—————-> CONTINUED FROM PART TWO <————————-
And now, presumably, we get the most potato moment of them all, albeit offscreen. When Jon approached the throne room, there was no one anywhere near the holdfast. Just Drogon, who has now flown away from the show forever.
Jon stands over the puddle of blood for a while, and no one comes.
He walks to the edge of the room and looks down below, at the walkway to the keep. It’s deserted.
Huh. He thinks.
He starts to formulate a plan.
THE QUEEN HUS BEEN VANISHED! He says to himself. NO.
A PILE OF BLOOD ES WHERE THE QUEEN WAHS! NO.
SOMEONE GET GREY WORM! He says. THE DUNNY SPILLED SOME BLOOD AND THEN SHE RODE OFF ON HEHR DRAGONCHILD! DAMNIT, NO!
We are at peak Jon Snow now. A man imprisoned in the mind of a noble potato like Edmund Dantes in the Château d’If.
And his own words echo back at him.
“I’m not going to swear an oath I can’t uphold. When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies.”
But he is not a man with better lies. He has no lies at all. He never has.
Didn’t he swear an oath he couldn’t uphold to Dunny?
God, it kills him. He was repeating his oath to her as he killed her. That’s how fucked up this whole thing is. But he had no choice. He had no choice. The world has turned him into a liar and an oathbreaker but he can’t let Sansa be killed. He can’t let Arya be killed.
But his shame penetrates every fiber of his being.
He can’t even stand the feeling of being in his own body anymore.
As badly as he ever felt about anything, this is worse. He stumbles out of the throne room, and down the path of the Red Keep, past where he saw Drogon, and further downhill.
The first people he comes across are a group of Unsullied guarding a small house. The top has been burned off, but the bottom, cellar portion remains intact .
WHERE IS GREH WERM? He asks them.
The blink at him, unaccustomed to being addressed by any non-Unsullied. No one answers.
DO YEH KNOW WHO I AHM? Jon asks.
One of the Unsullied nods.
AHND DO YEH KNOW WHO SER DAHVOS ES?
The Unsullied nods again.
GOOD! THEN ONE OF YOU, RUN AND FIND GREH WERM. SOMEONE ELSE GO GEHT SER DAHVOS. THE REST OF YOU ARE ORDERED TO GUARD MEH HERE.
The Unsullied look at each other, confused. Jon removes Longclaw. The sheath on his hip designed for a dagger, is noticeably empty.
Jon presses his Valyrian sword to the chest of an Unsullied guard, who takes it uncertainly.
I’M GOING ENTO THA BASEMENT. I AM YOUR PREHSONER. DON’T LET MEH LEAVE.
The Unsullied still look confused.
DO YEH UNDERSTAND? Jon yells.
They nod hurriedly.
GOOD! THEN GET ROONING. GET GREY WERM HERE. I NEED PEACE.
And with that he walks down the stone steps to the basement below and slams the door behind him.
Grey Worm arrives first, still not sure why he was summoned. He stands outside the basement where Jon has impriosoned himself, a cold feeling coming over his body. But he doesn’t enter. Instead he jogs to the throne room, by himself.
We see him now, there in the throne room, looking down at the blood stain on the stone floor. Snow has fallen to partially obscure it, but it was a puddle deep enough to turn most of the snow that fell upon it to a paste of pink slush.
Grey Worm looks up, scanning the sky for Drogon.
Meanwhile, Ser Davos has hurriedly arrived at the basement with four hundred Northmen, armed to the teeth.
He approaches the six Unsullied at the door, who still don’t really know what’s going on.
“Greetings, friend.” Davos says to the one nearest to the door. “I’m here to escort Jon Snow to his quarters. Would you kindly see him out, please?”
The Unsullied nods and goes to the door.
For a long moment, Davos surveys the area, the situation, the five remaining Unsullied. He snaps a tight grin at one of them.
“Tell me, friend. Where is Grey Worm now?”
The Unsullied nods up toward the Holdfast. Davos nods.
The first Unsullied returns.
“He will not come.” He says.
“May I?” Davos asks, eyebrows raised.
The Unsullied nods. Davos turns and, in turn, nods back to the Northern captain behind him, a member of House Manderly. With that signal the man starts to have the Northmen fan out, slowly, to take up defensive positions in a circle around the house where Jon is a prisoner.
Davos enters the basement.
“Jon!” He whispers. “We have to go, NOW.”
AHM NOT GOEN ANYWHERE.
“If what I imagine has happened has happened, Grey Worm will be out for blood in a minute, and that means we’re going to have to kill him to leave. It will be all out civil war here in the city.”
AH KELLED HER DAVOS. AH GAHVE HER MY WERD AND THEN AH KELLED HER.
“Shit man.” Davos says, walking to the table where Jon is laid out, much like he was back in Castle Black and nearly as fucked. Davos reaches under his arm, trying to help him up. “Best we get you somewhere where we can-“
SER DAVOS! Comes Grey Worm’s voice from outside the basement.
“Shit!” Ser Davos says. “I’ll be right there!” He calls.
AH WANT TO DIE. Says Jon. AH WANT IT ALL TO STOP.
Davos leans in close to Jon.
“Jon. Where’s the dragon?”
GOHNE! GOHNE! TOOK HER AND FLEW OFF OVER THE SEA. HE’S GOING TO BRENG HER BAHCK! THEY’RE BOOTH GOHNE!
Davos nods, thinking. That’s a relief. He pulls Jon up to a sitting position and slaps his face a little with his gloved hand to snap him out of the funk he’s in.
“Jon. Jon! Listen to me. If you hear fighting outside, I need you to make a run for it. If you hear-“
Jon’s head drops, defeated.
Davos takes him in.
“Okay. Okay. Jon listen to me. You’re not going to run, I can see that. But the world is not done with you yet, that I can assure you. I know what you did was…difficult. Any man can see that. But it was the right thing. She was loovely. You know I cared for her, but something was wrong and everyone could see it. You are the shield that guards the realms of man. You are! No one else.”
SER DAVOS! Comes Grey Worm’s voice again from outside the door, this time with more urgency.
“Yes! I’ll be right there! Thank you for your patience!” Davos calls back. Then he turns again to Jon. “I’ll keep you safe. You rest now. I’ll send some food and wine. You get your health back and I’ll figure all of this out. We’ve been through so much together, and I promise you, this isn’t the end.”
He looks deeply into Jon’s eyes. Jon looks back at him, a beaten dog, utterly slumped and weakened, but something in the Onion Knight’s eyes gives him the tiniest glimmer of hope. Davos Seaworth is unique in that way, always able to improve every situation. That’s why he’s The World’s Uncle. Jon smiles, despite his misery. It’s tiny and nearly hopeless, but it’s a smile nonetheless.
Davos sees this and lights up. “Good! Good.” He extends his gloved hand to Jon. Jon grasps it like they’re going to arm wrestle. For a second they just hold there, a bond between them like no man either of them have ever known. A bond that transcends words. Davos uses his other hand to pat their grip.
SER DAVOS! Comes the voice of Daenerys’ Master of War again, this time with a heat to it.
“Yes, yes! Coming straight away my good man! I’m coming!” Davos stands up, letting go of Jon’s hand. He strides to the basement door and is about to leave, but stops and turns toward Jon, pointing at him.
Davos nods and leaves the basement.
Outside, something is about to erupt. Davos comes out with his hands up.
“Calm down, everyone! Calm down!” Davos says, appraising the situation. Grey Worm is standing at the top of the steps, waiting for him with a look of white hot rage in his eyes. Outside the perimeter of Northmen, several hundred Unsullied and Dothraki have shown up. In places where the Northmen hadn’t fully made it around the structure, they have already pushed through. Damnit, Davos thinks. “Okay, okay! Everyone keep their heads here!”
Grey Worm meets him.
“You know what he did?” Grey Worm demands.
Davos lowers his voice, hoping Grey Worm will match him. “All I know for certain is that the queen and the dragon have flown east toward Essos. I suggest we calm down and wait until she sends us further orders.”
“There is blood in the throne room!” Grey Worm says, still too loudly for Davos’ liking. Loudly enough to send a murmur through the surrounding crowd.
“Yes and I’m sure she’ll explain that to us upon her return. We shouldn’t-“
“One of the Dothraki said Mhysa was in Drogon’s claw, and that she was dead, with a blade sticking out of her heart!”
Now the crowd starts to rumble.
“Dead?” Davos says. “How is that possible?”
Grey Worm grabs Jon’s sword belt where a scabbard for a dagger is noticeably empty. The crowd reacts.
Davos holds up his hands.
“Hold, friends! Hold. Control yourselves!” Davos turns to Grey Worm. “Mighty Grey Worm, we have fought shoulder to shoulder with Jon Snow. Together, we defeated an army of the Dead where we both lost thousands of friends. Is this how we reward their sacrifice? By killing each other?”
Grey Worm, though, is not a diplomat. He is a man who sliced the throats of Lannisters in the street without a second thought. Davos’ rationality is lost on him.
“If he hurt the Queen, he is my enemy! And so are you!” Grey Worm yells.
“STOP! STOP!” Davos yells, rushing to the spot in the square where the most eyes can see him. “Yes! If he hurt anyone, he must be held accountable, but an open battle in the town square will not solve anything! STOP!”
