*rainwoods

anonymous asked:

How diffrent is show Davos from book Davos ?

I have been sitting on this one for a while. Pardon the wait, anon? This deserved more than a few lines.

Initially, not so much. Davos was one of the better-adapted characters right through season four, with many of his scenes capturing the spirit of the character even as the plot showed signs of broader misinterpretation in adaptation. What few problems I had were, for the most part, directly caused by the poor understanding of Stannis’ character.

And then, in season five, show!Davos started to go off the rails.

Keep reading

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||LAST STORM||

It did not rain, he told her. It did not rain in Dorne, the day of his defeat, the inglorious defeat that led to him returning without his sword hand.

“Did you think you would have defeated Wyl of Wyl, had it rained that day? Because it rained the day you defeated my father?”

“There was a time, my lady, when I believed that it was you who summoned the storm that day. The storm that brought the rain and the howling gale that blinded us to the advance of your father and his men. Rhaenys and her dragon saved us that day. Had it not been for dragonflame, fear and dejection would not have set in the hearts of your father’s men.”

“I? Summoned the storm?”

“They said you were a witch. The Storm King’s maiden daughter, with her spells and her incantations, summoning the forces of nature against her father’s foes.”

She laughed, bitterly. “Had I truly been a witch, I could have held out against Aegon’s invasion and ruled the stormlands in my own right, like the Green Queen held out against Storm’s End and ruled the rainwood in her own right. Had I truly been a witch, I would not now, or ever, be Lady Baratheon. Had I truly been a witch -”

“- I would have lost more than just my sword hand in Dorne?”

“My lord, had I truly been a witch, you would not have lived to march to Dorne.”

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Those who do choose to make their homes in the stormlands—whether along the stony shores of the narrow sea, amidst the dripping green forests of the rainwood, or on the windswept marches—are a special breed, however. The people of the stormlands are like unto their weather, it has oft been said: tumultuous, violent, implacable, unpredictable.

One more time, re: Aerys and public works

Having twice had a rather long answer to an ask about whether Aerys’ grand schemes had any merit gotten eaten by Tumblr, I’m stubbornly trying again. 

So here’s the thing about Aerys’ grand schemes: they all fall victim to the same flaw of monumentalism. They’re all huge, incredibly expensive, and very difficult projects ultimately chosen more to satisfy Aerys’ grandiose self-image than they are on their individual merits, and they would eat up resources that would probably be better spent on more prosaic, but also more useful and more likely to succeed projects:

“His Grace was full of grand schemes as well. Not long after his coronation, he announced his intent to conquer the Stepstones and make them a part of his realm for all time. In 264 AC, a visit to King’s Landing by Lord Rickard Stark of Winterfell awakened his interest in the North, and he hatched a plan to build a new Wall a hundred leagues north of the existing one and claim all the lands between. In 265 AC, offended by “the stink of King’s Landing,” he spoke of building a “white city” entirely of marble on the south bank of the Blackwater Rush. In 267 AC, after a dispute with the Iron Bank of Braavos regarding certain monies borrowed by his father, he announced that he would build the largest war fleet in the history of the world “to bring the Titan to his knees.” In 270 AC, during a visit to Sunspear, he told the Princess of Dorne that he would “make the Dornish deserts bloom” by digging a great underground canal beneath the mountains to bring water down from the rainwood.” (WOIAF)

Starting with the worst ideas, trying to conquer the Stepstones or to fight a naval war with the Braavosi for the hell of it are both terrible ideas. As we saw with Daemon’s War for the Stepstones, such conflicts would be very long, very expensive in blood and treasure, would be unlikely to succeed in the long-term due to the difficulty of maintaining forces abroad, and would definitely see the Iron Throne drawn into a broader Essosi war as the various Free Cities reacted negatively to the aggression of their neighbor. 

Next tier down, building a new Wall in the North would be hugely expensive to construct, would definitely involve a brutal war against the wildlings, and at the end of the day would gain you 300 miles of territory that’s mostly non-arable let alone fertile. By constrast, resettling the Gift would effectively extend the kingdom north by some 150 miles, would allow for the expansion of production due to the superior arability of the land south of the Wall, and (by expanding tax revenue coming out of the Gift) would allow for an expansion of the Night’s Watch which at the moment can barely staff the Wall they have let alone a second one. 

Similarly, building a whole new capitol down the road, a la Springfield in the Simpsons episode “Trash of the Titans,” is horrendously expensive, because you’re basically taking a complete loss on all of the built-up real estate in the old capitol. By contrast, investing in public infrastructure in King’s Landing is somewhat prosaic, but better water and sewage systems, paved streets, a public sanitation department, etc. would be a much more efficient solution for the capitol’s miasmic probems. 

