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anonymous asked:

Love your analysis and thought that maybe you could help me. Westeros is a very heteropatriarcal society but I still find weird that GRRM insists on pointing women's beauty or lack of instead of just physical features, even from women's POV. Looks may be a defining trait for Cersei, Arianne, Brienne or Arya's characterisation, but most people are just plain, why is then almost evry signifiant female, even preteens as Sansa or Dany, described as sooo beautiful? Does it bother just me? Thanks!

I think describing female appearance is one of those things where something GRRM does well - bringing out the power and vulnerability alike associated with being an object of desire - clashes with something GRRM does markedly less well. 

The prevalence of judging people by their looks, especially women, rings true to me. If this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t find the sexism of the society he’s depicting so convincing. It’s a society that largely doesn’t know what else to praise women for but their looks - hence it’s much easier to tell tales of Dany’s beauty than her ingenuity in conquering Yunkai and Meereen, for instance. People can get their heads around her appearance much more easily than they can her skills as a military commander. The general obsession with female beauty is exactly what makes the relative lack important in Arya, Brienne, and Cersei’s storylines. 

I also feel there’s ample evidence that GRRM intends the age of the girls objectified as women to be disturbing. There’s a debate about how well or appropriately he did this, but nevertheless, GRRM recognises that this is creepy as all get-out.

Don’t discount social class in this analysis, either. Beauty is one of the foremost expectations of noblewomen, particularly unmarried women whose looks may make or break political betrothals, and they are supposed to put resources towards looking nice. Smallfolk women, on the other hand, can’t prioritise their skincare regime or their wardrobe over putting food on the table. As many people have noted, GRRM’s PoV characters are almost entirely nobles.

The way in which GRRM describes women, particularly PoC and fat women, bugs me. His descriptions in both cases often have an unpleasant, objectifying way of emphasising that these women are not “the norm” that cannot entirely be put down to the biases of the PoV character.

Thank you for the compliment and the question, anon!

serbronzefyre  asked:

Is it foolish to think that Varys, who has spies everywhere and was aware of Rhaegar's intentions to depose his father, knows of Jon Snow's true parentage? There's no textual evidence (that I can think of) to support it (for instance, his conversations with Ned about Robert's bastards), but it seems unlikely that one of the greatest spymaster's in history wouldn't know the greatest secret in Westeros' recent history.

First off I should note I don’t believe Varys was right about “Rhaegar’s intentions to depose his father” – I think he was deliberately stirring shit in House Targaryen as part of his Blackfyre restoration plans, and the supposed secret backer of the Harrenhal tourney being Rhaegar is a red herring placed in TWOIAF on purpose. (I think there’s a lot of things Yandel is very wrong about in TWOIAF, and while some like magic and the Others and such are obvious, there’s many political mistakes and oversights too. He’s a very unreliable narrator, deliberately so.)

Secondly, Varys is an excellent spymaster, but he doesn’t know everything. He only knows what his little birds can see or hear. (Like, Olenna had loud singing cover up her conversation with Sansa, Littlefinger had Sansa meet Dontos in the godswood specifically to avoid the little birds, and that’s why LF reported the Tyrell betrothal plan to Tywin while Varys hadn’t heard anything about it. Also Varys doesn’t seem to have had any awareness of Sandor and Sansa’s interactions.) Note that Varys was still fairly new to Westeros at the time of Robert’s Rebellion and almost certainly didn’t have a full spy network yet, certainly not in the Red Mountains where the Tower of Joy was, and probably not in Starfall either. Jaime relates that during the Rebellion “Prince Rhaegar could not be found”, which means people were looking but couldn’t find him, which means Varys didn’t know either. (Or if he did know, he wasn’t saying, again to stir shit.) The Tower of Joy was very out of the way.

But still, it’s possible that Varys does know about R+L=J, either from his spies back when or gathered knowledge since then. If so, he’s likely factored in the possible revelation of Jon’s parentage into his plans to bring Aegon to the throne. Whether Varys has false counter-information ready in case of a reveal, or if he’d simply be using a semi-truthful legal strategy (Aegon is older; even if Rhaegar married Lyanna it was bigamous and thus illegal; etc), or even if he doesn’t know and finds out when the secret is made public (if it’s made public), it probably doesn’t matter. Varys is very utilitarian: he’ll do what he must, whatever it may be.

