One gets the distinct impression that the Game of Thrones show runners, Dan and Dave, were formula babies, they show an adherence to the most cliched and formulaic of devices, and an almost obsessive penchant for boobs.
Tyene Sand’s boobs are a case in point. Now seldom have such a fine pair of plump pigeons been displays on television, kudos to them, I say, and their performance was par excellence. However, the question remains, do these boobs advance the story at all, or are they purely gratuitous? I think against all odds I can convince you these particular boobs are crucial.
Let me set the scene; recently elevated sell sword and all round scoundrel Bronn, on a mission to rescue the Princess Myrcella with her erstwhile uncle Jamie Lannister, is captured after a skirmish worthy of a 5th grade line dancing class. A scene best watched with Achy Breaky Heart playing in the background. Imprisoned in a cell next to the naughty Snake girls, Bronn boastfully sings the old saucy ditty about seducing the Dornishman’s wife. Affronted at the insult to her national dignity, Tyene presents her miraculous boobs, and we can only assume nature takes its natural course in Bronn’s pants, the stimulation of which activates a poison inflicted previously on the hapless Ser Bronn of the Blackwater.
Now the cure to this deadly Dornish boner activated poison, perhaps made from local oysters, rather ironically is also kept in a vial between the bellicose bassooms.
I’m assuming Dan and Dave had the B Team writing, probably too busy working on their Hollywood movie project, because these guys are positively Delphic in their love of foreshadowing. Either that or they took Obvious Film School 101 in college. Former village archery champ and now all round Boy of the Watch Ollie has been giving Lord Commander Jon Snow sadface over his Wildling loving ways for weeks now. You don’t have to be an oracle (or to have read the books) to have predicted the et tu Ollie moment.
Tis to laugh. Jolly times! Never fear, the Red Woman meanwhile has accepted that sometimes everyone makes mistakes, including her, that the Lord of Light and her may have got their purposes crossed signalwise, has left Stannis to his just deserts, (some kind of snow cone, I suspect) after encouraging him in several oopsie moments, and has quickly travelled all by her lonesome through ice, war and ruin to the Wall, abandoning her fanatical followers, where we can expect her rise up one recently deceased Jon Snow as the guy from Azerbaijan reborn. Hooray for that guy!
It actually reminds me of Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch, except with Jon Snow as the parrot. “I say good man this Bastard what I bought here not half an hour ago is dead, deceased, pushing up daisies, departed this mortal coil.
“Nah, he’s just restin’. Westorosi Blue – beautiful plumage!” Cue tinned laughter.
Now we can’t really blame dear old George for this, he really is the Santa Claus of fantasy literature in that he come down our chimneys every few years or so, knows if we’ve been naughty or nice (well just assumes that we’ve all been naughty) and is as like to leave a dragon’s egg as a nicely polished lump of coal, entertaining and surprising readers at every turn with the unexpected, no these shenanigans are clearly the handiwork of mischievous elves Dan and Dave, interns in Santa’s Workshop who have somehow stuck Pinnochio’s nose (to extend the metaphor) somewhere it shouldn’t be. Rascals.
George has expressed that while some mysterious examples of magic can be found in the universe of Game of Thrones, (for what is magic, except a science we don’t understand?) the matter of Gods is entirely different. The Red Woman clearly has powers, and she may believe her powers derive from The Lord of Light, that doesn’t make it necessarily so. In a world of many demons, but no gods, we can perhaps expect diaboli but not deus ex machina.
George’s women are as powerful and as nasty as they want to be, while Dan and Dave can’t seem to help themselves in trying to reform them. As has been discussed elsewhere, this is the same process that saw the Brothers Grimm turn wicked mothers in to wicked step-mothers, to protect the sacred image of the mother. Thus a particularly sad rendition of The Rains Of Castermere plays while Queen Cersei is slut shamed for here wicked ways, in a bid to elicit sympathy for the poor woman. We should probably step back from this and remember Cersei had taken up murder when still a child, drowning her friend Melara Hetherspoon in a well. Indeed George’s Cersei is more like a haughty queen of ancient Carpathia or Egypt, you know the type, bathes in the blood of virgins, keeps dynastic concerns strictly within the family, kills puppies and kitties in her free time, throws peasants on the fire when it gets a little chilly, supports Hillary and a free market economy for the 1%, very concerned with the glass ceiling for female despots, neo-feminist, avid reader of The Mary Sue, you know, all round evil.
Dan and Dave’s Cersei just kind of did those things when she was having a bad day, accidentally, but she’s a good mother who loves her children. They just have a powerful and cliched urge to uphold the social norms.
Meryn Trant is another example of the Brothers Dimm defending the social order. A thoroughly nasty piece of work, Trant made neophyte mystic assassin Arya’s list for killing her friend and swordmaster, Syrio Forel during the Lannister’s coup in securing power at King’s Landing after the death of King Robert Baratheon. Now when he did that, when later he would strike the captive Sansa on King Joffrey’s behalf, he was brutal but acting within his duty, sworn to obey his king. The duty of a soldier is another one of those sacred cows that the double Ds are defending. They can’t just have Arya kill an arrogant, callous, violent soldier, who hides evil behind duty, and murdered her friend. They make him into a pervert with a taste for beating under age girls. Disguised with the magic of the Faceless Men Arya blinds Trant with a knife and savages him. Before she finishes him, she tells him he was the first on her list. Wasn’t The Hound the first on her list for killing her friend Micah the butcher’s boy? His crime essentially the same?
Meanwhile in Dorne sweet young Myrcella with her typical teen interests in boys and parties, having managed to keep both her ears, is on her way back to King’s Landing with handsome new beau Tristane Martell. Peaceful arrangements have been negotiated and she is given an inappropriate departing kiss by Allaria Sand, who apparently has forsworn her vengeance against the Lannisters. One assumes this is D&Ds usual interpretation of Dornish behaviour (not a rich culture with social dynamics defined by sexual equality and ancient wisdom, as in the books, but a generally lewd, crude, oversexed and dangerous population with the sophistication of a Mexican brothel). Tyene of the deadly boobies boasts to Bronn apparently about something she has that is even deadlier, managing to lower the tone and demean her entire civilization with a phrase that should be censored out of groan-inducing delinquency.
Here’s where things get positively creepy. On board there’s a touching scene between Jamie and Myrcella where he approaches the subject of her parentage by explaining that you can’t help who you love. She says she knows that he is her father. Then they hug. Then her nose starts bleeding and she swoons as the arousal activated poison takes effect. When I say EW! I don’t mean Entertainment Weekly.
Now you are going to tell me it is just a delayed action poison, not one catalyzed by sexual arousal at all. And I will tell you to look at the scene with Tyene Sand’s deadly boobies again. Clearly Bronn’s arousal hastens the effect of the poison. If you follow through the formulaic foreshadowing established by the show, even if inadvertent, it achieves a level of creepy weirdness worthy of one of those Greek tragedies that spawned whole schools of abnormal psychology in pervy Austrian guys of the 19th century.
In fact there should be an award. Perhaps something golden and phallic. Not an Oscar. Maybe a Sigmund, or the Oedipus Rex. The Pervy Austrian Gentlemen Of The 19th Century Award, for exceptional work in the field of weird pervy creepiness. And Dan and Dave should be the winners. You’ve seen it. You’ve read it. You can’t unread it.