Note: This post, and all links within, may contain spoilers for the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin as well as the television adaptation, Game of Thrones. I will use a “more” tag to protect visitors from being inadvertently spoiled by book knowledge that has yet to be covered by the show. If it has aired in the first four seasons, I don’t consider it a spoiler. If it is something from the book that they obviously are never going to use in the show (hot weasel soup, anyone?) I don’t consider it a spoiler. Explaining that the series ends during Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding, as the camera pulls back, showing us first the Red Keep, then King’s Landing, then all of Westeros, until we realize that Westeros is inside of a snow globe in the hands of an autistic child would be a spoiler. Fair enough?
Followers of the HBO television phenomenon, Game of Thrones, may have heard the rumors that Jaime Lannister finds himself traveling to Dorne during the upcoming fifth season. Fans of the show who have not read the books are probably cautiously excited over this prospect; after all, Dorne is where that awesome Oberyn character came from, and they have some pretty progressive sounding politics down there, which should provide many interesting character development possibilities for Kingslayer on his path of redemption. Meanwhile, us book readers saw the rumor and thought, “oh, that’s nice. Jaime will have a good time in Dor……What the living fuck is Jaime doing in Dorne?!”
I am not one of the strictest fans of the book when it comes to the television adaptation. I love the book series, and I of course want them to remain as faithful to the books as possible. But the fourth season finale did not end with clumps of my hair entwined in my fingers as I screamed at the deaf TV, “that’s not what happened!” The removal of any mention of Tysha from Tyrion’s escape meant the brothers parted on different terms than in the books, and it changed a chunk of Tyrion’s motivations. Some book readers felt this was a bridge too far, yet I understand completely why the showrunners made this change. Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister is, if not the most popular character on the show, one of the top three. How dark do they want to make one of the most popular characters going into the fifth season? Especially with the dark turn in store for Tyrion’s main competition for most favored character. And of course, other than randomly asking people “Where do whores go?,” most of the Tysha storyline takes place inside Tyrion’s head, which doesn’t exactly lead to compelling television. So I’m fine with having them hug and part company on good terms.
I bring that up just so you know where I stand on the adaptation and sticking to the story. Sure, I think they screwed up royally with the three eyed crow‘s make up, but I didn’t quit watching because Littlefinger said “Only your sister” instead of “Only Cat” before chucking Lysa out the Moon Door. Well, that and because this post so far gives a decent view of my spoiler policy, but mainly so you’d know I am not slamming my head off of random objects because Jaime sent Pod with Brienne, instead of Pod following her to try and find Tyrion. So it is with that knowledge that I tell you my immediate response upon hearing rumors of Jaime visiting Dorne during the fifth season was “Are they drunk, high, or both? Does someone have compromising pictures of the double D’s that are being used to blackmail them into tanking the show? Maybe the rumor is wrong. Perhaps they name one of the new ships Ser Jaime’s Hand and that goes to Dorne. Why the fuckity fuck would Jaime go to Dorne?”
I have no problems with the show electing to send a raiding party up to deal with the mutineers at Craster’s Keep, nor with Brienne and the Hound crossing swords in a duel so awesome I almost want to bow to the cliche and just call it “epic.” (Spoiler alert, neither actually occurs in the books.) But Jaime in Dorne I have a problem with. Since I’ll be discussing Jaime’s path in A Feast for Crows and season 5, I’ll tuck the rest of the post behind a “more” tag.
Still with me? Good. Jaime can’t go to Dorne, he has things to do. I am fine with the showrunners changing parts of the story as long as the major points are touched upon. Motivations can be changed (Tyrion), characters alive in the books can die (Pyp and Grenn), characters can be completely removed (Coldhands and Edric Storm), and events can be consolidated (The battle at Castle Black). They are adapting a huge fantasy world, with countless characters and seemingly endless subplots from the page to a visual medium that immediately forces them to pare the material down somewhat. The books are large. The boundries of a 10 hour or so season is much better than the constraints of a 2 to 3 hour movie, but there is still no way to transfer everything from the page to the screen. Imagination is free, and your special effects budget is limitless when working with words on the page. So Tyrion gets conked on the head in season one, spending the whole Battle of the Green Fork unconscious rather than fighting bravely in the vanguard with his Vale clansmen. Why make the change? $$$. And so far, I have no real complaints with the way they are spending the budget and adapting the material.* Sometimes the changes are even better. While I love the “hot weasel soup” plot, and the time Arya spends as Lord Bolton‘s cupbearer is full of gems to catch on the re-read, the on screen chemistry between Maisie Williams and Charles Dance is stunning; some of my favorite scenes during season two were between Arya and Tywin, scenes that never happened on the page. And using Bronn as Jaime’s practice swordsman instead of Ser Ilyn Payne is a brilliant way to keep a favored character snarking around on screen, rather than vexing Cersi from afar as he does on the page. But Jaime going to Dorne didn’t make any sense to me. He has to go towards Riverrun, and Darry; not Sunspear and The Water Gardens. North, and northwest, not south. He has to talk to a Blackfish, a Floppy Fish, and have Tom O’Sevens sing him a song, before meeting back up with our favorite swordwench; he has a bloody redemption arc to work on, he has no time for a vacation to Dorne!
