Chapter 1: HBIC
“Good afternoon, Ms Martell. Is she expecting you?”
“Always,” Arianne smiled and breezed past the receptionist.
It was only half-true. Because while she did not technically have an appointment, she had been told that this company had an ‘Open Door’ policy when it came to problems, and surely this counted as a problem. Okay, so it wasn’t even a little true. But after the day she’d just had she wasn’t going to waste any more time on something as silly as a phone call to request an appointment.
The elaborate carved doors at the end of the hallway opened on tasteful-if-dull decor of beige and sage, breathtaking panoramic views of King’s Landing, and the well-respected leader of Tyrell Industries bent at her desk, scribbling at paper and not bothering to look up.
“What brings you in to see me, Arianne?”
“Do I really need a reason to visit my boss, my mentor, my friend, who I admire more than anyone else in the whole wide world?”
It took longer than she expected for Olenna to put down her pen, raise her eyes, and subtly call her on her bullshit; Arianne cracked immediately.
“Your cast is getting on my nerves.”
“They ceased to be my cast when I hired you. There’s a reason I’d rather produce this show than direct it.”
“Yes, well, I think I’ve figured out what that reason is.”
“Alright,” Olenna sighed, and leaned back in her chair. “Lay it on me.”
“Cat’s not happy with her storyline.”
“Well she has been in a coma for more than a year now, I can see why she’s done with it.”
“She’d rather be unemployed?”
“She’d rather have lines.”
Olenna harumphed. “She’s going to have to wait till we have something for her, I’m afraid. What else?”
“Rickon feels like he’s ready for something more challenging…”
“And Bran wants to take on a more stunt-heavy role…”
“Oh for heaven's sake, Arianne, can’t you say no to anyone?”
Arianne didn’t answer, just met Olenna’s hard-but-bemused eyes with a hard look of her own till the woman understood.
“You think they’re right.”
“Would it really be so bad?” Arianne asked, because the truth was she did think they were right. “If the boy wants to do a few stunts, maybe we should let him. Benjen says it’s perfectly safe, and he is the stunt coordinator.”
“What are you going to have him do, swing in on a rope like Tarzan? It’s not that kind of show. What else?”
“Everyone hates working with Joff.”
“That was my mistake, I suppose I can help you fix it. Surely the writers can come up with a story to get him out of here.”
“Surely. Do you want to talk to them about it or do you want me to?”
“You do it,” Olenna said, gracing her with a rare smile. “You have a way with them”
“I certainly do.”
Olenna had plucked Arianne from relative obscurity back when she was a fledgling writer working on a team led by one Meryn Trant, a man who not only never listened to her but wouldn’t even let her talk. And while she assumed that was because she was brand new and needed to earn his respect, she did not expect him to call her back after one meeting to offer what he no doubt believed was solid professional advice:
“No one’s ever gonna take you seriously with tits like that.”
Oh. Well. If this asshole had a problem because she had tits then he was just going to have to learn to fucking deal with it.
After that day she started wearing push-up bras and low-cut blouses to every meeting, then while the men were busy silently leering at her chest she would push her ideas through, sometimes writing the entire script then walking it up to production herself, a fact that quickly earned her a reputation as someone who could get some actual shit done. It was the perfect way to work a system that was already stacked against her, and boy did she work the hell out of that system.
Such different people; such different times.
“I suppose as long as I’m meeting with the writers I should talk to them about Cersei too.”
“In a surprise to absolutely no one, she’s not happy with her story, either. Thinks her plots have become ‘unsexy.’”
“What does she expect? The woman has been on this show for thirty years, we’ve run out of men for her to sleep with.”
“Yes, well, if we gave her a hot new love interest like she wants…”
“She’s also suggested that perhaps her character could have a baby.”
“A baby? She’s post-menopausal!”
“Well she is the star.”
“The star? Ha! Have you seen our ratings? Positively abysmal. If anything it’s time to put that horse out to pasture and mine for new talent.”
“Then maybe it’s time to do the same with Varys.”
It was a taboo subject, she knew, and the cloud that fell over her boss’s usually unreadable face confirmed it. Olenna had always fostered a sort of fondness for Varys and his bloated ego, bragged about him constantly, seemed almost amused by the way he drifted about the set passing judgment on… well, on everything.
“Varys is the only person we have with any real talent,” she said now.
“As he reminds me. Often.”
“Member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, recipient of an Olivier Award…”
“So I’ve heard.”
“Colm Wilkinson wept at Varys’s version of Valjean.”
“Heard about that too.”
“We’re lucky to have the man, really, especially with all his training in…”
“In live theater, I know. ‘Nothing can compare to a live show, now those were the days, truly electric, audience always on the edge of their seats’ blah blah blah. We’re not shooting a live show, so what does it matter?”
It really was a bit of a waste to have a man like him on a show like hers, even Arianne knew it. Varys made every scene look bigger than it was written- dramatic, tear-inducing, sometimes even beautiful- but that kind of talent wasn’t much use on a soap opera. Maybe Olenna was starting to agree with her, if the silence stretching between them was any indication, though that look of contemplation on her heavily-lined face was not a good sign.
“A live show…” she muttered, fingers tapping lightly together; Arianne’s stomach churned.
“That’s a terrible idea.”
“These are pros, surely they can handle a live show if we keep the script simple enough.”
It was true- while the cast may be a bit of a handful off-screen, on -screen they were consummate professionals; lately they’d been able to do just about every scene in one take.
“It’s risky. Anything that happens live is something we’re stuck with forever, even something unscripted.” And these people are loose cannons.
Olenna stood and walked to her bar, reached for two rocks glasses and the cut crystal decanter of Four Pillars and poured them each a drink. It wasn’t terribly surprising that Olenna would eventually make a move for alcohol. What was surprising was that usually she had someone else do the pouring.
“Do you know why I hired you, Arianne?”
“Because of my amazing rack?”
“Because when I asked you why you wanted to direct, you looked me right in the eye and said ‘I’ll be good at it.’ Do you remember?”
She did remember- remembered how the interview lasted exactly five minutes and only three questions, how she’d left the towering building certain she’d never hear back, how she was absolutely convinced that the job offer she’d received via email late that evening must have been mistake. But that had been her name, with the title in bold letters right across the top- DIRECTOR- and a corresponding salary that made her cry.
“You never doubted yourself for even a moment,” Olenna was saying now, pressing a drink into Arianne’s hand and taking the seat at her side. “And I haven’t doubted you either. So we’re doing a live show, and you’re going to be good at it. Do you hear me?”
She heard her, alright, especially heard that tone in her voice that meant the matter was settled. And when Olenna raised her glass Arianne followed suit, clinking the crystal together before taking the full pour in one gulp, sealing the deal.
But no amount of gin could ever erase her concern, or that word that floated all around her and wouldn’t let up: risky. God, was it risky; so many things could go wrong. But Olenna believed in her, and tucked around that word were lots of other words, things like vote of confidence and rare opportunity and incredible experience. And she supposed it would look good on her resume. Hell, bet Meryn Trant never got to do a live show.
“I’ll talk to the writers.”
Chapter 2: Good Twin, Bad Twin
Chapter by sarahcakes613, ZoeSong
Some weird ao3 bug has listed Zoe as co-author of this chapter. She did not work on this chapter, but she worked on others and you should definitely go read those.
Walda’s eyes swiveled madly and her bosoms (all natural, thank you) heaved as she took in the scene unfolding in front of her. Gregor was hunched over, hands curled protectively over his nose.
“You asshole, you broke my nose!” He bellowed to his brother. Sandor was stalking back and forth, fists clenching and unclenching as he struggled to control his breathing.
“You had it coming, Gregor. What did you expect, that you could just show up after three years and Walda would abandon everything? She’s moved on, brother.”
Walda opened her mouth, but thought better of speaking. It was true that she’d begun a relationship with Sandor while Gregor was in jail, but she’d never really intended to exchange one twin for the other. She’d just missed Gregor so much, and there was Sandor, the spitting image of his brother, and she was so lonely.
Gregor looked over at her, pain in his eyes. “Is that true, Walda?”
Walda opened her mouth again, but Sandor spoke over her. “It’s true, Gregor. We’re very happy together, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” He swaggered over to Walda, swinging one arm around her and drawing her into his side.
This really wasn’t how Walda had imagined this reunion going. She’d imagined something more loving, maybe the twins falling into each others’ arms and her coyly suggesting that there was more than enough of her to go around, but neither Gregor nor Sandor seemed interested in sharing their toys.
“AND THAT’S A WRAP”, yelled Trystane Martell, assistant director. “Can we get a medic in here to look at Gregor’s nose?”
Sandor winced. “Yeah, uh, sorry about that Gregor. I didn’t mean to actually break it.”
Gregor spat out a bit of blood and grinned at his brother. “No worries, mate! I bet it looked great on camera!”
Acting done, Walda bustled over to her husband and cooed at him while the medic probed at his face. “Oh my darling, I’m so happy they finally wrote you back into the show! I missed you so much!”
Gregor chuckled and caressed her face. “Silly girl, you still saw me every day when you got home from work! Besides, someone had to look after little Jimothy, and you’re more important to the show than I ever was.”
The medic was just finishing up with his prodding when Sandor stormed over to them, frustration writ clear across his face. “Have either of you heard about the plans for the season finale?” he demanded.
They shook their heads in unison. Sandor was bristling now, as he explained how he’d overheard Trystane talking to Arianne over the walkies. “Olenna wants a fucking live finale. She’s fucking insane. How the hell is a live finale going to work with our storyline?! Does she know how long the makeup that covers my scars takes?!”
Walda looked at Gregor in amazement, and when their eyes met, she knew they were having the same thought. This was perfect. A live show could change everything. She’d be sure to sidle up to the writers as soon as she could. Pursing her lips thoughtfully, she began to ponder what sort of baked goods would be best for bribing someone to write a menage-a-trois.
Chapter 3: I Am Woman Hear Me Roar
Chapter by Jillypups, mynameisnoneya, ZoeSong
Some Ao3 bug has put my name (ZoeSong) as a co-author of this chapter, but I cannot claim credit for it. Sorry for the confusion!
And for the record, this chapter was written entirely by mynameisnoneya. Not sure why the credits appear as such. Sorry for the confusion!
Relaxing in her designer-label chaise nestled beside her enormous in-ground pool that was lightly shaded by the late-morning sun, Cersei Lannister sat comfortably reclined at her mansion in King’s Landing, pretending to pay attention to Bronn Blackwater, her latest conquest, as he prattled on incessantly about how much he hated the way Olenna Tyrell kept ignoring Cersei’s talents by continuing to place Cersei in boring, stuffy, matronly storylines, regularly depicting Cersei as nothing more than the thin thread of sanity holding both her on-screen and real-life son, Joffrey, tethered to reality.
“It’s a conspiracy, that’s what it is,” Bronn huffed as he slammed his copy of the show’s script onto the marble-topped side table next to his plush lounge chair. “How long has it been going on now, for fuck’s sake?”
Without responding, Cersei continued rifling through her magazine, not bothering to answer.
Undeterred, Bronn continued his rant, “You’re the star, babe! You always have been! You’re the reason that viewers keep tuning into this sack of shit show. Why do the writers keep giving you these bullshit storylines?”
“We’ve had this conversation, darling,” Cersei sighed as she rolled her jade-green eyes behind her oversized Gucci sunglasses, still not looking at Bronn as he continued to seethe while lazing about her pool in his swim trunks, “Olenna thinks that I’m getting too old to be the leading lady any longer.” Just the feel of that old hag’s name rolling off her tongue made Cersei want to vomit.
“But this?” Bronn exclaimed, reaching for the script suddenly and jerking it off the table so hard that he made it shake, “Have you even read it?”
Nodding her head in agreement, Cersei flipped through a few more pages of her high-end fashion magazine. “Of course, I have. I’ve already memorized my lines for production tomorrow.”
Bronn mumbled a couple of inaudible curses under his breath as he thumbed through the script once again, finally stopping on a page, stabbing his finger at a particularly offensive script passage, “And you mean to tell me that you’re alright with this garbage? That you’re OK with the fact that the writers can’t come up with anything else for you but this? You’ve become background scenery! You’re nothing more than a dried-up old nag-in-the-making, just sitting around her villa, drinking herself into oblivion, and worrying about what her bratty as fuck son is doing any given minute.”
Bronn’s assessment of Cersei’s matronly role as of late caused her to snort as she reached toward the side-table for her second Bloody Mary of the day. “My, my. That about sums up the definition of irony, don’t you think?” she mused as she took a swig.
“What?” Bronn asked, suddenly confused by Cersei’s comment.
Pulling down her sunglasses so she could peer over the top of them at her lover, Cersei glared at Bronn as she watched him trying to process her attempt at humor. Bronn was not the brightest bulb on the proverbial Christmas tree, but he was loyal as hell and fiercely protective, not to mention fantastic in bed, so as always, Cersei simply gritted her professionally bleached-white teeth at his inability to yet again keep up in a conversation.
“I am old, you nitwit,” Cersei spat as she shoved her sunglasses back up the bridge of her pert nose, “At least by television standards. Once a woman hits forty, the sexy, alluring roles dry up, just like her period.”
Once Bronn’s brain finally caught up to Cersei’s typical dry wit, he appeared indignant at Cersei’s statements. “Fuck that. You’re still as gorgeous now as you were when you started the damn show. You should be fucking every man and woman on the roll call.”
“Oh, really?” Cersei sniffed, her perfectly-groomed dark eyebrow arching in amusement at him, “Is that so?”
Catching his mistake, Bronn flopped sideways in his lounge chair, lifting his hand as if he were examining his manicured fingernails, “Yeah, well…maybe I don’t want to be around to see you shagging Ned or Tormund or Beric, but still…you’re the best damn actress on the series, hands-down. You deserve better storylines than the rubbish you’re given.”
“Would you stop, alright?” Cersei interrupted, laughing slightly as she leaned forward to pat Bronn on the forearm, “Don’t worry yourself about me, darling. I’ll be fine. I’m a survivor. ‘Lady Tyrell’ and her little garden full of minions won’t rid themselves of me that easily.” As Bronn’s eyes narrowed while he waited for her to continue, Cersei’s grin became mischevious, almost sinster as she continued. “I’ve carried that show on my back for years. Years. And for what? So Olenna can put me out to pasture for that skinny young redhead she’s suddenly brought on board? I think not, my dear. Olenna may think that she can simply sit back and enjoy watching my character wither away until one day I either have enough and walk out or she finds a way to kill me off once and for all, but she’s sorely mistaken.”
“But she can’t -”
“Yes. She can,” Cersei added, cutting Bronn off before he could finish, “And that’s exactly what her little plan is, darling. But rest assured, I will not go without a fight.” Rising from her seat, Cersei stood before Bronn, noticing how his eyes darted from her face down to the split where her silken kimono parted between her breasts. The man was not much more than a walking hard-on about twenty-three out of the twenty-four hours in the day, which was another reason Cersei kept him around.
“Joffrey texted me this morning from the set,” Cersei grinned as she slowly undid the belt which fastened her robe, enjoying the way Bronn’s hooded blue eyes raked over her flesh as she opened the fabric to his view, “Would you believe that Lady Olenna finally had a good idea?”
With the sudden loss of blood to his brain, Bronn stared at Cersei in awe, drinking in the sight of her toned body on display as the silken fabric hung loosely from her shoulders. “Idea?” he barely squeaked in reply.
Once again, Cersei smiled smugly, brushing her long, wavy blond hair off her shoulder toward her back, “She wants us to go live. Do you know what this could mean for me? For my career?”
“Oh, I love it when you’re thinking up a plan,” Bronn purred, tugging her forward until she straddled his lap. He grasped one of her bared breasts in his hand, planting several quick, wet kisses along the tops, “You always get so damn horny when you’re scheming.”
Shutting her eyes in enjoyment, holding loosely onto Bronn’s broad shoulders, Cersei continued her thoughts as Bronn’s mouth worked its way up her long, pale neck. “Can you imagine? The ratings are going to shoot through the roof each and every week. The fans will be on the edge of their seats, just waiting for any blooper or screw-up. And the only other actor who has ever set foot on stage in front of a live audience besides that sniveling little twat, Varys, is me. Me.”
“I can almost see the little wheels turning ‘round in that pretty blonde head of yours,” Bronn added as he raised his head, grinning wickedly at Cersei while his naughty hands slid down her exposed sides, grazing the skin of her thighs.