Somehow, Davos’ words land and he halts the impromptu scrum right before people start to pull their weapons. A second longer and it would have been a bloodbath.
“We need answers, not fighting!” Davos yells. “Noble Grey Worm, you will leave five men to guard him and I will do the same. And we will set about trying to find answers, and together, as one, we will decide what to do with Jon Snow.”
Grey Worm thinks for a second. Thinking is decidedly not his best skill, but he understands conflict as well as anyone and he realizes immediately that his five soldiers can beat any five Northmen Davos can call. So he can still get what he wants without this battle, where, honestly he’s outnumbered about two to one.
“Deal.” Grey Worm says. And then he scans the crowd for his best men. “Sphincter! Paisley! Thor!”
Three Unsullied monsters push through the crowd and stand in front of Grey Worm. He keeps scanning.
“Joaquin!” Grey Worm calls. Another Unsullied pushes out of the throng, this one of average height and build, but who moves with a fluidity and grace the others don’t have. Grey Worm realizes that he has only picked Unsullied and that he should pick a bloodrider as well. He scans the faces he knows of the Dothraki.
“Kevin!” He calls.
A huge Dothraki with a goofy grin walks out of the crowd and stands next to Joaquin. The two recognize each other from the aftermath of the King’s Landing attack. Joaquin offer him a fist and Kevin bumps it. They both make a little hand explosion.
“This is craaaaazy.” Kevin whispers.
“No doubt.” Joaquin says.
Grey Worm nods at Ser Davos, like beat that, fucker. Davos surveys the five men. Killers all. Four of the five are giants. The fifth looks like he could pirouette past a fired crossbow bolt and slice your throat without ever pausing to catch his breath. Davos nods.
And this is why the fantasy genre is amazing. Because Davos said Northmen. And once Shireen Baratheon had taught him to read, he read voraciously, every book he could get his hands on, including ones by Joe Abercrombie, which featured the hardest, toughest fuckin’ Northmen ever written.
Davos looks back at the crowd, saying a small prayer to the fantasy gods. He didn’t go from the shit river of Flea Bottom to a knight of the Seven Kingdoms without having a trick or two up his sleeve.
“Logen Ninefingers!” Davos calls.
For a second, there is nothing. The men look around. Who?
And then a man as big as a truck pushes out of the crowd. His face is scarred as an old floor. He’s bent over in places, and looks like a man whose joints have endured a thousand winters. There is no confidence in his face. In fact, he looks a bit worried. He takes his place by the basement stairs, on Davos’ side.
Grey Worm smirks with a laugh. He has never read a book, and therefore he doesn’t know that he looks at death itself when he looks at The Bloody Nine.
Davos calls out again. “Rudd Threetrees! Tul Duru Thunderhead! The Dogman! Black Dow!”
The forest of mismatched Northmen part in several places to let the men through. Threetrees is about Logen’s size. Tul Duru is like four men. The biggest person anyone has ever seen. He towers over the Unsullied and Dothraki alike. He’s like a Hagrid, but hard. The Dogman, with a bow over his shoulder and arrows on his back, is unimpressive in every way. More than that, he looks like he has to piss, and he smells. Black Dow, though. Black Dow looks like the first real killer in the bunch and he’s eyeing the five men across from him like an Easter Ham. He has a battle axe in each hand. Black Dow spits on the ground between them and flashes a malicious grin.
Davos nods to Grey Worm, who is suddenly less sure of his odds. But Grey Worm nods back. A deal is a deal.
“Okay!” Davos yells. “Everyone else, let’s head out of here. Leave these men to their work. There needs to be no further delay here today. Let’s go! All of you! Back to your work! Chop chop!”
Now the crowd disperses.
Thank the gods, Davos thinks. Thank the gods.
Grey Worm huddles with his five men, strategising. Davos walks over to Logen.
“Chief.” Davos says.
“Aye.” Logen says.
“Jon Snow is in that basement. I want to afford a fight at all costs, but if you think they mean to harm him, it’s weapons.”
“Aye.” Logen says.
“Or we could just kill them all now!” Black Dow suggests. Rudd Threetrees shakes his head in disgust.
“Or you could shut the fuck up, y’ever think of that?” Tul Duru says to the Dow.
“All pretty in their matching outfits. And they have spears. Spears! Hahaha! Oh no! I’m gonna shit me pants for lack of a fucking spear!”
“Dow…” warns Threetrees.
Black Dow shrugs. “I can wait. They gotta sleep sometime.”
“It’s no killing says I and that’s that.” Logen says, staring hard at Black Dow until he looks away. “Right. No more talk of killing then. And put those fucking axes away, you look like a madman. Dogman, go take a piss.”
“Oh god! Thanks, Chief!” With a look of relief, The Dogman scampers off to relieve himself. Black Dow frowns as he ritualistically hangs his axes on his belt, mumbling words of hatred under his breath.
Logen looks over at Grey Worm suspiciously. “I’ll do what I can to keep the peace here,” he says to Ser Davos, “but if they have an eye to come at us, I won’t hold back. You’ve got to be realistic about these things.”
Ser Davos nods. You certainly do.
He pats the Logen on the shoulder and backs away. “Good luck, lads. I have to go and send about a million ravens.”
Grey Worm nods at his men and backs away as well. The square outside is all but empty. Together, without a word, he and Ser Davos are the last to depart.
Now it is just the guards who remain. Five on one side, four on the other. No doubt while The Dogman is off taking a piss he’s looking for a protected perch from which to shoot arrows. He’s no Harding Grim, but he’ll do his best. In the square, there is no fear in the eyes of the Unsullied behind the face spades. They have fought the Dead. After that, everyone else is academic. But they watch the Northmen warily.
The Northmen are much less concerned. They’ve already begun to prepare the area and build a small fire. Threetrees is scavenging fallen beams and things that he can chop up to make kindling. Tul Duru is dragging over a huge, rectangular stone to use as a bench. Dow is sharpening an axe slowly, watching Paisley the way a cat watches a canary. Only Logen is standing near the Unsullied, casually picking at something on his hand. He looks tired and overworked. The Unsullied and Kevin notice that he’s missing one of his middle fingers.
Kevin calls out to him. “Hey!”
Logen looks up.
“We might be here a while.” Kevin says. “You guys know any good jokes?”
Logen’s scarred face breaks into a smile. This may well devolve into a scrum, and things may get ugly. But life is short. And say one thing about Logen Ninefingers. Say he likes a good joke.
Now we cut to some time in the future, where Tyrion Lannister’s eyes flutter open. He has bags under them, indicating that he has been held prisoner for some time. And his fake facial hair has been spirit gummed on and primped and combed out, giving it the appearance of a playoff hockey beard: the ugliest type of beard there is.
Grey Worm enters the room, flanked by two Unsullied. It’s time to go somewhere. We know this because, we assume, since we have not seen Tyrion in a while, it was clearly NOT time to go anywhere.
But now it is.
We follow a shackled Imp to the Dragon Pit. The last time he was here he had struck a deal with Cersei to put her child, his niece or nephew, on the Iron Throne, as Daenerys had no plan of succession.
Tyrion spent the beginning of his life tormented by a father that wasn’t his about things he had no control over, like his size. He was abused by a half sister who loathed him and a half brother who loved him but was often focused on…well, other things.
So Tyrion fell into books as a refuge, the way many people do. In them he encountered stories of dragons and white walkers and stone men and firestarters. Things that were gone from the world…until they magically weren’t.
And after years of honing his cynic’s mind, he allowed himself to believe in a queen around whom all of that magic seemed to cling. Everything from Dragonfire to Dothraki Screamers. And then he spent much of his adult life working against her to save House Lannister, which she most certainly would have wiped off the face of the world. How simple men are, he thought. Like Jon Snow, I have risked everything to protect a family that is only half mine. I worked against my own queen for years to save a sister who paid to have me killed.
And then, they were both gone.
Now he believes in only one thing: The Three Eyed Raven. Unlike all the hopes and dreams of that beautiful exile from Essos, everything Corialinus told him had come to pass. God may not play dice with the universe, but the Dark Wizard does and he likes a loaded set.
Tyrion must have been thrilled to be walked into the Dragon Pit. If Grey Worm had learned anything about The Game of Thrones from Daenerys in all their time together, he would know that he and he alone was the King of the Seven Kingdoms. He controlled King’s Landing and he controlled the Red Keep. He could crown himself and there’s not an army on Westeros that could stop him.
But that had not come to pass, either through Grey Worm lacking that type of initiative or by Corialinus sweeping any thoughts like that out of the Master of War’s mind the way one might shoo off a pesky gnat. Tyrion didn’t know which, but a council in the Dragon Pit, like the Dark Wizard had predicted, was a good start.
Now he only had to put him on the throne.
I can feel Bronn’s eye on me, Tyrion thought. Nothing survives quite like a rat or a man you owe something to. Tyrion looked up at the structure, trying to find a psycho with a crossbow somewhere up in the nooks of stone. But of course, he realized, if Bronn didn’t want to be seen there’s a very good chance no one would see him. He was tricky like that. Tyrion sighed and took comfort in the fact that Bronn needed him alive in order to call in his marker.
It’s funny, Tyrion thought as he entered the Dragon Pit and saw the various collection of leaders assembled there. How little had changed. So many people were dead, entire families wiped out. Entire Houses, both high and small, gone forever.
