The three waycastles to the Eyrie are named Stone, Sky, and Snow. Thoughts? I don't remember in whose POV chapter these 3 was mentioned if it was in Catelyn's or Sansa's. And iirc they were mentioned in that order in the books.
Anon Hello! Sorry for the late reply. Yes the three castles of the Eyrie are named Stone, Sky and Snow indeed. I think it could be a reference to Sansa (Alyane Stone), Jon (Snow) and Bran (who is the most character with bird analogies and is told that he could fly..). And its no secret how I believe these three characters are crucial to the survival of the Stark name.
In the story those are mentioned two different times: in Catelyn AGOT chapter and in Alayne AFFC one. The order is this (from bottom-up): Stone/Snow/Sky.
But what is interesting to me is how DIFFERENT these two chapters are. For example Grrm makes Catelyn do the ascent and Sansa the descent. (And makes it clear that one is more hard than the other.)
Alayne’s heart had been in her throat when she made her own ascent with Lady Lysa and Lord Petyr, and everyone agreed that the descent was even more harrowing, since you were looking down the whole time.
In both chapters the wind is linked to a wolf (but in Sansa case it gives her courage to go forward, in Catelyn case it scares her to the point of stopping)
Above Snow, the wind was a living thing, howling around them like a wolf in the waste, then falling off to nothing as if to lure them into complacency.
The wind was howling fiercely. It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.
Both are told to close their eyes (Sansa doesnt, Catelyn does)
I could close my eyes. The mule knows the way, he has no need of me. But that seemed more something Sansa would have done, that frightened girl. Alayne was an older woman, and bastard brave.
“I don’t want to look.” The world seemed to be spinning around her, mountain and sky and mules, whirling like a child’s top. Catelyn closed her eyes to steady her ragged breathing.
But the most important difference is here: Sansa (accused by half the fandom of being a passive, scared little girl) is the only active character here, helps Robert when Mya cant do nothing and is almost falling. While Catelyn stops herself with fear, she cant go on and Mya has to help her. (nothing wrong with showing Catelyn fear, it is a totally normal reaction).
Mya staggered, and for half a heartbeat it seemed as if she would be blown over the precipice, but somehow she regained her balance and went on.
Alayne took Robert’s gloved hand in her own to stop his shaking. “Sweetrobin,” she said,
"I’m scared. Hold my hand, and help me get across. I know you’re not afraid.”
“He looked at her, his pupils small dark pinpricks in eyes as big and white as eggs. “I’m not?
"Not you. You’re my winged knight, Ser Sweetrobin”
“The Winged Knight could fly,” Robert whispered.
“Higher than the mountains.” She gave his hand a squeeze.
“Ser Sweetrobin,” Lord Robert said, and Alayne knew that she dare not wait for Mya to return.
She helped the boy dismount, andhand in hand they walked out onto the bare stone saddle, their cloaks snapping and flapping behind them.
“I’ll come back for you,” Mya said. “Don’t move, my lady.
”Moving was about the last thing Catelyn was about to do. She listened to the skirling of the wind and the scuffling sound of leather on stone.
Then Mya was there, taking her gently by the arm. “Keep your eyes closed if you like. Let go of the rope now, Whitey will take care of himself. Very good, my lady. I’ll lead you over, it’s easy, you’ll see. Give me a step now. That’s it, move your foot, just slide it forward. See. Now another. Easy. You could run across. Another one, go on. Yes."
And so, foot by foot, step by step, the bastard girl led Catelyn across, blind and trembling, while the white mule followed placidly behind them.
The most ironic thing is this:
"Some people find it easier if they close their eyes,” Mya said as she led the mules through the gate into the dark wood. “When they get frightened or dizzy, sometimes they hold on to the mule too tight. They don’t like that.”
“I was born a Tully and wed to a Stark,” Catelyn said. “I do not frighten easily.”
And yet the thought of leaving frightened her almost as much as it frightened Robert. She only hid it better. Her father said there was no shame in being afraid, only in showing your fear. "All men live with fear,” he said. Alayne was not certain she believed that.
The one who was scared before starting didnt close her eyes and continued going, The other who wasn’t frightened in the beginning ended up being blind trembling and moved along..
(To note how Catelyn makes the connection with Mya and Sansa being both naive young girls, but in the end both are braver than they look).
“Mychel’s my love,” Mya explained. “Mychel Redfort. He’s squire to Ser Lyn Corbray. We’re to wed as soon as he becomes a knight, next year or the year after.
"She sounded so like Sansa, so happy and innocent with her dreams. Catelyn smiled, but the smile was tinged with sadness.
Does anyone else get struck by a sudden onslaught of feelings for the Bran and Sansa dynamic? Like anyone? They begin AGOT with very similar mindsets with both dreaming of knighthoods and songs but as the stories progress they diverge away from that.
