May 9, 2016

Clever Game of Thrones-related title

Ok, this shit has been pissing me off for long enough and it's time to exorcise my brain demons by writing it down. Game of Thrones spoilers ahead.

First order of business: the retarded banishment of Jorah from Meereen. I've written alternative dialogue for that scene; what a smarter and less castrated Jorah might have said, and how a more reasonable Daenerys might have reacted to it. David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, if you guys read this and you feel like making your show less retarded, feel free to use this dialogue when re-recording the scene for a bluray re-release.

[Sorry about the retardedly-formatted dialogue; probably gonna edit this to make it look better once I learn how to do that. Also fuck you blogspot for not figuring this shit out for me. Oh also I'm not actually sorry about it; you don't come here for nicely formatted posts anyway, and it's really only annoying to me. Actually I guess it is annoying to you because you're me because I'm the only one that comes here. Haha. That is some solid comedy gold. Too bad it will all go away when I delete this paragraph after getting everything to work. But at least you will know it was once here. Because you're me. Anyway, back to the topic.]

     Daenerys: Why did the Usurper pardon you?

     Jorah: I used to spy on you for Varys, the spymaster of King's Landing. I told him you were pregnant, among other things.

     Daenerys: That wine merchant tried to poison me because of your information.

     Jorah: Yep.

     Daenerys: You betrayed me. From the first.

     Jorah: Uh, what now? I betrayed you from the first? As in, I wasn't loyal to you from the very moment I laid eyes on you? Well yeah, I suppose I am guilty of that. I had fled my country in shame for doing heinous things, and I took the job because I was desperate for a chance to redeem myself, and the best interests of some girl I had never met just wasn't on my list of priorities. And despite all this, I betrayed them, saved your life and devoted myself to you within months of meeting you based solely on the sheer awesomeness of your person. All of this before I first swore to you when you emerged from Drogo's funeral pyre. Before that I only swore a false oath to your brother, and I guess you could call that a betrayal but that's just what needs to be done in order to be a loyal spy. So I did basically the opposite of what you're accusing me of. Oh, by the way, if I had stayed loyal to your brother you wouldn't have your dragons. You're welcome.

     Barristan: Oh for fuck's sake...

     Daenerys: Well, fine, but still you should have told me sooner.

     Jorah: Yeah, sorry.

     Daenerys: I guess you can be an, uh, whatever it is that poor people do. Street cleaner I guess. For a fortnight.

     Jorah: Yes, Khaleesi. An appropriate and proportionate punishment for the crime, wouldn't you say, Ser Barristan?

     Barristan: Fuck you, Mormont.

     Jorah: Eat shit, Selmy.

Second order of business: Syrio Forel. He's not dead, and if you think he is, you're not qualified to have an opinion on anything.

Let's take a look at our combatants. On the one hand we have Meryn Trant, and as the Hound was kind enough to inform us, any boy whore with a sword could beat three Meryn Trants. Now, that may have been a tad hyperbolic, but he has never demonstrated his skill and every second- and third-hand account of him in both the show and books has portrayed him as a cruel, vile, cowardly little shit whose combat skill lies somewhere in the range from terrible to mediocre. He has attained his current status because he's a Lannister lackey who will obey any order, no matter how vile, and probably because of nepotism too. It is known that he's a fairly decent jouster, but that has little to do with real combat skill.

On the other hand we have Syrio Motherfucking Forel. He was the First Sword of Braavos - the personal bodyguard and champion of the Sealord (governor) of Braavos - for nine years, and while he appears to be past his prime, he's not exactly an old man. He's undoubtedly one of the greatest Water Dancers alive. Now, some will cast doubt on the efficacy of Water Dancing because they don't use "armor and a big fucking sword", but Jorah went up against a Water Dancer (getting right about sick of capitalizing this shit) in the Meereen fighting pits and got his ass handed to him pretty severely. The guy was toying with him. And Jorah is no slouch. He's not quite up there with the legends like pre-mutilation Jaime or Barristan in his prime, but he's somewhere on the scale between competent and formidable. He could probably beat three Meryn Trants.

I think the reason people tend to underestimate water dancing is because of Arya, who has barely any training and no real combat experience and is tiny and weak and yet supremely confident when going up against seasoned warriors who disarm her with one move. A real water dancer could go head to head with a Westerosi knight in any armor, deflecting, dodging, aiming for the weakpoints with their thin rapiers, though if need be they could also dance around their target and tire them out, kinda like Bronn did at the Eyrie except it's their specialty and an integral part of their technique. I'm not saying water dancing is necessarily better than Westerosi-style heavily armed fighting, but if it were vastly inferior, the richest and most powerful of the Free Cities would surely have figured that out long ago and abandoned the style.