“You know me well,” Cersei moaned as Bronn’s hands found their target, massaging and tickling her just the way she liked it.
“You know I do, love,” Bronn chuckled when Cersei started to writhe in his lap, grinding and rocking her hips in time with his ministrations.
“I’ll show Olenna Fucking Tyrell who the real star of The Bold and the Restless is,” Cersei panted as she chased down her release. “I’m a lioness…I will not cringe for her…I...will, oh…yes! I…will…roar!”
And as Cersei came with a shout, tightly gripping Bronn’s bare shoulders with her blood-red nails as he helped her ride out her glorious high, she smiled at the thought of how her upcoming meeting this afternoon with Olenna just might play out, especially now that the old bitty had all but given Cersei a hand-engraved invitation to really show her acting chops the minute Cersei went live and in person.
Chapter 4: Pumpkin Spice Lattes (Are basically crack)
so here's a thing. Varys was WAY more fun to write than I expected ya'll! ALSO: uhhh so I've watched a LOT of soap operas growing up but I'm sure the detective scenes are gonna be more like Brooklyn Nine Nine so there's that hahaha.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Arya never would have pegged herself to become a soap star, not that she has anything against them, her whole family was in the business and she had grown up around various different sets. No, she just never expected this to become her life as well, her dreams were different and she had chased them.
An Olympic Gold Medal in fencing last summer was her crowning achievement, and while she had fully intended on returning to training, but she found her heart wasn’t totally committed to it when she went back to the gym for the first time. Then an opportunity presented itself which meant being able to work with not only her family, but also her boyfriend Podrick, and before she knew it she was working as a stunt coordinator for a sword fight scene in one of The Bold and The Restless’ more bizarre and dramatic storylines.
Somewhere along the line she must have impressed someone, most likely Olenna Tyrell or Arianne Martell, because when her contract was over for the sword fight scene, she received a phone call asking her to come in a read for a new role on TBaTR.
That’s how she ended up back on the TBaTR set, with her own little trailer next to Podrick’s, her ass half asleep in the makeup chair as Megga fixed her stage makeup.
“This is wild, isn’t it?” Podrick says, head popping into the makeup room with a grin that takes up half his face.
“Can’t talk. Need coffee.” Is all she says, staring straight ahead towards the giant mirror in front of her, afraid that Megga will take out an eye if she moves her face even an inch to acknowledge her boyfriend.
“Good thing I bought two this morning huh?” Podrick asks, as he walks up behind her and holds out what better be a steaming hot cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte in the most gorgeous white cup she’s ever seen.
Arya reaches aimlessly behind her, trying to grab the liquid gold that Pod brought her, but the bastard keeps moving it out of her way while laughing and goddamit it’s more funny when she’s the one teasing him.
“Kiss me first, then you can have your caffeine fix.”
Arya whines, her slippered feet kicking at her chair while Megga artfully finishes some dramatic cat eye liner thing that she’s seen Sansa do about 36 million times. Her sister tried teaching her once, saying it would be helpful for all those interviews and awards ceremonies she would attend being a world class fencing star, but it was just as easy to hire someone for those things as it was to do it herself.
“Megga just prettied me all up and you want me to ruin all of this,” she says, waving a hand at her face, “for a kiss?”
The makeup girl giggles. “It’s alright Arya. The lid of the drink will ruin your lipstick anyway without a straw. I’ll be able to do a quick touch up before your due on set.”
Podrick gives her a triumphant grin before swooping down to press his lips firmly against her own. She can’t help but smile into the kiss, Podrick has this effect on her normal, stoic self. He leans in to deepen the kiss, but Arya artfully ducks out of the way and grabs the latte out of his hand, laughing at the comical rise in her boyfriend’s eyebrows when he just barely manages to catch himself before he falls.
“Sneaky.” Is all he can say before settling himself into the chair next to her. Megga comes over with a makeup cape for him and says something about needing fresh makeup sponges and being right back before she rushes out of the room.
“Are you excited to film?” He asks while pulling of the knit cap he’s wears, his fingers ruffling the mess of dark hair underneath.
“More like nervous. My family has been on this show for literal decades Podrick, and this is the last thing I thought I’d be doing. I don’t want to screw it up.”
“You’ll be great Arya, I promise.” Podrick tells her as he reaches across their chairs, linking their fingers together and giving her the widest smile she’s ever seen.
She can’t help but believe him.
Varys stands in the middle of his trailer, the 2013 Broadway Cast Recording of Cinderella coming from his Bose surround sound speakers, his silk robe tied loosely around his waist while he waltzes around his room to Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes. That could have been him, he thinks bitterly, he would have out preformed either of those two hacks given the chance.
Varys had a long and celebrated career, an Olivier Award and a Tony Award among his many accolades. How he ended up on some American Soap Opera was beyond him, it just simply went to show that no one cared for good theatre any more. His agent, Illyrio Mopatis, would insist it had something to do with the bag of cocaine that was found on him when he was caught with all those prostitutes a few years back, but lesser actors had come back from similar career missteps. Look at Robert Downey Jr for christssakes, the man was now playing Iron Man for Marvel and the public loved him, what did he have that Varys didn’t?
Other than a full head of hair and being built like a delicious ox, absolutely nothing.
A knock on his door breaks him out of the trance and he can’t help but grumble about being interrupted during Varys time.
“Yes?” He says as he opens the door, a very frazzled looking production assistant at his door. Oh what’s his name, Erryk… Arryk?
“Uh… Mr. Varys, hello. There has been a change to our finale, Ms. Martell and Mrs. Tyrell just made it. I’m bringing you a copy of their statement.” The PA says before hightailing it out of there.
Varys may have thrown a hot cup of tea at one of them once, but they interrupted his daily yoga session and they through off his zen, so the second degree burns the incompetent PA received from the incident we’re their own damn fault.
Varys shuts his door and looks at the notice, hoping, nay, begging whatever omnipresent being in the sky that was listening that maybe this was it. The moment he had been begging the writers and producers to give him ever since he found his way on this nightmarishly laughable television show.
Maybe Arianne and Olenna had finally relented and gave him is big musical number, complete with the shirtless male background dancers in gold lame pants. He knew what the public wanted, his 1.5k Twitter Followers even started a hashtag campaign to let the writers know how much they wanted to see him get the chance to pull out a show stopping number on TBaTR.
His public needed him back on the great white way and he wasn’t letting this minor layover in daytime television stop him.
As he flips through the script he finally finds where his lines have been highlighted in the neon blue he’s insisted on the writers using for his lines, and lets out the highest pitch scream of excitement he’s ever uttered.
Arya Stark stalks into the KLPD headquarters like a woman on a mission, black leather jacket, mirrored aviators and combat boots making a statement of “Don’t mess with me.” Today is her first day as a detective on the force, and she’s to report to the office of Captain Varys to meet her new partner.
Podrick Payne is sitting at his desk, feet up, chatting to Loras at the desk behind him when a slip of a girl… no woman, walks through the door and heads straight back to the captains’s office. He watches transfixed as the young woman lifts her shades and pushes back her hair, running her fingers through her brown curls before flicking her attention over towards him. He’s startled to say the least, crashing backwards in his chair as Loras starts cracking up and the mystery woman doesn’t even crack a smile.
Captain Varys walks out of his office and Loras immediately shuts up and gets back to work before he gets sent to do some unsavory task as punishment from the captain.
“Payne, get off the floor. If you could be so kind as to join us in here.” Varys says with a tilt of his head.
Arya settles herself into one of the leather chairs while she waits for the chief to return. Captain Varys walks into the room just then and Arya jumps to her feet, her new boss followed by the guy that fell out of his chair a few minutes ago. He’s red from ear tip all the way down to where his oxford is left opened, hopefully out of embarrassment and not anger for being partnered with a girl.
“Arya Stark, meet Podrick Payne, your new partner.” The captain says in a no nonsense manner, and the two amicably shake hands in meeting.
“Podrick has been a detective at KLPD for three years now, his former partner, Harrion Celtigar left the department several months ago to start a bakery.”
“Harrion earned the nickname Hot Pie while in academy. He really liked to bake pastries for the guys. It just short of stuck.” Podrick offers by way of explanation.
“Hot Pie? As in Hot Pie’s Hot Pies?” Arya asks excitedly.
“Yeah. You’ve heard of them?” Podrick asks before the Captain clears his throat to draw the attention back to him.
“As I was saying. Arya is a first time detective, a transfer from Braavos PD. Show her the ropes Payne, and by that I don’t mean the ones in your bedroom.” Captain Varys says dryly, dismissing the two with a wave of his hand.
“Uh. He’s making that last bit up. I definitely don’t have ropes in my bedroom.” Podrick tells her as they are walking out of the office and towards their desks.
“That’s too bad.” Is all Arya has to say, a wicked smile playing across her lips.
Some Ao3 bug has put my name (ZoeSong) as a co-author of this chapter, but I cannot claim credit for it. Sorry for the confusion!
Benjen Stark, the erstwhile stunt man, (or world’s biggest idiot, he liked to think, but hey, it paid the bills) for the long-running soap opera, ‘The Bold and Restless’, took his eyes from the stage directions he was studying and turned to face the show’s director, Arianne Martell.
“Yeah? What’s up?”
Arianne picked her way through the backstage debris – timber, metal railings, bits of furniture and strangely, a replica of a 1960’s Russian space capsule (must have been before his time) and took a seat next to him.
“Are those next week’s scripts?” she asked him, nodding to the papers in his hand.
“Yep, though at the rate they get changed around here, I may as well use it to wipe my ass,” he grinned.
She burst out laughing, probably a little more than the joke actually called for, but Benjen liked her. She had gumption. The tales of how she rose through the directing ranks were legendary amongst the cast and crew. She got shit done and she was approachable, unlike some other directors he’d worked with. The fact that she had an amazing rack was beside the point, especially now that he was living with Meera Reed, the shows lead make-up artist.
“Too true, Ben, too true,” she chuckled. “Anyway, the reason I wanted to speak to you was to give you the heads up on what’s happening.”
“They’re planning on a tsunami sweeping through Kings Landing, killing off numerous characters in the most spectacular ways possible, with the most amazing stunt work and I’ll have to co-ordinate it all?”
Arianne shook her head. “No…but that’s a really good idea. I might suggest that to the writers. I could get rid of some ‘difficult’ people that way…” She broke off, staring off into space as she contemplated who could die in the ‘tsunami’.
“Arianne? I wasn’t serious,” muttered an alarmed Benjen. “The logistics of filming something that big would be ridiculous. Is our SFX budget big enough for that? Can’t see Olenna agreeing to spend that much.”
“Yeah, you’re right, but I’ll still think on it,” agreed Arianne. “No, what I wanted to see you about is probably even worse than that idea.”
Benjen’s eyebrows rose at that statement. “Worse? Than a tsunami?”
“Yep,” she said heavily. “It’s probably my fault because I mentioned Varys and how great he is as a ‘live’ actor, you know, with an actual audience and stuff, to Olenna and she took that statement and ran with it.”
“What does that mean?”
“Olenna wants us to do a ‘live’ episode of ‘Restless’.”
Arianne sighed. “As in we don’t pre-record the episode. We air it as we film it, like in a stage play, and the viewers watch the performances in real-time.”
Benjen’s grey eyes widened so much they nearly took over his long, thin face. “Fuck!”
“Fuck, all right. It’s going to be disaster, I can see it. Trying to get all our divas, male and female, to perform their scenes perfectly, in one take, without it descending into a farce is going to take some doing. But Olenna’s all for it, especially with our declining ratings.”
“I suppose,” agreed Benjen.
“Yeah, and I’ve just informed the writers, who nearly needed resuscitation at the thought. And now I’m telling you, Benjen, because as our stuntman, you’re going to need to perform your stunts perfectly, the first time, each time.”
“Does Olenna realise the logistics of this? The safety aspect? How are we going to fit all the equipment onto the set, when the actors are there, as well as the crew, and make it all look normal and real?”
A shrugging of the shoulders was all he got. “I’ll tell the writers to get the script to you asap so that you can work it out. We’re going to try and keep the script as simple as possible, so it’s likely there won’t be many complicated stunts.”
“Yeah, right,” Benjen snorted. “Have you seen the way Joffrey’s ‘deaths’ are getting more and more complicated each month?” Another laugh. “And after the ‘Incident’, he’s not wanting to do his own stunt work anymore, leaving me to take the fall.”
“I really want to replace him,” nodded Arianne. “He’s a shit actor, a shit person – you wouldn’t believe how many of the younger actresses have complained about his off-set behaviour towards them – but he’s Cersei’s son and as one of the senior actors, she’s still got a lot of pull.” She looked at him with wry grin. “And besides, whenever Joffrey ‘dies’, our ratings go up. Our audience loves to hate him. Especially after stories got out of the ‘Incident’. They lapped it up.”
What happened on that day had become something of the stuff of legends to the cast and crew and when photos and video leaked, the entertainment world in general. So much so that it became it’s own proper noun. When the ‘Incident’ was mentioned, it was in capital letters.
It involved the resident ‘bad-guy’, Joffrey Baratheon. Hated by cast (except for Cersei, his doting mother), crew and the viewing audience. Joffrey was a whiny, snivelly man who’s terrible acting and even worse attitude put everyone off-side. Even the coffee boy, Lancel, didn’t want to go near him. And Lancel was his cousin.
Joffrey thought he was a ladies’ man. Unfortunately for him, the ladies didn’t think the same. He was boorish, loud, obnoxious and had a reputation for becoming violent when drinking. He’d tried hitting on every female that worked for the ‘The Bold and the The Restless”, from Arianne Martell down to the new work experience girl. He’d gotten short shrift from all of them.
When he’d tried it on Sandor Clegane’s real-life girlfriend, Sansa, it took four guys to stop him from pummelling the little snot to a pulp.
Joffrey was an A-grade dickhead.
Therefore, Benjen wasn’t completely surprised when the ‘Incident’ happened.
After hitting on Lyanna Stark, one of the younger writers on the show, his storyline then included his character’s ‘death’. Panicked that he was being written out of the show, he’d run to his mummy, who pulled strings so that he was kept on, much to everyone’s dismay.
Joffrey was ‘killed’ a month after that, but due to the wildly improbable storylines of a soap-opera, he was ‘magically’ brought back.
That first ‘death’ was followed by another the following month, and the next, until it became a running joke that Joffrey ‘died’ every month. And each of his ‘ends’ got more and more bizarre. He’d been shot, kicked by a horse, choked on a sex-toy, hit by a bus and had a heart attack during a sex scene.
Being the stunt man, Benjen had co-ordinated most of the ‘deaths’, except for the one episode his niece, Arya, co-ordinated, being an expert in fencing and in which Joffrey was pierced through the heart with a sword, before she became a show regular.
Joffrey, instead of letting Benjen do most of the trickier stunts, insisted he do his own, that an actor of his calibre always did his own stunts.
Usually studios don’t want their actors endangering themselves, but in this case, they eagerly gave him the green light.
And so Joffrey performed his own stunts, under the watchful eye of Benjen, who had a reputation to maintain, despite his own loathing of the twat.
Until the ‘Incident’.
This ‘death’ was going to be spectacular. Arianne wanted to end the show with a bang. Literally. Joffrey was going to go out in a wildfire explosion that would rock the residents of Kings Landing.
Benjen rigged up the fake explosives so they would explode in sequence. The special effects guys would augment it to look like the Great Sept in Kings Landing blew up in a ball of fire.
Being in the studio, the explosions wouldn’t be as big as in the open and he’d made sure they wouldn’t set off the sprinklers and had a paramedic on standby, as required.
Joffrey ran through his scene, badly, and managed to get to his mark when the ‘explosion’ happened.
To this day, Benjen didn’t know who was responsible for switching the fake powder with the real stuff. There were too many suspects.
Instead of just a lot of noise and smoke, Joffrey’s coat caught fire as the force of the bang knocked him off his feet. Screeching cats weren’t as loud as Joffrey’s screams. This was all accompanied by the screams of the actors and crew who got wet when the sprinklers went off. There was a mad scrambling to cover expensive equipment from the water.
The Fire Safety officer ran in and extinguished Joffrey, but not before he’d burned off his eyebrows, eyelashes and much of his hair. The paramedic declared that he’d only suffered minor burns but he was carted off to hospital, moaning and crying like a baby.
