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Angel Eyes

Does Cersei know how to use a sword or Jaime know how to sew?

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It’s talked about how Jaime and Cersei used to trade places as children, with Cersei taking lessons from the master-at-arms. Theoretically, would Cersei know how to use a sword and Jaime to sew? 

I’m rather surprised by Cersei to be honest; she has all this talk about wishing she was born a man, but carries no weapons, not even a knife. Who knows, a knife might be useful and with an incompetent like Boros Blount guarding you...

Edited by Angel Eyes

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17 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

I’m rather surprised by Cersei to be honest; she has all this talk about wishing she was born a man, but carries no weapons, not even a knife. 

But it also seems very fitting for Cersei to complain about something and take no action, always blaming others. Maybe she's embraced the "poison is a woman's weapon" idea?

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2 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

It’s talked about how Jaime and Cersei used to trade places as children, with Cersei taking lessons from the master-at-arms. Theoretically, would Cersei know how to use a sword and Jaime to sew? 

I’m rather surprised by Cersei to be honest; she has all this talk about wishing she was born a man, but carries no weapons, not even a knife. Who knows, a knife might be useful and with an incompetent like Boros Blount guarding you...

given that cersei was easily overpowered by septas she probably doesnt know how to use a sword or actually train she probably never lifted a finger all her life

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Even if she received some basic training when she was small enough to pass as Jaime, years of physical inactivity and lack of further training means she is no different than any other untrained woman. 

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I'm with everyone else - Cersei has had basically no physical or athletic training, and is essentially a lazy woman who won't even read or educate herself. Then she complains about how she's been constrained by her sex, and that alone. She comes across as one of those people who are so uneducated, so incompetent that they think they're truly brilliant (okay, no political remarks...)

It would not surprise me if Jaime, on the other hand, could sew. That would seem to be one of the "knightly" skills, along with being able to make a fire, cook food, tend to wounds, take care of a horse, sharpen blades ... and repair damaged clothing or sew up a gash. Jaime, in contrast to Cersei, trained every day as far as we know, developing strength and skill. He may have been lazy in the academic areas, but wasn't oblivious to lessons of politics, statecraft, and war-making, as we saw in the last few books from his points of view. Of course, now without his sword hand, sewing would be very difficult for him.

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To me Cersei is one of those people who have everything they could possibly want in life, and yet still feel the need to complain about something. 

As for Jaime, I feel like anyone can sew to a certain extent. I doubt he would be very good at it though.  xD

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10 hours ago, goldenlion said:

given that cersei was easily overpowered by septas she probably doesnt know how to use a sword or actually train she probably never lifted a finger all her life

 I'm going to stop you right there... If Westerosi septas are anything like the Ursuline Sisters we had in Catholic school, I don't think even an armed and trained Cersei stood a chance!

.

.

.

But joking aside I completely agree. Cersei is an entitled, privileged bully with a massive inferiority complex. A professional victim with the means to exact revenge for any and all slights, real or imagined.

 

 Judging from the way she uses sex and threats to subvert and control Robert, Early Jamie, Pre-pious Lancel, the Kettleblacks, and Moonboy for all I know, I'd imagine she cultivates her stable of "sworn swords" to put her on an even footing with her male rivals, real or imagined.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, zandru said:

I'm with everyone else - Cersei has had basically no physical or athletic training, and is essentially a lazy woman who won't even read or educate herself. Then she complains about how she's been constrained by her sex, and that alone. She comes across as one of those people who are so uneducated, so incompetent that they think they're truly brilliant (okay, no political remarks...)

It would not surprise me if Jaime, on the other hand, could sew. That would seem to be one of the "knightly" skills, along with being able to make a fire, cook food, tend to wounds, take care of a horse, sharpen blades ... and repair damaged clothing or sew up a gash. Jaime, in contrast to Cersei, trained every day as far as we know, developing strength and skill. He may have been lazy in the academic areas, but wasn't oblivious to lessons of politics, statecraft, and war-making, as we saw in the last few books from his points of view. Of course, now without his sword hand, sewing would be very difficult for him.

