imagine a modern Artemis, her clothes smudged with dirt and blood. Hair the color of deep earth, intertwined with bones and leaves. She isn’t pretty. She doesn’t have to be. She’s beautiful, terrifying, and doesn’t care what you think.
Imagine a modern Artemis who gave up her bow a century ago. She carries guns now. Two strapped to her side, another across her back. Her forests are various battlefields. She fights side by side with the female soldiers. War is her sister’s domain, but Athena doesn’t mind.
Imagine a modern Artemis running an animal shelter. She protects all sort of beasts. Her workers are all women that she found: abused, homeless, alone. She protects them now - she teaches them how to protect themselves. They call themselves the huntresses.
Imagine a modern Artemis walking in hand in hand with her brother. They walk through LGBT youth centers. They walk the streets in search of runaway youths. Artemis stops to talk to trans youths, young lesbians, and bisexual girls. “You are valid,” She says, “you are worthy.”
Imagine a modern Artemis, walking by the full moon’s light. She sees a man attempt to force himself on a young girl. She readies her gun and fires. It hits him in the stomach; he’ll die slowly. She smiles to herself as the girl escapes.
In the old days, Artemis used to hunt legendary beasts. Now She kills a different kind of monster.
Made some quick pair icons for Kai’s twitter (KaiSukiKai) and mine (nekodoruBox) that were originally just supposed to be a joke but here we are. Kai’s art blog is @kaisukidoodles but she’s more active on her twitter. ♡
Art blog: questionartbox
Context: It used to be said that our warrior had a crush on our priestess but he kept denying it and attacking everyone who tried to imply that. As he was, well, a warrior, everyone quickly stopped saying that. One time the priestess was lost in the forest and he went on looking for her, assuring everyone that he’s there only to hunt a beast that there was a quest for.
Mage: How’re the preparations?
Warrior: Fine, I should be ready to get down the beast real soon.
DM: Whoa, I almost believed you’re not there because of the priestess.
Warrior (OOC): You’re lucky you’re not a player because you’d already have a battle axe in your face.
I started to realize that the reason why many people in the fandom still don’t believe or understand that Jaime-Brienne is a romantic love story is that they are not fully aware of the fact that it’s an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast tale.
George RR Martin said years ago that it’s an adaptation of the classic tale. However, I think only Jaime and Brienne shippers are fully aware of this fact; others either don’t know this fact or even if they have heard or read about it, they think it’s just an analogy based on Brienne being described as conventionally ugly and Jaime being conventionally handsome, and that’s it.
That’s why some people insist on claiming things such as Brienne and Jaime are just friends, or Brienne is gay (or asexual), or Jaime’s true love is Cersei, or Brienne-Tormund is a love story etc.
However, all of these claims/arguments are completely false and this is actually not even open to argument because Brienne and Jaime ARE Beauty and the Beast. It’s not just an analogy, it’s an adaptation. George RR Martin has written Brienne and Jaime because he intended to put the Beauty and the Beast tale in his story (he has been writing for Beauty and the Beast series in the late 80s just before he started writing A Song of Ice and Fire, you can check his imdb page).
So, GRRM has developed the character named Brienne as the counterpart of “Beauty” or Belle. His trick here is that he wanted to make it a bit unconventional and original, so he made “Beauty” the conventionally ugly-freakish looking one (it’s not really about masculine looks; she was just intended to be conventionally ugly in that society, she even has a hole on her face now in the books, her cheek was chewed off). Brienne is Belle, although she is not a conventional, feminine, beautiful girl. It is even hinted in her nickname: Brienne the Beauty. Some people consider her “the Beast”, only because of her looks, but she isn’t.
