Administrivia: 27 November 2022

Followup from the other day. I had said, “I bet I know where Rory McCann will be soon,” but wouldn’t say where.

So, a lot of us know that at least for a while Rory was docking his boat in a town called Troon, in Ayrshire on Scotland’s west coast. I do not know if he’s still there, I just know he was at one point. Well, over this weekend there has been a festival called WinterStorm there. Soon as I saw their description of the festival being about classic rock I thought, “Yep…” It doesn’t look like that’s all it was about, but that doesn’t matter; Rory likes classic rock, yes, but Rory likes music. It’d be a draw for him if he could get away from work at all to attend.

So if you see anyone on Instagram posting snaps of him at a concert here soon and those pics are recent, that’s probably where it was from.

I don’t really look at Instagram much. It’s not a moral stance, I just only seem to have an attention span for one social media platform, maybe two at most. I do have some accounts there, and am actually contemplating how to proceed with all that, whether to shitcan my participation in the site entirely or just rearrange how I do things. My current phone is a piece of shit and the camera’s terrible, which made my decision to sell my DSLR all the more painful, and I won’t be able to replace it with better anytime soon, but maybe with as small as Instagram pictures turn out, especially on a phone, that won’t matter.

Hoo boy the commas.

But particularly I don’t look at Rory’s tag very much these days. It’s still at least 75% SanSan nonsense, and the rest is either old, stolen, or both. I like to think that when I was doing Rory fandom stuff on there I offered something a little bit different, but I already have work in that vein I haven’t been keeping up with and an IG account would just be something else to feel vaguely guilty about. Only vaguely. No one asked me to do any of this, of course. But anyway, I still sort of stand by my advice to check the tag now and again and click on new posts (there should be an option for that even in the app) to see if there have been any sightings. I just don’t follow that advice myself. I suppose I get a little jealous of people who have gotten to meet him. Haha.

Have not come to a decision about setting up some kind of email system for news and sightings and gossip. That is one thing I miss about the IG account. Now and again someone would have something interesting to share. It didn’t always hold water, but trying to puzzle all that out was half the fun.

I probably sound like a fucking ghoul, don’t I. “Oh hey, it’s fun to pick apart another person’s life.” Sorry about that. Wasn’t quite what I meant. I’m a curious sort of critter, and when I can’t easily see what is going on I want to figure it out. This can cause me problems if what I want to figure out is why someone’s being weird with me, though I’m recognizing this is a problem now and trying to head it off at the pass. Some people are just liars, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But the thing with Rory is different. He’s just a regular dude trying to live his life without having to contend with too much craziness. (Unwelcome craziness, anyway.) Doesn’t mean I’m not still curious, just means I don’t get emotionally hung up on not getting to know. Nice, for a change.

It might make this site a bit less comprehensive than it would have been, but that also means less work for me so, thanks, big man. ‘Preciate it. Hahaha.

[edit]

Also, in honor of this year’s World Cup which is currently ongoing, a screenshot of the big man in Sixty-Six:

Rory McCann in Sixty-Six

If you have never seen this film but have seen A Christmas Story, it’s basically the same energy but instead of “Christmas” and “Red Ryder BB gun,” insert “England in the World Cup final” and “bar mitzvah.” It’s amazing, you should see it, and this scene with Rory is pretty damn funny. You will have to go all the way to nearly the end of the film to see him. Worth every minute.

Administrivia: 25 November 2022

Oh hey, belated Happy Thanksgiving to any American readers happening by. I know there are a fair few of you, if the visitor stats can be believed. Also, occasionally I hear from you. And when I say “occasionally” I mean “twice via my gmail account since I shut down the social media stuff.” What’s that, a couple years now? Anyway.

So, the latest person (hi, Emily! [waves]) seems to have dug up some more info on the Giles Laurent ketches of which Rory’s boat is one. Apparently… let me see if I get this right… when boatmakers or at least GL make several copies of a given boat model, the first boat made of that model also carries the name of the model as its own name. So there is a Dorus Mhor called Dorus Mhor, and it sounds like that’s the one Rory owns. That’s fucking cool.

She also told me something I already knew, that the name means “great open door” or similar. I remember when I learned that at the time thinking “oh, isn’t that symbolic,” but that seems to be par for the course for the big man, anyway. Son of Hound/wolf cub born in the city founded by the Hound King and loves to go hiking and camping in the Valley of the Dogs*. I mean.

