Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Tyrion’s Beetle Speech and Somewhat Wild Guesses of Things to Come: Spoilers!

Well, I got a lot of hits yesterday from people looking for discussion on Game of Thrones, so I’ll continue in that vein today. 

My first thought is about Tyrion’s beetle speech, and why it was necessary. First, let’s review the context. Tyrion and Jaimie, (AKA: The Kingslayer Brothers) are sitting in prison, awaiting the dawn and Tyrion’s trial. There seems to be little to discuss, as it definitely looks like Tyrion’s champion Oberyn will be killed by the Mountain.

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To pass the time, Tyrion starts prattling on about their moron cousin Orson and how he became simple after a wet nurse dropped him on his head. As a result, all Orson now wants to do is smash beetles in the garden. This enraptures Tyrion, who can’t understand why Orson would so such a thing. To what end?

Asking Orson exactly why gives Tyrion no answer, as Orson is simple and can’t speak other than a few monosyllabic grunts. This mystery as to why Orson does what he does puzzles Tyrion right up until the time that Orson dies after being kicked by a mule. 

At the end of this anecdote, the bells ring and Tyrion gets called to trial.

So why use this valuable tv time on this speech? Especially in light of the fact that there’s so many other characters and adventures to explain, if we’re wasting 8 minutes on this beetle speech, it better be important.

Here’s what I think. 

First, notice that the reason Orson smashes the beetles is never resolved. Tyrion never finds an answer as to why Orson does what he does. I think this is used to hammer home the fact that the world of Game of Thrones is chaotic. Good and bad are essentially arbitrary decisions – we’ve seen time and time again how those who are ‘good’ in the GoT universe still get killed all the same along with those who are ‘bad.’ The speech by Tyrion just underlines the fact that Tyrion is possibly going to die very soon, and it doesn’t matter what ‘good’ he did up to this point.

Let’s not forget, Tyrion basically saved King’s landing at the Battle of the Blackwater. While Cersei frittered away her time drinking and coddling Joffrey, Tyrion set up that whole deal with the green fire. (And in the books his role in saving King’s Landing is even greater, as he rigs up some chain in the bay to decimate the boats of Stannis.) Of course, one might argue that Tywin and the Tyrells saved the day – but that was just mop-up work. Tyrion was the real hero.

But ultimately, that doesn’t matter. Hero or not, he’s still on trial for regicide and will likely die. 

Yeah, if there’s one thing GoT likes to harp on about, it’s that morals are largely up to the individual, and the world is a hard, nasty fight for your life. This is precisely why Ned Stark had to die. Arguably, he was the character who was the ‘noblest’ (aside from the whole bastard Jon Snow cheating on his wife thing). He was fair and just in his dealings with his people, and he expected the best from everybody. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, as he’s framed for treason and executed. (And he’s basically executed on a whim.) Life means very little in GoT.

But even if that was the reason for Tyrion’s speech, I still think it was unnecessary. Yeah, we’ve heard this message before – many times, over and over. We don’t need to waste another scene harping on about it. Get to the fight, crush some skulls in and let’s get cracking already!

Anyhoo, I figured that since I sort of remember what happens in the books – I know a few key events – but the events of the show are pulling elements from book 4 and 5, I might try and guess what will happen to the main characters based on what I know.

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In Westeros there’s a few principal players:

  • The Night’s Watch and the Wildlings
  • The Stark Family
  • The Ironborn and the Greyjoys
  • The Bolton’s
  • The Lannisters
  • The Tyrells
  • Petyr Baelish
  • Varys
  • Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre.
  • Brienne and Pod

And in the East there’s Daenerys and no one else, I think. Maybe some people from Braavos come to be characters in the later books.

Here’s some things that I know happen:

  • Mance Rayder attacks the wall, and looks to be kicking the shit out of the Night’s Watch, but then at the last minute, Stannis comes in and saves Jon Snow and the rest of the men. Also, finally, Jon Snow is made commander of the watch.
  • Tyrion gets put in jail, and is scheduled to be executed. But before he can be killed, Tyrion manages to escape from prison, kill his father Tywin, and disappear. (I think either Jaimie or Varys or both help Tyrion escape his prison cell, I can’t remember.)
  • Arya kills the Hound (or he gets killed and she finishes him off) and crosses the narrow sea towards the East. She uses her Valar Morghulis coin to do so.

I don’t much remember what happens after that. I think Petyr arranges to kill Robin or have him deposed or something. I’ve no idea what happens to anyone else. So here are my guesses based on what I sort of half-remember from reading book 4 just before going to bed.

  • Margaery Tyrell weds Tommen and becomes Queen. With Tywin dead, Cersei becomes defacto ruler, but can’t handle it and starts being manipulated by others.
  • Sansa uses Petyr’s horniness to get control of the North. I’m guessing she arranges it to get Petyr to kill all the Bolton’s, possibly with the help of the Greyjoys.
  • Actually, now I’m sort of half-remembering that Stannis starts fighting the Bolton’s? I sort of think Stannis fights his way down from the wall rather than sail back the way he came. But I could be wrong. Regardless, that’s what I think happens there.
  • Also, Theon Greyjoy will kill Ramsey at some point. I just can’t see him being “Reek” for the rest of his days – chopped off wiener or not.
  • Bran either finds the 3-eyed crow or manages to figure out how to influence the White Walkers and any other spooky things that might be coming towards the wall.
  • I also vaguely remember that Catelyn stark becomes some sort of zombie. So she’ll influence Petyr I’m sure.
  • The Tyrells will likely be the ones to manipulate Cersei – especially in light of the fact that the Lannisters owe so much money to the Iron Bank. I’m sure Gramma Tyrell will be snarky.
  • Varys will be an interesting character – precisely because I’m not sure what side he’s on. He’s basically the chief spy – but is like a mercenary, since he seems to play by his own rules. I don’t know whether he functions as a big Deus Ex Machina for George R. R. Martin, but Varys is definitely up to something.
  • Danerys will conquer the East, and ride across the narrow see with a 100,000 strong slaver army and 3 dragons. Maybe she meets up with Arya for some reason?

Who knows? That’s a lot of speculation – and ultimately pretty futile, since I’ll eventually get around to reading books 4 and 5. Until then, my future predictions will have to do!

 

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June 3, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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