(btw I don’t mind if someone asks the same question of all the meta people on tumblr, presumably in hopes of getting different answers, but personally I prefer if it’s proceeded with a statement that that’s what you’re doing. It makes me feel less like a meta monkey dancing for your entertainment, thanks.)

anonymous asked:

wait why do you think sansa is a ravenclaw? i see her more as a hufflepuff but def not a slytherin lmao

i can see that! the thing about sansa is she’s such a complex character and it’s very difficult to fit her into a box. she has aspects from all the houses, but i think ravenclaw encompasses all of them the best.

while in king’s landing (post-ned’s execution when she gets her huge reality check), sansa proves herself to be very adaptable. she knows the best way to ensure her own survival is to make herself invisible. so she is compliant with cersei and joffery’s cruelty of her, wearing the mask of a “stupid little bird” that fools all of them. a twelve-year-old girl outsmarted the entire royal court - that takes some ravenclaw caliber intelligence. all the while, she’s learning to play the game.

sansa is exceedingly clever. she learns to stroke joffrey’s ego to keep him from abusing or killing innocents (ser dontos, the beggar before the riot after myrcella’s farewell) - something not even cersei or tywin could do. and when sansa receives the note from ser dontos to meet her in the godswood, she doesn’t trust him blindly. she struggles with the decision for hours before finally deciding to go, and when she does she brings a knife for protection.

after sansa is taken to the vale by petyr baelish, her ravenclawness blossoms fully. sansa has to, for years pretend to be an entirely different person. to become alayne stone while still remaining sansa stark in her heart - and once again, she fools everyone. she learns an incredible amount under petyr’s tutelage, while still never allowing herself to trust him completely, because sansa is more than smart enough to know that while “lord petyr” may be kind to her, “littlefinger” is not her friend.

sansa displays a great deal of emotional intelligence as well and is extremely talented at reading other people. after all, she spent years living in king’s landing playing dumb, all the while watching all the best players and learning their tricks. but the difference between sansa and the other players of the game is that she uses all she’s learned only for the benefit of others and her own survival. she is not ambitious, she doesn’t want to “have it all” in the way that cersei or margaery tyrell (slytherins) do. sansa just wants to make it out alive, and she never compromises her integrity or value system to do so. you can see it in the way she is constantly comforting and challenging sandor clegane and in the way she cares for sweetrobin when she’s in the eyrie.

sansa has a lot of other ravenclaw traits as well. she is also exceptionally “book smart”, and excelled in all her studies as a child far better than any of her siblings. she can name every westerosi house, sigil and words from memory (which is very impressive) and has an extensive knowledge of history that she references often. she is also artistically gifted, playing several instruments, being able to sing well, write poetry, and is a very skilled seamstress.

you’re right, sansa does possess a lot of hufflepuff qualities. she is very kind, noble, hardworking, patient and just - as all our favorite starks are inclined to be, but i truly believe that she is a ravenclaw at her core because of the way we see her mind work and how she goes about making her decisions. this can be very difficult to see if you haven’t read the asoiaf books, because so, so much of sansa’s character lies beneath the surface at things you cannot see, but can only read in her thoughts.

people constantly mistake sansa’s original naivety and optimism with stupidity. but the thing about sansa is that she doesn’t stay that way. she learns, she grows. she acknowledges her mistakes and then doesn’t make them again. for a girl who has been constantly thrown from one terrible situation to the next with very little control over her own destiny, she has exceptional control over herself.

so, all that and much more (i’m going by memory here) is why i think sansa is a ravenclaw. but like i said before, sansa is a very complex character who is difficult to put into a single box - one of the many reasons i love her so much :’)

Women in Ice Cells: The Lioness

In the last installment of Women in Ice Cells, we talked about Elia Martell. Today, we’re going to be skipping to the other side of the mountains to Joanna Lannister: wife of Tywin Lannister, mother to Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion, Lady of Casterly Rock. Like many of the Dead Ladies Club, Joanna died in childbirth, while giving birth to Tyrion. There’s something to be said about the fact that so many of these women die in childbirth–an implicitly gendered death–but that is a discussion that deserves its own essay. For now, I’m going to be exploring Joanna as a person, and what we can glean about her character from the scant information GRRM gives us.

Keep reading

I really need a scene where someone calls Arya “princess” and she gets really annoyed because the wikis all have her and Sansa listed as Princess of the North/of Winterfell, and Sansa probs would be over-the-top excited by that realization but Arya’s reaction would be so interesting.

Potentially unpopular opinion: I dislike BDSM fics on Jonsa. Jon dominating Sansa is NOT sexy, imo. Sansa has been dominated by men for most of her life, if anyone should be dominating it SHOULD be her (but even that couldn’t make me like Jonsa BDSM). 