As for this particular fight, because of the vast difference in skill, Syrio could easily dance around Trant with a broken wooden sword, or even unarmed. Just look at how Drogo danced around a guy who was way faster than Trant because he had no armor, a lighter weapon and a combat style that favors agility. Or he could just pick up a sword from one of the knocked-out guards. They were coming to, after all, so he wouldn't want to procrastinate. Though he could probably have taken them all on at once once he had a sword, given how easily he handled the situation with a stick.

Some questions remain:

Why did he let Trant live? There's no way to know for sure. Perhaps some passing goldcloaks heard the commotion and sounded the alarm, and Syrio decided to run because 50 men were heading his way. I mean he said the First Sword of Braavos doesn't run, but perhaps facing overwhelming odds made him forget his honor, or maybe saying that was just posturing in the first place because he knew he could take Trant. Or perhaps Syrio did win, knocking everyone out, killing and disposing of one guard and taking his clothes and face because he is Jaqen H'ghar or some other faceless man. Maybe he just won and left. We know based on what happened to Arya, as well as H'ghar's earlier murder debt to her back in Westeros, that worshippers of the Many-Faced God (a.k.a. God of Death) have some weird rules about when and whom it is okay to kill, and after he won, there was no need to kill the guards that lay knocked out on the ground.

Why did he let Trant grab his wood? Even if he had a real sword, the director of that scene would have us believe that anyone with a gauntlet could render one of the greatest water dancers alive helpless by simply grabbing his sword. It's an absurd proposition that should not be taken seriously by anyone after a moment's thought. If you suck at logical thinking, you might view the fact that Trant grabbed the wood as evidence that Syrio was in over his head (although he could still just have picked up a real sword...) but I view it as the most damning piece of evidence against this silly idea that Syrio is dead, because there's just no way that could have happened against Syrio's intent unless you believe water dancing sucks, and the guy in the fighting pit clearly disproved that once and for all (not that it needed disproving even then).

Anyway, it's clear that Syrio let Trant grab his wood in order to make Arya run away, so why did he do that? Either because he didn't know what was going on and thought her father was still 'in the game', so to speak (very plausible if he is not Jaqen H'ghar), or because just didn't wanna have to look after some fucking kid, or because he somehow knew that she was destined for great things and he was guiding her on the right path. Consider that Jaqen H'ghar would never in a million years get caught by the City Watch unless he wanted to. So if Syrio is H'ghar, why would he be wasting his time teaching some rich brat in King's Landing to fight? Probably because she was destined for great things and he was guiding her on the right path. And then the most convenient way to follow her was to go with the Night's Watch, and the most plausible way for him to pass as a recruit was to be a prisoner, and the safest way for him to get into the dungeons so he could be recruited - certainly safer than trying to get caught stealing or something and risk being killed in the arrest - was to take a guard's place and then sneak into the dungeons and pose as a prisoner shortly before Yoren arrived to take recruits.

I was gonna stop with two retarded things, but writing about it has pissed me off again so let's add a third thing: that retarded scene with Rorge and Biter attacking the Hound. Here's my interpretation of that scene:

     Rorge: Look, that's the Hound. The one with the bounty. And he's got his back turned to us. We could easily drive a sword right through his gut, neck or head, killing him in one blow.

     Biter: Ok, I'm just gonna charge at him and bite him in the least lethal way possible.

     Rorge: Oh, well that's fine. I still have plenty of time to deliver that fatal blow to him while he's distracted with you.

     Hound: I'm gonna snap your friend's neck.

     Rorge: I'm still just standing here for some reason.

     Hound: The fuck you doing?

     Rorge: Now I will explain what we were doing instead of attempting to escape or attack you, and then I'm going to stand around and wait for something to happen.

     Arya: I'm going to describe my prior experiences with you in such a way that it's clear that the only interest I could possibly have in you involes your death at my hands.

     Hound: I'm going to bring up that you have a list of people upon which one could reasonably expect to find a man whose death at your hands is the only thing you could want from him, with the obvious implication that this list couldn't be anything other than a kill list.

     Rorge: I'm gonna provide you with the information you need in order to add me to your list while not drawing any conclusions from any of this nor worrying that you might wish to retaliate after learning that we tried to kill you.

     Arya: I'm gonna draw my sword.

     Rorge: Ok, I'll just stand here and keep waiting for something to happen.

     Arya: I'm gonna put my sword through your heart.

     Rorge: Ok.

     Arya: Your heart now has an extra hole in it.

     Rorge: If only I could have seen this coming.

To recap:

  • Daenerys is a fucking idiot.
  • Jorah is a fucking idiot.
  • Barristan is a fucking idiot.
  • Missandei is a fucking idiot.
  • Grey Worm is a fucking idiot.
  • Anyone who was within earshot of Daenerys uttering the words "you betrayed me from the first" and didn't protest that that doesn't make any goddamn sense is a fucking idiot.
  • People who think Syrio Forel is dead are fucking idiots.
  • Anyone who was involved in the making of the Rorge and Biter scene on any level and didn't vehemently protest that it was a fucking stupid scene is a fucking idiot.