Benjen immediately suspected foul play as he knew his explosive was fake. He looked at around the faces, many shocked but just as many smirking or giggling at Joffrey’s mishap.
Arianne had immediately called him to Olenna’s office where he got the grilling of his life and he honestly denied all knowledge of how it happened.
“We can’t let this get out to the public, of course,” stated Olenna.
“How the hell are we going to keep this quiet?” asked Benjen incredulously. “The cops will need to be called. Someone tried to murder Joffrey for real.”
Olenna tutted and tapped her pen on the desk. “Murder is such an ugly word, don’t you agree?” Arianne nodded nervously. “This was an unfortunate accident. There’s no need for the authorities.”
“But we have to report…”
“Not if nothing actually happened,” insisted Olenna. Looking at her director, she asked, “If we give everyone a little ‘bonus’, on the proviso that this is never spoken of again, then we can all get on with our lives.”
“Excellent. I’ll see it done.”
“Won’t Cersei kick up a stink?” asked Arianne.
“Leave Cersei to me,” replied Olenna. “Just make sure no-one speaks of this. It never happened. Joffrey accidentally set himself on fire with a faulty lighter.” Benjen couldn’t quite believe this was happening but, hey, he needed the job. “It will look spectacular on screen though, won’t it?” stated Olenna gleefully.
Despite Joffrey’s protestations, the entire cast and crew involved denied to him that anything took place. He threatened to go to the cops but as everyone looked at him like he was delusional, he dropped it, threatening revenge. When it was spoken of, it was referred to as the ‘‘Incident’. No one wanted to pass up a bonus. Besides, Joffrey was a fucker.
The first hint of the ‘Incident’ hitting social media was three weeks later when a grainy pic of Joffrey in the hospital, sans hair and eyebrows appeared on Twitter. It gained momentum, the stories of how it happened grew wilder, and led to even more viewers.
Joffrey complained like a bitch, and he looked like a cadaver whilst his hair and eyebrows grew back, but he still kept getting ‘killed’ each month, though he refused to do most of the stunts now. And they got even more bizarre.
The likelihood of Joffrey ‘dying’ during the live show was high. Very high.
Benjen sighed. “I’ll await the script with baited breath,” he told Arianne. “I think it’s going to be a disaster, but there’s no arguing with Olenna, is there?”
Arianne shook her head. “Nope”
Getting up, she began walking away before stopping abruptly and pointing. “Why do we have a Russian space ship here?”
Benjen just shrugged.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“You hear about Olenna’s crazy idea?” Meera Reed shook her head in disbelief as she climbed in the car.
“Yeah. Train wreck waiting to happen,” said Benjen as he drove out into the busy Kings Landing traffic.
One of the benefits of working on a soap-opera were the regular hours. Mostly. It meant he and his girlfriend, Meera, could usually go to and from work together.
They had moved in together nearly a year before and people asked him if they ever got sick of each other, seeing as how they lived and worked together. Benjen loved it. Besides, they often didn’t see each other the whole day on set. Meera was the lead make-up artist on the show, so she was usually busy running from actor to actor or directing the make-up artists under her supervision and he was normally jumping out of windows and moving cars. It didn’t often leave much time to talk.
He still often wondered how he got lucky enough to earn the love of someone as beautiful as Meera. With her wild, dark curls; deep, soulful, dark eyes and passionate nature, she was a force to be reckoned with.
Meera was much younger than he, a fact that had stopped him from doing anything about his attraction until she took matters into her own hands. Despite Benjen fighting his feelings, she had dragged him into one of the storage rooms after most had left for the night, and seduced him amongst the racks of costumes, shoes and hair pieces.
Getting out of the car at their modest bungalow, Benjen winced as the abused muscles in his back protested.
“What happened?” asked Meera, not missing a thing.
“Practising falling out of a window,” he replied. “Landing pad wasn’t as soft as I thought.”
He nodded. “Yep, next death scene.”
“Maybe one day he’ll stay dead,” huffed Meera. “Come on, I’ll massage it for you.”
“Ah, I knew there was a reason I loved you.”
Meera snorted. “That, and my sexy ass.”
“Yeah, that too.”
Chapter 6: she's a black magic woman
Chapter by sarahcakes613
Melisandre is a very powerful witch, damnit.
Melisandre untied her silk robe and let it slide off her shoulders and onto the floor. Stretching languorously in front of her full-length mirror, she contemplated her body. Yes, she still had much to be thankful for. Her curves remained in all the right places and none of the wrong. Her breasts were not as perky as they once were perhaps, but they still brought to mind Yorkshire Terriers more than Shar-Peis.
Leaning in to peer closely at her face, she smiled to herself. With the help of a glamor, her face remained free of wrinkles. The makeup artists helped too, she generously thought, but really, her glamor did most of the work.
Of course, she thought, pouting at her reflection, it wasn’t like the viewers got to enjoy most of what she had to offer. It was a regular argument between herself and Olenna at this point. Melisandre would gently remind Olenna that her spells worked best when done clothed in nothing but the rays of the sun and the light of the moon. Olenna would drone on about “watersheds” and “bitter housewives” and remind Melisandre that there was a set of standards all television productions had to hold by and her nudity did not meet those standards. The argument usually ended with Melisandre cursing Olenna’s tea to always be tepid and Olenna rolling her eyes whilst muttering about people who buy into their own hype, whatever that meant.
Melisandre was drawn from her inner musings by a knock on her trailer door. Slipping her robe on, she didn’t bother to belt it shut before opening the door to reveal Robb Stark standing there. Seeing her open robe, he grimaced before clearing his throat and informing her that they were due on set within the hour for their next scene.
Message delivered, he turned to leave but Melisandre stopped him with a hand on his elbow.
“Robert, tell me, has your family’s lost dog been found?” Their elderly dog Snowball, matriarch to all the Stark siblings’ pets, had been missing for two days.
“Oh, aye,” he gruffly responded. “Turns out she’d gotten out of the backyard and into the abutting ravine. She’s being held at the pound until we can pick her up this evening.”
Melisandre beamed at him. “I’m so happy to hear it. I’ve never done a lost property spell on a living being before and I was dearly worried it would not work.”
Robb’s forehead wrinkled and then smoothed as he realised what she was saying. “Ah, no, uh, we had Snowball chipped when we got her. Some hikers found her and brought her into the pound where they were able to scan her, actually.”
Melisandre smiled gently at him. Non-believers were such naïve beings. “Of course, dear. Of course. And your boyfriend, I noticed his eczema has cleared up quite well. I’m so glad, beauty spells are one of my specialities after all."
Robb grimaced again. “Yeah, uh, well, turns out it was just an allergic reaction. He got some stuff from his dermatologist and we spoke to Mya about getting some new brushes.”
Melisandre pouted playfully up at him. “Robert, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were trying to tell me that my spells are nothing more than make-believe. Which would be really very silly of you, given how powerful I am.” She arched an eyebrow, letting him know that her words were more serious than her tone implied.
At her threat, Robb bent over, bringing one hand up to his mouth to cover his laughter with a coughing fit. “Of course, Melisandre, I’m very sorry. My sincerest apologies. Listen, I still need to head over to wardrobe before our scene, but I’ll see you on set.” Coughing again, Robb turned and fairly ran off in the direction of the props and wardrobe department.
That poor boy, Melisandre thought. In denial of powers as clear as the nose on his face. It'd be terrible if something happened to that nose, perhaps a large painful zit? Well, he’d have no one but his own laughter to blame.
The lounge is mostly empty except for the young man standing alone at the bar, dressed in a tailored black suit and sipping amber-colored liquid served neat, and Sansa is glad she wore her backless black dress with the plunging neckline when she slides up beside him.
“Never seen you here before,” she says to him. His hair is like hers, auburn and wavy and a little wild, and he’s more handsome than any man has a right to be.
“Just moved to King’s Landing,” he confirms, and his gray eyes are wandering over her, definitely interested. “You come here often?”
The man holds up a finger and moments later there is another drink in front of him.
“Here you go, Rodd,” the bartender says.
“Rodd,” she purrs, leaning on the bar just enough to make her cleavage swell. “I’m Sansa.”
His gaze drifts down to her bust and lingers a moment before making the climb back up to her face.
“You got someone waiting for you at home, Sansa?” he asks, his voice rich and warm, and she licks her lips before answering, a slow trace of tongue over skin that promises so much more.
“He’s out of town.”
It’s a lie, and they both know it, both know exactly where this is going and exactly where it will end, no messy break-ups or awkward morning-afters. It’s with that in mind that he steps closer, puts a hand on her hip to gently pull her into him, leaning down to...
“Have I mentioned how much I appreciate you casting my brother as my latest love interest?” Sansa demanded loudly. “Really awesome, guys, doesn’t make my job harder at all.”
“It was your mom’s idea.”
“It was most certainly not,” Catelyn protested, remarkably lively for a woman dressed like death. “I only asked you to give him a job.”
Arianne smiled. “And I did.”
“Yes, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Robb called, though the way he was chugging liquor straight out of a bottle meant he was not quite as grateful as he pretended. Not that Sansa blamed him; she wouldn’t mind a drink right now, either. And maybe a full-body exfoliation to get the grossness off.
“Ugh, I can’t even with this place…”
At least she was done for the day and could just change and go home, but when she entered her lush dressing room she was surprised to find her boyfriend already there, lounging on the chaise, legs spread wide and taking up way more space than necessary.
“Hey baby, I didn’t know you were here. Did you watch the shoot?”
“You know I hate how they use you as a bicycle for every hot guy to ride.”
“Sandor! That’s disgusting!” she exclaimed, not really as indignant as the words warranted, but they’d had this conversation so many times already she couldn’t quite muster the same rage. Not to mention he was kinda right though she would never tell him that, just as she would never tell him she kinda liked it.
“Besides... it's not every hot guy,” she said now, sliding onto his lap and pressing against him in the way she knew he liked. “I can think of one hot guy they never let me ride no matter how much I beg.”
“I do like it when you beg,” he grumbled against her lips though his arms stayed at his sides. That was odd. Usually he couldn’t keep his hands to himself, usually she was constantly peeling him off of her, but now he seemed so distant. Rigid. And not in the good way.
He sighed. “You’ve heard about this live finale thing?”
“Mmhmm, I told Arianne I should be pregnant but have no idea who the father is.”
“Yeah, well… Walda’s pushing for a threesome.”
“Huh,” she said, suddenly lost in thought. As much as it seemed to bother Sandor, and as much as she wanted to comfort him, all she could think was that Walda was a lucky lucky girl though Sandor’s raised eyebrow brought her back to reality. “I mean… that’s appalling. I am shocked, and offended. How could they plan such a thing?”
He nodded gravely, and Sansa nodded back in a show of solidarity though her mind was wandering again. The thing was, Sandor was a big man. And his brother was even bigger. And Walda… well, she was just one woman, how could there possibly be enough of her to go around? And the thought of four enormous masculine hands wandering over one soft feminine form… two massive bodies with corresponding needs… probably fighting over who got to hold her breasts...
“No really- how. The logistics are escaping me.”
“Stop it, Sansa, it’s not funny.”
“Like, where would everyone’s legs go?”
“Oh, gross, stop.”
“And who would be on top?”
“Someone is gonna get crushed…”
Sansa was a good girlfriend- she really was- and thus took every effort to hide her laughter when Sandor stormed out of her dressing room.
Oh man, a threesome was a way better idea than your regular run-of-the-mill baby-daddy-drama, and Sansa was kicking herself for not thinking of it first. Not that it was her fault, really, since... well, since she'd never thought about that before at all. Too bad Sandor was so skittish about the conversation because she had a lot of questions. Oh well. If he couldn’t answer them then there was only one other person she could think of to ask. And why not? Sansa was sleeping with him, and Walda was pretending to sleep with him, which by soap standards meant they were practically sisters.
“One big happy family,” Sansa muttered to herself, and pulled out her phone to text Walda.
Chapter 8: textual healing (textual ooh)
Chapter by sarahcakes613
Sansa texts Walda, who texts Arianne, who texts Quentyn.
Sansa (3:52pm): I LOVE YOUR FINALE IDEA
Walda (3:53pm): Omg yeah?
Walda (3:53pm): You don’t mind?
Sansa (3:55pm): ARE YOU KIDDING
Sansa (3:56pm): DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY FANS ALREADY SHIP GREGOR AND SANDOR
Walda (4:05pm): Um
Walda (4:06pm): I just googled. So now I do know. Wow.
Walda (4:07pm): But you really don’t mind? I mean, I’d have to be all up in your boo.
Sansa (4:10pm): It’s all acting, sugar. Today I had to basically make out with my actual brother. It’s not like you’re actually going to be getting freaky with Sandor.
Sansa (4:12pm): (though I mean…we could talk about that too)
Sansa (4:17pm): ; )
Walda (4:19pm): Let’s start with the finale and see how that goes, haha.
Walda (4:19pm): I need to talk to you about possibly arranging a closed set for my finale scenes.
Arianne (4:21pm): I thought Sandor said no?
Walda (4:22pm): Sansa’s going to work on him.
Arianne (4:24pm): I bet she is =p
Arianne (4:25pm): I’ll talk to props.
Arianne (4:27pm): Walda is insane
Quentyn (4:29pm): She still angling for the threesome?
Arianne (4:30pm): Yeah
Quentyn (4:35pm): We could always put them in a closed set and just leave them there.
Arianne (4:37pm): I like the way you think, little brother.
Quentyn (4:39pm): I learned from the best!
Arianne (4:40pm): Asskisser
Quentyn (4:42pm): What can I say, it’s a nice ass
Arianne (4:45pm): The fact that you think that was okay is a clear sign you’ve been working in soaps too long.
Chapter 9: Acting's a Mug's Game
Chapter by Cecilia1204
Maybe everyone needs to take Melisandre more seriously. And acting's not for everyone.
The unconscious woman lies in her hospital bed, only the beeping sounds of the machines monitoring her vital signs making any noise in the room.
The young, pretty doctor walks into the room, slipping slightly on the polished floor, and reaches for the patient notes at the end of the bed.
“H…h…hello, Cat. Let’s see how you’re doing today.”
Doctor Margaery reaches for the comatose woman’s hand, and promptly drops the clipboard onto her face.
“Cut!” yelled Arianne. “Cat, dear, you’re in coma.”
“It hurt!” came the indignant reply.
“I’m so sorry, Cat,” wailed Margaery, wringing her hands. “I’m such a klutz.”
Cat reached out and patted the younger woman’s hand. “It’s all right dear. Just relax. You’ll do great.”
“Margaery, you need to act a little more confident. You’re a qualified MD, not a student. Remember that.” Margaery nodded. “Ok, let’s go again. Action!”
“It’s all looking great. Maybe today will be the day you wake up.” No response. “Or maybe not.”
The door is thrown open and a glamorous, red-haired woman in flowy red robes strides in imperiously.
“Who…who are you?” asks Dr Margaery. “It’s not for family. I…I mean, It’s only family allowed.”
“I am Melisandre and I have come to heal this woman with my powerful magic since you useless doctors have done nothing for this woman.”
“Are you family?”
“No, but my god, the only god, R’hllor, showed me this woman in a vision in the flames. There is a higher purpose for her and my god demands I do his bidding.”
Dr Margaery stands there in silence, either deliberately or trying to remember her lines.
“Has R’hllor got your tongue?” prompts Melisandre.
“Oh, ah, you can’t be in here. Leave at once!” Dr Margaery demands woodenly. “I will call Security.”
Dr Margaery strides towards the door, gets her foot caught on the bed and trips wildly into Melisandre, sending them both to the floor in a tangle of white and red robes.
“God, I’m so sorry again,” wailed Margaery, as she got up and reached out to help Melisandre, who angrily waved off the offer.
The stage hands rushed to in to help them and straighten up the set, Cat’s bed having been jolted several feet away.
“We’ll take a five minute break,” announced Arianne. “Take some deep breaths Margaery.”
Margaery sat in a chair and shook her head. She was awful. She knew it. She didn’t want to be here.
“You are not a very good actress,” stated Melisandre, who was having her make-up touched up after the fall.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” retorted Margaery. “I’m not an actress. I’m a costume designer for the show.”
“Then why are you here?”
“My grandmother. She wants nothing more for me than to be a star. She’s already got a shelf ready for all the Oscars she thinks I’m going to win.”