They are forced into a dichotomy with both practicing in different domains and yet there exists this thematic link between the both of them. Flight is something commonly associated with them with Sansa continuously being called Little Bird while Bran is learning to become the Three Eyed Crow.
However, these connections go even further. Both of their mentors reject their previous names for ones connected with bird imagery and flight. Littlefinger’s rejects his family signal of a titan’s head in favour of the innocuous mockingbird while Bloodraven was previously Brynden Rivers and is now the three-eyed crow. There is a continuous link to the flight, extending even to their mentors.
This imagery of flight merges with the imagery of wolves in both of their storylines.
“I dreamed of a winged wolf bound to earth with grey stone chains,” he said. “It was a green dream, so I knew it was true. A crow was trying to peck through the chains, but the stone was too hard and his beak could only chip at them.”
The northern girl. Winterfell’s daughter. We heard she killed the king with a spell, and afterward
changed into a wolf with
big leather wings like a bat, and flew out a tower window.
These two are perhaps the most similar out of all the known POV Stark children with both not only wishing for the songs but believing they had a place in them. Them also being the only two POV Stark kids to have the Tully look and their Southern aspirations reinforces those links. At the beginning of AGOT, their similarities are something that is visible. However, as the series continues, those similarities diminish. Bran is far up North and is going even further while Sansa’s storyline has been based in the South. Bran is learning from the Three-Eyed Crow and his storyline is firmly planted in the magical while Sansa is under the tutelage of a political mastermind and is linked to the political. Both storylines could not get more different if they tried and yet, here we have this image that links both characters together.
It is not only the winged wolf symbol that is suggestive of something else. Sansa acts almost as the physical embodiment of Jojen’s words. She is forced to pretend to be a Stone and now resides in the mountains.
A mountain is not a man, though, and a stone is a mountain’s daughter.
But his sister had left the wilds, to walk in the halls of man-rock where other hunters ruled, and once within those halls it was hard to find the path back out.
The second quote is very obviously about Sansa or more specifically Lady. She is the only one out of the Stark siblings to be forced to reside in places of Stone. However, we get this continuous reference to stone and how it imprisons her. We see a visual example of this with the symbolism of towers in Sansa’s storyline. Sansa is continuously forced into that trope and we see how damaging it is to her wellbeing. This reference to stone as a cage within both of their storylines. Bran’s chains are that of the non-magical and – cause I can’t think of a better word – reality. His chains are internalised and something that he must break. This differs from Sansa whose chains are all external. Those surrounding her are the ones to place the chains upon her. Even within this symbol, we see so many opposing ideas. Bran’s chains are spiritual and mental while Sansa’s are physical. Bran is the winged wolf while that image is something forced upon Sansa. The imagery of winged wolf in Sansa’s story is based on the physical while Bran’s is based on the anti-real.
The antithetical nature of these contrasting ideas suggests that Bran and Sansa are supposed to parallel the other. It is not meant to be a competition of which is the winged wolf and which is not but rather a holistic take on the nature of the winged wolf. They are connected by this image and to both, that image means and is something else entirely. Just like Arya and Sansa, they are both two sides of the same coin.
throneless. in one of my jobs today I was serving a table of 8 with a mother & her sister and their combined children. The smallest little girl was called, “Arya”, with messy dark hair & the loudest laugh in the whole place. She was adorable & so mischievous, kept crawling under the table & between legs and climbing over her brothers & sisters & cousins whilst they sat. so, today I met little tiny 4 y/o arya stark irl & she loves macaroni cheese
I wanted to try my hand at GoT Imagines but I didn’t know what the fuck to write, lmao. This is shit, I know, but I’ll do another one later!
Imagine: Being one of the fiercest warriors in the kingdoms and everyone vying to
get your alliance. Rob’s men managed to find you and now you stand in front of
the Young Wolf.
You had no interest in wars. Here,
you stood in front of the King of the North.
The Young Wolf as they call him
also. You do not deny his rugged more Tully than Stark looks. His dark brown
curls fall in his sharp face. His kindly eyes are gleaming at you with a look
that irritates you. It is a look as if he has won the damn war. A war you care
You only came to humor him. You and
your loyal men were making way from the South to the North…to the Wall where
the real war would happen—the only
war you cared about fighting in. You cared not for the petty squabbles over a
damned iron throne.
The Young Wolf looked extremely
pleased to see you. In his Royal tent stood before you other Lords you didn’t
care for and the Young Wolf’s mother—Catelyn Stark was beside her Kingly son
looking as hopeful as the Young wolf. It did bring you pain to know that you
would crush their hopes with your next words. You will not deny that they have
lost a great deal and have been put in a terrible situation but their problems
were shit compared to what would come this winter.
“Well?” Robb persisted getting a bit
annoyed at your prolonged silence.