Finally, while expanded irrigation of Dorne is key to its economic development, trying to dig a tunnel through the Red Mountains and then lay an aquaduct through that tunnel is almost certainly beyond the means of the Iron Throne. It would be hard enough to divert the Torrentine, allowing for the irrigation of the western third of Dorne, but that project would be far easier than trying to tunnel through hundreds of miles of rock by hand. 

anonymous asked:

Hi! How are you? I don't remember well but is it mentioned in ASOIAF that Nymeria &the wolf pack are hurting smallfolks/travelers or hunting their cattle? I could be wrong but the wolves are seen as menace by some dwellers&travelers? I think there was something in Brienne's POV in Feast but I'm not sure. Would be grateful if you could comment on that

Hey Anon! I am doing well, thank you so much for asking :)

From what I can remember, I think there are four instances like what you are specifically referring to where POV characters hear/are told about a direwolf pack causing trouble. 

1) Arya hears about a wolf pack led by a huge female wolf during her march north with Yoren in ACoK:

“It’s been a bad year for wolves,” volunteered a sallow man in a travel-stained green cloak. “Around the Gods Eye, the packs have grown bolder'n anyone can remember. Sheep, cows, dogs, makes no matter, they kill as they like, and they got no fear of men. It’s worth your life to go into those woods by night.”

“Ah, that’s more tales, and no more true than the other.”

“I heard the same thing from my cousin, and she’s not the sort to lie,” an old woman said. “She says there’s this great pack, hundreds of them, mankillers. The one that leads them is a she-wolf, a bitch from the seventh hell.”

(….)

The man in the green cloak said, “I heard how this hellbitch walked into a village one day … a market day, people everywhere, and she walks in bold as you please and tears a baby from his mother’s arms. When the tale reached Lord Mooton, him and his sons swore they’d put an end to her. They tracked her to her lair with a pack of wolfhounds, and barely escaped with their skins. Not one of those dogs came back, not one.”

— ACoK, Chapt. 5, Arya II

2) The example I think you were referring to in AFfC, where Septon Meribald tells Brienne about a great pack of hundreds of wolves led by a “monstrous she-wolf, a stalking shadow grim and grey and huge” (aka NYMERIA AF!) seen around the Trident:

“Dog keeps me safe upon the roads, even in such trying times as these. Neither wolf nor outlaw dare molest me when Dog is at my side.” The septon frowned. “The wolves have grown terrible of late. There are places where a man alone would do well to find a tree to sleep in. In all my years the biggest pack I ever saw had fewer than a dozen wolves in it, but the great pack that prowls along the Trident now numbers in the hundreds.”

“Have you come on them yourself?” Ser Hyle asked.

“I have been spared that, Seven save me, but I have heard them in the night, and more than once. So many voices … a sound to curdle a man’s blood. It even set Dog to shivering, and Dog has killed a dozen wolves.” He ruffled the dog’s head. “Some will tell you that they are demons. They say the pack is led by a monstrous she-wolf, a stalking shadow grim and grey and huge. They will tell you that she has been known to bring aurochs down all by herself, that no trap nor snare can hold her, that she fears neither steel nor fire, slays any wolf that tries to mount her, and devours no other flesh but man.”

— AFfC, Chapt. 25, Brienne V

3) Danwell Frey complains to Jaime about the growing number of wolves in the Riverlands in AFfC:

After the toast Lady Amerei stopped weeping and the table talk turned to wolves, of the four-footed kind. Ser Danwell Frey claimed there were more of them about than even his grandfather could remember. “They’ve lost all fear of men. Packs of them attacked our baggage train on our way down from the Twins. Our archers had to feather a dozen before the others fled.” Ser Addam Marbrand confessed that their own column had faced similar troubles on their way up from King’s Landing.

— AFfC, Chapt. 30, Jaime IV

4) Also in AFfC, Ser Dermot tells Jaime about finding hundreds of wolves near Riverrun led by a “she-wolf of monstrous size” and Jaime ~specifically~ wonders if it could be Nymeria:  

The next day Ser Dermot of the Rainwood returned to the castle, empty-handed. When asked what he’d found, he answered, “Wolves. Hundreds of the bloody beggars.” He’d lost two sentries to them. The wolves had come out of the dark to savage them. “Armed men in mail and boiled leather, and yet the beasts had no fear of them. Before he died, Jate said the pack was led by a she-wolf of monstrous size. A direwolf, to hear him tell it. The wolves got in amongst our horse lines too. The bloody bastards killed my favorite bay.”

“A ring of fires round your camp might keep them off,” said Jaime, though he wondered. Could Ser Dermot’s direwolf be the same beast that had mauled Joffrey near the crossroads?

— AFfC, Chapt. 44, Jaime VII

As far as commenting on it, I suppose it depends on what you were looking for; but here are my thoughts for what they are worth… I definitely think the “giant she-wolf” is Nymeria, and that she is the alpha of the pack people have spotted. I also think it’s particularly important that not only have other characters besides Arya seen and mentioned the direwolf, but that Nymeria and her pack are doing something distinct and notable: causing problems in places, and for people, who are affiliated with enemies of the North and anti-Stark forces.  