 All of this, ser!

Jamie served as a squire, and his duties would have included mending / darning / patching torn and travelworn garments and gear.

  Heck I'm no tailor or haberdasher or even a seamstress, but I can mend a pocket, sew on a patch, darn a sock, patch a canvas tent, etc.  It won't be a pro job but it'll serve in the field.

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15 hours ago, Reekazoid said:

 I'm going to stop you right there... If Westerosi septas are anything like the Ursuline Sisters we had in Catholic school, I don't think even an armed and trained Cersei stood a chance!

.

.

.

But joking aside I completely agree. Cersei is an entitled, privileged bully with a massive inferiority complex. A professional victim with the means to exact revenge for any and all slights, real or imagined.

 

 Judging from the way she uses sex and threats to subvert and control Robert, Early Jamie, Pre-pious Lancel, the Kettleblacks, and Moonboy for all I know, I'd imagine she cultivates her stable of "sworn swords" to put her on an even footing with her male rivals, real or imagined.

 

 

 

A stable of "sworn swords" means nothing when you're stuck on your own. Just look at Cersei getting overpowered in the Great Sept in AFFC. 

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13 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

A stable of "sworn swords" means nothing when you're stuck on your own.

Indeed. For that matter, Cersei never realized how much she had lost when the Hound left the Lannister's service. Heck, none of the Lannisters did. I'm continuing to hope that this will come back and bite them at some point.

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Interesting questions.

I think it's significant that Tyrion engages in both of these pursuits, even though he probably received no formal training in combat / swordsmanship or in sewing. He probably picked up tips on his own from observing and reading. Septa Lemore is something of a teacher for Tyrion when it comes to sewing, as he works with her to create a dry outfit for himself after he (voluntarily) jumps into the river while aboard the Shy Maid. Penny then becomes his "squire" and master-at-arms, training him for the dog / pig jousting and on how to survive as a little person.

Maybe Tyrion is his own "twin".

I suspect it's also important that we never see Cersei sewing or pretending to embroider. If sewing is a metaphor for holding Westeros together, she doesn't know how to do it. In fact, we have an important scene where Cersei's dressmaker interacts with Sansa. Cersei does not appear in that sewing-related situation.

Sewing would fall under the purview of the Smith, I believe, as it involves a person making something, even though it is usually associated with women. Cersei just doesn't seem like much of a maker of products or a mender of torn fabric.

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Does Tyrion in fact use a sword? I can only picture an axe or something. Maybe a dagger. It feels like swords and needles could be markers for two incompatible groups.

Cersei probably learned the 'womanly arts' like every other highborn girl. On top of that, her dressmakers get a lot of prominence, and she takes the benefit of all their work and skill (in a sense, they are her 'Hands'). So Cersei is top of the needlework tree without even trying.

Anyway, there's no point in Cersei doing her own needlework. There's a limit to how many dresses she can wear, so there's a limit to how many dressmakers she needs - she just needs to choose from the best talent available.

Swordfighting is a bit different. Armies aren't about selecting a small, talented team; armies need to be big, all-inclusive. And Jaime needs the skills to be part of that army, as its head. He doesn't have to be the best swordfighter, but he has to be good enough.

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

It feels like swords and needles could be markers for two incompatible groups.

For some reason this reminds me of the conversation between Lady Smallwood and Arya, when she asks Arya what she likes to do.

 

"Needlework"

"Very restful, isn't it?"

"Not the way I do it."

 

And later; "Do you work at it every day?"

"I did, till I lost needle.  My new one's not as good."

 

Yep,  Two very different things.  So different they can have a conversation about it.

I've a feeling Cersei would have a difficult time with either kind of needlework.

Edited by Nevets

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On 11/30/2018 at 1:01 PM, Angel Eyes said:

It’s talked about how Jaime and Cersei used to trade places as children, with Cersei taking lessons from the master-at-arms. Theoretically, would Cersei know how to use a sword and Jaime to sew? 

