hornwoods

When Kit said Jon might just have a dirty/kinky/inappropriate reaction to finding out Dany is aunt, this is the first thing that came to my mind… A great example from ACOK regarding how the Northerners view incest (though it’s a term they only use for parent-child or sibling dynamics in this world)  

While tearing apart a bird with fat fingers, Lord Wyman made polite inquiry after Lady Hornwood, who was a cousin of his. “She was born a Manderly, you know. Perhaps, when her grief has run its course, she would like to be a Manderly again, eh?” He took a bite from a wing, and smiled broadly. “As it happens, I am a widower these past eight years. Past time I took another wife, don’t you agree, my lords? A man does get lonely.” Tossing the bones aside, he reached for a leg. “Or if the lady fancies a younger lad, well, my son Wendel is unwed as well. He is off south guarding Lady Catelyn, but no doubt he will wish to take a bride on his return. A valiant boy, and jolly. Just the man to teach her to laugh again, eh?” 

The Northerners are really weird folk & not half as perfect as their fandom presumes them to be! 

It drives me up the wall to see people call Lyanna selfish, stupid, or hypocritical. It does not matter you think, whether you believe she went willingly with the intention of being romantic with Rhaegar or you believe she went in order to find personal freedom, I don’t care. Hearing her being called any of those things gets on my nerves.

What people fail to grasp is the fact that men own women in ASOIAF. That’s not an exaggeration. They can force them to marry, lock them in towers, force them into convents, they can rape and beat their wives, and all with impunity. Very rarely do women have personal freedom. They are almost always ruled by men.

There are COUNTLESS examples of this. To name a few:

  1. 13 year old Daenerys was forced into marriage with an older Drogo, sold by her brother, Viserys
  2. 13 year old Sansa was forced into a marriage with an older Tyrion, both forced into it by Tywin Lannister
  3. Baelor the Blessed locked his sisters in a tower so he wouldn’t lust after them
  4. Rhaella, aged 12, was forced to marry her brother Aerys by her father
  5. Jeyne Poole, aged 13/14, forced to marry Ramsay Snow by a mixed effort between the Boltons, Lannisters, and Petyr Baelish
  6. Alys Karstark, aged 16, was almost forced into a marriage with her cousin before she ran away
  7. Quentyn Ball forced his wife to join the Silent Sisters so that he would be eligible for the Kingsguard
  8. Before his death, Tywin Lannister was looking for another man to marry his 30+ year old daughter Cersei, who did not want to remarry
  9. Donella Hornwood was forced to marry Ramsay Snow, dies of starvation in a locked room
  10. Naerys Targaryen asked to be released from her wedding vows after giving her brother-husband an heir, was refused despite the fact that they knew another pregnancy could kill her (and Aegon did not love her anyways)

The system works against women by handing their autonomy over to the men around them. Lyanna did not want to marry Robert, knew that she would be unhappy with him, but also knew that she would be forced to marry him regardless of her feelings on the matter. Like most other highborn girls, she was her father’s property, to be traded off as he saw fit. Upon marriage, she would be her husband’s property, owned by a man she already disliked and mistrusted, who we see in AGoT is irresponsible, abusive, and deflects blame at every turn.

Even in the worst case scenario, which is Lyanna and Rhaegar were in love and decided to ~run away~, guess who’s the responsible adult in this situation? Who had the power to refuse to escape with a 16 year old girl who has no means of escape on her own? Who was the husband and father of two? Who had two, then three, kingsguard knights loyally follow him from King’s Landing to Dorne? Who was the crown prince who had far, far more responsibilities than a 15 year old lord’s daughter?

Call it impulsive, call it bad foresight, call it a folly of youth, or a lapse of judgement, but don’t call it selfish. Whether out of love, or out of a desire to get away, Lyanna made a choice. She refused the shitty deal she was being given, she refused to be her father’s pawn, and made her own decision for her future. Refusing to be forced into marriage is not selfish unless you believe that girls should be ruled by their fathers and husbands.

Moreover, Lyanna paid the price with her life, at the age of 16 years old, thousands of miles away from home. That’s tragic.

5

Houses of The North

The North is by far the largest of the Seven Kingdoms, and can fit the other six inside it - not that the others care. Cold and damp, that’s how the southerners see the North. But without the cold, a man cannot appreciate the fire in his hearth. Without the rain, a man cannot appreciate the roof over his head. Let the south have its sun, flowers, and affectations, we Northerners have home.

8

asoiaf meme (minor characters): 1/3 events  → The whispering wood

“ - I should then be MOURNING in place of Lord Karstark,” Catelyn said. “Your men did what they were SWORN to do, Robb. They died PROTECTING their liege lord. GRIEVE for them. HONOR them for their VALOR. But not now. You have no TIME for grief. You may have lopped the head off the SNAKE, but three quarters of the body is still coiled around my father’s castle. We have WAN a battle, not a WAR.”

“But SUCH a battle!” said Theon Greyjoy eagerly. “My lady, the realm has not seen such a VICTORY since the Field of Fire. I vow, the Lannisters lost TEN men for every ONE of ours that FELL.

8

Bran wanted to give the lady a hundred men to defend her rights, but Ser Rodrik only said, “He may look, but should he do more I promise you there will be dire retribution. You will be safe enough, my lady … though perhaps in time, when your grief is passed, you may find it prudent to wed again.”  

-

Ser Rodrik gave the widow a sympathetic nod. “You will have other suitors, my lady. We shall try and find you a prospect more to your taste.”  

“Perhaps you need not look very far, ser.”   

After she had taken her leave, Maester Luwin smiled. “Ser Rodrik, I do believe my lady fancies you.”

-

Ser Rodrik approached Lady Hornwood, but she made her excuses and took her leave.

