Joffrey, who is the only one with reason to have the assassin use an extremely rare dagger that would be linked back to the Lannisters, as revenge on Tyrion for slapping him and forcing him to pay sympathy to the Starks, knowing Tyrion would be blamed for the murder.
- That's actually an interesting point. Joffrey is vengeful enough to do it and short-sighted enough not to see the disastrous effect it would have on his house if one of his family were accused of murder.
- There's no reason to think that Joffrey would be able to think far enough ahead to presume that Tyrion would be blamed for it, or that he knew the dagger was Tyrion's. The books make it clear, in fact, that the dagger was not even Tyrion's at all, and that Littlefinger's claim was simply a bald-faced lie calculated to bring the Starks and Lannisters into conflict (Tyrion's POV confirms this, and Tyrion notes to Catelyn that Littlefinger's fable is flawed: the story is that Littlefinger lost it to Tyrion betting over a joust that was won by Loras Tyrell over Jaime Lannister, but Tyrion never bets against his family). Still, the assassin's mutterings ("It's a mercy. He's dead already") give a clue as to motive. Joffrey overheard Robert (whom he actually desperately wanted to impress, as is verified by the genuine despair Joffrey displays at Robert's deathbed) mention that a swift death would be preferable to lingering in a coma, and Joffrey, using his enfant terrible logic, decided to try and impress his father by taking matters into his own hands. Naturally, he bungled even that.
- Here's a thought: the assassin stole it. The dagger ended up in Jaime's or Cersei's possession by either borrowing it or trading it or as a gift. After meeting with (one of) the Lannisters, they left him unattended for a second and he saw it lying around. Stealing it would be in his character because, with the exception of him causing a distraction, there is nothing in his one scene that points to the assassin as being anything other than a stupid, expendable thug. Admittedly, this theory requires that they met with him in a place where the knife would be lying around, such as their house or rented room. Not exactly the best move, but not as mind-numbingly stupid as giving him the blade would be. Although the theories as to why Joffrey could have done it are all reasonable, the only evidence that he did do it is that he's the only Lannister stupid enough to have handed it over.
- It seems that the original poster here is not necessarily asking who sent the assassin after Bran, but why Catelyn comes to the conclusion that she does. Am I correct? In both the show or the book, her evidence is too weak and she pays for it.
- Catelyn came to the conclusion she did because Littlefinger told her that it was Tyrion's dagger, and she trusts him implicitly because he is her childhood friend who was and is in love with her. Now, it's fairly obvious to us that Cat should not trust Littlefinger, but I think we're supposed to assume that she was blinded by her childhood relationship to see the person he had grown into.
- I think we are meant to assume that the Lannisters didn't send the assassin because of this. It's pretty clear that Tyrion was being set up, and the Lannisters would have no reason to implicate one of their own. Cersei might want to get Tyrion out of the way, but she wouldn't want to sacrifice the integrity of her house, and Jaime seems to actually care about Tyrion. I think we are led to surmise that someone is purposely trying to implicate the Lannisters in the hopes that the Starks and Lannisters will go to war with each other. We don't actually even know if the dagger belonged to Tyrion. We only have Littlefinger's word, and Littlefinger is a lying schemer. Wouldn't Tyrion have noticed if his dagger had been stolen? Especially a nice dagger like that one? Littlefinger tells us Tyrion won it from him when he bet against Jaime, but why would Tyrion bet against his brother the Kingslayer? There's a lot to the story that doesn't add up, which means there's more going on here than what we were told.
- Good points. I had just assumed the twins were trying to finish the job they had started and kill the boy, but there could be other things going on. It would probably behoove me to read the books.
- Chalk it up to Catelyn's near-terminal blind spot when it comes to Littlefinger. In the books (where these scenes are a little bit longer than they are on TV), she interrogates both Tyrion and Jaime about this separately, and both of the brothers make pretty much exactly the same point: that not only would it be stupid for someone to send an assassin with his own dagger, but, more to the point, Littlefinger's story about Tyrion getting the dagger only makes sense if you accept that Tyrion bet AGAINST Jaime in a joust — something that Tyrion had never done in his life.
- I wonder then, why did Littlefinger invent such easily disprovable explanation? Couldn't he find another occasion, where he could've lost a bet to Tyrion, to tell about? Didn't he know, that Tyrion doesn't bet against Jaime? Was he half-assing his lie, because he knew Catelyn wouldn't pay attention?
- Well isn't the important thing that Catelyn seized Tyrion and thus kicked off this conflict between the Lannisters and Starks? Maybe on a good day Cat would have seen through the lie, but someone has just tried to kill one of her children twice in the space of a month and it looks like it's from the same family that her eldest daughter is about to be married into. Perhaps Littlefinger can sense that her emotions might be heated at the moment, and thus more likely to overwrite her common sense.
Why are there no Baratheon guards with Robert?
- At King's Landing, Lannister guards cover the court like flies on jam but soldiers of Robert's own house are nowhere to be seen. Renly is likely have had a few among his entourage when it fled the city, but you'd expect Robert who is so obsessed with his past glory days to have his knights and soldiers around to remind him of those days, instead of bumping into Lannisters everywhere.
- More or less (it's explained a bit in A Clash Of Kings), the Baratheon brothers don't have any other family and their guards/supporters tend to be those affiliated with their in-laws. Renly is supported by the Tyrells and their bannermen (because he's arranged to marry Loras' sister); Stannis' wife is from a house called the Florents, so his guards are generally Florents and their bannermen; Robert is stuck with the Lannisters.
- To clarify the point a little further with info that the show didn't spell out directly: Robert is not the Lord of Storm's End, Renly is, and Stannis is the Lord of Dragonstone (the hereditary Targaryen seat). So most of the men at arms and knights that pay fealty to House Baratheon do so to Renly. The Kingsguard, the royal men at arms, and some Baratheon men (largely unnamed in the show) are theoretically Robert's but a lot of them have compromised loyalties. In the aftermath of Robert's Rebellion, Baratheon's strength was weakened by the war and then Robert had to split them to fill the royal household, provide Stannis forces to hold Dragonstone against restive Targaryen vassals, and cover Storm's End. Tywin took advantage of that to put Lannisters (various cousins and such) and former Lannister men into lots of positions in the royal household. Hence why men like Sandor "the Hound", Ilyn Payne, and others are nominally Robert's people but in reality have no loyalty to him whatsoever. Plus, Robert being the warrior he is just won't surround himself with guards to the extent a wiser man like Ned or Jon Arryn would.
- There are a handful of Baratheon guards seen when the royal entourage enters Winterfell and sporadic sightings while traveling south toward King's Landing. They're the ones wearing the light brown armor, though they're never seen again once they reach the capitol. It makes more sense in the books, when Lord Renly actually made the journey to Winterfell with the King, rather than being left behind. Presumably, Renly took them all with him when he left King's Landing in the wake of Robert's death.
- It could simply be left-overs from the books that don't add up with what's seen on screen. There Robert already uses the lion-stag sigil and Renly exclusively uses the standard Baratheon one. So the Baratheon men in the show that accompany Robert are either A) his men, just like in the books, regardless of Renly, B) they forgot to change that detail and they're are there despite Renly not being present himself, or C) the showmakers were aware of the fact but left it in to make it visually clear that despite Robert being the king there are just as many if not even more Lannister- than Baratheon guards surrounding the royal family.
- Tywin Lannister presumably provides many Lannister guards and the like as a condition for lending the throne obscene amounts of money. In the manner of, "Sure, you can have a loan, but would you take my nephew as your squire in return? I can give you the money, but I'd like a contingent of my own guards posted in the Red Keep to watch over Cersei. For her safety, you understand. Of course I'll lend you the funds, but I'd like my own sworn bannerman to have the honor of being your heir's personal bodyguard." And so on and so forth. Lending over three million gold dragons to the Iron Throne is worth a lot of favors, to the point where it's no surprise that the palace is overflowing with Lannister guards and Lannister relations holding many important offices.
- It's precisely because he's "obsessed with his past glory days" that he thinks he doesn't need guards. I get the impression that Robert is a firm believer in Asskicking Equals Authority (it is after all how he got the throne) and he thinks that only a man who can't defend himself needs guarding (and of course he's blind to the fact that he himself has grown fat, lazy and careless).
- So how did no one inspect The Mountain's lance before he jousted with Ser Hugh? There's supposed to be blunting on the tip of the lance in the form of metal or leather, and if one looks at The Mountain's lance, it's a sharpened pole without any sort of covering on the tip.
- It probably goes a bit into WMG, but Ned did suspect that the Lannisters wanted Ser Hugh dead. So, either the "inspectors" were ones loyal to the Lannisters or someone did notice something, but didn't say anything because, well, it's the Mountain.
- Did Viserys honestly think Daenerys would speak on his behalf to Khal Drogo, after he's abused her, emotionally and physically for most of her life, and just threatened her unborn child not two minutes prior?
- He was desperate and panicking.
- He's a narcissist. Narcissists do not comprehend that other people may hold justifiable grudges against them.
Why does Tyrion make Shae Sansa's maid?
- While he does do this in the books, it happens later on in the story and though it makes sense if he wants a spy in Sansa's rooms, again in the books it was partly because he wanted her to be closer to him without arousing suspicion and it was her cover story. In A Clash of Kings, Shae's living in a nice house on the outskirts of the city to keep her under cover and free from Tywin's wrath, and Tyrion has to negotiate a sort of truce with Varys in order to be able to slip out to see her. In the show, she already seems to be established in the castle and no one seems to mind too much. Shae basically appears to have gotten bored with lazing around in the lap of luxury all the time and wanted something to do — like serving a bratty teenage highborn?