Any other opinions are welcome. I’m interested to hear other views. No hate to the wonderful authors who write such stories, however; each to their own preference. 

anon-foreverandever  asked:

Also, is dragonbone something relative to Valyrian steel? Right now Valyrian steel is made of spells and all those magical things, but GRRM does a remarkable effort to "naturalize" these weapons. Valyrian steel is, after all, not all that far from Damascene and clearly based on it. As Valyrian... dominance is based on the Roman, there is a tint of magic but it's not the base. So it's dragonbone the equivalent to cementite-iron that was mined in India? And the charcoal would be the dragonglass?

We don’t know how Valyrian steel is made. Maybe it’s got dragonbone and/or obsidian in it, maybe it’s just refined iron made into steel (and folded thousands of times) plus blood sacrifices and magic.

But dragonbone is bone (despite its high iron content), and dragonglass is glass. (It’s not carbon, it’s silicon.) So I doubt they’re ingredients in Valyrian steel. Well… not ingredients per se, but perhaps maybe some of their essence, their properties, are imbued in the steel through Valyrian “fire and blood” magic somehow? (Like, besides the ability to kill Others, maybe how obsidian can have a 3-nanometer-thick edge could be related to the legendary sharpness of Valyrian steel and the way it holds an edge.) We’ll just have to see. But remember:

The closest real life analog is Damascus steel, but Valyrian steel is a fantasy metal. Which means it has magical characteristics, and magic plays a role in its forging. –GRRM

THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  FACELESS  MEN  IS  AMAZING.      honestly,  a  slave,  who  was  probably  constantly  told  s/he  was  NO  ONE,  berated,  their  name  taken,  their  family  and  life  taken  at  the  hands  of  asshole  Dragonlords….    &  s/he  hears  the  prayers  of  all  the  slaves  around  them,  in  every  language,  to  every  God.  &  their  first  kill  was  a  gift,  the  gift  of  mercy,  given  to  a  praying,  pleading,  desperate  slave  who  wanted  one  freedom  or  another.    that’s  tragic  and  beautiful. 

AND  THEN  S/HE  BROUGHT  THE  GIFT  TO  THE  MASTERS      as  well.  that’s  badass.  8′D    and  if  y’ever  wanna’  turn  me  on  honestly  just  talk  @  me  about  the  Faceless  having  anything  to  do  with  the  DOOM  theories  &  linking  in  to  what  Jaqen / Euron  are  looking  for  in  the  Citadel  and  ughhh.     yes  please. 

FUCK  VALYRIA.  

anon-foreverandever  asked:

Me again with a bothersome question. What if Rhaenyra married Aegon II by his father's word (Helaena still too young) when they hear that Daemon went too far in the east and it's either lost or dead and it seemed like he was going to die, only to return when Aegon II already has children by her? Here I am mainly interested in RHAENYRA: she wants her Velaryon-or-i-cut-your-so-lying-tongue children, BUT Daemon will try to use his own, Aegon too (Viserys dies of stroke at hearing news)

Ummmmm…….. your scenario is all kinds of confusing, but first of all, why would Daemon being MIA change anything?

Long before any man had reason to doubt her innocence, the question of selecting a suitable consort for Rhaenyra had been of concern to King Viserys and his council. […] Queen Alicent had her own candidate: her eldest son, Prince Aegon, Rhaenyra’s half brother. But Aegon was a boy, the princess ten years his elder. Moreover, the two half siblings had never gotten on well. “All the more reason to bind them together in marriage,” the queen argued. Viserys did not agree. “The boy is Alicent’s own blood,” he told Lord Strong. “She wants him on the throne.”

[…] The princess knew much and more about Laenor Velaryon and had no wish to be his bride. “My half brothers would be more to his taste,” she told the king (the princess always took care to refer to Queen Alicent’s sons as half brothers, never as brothers). And though His Grace reasoned with her, pleaded with her, shouted at her, and called her an ungrateful daughter, no words of his could budge her … until the king brought up the question of succession. What a king had done, a king could undo, Viserys pointed out. She would wed as he commanded, or he would make her half brother Aegon his heir in place of her.

The Rogue Prince

Rhaenyra was married to Laenor Velaryon in 113 AC, when her brother Aegon was 6, wayyyy too young for marriage or children. Daemon being reported dead in the Stepstones would change absolutely none of Alicent’s or Viserys’s plans for Rhaenyra’s marriage, since he had nothing to do with it. Well, per some rumors, Daemon had taken Rhaenyra’s virginity two years earlier, and Rhaenyra might have been in love with him… but neither of those points are why Alicent wanted Aegon to marry her (because she wanted him on the throne) or why Viserys didn’t (because he didn’t). Either way Viserys would never insist Rhaenyra marry Aegon.

