Game of Thrones hype is building. The trailer for the final season was recently released and I consider myself a Game of Thrones scholar. No, I am not going to break down the trailer. People are already doing that. When it comes to the Game of Thrones TV show I am now pretty apathetic. The show is fine, the early seasons were better but the whole ending has been rushed.
I’m not here to rip what the show has become. It’s just for a different type of audience now. My GoT expertise is in the books and it’s too the books I go for this blog. The purpose of these GoT blogs (this is going to be the first of a few) is to highlight these little subtle moments of brilliance that I am constantly finding in the writing of George R.R. Martin.
They are little moments where if you’re not reading carefully you miss the joke or the irony. The one I am going to start with is just a little joke Tyrion makes at Joffrey’s wedding feast.
It’s relatively early in the feast. Collio Quaynis of Tyrosh is the second singer in an order of seven that will be performing at the feast. The first singer Hamish the Harper had already performed “The Rains of Castemere” as part of his ensemble.
Peacocks were served in their plumage, roasted whole and stuffed with dates, while Collio summoned a drummer, bowed low before Lord Tywin, and launched into “The Rains of Castemere”
If I have to hear seven versions of that I may go down to flea bottom an apologize to the stew.
So he doesn’t actually apologize to stew, it’s just a frivolous thought he has but what does it mean exactly? It’s call callback to a minor thread in Tyrion’s storyline that they omitted from the TV show. Tyrion has Shae hidden at a brothel called Shataya’s on one of the occasions that he goes to visit her, she is being entertained by a singer named Symon Silvertongue.
Symon greets Tyrion as the Hand of the Kind but Tyrion basically threatens him right off the bat ordering him to forget that he ever saw him. Tyrion fears for Shae’s safety because his father threatened to hang the next whore he found in his bed. If word gets out she could be in danger.
Later Symon is hired by Lady Stokeworth to sing for her lackwit daughter Lollys. He becomes privy to the fact that there will be seven singers at Joffrey’s wedding and basically decides to blackmail Tyrion in an effort to be one of the seven and compete for a golden lute. He even suggests that an “accident” should happen to one of the singers and they call him in as the replacement.
He performs a song for Tyrion, a song about him…
He rode through the streets of the city,
down from his hill on high,
O’er the wynds and the steps and the cobbles,
he rode to a woman sigh,
For she was his secret treasure,
she was his shame and his bliss,
and a chain and a keep are nothing compared to a woman’s kiss
For hands of gold are always cold but a woman’s hands are warm…
(this song does make it into the show in the form of Ed Sheeran)
Symon is threatening to expose Shae unless Tyrion gets him on the list as one of the seven singers. Tyrion tells him no problem, Bronn will handle it. Then Tyrion tells Bronn to make Symon disappear. Bronn refers to a pot shop in flea bottom that makes “a savory bowl of brown, with ALL KINDS of meat in it.
Super Short Version:
Tyrion has the singer killed and cooked into stew, then when the singers are terrible he thinks about apologizing to Symon now in his final form of stew. This cracked me up. These are the little things that make Tyrion so great as a character, the little droll musings that only he and the reader get to experience. It also highlights that Tyrion in the book does way more shady shit then he does in the show. Shady book Tyrion that kills singers and has them fed to the poor should have come out more in the show.
Hope you enjoyed this little look back at just a tiny little sliver of the story.