- Only Varys and Bronn know of her because Tyrion keeps her stuck in the room all day. That's what she is complaining about in the beginning of Episode 3. I gather that jumping ahead to having him assign her to Sansa is a practical change — it prevents them from needing more sets and characters. It also keeps her more connected to the others and gives her actress more to do.
- So he can keep her around because he likes her, and gives her a real job instead of being a whore.
- She hasn't got any human contact besides Tyrion and Varys. Sansa is surrounded by Lannisters. Tyrion may have shrewdly realized that they'd be likely to make friends, and he'd have a lot of influence over Cersei's pawn. What is unlikely about the change from the book's version is that Cersei would allow Tyrion to appoint Sansa's handmaid — she'd probably quite like a spy there herself.
- Except that in the short time Tyrion is The Hand of The King, he is the one calling the shots, not Cersei.
- Cersei is savvy but I don't think she's savvy enough to think of putting a spy in among Sansa's personal entourage. Either that or she might not have thought it necessary, considering Sansa can't go anywhere without being surrounded by Lannister eyes and ears.
- The fact that she's surrounded by Lannisters makes it all the more likely that she'd want to spill the beans in private — and it works both ways, she'd also be suggestible to people she thought were her confidantes. In the books, IIRC, it's strongly implied she has spies among Sansa's servants.
- At this point, Cersei probably doesn't have a spy with Sansa because there isn't any reason to. Sansa is completely cut off from everyone and clearly brown-pants terrified. It's not like Cersei even needs to get an actual confession from Sansa to accuse her of treason, and she's no threat to Joffrey or Cersei's position.
- S2Ep7 shows that Cersei does have spies within the ranks of Sansa's handmaidens. Shae is simply Tyrion's spy, but she's a bit more active than the passive spies Cersei planted.
- Of course Cersei has spies among Sansa's entourage...
- In "Blackwater", Cersei realises she doesn't know Shae. So in all the chaos that was happening in King's Landing, she just didn't know that there was a new handmaiden.
- And ever tried running a kingdom? Cersei is acting as Queen Regent for a spoiled, idiotic and downright sociopathic king who has plunged the whole country into a war. She's not doing this alone but she's still shouldering a lot of responsibility. Add that to her beloved daughter getting sent away behind her back as a glorified hostage, and her brother/lover being a prisoner of war for an incredibly long time - and she's got a lot to deal with. And it's enough of a headache that whoever is helping Sansa get dressed is barely a blip on her radar.
Shae and Cersei's spy
- When Sansa gets her period, Shae helps her try to cover it up, and they are spotted by another hand maiden - who runs to tell Cersei straight away. Why does this maid not report Sansa trying to hide this, or the other maid who was helping her do so?
- To put it bluntly, because Cersei wasn't the one who held a knife to her throat. The hand maiden was lucky The Hound discovered the blood, because it gave her the excuse to do nothing at all. Don't tell Cersei about something she already knows, and there's a chance she won't find out. But if she does tell Cersei, it'll be obvious to Shae who told on her. And even if she's taken away and dealt with, that's not to say she couldn't get some sweet revenge and take the snitch down with her. And if Sansa finds out who snitched, there's nothing to stop her from getting revenge of her own - especially if she knows which of her maids is a spy for Cersei. In short, the maid chose the quiet life; don't tell Cersei that she found out something two minutes before The Hound did, and she doesn't have to worry about Shae knifing her in revenge.
- Perhaps the maid doesn't want the Queen to know that her cover was blown. The Queen could do worse than a handmaid with a dagger.
- A bit of wild mass guessing, but maybe Shae told Tyrion that there was a spy, and he arranged for the maid to be gotten rid of before she could say anything else. Perhaps getting deported to Dorne as a maid for Myrcella or sent to the brothel to work there. As noted above, Cersei would be far too busy with the chaos going on in King's Landing to notice one missing handmaiden.
Arya and Tywin
- How did Tywin not figure out who Arya really was? He likely knows that Cersei wasn't able to capture her. He also notes that Arya can read better than his men, he knows she lied once about where she came from, and he doesn't seem to be completely convinced by her claim of being a stone mason's daughter yet it never crosses his mind that she could be the missing Arya Stark?
- Harrenhall is a pretty damned long way from King's Landing for a pre-teen girl to make on her own, and Tywin has no knowledge that she had any help fleeing the city. Additionally, just because he knows she's of noble background doesn't necessarily make her a Stark. There are a lot of bastards in this setting and the upheaval from the war meant a lot of houses falling apart. On a more meta level, the two characters didn't meet in the books. Tywin couldn't have suspected her because it would have diverged the plot dramatically.
- Tywin probably doesn't even know what Arya looks like. He does suspect that she is more than she claims to be, but if he did know that she was a Stark, he would've taken her to King's Landing as a bargaining tool.
- Further, the show teases you with the possibility that Tywin does suspect who she is but just doesn't get around to acting on it before she escapes.
- Tywin only has a suspicion that Arya is a bit more than she claims to be. Suddenly suspecting that she's a very specific daughter of a high lord is a gigantic leap. Furthermore, he'd be operating under a lot of presumptions that would throw him off that trail:
- He would be expecting that Arya is either dead or being hidden away by a Stark loyalist. The idea that she was just roaming around the countryside masquerading as an orphan boy is highly unusual.
- Arya is a very atypical noble lady, and Tywin has never met her. He's got to be imagining Arya as another Sansa or Myrcella: a reasonably proper, sheltered girly girl. Arya acts nothing like his conception of Arya would act.
- Remember that Tywin's fatal flaw is his pride. He loves to be the smartest, most important person in any room. If he can tell from one look that some boy is a girl, he's clever. If he can tell from a conversation that she's a high-born Northerner, he's brilliant. If he's had the most valuable child in Westeros hanging out under his roof for weeks and he didn't realise, he's a damn fool. Tywin doesn't figure it out because his vanity refuses to let him accept that a little girl, even a smart one, could ever get the upper hand on him.
- Perhaps on some level he did know or suspect, but chose not to believe it because of what it would mean. Tywin actually appears to have a soft spot for children - he's quite protective of young Tommen as well (covering his eyes when he sees Joffrey dying). And he likes this smart, outspoken young girl; he tells her to eat more food and treats her decently. If she's Arya Stark, then she'll have to be either captured or killed. Or if he does suspect she's Arya, he could tell himself that Harrenhal itself will finish her off without his intervention.
- And isn't Arya told she'll be cupbearer to Gregor Clegane? Perhaps if Tywin did suspect, he kept her there so she could be watched and they could figure out who she was? It's just that she escaped before anyone could.
Is there a specific reason why Arya doesn't ask Jaqen kill Tywin Lannister and Gregor Clegane?
- I've only read the first book, so I'm somewhat confused. Those two are high up on her shit list, and she has a master killer at her beck and call. Kill those two in the right moment, and there should be plenty of time for her and Gendry to escape in the ensuing chaos, and their deaths would spell doom for the Lannisters in the long term, inevitably resulting in painful deaths for Joffrey and Cersei. Arya is a clever girl and should know well enough how important Tywin is for her enemies.
- She states that she should've had him killed, but just forgot about it before it was too late. Plus, he specifically didn't harm her or her friends. She wanted revenge, and it clouds your mind.
- The most obvious explanation: Rule of Drama (killing of the most important villain(s) prematurely would have thrown the story of its tracks). In the books it's handwaved away by Arya asking about it and Jaqen mentioning how long it might take to kill Tywin or Joffrey, so she opts for the more immediate route (but she also has a lot more reason not to waste time since the arc where she's basically under Tywin's protection was exclusively established for the TV show).
- She is a child, and more tempted to silence the violent bullies around her than the big targets. She comes to regret her choices.
- I believe she also specifies the Tickler first to see if Jaqen really will follow through with it or if he's just screwing around with her.
- Tywin is not in Arya's list. In fact, he was the one that put an end to the tortures and executions at Harrenhall, if he dies they'll likely return and Arya knows this. As for why she didn't say The Mountain... well, we shall see I guess.
- In ep 7, we see what happens when Tywin suspects a plot to kill him — he hangs and tortures half the garrison. If Tywin died under suspicious circumstances, she has every reason to believe she'd be tortured to death.
- This does seem like a bit of a Plot Hole. The situation doesn't come up in the book, as Tywin didn't show up until after she'd used up her "wishes". However, because I generally prefer to give these things the benefit of the doubt; Tywin is Affably Evil in a castle full of bullies, torturers, and rapists. Arya may be aware in the back of her mind that Tywin is an important target, but be distracted by seeking revenge for crimes committed in her own sight. Or, she might be saving him for last, and similarly to the book, some contrivance will force her to use her last death on something else.
- Not being faithful to the book doesn't a Plot Hole make. As pointed before, there is little reason for Arya to choose Tywin to begin with, let alone as her first kill. Besides, she is just a child.
- It's not a Plot Hole because it's not faithful to the book; it is a Plot Hole that exists in the show, but does not exist in the books.
- That's not what a Plot Hole is. There's no reason for Arya to target Tywin with one of her wishes since, despite being a general he was also the one who put a stop to the torturing of prisoners which directly saved Gendry's life. She named the Tickler because he had the most emotional impact (compared to The Mountain who despite ordering it all only pointed at people and gave them over to The Tickler), then was saving her other two names. As for why she didn't send Jaqen to kill Joffrey, maybe she didn't think Jaqen could pull off a hit on the most well-protected man (security wise) in all of Westeros? Sending him to King's Landing also means he can't kill anyone at Harrenhal if she needs someone dead then and there.
