I admit, I went a little bit crazy writing verse for Jaime & Brienne. They often remind me of my favorite Shakespeare couple Beatrice & Benedick. I have rescripted so many of their scenes together that I don’t have enough pictures to represent them all. So, here is one scene with pictures–the rest are in text (and in narrative order).
“IT WILL ALWAYS BE YOURS”
Hold, enough! Another step I cannot take.
Shut thy abhorred mouth, and quick’n thy pace!
No further, good wench–my soles and soul do beg thee!
I care not for thy feet, nor thy honorless soul.
Nay? A wicked wench thou art, without a heart!
Do I not cry, honorless though I be?
Hast thou no regard for the likes of me?
And hast thou no regard for thine own good?
A bridge is not so safe as shaded wood;
We are but mice afield a grassless ground
Whilst hungry prey do circle all around.
[takes her sword]
The wench without regard hath lost her guard!
Now–mouse or prey, show me what thou art.
Lay thy sword upon the ground, Kingslayer.
To what end, pray?
Else thy life’s end, upon my blade.
Such wild, lusty boasts from but a maid!
Thou art the weaker sex; thou hast no blade.
Well, then—shall I thee teach thy first true dance?
Come spill thy blood upon my sword—advance!
Thou art good—green and lacking grace, but good.
I would not hurt thee, Kingslayer.
Thou coudst not hurt me if thou tried to do so.
Try me not!
Try thee? I would not try thee for all th’world.
Thou art too large and lumb’ring for my needs.
I would have thee show’t, if thou art man indeed.
[they fight, until Brienne is straddling Jaime in the river]
Gods, wench! This is a posture too advanc’d
For maids of Tarth just learning how to dance!
Yield, Kingslayer, yield! Or I shall thee drown!
But nay–thine oaths are hard and thick as lead,
Much like thy undesir’d maidenhead.
[enter the BRAVE COMPANIONS, laughing. Jaime and Brienne rise.]
The blush upon her cheek doth give me right
T’imagine her in heat of love’s sweet fight.
And what a fight it was, I do concede.
The wench is strong; from several wounds I bleed.
But what uncomely strangers now are these?
I trust them not, and feel much worse at ease.
The path ahead winds long, now more than ever
The wench and I must hold together.
“YOU MUST LIVE”
Behold thou moon, thou crescent hung with grace:
Why shine thy stars on my unworthy face?
This night so pure and bright doth honor all;
While I, the darkling knight, to dust must fall.
Once loath’d I him, now hate and scorn do pause
To tend this wounded lion with no claws.
Was all to save mine honor? – nay, false thought;
And yet he changeth; I swear’t, on my heart.
How now, Ser Jaime? what dost thou yet?
My rev’rie breaks, methinks me hears a noise;
Is’t brought by fev’rish pain and dreams, her voice?
But lo, ‘tis soft–like gentle waves ashore.
What doth I, wench? I die, I sleep—no more.
Nay, Ser Jaime! that will never do.
It is the nobler thing to suffer death;
It pleases me besides. Waste not your breath.
So craven art thou, ha? weakling scared and soft?
Many things hath I been named; craven, not!
What wouldst thou have me do, thou stubborn wench?
I would have thee live—fight, and seek revenge.
Thou knowest pain and loss from this great fall;
So fuel thy passion, prove thy name withal!
Gods all be curs’d, she’ll never let me be;
To live in peace, or t’die peacefully,
But fie, this night she speaks an honest truth,
This knight so pure and true—I’ll live, forsooth.
Such glimm’ring steel is ne’er inferior;
This blade must be of old Valyria.
Thou speakest true; and now ‘tis thine to wield;
To thy firm hand this precious sword I yield.
Nay, such a treasur’d prize I cannot take!
Thou must, an honest man of me to make.
An oath we swore to Cat’lyn both–but hark:
Thy duty now’s to find the daughters Stark.
Arya may lie dead, gods know the answer,
But take thou Eddard’s steel–rescue Sansa.
I’ve something else for thee beneath these throws,
I pray the fit I’ve measured well and close.
My words have all run dry, these gifts to see.
I shall find her. For Cat’lyn. And for thee.
[aside] Shut your mouth Brienne, words were those enough;
Look away–lest he see ’tis him you love.
The last of things hath nigh escap’ed me;
I have yet one more parting gift for thee.
[enter PODRICK, with BRONN close behind]
A squire need I not!
Such pride thou needest not.
He’ll only burn the light of day for me.
Yet safe at King’s Landing he can ne’er be.
I bid thee shield th’boy–lend thy chivalry.
No daylight shall I burn of thine, good Ser–
M’lady–’tis I will serve you well and sure.
See’st thou? A good lad, strong and brave.
BRONN [to PODRICK]
‘Tis no glimm’ring sword of Valyrian
But take thee this axe from Lord Tyrion.
What willst thou, boy, slack-jawed and still? A kiss?
These lovers want as much, ne’er to confess.
The best of swords are styled for luck and fame.
What thinkst thou for a strong and fitting name?
‘Twill be Oathkeeper. For me, and for you.
I bid thee fond farewell, Brienne. Adieu.
To watch her go, not knowing if or when
That I shall ever see the wench again
Stirs something in me–what? but quiet, heart–
There’s many a battle yet to be fought.
“THE BATH SCENE”
[enter JAIME led by GUARDS]
So harsh, so fierce! thy scouring’s well enough;
What good is clean should skin be scraped clean off?
What ho! What purpose hast thou here?
A bath, to wash this foul and sullied flesh.
To Bolton’s table I must show afresh;
Invited not my fleas, this Lord of Flay.
[to GUARD] I pray thee, rid me of these rags. Away.
