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Rebekah

Pod/ Tyrion / Brienne (book spoliers)

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I think I'm one of the few people who wasn't irritated by the Podrick Brothel Scene, and it's led me to consider something about the way we as fans process this show. We have a habit of going over layers and layers of meaning in Martin's texts, of analyzing sometimes on a word-by-word basis. This works because Martin is so careful to not only write his story but to craft his presentation as meticulously as possible. We've developed a high degree of trust in Martin because of this - we take note of not only what is said but how.

We as a fan base don't have that kind of faith in D&D, and tonight I think it's caused a lot of the fans to miss the point.

If you look at Pod's scene in the brothel and the follow up gossiping as simple comic relief it comes off as superfluous and silly; more in the vein of a frat house comedy than Game of Thrones. But I don't think that's what D&D were doing at all. Like Martin I think they used this to establish some very important things about where two characters are at now and where they will be at later.

First; Tyrion. We're told over and over again that "a Lannister always pays his debts." More often than not this is used as a threat or a goad to manipulate. Tyrion used it as a double entende with Mord in S1. When it is used as a promise 'help me and I will reward you' that usually means money, titles or land. Tonight I think Tyrion made good on his debt to Pod, and not with sex. With confidance.

I don't believe for a second that three high class call girls refused their fee because a young untried boy was a talented or well-endowed lover. Even if he was phenominal in bed those girls would have to accept the coin. They could never explain to their bosses (Ros and Petyr Baelish) why they hadn't. In fact they would probably face severe consequences if they did. Besides if you are hired to perform a service you don't forgo your fee because you had a good time while doing your job. You count your blessings that your job was entertaining in stead of tedious or distasteful but you still except the fee-for-service.

Instead what I took away from this was that Tyrion had paid the marker in advance. Probably directly to Ros, who runs the establishment. He put gold on the table and let Pod think that was payment. In a way it was grand theatre and Pod fell right in. The girls gave him back the money and told him what a good time they had with him, so much so that they wouldn't allow him to pay. He's confused and flattered but also a bit startled.

Pod is a shy, nervous boy. He performs his duties not only admirably but thoroughly and oftentimes beyond the call, but his shy stutter and awkward social skills have overshadowed his quality service up until now. Now he's led to belive he has a talent that is appreciated for it's own sake. He returns Tyrion's money and is immediately put in the position of explaining to two highly sexually experienced men what he did that impressed theses whores so much that they couldn't bear to accept his coin.

What Tyrion has given him in this is much more valuable than gold or sex. He's given Pod the means to feel confidant; to believe that he has innate talents and skills that are worthy of praise. He's found a way to try to make Pod start to see his own value.

Right about now a lot of you are probably thinking "So what? Who cares about the confidence of Tyrion's squire? Do we need so much screentime on this? We should have more time for (insert Bran/Arya/Dany/etc. etc.)"

But I think we do need to take the time for this.

It probably won't happen until next season but Pod doesn't just disappear when Tyrion leaves KL. He goes off and tries to help Brienne in hops that by finding Sansa he will be able to find Tyrion. This shows a great deal of loyalty. A great deal. In the books we learn something about Pod's backstory that gives us a sense of why he might be so loyal but the screen hasn't been able to clearly do that.

This gift of confidence creates a bond between Tyrion and Pod. Tyrion could have tried to reward Pod with a knighthood, gold, land, the usual suspects. Instead he took an interest in Pod as a person, almost as a little brother figure. Now when he turns up following Brienne the audience will have something to look back on and realize that Pod was more to Tyrion than a servant and Tyrion was more to Pod than an employer.

This may be a minor point - after all we have limited screen time and a lot of people won't care why Pod is so eager to find Tyrion. However Brienne is going to spend a lot of next season traveling. It's very possible they will cut Ser Hyle from Brienne's storyline in the interest of money and time. If so then Pod will be her one stalwart companion on her hopeless quest to find Sansa. Since she's willing to go to extremes to suceed I think understanding why Pod would follow her into those extremes will be important to a lot of viewers. This; I believe; is the intent of these scenes.

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Pod saved Tyrion's life. What else is needed as far as confidentiality?

The full scene was more than just a brothel scene. Tyrion took over as the master of coin and discoverd that LF had been borrowing money to keep things afloat. That was important.

The brothel part was amuzing but unnencessary.

BTW, does Tyrion take over the brothel as well??

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nice analysis you got there. i love pod (quite obvious with my username) but like others it felt like they went overboard with the nudity + taking too much time. although i kinda agree with what you're saying that it would build up future Pod and Brienne quest.

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Spot on.

In short, the show needs a reason why Pod will be the only one not denying Tyrion at the Trial (in comparison to Shae - coerced - or Bronn - pragmatist). As the reason that will maybe be told afterwards ("Tyrion was the first person in my life taking an interest in me and not just using me") isn't enough and also would be a "tell" where this is a "show", it's important to state this early.

I'm really looking forward to Brienne and Pod (who I'd guess will only be very shortly on the road and instead start their investigations in Season 4 (and 5) in King's Landing)

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I like this take a lot. I also found the ideas that the whores didn't take the money "because the john was so amazing" 100% ridiculous. I kind of felt like something else had to be up. I like this explanation.

