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No. 62: Multi-resistant Valar Morghulis

Multi-resistant Valar Morghulis

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Strip by: Ian Boreham

title: Medical conditions of A Game of Thrones

{Danaerys Targaryen is being presented with a dead rabbit.}

Danaerys: It looks like it died from a virus.

{Now she is presented with the burnt corpse of a rabbit. She is more tentative this time.}

Danaerys: Err... A virus?

{Now she is presented with the burnt corpse of a child. This time she is angry and defensive.}

Danaerys: I said, a virus!

caption: Khaleesi Virus

{Ser Jorah Mormont is looking down at his bare arm, which shows a patch of greyscale.}

caption: Joriasis

{Lord Eddard Stark is confronting Cersei in the garden.}

Eddard: Milady... Winter is coming! I know the truth Jon Arryn died for. Joffrey's a bastard! ... Bastard! When the king returns from his hunt Winter is coming! I'll tell him the truth. Bastard!

caption: Touredde's Syndrome

The author writes:

In case you were wondering, in this strip, Dany's dragons are called Plaeghon, Contaeghion and Viruleon.

When I first thought of the idea of drawing a strip about the Khaleesi virus, I googled it as usual to check for originality, and I found discussions on pet forums and similar places where people were asking questions about "Khaleesi virus", completely seriously, instead of calicivirus. I just...I...huh?!

In case it's not that well known elsewhere, calicivirus is well known in Australia due to it being used to control wild rabbit populations. Originally it was being studied as an agent to replace myxomatosis (which rabbits had built up an immunity to) in a quarantined field trial on an island, but it escaped to the mainland and rapidly spread among the wild population. There was some suspicion at the time that it had been released intentionally by people who didn't want to wait till the end of the trial.

When I was looking for reference images of Ser Jorah, I noticed he wears a strip of rag wound around his wrist, with one strand around the palm of his hand. I have no idea what it is for. Is it just a random whim of the costume designer? Is it supposed to protect his hand from blisters when wielding a sword or something? Is it a fashion statement, or a secret signal of membership of the exclusive ex-Westerosi-lord-now-exiled-slaver club? I haven't seen anything like it in historical images. It doesn't cover the patch of greyscale, which is further up his arm. I guess I'll never know.

As for Ned Stark, I find myself thinking that his insistence on doing the honourable thing, and speaking the truth, in an environment where that is basically going to get him killed, is almost like a medical condition.

Drawn in Krita and Inkscape.