- In addition, in the book Tywin was at Harrenhal while she still had her "wishes", they just never interacted; she does consider going to him and revealing who she is but considers it unlikely she'd even be allowed near him, and when he leaves to return to war she realizes too late that, hey, he's the one she should have named. Again, she's just a child getting back at those who've wronged her, she doesn't think of the bigger picture.
- The TV series seems to have it this: the first kill is the Tickler, to see if Jaqen will do what he says he will. Then Jaqen has to do a rush job of Amory Loch because he catches Arya with a stolen message and is going to see Lord Tywin. With the Mountain torturing half the garrison, even a master assassin would have to lay low for a while, then Arya can't find him because he's been sent out on patrol duty (he's a Lannister soldier for the Mountain remember, who's out searching for the Brotherhood who are assumed to be behind the latest killing). By the time Arya finds him, Lord Tywin has already left and Jaqen isn't willing to chase after him and try a rush job of murder on a target who's now on his guard. Arya decides the next best thing would be to escape instead.
- Season 3 brings this discussion to canon, with both Gendry and Hot Pie pointing out she should have asked him to kill Joffrey, The Mountain or Tywin and win the damn war. So in universe it's acknowledged she dropped the ball with the three names, but she's still a child whose lost her father, whose sister is being held hostage by a monster, and sees a very loud sadist and a threat to her life respectively.
- I always interpreted it as her wanting to kill the people on her list (Joffrey, Cersei, etc) personally and didn't want him taking the satisfaction away from her.
- As mentioned above, she's a child. A deeply traumatised child. She named the Tickler because he nearly murdered her only friend and that terrified her. She named Amory Lorch because he caused an immediate threat to her. Neither Tywin nor the Mountain had harmed her, and she couldn't give up her options on people far away when she was in immediate danger at Harrenhal. Twelve-year-olds generally do not have cool heads and views of the big picture. They just want the people who are causing them fear and pain to go away.
Pillaging of Xaro's house
- Where were all the guards, while Daenerys and her men abducted Xaro, locked him in the vault and then stole all his stuff? Also, you'd think the first thing Xaro would do once he took over, would be to hunt down the rest of the Dothraki and kill them all. Yet apparently this never occurred to him either.
- Yeah, I was wondering that as well. I think (think being the operative word) he assumed that since, for all he knew, Daenerys was rotting at the House of the Undying he didn't think her forces were a threat anymore. He might have been planning on ultimately buying off the Dothraki as Qarth had done before. The Qartheen also seem to be short on military forces period, hence their typical employment of mercenaries.
- They were killed by her men—tv sometimes requires leaps of logic.
Dany pronounces Qarth as "Quarth" without ever seeing the word written down.
- When Dany's bloodrider returns to announce that he's found Qarth, he pronounces it "Karth." Dany has never heard of the city. When she arrives at the gates, she mispronounces it "Quarth," even though she's never seen the name written down and would have no idea that it starts with a Q.
- Who's to say she never saw it written — maybe there was a road sign outside the Garden of Bones? "50 Miles to Qarth"? Or maybe Jorah spelled it out for her at some point. Or perhaps more likely, her mistaken pronunciation just happened parallel the spelling.
- Qarth seems to be in the big leagues of far-eastern cities, like Ghis and Asshai. It's possible she'd read about it as a child.
- When her bloodrider tells her he found it, she's never heard of it. She asks Jorah if he knows anything about it.
- The bloodrider was speaking Dothraki when he told her. Maybe she though that 'Qarth' should be pronounced differently in Common Tongue for some reason.
- It could easily be related to how Osterreich is called "Austria" in English. It's kind of the same sound, but it's pronounced differently between languages. Given the harshness of the Dothraki language Dany may just have "translated" the sounds in her head and happened to get it wrong.
- Doylist explanation: Dany makes the error, and is corrected, to make sure the viewers get the message. Arguably necessary exposition (I can easily see viewers making this mistake), if perhaps poorly handled.
- That explanation is actually quite true. GRRM actually wrote the very scene where the pronunciation of Qarth is discussed because it had been a source of debate amongst the So Ia F fanbase for sometime.
- Daenerys grew up in Essos. I guarantee she has seen Qarth on a map at some point.
Why are Bronn and The Hound not wearing their uniforms?
- One is head of the Goldcloaks and the other a Kingsguard, but they keep wearing the same blackish worn armor they did before they were promoted...
- The Hound does wear his armor during the end of the first season, but afterward he wears his regular armor, likely because he either doesn't care or wants to appear distinctive among the nancy-boy knights of the Kingsguard (its important to note that he hates knights and never takes the honorific of "ser" at any point). Bronn, meanwhile, is characterized by the colossal, epic, sun-blocking pile of fucks that he doesn't give. He's the head of the Goldcloaks, he'll wear whatever damn uniform he wants.
- With the large cast, they generally limit the number of costume changes to keep the budget down and to help viewers keep all the characters straight. In the story's world, the uniform of the Kingsguard is really just a white cloak and shield. The Hound is wearing the white cloak when Joffrey has Sansa stripped in the throne room. He pulls it off and covers her with it. I don't know if we've seen him with it since then.
- The part about the uniform of the Kingsguard being only a white cloak is not true. On the books, they also wear white armor (except for Jaime, who prefers using a golden one most of the time) and white shields. On the TV series, the armor seems to have been substituted by those matching golden armor they all wear. As for Sandor not wearing it, he doesn't want to even look like a knight.
- Finally explained in a conversation between Tyrion and Bronn in the Prince of Winterfell. Tyrion protests that Bronn looks like a common sellsword without a uniform despite being City Watch Commander, Bronn replies that he doesn't want to wear one because as he claims: [["The cloak slows you down in a fight, makes you hard to move quietly and the gold catches the light so you're nice and easy to spot at night."]]
Jon's lack of headgear.
- OK, so Jon Snow is beyond the Wall, on icy tundra, where he acknowledges that spending the night without fire could be fatal...and he doesn't cover his head or his ears? Does he enjoy the idea of living the rest of his life without earlobes, assuming that he survives to do so? This baffles me even more considering that the scenes were shot in Iceland, where poor Kit Harington must have really suffered for his art, not wearing a hat of any kind during the shoots — only to make the scenes appear less realistic.
- This seems to be related to Helmets Are Hardly Heroic. Actually, almost no one in the Night Watch in the show ever wears a hat, except for Qhorin Halfhand — which might explain why Halfhand is considered the savviest Watch member in-universe.
- According to the costume designer, they tried it with hats. It was impossible to tell who was who unless you had the camera right in their faces, so they removed the hats despite the costume crew's vocal objections.
- This is very believable. If you have seen Starship Troopers, when the actors all don those like helmets and aren't familiar enough with the film, it can be really hard to tell who is who during a lot of the scenes.
Why does Sandor carry a longsword strapped to his back, over the chest?
- This may sound nitpicky, but Game of Thrones aims to give a realistic picture of a feudal society with a few supernatural trappings. As a bodyguard the Hound must have quick access to his weapon at all times. It's physically impossible for anyone to draw a longsword from a scabbard positioned like that. What is worse is that there is an extremely simple way to achieve the same effect without sacrificing realism: just make the strap shorter, and have it go over his shoulder, rather than across his chest, and he could draw the weapon in the fraction of a second without problem. That sort of thing belongs to Conan the Barbarian, not Game of Thrones.
- The primary weapon Sandor uses is sheathed at his hip. You can clearly see it when he's escorting Joffrey on S2 Ep 6. He carries a big heavy blade on his back, but when he needs to draw his weapon quickly he uses the arming sword at his hip. You can clearly see him draw it from the hip when the riots start. The weapon on his back is just a backup, not likely to be used unless he knows of a threat coming beforehand, in which case he can loosen the strap, drop the weapon, and pull it from the sheath. But a longsword isn't exactly going to be the weapon a bodyguard quick-draws; the arming sword at his hip is.
- Given all this, the second, larger, and much more visible sword also serves to make him look more intimidating, which matters for a bodyguard.
- That sword is reserved for the battlefield and monsters. I'm guessing the Cleganes have a tradition of wielding anti-cavalry swords.
- Demonstrated nicely in "Blackwater", where he wields it in pitched battle against Stannis' forces.
- I don't know. He manages to have it out in nearly an instant coming to Loras' defense at the joust.
- He may have already had it at the ready, suspecting (or even hoping) that his brother would try to pull something that he could step in on.
Why exactly does Jaime think it's necessary to kill his cousin Alton to escape?
- The reason he killed him was to lure the jailer with the keys close enough to strangle, but couldn't the same result have been attained by telling his cousin to pretend to be dead/dying, thus luring the jailer close, and then have both of them attack the jailer and escape? Surely it would increase Jaime's likelihood of survival and escape to have an accomplice, and they could always split up once they'd gotten away from the camp if necessary. It doesn't even seem like he was killed for plot purposes, as it would not cause any unsolvable problems for the storyline for it to happen this way. Just a Plot Hole?
- Desperation. The guard might be smart enough to recognize someone pretending to be dead, but a body twitching and gasping in clear death throes is a lot more likely to draw the guard in. Also, its questionable if Jaime's cousin would cooperate with him, considering how he's cooperated with the Starks so far. Remember that he'd likely be killed for trying to escape; Jaime is important enough to keep alive, but a relatively unimportant Lannister might get killed by accident while escaping, and attempting to escape would leave Robb disinclined to favor the guy if recaptured. He might also earn clemency by reporting the escape. Jaime can't be sure if he'd agree to help, and not rat him out if he revealed his escape attempt. So from a brutal, utilitarian standpoint, the most reliable use for his cellmate is as a twitching corpse to draw the guard in. Jaime has made it clear that he is very selfish already.