And then he thought, with not a little sadness,
House Clegane and
The last one stung, knowing from Corialinus what might have been. He would have to make the Three Eyed Ravens pay for that some day.
Other Houses were hanging on by a thread. Both of his Houses, Targaryen and Lannister, were but shades of their former selves. House Baratheon? What are the odds that Stannis’ bannermen would heed the promotion of a blacksmith’s aide to archon of the mighty Stag Sigil? Especially now that his patron was dead?
Not good, he thought, not good. Perhaps young Gendry might be better off in the north, with Arya, hoping that Banner houses like House Tarth, House Dondarrion and House Selmy don’t decide that theirs is the fury and send someone to remove his bestowed claim. Truthfully, it’s a wonder someone hadn’t already. People have a funny way of being told what to do and accepting it, a loophole in the human condition oft advantaged by devious men.
As Tyrion is marched up onto the raised stage opposite the seated elders, he sees Gendry there, representing the Stormlands. Maybe the pup will make it after all.
So much death and yet so little had changed. When a decision needed to be made it was still the same old mechanism, though the faces were different.
Tyrion scans the crowd. On his left it’s Samwell of House Tarly, Lord of the Reach, he presumes, although, technically, as the only living member of the Night’s Watch, also Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch? Those two titles cannot possibly co-exist, so which is it? And didn’t Sam want to be a maester?
Next to him is a bag of bones Tyrion doesn’t recognize. Is that Howland Reed? Father to the greenseer that the Dark Wizard told him about? Tyrion isn’t sure. Probably not. Why would House Reed, Bannermen to House Stark, be invited to this? Tyrion isn’t sure who the man is.
Next to him is Edmure Tully, Lord of Riverrun if memory serves. Tyrion wasn’t sure what kind of man he was, but Jaime had him pegged as a fool’s fool and a coward to boot. Tyrion would watch him.
In front of him sat Arya Stark. Untitled, but she did slay the Night King, so he supposed she could sit where she liked. Perhaps she was here representing the Braavosi Order of Assassins? Doubtful. Next to her, clearly without her knowledge, was Corialinus wearing her half-brother’s body, and Sansa Stark after him.
Goddamn Sansa looked good. Strong. She had said in the crypt that they wouldn’t work because his allegiances would have been torn and she was right, but now? Well, he certainly wouldn’t close that door if she ever thought to keep it open. She had grown up to be a woman of long thought and fierce cunning. Such an impressive transformation from the terrified girl he married, once upon a summer’s day. And the fact that she betrayed her own brother not once but twice? MMMMMmmmm. That’s downright Lannister-ish. Not only did she almost get Jon killed at the Battle of the Bastards by not telling him about her alliance with Littlefinger, the most evil scum in the land, but she told a lifelong, game-changing secret of his for political expediency. What a woman! If not the hereditary heir to Cersei’s legacy then the spiritual heir for sure.
For a second Tyrion wondered about Littlefinger. How much of his scheming had been influenced by Corialinus? How effective a tool would a man be who had no moral boundaries? Tyrion shuddered at the thought.
Next comes Brienne of Tarth, also not holding any title that he knew of, aside from the title of Knight bestowed on her by his brother. Tyrion winced. It had probably been more than a month but pulling the bricks off his dead brother still felt like yesterday. Part of him wondered if he’d ever truly get over it.
Brienne must be here to protect Sansa? He guessed?
Next came Ser Davos, Jon’s onetime Hand and as far as Tyrion could tell from what his guards would tell him, the true Protector of the Realm. It was Davos who had talked the opponents off a ledge when the Mother of Dragons was slain. It was Davos who had positioned soldiers outside the city and sent ravens to all the noble houses. It was Ser Davos who made sure that Jon Snow stayed alive and it was Ser Davos who had organized and established the rules for this tribunal.
There was not a single other man on Westeros who might have done it. Grey Worm respected him, and he was the only person, man or woman, that Grey Worm responded to. Had there been no Davos Seaworth to put the globe on his shoulders like Atlas, thousands upon thousands of people would have died weeks ago, and the future would have looked infinitely more bleak.
Even the stalemate outside Jon Snow’s self imposed prison was rosier than expected. Tyrion would have expected putting ten killers in such close proximity would have erupted into murder in short order, but all accounts were that the sides were courteous, if not outright friendly to each other, thanks in large part to Davos arriving twice a day to check on everyone and providing all of them, Northmen and Essosians alike, with more succulent meals than any of them had ever dreamed of. Nothing fancy or overly ornate, just delicious and filling. The kinds of meals that fill the corners. With such bounty to look forward to every day, just for sitting outside a door and singing songs together? Neither side was in any hurry to end their good fortune.
The Onion Knight, to this point, had saved the world from itself. Even going so far as to enlist the help of the Maesters of the Citadel to explore how a man who had been disfigured in the way all Unsullied soldiers are might still father children. He had hired agents to find the surviving family members of Unsullied soldiers to possibly accompany them on this side of the Narrow Sea. He planned to offer them the most fertile land in all of Westeros, The Reach itself, if he could just get them to lay down spears and pick up plowshares.
Anything to get them out of King’s Landing.
He also had men whisper challenges inside the Dothraki ranks, in the dark, campfire-lit nights, that if they were TRUE Bloodriders then they were supposed to kill themselves and ride into the afterlife with their Khaleesi and that she was most certainly awaiting their arrival and wondering where the hell they all are.
The propaganda had only worked on a few hundred of the most righteous and frankly, freezing Dothraki. Men who chose the warm fields of the afterlife to the snowy ones of King’s Landing. Davos considered it a win to have even one less raider on Westerosi soil, waiting to pop off at a moment’s notice.
But the skies had cleared over the last couple of weeks and the snow had stopped. Much to Davos’ chagrin, warmer Bloodriders had made for less suicide-inclined Bloodriders.
Next to Ser Davos is Gendry, and to the left of Gendry is a hot piece of ass in a long cape and +2 studded leather armor of Axe Body Spray. We have no idea who he is so we’ll call him Rando Calrissian.
Turning past Rando on the right, Tyrion sees another rando, but this one seems to have the coolest taste in fur-covered shoulder pads since Tina Turner in Thunderdome. His name, I believe, is Jimmy “The Egret” Phipps. His friends call him Phippy.
Next to him is the Kraken herself. Yara Greyjoy. The ultimate rat of the sea. Queen of the Iron Isles. As a show watcher I fucking haaaate the Ironborn, but I love Yara.
— Balon hates Theon who was raised by Ned because Balon tried to leave the EU.
— Urine shows up and pitches his brother off a rope bridge at night in the rain.
— The Ironborn drown Urine.
— He undrowns because god and wants to kill Theon and Yara but they’re gone with all the best ships and all the best sailors.
— Build me a million ships he yells!
— There are no trees, and like forty two Ironborn left on some shitty rocks in the ocean.
— No one there has ever read a book.
— They build a million ships with no wood and no builders and no labor on a Wednesday.
— Urine shows up on the other side of the world with a million ships and a billion sailors and a special Ice Capades ramp and kills all the other Ironborn and the three best Dornish fighters and captures Yara.
— Urine puts a finger in the bum of the queen of the Seven Kingdoms and tells everyone about it.
— While Urine is bumming in the capitol, Theon beats up the toughest looking person on the show and then frees Yara.
— Theon gets dead in Winterfell.
— Yara sails to the Iron Islands, which are presumably empty since Urine has a trillion sailors and liberates them in the name of Daenerys Targaryen, whom she rightly wants to scissor with.
— Yara is now queen of some rocks and what I’m guessing are the two most pants shitting rope bridges in Westeros.
— Urine dies laughing. Because he’s a crazy.
— Elsewhere, Yara is presumably not being a raider, which is the only thing the rats of the sea know how to do, or have done for 8000 years, a condition placed upon her by the woman who would eventually go mad in nine minutes for no reason. (But we know the real reason.)
— Jon sticks something in Daenerys that isn’t his peener.
— Yara gets invited back to King’s Landing for a podcast of all the important people and some of the best looking ones and a few randos.
I think that about sums up her journey.
Next to her is seated the new Prince of Dorne, Prince Sleeptytits. He couldn’t be more bored. This is the longest he’s ever had to keep his clothes on. ‘Clothes’ is so unfair, he whines in his mind. I hate Princing. He thinks. I hate this clothes. He thinks. This clothes is dumb. I just want all these people to shut up and die so I can go home and watch The CW. God!
Somewhere in the ether, Ellaria Sand’s promise that ‘no weak men will ever again rule Dorne’ is having a roughhhhhh time of it.
Next to Sleepytits is Robin Arryn, all grown up and never letting me forget how thirsty people on the internet are. Do they care that he suckled at his mama’s teat until he was like fourteen, literally sucking the crazy out of her? Nope! Do they care that he’s obviously an imbalanced little sociopath who used to say things like “LETS THROW THE MEAN MAN OUT THE MOON DOOR MAMA! TEE HEE HEE HEE HEE!” Nope! Do they care that his outfit is robin-egg blue velour, his hair is early period David Schwimmer and he’s wearing floral drapes from Tara on his back? Do they care? Boyfriend, that’s what’s gettin’ them all flushed!
IMA REVERSE COWGIRL THAT NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM GROWD UP THINSLICE BOO!!! HE A SNACK!!!!
People are fucking nuts. And next to them sits Yohn. Motherfuckin. Royce.
