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We are well into the second book now, so behind the cut ...

(trumpets) A SONG OF THRONES AND GAMES AND FIRE AND ICE AND ... dammit, I'm still confused

Part the Second

Somewhere in the North ...

Catelyn: Okay, we’ve got more kings than you can shake a sword at, my husband is dead, the people are freaking out, everyone’s washing is getting dirty because of all the pillaging and burning, and did I mention my husband is dead? Not that I’m trying to guilt-trip you, son.

Robb: Motherrrrr ...

Catelyn: Since I’m the only sane one around here, I guess it’s up to me to go and talk to all these kings and get them to obey you. And then you can all kill Evil King Joffrey and everything will be peachy keen.

Manly Northern Lords: Peachy keen?

Catelyn: (glares)

Lords: (cower)

Robb: See guys, I told you my Mom was tough.

Catelyn: Right. I’ll start with the king’s brothers.

Meanwhile, over at Castle Stannis ...

Stannis: I’m the rightful king. (sulks)

Strange and Menacing Priestess of Exotic God: With you all the way, Your Kingness. Just get rid of all your old gods and follow mine. Pay no attention to the evil shadows that follow me everywhere.

Stannis: Seems legit.

At Castle Renly ...

Renly Baratheon: We’re having a tourney! The whole realm is in chaos, but it’s hearts and flowers over here! Incidentally, have you met my favourite knight, Ser Loras who I love as a brother and totally without subtext?

VIEWERS: Riiiiight. We saw that shaving scene.

READERS: What shaving scene??

VIEWERS: You want plot, read. You want nudity, sex scenes and homo-erotic shaving, it’s HBO all the way, baby.

Catelyn: This is all very lovely, but how about you snap out of it and go help my son kill the brat king?

Renly: Oh, you silly, silly woman, I’m going to kill my brother and then go seize the throne. And you get to watch.

Suspicious shadow: (slithers into tent and cuts Renly’s throat)

Renly: (gurgle)

Renly’s men: (run around accusing each other)

Catelyn: Time to leave.

At the Wall ...

Grizzled Night’s Watch Commander: I think we need to go north. I have a strange feeling that winter is coming and that means the supernatural quotient of this series just went through the roof.

Night’s Watchmen: What gave it away? The constant reminders, or the dead guys that got up and tried to attack us?

Commander: You up there on the Wall gazing soulfully into the distance – you’re coming with us.

Jon Snow: About bloody time I got something to do.

At King’s Landing ...

Tyrion: Right. I’ve got my mercenaries, my spies, my supply of glowing green evil fire stuff ... bring on the rebel kings.

Joffrey: I’m bored. (shoots squirrels with crossbow) Fetch me Sansa.

Sansa: Oh crap.

Joffrey: Beat her up for me, would you, henchmen?

Henchman: (leers)

Joffrey: Oh, and rip her clothes off. I’m supposed to be a really evil king.

Sansa: Waah, all my dreams of being married to my golden-haired prince are shattered. Woe, this must be what real life is like.

Broken-down old knight: Fear not, princess, I will help you escape when the time is right.

Sansa: (starry-eyed) I have a knight of my very own! This is just like one of my favourite stories!

READERS: (facepalm)

Meanwhile, at various enemy castles, kitchens and stables around the realm ...

Arya: It’s probably a good thing I don’t know what’s happening to Sansa, because I’d slap her silly and tell her to man up.

Strange boy: You and me, we should stick together.

Arya: Hey, you’re totally the king’s bastard son, aren’t you? I recognised you because you have black hair. Let’s team up and kill everyone we hate. I have a list.

Mysterious man: Little girl, I will help you with your list. I will kill three people you ask me to. But because I am too stupid to outwit you, I will be tricked into helping you do a lot more than that. Here, have this mysterious iron coin and if you ever need help, give it to one of my countrymen and say these weirdass words.

Arya: This wouldn’t be a plot hook, would it?

North of the Wall ...

Snow: (falls)

Wolves: (howl)

Night’s Watchmen: (look around nervously)

Jon Snow: Call me paranoid, but I think we’re in trouble.

Direwolf: (growl)

Marauding raiders: (attack)

Jon Snow: I have captured one! Because she yielded and totally not because she is a woman.

Commander: You know What Must Be Done, Snow. (rides away conveniently leaving Jon Snow and raider woman alone)

Jon Snow: Damn, I can’t kill you. Go on, run away.

READERS: Gosh, that was unexpected.

At King’s Landing ...

Stannis’ Fleet: Attack!

Lannisters: Defend!

People: Oh shit!