GRRM developed Jaime as “the Beast”; although he looks like a beauty, he is a beast inside in the beginning of the story, just as Prince Adam in the famous tale. But he is “the Beast” mainly because everybody thinks that he is a monster…they hate him and they never give him the benefit of the doubt because when they look at him they see a monster (it’s funny because people in GOT fandom who dislike Jaime and keep saying that “he is bad, he did terrible things, he doesn’t deserve it etc.” do exactly the same thing…they think he is a beast, they don’t want him to have a romance with “Beauty”, they want her to be with somebody else and they want the Beast to die). The writer is simply retelling Belle and Adam’s story here; the details are different, more realistic and have been adapted to A Song of Ice and Fire. But the outline of the story is exactly the same. Let’s analyse and compare:
1. Jaime is a man who is considered a monster, everybody hates and is afraid of him. He lives in a palace although he is seemingly not a prince. He seems like a jerk; he seems mean, rude, selfish, cruel, arrogant just like the Beast in the tale (he just doesn’t look like the Beast, he is still beautiful outside). Brienne is a romantic and innocent girl (in the show she was aged up and was made more of a badass, but in the books she is exactly like Belle except her looks) whose only wish is to fight and die for her prince, and she thinks that her prince is Renly (Belle in the tale sees a handsome prince in her dreams and she is kind of in love with that dream prince).
2. In the tale, Belle has a big family, she has brothers and sisters (in one version of the original tale, it is revealed that Belle was not really a merchant’s daughter but the offspring of a king…George RR Martin said last year that Brienne is actually the descendant of sir Duncan the Tall and has Targaryen blood). In our story Starks are kind of like her family in the tale, they see the Beast as an enemy. In the tale Belle’s father is captured by the Beast and he is released later when Belle promises to take his father’s place and stays with the Beast in his castle for some time as his captive/friend. In our story it’s more complicated but it still involves the Stark father being captured by the Beast, as well as Stark daughters, and later they agree on a captive exchange, and Beauty and the Beast find themselves in a captor/captive position for some time.
The only difference is that the captor is Brienne at first, because George RR Martin starts telling their story as if Brienne is the Beast and Jaime is Beauty since that’s how it looks like. He reveals that it’s the opposite only when they are captured by Boltons. But he keeps exploring the physical ugliness aspect of the tale via Brienne; although in terms of roles in the story she is the Beauty, she is considered freakishly ugly. So in the beginning it seems like Jaime can never love her romantically…but the same thing is true for Brienne too, she hates Jaime in the beginning because she sees him as a beast like everybody else, too. In the tale it also seems as if neither the Beast nor Beauty can ever love the other romantically, at first (because the Beast seems too ugly on the outside to be loved, but also too ugly on the inside to truly love).
3. In the tale, the Beast saves Belle in the forest and he gets injured in the process; after that she nurses his wounds, they get close and begin to bond. Exactly the same thing happens in GRRM’s story; Jaime saves Brienne from those who want to rape her first and loses his hand (we can say that beauty/beast aspects in our story are not really related to appearence; because after this point Jaime hardly counts as a conventional beauty in terms of appearance, he is a cripple now and he is getting old as well…a man who doesn’t have a hand can only count as unconventionally attractive; so neither Brienne nor Jaime are conventionally beautiful in terms of looks now, although Brienne still looks more like a beast because Biter chewed off her cheek in the books…or maybe we can say that the beast/ugliness in Jaime’s soul is transferred to his appearance as he starts becoming a better man), then he saves her in the bear pit. They start to develop romantic feelings but can’t admit it yet.
4. There is a “rose” motif in Beauty and the Beast. In the original tale, Belle loves roses and asks his father to bring a rose to her; his father sees beautiful roses in the garden of the Beast’s palace, picks one and that’s how he is caught by the Beast. The beast accuses him of taking his most precious possession, but agrees to let him go and give the rose to Beauty only if he will send her in return. In many adaptations it is revealed that the roses have something to do with the spell; it is said that if the beast can’t learn to truly love someone and earn her love in return until the last rose dies or the last petal falls, he will die (or remain as a beast forever).
In ASOIAF, a man who was once betrothed to Brienne went to see her and brought a rose to give her, but when he handed her the rose, he told her that the flower was all she would ever have from him, as he had no real interest in marrying her. Brienne has a dream about this painful memory, but at the end of the dream the man changes as he turns away, and becomes Jaime. The rose represents the Beast’s heart, he lives (or his soul is saved) if he finds true love. Brienne wants Jaime to be the man who would give her his heart, and Jaime gives her his heart not in the form of a rose but a sword…“it’s yours, it will always be yours”. Belle wanted a rose but Brienne wanted a sword, and the sword was Jaime’s most precious possession. But the biggest hint is this: In Jaime’s Weirwood dream in the books, Cersei tells Jaime that “when the flames of his sword die, he will die too”. This is exactly what the witch/ evil fairy told to Prince Adam/the Beast in the tale, the only difference is that roses became swords in our story.
