Game of Thrones Bookclub: It’s not like the songs
The single most pivotal event in these chapters is Jamie Lannister throwing Bran off a tower ledge. This is the event that changes the course of the lives of basically every character we’ve met so far so it deserves some examination.
We know that Jamie Lannister is an impulsive monster just through this event. We also know that he didn’t exactly inherit the cunning required of a master of the game of thrones. Or did he? What exactly is Bran or Cersei or Jamie supposed to do in this situation? For Jamie and Cersei at least, the consequences of being caught in the midst of a sexual episode must have crossed their mind. If they are caught by someone important —or someone even marginally important like a young child of a great House— the possibility that that person or someone much smarter and more aware than that person connecting the dots and realizing that the queen of the Seven Kingdoms is hooking up with her brother instead of the king is a big deal.
It’s such a big deal that I think the fact Jamie and Cersei decide to go off together and have sex in a tower in a castle they aren’t terribly familiar and then throw someone off a tower who catches them reveals that they are not, in fact, in love. Despite what Jamie says just before he throws Bran down however many stories (“The things I do for love”), he and Cersei are more in the throws of a highly lustful affair than a profound relationship. They are taking a big personal and political risk by having sex in this abandoned tower and then getting rid of Bran in a way that leaves the remote possibility that someone might consider there being a correlation between Bran’s sudden fall and a visit by the Lannisters. It’s a remote possibility but a possibility nonetheless.
Doing both those things is not something that a couple in a deeply loving relationship do, it’s something that a couple who have a highly lustful and impulsive relationship do. So the takeaway from this event as it pertains to Jamie and Cersei (for me) is that they aren’t actually that smart or that deeply connected through a romantic bond. They just share an overriding physical attraction for each other. It’s an imperfect relationship for lovers with royal blood and it’s an imperfect relationship for lovers in general. That’s one of the big takeaways I got from these chapters: many things in this world are imperfect be they reality compared to the stories and the songs the main characters grew up with or actual relationships compared to what those relationships appear to be. I got that with Dany too.
I’m not sure what the reader is supposed to take away from the end of this last point of view chapter with Khal Drogo but I definitely didn’t get the sense that it was that Dany had suddenly fallen in love. Instead my takeaway is that Dany had been so secluded and controlled by her life that her desperation for feeling anything positive for anyone (even a stranger like Drogo) finally came out during her wedding night. That’s why we see her shed her timidness and have sex with Drogo despite initially extreme fear and hesitation. It has basically nothing to do with love and more to do with lust and desperation to feel something good in a world filled with pain and suffering.
What’d you think dear readers? What did you like or not like from these chapters? What stuck out to you?
Alright so lets keep on going at this pace if that’s okay. Next eight chapters for next week.
UPDATE 6/3/2011: Guys, comments are, as I’m learning to expect, really good but please please please keep the spoilers to a minimum. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves in this bookclub. Only what we’ve read is fair game.