-

The old knight was off east, trying to set to rights the trouble there. Roose Bolton’s bastard had started it by seizing Lady Hornwood as she returned from the harvest feast, marrying her that very night even though he was young enough to be her son. Then Lord Manderly had taken her castle. To protect the Hornwood holdings from the Boltons, he had written, but Ser Rodrik had been almost as angry with him as with the bastard.

djislame  asked:

Wait a sec so Whorsebane is suppose to be an intimidating character even for somebody like Roose,I feel like I missed this. Also he's gay I feel like I missed that also. Which if he is is kinda cool that he's this intimidating gay man from a house known to be imposing and intimidating.

*rubs hands together* Yes, please, let’s take a deep dive into the characterization of Hother “Whoresbane” Umber, the smartest and most dangerous member of his clan and one of my favorite background characters in all of ASOIAF.

Does “most dangerous Umber” seem like a stretch? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly wouldn’t want Crowfood or the Greatjon mad at me, but they’re presented as jovial life-of-the-party drunks as much as badasses. There’s a wry affectionate “oh, you scamps” sort of tone to how GRRM writes the Umber men…except Whoresbane, who is framed with an ice-cold laser-focused menace about him that his kin do not possess, despite Hother being the least physically imposing of the lot. Within the Northern political community, “Old Whoresbane” has a well-established reputation as perhaps the most fearsome figure within that community, a living legend spoken of in whispers (rather than the loud-and-proud stories surrounding big brother Mors), someone with whom you simply do not fuck if you care to see another spring: 

A crow had once taken Mors for dead and pecked out his eye, so he wore a chunk of dragonglass in its stead. As Old Nan told the tale, he’d grabbed the crow in his fist and bitten its head off, so they named him Crowfood. She would never tell Bran why his gaunt brother Hother was called Whoresbane.

Odd as it might seem, old Hoarfrost Umber had once believed his youngest son had the makings of a maester. Mors loved to boast about the crow who took his eye, but Hother’s tale was only told in whispers…most like because the whore he’d disemboweled had been a man. 

And now the Bastard of Bolton was riding south with Hother Umber to join them for an attack on Moat Cailin. “The Whoresbane his own self,” claimed a riverman who’d just brought a load of hides and timber down the White Knife, “with three hundred spearmen and a hundred archers. Some Hornwood men have joined them, and Cerwyns too.”

“Night work is not knight’s work,” Lady Dustin said. “And Lord Wyman is not the only man who lost kin at your Red Wedding, Frey. Do you imagine Whoresbane loves you any better? If you did not hold the Greatjon, he would pull out your entrails and make you eat them, as Lady Hornwood ate her fingers.”

“Fear is what keeps a man alive in this world of treachery and deceit. Even here in Barrowton the crows are circling, waiting to feast upon our flesh. The Cerwyns and the Tallharts are not to be relied on, my fat friend Lord Wyman plots betrayal, and Whoresbane…the Umbers may seem simple, but they are not without a certain low cunning.”

But, I hear you protest again: more menacing than Roose Bolton? Surely not! Well, look at how Roose himself describes Whoresbane. That ellipsis speaks volumes: Whoresbane Umber is so thoroughly intimidating that Roose gods-damned Bolton, the Leech Lord, Westeros’ answer to Vlad the Impaler, is reduced to trailing off and staring into the middle distance, ultimately unable to bring himself to cite specifics.

That’s the first layer. The second layer is the implication that Whoresbane has been the brains of Last Hearth for a very, very long time. He was only at the Citadel in the first place because his father Hoarfrost (which: yes) believed he had “the makings of a maester,” which certainly bucks the Umber stereotype. After Hother came home, his status as the smartest man in the room–a Halfmaester, if you will–has held as the decades have gone by. The Greatjon is certainly not an idiot (just look at how he tests and then crowns Robb), but his grab-with-both-hands approach to life carries with it some significant blind spots, and it’s Whoresbane who rides to Winterfell to point them out:

Hother wanted ships. “There’s wildlings stealing down from the north, more than I’ve ever seen before. They cross the Bay of Seals in little boats and wash up on our shores. The crows in Eastwatch are too few to stop them, and they go to ground quick as weasels. It’s longships we need, aye, and strong men to sail them. The Greatjon took too many. Half our harvest is gone to seed for want of arms to swing the scythes.”

Contrast Hother with Mors, and the picture becomes crystal clear. Crowfood, too, is far from stupid, but he comes to Winterfell to dance with the serving girls and offer his magical grief-curing cock to Lady Hornwood. Whoresbane is the one with the numbers in his head, the one keeping track of the harvest and the wildlings, the one looking out for the smallfolk of Last Hearth. Crowfood is doing everything he can to escape his brother’s household; Whoresbane is the one the Greatjon trusted to keep the lights on and bring concerns to the Stark in Winterfell. 

And yes, as that anecdote about his time in Oldtown reveals, Whoresbane is gay. (Or possibly bi, but again, Crowfood is the one who asks for Lady Hornwood’s hand and macks on the serving girls, whereas Whoresbane shows interest in neither.) For me, this is part of an overall characterization in which Whoresbane defies the public image of his House and yet somehow also turns that image up to 11. Hother Umber is a gay man in a family of aggressively straight dudes, a “gaunt” and “cadaverous” man in a family of larger-than-life giants, an intellectual in a family of jocks, and is still the most metal of them all, and everyone knows it. How can you not love that?

What really cements Whoresbane as one of my favorites, though, are the hints about what the payoff for this characterization will look like. In ADWD, Whoresbane joins Team Bolton, taking half the remaining Umber men to the Dreadfort (and from there to Moat Cailin, Barrowton, and finally Winterfell) while leaving the rest with Crowfood. As Barbrey tells us, though, there’s no pretense that he’s actually loyal to Roose and Ramsay. Indeed, in Theon’s first ADWD chapter, we see that Whoresbane is wearing armor even to dinner, and can’t stop himself from expressing disgust at Ramsay’s treatment of Theon. And then, in Theon’s released TWOW chapter, we learn a very telling detail: 

“Mors took the green boys and Hother took the greybeards.”

