‘Blackwater’ is the ninth and penultimate episode of the second season of HBO’s medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones. The Blu-ray edition of the complete seasons contains the option to listen the commentary of Martin himself, who recounts the differences between the television interpretation and his novel. Martin really liked the way the directors adapted his text for this battle. Those who don’t want to see the entire series or even a season, can watch this particular episode in isolation to appreciate it from a strictly cinematic point of view. It’s the first time that the series shows us, in detail, a battle.
From the battle at Blackwater Bay I would just like to collect a couple of dialogues. The first one, some words from Cersei who has been drinking wine, addressed to Sansa Stark. Both were in what the very voice of Martin calls ‘a fortress inside the castle’, Maegor’s Holdfast. The noble ladies are interned there under the supervision of Ser Ilyn (pic below).
His orders: kill the ladies of the fortress inside the castle if the city falls (to prevent them from being raped). His orders may seem barbaric but invader Stannis has fallen under the spell of what Ser Davos calls ‘the red woman’, a witch whose religion prompts her to burn her enemies or infidels alive. When Sansa hears the following words from Cersei she’s scared:
‘Do you have any notion of what happens when a city is sacked? No, you wouldn’t, would you? If the city falls, these fine women should be in for a bit of rape. Half of them will have bastards in their bellies come the morning. You’ll be glad of your red flower then…’
‘When a man’s blood is up, anything with tits looks good. A precious thing like you will look very, very good. A slice of cake just waiting to be eaten…’
Sansa then flees into her room to prevent Ser Ilyn from killing her if the city falls. Unaware of Tywin’s reinforcements coming, Sandor Clegane, popularly known as the Hound, has also fled the battle in which King Joffrey’s defensive forces are badly outnumbered by Stannis’ attacking forces. Sansa finds him in her bedroom and the Hound proposes to put her to safety:
The Hound: ‘I can take you with me. Take you to Winterfell. I’ll keep you safe. Do you want to go home?’
Sansa: ‘I’ll be safe here. Stannis won’t hurt me’.
The Hound: ‘Look at me! Stannis is a killer! The Lannisters are killers! Your father was a killer! Your brother [Robb, recently the King of the North] is a killer! Your sons will be killers someday! The world is built by killers’.
Nothing truer! But unlike all their ancestors, white nationalists who ‘want’ to create a white nation don’t talk about killing the enemy. They are like the ladies sheltered in Holdfast praying to the old and new gods that the city does not fall. And I don’t mean that they must fight right away. But nationalists haven’t even begun to devise a revolutionary ideology through pamphlets to encourage a civil war in the future.
Incidentally, this Hound and Sansa are the same ones whose image I picked up in a recent post when this vicious warrior rescued her from being raped by the mob.