You stared at this man with
interest, “I care not for your war,” Your words were sharper then any sword in
the tent and colder then any winter that has passed. Immediately there are men
on their feet yelling at you for your disrespect but you fear them not. Robb is
stunned by your words and utterly confused. You
cared not for this war? You cared not for the people of this land?
“I give you my sincere condolences’,
truly, but I am not here to fight your war or anyone’s war. There is a reason
why I have no interest in an alliance with anyone.
Stannis made the mistake of thinking he could force me into one and almost
paid with his life. Renly was smart enough to respect my choice,” You say
indifferently taking note of the hands resting on hilts of swords but you are
not afraid, “There is a war that I will fight in and that is the war of the
dead that comes when the first white winds blow, Young Wolf.”
Catelyn is bristling in anger and she is the one to speak, “How dare you speak such disgraceful words?”
She spits and it is then that you understand why people are fearful of Catelyn
Stark. Her eyes were hard enough to cut through Valyrian Steel.
“Your grace,” You respectfully say
to the grieving widow, “I speak only the truth. While you all fret over a war
that has been repeated before, there is a war that would make this one seem
like child’s play. All your work will be for naught if the white walkers
succeed in coming over that Wall.” You hold any remorse for your words and you
show it well.
“You are not sane!” It is Robb who
speaks angrily as he stands, his men get even more aggressive with their
postures and words, “We fight for our freedom.
We fight to bring home my sisters! We fight to get rid of those damn
Southerners!” He is taller then you expected despite being younger then you and
he is in your face seething in rage.
You remain cool and unaffected,
“Like I previously stated, Young wolf, all this fighting for freedom is for
naught if the white walkers succeed in their advance.” You looked at this young
man clearly, “I am not some sword for hire. My answer is no.”
Robb growls making a movement to
grab you but you remain calmly in your place and say with boredom, “By all
means, make the same damn mistake that Stannis did. I went easy on that bastard
but I won’t be so forgiving on you. Let me remind you that the title I have, I
have earned for a reason. Although,
I’m not sure you have earned your title, Little King.”
The murder on the Young Wolf’s face
is clear. His direwolf—Grey Wind, was it? His wolf is snarling and snapping his
teeth demanding to taste your flesh. The direwolf is no worry to you. As strong
as the creatures were, an easy swipe at his neck and the mutt would bleed out
“It was an honor,” You remark
unaffected by the hostility in the tent, “But I have somewhere else to be. I
give you my best in this war, Little King. If you somehow survive this war, you
might live long enough to see how wrong you were and how right I was and then
you will die from the foolishness this kingdom has made.”
You weren’t eager to travel through
the night but thanks to these fools, you would have to, to make up time lost
from entertaining the Stark army. You mockingly curtsy and leave the tent.
“Leave her!” Robb growls knowing that you alone could take out every Lord in
the tent without breaking a sweat.
You smirk as you walk outside in the
fading sunlight. Your men lazily lounging about looking bored out of their
minds. They immediately stand once they see you. The horses were at the edge of
this camp. “Y/N?” Your best friend and right hand man asks with a knowing
You waste no time, “We have much
land to cover and little time, let us make haste.” Your men follow your lead
but the call of your name stops you.
It was the Young Wolf.
You turn to gaze at him curiously,
“What is it you want, Little King?”
He looks visibly upset, “Have you no
care for the family we have lost?”
Your answer is immediate, “Of course
I do, Little King. I am not heartless woman. I have tasted loss—in fact I have
no family but the men at my side. I have lost my entire family and I have been
raped by many men but I am here fighting in a war that does matter. You are not
the only man to have lost something due to another. Revenge will come to those
who have wronged you but this war was never the answer.” You say with a quiet
darkness that has Robb Stark looking at you in a new light.
“The White Walkers have been gone
for thousands of years.” He states flatly.
“Aye, plenty of time to re-populate
and plan out an invasion, don’t you think?” You countered before turning your
back and resuming your true journey.
“I’ll tell your bastard brother you said hello.” You add over your shoulder
with a snicker.
“All we need is for the Lannisters
to capture us.” Snickered one of your men.
“Please, don’t jinx it.” You sigh.
You had your full on Kings.
There are several questions in relation to the Starks and Winterfell and I think I have an idea how they are all connected.
First, the questions.
Why are the Stark words the ominous ‘Winter is coming’?
Why doese there always have to be a Stark in Winterfell?
What is the significance of the crypts?
I think, I have an inkling, and here is my crackpot (?) idea.
The Starks are the only family in Westeros that has no house words connected to their family or their family pride. Nothing like ‘High as honour’, ‘Hear me roar’ or something like that. No, for the Starks it is a prophecy, a warning of the war for the dawn that is to come, of the White Walkers and perpetual winter. All the house words carry a strong obligation, but the Starks’ obligation is to stay alert and to brace for what is to come. Why?
