in which i go on and on about being a woman in westeros

Aaand because I am bored and proscrastinating, bear with me while I go on a little bit more. Because with the introduction of Brienne, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way certain characters are labelled ‘masculine’ or 'feminine’ and defended or despised accordingly. But one thing I find interesting about GRRM’s female characters is that none of them really fit neatly into these categories. Sansa and Arya, particularly in the first book, are the most obvious examples, as they fill the role of lady and tomboy respectively. But I see a lot of people trying to group the other women into one of these two categories as well - Brienne is just like Arya, Sansa has to be careful not to end up like Cersei - and it never quite works for me.

It is Arya, not Sansa, who is more like a young Cersei - uncomfortable in her own skin, desperately wanting to be allowed to fight like her brothers, hot tempered, ruthlessly vengeful. And though on the outside Brienne may remind Cat of Arya, inside she is far more like Sansa - gentle and naive, believing in knights and honour and goodness, and about to learn that life is not a song. Just as Arya and Sansa are two sides of the same coin, so are Brienne and Cersei, but just because Brienne fights with a sword, that doesn’t make her inherently more masculine. If anything, her outward trappings of masculinity belie a gentle heart - “gentler than Cersei,” Jaime tells us - that is quite stereotypically feminine - she is even more concerned than Sansa with love and romance.

And when you start to bring in the other women, it becomes even more complicated. Daenerys is defined first by her role as Drogo’s wife, and then by her role as mother - she is the mother of dragons, mother of her people. But the cost of assuming this role is any chance of being an actual mother - she never gives life, only death and fire and war. And the Dornish and Ironborn women can be wives and mothers as well as warriors. One of the complaints I read most often from feminists reading GRRM’s work is that feminine women are portrayed negatively, and masculine women are portrayed positively. And while I definitely agree that the fandom are wont to interpret things this way, I think that in the books themselves things a bit more interesting than that.

Okay, rant over, really going to start doing some real work now.

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.

The Northrop Frye Theory of A Song of Ice and Fire (or, why you can be certain this series won’t have a downer ending)

The affinity between the mythical and the abstractly literary illuminates many aspects of fiction, especially the more popular fiction which is real enough to be plausible in its incidents and yet romantic enough to be a “good story,” which means a clearly designed one. (p 139)

This quote comes from Northrop Frye’s 1957 essay “Archetypal Criticism” in his book Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. An influential Canadian literary critic, Fye is especially known for his work on William Blake. I’d been familiar with his theory of the four mythoi (generalized story patterns) since high school, and while reading A Song of Ice and Fire I became convinced that Martin has to be aware of it as well. Thus I decided to read the entire essay it comes from to test the idea (not an easy task; it’s 110 pages of very dense text), and that conviction has grown to the point that I want to write the man to ask him directly.

Of course, it doesn’t entirely matter if Martin has read Frye’s work, because his mythoi are archetypes. Frye’s theory of archetypes doesn’t necessitate a collective unconscious like Jung’s; rather, he’s talking about the cultural legacy Western society has inherited primarily from Hellenistic and Biblical traditions, the tropes and symbols we all recognize instinctively. It’s part of our cultural unconscious, the background noise we’ve all received since childhood.

There’s a lot in this essay that could be applicable to aSoIaF, such as how wolves and dragons are classic archetypes of evil or at least dangerous and untamed nature, or how literature versus mythology gives you more freedom to subvert archetypal meaning, but I want to focus on his idea of mythos, and how he argues that there are four major mythoi, comedy, romance, tragedy, and irony, and that they archetypally correspond to the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

You should already be able to guess a little of where this is going.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I think one of the biggest misassumptions about GoT is that 'Sansa never loved Jon'. Sansa wasn't as close to Jon as Arya and Robb were, we know that but that doesn't mean she didn't love him. Although she called him half brother, he's still a brother to her and she loved him, just not as openly as the others. I hate it when people say she never loved him

Anon Hi!  First thank you for this ask ( I love getting Got/Asoiaf messages.. please keep them coming!). 

Second, yes I agree. Sansa didnt hate Jon, but she was not close to him. Their relatioship was at best,i would say, “dutiful”. They cared for one another because they had to,not because they were close (like jon and ar*a.)

(that make the marriage for duty a possibility too. They  had to co-exist as half-siblings, they can  learn to love each other as husband and wife. Its the reason why i think ar*a and jon could never work as a couple,  if its a marriage of duty, and we know how Grrm loves those: see Ned and Cat). 

Plus as much as I love Sansa, Grrm stated (and its clear in the text) that she was created to build conflict in the stark family. Of course it doesnt mean she hates the starks, it just mean she wanted out. Sansa wanted the south, with the turneys, the knights and kings landing after dark. She prayed to the Seven and not the old gods, because she find them more pretty and less dull. She lost her wolf. These are important events that shaped who Sansa is. 

