if only twow would come out that would just be perfect

victarionsrighthand  asked:

What do you think about Sansa's crush on Loras? Do you think it means something that no matter how much she seems to grow as a character she still holds a crush over some pretty knight that never really seemed to care about her and she still imagines him when she kisses people (even if her thoughts get directed back to sandor)

Well… Loras is a very safe crush.

Loras plays the role for Sansa that teen heartthrobs do for many adolescent girls, a safe exploration of their growing sexuality.

The idolization of teen idols typically begins in early adolescence when girls start to become interested in romance and dating and more aware of social norms which suggest that they should have romantic feelings for someone of the opposite sex (Simon, Eder, & Evans, 1992). Rather than dating in real life, developing a crush on a teen idol is a way for girls to acknowledge their emerging sexual feelings in a safe, non-threatening way (Engle & Kasser, 2005). Because teen boys are viewed by girls as only interested in sex (McRobbie, 1991), teen idols are a preferable option. Further, they often project a feminine form of masculinity that is sexually non-threatening and thus accessible to young girls (Engle &: Kasser, 2005; Karniol, 2001; McRobbie, 1991; Sweeney, 1994).

Bitten by Twilight: Youth Culture, Media, & the Vampire Franchise

One of the most popular ways people like to hate teenage girls is to complain about their “insane” crushes on boy band members. Now, let me fucking tell you something: those big dumb crushes are what helps a teenage girl develop her sexuality in a safe environment that she can control. In her world, she can listen to One Direction and hear all these songs about how great she is, and how much these cute non-threatening boys want to make her feel special. Why is this so important? Because no one is pushing them. There’s no fourteen year old boy shoving his clammy hands down your shirt without your consent. These fantasy boys are not convincing a girl to send naked pictures, only to show all their friends and call her a slut. In the fantasy land of boy bands, the girl has all the power. And we need to stop judging them for wanting to escape into that.

–Meghan Harper, “Why I Fucking Love Teenage Girls”

ASOIAF is a medieval-style world, so it of course doesn’t have pop idols and movie stars, but it does have tournaments and tourney champions, who play that role for the adolescent girls of Westeros. (And the boys, too. Consider Bran’s idolization of knights, especially the Kingsguard.) And Loras Tyrell is not just one of the best upcoming stars of the tourney scene, but he’s so dreamy handsome, young, and from one of the best families of Westeros. (Even Robert Baratheon crushes on him, in a manly way.)

Now, the fact that Loras is actually gay (as are so many teen heartthrobs - George Michael, we miss you) makes him even safer, whether Sansa consciously realizes it or not. This is all the more important, since because of the close circles of Westeros aristocracy, Sansa Stark has far more of a chance of personally interacting with Loras Tyrell than your typical teenage girl has with her most beloved Bieber or Zayn.

So when Sansa actually has the opportunity to meet Loras, is even led to believe she might marry him… the expression of her sexuality, while very real, is also very safe:

The sight of Ser Loras Tyrell standing on her threshold made Sansa’s heart beat a little faster.

Sansa was finding it hard to walk and talk and think all at the same time, with Ser Loras touching her arm.

I am talking to him, and he’s touching me, he’s holding my arm and touching me.

Desperately she tried to think of something clever and charming to say to him, but her wits had deserted her. She almost told him how beautiful he was, until she remembered that she’d already done that.

Ser Loras in white silk, so pure, innocent, beautiful. The dimples at the corner of his mouth when he smiled. The sweetness of his laugh, the warmth of his hand. She could only imagine what it would be like to pull up his tunic and caress the smooth skin underneath, to stand on her toes and kiss him, to run her fingers through those thick brown curls and drown in his deep brown eyes. A flush crept up her neck.

–ASOS, Sansa I

Or, for a visual representation:

Now, the trouble (or not?) is that this safe crush of Sansa’s is no longer something she can rely on. Whether it’s because of her aging into womanhood, or because of her actual experiences with sexuality – the dark masculine danger of Sandor Clegane, her marriage to Tyrion Lannister (including seeing him nude and sleeping next to him in bed for weeks), the explicit rape threats of Joffrey Baratheon and Marillion, the disturbing attentions and unfatherly kisses of Petyr Baelish – when she wishes to escape into her formerly favorite safe fantasy of Loras Tyrell, it twists away from her into something else:

Before she could summon the servants, however, Sweetrobin threw his skinny arms around her and kissed her. It was a little boy’s kiss, and clumsy. Everything Robert Arryn did was clumsy. If I close my eyes I can pretend he is the Knight of Flowers. Ser Loras had given Sansa Stark a red rose once, but he had never kissed her… and no Tyrell would ever kiss Alayne Stone. Pretty as she was, she had been born on the wrong side of the blanket.
As the boy’s lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.

