Follow posts tagged #asoiaf meta, #daenerys targaryen, and #asoiaf spoilers in seconds.Sign up
Why Daenerys should not be glorified
It is understandable why Dany is a fan favorite - she has a lot of potential to be a great, powerful, and interesting character. But there are aspects of her, and the choices that she makes, that should not be ignored or pushed to the wayside in order to contribute to this popular “badass” conception of her. Glorifying her is damaging and, in effect, misses the point, as she often serves in the books as a representation of white savior imperialism - a fact that must be acknowledged in order to adequately discuss her character.
okay so i'm going to TRY and articulate the problems i have with the adaptation of Game of Thrones
This has all been stewing for a while, and I think I finally have the words to articulate it.
It feels like… something we finally had has been taken away.
Here’s the thing: reading Martin’s work as a woman is refreshing. Wonderful. It’s not perfect, but I’ll be goddamned if it’s not one of the best things out there. Martin gets it. He gets not only that women aren’t inherently weak, but that they aren’t weak when they conform to society’s feminine standards. He gets that female strength comes in many different forms, and more importantly, he gets that it’s just plain human strength. He sees women as characters in as much as he sees the men as characters. The women that inhabit his world exist on their own merits and live their lives as much as they can without their world revolving around men. Their society revolves exclusively around men; their motivations do not.
I like being able to read something that is subversive to the fantasy genre’s typical portrayals of women. I like that the hero rescuing the damsel in distress is a woman herself. I like that the feminine mother to the king is one of his strongest advisors. I like that we have female powerhouses like Olenna, Margaery, Brienne, Sansa, Catelyn, Asha, Osha, Ygritte, Maege, etc.. Most of the time these books feature a bunch of men doing manly things going on manly quests, and if a woman is included, she is either the helpless victim they’re supposed to rescue, someone’s love interest, or an evil witch sorceress that is evil just because she is. There is no dimension, no depth, no anything. Women are ornaments for men.
In Martin’s world, they are valid, fully fleshed out characters that exist outside of men or the male gaze. These books appeal to a wide audience because, frankly, there are so many of us out there that are tired of things that are targeted to someone else with us as collateral damage. It’s nice to be treated like a human being for once.
And then comes Game of Thrones. How many of us were so excited for the series only to be let down by the complete butchering of Catelyn Stark? I’ve had men who pretend to be for equality say that these changes weren’t due to sexism, but all of her agency and decisions were given to men. That is just the tip of the iceberg, but it wasn’t due to sexism? She is a feminine character, a mother, and suddenly she is relegated to nothing but that, and made a weak shell of a thing. And that’s not sexism? These writers only understand characters who are traditionally not feminine - Brienne, Arya, etc. - because they don’t understand how one can be strong andfemale. Don’t forget Arya’s words, “most girls are stupid.”
With every episode that airs it becomes more and more obvious who this show is for, and it isn’t for us women. It’s for the same demographic Hollywood has always, always catered to. It’s for the bros. It’s for the guys that thought Seth McFarlane was the best Oscars host ever. It’s for those dudes that have no problem with Podrick Payne pleasing three sex workers his first time having sex so well that they refused to take his money, no matter how completely out of character it was. Game of Thrones is for every guy who sees no problem with female nudity being used to keep an audience rather than actually focusing on the quality of the programming.
It feels like this great thing we had was completely ripped away. It feels like someone took something so great and turned it into the shit we have to deal with every single solitary day. We had this haven that’s been opened up to those things from which we were escaping.
Perhaps I’m being dramatic. The adaptation isn’t all bad, but it’s hard to enjoy when someone is so violently shitting on something that’s gotten you through a lot of crap.
asha greyjoy: token hot feisty pirate chick
…Except no, not really at all.