These reasons are what makes Sansa SO RELATABLE (to me at least..). She is the impersonification of the saying “you dont understand how important a thing is until you lost it”. She wanted to go away from home, she didnt love the north, Winterfell.

 And NOW, well now she dreams of return to her roots, to re-create that home she lost. To name her future children like the brothers (and sister) that she has lost. Thats what makes Sansa such a good, interesting character. She doesnt start with a  mature personality (like Dany, or Tyrion, Bran or Arya who are great characters of course) she was a naive and spoiled child who regrets her choices and tries to survive with her self and her mistakes.

Sansa is a character who changes the MOST in the books. Not only from the first book when Ned dies, but even from  “A storm of swords” to “ A feast for crows” when we  see how she changes her mind about being a bastard, how she starts to understand how a bastard lives: 

“Lysa will not come alone. Before she arrives, we must be clear on who you are.”   

“Who I… I don’t understand.”   

“Varys has informers everywhere. If Sansa Stark should be seen in the Vale, the eunuch will know within a moon’s turn, and that would create unfortunate… complications. It is not safe to be a Stark just now. So we shall tell Lysa’s people that you are my natural daughter.”   

“Natural?” Sansa was aghast. “You mean, a bastard?”  - Sansa (A storm of swords” 

Here Sansa is upset about the possibility of being a bastard, she considers it  a disgrace (we are talking about a girl who was a lady at three, who since she was born has accepted the rules of Westeros culture). But then in a “Feast for crows” 

Sansa Stark went up the mountain, but Alayne Stone is coming down … Alayne was an older woman, and bastard brave.”-  Sansa ( A feast for crows) 

Sansa (only a few charapters later) thinks that a bastard is brave.

I love the dinamic of Jon/Sansa ( even as not romantic) because  for me Jon starts the book, with the same mentality as Sansa even though they are at the total opposite Social status. He wanted to prove himself, he wanted to go to the wall and be honorable, like his father Ned, just like Sansa wanted to be a perfect lady, do her duty like her mother Catelyn. But Sansa and Jon are at the opposite social position in Winterfell (the high lady, who is expected to become a queen, and a poor bastard who doesnt have a future).Still they have the same naive dreams of glory and greatness. Both think their life is like the song they loved as children ( look at these quotes…): 

Jon: Daeron Targaryen was only fourteen when he conquered Dorne

.Benjen: A conquest that lasted a summer. Your Boy King lost ten thousand men taking the place, and another fifty trying to hold it. Someone should have told him that war isn’t a game- Jon snow I  “A game of thrones” 

Jon idolized tragic heroes like Daeron, just like Sansa
romanticizes life:  

When the Knight of Flowers had spoken up, she’d been sure she was about to see one of Old Nan’s stories come to life…..

Lord Baelish stroked his little pointed beard and said, “Nothing? Tell me, child, why would you have sent Ser Loras?”
Sansa had no choice but to explain about heroes and monsters. The king’s councillor smiled.

 "Well, those are not the reasons I’d have given, but … “ He had touched her cheek, his thumb lightly tracing the line of a cheekbone. Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day to your sorrow.“ - Sansa III “A game of thrones”. 

Both learn that lesson is a hard way. And Grrm is putting them in their respective shoes. Jon is learning the responsibility of being in high position as Lord commander, while Sansa is a bastard. Jon is offered Winterfell by stannis, while Sansa is accused by her aunt of being a beggar. Robb makes Jon is heir, putting him ahead of Sansa. This in not concidences, this is Grrm making Sansa understand what Jon endured all his life, and doing the same thing for Jon. They even have similar chapters in the books ( Sansa A feast for crows chapter when she is coming down the mountain, has parallels with jon chapter in a storm of swords when he climbs the wall. In fact in that case not only Jon is mentioned but she hears a ghost wolf, big as mountains….).

So in conclusion Jon and Sansa are not close but they respected one another presence and dont have a troubling relationship at all. Still how they journeys parallel one another is fascinating (even not for a romantic, which is my guess if both survive …) and i cant wait for the reunion (that i can bet will be the first Stark reunion in the its 1000000% sure).

anonymous asked:

Is it possible that the pregnancies with the birth of the dead Lysa babies are due to Jon's age (and even fertility)? Or could it be because of her fertility? Or even both?

It’s possible. Jon was over 60 when he married Lysa, and his two previous marriages were without issue, though his first wife died in childbirth. It could be that those two marriages were simply short and thus were not a reflection of Jon’s fertility or an indication that he had fertility issues, but I honestly doubt they were short marriages, otherwise Jon would have taken a third wife to produce an heir and secure the inheritance long before the Rebellion and Elbert’s death since the Arryns were clearly hard-pressed for male heirs.