5. Belle has to go back to her family, Brienne has to go and save Stark daughters. The Beast lets Belle go and gives her a magic ring and a magic mirror, Jaime lets Brienne go and gives her a magic sword, an armor and a squire (in the tale the ring and mirror help her to go back and save the Beast later, obviously a sword and armor are more realistic choices for it). Belle leaves the Beast in his castle, Brienne leaves Jaime in his castle two times: first goodbye in King’s Landing, second goodbye in Riverrun.
6. When Belle goes back to her family, they all try to convince her that the Beast is an evil monster, he would kill all of them, she shouldn’t go back, they have to kill the Beast etc. In movie adaptations there is also a popular guy in her town who is interested in marrying Belle, but Belle keeps rejecting him because she loves the prince in her dreams. In our story Brienne tries to convince people in the north that Jaime is not a monster, Lady Stoneheart wants to kill him but Brienne defends and tries to protect him, and at the same time Hyle Hunt becomes interested in her in the books (Tormund in the show). He seems like a good suitor as in the tale, but Brienne rejects him.
7. Belle sees in the magic mirror that the Beast is about the die. When she sees him dying, she understands that she loves him and goes back to save him using the magic ring. In movie adaptations, usually Belle’s family and other people in her town attack the Beast and he is mortally wounded. Belle comes and admits her feelings when he is about to die. This is the part that didn’t happen in the books and the show yet, but the spoilers confirm that Jaime will be surrounded by his enemies in the south next season and Brienne will go to south in the finale (and in the books Lady Stoneheart is trying to kill Jaime, and Brienne is trying to save him).
8. At the end of the tale when Belle admits that she loves him, the Beast is revived and turns into a handsome prince…it turns out that he was the prince whom Belle saw and loved in her dreams. It is revealed that the Beast was actually the prince of that palace, but he was turned into a beast by a witch and the spell could only be broken if a beautiful girl truly loves him despite his ugliness. In our story, Jaime had also been turned into a beast by a witch…Cersei (in some versions of the original tale, the witch that transformed the prince into a beast was an evil fairy who tried to seduce him because she wanted to be the queen). In the books, Jaime starts replacing Renly in Brienne’s dreams, as her prince; it turns out that her prince was not Renly after all, but Jaime. Brienne loves Jaime despite the ugliness in his soul because she sees beauty in him, she believes that he can change and saves his soul in the end (turns him into a prince again).
So, saying that Brienne and Jaime are just friends and they only respect each other means that you think Belle/the Beauty and Prince Adam/the Beast saw each other only as friends in the tale, even in the end (they do see each other as friends for some time in the tale, but eventually they realize that they are in love which is exactly what happens in ASOIAF/GOT). You think “Beauty and the Beast” is a tale of two friends…Well, then the ending is awfully wrong because it precisely says that the spell was broken only because it was true love…and they get married in the end.
Some people say that Brienne is gay etc. It’s simply wrong because this is an adaptation of a classic love story, and the Beast that Brienne/Beauty loves is a man here. Of course you can say that it’s possible to adapt the tale to a gay couple, which could be interesting and I would like to see that version too…You could prefer Brienne to be a lesbian here and Sansa to be her Beast or Beauty etc, but it’s just not the case in GRRM’s story. GRRM only changed the beautiful/ugly aspect in his adaptation, he didn’t make them a gay couple. Jaime is her Beast, she loves him.
And some people keep saying that Jaime doesn’t deserve Brienne. Again, this is what the tale is about, people. It’s about Beauty loving a Beast. Some other people think that Brienne doesn’t deserve Jaime because she looks ugly. Sure, you can say that you dislike the classic tale too, you can say that the Beast never deserved Belle, because he wasn’t as good or as beautiful as her etc. Well, then this story is simply not for you. This story simply tells that “we don’t get to choose who we love”, there is no such thing as deserving or not deserving someone, love is not a mathematical equation, good and evil are argumentative concepts, people can change, beauty is in the eye of the beholder etc. This is a story about a person seeing beauty in someone when noone else can and love making a difference and saving us. It’s absurd to say that “she/he doesn’t deserve him/her” here; I think it simply shows that you didn’t understand the story at all, you don’t know what you are watching.