Whoresbane didn’t just randomly select half the remaining men at Last Hearth. He specifically brought his fellow greybeards with him. And what is it that old Northmen do when the food runs short as we know it is at Last Hearth (“half our harvest is gone to seed for want of arms to swing the scythes”), when winter is no longer coming, but here?

Alys sighed. “My father took so many of our men south with him that only the women and young boys were left to bring the harvest in. Them, and the men too old or crippled to go off to war. Crops withered in the fields or were pounded into the mud by autumn rains. And now the snows are come. This winter will be hard. Few of the old people will survive it, and many children will perish as well.”

It was a tale that any northmen knew well. “My father’s grandmother was a Flint of the mountains, on his mother’s side,” Jon told her. “The First Flints, they call themselves. They say the other Flints are the blood of younger sons, who had to leave the mountains to find food and land and wives. It has always been a harsh life up there. When the snows fall and food grows scarce, their young must travel to the winter town or take service at one castle or the other. The old men gather up what strength remains in them and announce that they are going hunting. Some are found come spring. More are never seen again.”

“Winter is almost upon us, boy. And winter is death. I would sooner my men die fighting for the Ned’s little girl than alone and hungry in the snow, weeping tears that freeze upon their cheeks. No one sings songs of men who die like that. As for me, I am old. This will be my last winter. Let me bathe in Bolton blood before I die. I want to feel it spatter across my face when my axe bites deep into a Bolton skull. I want to lick it off my lips and die with the taste of it on my tongue.”

So I think Whoresbane’s master plan (and given all of the the above, I’d say it’s very much his plan, and Crowfood is following his lead) is to lead the old men on a glorious kamikaze mission against the hated Boltons, while Crowfood preserves the next generation, who now may have enough to eat. Like his great-nephew Smalljon, he’ll go down a Stark man to the end, Umber on the inside where it counts. 

asoiaf meme (minor characters): 1/10 characters →  Daryn Hornwood heir to Hornwood

“When he saw that he was lost, he rallied his retainers and fought his way up the valley, hoping to reach Lord Robb and cut him down. And almost did.”
“He mislaid his sword in Eddard Karstark’s neck, after he took Torrhen’s hand off and split Daryn Hornwood’s skull open,” Robb said. “All the time he was shouting for me. If they hadn’t tried to stop him—”

ASOIAF: The Book of the City of Ladies

Ruling ladies in the time of the War of the Five Kings 13/18

Donella Hornwood, Lady of Hornwood.

Born a Manderly, and not uncomely for her years, Lady Donella becomes the head of House Hornwood after the successive deaths of her husband Halyn and her only son Daryn, in the battles of the Green Fork and the Whispering Wood respectively. While still going through the grief, she must see how several houses dispute over her lands and her hand.

“I shall wed again if His Grace commands it,” Lady Hornwood replied, “but Mors Crowfood is a drunken brute, and older than my father. As for my noble cousin of Manderly, my lord’s bed is not large enough to hold one of his majesty, and I am surely too small and frail to lie beneath him.”

A Clash of Kings. Bran II.

King - Robb Stark

Anonymous said:

Hello lovely! I was wondering if you could write something for my child Robb Stark based on the song perfect by ed sheeran. If you don’t want to that’s completely okay I just love your writing. Thank you! 💕

A/N: I tried a thing…tell me what you think…. (Words: 3140)

Y/N Hornwood, whose House was sworn to the Starks, had known Robb Stark once. They met as children, but now they met through war. Would things still be the same or would Robb be too caught up in the war to even notice her?

Originally posted by dreamofspring

Music flooded through the tarps of Robb’s tent as he loomed over his map of Westeros. His mind wasn’t on the celebration outside; while his men drank to the victory at the Whispering Wood, the Young Wolf thought out his next move.

Robb was so enthralled by possible strategies, he didn’t notice his mother walking into the tent. When Catelyn walked into his line of sight, her son’s back straightened and he gave his mother a tired smile.

“Sorry, mother, I was thinking about the next attack. Tywin is going to want the Kingslayer back, but he’s too far-”

“Robb,” Catelyn interrupted, “please, take a breath.” She placed a comforting hand on her son’s shoulder. At the contact, Robb’s war-ready spirit wavered. “Your father would be proud of you,” Catelyn said, causing Robb to furrow his brows.

“For sentencing two thousand men to die?” He shook his head, feeling tears sting at his eyes. He would be his father’s biggest disappointment.

“No,” Catelyn whispered, “he would be proud of how you fought. With honor, for your family.” His mother’s voice faltered, cries threatening to spill out her throat. The loss of Ned was still fresh on her heart, just as it was for Robb.

Feeling his mother’s pain, Robb wrapped his strong arms around Catelyn as she felt tears spring free from her eyes. She held onto her son and as she closed her eyes, she could see the day Robb was first brought into the world. The days that passed when Ned met his first born son. Oh the plans her husband had for their child; all for not now.

“This is not the life he wanted for you,” she choked out, “he wanted you in Winterfell, married with children of your own.” Catelyn pulled away from her son’s embrace, “to give that up, the easy way in, your father would be proud.”

“Thank you, mother,” Robb said lowly. His tired smile relaxed as he looked into his mother’s comforting gaze. A crashing sound from outside disrupted the moment and called the celebration outside to Robb’s attention. “How are the men?”

“Drunk,” Catelyn stated bluntly, making Robb smile a little. “They are hoping to see their King celebrating as well,” she coaxed. Her encouragement was met by a frown from Robb; he had no desire to watch his intoxicated force dance to old tunes. “It would do them, and yourself, some good. Tomorrow’s fighting can hold for the evening.”