Anyway, I may refer back to her email and go do my own digging and update the page about Rory’s boat. Add it to the list, I suppose.

She seems to have some ideas about me. Nothing wrong with that, just, she’s not the first person I’ve ever encountered to have ideas like that about me, and I’m not even talking about in relation to Rory. This goes back a bit. I am not sure how to address it all, and it really doesn’t matter anyway, because this site isn’t about me. Suffice to say I am probably not the person you think I am and, if it’s any consolation, the guy I cohabited with for more than a decade didn’t “get” me either, and 99.9% of you have never even met me in person. I’m weird. I own it. Weird people are hard to read. Even when you think we’re not.

But… A lot of it goes back to stuff I’m trying to figure out about myself lately anyway. There was a time I’d have sat down and tried to write through it all. I did make a few attempts this time, too, but then thought, “…Nah.” Cannot be arsed. Everything is still too much in flux. What seems true for me right now might not be true in another three days. Tell you what, I thought I had trust issues before. But I wouldn’t still be here if I hadn’t learned to adapt. So there’s that.

…..

Had a boneless ribeye for my own little Thanksgiving. There is a particular way I prepare it and I hadn’t been able to do that in over a year. Did not do any delivery driving. My app promised mad fat quest bonuses but then informed me that it did not anticipate much ordering activity. Well, duh. But later today ought to be nice and insane. I need to get ahead of the room and the front-axle brake maintenance, anyway.

And then next week I start a new training class. Three days a week for four weeks. I vacillate between trying to find a job anyway, and waiting until the class is done to see who or what bites. The latter might be preferable. I’ll play it by ear.

Later, gators.

—–
*It is commonly believed that Glen Coe means “valley of sorrow,” owing to the massacre that took place there a few centuries back, but I was privy to a Facebook comment conversation on a Scottish page one day where someone who knew a Gaelic speaker informed us all that it means “valley of dogs.” I do not speak Gaelic, but I just asked Google what the Gaelic word for “hound” is — “dog” was something else entirely — and it spat out “cú” at me, which is Irish Gaelic. Which, hearkening back to the very little I know of pre-Christian Irish folklore, I am not surprised. And Irish and Scots Gaelic are not that different from one another. So.

Administrivia: 20 November 2022

I just had one of those moments where I thought, I bet I know where Rory McCann will be in the next few days, but then gave it a think and decided not to elaborate because probably he wouldn’t want people accosting him left and right while he’s there. Just… unless he is really, really busy with work and unless work is too far away from this thing, I have a feeling, is all. If I were in Scotland I’d go to this thing just to see if I’m right. I probably would have fun, too, even if I wasn’t right.

I’m being so vaaaaague! Wah!

But yes, Rory. If I were a betting woman, I’d be bettin’. Enjoy yersel’.

…..

So, a lot of you have undoubtedly seen this video.

Those of you who haven’t, this is Rory’s old band Thundersoup and he was one of the frontmen (lead vocalists). That’s Rory there in the striped furry suit and orange wig. If you watch the video you see him headbang said wig right off and if you’re familiar with his pre-balding hairline it’s pretty much a dead giveaway. If the video were sharper quality you’d get to see his smile to boot.

About 3:10 into it you start hearing him singing lead; before then he’s more backup and playing harmonica*. There are not enough videos of Rory singing out there in the world, in my not-so-humble.

What is also interesting about this video is that it happened the year of Rory’s fall in Yorkshire. It is a pretty fair bet that as he’s headbanging early in the video and one of the injuries he racked up in the fall was a good knock to the noggin, it probably hadn’t happened yet by the time this show occurred.

He doesn’t talk much about the aftereffects of the accident except for the way it informed his later acting career; it was the basis for Kenny McLeod’s story in The Book Group. But I’ve seen a photo of him at a certain angle that makes me wonder how bad that hit to the head was, and I’m sure he feels the old breaks when the weather changes. I cannot believe he drove himself to the hospital that day. My ass would have been passed out there on that ground and I’d be traumatized for life. Mad props, my dude. You are one tough fucker.

(And fucking cute.)

(I said that out loud, didn’t I.)

…..

