in that it's the one thing that reminds catelyn of ned

The Stark Sisters: Contrasts & Parallels

Sometimes her sleep was leaden and dreamless, and she woke from it more tired than when she had closed her eyes. Yet those were the best times, for when she dreamed, she dreamed of Father…Perhaps I will die too, she told herself, and the thought did not seem so terrible to her. (Sansa VI, AGoT)

Some mornings Arya did not want to wake at all. She would huddle beneath her cloak with her eyes squeezed shut and try to will herself back to sleep. If the Hound would only have left her alone, she would have slept all day and all night. And dreamed. That was the best part, the dreaming. She dreamed of wolves most every night.  (Arya XII, ASoS)

After Ned’s execution Sansa falls into despondency. Sansa cries for days, she doesn’t eat or bathe, she doesn’t leave her room and she even considers killing herself. Her dreams are laden with images of her father’s murder and she prefers her dreamless nights because they give her more peace than her nightmares. Lady is dead, so is Ned. The rest of her family are far away and she’s not sure what’s become of Arya. She’s trapped in a prison of grief and soon enough she’ll realise that the Red Keep is to be her new cage.

This is a contrast to Arya who, although she is also a captive, falls into a different sort of grief after the Red Wedding. She is silent, she feels empty and numb and she doesn’t want to be awake anymore. Her dreams however are filled with wolves. In her dreams she is big, strong, fast and she answers to no one. She has a big pack; a family who would never abandon her and those are really the only moments in which she doesn’t feel alone. Her wolf dreams are a source of strength and a constant reaffirmation of her identity. It doesn’t completely alleviate her emptiness but for a girl in who a big part of her story is survival in the wild, her loyal wolf pack represents that fierce and survivalist energy that she has to adapt to in order to survive.

Joffrey was dead, he was dead, he was dead, dead, dead. Why was she crying, when she wanted to dance? Were they tears of joy? … Robb had died at a wedding feast as well. It was Robb she wept for. (Sansa V, ASoS)

Arya edged farther into the room. Joffrey’s dead. She could almost see him, with his blond curls and his mean smile and his fat soft lips. Joffrey’s dead! She knew it ought to make her happy, but somehow she still felt empty inside. Joffrey was dead, but if Robb was dead too, what did it matter? (Arya VIII, ASoS)

Conflicting feelings arise for both girls at the death of Joffery. Sansa watched him call for her father’s death after he promised her mercy and she was the main recipient of his torment and so she loathes him but she still weeps at his death. She cries because it was a horrible image, Joffery clawing at his throat and tearing at his own skin. She cries too because it also brings up memories of Robb who was also killed at a wedding. 

Conversely, Arya still hates Joffery for Ned’s death and she still remembers the part he played in the death of Mycah and Lady. She too thinks she should be happy that he’s dead but in the end it rings hollow because her brother died too. 

Both girls still had some naive faith that Robb would storm King’s Landing, kill the monster and that they would finally be safe and be able to go home. None of this came to be and instead Catelyn and Robb ended up in their graves killing any hope either girl had in ever being safe again. They can’t celebrate Joffery’s death because it doesn’t undo every loss and hurt he’s caused them and neither girl is able to reconcile the idea of rejoicing in the death of an enemy when Robb, Catelyn, Ned and Bran and Rickon (or so they believe) lay dead.

Swinging the doll by the legs, he knocked the top off one gatehouse tower and then the other. It was more than Sansa could stand. “Robert, stop that.” Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll’s head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow. (Sansa VII, ASoS)

And there was one girl who took to following her, the village elder’s daughter. She was of an age with Arya, but just a child; she cried if she skinned a knee, and carried a stupid cloth doll with her everywhere she went. The doll was made up to look like a man-at-arms, sort of, so the girl called him Ser Soldier and bragged how he kept her safe. “Go away,” Arya told her half a hundred times. “Just leave me be.” She wouldn’t, though, so finally Arya took the doll away from her, ripped it open, and pulled the rag stuffing out of its belly with a finger. “Now he really looks like a soldier!” she said, before she threw the doll in a brook. (Arya XII, ASoS)

This was particularly interesting to me because children taking out their traumas on toys is actually pretty common. Sansa who has seen her father beheaded, accidentally ripping off the head of a doll and Arya who has witnessed all the horrors of wars reenacting a soldier being disemboweled on a doll. I think it’s important to note that while they could have taken their rage out on the children themselves they hurt dolls instead, inanimate objects. 

They are children, Sansa thought. They are silly little girls, even Elinor. They’ve never seen a battle, they’ve never seen a man die, they know nothing. Their dreams were full of songs and stories, the way hers had been before Joffrey cut her father’s head off. Sansa pitied them. Sansa envied them. (Sansa II, ASoS)

A whooping gang of small children went running past, chasing a rolling hoop. Arya stared at them with resentment, remembering the times she’d played at hoops with Bran and Jon and their baby brother Rickon. (Arya V, AGoT)

For Sansa, constantly subjected to torment and abuse and for Arya, starving and scared on the streets of Flea Bottom after fleeing from the Red Keep, they are reminded of the children they used to be and of the childhood they so desperately wish they could regain. From two children who have had their childhoods ripped away from them, and quite cruelly too I might add, we see some natural resentment towards children who are allowed to be just that, children.

Ser Arys offered his arm and she let him lead her from her chamber. If she must have one of the Kingsguard dogging her steps, Sansa preferred that it be him. … Arys Oakheart was courteous, and would talk to her cordially. Once he even objected when Joffrey commanded him to hit her. He did hit her in the end, but not hard as Ser Meryn or Ser Boros might have, and at least he had argued. (Sansa I, ACoK)

She bit her lip. “I—”

He slapped her.

The blow left her cheek stinging, but she knew that she had earned it. “Thank you.” Enough slaps, and she might stop chewing on her lip. (The Ugly Little Girl, ADWD)

They both internalise their abuse in different ways and either way it is very sad. With Sansa believing that Arys is not so bad because he doesn’t hit her as hard as the others. (He is. He could have refused.) And Arya deciding that she deserves to be hit (She doesn’t) in order to learn a lesson. Both reactions are very common in abuse survivors and I don’t think it can be stated enough that both girls have suffered tremendous abuse and trauma and there are actually some similarities in how they deal with the things they’ve faced. 

These aren’t all their parallels by a long shot but these are the ones that I don’t see a lot of discussion about. 

Arya and Sansa have a complicated relationship and a past full of bullying, resentments and disappointments. When they reunite there is going to be friction, GRRM himself said that they have issues they need to work out and while we can all be certain it won’t be the poorly written disaster that it is in the show, it certainly won’t be easy. But Sansa is still part of Arya’s pack and whatever they have to work through they need each other to succeed or as good ol’ Ned once said:

Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you … and I need both of you, gods help me. (Arya II, AGoT)

anonymous asked:

I've always thought in terms of personality, arya is much more like catelyn and Sansa much more like Ned. Popular opinion seems to like it the other way round though. Maybe it's because of looks, maybe it's because Sansa/cat less popular arya/Ned more so they group them like that. But I firmly believe personality wise, arya gets more from cat and Sansa more from Ned. I was wondering if you could expand on this and share your opinion?

Hey there anon :). I’ve picked up on this many times before and for some reason its often overlooked by many in the fandom. I’ve always thought that while Arya resembles Ned and Sansa resembles Cat, their personality and mannerisms are actually more like the other parent. I personally think this is often denied because a lot of people love Ned and Arya but don’t like Cat and Sansa, so I’m hoping this may help change their opinion.

Catelyn and Arya:

Feminism: Despite the very patriarchal society they live in, both Cat and Arya are essentially champions of women, recognising the worth of women and also almost scorning how they’re seen as second value citizens in Westeros:

  • Catelyn: ‘A woman can rule as wisely as a man’: When Brynden seems to worry that Lysa intends to rule the Eyrie, Catelyn says this, emphasising her belief that women can do just as much of a good job ruling (and to be fair, Brynden does agree that the ‘right’ woman can)
  • Catelyn: ‘Girls are not important enough, are they?’: This is her response when Robb tells her that he could’ve traded Jaime for Ned, and she realises that Sansa and Arya aren’t worth as much, lamenting how society favours men over women.
  • Arya: ‘The woman is important too’: This is when Jon spots that Joffrey wears both the royal Baratheon sigil of his ‘father’ and the Lannister lion of his mother and says that the royal sigil should be enough but he wears his mother’s house sigil as equal and Arya protests that, saying that women are just as important.

Both Catelyn and Arya are actually rather intelligent: Now I’m not saying that Sansa and Ned aren’t intelligent, but Arya definitely takes after Catelyn, she’s a lot more intuitive than Sansa is, and that is all Cat. Catelyn manages to outwit Tyrion, and he acknowledges that himself: ‘All his life Tyrion had prided himself on his cunning…yet this seven-times-damned she-wolf Catelyn Stark had outwitted him at every turn’. Arya is intelligent as well, for example, she uses her wit and intelligence to manipulate Jaqen into freeing them from Harrenhal, she manages to learn how to speak Braavosi, despite her young age (I also love how when she’s in Braavos, ‘Cat of the Canals’ is a name she uses, it breaks my heart).

They both have a massive taste for revenge:

  • Arya: ‘Every night Arya would say their names. Ser Gregor…The Tickler and the Hound, Ser Amory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei’: The list of names that Arya has of people she wants to kill is very well known in both the books and the show.
  • Catelyn: ‘I want them all dead, Brienne. Theon Greyjoy first, then Jaime Lannister and Cersei and the Imp, every one’: This is before Lady Stoneheart, so there’s not even the excuse of the ruthless, resurrected zombified Catelyn who is taking this stance on revenge.

Catelyn literally has a list of people she wants dead, not necessarily by her hand, whereas Arya actually wants to kill the people on her list, but if this isn’t a huge pointer to who Arya takes after, then I don’t know what is. Now Catelyn isn’t violent, but she’s certainly after vengeance. Ned isn’t a someone who seems like that. Yes he went to war, but I’d argue that was more about finding Lyanna. And if he had got the chance, I’d say he would’ve killed Aerys without blinking, but I firmly believe Arya’s stance on revenge and vengeance comes from Cat, and not Ned. Here are some of Cat’s other quotes:

  • ‘You are the gentle sex’ said Lord Karstark…’A man has a need for vengeance’…‘Give me Cersei Lannister, Lord Karstark, and you would see how gentle a woman can be’
  • ‘I have no skill with swords, but that does not mean that I do not dream of riding to King’s Landing and wrapping my hands around Cersei Lannister’s white throat and squeezing until her face turns black’

Not only is Cat demonstrating her taste for vengeance, but particularly in that second quote, she’s describing it gruesomely. Cat has a fierceness that is seen in Arya. Arya’s list is almost purely based on a desire to get revenge for the deaths of her family, that sounds pretty similar to a certain resurrected character. This fierceness we see in Arya is all Cat, Ned is not a fierce person at all.

Emotion: Both Cat and Arya are driven by emotion, and this can often mean them doing reckless things. While Cat (for the most part) is more rational, and that comes with age and maturity, she can be impulsive at times. For Arya, things like hitting Joffrey (although he was attacking Mycah, Joffrey is the crown prince and it’s punishable by death to strike him) is an example of her recklessness, but she does it to protect someone. Catelyn releasing Jaime strikes me as something similar, it is a reckless act, but driven by a desire to protect her daughters and get them safe. Yes, it wasn’t a good move and severely weakened Robb’s cause (Though I don’t think that cost him the war as others do. They just place the blame on Cat), but it reminds me of Arya, because that is something she would do.

Cat is very emotionally driven when it comes to Jon. Jon’s presence (not his existence, contrary to popular belief, Cat doesn’t hate the fact that Jon exists. She actually says she wouldn’t mind if Ned had many bastards, as long as they were kept away) affects her emotionally and it hurts her to see him every day, to be reminded of the honourable Ned Stark’s infidelity. She acts on emotion and chooses to ignore him over something he had no choice in, and it is driven by her hurt over the situation. Arya is similar to this, in the show, not the book, when Gendry is taken. Gendry is like an anchor for Arya at this point, and it really hurts her to see him being taken by Melisandre. However, she adds Beric, Thoros and Melisandre to her list for this. A list that includes Cersei, Joffrey, Walder Frey, people who helped murder her family. Now, Gendry being taken really hurt her, but do them three deserve to be on her list? Not really, it’s purely driven by emotion.

Childhood: Arya is obviously well known for her play during childhood. She’s messy, enjoys playing with the boys, wants to swordfight, and just wild in general. People often liken that to Lyanna, but Catelyn remembers her own childhood where she used to make mud pies with Lysa, and used to play with her and Petyr. Although she didn’t swordfight, Catelyn’s own childhood mirrors Arya’s quite a bit, since she also enjoyed playing as a child (I have a headcanon that Arya’s archery skills come from Catelyn because as a child, Cat was taught how to use a bow and arrow by Brynden Tully, but there’s no evidence for that, it’s just a headcanon). People may then call Cat a hypocrite for wanting Arya not to engage in play activities, but people also forget that Cat was forced to grow up very quickly after her mother died and it likely was a quick transition that she wasn’t prepared for and I argue that she wanted Arya to be more prepared than she was and she’s also aware of how harsh society is for women, especially those who don’t fit into the roles of ‘looking pretty’ and producing babies.

Strength: Another similarity is both of them remaining strong.

  • Arya: ‘I am a wolf and will not be afraid’ and the repeated ‘I’m not afraid’ in the show’ demonstrate Arya’s strength. Arya is afraid, and the Hound picks up on that, but she tries to push the feeling of being afraid away out of fear of being weak, she can’t allow herself to be weak, instead she resorts to her inner strength.
  • Catelyn: ‘I want to weep, she thought. I want to be comforted. I’m so tired of being strong. I want to be foolish and frightened for once. Just for a small while, that’s all, a day, an hour’ While Catelyn is talking about grief and not fear, she also shares the similar belief that she has to be strong, so she pushes her grief away because she also can’t allow herself to be weak, like Arya, demonstrating the inner strength she has.

I said in a previous ask Cat and Arya’s relationship is undervalued, but there are so many things Catelyn loves about Arya and now Arya will never get the chance to know how much her mother loved her. One thing that is heartbreaking is that we know how desperately Catelyn wanted to give Ned a son that looked like him, but she never got the chance to. I believe that despite the fact that Arya is not seen as ‘pretty’ and doesn’t get the nice Tully features the other four do, Cat wouldn’t change Arya’s appearance because Arya is the brown haired, grey eyed child she’d always wanted.

LSH doesn’t look like she will be introduced in the show, but in the books, I firmly believe that it will be Arya, to put her out of her misery. And I like to think that having to kill her own mother, Arya will stop her quest for vengeance and head north to find her family.