I think there is some really clear and heavy symbolism present that could be indicative of Arya becoming “alpha” of her own “wolf pack,” and potentially becoming a leader/commander of some form of Stark/Northern forces. Nymeria’s namesake was a warrior queen, a skilled general and fierce commander, who led her people on a dangerous journey to safety in Essos after the Rhoyne was conquered by the Valyrian Freehold and their dragons. Nymeria of Rhoynar also played an (obviously) integral role in Nymeria’s War, the campaign where she and her husband, Mors Martell, conquered the various kings of Dorne and united the land under the rule of their combined house, House Nymeros Martell. Now Nymeria the direwolf is also a strong leader and the commander of her own forces, the wolf pack. There is so much about leadership, loyalty, courage, and the “strength of the pack” woven into Arya’s narrative. Additionally, her time with the Faceless Men has taught her so much about discipline, strategy, and resourcefulness, and has helped her to really hone her mental dexterity. I could definitely see all of this as foreshadowing for Arya becoming an effective and formidable leader/commander in her own right. 

I also think it’s more than possible that, like Nymeria, Arya will raise a little hell for enemies of House Stark and the people who betrayed her family. 

anonymous asked:

You've disapproved of the Riverrun guards listening to Edmure instead of Brynden in surrendering the castle on the show, but isn't that more or less what happened in the books? Ignoring the ultimate fate of the Blackfish, which is not determined by that choice, why did you oppose it on the show when it was informed by the same threat from Jaime that motivated Edmure in the books? Why should they have listened to Brynden when they did not listen (if he objected) in the books?

Because it’s impossible to ignore what happened with Brynden. Letting someone as capable and notorious as the Blackfish escape isn’t a small matter.

“He’ll be found.” Jaime spoke with a certainty he did not feel. “I have hounds and hunters sniffing after him even now.” Ser Addam Marbrand was leading the search on the south side of the river, Ser Dermot of the Rainwood on the north. He had considered enlisting the riverlords as well, but Vance and Piper and their ilk were more like to help the Blackfish escape than clap him into fetters. All in all, he was not hopeful. “He may elude us for a time,” he said, “but eventually he must surface.”

“What if he should try and take my castle back?”

“You have a garrison of two hundred.” Too large a garrison, in truth, but Lord Emmon had an anxious disposition. At least he would have no trouble feeding them; the Blackfish had left Riverrun amply provisioned, just as he had claimed. “After the trouble Ser Brynden took to leave us, I doubt that he’ll come skulking back.” Unless it is at the head of a band of outlaws. He did not doubt that the Blackfish meant to continue the fight.

- Jaime VIII, AFFC

Edmure’s aid potentially means another Brotherhood Without Banners-esque group lurking around the Riverlands, keeping the cause alive and destabilising Lannister control of the region. 

And it did require Edmure’s active participation in the scheme.

“He did swim,” said Edmure, sullenly. […] “We raised the portcullis on the Water Gate. Not all the way, just three feet or so. Enough to leave a gap under the water, though the gate still appeared to be closed. My uncle is a strong swimmer. After dark, he pulled himself beneath the spikes.”

Edmure had waited most of the day before hauling down the direwolf of Stark in token of surrender. In the confusion of the castle changing hands, it had been the next morning before Jaime had been informed that the Blackfish was not amongst the prisoners.

There’s a world of difference between book!Edmure helping to salvage what he could (especially since Edmure himself’s the one who has to stick around and explain it to the Lannisters), and show!Edmure going “okay Jaime, I’ll just be surrendering now.”

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asoiaf minor characters meme: (2/10) characters ➝ EURON GREYJOY

Crow’s Eye, you call me. Well, who has a keener eye than the crow? After every battle the crows come in their hundreds and their thousands to feast upon the fallen. A crow can espy death from afar. And I say that all of Westeros is dying. Those who follow me will feast until the end of their days. We are the ironborn, and once we were conquerors. Our writ ran everywhere the sound of the waves was heard. My brother would have you be content with the cold and dismal north, my niece with even less… but I shall give you Lannisport. Highgarden. The Arbor. Oldtown. The riverlands and the Reach, the kingswood and the rainwood, Dorne and the marches, the Mountains of the Moon and the Vale of Arryn, Tarth and the Stepstones. I say we take it all! I say, we take Westeros.

The Significance of Nymeria for Arya's Storyline

I have referenced in a few of my meta that I think that Nymeria’s current story as the leader of a massive pack of wolves could have significance for Arya’s arc in the future. I thought I should expound on why I believe that.

After all, the direwolves are so important, that the scene of them being found for the Starks was the basis and beginning of ASoIaF.

