Shut Your Mouth Bran
by DICK CHENEY
Thrones. Making a character seem real is a lot different than making him or her compelling. There are only so many character archetypes, so many personality traits that can believably inhabit one person in one world. That's why writers fall back on clichés, both because they do the work of telling us about themselves on their own, and because some are infallibly true to life, like the megalomaniacal, power-hungry bald man. Here are all the archetypes in Thrones so far:
- the impatient, juvenile boy king
- the inspiring disabled person
- the sociopathic moneylender
- the innocent token bride
- the black guy who died first
- actually there's only one black guy and he's a sailor
- why can't they cast Malcolm Jamal-Warner, he could have been a solid sellsword
- Sir Jorah Mormont should have been played by Tyler Perry
- You know nothing Jon Snow
Some of the show can't live up to the complexity of the books, but King Joffrey is far improved from the source literature. Telling your moms, "This is one of the most boring conversations I have ever had," is risky in the best of circumstances. I believe Chelsea Clinton's face looks as it does because she tendered a similar remark to her own progenitor. You really shouldn't mess with Cersei, even if you are her sweet incest baby. She has more balls in her balls than most balls. (She has no balls, she's just really cool and smart!)
Joffrey's affection for Margaery Tyrell is puzzling at best. His own empathy always fails him, a central theme of this Thronesing. I always thought of the Tyrells as the Jews of the Seven Kingdoms, with Highgarden commanded by a secret matriarchy redolent of Golda Meir. I once saw a stage show about that woman's life; by the end I was thrashing myself so generously you would have thought I was Benjamin Netanyahu at a particularly erotic Hannukah celebration.
Tyrion's pathetically emotional scene with his whore girlfriend really went too far over the top. Maybe his dad was right, what kind of (little) person is willing to put someone he cares about in jeopardy just for a blow job? This weekend Lynne and I sat down to finally watch Hope Springs. There's a scene where Meryl Streep gives a teeth mark BJ to Tommy Lee Jones in a movie theater that was more believable than this. Yeah, some jaded prostitute is going to get really mad if a lion complimented Sansa Stark's looks. Not even teenagers act this silly.
Speaking of not acting his age...
Bran seriously needs to grow up. I mean whining all the time to your servants has its appeal, don't get me wrong. The only thing less interesting than hearing about some little lord's fever dream is having to watch Theon Greyjoy do virtually anything. Bran, originally I thought your "brother" Jon Snow was the worst, primarily because he is not actually your brother (spoilers for things George has yet to write), but also because he's unable to play a spy and he got the fucking pox. Who does that?
But no, it turns out Bran is the fucking worst. Bran, shut up about your dreams. Shut your stupid face about your dreams. Your mother bores me, your father's dead, your sister is in Israel, your other sister is so much better than you it hurts me to think about it, your other brother is in love with a do-gooder nurse, and I seriously hope you turn into a wolf and drown.
Imprisonment has done Jaime Lannister no favors whatsoever. His penis has shrunken from its all time high of seventeen inches, as when he copulated with his sister and produced a son in a lovely tunic with a passion for sadomaschism. His penis now claims a length of a mere thirteen inches, yet its girth has remained relatively unchanged since Robert Baratheon instructed him to slaughter the Mad King. The vicissitudes of penis reshaping and all of that.
Jaime's playful fight with Brienne of Tarth didn't give me as many halfsies as I was anticipating, but that was more due to the fact that it is completely immoral to swordfight an opponent whose hands are cuffed together. Still, I doubt that would hold back any decent swordsman. (The real life experience I rely on to make such judgments largely occurred at urinals in the greater Maryland area.) Jaime and Brienne actually make a cool team, but we need to get to the grudging respect aspect of their interplay more quickly. One note, however beautiful, becomes dull if it's played for too long.
Jojen and Meera Reed are among the best characters in the series. This is not because their dialogue is overwrought, clichéd bullshit about what fucking do-gooders they are. The swamp people were one of GRRM's finest inventions, possessing both the mystical and historical knowledge that other houses in the area lack while also being renowned for their loyalty and moral agility. Their knowledge of the events of Robert's Rebellion may prove crucial. Imagine me slowly sliding my eyeglasses up on my nose with one hand as I say this, and with the other making a gesture that indicates masturbation.
God I hate you Bran.
In the North, Jon Snow's acting has not gotten better the further south the wilding army has traveled. It's absolute hell when Jon and his girlfriend Samwell Tarly are separated. I mean would Tolkien have split up Frodo and his Sam? Of course not. I'd never thought the day would come when I would be praising Elijah Wood's acting. Then again, rest assured that's not going to happen. Is there any way Andrew Garfield can realize he was meant to be the real Jon Snow, or is he too busy covering Emma Stone's face with a paper bag? Do it, recast Jon Snow. It's not working out. His skeptical face is too retarded, there's only one worse actor in all of the Seven Kingdoms:
Robb Stark's problems are our problems, sort of. At least he didn't face tongue some pretentious nurse in the books. The Westerlings were a lovely people. Honestly, Robb Stark reminds me of the leaders who appeased Hitler (can't remember names, was Martin Luther involved?), or the bleeding hearts who think that it's important to be tough, but turn their nose up at the sight of the mildest violence in the name of their cause. Either sign up to be a king, or go home. Margaret Thatcher would have laughed in Catherine Stark's face. Too soon? Excuse me while I go collect my tears for her in a ceramic cup.
My love for Arya knows no bounds. GRRM always tells the story of how his wife demanded he never kill the poor girl off, which I'm sure ensures her death in the series' final book, A Shit On Stannis. (I actually had to check whether or not Stannis was still alive in canon, that's how boring the guy is.) Hopefully one day, via an elaborate flashback sequence, we will meet the charming mother who sired a gay, a prissy adulterer and a hog-shaped excuse for a king. Children haven't gotten that disappointing since Phil found out his only son tortured a rabbit on Modern Family. (You don't need to google this, it hasn't happened yet.)
Despite the fact that my PSN name is arya43, I have to admit I have gotten a little sick of the brave androgynous fighter act. Watching the Hound betray her to the Brothers without Borders Without Banners or Doctors was difficult. I never respected those guys, or anyone who thinks they're trying to save the countryside. Like really, tons of poor people in America could eat if you just put oil wells off the California coast. I said this to a guy at a gas station the other day and he was absolutely flabbergasted. GRRM's obsession with keeping Arya a little girl is typical, but listen, they have to grow up some time. I was surprised as you when I read that Selena Gomez killed a guy when she was like, twelve.
Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He is a writer living in an undisclosed location. All of these things actually happened. You can find an archive of his writing on This Recording here, and his recapitulation of last week's episode here.
"The River" - Zero Absolu (mp3)
"The Olive Tree" - Zero Absolu (mp3)