But then again, Jon and Lysa conceived 8 times over the course of 14 years with no problem, it’s the continuance of the pregnancy that was the issue. Now it is possible for a miscarriage to happen due to an issue with the sperm so I wouldn’t discount the possibility of Jon’s age or fertility being a factor. However, the clearer explanation we have lies in Lysa’s forced abortion and how it clearly caused some kind of damage to her system. GRRM was helpful enough to provide us with the ingredients for moon tea, which include some pretty powerful, albeit dangerous natural abortifactants. Some of the herbs used in moon tea are highly toxic and could even kill if not taken carefully, which GRRM very well knows. So while “moon tea” is a fantasy invention of Martin’s that is used as both a contraceptive and an abortificant in Westeros, we can infer that it could have some serious side effects, something that it seems to have caused in Lysa’s case considering how Hoster Tully kept raving about “tansy” and “blood” to Catelyn.

He does not know me. Catelyn had grown accustomed to him taking her for her mother or her sister Lysa, but Tansy was a name strange to her. “It’s Catelyn,” she said. “It’s Cat, Father.”  
“Forgive me … the blood … oh, please … Tansy …“

When she touched him, Lord Hoster moaned. “Forgive me,” he said, so softly she could scarcely hear the words. “Tansy … blood … the blood … gods be kind …”  

The repeated mention of blood and the “gods be kind” suggests this wasn’t just the usual bleeding a woman has after an abortion or a delivery but that the moon tea caused some adverse affect that caused Lysa to hemorrhage and might even have damaged her uterus somehow leading to her subsequent childbearing problems and repeated miscarriages.

And ain’t that a kicker? Because:

Lord Hoster groaned. “Dead.” His hand groped for [Catelyn’s]. “You’ll have others … sweet babes, and trueborn.”  

Hoster rationalized his deception of Lysa and the abortion he forced on her with the thought that she’d go on to have other trueborn children, except that it’s Hoster’s actions that caused Lysa’s inability to have them. He was the reason she only had Sweetrobin to show after nine pregnancies.

Meta Repost #1: The Trident Fight: Why We Need to Stop Blaming Little Girls and Start Blaming Irresponsible Adults and the Awful Society They Perpetuate

It’s back!

I feel embarrassed that I feel the need to discuss the Trident scene in a meta at this point in time. It’s been four books and nearly twenty years since George R.R. Martin wrote the damn thing, and yet people still keep bringing this up as not only A defining moment for certain characters, but THE defining moment for certain characters. Especially for Sansa.

This is wrong. The person to be angry at isn’t Sansa or her sister. While both girls can get blamed for this event, Sansa tends to get the bulk of fandom hatred for the events that led to the death of Lady. I want to focus on why this viewpoint is wrong.

It’s just that so many of the mentions of the fight at the Trident between Arya and Joffrey, Sansa’s reaction, and the fallout are so often used to make really bad arguments. And, in fact, the whole instance is just misinterpreted a lot.

Keep reading

Trust Issues: Jon, Sansa, Daenerys, and betrayal.

A little meta I was inspired to write today after getting super tired of reading ‘Will Sansa betray Jon?’ posts. Warning! I try to stay away from season 7 plot leaks & spoilers but I am aware of some things and treat them as season 7 theories…so if you don’t want to know even a hint of anything SPOILER WARNING! (but not really b.c. I have no idea what will happen.)

Pretty much every fan everywhere has debated  the question “Will Sansa betray Jon?” The answers range from yes to no to she will pretend to betray Jon in order to take down Littlefinger. But maybe just maybe we are all asking the wrong question.

Sansa and Daenerys have both been casts as betrayers at certain points in the story. Daenerys by Viserys who she has visions of in ADWD calling her a betrayer. Sansa by readers who see her early actions in A Game fo Thrones as a betrayal of her family. We seem to forget that there is another betrayer in our midst. Yes, our hero Jon Snow. His time with the wildlings is steeped in betrayal of either his vows or of the wildlings depending on which view you take.

Why are we not asking the question “Will Jon betray Sansa?” or maybe even more important “Will Jon betray Sansa or Daenarys or both?”

If Sansa’s arc is about how a young woman in a patriarchal society can go from political pawn to political player. Jon’s is all about how one who gets given that power by default because he is a man despite his birth status attempts to make the hard decisions. His is the dynamic between the inner moral compass and the one wielded by public opinion. The women of our story have no such luxury. You are either pawn or player and to get to be a player it’s assumed you must have used unsavory means or had dragons. Daenerys’ arc mirrors Sansa in this way, she too goes from political pawn to player. Much of it rests on both losing her brother and her husband and having dragons.