This explores the namesake of Nymeria the direwolf, the connection between Arya and Nymeria, the importance of the direwolves for the Starks, and the potential implications of both Nymerias for Arya’s future storyline. 

Keep reading

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The World of Ice and Fire | The Stormlands

The heart of this ancient kingdom was Storm’s End, the last and greatest of the castles raised by the hero king Durran Godsgrief in the Age of Heroes, which stands immense and immovable atop the towering cliffs of Durran’s Point. South, beyond Shipbreaker Bay with its wild waters and treacherous rocks, lies Cape Wrath. The moist green tangle of the rainwood dominates the northern two-thirds of the cape. Farther south a broad plain opens up, rolling gently down to the Sea of Dorne, where numerous small fishing villages dot the shoreline. A thriving port and market, the Weeping Town (as it came to be known because it was where the body of the slain hero King Daeron I Targaryen returned to his kingdom after his murder in Dorne), stands here, and much of the region’s trade passes through its harbor.

The great island of Tarth, with its waterfalls and lakes and soaring mountains, is considered part of the stormlands as well, as are Estermont and the myriad lesser isles found off Cape Wrath and the Weeping Town.

To the west the hills rise hard and wild, pushing against the sky until they give way to the Red Mountains, the border between the stormlands and Dorne. Deep dry valleys and great sandstone cliffs dominate the landscape here, and it is truth that sometimes at sunset the peaks gleam scarlet and crimson against the clouds … yet there are those who say those mountains were named not for the color of their stone but for all the blood that has soaked into the ground.

Farther inland, beyond the foothills, lie the marches – a vast expanse of grasslands, moors, and windswept plains stretching westward and northward for hundreds of leagues. There in the sight of the Red Mountains, the great castles of the Marcher lords stand, built to guard the borders of the stormlands against Dornish incursions from the south and the steel-clad minions of the Kings of the Reach from the west. The greatest of the Marcher lords are the Swanns of Stonehelm, the Dondarrions of Blackhaven, the Selmys of Harvest Hall, and the Carons of Nightsong, whose Singing Towers mark the westernmost extent of the realm of the Storm Kings. All these remain sworn to Storm’s End to this day, as they have been from time immemorial.

North of Storm’s End, however, the boarders of the kingdom have fluctuated greatly over the centuries, as Storm Kings strong and weak gained and lost lands in a succession of wars both great and small. Today, the writ of House Baratheon runs to the south bank of the Wendwater and lower reaches of the kingswood, and along the stony shores of the narrow sea up to the base of Massey’s Hook … but before Aegon’s Conquest, before even the coming of the Andals, the Warrior kings of House Durrandon pushed their borders considerably farther. 

Andals landing on the shores of the Stormlands (1) and Evenfall Hall on Tarth (3) by Jordi Gonzalez Escamilla. Storm’s End (2) by Paolo Puggioni.

For Rainhall: Part I

Thunderheads crested on a horizon dappled by Legion ships.

The day of reckoning had come for the Dawnspire.

Aboard the Doom Glaive, Kaltaia strapped on her armor with focused, methodical manner. The leathers were cut for her vocation, covering what was necessary and permitting mobility in other spaces. The vivid glow of her Illidari tattoos warmed sections of the leather with a ghastly chartreuse light.

Although she dwelled in a rare moment of silence, the promise of violence was thick in the tepid air of the Dying Sun’s spacecraft. Beyond the metal walls, she could feel the hideous presence of the Legion looming above her home. Poised to destroy. Rage too deep for outburst roiled in her, seeping off of her.

The Dread Commander’s voice slid from the chatter stone, giving the order for the Illidari aboard to prepare for the impending offensive.

Kaltaia needed no further encouragement. She wordlessly gathered her glaives and set off down the dark hall toward the Rookery. Her long legs devoured the metal flooring, carrying her through a series of bends, turns, ramps and stairs until she reached a massive set of doors in the belly of the ship. There, she uttered an Eredun incantation to part the way. Letting go of a massive groan, the doors shuddered and shifted into the walls, granting the Illidari entry. The gateway clanged shut as soon as she passed.

The architecture of this hold was as elegant as it was brutal, with felsteel arches curved from the floor to the ceiling. There, hanging in the darkness of those lofted arches, terrible creatures slept in a wrap of leathery wings. Wisps of fel magic pulsed along the walls, as if in tune to a heartbeat.

She strode purposefully into the atramentous depths of the Rookery. Where others may have balked at the prospect of entering the den of these fel-corrupted monstrosities, Kaltaia was fearless, moving upon a set course toward her steed.

Finally, she saw it - the veins of chartreuse that gleamed through tufts of obsidian fur and violet skin were marked by her. The creature carried her corrupted blood, forever linking it to her. She raised a clawed hand in the direction of the dormant fel-bat and focused upon the sorcery that bound its will to hers.