George R. R. Martin got many things right in his tome of Westerosi lore, and as a writer, there are simplicities that I can really admire. For example, I’ll sit in front of my computer thinking of character names and I’ll obsess for hours and hours. I’ll roll them around in my mouth and imagine reddit posts about them and think about some day when people name their children that name. And then I’ll just not write and go watch Game of Thrones instead.
But George R. R.? You think he obsesses? Heeeeelllll No! He wrote like what, ten thousand characters? All he does is one letter. He adds one, takes one away or changes one.
Richard becomes Rickard. OOOOOOHHHHH. That’s hot. Very swank. Very Fantasy
Kevin becomes Kevan.
Jamie becomes Jaime.
Alice becomes Alys.
Edward becomes Eddard.
Rob becomes Robb.
Peter becomes Petyr.
Margery becomes Margaery.
Alanna becomes Olenna.
Caitlyn becomes Catelyn.
And so on and so on. Man’s a genius. Much better than my lead character, Xaspercreme.
John Becomes Jon. I always hated that spelling. Won’t miss it. Not gonna lie.
John also becomes, magically, Yohn.
I don’t know if I’ve ever loathed a name the way I loathe the name Yohn. I don’t know if it’s a clever play on words, but it’s been around forever. And I take it as a personal affront that this insufferable twit made it not only to the end, but to the high council! The fuck? The dude’s mad-as-a-hatter Lord of the Eyrie is sitting right next to him! What is this, bring your general to work day? Was Robin Arryn worried that he’d need someone to call ICE on Torgo Nudho? That name does sound moderately Dominican! Can’t be up to any good!
Yohn Royce. The token favorite character of all white people who voted for Trump solely for the reason that he’d protect their money. No one plays loud music in the gated community when Yohn Royce is around! Women are to be seen and not heard when Yohn Royce is around. You know who tells the greatest stories about the good old days when colored folk knew their place in the back room over a Cuban and a snifter of brandy? You guessed it. Yohn Royce.
As the years go on, and I look back upon this episode, the broad strokes that missed may fade away. The big swings that ended up as strikes may become part of the universal record and blend into the panorama of the whole. But the inclusion of Yohn Royce in the final council will always burn like a hot ember.
But apparently, he has a role to play.
Finally, next to him is another rando. He’s constipated as hell, hot from being in a snuggie, and generally kind of miserable. Dressed in brown from head to toe. He is from House Gastritis, and is commonly known as The Lord of Shits.
And he’s an uncouth pig.
Just look at the obscenity of his double penis belt. One flopped over top of the other like a two-penised Braavosi whore. My god man! Where’s your decorum? This is a meeting of Lords not a Philistine Bath House! Good god, even Yohn Royce himself has the decency to tie off his belt penises thirty degrees to the right like a fucking gentleman! If you need fashion tips from Yohn fucking Royce, how far are you from civility? My goodness.
So now all the players are in place for what feels like the grand Game of Thrones minigame for IOS and Android.
I know we’re supposed to feel something here, like HOLY SHIT LOOK AT ALL THE PLAYERS but all the best players are dead. Davos has the best chance at approaching the Tywins and the Olennas but we’re a tier down in every direction.
For example, I noted immediately that these people are all armed, with the exception of Sam and Tyrion. Even Prince Sleepytits has a sword but he hates it because it makes him list to the side from the extreme weight.
Grey Worm, of course, has a dagger.
OH SHIT! WE GOT A BADASS WITH A DAGGER OVER HERE!
But in the Old Game of Thrones, when there were real players, this shit would have been unthinkable. This is the definition of Guard Down Mode. Tell me what’s stopping Grey Worm from demanding they all take a knee right now and make him the King?
He could have 200 Dothraki ride in and start circling the tribunal, with Unsullied in HUH mode at every gate and what do you think will happen?
If GRRM was still writing this, which I’m quite sure he isn’t, he might have Grey Worm come in pulling Jon and Tyrion in chains behind him and say “you fucking people make me sick. All I see are your fucking games. I am going back to Essos. One of you will be King or Queen of the seven kingdoms. The rest will die here today.” And then he unchains Jon and Tyrion and from around the Dragon Pit, protected in the stands, are hundreds of Unsullied with crossbows.
It’s up to you who lives and who dies. On the hour, every hour, we will kill one of you until one remains. You want games? Here are your fucking games.”
And then he’d drop his arm and they’d fire like six bolts into Jimmy “The Egret” Phipps and he’d fall out of his chair like a sack of speared shit.
Oh Phippy, we haerdly knew ye.
With that, Grey Worm would spit at them and walk out. AND THEN WE’D SEE SOME SHIT, YO.
STAKES, PEOPLE. STAKES. DRAMA! CONSEQUENCES! DESIRES! CONFLICT!
Not just people sitting the fuck around. Holy static nightmare, Batman! I have four kids and we had a family meeting to discuss screens in our home and it took like three weeks and four people went to the hospital. My five year old tried to gank me with an Amazon HD8. But this? This deciding of everything in the seven kingdoms and no one wants to crimp their tea doily?
We talk all the time about how non-caucasian characters are poorly written, or at least unevenly written on this show. I shook my fist at the sky when Missandei didn’t pitch Cersei’s mean ass off the wall. But maybe this is the greatest inconsistency in the show for people of color. The fact that Grey Worm is the King of the Seven Kingdoms and is either too stupid or too poorly written to know it. One of his first lines in this scene is THIS IS OUR CITY. But…yeah.
So Grey Worm walks in with Tyrion.
“Where’s Jon?” Asks Sansa Stark.
OH LIKE, HELLO, HOW ARE YOU, I’M SANSA STARK. Says Grey Worm. THE FUCK LADY? WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS?
Maybe it’s just me. I remember when Daenerys flew in on Drogon and Cersei didn’t say hello either. She said “We’ve been waiting for some time.” And Daenerys said “My apologies.” Like you do when you’re going mad.
So maybe they just don’t trifle with salutations in affairs of state in Westeros. Frankly, it makes me shudder. My title may just be an honorary one, for now… but Barbaric, I say! Indeed, if I had to endure a tête-à-tête of this plebeian ilk without proper adherence to conversational heraldry, if you will, I daresay I’d be out the door and into my coach and four with a speed that might rival Mercury himself.
But Grey Worm does not seem the least bit perturbed.
“Where’s Jon” Sansa asks.
“He is our prisoner.” Grey Worm says.
“So is Lord Tyrion. They were both to be brought to this gathering.”
“We will decide what we do with our prisoners.” Grey Worm says. “This is our city now.”
OH SNAP GET FUCKED SANSA STARKKKKK!
So let me get this straight: He brought Tyrion, just because. But he didn’t bring Jon…also just because? Was he worried that something might happen to Jon in “his” city? What’s the reasoning here? The Unsullied control this area completely. Grey Worm could slit Jon’s throat right there and there’s fuck all anyone could do about it. Yet he chooses not to bring him?
I don’t get it.
Sansa doesn’t like it. I mean, there’s a lot not to like. Say, for instance, that she kind of decided never to return to King’s Landing ever again because of all the horrors that she endured, but here she is. Maybe said horrors and said reluctance were more Cersei-based? Maybe another thing not to love is that Grey Worm could end House Stark with a yawn and a casual call for fifty or sixty Unsullied to just come in and poke them all to death.
Since when would the Starks put themselves in a Red Wedding-level position to be wiped out, especially after the Red Wedding? Why would they EVER be here? They’re a bunch of xenophobic Northerners and this dude is a brown skinned foreigner who doesn’t even say hello at meetings. Why would they ever think they’d be given quarter of any kind? They don’t know Essosian parley protocols! Hell, Grey Worm doesn’t know Essosian parley protocols. Dude is making it up as he goes along. He couldn’t even have a basic conversation with Tyrion once upon an elegant room, and now he’s the diplomat holding every House in Westeros hostage?
Also: “we will decide what we do with we’s shit”
Who’s WE? Are they recreating the Athenian forum here in King’s Landing? One man one vote? Who’s we?
“If you look outside the walls of your city, you will see thousands of Northmen who…um, couldn’t stop you from killing us. Fuck.” Says Sansa.
“And I can show you thousands of Unsullied whom your people spit on when we came to save you, so eat a giant dick.” Grey Worm says.
“Hey, hi. Hi! Grey Worm. It’s me, Sam. We met at Winterfell?”
“Yes.” Nods Grey Worm.
“Hi, I just wanted you to know that your pajamas look great. All quilted and that. Real sharp like.” Sam gives Grey Worm a thumbs up and means it.
“The Ironborn are not quick to forgive,” Says Yara Greyjoy. “Queen D and I were vibing pretty hard and not just on one occasion. Like several times. And I sailed around the world to win the Iron Islands back in her name.”
“And she was very grateful.” Tyrion says.
YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP Grey Worm says and kicks Tyrion in the stomach. He falls over coughing. Rando Calrissian laughs his head off.
“I’m just saying that it’s a hell of a gesture to conquer a whole archi- arpa?”
“Archipelago.” Tyrion gasps. “Read a book.”
Grey Worm kicks him again. Rando claps.
“Thank you. Archipelago for someone.” Yara continues. “How many of you can say that? Who has gifted you an island chain and two of the most pants shittingly frightening rope bridges in the known world? Right!”