I was listening to another episode of Boiled Leather, and once again they were complaining about how Asha is unrealistic. This time the criticism was that she was like a “stereotypical fantasy warrior woman” and not a believable product of her society, but also that she had stereotypically “feminine” qualities like caution, protectiveness toward family members, and empathy. And somehow that’s bad and boring. Yawn. (Also, this is a bit contradictory—aren’t “stereotypical fantasy warrior women”, like all stereotypical characters, rather one-dimensional?)
I’ve already discussed here why her leadership style and attitude toward her family makes sense given what we know about her upbringing. This time I’m going to discuss why her being a warrior and political leader makes sense and is portrayed “believably.”
Not that I should have to do such a thing—I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain that Jaime’s kindness toward Tyrion is “unrealistic” despite Tywin being his only surviving parent. But here we go anyway.
Arya Stark, Femininity, and Fan Interpretations
Things Arya Stark is NOT
- The Opposite of Feminist
So many continue to insist that Arya hates femininity and is supposedly the opposite of feminist just because her own feminine identity does not match the feminine ideal constructed by her culture. This view goes completely against the way this character is presented to us in the books. It also shows a misunderstanding of what femininity is — i.e. a social construction that is ever changing and does not have a set definition.
Meta Monday: Marriage Customs
“The cloak,” she commanded, and the women brought it out: a long cloak of white velvet heavy with pearls. A fierce direwolf was embroidered upon it in silver thread. Sansa looked at it with sudden dread. “Your father’s colors,” said Cersei, as they fastened it about her neck with a slender silver chain.
A maiden’s cloak. Sansa’s hand went to her throat. She would have torn the thing away if she had dared.
On the heels of last night’s marriage between Tyrion and Sansa on Game of Thrones and on the eve of Edmure’s festive wedding at the Twins, today’s topic is marriage customs in Westeros and medieval Europe. The marriages in Westeros are shaped by their religions—the Faith, the Old Gods, and the Drowned God. In medieval Europe, however, only one religion, Christianity, shaped marriage customs, and as we might see, those customs were not as religious as we might expect.
“Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.”
— Lyanna Stark, AGOT
I know this quote is said in reference to Robert, and Lyanna’s perspective on who he is, but this quote is more significant than that. This quote and the lines preceding it give readers one of the few solid glimpses into Lyanna’s character — something that doesn’t seem to be delved into very often in the fandom.
WHY SANDOR HATES TYRION
(one of the reasons)
God, if someone’s already mentioned this, I’m going to be sad.
What is the Great Threat beyond the Wall?
Let’s talk about the Others. Beware, for the post below is long and full of spoilers.
Hey, you mentioned in a previous post about Cersei that you don’t think Jaime is on a redemptive path. If not redemption what is his path?
But basically, it’s one of identity — Jaime has spent his whole life thinking of himself as Cersei’s mirror, of being a perfect swordsman. When he loses his hand, that’s all snatched away from him. He flails around, seeking a new mirror in Brienne (the most true and honest knight he’s ever met), to redefine his identity. He denies his former role as Cersei’s champion (obeying her every wish — remember he would have killed Arya if he’d found her first after the Mycah incident, but he won’t kill Tyrion for her), he denies his role as a Lannister (refusing to obey Tywin’s orders and step down from the Kingsguard even though he’s no longer qualified). He loses the only person who loved him for himself (Tyrion) because he finally tells him the truth. And that loses Jaime his father, as well.
And so because he can’t be an ordinary peasant living in a cottage with Cersei (because she doesn’t want it and she also has the sense to know it’s impossible), Jaime centers himself as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, as an oathkeeper and not an oathbreaker. He makes Brienne his proxy. He searches the White Book for people he can emulate. (Including Criston the Kingmaker, who Barristan considers one of the worst.) He decides he’s going to be a diplomat, bring peace, and maybe years down the line he won’t be remembered as Jaime the Kingslayer, but rather Jaime Goldenhand the Just. Maybe he still can be Arthur Dayne and not the Smiling Knight.