Fel magic, ghastly and green slithered up the length of her tattooed arm and pooled in her palm. As the cursed magic gathered in strength, the creature’s aura flared. All at once, it awoke from its slumber and with a thunderous boom, those leathery wings snapped open. The gargantuan bat fell away from its roost and glided through the cavernous holding, leaving the scent of flame and ash in its wake. It landed in front of Kaltaia with a massive thud and a hideous roar.

She vaulted atop its back and secured her legs into the rider’s trappings. With her hands buried in the creature’s obsidian mane, she leaned low over its withers and gave her command.

In the center of the hold, a shimmering chartreuse rift yawned open; it was the very portal that enabled the swift and deadly deployments that the Doom Glaive was known for.

Without further encouragement, the creature started toward the portal at an even lope. The incantation to ensure the portal’s function sped out of Kaltaia’s garnet lips as the hellish rift loomed closer and closer. Tension limned her bones and her pulse hastened with the song of strife.

The corrupted sorcery of the rift washed over her in a tidal wave - and then they were free.

Airborne.

But not alone.

Today, Kaltaia of House Rainwood would prove just how much she would bleed for Sundial Anchorage.

Inspired by this wonderful fanart by @lives-in-a-harpsichord : ) : )

*****

Continuing her story, Shireen said, “Then the Storm Queen rode her stag into battle –“

“You can’t ride stags into battle,” Edric protested. “You can hunt them, of course, my father often did. Though my father preferred hunting boars to hunting stags, Ser Cortnay told me. But you can’t ride them. They’re not horses.”

Shireen was unfazed. She didn’t miss a beat before replying, “This one was a very special stag. Larger than a horse, and faster too.”

The two boys sitting cross-legged on the floor seemed unconvinced. “Close your eyes,” Shireen half-whispered. “Just imagine it.”

Edric was reluctant at first, but when he saw Devan closing his eyes, he quickly did the same.

“Such a majestic creature,” Shireen continued. “Bold and forceful, yet still graceful. Just like his rider.”

Eyes still closed, Devan shyly asked, “What is the stag’s name, Princess?”

This time Shireen paused. She had not thought of a name. Then inspiration struck. “Dragonsgrief,” she announced. “In honor of Durran Godsgrief, but it’s Dragonsgrief because the Storm Queen and her stag defied the Dragon King and his dragons, not the gods.”  

Shireen would have loved a Dragonsgrief of her own, to help her defeat the hungry, angry dragons chasing her in her dreams.

Edric and Devan had their eyes wide open now, looking eagerly at Shireen. “And then what happened?” Edric asked. “Was the Storm Queen victorious?” Devan queried.

“The Storm Queen and her army fought bravely and gallantly, but they were defeated in that battle.”

“No!” Edric and Devan both exclaimed in unison.

“She … she didn’t die, did she?” Devan asked, looking pale.

“No, of course not,” Shireen quickly reassured him. She wondered if Devan was thinking about his brothers, the ones who died at Blackwater Bay.

“Surely she was captured and made to bend the knee, and then paraded in chains across the realm as a warning to others,” Edric said.

“This is my story, Edric. You can tell your story when it’s your turn,” Shireen said, irritated.

“Oh I wouldn’t want to. You are so much better with stories, Cousin,” Edric replied with his winning smile. Shireen smiled too, finally. She could not be cross with her cousin for long.

“The Storm Queen was forced to flee and hide in the rainwood. She took a wound, and Dragonsgrief was injured as well. But the Storm Queen vowed that one day she would return to free her people from the Dragon King. A wood’s witch who was said to be a descendant of the Green Queen treated her wound and nursed her back to health.”

“Is this the same Green Queen from Maester Pylos’ lesson?” Devan asked. “But … wasn’t the Green Queen a sworn foe of House Durrandon?”

Edric rolled his eyes. “It’s a story, Devan. Not history.”                                   

Shireen was ready with her answer. “It’s true, the Green Queen had been a sworn foe of House Durrandon many, many years ago. But the Dragon King is now an even bigger and more menacing threat to everyone in the Stormlands, so her descendants thought it best to work together with the Storm Queen to defeat him.”

“And did they defeat him in the end?” Devan asked eagerly.

“Well, that’s a story for another day,” Shireen said, grinning.

Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.

She wonders that she’d even said those words.  Wonders it now.  Perhaps it was protest, perhaps it was what she’d been telling herself.  No man could be perfect–and certainly not Robert who drank and spoke of loving her but philandered.  Not even Prince Rhaegar was perfect, though his song was lovely.

Elia was, though.  Elia, with her soft brown eyes and her wicked smile and the way that her gaze makes Lya feel like a little girl, her stomach all tied up in knots.

Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.

