Wednesday, June 6, 2012



For a new TV character to be considered a candidate for the annual Toobits Awards, that character has to have more than just an interesting personality and appearance, and be played by a really good actor. That TV character should bring something special to the Toobworld concept.

And a leading candidate this year for the Toobits Awards who fits that description is Jaqen H'ghar, from Season Two of 'Game Of Thrones'.

It's more than German actor Tom Wlaschiha bringing a coldly charismatic intensity to the role of Arya's personal assassin/guardian angel. And even though Jaqen has a unique style of speech, ("The man needs the girl to give him a name."), it goes beyond that as well.

It's because of the "Faceless Men" concept from the "Song Of Ice And Fire" books by George R.R. Martin. The Faceless Men are a guild of assassins who can "magically" change their appearance to become someone else. In the books, it's because of skin masks (Shades of Hannibal Lecter!) - apparently of previous victims - which the Faceless Men can wear and absorb traits of the previous "owner". (I have not read the books, and am getting this information from a "Game of Thrones" wiki. So I may not have that description exactly right.)

At the end of Arya's storyline on the season finale, Jaqen left her and he was now sporting a new face. It looked as though he just turned away and became somebody totally different. Whether the splainin as far as the TV show goes will coincide with that from the books or will just be chalked up to "magic", remains to be seen. (Personally? I'd prefer the Toobworld splainin of muscle manipulation, as seen in 'The Twilight Zone' episode "The Four Of Us Are Dying" and in "Small Potatoes", an episode of 'The X-Files'.)

So here's why this is an important development for Toobworld......

For the purposes of the Toobworld Dynamic only, the events of 'Game Of Thrones' takes place on another planet, not in the Age of Legends on Earth Prime-Time. Instead I've placed the continent of Westeros and its neighbor to the East across the Narrow Sea (where the Free Cities, Dothrak, Qarth, and the Red Waste can be found) on Earth's "twin", Mondas - the planet of origin for the original Cybermen in 'Doctor Who'.

"Mondas" supposedly means "Earth" in the old language, according to the Doctor (And by "old language", I'm assuming he meant Old High Gallifreyan.), and it was the Earth created by God. On the other hand, Earth Prime-Time is an artificial construct built by the Magratheans to be a super computer on order from pan-dimensional beings and based on a design by the previous super computer, Deep Thought.

I wrote about Mondas and its place in the history of the Toobworld timeline here. I am sure that one day I will have to amend that and add to it.

At any rate, when the population of Mondas was transformed into Cybermen, I'm sure they didn't all volunteer for the conversion. And I think many of those chose instead to not only rebel, but flee the planet altogether. Because their timeline was farther along than that of Earth Prime-Time (having been around a lot longer), they knew of their sister in synchronous orbit and probably decided to go there in order to escape.

We met one of those surviving rebels from Mondas in "Probe 7 - Over And Out", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'. Her name was Eve Norta and she encountered Captain Adam Cooke, who had just recently crash-landed on the planet with no hope for rescue from his home planet (which was about to destroy itself in internecine conflift.) Eve and Adam - yes, it was a "shaggy dog" story, but it was not the Biblical version of the Garden of Eden, as that took place on Mondas.

Eve Norta drew a crude map in the dirt to show Captain Cooke where she came from. But since they still had a language barrier between them, he totally misread her diagram. He thought it meant that she was from another galaxy and that her planet moved away from its sun. As it turned out, Mondas did break free of its orbit around Sol, but that would have happened after Eve's fellow rebels escaped the Cybermen conversion.

When Adam asked her if there were others, Eve said no, that she was the only one. Again, this could either have been his misinterpretation of what she was trying to say, or we might have to assume that the dictum of Dr. House existed even back in those prehistoric days - "Everybody lies." It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that for whatever reason, Eve Norta was driven away from the refugees camp. And now she didn't want to lose this one chance to have "human" contact again if Adam should find out why she was now on her own.

So it's going to be the Toobworld contention that Eve was not the only one to escape from the planet Mondas. And with those other refugees came remnants of their culture from life in the lands of Westeros (whatever their names may have been by that point.) This would have included their own names which would go on to survive down the ages - like Stark, Tully, Jaime, Robert/Robb, Jon & Snow, Sam, Brandon, Ned, and the variants from Paetyr, Joffrey, Eddard, Podrick..... 

 The legendary cruelty of Queen Cersei may have been the inspiration for the witch Circe. And someone must have brought along the chronicles of the "medieval" life on Mondas, which somehow was found by the televersion of George R.R. Martin (seen in a restaurant during an episode of 'Beauty And The Beast') and which he used to create his epic saga... once he decoded it.

But those refugees may have brought along something else with them - magic. It would have been in remission on Mondas by the time of rise of the Cybermen; science held sway by that point. (Another 'Twilight Zone' episode is also considered part of Mondasian history - "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You". Not only is the timeline wrong for Earth Prime-Time, but replacing bodies seems like the logical, previous step before Cyber-conversion.)

And one part of that magic that made the journey to Earth Prime-Time could have been the Faceless Men's power to alter one's appearance. For alls we know, it might have been Eve who used such a power, and if the others found out it would be a good reason as to why they banished her.

This is why I was so psyched about this plot development in the story of Jaqen H'ghar - we can now use this Faceless Men technique as another splainin for recastaways. And if more than one Faceless Man can use the same mask, then we have a splainin for multiple appearances by certain actors without falling on the old "identical cousin" gambit.

However.... There is one downside to this development going into the third season of 'Game Of Thrones' (for which we'll have to wait a year!) - It probably means we have seen the last of
Tom Wlaschiha in the series.

If so, this man is going to miss that man.....


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