I had no problem with the multi-whore westerosi tentacle pore because it was about showing Tyrion paying his debts to Pod in an over the top manner so it will really make sense later when he stays loyal to the TV show watchers.

It was the second part I thought was too inane and unworthy. Your take is what hope is true.

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Pod saved Tyrion's life. What else is needed as far as confidentiality?

The full scene was more than just a brothel scene. Tyrion took over as the master of coin and discoverd that LF had been borrowing money to keep things afloat. That was important.

Yes, it was, but why did they need to include a brothel scene to bring this forward?

The brothel part was amuzing but unnencessary.

BTW, does Tyrion take over the brothel as well??

Wasn't even really amusing IMO. No, the brothel stays as LF since he owns it on his own, not as part of being master of coin.

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Really good post Rebekah. I've got the feeling while watching the episode that Tyrion payed in advance as well because without this the scene would be pointless, however I didn't think about the reasons that you gave and didn't go far as you did on pointing Pod's travel with Brienne. I hope the writers really go this way.

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Excellent post, and considering that it's your first, we have lots to look forward to as you become more active in the forum! (And welcome to the forum, of course!)

I really liked your analysis and totally agree with the subtleties you brought up that went right above my head when I watched the show (three times!) last night. When I read the books, I'll have to admit I didn't pay much attention to Pod. Didn't pay much attention to lots of people/things, actually, because I was racing through so fast, just wanting to see what happened next.

The scene later on (A Feast for Crows?)

where Pod and Brienne (and I can't remember who else - see how badly I'm remembering the details) are caught by the BWB and UnCat sentences them to hanging - it's when she sees Pod hung, I think, that Brienne shouts one word - that we still can only guess at. IL'm assuming that whatever she shouted out, it was enough to keep Pod and the other one from death by hanging. In starting out on this forum later, I discovered just how 'noticed' and how valued and loved Pod was. I'd thought of him kind of fondly before that, but not really appreciated him like I do now.

Thank you for the thread!

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Yes, it was, but why did they need to include a brothel scene to bring this forward?

Apparently you didn't read the OP that carefully.

Wasn't even really amusing IMO.

Not everyone is going to love it, but everyone I was with seemed to get a kick out of it.

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I really like this idea. I love Pod, and I didn't mind him getting too much screen time so I really enjoyed this scene but it felt like I was missing something. I really like your explanation (Tyrion paying in advance) because the show's explanation felt a little ridiculous, even though it was hilarious. It also reminds me of what Jaime did (or pretended to do) with Tysha for Tyrion, and that would mean that Tyrion is creating a kind of brotherly bond with Pod, so I really like the possible implications :)

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I agree, on reflection. There's also teh fact that Tyrion loves Jaime because he believes Jaime did basically teh same thing as this for him. It is literally the biggest and most personal show of thanks and affection he can envisage

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Instead what I took away from this was that Tyrion had paid the marker in advance. Probably directly to Ros, who runs the establishment. He put gold on the table and let Pod think that was payment. In a way it was grand theatre and Pod fell right in. The girls gave him back the money and told him what a good time they had with him, so much so that they wouldn't allow him to pay. He's confused and flattered but also a bit startled.

It never occurred to me that it all could have been a pantomime of Tyrion's devising for Pod's benefit. It also works on another level in that it mimics what Tyrion "thinks" Jaime did for him when he was once young, inexperienced, and insecure.

Very nice thought, Rebekah. Thank you.

I wonder if it's occurred to the writers as well. :laugh:

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Personally my interpretation would be that Tyrion would never involve himself in such a deception with whores, having been on the receiving end of something similar himself.

Seemed to me that the gold given to Pod might have been a bribe from Littlefinger looking to get a spy close to Tyrion (especially with his earlier curiosity as to the identity of his whore). Pod being the honest sort he is decided to report it to Tyrion.

My theory anyway. I'll be intrigued to see if it plays out. I was worried the series was collapsing under the weight of all those characters in the first 2 episodes, but this was a return to form.

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Yes this is what I thought. The gift is self-confidence. With sex.

I seems to me Tyrion also gets a lot of his self-confidence from sex... This is why Shae's betrayal was so shattering for him. Yes, in the books he's under no illusion that she's a harlot but I think he also deludes himself sometimes into thinking that maybe, just maybe, it might be something else. And Shae's ever-enthusiastic attitude in the books feeds into this self-delusion, Shae's a good whore, a good salesperson.

When Tyrion discovers that Tysha was actually true and Shae was eventually false... He goes to pieces.

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Nice analysis, it might even go deeper than that, LF mentions that he owes a debt to Tyrion right at the same time Tyrion mentions he owes Pod his life. They could've worked out the idea before hand of Tyrion pretending to pay for the service then they give Pod's money back or LF could've decided afterwards as a way to pay Tyrion back.

A long time ago Tyrion believes that Jaime did the a similar thing for him with Tysha. Tyrion mentions that he isn't nervous with Tysha etc. so I don't find this situation out of the ordinary for Tyrion doing the same thing with Pod.

Tyrion sees Pod as a shy boy just like he was and a way to get him out of his shell is to give him confidence.

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