“That sounds like an order,” Robb said, his smile holding firm.

“You may be the King in The North, but I am still your mother,” Catelyn pointed out. Robb grinned, feeling the weight of command lifting off his shoulders for a moment.

“I will drink,” Robb said reluctantly, “but only to put your spirit at ease.” Catelyn smiled at her son, linking her arm in his. As Robb walked her out of the tent, men clapped and cheered. Robb’s heart beat raced at the sound, the admiration of his men.

“Goodnight my boy,” Catelyn said softly, “and make wise choices.” She unlinked her arm and Robb watched as his mother walked through the camp. He knew where she was going; to question Jaime Lannister on his sister’s whereabouts.

Before he could even think about going with her, a man handed him a mug of ale. The old soldier clapped Robb on the back with a toothless grin.

“For you mah King,” the man cheered. Robb gave him a nod of thanks and lifted his mug to the surrounding men.

“For you, as you have fought valiantly for this victory! May there be more victories to come!” The men yelled in agreement and took swigs of their drinks. The ale burned as it traveled down Robb’s throat. It was more bitter than the wine his father would allow him at supper but it was a drink all the same.

Robb nodded and thanked men he passed as he made his way towards the largest bonfire he had ever seen. Bards surrounding the flames sang and played upbeat tunes, coaxing some people to dance. Field nurses danced with soldiers happily, as if the war didn’t exist at all.

“Robb!” The Young Wolf turned his head in the direction of the voice. Theon, seemingly tipsy, wandered over to him. “You finally decided to join us!”

“Aye,” he said, his Tully-blue eyes scanning over the crowd, “I couldn’t resist.” Robb’s tone was meant to be somewhat sarcastic, but the Ironborn didn’t seem to notice. Theon grinned and took a gulp of whatever he was drinking.

“Try to get lucky tonight, yeah?” Theon said drunkenly, “live like you might die tomorrow!” Robb rolled his eyes as the ward bounded off, trailing after some poor nurse girl. Robb had no intention of sleeping with anyone tonight, he’d be lucky if he slept at all.

He looked around once more and couldn’t help but marvel at the banners that surrounded him. All vassal houses of House Stark, formed together in a Northern union. Robb only wished his father could see the Bolton’s flayed man sitting beside the crossed chains of the Umbers; or the fierce Mormont bear drinking with the Hornwood’s black moose.

A change of music broke the King from his thoughts and pulled his attention to the lack of dancers. The song was now slow, as if meant for a galla. Some couples, mismatched warriors and their prostitutes, danced along to the beat. The sight made Robb’s heart swell a little as he thought of Sansa; she had always dreamed of a dance with a prince. If, When, she were to return, she’d be one of the Princesses in the North. He could almost see her smile.

“My King,” the soft voice pulled Robb’s eyes away from the flames. He turned his head to the right and saw the owner of the melodic tone. Y/N Hornwood, the Fiery Winter Rose; she was one of the last Hornwood Ladies.

“Lady Hornwood,” Robb said, respectfully dipping his head. Y/N smiled, but shook her head at his words. Robb raised an eyebrow at her.

“Lady Hornwood was my mother,” she said bittersweetly, “please, call me Y/N. We have known each other long enough.” A bit of her fire shown through her beautiful face and rosy cheeks. Robb now understood her accurate nickname.

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The complexity of the relationship between Ramsay Bolton and Theon Greyjoy (Thramsay)

The relationship between Ramsay and Theon is dysfunctional and honestly pretty horrible in most ways, yet I find it very fascinating because of its complexity, meaning that I believe there is way more to it than just horror, torture and manipulation.

I have never written meta before, but I really enjoyed the process. I hope you like it!

Word count: 2,009

Ramsay and Theon quite clearly have many differences, but I also find that they have many similarities, which define their relationship. By similarities I mean the similarities in terms of what they both wish to achieve in life and how they cope with their issues. It is my opinion that they both to some extend have an identity crisis going on, which creates a very interesting dynamic between them. To get to the root of that, we have to take a look at their childhoods. Since we get much more detailed descriptions of both their childhoods (especially Ramsay’s childhood) in the ASoIaF books than in the show, that’s where I’ll gather my information from. So let’s start with Ramsay.

The start of Ramsay’s life wasn’t exactly merry and joyful as he was born of rape. Roose Bolton was out hunting one day when he discovered a peasant girl washing clothes in a river. He then decided to rape her and since her husband, the miller, wasn’t too content with the idea, Roose hung him and raped his widowed wife beneath the tree where he was swaying. A year later the peasant girl came to the gates of the Dreadfort with a baby in her arms seeking help from Roose, because her dead husband’s brother had stolen the mill from them and now her and her son had nothing to live of. At the time, Roose Bolton was married to Bethany Ryswell and had a trueborn son, Domeric, and he didn’t exactly want to deal with a bastard son and a useless peasant girl, so he let them into the castle with one single intent: to kill them both. But once he looked at the baby boy he couldn’t bring himself to do it because he saw that the baby had his pale eyes.

Roose let both mother and son depart unharmed and made sure they got the stolen mill back. Every year Roose would send a bag of stars to them, which Ramsay’s mother paid for with her silence; she was to never tell Ramsay or anyone else about who his father was. So Ramsay grew up in poverty with the ‘small folk’, he didn’t get an education, didn’t learn about honor, nobility or about courtesy, which explains his blunt and fearless nature.

