Day Zero – Army of Anger Boot Camp Journal
What a horrendous calamity. We mounted up and trotted to the training grounds only to get squid attacked by our Book Sergeants. They were yelling at us to dismount and get to the yard and in the name of Seven Hells to HURRY UP!
When we were able to line up in formation the Book Sergeants started grilling us, screaming in our faces:
“WHOSE SIGIL IS A SPOTTED TREECAT? WHO ARE THEY SWORN TO!?”
“NAME THE SEVEN GODS AND THEIR CHIEF VIRTUES!”
“WHAT METAL ON A MAESTER CHAIN DENOTES RAVENRY? SUMS? THE HIGHER ARTS?!”
Needless to say with so much commotion the whole thing soon disintegrated into chaos. I was trying to stutter out answers to questions I knew but it wasn’t fast enough, not for them. Soon the whole legion was doing AT (Anger Training), in this case Rage Ups, all in cadence:
“One two three STARK! One two three TULLY! One two three ARRYN! One two three TYRELL! One two three LANNISTER! One two three BARATHEON! One two three MARTELL!”
That is how you do Rage Ups in Army of Anger Boot Camp. They’re always teaching you something. It was always listing the Great Houses, or the Seven Gods, the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. If they were really angry (which was often) the Book Sergeants would make us name a chief bannermen of each of the Great Houses, and if we all didn’t say the same House we’d have to start all over. They call it “team building” but I just called it “hell.”
I’m finally done with my immunizations. That’s what they call the process of the first few days where they open up your skull and remove any knowledge you have of the TV show by striking your open brain with a medical dagger. Now, we only know about the show as we’ve been taught. That it is all that is wrong with the world and the source of all pain and strife.
Got assigned to Dayne Platoon today. I’m pretty excited about it. All the recruit platoons here are named after one of the Houses, great and small. Except for the people who are getting sent home, they’re put in the Bastard Brigade. But let me tell you something, whatever you do, don’t get put in Stark Platoon. Trust me.
The BS (Book Sergeant) woke us u at first light by banging on a shield with a longsword. Needless to say that makes a lot of racket. Like every morning we have to be in front of our bunks at the Position of Anger (face contorted into a raging grimace, hands thrown up in the air as if HBO just merged a character from four different ones like in the books, legs slightly crouched as if ready to pounce on someone for suggesting the show is better than the books.)
Today was probably most physically grueling day of boot camp, by far. They latched the whole platoon to a gigantic oxcart, the kind a whole company of sellswords might need, and loaded it with all of our spare armor. We had to “knight walk” around the track entirely within three minutes. They said they were teaching us how to move quickly on foot with our weapons but it was just an opportunity to AT us.
Good Gods it was horrible. In case you don’t know, knight walking is simply moving as fast as possible with both feet on the ground. Knights can’t run in full plate, after all And it’s always bad idea to run with a longsword, even a tourney sword with blunted edges. We had to do it six times before we finally all got it.
Right as we were basking in our team building exercise one of the Book Sergeants thought he heard a cell phone go off.
“SCRYING DEVICE! NOT IN THE BOOKS!”
If it’s one thing you don’t want to hear from a BS it’s that something is “not in the books.” It’s a catch all phrase that can only mean one thing. More AT.
It turned out it was simply a nearby raven chirping, but the Book Sergeants didn’t care. Needless to say, after an hour of Eyrie Climbers, Rage Ups, all sped up and slowed down at various intervals, I could barely eat my oaten porridge for our midday meal.
Our third week. Book Sergeant really took it out on this private who just couldn’t remember Aegon’s line of succession. For every king he missed, that was a dozen Eyrie Climbers for the entire platoon. Outside in the sun. They called it our Dornish training. That night during Open Read Time, I was so sore, I couldn’t even lift A Feast for Crows – and it’s the smallest of the novels.
Got a raven tonight from my old girlfriend back home. She’d sent me some baby wipes and I opened them in front of the entire platoon. Not good.
“NOT IN THE BOOKS!”
Book Sergeant immediately got in my face, tore open the little bag of them until they all rained down at my feet.
“WE USE FINE LINENS FROM THE FREE CITIES HERE IN MY ARMY OF ANGER PRIVATE! Is that not good enough for you?!”
You can’t say anything in these situations because the answer is going to be wrong. From then on it was my job to ensure the entire platoon used nothing but Myrish lace linens to clean themselves. That kind of thing doesn’t make you a popular guy, having to peek in on others in the shower every night.
Today was our final graduation test and by the Seven it was hard. An exhaustive list of questions on differences between the books and the series, history of Westeros and Essos and the rest of the world, and in depth essay questions:
“Who, in your opinion, truly deserves to win the Iron Throne? Why?”
“Whose hunger for glory did more devastation to the realm: Lord Jon Connington’s during the Battle of the Bells or Lord Tully’s at Riverrun during the War of the Five Kings?”
“Who are the Three Heads of the Dragon? Why?”
“Who would win in a war, the giants, the Children of the Forest, or the Others?”
And for that last one some jerk had the gall to raise his hand and ask Book Sergeant if by the “Others” he meant “White Walkers.” Oh no, the BS just ordered us all to stand, he’s coming with the
(Journal incinerated by Anger Troops as it included material not in the books)