Then I stumbled upon this posting from early August, and my worries died down a bit.
“It started with me learning that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was going to be in Spain for most of the season. From there, I asked someone who would know. I am not going to say how I know, because that would get the person in significant trouble, and I don’t want that. In fact I probably shouldn’t even be doing this in the first place, but I have decided on because some people may be curious
I’m quoting that part of the post so you know how much salt to take with this all. The post includes a picture of what could be part of a shooting schedule, but if it is legitimate or something he whipped up in five minutes with MS Office (Get in touch Microsoft! I’m cheap, I can add product placement ads like this one all over the place. I’m tricksy. I’m desperate, please! Big Pharma’s checks keep bouncing. Call me!) we will never know. So yeah, this is the urban legend version of Jaime’s storyline for next season:
Jaime and Bronn go to Dorne. Jaime trades his golden hand in for a hook. On their way to Sunspear to meet with Doran, they happen upon a beautiful hitchhiker in a white dress. She travels with them, taking turns riding behind each knight and tells them a story of how her husband left her all alone while he dealt with some wolf, and that when he finally returned he left again to deal with a different wolf and a stag as well. She says that she thinks her husband died, but she doesn’t know, she can’t remember. When the two of them are one days ride from Sunspear, the woman is gone when they awaken. Assuming that she knows where she is going, since she was obviously Dornish, they think nothing of it and continue on their way.
They come upon a wheelhouse on night, and can hear the sounds of loud, passionate love making from within. Snickering fiendishly, the two tricksters quickly cover Jaime’s hook with pigs blood then hang it on the door of the wheelhouse, before unhobbling the horses and sending the wheelhouse madly racing down the road, knowing they will find the hook and think they barely escaped a murderer.
Upon arriving in Sunspear, they ask Prince Doran about the hitchhiker and show him a cloak that she left behind. The Prince’s face goes white. “That is Elia‘s cloak. It was her maiden’s cloak that she wore at her wedding to the Prince. Ever since the Mountain raped and killed her on the orders of your father, Kingslayer, her ghost has been seen trying to make its way back to The Water Gardens.”
Princess Myrcella sees her father who she thinks is her uncle and runs up and hugs him. She has a huge scar on her face. Jaime looks at Prince Doran and says “I will kill all of you for hurting this girl!,” but before they can draw their swords, Myrcella calms Jaime down. “It wasn’t the Dornish, Uncle Jaime. It was this ugly woman. I said her name, “Bloody Catelyn” three times in the dark, and if you have Lannister blood, she appears in a silvered looking glass and slashes your face. Oh Uncle, it was awful. She’s only supposed to hurt Lannisters, not Baratheon’s. Even Baratheons with Lannister mothers, or I never would have done it.”
Later that night, Jaime and Bronn meet in a local Inn. Bronn has a letter that has all of the Martell’s plans, in Doran’s own hand. “I’m beginning to see why my brother put up with you.” Jaime tossed a pouch of Dragons to the sellsword. “How did you get your hands on Doran Martells own planning sheet?” Bronn smiled. “Seems all those days a whoring around while Tyrion was with Shae taught me a thing or two. I climbed the walls after the gouty old goat went to bed, and snuck in through an open window. He woke up when I was getting ready to leave, but I fooled him and got away.” Jaime looked wide eyed, “You fooled him? How? You were in his bed chamber, at night.” Bronn licked his lips. “The Prince has a dog who sleeps in the room with him. When he woke up, I just dropped to the floor and licked the Prince’s royal fingers til he went to sleep. I knew he wasn’t going to actually get up with his gout.” Jaime almost choked on his wine laughing. “You insolent…. You licked his bloody fingers? Is there anything you won’t do for money?” **
Wait a second…. That’s not what I read…. That actually is part of my sooper sekret screenplay for the Urban Legends/Game of Thrones crossover series I was working on for The CW. Scratch that, this is the real storyline….
After Tywin’s funeral, Cersei commands Jaime to leave King’s Landing and travel to Dorne to collect Myrcella because she fears what may happen to her at the hands of the Martells. Jaime agrees. When he arrives he gets into an altercation with Tyene Sand. Nothing major. Essentially a show off for the audience as to who she is and her weapons. When Jaime finds Myrcella, he finds her in good health and in love with Trystane Martell. In fact I was told that is a change too. They are going all in on a Myrcella/Trystane love story, as he reciprocates the feelings. There will be a Jaime/Doran scene as well. Jaime decides Myrcella is happy and he leaves Dorne without her. When he returns to King’s Landing Cersei is drunk, they get into a huge altercation, and he leaves King’s Landing and sets out to find Brienne and Podrick to help them find the Stark daughters.
