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Dolorous Nick

(Book Spoilers) Is Locke an improvement over Vargo?

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I'm of the opinion that Locke, while serving the same basic function as Vargo Hoat, is a superior character in the grand scheme of things.

While Vargo is definitely a colorful and quotable character due to his outlandish appearance and pronounced lisp, I feel that he works on the page but might have been a little too goofy/cartoonish for the screen.

Locke, on the other hand, is a great villain due in large part to Noah Taylor's performance. In the few scenes he has with Jaime, you really get a feel for his background, nature, and motivations. Basically, I've gathered that Locke grew up poor, either fatherless or with an extremely abusive father, fought tooth-and-nail for every scrap of food, had absolutely nothing in life given to him, and resents people like Jaime Lannister who had the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth from day one. This isn't completely spelled out for the viewer, but it's all in Locke's eyes/tone of voice during his little speech to Jaime prior to chopping off his sword hand.

I completely understand Locke's motivation for mutilating Jaime, a personal revenge against every nobleman that ever turned his nose up at him. Vargo, on the other hand, just kind of has a thing for crippling people.

What do you think? Was The Goat short-changed, or is Locke an improvement?

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You can't compare Locke to the character Vargo would have been on screen because we obviously haven't seen Vargo and can't know what he would have been like. If you want to compare him to the book character however, I wouldn't call Locke superior, because I thought Vargo's lisp was hilarious (Locke is still funny in his own way though) but most of all I found him an interesting character to learn something about the world outside Westeros from.

That said, I enjoy Locke. He has some great lines ("You are nothing without your daddy!" "You think everything is about gold, but this makes me more happy than anything else in the world!") and the actor may be the best addition to the cast we've seen this season. He also helps establish House Bolton.

Locke's motivation for mutilating Jaime is also clearer, if he indeed did it to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose, it makes more sense for a loyal Northmen to do that than some mercenary with no loyalty to anyone.

While I enjoy Locke enough to not mind the change too much I think leaving Vargo out is mostly a case of laziness, a missed opportunity (to show some more Dothraki) and takes away from the overall colourfulness of the characters on the show... How many guys in leather and mail can you show?

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Locke's a fantastic character with some wonderful lines. I think the dynamic between him and Jaime works better in the show, and his motivations for mutilating him were far clearer.

Whilst Vargo Hoat was entertaining in the books, on screen his appearance would probably be far too similar to Pontius Pilate in Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Getting rid of the lisp was a necessity for a show that has to maintain an air of seriousness in most of it's scenes, particularly those involving rape and mutilation.

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We still seemed to get some minor Vargo speech from him, specifically at the Bear Pit - "Lord Bolton'sth ordersth"

All-in-all I really liked the character/actor and I'm glad Bryan Cogman explained the reasoning behind changing it in his interview that was posted somewhere on here - also GRRM was the one who asked for his name to be changed since they didn't want to overload the viewer with so many different groups i.e Dreadfort Mean, Brave Companions etc.. and Locke is obviously not Qohorik so it would be kind of odd to give a Westerosi the name "Vargo Hoat"

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Locke's motivation for mutilating Jaime is also clearer, if he indeed did it to drive a wedge between Tywin and Roose, it makes more sense for a loyal Northmen to do that than some mercenary with no loyalty to anyone.

Yes, but they've never said that was the reason - maybe they will in future episodes, but I doubt it.

Overall, I like the character, I hope they keep him for a few more seasons

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I thought the show gave enough reason for Jaime's mutilation. Sure, he's Bolton's man, but given Lord Bolton flays people, he probably didn't think too much about it, especially since Jaime really pissed him off. Additionally, he knew an injury wouldn't null Jaime's value because he's Tywin's firstborn son. Reminds me a bit of Brad Pitt's character in Inglorious Basterds. "Eh, I'll get chewed out, but that's ok, I've been chewed out before."

Locke is awesome. "The FUCK you doin' to my bear?!" He has an interesting face too...it's very distinct without being flamboyantly so. I would guess he and Brienne have a run-in later. It seems like a waste of a good actor to knock him off right now.

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I think that Locke was wonderfully done, however I think it robs us of a bit of the tragedy for Jamie's behanding. The fact that Vargo Hoat was brought in by Tywin and then ends up being the one to maim Jamie and thus House Lannister is a very small but important detail that I think leads in part to making Jamie a fully redeemable character. However, if you can't allow for TV Jamie's redemption after the bath scene then you have no soul.

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Locke is better for the show and Vargo is better for the books imo.

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I like the character but his name kind of bothers me, its silly but I always think of John Locke from Lost when I read/hear about him.

I do have to wonder if him being a man under House Bolton conflicts with things of course.

Overall I do think it was a decent change since Vargo might've seemed like a cartoon type villain on screen.

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I think so - he's a big improvement in my books. Thapphireth, Kingthlayerth and captith are funny and all but Locke has just the right amount of humor and menace, and for being such a bit part he's pretty well fleshed out. Not to mention, Noah Taylor's just great.

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I don't mind Locke replacing Vargo Hoat, but I did miss the "thappireth" line. The actor playing him is good; he has the villain looks and seems like he's going to beat anyone bloody.

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"Dafuq you doin to my bear???"

I love Locke so much, I do think he's an improvement.

I hope he turns up again. I hope he'll replace Shagwell and company when Brienne goes on her FfC search, because I don't want him to just die offscreen like vargo does.

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"we only have one bear" ... that line was gold

So many people doubted Lock over Vargo but I'm glad they are embracing him.

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