“So I kind of expected to sail back here and y’know…tell the queen what I did in person. Maybe a couple of glasses of Carménère, kick back on my tufted flannel duvet cover, throw on a little When Doves Cry and see what the fuck is what, you know?”
“Oh my god! So you’re mad you didn’t get laid?” Sansa coughs
“I just wanted to know, y’know…if she was the Mother of Dragons…everywhere.” Yara shrugs.
“I’m quite certain there’s some Breaker of Chains sexual innuendo ripe for the picking here but I’ll be damned if I can find it!” Sam says.
“I’m quite certain the Queen’s loins were well tended by my brother.” Sansa says.
“He could never tend loins the way I can tend loins.” Yara hisses.
“Say another word about my brother’s loin tending and I’ll cut your fucking throat.” Arya says.
Now Yara begins to rise, because she’s a badass.
Urine beat her in like 8 seconds. Arya would likely make a Frey Pie out of her. But still…CONFLICT! Yes! You want to torment a smart audience? Pit two good characters against each other. Forget good versus bad. That’s tired as shit. Pit stained good vs stained good. Who are you gonna root for in an Arya vs Yara deathmatch? Can you imagine how you might have felt if Arya made a point by killing Yara in the tribunal and everyone just watched it happen? Or vice versa, I suppose? (After all, they could just cast FUCKIT and make Yara an amazing fighter.) What if Arya actually used the Faceless Man vanishing trick or use face swapping for once and killed Grey Worm? How come we saw her train for like eleven years just to face swap one time and do the dagger drop one time and run away scared from both the dead and the firebombing of Dresden?
Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Because before the show can escalate to interesting, The World’s Uncle is on his feet, settling everyone down.
“Torgo Nudho, am I saying that properly?” Davos asks.
Grey Worm says nothing.
OH THANKS DUDE! OHOHOHKAY I’LL JUST FUCK UP YOUR NAME YOU HALF IDIOT THROATCUTTER.
“Torgo Nudho, The Unsullied are awesome, have surprisingly good teeth, and we as a country owe you. There is land in the Reach. Start your own house. I have inquired with the maesters of the cit-“
“We do not want payment!” Yells Torgo Nudho, who used to be cool. “WE WANT JUSTICE.”
“Sooooo, you want Jon Snow dead. But you also want our agreement on that instead of just killing him yourself?” Sam asks.
“I cannot kill him myself.” Grey Worm admits. “The men Davos Seaworth has guarding him are too strong. Too scary. My men refuse to fight them.”
Thank fooking god. Davos thinks.
“It’s not for you to decide.” Says Tyrion to Grey Worm.
“YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Grey Worm yells.
“Kick him again!” Yells Rando, getting excited.
“YOU’RE NOT HERE TO SPEAK!” Grey Worm barks at The Imp. “Everyone has heard enough words from you.”
“Yes, they have.” Tyrion winks at the camera.
“AND THEY’RE SICK OF SEEING YOU ON SCREEN. DUMB FUCK THAT YOU ARE.” Grey Worm yells.
“Once again, you’re correct.” Tyrion winks at camera again.
“Here’s the thing, Tordo Nuvo…am I saying that right? It doesn’t matter. Can I get a seltzer over here? Seltzer? So here’s the deal, this is my show. Always has been, always will be. Remember all those GIFs of me dancing at my trial? Oh man. Good times. So I’m not gonna give a Ted Talk here or anything but we need a King to decide on Jon’s fate. Not some halfwit ding dong in PJ’s from across the FAHKIN RIVAH as they say in Boston. Listen, people, you’re the most powerful people in Westeros, though it pains me to say it because I know what a bunch of colossal clods all of you are. Look around you and pick a fucking King.”
Now the noble lords and ladies look around. Who will be king?
Edmure Tully gives it a whirl but is dismissed with scorn by his niece. It’s a crime Lady C can scarcely endure, to see the great Tobias Menzies reduced to a punchline. He takes his seat.
Samwell Tarly suggests democracy and is mocked and derided by everyone. Who leads the opposition to the party of the people? You guessed it! Yohn fucking Royce, followed by the Lord of Shits himself. Edmure Tully is just thrilled that his idea wasn’t the dumbest one of the day. Yara laughs. Prince Sleepytits beams with humor at the jest. Robin Arryn lifts his hand to say WHAT THE FUCK? Bag of bones that isn’t Howland Reed laughs.
“Maybe we should give the dogs a vote as well.” Edmure says.
“I’LL ASK MY HORSE!” Jibes Yohn Royce.
Only Davos does not laugh. That should make him the king automatically. And to her credit, neither does Brienne, though she gives some looks that don’t give a position either way. Brahn is not a human so he says nothing. Sansa and Arya both laugh.
So the two decent people are Sam and Ser Davos. What a shocker.
“I suppose you want it for yourself.” Edmure says to Tyrion.
“Jesus, no.” Tyrion says. “All I’ve done is fuck up for years. Listen, I’ve been sitting in that larder, growing this fake beard for weeks, presumably to give me the affect of some form of sentient rodent. This whole thing, all the Cleganebowl shit and everything is largely fanservice and squirrels do great on Instagram, so.”
“So, you do want to be king?”
“No no. But I was thinking. What brings men together? Flags?”
“The prospect of a woman president?”
OH YAH YOU BETCHA YAH.
“No. None of those. The most powerful thing in the world is a good story. Nothing can stop it except two showrunners who just plain give up on a property. That’s the only thing.”
“But for our purposes, who has a better story than Bran the…uh…Broken?”
Who? Everyone looks around. Never heard of him.
“I mean him. That guy. Bran. The Broken. Because he fell from a thing and went to the thing and now he can do the…y’know..whatever it is.”
Even Arya looks surprised. Because of all the people in all the world who tune in even casually to see The Game of Thrones, not a single one would choose Bran as anything but the most boring motherfucker in the world. Hell, they just met the Lord of Shits and he’s more deserving of the throne. If there was one.
“I thought you weren’t going to give a Ted Talk.” Grey Worm says.
“Neither did I but like I said, It’s my show.”
“Bran can’t be King, he has no dick.” Sansa Says.
“Yes I do.” Brahn says.
“Yes. You think your dick falls off when you fall out of a tower?”
“I mean, not right away.”
“I assure you, it does not.”
“That’s why he called you Bran the Broken. Because your dick is broken.”
“That’s not why!”
“My back is broken, not my dick.”
“Why can’t you walk then? Are your legs broken too?”
“No, just my spine.”
“And your dick.”
“But you can’t use it.”
“I mean, I use it.”
“But not to shag any ass.”
“Where is this going Sansa?”
“You can’t father children is all I’m saying. I mean, we could try to get a tart like Yara to bounce up and down on you-“
“Watch it.” Says Yara. Then she winks at Rando.
“-but I don’t think it’ll do any good.”
“Oh yes, because sons of kings have worked out famously for us. More Joffreys please! Amirite?” Says Tyrion.
The group politely laughs.
“I just don’t think he’s an ideal choice, that’s all. It should be someone, I don’t know…prettier.” Says Sansa.
“No, it must be Bran the Broken. He is our history, our memory. He is that dusty photo album that you keep thinking, ‘I should digitize this because the plastic is getting hard and yellow and all the stickum stuff has lost its grip but it’s like what I’m gonna buy a scanner and fucking sit around one by one and scan this shit? Who has time for that? I don’t even know who half the people in these pictures are!’ And so you just put the album back in that Rubbermaid blue plastic storage bin where you found it and never think about it again. THAT’S who Bran the Broken is. “
And this is when we really need to miss Sandor Clegane. The Hound.
Because you could remove all of these assclowns and just have The Hound be King and everything would work out just fine. Grey Worm would drag Tyrion up to the Dragon Pit where King The Hound was working on a bowl of chicken and he’d say.
“WHAT?” Irritated that anyone would interrupt his chicken.
“I wish to execute Jon Snow.”
“The fuck are you telling me for?” Sandor would say.
“I…uh…because there are guards that Davos-“
“Take it up with him then, I’m eating. NEXT!”
“If I may…” Tyrion would say.
“Oh for fucks sake, WHAT?”
“It’s just that we need a different King besides you…and who better than Bran the Broken?”
“Me. That’s who better. A fucking dung farmer, that’s who better. A brain damaged child with a spinny hat and a balloon, that’s who better than Bran the fucking Broken. What a stupid fucking name.”
“I swear to god if one more word comes out of your fucking mouth, I’m gonna kill every dwarf in the room.”
Tyrion looks around. Swallows.
“What do I do with him?” Grey Worm asks.
“Fuck if I know. What do you want to do with him?”
“Okay by me.”
Grey Worm takes out his dagger.
“NOT HERE FOR FUCKS SAKE. FUCK OFF.”
Grey Worm and Tyrion disappear. Tyrion is looking back at Sandor for help, but he’s already well into his bowl of chicken and Tyrion knows one word means one word.
Now Sam comes in. He is the royal butler.
“Uh, your grace?”
“The uh…Iron Bank is here.”
“Tell them to fuck off.”
Ahhhhh. King Sandor the Brusque. But it was not to be because they had to kill him in fire. The thing he feared most.
And so we have Bran the Broken as the option on the table. Bran. The Broken. Oh Broken you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Broken! Hey Broken!