Ned and Sansa:

Naivety: Sansa has obviously changed since season 1, but in season 1, her and Ned shared the same naivety. Both of them go to Cersei in the hope that she will listen to them, and it backfires on both of them. Ned confronted Cersei with the fact that he knew the truth about her and Jaime, and that was essentially him signing his death warrant. It was naive of Ned to believe that Cersei wouldn’t try to fight back in any way. Cersei has watched Robert’s vengeance follow the Targaryen children around in exile, and she didn’t want that for her own children, Ned’s naivety cost him his life. Sansa also runs to tell Cersei of Ned’s plans to leave, and it backfired. 

Too Trusting: Ned obviously doesn’t trust Cersei, but he places trust in her that he believes she will take up his offer and flee. He trusts that she will put the interest of her children first, and she doesn’t and he was too trusting of her.

  • Ned: ‘Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse’—‘I did warn you not to trust me’: This is the classic example of Ned being too trusting. Placing his trust in a man who literally tells him not too.
  • Sansa: ‘Once she had loved Prince Joffrey with all her heart and admired and trusted his mother, the queen. They had repaid that love and trust with her father’s head: Sansa places her trust in the wrong people, just as Ned does, and unfortunately for her, she finds out the hard way and it’s certainly a learning curve for her. The too trusting thing is all Ned, Catelyn is much more wary of people, as is Arya (Roose Bolton at Harrenhal for example)

The Eyrie: This is much more of a simple parallel, but it is still one.

  • Ned: Grows up in the Eyrie as a ward of Jon Arryn
  • Sansa: Spends time in the Eyrie under the ‘protection’ of Littlefinger as his bastard daughter (niece in the show)

It’s a very simple similarity, but I believe there is a purpose to everything that George writes. It’s funny that LF is almost trying to make Sansa turn into Catelyn, but he’s doing so in a place where Sansa will feel connected to Ned.

Traditional: While Cat and Arya very much champion women and are essentially medieval feminists, Ned and Sansa are much more traditional. Now, that’s not to say that they don’t value women, because they do. Sansa has probably been beaten down to think that women aren’t worth much but by season 7, we see that she’s really starting to believe in herself as a woman. Ned definitely valued women, respected them, he had a lot of trust in Catelyn, but in reality they are both traditional and fit in with the patriarchal society. Sansa despises of anything unlady-like that Arya does, because it’s not how a woman should act. Certainly in book one, Sansa is convinced that she has to look pretty for Joffrey, smile for him, give him babies, a very traditional medieval view of a woman’s role. Ned certainly doesn’t see Catelyn as a breeding machine, and that’s not what my point is here, but he is still traditional in the fact that he is in charge, and what he says goes. He doesn’t give Cat a say in Jon’s situation and then forbids her to talk about him, using his authority as the male over her. That’s not to say Ned is mean, it’s him being traditional, the man is superior to the woman.

Gentleness: Both Ned and Sansa are much more gentle than Cat and Arya. Cat and Arya have a fierceness we don’t see in Ned and Sansa. Sansa is a gentle young lady, made for the south, doesn’t know how harsh the world is, a very gentle soul. Despite his rough exterior, we know that Ned is actually a very gentle person: ‘Eyes that could be soft as fog or hard as stone’, ‘Once I found the good, sweet heart beneath Ned’s solemn face’. Sansa’s gentleness towards people and life is 100% Ned, even though he doesn’t seem the gentle type.

Armour: Their metaphorical suits of armour are pointed out:

  • Ned: ‘You wear your honour like a suit of armour, Stark’
  • Sansa: ‘What was it that Septa Mordane used to tell her? A ladies armour is courtesy’

It’s another simple similarity, but a fascinating one again, because they are both using these metaphorical suits of armour to almost shield them from real life. Ned holds honour in high regard, as Sansa holds courtesy as well, and they are the things that they use to shield themselves, as armour is supposed to do.

General Personality: Ned is known as the most quiet (his nickname is the ‘Quiet Wolf’), sensible, patient, dutiful and this is definitely evident in Sansa. Sansa is also rather quiet (in comparison to Arya), sensible and patient, she’s not rash or reckless, she’s slower to act to things, idealistic, she has a great deal of empathy. That’s not to say that Catelyn is the complete opposite, Catelyn does have empathy and she’s not completely reckless, but these qualities are much more evident in Ned.

Reassurance: This again is only a small one, but in the show only, we’ve seen a similarity between Ned and Sansa, trying to reassure Catelyn and Jon respectively that they belong in Winterfell

  • Ned: ‘All these years and I still feel like an outsider when I come here’ — ‘You have five Northern children. You’re not an outsider’
  • Sansa: ‘I’m not a Stark’ — ‘You are to me’

It’s a very simple parallel, but an important one. They are both reassuring someone who isn’t sure of their place, that they belong. We saw Sansa through season 6 continue to try and assure Jon that he had a place, that he was a Stark. She made him a Stark cloak, she told him he should have the lord’s chamber, she convinced him to be the person to lead them retaking Winterfell. I imagine that Ned throughout his marriage, assured Catelyn that she belonged in Winterfell, the North was her home etc.

Like Cat and Arya, Ned and Sansa’s relationship is massively undervalued as well. Sansa is his first daughter, and while he obviously loves Arya too, that’s something special to him. She’s the first child he would’ve been present for the birth, seen her as a newborn. We don’t actually know when Ned and Cat fell in love, but Sansa could’ve been the first child out of love. Sansa is precious to Ned, she’s just like him in personality, but she looks just like the woman he loves more than anything, and her innocence and gentle look on the world is why I think he doesn’t tell her what the world is really like, he wants to shield his little girl from the horrors of it.

In the end, people talk a lot about Ned sacrificing his honour for Jon, but they often ignore the fact that Ned loved Sansa enough that he was willing to be deemed a traitor to his best friend in order to save her and that is Ned Stark summed up in one scene. He thinks honour is important, but it’s nothing compared to family. Sansa is one of the last things he sees before he dies, and Ned would be proud of the woman Sansa has become

eclinu  asked:

Can i ask you why do you think jon's dragon is viseryon? 🤔

Sure! I’m not good with metas but I’ll try to explain my thoughts as best as I can.

I’ll keep this only to the reasons why I believe Jon’s dragon is Viserion, not why I believe Tyrion’s dragon is Rhaegal though I do have reasons for that as well, not just process of elimination (which it’s what happen when we give Viserion to Tyrion).

First because I see parallels between Jon/Viserys, second because of the importance of both relationships to Dany and third because of the dragon itself.

I think that there’s kind of a parallel going on during A Game Of Thrones between Jon’s and Viserys’ stories, but a distinctive and very important difference between said parallel happens. Let’s also take other similar things of the characters into consideration:

  • Viserys and Jon are their father’s second son. Jon in any way you choose to see, either being Ned or Rhaegar the father… Jon is the second son. Neither were the heir.
  • Viserys and Jon are exiled from their homes. And you can say that Jon chose to leave for the Wall, but in the end it does not change the fact that had he chosen to stay, Catelyn would send him away so there wasn’t really a choice.

Which brings me to said parallel in A Game Of Thrones: Viserys living among the dothraki and Jon living at the Wall. There is, to me, a sense of denial and refusal to them. Both Jon and Viserys expected something they have not gotten. Viserys wanted his crown and his army, Jon wanted honored brothers and to be a ranger. But here is where the important distinction begins, where Jon grows and learns, Viserys does not. Viserys doesn’t understand and worse, doesn’t accept it to the point of dying because of it. And Jon makes the best of it, he makes friends, he adapts, he learns and by the end he embraces it.

And the importance in Jon doing what Viserys could not reminds me of is this quote:

The cream-and-gold I call Viserion. Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. His dragon will do what he could not.

Still on what Jon will do that Viserys could not… Well, he will be to Dany everything that her brother was not. In the familial sense and in the romantic one as well:

My mother died giving me birth, and my father and my brother Rhaegar even before that. I would never have known so much as their names if Viserys had not been there to tell me. He was the only one left. The only one. He is all I have.

Daenerys said nothing. She had always assumed that she would wed Viserys when she came of age. For centuries the Targaryens had married brother to sister, since Aegon the Conqueror had taken his sisters to bride. The line must be kept pure, Viserys had told her a thousand times; theirs was the kingsblood, the golden blood of old Valyria, the blood of the dragon. 

Jon is the last one for Dany, he is all the family she has left. And why does Jon’s romantic relationship with Dany has to deal with him riding Viserion?

She climbed the pyre herself to place the eggs around her sun-and-stars. The black beside his heart, under his arm. The green beside his head, his braid coiled around it. The cream-and-gold down between his legs.

When she woke the third time, a shaft of golden sunlight was pouring through the smoke hole of the tent, and her arms were wrapped around a dragon’s egg. It was the pale one, its scales the color of butter cream, veined with whorls of gold and bronze, and Dany could feel the heat of it. Beneath her bedsilks, a fine sheen of perspiration covered her bare skin. Dragondew, she thought. Her fingers trailed lightly across the surface of the shell, tracing the wisps of gold, and deep in the stone she felt something twist and stretch in response. It did not frighten her. All her fear was gone, burned away.

I might be reaching with the second quote, but the first is unmistakable. The places where Dany placed her eggs are important to the meaning of her future relationships with their riders. The rider of the green one will be her counselor and the rider of the cream-and-gold one will be her lover.

And lastly, the dragon itself.

The egg is most commonly described as “pale cream streaked with gold” but re-reading I’ve noted that the egg is described as veined with whorls of gold and bronze and it strikes me as interesting because when applied to Jon, it matches. The gold veins are obviously his Targaryen blood and the bronze veins are his Stark blood as in the bronze crowns the Kings of Winter had, of his brother Robb as well.

And we cannot forget Jon’s white direwolf and his color symbolism because Jon is associated with white, not green.

Yes, Rhaegal is the namesake of Jon’s father but what else connects them? While with Viserion/Viserys…

"Did we free the North from those who want us on our knees?" - A Jonsa Endgame Meta

- Robb Stark, Season 1, Episode 9, in a passionate speech about the importance of marching south and winning the war.

He wasn’t just marching to save his sisters, he was marching to make the North its own independent Kingdom again after his father’s death an episode later. Then, he didn’t want his army to lose sight of that goal in the face of having Jaime Lannister as a hostage which would allow them to trade for his family in King’s Landing. But it was already morphing into an independence movement even before he had been declared King in the North.

Jaime had a point he brought up in episode 10 as well - Robb and him could duel for the war and end it without bloodshed, but Robb didn’t want to do that. Not just because he’d lose a duel (nobody fights the Kingslayer before he loses his hand and lives) but because Robb wasn’t fighting just to save his sisters anymore.

He was fighting for freedom.

Originally posted by imagineseverywhere

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anonymous asked:

How do you think Ned saw Jon? As his sister's boy? as his own son? As a burden? As worth it? Do you think he regretted his promise to Lyanna?

I do not think he regretted his promise or that he kept it, but rather the cost of keeping it. That the promise to Lyanna chaffed at Ned is indisputable but that struggle was about the price it exacted from him and forced him to exact from his loved ones, rather than the promise itself.

“I will,“ Ned had promised her. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he’d made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he’d paid to keep them.

Through his attempt to keep Jon safe, Ned lied through his teeth to people he cared deeply about. He hurt Catelyn tremendously and created a chasm in their marriage that would not otherwise be there. He hurt Jon tremendously by keeping the identity of his mother a secret and giving him absolutely nothing about her which led Jon to internalize the thought that Ned was ashamed of his mother and of Jon himself by extension. That’s a heavy load of guilt to carry day in and day out, the realization that you’re hurting the people you love the most by your actions but being unable to do anything about it. Ned knew he was hurting both Catelyn and Jon, he knew he put them in a position where they were hurting each other (inadvertently in Jon’s case because he couldn’t exactly help existing), but he could not see an alternative route since anything that made Jon’s situation better would have come at Catelyn’s expense, and anything aimed to ease Catelyn’s issues with Jon would have come at Jon’s expense. So that left Ned with a situation that was inherently imperfect, and a perpetual predicament of being caught between Jon and Catelyn, something that only brought pain to all parties.

What adds a layer of complication to Ned’s thoughts about his promise to Lyanna (something that haunts him throughout his PoV) is what it symbolized: the fact that Ned’s foster brother would sanction the murder of his kin so that Ned was then forced to lie to protect his little nephew. In addition to that, that promise was linked to a great deal of trauma for Ned. For better or for worse, Ned’s promise to Lyanna is tied to the trauma he experienced at the tower of joy from losing friends to the three standing Kingsguard to having his much beloved little sister die in his arms but not before entrusting him with a last piece of her, a little life that was in danger from Ned’s own foster family. That is not something that’s easily dealt with, especially alone and in silence because he could not share it with anyone in fear of Jon’s life being endangered. Keeping the secret of Jon’s paternity was incredibly isolating to Ned in its necessity of keeping a certain distance between him and his foster family, and its creation of a distance between him and Catelyn, and him and Jon. That only compounded Ned’s previous trauma and left him to deal with it all on his own, all while that trauma was kept alive and on the forefront of Ned’s mind, what with the threat of Robert’s wrath held over his and Jon’s heads, and Jon being a walking reminder of the reality of why he had to keep that secret and the trauma tied to it. That’s a very lonely position to be in, not at all made better by how Ned’s response to trauma tends to be inherently isolating.

That this promise haunted Ned so and that he was weighed down by all the lies and secrets is perfectly understandable under these circumstances, but it’s not indicative of Ned regretting giving that promise. Ned was always going to keep Jon safe because Jon was his blood and the son of his beloved sister, and because that’s just who Ned was (honestly, this is the guy who was prepared to let Cersei escape punishment for her crimes to save Joffrey. Joffrey. Ned’s compassion and empathy is a vital part of his character, especially when it comes to children.) That he gave his word to Lyanna to ease her mind as she died, well, that is the mark of a loving brother. But what forced him into a situation where he had to lie and hurt those he loved was not Jon, but rather Robert and his immoral vengeful wish to see every Targaryen dead. Ned was already in a fight with Robert over the murder of Princess Elia and Rhaenys and Aegon; that he then had to conceal his baby nephew to spare him the same fate only served to underline how Robert was responsible for the predicament Ned found himself in. The burden Ned bore was Robert’s doing, not Jon’s. That Robert’s condoning of the murder of children was always on the forefront of Ned’s mind was only made clear by his reaction to Robert’s order to kill Daenerys (compounded for Ned by the direct link to Jon, another teenage Targaryen that Robert would obliterate if he found out his existence) and by his attempt to get Cersei to leave with her children to spare them a similar fate. People always say that it’s easy to see Lyanna and Jon hovering behind Ned’s actions and I agree, but it’s also easy to see the ruined bodies of Rhaenys and Aegon, wrapped in crimson red and haunting Ned just as much. Rhaenys and Aegon were the motivator for Ned to lie and shoulder his burdens so he could spare Jon their fate.

As for how that reflected on his view of Jon…..