Same old mess here as always. I’m battling anxiety on top of everything else and battling stupidity from other people, most notably the ex. Also it’s started getting cold here; I just had to contend with snow for the first time since last winter. That said, I’d always been a bit rough around the edges as a driver thanks to usually being too broke to own a car — not bad enough to rack up violations, my record’s been clean for more than 20 years (and I only had a speeding ticket and an expired-plate citation before that, both sorted), but my technique was lacking — and having to drive to keep a roof over my head has done wonders to improve me. So while my life’s still entirely in fate’s hands out there because I can’t control other drivers, random deer running across the road, etc., I seem to be sorting out the driving in bad weather thing.

I can’t promise I’d be any fucking good driving in, say, Great Britain, and I’d have to rent an automatic if I ever went there (I do sometimes contemplate going to driving school to learn standard shift**), but here in the States with our anal-retentive traffic laws I do all right. Eh. [shrug]
—–

*I will hazard a guess that Rory has long experience with harmonica, possibly second only to piano. Just a feeling. He used to show off with it in convention Q&As and, well, there’s this from Norway in 2019:

**I have had three different people try to teach me over the years. Two flew off the handle in the first five minutes and didn’t want to teach me anymore; the third was much more successful but we didn’t have enough time to practice and really cement it for me before the car owner came back from participating in the U.S. invasion of Haiti. By I’m sure complete coincidence, the two impatient would-be instructors were men and the effective one was not. My dudes, look at the insurance actuarial tables for automobiles and look at the accident statistics and go take a nap. There ya go.

Administrivia: 15 November 2022

Carrying on from what I wrote yesterday, a couple other thoughts.

I have seen the Sandor Clegane meme where Robert Baratheon tells Ned Stark that a direwolf is no pet for a child, so “get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it,” and in the next panel you see Sandor and Sansa together. That is also a direct quote from the book, more or less. To me that’s another clue that Sansa warged Sandor, and Martin probably put it there on purpose. It wasn’t just Robert saying something random and then a related thing happening by accident later. Sometimes the curtains are just fucking blue, but there’s still a lot of symbolism going on in the ASOIAF universe. And I think this is an example of it. Sansa’s got her dog, all right. Well, he’s lost right now…

…But I think he’ll be back, and we’ll get more than a glimpse of him with a hood over his head digging a grave. It would be a waste of a character if Martin set up Sansa and Sandor to have this connection and then nothing more comes of it. At least with Arya and Nymeria (you were all saying, “No, Sansa’s not the only Stark without a wolf,” but Nymeria is still alive), Nymeria sort of told Arya that Arya’s mother was dead. So she’s served a plot function in these books. I suppose Sandor did too, in that he found Arya and protected her. But he didn’t find her on purpose. They just happened to both run into the same group of outlaws and got thrown together by that. So I could go either way on this, really: did he do the job he was supposed to do or will there be more to it? I think there’s room for more. I’ll be surprised if there isn’t any more.

But… I said Martin does use symbolism in this story. We’ve got the book’s version of Brother Ray saying that the Hound is dead, we’ve got Probable Sandor digging graves. Martin’s way of saying his story is done without actually killing him off? Hope not, but could be. The man deserves some peace. I was actually angry when David and Dan killed him off in the show, because he’d shown signs of decency all along and I thought, just for once, couldn’t the man ever catch a fucking break. If he gets to catch a break in the books, fan-fucking-tastic. I’ll be happy for him.

(My grandmother was a burn victim too, worse than Sandor in that the burns covered more of her body, though her face did not end up as deformed. It’s a hard thing to survive, and I believe she suffered for the rest of her life. Never mind all the other hardships Sandor had to face as well. Not an easy life. Not a fate he deserved. Poor guy.)

Still. There’s another interesting fan theory out there, one I did not invent independently but can certainly buy, that when Cersei has her trial by combat against the Faith of the Seven, Gregor will be her champion and Sandor will be champion for the Faith. I don’t know how badly Book!Sandor wants to kill his brother anymore, but if he does, this would be an excellent way to make the attempt. So, because it’s bloody Martin, if we see him again it may likely be for this purpose. I doubt it’ll end well for Sandor, either.

I will say this for the way TV!Sandor went out: he died a hero. Typically for Sandor, no one will ever know. I would argue Sandor was more of a knight in that act than any actual fucking knight in that fucking kingdom, given what Gregor would have done had he lived. Sandor would mock me for saying it, but it’s true.

…..

Never mind on the final note from yesterday. No one should be surprised. But more potentially good stuff later this month, and possibly more realistic expectations. We’ll see.