I’m rather surprised by Cersei to be honest; she has all this talk about wishing she was born a man, but carries no weapons, not even a knife. Who knows, a knife might be useful and with an incompetent like Boros Blount guarding you...

I think Cersei more like wished to have freedom and power that males, or in this specific case, the heir of Casterly Rock Jaime was entitled to, rather than wished to be have the same 'duties' as Jaime had, that is, being a knight and having a sword. That never actually interested her.

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2 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Does Tyrion in fact use a sword? I can only picture an axe or something. Maybe a dagger. It feels like swords and needles could be markers for two incompatible groups.

Interesting observation. I think you might be right. Here is what I found in terms of Tyrion's use of weapons:

AGoT, Chap. 31 (Tyrion IV) After Catelyn gives approval to arm the prisoner, Bronn gives Tyrion a double-headed axe to use against the ambushing clansmen on the road to the Eyrie.

AGoT, Chap. 62 (Tyrion VIII) At the battle of the Green Fork, Tyrion carries his battle axe. He also eviscerates a horse using a spike on his (borrowed) helmet. (Seems like a "stick 'em with the pointy end" situation.)

ACoK, Chaps. 15 and 20 (Tyrion III and V) Giant chain and wildfire are prepared at Tyrion's direction.

ACoK, Chap. 25 (Tyrion VI) Tyrion sits on the Iron Throne. This may be the closest he gets to "using" a sword (or thousands of swords).

ACoK, Chap. 59 (Tyrion VIII) The Three Whores (trebuchets) and his axe at the Battle of the Blackwater.

ASoS, Chap. 32 (Tyrion IV) Examining Tywin's gifts for Jaime and Joffrey:

(Widow's Wail) The sword was much lighter than he had expected. As he turned it in his hand he saw why. Only one metal could be beaten so thin and still have strength enough to fight with, and there was no mistaking those ripples, the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times. "Valyrian steel?"

...

"A crimson sword might flash prettily in the sun, but if truth be told I like these colors better," said Tyrion. "They have an ominous beauty . . . and they make this blade unique. There is no other sword like it in all the world, I should think."

"There is one."

...

(Oathkeeper) "Magnificent." Even in hands as unskilled as Tyrion's, the blade felt alive. "I have never felt better balance."

"It is meant for my son."

No need to ask which son.

...

"So . . . a sword for Joff, a sword for Jaime, and not even a dagger for the dwarf. Is that the way of it, Father?"

"The steel was sufficient for two blades, not three, If you have need of a dagger, take one from the armory. Robert left a hundred when he died. Gerion gave him a gilded dagger with an ivory grip and a sapphire pommel for a wedding gift, and half the envoys who came to court tried to curry favor by presenting His Grace with jewel-encrusted knives and silver inlay swords."

ASoS, Chap. 59 (Sansa IV)

"You and Lady Sansa owe me a better present, Uncle Imp. This one is all chopped to pieces."

Tyrion was staring at his nephew with his mismatched eyes. "Perhaps a knife, sire. To match your sword. A dagger of the same fine Valyrian steel . . . with a dragonbone hilt, say?"

Joff gave him a sharp look. "You . . . yes, a dagger to match my sword, good." He nodded. "A . . . a gold hilt with rubies in it. Dragonbone is too plain."

ASoS, Chap. 77 (Tyrion XI) Hand's chain of office (hands of gold) and crossbow and quarrel used to kill Shae and Tywin.

ADwD, Chap. 40 (Tyrion IX) Jousting with a lance as part of Penny's act onboard the Selaesori Qhoran.

ADwD, Chap. 47 and 52 (Tyrion  X and Daenerys IX) More use of the lance in the mummer jousting act.

ADwD, Chap. 66 (Tyrion XII) After signing on with the Second Sons:

". . . now that I'm a sellsword, I really ought to have a sword to sell."

...

"I hear the two o' you are going to fight for us," the serjeant said. "That should have them pissing in Meereen. Either o' you ever killed a man?"

"I have," said Tyrion. "I swat them down like flies."

"What with?"

