Robert Baratheon was, by all accounts, a pretty shitty king. He was a fat drunk with no interest in politics, who wasted the realm’s money on lavish tournaments, and he whored around a lot, even for a monarch. But, damn, if he wasn’t a brilliant military commander. Now that Daenerys has finally begun her conquest of Westeros, fans are looking back to Season 1 and realizing how prescient Robert’s predictions were. He laid out Dany’s winning, Dothraki-led battle plan and the story of his first ever kill hinted at Jaime’s folly during the loot train battle.
This post contains some spoilers for the fourth episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, “The Spoils of War.”
As redditor chardsingkit noted, in the third episode of the series, a grumpy King Robert and Ser Barristan Selmy are sharing war stories from their glory days. After Barristan briefly recalls driving a lance through the heart of a Tyroshi from Essos, Robert tells his story.
“Mine was some Tarly boy at the battle of Summerhall,” Robert says. “My horse took an arrow, so I was on foot, slogging through the mud. He came running at me, this dumb high-born lad, thinking he could end the rebellion with a single swing of his sword.”
Show-watchers just saw almost this exact situation play out in Sunday’s episode, “The Spoils of War.” Using Qyburn’s scorpion, Bronn knocks Dany and her dragon out of the sky. When the Mother of Dragons dismounts Drogon in an attempt to remove the giant arrow, Jaime, who happened to be fighting alongside a young Tarly boy, sees a chance to end the war.
Of course, as Tyrion notes, he’s a “fucking idiot.” Jaime charges at Dany, only instead of getting a warhammer to the chest, he comes face to face with the jaws of a dragon brimming with fire. It’s only thanks to an extremely well-timed tackle from Bonn that he survives … probably.
The dumb Tarly boy in Robert’s story wasn’t so lucky.
“I knocked him down with a hammer,” Robert recalls. “Gods, I was strong then. Caved in his breastplate. Probably shattered every rib he had. Stood over him, hammer in the air. Right before I brought it down he shouted ‘Wait! Wait!’”
“They never tell you how they all shit themselves. They don’t put that part in the songs,” he continues. “Stupid boy. Now the Tarlys bend the knee like everyone else. He could have lingered on the edge of the battle with all the smart boys and today his wife would be making him miserable, his son would be ingrates, and he’d be waking three times in the night to piss into a bowl.”
If Jaime manages to survive his unfortunate swim, he might still get a chance to be miserable around Cersei. But, the larger point remains. He spent all that time around Robert when he was a member of the Kingsguard. It would’ve behooved him to learn a few lessons.
Game of Thrones Season 7 continues on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.