3 people most ignored on the show.

Posted: December 26, 2014 in Comedy Journal

I talk a lot about Game of Thrones with a lot of people. It’s been a terrific exercise watching and reading something simultaneously. Both mediums are doing beautiful jobs at telling the story, and it’s been a weird experience feeling both influence my experience with the other. The giant asymmetric throne in the books will always look like the one I see on the show even though I know it’s wrong. There are of course big glaring differences, but it’s the and minor subtleties that are the harder things to explain to friends who don’t read. They are things that aren’t important, but make reading fun. My favorite characters in the book are minor pieces in the story, people who drift in and out and connect the narratives of main folks. When you’re slogging through 40 pages of Jon, a little Dolorous Edd makes your day. It sounds ridiculous to explain to someone that the guy on the wall who set off the big ice scythe is my “favorite” in the book, but he is. He’s funny, and smart, and has silver hair even though he’s youngish. He’s not important. But he is to me. I hope he makes it. It’s the world that drives the books, and the characters that drive the TV show. Here are three that have been shafted/slighted:

1)Dolorous Edd – cracks me up. Pragmatic and clever, Edd’s a delightful foil to the ever dour Jon Snow. His friendship and appreciation for Edd makes Jon a much more sympathetic character. Jon’s a surprisingly hard protagonist, and he has to deal with some serious decisions. Having someone there to reasonably bitch, and still do the job makes their tasks seem less heroic, and more human, which is why this story works.

2)Strong Belwas – You guys are missing out. The story of Barriston Selmy is different in book. He joins Dani disguised as a squire to Belwas, who has come to serve as her bodyguard. The ruse is interesting, but maybe unnecessary for the quick paced show. Also, the audience Hates knowing stuff the characters don’t, and recognizing him on screen would confuse dummies. He’s an ex-slave eunuch who’s as big as a house and a killing machine. He thinks it’s fun, and he’s good at it. When Daenerys and her camp are holding siege to the city and there’s a challenge offered her, in the show her lame-ass new boyfriend answers, in the book it’s Belwas, who wins, then takes a dump at the city who’d insulted his Lady. I didn’t know you could take a dump “at” somebody, but he did, and it was hilarious. His roughness adds some levity to the boring procedures of Dani’s “court,” and his comical/frightening appearance makes all of her adventures more intriguing. The Giant Non-sexual tough guy is an archetype I usually find drab, but Strong Belwas most certainly is not.

3)Cold Hands – There’s a giant story line in the books not addressed on the show involving Lady Stoneheart, and it’s probably more important than Cold Hands, but it’s not as cool. Cold Hands is an undead creature, maybe a Wyght, or something like it, that rides a giant elk and helps Sam & Bran and all the people those two travel with. He can’t pass the wall because the magic of it prevents him from doing so. When he describes it as, “not just a pile of stones and wood, but also spells,” it was some of the best simple description in fantasy. He exists as a good evil thing, and those are my favorite. He has a quality like Tom Bombadil, kind of existing outside the primary narrative. Some people think he may be Benjen Stark, but I hope not, I hope he’s older. I hope he’s been there awhile. I hope he sticks around too.

So those are three of my favorite characters that aren’t or are barely on the show… I’ll be so sad when they die.


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