I’m firmly in the camp that believes that Ned loved Jon as his own. Jon was Lyanna’s but he was also Ned’s. An essential thing to note in any discussion of Ned’s relationship with Jon is that this entire relationship existed by Ned’s choice. Ned chose Jon as his son, and I don’t mean that only in the sense that he claimed him as his child but that he chose to be a father to Jon instead of just giving the boy his name and foisting him on a vassal to foster, as is the standard practice for noble bastards in Westeros. Jon’s life in Winterfell was a choice on Ned’s part, a choice to give Jon a loving relationship with a parent and siblings and the best education he could get him, a choice to give Jon all the advantages he could get away with giving to him and to instruct him as one would a trueborn son. Ned chose to be Jon’s parent, full stop. He claimed him as his own as an infant and prayed to the old gods that he grows up with Robb as brothers. He gave him the name Jon in honor of the man who wasn’t his father by blood but who Ned considered his second father all the same, with what that symbolizes of Jon not being his son by blood but being his son all the same. He upended his life and caused strife in his marriage so he could take personal responsibility for raising Jon. That goes beyond dutiful acquiescence to the wishes of a dying sister, that’s love and not just for Lyanna but also for Jon. That Catelyn, the person who knew Ned best, remarked on his fierce protectiveness of Jon and noted his anguish when she informed him that Jon could not stay in Winterfell can only be a testament to that, as is Ned’s shame and sorrow in his final chapter over where he’d failed Jon. Ned’s love for Jon is visible in the text, if entangled with a lot of pain and trauma and mourning.

anonymous asked:

Hi, quick question because I haven't read the books in a while. Did Ned encourage Arya's unladylike behaviour at all? I know he obviously let her keep Needle but apart from that I'm sure he wanted to make her a lady (the whole 'your sons will be knights... quote etc) but he and Cat just sort of gave up. I see people say because she remind him of Lyanna he encouraged it but I would've thought if she reminded him of Lyanna, he would discourage it, hoping she doesn't share the same fate

The short answer to your question, Nonnie, is NO. Ned did not “encourage” Arya in unladylike behavior. The Ned Stark who indulges his youngest daughter in every whim and thinks it’s charming if she’s rude to people is entirely a fandom creation. At least as far as the books go. Not having seen the show, I never pretend to speak to portrayals of the characters there. Honestly, this idea of Ned as the super progressive, indulgent father who would want all his children to live freely and marry for love and spend their lives doing whatever their little hearts desire if it weren’t for that horrible bitch he’s married to infuriates me as much on Ned’s behalf as it does on Catelyn’s!

As much as I love the guy, as much as he genuinely loves both his wife and children a great deal more than many other lords in ASOIAF seem to, as much as he absolutely values women as human beings capable of rational thought and worthy of respect in a way that far too few of the men in the series do, Lord Eddard Stark is a pretty traditional guy. He married for duty, became Lord of Winterfell for duty, lives his life with as much honor as he can–as he understands the concept. He expects no less of his children. He does not want them unhappy and would not willingly place them in harm’s way, but he expects Robb to fulfills his responsibilities as heir to Winterfell and one day its lord, to rule with honor and wed a woman who will make a good Lady of Winterfell. He expects Bran and Rickon to grow up and become bannermen of their elder brother, perhaps with their own holdfasts in the North, helping defend House Stark and the North and administer justice in their brother’s name. He expects Sansa AND Arya to make marriages which are advantageous to House Stark. Not because he thinks of his children as pawns, but because this is WHAT PEOPLE DO! This is how a good father secures his children’s future and how a good lord secures the future of his House.

So, OF COURSE, he doesn’t encourage Arya’s wild ways. Now, we don’t get to see any actual hands-on parenting by Ned of his daughters in Winterfell on the page. Catelyn is obviously in charge of them. Not because she’s controlling and he’s lenient–but because that is HER job. Arya sees her mother as the primary disciplinarian in her life simply because her mother, as the more hands-on parent in her daily life, is the one who’s telling her what to do and not to do on a far more regular basis. 

We DO see Ned interacting directly with Arya in King’s Landing, when Catelyn is far away and unavailable for the duty. He’s exhausted, he’s miserable away from his home and his wife, he’s frustrated with his seeming inability to make Robert act like a king or to make headway in the matter of Jon Arryn’s death or the attempt on Bran’s life, and he’s completely bamboozled on how to handle the open warfare between his daughters. And now Septa Mordane comes to him and tells him that after he left the Small Hall in frustration without finishing his dinner after yet another altercation between the two girls, Arya has made a scene and left the Hall without permission. He goes to her room, wondering how in hell to deal with her and finds her with a sword she informs him is his.

During their exchange, (which is from Arya’s POV), she notes more than once how tired her father looks. Upon realizing the sword was made by Mikken, he SIGHS. “My nine-year-old daughter is being armed from my own forge, and I know nothing of it. The Hand of the King is expected to rule the Seven Kingdoms, yet it seems I cannot even rule my own household.”

This is a dude at the end of his rope!

When Arya informs him that she hates Septa Mordane, his answer is given in a voice GRRM refers to as ‘curt and hard’. “That’s enough. The septa is doing no more than is her duty, though gods know you have made it a struggle for the poor woman. Your mother and I have charged her with the impossible task of making you a lady.”

YOUR MOTHER AND I, he says. Not just ‘your mother.’ Like Catelyn, Ned understands that Arya chafes against a lot of what is asked of her. Like Catelyn, he sees learning to do it anyway as necessary to her future.

Arya protests, of course, and gets the well-known speech from her father about having a wildness in her, or the wolf blood as his own father used to call it. And when he tells her she reminds him of his sister, even nine-year-old Arya hears the sadness in his voice. And when he tells her she looks like Lyanna, and she protests that Lyanna was beautiful he says, “She was. Beautiful, willful, and dead before her time.”

In this moment, Ned is remembering his sister with both great love and great fear for as much as he might love the echoes of her which he sees in Arya, he DOES NOT want her to follow Lyanna’s path or share her fate. Immediately after that is when he asks her what she thought to do with that sword. He’s trying desperately to figure out what to do with this daughter who is so unhappy, so determined to do what she wants, and eerily like the sister who followed her own will right into an early grave and triggered a terrible war. 

They go on to have quite a wonderful conversation in which he tries to understand her and make her understand him–talking of the pack and winter and honor, etc. Some things, she understands, and others not so much. He never mentions Lyanna again in the conversation. He tells her Septa Mordane is a good woman and emphasizes her sisterhood with Sansa, telling her that while they may be as different as the sun and the moon, the same blood flows through their hearts and they need each other. And he needs them both.

We’re in Arya’s head here–not Ned’s. But you can almost feel his desperation when he then tells her she has to STOP with the willfulness. “This is not Winterfell. We have enemies here who mean us ill. We cannot fight a war among ourselves. This willfulness of yours, the running off, the angry words, the disobedience … at home, these were only the summer games of a child. Here and now, with winter soon upon us, that is a different matter. It is time to begin growing up.”

Basically, he just told her to knock off all the things that so many in fandom feel he encouraged in her. While he may have been fairly lenient (NOT encouraging) of her shenanigans in Winterfell, they’re now in a dangerous place, and at the ripe old age of nine, he expects her to act more grown up!

Then, he lets her keep her sword and arranges lessons for her. Why does he do that? I think at least in part, it’s because he needs somebody to be happy about SOMETHING. He’s so guilty about Sansa’s wolf that he can barely speak with her, and he knows Arya hates King’s Landing, and he knows even better how much HE hates King’s Landing. Maybe if he gives her this one thing–he can keep his daughter from a full-on rebellion like that of his sister’s.

But even after that, some time later after word arrives that Bran has awakened, Arya asks Ned if he can still be a knight, and he tells her no, but that her brother may still someday be lord of a great holdfast and sit on the king’s castle or raise castles like Brandon the Builder or sail a ship across the Sunset Sea or enter their mother’s faith and become High Septon. Arya promptly asks if she can be king’s councillor and build castles and become High Septon, and Ned, of course, tells her no.

“You,” Ned said, kissing her lightly on the brow, “will marry a king and rule his castle, and your sons will be knights and princes and lords and, yes, perhaps even a High Septon.”

Arya wants none of that, of course, but my point here is that, sword lessons or not, this is the future Ned saw for Arya, the future he WANTED for Arya, not because he was a bad father, but because he loved his daughter. And to this traditional High Lord of Westeros, having his daughter become a Queen or a great Lady was the absolute most he could offer her.

So while he loved his daughter Arya dearly, and had loved his sister dearly as well, and probably did love that he could see a bit of Lyanna living on in Arya, he did not encourage her to be willful and wild any more than he had encouraged it in his sister.

Jonsa Fanfiction

Okay so I randomly made up a story for an ask that I answered today and I thought maybe I should better it an turn it into a proper fic. This is my first venture into fanfiction and I am a very impatient writer LOL!! So do tell me if you like it and how I should improve it. I said I’d never write fanfiction, but don’t they say Never say Never… LOL. Thank you @kitten1618x for thinking I should write fanfic. And @accuritefish for encouraging me to turn this into a fic. Love you all!!



JON SNOW got out of his black and white Maserati, parked at a safe distance from the Book store he planned to pay a visit to. It was late August and the sun shone brightly in his eyes causing him to squint a little. He undid the button of his black silk shirt that he wore under his Grey Suit as he tried to read the name of the book store from a distance. Damn, he’d forgotten his glasses. After a lot of squinting he finally read the words painted in silver…


Jon smiled slowly thinking how much Sam would’ve appreciated the name. He then braced himself for doing something he partially hated doing, but he knew it had to be done. One of the Hospitality companies he owned had bought all the three blocks adjacent to this shop for his new Hotel project and he needed to buy this store because it was facing the main road and was built on a prime location. The book store owner had turned away three of his employees politely and Dolorous EDD, his friend and the vice-president of his company informed him that apparently they all came back telling how it was such a bad decision to buy out her store. This lady had never lost her cool even once while talking to his employees and had them wrapped around her little finger in a matter of an hour; three of his BEST employees. Jon then suddenly remembered that he knew nothing about the lady who owned the store and had requested EDD to send him her file. He took out his phone, irritation creeping into him at this lacuna in knowledge. He always liked to do his homework before meeting his nemesis. And if this woman was half as good as Edd had heard she is, he was going to have to use all the tricks in his playbook to get her to agree to sell.

“EDD, you’ve not yet sent me this bookstore lady’s name and details..” Jon barked into his mobile phone irritably as soon as EDD came online “How am I supposed to convince the lady to sell her store to me, if I don’t even know her name?” 

EDD mumbled something about messaging him the details in just a while and Jon cut the phone with a huff as he entered the store. The store was bigger than he’d expected it to be. They walls were painted grey but everything else, especially the book shelves were all as white as snow. At the back end of the bookstore a beautiful weirwood tree with its fiery red leaves was painted artistically on the wall and suddenly Jon had to literally hold himself back from rushing to the tree and tracing it’s branches with his fingers. This Lady was definitely a northerner, Jon made a mental note. Could he exploit that connection? There was no one in Kings Landing who could know or appreciate the beauty of the weirwood tree like he could. Surely the lady and he had one thing in common, at least. As Jon slowly looked around, he realized that the book shop was so tastefully decorated that he almost felt bad that he was going to have to arm twist the owner into selling the shop to him. But he knew it had to be done. He was going to have to offer this woman a deal she couldn’t refuse.

Jon straightened the jacket of his steel gray suit and ran his hand over his curls which were tightly secured in a man bun of sorts. Jon decided to pretend to look through the collection of books. He had to buy some time till his office sent him all the details. He passed rows and rows of books stacked neatly in the snow white shelves. The children’s books section was the only one which had rainbow coloured shelves and a small play area where children could read and play. He imagined that a lot of book readings and story-telling sessions must happen in this very area. He paused when he saw the Harry Potter series and a sense of nostalgia washed over him. He picked up the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone and many memories that were kept hidden on purpose, threatened to come back to him. What a positive impact this series had had on him when he was growing up! He felt so connected to the characters especially because there were so many similarities between his life and Harry’s.

His mother Lyanna Snow had been a single parent and Jon had never known who his father was. When he was 11, he was called a bastard by someone in his class and somehow the name stuck. No one befriended him. He had been alone and an outcast until the Starks had moved back to Winter-fell from Castle Black. Robb Stark strode into school like a rock star and with his good nature and drop dead gorgeous looks had become the most popular boy in school overnight. When Ramsey Bolton had called Jon a bastard in front of Robb, he got punched so hard in the face by Robb, that no one had ever dared to call Jon a bastard for the rest of his schooling days. For Robb stark had become his Ron and the Starks had become his Weasleys. Jon used to practically live in Robb’s room. Ned Stark and his mother had been classmates and had gone to Winterfell high together. So Robb’s dad and his mom doted on Jon. Arya had idolised him. She had mimicked everything Jon did which would amuse him greatly. Bran was too mature for his age, but Jon had loved him dearly and Rickon was everyone’s baby. Only Sansa had remained elusive and withdrawn from him. Jon squeezed his eyes shut to will these memories away.

“Why do you like Harry Potter?”

Jon was so taken aback by the sudden delicate voice that seemed to come out of nowhere that he almost dropped the book he was holding. A little girl of probably four or five was staring up at him with icy blue eyes from a little pink chair that she was sitting on. Jon cleared his throat and looked around to see if the parent of the child was around but it looked like the girl was sitting there all by herself. He was already slightly impatient with the amount of time EDD was taking to get back with the information. It was so unlike EDD. In the meanwhile he thought talking to this sweet child may just be what he needed. So Jon grabbed a bean bag that was lying nearby and dragged it near her chair to sit down next to her.

“I like Harry Potter, because it’s the story of an ordinary boy doing extraordinary things!” Jon replied almost extremely tempted to ruffle the girl’s curly mop of black hair which looked so much like his when he was a child.

“What is extraordinary?” The girl asked him with a slight pout that reminded him so much of a girl he once knew. Sansa Stark…..

“Well the dictionary meaning of ….” Jon started to say but caught himself when he realised to whom he was trying to explain this to. He smiled slightly at his own folly as he saw the little angel’s pout change into a brood, which looked pretty much like his own childhood broody pictures. He remembered Catelyn Stark’s words. “You brood too much, Jon Snow” So he crossed his arms and leaned forward slightly. “Well, extraordinary means when you do something that no one thinks you could’ve ever done.”

The little girl’s brain seemed to process this information that had come out of his mouth. She imitated Jon’s stance folding her hands in front of her chest and leaning towards him. “Have you done anything extraordinary?” 

Her question stumped him momentarily. Jon wondered how he was going to answer. Where should he even begin? Jon had lost his mother when he was just fifteen. Ned and Catelyn Stark had insisted that Jon come and live with them. Robb and Arya had had his things packed and brought over to the stark mansion before he could even say a yes. When he was 21, he had started from scratch with the Angel investment Ned Stark had made in his company eight years back. He owned more than thirty companies in the Hospitality sector today. He had managed to create, build and grow all his businesses into a massive empire worth $340 million. Jon had been lucky enough to appear in Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30. But how does one explain all this to a child without sounding like someone who brags? He cleared his throat. “I’ve built a few hotels.. ummm… buildings… I mean errr.. Skyscrapers so I guess, I’ve done a few extraordinary things” He replied to the girl who was watching him with great concentration, not knowing if he was making any sense.