Finally, can you see what “shipping Jaime and Cersei” means? It means that you want Prince Adam/the Beast in the classic tale to be with the witch who turned him into a beast. And shipping Brienne and Tormund means that you want Belle/Beauty to be with that secondary character who wants to marry her in the tale, you want her to stop loving the prince and settle for someone she doesn’t love.
Obviously, you are free to ship whatever you want, you can ship Snow White with one of the dwarves if you want, and ship her stepmother with the Prince. But you should be aware that in the tale Snow White and the Prince love each other and they are the endgame, you should know which story you are in. We know that in Beauty and the Beast, the true love of Prince Adam/the Beast is Belle/Beauty and they end up together after the spell is broken. So, for example if you think and claim that Jaime’s true love is Cersei and he will never leave her, you are simply wrong…It’s not a debate, it’s not open to interpretation, it’s a fact because we know this tale. It means that you really didn’t understand this story, you weren’t aware of the fact that this was an adaptation of that tale. This is not “the Witch and the Beast”. Or “Beauty and the Lustful Ginger Man”. Or “Beauty the Lesbian Warrior”.
Brienne and Jaime are Beauty and the Beast…they won’t stay just as friends, Beauty won’t fall in love with a woman or a secondary character who hits on her, Beast won’t stay with the witch, they won’t choose not to love each other just because other people don’t approve them.
Try to understand what you are reading or watching.
Today I speak your name, girl. But - will the Goddess speak it back? Normally it would be the mother who declares… if you had one. The whole village would attend, and Matriarchs perform the ritual. But… we are outcasts. Even so, we keep the tribe’s rituals. Otherwise we might become like the faithless Old Ones, who turned their backs on the Goddess. But their wickedness doomed them. To us were left the splendors of creation. Beasts of air, water, earth… and steel. It is one thing to hunt a beast, another to hunt a machine. You must be humble and respect their power. I will teach you this, one day…
This took me way too long so I hope you all enjoy it! As with my other correspondences you can find it all here in my digital grim! If you see any breeds I missed and you must have, please feel free to reach out and I’ll add them in!!
Known as the homo sapien’s best friend, dogs are highly intertwined within human culture. From its religious significance across many cultures to its contributions to many industries. Highly versatile animals that range dramatically from the smallest of terriers to beasts bred for bear hunting they are utilized worldwide for countless reasons. Many specific groups of dogs are tied to the elements such as terriers with the earth, sighthounds with the air and hunting dogs with water.
I’ve been pondering what Feyre saw in the Ouroboros Mirror. What parts of herself did the Mirror drag up from the darkest depths of her soul and make her face? What was Feyre forced to come to terms with in order to save Prythian, her friends, her family, and court? What did she learn to love? And what does the beast have to do with anything?
I think Feyre had more to come to terms with than anyone else in Prythian. Yet she overcame it. She decided not to let her own soul destroy her.
I believe she had to watch her younger self wring the neck of a tiny rabbit as it screamed in pain—her first kill. Feyre watched from the snow-shrouded trees as an ash arrow imbedded itself in the side of large wolf, an unprovoked shot of pure hatred. The Ouroboros would have shown in graphic detail everything that occurred UtM—the dancing and drinking that made her feel filthy, the unsolved riddled that made her relive her shortcomings, and the unbearable murder of two innocent fae. The families of those two innocent souls as they raged and mourned and crumpled in weary misery. They had come so close to freedom, but the price to pay had been their loved one. Feyre had taken it from them.
The Mirror would have swirled with images and flashes of Tamlin, Lucien, Elain, Nesta…all those Feyre felt she had betrayed or let down in some way, whether it was deserved or not. Her conversations with Ianthe as she ignorantly shared every detail about her human family and their estate, then the moment her sisters stumbled through the door in Hybern, and were shoved into the Cauldron, Made into the very thing they hate. And somehow, after all this and so so much more, Feyre came to acceptance. But I think, more than all the ways she hurt those around her, or they hurt her in turn, all the blood and vomit and nightmares…more than any of that, Feyre had to learn to love the beast that stared back.