That’s maybe why we rush to ask the question “Will Sansa betray Jon?”. A woman gaining power must mean she betrayed a man somehow or had dragons. We can see this in our current modern day political situation…ok won’t go there for now…

 Given Jon’s history and the issues going into to season 7, the question of “Will Jon betray XXX?” becomes a much more compelling question. Here are a few theories.

It’s possible Sansa in her plan to take out Littlefinger at first looks like a betrayal of Jon when in actuality it’s Littlefinger she is betraying. Part of her cover might mean Jon believing she is siding with Littlefinger. In his frustration maybe he sides with Daenerys, pledges fealty to her..etc. By the time he realizes Sansa was working to undermine Littlefinger and not him, it will be too late he’s given the North away to Daenerys. The Northern Lords are for sure not going to like this and might be willing to support a Sansa-Arya-Bran alliance. After betraying the Starks once by pledging to Dany, Jon now has to choose the Starks (represented by Sansa) or Daenerys.

It could be we never even have to see Jon believe Sansa will betray him. Littlefinger could be taken out in an entirely different manner while Jon is away. Jon may still betray Sansa and the North by pledging fealty to Dany. The audience may not feel it’s a complete betrayal but Sansa would, the Northern Lords would. It’s not unlike what happened when Jon joined the wildlings. We as the audience understand what Jon was doing, he was going undercover. This didn’t change how he used Ygritte. He betrayed her love and her trust. Which is exactly how she sees it.

Cersei may also still have Sansa in her sights. Please please season 7 give us the scene when Cersei finds out Sansa has re-surfaced and taken back her home along with her half-brother (really cousin…wanna be lover…). I think I may want this scene more than full on JonSa. If D&D give me this I can wait till season 8 for JonSa. What will Jon do if Cersei offers him a deal..perhaps Sansa’s head for Northern Independence or help with the White Walkers? One head to save many many lives. We believe Jon would say no but…there is always a but…

Another option is that Jon betrays not Sansa or his Stark family but Daenerys. Again, he has a history of tossing aside love/attraction when it comes to duty and the bigger picture. Dany is still owed at least one betrayal according to prophecy and it is the betrayal for love. As mentioned above Jon could have to choose Starks or Dany. That being said betraying Dany could be a question for season 8 and the last book.

In a perfect Westeros, Sansa would be Lady of Winterfell successfully manning the North while Jon builds the greatest alliance the realm has ever known to fight the White Walkers. After some minor compromises, everyone gets on board. Maybe he has a flirtation with Dany before discovering his parentage after which everyone understands. Dany sadly sacrifices herself against the walkers becoming a hero. Jon and Sansa rule the realm. Or for the Jonerys shippers, it’s the other way around Sansa sadly sacrifices herself and Jon and Dany rule together. But as we all know this is not a perfect Westeros. Some shit is gonna go down. 

So as fans continue to debate “Will Sansa betray Jon” and JonSa shippers wring their hands over the thought of Sansa even considering a betrayal of Jon, we may all be asking the wrong questions. Maybe what we really should be asking is “Will Jon betray Sansa aka sell out the North? And if so, when he realizes this is a huge problem, “What will Sansa do about it?” and “What will he do about it?”

**For the record, it would be wholly out of character for Jon and Sansa especially book!Jon and book!Sansa to truly betray one and another. However, misplaced trust in the wrong people (a particular recurring problem for Starks), miscommunications (all it could take are a few ravens lost in a blizzard), or poor timing could create a situation where one feels betrayed by the other. And if these two truly love each other as siblings or otherwise, or are falling in love with each other unbeknownst to other the person, the sting of even a perceived betrayal could be shattering creating a cascade of unfortunate events. JonSa shippers get your kleenex things are about to get extra angsty before fans get their bittersweet ending.

researcher-tydera-leiara  asked:

What if arya was fostered with the mormonts like how ned was fostered with Jon Arryn?

Not sure if this is a response to my last post about Arya or just a general what if question… but while being fostered with the Mormonts would be really nice for Arya in a perfect universe, there’s unfortunately no good reason that would ever happen.

First of all, let’s talk about wards and fosterings. Ned was fostered with Jon Arryn – that is, his father Rickard Stark, the Lord Paramount of the North, sent his second son to foster with another Lord Paramount, a great honor (and possibly an early step in the theorized Southron Ambitions Conspiracy). Rickard’s eldest son, Brandon, was fostered at Barrowton with Lord Dustin, a powerful and loyal bannerman, close enough to home to learn to become the next Lord of Winterfell. But Ned didn’t foster any of his children. There are several possible reasons why, ranging from disengagement from politics post-Robert’s Rebellion, to a need to make sure why no one questioned why he never sent Jon Snow away. (As bastards, when recognized, are usually still raised elsewhere than their noble parent’s home.) However, if Ned had decided to foster any his children, including Arya – though note girls are not often fostered except for marriage or hostage purposes – the Mormonts would have been a completely unlikely if not impossible choice.