But Ramsay was a difficult child and after a few years Ramsay’s mother went back to Roose to get help with raising him. Just wanting her gone, Roose gave her a servant, a terrible one, named Heke. Yet because he smelled so bad everyone instead called him Reek. Quickly, Ramsay and Reek became inseparable. Roose says that he isn’t sure if Ramsay corrupted Reek or if Reek corrupted Ramsay, but honestly I think they had pretty bad influences on each other. “No one could stand to be near him, so he slept with the pigs … until the day that Ramsay’s mother appeared at my gates to demand that I provide a servant for my bastard, who was growing up wild and unruly. I gave her Reek. It was meant to be amusing, but he and Ramsay became inseparable. I do wonder, though… was it Ramsay who corrupted Reek, or Reek Ramsay?” Roose Bolton tells Theon in ADWD (chapter 32). “The boy [Ramsay] is a sly creature by all accounts, and he has a servant who is almost as cruel as he is. Reek, they call the man. It’s said he never bathes. They hunt together, the bastard and this Reek, and not for deer. I’ve heard tales, things I can scarce believe, even of a Bolton.” Donella Hornwood says to Rodrik Cassell in ACOK (chapter 17).

Although Ramsay grew up lowborn he secretly always knew about his father and his right to live in a castle. “She disobeyed me, though.” Roose says, talking about Ramsay’s mother. “You see what Ramsay is. She made him, her and Reek, always whispering in his ear about his rights. He should have been content to grind corn”, he further says in ADWD (chapter 32). So Ramsay always knew he was worth more than everyone around him, he always knew that some day he would be granted the power he deserved. And somehow he eventually came to live with his father at the Dreadfort just like he wanted, where he made sure to kill Roose’s only trueborn son in order to become his only heir (at least that is what everyone including Roose believes, and personally I believe it too) 

Contrary to Ramsay’s upbringing in poverty, Theon grew up on Pyke as a prince until he was 9 years old. He was privileged, but his older brothers used to beat him up for being weak and his father Balon Greyjoy never really approved of him. Under those circumstances Theon became insecure already from boyhood. However, he always had to keep the insecurities concealed to not be perceived as weak. In order to contradict the picture of him being weak Theon had to constantly prove himself worthy to his family. After Greyjoy’s Rebellion Theon was taken away from his family to become Eddard Stark’s ward at Winterfell. With the Starks he wasn’t really accepted either; he was an outsider, not a true member of the family.

So both of them had messed up childhoods filled with disapproval and non-acceptance from the people around them, which obviously affected them and caused massive amounts of insecurities. Disapproval has a huge negative impact on a child’s life, causing their similar identity crisis.

The two of them have equal ways of dealing with their issues; the first one being that they simply deny the horrible facts. Ramsay knows that he was born of rape, yet he has convinced himself that his parents’ relationship was very romantic, that they fell in love with each other instantly when they met. In chapter 32 in ADWD Roose asks Theon, “Has my bastard ever told you how I got him?”, where to Theon replies, “Yes, my… m’lord. You met his mother whilst out riding and were smitten by her beauty”. “Smitten?”, Roose then says, laughing. “ Did he use that word? Why, the boy has a singer’s soul… Though if you believe that song, you may as well be dimmer than the first Reek.” Furthermore, Ramsay denies the fact that his father doesn’t love him. Reek has been with me since I was a boy. My lord father gave him to me as a token of his love”, Ramsay tells some Dreadfort men in ADWD (chapter 11). Obviously that is not true. As it was described earlier, Reek was given to Ramsay and his mother because Roose simply wanted to get rid of them. Also, Ramsay denies the death of his original Reek, which is why he simply replaces him with Theon.

Ramsay also desperately tries to compensate for the fact that he isn’t a trueborn Bolton. Exactly that is why I think he is so enthusiastic about flaying, as it is the Bolton custom. He overdoes it, desperately tries to show his father that he honors and upholds the family traditions in order to gain his accept and approval.

Similarly, Theon has convinced himself during his time at Winterfell that his family back at Pyke missed him utterly. During the years the image of his return to the Iron Islands has become more and more romanticized. When he actually returns to Pyke, he discovers that his father still disapproves of him and barely even sees him as his son. “It is as I feared. The green lands have you soft and the Starks have made you theirs”, Balon says to Theon in ACOK (chapter 11). So similarly to Ramsay, he compensates for the unapproval. Theon has to prove himself worthy to his father, and he attempts to do so by betraying Robb and taking Winterfell.

But Theon’s siege of Winterfell completely backfires on him and Ramsay’s attempt to prove himself a Bolton does not work, at least not for the first many years. They both fail their attempts at gaining their father’s approval. Roose eventually grants Ramsay the Bolton name and makes him his heir after Domeric’s death, but he still constantly reminds him that he is a bastard (meaning that he still disapproves of him) and that he is not entitled to the life he has at the castle. “All you have I gave you. You would do well to remember that, bastard”, Roose says to Ramsay in ADWD (chapter 32).

Another way both of them cope with their issues is through arrogance. It works as a shield, concealing what lies beneath. They both act coldly towards other people and they commit heinous crimes, however there is one BIG difference between the two: Ramsay completely lacks empathy for others and Theon does not. Deep down inside Theon cares for others, Ramsay really doesn’t. Personally I think Ramsay was born with a tendency to psychopathy, DNA has a say in those cases and Roose doesn’t exactly possess much empathy himself. It obviously damaged him even further throughout his life to never be approved of, respected or accepted by his parents. He was always last in line, always just the bastard. In addition to that, Ramsay is also clearly a sadist; he fully enjoys watching people suffer. Theon doesn’t enjoy inflicting pain on others. Those are the biggest differences between the two of them.

As I wrote just before, Ramsay can’t accept, doesn’t want to accept Reek’s death, so he needs a replacement and he specifically chose Theon. I have a theory why: Ramsay is pretty smart after all and he figures out that the reason Theon took Winterfell was to impress his father, so just like Ramsay, Theon does things in desperation to gain his father’s approval. Theon reminds Ramsay of himself and his issues, so Ramsay must change him. It is symbolic. Theon represents the sensitive aspects of Ramsay, the parts of himself that he is in denial about, so he breaks him down, ruins his identity by making him fully believe that he is a worm in human skin and by stealing his name. And he molds Reek into his own twisted version of a ‘friend’ so that Reek can give him the approval that Roose denies him.

