Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Game of Throne Gossip #13 King's Landing

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

After my three part look at The Night's Watch I figured I should also look at the major players at King's Landing in season one to set the scene for future posts about them. 

Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, was one of those characters I had mixed feelings about in season one but he goes on to become a favourite for me later in the series. We meet him in Robert's enterage arriving at Winterfell where he is bodyguard to Prince Joffrey. His murder of the butcher's boy Mycah after the boy is bullied by Joffrey will set The Hound on a collision course with Arya later in the series. While he seems to care little for those he kills, his defence might be that he is following orders. 

His behaviour towards Sansa is more complex. He seems to enjoy scaring her as seen when he introduces her to the frightening  Ilyn Payne and knows that she finds his burned face repulsive. But he steps in when he realises that Sansa is about to throw her life away by trying to throw Joffrey from the battlements after his execution of Ned Stark. This would have been a death sentence for Sansa whether she failed or not. It could be argued that he was doing this to rescue Joffrey from death but at the time I believed he was stepping in as much to save Sansa as Joffrey. When in season two, Tyrion rescues Sansa from a public beating by Meryn Trant, it is Clegane who covers the girl with his cloak. It is clear that The Hound finds the behaviour of Meryn Trant revolting. He also offers Sansa the chance to escape King's landing with him during the Battle of The Blackwater and rescues her from a group of rapists when Joffrey abandons her to the mob and Tyrion wants her located. 

I see The Hound as a complex man who does not like a lot of what he is doing or who he is serving, someone who has an image to maintain and does not like to be seen as kind in any way. Yet I believe that he does have honour and decency in him which comes to the fore in later seasons with the Stark girls. Can't help thinking that there could be a showdown between the brothers before the series ends and I'd be cheering on The Hound...

Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain, is frankly a monster. As a child he held his brother's face in a fire for the crime of playing with his discarded toy and he is no better as he gets older. His unpunished rape and murder of Rhaegar Targaryen's wife and murder of their children during Robert's Rebellion causes a rift between The Lannisters and House Martell which comes to a head in series four after Tyrion's arrest for murder. Clegane loses a joust to Loras Tyrell and tries to murder him, leading to his brother Sandor intervening to fight him instead. Ned Stark is one of the few who sees The Mountain for what he is and orders him stripped of his titles and sentenced to death for the murder of civilians in the Riverlands on Lannister orders. Ned's arrest for treason prevents action being taken against The Mountain. He continues to work for the Lannisters as their attack dog.

Oberyn Martell agrees to fight for Tyrion in his trial by combat to give him a chance to avenge his sister by killing The Mountain. Despite having the upper hand Oberyn's desire to make Gregor confess before he dies leads to a fatal error and The Mountain uses his last strength to kill Oberyn before submitting to his own wounds. However what he becomes next at the hands of Qyburn turns him physically into the monster he was inside but is totally devoted to the will of Cersei Lannister.

Having had his tongue ripped out by the Mad King, in the Baratheon/Lannister reign, Ilyn Payne serves as the Royal Executioner. He is ordered to kill Sansa's dire wolf Lady but Ned Stark insists on doing the deed himself. His next duty is to behead Ned Stark himself on the orders of Joffrey and to inflict 'justice' on sujects who the new King dislikes. In season twoat The Battle of the Blackwater, Cersei tells Sansa that Ilyn is with the women in the chamber not to protect them, but to kill them should Stannis Baratheon take King's Landing. We may not have seen the last of him.

Meryn Trant is a knight in the Kingsguard for Robert Baratheon but his first actions are on behalf of the Lannisters when we meet him. He is seen leading his men to capture Arya Stark after her father's arrest but is thwarted by her sword teacher Syrio, who it is presumed died during the encounter. (I'm hoping he is in the King's Landing dungeons...)We also see him inflicting pain on Sansa at Joffrey's instruction on several occasions. He refuses to do his duty to protect by telling Tyrion that he answers to only Joffrey and will not take his men out to look for the missing Sansa, a task that The Hound steps up to do alone. Trant is a coward and a bully who is happy to inflict misery on other people and has no honour as a Knight. He meets a deserving end at the hands of Arya Stark in a brothel in Braavos, as she takes her revenge on him for Syrio.

