Jon Snow’s Belt Buckle

Items found while running now include this metal object. As soon as I saw it I thought of Game of Thrones. It looks like the various pins worn on the cloaks, robes, dresses, and uniforms of the various characters. Remember? Some of them signified a rank or title. Some of them seemed to be functional clasps. Some seemed decorative but still marked identity or allegiance. But I hesitate to call them brooches. What do you call it when a man wears a non-military brooch? If it’s not a medal or an epaulet or a rank insignia, what is it?

I showed this foundling to someone. He said, “Oh yeah. That’s a lock pin.” Other than Not A Brooch I had been calling it a Finger Basher, which my computer keeps trying to change to Finger Badger. This has a pleasing ring to it with those double hard consonants but it does not communicate the crushing aspect of the pin. The bar portion lifts away from the ring portion under great pressure and snaps back into place like a mousetrap. Whack! Any and all fingers in its way get wickedly wounded. I’ve only done it half a dozen times examining it, playing with it, or imagining it upon/within those lengths of chains worn by the maesters. Or the long chains worn by the Stark women.

The helpful person who identified it as a lock pin has not seen Game of Thrones nor read the books. COVID isolation meant I would have to wait for a Zoom meeting to show it to a GOT fan and receive the validation I desired. The host of the meeting waited until my friend agreed with my fantasy association before expressing her displeasure at the hijacking of her meeting. “Okaaaay, if you two are finished with all that …” She also has had no GOT exposure.

I don’t do cosplay so I don’t know if there is a proper name for the accessories worn with the cos-es. But I prefer to imagine this was not dropped by someone securing equipment but rather someone improvising a cos. I found it on the street of a known cosplayer. (It is known.) Specifically, a cosplayer who did not like it when I cattily called the show Game of Incest even though most of the incestuous characters ended up dying in the end. But I think my neighbor is likely too much of a purist to improvise a Man Brooch with a lock pin. It must have been someone else.

I don’t suppose cosplay allows one to be dressed in the style of a character but not representative of a specific character, like an extra. Or unnamed characters like Man With Spittoon or Warrior Nine By The Broken Down Wall. Or Sex Worker In Scanty Gown With Weaponized Brooch. But I don’t really know. Maybe Trekkies are allowed to show up as anonymous space sailors by wearing a red shirt. You know, Guy Guaranteed To Die. Lieutenant Casualty. I could be Wildling Who Steals Jon Snow’s Belt Buckle. But I don’t wear fur so I’ll have to do better than that.

Could I show up at a GOT event draped in layered robes with bell sleeves and chain necklaces festooned with my lock pin and call myself Various Character? Varyess, third-born daughter of House Unwritten? Is this allowed? Do people show up as made-up or additional Brothel Maids, Gate Guards, or Wine Bearers? I mean, as long as you look the part, does the part really matter? I am speculating far out of my element here. I am surely offending someone. As opposed to, oh I don’t know, romanticizing incest? And slavery. And child brides. I mean, if we’re going to split hairs …

Folks, running is only boring if you think only about running while you’re running. There’s so much more out there to capture the imagination and make the miles fly. Like the fact that construction workers leak loose change. They bleed coins. And all hair bands are born with the instinct to someday live free upon asphalt like sea turtles finding the sea. And all cracks look like snakes in the half-light while the real snakes look like street kelp. And there is hard heavy evidence that someone from the Seven Kingdoms is vacationing in Mercyburg.

Makes me want to go for another run. Be well, friends.

— Mercy

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