–AFFC, Alayne II

Note that there are many analyses of “the unkiss” (link 1, link 2), Sansa’s imagined memory of being kissed by Sandor the night of the Blackwater, but what many point out is that it is again an attempt by Sansa of a safe fantasy, a subconscious attempt to control and understand and romanticize a frightening sexually-charged situation. It’s just several octaves away from her non-threatening fantasies of kissing and touching the “beautiful” Loras.

And though you say Sansa still holds this crush, please note that Loras is only mentioned in Sansa’s narrative once in AFFC (that scene above), where she recognizes that Loras’s attentions were nothing real, no kisses, just a rose. Also, when she thinks about the men who helped her in King’s Landing, Loras is not one of them. Furthermore, he’s not mentioned at all in her TWOW preview chapter – which, considering it focuses on an upcoming tourney and the young knights who wish to be its champions, should be a perfect occasion for the pretty knight Loras to stroll through Sansa’s head, and yet he does not.

So I would say that Sansa’s adolescent crush on Loras is something perfectly understandable… and also something she has outgrown. I hope that helps!

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on the Rhaegar/Lyanna situation?

I think what happened between Rhaegar and Lyanna is one of the most perplexing mysteries of the series.

I know that everyone in the fandom has a preferred idea of what really happened, how the two of them really felt about each other, but none of it can be completely confirmed nor denied. After all, the only information we have on Lyanna is either extremely limited or extremely vague, and the information we have on Rhaegar is contradictory and biased. And that’s just the information about them as individuals. We don’t have any substantial evidence on their relationship.

Certainly, we have an idea of what happened, we speculate as to the why, but we are far from having the whole story. We know that Rhaegar took Lyanna to the Tower of Joy; we don’t know if she went willingly or not. We assume that Rhaegar was attempting to lend fate a hand and try and fulfill TPTWP prophesy, but we don’t know why it had to be Lyanna.

Most importantly, we don’t know if Lyanna knew about the Others.

That one piece of information will completely turn the tables. We assume Rhaegar knew (why else would Westeros’ perfect prince commit political suicide?), but did Lyanna? If she didn’t, Rhaegar’s actions become despicable, as he would have had to either kidnap Lyanna or trick her into coming with him. If she did know, then it becomes a different kind of tragedy, where both Rhaegar and Lyanna were (supposedly) forced to start a war in order to save mankind in the future.

And there’s another thing we don’t know: could Robert’s Rebellion have been avoided? The text tells us that Rhaegar wasn’t a fool; in fact, it implies that he was quite smart.

“As a young boy, the Prince of Dragonstone was bookish to a fault. He was reading so early that men said Queen Rhaella must have swallowed some books and a candle whilst he was in her womb. Rhaegar took no interest in the play of other children. The maesters were awed by his wits, but his father’s knights would jest sourly that Baelor the Blessed had been born again. Until one day Prince Rhaegar found something in his scrolls that changed him. No one knows what it might have been, only that the boy suddenly appeared early one morning in the yard as the knights were donning their steel. He walked up to Ser Willem Darry, the master-at-arms, and said, ‘I will require sword and armor. It seems I must be a warrior.’” (Daenerys I, ASOS)

Lyanna herself is more wise than the fandom gives her credit for.

“You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert,” Ned told him. “You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath. She would have told you that you have no business in the melee.” (Eddard VII, AGOT)

Robert will never keep to one bed,” Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young Lord of Storm’s End. “I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale.” Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart. Lyanna had only smiled. “Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.” (Eddard IX, AGOT)

Lyanna may have been more of a “wild child”, but she sure as hell wasn’t stupid, and Rhaegar was both being groomed to rule a kingdom and deciphering prophesies at a remarkably young age. 

Wouldn’t people like this be smart enough to take all necessary steps to prevent a war?

There are only a couple of explanations to this, and both of them leave more questions than answers. Either a), Something happened in regards to the Others/The Long Night that made Rhaeger and (possibly) Lyanna extremely desperate, or b), Rhaegar and (possibly) Lyanna did take the necessary precautions, but someone (Varys? Pycelle?) undid them.

