Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Scientifically Accurate Game of Thrones

Ah, damnit, they still ain't melted.
Certain fans have complained about the scientific inaccuracy of the "A Golden Crown" episode of "A Game of Thrones" -- the scene where Khal Drogo pours molten gold on Viserys' head, specifically. They're pissed off at the screenwriters' blatant disregard for gold's melting temperature, doubtlessly motived by a base concern for dramatic pacing. Thus error spreads.

Here, we've decided to set things right.

To set the scene: Viserys has just poked his sword at Dany's pregnant belly to extort a golden crown from Drogo. Half a minute later, Drogo's Bloodriders have broken his wrist and forced him to his knees, pinning him to the ground. Over by the fire, Drogo dumps a stew pot, then throws his golden medallions in. Fixing to dump melted gold on the punk's head in a Dothraki expression of irony. Drogo stands there looking at the unmelted medallions. For a long time.

VISERYS: Nothing happening, is it you Dothraki dunce?


VISERYS: What, did you think they're made of chocolate? Gold has a melting point of 2,000 solars, you tattooed tit. On top of that, you’d need a crucible. You can’t simply throw it in a pot.

Irri translates for Drogo.

DROGO: I do not understand.

VISERYS: No of course you wouldn't. The Dothraki have no specific unit of heat measurement. Look, I’m sure you have metallurgists from other cultures who do understand these things.


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IRRI: Metallurgists?

VISERYS: Oh bloody hell. Your pretty little translator doesn't even know the word?

Irri shakes her head no.

VISERYS: Workers of metal, you stupid bint. Blacksmiths, all right?

IRRI: Then just say "blacksmiths," asshole.

She translates for Drogo.

DROGO: This is a trick!

DAENERYS: No. We studied metallurgy at Dragon Camp when we were children.

JORAH: I know of one such, my Khal. Jacor Stael. A day’s ride.

DROGO: (pointing to Viserys) Take him! (to Viserys) We ride tonight, Cart King.

Drogo's Bloodriders violently yank Viserys to his feet and drag him off in the direction of the stables. As these are Dothraki, that's pretty much anywhere.

VISERYS: Ow. You really hurt my wrist you know.

Silhouettes of Dothraki warriors riding stallions across the sands. A Gulf Station in the distance.


Drogo and his Bloodriders ride up, hitch their horses, pound on the door.

JORAH: Is this Jacor Stael, the worker of metal?

JACOR: (OS) No, this is Jacor Stael, the incompetent pastry chef.

VISERYS: (muttering) Sarcasm. Wasting your breath with this lot.

Jorah keeps pounding.

Metal slit opens up in door.  A pissed-off old guy looks out.

JACOR: I'm Jacor Stael, all right? Who the hell are you?

Drogo strides up, pushes Jorah aside.

DROGO: Khal Drogo!

JACOR:  My Khal! Sorry! Please forgive me!

He falls to his knees, out of sight.

DROGO: Open the door! (pounding again)

JACOR:  (OS) I can't. Sorry.

VISERYS: Get off your knees, you idiot.

JACOR:  (OS) Oh. Sorry.

Get's up, opens the door. 

There's crap lying around all over the place. As metal shops go, it's pretty damn disorganized.

DROGO and his goons pour in, dragging Viserys with them.

JACOR: Sorry the place is such a mess. Well. How can I help you gentlemen?

DROGO: Metal work.

VISERYS: Goldwork, specifically.

JACOR: Oh dear. I have no gold. Sorry.

DROGO: We brought gold.

Tosses medallions at his feet.

JACOR:  Ah. And typically there is also a mold?

VISERYS: No mold. He wants to pour it on my head.

JACOR: Who wouldn't?

DROGO: Do it. Now.

VISERYS: Well, I can't actually do it now. Sorry. I'll have to fire up the furnace first.

DROGO: How long?

JACOR: Three hours, give or take. It has to reach a certain temperature? Sorry.

VISERYS: Yes. "Sorry." Apologize for the laws of physics.

Jacor starts the furnace. Drogo's badasses work the bellows because the old man isn't fast enough.

JACOR: Fine. Once the flame is white hot, we'll introduce the crucible with the gold. (looks down at the pile of medallions) Wow. That really is a lot of gold. We'll need to use my largest ...

Jacor putters around, eventually finds the largest crucible. Comes back, drops the medallions in. They don't fit.

DROGO: Not big enough?

VISERYS: (muttering) That's what she said.

JACOR: Well. I could hammer it, I suppose.

VISERYS: (muttering) That's what she said.

Jacor looks around for a hammer, at long last finds it, starts hammering the medallions in. Tap-tap. It takes a ridiculously long time. Drogo finally yanks the hammer away, pounds the damn things in, then walks over to the furnace with Jacor. Drogo's Bloodriders are busting their balls at the bellows trying to get the fire hot enough.

DROGO: The flame?

JACOR: (studying furnace) Not even red hot. Long way to go. I'm deeply sorry. While we're waiting, I'm somewhat concerned about my floor.

JORAH translates.

DROGO: Fuck your floor.

JACOR: Fuck it indeed, my Lord. But I'm more concerned with stability.

DROGO: Stability?

Jorah translates. Light dawns on Drogo's face.

DROGO: Ah! The saddle must not move.

Drogo illustrates this concept with an obscene gesture.

JACOR: Yes, precisely. "The saddle must not move." Moving on with this thought. (Jorah translates) Well, you'll need to be standing over this young man when you pour the crucible on his noggin. He'll need to be secured and in a seated position ... not squirming around and so forth, or the gold would go all over the place. Sorry.

VISERYS: Stop saying sorry!

JACOR: My suggestion is ... well, tie him to that column over there. I'll lay down some tile where he'll be seated. To keep him level, of course. "Fuck the floor," as you say.

VISERYS: Fuck you. That's what I say.

DROGO barks a command. His Bloodriders make it happen.

JACOR: Excellent. Well, great Khal. Since, we've still got a lot of time, I suggest you practice. (holding a crucible out to him) With this empty crucible.

Jorah translates. Drogo grunts. Reaches out for the crucible.

JACOR: No, no, no. You'll also need to wear the appropriate gloves. Sorry. Forgot to mention that part.

Jacor puts crucible down. Yet again goes on the hunt. Finally returns. Hands Drogo two big black leather gloves.

Drogo spits. Considers killing him.

JACOR: Your skin will burn off. Really not an option. Sorry.

Drogo snarls, grabs the gloves and puts them on. Jacor picks up a crucible.

JACOR: Splendid. Well. Now, just watch me. Pour it in a single movement. Flick of the wrist. Like this. See? Like this. Now you try.
Hands him crucible.

Drogo imitates him. After several tries, he gets it.

JACOR: Good! Now all we have to do is wait.

VISERYS: Mr. Drogo. While we're waiting? It occurs to me to apologize. To sincerely and deeply apologize. My actions last night were certainly out of line. Drunk, of course. That's no excuse, but perhaps it helps explain? Well I've certainly sobered up today, I can tell you that. Yes I can. Had a lot of time to think. I searched my soul, ser. Didn't like what I saw. No. Not one bit. What I'm trying to say is ... Upon reflection, I now realize I should never have threatened your cut your unborn child out of the belly of your wife and my sister. It was disrespectful to Danys, to you, and to your sacred city, whatever the hell you call it. I'm wasting my time, aren't I?


DROGO: Ready yet?

JACOR: Not quite.

VISERYS: Oh fucking kill me already!

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