Polliver is one of the men who accompanies Lorch in the attack on the Night's Watch convoy which kills Yoren. During the fight, Polliver takes Arya's sword from her and kills fellow recruit Lommy. Arya convinces him that Lommy is Gendry and the attack ceases, with the prisoners being taken to Harrenhal, where Arya witnesses his cruelty. When she is travelling with The Hound, she encounters Polliver attempting to rob an inkeeper and rape his daughter. She and The Hound dispatch his men and Arya gets the chance to reenact Lommy's death by using Needle to kill Polliver.

Amory Lorch is loyal to the Lannisters and leads a group of men to search the Night's Watch recruits for Gendry. He is the man who murders Yoren and delivers the prisoners to Harrenhal where Gregor Clegane is torturing them. After Arya begins working for Tywin Lannister, Lorch catches her with a stolen letter and goes to inform on her but he is killed by Jaqen H'ghar just in time.

Janos Slynt is Commander of the City Guard at King's Landing when we meet him and is loyal to the Lannisters, gaining the title Lord of Harrenhal from King Joffrey. He oversees the murder of King Robert's bastards and sens his men to hunt Gendry down after hearing he has joined the Night's Watch. As acting Hand of the King, Tyrion takes the opportunity to replace Slynt with Bronn and sends the forner to join the Night's Watch. There he becomes friendly with Alliser Thorne and shows outright contempt for Jon Snow. Slynt counsels Thorne to let Jon take his men to deal with the mutiny that killed Lord Commander Mormont in the hope that Jon will be killed and Thorne will be the next Lord Commander. During the Battle of Castle Black, Gilly finds Slynt hiding in the kitchen in fear instead of fighting the wildlings. When Jon becomes Lord Commander, Slynt refuses to follow his orders and Jon beheads him. It was a fitting end to a coward and a bully!

What are your thoughts on these season one characters?


  1. Of all you mentioned, I tend to gravitate to The Hound. I think he has done things to try to redeem himself and is character has lots of grey and isn't just good or bad. Reading your posts make me realize I really should go back and rewatch the series. It's so easy to miss a lot when you watch the weekly episodes which is how we watched almost all of them but season 1. I HATED when Ned had to kill Sansa's wolf. It was just wrong all the way around.

    1. I like The Hound. I want to see him kill his brother though I fear it might go the other way. I was so busy in season one trying to keep track of the main characters that I didn't catch most of what was going on with side characters! Doing these posts does help to remind me of past events which is good.

  2. I'm still waiting for the series to end so I can binge watch all of it. LOL

  3. Ah Kings Landing. Pot shops! When Arya was hiding after Ned's death Martin went on and on about pot shops where you could buy a bowl of "brown"- basically a disgusting stew. :) Anyway... I'm not as big a fan of Sandor as many are, I do like that he helpd Sansa but I still it's hard to overlook all his murdering and violence. That's just me though, and I wouldn't mind seeing a redemption arc for him (arguably it's already begun). As for the Mountain, he's probably the #1 character I want to die! Although I guess he probably has? One thing I don't like about the series is this storyline, with him becoming some kind of undead golem or whatever he is now. In a low magic series it doesn't seem to fit.

    Slynt might be #2 most hated! I was glad to see him go. In the books his man Allar Deem was the one who killed some of the bastards, including a baby girl if i remember right, and it's Allar Deem that Tyrion says should be thrown overboard on the way north lol.

    1. Redemption for Sandor would be good...I hated him in season one but he certainly grew on me. Great to see Scottish actors in GoT! Whatever The Mountain is now he really does need to die. He's like a big creepy zombie. Not sure who would have the skill to kill him though.