“Why not tell her?”
“My grandmother is Olenna Tyrell.”
“Oh,” replied Melisandre, grimacing. She’d had plenty of her own run-ins with the old hag. “I can help with your confidence.”
“I have very powerful magic. I can cast a spell that will make you feel invincible.”
Margaery raised a sceptical eyebrow. “A spell?”
“So many disbelievers,” sighed Mel. “The success of this show is because of me, you know? I cast a spell on All Hallow’s Eve when I started here. I danced around the fire, naked as my god made me and sacrificed the blood of a virgin.”
“Very well, it was my cat. She was in heat and a virgin. The spell doesn’t state it has to be a human virgin. Anyway, the show has rated since then,” Mel claimed proudly. “Of course, everyone thinks it the actors and writers, but they would be nothing without my spell.”
“O-kay,” Another fruit loop, thought Margaery.
“So I can help you too.”
“I’m not a virgin.”
“I believe the coffee-boy, Lancel, may never have tasted the pleasures of flesh.”
“Ah, no thanks.” They were being called back on set, much to Margaery’s relief. “I appreciate the offer but I’m hoping to convince my grandmother to let me quit. No virgin blood required.”
“You will come to me eventually,” came the creepy reply.
“Ok, guys, we’ll shoot that last bit again. Try not to kill anyone, Margaery,” chuckled Arianne. “And loosen up.”
The last scene is re-shot without incident this time.
The door opens again and the Security guard, Robb, strides in.
“What’s the problem here?” he asks, looking menacing.
“Th..this woman…person…witch, should not be in here, officer. She’s not family. I demand she be escorted from the room and…and premises,” demanded Dr Margaery, raising a shaky hand to the door.
“Yes, Doctor. You, come with me,” he glares at Melisandre.
“I will not go. I am here to do my god’s work. No measly, pimple-nosed guard will deter me,” she declared. “Do you not understand my power? I will turn you into cockroach. Iinto an amoeba. You and your family will be cursed forever.”
“Yeah, yeah, come on lady.”
“I am the powerful Melisandre and you will not stop me!”
A red plume of smoke appears, surrounding the woman and making the doctor and guard cough violently. When the haze clears, Melisandre is gone.
“Oh my! Where did she go?” asks Dr Margaery robotically.
“I don’t know,” replies Robb. “Do you really think…”
Cue the intense stares.
“Cut! Ok, that was…alright,” says Arianne, putting down her notes. “Thought about getting an acting coach, Margaery?”
“I don’t want to act! I’ve created some of the most gorgeous costumes on this show. Remember the lace beaded dress I made for Cersei when she married her fifth ‘husband’? I nearly won an award that year. You have to fire me, Arianne!”
“Sorry, love, but no can do. You take it up with your grandmother.”
“What if you kill me off?”
“She’ll just order us to bring you back. Look at Joffrey.”
Margaery’s shoulders slumped in defeat. All she wanted to do was make amazing creations with fabric. Was that so much to ask? What if she put her brother, Loras, in the poo? Convince Olenna that Loras was so photogenic that women would swoon in the aisles. That he’d make a much better ‘star’ than she would. Plus, he was a publicity-whore. He’d love it. Hmm.
Robb walked past her, studying his next scene and she couldn’t help calling him back. “Robb, what’s that on your nose?”
Hand instantly went to said appendage. “What? What’s wrong with my nose?”
Margaery leaned forward, squinting a little. “It looks like you’re breaking out with one hell of a zit.”
An inhuman sound emerged from Robb’s throat as he frantically searched for a mirror. Running to an unused monitor, he used the reflection to see for himself. “Oh, my god! Oh, my god! It’s huge!”
“No! It’ll leave scarring,” he replied, turning his head this way and that. “Dammit! Make-up will have their work cut out for them now.”
“It’s not the end of the world.”
Robb snorted. “Haven’t had one this big in years. It wasn’t there this morning. Must be hormones or something.”
Melisandre walked past the two actors, unnoticed by either of them and smirked evilly to herself.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Okay, Robb, action!”
The hospital room is quiet once more after the earlier events. The door opens stealthily and the security guard walks back in, locking the door behind him.
He stands by the comatose Cat and is still for several moments.
“I know you probably can’t hear me and I need to speak softly, in case anyone walks by and overhears. No one knows we’re related. That you gave me up as a baby to those wandering gypsies. That I searched for years for my real family and when I finally find you, you’re in a coma. One day, you’ll wake up and take me in your arms and rock me like you should have back then.”
He drops his head.
“In a way, it’s been good as I’ve gotten to know you over these months. And you’re a great listener. I feel like I can tell you anything and you don’t judge. Well, I’ve got quite a confession to make today. I don’t know how you’ll feel about it. Maybe you’ll hate me. I hope not, Mother.”
Cat continues lying still on the bed, beeping noises the soundtrack of her life.
Taking hold of her hand, Robb takes a deep breath. “Here goes. Mother, I’ve discovered love. Real love. The type of love that is written about in fairy tales. I can’t think or breathe when the love of my life is nearby. We want to get married.”
“You’re probably wondering ‘what’s the big deal?’. Well, it’s a man. His name is Tormund and he’s the most wonderful, caring, sexiest man there ever was. We met when I crashed into his car with my patrol vehicle at the entrance of the hospital and it was love at first sight.”
“There’s more, Mother. My love for Tormund has helped me find myself. He has taken me on a journey of discovery, been my tour guide. And what I’ve discovered is that I’m not really who I should be. I’m in the wrong skin. It’s time to peel off that skin. I was born to be a woman.”
“I hope you’ll support me in this, Mother. I’m going to become the woman I should have been all along. And I will marry Tormund and we’ll raise beautiful children together. And we’ll be happy.”
“Tormund and I will live as a true husband and wife.”
Robb shook his shoulders, easing the tension of the scene.
“Great work, Robb,” praised Arianne. “You put so much feeling into it. It felt genuine. If you don’t get nominated for an award, it’ll be a travesty.”
“Thanks, Arianne,” smiled Robb.
“I think you can have an early mark. You deserve it.”
“Great. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Oh, and Robb?” At the question in the actor’s eyes she said, “I’ll get the effects guys to remove that zit on screen.”
Chapter 10: Script Troubles
Chapter by junojelli
Catelyn awaits Ned's news on changes to her storyline. A year in a coma is too long, dammit.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“So, any news?”
Cat had been determined not to accost Ned as soon as he walked in the door to the house, but she’d had enough. She was a serious actor, and the damn writers had made her character be in a coma for a year of screen time.
There was only so many meditations and podcasts she could listen to in her effort to lie as still as possible, and act somewhat braindead. It was an insult to her acting ability and long-time commitment to the show, not that Arianne or that prune Olenna would take note.
Ned looked at her sheepishly, his hands were in his pockets. He hadn’t looked this reluctant since he received his series script and had to break it to her that he had no fewer than a sex scene once a week with Cersei fucking Lannister, widely regarded by those in the know as the cast and film crew public-use bicycle.
Ned came to a halt at the entrance to the open plan kitchen, hands still in his pockets. “There’s talk of a live finale.”
Ned cleared his throat. “A live finale. I voiced our concerns to Arianne about the poor quality of your storyline, your commitment to this show and how you had turned down several potential roles in those ever-popular Danish crime shows which have good ratings -”
“- Yes, Ned, but what about my storyline? I have been in a coma since someone pushed me down that empty lift shaft in the lingerie department of Maegor’s department store, and the storyline has been hanging for a year!”
“I don’t know, Cat!” Ned huffed. She knew she was being a dog with a bone about the issue, but Ned was well regarded with the producers and would be more likely to actually be listened to about her concerns. After pausing for a moment to gather his words, he continued, “Arianne was evasive as usual, and just kept talking about a possibility of a live finale, and how she was due to go into a meeting with the writers about it all. Risky, if you ask me. Cersei and Joff are loose cannons, they could come out with anything.”
Defeated, Ned retreated to perch on the back of the sectional sofa nearest the kitchen island where Cat was preparing a salad. The Bold and the Restless had given them both steady incomes, unheard of for many actors, for several years and had enabled them to bring the family together in a house near the studio, keeping their large estate Winterfell in Oregon as their off-season retreat. But Cat had had enough. The show’s ratings were slumping, her storyline was dead in the water, and she didn’t like how the entire family had been swallowed into the show, and how even more ridiculous the storylines were getting. Last season there had been talks of alien landings, zombie pathogen outbreaks, a rogue 1960s Soviet spaceship from crash landing in the city; it was getting ridiculous, even for a soap.
Another grievance Cat had for the now ailing show was the vast impact it had on the Stark family, and for Cat, family came first. She begrudgingly accepted that family life was never going to be straightforward with both her and Ned acting, but she had expected at least one of her children to lead a somewhat normal life. Robb didn’t seem interested in settling down. Sansa, whom she thought had the most natural acting ability, didn’t appear to want to take on more serious roles outside of the show or want to settle down with a nice man either. Arya had made them so proud with her fencing and her Gold in Women’s Foils at the Olympics last summer, only to throw it away and join the damn show. At least she had Podrick who somewhat centred her. And the gods only knew what Bran and Rickon were doing in the show, she barely saw them or heard from them day to day – it was as if they all thought she were in a real-life coma.
Cat sighed. Ned looked up at her from the sofa and gave her that quiet, apologetic smile that still stirred a butterfly in her chest. It was the same smile he had given her so many years ago the night it was revealed that his older brother Brandon, also an actor and her one-time fiancé, had apparently jilted her and was engaged to some comely Spanish soft porn actress he had met whilst filming a period drama in the UK. Ned had come over to break the news to her, as Hello! magazine was due to release the 'scoop' the following morning.
Walking over to sit next to Ned on the back of the sofa, she laced her fingers with his, as he gave her hand a supportive squeeze. “I suppose I’m still in a coma for the next few weeks then?”
“Afraid so, Cat”. He leant over and kissed her forehead, Cat burying her head in his shoulder. Cat thanked the gods for Ned’s patience, he had been listening to her rants for the best part of six months. She’d just have to put up with Maergery’s awful acting until her character woke up. Perhaps in this live finale?
“What about you, Ned? What have the writers set up for you?”
“Some scenes with Varys again. At least the man can act. We are all due on set at 8 tomorrow for make-up and wardrobe.”
The sooner Cat got out of this farce of a show, the better.
More Cat-in-a-coma musings to come shortly!
Chapter 11: Sex scenes & carpenters & showers, Oh my!
Chapter by ladybex
Robb as Rodd and his new lover Sansa get intimate, Dickon reminisces about the past while looking at the future and Theon gets his back scrubbed (and a lil something else too.)
I jumped the rating up to Explicit because when have I ever been able to write mild smut?
“Kiss me Rodd.” Sansa purrs into the man’s ear as she runs nimble fingers through his hair.
It’s all the invitation her new lover needs as he pulls her forward and latches his mouth with hers, his free hand pulling apart the low knot she wears her hair in, while her deft hands start unbuttoning his oxford. Rodd eagerly pulls Sansa to the bed, pulling her on top of him while she kicks off her high heels and he toes out of his dress shoes. Rodd finishes taking off his shirt while attaching his mouth to Sansa’s neck as she shimmies out of her skirt and pulls away from him in order to peel her blouse off as well.
They fall together in a heap on the bed, hands tracing every outline of each other’s bodies while trying to learn their new lovers form. Rodd grabs Sansa around her waist and pulls her underneath the satin sheets on his bed, where he settles between her long legs.
“Wait, I need a condom.” Rodd tells her as Sansa eagerly wraps her nimble legs around his waist.
“No. No no no. I’m covered. I just want to feel you.” Sansa practically pants into his ear, wrapping her arms around Rodds neck as he kisses her one last time.
It’s slow and languid, the way these two make love to each other. Sansa can’t help but moan low in the back of her throat with every single thrust and Rodd groans in pleasure when she runs her nails down his back. Finally, the two reach their peaks at the same time, with Sansa giving a sigh of pleasure and Rodd ducking his head to Sansa’s chest while his body still atop hers.
Rodd rolls over to the side of Sansa and runs his fingers through her hair.
“You could stay the night.” He offers, but she just crinkles her nose up at him.
“Next time sweetling. I have a late dinner meeting with Daenerys and Viserys at TMM I should be heading off to, but we can definitely do this again.”
Rodd watches from the bed as Sansa pieces her outfit together again, and then walks her to the door of his apartment where they share one last kiss before she leaves. He pads his way over to the kitchen where he pulls a beer out of the fridge before he starts working on a late dinner of his own. Rodd picks his head up when he hears the sound of keys rattling outside the door and grabs a second beer bottle out of the fridge.
“Have a beer brother!” Rodd calls out while he gets back to work on the dinner he’s working on.
In walks his identical twin brother, Robb, who looks a little more flustered than normal, but there’s excitement in his eyes and his twin eagerly awaits the news.
“I’ve found her brother, our mother Catelyn is her in Kings Landing. She’s in a coma, but she’s alive! Isn’t that wonderful news?” Robb exclaims as he grabs his beer bottle.
“Yes, excellent.” Rodd concludes, smiling widely for his brother before turning away and his face turning into a more concerned look before letting out a small sigh and going back to work.
“Cut!” Arianne calls from the set, getting up from her chair and walking over to where Robb awaits her.
“Fantastic job Robb, correctly portraying both Rodd and Robb is really demanding work but you’re pulling this off flawlessly.” The director proclaims as she turns to thank his body double, Richard, for all of his hard work too.
Playing two characters is rough, but having one of them be in an on screen relationship with his real life sister is the worst.
“You would have thought you’d actually fucked your sister before with how well you pulled that scene off Stark.” He hears Theon tease from the sidelines.
“Shut up. I need a shower and about 700 breath mints. Care to join me?” He says as he loops his arm over his shorter boyfriends shoulders, Theon reaching up and planting a kiss on his cheek.
“Only if you brush your teeth first and you scrub my back for me.” His boyfriend agrees, dragging him away to where his trailer is.
Dickon Tarly often wonders how he got in the business of soap opera scenery. He’s worked with wood all his life, spent years creating and building beautiful pieces out of nothing but natures greatest gift, yet Master Carpenter of The Bold and The Restless was never his life’s goal nor something he ever had in mind. He’s just thankful he gets to do what he loves full time, and is making a pretty decent living at it.
He knows Olenna Tyrell is dying to get him on screen, given his appeal to all the woman and most of the men on set, but he’s no actor. Working with his hands is the only thing he’s ever really known, and he’s going to do it as long as his body allows him too.
“Hey Dickon!” Sansa Stark shouts out to him as she passes his workshop, flashing him her million dollar smile before hurrying off to her trailer.
A few years back, before they casted Sandor Clegane on the show, Dickon and Sansa had a mildly flirtatious relationship that ended before it even had a chance to take off. They went on one, maybe two dates before Quentyn dubbed them Dicksa, and the whole cast and crew had taken up the moniker. Unfortunately, that was the driving point that made Dickon end the relationship, there was just too much pressure sounding them to be a real couple and that wasn’t what he was looking for at the time.
Thankfully neither was she, and honestly it all worked out in the end. Sandor was cast about a year later and after a bumpy start Sansa and he were practically one complete person now. Catelyn was surprisingly devastated that Dicksa was never going to be a thing, she had encouraged both to go on their first date and was clearly invested in a potential future between the two, though she has grown to appreciate Sandor in a similar manner over the years.
“What’ya thinking about big guy?’ Comes his most favorite voice of all time.
“Sansa Stark.” Dickon replies, because that is what he was honestly thinking about.
Ygritte Wilde smacks his arm and gives him a huff as she rolls her eyes and turns away.
“Not like that babe. You know we were kinda a thing in the past. I’m just thinking that if we had never broken up, you and I would have never had a chance.”
Which is 100% correct, Olenna had hired the younger woman to help him in the workshop and there had been an instant connection between the two. His brother Samwell tells him it’s love at first sight, but Dickon isn’t so sure he believes in all of that.
“Nah, you would have met me and left Sansa Stark in the dust.” His fiancé says with an air of confidence he strongly admires.
“Aren’t you two great friends now?”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t change the fact that you would have ended things with her to get on with me.” Ygritte says with a devilish smile as she pulls him into a kiss.