I was not alone.
Crawling down the snow-kissed wall, a massive beast of claws and scales and fur and shredding teeth inched toward the floor. Toward me.
Its enormous paws were near-silent on the floor, the fur on them a blend of black and gold. Not a beast designed to hunt in these mountains. Certainly not with the ridge of dark scales down its back. And the large, shining eyes—.
I didn’t have time to remark on those blue-grey eyes as the beast pounced.
Where I had been standing … the beast now sat, scaled tail idly swishing through the snow.
Gazing back at me. My reflection.
Of what lurked beneath my skin.
My knife clattered to the stones and snow. And I looked into the mirror. (pg. 605-6)
“What did you see?”
“Myself. I saw myself.” (pg. 617-18)
Maas gives us a short, but very revealing description of the beast—Feyre’s beast.
The significance of gold and black fur? Throughout ACOTAR and MAF, Feyre religiously rejected any power that related to Tamlin, namely the ability to shift into animal form. She feared the claws that poked against her skin. She hated them. Until she realized they weren’t Tamlin’s claws, they were her own. They were talons. And if she could make talons, she could make wings. Feyre’s beast form having a mixture of black and golden fur signifies that Tamlin is a part of her, and always will be. She once loved him, so much so that she killed for him, died for him. A love like that leaves a permanent imprint on a soul, even if the love itself doesn’t last forever. Feyre had to learn to love the part of her soul that had been touched and permanently changed by Tamlin.
The scales could signify several things. Of course Summer comes to mind. Feyre obviously has an affinity for the Summer magic that flows through her veins. It came easily to her—more easily than any other High Lord’s power. The scales might represent the bond formed between Tarquin and Feyre while she visited Summer. Regardless of the blood rubies, now rescinded, the High Lord of Summer and High Lady of Night shared a unique understanding of one another, and a common passion to spread equality between the High Fae and lesser faeries (and even humans) to all courts and territories.
The scales might also be equivalent to the thorns Feyre feels she has and once used to describe herself to Tamlin—the spiny ridge running down the beasts’ back and tail representing her prickly side. This is an annoying feature most of us have, and a part we all hate, but must accept responsibility for.
But perhaps the mostly likely possibility is that the scales and ridges represent Feyre’s armor (Illyrian armor is scaled). We know it to be thick. In ACOMAF, Rhysand worked for months to attempt to delve through the layers and layers of Feyre’s armor in the form of depression, anger, bitterness, and solitude. It is likely that Feyre had to learn to love that armor, even if she wished it had been stronger, or less harmful to those around her, the way it hurt Rhys after the Court of Nightmares scene in ACOMAF, and Mor at the camp in ACOWAR. While gazing at herself in the Mirror, Feyre had to learn to bear her armor proudly and honorably, to use it to strategically protect herself, and not harm or keep out those who love her, fight for her.
The massive, flesh-shredding teeth—Feyre’s ability and willingness to kill and murder. Whether for food to avoid starvation, killing for no other reason than pure, undiluted hatred, or the murder of innocents to save the one she loved, Feyre has a lot of blood on her hands. And as we learned through her nightmares and admittance to Cassian…Feyre feels that blood should be her own. She has fangs, and she’s used them—over and over again. Feyre suffered soul-deep from the pain she felt she brought upon others. But when the Mirror showed her those glistening teeth and impressive maw, Feyre had to accept that pain and torment—and then turn it against her enemies. Not fangs to harm the innocent, but rather to protect them, to fight for them. To fight against Hybern and the injustices of the world. To protect her sisters and those like them. To care for the weak and weary and afraid.
I have been struck each time I’ve read these scenes—on a personal level. To think about facing my own beast…what would it look like? How would I react as it sat and laid my very soul bare? Could I even look into my own eyes as they gazed back in judgement? Could I learn to love every part of myself as Feyre did? Would I be able to face my inner most demons? Honestly, I don’t know. But I think we could all benefit from pondering this passage a bit more.