“Seriously, though, all bullshit aside: If we elect you chief operating officer of Westeros Industries, will you kick ass for us in sickness and in health til death do us part?”
“Why the fuck do you think I wheeled my ass 1500 miles?” Brahn says.
“For real?” Sansa asks.
“You want to be king?”
“But you came for it.”
“I’m the Three Eyed Raven. I see shit.”
“So you could have been Lord of Winterfell-“
“Winterfell, bitch pleez.”
“It’s not good enough for you?”
“I never said that.”
“You just said bitch please.” Sansa says.
“It’s a turn of phrase. I’m here. I don’t want it, but I’m here and it’s on the table, okay?”
“So you came for it, even though you don’t want it.”
“I am here, and we are here, at this moment, for something.”
“Stop talking in nonsense. Speak plainly.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Oh my god Sansa just be quiet.”
“Who are you, really? I mean really?”
“I’m Brandon of House Stark.”
“Wait, you told me you weren’t Brandon of House Stark.” Sam says.
“That was then.”
“And now?” Sansa asks.
“Now I am.”
“That’s awfully convenient.” Sansa says.
“Maybe you just wanted me to have to break the news to Jon.” Sam says.
“What news?” Yara asks.
“That Jon was a Targaryen.”
“Wait Jon is a Targaryen? I pledged myself to the Targaryens!” Yara says. “Nobody lay a finger on Jon Targaryen!”
“So hold up, Jon and Daenerys were family?” Grey Worm asks.
“I thought you knew.” Tyrion says.
“No I didn’t know!” Grey Worm says, “that’s fucked up!”
“They were so devastated when they found out, Torgo Nudho, that she asked Jon to kill her.” Davos says, lying.
“Well, I don’t like it, but now I’m not as mad at Jon Snow.” Grey Worm says, a look of ickiness on his face. “Damn.”
“So Bran the Broken is the reason Jon and Daenerys broke up?” Brienne asks.
“Not directly, no.” Tyrion says.
“I wasn’t even going to tell Jon and Bran told me to. I don’t know how much less directly that could be.” Sam says. “But I’m sure he had his reasons.”
“I mean, Sansa always disapproved of the pairing.” Tyrion says.
“Because she would kill him.”
“But he killed her instead, is that better?” Rando asks.
“Better for him, I reckon.” The Lord of Shits muses.
“Still because of Bran.” Brienne points out. “Who I’m not sure is Bran at all.”
“Oh I’m Bran.” Says Corialinus. “Just look at me. I’m Bran alright.”
Arya studies him. She knows a thing or two about faces.
“That is his face…” She admits.
“See?” Not Bran says
“Then I for one am satisfied!” Tyrion says. “And for Brandon of House Stark to be king, I say AYE!”
“What is happen here?” Grey Worm asks, looking around.
“Shhhh.” Tyrion urges. “Just shhh.”
Now Ramin Djawadi’s music kicks in and everyone knows this shit is on. They all sit up a little straighter.
“Aye!” Sam says. Sweet, sweet summer child. He’s just happy to hang with the cool kids.
“Aye.” Nods Tobias Menzies, who could take every actor on that stage, act circles around them, pull out Hamlet’s Yorick skull, dunk on all of them and sit without breaking a sweat. But he gets one word in a fools mouth.
“AYE!” Grunts the bag of bones between he and Sam.
Bingo! someone yells as the lefternmost row all cast their votes in the affirmative.
Now it’s the Lord of Shits turn. Aye! He says off camera and when we pivot to him he’s smiling broadly at Tyrion, like they’re the best of pals. WHAT. A. KNUCKLEHEAD. That was one of the least convincing speeches I’ve ever heard and I have children who lie on the reg. Bran the Broken? You serious fool? Take yo two floppy doubledecker dicks and get the fuck outta here.
“Aye” says Yohn Royce. He’s white and a man. Sold.
Yohn Royce looks at the fop idiot who is Lord of the Eyrie. The fop idiot says Aye.
“I wanna sit on Nevilles face!” tweet like thirty million people who seriously need to get a good book and stop noodlin’ their bean at the sight of every fresh weirdo.
“Aye” Yawns Sleepytits off screen. He just wants to get this scratchy ‘clothes’ off.
“Aye” says Yara Greyjoy, presumably with Corialinus warging into her mind.
“Aye” off screen says Jimmy “The Egret” Phipps.
“Aye” whispers Rando, exuding sex appeal. He is the living manifestation of Drakkar Noir and no one is tweeting about him. They all want Michael Cera in Little Lord Fauntleroy knickers.
“Aye!” Nods Gendry, looking positively lordish.
“I’m not sure I get a vote, but aye.” Davos says.
MARRY ME. SERIOUSLY DAVOS. YOU ARE THE GREATEST AND YOU SHOULD BE KING A MILLION TIMES OVER. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE GETTING ROBBED LIKE THIS. I HATE EVERYTHING.
“Aye.” Says Brienne in her capacity as TALLEST WOMANNNN IN THE LANNNNND!
Now we come to Sansa. She pauses. Whooooole lotta AYES leading up to her.
She turns to Bran.
“I’ll always love you little brother, broken dick or no.”
“It’s not broken.”
“Or whatever. Dick that fell off.”
“The point is you’ll be a good king. But the only way for me to be a queen, which everyone here knows I deserve, is to make sure the North is its own separate thing. So the North will remain independent like it was for thousands of years before the last like 800 years, but back then it was, just not for the last twenty generations or so.”
And as his first official act before he’s even sworn in as king of the seven kingdoms, Bran the Broken gives his sister half the land on the continent.
Everyone nods in agreement. Good. They didn’t need those financial ramifications, security infrastructure or natural resources anyway. Nice.
Tyrion can’t believe his good fortune. He pulled it off. Corialinus was right! Jesus he was right again!
“All Hail Bran the Broken! King of the Six Kingdoms!”
“Bran the Broken!” Everyone yells, standing.
“Oh rub it in why don’t you!” Bran says. “The very first order of business is handicapped ramps on every building-“
“I’m not sure that’s in the budget, your grace.” Says Yohn Royce.
In Florida, millions of Olds nod in approval. If they didn’t want to be handicapped they shouldn’t have been handicapped!
Tyrion bows. Holy shit, he thinks, I’m going to be Hand of the King!
“Lord Tyrion” Bran the Broken says “You will be Hand.”
“Nooooo!” Tyrion sings, as if talking to a baby or a rabbit. “I don’t want it. Honest! I prefer these manacles that are literally cutting into my wrists. Don’t give me access to wine again!”
“You are Hand. Deal with it.”
“He can’t be!” Says Grey Worm. “He’s a traitor.”
“Not to me.”
“He deserves justice!”
“He just got it. I told him how to fool a stupid ogre with a dagger and he did it. Bravo. Now he gets to run the world while I warg elsewhere.”
“I am a very weak man.” Grey Worm says. “The worst kind of Plot Robot.”
“Yes, I know.” King Broken says.
“You must also kill Jon Snow.” Grey Worm says.”Sorry, if I don’t pretend to care about it, none of this makes any sense.”
“None of it does anyway, friend.” Says Davos.
“So you’ll kill him, yes?” Grey Worm asks.
“Yeah I’m his brother and pretty much everyone here is his best friend, so.”
“Then just whip him to death!”
“He must be punished!”
“I’ll send him to the Wall.” King Broken says. “He can’t get into any trouble up there.” Bran winks at Tyrion.
“Why did you just wink?” Grey Worm asks.
“I had something in my eye.”
“Aye!” Sleepytits says, waking up from a quick nap.
“No we already voted.” Yara says.
“You watch Riverdale?” Sleepytits asks.
“I wish I was better at this.” Grey Worm says. “Should I have just killed you all? You guys can tell me now, it’s too late. Should I have?”
“Take your men and sail back to wherever the hell you came from,” King Broken says “with our thanks and our compliments.”
Now we cut to Davos as he shows up outside Jon’s cell where the ten killers are sitting at a couple of tables, contentedly listening to Paisley play his harmonica. He finishes his song as Davos walks up with a wineskin in his hand. Every one of them looks like they gained ten pounds.
“Gents, I have one last bag of ale for you.” Davos says.
“That’s it then?” Logen says. “All finished?”
“Damned if that wasn’t the greatest job I ever had.” Logen says. All his men, Threetrees, Tul Duru and the Dogman nod in agreement, as do the Unsullied and Kevin. Only Black Dow looks peeved.
“Never even got to kill anyone.” He complains.
“There’ll be killin’ enough to make up for it where we’re going.” Threetrees says.
The Dogman takes the ale and pours it evenly into ten cups and the men all toast and throw back the alcohol.
“I’m going to miss this.” Joaquin admits.
“Fuckin A.” Kevin agrees.
“Hell if that wasn’t fun.” Tul Duru says, offering a hand to the Unsullied named Thor. They shake and man hug. All the others follow suit, friendly hugs, shared jokes and warm claps on the back. It’s nothing short of a miracle that no murder broke out.
But Black Dow doesn’t hug anyone. He doesn’t smile or wish anyone well. He feels that he was owed a fight and if he has to manufacture one, then so be it. He’s watching Paisley and Sphincter as they pick up various pieces of discarded gear. Waiting. Figuring.
“If you’ve a mind to start trouble, understand that I told you not to.” Says a voice behind him.
Black Dow turns to find Logen Ninefingers there, watching him with a hard look.