- There's also the point that they needed to give Jaime another Kick the Dog moment to remind everyone that "hey, he's still a bad guy." Sure, he's sympathetic, but he's still the same guy who pushed a ten year old out a window.
- Because "Kinslayer" rhymes well with "Kingslayer".
- I'd also dispute how useful Alton would have been in any escape attempt. Another person doubles your chance of getting caught. Jaime probably reasoned that Alton would have only slowed him down.
- Alton is a man of honor, and would consider it dishonorable to escape. Jaime isn't, and doesn't. He would therefore consider Alton a liability, as would refuse to cooperate.
- Unlikely. If such a thing were true, it wouldn't have been necessary for them to put him in the cell. The code of honor for prisoners is rather fluid. After being taken captive, Alton is expected to escape(and he probably would if he saw an opportunity that wouldn't get himself killed).note
- Yeah, I'd say Alton was a Hero-Worshipper for Jaime first, a man of honor second. When Jaime asked for Alton's help in escaping, the kid was practically bouncing with joy at the chance to help him.
- Jaime's losing his shit. He wasn't kidding about being unsuited for constraint. It's becoming clear that the Starks and Lannisters are at a stalemate hostage-wise, which means that he's going to be a prisoner until the war ends, and probably for the rest of his life if the Starks win — and the Starks are winning. As someone said above, he's desperate, and he doesn't really do clever plans. He's pretty much always had Tyrion around to make clever plans for him. By himself, his default move is pretty much to just start killing people and not stop until the problem goes away. (In the book, when Tyrion was arrested by Catelyn, his first thought was "Oh, crap. When Jaime hears about this, the idiot's going to head out into the street and just start killing Starks at random until somebody stops him.")
Why can't Jaqen kill Tywin?
- As far as I remember, Arya didn't ask him to do this in the books (though I could be wrong), but why doesn't he kill him here? He has the skills to kill a man seconds before he reaches his destination in broad daylight without anyone noticing him, so it can't be 'cause he's not good enough.
- He wasn't on Arya's list.
- He can. It'll just take too long. Jaqen can't teleport, he'd have to catch up with a forced march.
- Arya's problem with Jaqen seemed more of an issue with time than Jaqen not being able to kill Tywin at all. Arya was impatient and wanted Tywin dead "now" as she thought he was marching against Robb. Since it worked the last time with Amory Lorch she figured Jaqen could deliver on it again, but those emergency wolfsbane darts don't come cheap.
- The out of universe explanation is that Tywin didn't cross Arya's path in the books, so she never considered killing him. And if she did ask in the show, there had to be a good reason why it didn't happen, because Tywin was in the cards to survive until the end of Season 4. In-universe, she probably worried that she wouldn't know if Jaqen could kill Tywin at all (she's twelve) and thought maybe she should use her last kill on something that would help her and her friends.
Why didn't Sansa go with Sandor?
- In the books she's got an escape plan set up with Dontos. And Sandor tries to rape her before offering to take her to safety. Here...Sandor's a bit creepy. That's about it. Really...I'm scratching my head more as to why they didn't take one scene in any of the previous seven or eight episodes to show Sansa and Dontos conspiring. Would have been simple, would have taken five minutes of screen time.
- I think she thought Stannis was winning, and in that case she would be in relative safety as his prisoner, rather than on the road in the middle of a war zone with only one guard.
- I think it falls under Adaptation Explanation Extrication. They could've added something with Dontos, or at least maintained some of the creepiness between her and The Hound, which would have been a lot more in keeping with his character.
- In the show The Hound has done nothing but being a pawn of Joffrey and Cersei. He reported Sansa's bleeding and he refused Sansa's attempt to thank him for saving her in their last episode together, saying that he did it only because he likes killing, remember. Now, this same creepy guy shows up one night as the city is under siege by enemy forces and says that he is going to take her home in an awkward way. Can you really blame her for believing that the escape offer was a setup from Joffrey or Cersei to make her look like a traitor?
- As far as Sansa knows, Stannis is about to conquer the city, and she knows that he has a reputation for honor and integrity, and will most likely use her to broker a peace with Robb. Meanwhile, Sandor has done nothing but play up his own repulsiveness to her, even while saving her from danger, gloating how awesome killing people is, and so on. She really has no pressing reason to believe that he won't just rape her and leave her to the wayside somewhere down the line if he gets bored.
- Also, remember. she saw Cersei order Ilyn Payne to execute a couple of servants who were trying to run away from the battle. She might just have been scared — and not too eager to bet her life on a hypothetical "who would win in a fight between the Hound and the King's Justice" kind of scenario.
Why was Tyrion deprived off everything after Blackwater?
- I understand that he is no longer Hand of the King, but he hasn't done a bad job and didn't do anything to disgrace himself. I don't see why Tywin returning suddenly demotes him to broom closet warmer. Wouldn't Tywin, who gave him the job in the first place, take issues with that?
- A simple answer: Tywin probably wouldn't have a problem with it, for the simple reason that he doesn't like Tyrion. Nor does Cersei; she tried to have him killed. Tyrion may have a lot of allies in King's Landing now, but very few of them are in the Red Keep. Perhaps they were secretly hoping he'd die from his wound.
- It's easy to forget that Tywi] hates Tyrion.
- Because Tywin wants to be the Hand of the King. But, he knows that Tyrion is the only competent one around there.
- While that's true, he obviously recognizes his usefulness, as evidenced by him making Tyrion Hand in the first place (which is a huge responsibility), although he may have done this just to provide a scapegoat on whom to pin Joffrey and Cersei's failures in Tywin's absence. Either way, he's not the type to kill off someone useful just because he doesn't currently have a use for them — that reeks of Cersei. She's been looking for an opportunity to destroy Tyrion for ages.
- While Tyrion was unconscious, others took the credit for his successes.
- Well, let's see what Tyrion did lose. 1) The Hand position already belonged to Tywin, Tyrion was merely acting on his behalf; 2) The Tower of the Hand is to be occupied by Tywin for the same reason — Tywin most likely doesn't care where Tyrion is going to sleep now, and since he is unconscious the only people left to decide where to put him (Cersei, Joffrey, Pycelle, etc) hate him for some reason or another and are petty enough to put him in a servant chamber; 3) Bronn being City Watch commander only benefits Bronn and Tyrion, naming someone more trusted and loyal seems a first step for anyone who takes the Hand spot (and it was in fact what Tyrion himself did when he arrived at KL and got rid of Janos Slynt); 4) the Hill tribes are hard to control and are only loyal to Tyrion too, paying them to leave before they cause trouble is also reasonable; 5) Finally, getting recognition to Tyrion for holding down the fort during the battle a) depends of Joffrey, who is a prick and hates Tyrion; b) implies a recognition that it was Tyrion, and not Joffrey, who was in charge of the city during the battle, and he is not going to do that.
- I imagine Cersei didn't have a lot of good things to say about him to Tywin while he was unconscious. Plus, Tywin basically sees his children in terms of how they can be used, and since he has no love for Tyrion, and Tyrion isn't needed to act as Hand any more, it probably doesn't matter to Tywin what happens to him.
- In the books, it's specified that Cersei stole the credit for the pyromancy stunt that basically won the naval battle. Who knows what else she stole credit for while Tyrion was unconscious for two weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if she passed off all of his good ideas as hers, while blaming her bad ones on him. Not to mention that Tywin seems much more inclined to believe her than he does Tyrion.
- Also, we can see that the first thing Tywin did after finishing up the battle was start giving out political appointments and favors to the people who had helped him in order to ensure their loyalty. Getting rid of Bronn as head of the Gold Cloaks, for example, freed up a juicy position that he could give to someone else. He didn't need to give anything to Tyrion because he knows Tyrion well enough to know that while he might grumble and complain a lot, his loyalty to the family doesn't need to be bought — he'll pretty much do what's expected of him no matter what.
- It's still a bit confusing, though, because they cut out some of Tyrion's actions from the books that made the doghouse he's in at the end of Blackwater a bit more understandable. In the books, when he thought Cersei had Shae, he didn't just threaten her — he threatened Tommen, whom he had "kidnapped" (read: spirited out of the city for his own safety without Cersei's permission, much as he did for Myrcella). He was bluffing to protect Shae — he would never have actually hurt Tommen — but Cersei didn't know that. So, you can imagine that her slightly creative retelling of the story while Tyrion was unconscious didn't leave Tywin particularly pleased with his younger son.
Tyrion's plan at Blackwater — too much left to chance?
- Going back to the Battle of Blackwater, Tyrion planned to send a ship laden with Wildfire into the thick of Stannis' fleet and then Bronn would shoot a burning arrow into the trail of stuff the ship left behind itself and detonate the whole load. Awesome plan, but why such an unreliable detonation method? Bronn could be the best archer in Westeros, it's still quite a tall order to send an arrow into a relatively small target in the middle of the night, not to mention that advance enemy scouts could get to him first. If the ship was pouring Wildfire out, couldn't set the trail ablaze from wherever they sent it from? Or falling that, surely they could find some brave lad willing to give his life for the delivery of an entire city who would hide on the ship and detonate it personally?