I think, it is because the Night King was a Stark. Old Nan told Bran about the Night King, how he fell in love with one ice-cold fairy queen being, who must have been one of the White Walkers. Only a combined force of the wildlings and Starks unseated the Night King and destroyed his reign of terror. As a result, the Starks as a family have an obligation to stand ready for the next attack of the Others/White Walkers and perhaps to reforge old alliances. Guess, who has an alliance with the wildlings? Jon Snow, currently King in the North. As a family redemption the Starks have to cling to their words and fulfill their duty once winter comes again.
And I think, that’s the reason why they are all buried in Winterfell and why they are buried with weapons and why they all have statues is connected to the duty of the Starks to stand for humanity in the war for the dawn. Their duty does not die with them.
I think, that in the hour of greatest need the current Stark can call upon the kings of winter of old to help the cause of humanity. And that is the ultimate reason why there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.
The Stark in Winterfell is the only person who can call for help, and imagine how very useful an army of Stark kings’ statues would be against Undead Wights. This might even be the reason why the Three eyed raven reached out to Bran. Bran has to know this. And isn’t it nice foreshadowing that Bran is not only a Stark, but also half Tully and the Tullies of Riverrun are the only other family whose words carry a strong moral obligation to do the right thing: Family, duty, honour.
Since Jon is Rhaegar’s son, the next lord of Winterfell in line, is Bran, and just imagining Bran calling out for the old kings to help give me shudders. Wouldn’t it be super-cool, if he would call out with his new powers to wake the Kings of Winter from their sleep to fight against the Others/White Walkers?
“Stark!” they called as Bran trotted past, rising to their feet. “Winterfell! Winterfell!”
He was old enough to know that it was not truly him they shouted for— it was the harvest they cheered, it was Robb and his victories, it was his lord father and his grandfather and all the Starks going back eight thousand years. Still, it made him swell with pride. For so long as it took him to ride the length of that hall he forgot that he was broken.
Hello, you mention in your ask about Renly's manipulative cruelty that Mace Tyrell is actually shrewder than he appears. What makes you say that? Does that imply that Olenna's description of him as an oaf is an act put up for Sansa? Do you think he had a conscious part in the Purple Wedding?
Hiya! I’m so sorry this is so long in coming; a bunch of people asked on this topic, so I wanted to put something full-length together.
When people talk about The Quotes from ASOIAF,
the ones that are basically GRRM dropping the veil and telling us how he thinks
and feels about his subject matter, there’s this one from Varys that comes up a
“Power resides where men believe it
And there’s a lot of political and Plato’s-cave
truth to that. But there’s an equally relevant and powerful flipside to this
trope: the power that can be achieved by deflecting attention, by appearing
unimportant, shallow, secondary, a figurehead. In short, the tremendous upside
to be exploited in being constantly underestimated.
For me, no character exemplifies this trope
better than Mace Tyrell, that pompous, overwrought boob…who is currently
serving as the Hand of the King, which is exactly what he has been
trying to accomplish the entire time. Mace commands by far the largest armies
in Westeros, and has acted at every turn to preserve them, committing to battle
only at the Blackwater, where he was bolstered by Tywin’s forces and needed to
prove his loyalty to the new regime, and at Duskendale, where his opponents had been set up to fail by their own commander (Roose Bolton, another man happy to be underrated). Where Tywin begins the war by rampaging around the Riverlands to work through his shame about Tyrion’s kidnapping (until Robb turns up and promptly makes him look like an idiot, so then that much more shame to slaughter civilians over), and Stannis begins the war by painstakingly preparing a
list of reasons why his life sucks and everyone’s mean and he hates them (I
love him so much because he’s a sullen, lonely kid forlornly kicking at
empty plastic bags in the corner of the schoolyard), Mace begins the war like an adult. Specifically, he cuts off food supplies to King’s Landing.
Now, Renly is usually credited
with or blamed for the strategy of moving his army deliberately slowly toward
King’s Landing, but note that when Stannis threatens Storm’s End, Renly moves
extremely quickly–in fact, too quickly:
Ned would surely have prevailed upon Robert to bring up his whole force, to encircle Stannis and besiege the besiegers. That choice Renly had denied himself in his headlong rush to come to grips with his brother. He had outdistanced his supply lines, left food and forage days behind with all his wagons and mules and oxen. He must come to battle soon, or starve.
So it seems more likely that Mace was responsible for this
slow pace, with the primary goal (as we see through Tyrion’s POV) of starving
the people of King’s Landing to the point of rebelling against Joffrey, a
cruel but clever stratagem that came very close to working. When the Tyrells
then ally with the Lannisters, they flood King’s Landing with food, winning the
support of the people even though the Tyrells were the ones who cut off
supplies to begin with:
“The Tyrells have been carting food up from Highgarden and giving it away in her name. Hundreds of wayns each day. There’s thousands of Tyrell men swaggering about with little golden roses sewn on their doublets, and not a one is buying his own wine. Wife, widow, or whore, the women are all giving up their virtue to every peach-fuzz boy with a gold rose on his teat.”