Hot water pours down Robbs back as he attempts to wash away all the thoughts of today. It’s not that filming a sex scene with a woman was difficult, he’s fucked girls before, it was the fact that the girl in question was his actual sister and from the looks of the scripts, the half-sister of his character. The writers did a lot of fucked up things on this show, but this has to be one of the worst.
Theon taps on the glass door to the shower, motioning for Robb to scoot over and make room for him under the steaming hot shower head.
Theon was unexpected, but the chemistry between the two was instant, and while Robb never thought he was into dudes as well, all of that went out of his mind after Theon gave him the best orgasm he’d ever received from a hand job alone.
Robb stares down at the shorter man, and he cant help but admire the lines of muscle and the way the water trails down the planes of Theons muscles. He’s never really been one for shower sex, but he can’t stop himself when his cock begins to twitch and his impulse to kiss this man ferociously starts to over takes him.
He pushes Theon up against the glass door of the shower, but not so hard that he’ll break the glass and have to explain to Olenna just way the door is broken in his shower, and rains kisses against the jawline of his boyfriend.
“I thought we were here to shower Stark?” Theon half says, half moans against his temple.
“We are. But first I’m going to suck that pretty cock of yours alright?” Robb replies while grinning into Theon’s shoulder as he feels the aforementioned member begin to stir against his thigh.
He takes his time making his way down Theon’s body, pressing kisses and sucking blooms across his chest while running his hands up and down his boyfriend’s thighs, pressing his fingers deeply into the divots of his hipbones but narrowly avoiding the area that’s begging for the most attention.
Robb sinks to his knees and stares in wonder at the cock in front of him, before grasping it firmly with one hand and giving in a firm tug. Above him, Theon moans out in pleasure and attempts to grind himself deeper into Robbs hand, but Robb pulls away before Theon has the chance to get any more pleasure from his palm. He did say he wanted to suck him off after all.
Kissing the head lightly first, Robb licks a firm path from tip to base while holding Theon firmly in place. He takes the head of Theon in his mouth, suckling lightly as he tastes the salt of precum and skin, before bobbing his head down for more.
The noises coming from him are obscene, as he sucks and licks and jerks Theon’s extremely stiff dick in his shower, but the moans and groans from his boyfriend keeps him there on his knees, teasing and tasting the man he’s pretty sure he’s in love with. Theon grabs a fistful of Robbs curls to keep his mouth firmly in place as he cants his hips up, up, up and into the warm wetness of Robbs mouth, fucking into it as his orgasm starts to wash over him.
Robb greedily sucks at Theon’s cock, swallowing the load of cum down his throat before giving his cock one last kiss and rising off his knees.
Theon wraps one arm around Robbs neck, pulling him into a kiss while his other arm snakes down the front of him and his hand wraps firmly around Robbs own cock. Theon jerks him to completion quickly, Robb being as turned on as he currently is, while their tongues rediscover every nook and cranny of each other’s mouths. Robb comes with a load groan and bites Theon’s lip as the warm liquid from his cock leaks down between them and onto the shower floor before reluctantly pulling away and grabbing one of the loofas from the shelf.
“Turn around love, I have a back I promised to scrub.” Robb says in a low voice to Theon, who just smiles and happily obliges.
Chapter 12: Cat in a Coma I
Chapter by junojelli
Catelyn enjoys the benefits of being treated as if she were in an actual coma by the cast and crew - the gossip.
And a classic case of the crew rumour mill going into overdrive!
“Mum, it’s disgusting. I know it is all about being professional, and this is all part of the challenges of acting, but having to do that with Robb… I just can’t have another love scene with him on camera. Can’t you get Dad to have a chat with them? They wouldn’t listen to me about it when I suggested that perhaps Sandor should be my new love interest instead…” whined Sansa.
This is exactly what Cat had warned her about on the show – the directors and writers had no qualms about the actors’ private lives when it came to writing the major storylines for the show. Nothing was treated as taboo, including the actors’ private relationships. She had had to stomach Ned and Cersei getting it on every week for months, Sansa had suffered for a mere scene with Robb. It would be character building for her Cat had thought when she had first heard about this new twist in Sansa’s storyline.
Closing her eyes briefly, she sighed before responding. “You and Sandor having a plot line together and a love scene on set wouldn’t really be acting would it Sansa? It would border on pornography, which wouldn’t fly with the network…” Meera, who was applying Cat’s braindead makeup as she lay fully reclined on the hospital gurney, sniggered before trying to disguise it as a poorly veiled cough. It was difficult to have these personal family discussions on set, as few places were deemed private. Meera was practically family anyhow, being an item with Benjen.
Sansa’s mouth dropped and eyes rolled as she argued back with her mother.
“What I’m doing with Robb is incest! And it’s practically soft porn anyway! How come you don’t seem remotely fucked off by this? Dad wasn’t happy about it!”
“Sansa, dear. No need to be coarse. I have been in this industry for many years, half of them with this show and this network. They don’t give two figs about relationships outside of the script. Do you think I liked the fact that you are seemingly passed around the male characters on set? I know Sandor doesn’t like it for one. I have come to accept what I cannot hope to control, and for this show, that’s the scriptwriters.”
Catelyn looked up imploringly at her daughter whilst Meera added the bruised showing under her eyelids. Sansa looked down at her and pouted like a child, crossed her arms and slunk off set. Sensing the unease, Meera quickly finished whiting out Cat’s skin, packing up her case, mumbling something about needing to talk to Margaery about someone falling out of a window and what makeup would be needed to go with the costumes. Finally, she was alone. As tedious as it was to act braindead in every scene, Catelyn had undertaken several long meditation courses to aid her in disengaging partially from her body during the long days on set.
One afternoon as she was practicing her meditation for the day ready for the next scene, she discovered that when she was acting her ‘coma’, the rest of the cast and crew seemingly treated it as if she wasn’t compos mentis and aware of their conversations. That is how she found out that Robb was bisexual (she had her suspicions for several years), Sandor was responsible for Sansa’s perpetual lateness on set (she hoped they may slip up and make her a grandmother), Cersei was now seeing Bronn (it was only a matter of time before he had been snared), Melisandre carried Pritt Sticks in her pockets which she would sniff when no-one was looking (explained a lot) and Tyrion Lannister had seemingly ordered a large box of wildfire pyrotechnics onto set without Benjen’s knowledge or approval (strange man).
Cat proceeded to start settling in to her meditations, and no sooner had settled down and closed her eyes did two gaffers and a sound-boy wandered onto the stage set, prepping for her next scene. By the sounds of the conversation, it appeared the crew had found out about this apparent live season finale.
“I heard it’s going to be a live threesome or orgy or something with Sandor and Gregor...” More incest? Cat thought. Would Sansa be ok with Sandor in a threesome with his brother?
“But I thought the whole incest gig was between Robb and Sansa?”
“…Well, I heard that there’s going to be a musical.”
“A WHAT?” two of the voices said in unison. Cat almost joined in.
“Well, I heard it from Billy who does catering who heard it from one of the set dressers that he totally heard a tune from Les Mis coming from Varys’ dressing room, and that the door was open a crack, and him and Ned were in there dancing around only wearing tights…” Ned? Dancing? Les Miserables? Tights?!
“That’s bullshit, Dan. I heard the same thing, except it was that big number from Anything Goes! Can’t be true.” Cat would need to buy tequila on the way home and grind this out of Ned, particularly if he had taken and stretched a pair of her nice Wolford tights from the drawer, and had been dancing in them. Ned never danced.
“Fine. True or not, its news. I saw Sansa talking to Dickon just before, maybe Dicksa is back on if Sandor is doing this threesome thing…” Sansa and Dickon? Back together?!
Cat almost lost composure and squealed out her excitement. Lovely, handsome Dickon (admittedly not the sharpest tool in his carpenters’ toolkit) had briefly dated Sansa several years back. Catelyn had heartedly encouraged this relationship to grow, least not because of the beautiful grandchildren they would give her, but it would also make Sansa the daughter in law of Randyll Tarly, one of the fiercest East Coast film producers to date. There had not been a film for 15 years that hadn’t won an Academy Award that Randyll hadn’t helped produce. The man could have seriously launched a successful film career for Sansa (and Dickon too, if he ever put his mind to acting). Alas, the relationship fizzled before it had taken off, but Sansa and Dickon had remained on friendly terms. As much as she had come to accept and love Sandor, the prospect of Sansa and Dickon getting back together if there was trouble in paradise was far too exciting. She would have to corner Sansa in her dressing room later and ask if all was well.
Distracted from her present situation by her musings, Cat refocussed herself to the present, and realised one of her children had been calling her name for several minutes.
“MUM!” Rickon kicked the wheel of the gurney, rocking Cat into focus.
“Rickon, I’m trying to warm up before we start filming. What is it?”
“Bran’s been caught smoking weed around the back of Studio D again, and Lyanna and I need to move back in this weekend as my landlady found out about the wolfdogs we adopted tearing up the sofa.”
Sometimes, when it came to her children, Cat wished she was actually in a coma.
Chapter 13: Inside the writer's room
Chapter by sarahcakes613
The show's writers discuss the finale.
“We did that last season.”
“Right. Shark attack?”
“Sweeps week, remember?”
“Oh, yeah. Let’s see, I feel like it’s been a while since we had poison. Why don’t we give someone a pet tropical frog? One of those little suckers that is deadly to the touch.”
“Ooh, I like that. We could probably even reuse some of the mechanical toad props from the episode with the viral outbreak at the zoo!”
Renly and Lysa exchanged grins. It was getting harder and harder to devise new methods of death for Joffrey. Recent message board postings had made it clear that the viewers were getting bored, and if there was one thing that spelled danger and job cuts for the writers, it was bored viewers.
Mace cleared his throat ponderously. Renly rolled his eyes at Lysa, who giggled. Mace did everything ponderously.
“As you all know, my mother has decided to produce the finale this season as a live event. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us as we work to balance current storylines with what can be done without too many set changes or stuntwork. It’s my opinion –“
Renly sneezed, which sounded suspiciously like “ahchooasifyouhaveyourownopinionsmamasboy”. Mace glared at him.
“As I was saying, it’s MY opinion that we focus on one or two stories to capitalise on those of our actors with live experience.”
Lysa shrugged. “It makes sense, but how are we going to explain the lack of certain characters?”
Mace contemplated her question ponderously. Really, he did everything ponderously. “Clearly this is will require a good deal of consideration from us all. I’ve taken the liberty of ordering us some pizzas from Hot Pie’s Hot Pies – yes Renly, I requested a gluten-free vegetarian calzone for you – and I think we should work through the night.”
“I’ve got to pick up Robin at 3:30. I don’t like him taking the bus alone.” Lysa interjected.
“And I have spin class tonight!” Renly added.
Mace scowled at them both. “And you call yourself writers! This show depends on our ideas! There are great moral considerations! Lysa, your son is 17 years old, he can bloody well take the bus home. Renly, we all know you only take spin class because you like leering at the instructor. I expect you both to stay here and no one leaves until we have a clear plan for this finale!”
Renly pouted, and then relented. “Fine,” he huffed, “but you better call Hot Pie back and add an order of his good brownies. I’m going to need a lot of sugar to get through this.”
Chapter 14: Wheel of Fortune
When the muse just doesn't strike.
Some Ao3 bug has mistakenly added SassyEggs as a co-author to this chapter. She shouldn’t have to take the blame! But she is responsible for chapters 7 and 15, so please enjoy her chapters!
Lyanna Mormont was suffering a bad case of writer’s block. How was anyone supposed to produce their best work when they were constantly interrupted with demands for ridiculous re-writes? In the past two days she’d been asked to re-write a scene to include not one but two Clegane brothers in bed with Walda, writing in the HBIC’s talentless granddaughter as a doctor (of course they might just win an Emmy for comedy if all the stumbles were kept in the final versions), creating a long-lost son for a woman in a coma, and coming up with dialog for a duck. Yes, a duck. Lyanna really didn’t want to think about that one.
At least she wasn’t involved in the script for the finale. Which would be live. Which was certain to be a nightmare. Everyone was sure this was a bad idea, and no one was more sure than Lyanna. Because the show runners were sure to ask the writers for last minute changes in what was bound to be an already-insane script. If she could just finish the script for the penultimate episode, she’d be happy.
She’d worked out the first three acts, but the end of the final act was breaking her head.
She leaned back in her chair, twiddling her finely sharpened pencil around in her fingers, imagining who she could throw it at.
There was a knock on the door and turning, she saw Mace Tyrell standing there. Her fingers twitched.
“There you are, our most innovative writer,” he said ponderously. “I have a proposal for you.”
Lyanna groaned internally. She gripped the pencil tightly, and counted to ten.
“Lysa and Renly aren’t so very motivated about this finale – I need your spunk and determination to make it the most highly-rated soap finale in history!”
The pencil snapped in her fingers. “Uh, but what about this episode?” She waved her hand – and the pencil pieces – toward her computer screen.
“What, you don’t have it in the bag? I’m sure it’s fine. It’s the finale we need fresh blood for. Just come and give them a bit of inspiration.”
Lyanna looked daggers at him. “You know I work alone.”
Mace looked at her nervously. “Yes, yes, of course. Just come up with something to infuse some life into this thing. The others will take it from there.”
Lyanna sighed. “Fine. But I’ll require sustenance.”
“Of course, of course. I’ll have food sent to you. We’ve ordered Hot Pie’s Hot Pies in.”
“You know I don’t eat that pasty stuff. I need protein.”
Mace took a step back out of the doorway. “I’ll have the usual sent. Then you’ll do it?” Not waiting for an answer, he hurried down the hallway, muttering, “Good, good, excellent!”
Sighing heavily, Lyanna turned to the script in front of her. Right. So this would require something drastic.
Glancing around to be sure no one else was looking, she whipped open a cabinet door and pulled out a wooden device that looked like a cross between a medieval torture device and a child’s game spinner. In it she had stuffed the names of every character, every setting they’d ever used, a bunch of random plots, and all her favorite red herrings. Literally, smoked red herring. She licked her lips, grabbed one out of its sealed Rambtonware container, and took a bite. Then she held her breath, crossed her fingers, and gave the wheel a spin.
The results usually read something like an accusation from the board game Clue: “Varys with Joffrey on the kitchen table with a ski mask” or “Cersei with Beric in the woods outside of Casterly Rock with a butcher knife (she had particularly liked that one)” or “Sansa with Podrick on a trapeze eating mushrooms.”
Sometimes the results gave her a few laughs, which broke the tension and sometimes gave her a seed of an idea, but this time it was a real hit. Her eyes lit up and she rubbed her hands together with delight. Cersei would be furious, but the rest of the cast would love it.
Lyanna slammed the cabinet door shut and got to work.
Brienne shifted uncomfortably in the make-up chair. She wondered for the half a hundredth time why the showrunners were so keen on trying to make her look beautiful when everyone knew she was homely. But that didn’t stop her very talented make-up artist from doing her level best to make Brienne look better.
“Now hold still, I just have to do your eyelashes. Open your eyes wide and look up.” Shae bent over Brienne and carefully applied the mascara. “Dang, that’s not coming out right. Hmm, this new make-up brush isn’t quite doing the trick. Let me get another other one.”
Brienne couldn’t imagine why it could matter. A bit of mascara didn’t make the difference on a face like hers.
But Shae found the proper brush, Brienne screwed her face up in just the right way for Shae to work her magic, and Brienne could finally get out of that infernal chair. Sometimes she wished she could just play a character who was as manly and ugly as she really was.
As she made her way out of the make-up trailer, she nearly collided with an oversized red-headed, red-bearded man. She harrumphed loudly at him.
“Oh, pardon me, mate.”
“I’m not your ‘mate’ and watch where you are going.” Brienne stalked out without giving him another look.
But behind her she heard a loud catcall that could only mean he’d figured out she was a woman. She rolled her eyes. Another obnoxious cast member.
To clear her head, Brienne decided to cut through the props department. She enjoyed seeing how the various props were built – she used swing a mean hammer herself before she was “discovered” as an actress. And she loved the smell of wood shavings.
Slipping past the carpenter’s shop, she overheard Quentyn critiquing a bed Dickon had built.
“It looks great, but you’ll have to shore it up much more than that. It has to hold both Clegane brothers and Walda, you know.”
Brienne had to clap her hand over her mouth to keep from offering unwanted advice, and she hurried past the 1960s-era rocket to get to her sound stage.