I am strongly hoping that TWOW will answer most of these, and that ADOS will put all theories and arguments to rest. Personally, I like the idea that Lyanna was more magically aware than her siblings, much like Bran is, and that she did in fact know about the Others. But, as I’ve said, our information on the subject is limited. 

As to whether or not Rhaegar and Lyanna loved each other, I certainly believe they had the potential to. Assuming that Lyanna is the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and that Rhaegar discovering her is the reason he crowned her Queen of Love and Beauty, and that they both knew about the Others, and that Lyanna went with him willingly to the Tower of Joy.

Once TWOW is out, I’ll give a much better response, I promise.

In conclusion:

“(…) What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms … or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.” - Maester Aemon (Jon VIII, AGOT)

Thanks for the question, Anon!

anonymous asked:

Can I get your advice on reading about Dorne? You seem in love with it. Honestly, I felt like ADWD was an editorial disaster. But perhaps you could point out the most important Dorne chapters? I would like to approach it fresh, and hopefully appreciate it more. Hope you respond please :)

Well you’re a bit in luck because the Dorne chapters in FeastDance are exceedingly limited.

In general, I really recommend reading storylines straight. I really couldn’t stand the Ironborn, but ever since I read all of them for the IB podcast, I at least have an…idk appreciation(?) I didn’t have before.

IMO, do Dorne “proper” first, then a Quent reread. Combining them isn’t bad or anything, but it’s really just two wildly different arcs.

I will also recommend, not to toot my own horn, the “Trial by Folly” Arianne Martell reread project (note the links are out of date in the OP and I can’t fix them, but I’ll put them below for the chapters). You don’t necessarily have to read the entire thread, but we did a summary/analysis for each chapter that I think would be a nice supplement as you go through. There’s also a Quentyn reread if you end up doing that as well.

The Dornish chapters are as follows:

Then if you want there’s also Arianne’s sample TWOW chapters, for which Julia and I both have analyses:

I ended up writing a retrospective on Arianne as a result of our reread (which only covers her first sample chapter, and I broke it up in two sections so TWOW spoilers are easily avoided). You might call this “what we learned”:

Then I have Love, Trust, Guilt: Doran’s not keeping anything from Arianne: On the Perfect Parallel between Doran and Arianne’s Arcs, & why they are Totally In Sync moving into ‘The Winds of Winter’

That has no TWOW spoilers, and it really is the biggest “point” I think that can come out of the FeastDance Dornish arc.

Julia wrote these two things:

Yikes…I’m just going to keep linking things I think if I don’t stop myself.

In short, do the straight read-through of FeastDance, for sure, and if you’re only going to read one thing I linked, make it “Love, Trust, Guilt.”

chiefsheepmilkshake  asked:

Hey Q! With the importance you believe Euron has going forward in ASOIAF, what do you think his character has been so slightly developed so far? And by development, I really mean, why do you think GRRM waited until AFFC to finally reveal who you believe is going to be such a huge part of the remaining story?

Hiya! Several things there. 

One, that a character doesn’t appear until the second act doesn’t mean they aren’t significant to the story, especially if they’re a villain. Saruman of Many Colors, Euron’s clearest predecessor, was largely a malignant rumor in the first act of LOTR, appearing only in Gandalf’s descriptions to Frodo. Like Euron, Saruman had seized power and begun shaping events, but just as he doesn’t take center stage until Two Towers, so Euron doesn’t until the FeastDance. 

Two, as to ASOIAF specifically, one of the most central and IMO fascinating themes of the FeastDance is how the major new characters are not there just to fill out the story, to meekly provide support; no, they are there to take your shit, protagonists! From Barbrey to JonCon, from Doran to the Shavepate, we see these latecomers seize the unfolding narrative to work through their personal shit and advance their pre-existing agendas. Euron is the best example…other than maybe Aegon, but I’ll get to him in a second. 

Three, as to Euron specifically, it fits him and AFFC perfectly that he would come in when he does: 

Crow’s Eye, you call me. Well, who has a keener eye than the crow? After every battle the crows come in their hundreds and their thousands to feast upon the fallen. A crow can espy death from afar. And I say that all of Westeros is dying. Those who follow me will feast until the end of their days.”