"An axe, a dagger, a choice remark. Though I'm deadliest with my crossbow."

...

"Here's a crossbow." Penny showed it to him.

Tyrion glanced at it. "I cannot use a stirrup winch. My legs are not long enough. A crank would serve me better." Though, if truth be told, he did not want a crossbow. They took too long to reload.

...

Instead he picked up a morningstar, gave it a swing, put it down again. Too heavy. He passed over a warhammer (too long), a studded mace (also too heavy), and half a dozen longswords before he found a dirk he liked, a nasty piece of steel with a triangular blade. "This might serve," he said. The blade had a bit of rust on it, but that would only make it nastier. He found a wood-and-leather sheath that fit and slipped the dirk inside.

"A little sword for a little man?" joked Penny.

"It's a dirk and made for a big man." Tyrion showed her an old longsword. "This is a sword. Try it."

Penny took it, swung it, frowned. "Too heavy."

I didn't list Tyrion's uses of poison, although those probably do qualify as weapons in his hands. I also left out his use of strategic pieces in cyvasse, although you could make a case that these should be part of his combat or weaponry activity.

In that last chapter where he picks through the armor and weapon piles with Penny, Tyrion refers to "my old master-at-arms" and makes a joke that he was advised, "Never go to battle naked, lad." It's not clear that Tyrion had formal training in weapon use, or whether he had simply discussed battle strategies with the master-at-arms. Or maybe he made the whole thing up in order to joke about the obvious need for armor.

I am also interested to note that Tyrion uses the phrase, "if truth be told" when handling Oathkeeper and when he rejects Penny's suggestion of a crossbow. The Valyrian steel sword Truth is missing, and I think Tyrion is a good candidate to find and wield it, based on some little hints in the text, including the use of this phrase as he handles weapons. Truth traditionally belonged to House Rogare, the Lysene banking family that married into House Targaryen and House Martell.

A bit off-topic, but a worthwhile exercise, I hope. I like your idea that swords and needles might be incompatible. Other than his admiration for Oathkeeper, Tyrion seems to reject swords.

 

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On 11/30/2018 at 1:01 PM, Angel Eyes said:

It’s talked about how Jaime and Cersei used to trade places as children, with Cersei taking lessons from the master-at-arms.

No, its not. 

"When we were little, Jaime and I were so much alike that even our lord father could not tell us apart. Sometimes as a lark we would dress in each other's clothes and spend a whole day each as the other. Yet even so, when Jaime was given his first sword, there was none for me. 'What do I get?' I remember asking. We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently. Jaime learned to fight with sword and lance and mace, while I was taught to smile and sing and please"

Where is the mention of Cersei's lessons?

Quote

 

Theoretically, would Cersei know how to use a sword and Jaime to sew? 

No. Not from a few lessons (that didn't happen) two decades ago. Neither skill is that easy to master and swordsmanship is a skill that requires constant practice. 

Quote

I’m rather surprised by Cersei to be honest; she has all this talk about wishing she was born a man,

You are clearly missing the point. The sexism in their society is a major arc in the series for the majority. if not all, the female POV's. 

Cersei resents the fact that Jaime and other men like Robert are treated with more respect on the basis of having a penis. Cat is treated with less respect than her 15 year old son and, slightly, incompetent younger brother and patronisingly told her opinion carries no weight at the war council because of her gender (many of those men would be alive or free had they done so). Despite Brienne's size and prowess she is continually under estimated as a warrior, only gaining some respect from Jaime as she beat him. Arya is told her path is not to be great but making great sons. 

Cersei wants what men want, the ability to rule on their own terms and not require others to do so for them. 

Quote

 

but carries no weapons, not even a knife.

Yeah, you clearly are missing the point. Her complaint is not about being a warrior, it is about the lack of opportunity.

Quote

 

Who knows, a knife might be useful and with an incompetent like Boros Blount guarding you...

Come on, it is not a case of a knife or Blount. She is the Queen, daughter of the most powerful man in Westeros, she has plenty of guards. Any threat to Cersei is not going to be solved with a knife.