They spit on me, and buy drinks for the Tyrells.
Those bolded words of Tyrion’s sum up perfectly how well the Tyrells have played the commons relative to the Lannisters. Littlefinger’s upcoming embargo (as revealed in the recent “Alayne” chapter) will only ramp
up the political leverage Mace has wielded throughout the series via Reach
resources and exports.
Mace also managed to avoid ever alienating the Starks
and Tullys, and so is not hated by the Young Wolf’s former supporters, a
significant accomplishment given that they seem poised to wipe Houses
Bolton and Frey off the face of Terros. Indeed, successful political
maneuvering is as much about avoiding disastrous mistakes as securing
ambitious triumphs; Lord Mace excels at this, which is why he’s been able to jump
from Renly to Joffrey to Tommen, sacrificing remarkably little and picking up Brightwater Keep in the bargain. Hell, as
Tyrion points out, he even left the door open to joining Team Robb should the
Lannisters prove troublesome:
Bloody fool, thought Tyrion. “Sweet sister,” he explained patiently, “offend Tyrell and you offend Redwyne, Tarly, Rowan, and Hightower as well, and perhaps start them wondering whether Robb Stark might not be more accommodating of their desires.”
Note Tyrion’s construction here; Tyrell’s vassals
take their cues from the Fat Flower, not the other way around. When Randyll
Tarly and Mathis Rowan talk in council, this is what I hear:
Ser Kevan was his brother’s vanguard in council, Tyrion knew from long experience; he never had a thought that Lord Tywin had not had first. It has all been settled beforehand, he concluded, and this discussion’s no more than show.
(I know Kevan thinks Tarly’s the real danger,
but Kevan also thinks Cersei is permanently cowed, so he’s not necessarily the most insightful guy.)
Mace Tyrell has spent the entire story steadily
accumulating both hard and soft power, and nobody seems to notice,
because unlike his mother or his daughter, he doesn’t fit the archetype of a
classic political manipulator. If there is an unambiguous winner in the Game of Thrones so far, still standing amidst all the bodies, it is the Warden of the South…and yet it’s hard not to laugh at him
when he does stuff like this:
The new King’s Hand was seated on an oaken throne carved in the shape of a hand, an absurd vanity his lordship had produced the daySer Kevan agreed to grant him the office he coveted.
But the terrifying thing to consider is that he
is not desperately compensating by making himself a Hand-Throne; he is,
instead, deadly serious. (How long ago did he have that chair made, to have it ready on the spot?) Mace Tyrell intends to rule King’s Landing for
the foreseeable future, and Varys and his little birds have made that immeasurably easier for him.
So, why do I credit all this to Mace
specifically? It’s become a near-consensus that Lady Olenna is the true power in Highgarden, to the point I’ve actually seen people refer to House Tyrell as
“matriarchal,” which is one hell of a misread. Highgarden is not
Sunspear. The Tyrells are not the Mormonts (more’s the pity; all our lives are brighter with Lyanna Mormont in charge of the Bear Island letterhead). The Reach is the epicenter of
feudal patriarchy in Westeros; Mace commands the armies, controls the
resources, and makes the marriage contracts, not Olenna. We’ve seen this with Catelyn, Cersei, Lysa: noble women of patriarchal houses can exercise enormous power, but they do so through their sons, and Mace is no Sweetrobin. Don’t get me wrong, Olenna is unquestionably
a strong influence on Mace’s decision-making, it’s just in an advisory capacity.
Sure, she changes his mind on some questions (most notably on whether to wed
Loras to Cersei), but Davos changes Stannis’ mind on the biggest question of
all (who he’s really fighting for, and why); this doesn’t make Stannis any less responsible for the decision to sail North.
I would argue that
Olenna’s storyline actually subtly demonstrates the enormous passive power Mace
Tyrell wields in the realm, and has since at least Robert’s Rebellion (more on
that in a moment). I think A Storm of Swords sets that up perfectly:
Olenna isn’t Mace’s puppet master, she’s his assassin. I
absolutely believe he knew about the Purple Wedding, because Olenna would be
taking a frankly unbelievable risk by acting on her own. If she is discovered,
she’s going to need Mace’s protection, which he can only effectively accomplish
if he knows about it beforehand. As one of the judges, he can direct the
investigation away from his family, which he does by repeatedly reminding his
fellow judges that Margaery could’ve easily been poisoned as well.
Olenna’s dialogue is largely concerned with the limits
of her power within the Tyrell household, and how the ultimate strategic authority rests with her son.