But Jaime’s idea of diplomacy includes threatening a hostage who’s lost almost everything with both another Castamere and his newborn child’s murder. He does break sieges with persuasion rather than violence… but the threat of violence is always there. He sees himself as Tywin’s true son, if kinder and gentler… but that includes taking children as hostages, and imprisoning people in Casterly Rock indefinitely.
And Jaime never once seeks true redemption — he never feels guilty about the incest, or what he did to Bran, or his murder of Aerys, but finds justifications for them all. (tbf with Aerys at least it was almost entirely justified, but nevertheless.) He doesn’t even feel guilty about what happened to the Starks — yes, Sansa is his “last chance for honor”, but again that’s part of redefining himself as an oathkeeper (via Brienne), keeping his promise to a dead woman.
And then, while Jaime’s on this mission of diplomacy, Brienne shows up… and he abandons his new path. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I’m sure Jaime’s identity will again be tested — as his new mirror will be tested, as his oathkeeping will be tested, as his pledge to no longer take arms against a Stark will be tested. And however that resolves, however what happens afterwards is resolved… once Jaime reunites with Cersei, well… I don’t think redemption will have anything to do with it.
look at me, i'm a king: or, who the fuck is renly baratheon?
What inspired this post was me wondering, basically, who the hell is Renly? Is he what he appears to be—entitled, superficial, cruel to a brother who claims to love him? What motivates him? Is it nothing but desire for power and glory? Then I was inspired by unapologeticallybaratheon’s meta post about the origins of the animosity between the Baratheon brothers and I knew I had to write all of this down. It’s an edit of an earlier post I made, but there were some things I really wanted to add.
Here are my ideas about what might have been going on in Renly’s mind.
During the Siege of Storm’s End, a nearly year-long battle where Stannis held an increasingly weary garrison against the Tyrell and Redwyne fleets, a six-or-seven year old Renly was held inside the garrison to keep him from being taken hostage. Unapologeticallybaratheon reminds us that Renly also faced “starving to death for a year because [his] brother started a war that [he didn’t] understand and [he] could lose [his] life over.” And I can imagine him resenting Stannis just as much as Robert for what happened. Here’s an eight year old kid who’s probably not old enough to understand things like duty or honor or the reasons people go to war, or that people are trying to keep him safe by having him inside the castle. He just likes to run around outside and charm people and play make-believe games. And all of a sudden he’s trapped in the keep, there are enemies literally at his door, everyone around him is preoccupied and scared, and on top of that he’s eating rats and nearly starving.
And then there are people who think Stannis should surrender. At least one of them, Gawen Wylde, actually tries it and is executed by Stannis. So there may have been whispers around Renly, whispers that Renly heard. Accusations. Resentment. Why doesn’t Stannis just surrender so we can eat? So Renly may well have put two and two together and begun to blame his brother for that year that he was scared and starving. DISCLAIMER: I FUCKING LOVE STANNIS and I’m not trying to blame him for any of this stuff; he was doing his duty as a lord and a soldier and obeying his older brother, which is what he was supposed to do (and on top of that he was just nineteen himself). I’m just trying to see it from the point of view of a little kid who is just wondering what the hell is going on and, as people do, trying to pin responsibility on someone for it. He likely can’t blame the Tyrells, at least not anymore, since he now has a close relationship with the family and he certainly can’t resent his beloved Loras for any of it. So Stannis is a convenient enemy. I can see Renly looking back on it and thinking, the Tyrells were everything I wanted to be, cultured and powerful and beautiful; they were my escape from Stannis and people like him. How can I blame them for anything? Obviously Stannis was the one getting in the way. I should have been on their side of the blockade.