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11 hours ago, Seams said:

Interesting observation. I think you might be right. Here is what I found in terms of Tyrion's use of weapons:

AGoT, Chap. 31 (Tyrion IV) After Catelyn gives approval to arm the prisoner, Bronn gives Tyrion a double-headed axe to use against the ambushing clansmen on the road to the Eyrie.

AGoT, Chap. 62 (Tyrion VIII) At the battle of the Green Fork, Tyrion carries his battle axe. He also eviscerates a horse using a spike on his (borrowed) helmet. (Seems like a "stick 'em with the pointy end" situation.)

ACoK, Chaps. 15 and 20 (Tyrion III and V) Giant chain and wildfire are prepared at Tyrion's direction.

ACoK, Chap. 25 (Tyrion VI) Tyrion sits on the Iron Throne. This may be the closest he gets to "using" a sword (or thousands of swords).

ACoK, Chap. 59 (Tyrion VIII) The Three Whores (trebuchets) and his axe at the Battle of the Blackwater.

ASoS, Chap. 32 (Tyrion IV) Examining Tywin's gifts for Jaime and Joffrey:

(Widow's Wail) The sword was much lighter than he had expected. As he turned it in his hand he saw why. Only one metal could be beaten so thin and still have strength enough to fight with, and there was no mistaking those ripples, the mark of steel that has been folded back on itself many thousands of times. "Valyrian steel?"

...

"A crimson sword might flash prettily in the sun, but if truth be told I like these colors better," said Tyrion. "They have an ominous beauty . . . and they make this blade unique. There is no other sword like it in all the world, I should think."

"There is one."

...

(Oathkeeper) "Magnificent." Even in hands as unskilled as Tyrion's, the blade felt alive. "I have never felt better balance."

"It is meant for my son."

No need to ask which son.

...

"So . . . a sword for Joff, a sword for Jaime, and not even a dagger for the dwarf. Is that the way of it, Father?"

"The steel was sufficient for two blades, not three, If you have need of a dagger, take one from the armory. Robert left a hundred when he died. Gerion gave him a gilded dagger with an ivory grip and a sapphire pommel for a wedding gift, and half the envoys who came to court tried to curry favor by presenting His Grace with jewel-encrusted knives and silver inlay swords."

ASoS, Chap. 59 (Sansa IV)

"You and Lady Sansa owe me a better present, Uncle Imp. This one is all chopped to pieces."

Tyrion was staring at his nephew with his mismatched eyes. "Perhaps a knife, sire. To match your sword. A dagger of the same fine Valyrian steel . . . with a dragonbone hilt, say?"

Joff gave him a sharp look. "You . . . yes, a dagger to match my sword, good." He nodded. "A . . . a gold hilt with rubies in it. Dragonbone is too plain."

ASoS, Chap. 77 (Tyrion XI) Hand's chain of office (hands of gold) and crossbow and quarrel used to kill Shae and Tywin.

ADwD, Chap. 40 (Tyrion IX) Jousting with a lance as part of Penny's act onboard the Selaesori Qhoran.

ADwD, Chap. 47 and 52 (Tyrion  X and Daenerys IX) More use of the lance in the mummer jousting act.

ADwD, Chap. 66 (Tyrion XII) After signing on with the Second Sons:

". . . now that I'm a sellsword, I really ought to have a sword to sell."

...

"I hear the two o' you are going to fight for us," the serjeant said. "That should have them pissing in Meereen. Either o' you ever killed a man?"

"I have," said Tyrion. "I swat them down like flies."

"What with?"

"An axe, a dagger, a choice remark. Though I'm deadliest with my crossbow."

...

"Here's a crossbow." Penny showed it to him.

Tyrion glanced at it. "I cannot use a stirrup winch. My legs are not long enough. A crank would serve me better." Though, if truth be told, he did not want a crossbow. They took too long to reload.

...