“Should you ever have a son, Sansa, beat him frequently so he learns to mind you. I only had the one boy and I hardly beat him at all, so now he pays more heed to Butterbumps than he does to me. A lion is not a lap cat, I told him, and he gives me a ‘tut-tut Mother.’ There is entirely too much tut-tutting in this realm, if you ask me. All these kings would do a deal better if they would put down their swords and listen to their mothers.”
It was Mace who controlled the information within
the Tyrell Conspiracy, as Olenna didn’t know about the Lannister twincest until
he told her:
“It’s treason, I warned them, Robert has two sons, and Renly has an older brother, how can he possibly have any claim to that ugly iron chair? Tut-tut, says my son, don’t you want your sweetling to be queen?”
It was Mace who pushed the family ambitions
forward, not Olenna:
“We should have stayed well out of all this bloody foolishness if you ask me, but once the cow’s been milked there’s no squirting the cream back up her udder. After Lord Puff Fish put that crown on Renly’s head, we were into the pudding up to our knees, so here we are to see things through.”
Nor is book!Margaery actually obsessed with the crown, per Littlefinger:
“We shall have another wedding soon, wait and see. Margaery will marry Tommen. She’ll keep her queenly crown and her maidenhead, neither of which she especially wants, but what does that matter?”
Couple of quick things: one could argue that Olenna is being falsely humble to Sansa in the same way that I’m arguing Mace is doing writ large. But Olenna really has no reason to lie to Sansa about any of this; Sansa’s expectations and perceptions are not politically influential (although Alayne is a different matter), and Olenna is mining Sansa for information in this scene, not trying to sow misinformation of her own. Also, note the limitations of Olenna’s hands-off mantra:
“If truth be told, even our claim to Highgarden is a bit dodgy, just as those dreadful Florents are always whining. ‘What does it matter?’ you ask, and of course it doesn’t, except to oafs like my son.”
Well, Mace has to care about that sort of thing, because it’s the source of his legitimacy in the Reach. If he can put a grandson on the Iron Throne, he’ll have secured his authority back home from the likes of the Florents…and indeed, as soon as the Blackwater was done, Mace used his new access to the Iron Throne’s power to bring Brightwater Keep under direct Tyrell jurisdiction.
Mace’s go-to move, one which (again) he has in
common with Roose Bolton, is to hoard his resources while allowing/encouraging
his ostensible allies to self-destruct, counting on being the one with
the most soldiers and food in the end. His primary war aim in Robert’s Rebellion wasn’t to defend the Targaryen regime (he neither joined Rhaegar at the Trident, nor defended King’s Landing from Tywin), it was to occupy the Stormlands. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for young Stannis’ iron
resolve and inspiring leadership (bullshit “Stannis isn’t
charismatic,” uncharismatic men don’t hold a starving garrison together for
that long; the king’s men and queen’s men alike have followed him to Storm’s End, the Blackwater, the
Wall, Winterfell, through fire and ice, the odds against them every time,
roaring his name. No Baratheon is uncharismatic, there are laws on this.)
Mace’s siege wasn’t just a landgrab
conducted under the pretense of loyalty to the crown, however; if Stannis had
yielded, Mace could’ve broken Robert’s cause in the same way Theon broke
Robb’s. What kind of king loses his castle, especially to Lord Puff Fish (or Theon,
for fuck’s sake)?
But Mace never gave Robert Baratheon cause to
kill him if (when, as it turns out) the rebel lord won, although the
still-Warden of the South certainly committed himself to a lifelong campaign to
keep Stannis off the Throne, which helps explain his willingness to join Team
Joffrey after Renly’s death. Mace kept his titles, his land, his soft power.
And when Renly came to him with the news that Cersei’s children were not
Robert’s, Mace plotted with Renly to replace Cersei with Margaery and put a
half-Tyrell on the Iron Throne, cementing Highgarden as the political
powerhouse of the realm. As mentioned above, Mace commits himself to this plan
before informing Olenna, telling her only to keep the family united in pursuit of
a common end (which, again, is why I cannot believe Olenna would take the
hugely risky step of murdering the king without getting her lord’s consent…or
more likely, she was following his orders in doing so. Like she said, she
wanted nothing to do with any of these assholes, but Mace tut-tutted,
and that was that.)
So what’s next on Mace’s agenda? Control the small council, get Margaery
through her trial, and protect Highgarden from the
Crow’s Eye. I’ve no doubt he’ll accomplish the first two, but the third is going to
become very perilous very quickly (especially if I’m right in thinking Euron
gets a dragon). Cersei’s already demonstrated how many fucks she gives about
defending the Reach (between zero and let me check oh also zero how weird); moreover, she may very well break the alliance for good by sending Robert Strong after Margaery. So Mace Tyrell is going to yet again be in the market for a new client-king…and lo and
behold, like an answered prayer, there’s one down at Storm’s End, and his first choice for Hand has, ah, a hand problem…
A series of three artworks I commissioned from electricalice a year and a half ago depicting the progression of Catelyn Tully of Riverrun -> Lady Stark -> Mother Merciless, also known as the Hangwoman, also known as Lady Stoneheart.