You see, Bear Island is basically the ass-end of nowhere. It’s literal backwoods, a harsh and unforgiving climate, with no culture, no society, often attacked by ironborn raiders, “cold and distant and poor”. It’s completely the opposite of how Ned wanted Arya to “learn the ways of a southron court” to prepare her for marriage. And while House Mormont is proud, and very loyal to House Stark, they also recently suffered a huge scandal when their lord Jorah sold poachers as slaves to get money for nice things for his southron wife. Ned even went to Bear Island to execute him, and only got there to find that Jorah and Lynesse had fled to exile. At which point Jorah’s aunt, unmarried but with many daughters anyway (one also unmarried with children), became the Lady of Bear Island… so not only was House Mormont touched with serious political scandal, but they’re socially scandalous as well. If Ned were to choose House Mormont, of all the houses of the North and in Westeros, to foster his daughter – note that Ned became a ward at age 8, and Arya was about 8 when the Jorah scandal was going down – all the other lords of the North would rightfully wonder what the hell, my lord Stark and be incredibly offended by being overlooked for any Stark wards of their own. Or if (by wild unlikely chance) Arya had been sent to be Lynesse’s companion after she visited Winterfell that one time and was so sad and Catelyn promised her it would get better, if Ned hadn’t brought her back home after the slavery scandal, again everyone would wonder what the hell. And also still be terribly offended.

The only possible way Arya goes to Bear Island in a no-plot AU is if Ned and Cat completely give up on “making a lady of her” – extremely unlikely – decide to make the best of things by going retro warrior woman with her instead – also highly unlikely – and the Jorah slavery scandal never happens – pretty damn unlikely. Maybe if in this AU Jorah never has his problems (his first marriage has kids, or something), and Ned makes an effort to help Jon with his future, and sets up a betrothal for him with one of the younger Mormont girls, maybe Arya goes to Bear Island for the wedding and falls in love with the place (heck if Jorah has a son the right age, who the hell knows), maybe then there’s a possibility. But otherwise? I personally think the Mormont women are awesome, but that kind of role for the youngest maiden daughter of the Lord Paramount of the North is just not going to happen, sorry.

Marriage-Making in ASOIAF Meta

A while ago, @warsofasoiaf told me I should write a guide on how to think about what I write about often here on the Tumblr: marriage speculation in the world of ASOIAF. So I’m finally sitting down to do that. I’m not pretending this is the only way you can write about this stuff, or everyone does it this way, just how I think about these sorts of questions. Think of it more suggestion than anything else.

The first thing I do when I get this kind of question is think about the particular time and place in question. It’s critical for me that I identify when and where this character is whose marital fate is being discussed. To take one example: Sansa at the beginning of AGOT is a far different marital pawn than Sansa during ACOK, and these two girls are very different indeed from Sansa, say, right now in the story. Likewise, it’s an entirely different ballgame if Sansa is sent back to her mother and brother in ACOK or early ASOS, or if she were kept at court as in OTL, or if she were sent somewhere completely separate. For another example, and something I actually wrote about: a marriage between a Mormont and a Hightower would almost certainly ordinarily be out of the cards, but for Jorah and Lynesse, the circumstances were the perfect storm of acceptability. As much as possible, I try to work within the time and place context of the question - what led up to that point such as would influence a marital decision for any character.

That leads to my second point when making marital arrangements in ASOIAF meta: identifying the parties involved. What sort of status the parties bring to the table - for good or ill - is going to influence what sort of marital alliance can be made. So, for example, if I were talking about Brynden Rivers’ sisters, Mya and Gwenys, I would have to keep in mind that they were the daughters of the king and his most popular mistress (who was herself of noble birth), that they were born bastards, and that they were legitimated: bastard prejudice is strong in Westeros, which might cut them off from marrying lords or heirs, but being noble on both sides of their lineage and legitimated, they might have well been able to marry younger sons of fairy notable lords. Similarly, when one (or both) of the parties is heir to his or her seat, special consideration needs to be taken: the crown is never going to sit for two paramount regions combining into a single unit with the marriage of their heirs (so that mooted marriage between Edmure and Arianne would have involved one of them, probably Arianne, giving up their claims to his or her seat). 

