In this past week’s Episode (“The Mountain and the Viper”), Tyrion Lannister relayed a story to his brother Jaime about their cousin, Orson Lannister*. Orson was a simple boy, dropped on his head and left mentally handicapped, who delighted in smashing beetles in the garden. The speech served for some fans as not only a commentary on the relentless cruelty the people of Westeros face on a day-to-day basis, but also a critique of the seemingly heartless nature of George R.R. Martin’s storytelling. For those folks, Orson was a stand-in for Martin — a God-like simpleton avatar the show’s creators made up to analyze the writer’s barbaric death-dealing. And now, thanks to the glory of crowd-funding, fans can donate to Martin’s favorite charities for a chance at becoming a “Martyr”. In short, $20,000 will earn you a place in an upcoming Song of Ice and Fire novel, where you can become one of these beetles Martin gleefully smashes with a rock.
Via the crowdfunding page (which, of course, mostly benefits wolves by donating funds to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary):
“You can choose your character’s station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!”
Thanks George! Other rewards offered include the chance to have breakfast with Martin (for $15,000), a pair of tickets to the Season 5 premiere ($7,500 — which seems oddly low), a “thank you e-card” (for $25)… and “George R.R. Martin’s worn hat” for $7,500 (I bet that thing smells REALLY BAD). The campaign will also benefit The Food Depot, “an amazing local charity that helps the tens of thousands of people in North New Mexico.”
One really cool perk offered is that, if you donate any money all, you get the chance at winning this:
You and a friend will be flown out (from wherever you are in the world) to meet me in Santa Fé, where we’ll share a helicopter ride to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.
In addition to touring the Sanctuary together, we’ll also have plenty of time to discuss the show, A Song of Ice and Fire, direwolves – and if there’s anything you have ever wanted to ask me, here’s your chance!
Now all that’s going to haunt me for the rest of the day is a vision of me winning this helicopter prize and asking GRRM “hey, how’d you feel about that Orson speech?” I imagine what comes next is a re-enactment of the Mountain/Viper fight, with me playing the part of Prince Oberyn.
Dumb jokes aside, it’s a fundraiser that supports two very worthy causes. You should totally donate.
Via: The Mary Sue
*For those who don’t have the speech in front of them, I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing it from my DVR:
“Do you remember Cousin Orson? Orson Lannister? He was simple! Used to sit all day in the garden crushing beetles with a rock! KER-CHUNK! KER-CHUNK! KER-CHUNK! KER-CHUNK! Nothing made him happier…I stayed with Orson. I was curious. Why was he smashing all of those beetles? What did he get out of it? First thing I did was ask him. ‘Orson, why are you smashing all those beetles?’ And he gave me an answer. ‘SMASH THE BEETLES! SMASH ‘EM! KUNK! KUNK! KUNK!’ I wasn’t deterred. I was the smartest person I knew. Certainly I had the wherewithal to unravel the mysteries that lay at the heart of a moron. So I went to Maester Valerik’s library. Turns out, far too much has been written about great men, but not nearly enough about morons. Doesn’t seem right. In any case, I found nothing that illuminated the nature of Orson’s affliction or the reason behind his relentless beetle slaughter. So I went back to the source. I may not be able to speak with Orson, nut I could observes him; watch him the way men watch animals to come to a deeper understanding of their behavior. And as I watched, I became more and more sure: there was something happening there. His face was like a page of a book, written in a language I didn’t understand. But he wasn’t mindless — he had his reasons. I became possessed with knowing what they were. I’d eat my lunch in the garden, my mind trained to the music of KUNK! KUNK! KUNK! When I wasn’t watching him, I was thinking about him. Father droned on about family legacy and I thought about Orson’s beetles. When I heard about the history of the Targaereyn’s dragon conquests, did I hear dragon’s wings? No. I heard KUNK! KUNK! KUNK! And I still couldn’t figure out why he was doing it. I had to know because it was horrible that all these beetles should be dying for no reason…It filled me with dread. Piles and piles and years and years — how many countless living, crawling things smashed and dried out to return to the dirt. In my dreams, I found myself standing on the beach with beetle husks stretched out far as the eye could see. I woke up cry, weeping for their shattered little bodies. I tried to stop him once and he just pushed me aside with a KUNK! and kept smashing. Every day…until that mule kicked him in the chest and killed him. So what do you think? Why did he do it? What was it all about?”