Instead he picked up a morningstar, gave it a swing, put it down again. Too heavy. He passed over a warhammer (too long), a studded mace (also too heavy), and half a dozen longswords before he found a dirk he liked, a nasty piece of steel with a triangular blade. "This might serve," he said. The blade had a bit of rust on it, but that would only make it nastier. He found a wood-and-leather sheath that fit and slipped the dirk inside.

"A little sword for a little man?" joked Penny.

"It's a dirk and made for a big man." Tyrion showed her an old longsword. "This is a sword. Try it."

Penny took it, swung it, frowned. "Too heavy."

I didn't list Tyrion's uses of poison, although those probably do qualify as weapons in his hands. I also left out his use of strategic pieces in cyvasse, although you could make a case that these should be part of his combat or weaponry activity.

In that last chapter where he picks through the armor and weapon piles with Penny, Tyrion refers to "my old master-at-arms" and makes a joke that he was advised, "Never go to battle naked, lad." It's not clear that Tyrion had formal training in weapon use, or whether he had simply discussed battle strategies with the master-at-arms. Or maybe he made the whole thing up in order to joke about the obvious need for armor.

I am also interested to note that Tyrion uses the phrase, "if truth be told" when handling Oathkeeper and when he rejects Penny's suggestion of a crossbow. The Valyrian steel sword Truth is missing, and I think Tyrion is a good candidate to find and wield it, based on some little hints in the text, including the use of this phrase as he handles weapons. Truth traditionally belonged to House Rogare, the Lysene banking family that married into House Targaryen and House Martell.

A bit off-topic, but a worthwhile exercise, I hope. I like your idea that swords and needles might be incompatible. Other than his admiration for Oathkeeper, Tyrion seems to reject swords.

 

The real dichotomy is, as you once pointed out at the top of your excellent Puns and Wordplay thread, between SWORDS vs. WORDS:

Quote

Well, my legs may be too small for my body, but my head is too large, although I prefer to think it is just large enough for my mind. I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind … and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." Tyrion tapped the leather cover of the book. "That's why I read so much, Jon Snow."

To the point about textuality (both in terms of texts and textiles), perhaps 'sewing' the frayed fabric of society back together involves a facility with words.

GRRM is asking a probing question, more relevant than ever, regarding wielding words with integrity, when he reminds us that 'the man passing the SENTENCE, should swing the sword.'

 'My own name is a killing word.  Will it be a healing word as well?'

Edited by ravenous reader

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16 hours ago, Seams said:

...

I am also interested to note that Tyrion uses the phrase, "if truth be told" when handling Oathkeeper and when he rejects Penny's suggestion of a crossbow. The Valyrian steel sword Truth is missing, and I think Tyrion is a good candidate to find and wield it, based on some little hints in the text, including the use of this phrase as he handles weapons. Truth traditionally belonged to House Rogare, the Lysene banking family that married into House Targaryen and House Martell.

...

Fascinating stuff, as ever. The weapons of a knight are the longsword and the lance - both 'long' weapons, which Tyrion avoided in the early books. Now, reluctantly, he's taken up a shrunken lance, and (almost) a shrunken sword (not the first shrunken sword we've seen either). Maybe he's moving towards a kind of honorary knighthood, getting closer to those legendary heroes we keep hearing about. The time for heroes is pretty much now, I should think.

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2 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Fascinating stuff, as ever. The weapons of a knight are the longsword and the lance - both 'long' weapons, which Tyrion avoided in the early books. Now, reluctantly, he's taken up a shrunken lance, and (almost) a shrunken sword (not the first shrunken sword we've seen either). Maybe he's moving towards a kind of honorary knighthood, getting closer to those legendary heroes we keep hearing about. The time for heroes is pretty much now, I should think.

He seemed pretty smitten with Oathkeeper, when Tywin let him check it out before he gifted it to Jaime. GRRM seemed to make it clear that Tyrion could handle a full-sized sword provided it is a balanced Valyrian steel blade.

But the wordplay stuff tells me that Tyrion is definitely a sewer. In addition to sewing clothes aboard the Shy Maid, he cleans out the sewers and drains at Casterly Rock. Where will all of this lead?

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