“At this point I know your black mind before you do. To be clear, if you choose to hurt those boys, I’m gonna put it on you. And this time I’m not gonna let you walk away. This time I’ll break you piece by piece and leave you begging for death. So you do what you’re gonna do, but you won’t be able to say you didn’t understand my meaning.”
That thing is in the back of Logen’s eye, where The Bloody Nine lives. There is no man on the face of the world that Black Dow fears.
Except for The Bloody Nine.
“I’m not gonna do anything, Chief.” He says.
“Mmmm.” Logen says, working a hand on his own chin and considering. Then he turns and walks away. Black Dow breathes a sigh of relief before cursing under his breath.
“Ser Davos.” Logen says, offering his hand to the smaller man. “Thanks.”
“No, I thank you.” Ser Davos says. “You may have saved the Seven Kingdoms. Or six rather.”
“I don’t know what that is, but if eating delicious food twice a day and drinking a vat of wine saved anything it’s probably not anything they’ll sing songs about. Come, Kevin! Joaquin! We’ll walk you boys to your ship. I want to see make sure you get on your way safely.” Logen says, casting a sidelong glance at Black Dow.
Davos watches the ten killers leave the square. He breathes a deep sigh as Tyrion jogs in from the other direction with a couple of goldcloaks behind him.
“Ser Davos!” Tyrion says. “The uh-“
Tyrion bends over and huffs in deep breaths.
“My god I’m out of shape.”
“We all are.” Davos says.
“Prince Sleepytits has removed all of his vestments and is trying to offer his ‘services’ to The Lady of Winterfell. Would you kindly prevent a war between The North and Dorne please?”
“Fooken hell.” Davos frowns. “If it’s not one thing-“
“I know.” Tyrion agrees. “I know.”
“Have you?” Tyrion asks, pointing to Jon’s basement.
“Not yet.” Davos says. “I was just about to.”
“I’ll tell him.” Tyrion says.
Davos nods and hurries out of the square. Tyrion leans against the stone wall at the top of the basement stairs.
“My goodness.” He says, looking at the two goldcloaks with an embarrassed smile. “Do either of you know what a collapsed lung feels like?”
The shorter of the two Goldcloaks says nothing.
The taller one says “OI BELIEVE IT FEELS LOIK A STABBIN PAIN IN D’CHEST, MY LORD, WHICH WOULD WORSEN WIF DEEP PROLONGED BREFFS.”
Tyrion smiles at him with a small nod and walks down the stairs and into the basement. The shorter goldcloack whacks the biggun with the back of his gauntlet.
“Idiot.” The goldcloak says. “That was rhetorical.”
“Oh!” The biggun says. “Oh.”
Now we cut to Jon. He also has a fake beard from his long incarceration.
Tyrion stands near him, in his own fake beard. It’s a fake beard-off!
Jon is slowly donning his Night’s Watch garb, tying laces, threading eyelets, pulling buckles tight as Tyrion chronicles the plan.
“The ruse will be the Night’s Watch. It basically doesn’t exist. But we have two acolytes in Nights Watch gear who should be waiting outside. They will escort you North and explain your mission. Pass through the Wall at Castle Black and head due North until you see the Teeth of the Gods. There you will face the first unbreakable boundary.
WHA ES ET?
“We’re not completely sure, but the first part is an invisible barrier that requires a human sacrifice. We’re sending Yohn Royce with you.”
HE’S THE MAHN I’M TO KELL?
WHY WOOD HE AGREE TO THES?
“We told him there was oil up there.”
“Arya will be heading to the Tree of Death in Asshai. She has been fully briefed and is ready to go.”
AH WESH SHE DEDN’T HAVE TO.
“Only the Paladin Elect can fulfill the prophecy.”
THIS SHOW ESN’T EXACTLY GREAT AT DELIVERING ON PROPHECY.
“The next one will.”
“Sansa doesn’t know yet…about Corialinus.”
PROBABLY FOR THE BEST RIGHT NOW.
“And there’s reason to believe, from small glimpses, snippets if you will, that the third Paladin Elect will not actually be Sansa.”
HOW ES THA POSSIBLE? ARE THERE ANY OTHER STARKS OOT THERE?
“Not right now, no.”
BUH THERE WELL BEH?
“It appears there might be. Glimpses…of course. Just fleeting glimpses of two children. A boy and a girl. Twins. With red hair.”
Jon thinks for a minute.
TWENS WITH RED HAIR? SUNSA’S CHELDREN?
Tyrion shrugs. But…yeah…probably.
THA WOULD BE YEARS FROM NOW.
“Sorry to say, the road ahead will be fraught with dangers that will not be overcome in weeks.” Tyrion says.
Jon puts his head back and laughs. OF COORSE NOT. THAT’S MA LUCK INNIT.
“There is reason to believe that, at some point, you must go south to go north. Though I can’t say why or when.”
RIGHT. Jon nods, strapping Longclaw around his waist. THA SOONDS ABOOT FOOKIN RAGHT.
“Your sisters will be waiting for you at the pier. And Corialinus too, to keep up appearances. Just be careful not to say anything in front of Sansa. She’s…complicated.”
SOS YER DAHRK WEZZARD. HE’S LOOKEY AH DOONT STICK A KNIFE EN HES FOOKIN EYE.
HE’S A COCKSUCKER. MAHRK MAH WORDS: SOMEDEH I’LL MAKE HEM PAY FOR WHAT HEH TOOK FROM MEH.
“And I’ll be there with you when that day comes. So much of my time is spent reviling him, but until we know more, we’re lucky to have him on our side.”
THERE IS NO OUR SIDE. EVERYTHENG IS JOOST SHADES OF HES SIDE. Jon points out, throwing his fur-mantled cloak over his shoulders.
“Right. True. Of course. I won’t forget it.”
THIS ES IT THEN, AH EXPECT.
LIFE ES FOONY.
“It is that.”
They hug. Tyrion pats him on the back as Jon walks to the door. Before Jon opens it, he turns back to his uncle.
AH CAN TROOST YOU, RIGHT?
“Always.” Tyrion nods. “Til my dying day. You’re the only family I have.”
NOH THE ONLEH.
“You know what I mean. Not ancient relics. My real family. Real blood. We’ve been friends a long time before we even knew we were family. And we’ll take down this monster together. You have my word. Good luck, Jon Snow. The world is counting on you, once again. Be careful out there.”
SOOMETHIN TELLS MEH YOOR JOB HERE WILL BE EVERY BET AS PRECARIOUS AS MINE.
“Perhaps.” Tyrion admits. “But at least we’ll be doing what we were meant to do.”
Jon nods and leaves
We cut to Jon walking out to the port in his Night’s Watch mantle. Two Three Eyed Raven Acolytes in Night’s Watch Gear flank Jon. Grey Worm waits to see Jon Snow boarding the boat to his exile.
Jon looks up and sees Grey Worm clocking him. Grey Worm tenses his mandible, but says nothing.
WHY DOONT YOU TAHKE A FOOKIN PECTURE? YOU STANDIN THERE ALL AFTERNOON WAITIN FOHR MEH TO COME BY? DED YOU RUN OUT OF ENNOCENT PEOPLE TO KELL?
“Fuck you, Jon Snow!” Grey Worm yells. “Fuck you!”
NOH FOOK YOU, YUH MURDERIN PIECE OF SHIT.
“Murder? Me?? You kill the Queen! You the murder!”
ONLEH BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO BLIND TEH SEE ET. PEOPLE LIKE YOU KELLED HER LONG BEFORE I EVER DED. FOLLOWIN HER EVERY WESH. KELLIN FOR NO REASON. PEOPLE LIKE YOU TWISTED HER MIND.
“I follow my queens every word! I not apologize for that!”
YAH YOU WERE A GOOD SLAVE.
“Fuck you Jon Snow! I’m a free man! You’re lucky I don’t come down there right now and kill YOU.”
COME ON DOWN! I’M IN NO RUSH. HOP OFF YER LETTLE POOPDECK THERE AND LETS HAVE SOME FOOKIN PAJAMA TIME! I GOT MEH A CRYSTAL BALL SAYS I’M COOMIN OUTTA THIS ONE OKAY.
“You’re not worth it. I’m a free man. I choose to take my people away from this pisshole.”
GOOD. BON VOYAGE, YEH PIECE OF FELTH. WHEREVER YAH GO. WHEREVER YEH ARE, YOU’LL ALWAYS BE A MURDERIN SHIT WHO CUT MEN’S THROATS IN THE TOWN SQUARE AFTER THEY SURRENDERED. YEH CAN’T WASH THAT OFF. AND THAT’S JUST WHET I SAW YEH DO. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT A REAL PIECE OF SHET YEH ACTUALLY ARE.
“At least I no fuck my aunt and kill her.”
FUCK OFF AND DIE.
“No you fuck off! You fuck off forever! You kill your own family! All hope in the world die because of you! All hope in the whole world because you fuck your family and kill your family! You are a murderer! You are a murderer Jon Snow!”
Jon walks away from him. On the boat, Grey Worm is fuming. He looks at Jon Snow’s back to him as he walks away and then at his spear leaning on the side of the gunwale. He reaches for the spear.
Before he can get it, a hand stops him. Grey Worm spins, furious.
Joaquin stands there.