“My uncle can turn me into an airplane and make me fly!” The girl stated with obvious pride in her uncle’s skills and Jon instantly broke into a grin. “I think that’s very extraordinary.” continued the little girl, he blue eyes sparkling.

Thank you for the lesson in humility, love, he told her in his head. “And what about your Dad?” Jon asked without giving a second thought but the second the words came out of his mouth, Jon knew he had made a mistake. The child’s face fell like her favourite toy had been taken away from her, forcibly.  

“I don’t have a Daddy.” the girl looked like she was close to tears and Jon felt like he was the worst kind of monster. This was not a good state of mind to be in before negotiating a difficult deal.  Jon was at an utter loss for words.

“Mummy says she’ll tell me about him when I’m older” The little girl’s face lifted a bit slowly  “But I have four uncles, an Aunt and Grandma and Grandpa and six cousins. We’re a big family.” Her face fell a little again “But sometimes I wish I could call Uncle Robb “Daddy” just like Sarah, Ben, George and Lilly do.”

The mention of an ‘Uncle Robb’ did various things to Jon’s heart at once, none of which he was willing to explore at the moment. He’d lost touch with the only family that was truly ever his because of one single mistake that he had unknowingly committed. But he’d always sent them Christmas cards but never got a single one in return. Five years had gone by and he missed them every single day. He never had a father, just like this little girl and his heart went out to her. His palm automatically went to cup her cheek. 

“What’s your name, darling?” He asked her wondering if it was strange that he thought he could see so much resemblance between her and his childhood photos. It had to be the hair, he told himself. All kids with a dark mop of curly hair look similar.   

“Lyanna ” said the girl and Jon suddenly had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. ‘Uncle Robb’ first and then ‘Lyanna’ … this was getting ridiculous. The girl cheerfully continued “But you can call me Lya. That’s what Mummy and everyone in my family call me. I’m named after my grandmother.” 

Jon heaved a sigh of relief. The girl’s grandmother was called Lyanna. It had nothing to do with his mother’s name. The girl said she had a grandpa and a grandma. His mother was long dead. Jon smiled at the girl. “So what does your Grandpa call your Grandma, if both of you have the same names.”

“He calls her Cat!” Lyanna looked at Jon incredulously as though he was thick-headed or something and Jon felt like all air had beeen sucked right out of his lungs. He could not be hearing this right. It was impossible. He stared at Lyanna like she was probably not real, like he had conjured her out of thin air.  

Lyanna who was oblivious to the emotions that were going through Jon, continued talking while kicking her legs back and forth playfully . “My Grandma is called Catelyn, my ‘grandmother’ is called Lyanna and no one gets confused because Grandma Lyanna is in heaven. She doesn’t come to visit us, ever.” Jon saw it then, as clear as day. Lyanna was his spitting replica only with the exception of her blue eyes which she had no doubt inherited from her mother. The very thought of her mother, now made his blood boil and set his pulse racing.

For the sake of your good health Sansa Stark, he sent out a prayer into the universe, I really really hope this is not what I think it is.

Jon was now gritting his teeth to keep the anger that was exploding inside him under check. There was still a good possibility that he was over thinking this. “So, you have an Uncle Robb, an Aunt Arya, an Uncle Bran, an Uncle Rickon, a Grandpa Ned and a grandma Cat, who is the fourth uncle?” He asked her as gently as he could.

“It’s Uncle Gendry!” Lyanna exclaimed and then looked at him suspiciously, “How do you know all their names?” She asked him frowning at him with narrowed eyes looking very similar to her mother, he suspected. So Arya had finally come around and married Gendry. But he hadn’t received an invitation for the wedding. Why would Arya exclude him from her wedding? Why would Robb not tell him that he was now a father of four??  He glanced back at Lya who was still frowning at him and realisation dawned upon him.

Of course he got no invitation for the wedding or news of the births of Robb’s children. No wonder the Starks had shut him out. They were all hiding a secret. A secret, that had everything to do with him. Jon was so livid he felt his ears becoming hot.  Just then his phone beeped. EDD had sent him a message. 

“Her name is Sansa Stark. She’s 24, unmarried and a single parent.”

Jon kept staring at his phone unable to move a muscle aware that the little girl next to him probably thought he was mad and it was not going to earn him a first good impression if he was what he thought he was to her. So he smiled and sweetly asked her the last question that he thought was necessary. “How old are you, Love?”

“I’m four.” She asked inching her chair away from him and he instantly regretted the coolness of his voice. The math unfortunately fit perfectly in his calculations and once again Jon felt like he was being hurled down a cliff, rescued then hurled down again. 

His phone beeped again and brought him out of his trance. EDD had sent him another message.

“Ummm… Is this ‘your’ Sansa Stark?”

Jon shut his eyes in an attempt to get a reign over the various emotions that were raging within him. EDD sent him another message and this time he practically growled but he read it anyway. 

“Well, She is your Sansa. I double checked twice, so that makes is four times. Hence I took so much time. Jon……. You’re so fucked buddy!!!”

What Is In A Name!

She used to dream of her lover and never knew his face. She used to dream of her home but before she could take it back she was suddenly met with a different path.

Daenerys chose to look North. Daenerys chose to fight the real enemy. It costed her Viserion. It costed her and her dear friend Missandei, Greyworm and it almost took her. All her life she bled, she gave, she suffered, she withstood, she ran, she walked, she crawled, she breathed a life not befitting for a daughter of a King. As mad as her father was she was still a princess.

Home is not just an architectural vision anymore, it is in her husband. It is in her family. She remembers the fateful day he came to her shores. She remembers the moment she came to seeing his face in the cave. In the dimmed tunnel… his face like a passing shadow. Like the lover in her dreams. Even before she willingly allowed herself to at least weigh the odds of finding romance amidst a war albeit her heart had already chose. Her heart had already sought the face of her once dreamt lover and found him to be infinitely more than just a vision himself.

Aegon is his name. He did not like it. He used to say it reminds him of the lies.

“Your real name … is Aegon Targaeryan. You were never a bastard.”

 "I sure felt like one. I lived like one. I did as one. I breathed as one. I ran, fought, crawled, walked as one. That name to me,“ he spat, "is worthless!A Targaeryan? It will never conjure up to the real life I lived. What?! A prince of Dragonstone?”

“And what of the Northron Lords? The moment they hear the truth they will drop their loyalties and walk away, and maybe even kill me first.”

Arya tugs on the hilt of her Needle before breaking in to say, “I’d like to see them try!”

All awhile Sansa leaned back into her chair, her hand clasped around her mouth with disbelief.

“He lied to me! My fathe- Uncle lied to me! All those years he never spoke a word! He lied!” Jon ended with exasperation his voice shaking. The grave realisation of who he really is dawning upon him, the father he thought was his, the love he thought he deserved, the cruelty that was brought upon him he believed he deserved. All a lie. Ned Stark is a liar.

“He lied.”

Pairs of eyes drifted across the room towards the silver haired Queen. Sansa and Arya by instinct peeked up to protect their late father and even Bran who was known to be rather … bizarre drifted his attention towards the Dragon Queen.

“Even so, you would ignore the measures of which your uncle went, to even have you breathing still? Do you ignore that if it weren’t for his promise to your mother, to protect you with his life, giving part of himself away as a Lord and as a man to his wife, the Usurper would’ve killed you? Do you ignore the principles he has taught you, to be noble, true to your word and honourable? Everything that man did for you… taught you, is it all for naught then Jon?”

The Stark siblings exchanged glances, surprised at the Queens avow on their father. Yet Jon was livid.

He turns to face her before bellowing, “I was raised a bastard. Or did you forget that Your Grace? I was spat on, I wasn’t allowed to sit with my half brothers or- cousins it doesn’t matter I was looked down upon. Catelyn Stark hated my guts even if I breathed half a mile away from her she hated it. He lied to me. All my life I thought he was my father, and yet I can’t bear, that now I remember everytime he looked at me he would’ve been reminded that it was my fault I tarnished his reputation… my fault I tore him away from his wife, my fault I bruised his family! You wouldn’t have survived what I survived!”

“He wouldn’t do that Jon. Our father loved you like you were his own, and you are our own! You have the blood of the wolf and the blood of the dragon. You are a Stark-” and before Bran could finish his sentence Jon turns away and faces the firepit in an angry stance not willing to have anymore of what the three eyed raven had in say.

Silence fumed the air despite the whole party gathered around the dull room. Bran, still, as emotionless..

Sansa and Arya, glanced at each other remembering the survival they thought the other wouldn’t have survived. They’ve had this ‘conversation’ before and it proved to be meaningless.

Sam stood by the fire undecidedly choosing who to look at Daenerys or Jon, twiddling his thumbs reevaluating whether this was a great idea after all.

Tyrion sporting a glass of wine after the reveal of Jons or is it Aegon now … whichever Jon sees fit for himself, true lineage.

If the Night King knew cold, then her orbs were a furnace.

She narrowed her eyes and without notice for shaken weight beneath her feet she slowly but briskly walked her body up to him. And in a low voice, “You wish to diminish my ability to have gone through what you went through when I have never done such to you with my history. Yes I am a woman and you a man. We may not be the same, but I am just as capable. I am just as worthy. I am just as important, and in my own conviction I am just as strong. I will not try to undermine your past by repeating my own. My reputation serves enough of it.”

“Yes the Targaeryan name has its own weight and yet I will choose to not conform to the maddening ways of my past ancestors. Why? Because I know better.”

After Viserys she always thought she was the last to carry the Targaeryan name, and when she reminisced the heated arguments of her succession with her Lord Hand, she never thought the name would still continue. Tyrion looked up to the Queen he chose and realised that no matter the odds of their romance, if they levelled each other, in spite of all the stupid decisions they’ve made, the two had a chance in surviving anything.

The Targaeryans were known to marry within their own blood, to preserve their links to their dragons, the blood of Old Valyria.

Sansa finally spoke but with a heavy heart she pushes on to say, “ You maybe half Targaeryan, but you are still my brother. Then, now, and always!”

Arya follows after her and she looks to Bran who in turn nods his affirmation. She had always and even despite her mothers cruelty towards Jon, Arya had and always will, side with him. She loved Jon like he was her own brother, and there was nothing that could make her love him any less. Not even a name.

Across the room they are still locked in an impassioned gaze, their breaths catching the vapour of the cold. He clenches his jaw and finally looks down, head bent while Daenerys follows him searching for his brown eyes. She takes his calloused gentle hands in her own. The dragon inside him needs to awaken. It’s been dormant far too long. It wasn’t surrender that overcame him, and she did not accept defeat. The blood of her blood and the blood of the dragon needs to wake the dragon within, not in rage or fits of anger, but to finally accept that dragons were always meant to take Fire.

To take flight.

She curls her hands with his between their chests and whispers, “We can’t bear to lose to this when we know what is coming. You can’t run away Jon. We can’t bear to waste any more time and we will figure out later the fight with Cersei on the Iron Throne-”

“I don’t want the throne-” “

I know,” she softly assures him.

“Jon if there is one thing that I have learnt in all the lessons that I’ve been taught, that it is our choices that condemn us. You wonder why he lied, he chose to love you as his own, condemning his own life, but I imagine it would have been a joy to see you grow into more than everything your mother never lived a day to witness. The least you could do is honour that.”

That night comes and goes in memory whenever she looks at the Starks. What a man their father might have been, their mother was also lied to and it was not in anyone’s candle light to hold her to her actions. Catelyn Stark felt what any other wife could’ve felt. Her brother Rhaegar may have been foolish, blinded by love and lust, driven to annul his dutiful responsibilities for the realm and chose love. Love costed themselves and the realm. Love costs.

But Gods be damned if her husband were to take another woman. What hypocrisy that is it doesn’t matter though she knows her husband is noble and too fair and too just to act on such lust outside of their love. A man of honour in his heart. She still can’t help but wonder whether she would still be enough, even when her hair is greyed out, if anyone could tell, or even when her bones become too frail.

The door closes behind her and she feels a warm embrace around her torso. His face coming to rest beside her neck laying open kisses behind her ear.

“Have they gone to bed?” she asks.

He lets out a chuckle and continues to plant gentle caresses with his mouth while saying , “Daeron wasn’t happy, and Ned only went to bed with a promise to ride Visenya tomorrow and Lynaera wants to ride with Ghost.”

He playfully squeezes her hips and moves his hands behind her starting to unravel her gown, resting atop her bum. With every deft movement of his fingers he never fails to let his mouth leave her neck. She smiles, humming with content full in her heart and turns around to face him resting her palm on his naked chest, his lips halting but his hands never stopped.

“You promised our 4  year olds a ride with a dragon and a full sized direwolf? The dragon I can forgive, Visenya is not that large yet but Ghost…. that I can’t my love,” she protested with a gleam.

All the while he had already finished dissembling her dress before him and pushes it down her body leaving her nipples to harden in exposure. So was he. With anticipation for his Queen.

His palms rested on her wide hips and pulls her closer to his body. He smooths his hands down along her backside and pulls apart softly at her cheeks bringing her up and even closer to him making her moan her pleasure.

“What’s wrong with Ghost?” he murmured softly with a hum and touched her forehead with his, their breaths mingling with each other. “Hmm?”

“He’s far too large and the pups aren’t big enough yet for riding-”

“I don’t know if you can tell my queen but I am rather large for you beneath my underpants if you would like to participate in this riding.”

She gasps with surprise before letting out a laugh bringing her arms up to hold her husbands back pushing him down, closer to her skin. His shaft, truly… hard against her stomach.

“Mmm you got undressed rather quickly my King,” she drags her palms from under his shoulder blades across his chiseled chest and down towards the edge of his britches. Her sex grows slick with want and wetness and she wants nothing more than for him to take her into his arms and ravish her in more ways than she could count.

She pulls at the waistband and slips her soft touch towards his cock before taking the precum at the tip with a swipe of her finger and rubs it onto her slick folds.

Like a trickling hourglass Jon watches her wanton actions with hot breath escaping his mouth finding moisture on her top lip and then the sands of time gives in at its last grain. He growls like a mad wolf beneath his lungs and takes her lips in a heated battle of tongues. His hands pulls and kneads at her arse cheeks, pushing her up against his body grinding his body against hers. They’ve done this countless times before.

It should be simple and easy now and yet it was just as core shattering as the first time they laid together. In a muttered gasp she breathes out, “Jon! I want to feel every ridge of your cock inside me,” and pushes his britches down exposing his hard rod, and wraps her hands around the base of his member.

He doesn’t let her continue with anything more lest he gives in so he gathers her in his arms and carries her to their bed, her lower back just shy of the edge. She opens her smooth legs and he looks down at his beautiful wife.

