Peace is lost; the king slaps the queen; he must join his former king’s hand & start war. – He cannot bring North & South, Starks & Lannisters together. He cannot use either to destroy the other. He cannot destroy both, which would anyway destroy the kingdom.
The Lannisters have money, connections, & status. The Starks are the kingdom’s horror, they prophesy disaster, & their lord walks enshrouded in murder. Stark is the soul of the king. But he dares not ensoul the kingdom. The king wants him to stay in the capital. He would return to his home, but his life is not his own anymore.
The king takes his weakling brother & his Lannister squire, whom he habitually humiliates, on a hunt. Men attend to the hunt: They return to the wild, testing their strength, keeping their skills & inclinations martial. It removes the youths’ fear of killing; it adds skill to the thrill of the chase. The king’s most accomplished soldier, however, dislikes hunting, an old man now, hunting even in full armor.
The king says, when men walked the earth, they fought & fucked in every kingdom & thus both men & women knew they were men. Such was reputation, it was shameful not to be dishonorable.
His brother, in love with a beautiful & devious young knight, cannot stand the sight of blood; he substitutes luxury for nobility & complaint for argument. He is a thoroughbred coward. – His sarcasm & conventional outrage move him to shout at the king.
He answers, in those days armies roamed the land & butchered senselessly whatever they met. & before those days, a mad king was slaughtering the weak & defenseless with the relish of the insane tyrant. & before those days, there were dragons who wiped out cities without even the world knowing.
Perhaps then the honorable men once fought monsters & men to deliver unto the many cities this new age of peace, sophistication, & decadence; the decadent are, unsurprisingly, ingrates. It seems men love war, but a world at war is nevertheless unlovely.
The dwarf prince, imprisoned by a mad woman, demands justice, as he stands accused of crimes he abetted, if not committed. He proposes to confess his crimes & proceeds to recount hilarious mischief to the amusement of the courtiers & the outrage of the lady of the castle. Then he demands his right to a trial. Honor obliges the lady. Further, he demands the right to trial by combat. Honor is swelling. Finally, the rich dwarf demands to fight through a champion. Honor is satisfied. – Then he sits & watches his champion earn his pay. Devious, he traps his enemy, conquers, & then butchers.