• Stannis: Consistently fair and reasonable (Giving up Dragonstone to Renly at Robert's command, offering peace with Renly and offering to name Renly his heir, offering freedom to the Free Folk, knighting Ser Davos and taking his fingers, burnings notwithstanding)
  • Stannis: Explicitly shown to truly love his daughter
  • Stannis: Best claimant to the throne, oldest living legitimate heir to King Robert Baratheon
  • Stannis: Only claimant to the throne to seriously consider threat of the White Walkers, and consider the justice and the laws of the land
  • Stannis: Tried and tested battle commander
  • Stannis: Explicitly shown as still having doubts about the Lord of Light
  • Stannis: Seriously, the only fucking claimant to the Iron Throne who sees the White Walkers as a real threat
  • GoT writers: So... This guy is the bad guy, right?
  • GoT writers: Meh let's just make him evil and incompetent, and then send him meekly to his grave
  • GoT writers: Better make him fanatically murder his daughter at the first opportunity just before he dies too, despite this being completely out of character, otherwise people might sympathise with him, he needs less fans as it is
  • Stannis: ...fewer...
The game of thrones series is Called a song of ice and fire, the fire is rhaegar and ice is Lyanna, the whole series is because of the song they played and their creation, the series is pretty much about how their song raised to become who he is, the song being Jon snow

When she returned to her rooms atop the pyramid, she found Missandei crying softly on her pallet, trying as best she could to muffle the sound of her sobs. “Come sleep with me,” she told the little scribe. “Dawn will not come for hours yet.”
“Your Grace is kind to this one.” Missandei slipped under the sheets. “He was a good brother.” Dany wrapped her arms about the girl. “Tell me of him.”
“He taught me how to climb a tree when we were little. He could catch fish with his hands. Once I
found him sleeping in our garden with a hundred butterflies crawling over him. He looked so beautiful that morning, this one … I mean, I loved him.”
“As he loved you.” Dany stroked the girl’s hair. “Say the word, my sweet, and I will send you from this awful place. I will find a ship somehow and send you home. To Naath.”
“I would sooner stay with you. On Naath I’d be afraid. What if the slavers came again? I feel safe when I’m with you.”
Safe. The word made Dany’s eyes fill up with tears. “I want to keep you safe.” Missandei was only a child. With her, she felt as if she could be a child too. “No one ever kept me safe when I was little. Well, Ser Willem did, but then he died, and Viserys … I want to protect you but … it is so hard. To be strong. I don’t always know what I should do. I must know, though. I am all they have. I am the queen … the … the …”
“… mother,” whispered Missandei. “Mother to dragons.” Dany shivered. “No. Mother to us all.” Missandei hugged her tighter. “Your Grace should sleep. Dawn will be here soon, and court.”
“We’ll both sleep, and dream of sweeter days. Close your eyes.” When she did, Dany kissed her eyelids and made her giggle.

this is so adorable/ sad i need to die

The fire burned away my hair, but elsewise it did not touch me. It had been the same in Daznak’s Pit. That much she could recall, though much of what followed was a haze. So many people, screaming and shoving. She remembered rearing horses, a food cart spilling melons as it overturned. From below a spear came flying, followed by a flight of crossbow bolts. One passed so close that Dany felt it brush her cheek. Others skittered off Drogon’s scales, lodged between them, or tore through the membrane of his wings. She remembered the dragon twisting beneath her, shuddering at the impacts, as she tried desperately to cling to his scaled back. The wounds were smoking. Dany saw one of the bolts burst into sudden flame. Another fell away, shaken loose by the beating of his wings. Below, she saw men whirling, wreathed in flame, hands up in the air as if caught in the throes of some mad dance. A woman in a green tokar reached for a weeping child, pulling him down into her arms to shield him from the flames. Dany saw the color vividly, but not the woman’s face. People were stepping on her as they lay tangled on the bricks. Some were on fire.

