Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tyrion • Arya

Tyrion chats with former City Watch commander Janos Slynt, who can't tell the difference between Arbor and Dornish wine because he's an uncultured dumbass. Janos was the guy who helped promptly execute Ned after Joffrey's command. He also sent a certain Mr. Deem to brutally kill one of Robert's infant bastards. I don't understand exactly why Tyrion is so pissed at this guy. Maybe Tyrion is just a nice guy who wants to have justice for Eddard and Bob's baby. More likely, Tyrion is just tywining up loose ends, and this guy is one of them. Lord Slynt acts tough for about ten seconds before Tyrion hits him with "I'm Tyrion from House Lannister, bitch!" Poor Janos is immediately deported to the Wall.

Afterwards, Tyrion and Varys talk about that riddle Varys posed earlier about the king, the priest, and the rich man. Something about how power is really a shadow but shadows can kill, whatever. Varys then proceeds to mentally fellate Tyrion with the "often, a very small man can cast a very large shadow" line. If Tyrion was smart, he'd whack Varys right now. Why? Because this guy is worst kind of threat. There are two types of power -- hard and soft. Kings and City Watch Commanders and rich Lords have the hard kind, capable of decreeing and ordering and buying whatever they wish. Tyrion can out hard power just about anyone with the wealth and power of House Lannister at his back. But Varys has no hard power. He's just a fat, dickless man who listens through the walls. However, Varys is the Bill Gates of soft power, and his all knowing information network is a far larger danger to Tyrion as Hand than any army of swords. Of course, Varys succeeds, convincing Tyrion to keep him around because Varys "serves the realm."

Arya continues to travel with Yoren on the Kingsroad to the Wall. Everything along the journey is sunshine and rainbows. People celebrate in villages they pass, and every night their little group sits around a campfire and sings Kumbayah. Rorge makes smores and Biter plays the banjo. (This is not what happens). Martin seems determined to hammer home a theme that was prevelant all throughout Game of Thrones: life is not fair. Good characters are born as bastards or as dwarves or into slavery, while bad characters get wealth, power, and beauty. The honorable guys don't always win in the end, and the douchebag assholes sometimes never get what they deserve. In a perfect world, Yoren and his guys would get free drinks all the way to the Wall and Arya would get a hug from Jon. But not in Martin's universe.

The situation in the Riverlands is harsh and horrible. Everyone is on edge and the group travels in constant fear. They avoid a group of wounded soldiers and even rescue the "please, please" crippled woman and her baby. We get plenty of description about her, but it's all for nothing as she dies the next day. The kids have to drink water that tastes like dead bodies and piss in front of wild animals. It's only a matter of time until Arya comes face to face with her direwolf. Surely Nymeria will remember her former owner, but I don't look forward to her meeting Yoren or Hot Pie or Gendry.


  1. In case anyone here hasn't heard yet, HBO announced on Tuesday that they will go ahead with season 1 of A Game of Thrones. With the pilot episode already complete, they will now start casting for those characters not in the pilot. Filming should start in June, then the post-production stuff. Its expected to appear on HBO sometime around March/April 2011

  2. I'm pretty sure Tyrion gets rid of Slynt because the only guys who would kill babies that he wants around are the guys that would kill babies for him. Sure, he acts as if it morally offended him, but in the end he knows Joff and Cersei are psychos, and the fewer people willing to do there psychotic bidding, the happen Tyrion is.

  3. That first Arya chapter paragraph is as perfect a summation of A Song of Ice and Fire I've heard. Well done.

  4. Tyrion got rid of Slynt because Slynt could not be trusted to remain loyal. Ned had bribed Slynt who in turn betrayed Ned. Also, Slynt could not be trusted to exercise good judgment. Slynt obeyed Joffrey's command to execute Ned without a moment's hesitation. This killed any chance of a peaceful resolution between the Starks and Lannisters and Ned was the only prisoner worthy of an exchange for Jamie.

  5. This is the best post for the second book you've written so far. Just enough humor and review. Good to see this blog is back. Looking forward to more posts!

  6. Awesome as always. You forgot to mention that Slynt going to the Wall means that he'll meet Emo Jon Snow...quite a nice, respectful meeting (not).

  7. Srsly, if I had to name my fav Tyrion chapter, I'd pick that one. Tyrion's dismissal of Slynt is simply brilliant.

    The reason why he did so is also quite obvious, especially in hindside. As AnonyKim noted, Slynt is a tool – but unfortunately not Tyrion's. He'd be Cersei's (or Joff's) dog for the meaner tasks like Bronn is for Tyrion. Thus, by ridding himself of Slynt he limits Cersei's power to act.

  8. Also remember dismissing Slynt allows Tyrion to put his man in charge of the gold cloaks, thereby limiting Cersei to the Lannister house guards if there's any dirty work that needs doing.

  9. Fantastic as always. What more need I say? :)

  10. Gosh darn it, I want Arya to get that hug so badly!

  11. @jensel: he's a tool, certainly. But not Cersei's or Joffrey's, but another shadow's. That's the result of the riddle

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  16. Awesome as always. You forgot to mention that Slynt going to the Wall means that he'll meet Emo Jon Snow...quite a nice . . .

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