- The Doylist explanation is simple: its an adaptation-induced plot issue. In the book, the Battle of Blackwater doesn't rely on Bronn or anyone else shooting a fire arrow at a single ship. Rather, Stannis and his fleet are lured into battle with part of Joffrey's fleet, which Tyrion sent out with the realization that the ships were lost either way. Some of those ships happened to be packed with wildfire, with the explosion happening as a consequence of the battle between the two fleets. Having a big fleet battle in addition to the wildfire would have killed their budget, and in any case Tyrion on the show isn't quite so ruthless as his book counterpart, meaning he would be less likely to send his own men to die intentionally so Stannis can be caught in the blast. The Watsonian explanation? Much harder to come by. Maybe there were back-up archers with fire arrows in case he missed? Who knows?
- If you watch carefully, the fireship was leaking wildfire, leaving a large trail of wildfire behind it like an oil slick. All Bronn had to do was ignite the wildfire trail. He didn't necessarily have to hit the ship itself.
- If you read my post carefully, I wrote that exact thing. That still seems quite an unreliable method. Why not ignite the trail from where it started?
- Three reasons. One, it shows off how great a shot Bronn is and gives him an awesome moment. Two, it looks cooler on TV than some guy dropping a torch at the start of the trail. And three, it keeps whoever's lighting the flame far away from the wildfire so they don't go up in flames too. Yes, that could have been handled by just shooting at it closer, but see explanation two.
So who burned Winterfell?
- So Theon makes his speech, Dagmar knocks him out with the intention of giving him to the Northmen and stabs Luwin when he protests. So far, so good. And then...we cut to Bran and the others emerging to a Winterfell that's been burned to the ground, with everyone dead. So who did it? Did the Ironborn torch the place out of spite? Or was it the Northern army who managed to get in? And if so, why would they burn it? And why does no one seem the least bit curious? From the books...
- Presumably it's left as a cliffhanger to be answered in the third season. I assumed that the Ironborn had razed the place down to cover their escape, but apparently I was wrong. Either way, the creators seem to want a lot of questions to be dealt with in the following season to keep the audience interested.
- I thought it was fairly obvious that it was the Bastard of Bolton who did it, because, I mean, come on. He's Roose Bolton's bastard.
- It's only obvious to people who've read the books. The series has only hinted at Roose Bolton's cruelty, and hasn't shown any sign of his disloyalty.
- Incidentally, what confuses me about the matter the most is just why didn't the Boltons occupy Winterfell? It's the most important fortress in the North. Leaving it standing alone with gates open is like an invitation for some bandits to squat in, and make themselves an enormous pain to remove.
- Because then it would be flagrantly obvious they'd switched sides?
- No it wouldn't. They were sent to occupy Winterfell. That was their purpose of returning to North: restoring the most important fortress into region back to Stark control. Being Stark bannermen, it would be their duty to occupy and secure the place for their liege lord.
- But if they were betraying the Starks (as they clearly were), occupying it means they would have to give it back to Robb when he returned. As it stands now, the most important fort in the north is the Dreadfort. The Starks' power is severely hampered and they get to blame the Ironborn for the whole thing.
- Up until anyone else decides to waltz in to Winterfell and set up a garrison there. It's the most important fortress in the North. It's hard to imagine that anyone would leave it empty for long, and if they did, someone else would claim it.
- It's burnt. The smallfolk are gone or dead, the fields have already been harvested and the food stolen or destroyed. Any random person that tried to claim it would be starved out because ... wait for it... winter is coming.
- Actually, in A Dance with Dragons Roose Bolton occupies Winterfell, and starts rebuilding it. And, even burnt down, the fortress is still very much functional against Stannis's attacks. The destruction of the place was probably not on Bolton's plans, but rather a result of Ramsay's sociopathic nature.
- In ADWD the Starks are completely broken and the only one that the world at large thinks is alive is Arya. When the Boltons burned it, Robb was still alive (the Red Wedding doesn't occur until the next book). So the situation had changed to the point where it now made sense to rebuild Winterfell. Further, the host that occupies it has to bring their own food in with them — something random bandits wouldn't be able to accomplish. Even so, Stannis' host wasn't so much stalled by Winterfell as by the massive snowstorm that buried his army and cut off his supplies.
- It's one thing to not explain why the castle is burned to create a cliffhanger. But it gets ridiculous if you consider it from Maester Luwin's perspective. If he knows that Ramsay betrayed the Starks, shouldn't he maybe tell at least Osha? Otherwise Bran and the others will just assume that Dreadfort men are their allies (they had been up to this point, and there was no reason to assume different), and maybe reveal themselves if they encounter them. And if Luwin didn't know, why did he tell them to head north? Shouldn't he tell them to just look for the army his brother sent to take back Winterfell?
- Maybe he didn't know. He had a spear put through him. He might have just been unconscious through the sack and levered himself to the Godswood afterwards.
- Or he went straight to the Godswood to die after taking a spear to the gut, rather than pointlessly standing in the castle to watch who put the torch on it.
- It isn't made explicit in the show, but in the books it is made clear that even if they're allied together, the Starks do not trust the Boltons as far as they can throw them, and Ramsay is well known for his...evilness in the north. They should have done a better job explaining it, but even if Luwin didn't know the Boltons burned Winterfell, he has plenty of reason to advise the boys from going into Bolton hands.
- He has reason to warn against them away from the Boltons, but it would have been confusing to the viewer. We've only heard of Ramsay Bolton mentioned as "my bastard" by Roose Bolton, so introducing him so late in the season would have been shaky at best. Much better to introduce him in the third season with Theon, when we can pick up the plot line of the Boltons' betrayal.
Couldn't Joffrey marry both Sansa and Margery?
- I remember watching the 1st season Blue-ray extras about Aegon the Conqueror, the King who conquer the Seven Kingdoms, married both his sisters. So i found it strange that Joffrey didn't marry both Sansa and Margaery and had to break off his engagement with the former to marry the latter since he is (not really) a Baratheon, who are distant relatives of the Targaryens. I find it weird the Lannisters would dismiss Sansa since they need her to have a legitimate claim to the North.
- Because one wife is enough?
- The fact that Rhaegar felt the need to abduct Lyanna implies that practice has been discontinued for a while. Plus, marrying multiple daughters of great houses would devalue the political strength of the union, and create a Succession Crisis over whose children are senior (the children of the first wife? the oldest child?) — in fact, it would probably be easier if they were both your sisters. The Lannisters want the Tyrells' absolute backing, they can't afford to offend them.
- Marrying more than one woman is a foreign custom that the Targaryens brought to Westeros from Valyria. It wasn't something that was considered normal in the Seven Kingdoms, and since Joffrey's presumed father overthrew the Targaryen dynasty, it would be very bad form of him to start following their traditions. It would make him seem like a poser, a would-be Targaryen, and turn everybody who hated them against him. It's unlikely that even Joffrey has any good opinions of the Targaryens, in any case.
- In the books, he cites one of the Targaryen kings as being able to have any woman he wanted whenever he commanded it (a bit like Caligula) and pretty much states his love for polygamy to all present and demands that he be given the opportunity to rape Sansa, so depending on whether the series will depict this scene, he'll likely consider doing this sort of thing when he gets even more self-entitled. Also, he seems to respect (as capable he would be of respect) the Targaryens quite a bit for their conquering of Westeros. Being a Boisterous Weakling and having to live up to the reputation of Robert, it's unsurprising he would see them as Worthy Opponents.
- I don't think that Cersei ever really intended for Joffrey to marry Sansa after she was deemed a traitor's daughter. The keeping of the engagement seemed like merely a way to keep her as a hostage until a more advantageous match could be made, and it would probably be disreputable for a daughter of a traitor to become queen. More humiliating for Joffrey to keep her as his prisoner and he can basically do whatever he wants with her.
- Also, as we are going to see firsthand next season, one of the advantages of having Sansa be betrothed to Joffrey is that she couldn't seriously consider an offer of marriage from anyone else. Considering that as far as anyone knows, she's next in line to inherit Winterfell after Robb (who is fighting a very dangerous war and could be killed at any moment), she would pretty much be neck-deep in offers otherwise — and since divorce is almost impossible in this society, if she managed to sneak off and marry someone, there would be no way to undo it short of killing her husband or sending him to the Wall (which, depending on how powerful his family was, might well not have been options). We'll find out next season that once her betrothal to Joffrey ends, Tywin Lannister's first order of business is to figure out how to get her married to a Lannister — ANY Lannister at all — as soon as possible to keep her claim to Winterfell from going to someone outside the family. And even then, he barely manages to do it in time.
- Keeping her engaged to Joffrey is also a way of using her as a hostage or bargaining tool. Offer to break the engagement if Robb surrenders for instance.
Why does Balon call them Longships?
- The Ironborn ships we see when Theon meets his crew look nothing like longships.
- Because that's the in-universe name for them.
- He's really calling longships something that aren't longships? To think, he could call them galleons or something. Bah. It would be so much cooler if they actually were longships. Hell, that's what the ships are; galleys.
- The Ironmen are pirates. They steal ships. Maybe the elite core of their navy consists of actual purpose-built longships, or maybe they're just used to referring to warships as "longships", but either way, Theon hasn't got a top-of-the-line ship, he's got some junky stolen galleon and a crew scraped from the bottom of the barrel. Maybe they don't even have any actual longships left now their power's waned so much, but Balon's pride refuses to let him admit this fact.
