“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

“Unbidden, his thoughts went to Brienne of Tarth. Stupid stubborn ugly wench. He wondered where she was. Father, give her strength. Almost a prayer…”

― Jaime I, A Feast for Crows

“’She says that you must choose. Take the sword and slay the Kingslayer, or be hanged for a betrayer. The sword or the noose, she says. Choose, she says. Choose.’

Brienne remembered her dream, waiting in her father’s hall for the boy she was to marry. In the dream she had bitten off her tongue. My mouth was full of blood. She took a ragged breath and said, ‘I will not make that choice.’”

― Brienne VIII, A Feast for Crows

ashaqueens  asked:

Hi! I'm reading about Jeyne Arryn (and ladies regents overall) and since it doesn't say, I wondered if you have any thoughts on who she might have married? Is there any difference in women marrying lords and men marrying ladies, i.e. a daughter of a vassal house is often gladly given to the ruling lord bc of status and the honor, but since any children of a ruling lady would be her surname instead of the husband's, do you think ppl might rather marry another and keep their own name?

I don’t think Jeyne Arryn married anyone. You don’t get a title like Maiden of the Vale (cf Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen) if you’re married with kids. After she died, the rulership of the Vale probably passed to a sibling or cousin. The general history of House Arryn makes me suspect this has happened several times. (Besides the situation with Sweetrobin and Harry Hardyng, there’s also the time when Lord Ronnel and his family were murdered by his younger brother Jonos who was then executed by Maegor, and the rulership passed to their cousin Hubert.)

Regarding a man marrying a ruling lady and not having the default right to give his name to his children (as long as I’m cf’ing British royals, see Prince Philip’s complaint)… well, it’s a tradeoff. He may not have that visible legacy, but he typically is his lady wife’s chief adviser (and often administrator of her lands and leader of her soldiers), and that kind of influence and power is not a benefit to be overlooked. For example, Drazenko Rogare was married to the Dornish ruling Princess Aliandra Martell, and the Rogare banking family had great influence in Westeros at the time. (Also because his niece, Larra, was married to Prince Viserys Targaryen, the future King Viserys II.) Plus, a father’s influence on his children is usually very strong, so the opportunity to raise the future heir is another benefit – men who marry their daughters to a ruling lord can only hope he will give favor to his father-in-law, but it’s pretty much a given that a ruling lord (or lady) will honor and favor his father, even if they don’t share the same surname. Furthermore, if by some accident the lady should die while her children are underage, it’s an almost certainty that her husband-consort would be appointed regent for the new young lord (or lady).

Marrying an heiress or ruling lady is also an opportunity for rogues, the kind of man who’d look at the above benefits as the real reason for and true profit of the marriage. (Which is why such a woman needs to be very careful who she selects as her husband, if she can.) Prince Daemon Targaryen, even though he deeply disliked his wife Lady Rhea Royce (who he called “my bronze bitch”) and spent as little time in the Vale as possible, still tried to claim her lands and incomes after her death. (He failed, Runestone passed to Rhea’s nephew, and Lady Jeyne Arryn told Daemon to get the hell out of the Vale.) Bronn married Lollys Stokeworth, who was not even her mother’s heir, with the intent of displacing her childless elder sister; and after his and Cersei’s (inept) machinations, both Lady Tanda and Falyse were dead, and while Lollys is now technically Lady Stokeworth, as she is mentally disabled Bronn is calling himself Lord Stokeworth. (His hired army in Stokeworth castle also helps there.) Also since Bronn was lowborn, the opportunity for his future children to be named Stokeworth is actually something he’d prefer to his own lack of a surname. And then there’s Hyle Hunt, who boldfacedly tells Brienne that Tarth is what he wants, in exchange for giving her the sex and children he thinks she wants. Not to mention Tywin’s plans for Tyrion and Sansa, or Tyrek and little Lady Ermesande Hayford, although that’s less of a “rogue” and more of a “malicious bastard manipulating tyrant” kind of thing. (Tywin would probably insist that the children be named Lannister, anyway.)

At any rate, the (hopefully) better sort of man who marries a ruling lady is probably not any kind of heir. He’s a second son, or a third, with little or no chance at his parent’s seat. What does it matter if your children have your name, when they’ll never have an opportunity to inherit your family’s lands or live in your family’s castle? Oftentimes he’s marrying up, too, to greater status and honor than his own – like when a ruling Princess of Dorne marries one of her bannermen; or like when the landed knight Ser Eustace Osgrey married Lady Rohanne Webber, whose lands included much of what House Osgrey had lost over the years (including her castle). (Though we don’t know if Eustace and Rohanne had any kids before she was widowed (again) and married Gerold Lannister, or if they did, what they were named. There are no known Osgreys in current-times Westeros, mind you, and only one Webber, who’s with a mercenary group of exiles.) Also, a ruling lady may sometimes marry a cousin, who shares her name but is not in the direct line of succession, as a way of binding together branches of the family and preventing challenges to her inheritance. Though in that case her husband may rule straight up, without her (the situation of Serena and Sansa Stark, most likely), or with her until his death (the probable situation of Lady Shella Whent, whose father and grandfather were Lords of Harrenhal, and yet her husband Walter Whent was the named lord during the great tourney there).

Nevertheless. It is interesting that of almost all the ruling ladies we know, when they have husbands they’re barely mentioned if at all. Oberyn Martell speaks of his trip to Casterly Rock with his mother the Princess of Dorne and “her consort”, not his father. Arys Oakheart thinks of his mother Lady Arwyn in re “the women are the strong ones”, but never once thinks of his father. We know nothing about the (deceased) husbands of the elderly ruling ladies Tanda Stokeworth, Mary Mertyns, and Anya Waynwood. The Dornish ruling ladies Delonne Allyrion, Larra Blackmont, and Nymella Toland have children, but no named or appearing consorts. And of course Maege Mormont “beds with a bear”, as does her heir Alysane. It’s an intriguing reversal of the usual situation of unnamed wives in the rest of Westeros… although I think it would be more interesting to meet one of these consorts and see what he thinks about his life, and his wife.

Well, maybe we’ll get a chance to find out in the next two books or so. (Though at this rate, I doubt it, alas.) Anyway, hope that helps!


lady olenna’s reaction to seeing/meeting brienne is still one of my favourite scenes ever❤️ brienne is so used to people making fun of her height and appearance, and just generally being cruel to her because of her physical traits. so when lady olenna is kind to brienne about her looks, she can’t help but be shocked but also show a hint of a smile. women being positive towards & complimenting other women is the shit i live for