Plus Stannis is Stannis, so likely he wasn’t especially comforting or emotionally available if Renly needed him. Again, we don’t know, and maybe Stannis was a super affectionate brother, but he doesn’t strike me as the type to express emotion even if he felt it strongly—especially if he felt guilty for putting Renly in that situation; I’m thinking he’d try to avoid any reminders so he could keep himself strong. Remember how he can’t bring himself to say Edric Storm’s name? And then Renly sees that people get executed for leaving, and quite possibly he becomes scared of Stannis—is this what happens to people who just want to eat? Add this to what looks like a fundamental incompatibility in temperament and communicative style and you’ve got the beginnings of a very dangerous schism.
Meta Monday: Literacy
“Davos flattened down the little square of crinkled parchment and squinted at the tiny crabbed letters. Reading was hard on the eyes, that much he had learned early. Sometimes he wondered if the Citadel offered a champion’s purse to the maester who wrote the smallest hand.”—Davos Seaworth
Today’s topic is literacy. Davos is a lowborn man raised up by Stannis Baratheon. His previous station in life explains his illiteracy. Otherwise, his inability to read would be unusual in Westeros, a world where the highborn—both lords and ladies—are all seemingly functionally literate. Who beyond the highborn are literate in Westeros? Were literacy rates similar in medieval Europe and was literacy similarly distributed amongst the social classes?
"I am but a young girl and know little of the ways of war": the learning curve of Daenerys Targaryen
Before I begin my atrociously long tirade/analysis of Daenerys’ actions once entering the Ghiscar peninsula, I have to mention (for my own sanity) how disappointed I was of Dany’s portrayal in ADwD. It seemed as if between ASoS and ADwD, Daenerys Targaryen dropped approximately 50 points in her IQ. To be honest, I blame GRRM for that. I can only hope her stagnant storyline was included in order to set the stage for the next book.
I would like to state, before I even attempt to continue, that I have not seen any evidence supporting the arguement issued by many anti-Dany proponents. Many assert that Dany is “stupid”.
Dany was orphaned at a young age. Her father, the “Mad King”, was slain by Jaime Lannister and her mother died in childbirth. Everything that Dany had heard about her lineage, her House, and the name ‘Targaryen’, was either from Viserys or Willem Darry. Considering the fact that Willem Darry was a staunch Targaryen loyalist, it might be a bit too convenient to rely on his ‘objectivity’ regarding House Targaryen. Either way, Willem Darry dies early on in Dany’s childhood. From there, she and her brother are constantly on the run from the Usurpers “hired swords”.
When considering the two biggest, and perhaps only, influences in Dany’s life- Ser Willem Darry and Viserys- it becomes apparent that she has been indoctrinated possibly since birth about how House Targaryen is the greatest House, how they’re the true rulers of Westeros, how they have the right to the Seven Kingdoms, etc by her brother Viserys. How would you know anything else if all your life you’ve been told that you’re inherently superior than everyone?
That was a gigantic tangent. Here we go. For real, this time. Also, before you read this, note that I am in no way condoning any type of slavery with this piece. In fact, I am arguing that the way Daenerys Targaryen went about liberating the Ghiscari slaves was a rash one.
I have come across a poster that argued that Daenerys’ action of liberating the Ghiscari cities of the slave trade was a “noble” and “valiant” thing to have done. They then prompted that if said slaves were Caucasian, other posters would not accuse Dany of being patronizing. They posed the question: Why are her actions deemed wrong in Ghiscar? Are they only wrong because of the colour of Ghiscari skin? If the slavers had been white would it have been alright for Dany to end their inhuman ways, but because they’ve got brown skin and different names it’s somehow patronising for her to do anything about it?
The poster is certainly entitled to their opinion, but it’s not one I share.
It serves no import as to whether her actions were wrong or right based on skin color, but that she’d come to a place in the world where the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental conditions were the complete opposite of what she had known in Pentos or even learned of in Westeros.