- And while we're on the subject of Ironborn, why hasn't Victarion been mentioned in any of their damn scenes? Especially while Balon goes over his strategy with his kids. One would suspect that given Victarion is not only the supreme commander of the Ironborn navy and their absolute best fighter, he would have been included in their raiding. Something like Balon pointing to Moat Cailin and saying; 'yes, and your uncle will take X number of longgalleys and destroy the fortress of Moat Cailan so as to lessen potential resistance of the mainland to our raiders' or something to that effect. Yes, I know that he's not cast yet, yes I know that they condensed the whole Ironborn efforts against the North to an unseen attack on Torrhen's Square and Theon cutting off Rodrik's head; but still, he's a relatively important character in the series and arguably one of the main protagonists in the Ironborn storyline.
- Rewatch that scene. Balon comes to tell Yara and Theon what he has already decided and discussed with whatever men he has. He says the main attack will be on Moat Cailin — he just doesn't say who will command it, but since it won't be either Yara or Theon it's probably unnecessary. He then orders Yara to take 30 "longships" to take Deepwood Motte and Theon to take one "ship" to raid the Stoney Shore. So yeah, the Ironborn have longships, it's just that Balon doesn't trust Theon with one.
- Gives them room to write Victarion into or out of a future season.
- Yea, they waited until Season 3 to write in the Blackfish and Edmure, who haven't been mentioned at all up until now. So whether or not he'll feature is up in the air.
- I'd also like to point out that in the books, the Sea-Bitch was a brand new vassal built by a guy called Sigrid, and Yara/Asha fondled Theon by pretending to be his wife. So it probably was supposed to be a longship.
- It's a lot easier for a film crew to get hold of a medieval-looking sailing ship than it is to find a galley. I think there's one in Greece, and that's it. Besides, you'd have to pay the wages of all those oarsmen. Even a CGI sailing ship would look more realistic than trying to simulate all those oars dipping in and out of the water.
Why doesn't Pyat Pree just ask to travel with Daenerys and her dragons instead of trying to capture her?
- The main motivation Pyat Pree gives for stealing the dragons and holding Dany is that his magic is strongest in the presence of the dragons and they are strongest in the presence of their mother. Instead of conspiring with Xaro, wouldn't it be more sensible to just ask to travel with her. He's capable of performing pretty good magic if not really good magic so he'd be useful to Dany and he could probably even get away with asking for one of the offspring if Rhaegal turns out to be female. Being able to use his magic out in the open and in the middle of a war also seems like a better situation than having to stay in the House of the Undying to get the most out of his magic.
- Personally, I don't think Pree would want to risk his neck by going along with Dany; he's got magic, sure, but he's not exactly a combat expert, nor is there any indication that he prefers using his powers on the battlefield to researching them in the comfort of his own home. Plus, even if he did decide to send one of his self-duplicating duplicates to guard Dany, he wouldn't want to risk seeing the foundation of his newfound power source getting killed in her attempt to claim the throne of a kingdom consumed by civil war; even if he just had a bunch of his clones surround Dany at all times, there are still hazards that they wouldn't be able to protect her from — ie, arrows. Finally, by keeping Dany and her dragons captive, he not only keeps them safe from anything that could endanger his power base, but he ensures that he gets all the Dragon offspring produced — not just one- meaning Pyat Pree has the monopoly on supernatural power, and Qarth has its own flying artillery unit.
- Pree has no reason to leave the city. It's a rich city that occupies an important location and he's just finished a coup that leaves him as one of the two powers left in it. Who would want to trade that for an uncertain, uncomfortable and physically dangerous war just to put some teenage girl on a throne?
Why are the horn blasts counterproductive?
- Why is it one blast to say that you're returning, two for Wildlings and three for wights? Why not have it reversed so that if you see a group of enemies approaching you can quickly warn allies without the risk of being killed before you can make the second blow?
*horn blast*"White walkers! There! Rain arrows on them!"*horn blast* *horn blast*...oops.
- Because this way you don´t give everyone at the Wall a collective heart-attack if you drop the horn.
- Consider also the following scenario:
- Consider as well that it would be easier for a horn blower to sound once for returning Rangers, a common sight, twice for attacking Wildlings, a not uncommon sight, and three times for White Walkers, not seen in centuries.
- Also consider the following scenario:*one horn blast* Wildlings arrive and kill the horn-blower."Wildlings! Kill them!"*A wilding takes the horn and blows a second time"Never mind, everything's fine!"''*Wildlings arrive and kill everyone unawares*
- The Watch isn't stupid. Any strange pause between the first and second blast would put them on guard. Not to mention, this is simply the best system they can manage in a territory where the terrain is harshest and long-distance communication is all but impossible. It's not perfect but it's the best option they have.
Who do the Greyjoys normally swear fealty to?
- They're situated neatly between the North and the Riverlands, and once had conquered the Riverlands, so who is it they're expected to be loyal to, or are they considered a separate Great House with their own bannermen and such (presumably scattered amongst the Iron Islands)? And if they are vassals of either Starks or Tullys, why is no one suspicious that they've not declared a side?
- The Iron Islands are indeed one of the Seven Kingdoms. While nominally loyal to the Iron Throne (when not rebelling, that is!), they are as self-governing as any other kingdom of Westeros.
- How would the proposed alliance with the Greyjoys have worked then? Robb offers their independence in exchange for the alliance, something that he doesn't have to give them. Wouldn't allying with Balon effectively "up the ante" and completely change the face of the war? In order to secure Northern independence, all Robb has to do is defend the Riverlands from the Lannisters and their allies, occasionally taking offensive actions in the Westerlands to fatigue their enemy. If they add an independent Iron Islands to their terms then they have to turn the war into one of conquest in order to convince the Lannisters to agree to their terms because Robb couldn't otherwise guarantee independence for the Ironmen.
- Robb et al weren't just fighting for northern independence, they were fighting to depose the Lannisters from the Iron Throne too. Partly for vengeance (Ned), and partly because Joffrey is essentially Mad King 2.0. Even Robb says he wasn't sure who he'd install as ruler. "First we have to win the war."
- In this case, "give them their independence" translates to "not oppose their independence," as they had as recently as just over a decade ago. Robb is foreseeing a scenario where his side takes King's Landing and then is free to carve up the Seven Kingdoms like a birthday cake. The Kingdom of the North and the Iron Islands would then be separate territories ruled by different kings, and if Balon wanted to press his war with Casterly Rock, say, the North can say "well that doesn't involve us!" The proposed alliance certainly does complicate the picture, but if things had gone as planned and Balon committed his navy to besieging Lannister ports, it probably would have been well worth it. But as we know, Robb often failed to think about the long term.
- I was never really clear on that, because if the Iron Isles are one of the Seven Kingdoms that make up the land ruled by the Iron Throne, what are the other six? I was under the impression that the Seven Kingdoms were Dorne, the Reach, the Stormlands, the Westerlands, the Riverlands, the Vale, and the North. If the Iron Isles are actually one of the Seven Kingdoms, which of the others aren't? Or, is the phrase Seven Kingdoms a holdover from the time before Dorne was under the Iron Throne?
- The Seven Kingdoms are the Iron Islands, the Stormlands, the Westerlands, the North, the Reach, the Vale and Dorne. The Riverlands had been conquered by the Iron Islands at the time Aegon the Conqueror invaded the Seven Kingdoms. Harrenhal was actually built by the then-king of the Irons Islands before he was roasted within.
- This is referenced in Season 1 where Robert recounts, "In my day you weren't a man until you'd fucked one girl from each of the Seven Kingdoms and the Riverlands. We used to call it 'making the eight'!"
- The Seven Kingdoms are the Stormlands of House Baratheon, the Westerlands of House Lannister, the North of House Stark, the Reach of House Tyrell, the Vale of House Arryn, the Riverlands of House Tully and Dorne of House Martell which has yet to appear in the show's continuity. The Iron Islands are not a kingdom and they are supposed to be bannermen for House Stark. But both because their culture is very idiosyncratic and because they are so far away from Winterfell, to say that they swear loyalty to the Starks is ummm, yeah, no. That's why they tried to rebel and become and independent kingdom (which they pretty much already functioned as) which went as well as we all know.
- The Iron Islands are one of the Seven Kingdoms (the Riverlands are not). They are not Stark bannermen. This is not obscure information. Consult the extras of the Season 1 boxed set if you don't believe me.
- Or, you know, read the books. It's pretty clear that the Iron Islands swear fealty directly to the Iron Throne. Plus, "the Seven Kingdoms" is an expression that refers to the original seven kingdoms that existed in Westeros (and had existed by millennia) by the time of Aegon's Landing. The six kingdoms Aegon conquered (Iron Islands, North, Westerlands, Stormlands, Reach and the Vale) plus Dorne (that later joined in by marriage pact). The Riverlands don't count because it belonged to the Iron Islanders. Neither do the Crownlands that only refer to the region now occupied by the Houses that directly swore fealty to the Targaryen (most of which were the original men belonging to when he first came to Westeros), carved out of the Stormlands (and maybe a small piece of the Reach).
- When Aegon Targaryen invaded the Seven Kingdoms there was the Kingdom of the Vale, ruled by House Arryn, The Kingdom of the West, ruled by House Lannister, the Kingdom of the North ruled by House Stark and the Princedom of Dorne ruled by the Martells, all current lords. However the other three Kingdoms were the Kingdom of the Stormlands, ruled by House Durrendon (whom Orys Baratheon married into and adopted their sigil and words), the Kingdom of Isles and Rivers ruled by House Hoare and the Kingdom of the Reach, ruled by House Gardner. The Tullys were made Lord's of the Riverlands and the Greyjoys Lords of the Iron Islands once Aegon had defeated Harren Hoare, the builder of Harrenhal. The Gardeners were killed on the field of fire, so the Tyrells who were mere stewards of Highgarden were raised to Lords of the Reach because they were fast enough to surrender.
