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Entries in robb stark (2)

Monday
May062013

In Which We Journey To The Jacuzzi Beyond The Wall

A Weird, Complacent Feeling

by DICK CHENEY

Thrones. Right before something you will remember occurs, or immediately after it happens, there is a sensation. Previously undescribed in the literature outside of Kathy Acker and, at some length, Proust, this urge contains two parallel desires:

1) To undo what has taken place, in order to restore events to their previous berth;

2) To go wild in celebration at the very simple idea that the world is changeable.

It's always like that for Jaime Lannister. He's a punch bowl full of regret, a lion with eleven manes. He loves saying the word wildfire even more than his beneficent little brother.

Quickly, before you know it, something hard becomes very soft. A politician (any politician) enters office with the promise of closing an infamous prison, where criminals in an ongoing war are incarcerated because of presumed danger to society. When this politician hears of their tales, he could end their lives with dark purpose, prolong them with an even greater absence of mercy, or set them free.

People are always whining about Ned Stark's lessons, but at least he picked one and went through with it. Tywin Lannister, at his core, is a similar creature. When Tyrion asks Grandma Tyrell to fund the wedding, she changes her mind and agrees to pay half the cost. Tywin would never make such a concession, no matter its actual merit. It's more important to say what you're going to do and go through with it; that's the type of person that can really be trusted.

the hand of the king's office leaves something to be desired

Tywin Lannister and Grandma Tyrell had an extremely high level meeting. For some reason they had never actually met before; do you find this believable? As believable as someone caring enough about Bran Stark to find him in the wilderness and guide him to his bastard half-brother? As believable as the idea that Littlefinger's revenge on Catelyn Stark now extends to marrying off her identical-ish daughter to the only bookkeeper in King's Landing worth a damn?

"...you're marrying an accountant."

Tyrion had to break the bad news to his girlfriend and his wife at the same time, which is never easy. He should have led with "where do whores go" or maybe his material about Jamie telling everyone his betrothed was a prostitute, god knows he hasn't got enough mileage out of that story. Peter Dinklage's arsenal of resigned or cautious facial expressions will be sorely tested with this engagement.

I think there's more on redtube along these lines
It's always a pity when the only glimpse of Joffrey we get is him putting a crossbow bolt through Varys' ginger spy. The guy's had like three lines of dialogue; usually all they let him do is giggle when he sees blood.

Along with the Freys, Joffrey gets the most unfair rap of anyone in the Seven Kingdoms. I mean the guy repels Stannis Baratheon's fleet, is able to make a very generous and inquisitive woman attracted to him, and he didn't have to throw his daughter's illiterate best friend in the dungeon to make it happen.

boo hoo you have to marry a beautiful, generous gay man, he is betrothed to a ginga

Rhetorical questions are the refuge of cowards. I had an instructor, when I was first trained in intelligence work, who told us to never ask a rhetorical question, because it was a distinctly Western appendage. In other parts of the world, the person who asks a question they don't want answered is considered relatively rude.

still trying to get the memory of Stannis Baratheon's wife stillborn babies out of my head

On occasion, a question that appears merely a polite gesture can have greater significance, most often when it is asked of the god. It's unclear who exactly Melissandre plans to bring back from death; maybe Aegon Targaryen? If not, the concept of "light" has never been a more confusing symbol in any fictional work, applied as it is to about half the factions in this Thronesing.

bran this will be you. shut your face bran.

Thoros of Myr is identified as Peter in early Christian literature. The Brotherhoods Without Banners stuff is not to be trifled with, these guys all have serious long personal backstories. They care for each other maybe a bit too much. It was weird how Melissandre read Arya's fortune, doesn't she usually charge for that? "We will meet again" is pretty dumb.

do they not have foreplay in the south Jon Snow???

Actually a far worse symbol was a never-ending, phallic wall that the wildlings climbed, at length. Jon Snow, to me, really elevated his acting skills. He basically used a grimace as his main featured expression and agreed with whatever his ginger girlfriend was saying the rest of the time. There was still a lot of loneliness there. I guess she felt like she couldn't trust him. I wouldn't know.

"YOU WAS ALWAYS A CROW"

The political machinations surrounding Littlefinger's departure from King's Landing eluded me. Clearly something very bad is going to happen there, something to put his own life at risk. He wanted to take Sansa with him; but he wanted even more so to punish her for not wanting to be with him. There's a Chris Brown joke there somewhere, but I'll leave the racist and bigotry to Howard Kurtz because it comes more naturally to him.

It's hard sometimes to realize that Sansa and Arya are of the same uncaring and uncooperative mother, who basically allowed them to flee to the winds of time for no reason. Despite the fact that she's been in King's Landing for years now, Sansa is not even the least bit wiser. This is proof positive that GRRM has never met an actual living teenage girl, who can sniff bullshit out more quickly than her dire wolf.

"put Hot Pie's belly out of your mind"

Meanwhile, Arya is telling an archer how to shoot arrows, or a priest about how to show mercy, or a smith about how he should be her family. Her emotions are just everywhere, and yet she gets a noticeably better reaction from the surrounding world than her passive creature of a sister. If you want something, it's best just to take it. It's because of the sensation I described; the very human urge to see what happens. People, even the best ones, get tired of both saying and hearing the word No.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. He has composed a steak sauce meant to mimic the blood of Theon Greyjoy. It was roundly mediocre.

"The Three Of Us In The Dark" - Carly Simon (mp3)

"Take Me As I Am" - Carly Simon (mp3)

 

Monday
Jun062011

In Which The Beetles Will Feed On Your Eyes

Don't Let Me Down

by DICK CHENEY

Everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse. I am interested, geared up and happy. Is it not horrible to be made like this?