During her sojourn to the Ghiscari cities of Astapor, Yunkai and Mereen, not once did Daenerys consider to discern more about the Ghiscari civilization. She neither attempted to comprehend the institutional powers and systems that perpetuate and propagate inequality amongst the populace nor how deeply such powers are embedded into the Ghiscar culture and tradition. She never consulted the opinions of the citizens of Astapor, Yunkai or Mereen outside of Missandei. When attempting to take down a centuries-old institution such as slavery without almost any information regarding its origins, history, and power dynamics, it doesn’t require much inference that the results would be disasterous without some sort of preconceived plan or strategy to restructure society into one of democratic harmony.
Furthermore, Dany neglected to comprehend the repercussions of her actions until after she burned down Astapor and Yunkai. Look what ended up happening: The cities are in an even worse state than before, slavery is returning, and even more vicious than ever with the slavers taking extreme protocols, the Harpy is slaughtering innocents every night in shocking numbers in Mereen, and Dany refuses to heed her ministers’ advice.
A “good”, well-equipped leader would have had the foresight to compile some preliminary research, first and foremost. It would have to include the region’s geography all the way down to its culture and how it influences individuals within said region. Then, and once she has the support of the city or cities, her advisors, and a concrete plan for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the infrastructure and bodies of governance that would be a viable long-term option, she would, along with the people themselves, take down the institution and the social class system. This means that she would have had to spend quite a long time in each of the cities in turn.
Who gave Dany the jurisdiction to take it upon herself to slaughter over 100 people in revenge of the 100 child corpses in order to make it a point to the slavers, decimate the cities of Astapor and Yunkai, killing thousands, and to abolish the slave trade by herself in the three Ghiscari cities? No one. She did. As she was the one who wrought destruction upon these cities on her own orders and of her own will, she should have been the one to have carefully considered exactly what she was doing, if there were any alternatives (none of which she explored, may I add, or even tried exploring) she should have sought them out, and she should have considered the consequences of her action. None of which she did until everything lay in ruins.
Dany’s intervention in Astapor, Yunkai, and Mereen reeks of the “White Savior Industrial Complex” of the Colonialist era.
Essentially it’s a particular type of activism where those who are the most privileged (comparatively, Caucasians make up the vast majority of the wealthiest societies and/or these societies have most of their history and culture molded by Caucasian ancestors) intervene in communities, cultural and societal contexts that are not their own. Their original intention is not based upon “justice” but more so about having a large emotional experience that helps justify their privilege and validates their “do-gooding” attitude.
Dany literally rode into Astapor, Yunkai, and Mereen on a white horse (Silver, anyone?) and decided to help “resolve” the area’s “problems”. Her good heart took over yet she never took a step back and tried to connect the dots or see the deeply embedded institutional networks of power behind the slave trade in these cities. All she sees is poverty (hungry mouths to feed), chains (people being held against their will), and need. A journalist named Teju Cole puts it correctly when he says “all [she] sees is need, and [she] sees no need to reason out the need for the need.”
Essentially this is a type of global racism that’s been rooted from the colonial times. The “slaves” in these cities serve as a ideological battleground for the argument between Westerosi and Essosi discourse. By reducing these cities to flames, Dany essentially rendered illegal what seemed to be an integral part of the Ghiscari society and identity. She destroyed their economy, culture, social and political structure with a beat of Drogon’s wings. I’m sure if anyone wrote a history of the Ghiscari cities now, the slaves would be portrayed as “victims” and “the oppressed” of an inhumane practice known as slavery. A discrepancy materializes then. Dany has seen the strength and bravery of the Unsullied and is told that only the best of the best become fully trained soldiers. They inspire awe all around the world, world-renowned. Thus, the Unsullied, as slaves, are described in two very mutually exclusive ways: they are seen as oppressed victims coerced into this lifestyle or else as heroes and the truest of all soldiers. They (the slaves) have no idea how to view themselves now. Were they victims or were they strong, hardened men? Historian Lata Mani develops this concept of discrepancy while tackling the issue of Sati amongst women in India and how it was outlawed by the colonizing British invaders.