I’ve thought about it and I think there is some symbolism in the aspect of flaying as well. Whenever Reek misbehaves Ramsay flays him, he removes parts of him. The skin Ramsay removes is symbolically the masks that Theon has been wearing all his life, he has never been true to himself, he has always pretended to be something he is not. And when he finally escapes from Ramsay he is a broken man, but he is honest. For the first time in his life he is true to himself. This is taking it far, I know, but I think that Ramsay in a twisted way helped Theon truly realize who he is because he brutally broke down his walls and removed his masks.

So Ramsay and Theon have had huge impacts on each other’s lives. Their relationship is based upon horrible deeds and manipulation, I’m not debating that. But it is my opinion that some positive things have come out of it, yet mostly when it comes to Theon. Theon will be able to recover from the terrible things that have happened, but I believe that Ramsay is damaged for good. His lack of empathy and his love for inflicting pain on others as well as his need and love for playing with people characterize who he is and I don’t believe that will ever change.

So about the Dany and Talisa comparisons

I often see it stated that Northerners will somehow see Dany in the same way as they saw Talisa. Now I have nothing against Talisa. She was a good person with a good heart working to help people so far from home, and never deserved to die in a horrible way. But Robb made a major political error by marrying her and the North paid a severe price for that error at the Red Wedding. As a consequence of this, some Northerners continue to call her a “whore” etc., even though we saw no such behavior from her. But I am not sure why it is held that Northerners will view Dany this way.

1) We don’t even know if Jon and Dany’s romantic relationship will be widely known, especially at the beginning. As far as they might know, it is a purely political/military arrangement which is required by pragmatism. There is actually a very strong argument that it is the pragmatically best choice.

2) The “foreign whore” slander may be used by Cersei, but the Northerners have never used it on Dany (they have on Talisa because they have horrible memories associated with what followed). Their main fear was that Jon would be trapped and killed like his uncle and grandfather were, and that the invitations made by a Targaryen could not be trusted. If he comes back with her safe and sound then those fears were clearly unfounded.

3) The main issue in the case of Talisa was that Robb was already committed to marrying someone else, and this marriage lost him a major chunk of his army and made him a powerful new enemy. Jon is not committed to marrying anyone, the Night King and Cersei are already known enemies so no new enemies are being made, and he is bringing the most powerful military force in Westeros to help them, also turning a potential enemy into a friend rather than a friend into an enemy due to a broken promise.

What Jon has done, has been to essentially move the North back to the political state it had under his father Ned Stark. Ned Stark was Warden under Robert Baratheon (a far worse ruler than Dany). Before that the Starks were Wardens of the North for nearly three centuries under the Targaryens. This was a position with immense power and autonomy. Daenerys does not intend to rule the North directly from Winterfell. Her very first offer to Jon was to make him Warden of the North. The Starks will still run the North from Winterfell as they have generally done for most of the past three centuries. I don’t think the North remembers those as dark times. Northern independence was first and foremost a rebellion against the Lannister dominated Iron Throne. When Jon was declared King it was again after ousting the Lannister supported Boltons. It was also in protest against Southerners demanding Northern loyalty but treating the North as if it didn’t matter. Daenerys is fighting for the North. She just put her war on hold and brought her entire strength North to fight for them. She might even marry their chosen King (now Warden) soon, something that signifies the strongest form of alliance and something the Targaryens haven’t done with the Starks in centuries (despite the old “Pact of Ice and Fire” which the Targaryens still have to fulfill, even though Rhaenyra’s descendants have held the throne ever since the Dance.

Moreover, how committed to independence are the Northern Lords? They seem even more committed to saving their own hides. The Umbers declared Robb King and called for independence. Yet they fought for the Boltons (who were Wardens for the Lannisters). The Karstarks, another large house, also supported the Boltons. So these were explicitly against independence.  When Jon and Sansa went from place to place to ask Northern lords to help them fight the Boltons (i.e. fight for Northern independence, as before Dany coming to Westeros, removing the Boltons meant independence) the lords slammed the door in their faces. Only a few minor houses (e.g. Mormont, Hornwood etc.) helped. The greatest help (in the North) for their cause came from the Wildlings, and the leader of the Wildlings (Tormund) clearly has no objection to Jon bending the knee. Now we are to believe that the lords who preferred to avoid raising a finger for independence when their help was desperately needed will have the temerity to question the hero of the independence struggle (yeah the whole struggle, not just the final battle) when he concluded that bending the knee was better? They might have better right to this if they had actually struggled for independence rather than accept Bolton/Lannister supremacy until its end had already happened due to Jon’s forces and the Vale’s intervention.

Finally, consider this statement from Catelyn Stark in ASOS

If you had to fall into a woman’s arms, my son, why couldn’t they have been Margaery Tyrell’s? The wealth and power of Highgarden could have made all the difference in the fighting yet to come. And perhaps Grey Wind would have liked the smell of her as well.”

Under that logic Jon has done very well indeed. He’s fallen into the arms of Daenerys Targaryen, and that may very well be what makes the crucial difference here.