Her lips inviting, her eyes a fury furnace, her tits with her pebbled nipples and probably still full of milk and he reminisces the time she had let him thirst on her rosy teats with the taste of milk on his tongue. Her chest rising and falling with hums of gasps, her curved waist and birthing hips are where he loves to handle her while pulling her up and down his shaft when she rides him. Her thighs are firm from all the riding on her dragons or on his dragon and finally her glistening cunt. A cavern he loves to get lost in and the one place he would spend to drink himself to a state of stupor.

He bends down eye level with her slick wetness and notices the mix of both their juices between her pussy lips and if rock was hard, his dick becomes pressed diamond. Her puckered clit stands out into the air and he leans down to sniff at her invigorating scent moaning loudly and licking his lips before fingering her clit between his middle and ring finger. Her body jerks at the touch and shudders at the feel on her sensitive spot.

“Jon please!” she begs and thrusts her hips upwards under his fingers.

“I love your body! Your eyes, your lips, your ears and that sensitive spot on your neck that has you shaking when I dress my lips to it and your tits when I press my tongue on your nipples sucking them into my mouth!” he whispers, her swollen lips catching his hot breath.

“I love the noises you make when I am making you feel this good, your legs and your thighs squeezing me while I make love to you my Queen.”

She gasps loudly and sits up on her elbows watching her husband feast his eyes and touch on her swelling pussy. She almost came right then and there.

“I love your pussy my love!” she lets out a whine at the words before grabbing his chin to face her and whimpering a, “Its yours my King.”

To feel love come in at his eyes, coming inside of her, or love in his gentle touch, or even when he takes her from behind. Pushing and pulling her warm snatch over his rigid cock taking her every breath.

“Please Jon,” she pleaded while he continues to play with her clit nipping at her thighs and starts moving closer to where she needs him to be and he gives her a final graze of his teeth on her puckered clit.

But he goes back to kissing her thighs. She huffs out her frustration and reaches down to his dark locks pulling at the soft tresses of hair she finds.

Finally, her abdomen tightens, and she can’t withhold her pleasure anymore. It slowly turns into bearing pain when he still skips over where she wants his mouth to be and right when his gaze catches her watering eyes she pleads once more with a shaky gasp, “Please Jon!”

He licks a stripe from the bottom of her cunt and flicking at the knob and her body clenches in a tight coil within her and she lets go. He is quick to slick his tongue inside her tight hole coaxing her juices into his mouth and the move alone has her shaking on her back.

He presses both his fingers inside tucking it agonisingly slow in and out of her pussy and shifts his attention to her nub sucking it into his mouth, holding it lightly between his teeth and flicking it with the tip of his tongue. She screams her pleasure and tightens around his fingers as he moans his lustful savour of her sweet cunt. He laps up her juices between his fingers and finds that she is about to cum again.

She struggles to push away from Jons assiduous mouth at first and finally she pushes at his chest with her feet and topples over onto her front taking in gasps of air. Her pussy, still aching, clenches at nothing and she yearns for the push of his hard rod to bring her to utmost pleasure. She rises up on her knees and hands before looking behind her at Jon with his dick in his clenched fist, breathing heavy. She moves around facing him and he moves forward to meet her, placing one knee on the bed and with his other hand caressing her face, he pulls her mouth into his. He bends down and pulls a nipple into his mouth and groans deeply before running his hand down from her face behind her to her arse.

“Turn around.” Before she goes to follow her Kings orders she grabs his hand from his cock and places it on her belly looking deep into his eyes. When love overcomes, words have no purpose. He pulls her back in for a passionate kiss and places his forehead against hers stammering under his breath.

She slowly nods her head in assurance and swiftly turns around to bare her waiting pussy for Jon. There’s no need for words in what she or he wants.

He surges forward and finally teases the head of his member on her swollen clit, sliding back and forward until he inches his cock inside her. He starts to groan and piston his cock slowly, but surely inside her. Her gasps are loud and wanton with every push inside her walls, she climbs closer and higher to release.

There is no rush to the end. They have all the time in the world. But even all the sands of time could not measure to the eternal desire to be by his side beyond forever.

“Sex joins two bodies, but making love joins two souls.”

 "Fuck Dany!“ he moans in pleasure and pulls at her cheeks, pressing them apart to behold the view of his shaft pressing in and out of her tight cunt, as she feels her own warm snatch grab at every inch of his rod. The sight enough has his spent tightening and all it takes is Dany moaning to be filled with his spent that has the both of them undone. He spills his seed inside her but he doesn’t stop.

 I love you.

He says with every push.

I love you.

She says with every tug at her cavern.

I love you.

He feels with every tightening of her cunt.

I love you.

She feels with every ridge of his shaft.

I love you.

He knows with every shattering breath.

I love you.

She knows with every whisper of her pulsing veins.

She loves him… And he loves her.


idk. Something like this. Lol. As promised a fanfic!

Thank You @flammafumoestproxima for encouraging me to finally write again! I think I did too much! But oh well aha!

Inspiration and quote comes from "Sex/Love” by Chrissie Pinney.

Songs I listened to while writing this: Bathing Beach EP Album by NOVO AMOR (The whole EP is awesome! There’s only 4 songs but oh goodness it was on repeat! My fav is Embody Me!)

GoT S07E04 Thoughts

Sorry, this is so late!! I was away on a hiking weekend, thought I’d be okay to watch and stuff, but turns out hiking up and down mountains for 2 days straight means I pass out as soon as I get in. But you don’t care about that! So let’s get straight to it!

Any scene with Jaime and Bronn together is a great scene for me. Honestly, I thought I loved Tyrion and Bronn’s bromance, but Jaime and Bron’s is just as great. There’s something I love about the proper duty-bound Jaime and the ragtag mercenary Bronn. They have such wonderful chemistry together and despite their antagonistic relationship, there’s most definitely a bond there, which I believe comes into play at the end of the episode. You can’t really see who saves Jaime, but I want to put my money on Bronn [edit: apparently it’s confirmed it is].

Now, let’s bring it back to Winterfell: Littlefinger and Bran. I’ll be honest here I don’t have many thoughts about this, only that LF has something planned and it’s beginning to roll in his favour if his tiny smug smiles this episode is anything to go by, and it all begins with this scene. I think LF was trying to manipulate Bran, but at first to his dismay, it’s not working: 

“To go through all of that and make your way home again only to find such chaos in the world, I can only imagine–” 

“Chaos is a ladder.”

LF is put aback by this. None of what he’s saying is having the kind of emotional response he wants from Bran, but as he leaves: 

“I’m sorry to have disturbed you, Lord Stark.”

“I’m not Lord Stark.“

He suddenly realises that Bran isn’t the threat he thinks he is. He may be the last trueborn son of Ned and Catelyn Stark, but it is still Sansa that holds all the power right now, which brings me once again to this: LF has something huge planned with the sole purpose of placing himself at the top with Sansa by his side. His original plan may be thwarted by his sudden realisation that Jon and Sansa’s bond goes beyond something he can easily dismantle, but LF has been through the ‘same’ situation with Catelyn and Brandon, and Ned later (ie. ”everything that happens will be something that [he’s] seen before”). We all believe LF is going to die in this season, but he’s not going to go down without a ‘fight’. He will leave the world of GoT after causing some real ‘chaos’. 

In my most tinfoil of minds, it’s the public reveal of Jon’s parentage to the Northern houses, while simultaneously poking and prodding at Jon and Sansa’s less-than-sibling-like feelings. But as I said, this is pure tinfoil. 

Now onto our third Stark reunion! Can we please take a moment to appreciate how bloody brilliant Arya is? Her little interaction with those two idiot guards made me laugh. It was a wonderful piece of dialogue between the three of them. Although if you were to analyse it, you could wonder whether it was placed there for comedic relief or if it was to establish something. Seems like a rather pointless scene, right? Except you have three separate moments here that highlight the same thing. One, where the guards are adamant not to let Arya in so they didn’t have to bother Lady Sansa. Two, where the guards argued over who told Lady Sansa about Arya. And three, when the guards are fumbling over themselves in Lady Sansa’s presence. All of it aptly establishes Sansa’s rule over Winterfell and the clear respect and fondness the people have for her. They don’t want to go to her not because they’re afraid of her, but because they don’t want to ‘bother her’. 

“Lady Sansa is too busy to waste her breath on you, just like us.”

Everything about this sentence from the tone to the diction used just highlights the guards’ belief and perception of Sansa, that she’s far too good, too superior and too important to waste time on anything trivial. 

But what’s beautiful about this distinction is that immediately after you have the reunion and Arya asks, “do I have to call you Lady Stark now?” and Sansa jokingly says yes before pulling Arya into a hug. To the people, she is their lady, but to her family, she is simply Sansa. The common folk may think Sansa is superior, but she doesn’t think herself as superior. She’s only trying to lead her people through the long night.

Anyway, Arya and Sansa, my two favourite women on the show <3 I have wanted their reunion for so long and this was everything I could ever hope for. You have Sansa hugging Arya, who appears surprised, then Arya hugging Sansa in the end. These two at odds sisters are finally together.

Before I really get into the Stark siblings, I want to unpick some of the Jon x Sansa undertones here. Call it shipping goggles, call it whatever, but I couldn’t help noticing either way. When Arya is there talking to the two guards, she mentions Jon as his full title, and then the guards mentions Sansa with her full title. Seems quite irrelevant but the dialogue: 

“Go ask Jon Snow, then, the King in the North….. If Jon’s gone, who’s in charge of Winterfell?”

“The Lady of Winterfell. Lady Stark.”

Feels like a perfect companion to the one between Sansa and Arya: 

“It suits you Lady Stark. Jon left you in charge?”

“He did.”

What it does is continue to establish that Jon and Sansa are equal co-rulers of Winterfell. They’re partners, complements of one another, and it displays the level of trust Jon has in Sansa. After all the hype about StarkBowl and then Episode 1′s supposed “fight”, Jon still left Sansa in charge, just like Ned left Catelyn in charge when he left for King’s Landing. 

And then you have Sansa’s addition of: 

“I hope he comes back soon. I remember how happy he was to see me. When he sees you, his heart will probably stop.“

Once again, Sansa is implicitly saying how much she misses Jon and how she wishes he was here for these happy moments. Yes, she is also very well saying that because Arya and Bran are Jon’s siblings too, but both scenes (the one with Bran and the one here), there’s fondness in the way she says it that I’ve thus far only seen her display around Jon. And after she talks about how happy he was to see her and how his heart will probably stop when he sees Arya, Sansa looks away and there’s that fondness again. Perhaps even a blush? 

I know, I know… Shipping goggles, am I right? But you have to admit after seeing Sansa now reunite with both Arya and Bran, then Arya with Bran, these scenes and the subsequent interactions between them are significantly different to Jon and Sansa’s reunion. First, we had Bran and Sansa, which was cold and distant, understandably due to Bran being the Three Eyed Raven, but Sansa didn’t nuzzle him. She nuzzled Jon. And Sansa hugged Arya, no nuzzling. Arya hugged Bran, no nuzzling. It was only between Jon and Sansa. Why have that if it wasn’t to drop these tiny little hints for Jonsa in the future? It’s not exactly something you overlook when you’re going through the footage. They had a close-up shot of it. 

While we’re on the subject of Jonsa though, let’s jump ahead to the Jon and Theon scene. Jon is tense almost as soon as he sees it’s Theon, but he doesn’t react until Theon brings up Sansa (a parallel to Jon and LF’s scene).

“What you did for her is the only reason I’m not killing you.”

Like with LF, Jon seems to forget himself for a second there as complete primal instinct takes over. It’s only when Davos steps forward does he realise where he is. You can see him glance toward Davos, look back and make his angry kitten Jon snarl before letting him go. You can see he wants to blame Theon so badly for everything, for what happened to his brothers and what happened to Sansa, but Theon saved Sansa’s life, and for that, he holds back. For Sansa, he reigns it in. 

There really is no need for this scene at all. Yes, it segues to Dany and the battle, but there are several ways to do that without having Jon see Theon and bring up Sansa. And yet, here it is, once again showing Jon react instinctively and aggressively at the mention of Sansa by another man. Once again, reminding the audience of Jon’s deep attachment and love for Sansa (whether you’re inclined to believe it’s platonic or romantic). Shipping goggles or not, theirs is a bond we’re meant to acknowledge as integral to Jon. 

Now back to Bran giving Arya the dagger, of course this is hugely significant. Does it foreshadow LF’s death at Arya’s hand? I don’t know. I think yes to an extent, but I still think (and want) LF’s downfall to be at Sansa’s hand. He’s her proverbial monster to kill, not Arya’s. In fact, I don’t think Arya and LF ever had a one-on-one scene together. It would hold no real substantial satisfaction for the audience. Sansa killing him on the other hand? Much more satisfying. But perhaps the dagger doesn’t foreshadow LF’s downfall. The fact it’s made from Valyrian steel might be hinting at an Arya run-in with a White Walker? Just random speculation here though. 

Nothing of real plot significance but this dialogue between Brienne and Podrick really made my heart sing. I feel like for so long Brienne has always somewhat rejected the part of herself that was a woman, felt like it was something that’s held her back from wanting to be a knight, like an anchor or a weight, shackles. But this: 

“You’re too hard on yourself, my lady.”

“I’m not a – thank you, Podrick.”

This is just so symbolic of Brienne’s growth as a woman and a warrior. She’s finally accepting she can be both without sacrificing a part of herself. I’m so proud of her <3 

Okay, so the Jon3rys scene everyone’s been talking about (and freaking out about). I have one thing to say to you guys: WTF? No, no, I love you all and understand your concern, but personally, I saw the opposite of a romance. Attraction? Sure. Romance? No way. 

Does Jon give her a look? Yeah, I guess you could say he does, and oh boy, he guides her elbow, but this look, this seemingly sexually tense touch? It’s like comparing brussel sprouts to Jongritte’s apples and Jonsa’s oranges, aka brussel sprouts are not fruits. There is attraction there, but that is completely bulldozed over by the next piece of dialogue. 

“I will fight for you. I will fight for the North. When you bend the knee.”

“My people won’t accept a southern ruler. Not after everything they’ve suffered.“ 

“They will if their king does. They chose you to lead them. They chose you to protect them. Isn’t their survival more important than your pride?”

Dany’s words are empty. They sound inspirational, but she lacks any knowledge of the North (and Westeros) because if their king bends the knee to a southron queen, the North would revolt. Jon’s status as their king, although yes they chose him, is precarious and will always remain precarious when he is merely a bastard. War has made the houses blind to custom because Jon is the most capable military ruler right now for them, but if Jon bends the knee? They will not yield along with him. Dany’s inability to understand this just demonstrates her inability to understand the country and the people she wants to rule. It’s never been about saving the people; it’s always been about conquering. 