Think of this statement by Stephan Morton (about the practice of Sati) and then contextualize it with Dany’s motivations and actions in Astapor, Yunkai and Mereen:
“By representing sati [slavery] as a barbaric practice, the British [Dany] were thus able to justify imperialism as a civilising mission in which […] they were rescuing Indian women [Ghiscari slaves] from the reprehensible practices of a traditional Hindu patriarchial society [Ghiscari racist and classist society].”
Yet it is DANY that gives the “representation” of slavery as barbaric and uses that to justify her conquests. Her efforts at change were superficial; she did not target the root causes of the institution of slavery and oppression. Did I want to see slavery abolished from the Ghiscari cities? Hell yes. In this way? Hell no. The short-term benefits (the new-found freedom of the liberated slaves) of Dany’s actions pale in comparison to the long-term problems the society will have to face down the line (slavery re-appearing and more brutal than ever; political, economic and social discord prevalent amongst every class, etc).
We see Dany mirroring much of what has occurred in contemporary society. One the many reasons America gave to the public to engage in military intervention in Afghanistan was the deplorable conditions of women and girls under the Taliban regime. This was another scenario where well-intentions (on behalf of the public, not so much Bush’s) with hope of changing conditions “led to some kind of state-sanctioned, military endorsed violence upon a community you are trying to “uplift.”’ Military interventions tend to be a short-term response, not doing the people of the country much good in the end.
I really can’t say it better than Teju Cole on this subject of a foreigner intervening in another country’s affairs:
…there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.
A nobody from America or Europe can go to Africa and become a godlike savior or, at the very least, have his or her emotional needs satisfied. Many have done it under the banner of “making a difference.” To state this obvious and well-attested truth does not make me a racist or a Mau Mau. It does give me away as an “educated middle-class African,” and I plead guilty as charged.
And we also agree on something else: that there is an internal ethical urge that demands that each of us serve justice as much as he or she can. But beyond the immediate attention that he rightly pays hungry mouths, child soldiers, or raped civilians, there are more complex and more widespread problems. There are serious problems of governance, of infrastructure, of democracy, and of law and order. These problems are neither simple in themselves nor are they reducible to slogans. Such problems are both intricate and intensely local.
It begins, I believe, with some humility with regards to the people in those places. It begins with some respect for the agency of the people of Uganda in their own lives. A great deal of work had been done, and continues to be done, by Ugandans to improve their own country, and ignorant comments (I’ve seen many) about how “we have to save them because they can’t save themselves” can’t change that fact.
To do this would be to give up the illusion that the sentimental need to “make a difference” trumps all other considerations. What innocent heroes don’t always understand is that they play a useful role for people who have much more cynical motives.
Daenerys’ choices regarding the Ghiscari cities, however, are something I was displeased about but I can only hope she’s learned that invading and conquering is futile and hopeless for the denizens of the region unless the decision was well-informed and the rehabilitation of the area in the aftermath of the war has been already well planned in advance, or at the very least, considered.
With that said, Dany is learning. I get that. It was her first real challenge/test as a leader and she mucked it up a bit but there’s no question that Dany realizes her mistakes later (when she’s gazing out of her balcony in Mereen after hearing about the Harpy) and we can only hope she has developed a keener sense of judgement in the future. “You live and you learn” is probably the best adage that would befit her after her trials in the Ghiscari peninsula.
"Without his labour, who would the Warrior defend?":social advancement and religion in ASOIAF through a comparison of Davos Seaworth and Gendry (with some BwB too)
ASOIAF meta. May be a tad biased in favour of Gendry, because he is my fave. Also discussion of religion, social banditry (though this will be addressed more comprehensively in another essay), class (Marxist to a fault most likely, sorry) and knighthood.
Also sorry for any grammatical or spelling mistakes.