Of course, the main parties involved would be the man and woman who will actually be tying the knot, but in very few cases will these two be the only actors to consider. To give an example: in my opinion, there’s no way one can talk about the marriage of Rhaegar - either as it happened IOTL or an alternative to his betrothal to Elia - without discussing King Aerys II. It was Aerys who so despised and feared his son and heir, and the rival court he created; Aerys who sent cousin Steffon to the Free Cities to find Rhaegar a Valyrian-blooded bride; Aerys, ultimately, who had final say over whom the crown prince wed. For another example, any discussion of Robert marrying after the Rebellion has to include the interests of the newly victorious rebel coalition; they had helped bring Robert to power, and would expect the new king to reflect that in his marriage. For another example, when talking about the marriages of Ned and Catelyn’s children, I try to bring up the expectation of Ned’s northern bannermen: they had been denied the hands of lordly Stark maidens for several generations (the last Stark daughters to wed northmen being Arranna and Aregelle, granddaughters of Cregan the One-Day Hand via his son Edric and his half-niece Serena), and might have expected that, with two Stark daughters from Ned and Catelyn, at least one would be given to a prominent bannerman. 

That leads to the last, and probably the most important consideration when writing marriage metas: what do the involved parties want out of the marriage. Identifying what drives those arranging the marriage is crucial to making a realistic match for any character. So, for example, when I talked about Jaime’s proposed marriage to Elia, I thought about both the personal and political reasons Tywin would have seen Lysa as a much better match for Jaime than Princess Elia. Similarly, in talking about Daenerys and Drogo, I discussed what might have made Drogo accept a penniless exiled royal like Daenerys for his khaleesi. If I talk about Rhaegar and his search for a bride, I always highlight what I think the king wanted most: a bride of Valyrian blood but uttery without wealth or great allies that could threaten him.

Again, these are just guidelines, but they are what I use to think about AU marriages in ASOIAF or to discuss why certain betrothals or marriages did, in fact, happen.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

Viserys x Female Reader

Part Two - Prove you’re worthy

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Imagine being best friends with Daenerys and having a deep conversation about issues but it gets interrupted by her brother, Viserys. 

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\ Request from anonymous /

Can I request a oneshot where the reader is Dany’s best friend and she’s having a heart-to-heart chat with her about Jorah’s true intentions (since he obviously likes Daenerys)… then, as the dialogue progresses, Dany brings up Viserys (who has shown an interest in the reader) and as she question the reader about him, he barges in suddenly and interrupts their conversation - dismissing Dany so that he can talk to the reader alone? You can decide what happens from here on in. Thank you! xo.

♡ ♡ ♡ Part One ♡ ♡ ♡

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Season 7 Theory Masterlist

Warning! There are major SPOILERS for Season 6 under the read more. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!! This is your ONLY warning!

Originally posted by find-a-reaction-gif

This is also a very, very long post. I go very in depth and explain everything I think about something and why. I absolutely encourage you to discuss with me what you think, and whether you disagree or agree. My askbox is always open:) 

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realorafable  asked:

do you have any ideas as to what myrish lace might look like, perhaps compared to a lace that we may have (in our world)? i never know what to visualize, and grrm does seem to mention it quite a lot so it has been bugging me! thank you so much!!!

Hi! It’s hard to say what Myrish lace might look like, because GRRM doesn’t describe it in detail, and there’s actually lots of different types of lace in our own world. Let’s see what the text says about Myrish lace, and maybe that will help us visualize it.

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Falling Stars and Mary Magdalene

Growing up in a Roman Catholic family, I did everything I could post-catechism to push away religious learning.  Funnily enough, here I am pouring over the bible to write a comparison analysis.  

Today we’re going to take a look into Ashara Dayne, the fair Lady who threw herself from the Palestone Sword tower in Starfall of Dorne.  The blessed Ashara Dayne- desirous of sovereign contemplation.

This is going to be looked at pre resurrection, analyzing solely Mary of Magdalene and not her relation to Jesus, but her caricature.  While there are many, many, many Ashara Dayne theories out there- and booooy, do I believe in a couple crazy ones- I am writing solely based on what we ‘know’ to be true *which, as I’ll go into, isn’t much!*.  

“She turned the mass of her crimes to virtues, in order to serve God entirely in penance. “

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anonymous asked:

I've often wondered how Melisandre and Stannis became a thing. Why did this mistrustful man decide to admit a religious, foreigner woman into his council and how did it come to pass? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Thanks for the question, Anon.

I mean, I think I understand why Melisandre wanted to go to Stannis. The red priests have been expectantly watching for the reincarnation of Azor Ahai from probably centuries, if not millennia. I imagine Melisandre, in whatever her capacity was as a red priestess, saw in her flames that Azor Ahai Reborn would have some strong connection to Dragonstone (which is itself sensible - home of dragons, seat of dragons, built on a volcanic island, sitting on a cache of Others-fighting obsidian, there is a lot to recommend Dragonstone). But, I think, when she approached the powers-that-be at the red temple with her findings, she was instead told that this would have to be considered, and that the red priests would make no announcement in the near future as to the Lord of Dragonstone being Azor Ahai. It might not have seemed an unreasonable position - they had failed, rather publicly, to convert King Robert to R'hllorism, and might have thought Westeros was not worth the investment with so slim a backing as this priestess’ vision (and not, say, the clear sign of dragons). But for Melisandre, convinced of the truth of her visions, she might have figured she would take her chances and go rogue rather than miss the apocalyptic savior for literal red tape.