Then all of that had faded, the sounds dwindling, the people shrinking, the spears and arrows falling back beneath them as Drogon clawed his way into the sky. Up and up and up he’d borne her, high above the pyramids and pits, his wings outstretched to catch the warm air rising from the city’s sun baked bricks. If I fall and die, it will still have been worth it, she had thought.

A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys X

Hi everyone! A couple days ago, I finished up “Men’s Lives Have Meaning,” my essay series on Quentyn Martell. Thanks so much to everyone who read and commented, I had a great time writing it. You can find a link to the series in my header (“Quentyn in ADWD”), and links to the individual essays below.

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Give Your Bride a Kiss For Me

Part 3: Fires Everywhere

Part 4: The Prince Who Came Too Late

Part 5: The Hour of Ghosts

Part 6: Father, Why?

Part 7: Conclusion

And with that done, on to my next series on ADWD! Which POV this time?

Originally posted by darylvdixon

A thousand years before the Conquest, a promise was made, and oaths were sworn in the Wolf’s Den before the old gods and the new. When we were sore beset and friendless, hounded from our homes and in peril of our lives, the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies. The city is built upon the land they gave us. In return we swore that we should always be their men. Stark men! – Wylla Manderly

-DAVOS IV, A Dance With Dragons

In preparation of a top five list of A Dance with Dragons chapters, I decided to revisit an old chapter, Davos III of A Storm of Swords glory and here’s a stray Melisandre observation:

“I could give you pleasure such as you have never known, and with your life-fire I could make …”

“The way the world is made. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good.” She took a step toward him. “Death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere, the war.”

I’ve oft-seen the latter touted out as an example of Melisandre’s binary, black-and-white thinking and, to be fair, it’s absolutely true that Melisandre herself tries to flatten and divide the world between R’hllor’s instruments and the Great Other’s minions. Context matters, though, from her POV chapter, she appears to be a former slave, having been rescued out of that life of destitution from the red priests, and granted seer abilities from R’hllor itself.

But there’s also an interesting question about how Melisandre divvies the two sexes and some possible social commentary into magic and slavery behind it.

Both Westeros and a decent chunk of Essos have systems installed to commit atrocities to and restrict female bodily autonomy. And slavery for girls and women is far worse, either by outright exploiting their sex through sexual violence or churning and breeding them into more casual commodities for the sake of men in charge, at the head of patriarchal systems. Hell, Lys and its pleasure gardens and its pillow houses have normalized sex slavery.

In the eyes of Essos’ slavery institution, people (and especially women) are meat to gain sexual gratification (”pleasure”, if you will) from with impunity. So it makes a dispiriting amount of sense that Melisandre has internalized her binary black-and-white thinking to ascribe all these negative connotations to the male sex. That danger to her own person was “the first thing she had learned to see” when she was a slave child with the red priests long ago.

Add in the decent possibility that she may have been involved in sexual matters as a slave child, given the red priests having “temple prostitutes” (mentioned in A Dance with Dragons’ Tyrion VII) and there’s an interesting layer that magic works for Melisandre: as a tool to fend off mundane horrors. Yes, she’s using it to challenge and strike against the Great Other in the grand war between it and R’hllor like a good high fantasy wizard, but it’s still grounded in physical horror. 

Magic allowed her the opportunity to flourish and rise above her slave status long ago, fashion an identity of effortless power through a new name and spells of shadow and suggestion, and settle by the shoulder of a king to secure the resources and soldiers to fend off the Long Night. However, despite those accomplishments, she still fears the atrocities humanity can commit onto her. Because she’s likely seen them done to other slaves, to other women. 

Because when you’re a woman who has magical future-seeing powers who’s likely seen sexual violence and may or may not have been a temple prostitute, you take full advantage of your magic and protect yourself from all horrors.

My first read through ASoIaF, I sided with both Cressen and Davos, both males, for wanting to cause pain to and assassinate Melisandre because I was buying into the Evil Witch trope with aplomb.

My re-read through, all I can think of is Melony and how much she likely thought the fire and magic as shields against the darkness and just want to ask Melisandre this:

What happened to you?

What the hell happened to you…?