Brienne raises Cat’s leg gently, lifting it up and down, then bending the knee carefully, moves the lower leg back and forth.
“You’re doing an excellent job today, Mrs. Stark. The circulation is going quite well. Soon you’ll be up and running like new.”
Trying not to groan over the ridiculous dialog – and even more about to come – Brienne set her face into a blithe look as Camera 2 was set to take over the scene.
“Now it’s time for the little piggies.” Brienne wiggles each of Cat’s toes. “This little piggy goes to the market, this little piggy stays home, this little piggy has roast boar for dinner, this little piggy has none. And this little piggy cries, ‘whee whee whee whee’ all the way–”
“Right this way, Robb, err, Rodd, err, Mr. Stark.” Dr. Margaery stumbled into the room, followed by Rodd Stark and a big red-headed red-bearded man. “Oh, hello Brianne, err, Brienne. I didn’t know that Mrs. Stark’s psychotherapy was scheduled for right now.”
“Physiotherapy, doctor, and I was just about finished.” It had been decided that since they were running behind their shooting schedule, and all resources were being put towards the big final episode, they would just incorporate any missteps on Margaery’s part into the show for these last few episodes.
“Of course, Brienne, I’ve just brought her son and his, um, friend, to view her – err, visit her.”
Brienne moved slightly to block any untoward klutzy actions of Margaery – she’d made a pact to protect Cat before that morning’s rehearsals. Cat was already covered in bruises from yesterday’s shoot, and Brienne herself still had a red mark from where Margaery had swung her stethoscope into her face. It had taken all of Shae’s talents to cover it. “Yes, of course, doctor. They can feel free to visit while I finish her therapy.”
Margaery exited, and Brienne swore that she could hear the woman sigh with relief to have made it out of the scene with only a few mistakes. Or maybe that breath of relief came from Cat.
“Mother, I’ve brought the man I told you about!” Robb hurries to his mother’s side, taking her hand gently and kissing her on the cheek. “See, it’s Tormund, my great love.”
Tormund approaches the other side of the bed, where Brienne is still working with Cat’s other leg, and is a little less enthusiastic than his lover. He speaks with a Scandinavian accent, “Umm, nice to meet you, Mrs. Stark.” He takes Cat’s other hand and shakes it vigorously, so it flops around, then puts it down abruptly.
“Oh, Tormund, you should give her a kiss too – after all, you’re going to be her son-in-law.”
The burly boyfriend bends accordingly, and smooches Cat on the cheek. His beard tickles her, and her face twitches.
“It’s a miracle! She’s coming out of her coma!” Robb shouts joyously. He pats his mother’s hand several times and cries, “Mother, my dear, speak to me!”
“I’m sorry, but it’s not unusual for coma patients to have involuntary movements like that.” Brienne informs the son matter-of-factly.
Robb looks vastly disappointed. They all watch as Cat lies comatose and does nothing. Brienne bends over Cat’s feet to finish the last part of her therapy.
Suddenly a slight shrieking noise is heard. Robb looks confusedly at his mother. Brienne looks discombobulated. Tormund has an evil grin on his face.
Brienne sputters, “Excuse me, but I caught my…my…knee on the lever for raising the bed.”
As the camera cuts away and zooms in on Robb who continues to gaze at his comatose mother, Brienne glares at Tormund. He had goosed her! During a scene!
“Cut! That’s a wrap!”
“A wrap? You’re going to leave that in there?” Not that Brienne really wanted to do another scene. They’d already done four of these and it was nearly lunch.
“Yep, it looks fine – we’ll just edit the volume on your shriek.” The director turned to the crew. “That’s lunch!”
“Right, then.” Brienne turned to Tormund, who had this dreamy look on his face. “What do you think you’re playing at?”
“I just couldn’t resist. You were bending over her so nicely, working her muscles – and yours!” He now seemed to speak in an Aussie accent. “Makes me want to work mine.” He raised his eyebrows suggestively.
“Don’t ever interrupt my work again. It’s bad enough to be mocked without actual physical contact. I’ll have you up on sexual harassment charges!”
“But, I really like you!” Tormund protested.
“A likely story.” Brienne went over to Cat and helped her up. “Come on, Cat, let’s go get this make-up off and have a nice male-free lunch.”
Cat took her arm, sliding out of the hospital bed. Together they strode regally out off the set. Cat took a glance back at the still-sputtering Tormund. “I don’t know, Brienne, he’s kind of cute,” she whispered.
Brienne just rolled her eyes and continued on. “Nothing that a nice grilled Ahi won’t solve.”
“But I meant it!” Tormund’s voice was heard in the distance.
Back in the script room, there is the sound of weeping. Another voice is heard trying to console the first.
“Can you believe this crap that they put on me? How am I supposed to hold my head up?”
“There, there. It’s only one episode. No one will remember it by the next day.”
“But this was my one chance! And it’s going to be awful!”
“That’s the life of a script.”
“Easy for you to say – you’re the finale script!”
Finale Script tried not to gloat. “Well, I’m not final yet. Anything could happen. But yes, it’s a good start.”
Penultimate Episode Script wept inconsolably.
“Come on, let’s go chat with the archived scripts. That’ll cheer you right up.”
Penultimate Episode Script perked up and sniffed, “For reals?”
“For reals.” Finale Script put her arm around her companion, and they headed off into the sunset.
Links (and things) I found when “researching” (read: procrastinating) this chapter that just refused to be written.
Rambtonware: Westeros version of Tupperware. Which just shows how far a mind will go to try to create something mildly amusing. So I looked up what Tupper meant, found the definition below, looked up “ram sigil game of thrones” and Voilá! Not very funny, but kind of interesting that there is an easy equivalent. What? It was late!
“Tupper Name Meaning English: occupational name for a herdsman who had charge of rams, from an agent derivative of Middle English to(u)pe ‘ram’ (of uncertain origin). German (Tüpper): occupational name for a potter, from Middle Low German duppe, Rhenish düppen ‘pot’. This is predominantly a Rhineland surname.” Of course, I only used the first definition. Surname Tupper,House Rambton.
Soap opera info:
What’s a soap opera shooting schedule like (includes someone describing what it’s like playing a dead body)
Why do soap operas have a reputation for being bad? Actually, a pretty good description of why soaps are the way they are. Pretty much what you might expect.
What is the soap opera effect? Something I have noticed when watching old TV shows sometimes. Now I know what it's called, and you do too. In case you ever wondered.
Not a great set of responses, but it made me go read the Wikipedia entry on Soap Operas and it had this little bit of history that gets to the origins of it:
The first serial considered to be a "soap opera" was Painted Dreams, which debuted on October 20, 1930 on Chicago radio station WGN. Early radio series such as Painted Dreams were broadcast in weekday daytime slots, usually five days a week, when most of the listeners would be housewives; thus, the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience.
And a bit about the comatose mind:
The neuroscience of comas of comas or what it means to be trapped inside your own mind.
“Jaime, my man,” Bronn said, slapping him on the back. “You look like hell.”
“Feel like it, too. Where’s Cersei?”
“In her dressing room, getting ready.”
The walk to Cersei’s room was painfully long though he knew it was because he’d gotten so sick all of a sudden. His stomach was a little swollen and a lot tender to his touch, and he’d been having these weird chills since yesterday. Ibuprofen wasn’t helping; he needed a doctor.
Unfortunately, in his current unemployed state, he couldn’t afford a doctor, and asking father for the money was completely out of the question.
Asking his sister for a job, though, seemed entirely reasonable.
She was pacing in her room when he got there, and waved a manuscript in his miserable face without so much as a greeting.
“Jaime. Have you read the latest script?”
“I don’t work here, remember? You said you’d get me a job. Remember?”
“Of course I remember,” she hissed at him. “I said I would and I will. It’s just… Olenna is being a stubborn beast as usual. I’ll wear her down, don’t worry. I am the star.”
Jaime flopped on the chaise lounge, curling into himself in a desperate attempt for comfort; Cersei ignored him.
“The star,” she repeated, seemingly lost in thought. “This show would be nothing without me and what are they trying to do? Force me out, replace me with some red-headed no-talent harlot.
“Cersei, I don’t feel so good…”
Leave it to his sister to not even notice that he was sick, didn’t notice the cold sweat collecting on his forehead. It wasn’t even the chills that were causing the bulk of the problems, either, it was the pain… dear god, the pain.
What’s wrong with me? he asked her. Thought he asked her. Maybe he didn’t say it out loud, it was hard to be sure of anything anymore. The room was starting to spin and heavens it was so incredibly hot in there, but Cersei just went on and on and on, her diagnosis fading in and out of his consciousness.
“… pregnant… having a baby… not too old….”
“A baby?” he asked, squinting up at her, just as another wave of agony slammed into his body.
“Yes, a baby…” she told him, clearly irritated, told him a whole bunch of other things too but he couldn’t hear her, everything seemed too muffled to understand. Like his head was underwater.
“A baby?” he asked again. Could it really be? How long had it been since he’d last had sex? Had it been 9 months? That’s how long it took, right? It would certainly explain why it felt like something was trying to claw its way out of his insides. “How is that even possible?”
“It’s possible,” she practically shrieked, obviously worried about him. Why else would she be yelling like that?
It couldn’t be! He wasn’t ready to be a father. He didn’t even have insurance, for gods sake, didn’t have a job. How could he take care of a baby when he could barely take care of himself?
“Help me,” he whispered pitifully.
Cersei shouted something and soon he was jostled to his feet, a person on either side dragging him out of the sound studio since the searing, debilitating pain made it impossible to walk. Random people leapt out of the way or gaped at him, concerned.
“Jaime? Are you okay?”
“Doctor Margaery?” he gasped, looking up into her worried eyes. Margaery was a terrible actress but a wonderful doctor because she truly cared about her patients, he could tell. “I’m not ready…”
“Well you’re gonna have to be ready.”
“No, I can’t. I can’t do it.”
“God, what a baby,” a man’s voice said; Doctor Margaery shushed him.
What did that mean? Was the baby big? Too big? How was it going to get out?! He wasn’t built for this!!
“I’m not ready to be a father,” he cried to anyone within earshot. Someone shoved him in the back of a car and soon they were speeding off, presumably towards help.
“Are you awake?”
When his eyes opened he was met with the peaceful quiet of a sterile hospital room, Bronn smiling over him with a sad, almost bemused smirk on his face though Jaime was still too groggy and sore from his experience to wonder why the man was there. The lower half of his body felt like it had been ripped to shreds; the upper part felt like it had been hit by a bus.
“Where is it?” he gasped; begged. Labor was the hardest thing he’d ever been through- probably the hardest thing he would ever go through- and he was anxious to see the product of his efforts. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
Bronn hesitated. “Ummm…”
After an exaggerated sigh and a weary eye-roll, Bronn shoved something in his direction, and he looked down in confusion at what was now in his hand: a specimen jar with his name on it “Lannister, Jaime” and a teensy stone inside, the whole thing topped with a little toilet-paper hat and wrapped up in a pillowcase that obviously came off his hospital bed.
“You feeling alright there, man?” Bronn asked, trying not to laugh.
“Yeah,” Jaime agreed. Nodded.
“No, of course not. I’m not ready to be a father.”
He really wasn’t, he knew that, couldn’t even take care of himself much less a baby. Not disappointed at all. And yet when Bronn finally left, Jaime curled up around the jar and whispered the name he’d picked while still in the throes of his false labor, the name he realized he would never get to use:
Stannis storms through the three room hotel suite he and Davos live in, paupers to kings thanks to two lottery wins, a couple of dead wife life insurance payouts, and the smaller albeit no less gratifying career he has honed from their prize winning Pomerian’s calendar shoots. He is angry. Shake a fist at the sky angry, though he does little more than cinch the belt on his bathrobe and grind his teeth. It is Date Night, thank you very much, and Davos is nowhere to be found.
“How dare he,” Stannis grits out through a jaw so tightly locked it might as well be wired shut, and that thought only proves to further infuriate him, considering how horrible his high school phase of Brace Face Baratheon was.
They’ve only planned this night out for weeks, weeks’ worth of missed calls and texts and Davos working late, and while Stannis knows life in this crazy Kings Landing town is nothing short of unpredictable, sometimes Davos’s excuses are so outlandish that Stannis has to wonder if the man is doing more than logging in a few extra hours in the office.
“And, oh, oh, here we go, another phone call, another reason,” Stannis snaps as he plucks his phone from the pocket of his cashmere robe that he told Davos to buy him for his name day.
Davos: Sorry, love, you’ll never believe it, but I just got
Stannis: Just got what? Another singing telegram keeping you in the office?
It’s just as likely, considering all the nonsense they’ve been through between lottery wins and dead wife funerals. Four flat tires in one night, Davos staying late to help his intern make French toast, though why that has to happen at 10pm, Stannis will never know. And now that he himself has retired, it seems like the antics of Kings Landing have only gotten more and more outlandish, ever since he’s basically a prisoner here, a bird in a gilded cage full of Grub Hub sushi, streaming television, and enough pool boys on the rooftop sun deck to last a lifetime.
Two can play at this game.
Stannis is already staring, is already yearning, is already pining. Davos gets to live his life on the outside, and he’s probably flirting around with the idea of being unfaithful. The statistics of getting four flat tires is unreal, as unreal as Stannis thinking he could rock this cashmere robe outside of the suite. So, fine. Fine. He’s yearning, too. So he will take what he can get, here in the land of pool boys and cashmere and The Great British Baking Show.
It is his by rights, dammit.
He loosens his robe, just an inch, an inch or two, maybe. Only to get comfortable. Only to get what he wants.
"END SCENE," he screeches, because while Davos may mutter here and there that he's a total diva, Stannis doesn't care. He IS the star, dammit, Davos be damned.
Chapter 17: Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy
Chapter by Cecilia1204
What devious plan does Ramsay have up his sleeve?
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“Hey, kid, wanna do something fun?”
Bran turned sulky eyes on Ramsay Bolton and grinned. “Got ripped a new one by Mum when someone snitched yesterday, but sure, I’m up for it again. We’re we gonna hide this time?”
Ramsay’s pale blue eyes gleamed a little maniacally. “Nah, I’m planning something much more interesting than just smoking weed. That’s kid’s stuff.”
“Mum didn’t think so,” laughed Bran. “The only reason I’m here is that I’m on a contract otherwise I’d be grounded for the next six months. Not that they ever give me anything interesting to do. They just stick me in that wheelchair and I become background scenery.”
“My father didn’t give a shit what I did when I was your age. Still doesn’t. Just moans over the fact that Walda bitch wouldn’t go out with him. Why would she? She’s been playing hide the salami with Gregor. No point downgrading to a cocktail sausage!”
They both laughed and gagged at the same time, dismissing the mental images as quickly as possible.
“So, what’s your plan?”
Ramsay looked around but his paranoia insisted on more privacy. “Come to my studio. You never know who’s listening.”
The two made an odd pairing as they walked together. Bran, tall and lanky, towered over the short, slim Ramsay who refused to acknowledge that he was vertically challenged.
As the show’s Special Effects Supervisor, Ramsay had his own small studio, filled with computer graphics equipment. He shared the space with his usually spaced-out colleague, Jojen, brother of the one of the make-up crew.
Since Ramsay was the senior, their studio was decorated to his taste. Which ran to dogs. Lots of dogs. Dogs everywhere. And not cute, fluffy dogs. No, these were hell-hounds from Ramsay’s rather colourful imagination. There were hounds ripping men apart, hounds with blood dripping from their elongated canines. Hounds emerging from the fires of hell, red eyes glowing with evil. They were as far from Lassie as one could get.
And no-one was more proud than Ramsay that each hound was based on one of his own dogs. Growing up with a cold, distant father, a teenage Ramsay had found an abandoned pup and managed to hide if from his father for months. When Roose discovered the dog in his house he’d ordered Ramsay to get rid of it. The dog, objecting to the tone being used against his master, launched himself at Roose who screamed for Ramsay to pull it off. Ramsay gave him an evil grin, waiting another minute before calling the dog off. While Roose treated the bite marks, Ramsay mused over how unlucky it would be if his dog made his way back home and sought revenge on the man who had wanted him gone. Roose backed down and Ramsay dog’s obsession began.
He’d moved into his own place and currently had seven dogs: Cerberus, Sauron, Scar, Voldemort, Nosferatu, Palpatine. And Fifi.