She’d never felt in love before.  Not truly.  She’d tried to imagine herself kissing Robert Baratheon when she had first learned of their betrothal, had done her best to imagine riding through the Rainwood with him as she rode through the Wolfswood with Brandon.  But not since she’d met him.  She couldn’t now that he was real and not some figment of her imagination.

But oddly enough…she didn’t know why she could with…maybe something was wrong with her.  No woman she knew wanted to kiss other women, and certainly no woman would be so foolish as to want to kiss the Prince’s wife.

Love is sweet.

She helped put the Princess’ hair in braids, and helped her choose her jewelry, and the others of the Princess’ ladies let her do it, though she was newer to the Princess’ household and, by rights, should not yet have the honor.  Elia’s laughter is infectious and makes Lyanna’s heart lift, and when Lyanna helps her paint her lips a deeper red, they sit so closely that Lya can feel Elia’s breath on her skin, smelling of the blood oranges her brothers had sent her from Sunspear.

“Would you like a bite of one?” Elia asks her, and Lyanna accepts a slice, feeling its juices squirt into her mouth and dribble down her lips.  

Elia laughs gently and reaches for a handkerchief to wipe away the juices and Lya closes her eyes when her hands brush across her lips.

But it cannot change a man’s nature.

It is Lya’s night abed with Elia, and they are telling one another secrets.  The windows are closed–Elia finds King’s Landing too cold; Lya finds it too warm, but she doesn’t care if it means she shares her bed with Elia.  

“I like my husband,” Elia says, “but I do not love him.”

Lyanna knows that such a secret could mean ill for the Princess, and vows that no one will know it from her lips.  Not ever.  

“I do not love Robert,” she says, hoping that Elia will hear the meaning behind those words, the promise that her secret is safe.

Elia smiles at her.  “I’d rather thought not.”  

Elia’s brown eyes flicker between Lyanna’s, then she leans over and her lips–they taste nothing like blood oranges.  They taste sweeter than anything Lyanna could have dreamed.

(x)

Considering the numerous additions and incredible focus given to the Tyrells (who serve as comparatively minor characters in the books) in the show, I get so frustrated that the essence of book Loras Tyrell is lost in my opinion.

I mean Loras Tyrell in the books is very loyal to Renly, they’re not a fling, Loras doesn’t get over his loss-

“I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.”

The best dressed perhaps, Jaime thought, but for once he did not say it. The arrogance had gone out of Ser Loras the moment he began to speak of Renly. He answered truly. He is proud and reckless and full of piss, but he is not false. Jaime, ASoS

Yet we didn’t really get the full feeling of his loss given that the show decided to have most of his screentime spilling secrets to another man in season 3. And then making charged eye contact with Oberyn in season 4.

But while he’s so loyal to Renly even in death that he tries to avenge him, he can see reason, accept logic, and be understanding, too:

Ser Loras made no move to rise. “She fled,” he said. “She and Catelyn Stark, they left him in his blood and ran. Why would they, if it was not their work?” He stared at the table. “Renly gave me the van. Otherwise it would have been me helping him don his armor. He often entrusted that task to me. We had… we had prayed together that night. I left him with her. Ser Parmen and Ser Emmon were guarding the tent, and Ser Robar Royce was there as well. Ser Emmon swore Brienne had… although…”

“Yes?” Jaime prompted, sensing a doubt.

“The gorget was cut through. One clean stroke, through a steel gorget. Renly’s armor was the best, the finest steel. How could she do that? I tried myself, and it was not possible. She’s freakish strong for a woman, but even the Mountain would have needed a heavy axe. And why armor him and then cut his throat?” He gave Jaime a confused look. “If not her, though… how could it be a shadow?”

“Ask her.” Jaime came to a decision. “Go to her cell. Ask your questions and hear her answers. If you are still convinced that she murdered Lord Renly, I will see that she answers for it. The choice will be yours. Accuse her, or release her. All I ask is that you judge her fairly, on your honor as a knight.”

Ser Loras stood. “I shall. On my honor.” Jaime, ASoS

Also, while the show emphasizes his sexual and romantic relations to the extreme, it really fails to discuss just how skilled Loras is. He’s not famous for his lovers, he’s famous for his abilities.

Ser Loras pushed back a brown curl that had fallen across his forehead. “Your Grace will not find any man half so skilled with sword and lance as I.” Cersei, AFFC

 The Knight of Flowers was still half a boy, arrogant and vain, but he had it in him to be great, to perform deeds worthy of the White Book. Jaime, AFFC

Ser Tallad the Tall lost his mount when the sandbag came around and thumped him in the head. Strongboar struck the shield so hard he cracked it. Kennos of Kayce finished the destruction. A new shield was hung for Ser Dermot of the Rainwood. Lambert Turnberry only struck a glancing blow, but Beardless Jon Bettley, Humfrey Swyft, and Alyn Stackspear all scored solid hits, and Red Ronnet Connington broke his lance clean. Then the Knight of Flowers mounted up and put the others all to shame.