Honestly, this entire episode seems to emphasise every single reason why Dany is more of the villain than the hero, and continues to place Jon as her opposite. It’s not just who they are as rulers, but their goals. When Davos says to Dany after she discovers the Lannisters took Highgarden that perhaps they should discuss this amongst themselves, Dany demands that they stay, and Jon rolls his eyes, looks to Davos and appears exasperated by it all. This is not the war he wants to fight. The Iron Throne? He has 0 fucks left to give to that nonsense. 

And when Dany asks him what he’d do? 

“I never thought that dragons would exist again. No one did. The people who follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that’s different from the shit one they’ve always known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different. You’re just more of the same.”

He’s saying exactly what so many of us has said for years. Dany’s presence in Westeros isn’t their salvation, it’s their damnation, and if she chooses to rein ‘fire and blood’ to conquer the throne? She’s not the hero of the story. She’s now the villain on these lands. 

And I think Jon acknowledges this too. When Davos needles him about how he feels about Dany? He doesn’t wax lyrical about her, he says “I think she has a good heart”, which isn’t ‘she’s a good ruler’ and ‘she will do good things’. It’s ‘she has a good heart, but her methods, her entitlement, her drive for power? It clouds that part of her. Am I putting words into his mouth? Perhaps. But for so many seasons, a lot of metas about Dany’s journey has always honed in on the “she has good intentions but she is no hero” point. When I heard Jon say those words, it felt very poignant because they are words I have said in regards to Dany. And as I’ve said before, hell is paved with good intentions

Another moment that demonstrated this was Missandei’s speech:

“She bought me from my master and set me free.”

“That’s good of her. Of course you’re serving her now, aren’t you?”

Davos’ point has also been another thing people have touched upon for ages. Yes, she freed those slaves; yes, she did it because she thought it was wrong; but they are all still serving her. A lot of her good deeds continue to be shadowed by how she reeps those rewards and uses it in her drive for power. If you want to compare, Jon similarly ‘frees’ the Wildlings from behind the Wall and they all ‘serve’ him now, but because they believe Jon can keep them safe from the Others. They have faith in his ability to lead them to safety. Dany takes these people who trust in her and puts them in harm’s way, endangering their lives for a land they don’t know, that she doesn’t know all because she wants to claim her ancestors’ right to rule (yet in the same vein wants to denounce all her associations with said ancestors and the Targaryen madness). 

And the final nail into the ‘Dany is No Hero’ campaign this episode started on is the battle at the end. Nothing screams ‘villain’ more than watching the Lannister army slaughtered to death, especially after you have Jaime tell Randyll Tarly that these are good men who fought hard. The entire scene felt a lot like the Red Wedding in terms of gory horror except this one was hiked up to a much larger scale. There is even a moment when Tyrion is on the hills looking down on the destruction, a look of regret and shame on his face, while this horribly sad and gut-wrenching music swells in the background. This is not the music of a victorious battle; it’s the sound of tragedy. Now, why would you pair music like that with Dany’s victorious defeat of the Lannisters if not to demonstrate how destructive she is, how much more devastation she’s bringing with the Dothrakis and the dragons? And Jaime’s look of horror completely compounds this home. He’s been in many battles, but nothing compares to what he’s seeing in that moment. There is honour in battle, but there was no honour in this, just as there was no honour in the slaughter at the Red Wedding. 

Final thoughts? I loved this episode. I honestly, truly, truly did. I have never been more excited to see Dany go full Targ Mad. My heart was in my throat that entire scene. If you’d told me in Season 1 that I’d be cheering for Jaime over Dany, I’d call you rat-faced liar, but damn, did I cry out when that dragon turned around with his demon fire. Bless Bron for saving our beautiful conflicted King(futurequeen)slayer!

Arya Stark Appreciation Week - Day Seven - (Northern Connection)

“You are Arya of Winterfell, daughter of the north. You told me you could be strong. You have the wolf blood in you.” (ACOK)

i know no queen but the queen in the north who’s name is arya stark. its not even close. honestly. arya has the support of the old gods themselves. she is on her own level. i dare say arya has the spirit of the north in her more than any other character. 

Back at Winterfell, they had eaten in the Great Hall almost half the time. Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. “Know the men who follow you,” she heard him tell Robb once, “and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.” At Winterfell, he always had an extra seat set at his own table, and every day a different man would be asked to join him. […] Arya had loved nothing better than to sit at her father’s table and listen to them talk. (AGOT)

arya’s first connection to the north is it’s people. she has a strong bond to them from the very beginning. whether its serving girls, maids men at arms, or butcher’s boy. arya openly befriends everyone. she’s, affectionately, know as arya underfoot. arya was close to old nan, hodor, and maester luwin. she remembers them even after she’s fled westeros. she has a beautiful reunion with harwn who was one of her father’s men. arya also encounters the northern amy several times: she helps free them from harrenhal, gives the men at the stoney sept mercy, and fights alongside those at the red wedding. this is one of arya’s most important connections to the north. its not just a land. its a people. and arya is devoted to them. 

Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room.(AFFC)

winterfell is the great castle of the north and from her second chapter arya already longs to return there. and her first chapter was in winterfell so that says a lot. the way it smelled and felt and sounded are a part of what makes up arya’s identity. she has the most intense voyage and return story in asoiaf which will make her homecoming all the more special. 

When her arm grew weary, she sat with her legs over a high limb to catch her breath in the cool dark air, listening to the squeak of bats as they hunted. Through the leafy canopy she could see the bone-white branches of the heart tree. It looks just like the one in Winterfell from here. If only it had been … then when she climbed down she would have been home again, and maybe find her father sitting under the weirwood where he always sat. (ACOK)

the northern religion is nature based. they worship trees. their churches are forests. the heart of the north isn’t in any castle or court. its the wilds. where the heart trees grow, rivers runs, and wolves roam. arya has a serious nature motif in her storyline. she constantly describes the feel of the earth beneath her bare feet, the rain on her face, bark under her hands, the taste of a lake. arya comes alive in the forest. even when she’s in a castle of city. when she falls asleep at night she runs through the trees as a wolf with a great pack at her heels. shes’ associated with trees too. she counts, climbs, and runs through them. gendry calls her a nice oak tree when she wears the acorn dress which represents her own strength of character. it’s a constant aspect of her story. 

“You are too young to be burdened with all my cares,” he told her, “but you are also a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.”
“Winter is coming,” Arya whispered. (AGOT)

winter is coming. these words have one simple meaning: death. it comes for everyone in the end. this is the morbid foundation for house stark and the north. death is also key aspect in arya’s storyline. through her journey through the war she’s faced with so much death. she ends up in a virtual underworld in braavos. the valyrian words valar morghlis (all men must die) are an interchange phrase with house stark’s motto. they share a meaning. when arya arrives at the house of black and white the kindly man uses a skull glamour to try and frighten her. but arya only kisses the skull and plucks a worm from its eye socket to eat. most people are afraid of death but arya looks the scary, ugly, inevitable truth right in the face. 

The memory made Arya smile, and after that the darkness held no more terrors for her. The stableboy was dead, she’d killed him, and if he jumped out at her she’d kill him again. She was going home. Everything would be better once she was home again, safe behind Winterfell’s grey granite walls. (AGOT)

since death and darkness are recurring elements for the north the stark crypts are an important place. they’re the roots of house stark and a constant reminder, again, that death awaits everyone. even in the darkest, scariest place of winterfell arya still finds comfort. the crypts are a source of strength and power for her. she remembers them fondly. arya doesn’t shy away from her own inner darkness either. she has done difficult, ugly things. but the north is not a kind, gentle, forgiving land. its hard and cold and has no mercy as ned once told catelyn. 

“It’s all blizzards and bearskins up there, and the Starks know no music but the howling of wolves.” (AGOT)

the northerners are a hard people too. they have to be. their entire lives are dedicated to preparing for winter. because of this they’re not frivolous. the charms of southron life, tourneys, fancy septs, songs, are seen as a waste of time and resources. arya never cared for any of that. elaborate gowns and jewels aren’t for her. she has plain sensible taste. the north will be hit the hardest by winter so its more concerned with food and shelter. arya has a similar mentality. she spends most of her time in rags but thats of no concern. what matters is finding food, safety and security. she has forsaken her mothers gods and their hymns and stained glass too. but her father’s gods still hold her heart. 

In the godswood she found her broomstick sword where she had left it, and carried it to the heart tree. There she knelt. Red leaves rustled. Red eyes peered inside her. The eyes of the gods. “Tell me what to do, you gods,” she prayed. (ACOK)

arya has a special connection to the old gods of the north. because they actually play an active role in her storyline. theres a great deal of divine intervention to be found. arya believes they wanted her to have needle, the symbol of her identity. she thinks they delivered raff to her in essos. and they literally answer her prayers. which is huge. normally, when characters pray all they get in response is radio silence. but not arya. when she knelt before the heart tree they spoke to her in ned’s voice and reminded her that she is arya of winterfell, daughter of the north, and that she has the wolf blood. they will not tolerate their daughter forgetting herself. the old gods want her to return to winterfell. when she falls asleep a sea away from them in her dreams a tree is watching her run and it calls her name. 

These wolves are more than wolves, Robb. You must know that. I think perhaps the gods sent them to us. Your father’s gods, the old gods of the north. (ASOS)

another gift the gods gave arya was a direwolf pup. arya has bonded deeply to her wolf, nymeria. even when they’re apart their connection only grows stronger. as does nymeria’s pack. she leads hundreds of wolves. she is the living embodiment of the lone wolf dies but the pack survives. this also drives arya and it is the most northern, wolfish lesson. when winter™ comes the only thing that will matter is survival. all of these elements (nature, winter, death, her people, the north) are working together in her arc to this one end. arya understands better than anyone that they need to stick together. 

She could smell the candles. The scent was unfamiliar, and she put it down to some queer incense, but as she got deeper into the temple, they seemed to smell of snow and pine needles and hot stew. Good smells, Arya told herself, and felt a little braver. Brave enough to slip Needle back into its sheath. (AFFC)

in braavos no trees grow. it would seem that arya’s gods would be unable to take root there and yet the house of black and white has many similarities to the godswood where arya once prayed with her father. they’re both spiritual places with a dark, spooky, quiet vibe. as soon as arya approaches the temple the doors, one weirwood, remind her of the heart tree with its carved moon face. the weirwoods leaves which are compared to a thousand blood stained hands could not be more appropriate for an ancient league of assassins. the color scheme is red, black and white in both places. each contains a deep black pool. it even smells like winterfell to arya. they are seemingly different gods but theres an undeniable connection. 

For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle.

the original people of westeros and the north were the children of the forest. somehow, arya is very connected to them too. it probably has to do with the blood of the first men running through her veins. its that northern magic that has gifted arya will the ability to skinchange. she’s quite good at it despite being untrained. she’s also an excellent climber and swimmer, just like the children were. she’s also called a squirrel and in the giant’s tongue the cotf were known as squirrel people. arya spends a lot of time around some of their most sacred places; high heart and the gods eyes. when we finally see the fabled children of the forest, the very first description we get is a creature bran mistakes for his sister arya. 

The old gods of the north must have been guiding her steps. (ACOK)

and thats not all! arya has the stark look. she’s the only one of her siblings. she resembles her aunt lyanna who was a wild northern beauty. she rides “like a northman”. arya meets the ghost of high heart who’s dreams are given to her by the old gods. the phrase “the north remembers” is very applicable to her character. arya never forgets the injustices she witnessed. the north touches every aspect of arya’s story. it’s in her themes and symbols, her lessons and values, her personality and locations. she is truly a daughter of the north. 

anonymous asked:

I'd also like to point out that that snow thingy happened right after that chapter where jon decided to keep his Snow name. Idk it might be nothing but my shipper heart just found it so beautiful i cried lol!!

Yes it is something Anony.

And I was about to answer a comment from cruyffsbeckenbauer (I love Jonsa and I will go to Jonsa hell for saying this but…Ramsay was also a snow.) To explain more about the snow symbolism. So here you go:

@cruyffsbeckenbauer​ YES, Ramsay WAS also a Snow. He was a Snow before he was legitimazed as Ramsay Bolton by King Tommen Baratheon as a reward for betraying House Stark.

Ramsay Bolton is a minor character and has zero links to Sansa herself in the books (I HATE D&D for what they did to Sansa in the TV series) and Ramsay has zero links to actual snow more than his former surname. 

On the contrary, Jon is not only a Snow, he is the bastard of House Stark, The Wardens of The North. The Starks motto is “Winter is coming”. Jon is always associated with snow (his surname, his white as snow direwolf Ghost), ice (The Wall), winter (Starks motto) and The North (Winterfell, home):

The boy absorbed that all in silence. He had the Stark face if not the name: long, solemn, guarded, a face that gave nothing away. Whoever his mother had been, she had left little of herself in her son. 

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion II

She might have overlooked a dozen bastards for Ned’s sake, so long as they were out of sight. Jon was never out of sight, and as he grew, he looked more like Ned than any of the trueborn sons she bore him.

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn II

“A shade more exhausting than needlework,” Jon observed.
“A shade more fun than needlework,” Arya gave back at him. Jon grinned, reached over, and messed up her hair. Arya flushed. They had always been close. Jon had their father’s face, as she did

A Game of Thrones - Arya I

Sansa could never understand how two sisters, born only two years apart, could be so different. It would have been easier if Arya had been a bastard, like their half brother Jon. She even looked like Jon, with the long face and brown hair of the Starks, and nothing of their lady mother in her face or her coloring. 

A Game of Thrones - Sansa I

“Who’s this one now?“ Craster said before Jon could go. “He has the look of a Stark.”

“My steward and squire, Jon Snow.”

—A Clash of Kings - Jon III

His northern features are the perfect disguise to hide his true parentage. He is acknowledged as a Stark just by looking at his face. He looks like a younger version of Ned.

And to talk about what the Anony said, the association that Sansa made between the lover’s kisses and snowflakes happened right after the chapter where Jon decided to keep his Snow name (Stannis offered him to be legitimazed as Jon Stark and become the Lord of Winterfell). I wrote a really long post about it, you can read it here. So I’m going to repeat some important points that I mentioned on that post:

  • (…) the seventh Sansa’s chapter of A Storm of Swords (the one where Sansa builds a Snow Castle {Winterfell}) comes immediately after the twelfth Jon’s chapter, the chapter where he found his answer to Stannis offer of Winterfell. And what it was that helped John to find his answer? His beloved direwolf, Ghost.
  • (…) instead of Tyrion, Willas or even Robert, who pursue Sansa’s claim over her, there is a man that has been offered Winterfell and choose her over it: By right Winterfell should go to my sister Sansa.“ “Winterfell belongs to my sister Sansa.” Among all the high lords interested in becoming the Lord of Winterfell by marrying Sansa Stark, the bastard Jon Snow refused to despoil his sister Sansa of her rights, even if her claim is the one thing he has wanted as much as he had ever wanted anything. Don’t you find this very romantic? I mean, when Sansa thinks: “No one will ever marry me for love” (Because everyone only wants her claim to Winterfell), at the other part of the world is Jon Snow saying more than once: By right Winterfell should go to my sister Sansa.“ “Winterfell belongs to my sister Sansa.” This for me is one of the most romantic passages of the books. 
  • (…) at the same time, Jon and Sansa had an important realization concerning to their lost and broken home, Winterfell. And what that helped them to reach that realization was the snow. Literally snow in Sansa’s case and Ghost, the direwolf as white as snow, in Jon’s case.