"Chastising my wife", or; Ruining A Joke With Context - The Essay
Hey can we talk about that time Jaime says “You caught me chastising my wife”? I know we all take it at face value as a bit of humour in a sticky situation, but let’s not forget that this is a Jaime POV and we don’t get to see Brienne’s reaction to this line at all. Because of course, it is humour in the face of danger, that’s Jaime’s way of dealing with a tense situation. But with the benefit of hindsight, let’s look at what Brienne might have been thinking at this point.
Remember this bit in AFFC? (page 160)
Her hand went to her sword hilt, and she found herself wondering if Ser Shadrich would think her easy prey just because she was a woman. Lord Grandison’s castellan had once made that error. Humfrey Wagstaff was his name; a proud old man of five-and-sixty, with a nose like a hawk and a spotted head. The day they were betrothed, he warned Brienne that he would expect her to be a proper woman once they’d wed. “I will not have my lady wife cavorting around in man’s mail. On this you shall obey me, lest I be forced to chastise you.”
She was sixteen and no stranger to a sword, but still shy despite her prowess in the yard. Yet somehow she had found the courage to tell Ser Humfrey that she would accept chastisement only from a man who could outfight her. The old knight purpled, but agreed to don his own armour to teach her a woman’s proper place. They fought with blunted tourney weapons, so Brienne’s mace had no spikes. She broke Ser Humfrey’s collarbone, two ribs, and their betrothal.
We know that Brienne stuck to this, because we’ve seen her coming out of her shyness to show men that she is a much better fighter than them and that they ought not to look down on her (see also: the melee at Bitterbridge).
But then here’s Jaime Lannister, reputedly the best fighter in the Seven Kingdoms, having at Brienne with his hands chained and still fighting well; can you imagine how she would have felt that he was almost beating her? If he had won, would she have accepted chastisement from him? But there was no clear victor in their fight, due to it being interrupted by the Bloody Mummers. The fact that this was Jaime Lannister’s last ever fight with his right hand and that there was no closure is something I could write an essay about, but that’s a story for another day. The point here is about what he says to the Bloody Mummers: ”You caught me chastising my wife”. Look, it’s in bold again because this line is not as humourous as it was without the context from AFFC, is it? When you look at it in light of Brienne’s history with the idea of chastisement in marriage, it’s kind of a bit painful. It’s hard to know how Brienne feels throughout the events of ASOS because she guards her emotions carefully, but I’m going to take a guess and say she probably didn’t like this throwaway joke from Jaime.
Now here’s the thing: Rorge replies “Seemed to me she was doing the chastising.” And if that doesn’t validate Brienne’s whole persona as a combination of the maiden and the warrior then I don’t know what does. It’s ironic, then, that this is coming from someone who is so objectionable and treats Brienne with absolutely no respect. Because as a female knight, what Brienne lacks most is respect, and this scene is in a part of the story where not even Jaime respects her yet. So when Rorge goes on to talk about violating her, it’s clear that there is no respect for her apparent skill in the fight. And that makes his dialogue even more cutting, because the realisation dawns, as it often does with Brienne, that she is being mocked.
In conclusion, I think we can agree that everyone is awful to Brienne until Jaime starts to appreciate her, and I reckon that if we’d seen this scene from her perspective, that would have been abundantly clear in her reactions to the lines about chastisement.
this isn't meta,
but let’s talk about theon and daenerys. it seems like a strange comparison to make looking at their plots, and it’s probably a useless one. i’m going to make it anyway. i wouldn’t go so far as to say that they’re similar, but i do think there are a lot of interesting parallels between them. because i’m lazy, i’m gonna divide this up into bullet points by theme.
Cersei Lannister: A Modern Woman in a Medieval World
So I’ve been having a lot of thoughts lately about Cersei Lannister. Specifically, Cersei Lannister and feminism. Meta under the cut.
Basically: Cersei struggles between her identity as a mother and her lust for power, and parallels the struggles of women in the modern day who struggle between the desire to raise their children and their own ambition and desire to participate fully in the work force.
WARNING: Spoilers through A Feast for Crows!