Typical Girls Names of The North
  • Alys (Alys Stark was a daughter of Lord Cregan Stark and Lady Alysanne Blackwood, Alys Karstark I married Lord Brandon Stark, Alys Karstark II married to Sigorn, Magnar of Thenn)
  • Alysane- a varient of the popular Alysanne (Alysane Mormont also known as the Young She-Bear is Lady Maege Mormont’s second daughter.)
  • Aregelle (Aregelle Stark was the eldest daughter of Elric Stark and Serena Stark she married Robard Cerwyn)
  • Arra (Arra Norrey was married Lord Cregan Stark) 
  • Arrana (Arrana Stark was the youngest daughter of Edric Stark and Serena Stark she married Osric Umber)
  • Arsa (Arsa Stark was a daughter of Lord Brandon Stark and Lady Alys Karstark)
  • Arya (Arya Flint was married to Rodrik Stark grandmother to Eddard, Arya Stark Lord Eddard and Catelyn Tully’s second daughter)
  • Barbrey (Barbrey Ryswell was married William Dustin and is the current lady of House Dustin)
  • Berena (Berena Hornwood is wife of Leobald Tallhart and the sister of the current Lord Halys Hornwood, Berena Stark was the eldest daughter of Lord Beron Stark and Lady Lorra Royce)
  • Eddara (Eddara Tallhart the daughter of Ser Helman Tallhart)
  • Erena (Erena Glover the daughter of the current Lord Robett and Lady Sybelle Glover)
  • Jyana (Jyana Reed is the wife of Lord Howland Reed and the mother of Meera and Jojen Reed)
  • Lorra (Lorra Royce was married to Lord Beron Stark)
  • Lyanna (Lyanna Mormont the youngest daughter of Lady Maege Mormont, Lyanna Stark I the only daughter of Cregan Stark and Lady Lynara Stark, Lyanna Stark II sister to Lord Eddard)
  • Lyanne (Lyanne Glover was married Lord Willam Stark)
  • Lyarra (Lyarra Stark was the second daughter of Rodrik Stark and Arya Flint and married to her cousin once removed Lord Rickard Stark, and had four children with him; Brandon, Eddard, Lyanna and Benjen Stark.)
  • Lyessa (Lyessa Flint is the current Lady of Widow’s Watch)
  • Lynara (Lynara Stark was the third wife of Lord Cregan Stark)
  • Lyra (Lyra Mormont is the third daughter of Lady Maege Mormont)
  • Lysara (Lysara Karstark was married to Artos Stark)
  • Sansa (Sansa Stark I was the Lady of Winterfell and the second daughter of Rickon Stark and Jeyne Manderly she married her father’s half-brother Lord Jonnel Stark, Sansa Stark II first daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Tully)
  • Sarra (Sarra Stark was the eldest daughter of Lord Cregan Stark and Lady Alysanne Blackwood)
  • Serena (Serena Stark was the eldest daughter of Rickon Stark she married twice once to Jon Umber and then to her uncle Edric Stark)
  • Wylla (Wylla Fenn was from the Neck and was the mother of Lord Brandon Stark’s bastard son Lonnel Snow, Wylla Manderly is the second daughter of Ser Wylis Manderly and Leona Woolfield and granddaughter to Lord Wyman)
  • Wynafryd (Wynafryd Manderly is the eldest daughter of Ser Wylis Manderly and Leona Woolfield and granddaughter to Lord Wyman)

anonymous asked:

it breaks my heart to think how sad sandor will be to find out how much the cruelty of the world had changed sansa. the last time he saw her she was still so innocent and now she really grew out of her songs

I definitely think this is true in both show! and book! verse, though I really don’t believe it will be explored much on the show.  At least in book!verse we see Sandor’s reaction through Arya’s eyes. 

Let’s revisit it and cry together, shall we?

A Storm of Swords - Arya XIII

“So much for my brave brothers of the Kingsguard.” The Hound gave a snort of contempt. “Who killed him?”

“The Imp, it’s thought. Him and his little wife.”

(…)The Hound sat on the bench closest to the door. His mouth twitched, but only the burned side. “She ought to dip him in wildfire and cook him. Or tickle him till the moon turns black.” He raised his wine cup and drained it straightaway. 

(…)The Hound poured a cup of wine for Arya and another for himself, and drank it down while staring at the hearthfire. “The little bird flew away, did she? Well, bloody good for her. She shit on the Imp’s head and flew off.”

“They’ll find her,” said Polliver. “If it takes half the gold in Casterly Rock.”

“A pretty girl, I hear,” said the Tickler. “Honey sweet.” He smacked his lips and smiled.

“And courteous,” the Hound agreed. “A proper little lady. Not like her bloody sister.”

Not only has Sansa been married to Tyrion of all people, but Sandor knows what the soldiers - let alone Cersei - will do to Sansa if and when they find her, and Sandor cannot bear it. And he cannot cope with the fact that he left her to her fate.  Not long after, he starts a fight with the soldiers.

As he lay dying, it’s still on his mind:

A Storm of Swords - Arya XIII

He made a queer sound, and it took her a moment to realize he was sobbing. “And the little bird, your pretty sister, I stood there in my white cloak and let them beat her. I took the bloody song, she never gave it. I meant to take her too. I should have. I should have …ripped her heart out before leaving her to that dwarf.”

He is trying to goad Arya into killing him, but he reveals that he believes Sansa would be better off dead at his own hands than wed to Tyrion.

I believe that in TWOW he will see that Sansa grew and benefitted from her experiences, but he will still be deeply ashamed that she learned the lessons the hard way. If/when he finds out that Tyrion never bedded her, he will be incredulous but relieved that she wasn’t raped, as he would expect, especially after knowing what happened to Tysha.

In the show, I don’t believe it’s widely known in the north that Ramsay is a rapist, since Lady Hornwood is never mentioned, at least not that I can recall. If/when Sandor hears that Ramsay married and raped her, TBH I have no idea how D&D will handle it. But Rory McCann understands his character very well, so we’ll see what he adds to it. 