And finally, I just wanted to point out that Jon and Sansa both loved Robb very much and both of them remember the last time they saw him at Winterfell describing him with snowflakes in his hair:

Outside the flakes drifted down as soft and silent as memory. Was this what woke me? Already the snowfall lay thick upon the garden below, blanketing the grass, dusting the shrubs and statues with white and weighing down the branches of the trees. The sight took Sansa back to cold nights long ago, in the long summer of her childhood.

She had last seen snow the day she’d left Winterfell. That was a lighter fall than this, she remembered. Robb had melting flakes in his hair when he hugged me, and the snowball Arya tried to make kept coming apart in her hands. It hurt to remember how happy she had been that morning. Hullen had helped her mount, and she’d ridden out with the snowflakes swirling around her, off to see the great wide world. I thought my song was beginning that day, but it was almost done.

—A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII

“She has more courage than she knows,” said Sam.

“So do you, Sam. Have a swift, safe voyage, and take care of her and Aemon and the child.” The cold trickles on his face reminded Jon of the day he’d bid farewell to Robb at Winterfell, never knowing that it was for the last time. “And pull your hood up. The snowflakes are melting in your hair.”

—A Dance with Dragons - Jon II

Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night’s Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. Kill the boy and let the man be born. (…)

—A Dance with Dragons - Jon XIII

So, the snowflakes always appear as a symbol of love, happiness and home.

Jon is Brandon’s Bastard AU Part 2

Part two in which there is more Ned, some Cat, and a brief glimpse into Jon. 

Jon x Sansa, Ned x Cat, Benjen x adorable confusion, Jon x pining, all my otps.

Sometimes Ned wasn’t sure he’d made the right choices. He’d been so close to claiming his nephew; had chosen the words, the phrases, had repeated them over and over in his head. It took one look at his lovely wife, pale and drawn, standing in the courtyard of Winterfell with their son in her arms, and he couldn’t say them.

Maybe things would have been better, he knew it had brought Cat pain to think her once betrothed had laid with another soon before they would have been wed. But he knew that it would pain her infinitely more to think it his, and to have to face a husband, wed and vowed, that had done so. And he was selfish. He saw the pain of such a deception stretching on and on into a future where even if they loved each other, there would always be a breach, whose name was Jon.

So Jon became Brandon’s son, but he acted like Ned’s. He was quiet, calm, and had a tender hand. Ned worried once that the North may have been growing almost suspicious, for Jon was so like him, despite how ridiculous the very idea of honourable Ned Stark having a bastard would be.

Things changed when Jon and Robb started to leave boyhood.

Both were strong fighters, with Robb and his bulky building holding a lance as finely as any jumped up southern knight, and Jon with his broad shoulders and trim waist handling a sword with precision and grace. But Jon showed an edge in the ring that could never have come from Ned. He did not show it against his brother, and he did not use it against any of the younger boys training in the yard. But when Theon crowded Sansa against a wall, or slid a hand a touch too low; when a Karstark teen compared Arya unfavourably to her sister- then there was no trouble believing that Jon Snow could be Brandon Starks son. There was a fury there, and it blew hot, and it blew cold, and it rivalled Brandon at his most incandescent.

Even Benjen, when he came down from the Wall, had remarked on it upon seeing Jon thrashing Theon over a crude comment overheard at the supper table.

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   With a deep sigh he slicks back an unruly strand of hair, trying to ensure he looks as close to perfect as possible. That’s the least she deserves, her shining knight, he thinks, frowning as he looks at himself in the mirror and worries over his appearance yet again. Not her brothers scruffy friend, hair almost as long as hers, with the beginnings of a beard starting to show. Gods, I should have shaved, I should have at least cut my hair. He begins to pace in the small bathroom that he and Robb used to share, back when he lived with the Starks. He’d been home for weeks now, ever since the accident, having decided to take a semester off in order to help Robb and the others while Mrs. Stark stayed with her husband at the hospital between surgeries. Horrible as everything was, the time off couldn’t have come at a better time, what with the his recent troubles off at school and his breakup with Ygritte.

   Enough moping, tonight isn’t about you, it’s about Sansa!

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magejane  asked:

hi! based on book text, do u think brandon stark would have made been as good a Lord of Winterfell as ned was? ofc its a tragedy what happened to him, but catelyn and the ppl of winterfell were pretty well off when the second son ended up becoming heir. brandon seems to have drawn comparisons to robert in stuff like fanfic, that he may have been a bit of a womanizer, but idk if that meant he wouldn't have been an honorable lord. what do u think of him?

It’s unfortunate that we don’t know much about what Brandon was like as a ruler. We know what he was like as a person in less formal situations– Barbrey describes him as someone lustful yet extremely compelling, Ned laments that Winterfell and its problems were meant for Brandon (he was “born to rule”), Catelyn describes him as someone whose “mirths were as wild as his rages”, and we know that he’s prone to huge emotional reactions to what he perceives as dishonors (as evidenced by his reaction to Lyanna being crowned and Lyanna being kidnapped).

It should be noted that no one doubted his ability to rule. Despite his hot-headedness, he clearly had a penchant for finding a way into peoples hearts (and beds, as it so happens). The most we hear about Brandon as a ruler comes from Ned to Catelyn as he’s distraught over Robert’s offer:

That brought a bitter twist to Ned’s mouth. “Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me.”

The bolded is the most telling part of that statement, yet also the most baffling. From what we knew of Brandon by that point, it seemed that Brandon’s actions were often impulsive ones, a fact later confirmed when Ned describes his brother and sister’s “wolf’s blood” to Arya. Maybe he was referring to situations where Brandon was level headed and not in a mood– or maybe Ned was just disparaging himself and complimenting Brandon out of his own downtrodden emotions.

Catelyn is also reminded of Brandon when Robb defends her before Rickard Karstark:

“A mother’s folly?” Lord Karstark rounded on Lord Umber. “I name it treason.”

“Enough.” For just an instant Robb sounded more like Brandon than his father. “No man calls my lady of Winterfell a traitor in my hearing, Lord Rickard.“ 

Brandon is spoken about favorably enough (even Jaime was willing to admit that Brandon was “more like me”, not long after Jaime insisted that there was “no one like me”) that I think he would have made a good Lord of Winterfell. He clearly felt some sort of duty to his family and a need to protect their honor. What can be perceived as faults, like sleeping around or hot-headedness, isn’t enough to send the North into shambles, tbh. Regardless of whether or not he wanted the position, Brandon was still raised to rule. He had undoubtedly been taught everything there was to know about being a Lord of Winterfell and grasped its responsibilities. His true fault lied in his impulsiveness. Impulsivity is not a desirable trait in a ruler. Brandon can’t be driven by emotion 100% of the time without there being consequences at some point (as evidenced by the events that led up to his death). Maybe marriage and full assumption of his birthright might have served as decent impulse control.

Comparisons to Robert are fair enough when examining things like their tempers, their lustfulness, and their abilities as a warrior, but one thing we must remember is that Robert straight up doesn’t care about people– not even the people he loves, and not even his brothers. He is very self-centered and self-serving, it’s his way or the highway, etc. Brandon, at the very least, cared about certain people. He certainly cared about his sister, which is sadly more than can be said for many men in Westeros.

@veverusso I know, I feel like Catelyn gets a lot of unwarranted hate from fans. If the child in question wasn’t Jon and as well loved as Jon, there wouldn’t be a fuss and no one would hate her over it. Catelyn isn’t evil, she’s not cruel, she’s human. Her behaviour towards Jon is her biggest flaw, but it’s a completely natural response. Absolutely no one expected Cat to be a mother to Jon, Ned included, and when he was old enough, probably Jon as well. Ned and Jon probably both hoped, but it was never expected. And Jon is lucky that it wasn’t Cersei, Lysa, Olenna, Selyse, even someone like Margaery, who was his father’s wife, because they certainly would’ve had him killed.Jon actually had a very good upbringing when you compare to Ramsay, Gendry, Mya etc, he was literally a lucky bastard. In modern day, people divorce husbands/wives who have babies with other people, but that wasn’t an option for her. Instead she was forced to live with and look upon the product of her husband’s infidelity every day, and I imagine that is the worst feeling in the world. To be constantly reminded that you weren’t enough, to be mocked and laughed at behind your back, to be the one person in the world that the ‘honourable’ Ned Stark can break a vow to, I imagine that really cut her deep.

You’re right, she just ignored him. She wasn’t cruel to him, she never layed a hand on him. The one time we see her being cruel ‘It should have been you’, she was under a lot of stress. Now, I’m not defending her for this line, because this line was cruel, but Jon’s shock at this line to me proves that it’s not a common occurrence. If it happened all the time, it wouldn’t have affected him. And she was watching her son die, and half her family being taken away from her. Some people use that line as evidence that she was cruel and abusive. It’s clear she wasn’t though, or in Jon’s chapters we would’ve seen proof of that. She was cold and distant, but never abusive. I don’t think Ned would’ve come to love her if she spent her time beating Jon (as we see in a lot of fanfics where she beats him bloody).

I feel for what Cat had tp go through in those early days at Winterfell. She would’ve been under immense pressure to produce an heir for House Stark, and she does that. She then arrives at Winterfell, age 19/20, presents Robb to his father, who then tells her that his bastard wil be raised alongside Robb and there’s nothing she can say about it. Imagine how that made her feel. When husbands sleep with other women, other people see it as the fault of the wife. She must spend weeks wondering what she did wrong, worrying about Robb’s position since Jon looks more like Ned and she thinks Ned loved his mother so she may think he plans to name Jon his heir. Cat probably spent the rest of her life comparing herself to this ‘other woman’ and that must be harmful to a person, to wonder if the person you love loves someone else more than you. To be honest, while Ned did a great thing for Jon and Lyanna, I feel like he gets off scott free from the fandom, when the whole situation is his fault, he could’ve improved the situation. After dropping this bombshell on Catelyn and turning her life upside down, he then frightens her into silence for the rest of their marriage when she asks a simple question about Jon’s mother. That is the worse thing Ned could’ve done. Had he told her Jon’s mother was just a whore or something, Cat may have been a bit less distant from Jon. But scaring her into the point of thinking he’d hit her (I read that somewhere, not sure if it’s in the books), the most frightened she’d been in her marriage, and then forbidding her to say anything again, that did not endear Cat to Jon at all.

Jon is one of my favourites, so I felt sorry for him that he lacked a mothers love. The only mother figure he will ever know was very distant to him, and that was wrong of Cat. However, I also love Cat, and completely understand her actions. They’re not necessarily right, you should blame the father, not the child. But we know that despite his cold exterior, Ned is actually a very good, very loving person and I imagine that Cat wanted to hate him, but couldn’t bring herself to, and so that fell on Jon. 

Plus, its double standards when the fandom praise Lyanna for running away with a married man because the man she was supposed to marry had a bastard in the Vale and she didn’t want to marry him (this happened before they were married) and then hate a woman for not wanting her husband’s bastard in her home

It should have been you

One of the things I often see Ned blamed for is that he never told Catelyn the truth about Jon, something that is thought to could have made Jon’s life better as it would ease Catelyn’s resentment of him if she learned that Ned did not cheat on her. The Tully words are often used in that context to prove that Cat would have accepted Jon and joined Ned in keeping his secret and protecting him if she’d known. But that is a premise I have always had trouble accepting.

Following Catelyn’s PoV and her patterns of behavior when her children are at risk undercuts that argument; Catelyn’s priority has always been her own children, and while this is perfectly normal, she does demonstrate her willingness to punish children she perceives as a threat to hers in the name of protecting her children, and to disregard or refuse to reflect on the danger her actions and desires might put other people’s children in. The scene in which the quote I chose to title this post was said, while the words of a grieving mother, still shows Catelyn’s instincts and thought process when her children are endangered. While surely sympathetic as parents are sure to put their children ahead of everyone, Catelyn’s privilege means that she often fails to get out of her own perspective to consider how she is implying that she sees other people’s children as being inherently less important than her own and provides Catelyn with an emotional justification for whatever she does, as long as she is doing it for her children’s sake or to protect them.

We see this in how she treats both young Jon and Theon, two vulnerable children that she sees as potential threats to her children, the former more than the latter. This is the main rationale behind Catelyn’s treatment of Jon; while her behavior towards him is definitely influenced by how his presence in Winterfell is a constant reminder of Ned’s infidelity and how it forces her to suffer public shame and damages her political image as Lady of Winterfell, the biggest cause of Cat’s behavior is the danger Jon could pose to her children’s lives and inheritance. Cat lives in fear that Jon or his descendants could try and supplant her own children or their children, or even that he’d harm them to steal their inheritance, and thus treats him all his life as a potential threat that should be curbed. Of course this whole concern would be rendered moot if Jon’s parentage is revealed, but the problem is that the truth comes with its own set of problems - while it eliminates Jon as a potential rival claimant to Winterfell, Jon’s true identity, if anything, exacerbates the danger to Cat’s children.

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tishtriya  asked:

I'm new to your Tumblr, so don't know whether you've answered this before. 😅 If Jon hadn't asked to take the black, what do you think Ned would have in store for him? How would that affect the North's prospects in the War of the five kings?

Well, that’s the thing. Ned doesn’t seem to have had any real plans for Jon. In AGOT Catelyn I and Eddard I – the chapters before the arrival of the royal party and right when they get there – Ned doesn’t mention or even think of Jon Snow once.

And as for Jon himself:

“I want to serve in the Night’s Watch, Uncle.”
He had thought on it long and hard, lying abed at night while his brothers slept around him. Robb would someday inherit Winterfell, would command great armies as the Warden of the North. Bran and Rickon would be Robb’s bannermen and rule holdfasts in his name. His sisters Arya and Sansa would marry the heirs of other great houses and go south as mistress of castles of their own. But what place could a bastard hope to earn?

–AGOT, Jon I

So if Ned had vouchsafed any plans to Jon at any time, this is where Jon would have thought of them. The fact that he doesn’t, that he has no idea what his future could be and can only hope to serve in the Night’s Watch, tells us that Ned never gave Jon any help on this subject.

The only thing that gives us any clue is in the Catelyn II chapter, right before Maester Luwin tells Cat and Ned that Jon wants to take the black:

“He and Robb are close,” Ned said. “I had hoped…”

Hoped what? We don’t know, Ned’s cut off here, and it’s not his POV. (And he almost never thinks of Jon afterwards, with no “if only”s except for wishing to talk to him before he dies.) But as a guess – since Ned says that Jon and Robb are close, his hope may have been that Jon would serve as Robb’s adviser and lieutenant, perhaps similar to the way Brandon Snow served Torrhen Stark.