I’ll dare to raise mine eyes, once to glimpse
This naked man through steam and mist
But O! though lively color’s dimm’d, skin sod
He rises half a corpse and half a god.
Will life’s light endure, or will he falter?
But lo, he means t’climb into my water!
Dost thou not see the other tub?
This one of thine doth please me well enough.
Tut–anguish not, thou enticeth me not.
But pray, should fever plague me sudden still
And I succumb to water’s hateful will
Be kind, thou wench, withdraw thy tragic foe;
‘Twould ne’er a lion do to perish so.
Wherefore care I, the manner of thy death?
Hast thou forgot thy solemn vow of old?
To King’s Landing must I be ferried whole.
See how thy efforts want! Yea, ‘tis no shock
Thy belov’d Renly perished on thy watch.
Hark! naked and unarmored, here I stand;
I dare thee prod me ‘gain, thou bitter man.
O! gods be good, and help avert mine eyes;
Come, think to Cersei, not the wench’s thighs.
I beseech your pardon. ‘Twas base, that boast.
Thou hast me served a better shield than most.
Mock me not-
–‘tis a heart’s apology.
This fight I’ll suffer not—a truce, I beg.
Will she sit? my body betrays me yet.
On trust a truce doth rest—what wouldst thou do?
With all that I have left–I trust thee true.
Look how thine eyes do glimmer discontent;
Yea, shining dark with hatred and contempt.
I know it well, this looking glass of shame;
In every eye I see’t; mine tarnish’d name.
The knight who was hath lost his luster–
I, the Oathbreaker, detested Kingslayer.
But hast thou heard of wildfire, wench?
Yea, as I have heard of evil.
The stuff consumed King Aerys, turn’d him mad
Long ‘ere I drove my sword into his back.
He loved it all; skin melting, blist’ring crisp–
‘Twould bring him mirth, put dancing in his eyes.
And any lord or hand who pleased him not
Would th’mad king burn without a moment’s thought.
While half the country were all protesters
The madness of King Aerys festered.
He thought that traitors swarmed King’s Landing,
So bid his pyromancer plant the seeds
Of fiery war below the city’s slums,
‘Neath the houses, stables, taverns—ye gods:
Even ‘neath the blessed Sept of Baelor.
At long last came the day of reckoning
When Robert marched hence on the capital
Yet mine own father rode afore him to th’gates
The whole of Lann’ster army on his back
And swearing to defend his king ‘gainst harm.
I knew my father better; lions lie
Long ‘ere they rise for losing sides.
Thus spake I, and begg’d the king surrender;
He turned his cheek to me, the spider Varys,
To all but he who whispered honeyed words–
Pycelle, that grey and sunken cunt who said
“Thou canst e’er trust the Lann’sters, goodly king.”
So ope’d we up the gates, and Tywin raged.
Once more bade I the king let go his pride;
Then bade he me mine father’s head to fetch.
He spake into his pyromancer’s ear:
“All shall burn; set aflame their houses, beds.”
So now, thou wench of honor, tell me true
Had thine beloved Renly bade thee thus–
To slay thy father, watch as thousands burned,
Men, women, little babes–wouldst thou have done‘t?
What then of precious oaths, devoutly sworn?
I slew the pyromancer, then the king.
“All shall burn,” quoth he, enraged. “All shall burn.”
Perchance he dreamed he would outlive us all,
Survive the flames, reborn as dragons rise
To smite their foes to ash; I slit his throat
And thereby smote his madness from this world.
If such be true… wherefore wast thou silent?
Reported thou thy tale to Eddard Stark?
What, Stark? Thinkest thou the honorable Ned
Would lend his ear to me, the Kingslayer?
Pray, by what right shall wolf judge lion, ha?
By what right, I pray–
[he falls into the water]
O! Help! The Kingslayer!
Jaime. Mine name is Jaime.
“RIVERRUN WAVE GOOD-BYE”
Though battle’s won, my swordless heart fights woe;
‘Tis full of words not for this world; but lo!
The river breaks and drifts a lonesome boat!
Tarth’s maid and squire fly by light of moon;
Yea, steal away Brienne–but nay, too soon.
So quick apace my heart doth gallop, she’ll hear;
And yet I’ll have her turn, if no one’s near.
But see–about, m’lady, turn thy head;
Ser Jaime watches from the battlements.
Ye gods! this precious gift is given me,
His fine and honor’d face, once ‘gain to see.
I long for words—what say we from afar,
When even near, heart’s words are distant stars?
Our speech is dulled by tangled oaths betwixt,
But soft–his golden hand to me he lifts!
This night is dark, but full of treasure trove;
She lifts her hand, returns my gesture, O!
My heart, my sword–words these breathe enough:
If ne’er before I knew: ‘tis thee I love.
Dare I believe that love doth swell this night?
Is all that I have longed for in this knight?
I’ll north to ice, but in my heart burns fire,
To save this parting glance of deep desire.
Prithee now Ser Jaime –
‘Twas well to gaze upon thee, wench, but woe;
When next we meet, I fear ‘twill be as foes.
Avaunt, this hollow guise of disregard–
Such noise, when bittered tongue betrays the heart!
Thine eye and mine both fell upon the sight;
A thing of death and darkness, monster-like!
Such things the more of which I’m loathe to see
And yet, would take arms ‘gainst them all with thee.
Alas, my loyal sword’s sworn to my queen—not thine,
Whose doltish brother ne’er hast learnt to lie.
O fie on loyalty–fie!
Fie on loyalty? How now, what meanest thou?
Houses, honor, oaths—nothing shall they mean
When life’s own flame burns out. Persuade thy queen.
What wouldst thou have me say, ha?
What wouldst thou have me do?
I would thou couldst but be the man thou art;
The one who lives inside thy golden heart.