- There's technically nine kingdoms. The Reach. Dorne. Stormlands. Riverlands. North. The Vale. The West. The Iron Islands and the Crownlands (King's Landing and surrounding lands, Dragonstone and neighboring islands). They call it the Seven Kingdoms because there was Seven Kingdoms when Aegon invaded (the Iron Islands ruling the Riverlands from Harrenhal, King's Landing not built yet) and because seven is a holy number in their religion.
- It may be more useful to think of these as administrative regions than kingdoms, since some, like Dragonstone, were never ruled by an independent king (Stannis figuring himself to be king of all Westeros, not Dragonstone).
- Dragonstone is part of the Crownlands, i.e. the independent holdings of the crown (the Targaryens traditionally granted it to the King's heir apparent). It was probably part of the Stormlands before Aegon came; the borders were more fluid when the kingdoms were independent, as they used to fight over territory. But yes, Westeros is split between nine Great Houses; "the Seven Kingdoms" is an Artifact Title referring to the state Aegon I found it in (as should be obvious from the fact that they aren't even kingdoms anymore).
- Dragonstone was the Targaryen seat before the fall of Valyria and the invasion of Westeros. It was a distant Valyrian hold administrated by the Targaryen noble house.
Melisandre not warning Stannis.
- She can see into the future and assures Stannis that she saw his victory. The book, however, suggests that she can see multiple futures and some aren't mutually exclusive. She apparently foresaw Matthos' death by fire and she knows that the ship he crews belongs to Davos, the man leading Stannis' fleet. She never thought to warn Stannis of it? She in fact goes out of her way to be cryptic when asked?
- Melisandre isn't as good at interpreting her visions as she believes she is. This coupled with her faith in Stannis as a champion of R'hllor makes her dismiss the idea that he could fail. She didn't warn anyone of Matthos' death because she believed it was the will of the Lord of Light.
- Another possibility (the one Davos believes) is that Melisandre didn't warn Stannis so his massive army and navy would be smashed, and he'd be forced to rely on her even more as the most powerful force at his disposal. However the novel implies that Melisandre simply misunderstood what she saw in the flames — if Stannis went to King's Landing as he originally planned, Renly would smash his forces. If he went to Storm's End to confront Renly, he would prevail. Rather than alternative possibilities however, both visions turned out to be true, with the Renly who crushes him at King's Landing being an El Cid Ploy.
Davos' son's prayers.
- Davos' son uses the fact that his father always returned when he prayed as evidence for his god. But in the days when Davos would have been at risk of dying at sea, wouldn't the religion of the area have still been worshiping the Seven, the very gods they just decried as false?
- The exact amount of time between Melisandre showing up at Dragonstone and the events of the war is a little murky at best. The book implies that it's been a while, since Stannis' wife and a few nobles and their men have converted to the religion before Stannis has apparently given it any thought. Matthos might be conflating things a bit to try and persuade his father, depending on how old he's supposed to be, though he states he lit a candle to pray, which is a part of prayer to the Seven. It might be that in his mind the Lord of Light is the only true god, so even if he was praying to the Seven he has now decided that it was the Lord of Light that was answering his prayers. Note that Melisandre's attitude is that the Lord of Light is the only god, as opposed to some Westerosi who seem to acknowledge at least the possibility of there being multiple gods (the Old Gods and the Seven, as the primary example). If she was teaching that interpretation of her religion, Melisandre might have assured her potential converts that the Lord of Light was listening to their prayers even if they were to the Seven — which isn't so different from what real life missionaries have done.
- Also, the sea around the Stormlands is very dangerous, so Davos could have been in danger of being lost at sea as little as a week prior.
Why didn't Sansa take Tyrion's offer?
- In Garden of Bones after Tyrion saves Sansa from Joffrey's cruelty he asks her if she still wants to continue her engagement to the little turd but Sansa shoots him down. Why? She's obviously miserable and Tyrion seemed about to tell her a way to escape King's Landing and go home. Why didn't she take the chance right there?
- Because she is figuring out to play dumb and stupid might keep her alive. Tyrion then says, "Oh Lady Sansa, you may survive us yet."
- Why should she believe Tyrion is any better than Joffrey? She, unlike us, has scant evidence to the contrary. Indeed, if she had heard the story of Tyrion's capture by her mother, she would have twice as much reason not to trust him.
- It may not be as obvious in the show because of Peter Dinklage's performance of a lovable rogue and the rather positive chemistry between Tyrion and Sansa on-screen, but in the book Sansa isn't too fond of the dwarf. It's actually pointed out several times that despite his genuine attempts to get on her good side, she doesn't trust him because he's a Lannister.
- She's had to pretend to be in love with Joffrey, even to people who know she isn't, such as Cersei, The Hound, and Joffrey himself, because she doesn't know what's going to next get her hit, or even killed. She hasn't been able to trust anyone, partly for the sake of her own safety, but also because literally every single person she's ever trusted has either betrayed her, died, or been separated from her. She's lost the ability to trust, or at least to trust readily. One act of kindness on Tyrion's part isn't going to suddenly change that.
- She also had no way to know exactly what Tyrion was going to tell her. He may have tried to help arrange an end to her marriage, or he might have just laughed in her face. Remember that to the public Tyrion is the "demon monkey" that's pulling the king's strings and is singly responsible for the common people's plight during the war.
- And then there's just the idea of not giving any of the people watching the satisfaction of admitting she's afraid of Joffrey. Tyrion's question really does seem more like a courtesy than a real offer — even if she chose to trust him, he doesn't have the power to release her against the king's wishes, and would be executed if he tried. In Sansa's eyes, the little protection that Tyrion could offer might just not be worth the extra humiliation of asking him for it, especially after what she's just been through.
- Indeed. It wasn't an offer, it was a question. A potentially dangerous question.
Isn't Osha a slave?
- From Ser Jorah's backstory, we learn that slavery is illegal in Westeros. But then we see the Starks, the very family who banished Ser Jorah for slavery, capturing Osha and having her serve them in Winterfell in chains. What is she if not a slave?
- She's the Stark's prisoner. They needed someone to replace Catelyn. They need people to do things around the castle.
- A prisoner on a "work-release program". The idea being that after a period of service, she would no longer be a prisoner, and be allowed to go on her way(so long as she didn't commit any further crimes). Keep in mind that the punishment for her crime was death. That she volunteered for the duty, so she could live, would imply that it isn't exactly slavery... Also, Ser Jorah wasn't banished. He exiled himself (because the punishment would have been death or serving on the Wall). And he wasn't going to be punished for holding slaves... It would have been for selling slaves.
- Same reason it's legal to send prisoners out to break rocks on chain gangs in the modern-day US, really.
- Quite: there's a distinction between slavery and indentured labor. We can reasonably assume that the law in Westeros (or the morality of the Starks, whichever is in play) allows for the latter.
- One important difference being the difference between prisoners and property. Prisoners (and, in the Ironborn parlance, thralls and salt wives) are prisoners, but slaves are property. Prisoners aren't bought and sold — they're ransomed sometimes, but they're not passed around from owner to owner like farm animals. If they have kids, the kids are born free. If slaves have kids (and some deeply ominous comments at a slave auction we see later in the books suggests slaves are actively bred), their kids are slaves, too.
- Thralls and salt wives aren't exactly slaves — while they are denied their freedom, they are not considered to be property (ie, an Ironborn cannot sell his thralls to another), and all of their children are born free.
Why does Stannis believe in the Lord of Light?
- He generally seems like quite a sensible chap, what's with the dotty religious conversion? (And given that he doesn't get on with his wife, how did she talk him into it?)
- Selyse isn't very persuasive, but Melisandre is. And the whole "mysterious and deadly powers" shtick she's got going on. From the books...
- That religious conversion is less dotty when you consider that Melisandre has true magical powers that she has repeatedly demonstrated. A "sensible chap" like Stannis wouldn't want to leave such a resource unused — or turned against him.
- Stannis himself explains it in the episode "Second Sons", telling Davos that he didn't truly believe, but once he witnessed her powers for himself, he finds it hard to deny that the Lord of Light is the true god.
- His obsession with becoming king might play a role as well in his "conversion". Stannis, in my mind, does not want to be king because he is drawn to power, he sees it as his birthright. And since the Lord of Light's pitch, through Melisandre, appears to be the one most promising of delivering him the crown, I think it is somewhat natural for him to become a believer.
- His obsession might even be deepened by having his birthright to Storm's End refused as Robert gave it to Renly and left him on a rock in the sea, thus making him even more susceptible to Melisandre's message
Littlefinger and the Power of Teleportation
- In the second season, Littlefinger bounces around the Seven Kingdoms like he's got a private jet or something. From episode to episode he goes from the Crownlands (King's Landing) to the Stormlands to see Cat, then heads to Highgarden with Margaery and Loras Tyrell, then shows up at Harrenhal to chat with Tywin Lannister, and finally circles back to King's Landing. Any one of these trips would take days if not weeks with the travel options of the setting, yet he makes all of them in a matter of a few days. There's no justification given for it, and most of these scenes were added for the show and not in the books.
- Pay close attention to his quote, "Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is." Clearly this means that he has a magical ladder that transcends space and time.
- You explained your own question. The scenes were added for the show to give the actor something to DO. Littlefinger is a major character in the books even though he isn't seen nearly as much, and they probably needed to make up scenes with him in order to justify paying the salary of a relatively known actor, who might not have agreed to the role if he were paid the amount of salary other barely seen characters in the books are.
