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Monday, June 2, 2014

Game Of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 8: Life and Death

Posted By on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Kunk kunk kunk! - WIKIPEDIA
  • wikipedia
  • Kunk kunk kunk!

While everyone will be talking about the Horndog's grisly death at the hands of The Mountain that raped and killed his sister (and oh, my... what a grisly death), I'd like to deconstruct the scene between Jaime and Tyrion in his jail cell.

I've mentioned before that anyone who is an academic in Disability Studies must be having a field day with this show. Tyrion himself is an archetype of "The Other," differently abled with a proverbial heart of gold. The smartest man in the room. This week though he spoke of his cousin Orson, who, after being dropped on his head by his wet nurse became a "simpleton." Until now the only other developmentally disabled person on the show has been Hodor ("Hodor! Hodor!") but we learned that as a child, Tyrion was obsessed with his cousin, who used to spend all of his days smashing beetles under rocks. He goes into great detail about it and about how he tried to figure out what it all meant. Why did he constantly smash beetles?

He tried to find books about "morons" but could find none. So then he said he studied his cousin's face, and there he saw a lot more going on than he thought most people gave him credit for. (This is an inkling, imho, that his cousin was actually autistic.) But let us delve even deeper, gentle reader. What Tyrion is talking about is the nature of life and death, and how it can so easily be altered. He is about to witness a battle between Horndog and The Mountain to determine his own guilt. He knows it's a ridiculous way to mete justice. Just as he knows its a ridiculous thing to take life so lightly in the first place by asking two men to risk theirs for folly.

"You'd think being tormented from birth would give you some affinity for the afflicted," says Jaime to Tyrion, referring to his jest at Orson's mannerisms.

click to enlarge Your move, Death - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Your move, Death

"On the contrary," he replies. "Laughing at another person's misery was the only thing that made me feel like everyone else."

At the heart of all this is the Big Question: Why do we exist? Why are their differences? What is moral? Tyrion says he had dreams of long beaches full of beetle husks, all dead beetles that once were but were squashed. Why?

Why indeed.

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About The Author

Katy St. Clair


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