The male dogs were all hounds – two mastiffs, a german shepherd, a Rottweiler cross, and a couple of large mutts. And Fifi, a teacup Chihuahua.
When he first got the job at the studios, Ramsay would bring one or two of his dogs with him. They were very well trained, after all. If they bailed up a few people, it was only because they deserved it. Then Joffrey, the useless wanker, ran to his mummy crying how the big, bad doggie had growled at him and Ramsay had been ordered to keep his dogs at home.
In revenge, Ramsay had CGI’d extra wrinkles on Cersei as well as a blacked-out tooth and added a boil to Joffrey’s nose. He’d accessed the video after it had been approved for airing so no-one knew what he’d done until the episode aired. He’d cackled like a witch as he watched it, surrounded by his beloved pooches.
Sure, the old wind-bag, Olenna had threatened him with dismissal but Ramsay knew he was the most talented SFX expert she’d find at the crappy salary she offered, so it was all just hot air. She did warn him though, that if he brought his dogs in again, she’d have no choice but to fire him.
Part of him wished it would happen. He should be working for one of the big SFX studios – Weta, or ILM but he was still building his portfolio.
He’d been trying to convince the writers to include a dragon or some type of monster into the show. He could already picture his dragon: spikes, horns, fanged teeth, razor-like claws. It would be epic. It would make Smaug look like a garden lizard! But no. They said it was a stupid idea. As if there would be dragons in Kings Landing! Ramsay didn’t see why not. The shitty plotlines would only be improved by a dragon, in his opinion.
Then he’d heard about this ‘live’ episode. It was a crappy idea, mainly because there’d be no call for his special effects. Or would there? The wheels in his twisted brain began spinning. Not everything had to be CGI. He could work without it.
The stuntman, Benjen, one of the few people he respected due to the man being a badass, let slip that the writers were going to have a pow-wow and try to come up with something that wouldn’t be vomit inducing for the live episode.
And the wicked idea struck him.
He would do something that would maybe make the writers more malleable towards his idea. A ‘live’ dragon on a ‘live’ show? It would win Emmy’s for fucks sake!
“Hey Jojen,” greeted Bran as they entered the SFX studio.
“Yo, dude. How’re they hanging?” replied Jojen, pupils blown from whatever he’d smoked earlier. “Looking for better shit to smoke than what that fucker’s got?” he chuckled, pointing at Ramsay.
“Shut the fuck up, you sheep shagger!” retorted Ramsay.
Jojen laughed heartily. “Never fucked a sheep in my life, asshole. I like ’em less hairy, or woolly, like yours.”
“Stay away from my ass, poofter, or my dogs will make sure you’ve got nothing to stick in anyone’s ass ever again.” The two burst out laughing at the running joke between them. “Where’s my baby?”
“Right there in her bed, under your desk.”
Ramsay bent down and melted at the sight of his caramel and white baby girl. “Oh, hello my itty, bitty princess. Did you miss your Daddy? Did you? Did you? ‘Cause Daddy missed his princess.” The tiny dog, tail waving so fast it was almost invisible, stood on her hind legs and jumped frantically up and down, wanting to be picked up, whining all the while.
“Sssh, my lovely,” crooned Ramsay as he picked up the dog and smothered her with kisses. “We don’t want anyone to know you’re here, do we? No, we don’t.” Fifi’s whole body wiggled in excitement at her daddy’s attention, licking his lips happily, which Ramsay happily allowed.
After he’d been banned from bringing his dogs to work, Ramsay had struggled to find motivation or inspiration without their presence. He’d spent hours watching CCTV of his dogs at home and searching the web for dog videos. He was so distracted, he’d forgotten to digitally remove the safety wires from one of Benjen’s stunts which no-one had picked up and had been told off by Arianne for sloppy work. Was it his fault that there was no quality control on this useless show?
Then he’d come across a video featuring a tiny teacup Chihuahua and the solution presented itself. A dog that small would be easy to hide. Fuck, it could fit in his pocket. He’d found a couple of breeders nearby and for some reason, when the owners met him, they basically offered him whichever pup he wanted.
Ramsay was instantly drawn to the runt. He’d always preferred the runts. And she was so small she could easily be mistaken for a large mouse. It was love at first sight. The name ‘Fifi’ popped into his head and so she was named.
He’d threatened his other dogs with neutering if they harmed a hair on the tiny dog’s head but there’d been no need. Fifi instantly asserted herself as head of the pack, reigning over her subjects with a velvet fist. She picked where she slept, got the tastiest morsels and was slavishly adored by the dogs that towered over her. Fifi got the choice spot near Ramsay’s head each night, her soft snores lulling him to sleep.
It had been three months since he’d been bringing Fifi to work with him and no-one knew, except Jojen. Ramsay figured that even if Jojen snitched, no-one would believe a spaced-out hipster who claimed he could see the future. Plus the threat of becoming dog food if he talked kept the other man from saying anything. Besides, he really liked the little dog and kept an eye out for her when Ramsay was called out to production meetings.
“Cute dog,” said Bran.
“Yes, she is,” replied Ramsay, snuggling Fifi to his chest with one hand. She was wearing a pink tutu today, one of many she owned, and her matching collar.
“So, what’s this plan?”
Ramsay’s slow grin was disturbing, even to Bran, who’d smoked a few joints with him before being busted. He imagined this was what a serial killer looked like while planning his next murder.
“The writers are going to be locked in a room while they hash out the plot for the live show. They’re getting food in. Seems like Hot Pie’s hot pies are a necessity for that lot. What kind of plot do you think they’d write if they were ‘impaired’?”
“What if we altered Hot Pie’s meat sauce recipe a little? Add some extra ‘herbs’ for flavour?”
Bran burst out laughing. “You want to lace the pies with weed? That’s awesome!”
“I’m glad you’re on-board with my idea,” smirked Ramsay. “Can you imagine that old fart, Mace, high on marijuana?”
“How do we do it? I’ve heard Hot Pie’s maniacal about keeping anyone not involved in the cooking out of his kitchen.”
“I have a plan.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Okay, my darling, it’s time to go to work,” whispered Ramsay as they crouched behind a serving trolley outside the studio’s catering kitchens. Fifi, now sans tutu and bow, licked his face in eagerness.
Creeping slowly, with Bran as a lookout, Ramsay carefully pushed open the kitchen door, the smell of cooking meat in gravy assaulting his senses. With a final kiss on Fifi’s head, he set her down on the floor. “Do your thing, my love,” he crooned as he let her go and stepped back behind the trolley and waited for the fireworks.
It didn’t take long.
“OH MY GOD! IT’S A RAT! IT’S A RAT!” Shrieks and footsteps sounded as Fifi launched her attack.
“Get out! The rat’s coming for me!”
Within seconds, the door burst open and the three occupants of the kitchen raced out, Hot Pie’s belly wobbling like unset jelly. He was shrieking the loudest.
Ramsay and Bran slipped inside, heading straight for the pot with the stew. With a cackling laugh, Ramsay dumped a whole bag of marijuana into the pot, giving it a quick stir. This was almost his whole stash for the next week but it would be worth it.
“Anyone coming?” he whispered loudly.
“No, but hurry,” replied Bran
Just to be sure he did the job properly, Ramsay opened the fridge and spotted a cake batter. Pulling out a smaller bag, he dumped the contents into the batter, mixing it in hurriedly.
Satisfied that his work here was done, he called to his dog, who trotted up obediently and hopped up into his waiting arms.
“Well done, my precious, well done.” He kissed her head. “Idiots who can’t tell the difference between a rat and a dog deserve everything they get.”
Both men were laughing uproariously as they returned to the special effects studio.
Now they just had to wait.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“We’ll have to throw everything out,” said the assistant cook.
Hot Pie wrung his hands. Everything in him revolted at the idea but he had no choice. He just hoped no-one got salmonella or gangrene or diphtheria, or whatever disease rats carried. As soon as he delivered the food he would bleach the kitchen from top to bottom.
“There’s no time. We have to deliver the pies to the writers within the hour as ordered. My reputation will be ruined if I don’t,” he wailed.
The assistant shook her head, “If this gets out…”
“We will never speak of this again. We take it to our graves. Pinky swear,” he demanded, raising his fat finger.
His assistants looked at each other and shrugged. It went against their training but Hot Pie was the best.
Both held out their pinkies.
I imagine Ramsay spends a lot of time on the net searching for clothes for his princess.
This morning we discovered evidence of a rat in our office. When I actually saw it, I basically did a Hot Pie and scared the bejesus out of everyone around me, lol! It was dead, but I didn't know that. I don't handle rodents at all well!
Chapter 18: Cat on a Hot Studio Lot
Chapter by ZoeSong
Tommen (Cersei’s surprisingly nice son who serves as her runner) is looking for his cat.
Many pardons for any typos or other errors. This was done quickly, largely by stream-of-consciousness, and without much editing. Many thanks to Sarahcakes for her prop ideas.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Tommen was looking for his cat, GRR Mewing (named for his favorite soap star). Ever since his other cat, Mew Ellen, had run off with rodeo cowboy Cal Drogo Worthington (well, he played a rodeo cowboy), GRR Mewing had been inconsolable. He was always prowling the halls of the studio looking for his former mate.
Today, Tommen had lost sight of the cat when he’d slipped out of the make-up trailer while Tommen was watching his mother getting her make-up on. Tommen loved watching Meera work her magic. Mom looked years younger, which made Tommen feel good because that’s when he remembered Mom spending time with him. Well, when she wasn’t drinking and badmouthing Uncle Tyrion.
GRR Mewing had been playing with a make-up brush and Shae, the ultra-hot make-up artist had shooed him away. Tommen had tried to dash after him, but had run into a burly-looking red-headed, red-bearded man, and they’d done kind of a “excuse me” dance before Tommen had broken free and darted out the door. “Sorry, mate!” the man had called after him.
The last time that GRR Mewing had run away, he’d been found under the hood of the truck that Cal Drogo Worthington drove, and Tommen had thought he was dead. Tommen fainted dead away, and when he awoke and asked about the cat, everyone told him that he must have dreamed it all, for the cat was sleeping in his lap, right as rain.
Now Tommen was searching every building the cat could have gotten into. Tommen noticed with horror that the door to the props department was open. There were saws and hammers and cat-haters in there! He ran in to save GRR Mewing from a fate worse than death. But he decided he’d better not tell them what he was doing there.
“Hey, Tommen, what are you up to?” Dickon Tarly’s voice startled him from behind.
“Oh, hey, Dickon, umm, just checking on a prop for my mom,” he lied. Damn, now he had to come up with a prop. What did his mom say she’d be using in the next episode?
But he was spared the need to think. “Oh, yeah, I’m still working on that. Tell her it will be ready by rehearsal, all right? There’s only so many places where you can get a life-sized velvet painting of Elvis large enough to fit on a trampoline.” Cersei had a strange fetish for Elvis. She said he inspired her to do her best work.
“Right, okay, I’ll tell her.” Tommen took a quick glance around as Tarly turned back to his work. There was something that looked like an industrial-sized bed under construction across the room. Tommen didn’t ask.
Tommen’s next stop was the costume department. He knew that Margaery, the costume designer, would be kind and helpful – she seemed to really like Tommen – but if Old Nan, the crazy old seamstress who told spooky stories whether you wanted to hear them or not, found out that a cat could be in here potentially getting hairballs and bad luck all over her creations, he’d never hear the end of it. The last time he had to listen to stories of saber-toothed ice cats that used to prowl the north preying on Wildling children.
He checked in between all the suits and jackets on the low racks, and was startled when something furry moved.
“Uncle Tyrion! What are you doing here?”
“Shh! Hiding from your mother. She’s on the rampage about the budget cuts – I told her it was your grandfather’s doing, but you know how she gets.”
“I won’t tell her.”
“I’m looking for GRR Mewing – he got out again. Will you help me find him?”
Uncle Tyrion kindly agreed (he was always fond of Tommen), and together they sorted through the other costumes that could hide a skulking, lovesick cat. Tyrion got creative and looked through the clown costumes from the episodes when Cersei’s older son joined the circus (one of the many times Joffrey had gotten killed on the show – that time he was shot out of a cannon), but he only found a red rubber nose that had gone astray. Tommen went through all the furs – GRR Mewing loved to nestle among those (all artificial, of course, or Meera and Shae would have had PETA down on them for sure), and he startled himself when his hand ran across teeth – but it turned out only to be a stuffed ferret attached to a stole. He looked in all the large shoes and almost thought he’d found him in an extra large swim fin but it turned out to be the stuffed rat from the infamous scene in the episode when Ned was being held prisoner in a rat-infested prison in Essos.
They had almost given up hope when Uncle Tyrion gave a sudden scream. A giant zombie polar bear was attacking him! Tommen ran to help him, but it turned out to be the costume from the Walking Dead tribute episode. At first they thought GRR Mewing had gotten inside, but it turned out that the animatronic parts had just been turned on accidentally.
But when it suddenly said, “What are you doing in my department?” both Tyrion and Tommen fled in terror. It was Old Nan. But they outran her.
And bumped straight into Margaery.
“Hello Tommen, darling. Have you finally decided to be in an episode as your dear mother keeps requesting?” She spoke smoothly and batted her eyes at him.
Tommen took a step back and shook his head. She was so pretty, but she was twice his age, and always looked at him with those big doe eyes. He was barely 13 and just wanted to find his cat. “No, we are looking for my cat.”
Tommen turned to look for Uncle Tyrion and found that either he’d been captured by Old Nan, or had left the building. Lucky! “I…I… I am looking for him. He might have come in here.”
“Well, too bad I have so much to do for the finale or I’d help you look for him.” She stepped forward and smoothed the hair from his forehead.
“Uh, that’s okay – I’ve looked everywhere already in here now.”
“Very well, dear. But I will keep an eye out for him and bring him straight to you if he turns up.”
“Th–Thanks, Margaery.” Tommen turned and darted out of there before Margaery could straighten his collar.
Tearing down the walkway, Tommen spotted Gendry, the stoner janitor (err, custodian), and Tommen wondered whether Gendry would even notice GRR Mewing if he saw him.
“Hey, Tommen, my man! How goes it? Wanna push my cart for awhile? I need a break.”
“Uh, sorry Gendry, but I am on a run for my mom – no time to waste!”
“Right, yeah, that bitch is a trip! Wouldn’t want to get on her bad side!”
Tommen knew he should defend his mom, but she could be kind of a pain, so he just nodded and headed off. But first he took a quick glance into Gendry’s push cart trashcan. For a moment he thought he saw something furry in there, but then he realized it was only a big round loaf of bread with fuzzy mold all over it.
Next Tommen ducked into Craft Service. He knew that if GRR Mewing was in there, he’d be finished. Animals (aside from the actors) were not supposed to be in there.
Inside he was greeted by Asha, the Barista. “Hello, love. What can I get you?”
“Uh, uh, a cat…uh.”
“Oh, yes, the ‘Bengal Cat’? That’s a grown-up drink. But I tell you what, I’ll make you a Virgin Bengal.” She leaned in to him, “I’ll even let you lick the honey spoon.”
“Umm, that’s okay. I’m just looking for my cat. But I don’t think he’s in here.”
He dashed out again, hoping against hope that they didn’t find the cat in there.
Glancing about, Tommen chose the medical center. He slipped in surreptitiously, but there was no one in the waiting room. He looked all around there and the office (Ros, the Receptionist seemed to be AWOL), but found no cat lurking.
Tommen moved down the hall stealthily, peeking into the various exam rooms, but found nothing. He wondered where Doctor Pycelle was. As Tommen opened the door to the last room, he heard giggling. He caught a glance of Doctor Pycelle appearing to be giving an exam to Ros. Ros spotted Tommen, giggled without embarrassment, and gave him a little wave. “Hiya, darlin’!”
Pycelle turned around in a rage. “How dare you burst in here while I’m a…during an um…um… an exam!”
Tommen stammered a quick apology, took a quick look around for GRR Mewing, and sprinted out of there, hearing Ros’ giggling all the way down the hall.
Exiting by the back door, Tommen ended up near the entrance gate to the studio, where he could see that Robert Baratheon was there. He was a nice guy, if a little flaky. He had been Cersei’s leading man – in the show and in real life (there were rumors that he was Tommen’s father) – but Mom called Robert a has-been star now, and she wanted him to leave, but the whisperers said that Robert had dirt on Mom, so she had him relegated to front-gate duty when he wouldn’t leave.