Now, obviously that only answers Melisandre’s side. But Melisandre is a pretty good reader of people (indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were one of the main skills certain red priests/priestesses were taught - instructed on how to pick up on certain language and body cues in order to make seemingly mystical and unknowable pronouncements that then make them and their faith seem all the more mysterious and powerful). As seen in ACOK, and certainly present in the time Melisandre actually arrived (which seems to have been around a year or two before the start of the series), Stannis was a man very bitter about the rewards for his services and desperate for validation. He was the rightful Lord of Storm’s End, he was the rightful Hand of the King, he was the rightful Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and yet everyone was eager to deny him his rights, and all he had to show was his grim rock in the Narrow Sea and his poor crop of vassals. I doubt that Melisandre would have failed to pick up on that right away, and use that to her advantage. She wouldn’t fawn over him, or grovel; she would say with easy confidence that he was not simply the true Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, but Azor Ahai Reborn, leader of all men and savior of the world. Add to that some parlor tricks - the repetition of something she saw in a flame vision, perhaps, or a variant on the burning sword seen at the pyre of the Seven - and the fervent recommendation of Selyse Florent, and I think Stannis might have been gratified. Here was someone who not merely recognized his rights, but appeared to have the power to make them a reality. The Seven had disappointed him, but the power of R'hllor could bring him the position he felt was his by rights.

The Queen Regent (NFriel)

The Fairest Of Them All

Requested by @skumar402 : Hi! Just wanted to say your writing is fantastic and I love your imagines! I was wondering whether I could submit an imagine for GoT. Could you write an imagine where the reader is the most beautiful woman in Westeros yet her family’s social status is at the bottom but yet all the sons of the noble families want her as their wife. You can choose who she ends up with! Thank you! Xx 

 Word count: 874

 The wind is warm and makes you smile. You don’t know why you had to put a dress on and brush your dark hair until it’s perfectly straight. Is it about politics? Will you use your beauty to blind someone and make them accept stupid terms? Probably. Your beauty uses to be a curse instead of a blessing. Poems and tributes are made about you, throughout Westeros. Even tough your House isn’t rich or famous, every Lord in Westeros wants you as their wife. You hate them. You wish they knew that you enjoy hunting more than anything in the world; that you love books more than you love people. But no, you’re no more than a beautiful Lady. The most beautiful of Westeros, they say.

 “My lady. You look wonderful as always. ”

 “Thank you, maester.” You offer him a sweet smile. It’s not his fault, after all. The old man knows how much you hate this, but he needs to follow your father’s commands. “What is it about? Some soldiers are hunting and I wanted to join them.”

 “You have a new proposal.”

 “Which House is t now? Bolton? Tyrel? Lannister? Martel?” You take a deep breath, mentally counting how many letters you received this year.

 “Stark, my Lady.”

 “Good. Send him a Raven with my answer.” You wave your hand at the master, turning your attention back to the big trees outside the walls.

 “He didn’t send a Raven. He came here.” The master words make you feel tired immediately. Now you have to deal with the Stark in person.

 You meet him in the balcony, talking with you father. When they notice your presence, both come to greet you. You hug your father and let the Stark kiss your hand.

 “I’ll leave you to talk.” You father smiles at you and disappears.

 “My Lady, I am Robb Stark, first son of Lord Eddard Stark.” The man is very handsome, strong and gentle. You stare at him for a few seconds before moving away, sitting on one of the chairs, staring at the horizon.

 “I know who you are. You’re the only Stark that looks like this.”

 “Like this?”

 “Yes.” You notice him sitting on the chair beside you, his eyes on your face. “Well, my answer is no.”

 Behind you, on the hall, you can hear the soldier’s voices. They’re celebrating the hunt, and you can hear perfectly when someone says that it was the best hunt of the year. You sigh, shooting an angry look at Robb, who raised his eyebrows.

 “Did I say something?”

 “No. You decided to come here to ruin my plans and now I missed the best hunt of the year. Thank you so much, Robb Stark.” You stand up, walking fast to leave him, but Robb is faster and grabs your arm.

 “Wait. You go hunting?” He seems impressed, a shadow of a smile on his beautiful lips.

 “Yes. And riding and reading and fighting. Are you impressed?”

 “I’ll ignore the sarcasm, but yes, I’m impressed. You’re better than I thought.” Robb lets go of your arm, but you stand there, awkwardly staring at him. “They were right about you, you’re the most beautiful woman in Westeros. But I wish someone told me you like this kind of stuff. I’d come earlier.”

 “Go home, Robb Stark.”

