Here we are, on the last day of 2021. I'd like to play the next move in the Hipbone-style GBG that I started in the previous post. Since I'm using these games to explore the bounds of what makes sense (and what doesn't), I'll make a weird choice and put down an idea in a spot that's not connected at all to the first idea. We'll fill in many links, I promise.
Thus, in the fourth spot down from the top (if you follow one tradition's "lightning flash" zigzag path), I place Rory Williams, the Last Centurion.
For readers who don't watch Doctor Who, Rory was one of the best characters from the 2010-2012 Matt Smith (11th Doctor) era. I've waxed on about this Doctor, but not much about his human companions. Rory started out as someone who got left behind, when his fiancee Amy Pond began traveling with the Doctor. Then he turned into a bit of a joke about dying (and being brought back) multiple times. But his shining moment was in the Season 5 episodes "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang," when he came back as an immortal (?) plastic (??) Roman centurion (?!?!) in the year 102 AD. When Amy got trapped inside an impregnable cube called the Pandorica, which wouldn't open again until the year 2010, Rory realized that the only way to protect his one true love was to stand guard, and not waver, for the next two millennia.
The Doctor: Two thousand years, Rory. You won’t even sleep. You’ll be conscious every second. It would drive you mad.So, he waited. And waited. And became so much of a legend that museums had exhibits devoted to him. I'll add another quote from one of those exhibits:
Rory: Will she be safer if I stay? Look me in the eye and tell me she wouldn’t be safer.
The Doctor: Rory, you...
Rory: Answer me!
The Doctor: Yes. Obviously.
Rory: Then how could I leave her?
The Doctor: Why do you have to be so... human?
Rory: Because right now I’m not.
According to legend, wherever the Pandorica was taken, throughout its long history, the Centurion would be there guarding it. He appears as an iconic image in the artwork of many cultures. And there are several documented accounts of his appearances. And his warnings to the many who attempted to open the box before its time. His last recorded appearance was during the London Blitz in 1941. The warehouse where the Pandorica was stored was destroyed by incendiary bombs. But the box itself was found the next morning a safe distance from the blaze. There are eyewitness accounts from the night of the fire of a figure in Roman dress carrying the box from the flames.
My icon on the game board combines Rory's centurion helmet with the whirly circly pattern from the face of the giant cubical Pandorica.
I've always loved the trope of taking the goofiest of goofball characters and having them be the ones who choose to do the noblest, the most honorable, and the most difficult things for the sake of love. Maybe we'll see more of this as the game progresses. :-)