But, per your last statement, you’re thinking that Viserys would have dropped dead on hearing the news about Daemon’s “death” (he wouldn’t). If this is prior to Rhaenyra’s marriage, say early in 113, what happens is… a very mild version of the Dance, pretty much? Although with a Rhaenyra who’s just reached adulthood and hasn’t had her reputation spoiled by having obvious bastards, and with a very underage Aegon and Aemond… so god knows what kind of support either party can get at this time. (Especially with Lyonel Strong still Hand, and Otto Hightower not near KL.) The Greens and Blacks have only been established for about 2 years, and it’s only 8 years after all the lords of Westeros swore to support Rhaenyra’s claim… so probably she becomes queen? It’s either that or Aegon gets a regency for 10 years.

Maybe, maybe for the situation you want to present, Lyonel Strong (a legal expert) convinces Rhaenyra that the best way to avoid war is for her to marry Aegon and unite the parties, with her as ruling queen until Aegon comes of age. Which she would hate, but meh. (The alternative – a Great Council reaffirming Laenor Velaryon’s right to the throne as the son of the Queen Who Never Was, and Rhaenyra marrying him, would be so vociferously protested by Alicent and the Greens, it’s just not going to happen.) Mind you, with a 16-year-old queen and her 6-year-old king husband… there’s not going to be any succession or marriage consummation for a good long while. 7, 8 years minimum. But Rhaenyra’s far more discreet in her relationship with Harwin Strong here, because while a princess having non-Targ-looking kids and claiming they’re fathered by her gay husband is one thing, a queen claiming they’re fathered by her extremely pre-teen husband is something completely other. (See Margaery and Tommen and Cersei and the whole moon tea thing.) She’s not going to get away with visibly bastard kids here, not even with a “shut your face or lose your tongue” rule, she’d end up facing Aerys-type rebellions, be deposed or executed. So Rhaenyra’s smarter than that, if she messes about with Harwin she uses moon tea, until Aegon’s old enough to consummate and conceive children… and she doesn’t pull a Cersei after that point, either.

Anyway, how long is Daemon supposed to be MIA in your scenario? Say he was imprisoned by Stepstones pirates but manages to escape 10 years along, in 123 AC… Aegon II’s a legal adult now, and he and Rhaenyra have finally had some kids, Viserys and the twins Jaehaerys and Jaehaera. But they’re babies, the eldest 2 years old at most. And Daemon doesn’t have any kids, Laena Velaryon’s gotten married either to that Braavosi douchebag or someone else in the meanwhile. So Daemon can’t “use” any kids against Rhaenyra and Aegon’s kids, and Rhaenyra doesn’t have any Velaryon(/Strong) kids, so I don’t know what you’re talking about? If Daemon tries to make a move against the throne to press his own claim at this point – though after being missing for 10 years, he’s not going to have any supporters at all – he’s certainly not going to do it through children.

Seriously, think about it for a minute. You can’t have Daemon disappear for a decade, Rhaenyra marry Aegon, and then say “but she was all for her Velaryon kids” because these kids and their dubious parentage don’t exist. You can’t say Daemon was for his kids with Rhaenyra because those kids don’t exist either. And if Viserys died when he heard Daemon died, then either Aegon or Rhaenyra (or both, since they’re married) has been ruling the entire time Daemon’s been gone, so as Viserys’s mere younger brother, he’s not going to have any chance at supplanting Viserys’s actual child and heir who’s had all the lords of Westeros sworn to them for 10 years! If you have an AU then the history has branched off in that direction and done all kinds of different things, you can’t bring in stuff from the original timeline again.

Still, I’ll attempt to keep trying to figure out what you’re getting at. Like, are you asking what Daemon would try to do to gain the throne if he got back from being missing and found Aegon and Rhaenyra king and queen, married with kids? (And Laena’s married off and Helaena too.) Well, I said, he’s shit outta luck. Maaaaaybe maybe maybe he might try to seduce Rhaenyra using her old fond memories, maaaaybe he might try to assassinate Aegon and then marry her? (Though he’d be better served getting rid of the Hightowers first.) But even so, Rhaenyra’s kids with Aegon are extremely visibly legitimate, and she’s not going to let her eventual kids with Daemon supplant them. And if Aegon’s been knocked off, then his and Rhaenyra’s eldest son is arguably king already, or Rhaenyra’s definitely queen. (Depending on which party’s arguing.) Daemon can just be regent for Viserys II, king in all but name, if power’s all he’s after.

But honestly, if Daemon’s been MIA for years, imprisoned by pirates, he’d be worse off than Theon-Reek, he’s not going to even want the throne, he’s just going to want to be home ffs. The scheming rogue, the Maegor-like devil of Otto Hightower’s nightmares, just wouldn’t exist anymore. So, sorry for those fantasies of a Dance of the Dragons redux, your scenario has managed to make it vanish. Hope that helps!