- Winston Churchill

There is nothing like the throes of war. When I first heard about the attacks on our country almost ten years ago, I made love to my wife, as I recalled last week. But that is not everything I did. I also told the secret service to get the president into a limousine and load it up with more alcohol than Katy Perry demands backstage at her concerts. (She hates carnations almost as much as I do.) When President Bush found me curled up in a fetal position inside the vehicle, smelling of Pop Tarts and gin, the first thing he said was, "You're pissing me off." Then he smiled and sucked grain alcohol from my belly-button.

HBO recently greenlit a BBC co-production of a World War I drama where the protagonist will be played by one Benedict Cumberbatch. (Scrootenjew Meeperschmidt wasn't available.) If this miniseries also ends up starring Rebecca Hall, I suggest we send the Storm Crows to ravage the BBC offices and demand satisfaction. The British always have funny ideas about war, they always think it's about falling in love like in The English Patient. They're like, "awesome war guys, let's go have consensual sex with the local populace." No. War is more about falling out of love with life and embracing death.

My first White House was Gerald Ford's and whenever we were addressing an overseas conflict he demanded we slip our dicks out into the open air. Don't get me started on my years with President Ford, controlling him was like trying to swordfight with yellow straw. The day we lost to Jimmy Carter I murdered a Canadian black bear. Sure, things went bad, but the below photograph depicts my first Oval Office orgasm.

I can only compare those initial moments of war, the look on the face of your adversary as he considers the prospect of his own demise, to waiting in a doctor's office with the best magazines in the world. Since the only good magazine left in the world is National Geographic and I never see that at my grandkids' pediatrician, it's better to imagine peeling open a shopping catalogue and discovering that anything can be purchased. During the initial phases of the first Gulf War, I demanded a lightsaber one morning and I had it by the afternoon. Carved in a grip of human bone were the words "Dick Maul."

We tore down statues in Iraq because it made a good image for television. I have no idea why Khal Drogo does it when he enslaves entire towns, killing and raping women and children. He already proved his point. There have been great men who enjoy war as much as Khal Drogo seems to, but there is no one who has ever enjoyed saying the word stallion as much as he does. From the looks of it, the populace Drogo enslaves is also quite religious, and their gods resemble the Old Gods of Westeros, perhaps some starfaring race that colonized the planet.

About his experience managing war, Churchill wrote "I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it." Every delusional warrior demands an adversary as mighty as he imagines himself. Ned Stark may not have the same affection for war as the Lannisters did during Robert's Rebellion, but you can't blame Cersei Lannister for not tying up her loose ends.

Even thousands of pages after the first visit from the King that opens A Game of Thrones, I am not entirely sure why Robert Baratheon goes to visit Winterfell. He had never done it before; he does not recognize the children of his best friend, and he can't look into the face of his friend's wife, who resembled the woman he lost.

The death of Jon Arryn must have guided his actions to some extent, but it is impossible to believe that King Robert lived his entire life siring bastards of brown hair and it never occurred to him to find it strange that none of his children by Cersei Lannister shared that characteristic. If Robert wanted a man loyal to him running the empire, he had better candidates in King's Landing. It seems more likely to me now, given my encyclopedic knowledge of warcraft, that he went to Winterfell to start the war he felt was coming.

The Lannisters hate the North. They hated it during that long overdue visit. They hated it so much they did not bother to be sure of Bran's death before they left. The very chill of winter must have upset them greatly.

Last night we got the first of many chapters in the relationship between Tyrion and his father, and it restored me from the anger I felt during last week's dwarfless episode. There is always a halfman in the middle of a war. He survives longer than his brethren because killing him would be an act of cruelty rather than an act of war. In order to accentuate his weakness, Tyrion uses the full thrust of his vocabulary and diminishes his true capabilities whenever possible, reminding me of how I ensured George W. Bush would be elected by a majority of Americans twice.

The problem with centering a television show around the excitement of war, is that real war is too confusing and complex to portray as anything except riotious, hilarious murder. For over three decades, that fraud Roger Ebert would begin every single review of a Vietnam movie by meaningfully citing Francois Truffaut's maxim that you can't make an anti-war movie because films about that subject make war seem like fantastic fun. He would just reuse this opening whenever a Vietnam movie came out, it started to get kind of weird after awhile, like he had just forgotten and we were supposed to pretend we didn't notice.

As in my own case, Truffaut's early years in the French armed forces consisted of him trying to escape his service. Unlike Jon Snow, the reason for escape from his enlistment was not because he wanted to go off and serve in a different war. He had experienced the first excitement of fighting, but once that passed, he realized that nothing else about the experience would be so great.

The first part of anything is the only part worth holding onto. The first time you ask Francis Fukuyama to lie for the sake of his country is the best time. The first minutes of eating a Frosty is a decadent pleasure, the rest recycles past guilt and shame with each wet bite. The first time keying David Frum's Oldsmobile and telling him you saw Puerto Ricans do it is the only time that matters. A chess move only counts with a victim.

I can't even feel bad for Sansa Stark. Arya, at least, is abandoned to the King's Highway. Ned Stark rots in a dungeon. Syrio Forel never dies. Renley Baratheon forces another guy to shave his chest with butter. Robert Baratheon hunts a boar, somewhere. Sansa is held up as an ideal in a time without any, and to watch her naivete fade stirs a warm excretion in my heart. She will never be higher than before she is forced to fall. 

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording. You can find last week's Game of Thrones recap here.

"Dead Or In Serious Trouble" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)

"Heard It Break" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)

"I Dare You" - Kaiser Chiefs (mp3)