Okay. Reading that makes me feel a bit better about Jaime going to Dorne next season, and I can kind of understand their reasoning. Assuming that the original poster actually has some insider information and his version is closer to what ends up on screen than my Game of Thrones/Urban Legend crossover, Jaime’s trip to Dorne allows us to meet some new major characters through the eyes of two characters we already know and love. A Feast for Crows introduces a bunch of new players to the game, and having some of them interact with Jaime from the start will give viewers an instant “in” into the schemes and politics of Dorne, rather than just hoping viewers will be interested in a bunch of people we’ve never seen before, isolated from everyone who really mattered so far. If the info is legit, then he will return with Myrcella still in Dorne, have his moment of clarity as he sees what Cersi has become, and go in search of Brienne; which, if he meets up with her, puts him just about the same place on his story’s arc in the show and the books. Meanwhile, the stuff he does in the Riverlands could be pawned off on other characters, perhaps Kevan Lannister? Ending the siege of Riverrun, letting the Blackfish escape, sending Freys off to die, and befriending the wrong bard could all be done by others. No need for the Kingslayer himself.
So TL;DR version? If this unsubstantiated rumor is true, then we really don’t need to wail and gnash our teeth as much over the other unsubstantiated rumor we heard a couple months ago. *nods sagely*
Well, that is it. My first ASOIAF post. I’ll be keeping track of interest over the next few days. If there is an audience for it, I will write some more ASOIAF stuff. I’ve been thinking about doing in depth podcast reviews on the many Game of Thrones related podcasts, so you are prepared next season if you want a cast to accompany the show. I’ve listened to most of them, and have invested a lot of hours into the major casts, so the reviews would be pretty informative. I’ll probably write and release at least one meta on some subject I was toying with the idea of doing a tinfoil theory podcast, but I have a voice for mimecraft. When the fifth season starts, I could be convinced to cover it here as well, and I may start a re-watch project, dissecting each episode as we go. Once I finish my current re-read (Reading Feast and Dance together using Boiled Leathers’s reading order right now) I will see how I feel about things. The normal stuff will remain, but I did warn you all that some pop culture would be creeping in. *wink*
*I do have one major problem with the adaptation. Say it with me now: “Jaime raping Cersi in the Sept by Joff’s corpse.”
Now that everything has died down over this, perhaps I will write a piece on this and their relationship as a whole. Power and control are always at play when Cersi and Jaime have sex. Always. There is always a “no.” Always a “not now.” Excepting the night they made love with Robert passed out on the floor, every encounter I can think of played with power and control in some way. The scene is much different in the book. According to modern day standards, it is still rape, unless they had a safe word set up and all, in the book. But it plays out much differently on the page. Cersi travels very quickly from “No, not here,” to “Yes, quickly.” This is the first time the two of them had seen each other in around a year. The scene on the show was an unambiguous, forcible rape. Period. Full stop. Reading interviews with the actors and the director, I am convinced that they intended to film a scene that was closer to what took place on the page; it starts out with Cersi saying no because of where they are and the presence of their dead son, yet quickly becomes two lovers mutually fucking after being apart for months, fearing they would never see each other again, and facing the death of their first born son.
Since that is without a doubt, 100%, not what showed up on the screen, I, along with several other fans and critics of the books and the show, have retroactively removed the scene from the show. Someone fucked up royally. Either the director, (Alex Graves was the director that episode) or the editor screwed the poor pooch that exists just as a proverbial fuck toy with such vigor that the writers of the Lost finale sensed a disturbance in the force. It is horrible to have to do that with a work of fiction. The whole thing should be able to stand for review. But a forcible rape by Jaime, at that point in his story arc, just doesn’t work. If it isn’t character assassination, it is character crippling. If it happened right before or after he tossed Bran out the window, it would fit in the arc, but where it is in season four is unacceptable. Therefore…..
Jaime didn’t rape Cersi. They had a consensual quickie in the Sept. While Cersi said “no” at first, the safe word is “dracarys,” so it didn’t count. (Although if we lived in the modern day, her saying “no” would make it rape, unless there actually was an understanding and a safe word. Because enthusiastic consent is the standard now. Got it? I don’t want to see some MRA quoting me, claiming Foster Disbelief said it isn’t rape if the no’s eventually turn to yes. Not what I said. Enthusiastic consent. Fuck rape culture.)
And right after Tywin verbally kidnaps King Tommen, I go and get a cup of coffee, leaving the scene playing until I return. If I don’t need anything, I just skip ahead. When I get a digital copy of it to call my own, I’ll get some editing software and cut the damn thing out permanently. I guess that is the end of my forever first footnote.
**I moved another section of the Urban Legends/Game of Thrones crossover to the comments, due to length, since it was a bit of humor that grew legs, and not the point of the post. Without splitting it up, no one would have ever finished reading the post and actually got to the point. Oops.
Have a safe weekend, and a good holiday, in case I don’t post again til after Labor Day….