Administrivia: 14 November 2022

Well, I wrote that previous post about an A Song of Ice and Fire fan theory of mine, and the site hasn’t melted down. I was out driving around Sunday and had some other thoughts which I figured I could flesh out into a post here. Some of it I’ve written about already, but it’s been something like three years since I hosted that theory here, so I don’t know how many of you currently reading this stuff even remember it.

And it’s more about Sandor Clegane this time around, which I suppose is Rory on a tangent, kind of.

First up, people have been arguing for ages about which side of Sandor’s face is burned. When I first read the books I assumed it was his left side. A reasonable person reading his initial description would have concluded it was his left side. But we see he’s burned on the right side in Game of Thrones.

At the end of the day, once the nattering about this dies down, I can only point out that George R. R. Martin was closely consulted with in the making of the show, particularly the first five seasons. If he felt they were putting the burn scar makeup on the wrong side of Rory’s face, he’d have said so. Also, there’s that passage in A Clash of Kings where Sansa walks on Sandor’s left side so she doesn’t have to see his burns. I think what actually happened with book one is George didn’t think about how it sounded when he wrote it out. He was thinking about sides as Sansa experienced them. A burn scar on Sandor’s right side would have occurred on Sansa’s left as she faced him. This is not how writers normally describe a person’s features, which is why everyone got confused. But it has been my observation in reading all five of the existing, published core books that whoever edited them did not do as thorough a job as they might have done. Actually, editing and proofreading have gotten noticeably sloppy in the past forty years and I wish I knew why. I’m just saying the ASOIAF books did not escape this trend unscathed, and in fact are far more error-prone than I’m accustomed to seeing. I don’t know if that’s true of all their different editions. I do know it’s true of the hardcover versions you can still find at Barnes & Noble. I actually harbor a secret fantasy that Martin hires me, once he’s done with all seven books, to go back and clean them up properly. Because I would do that shit for free*.

Wait… I said that out loud, didn’t I.

Welp. Guess it’s not a fucking secret anymore, huh?

Okay. Anyway, Sandor’s burned on his right side. End of.

Next up is another fan theory I came up with, and I can’t say I’m the absolute first to come up with it but I do know that when I first started bandying this about, I googled to see if anyone else was saying it on the internet and got bupkis. That was three years ago. Could be people are saying it now. I’m not going to bother looking.

We need to talk about SanSan, y’all.

I swear this fad plays up people’s worst tendencies when it comes to what they expect out of relationships, even fictitious ones. Sansa’s a kid, Sandor’s way older than she is, and Sandor needs to work on his fucking anger issues. I get why he is the way he is, and I’m sorry that happened to him, but maybe he would have been a dick anyway given who his brother is — could be something hereditary, who the fuck knows — and NONE of this makes him a good boyfriend. At best it might make him a good bodyguard. Sansa feels sorry for him because Sansa at heart is a decent person** and can see he’s in pain, not because they’re fucking soulmates.

Y’all even grossed Rory out with this. Seriously, he ate dinner with Sophie Turner’s parents. He was SO GLAD David and Dan didn’t pursue the SanSan thing***.

Actually, I’ve misspoken. I said Sandor and Sansa are not soulmates. But I might be dead wrong, and that’s what this theory is about. And if I’m wrong, I’m not wrong in the way you might have guessed.

Sansa, alone of all the Stark children (and one Stark-Targaryen kid), has no direwolf. Ned was forced to execute her wolf in retaliation for Arya’s wolf biting Joffrey and then running away.

About the same time Sansa’s siblings (and cousin) began developing psychic links with their direwolves, Sandor began taking an active interest in protecting and advising Sansa.

Coincidence?

Fuck no.

One of the mystical/ magical elements in the ASOIAF universe is the warg, a person who can create a psychic link with animals. Southron Westerosi dismiss wargs as northman wet-nurse tales. Northmen still tell the tales but most don’t believe them anymore. Wildlings from north of the Wall not only still believe in wargs but actively befriend them. And as we’ve seen, all of Ned Stark’s kids (and nephew) seem to have developed the warging ability.

The far-north wildlings have also made it explicitly clear that a warg creating a warging bond with another human being is forbidden. Taboo. Not fucking done.

Sansa does not know this. Sansa does not believe the old stories. Sansa is not aware that her siblings (and cousin) are forming these bonds with their wolves. Sansa’s wolf is dead.

Sansa has a bond with someone, however. We’ve all seen it. You all out there think it’s a romantic bond, in fact. Sigh. Flutter.