“Torgo, man. It is so not worth it. Let’s get going. Let’s start the next thing. Enough of this. I love Myhsa too, but we’ve fought her battles long enough.”
Grey Worm softens.
“You are right. Thanks, Joaquin. Set sail for the isle of Naath!”
“Naath?” Asks the Dothraki Kevin. “Isn’t that the place where everyone who isn’t from Naath dies of Butterfly Flu or some shit?”
Grey Worm stares at Kevin coldly.
“I mean, Naath! Cool!” Says Kevin as Joaquin steers him away. “Naath it is!”
Once they’re out of view of Grey Worm they both laugh.
“I don’t want to die of fuckin’ Butterflies man!” Kevin says. “Can you imagine? After all the shit we been through?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll drop them off and go somewhere else.”
“Where we gonna go? I told my mom I was coming home.” Kevin says.
“Well, let’s go see your mom first and then we’ll do my thing.”
“Oh man, you’re gonna love her. She’s a great cook and she has this little Welsh Corgi. He’s the coolest dog ever.”
“Wait, your mom has a Welsh Corgi?” Joaquin asks.
“Yeah! Giuseppe! He’s awesome! What’s your thing again?”
Joaquin can barely control his excitement. He sort of recites the mission from rote, but all he can think of is Giuseppe. “Um…On the slope where the Bone Mountains meet the Poison Sea, is said to grow a flower that when turned to perfume, can give the wearer the ability to turn invisible.”
“It’s a dangerous place.” Joaquin says, recovering from his excitement a little. “It’d be nice to have a big, stupid horsefucking idiot with a hand sickle to help me get there.”
“I’m down.” Says Kevin. “I got nothin’ to do and all the time in the world to do it.”
They bump fists.
“You and me both, brother. You and me both.”
The ship begins to move away from the pier. Further down and away, on another pier, Jon rounds a corner to see the living members of House Stark waiting for him.
Not a single solitary guard anywhere to be seen. Total Guard Down mode. Just naked to the world and any Mos Eisley Spice Fiend or Bioshock Plasmid Splicer who deigns to happen by with a steak knife. I’ll never understand it. A dude with a decent bow eye could end House Stark from up on the hill above. Nuts.
But House Stark. House Stark now.
Ned would never have believed, when he dropped his head onto the chopping block, that in less than a decade House Stark would take over the whole world. Westeros, split in two, with a Stark on the throne of both. A third Stark taking Mance Rayder’s job as King Beyond the Wall, and a fourth Stark setting sail to conquer parts unknown.
Even if that were all it was, it would be a hell of a story.
And now Jon approaches Sansa, who really thinks that’s all it is. Sansa, who betrayed him at least twice, perhaps for his own safety or possibly for her own ambition. Which side you tend to believe will fall across various party lines.
It’s the first time she’s seen him since the betrayal.
Ned carried the secret for more than 18 years. Sansa didn’t carry it 18 hours.
But she had her reasons. A potato alone in the world is a terrible thing.
She requests immediate forgiveness, but Jon hugs her instead. Not just yet. Not just yet.
Now Arya springs it on Sansa that she, too, is not coming home. Instead she will just sail away. We know, thankfully, that she has a mission and a destination in mind that isn’t just some nebulous Lady Crane horseshit where she sails off the edge of the map, never to be heard from again.
When I first watched this scene, I was destroyed thinking of Jon’s forced exile, even though people said HE’D WANT TO GO THERE! And thinking of Arya’s self imposed exile even though people said IT’S BETTER THAN BEING A LADY OR A KILLER FOR HIRE! I hated the choice of Brahn as king before I knew he was really a six thousand year old dark wizard Lannister running for his life from a bunch of Starks representing the Law. And I hated most that we had suffered for years to get the Stark kiddos back together, only to now have them thrown asunder and shaken into the breeze and for what? To mollify a character who was never more than half a character at best?
But now we know that there’s much, much more to the story. We know that Ser Pod is knighted on a sunny day. We know that Ser Brienne is Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and that at some point in the future, the most noble person in the Seven Kingdoms will realize that she’s guarding the most evil. And for a woman who is the ultimate Oathkeeper? We wonder how that conundrum will play out.
We know that a power unlike any other is rising in the East and that Red Women are spreading across the land like a plague. We know that something stirs in the South and it isn’t just Prince Sleepytits’ dingaling on a Dornish beach.
We see Queen Sansa crowned in the North. It’s meant to be happy, but she’s alone, and it feels…somber. As a strong woman, she doesn’t need people, others, to prop her up. She can prop herself up, thank you very much. But soon she will miss the closeness of family, and set about making her own. The pitter patter of tiny feet that will grow into Starks who will shape the world.
And yes, we see Arya headed West, but not on a flight of fancy. She is wearing a pin of House Clegane on her belt, to remember a man who was forgotten by so many. She waterdances across the deck of her ship, flawless and sharp, hearing The Hound’s mockery in her head. But drill she must, because everything to this point will have been a pillow fight compared to the nightmares that await her in the Shadowlands. She will be tested like never before, and she sets her gaze on the horizon, where her destiny awaits.
Let others rest.
She will prepare.
We are not going to see Tyrion re-arranging chairs another time. We’re not going to have a casual small council meeting that will make us feel like no wheel was broken and that the entire arc of Daenerys Stormborn was as much of a null set as the Night King.
Instead we are going to find Jon already in the North, sleeping soundly in a tent with Ghost next to him. They are both sound asleep and dreaming. Jon is getting used to the idea of being the Law. It’s why policing the crypt in Winterfell felt so right.
And now he brings an ancient law to the True North. A place as strange and lawless as any in the world. But the Law of the Paladins Elect is coming, and Jon Snoo is coming with it. Good Law. Noble Law. Potato Law.
But now we join Jon’s dream, already in progress. We are somewhere far away. It feels more real than a regular dream. More like an ethereal dream state.
We have the distinct sense that this isn’t imaginary. This is REALLY HAPPENING SOMEWHERE.
We see a body in a shroud. Blood Red on a stone altar.
Wisps of smoke flash past. Or are they dragonflies?
We push into the face of the body, where layers of red gauze are being peeled back to reveal Daenerys Stormborn. Eyes closed. At peace. Flawless and beautiful.
We hear the sound of drums.
And then the room is dark.
In the dark, a pair of FIERY EYES flash open and we hear Daenerys’ voice.
A BLAST OF FIRE FROM DROGON FILLS THE SCREEN.
Jon sits up in a hurry. Ghost is already on his feet, hackles up. Jon runs outside where the first light of dawn is cresting the mountains in the distance. In the treeline, something is stirring and kicking up the snow into patchy clouds.
Tormund rushes out of his tent. Ghost is growling at something in the distance.
“What is it?” Tormund asks.
In the distance, a huge ICE SPIDER as big as an elephant comes skittering out of the forest and at the encampment.
“ARCHERS!” Jon yells and behind him, a hundred bows are drawn.
Yohn Royce walks between them, sipping tea from an ornate delicate cup. “I say! Is that a spider? Really! If it’s not one thing it’s another, isn’t it. I remember the last time I played the Old Course at St Andrews! There was a spot of weather as it happens from time to time and one of the chaps had this spider on his bag! Well! His caddy-“
Jon and Tormund share a look.
“Lord Royce, I beg your pardon, but we should probably handle this.”
“Ah yes! Quite so! Quite so. Such an inhospitable region, this. But exclusive oil claims will make it all worth it. Sorry I can’t share them with you lads. Fossil fuels, gentlemen! Mark me!” He says, walking away and sipping his tea.
“Soon.” Tormund smiles.
Jon and Tormund turn their attention back to the spider, heading at them at a furious clip.
“God I love the North!” Tormund yells.
Jon smiles and pulls Longclaw. A frozen potato in all his starchy glory. The Mightiest warrior of House Starch.
LET’S FOOKEN DO THIS!
SMASH TO BLACK.
Roll end credits for Game of Thrones
Roll end credits for the Pajiba Game of Thrones Deep Dive Recaps
Fellow lovers of All Things Westeros,
I’ve endeavored to put a fresh face on an ending that honestly left me saddened and disappointed. A selfish undertaking, no doubt, but I didn’t want to bid my favorite show goodbye without some brightness of the future, even if it was conjured out of thin air.
Obviously, there’s no way to fill all the head-scratching gaps in a few weeks, but I hope my feeble attempts to bring meaning (or at least comedy) to many of them didn’t rub die hards the wrong way. I’m sure I have slighted canon all over the place, but as a show watcher and not a book reader, I did the best I could with the scaffolding I knew about. I love Game of Thrones so much and I’ll never quite wrap my head around the places where it seemed to go so pear shaped, so quickly.
But what a show it was. The moments it shone brightest will never be forgotten. What a stunning tour de force for all parties involved. There is true beauty in imagination, which is every bit as important as air and water.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Game of Thrones, to these deep dives and to a period of our lives where fantasy reigned supreme.
I meant to leave you with the biggest fix of them all, which was to write a punchline — a real punchline — for the Honeycomb and the Jackass joke that Tyrion mentioned. But alas, some Gordian Knots are never meant to be hacked in two.
To those of you who made it through to the end, I thank you for your loyalty, your self-hatred and your kind words. I hope the reading was as much fun as the writing.
Thanks for walking this winding road with me. May it lead us all home safely.
As always, I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.
Image sources (in order of posting): HBO, Lord Castleton