Insert complicated naval battle manoeuvres, use of weapons of mass destruction and help from the Department of Dirty Tricks.

READERS: Way to be a frustrated war gamer, Martin.

People: (die)

Remnants of King Renly’s Fleet: (backstab)

Lannisters: Win!

Lannister knight: I got something for you, Tyrion. (stabs)

Tyrion: A little help here? (falls down) (a lot)

Meanwhile at Castle Stark ...

Bran: I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored. And crippled. Bored and crippled. Okay, so I can ride a horse and get carried around in a basket, but I will never be a knight.

EVERYONE: Harden up, princess. You get to be a lord.

Mysterious strangers from somewhere else: Say, kid, did you realise that because you have a direwolf you have turned into this weird shapeshifting dude? You can go into your wolf’s head.

Bran: Oh, that would explain these strange dreams I’ve been having about being a wolf.

Strangers: Way to be quick on the uptake, kid.

Bran: But what good is that?

Strangers: We could tell you, but this is just foreshadowing.

Son of the King who sits on a rock in the sea: Surprise! I’m taking your castle by totally sneaky means! And now I will gloat! Even though you Starks have always been nice to me, I will treat you badly and kill all your friends.

READERS: Oh, you’re not marked for a really bad death at all.

Strangers: Now would be a good time to leave, Bran.

Bran: Way ahead of you. Bring me my basket.

Somewhere in the North ...

Catelyn: Right, that’s it. You people are so stupid that it’s rubbed off on me. I’m going to release Jaime Lannister and send him back in exchange for my daughters.

READERS: Dammit, we wanted one sensible character ...

Jaime: Hey guards, wanna take these chains off? (smile that goes ‘ting’)

Guards: (stare)

Jaime: It was worth a try.

Northern Lords: You let him go?! We should totally murder you!

Catelyn: Try it, bitches. (glare)

Lords: (cower) Then we’ll ... we’ll lock you in a really cosy tower until your son comes home and then you’ll be in trouble.

Robb: Mother, about Jaime Lannister ...

Catelyn: Never mind that, who are those people you brought back?

Robb: What people? Oh. Um, Mom, this is my new wife. I found her when I was out having a battle and got wounded. She made me better, and, um, comforted me.

READERS: Is that what they’re calling it now?

Catelyn: So you married her.

Robb: Dad always said you had to be honourable about these things.

Catelyn: Is this the same Dad who had a bastard son?

Jon Snow, somewhere north of the Wall: You’re just never going to let that go, are you?

Ned Stark, from the grave: It was one time, okay?

Catelyn: You know other lords will hate you now because you didn’t marry their daughters.

Robb: I was hoping you could fix that, Mom.

Catelyn: Do I have to do everything around here?

At King’s Landing ...

Joffrey: Hurray! I’m still King! Presents for everyone!

Queen Cersei: Joffrey, you have to marry this girl over here whose family helped us win the battle.

Joffrey: But I don’t wanna ...

Every other Lannister: Do what you’re told.

Joffrey: But I was going to marry Sansa.

Sansa: I’m okay with the not marrying bit.

Joffrey: But ...

Queen Cersei: (glares)

Sansa: Did you learn that from my Mom?

Joffrey: Oh, all right. (pouts)

Sansa: Yay, I’m free!

Evil Knight Who May Not Be As Evil As He Seems: No, this just means you’re not marrying him. He can still beat you up.

Sansa: Crap.

Broken-down Faithful Knight: Any time now, princess, I’ll be able to get you out of here.

Sansa: I’m not holding my breath.

North of the Wall ...

Night’s Watch: Crap! We are surrounded by supernatural beings of scariness! We will stay here and fight them instead of running away because that’s just how manly we are.

More sensible Night’s Watchmen: Some of us are going to scout ahead and see what’s going on.

Jon Snow: I’m going with them.

Sensible Night’s Watchmen: Crap. We are about to get stomped by marauding wildling raiders. Jon Snow, you have to pretend to betray us. They’ll believe that.

Jon Snow: Why, cos I’m the bastard son?

READERS: No, because obviously this is a plot hook, you angsty idiot.

Jon Snow: Fine. (kills Night’s Watchman) I have betrayed my brothers and you can totally trust me.

Woman Who Was Spared By Jon Snow: Yes, we can trust him, he spared my life!

READERS: We see what you did there, Martin.

Meanwhile, nowhere near Westeros ...

Danaerys: I’ve got a bunch of ex-slaves, some women and children, two warriors, a knight and three dragons. Onward to Westeros to conquer and take the throne!


(to be continued ... )
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August 2017

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