Tommen strolled up to the gate. “Hi Robert.”
“Tommen, my boy, how are you? What brings you out here on foot?”
“I’m looking for my cat – he ran off again.”
“What? Not again. Well, I’ve not seen any cats around – unless you count your slinky cougar mother. Does she ever talk about me?” There was longing in the man’s eyes.
“Uh, no, not that I’ve heard.” Tommen was lying of course. His mom was always berating “that beastly man” once they’d passed through the gate each morning in the car. Tommen didn’t want to hurt Robert’s feelings.
A car pulled up to the gate and honked loudly.
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist!” Robert shouted, and he took his time getting to the gate controls. Then he noticed who was in the car. “Oh, sorry Ms. Olenna! Just helping little Tommen here find…err, what were you looking for?”
Tommen shook his head and waved him off. “It’s okay, I found it!” Tommen bent down and pretended to pick up something, then slipped his phone out of his pocket and gave it a wave. “Thanks for your help!”
Running to the first place he could get away to (he was almost as afraid of Olenna as he was of his mother), Tommen entered the studio motorcade. All around him were golf carts of every color, shape, and size. And limousines, and every sort of car and motorcycle used in all the shows.
“Tommen! Great to see you. Did you come for another ride in the Infiniti Q60? I swear, ever since that Snow commercial it’s been one person begging for a ride after another.”
“No, thanks, Osha. I’m just looking for my cat. You haven’t seen him, have you?”
“No, the only animal I’ve seen today was a goat that escaped from its pen. But you might want to check with the animal wranglers – they could have picked him up and put him with the trained cats. Elle-Elle gets lonely, you know.”
Tommen’s eyes widened. The Lannister Lion was a menace – he had eaten half of the animal stars during Cersei’s “Out of Africa” tribute episode. Tommen was afraid of him – and for poor GRR Mewing. He hurried to the animal talent department, hoping against hope that GRR Mewing wasn’t there. Or that he was, but wasn’t already inside Elle-Elle.
As Tommen peered cautiously into the animal deparment, the head wrangler, Mance Rayder, sauntered up to him. “Looking for an exotic animal to adopt? There’s a raven here that needs a home.”
“Snow!” The raven cawed.
“Haha, he just finished that “North of the Wall” episode – the director kept calling for more snow constantly. You can teach him to say whatever you want. He’s a smart one.”
“He’s beautiful, but no, thank you. I’m just trying to find my cat.”
“Well, here are all the cats – none of them came recently, though.”
Tommen surveyed the cats in their enclosures (no cages here), and admired them all, even fondling a beautiful Calico named Cally, but none of them were GRR Mewing. Tommen sighed in disappointment, thanked Mance, and wandered on.
He had had given up in defeat, and flopped himself down on top of an old dresser prop shoved against a wall near the trash bins. Had he really lost GRR Mewing? The thought of that made him want to do something desperate. As he was considering what to do, he heard a pathetic yowling and turned, startled. Sitting in front of a shard of a shattered vanity mirror, was GRR Mewing staring at his reflection longingly.
“GRR Mewing!” Tommen exclaimed with joy. “Where have you been?” He gathered the still-mewling cat into his arms and carried him off triumphantly.
“GRR Mewing!” Gods, he hated that name. If only cats could tell their people their real names. His was AzorAhai. Cats called him AA for short. “Where have you been?”
“If you only knew!” AA mewled his discontent loudly. He had had a really rough day. He had made up his mind from the moment that Tommen had taken him to the make-up trailer that he would try to escape and find his darling Nymeria (Mew Ellen indeed!). He’d watched for an opening, pretending to be innocently batting a make-up brush around (he could have sworn the thing had talked to him) while Tommen sat fascinated with his mother’s make-up (GRR understood; he missed his mother too. She had been a big gray tabby named Mother Rhoyne, AKA, Tabitha Twitchet).
He waited until Tommen was distracted, then made a beeline towards the trailer door. He’d headed first to Cal Drogo’s trailer, but it had been vacated. There was nothing left but the heavenly scent of his dear Nymeria’s markings.
Next he’d dashed into the props department, but a very scary bald man with an ax had chased him.
Then he’d headed to costumes, where he’d considered stopping to take a nap in a pile of furs, but got shooed away by a grumpy old woman. Hmph, and they said cats were grumpy!
Then he very nearly got run over by a garbage can on wheels, which smelled rather interesting – he’d almost decided to hop aboard and see what pickings could be had, but the staggering custodian (AA knew what it was like to be called by the wrong name) startled him, and he darted off.
Next he slipped into Craft Service. His Nymeria had loved sneaking in here to steal shrimp off the buffet table. But there was no shrimp – nor Nymeria in here today. Only Asha, whom he avoided carefully.
He crept past the medical center, avoiding it as he knew Nymeria would. It smelled like the veterinarian’s office, and they both hated going there. He heard a hysterically giggling woman as he passed under the window.
He wandered all around the grounds, stopping everywhere he could think of. He’d followed a stray cat who called himself Coldpaws into the meat locker, and they both got trapped there for a while. But at least they had a nice fish snack. “Winter is coming!” Coldpaws said ominously as AA slunk off.
Sneaking into the sound studio AA saw a lady lying on in bed perfectly still. He leaped onto the bed and snuggled up to her and settled in for a nap. He was startled awake when someone said loudly, “Cat!” the lights went on, and someone shrieked, “And action!” AA scrambled off the bed and out the back door.
Then he stalked into Varys’ lair and found fresh kitty caviar set out as if Vee was waiting just for him. He nibbled it daintily, as Vee would expect him to, and then Vee himself walked in, so AA accepted a bit of scratching around the ears (Vee knew JUST how to do it), and took another nap. Until a voice over a loudspeaker called Varys to set. Then AA snuck out too.
He almost ran into Joffrey (who is major Macavity-sized trouble), and deliberately twisted between his ankles to trip him, then darted away. Behind him, he heard Joff scream in pain and call for an exterminator.
AA glanced about and spotted that the big lazy man at the front gate – he knew that if he wanted to, he could sprint right through there. But why would he want to do that? He knew that Nymeria would stay here at the studio where there were all sorts of animal stars she could fawn over.
Right! That reminded him, she might have gone to the animal wrangler’s building. AA had been there once to be seen by a very calm man who seemed to have magical powers. Maybe he had mesmerized poor Nymeria into staying there.
There he found that Cal Drogo Worthington had a creature that he called his “dog Spot” (who was really a pretty fierce-looking tiger named Longclaw). He gave AA a bored look and told him that Nymeria had left weeks ago with Cal in his Jaguar.
Depressed, AA had wandered aimlessly, only stopping when he caught sight of another cat who seemed to shadow him all of a sudden. He crept cautiously up to the cat – who looked remarkably like him – and yowled at him.
And then, Tommen found him and scooped him up into his arms in a most undignified, if quite comforting, way. AA tried to tell Tommen about his terrible day, but as usual, Tommen seemed not to understand.
“Come on, GRR Mewing, there’s someone I think you’ll like to meet.” And Tommen carried him to the animal wrangler’s department, all the way back to the small cat enclosure. “This is Cally.”
GRR Mewing looked at the beautiful Calico and started purring. It was the purrfect end to a nearly catastrophic day.
Thanks for your patience in reading this rambling piece. I had a bit of a notion about Tommen searching for his lost cat (a bit of a callback to the hospital fic with all the missing cats and kittens), and as usual, it just got away from me.
My apologies to “Dallas” fans for borrowing a bit of the famous (infamous?) JR Ewing and Sue Ellen storyline. She really did run off with a rodeo cowboy, and JR married a woman named Cally. Later, he was contemplating suicide and was found staring at a mirror that he’d just shot after he’d seen a vision in it. I never actually watched “Dallas,” but you would have had to be deaf and blind not to have heard of JR Ewing back in the 70s and 80s, even if you didn’t watch TV. And everyone talked all summer in 1980 about “Who Shot JR?” after someone shot the character. He survived, of course. And the part where Tommen woke up and was told it was all a dream comes from Dallas Season 9 in which the entire season turned out to be a dream (again, talked about widely, so news of it was unavoidable).
Cal Worthington was a TV car salesman here in Southern California. He always ran ads that had him with one wacky exotic animal after another, which he always called “My dog Spot.” I seem to remember an elephant and a tiger. That’s him in the picset. Here he is with an elephant looking more like a rodeo star.
There are actually some cocktails ("cattails"?) named for cat breeds. Of course, having a Bengal, I had to use that one:
More here. I’m not sure that a barista would know how to make cocktails, but hey, this is fanfic and Asha is a very capable woman.
And when looking for cat names, I found a fun page where people suggested GOT/ASOIAF-themed cat names. I didn’t end up using many of them (I decided to go with god names or names of ancient warriors from GOT), but I sneaked in “Coldpaws” and “Longclaw.” My favorites were “Pawdrick Payne,” “Arya Underfoot,” “Ser Pounce-a-lot,” and “The Puss That Was Promised.” More here.
Oh, and I thought it would be cute if the cat snuggled up with Cat. She’d be in her zen-like trance and not mind at all.
Chapter 19: He had it coming (he only had himself to blame)
Chapter by sarahcakes613
The planned live episode of The Bold and the Restless did not go as, well, planned. More news at eleven.
So, here's the thing. 2018 was A Year for a lot of us. Life got in the way, other fandoms took precedence, etc etc. But always, lingering at the back of the fridge like a forgotten wrinkly pear, this fic hovered. With the gracious permission of my amazing co-bros, I've taken the liberty of writing a final chapter to wrap up this wackadoo soap opera we created. Hope you enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
SURPRISE ON SOAP SET! LIVE SHOOT ENDS IN DEATH!
Roslin Frey, for the Flea Bottom Gazette
Fans of WBC’s hit soap opera The Bold and the Restless are travelling from all over the country to King’s Landing today, all eager to pay their respects outside the television studio where yesterday a planned live production of the season finale ended in disaster. Longtime fans of the show will of course know that an ongoing storyline has seen star Joffrey Lannister’s character die onscreen nearly two dozen times now. According to sources inside the stunt department, Lannister had stopped doing his own action scenes approximately 8 deaths ago after a pyrotechnics mishap resulted in some unfortunate hair loss, but the lure of a live show proved too tantalizing to resist, and Lannister had decided to perform his own death scene once more.
This reporter was able to confirm with Benjen Stark, lead stunt coordinator, that the scene in question was to involve a mechanical animal prop (readers may recall these props from last year’s mayhem at the zoo storyline.) and that the method of death was to be poisoning via skin-to-skin contact with a poisonous frog. “There’s just no way any of us could have predicted this,” Stark insists. “How the hell were we supposed to know the prop had been switched out for a real frog?!”
How indeed, readers. It’s no secret to anyone in the industry that Joffrey was a troubled character, both on and off-screen. The number of people who may have had a reason to want him dead is higher than this reporter has fingers and toes.
Chief Inspector Jon Targaryen, son of former Prime Minister Rhaegar Targaryen, has yet to release an official statement, but sources within the police department say that detectives are still interviewing cast and crew, as well as staff at local wildlife centres and pet stores to see if they can determine where the frog came from.
In the meantime, viewers can still catch their favourite stars by tuning in to WBC’s throwback streaming service, where all previous 29 seasons have been made available for free this month!
MINUTES FROM WBC BOARD MEETING
Meeting called to order by Chairman Barristan Selmy, 10:00am.
Barristan Selmy, Chairman and CEO, WBC
Davos Seaworth, CFO, WBC
Olenna Tyrell, CEO, Tyrell Industries, showrunner, The Bold and the Restless
Rodrik Cassel, board member
Garlen Tyrell, board member
Kevan Lannister, board member
Willas Tyrell, board member
- Motion from Davos Seaworth: To cancel contract with Tyrell Industries, cancel TBatR, and pull from syndication previous episodes.
Vote: 4 in favour, 1 against, 1 abstain
Resolved: Motion carried, The Bold and the Restless will be cancelled and pulled from syndication. All relations between Tyrell Industries and the Westeros Broadcasting Corporation to be dissolved.
Meeting adjourned, 11:45am.
INTERNAL EMAIL, CHIEF INSPECTOR JON TARGARYEN TO SUPERINTENDENT JEOR MORMONT
The squad have now interviewed 43 members of the cast and crew, all of whom were on site the day of the live production. No one reports seeing anything suspicious around the prop department. All interviewees stated knowledge of grudges against Lannister, but nothing worth killing for. Two did state they wanted to shake the hand of whoever done it, recommend further questioning of Sandor Clegane and Ygritte Wilde.
To be honest sir, from all accounts this guy was a complete knob. Not sure we should be continue using police resources to investigate.
Further police actions to happen at your approval.
CI Jon Targaryen
FORUM POST, REDDIT.COM/R/THEBOLDANDTHERESTLESS
Does anyone else think this is another fakeout?
I know, I know, it was live, how could it be faked, but come on guys, wake up and smell the bowl of brown! It was no secret that Tyrell stock was tanking and their partnership with WBC was all that was keeping them afloat. I think Olenna Tyrell set this up and Joffrey is probably on a beach somewhere in Tahiti waiting for the all-clear.
That’s some conspiracy theory you got going on, mate. IANAL but I feel like any potential for stock growth from that kind of stunt would pale in comparison to the fraud charges the network would face if it came out.
I don’t know, OP could be on to something. I mean, I’m pretty sure Joffrey’s dead IRL, but I bet Olenna knew it was going to happen and decided to kill two birds etc.
My brother worked on the set of TBatR and he told me that literally everybody hated Joffrey but he doesn’t think any of them actually have the stones to do something like this. My money’s on someone outside the show, like maybe Joffrey was in with the wrong loan shark or something. I heard poison is what Petyr Baelish uses when he needs to send a message, remember that rival loan shark that he killed with the powdered strangler in his champagne? Sure, he was acquitted on a technicality, but we all know he did it.
PRIVATE TUMBLR POST, USER @P0UNCEB0UNCE
So um, I think it might be my fault my brother’s dead? I mean, I didn’t kill him, but there was this whole thing with my cat getting loose on set (for all his adventures, see my tag #grr-mewing) and apparently there was also a giant rat in the kitchens the same day? So he came home ranting about exterminators and then not even two weeks later he’s killed with poison?! Edric @rightsaidned says it’s just a coincidence, because exterminators mostly use chemical pesticide stuff and this was from a frog. I guess, but it still seems awfully close to possible. Do they let you bring your cats when you go to jail?
TRANSCRIPT OF INTAKE INTERVIEW OF PATIENT JAIME LANNISTER WITH DR. QYBURN, PSYCHIATRIST, AEGON TARGARYEN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Dr. Qyburn: How are you feeling today, Jaime?
Jaime Lannister: Alright, I guess.
Q: Do you know why you’re here?
J: Psychiatric evaluation?
Q: That’s right. Do you understand why?
J: You’re the one who will decide if I’m crazy.
Q: I’m not here to decide anything, Jaime. I’m merely here to ascertain if you understand the actions you are standing accused of. The courts will determine whether to allow your insanity plea or not.
J: I understand just fine, doctor. I don’t even want to plead insanity, I’m fully aware of what I did and I was in my right mind at the time.
Q: You were in your right mind when you bribed a herpetologist to assist you in committing nepoticide?
J: I had to do it!
Q: Did you?
J: As long as Joffrey was around, Cersei was never going to pay attention to me. She was so focused on her precious golden son, she didn’t care about me anymore. She didn’t even visit me in the hospital when Dylan was born!
Q: Ah, yes. This would be when you collapsed last month? The admitting physician’s notes indicate you presented with abdominal pain and fever. It looks like they removed quite the sizeable stone from your kidney.
J: Right, that’s what I said.
Q: You named your kidney stone?
J: Hey, doc? When Cersei was pregnant with Joffrey, she always complained about how the swollen ankles and the nausea and stuff. Do you think if I offered to carry the next baby, she’d come back to me?
Q: I think I’ve got enough information for my evaluation now. Thank you, Jaime.
J: Right, right, thanks doc. I’m sure my lawyer will appreciate it. Hey, what do you think of the name Frederick?
And as the fat lady (that'd be me) sings, that's a wrap!
Tune in at some point, possibly this year, possibly not, for more Baratheon Bros Presents shenanigans. In the meantime, we can always be found at http://baratheonbrotherspresent.tumblr.com/ and wherever fine crackships are sold.