I haven’t really watched it, and still haven’t finished the books, but I think Dean is some sort of a mix between Tyrion and Robb Stark, but also a Tully. He’s like Rob, honor and all, but puts family first, and Tully’s motto is"Family, Duty, Honor" in that order. But he’s also a drinker who likes sex, like Tyrion is, and also smart, but not always showing it.
Interesting! Thanks for the input. I think so far we’re mostly going with Rob Stark.
(Which makes me wonder if Dean was the one using the Stark alias. I thought I had seen someone argue that he was the one using Martell.)
Would Doran accept a non targaryen (also obviously non-lannister/stark/arryn/baratheon/tully) king if he still gets revenge and the marriage/court status? Like if rather than Aegon the 6th it was Daemon _ blackfyre landing with the golden company. Though this in a scenario where Daenerys doesnt have dragons or word of the dragons hatching hasnt reached dorne, so that's not a factor/
I think the Targaryen restoration of the Aerys II branch is the most satisfying to Doran, because it undoes Robert’s Rebellion, which to Doran, sets it all right again. The victory of the Baratheons came with atrocity (Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon the Infant) and humiliation (the Trident), and overcoming that means denying the victory of the Rebellion, much the way Balon Greyjoy is motivated by undoing the humiliating defeat of the Greyjoy Rebellion or Tywin Lannister is motivated to undo slights against House Lannister. This plan of action provides Doran with the most satisfaction possible from all the options available to him.
I don’t think the Blackfyres, specifically, would be acceptable to him unless there was no other alternative, because so much of the Blackfyre cause was rooted in opposition to Daeron II and House Martell. But if there was a Targaryen branch that was traipsing around Essos somewhere, descendants of Daeron the Drunkard as an example, that would probably be acceptable to Doran if Viserys/Daenerys/Aegon were not available to him.
Imagine being Stanis’ eldest daughter, being smart and kind like Shireen, and marrying Robb Stark.
((Soooo there wasn’t any plot to this so I just made it up as I went…not my best, I know…sorry…but I tried and isn’t that all that really counts ;) ))
Word Count: 1,400
The alliance wasn’t the easiest thing to make. Not only did
the King in the North have to break his vow to Lord Walder Frey, but he also
had to go against the wishes of his Lords and relinquish his crown. But he
didn’t care. What was a little bit of honor compared to having his Mother,
Brothers, and Sisters safely back at Winterfell? What was a little bit of
honor, or even his life, compared to having justice…revenge…for the wrongs done
to his House? Once again House Stark was backing a Baratheon King, only this
time it was the middle son to Lord Steffon, and the wish of Robert Baratheon
was finally fulfilled when a Stark married a Baratheon.
“Did I harm you…last night?” Robb asked softly as he took your
hand into his own, the morning following the bedding. His other hand came to
brush through your dark Baratheon curls.
O A T H “Swear that you will never again take up arms against Stark nor Tully. Swear that you will compel your brother to honor his pledge to return my daughters safe and unharmed. Swear on your honor as a knight, on your honor as a Lannister, on your honor as a Sworn Brother of the Kingsguard. Swear it by your sister’s life, and your father’s, and your son’s, by the old gods and the new, and I’ll send you back to your sister. Refuse, and I will have your blood.”
All the Stark children identify with House Stark one way or another, but do you know if there's ever a place where they also identify with House Tully(Not Catelyn herself, but her family, "Family, Duty, Honor" etc) at all? Robb, Sansa and Bran are all associated with House Tully through their hair and eyes, but that's mostly by other people and I'm wondering if the Stark siblings ever think of themselves as trouts too or just strictly wolves.
Do I think any of the kids identify as a “trout”, no, not really.
The whole animal sigil symbolism varies. Some characters very strongly identify with their house’s symbol, some not at all. For instance, Cersei, Arya, and Dany are really big on drawing strength from their sigil. On the other hand, other characters don’t really. Sansa doesn’t even ever refer to herself as a wolf- which likely comes from the trauma of Lady’s murder. And of course Robb even has a moment where he says to Catelyn, “I’m not a wolf no matter what they call me.”
Oftentimes it’s more other characters denoting people as their sigils for affiliation purposes rather than the character themselves declaring “I’m this glorious symbol [input here] so be very afraid!@!!?!”
Sansa mentions “dining on trout” from the river more than once. There’s also Joffrey’s wedding chalice that has one on it for the Tullys. Bran eats trout. Bran, Jon, and Robb were brought by Jory to fish for trout once. At the Stoney Sept where Arya is, she sees the fountain she uses to give water to the dying Stark men is in the shape of a trout. That is it for trout references in Stark kids narratives. That’s all of them. They appear all the time in Catelyn’s by comparison though.