The signs as houses from Game of Thrones

Aries: House Tyrell

Taurus: House Arryn

Gemini: House Lannister

Cancer: House Baratheon

Leo: House Martell

Virgo: House Hornwood

Libra: House Karstark

Scorpio: House Florent

Sagittarius: House Targaryen

Capricorn: House Stark

Aquarius: House Redwyne

Pisces: House Estermont

joannalannister  asked:

I would love to hear all of your book!feelings on book!Ned's teachings about "he man who passes the sentence should swing the sword"! 💕

Oh, you’re kicking my butt into gear here, Lauren. I’ve been planning a post about this very subject but I’ve only gotten to the point of throwing random sentences into my drafts and shaking my fist at the sky. Which surprisingly was not productive at all. Shocker!

But gosh, that scene!! I just love that scene so very much. Bar the prologue, this is the very first chapter of the whole series, the one that gave us the first glimpse of the Starks and started building their characters and the story at large. And the beauty of George’s writing is that that one scene between Ned and Bran perfectly encapsulates the ethos of Ned Stark, the character whose ideology drives the entire narrative whether through his teachings living through his kids, or through the legacy he left behind, or through one of his most defining acts: saving the infant that would grow up to be crucial to the survival of mankind. That scene crystallizes Ned’s characterization in one single conversation, which is one of the reason I find fandom’s tendency to decontextualize the phrase “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword” and only focus on this one phrase out of the entire scene so minimizing to Ned’s character, in addition to being a misinterpretation of the message he meant to convey.

On its face, and if taken out of context, that phrase can send a contradictory message to its core meaning. Simply saying that the Stark way necessitates that you swing the sword yourself restricts the message to a simplified uber-macho exclamation of “We Starks do our own killing” *slaps chest because masculinity* which completely loses the entire conversation between Bran and Ned its meaning. Mind you, there is a gendered overlay to the scene because this is Ned having a conversation with his seven-year-old child after said child watched an execution, which carries the idea that this is a rite of passage for Bran, an immersion in a violent culture that glorifies violence and attaches so much weight to men doing violent activities that it becomes the mark for bravery, masculinity and leadership. But I actually think that the true message of this scene defies Westerosi martial mores that glories in violence, because while Ned is essentially instructing Bran to kill by his own hand which is a violent activity, he is actively rejecting such sentiments as “a dead enemy is a thing of beauty” and “a bloody sword is a beautiful thing”. Ned’s intent fights against glorifying violence and against attaching a beautifying veneer to it, and instead calls for facing the actual truth of what taking a life is and demands it be treated as the monumental thing it is. In that scene with Bran, Ned is calling for recognition for the value of life.

Keep reading

Some Bran and Arya parallels

Arya and Bran are the only Stark children that are seeing themselves as wolves and draw strength from that. I’ve already made an analysis about the wolfness of these two siblings so I’ll just put here one of the many wolf quotes each of them have:

I am a wolf, and will not be afraid.

(Arya Stark)

It was better inside Summer. I am him, and he is me. He feels what I feel. 

(Bran Stark)

Their inner wolfness isn’t their only source of strength. Lately, they are both shown to draw power from darkness,too.

Until darkness is as sweet to you as light

(Waif to Arya Stark)

Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong

(The three eyed crow to Bran Stark)

Arya and Bran are among the characters that have plenty magic elements within their story. Currently both of them are under the tutorship of a magical figure. Bran under the three eyed crow’s eye is learning to become a better green dreamer and skinchanger. As for Arya, she’s trained by the Kindly Man to become a Faceless Man.

The priest lowered his cowl. Beneath he had no face; only a yellowed skull with a few scraps of skin still clinging to the cheeks, and a white worm wriggling from one empty eye socket. 

(Arya Stark)

The white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been.

(Bran Stark)

While the Kindly Man and the three eyed crow do not resemble each other, on these specific descriptions of them both have a white worm grewing from their empty eye socket.

Another thing  that both Arya and Bran have in common is the exclusive faith to the Old gods. But it doesn’t stop at this. It seems that the Old Gods listen their prayers and are looking out for them.

The old gods of the north must have been guiding her steps

(Arya Stark)

The gods were looking over him, he told himself; the old gods, gods of the Starks and the First Men and the children of the forest, his father’s gods

(Bran Stark)

The Northerners have a different justice system than the rest of Westeros. They don’t have executors and the Lord is the one who must do the deed. Bran has witnessed a Northern execution on his very first chapter and he was taught directly by his father about it. Arya since she was a girl never attend to a Northern execution but she knew that her father did the deed himself. Also, she had listen her father teaching Jon and Robb about it. 

It’s interesting to note that when Arya was offered three lives by Jaqen in order to repaid his debt to her, she knew it was wrong to accept. She knew that this was against the Northern teachings and after her encounter with Jaqen she’s the one who kills the people who wants to see dead, instead of making someone else do it for her.

I should kill them myself. Whenever her father had condemned a man to death, he did the deed himself with Ice, his greatsword. “If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look him in the face and hear his last words,” she’d heard him tell Robb and Jon once. 

(Arya Stark)

“He does,” his father admitted. “As did the Targaryen kings before him. Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

(Ned Stark to Bran Stark)

Finally when it comes to their personality both Arya and Bran are described as cheerful and friendly at the beginning of the series. These two children  could easily befriend others and they were loved by almost everyone. Also, despite being the Lord’s children they never showed any classist attitude

Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough-spoken freeriders of uncertain birth. Arya would make friends with anybody

(Sansa Stark about Arya Stark)


He is a sweet boy, quick to laugh, easy to love.

(Ned Stark about Bran Stark)

He sent some salmon down to poor sad Lady Hornwood, the boar to the boisterous Umbers, a dish of goose-in-berries to Cley Cerwyn, and a huge lobster to Joseth the master of horse, who was neither lord nor guest, but had seen to Dancer’s training and made it possible for Bran to ride. He sent sweets to Hodor and Old Nan as well, for no reason but he loved them.

(Bran Stark)