Jousting was three-quarters horsemanship, Jaime had always believed. Ser Loras rode superbly, and handled a lance as if he’d been born holding one… which no doubt accounted for his mother’s pinched expression. He puts the point just where he means to put it, and seems to have the balance of a cat. Perhaps it was not such a fluke that he unhorsed me. It was a shame that he would never have the chance to try the boy again.  Jaime, AFFC

Also, can we give a shout out to Loras’ sass? The show downplays it (if it’s really there at all,) but he goes toe-to-toe with Jaime quite well:

“I was better than you, Ser Loras. I was bigger, I was stronger, and I was quicker.”

“And now you’re older,” the boy said. “My lord.”
He had to laugh. This is too absurd. Tyrion would mock me unmercifully if he could hear me 
now, comparing cocks with this green boy. “Older and wiser, ser. You should learn from me.” “As you learned from Ser Boros and Ser Meryn?”

That arrow hit too close to the mark. “I learned from the White Bull and Barristan the Bold,”

Jaime snapped. “I learned from Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, who could have slain all five of you with his left hand while he was taking with a piss with the right. I learned from Prince Lewyn of Dorne and Ser Oswell Whent and Ser Jonothor Darry, good men every one.”

“Dead men, every one.”

He’s me, Jaime realized suddenly. I am speaking to myself, as I was, all cocksure arrogance and empty chivalry. This is what it does to you, to be too good too young. Jaime, ASoS

I don’t know. Loras is a really great character in the books. I feel like the show made him one dimensional and shallow in some ways. In the books though, he’s very impressive in a lot of respects.

anonymous asked:

Was Aegon IV really that bad of a king? He seems pretty harmless compared to most of the other bad kings we read about.

Thanks for the question, Anon.

I put Aegon IV at the top of my “three bad kings” in the Targaryen kings ranking we did for our Three Heads of the Dragon podcast, but that does not mean I think he was a good king. He was less openly sadistic than Maegor or Aerys II, IMO, but that’s not a high standard. Still, one thing should be eminently clear: Aegon IV was a very bad king.

The most memorable, or maybe infamous, aspect of Aegon IV’s reign were his many mistresses, but the king’s reign was not simply the amusing anecdotes of these well-remembered ladies. Aegon made a point of distributing favors to those lords who shoved daughters and female relations into his bed. Both Lord Bracken and Lucas Lothston were named Hand of the King - the highest political reward a man in Westeros can receive - simply for having daughters as the king’s latest maitresses-en-titre. Lord Butterwell received a dragon egg - an item of extreme material value - for giving the king access to his three maiden daughters.  

This political favoritism was naturally bad on face; with the Handship being an office of supreme executive power and responsibility, giving it to men whose only qualifications were pretty daughters and moral unscrupulousness (Lucas Lothston, after all, had been no more than Prince Viserys’ master-at-arms before marrying Falena Stokeworth) ensured that the government would not run effectively. Worse, though, was Aegon’s natural capriciousness. When he became bored of a mistress, he would dismiss her in an instant; on more than one occasion, that meant removing the second-in-command of the government as well. Both Lord Bracken and Lucas Lothston were forced out of position once their daughters earned the king’s displeasure. The high turnover of government meant that very little work would - or could - be done to make the country run smoothly. Worse, Aegon kept the people of his own capital in fear, granting promotion in the City Watch in exchange for a constant supply not merely of kingslander prostitutes, but the so called “decent women of the city”. 

Aegon also made poor political decisions because of these mistresses. During his relationship with Melissa Blackwood, for example, Aegon actually seized lands claimed by House Bracken and gave them to House Blackwood, simply as a gesture of wit. That use of royal prerogative with respect to lords’ holdings had been a point of contention before: when Alysanne convinced Jaehaerys to give the New Gift to the Night’s Watch, the Starks actually wrote to the Citadel asking for legal precedent to protest such a move, a clear sign that the Starks felt the Donation of  Alysanne was illegal. Without any sort of provocation which would justify a monarch’s redistributing of lands (as when Robert Baratheon seized most of the pro-Targaryen Connington lands after the Rebellion and gave them to Baratheon loyalists), Aegon had undercut Bracken power, simply to gratify his royal whim. Saying “I can do what I like with my vassals because I’m the king” is tyranny; it was a less violent tyranny than that of his grandmother Rhaenyra, but Aegon was a tyrant nonetheless.

His decisions with his mistresses were not the extent of his blunders, however. Anxious to outdo his cousin Daeron, Aegon decided to engage in a new Dornish war. The grand fleet he assembled, however, was wrecked before ever sailing to Dorne, and the wooden dragons he commissioned burned - and burned a significant chunk of the Rainwood - long before seeing combat. These campaigns (if they can be called that) did not come free: Aegon doubtless levied taxes on his subjects and drained the royal coffers in an attempt to make himself a new Conqueror. Yet the results were not simply failure, but disastrous failure: the crown was made a laughingstock, and those who depended on the rainwood’s timber and other natural resources would instead face slow recovery efforts.

