4 Problems With Living in the 'Game of Thrones' Universe

There is one man who has been traveling throughout all of the nine kingdoms over the course of his life. Many settle down, whether to work in Winterfell or guard the Wall, but one man lived the life of a wanderer, the life of a nomad. This was perhaps due to his restless spirit, or perhaps due to his thirst for adventure and new challenges. It's also very likely, however, that he was routinely kicked out of wherever he ended up, due to the wretched stench that followed him wherever he went, his near-constant spitting and a demeanor that Lady Lysa Arryn once described as "The most appalling thing I've ever seen, and I'm a woman who still breast-feeds her 12-year-old son." Whatever the reason, the man known as Sir Danyul, Screamer of Filth and Puncher of Cats, never really found a home.

Here is the account of his brief time spent in the Game of Thrones universe, and all that he learned while there.

#4. It's Impossible to Keep Track of Almost Any of You

For the first time in decades, almost everyone in all of the nine kingdoms had gathered together at the Wall. Sir Danyul, Singer of Songs and Eater of Drugs, had astonishingly convinced everyone to be in one place at one time to settle, once and for all, what he found to be one of the greatest difficulties of his time.

"Thanks for coming, everyone. I know a lot of you traveled very far distances to be here, and I really appreciate it."

"What's this all about?" cried one of the old, barrel-chested, white-bearded men of which there are about a dozen or so throughout the entirety of the series. He was hardened and outspoken, much, in fact, like all of the other ones. "I've got hunks of non-specific meat to chomp on and large brass steins of some kind of ale to gulp. Make this quick!"

"You're part of this problem," Danyul said to the broad, white-haired lifetime soldier who may or may not have been a bad guy, "but you're sort of a minor character, so I don't really feel bad for not being able to keep tabs on you. Still, though, it's very confusing. Are you Jon, the soldier who pals around with the shaggy-haired Stark kid in battle, or Jeor, the soldier who pals around with the other shaggy-haired Stark kid at the Wall?"

"What do you mean, 'keep tabs'?" barked one of the other large, outspoken soldiers. Or it might have been the original outspoken old soldier, Danyul couldn't really tell. One of them was Jon and one of them was Jeor, but he'd go to his smelly grave not knowing.

They're so similar that if you Google "Jon Umber," Jon and Jeor both come up. Even the Internet can't tell them apart.

"Just, in general," Danyul said. "I'm having just a bitch of a time figuring out which one of you is which."

"What does that mean?" called one of three messy-haired white guys from House Stark who were all introduced at the same time, so who could even keep track?

"We're all very different," they shouted in unison.

"This is what I'm talking about. It's really hard tell you guys apart. Only one of you is an actual, full-blooded Stark, right?"

"Aye, that's me," Robb said, stepping forward. Danyul made a mental note to call that one "Humperdink," because he looked like something out of The Princess Bride.

"Great. How about the other two? What are your stories?"

"I'm a bastard," pouted Jon, while looking sad and whiny. "I'm Ned's son from another woman, so I'm only 'kind of' part of the family. Ned Stark raised me." He pouted some more.

"And I'm also not part of the family, but I kind of am. Ned Stark raised me," the third one said. He also looked like something out of The Princess Bride, so Danyul made a mental note to call him "Humperdink II: Humplectric Dinkaloo."

"Right," Danyul said, "and that's my problem as a ... let's say a 'viewer' of this world. I mean, right here, we've got three 20-somethings who all hang out and look kind of the same and have the same mannerisms and--"

"I'm actually supposed to be 14," said Jon, the moodiest of the bunch.


"Bull. The Fuck. Shit you are."

"It's true."

"Let's move on," Danyul said, as he instructed three sword-wielding, armor-clad men to step forward. "You three. Please explain why you're different."

"I am Jorah. I'm the very dedicated and dependable bearded guy who has been hanging around one of the major characters, working as a badass and bodyguard."


"And I, meanwhile, am Jory, the very dedicated and dependable bearded guy who has been hanging around one of the other major characters, working as a badass and bodyguard."


"Finally, I'm Bronn, the very dedicated and dependable bearded guy who has been hanging around one of the other major characters, working as a badass and bodyguard."

"Huh," Danyul said. "I can see why George R.R. Martin gets so much credit for creating tons and tons of interesting, diverse characters."

#3. One of You Won't Stop Talking About Being a Eunuch

When the (unprecedented) gathering of similarly designed caricatures hadn't gone as planned, Danyul, Son of Rage and Farts, was forced away from the Wall, and he found a temporary home in Casterly Rock, where he wandered about, picking pockets or scamming the rich townsfolk out of their money in other ways. It was during one of his mid-afternoon cons that he ran into Lord Varys. The eunuch.


Lord Varys, sometimes known as "The Spider," or "The Master of Whispers," or "The Needlessly Creepy Bald Guy," approached. He always spoke quietly to, as he so claimed, avoid being overheard, though it was secretly suspected in all of the nine kingdoms that he only did so to have an excuse to get really close to whoever he was talking to. Like, he gets right up on you. Whispers in your ear, you can feel his tongue flicking your earlobe occasionally. "Sorry for licking your 'lobe" he once said to Ned Stark after a particularly close whisper. Ned almost took his head off that day.

Varys carried a torch, and the fire itself seemed to try to keep its distance from the general air of discomfort that he puts out into the world. Surely the shadows were playing tricks on me (the omnipotent, narrative eye of this world), because it looked like he was leaving a trail of slime in his wake. If there was anyone that made people more uncomfortable than Danyul, it was Varys.

"Good Sir Danyul," he said in a low whisper that was heavy with spit, and chunks of things, "have you a moment or two to ssssspare? For the Ssssspider?"

"Not, uh, not really, man. I've got-- There's a whole, like, a ton of ... things I should be doing, right now. If you give me just a second I'm sure I can think of ... a single task." Come on, Danyul. "Ravens? I have to do something with the ravens? Shoot them, or train them, or tie messages around their legs and assume they know where I want them to fly. Something."

"This will take but a moment of your time, your grace. I just have a brief ssstory."

"Please don't let it be about your balls."

"You know, I was a boy, once, before they took a hot knife to my scrotum to remove my balls--"

"I just knew it."

"It cauterized almost immediately, you know."

"I didn't know. Of course I didn't know. I spent my whole life trying not to know that. I was pitching a perfect game of not knowing the specifics of what happens during castration, until just this moment."

"They removed my balls."

"Well, that, yes, you've brought up lots of times. That I knew."

"And immediately, my skin cauterized. Something about the soft flesh of scrotal meat--"

"Come on!"

"Makes it very conducive to abrupt cauterization. Funny, really."

"It's not."


"Anyway, what did you want to talk about, Sir Danyul? The stank of sizzled scrotal juice?"

"First of all, of course not," Danyul replied. "Also: What? You came to see me. Didn't you have something to talk about?"

"Oh, right, the queen and her piece-of-shit son are going to try to murder you."

"Ah. Is it because I threw the Lannister dwarf in a tree and convinced the local children he was a pinata?"

"I haven't checked on the specifics, but probably."

"Oh. Balls."

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Daniel O'Brien

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