But for actual connections with House Tully, all the Stark kids were raised praying to both the old gods (for the Starks) and the new (for Catelyn and the Tullys.) While there are varying degrees of preferences among them, they were all raised that way. Out of all of them, I’d say Sansa is the best at balancing that devotion. She begins as preferring very obviously (to the point where she outright states it in her thoughts in ACoK) the Seven to the old gods. Over the course of the novels, she gains an appreciation for the old gods likely due to A) it being reminiscent of her home and past, B) the godswood being the only place she wasn’t watched in King’s Landing, and C) the godswood being associated with escape and freedom in KL due to Dontos/Littlefinger.
At this point, I think she has great appreciation for both- unlike her siblings. Bran is more old gods, obviously, at this point. Arya has had multiple crises of faith, renounced all religion before, and while she always goes back to the old gods, she is anti-Seven since the Red Wedding at least.
In the books, the physical appearances of the Tullys are very much present in all the Stark kids sans Arya. And Catelyn even calls it as relating to the kids’ association with houses as strong physical attributes are very much a part of houses and house pride in the series (just look at how the Baratheon black hair/blue eyes turned out to be a plot point.)
Her own children had more Tully about them than Stark. Arya was the only one to show much of Ned in her features. Catelyn, ACoK
So that’s important for their heritage. Also notable is that the Stark kids think of their Tully relatives as relatives to be sure. Arya was saddened all the way in Braavos over Lysa’s death, and the Brotherhood Without Banners talked about trying to ransom her to Brynden Tully. Robb and Brynden’s relationship was very important. Of course, I’d be negligent to leave out Lysa/Sansa, too, as that relationship is huge for Sansa’s storyline. Sansa definitely feels a level of loyalty towards Lysa based on their relation despite how well that ends up.
As for “Family, Duty, Honor”, explicitly stated by one of the Stark kids? Not often. But then again, look for “Winter is Coming” and you’ll find it rarely appears in any of their narratives. Or at least compared to what you’d expect. Ned’s, Bran’s, Arya’s, Catelyn’s, and Jon’s are the only Stark narratives that it shows up in. It shows up in Tyrion’s narrative as well as Theon’s once and is mentioned by Renly and often by people at the Wall. But really Bran by far has the most mentions of it. Keep in mind, I’m talking about when the words appear in the text, not when the character uses them for guidance.
But back to Family, Duty, Honor, they definitely live by it if nothing else. Catelyn’s influence is strong in this one if you ask me. And Ned is big on family, duty, and honor, too, so there’s that.
For actual mentionings, it appears in Sansa’s narrative in a big scene:
“There was a time when Cat was all I wanted in this world. I dared to dream of the life we might make and the children she would give me… but she was a daughter of Riverrun, and Hoster Tully. Family, Duty, Honor, Sansa. Family, Duty, Honor meant I could never have her hand. But she gave me something finer, a gift a woman can give but once. How could I turn my back upon her daughter? In a better world, you might have been mine, not Eddard Stark’s. My loyal loving daughter… Put Joffrey from your mind, sweetling. Dontos, Tyrion, all of them. They will never trouble you again. You are safe now, that’s all that matters. You are safe with me, and sailing home.” Petyr Baelish to Sansa, ASoS
That is the only time the words come up in a Stark kid’s narrative.
Sansa’s Tully connections drive her narrative in many respects (as it kicks off her Littlefinger/Vale plot.) Robb’s connections to the Tullys matter a lot for his campaign and he spends a fair amount of time in their domain. Arya, also, spends a good deal of time in the Riverlands.
Now having said all of this, I don’t think it’s really fair to use these guidelines to talk about the Tully connections for the Stark kids. The appearance for Robb, Sansa, Bran, and Rickon says a lot considering its a purposeful choice made by GRRM, yes, but besides that, it’s hard to see this as anything concrete.
Catelyn was a Tully, with great pride in her heritage, yes, but she also was a Stark. She had spent 14 years in the North as a Stark at the start of the series and while some things (like religion and her appearance) were always Tully, there’s a reason her narrative has so many “Winter is Coming” mentions and why she was the Stark in Winterfell for some time and why she considers her “honor as a Stark” to be important. And then look at Ned, he’s very much impacted by his upbringing by Jon Arryn and House Arryn.
So it’s hard to really talk about the Stark kids and their identification or lack thereof as Tullys because of the household they grew up in. And, in the end, they were born Starks, not Tullys, so that is their family name.
Do I think the kids really identify as Tullys that is comparable to being Starks? No. Nor do I think other characters really think of them that way either. I think Petyr Baelish is trying to push that on Sansa a bit though because of his preference that she be seen in his mind as more just like Catelyn rather than Ned/Cat’s daughter.
In the end, my answer is, simply put, no. But I’d caution anyone from downplaying their influence by Catelyn and her roots as well anyway.