Perhaps worst of all, Aegon ensured decades of grief for his dynasty long after his death with the legitimization of his bastards, particularly Daemon. He and his son, the bookish and serious Daeron, clashed frequently, and so Aegon molded Daemon into everything he wanted: a charming, charismatic, handsome, devoted, martially gifted knight. Aegon actively worked to undermine Daeron’s legitimacy and the reputations of his siblings during his lifetime, ensuring that there would be sufficient narrative fuel for the Blackfyre Rebellions. The rivalries of the mistresses, which his capriciousness encouraged, extended to the sons, with Bittersteel and Bloodraven becoming particularly bitter (heh) and hateful foes. Aegon IV did not care about the political instability that resulted, but many thousands of Westerosi would pay dearly for it.

So, Aegon IV was a bad king, a very bad king. Consummately selfish, pettily cruel, obsessed with his own pleasure, Aegon used the royal prerogative solely to satisfy his own whims.

Read more about Aegon IV in the Hand’s excellent essay on him here.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

A letter comes one morning when it is raining, written in a neat maester’s hand, and it is Stannis who reads it to her.

“Dear Marya,” he reads, his small voice filling the hall more loudly than the crackling logs in the fireplace.  “I hope that you are well, and that Stannis and Steffon are being good.  I miss you all very much.”  Stannis looks up at her and smiles, his brown eyes crinkling.  She nods at him, smiling, encouraging.  He still trips over the words, but it is better that he try to read than that she.  She’s taught herself some–it makes running Davos’ castle easier–but she’s no great reader, and at eleven Stannis is already better at it than her. 

She pulls Steffon onto her lap as Stannis goes on.  “I am safe and sound, though not for fear that that would be the case.  I was held for a time at the king’s command.”  Marya frowns.  Why would the king have held Davos?  Unless that red witch had something to do with it.  

Stannis looks at her, and she nods at him to continue.  “But you need not worry of that.  That is in the past.  I am in the king’s good graces, and serve him as ever I have.  His Grace has named me his hand, and named me lord of the Rainwood, which makes you my Lady Marya, and our sons shall be lords until their dying days.”  Stannis says the last words very fast and he looks at Marya excitedly.

“Mother!  A lord!” he practically sings and Steffon hops off her lap so the two can jump about together.   “I will be lord of the Rainwood!” Stannis sings.

I want to be lord of the Rainwood!” Steffon pouts.

“Neither of you shall be.  Devan is your father’s heir.”  Marya closes her eyes for a moment and sees Dale’s face–Dale as he was when he was no older than Steffon, when memories of Flea Bottom still filled his head.  Dale, Allard, Matthos, and Maric.  My boys.  My lordly boys.  My boys who should have been lords, would have been. 

You said we’d be safe.  Are they safe now?  With Stannis weak and at Dragonstone and her husband his hand–what would stop the Lannister queen from coming down to the Rainwood and hanging her and her boys as a traitor’s bride?  Her throat tightens as she looks at her boys–her last two, her youngest, only children.  Surely they would be safe.  The Lannister queen had children of that age as well.  She is a mother, surely she knew a mother’s mercy.

“But Devan’s not even here,” complains Steffon.

Marya forces her voice to remain calm as she speaks.  “Aye, that is because he serves the King, like your father.  Keep reading, Stannis.”

Stannis straightens and flourishes the letter.  “Devan is well,” he says, nodding to Marya.  “He learns with the Princess, and is her greatest friend.”

“Will Devan marry the Princess, mama?” Steffon asks.

“Hush, child.  Even though your father is the King’s Hand, that is too low a match for her.  She’ll wed the Arryn boy, like as not.”  She remembers Davos talking of Jon Arryn’s boy.  He was of an age, and of lofty birth, and as far as she knew, the Arryns had not yet declared for any king.  Wise, she thinks, looking at her boys.  Wise, to keep himself safe while the highlords war.  He’s younger than Steffon.  Younger than all my boys.

“Give my love to our boys,” Stannis reads.  “And my love, of course, to you, my dearest Lady Marya.”

“When will father be home?” Steffon asks.

“It doesn’t say,” Stannis replies, looking back at the letter.

“But I want to see father!” Steffon insists.

“He’ll be home when the war is won,” Marya says, running her hand through her youngest’s hair, doing her best to ignore the twist in her stomach.  

I’ll never see him again.  She hated the thought, hated it as profoundly as she’d hated anything in her life.  She wanted to hold him, to mourn their boys…But how could they win this war?  And if they lost, how would he survive?