Nope. I think she warged Sandor. And I think neither of them know it, and that it is a source of great torment for him.

To me the biggest clue that this has occurred is that Sansa now has a “memory” of herself and Sandor kissing from the night of the battle of the Blackwater, when he left King’s Landing but stopped by her room first and scared her. We know they didn’t kiss, but she has a very clear memory of them kissing. One might be forgiven for assuming this was yet another error of Martin’s that survived the editor. Martin himself has dismissed it as Sansa’s being an “unreliable witness.” Martin, of course, would want to prevent spoilers.

We know from the accounts of Sansa’s siblings (and cousin) that the warging link can be felt over long distances. Most notably, Jon can pick up Ghost’s thoughts from a distance, and Arya can pick up Nymeria’s hunting from probably hundreds of miles away.

We also know from his words when Arya abandons him that Sandor had wanted to rape Sansa the night he went to her room. Sandor is fucked in the head from years of abuse and has probably never had a love relationship in his entire life. He wouldn’t know what to do with his feelings, and he clearly believes his feelings are romantic in nature. It is not difficult to conclude that the thoughts Sansa keeps having of herself and Sandor kissing are actually Sandor broadcasting his wish that he’d kissed her to every warg within broadcast distance. Or to his own warg, anyway. I’m actually kind of surprised none of the other Stark kids have picked up on it, but maybe you can only do that sort of long-distance emotion-reading with your own warging-vehicle. No idea. Suppose we’ll find out in due time. If Martin ever finishes the fucking books.

I mean, think about it. When you imagine kissing someone, you IMAGINE KISSING SOMEONE, like, you position yourself in that actual situation as if it is actually happening. So, yeah, as the other participant in this little fantasy, Sansa’s probably picking up “her” side of that scenario.

I wonder if she’s ever going to find out what happened.

I wonder what Sandor will think.

Hooooo boy.

I could go either way on whether Sandor’s feelings are genuine. I’m guessing possibly not, and this may be why warging people is forbidden. If it makes people feel things they wouldn’t otherwise feel, that’s a kind of psychological rape. At least in Sansa’s case she didn’t know any better and doesn’t even know she’s doing it, but if she’s meant to be Queen in the North by the end of the books, this could create some unanticipated drama with the northmen and/or wildlings if they ever find out.

Of course, David and Dan don’t know about this (I’m surprised they didn’t work it out, given they figured out who Jon Snow is), or if they did know they decided it wasn’t important or couldn’t be worked into the TV show. To the extent they fucked up the story just so they could finish the whole show with season eight, this was one of the ways they fucked it up, in my opinion. My guess is that they simply didn’t know. Who knows why. Maybe Martin decided he wanted to keep some details to himself so the books wouldn’t be a total wash with the fans. Maybe Martin himself felt there was no way to incorporate it into the TV show, anyhow. Rory certainly didn’t seem to know, because he’s always treated SanSan like a straight-up fucked up romantic fantasy.

But there you go. What I think is happening. We’ll see how it all plays out.

…..

Later today (it’s 1am now) I have a thing to go to. I’m afraid to talk too much about it here for fear it’ll fall through. But good thoughts, etc. would be appreciated, if you are so inclined. We could be seeing a change in my circumstances before too much longer. Just in time for the holidays, too.

—–
*”But you commit all sorts of grammatical errors in this blog,” you’re thinking. Yes, I do. My language here is meant to be conversational and I promise you, I do not speak in a grammatically correct way either, if you were to hear me in person. Actually, I don’t expect a work of fiction to have Strunk & White-level grammatical perfection either, but there are some pretty glaring mistakes in ASOIAF. For example: Get a Barnes & Noble hardcover of A Game of Thrones, then read the final couple paragraphs of the chapter that is about Dany’s wedding. Pay close attention. See if you see it. Even casual grammar wouldn’t have caused a mistake like that. That was some editor not paying attention. And that wasn’t even George’s longest book. That is the sort of thing I would clean up for him.

**I will never forgive David and Dan for turning Sansa into a bitch. I swear to you, read the fucking books. She’s not like that, I promise you.

***This, by the way, is points in his favor in my book. Much older men with much younger women is a Hollywood trope and THANK FUCK Rory is not like that. Whatever issues he might have with women, I don’t know, he doesn’t talk about that shit anymore. But he doesn’t have that issue, for which I will be eternally grateful.