Euron works as well as he does precisely because he strolls onto the stage after the slaughter of ASOS, glances around the graveyard, and says “looks delicious.” It’s a commentary on the civil war of ACOK and ASOS and the “squabbling over spoils” of AFFC that they open the door for such a monster to hijack the story. Power vacuums call to people like Euron; as I’ve said many a time, he sees the apocalypse as a wave to ride. But you gotta first have Westeros in ruin for a character like him to make sense! Introducing him earlier would be like following Randall Flagg around for a book or two before the apocalypse of The Stand happened. It’d probably be interesting, but you’d lose the structural impact and thematic clarity of introducing him just as the plague that will pave his way to power is spreading. In some cosmic sense, the plague called Flagg into being; same with Euron, hence “all of Westeros is dying” as the center of his pitch. The Crow’s Eye is Westeros’ horrible reward for eating itself alive. And that resonates throughout the decay and folly detailed in AFFC…which is why GRRM named the damn book in his honor, not something you do for an insignificant character. 

Fourth, I think GRRM consciously set up Euron and Aegon as parallels: the interloper-villain and the interloper-hero, the most significant and ambitious new characters in AFFC and ADWD respectively, set to dominate southwest and southeast Westeros in TWOW respectively, called to the antagonist and protagonist roles like moths to a flame. On the surface, both appear to be classic fantasy tropes: the “perfect prince” and the psycho pirate. Scratch that surface, though, and you’ll find that what these characters are really about is how those tropes can be manipulated and used as a front. Aegon isn’t really the son of Rhaegar and Elia, he’s a Blackfyre scion and a puppet in Bittersteel’s endless war. Euron isn’t really a champion of the Old Way, he’s Bloodraven’s bad seed and holds the Ironborn in utter contempt (“surely that is worth a driftwood crown”).

They are postmodern figures, there to expose and fuck with the story source code, aggressively remixing the “more important” elements to their advantage. Aegon’s story is half-Jon’s and half-Dany’s, a prefab origin myth that reveals the Return of the Rightful Heir trope as propaganda. Euron refuses to recognize the boundaries between schools of thought, drawing from Bloodraven, the warlocks, the Old Way, and Valyria to create a singular stew of evil; I’ve speculated this will culminate in him summoning both Fire (a dragon) and Ice (the Others) with their respective horns. Why pick one side, why pick one story, when you can “take it all?” Aegon and Euron are what happens when the characters themselves start getting Dangerously Genre Savvy, realizing that an eyepatch here and a poleboat there is all you need to get the crowd cheering for you. GRRM’s grand metaphor is that Aegon and Euron play the same role in the narrative as they do in-universe: interlopers, hijackers, foils to the true central figure of the narrative, Daenerys Targaryen. And all of that only works if they show up when they do, and not a page before.  

Finally, I don’t think Euron’s “so slightly developed” at all. As with Arianne and Jon Connington, GRRM works overtime to make Euron feel as fleshed-out as more familiar characters, every moment he’s on the page establishing his backstory, worldview, and agenda. Hell, that’s so even when he’s not on the page; perhaps the best argument I have that Euron has a major role to play in the final two books is how GRRM “seeds” his character in ADWD and the released Theon chapter from TWOW: 

“Others seek Daenerys too … One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood.”

Beneath her coverlets she tossed and turned, dreaming that Hizdahr was kissing her…but his lips were blue and bruised, and when he thrust himself inside her, his manhood was cold as ice.

Under it he wore a stained white leather eye patch that reminded Theon of his uncle Euron. He’d wanted to rip it off Umber’s face, to make certain that underneath was only an empty socket, not a black eye shining with malice.

It’s not just that these images of Euron exist. It’s that they come out of nowhere (nobody is discussing or thinking about him in any of the relevant scenes) and are positively nightmarish, blocking out all else and throwing the narrative onto this skin-crawling cosmic-horror plane. Again, this is how Euron works structurally: he suddenly steps into a pre-existing narrative and takes it over. It’s not a story error, it’s a character trait, and a thematically resonant one. 

witchoflancre-deactivated201511  asked:

I saw you posting about what's "controversial" on this new Sansa chapter but I must admit I wasn't surprised by it. I honestly expected her to change the way she did and become more confortable in the role of Alayne and with Petyr's way of thinking. I hold her highly and her using what she has to make her path easier didn't change my opinion of her, she's still my fave character. What did you feel?