Which isn’t much of a plan, honestly. Maybe Ned also hoped to include a small grant of land and a betrothal arrangement, the sort of thing a responsible father would do for his bastard. (I mean, if you’re going to raise him with your children, why not follow through with all the rest?) But more likely Ned just hadn’t thought of the future at all, as he persistently thought of his children as children even though Robb was 14 and Sansa 11, the ages when betrothals are often made. (See Brandon and Catelyn, betrothed at 14 and 12, respectively. Heck, Rickard Karstark had offered his daughter Alys when she was six and Robb 7 or 8, though nothing came of it.)

(edit: @professional-widow reminds me that Jon later remembered a possibility for himself that Ned might have once considered:

His lord father had once talked about raising new lords and settling them in the abandoned holdfasts as a shield against wildlings. The plan would have required the Watch to yield back a large part of the Gift, but his uncle Benjen believed the Lord Commander could be won around, so long as the new lordlings paid taxes to Castle Black rather than Winterfell. “It is a dream for spring, though,” Lord Eddard had said. “Even the promise of land will not lure men north with a winter coming on.”

If winter had come and gone more quickly and spring had followed in its turn, I might have been chosen to hold one of these towers in my father’s name.

–ASOS, Jon V

However, there’s no saying that this is something Ned actually planned for Jon’s future, especially considering the “dream for spring” means this would be when Jon was in his 20s, and there’s all the years of winter in the meanwhile when Jon would be doing what and living where, I dunno, Ned. But it’s at least an idea of where this grant of land I spoke of above might be located.)

Still, most likely, Ned was living in denial, not wanting to think that Jon might ever be an adult since that might involve telling him about Lyanna, and Rhaegar, and all the heartbreak that would bring. (A lot has been said about how Ned never prepared his children, especially his daughters, for southern politics – but since southern politics killed his father and brother and sister, it’s not surprising that after the Rebellion Ned hid himself away in the north, never wanting to think about the south or of the future.) At any rate, Jon choosing to join the Night’s Watch solved a lot of problems for Ned.

But you ask what if Jon hadn’t decided to take the black.

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GoT Re-Watch: Fine-Toothed Comb Edition

Housekeeping note first: I’m about halfway through a season two essay on Sam Tarly. Hopefully it’ll be done on Sunday. As for right now, I thought this week’s notes were one of my shorter sets, but it turns out that I went on, like, three different rants. Must’ve been feeling opinionated when I wrote those. It’s been known to happen.

Episode 5 - The Wolf and the Lion

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anonymous asked:

Did Catelyn's panicked attempt to convince Robb to name that one Vale fellow his heir have any viability or was that just her innate prejudice against bastardy and her hope that Arya was alive combining into an irrational response. To paraphrase Robb, what chance does a Valeman who's never lived in the North have at becoming the King of Winter?

Thanks for the question, Anon.

Well, Catelyn’s discussion about the very real Stark succession problem brings up two legitimate points concerning Jon as a potential heir. The first - and, in my mind, greater - problem was Jon’s Night’s Watch vows. Robb may have thought it a simple matter of numbers - exchange one Jon for a hundred Jons, so to speak, and the depleted Night’s Watch should be duly grateful - but I think the young king failed to consider the repercussions of such an act. The Night’s Watch has existed, in more or less the same form, for nigh-on eight millennia, and for all those years its members have taken the vows of sworn vigilance and immunity to realm politics. Those who stuck fast to their vows - like the Lord Commander who sent not a single man to aid his brother Harren as Aegon approached - are given in good example to younger brothers; those who betrayed them - like Rodrik Flint, who sought a crown beyond the Wall - are remembered poorly. Indeed, even in the era of the independent kingdoms, the Night’s Watch stood as a respected, supernational institution; Nymeria, for one, had all faith that the six kings she sent to the Wall would be safely delivered and kept there (or executed for deserters if they left). But Robb proposed to do away with the ancient rules - reasoning that because he needs Jon dynastically, he can say the word, and Jon becomes a free man again, no strings attached. Imagine the fallout: black brothers muttering about “special rules for the king’s brother” (not exactly a good sentiment for an institution that is already classist); highborn families realizing they can ransom back anyone - or try, at least - for the right price; the politics of the “south” invading the ancient independence of the Night’s Watch. Suddenly the Wall is no longer a safe option for politically dangerous or otherwise inconvenient men, not a place where a man can be expected to stay once he’s left; the sanctity is gone - just once, but enough to question the strength of everyone else’s vows. Robb, as King over the realm where the Night’s Watch was established, had even more reason to respect and preserve the Watch, but instead sought to use his own political needs to circumvent ancient tradition. Would his vassals - Northmen who presumably had themselves sent sons or brothers in generations past to the Wall - be willing to accept a man who was willing to forsake the perpetual vows he had taken in exchange for a crown? It’s a real question, and one that I think Robb dismissed too lightly.

The second problem is Jon’s bastardy, of course. Catelyn was certainly not immune to bastard prejudice, especially as in her case, Ned had taken an extra step she had not been taught to anticipate in her marriage (not simply having a bastard - that was to be expected - but bringing him home and raising him alongside his trueborn siblings, instead of hiding him away in a discreet location and quietly providing for him). Yes, there was some measure of personal feeling in Catelyn bringing up the point of Jon’s bastardy. At the same time, what Robb and Catelyn do not discuss - but I think is a point worth noting - is how the vassal lords would appreciate a legitimized bastard sitting the seat of Winterfell. Bastards may not be uniformly demonized among northmen - elsewise, Larence Snow would never have been a real candidate in the Hornwood Question - but are similarly not uniformly preferred over female-line candidates (again, to look to the Hornwoods, Larence Snow is only one of several possibilities, together with the female-line heirs of the Tallharts, Flints, and Karstarks). Unlike Larence, moreover, Jon did not have an ancient northern lordly (well, masterly) House guaranteed to champion his rights; that’s not in itself a death knell, but it would make a claim already questionable (both for his bastard birth and his Night’s Watch service) that much more difficult to press (though I doubt the Manderlys would have missed the chance to wed Lady Wylla to Jon once he was named heir to the North). Would a Winterfell upbringing and Stark blood (and features) outweigh bastard prejudice, to skip over a legitimate female-line claimant? Maybe, maybe not; it would certainly depend on each House (especially if any of them had female heirs, who might worry about their rights being usurped by bastard siblings).

(And, of course, if Robb legitimized Jon, there would be no way to unlegitimize his line in the future; in a worst case scenario, I’m sure Catelyn saw a Blackfyre-like situation happening, where Robb’s heirs by Jeyne - another queen, like Mariah Martell, from a land fought as an enemy - would be threatened by the ambition of Jon’s Stark-looking heirs. To what extent other northmen thought this a possibility is impossible to say, but interesting to consider.)

Now, as far as the Waynwood/Corbray/Templeton cousin goes, I don’t know if mere Vale heritage would be the real sticking point (I’m reminded of George I of Great Britain, who spoke not a lick of English when he came to the throne and spent a fifth of his reign in his German homeland, but was the nearest Protestant relative of the Stuart Queen Anne - a female-line great-grandson of James I via his daughter’s youngest daughter). Again, depending on how much weight the vassal lords gave to the issues, a legitimately born heir with Stark blood who would preserve succession tradition and Night’s Watch independence might be worth even Vale blood. The real issue would be how Lysa Arryn reacted. Lysa absolutely forbid her knights to aid Robb in his cause; would she allow one of her bannermen’s own children to succeed to Robb’s seat? That might well send a message to the Iron Throne that the Vale had thrown in its lot with the Kingdom of the North and Trident - and the last thing Lysa wanted was royal armies marching toward the Vale to hurt her precious Robert. Even if Robb had wanted it, then, a Vale cousin might have been out of the question.

Ultimately, I think the Stark succession question was a difficult decision without an easy answer any one way. Either choice would have presented unique difficulties, and either might have incurred the wrath of his vassals. I don’t think Catelyn was wrong to bring up the points she did, or that’s he was motivated purely by personal animosity toward Jon; Robb might have had his mind set on Jon, but there were legitimate concerns to naming Jon heir to his half-brother.

(On a somewhat related note, whatever happened to the twin sons of Artos the Implacable? TWOIAF says they both left issue; these children and their descendants - presumably still in the North, potentially still bearing the Stark name - would have made potential heirs for such a sticky situation, especially as they would be the next in line should Robb have skipped the descendants of Jocelyn Stark.)

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

anonymous asked:

What are other ways that Jaime and Ned are foils of each other?

They occupy similar positions in their respective families. Most consequentially, they both have weird closeted Uncle Dad relationships with their sisters’ kids. They’re also middle children. Much as Jaime gets legal precedence as Tywin’s first son, he is Cersei’s little brother.

More abstractly, I think Ned and Jaime are at contrasting ends of the same wavelength when it comes to inhabiting personas. It’s not that either of their reputations are unearned: Ned is more or less a stand-up guy, and Jaime really is a treacherous piece of work who’s willing to undermine the king by breaking every one of his vows. But those reputations are more complex than they appear; at best, they’re right for the wrong reasons. Ned isn’t a good guy because of his publicly rigorous rule-following, but because he is capable of putting other people’s well-being before his own image. Jaime killing Aerys wasn’t a coup, though his affair with Cersei very much is. And they’re both really practical about using those reputations, particularly in the interests of conflict avoidance.

“Aleena? No. You told me once. Was it Merryl? You know the one I mean, your bastard’s mother?“

“Her name was Wylla,” Ned replied with cool courtesy, “and I would sooner not speak of her.”         

“Wylla. Yes.” The king grinned. “She must have been a rare wench if she could make Lord Eddard Stark forget his honor, even for an hour. You never told me what she looked like …”

Ned’s mouth tightened in anger. “Nor will I. Leave it be, Robert, for the love you say you bear me. I dishonored myself and I dishonored Catelyn, in the sight of gods and men.”

“Gods have mercy, you scarcely knew Catelyn.”        

 "I had taken her to wife. She was carrying my child.“

Must you make me say the words? Pia was standing by the flap of the tent with her arms full of clothes. His squires were listening as well, and the singer. Let them hear, Jaime thought. Let the world hear. It makes no matter. He forced himself to smile, “You’ve seen our numbers, Edmure. You’ve seen the ladders, the towers, the trebuchets, the rams. If I speak the command, my coz will bridge your moat and break your gate. Hundreds will die, most of them your own. Your former bannermen will make up the first wave of attackers, so you’ll start your day by killing the fathers and brothers of men who died for you at the Twins. The second wave will be Freys, I have no lack of those. My westermen will follow when your archers are short of arrows and your knights so weary they can hardly lift their blades. When the castle falls, all those inside will be put to the sword. Your herds will be butchered, your godswood will be felled, your keeps and towers will burn. I’ll pull your walls down, and divert the Tumblestone over the ruins. By the time I’m done no man will ever know that a castle once stood here.” Jaime got to his feet. “Your wife may whelp before that. You’ll want your child, I expect. I’ll send him to you when he’s born. With a trebuchet.”

Silence followed his speech. Edmure sat in his bath. Pia clutched the clothing to her breasts. The singer tightened a string on his harp. Little Lew hollowed out a loaf of stale bread to make a trencher, pretending that he had not heard. With a trebuchet, Jaime thought. If his aunt had been there, would she still say Tyrion was Tywin’s son?    

The two characters are retreating to different personas in these passages. Ned performs as Mr. Stuffy No-Sex Honor-Man while Robert of all people keeps pressing; Jaime’s all GRRR I AM THE KINGSLAYER QUAIL BEFORE MEEEEEE. (He’s so proud of that trebuchet flourish.) But they’re both leaning into what other people think of them, using dishonorable methods to honor a promise made to a dead woman, a promise that, if known, would undercut the reputations they use to carry it out.

Those similarities make them a pretty solid nature/nurture comparison. Ned was born in Winterfell, to a family that at least seems to have been somewhat functional, and then given to Jon Arryn in his boyhood. Jaime was born to one psychopathic supervillain, and then drafted by another in his boyhood. Would Jaime have been what he is if he’d had half of what Ned did in that regard? Look at how – in a few short months, as a fully-baked adult, with a lifetime of sunk costs into his many transgressions – he takes to the combination of Brienne’s good example and some professional and psychological autonomy once Tyrion does the world the favor of punching Tywin’s ticket. That’s not entirely down to Brienne being some kind of moral moral muse who ~makes him wanna be a better man or even to Tywin’s iron grip on his children’s world. It’s about Jaime being not only responsive to outside influence, but being disproportionately receptive to good influences after a lifetime of being dominated by bad ones.

And all of that kind of winds around to that pivotal moment in the throne room at the end of the Rebellion.

He was seated on the Iron Throne, high above his knights……I was still mounted. I rode the length of the hall in silence, between the long rows of dragon skulls. It felt as though they were watching me, somehow. I stopped in front of the throne, looking up at him. His golden sword was across his legs, its edge red with a king’s blood. My men were filling the room behind me. Lannister’s men drew back. I never said a word. I looked at him seated there on the throne, and I waited. At last Jaime laughed and got up. He took off his helm, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear, Stark. I was only keeping it warm for our friend Robert. It’s not a very comfortable seat, I’m afraid.’

Ned’s belief that he “forced” Jaime off of the Iron Throne with his Power of Heart™ is rather charming to me. As if Jaime stopped mid-coup and had his men stand down while Ned made his dramatic entrance. Less charming, of course, is what stuck with Jaime:

Bolton’s silence was a hundred times more threatening than Vargo Hoat’s slobbering malevolence. Pale as morning mist, his eyes concealed more than they told. Jaime misliked those eyes. They reminded him of the day at King’s Landing when Ned Stark had found him seated on the Iron Throne.

This is kind of a startling comparison the first read through, but it really pops the second time around. At this point in the narrative, Roose is actively plotting against Ned’s son. Like Jaime, Roose will kill his king. Unlike Jaime, Roose will violate an oath he swore as an adult and of his own free will, and will do so strictly for his own benefit. Jaime’s comparison of Roose to Ned is deeply unsettling.

More than anything else in Jaime’s POV recollections, it’s this comparison that clarifies why Jaime chose the course he did at that moment and didn’t tell anyone why he’d killed Aerys. In terms of keeping his head on his shoulders, it was probably his best possible option. Trying to justify himself would have been submitting to Ned’s judgment. Trying to justify himself without proof, which he did not have at the moment, could easily have backfired. Ned, right then, was in sore need of someone to blame for all of the horrible things he’s experienced and seen. I wouldn’t trust him with the truth either, this stranger with Roose Bolton’s eyes. Jaime, disillusioned and damaged as he was, was at a critical juncture where he could have pulled out of the dysfunctional Lannister spiral. But when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, it bounces back just as hard, in the opposite direction.