Dead Man's Bastard
- When Ygritte tells the Lord o' Bones that Jon is Ned's bastard and that Mance might want to talk to him, Lord o' Bones asks why Mance would want a dead man's bastard. How does he know that Ned is dead?
- Everyone knows that the war was started because of Ned's execution.
- The books have established that there are more than a few scouting parties sent south of the Wall, and Mance himself even went on occasion (when Robert met Ned at Winterfell, I believe) it doesn't seem weird that one of the Wildlings spying in the North would ask himself "hey, why are there suddenly no fighters down here?" and then hear that Ned Stark is dead and the Northerners have all gone to war to avenge.
- The Wildlings have wargs as well, don't they? Maybe they spy on northeners just so they can get information about what the enemy is up to.
Masked woman in Qarth
- While Daenerys' entourage is in Qarth, Jorah meets a woman in an S/M mask who seems to know way more than she should, including the fact that Jorah used to spy on Dany. It seems like this meeting and her character were supposed to be somehow important, but she hasn't been seen or mentioned since. So what was the point of it all? How did she know those things, and why did she warn Jorah against betraying Dany again?
- She had more to do in the books, but that was cut out of the show.
Take him alive except don't.
- During their altercation at the brothel, there's the following exchange between Jaime and Ned:
N:Then Tyrion dies.
J:You're right. (to his men) Take him alive. Kill his men.
Which is what they do - they kill Ned's men, and then one of them stabs Ned in the leg, incapacitating him. And then Jaime... punches the stabber in the face, mounts his horse and leaves. I'm sorry, what the hell just happened? This is exactly what he wanted! To capture Ned so that he can be exchanged for Tyrion. But now it seems his mooks were supposed to wait while he kills Ned?.. Why? He ordered them to take him! And then Tywin is asking him why he didn't finish off Ned... And he says "It wouldn't have been clean." (instead of "They would've killed Tyrion in response.") implying that if his soldier didn't interveen, he would've fought Ned to the death... one minute after admitting that he can't kill him.
Did the Lannisters not know what Gendry looks like?
- So in the early part of Season 2, the Lannisters are looking for Gendry, or anyone under a certain age with black hair and blue eyes. Arya says that Lommy, who is blond, is Gendry since he has Gendry's helmet. How did the Lannisters not see that Lommy did not resemble King Robert? They have a physical description they're keeping tabs on, which Lommy does not fulfill.
- The same reason that Tywin never suspects that Arya is Ned Stark's daughter; the children are Beneath Suspicion. Are they expecting a child to have Machiavellian planning skills and pass off a dead boy as the king's bastard? Arya says the boy is called Gendry and he has the helmet. What reason do they have to think she's lying? Maybe they're also uncomfortable with the idea of killing children, and felt that one of them already killed was good enough and with no need to press the issue further.
- What reason to think she's lying? They have a physical profile to look for Gendry: he has black hair, blue eyes, and carries a bull's head helmet. The helmet's there, but the body beside it doesn't match. Besides, the party that captured this group is comfortable with killing kids, as evidenced with Lommy and their leader Amory Lorch personally killed Rhaegar Targaryen's daughter Rhaenys by stabbing her 50 times.
- What I meant was, they'd be unlikely to suspect the children of lying. Maybe it's more simple that it was night, they'd just fought a battle with the Night's Watch men and maybe they just went "eh, good enough" when Arya said Gendry was the one who had been killed. And since the surviving children are ordered to be taken to Harrenhal they may have felt content that if they did let Gendry slip away, he was as good as dead going there anyway (the only reason he, Hot Pie and Arya escaped was of supernatural assistance).
Reed versus Bolton
- Forget the Ironborn, how was Roose Bolton able to get his army back north at all? Between the Twins and Winterfell stands the Neck, and its House Reed. Their lord was a personal friend of Ned Stark, and the locals are fiercely loyal to House Stark. Nothing gets through the swamps of the Neck without the crannogmen's toleration, and Greywater Watch as a castle is impossible to find without guidance from locals. How would Roose Bolton and his army get through there, having miraculously survived the Red Wedding suspiciously intact and their lord now suddenly married to the traitor Walder Frey's granddaughter? House Reed really disliked House Frey even before the Red Wedding, so the sudden Bolton/Frey alliance would have only served to anger them even more. Roose Bolton even making it through alive, let alone his army, is nothing short of a miracle.
- House Reed doesn't have the whole Crannogmen thing in the series, and even if it was unless Roose decides to bathe in the swamp guerrilla warfare won't help them much to stop an army bigger than them from simply crossing their land by the main and open road, they can just hope harassing them until they leave the place. And who is supposed to tell them about the Red Wedding if they are hidden in a castle and the survivor were all in on it? By the time they know Roose is already on the run.
Tyrion and Shae
- Sorry if it has been already asked, but I wonder at what point Shae decided to betray Tyrion. Did she do it the whole time and everything she said was a lie? Or did she really love him and only started after he told her to leave (to protect her, which she didn't know) and unwantedly hurt her, after what she decided to take revenge on him for that? It seems like there are hints for both scenarios.
- It's murkier than in the books. The books make it clear through Shae's manner that she is never, ever loyal to or cared about Tyrion. He's always just her employer and she's probably less inspired to sincere camaraderie with him than Bronn is. The TV series seemed to give her character a bit of an upgrade, showing her actually caring about Sansa and being less whiny and petulant overall. So the more likely scenario there is that she may not have actually loved Tyrion but she probably liked him, but that when shit went down she did what she had to in order to survive, which was turning on him and playing Tywin's whore instead.
- Shae seems to genuinely care for Tyrion, and hoped for a good life with him. She's essentially been a whore for most of her life, but with Tyrion she is like his lover. He treats her decently and she's got a nice place to stay. He even plants her as Sansa's handmaiden to keep her safe from his enemies. When Varys offers her the chance to go, she refuses because she believes that Tyrion loves her and will protect her. Tyrion has to resort to telling her she's just a whore, pretending their relationship was all a lie to get her to leave. So she's pretty much had her heart broken and, being established as having a prickly and violent side, saw that testifying at his trial would be a good way to get back at him. She's also shown to be a little jealous of his marriage to Sansa, and it looks a little as though Tyrion and Sansa plotted Joffrey's death to elope together. Joffrey dies after she's been told to eff off, so perhaps the death and Sansa's disappearance made her think Tyrion had planned it in some way.
What would Littlefinger have done if Sansa hadn't backed her up?
- In "Mockingbird", Littlefinger kills Lysa in cold blood while Sansa is there to witness it. In the following episode, he claims Lysa's death was suicide, but it's made clear his story wouldn't have held water if Sansa hadn't decided to back it up. However, at the moment he killed Lysa, there's no way he could've known Sansa would side with him especially since, just moments ago, he had forced a kiss on her which clearly left her distraught. Even during the interrogation scene, when Sansa lies for Littlefinger, he's shown to be surprised by her decision to do so. So if he couldn't have counted on her support, how did he originally plan to get away with the murder? Littlefinger is consistently portrayed as a major chessmaster, so it seems weird he would just murder Lysa on impulse with no backup plan, especially since right before the murder it looked like he'd already managed to convince Lysa she was his one true love.
- This is worse when you take into account, in the book, he DOES talk to Sansa afterward and has a minstrel who was present be the fall guy. He had it planned out before he murdered Lysa. In the show, it seems as though Baelish is not one who makes backup plans well (or at all really), but this wasn't even making a normal plan.
- Littlefinger is visibly surprised by the fact that they called Sansa in to testify at all. For whatever reason, he didn't expect that to happen, which is why he didn't think to cajole her beforehand into backing up his story.
Why does Karl Tanner have a surname?
- Karl's surname is inconsistent with the naming conventions in the series and the books. In both, it's established that Westerosi surnames are "noble's names," and only nobles have them, while commoners have only one name, with the occasional nickname to distinguish them. Even Bronn, who gets a knighthood, only starts calling himself "Bronn of the Blackwater" rather than granting himself a surname. Karl, a cutthroat from Gin Alley in the slum of Flea Bottom, certainly doesn't hail from some previously unmentioned House Tanner. It seems like it's an occupational surname of the sort common in the real world, but he'd be the only one in the story to have one, and it's not even his profession. By contrast, Lommy, an actual tanner's apprentice, is just called Lommy in the series and Lommy Greenhands in the books.
- For all we know, he was born behind a tanner's shop. In the books, there's an infant named Tyrion Tanner, who was conceived when his mother Lollys Stokeworth was raped behind a tanner's shop during the King's Landing riot in A Clash of Kings.
- Tyrion Tanner is a strange case, since Tanner is being used as a bastard's surname instead of the conventional Waters for the area. This case would suggest that Karl is a noble's bastard as well, which seems unlikely for a Flea Bottom thug. It would also put him in Boomerang Bigot territory given his insistence on insulting Craster as a bastard.
- There might have been two Karl's in the group he ran with as a boy, and because he lived above a tanner's shop (and smelt like he lived above a tanners shop) he got called Karl Tanner.
- For all we know, he was born behind a tanner's shop. In the books, there's an infant named Tyrion Tanner, who was conceived when his mother Lollys Stokeworth was raped behind a tanner's shop during the King's Landing riot in A Clash of Kings.
Arya and the Hound at the Eyrie
- Did the Hound and Arya just leave after being told that Lady Lysa was dead? Wouldn't the guards have informed Littlefinger that they were at his gates? Especially as these were two of the most sought-after individuals in Westeros and Littlefinger was present at the time. He would surely have relished the opportunity to take possession of another Stark daughter and the Hound as well.