I too failed to be surprised, simply because her behavior reflected my own personal headcanons for how Sansa would progress after AFFC. What I love here, and what I think goes against some opinions that have taken root among Sansa fans, is that she has both developed her political/manipulative acumen while still remaining, at her core, a sweet, young girl.

Keep reading

psalmsforoblivion  asked:

Ever wonder if Dragonbinder is just a red herring? Like, it kills Vic when he blows it, but doesn't bind the dragon. Maybe Euron will steal Rhaegal via warging (like, he's able to jump from the dusky woman the dragon when they make eye contact?). It would almost be more in keeping with Vic's arc of his death were not only violent and self-inflicted, but basically pointless. What do you think?

(spoilers for TWOW) 

Hiya! Nah, I think that’s a slight misunderstanding of Vic’s arc. Here’s the key phrase IMO to understanding the Iron Suitor’s journey: 

“I have seen you in the nightfires, Victarion Greyjoy. You come striding through the flames stern and fierce, your great axe dripping blood, blind to the tentacles that grasp you at wrist and neck and ankle, the black strings that make you dance.”

“Blind to the tentacles.” The tentacles are Euron, of course; Moqorro remembers him, astrally speaking, from the vision of the Crow’s Eye in the flames: 

“One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood.”

But “blind” is just as important, really. As I’ve said before, Vic spends ADWD congratulating himself for outwitting Euron, even though Moqorro tells him to his face that Euron’s controlling him from afar (because he’s warging into the Dusky Woman, although I don’t think Moqorro knows that). Victarion’s “arc,” to the extent one exists, is leading him to realize in his final moments that Moqorro was right, that he was carrying out Euron’s wishes after all. And that arc only works if he, himself, is crucial to Euron’s success. So that’s why we see Vic becoming obsessed with Dragonbinder in the TWOW chapter GRRM has read: because as you say, he’s going to blow it himself, and burn from within realizing he’s bestowed a dragon upon his hated brother. 

And I remain firmly convinced that Euron’s plan works, because GRRM’s just laid so much magical groundwork where the Crow’s Eye is concerned. From Moqorro’s aforementioned vision (eldritch kraken on a sea of goddamn blood, take the goddamn guy seriously) to his bone-chilling presence in Dany’s nightmares to the strong hints that he’s a rogue protege of Bloodraven’s (making him, as I’ve said, less Boat Ramsay than Evil Bran) to his imminent invasion of Oldtown, where Sam’s just brought the Horn of Joramun, and hey who do we know that likes magical horns…and if there’s a horn that can bring down the Wall (and thus summon Ice), why not a horn to control dragons (and thus summon Fire)? And who more likely to hijack both sides of the magical war than Euron Greyjoy, the structural interloper who lives to bring meta-narratives (from the old gods to the warlocks to the Ironborn) to their knees? 

I teased an essay the other day along the lines of “Ice Valyria: the Others, the Crow’s Eye, and the Eldritch Patriarchy.” The basic idea would be that Euron is a postmodern villain, one that rather than focusing his evil through one medium (like the Others with ice magic or the Valyrians with dragonfire) seeks to capture both; in doing so, he provides something the story really needs, structurally speaking: overlap between the political and magical plots. In his desire to be both dragonlord and Night’s King, Euron creates a link between the horrors of empire and the horrors of the Long Night. And to make that work, Euron needs both horns to work: he needs to both bring down the Wall and steal a dragon. Not for nothing does GRRM have Moqorro share his vision of Euron just as the Selaesori Qhoran is passing by Valyria. “Sea of blood” indeed. 

The most common counter-argument seems to be that having Euron’s long-shot plan work gives him too much credit, that his hubris must be punished…and it will, but I very firmly believe the pride and succeeding fall in Slaver’s Bay specifically are Victarion’s, not Euron’s. The latter’s comeuppance will wait for ADOS and Dany. TWOW, by contrast, will be a string of wild, unbroken, stage-stealing successes for Euron…as it will be for Aegon, the interloper-hero to Euron’s interloper-villain, the most significant new character in ADWD as Euron was in AFFC, soon to dominate southeast Westeros as Euron dominates the southwest. They’ll be all set up to fight, Crow’s Eye v. Mummer’s Dragon, an eerily perfect fantasy showdown–and then Dany comes to reclaim the narrative from both, with fire and blood. So for Euron to go down to, say, the Redwynes, or the Hightowers, makes about as much structural sense to me as Aegon going down at Storm’s End. They’ve both just got too much to do.