 “Would you ride with me? The woods around here are fascinating.”

 You think about denying, but something forces you to say yes. You father allows you to go for a ride all alone with Robb, and soon enough you’re both outside, tall trees surrounding you. Robb’s horse walks right beside yours, and the man keeps staring at you with a stupid smile on his face.

 “Don’t waste your time, I’m tired of marriage proposals. Being beautiful is a curse for sure.”

 “I know, Lady (Y/N). But now I have a new proposal.”

 You raise your eyebrows at him. “What kind of proposal?”

 “I am very impressed, my Lady. I want to get to know you. You can spend some days with me at Winterfell. The hunts are even better.”

 “Winterfell? Do you know that the heir of the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy lives there? He sent me dozens of ravens.” Theon tried everything to have you as his wife, declaring that he’ll be Lord of the Iron Islands even tough he lives in Winterfell.

 “Theon won’t bother you, I promise.”

 You try to hide how much you want to go. Robb is so handsome that you almost said yes when you first saw him. And the way he acts around you is different from anyone. You do want to spend more time with him. There’s something pulling you to him, you can’t deny it.

 “I’ll accept. Just a few days.”


 The days turned into months, and the months turned into a whole year. Robb proved to be everything you ever wanted. He would hunt with you, teach you new moves with a sword and go for long rides with you alone. You fell in love and so did he. His eyes looking at the real you, not just at your pretty face. After two years living in Winterfell, you married him, the happiest day of your life.

A/N: Sorry for any grammar mistakes, English isn’t my first language.

anonymous asked:

So Daenerys has to be portrayed as this powerful, unyielding, fearless robot-like goddess. Nothing fazes her (for more than a moment at least). She gets her ass beaten but she's right back up intent on fighting on. The writers just can't have Daenerys show weakness, be afraid, resigned, tired, overwhelmed, want to run away like they did with Jon in season 6 huh? Of course they can't. How special snowflake of her.

They had Jon down in season 6 and another character had to build him up (a female character because the showrunners need to compensate for the years of having been labelled as misogynists). Is Daenerys so special they can’t have her go through the same? She’s too strong and perfect for that?

Jon selling out his people’s independence (on top of it not even giving them a heads-up first) just because he may personally like the girl is the worst case scenario in this whole thing. It makes him look 1000 x worse than Robb. A King should not act on his personal feelings. If he doesn’t have to do it (Daenerys being already willing to fight WWs) then doing it is unnecessary and purposeless. He’d betray the trust of his Lords for what? He already has her support. It’d happen for no reason.


I’m going to lump all three of these asks together because I assume they all came from the same person. 

The perimeters of your asks are just littered with these simplistic dichotomies, black and white is the only way you and some others seem to think in terms of. You can’t seem to understand or grasp the complex layers of human emotions. And while I’ll be the first one to complain about D&D’s struggle to show the emotional complexity within Dany, having Dany devastated and inconsolable at the lost of her dragon chid and still wanting to get revenge for his death is still well within her character. 

You can’t equate what Jon went through in season 5/6 with what Dany will presumable will go through in season 7. Jon was betrayed by men who called themselves his brother, by a boy he mentored and acted as a big brother too. Being betrayed by your own people and dying because of that betrayal is obviously life altering. Because the world as you knew it is no more. On the other hand being attacked by an in-human horde of ice zombies who go on to kill one of your children is life altering in a completely different way. Dany wasn’t betrayed by the WW, they did what any enemy does, kill the other side. 

Jon had to be rallied because he didn’t know which side was which anymore. He thought he was on the right side, but the people who were suppose to be on the same side as him betrayed him. Can you understand how that can mess with a person? And of course, that’s not even getting into the fact that he died and came back to life. 

I fully expect Dany to be absolutely devastated and shocked at the death of Viserion. I also expect her to need the love and support of her friends to help her get through this. But I would never expect her to be someone that would give up when attached by an enemy. It’s just not who she is. This isn’t just the show, this is in the books too. The difference is that in the books we can read her thoughts, and while she shows the world a strong and unflappable woman, we know that inside she is riddle with doubt, loneliness, sadness and pain. That’s something that the show has had a hard time in portraying. 

Regarding Jon’s actions, as I said before, I don’t know the events leading up to it, I don’t know what is happening at the time he supposedly makes that decision and I’ll reserve judgement until I see it. But as a king Jon does not need to consult the lords to make a decision that will save a great deal of Northern lives. If the North can’t see that then quite frankly they don’t deserve the protection Jon is brining North. It’s false to compare Jon with Robb, while Robb’s decision weakens the North greatly, by breaking promises and eventually alliances. Jon’s decision creates alliances and strengthens the ability of the North to fight the WW and increases their probability of survival exponentially. 

Also, quit it with the fucking misogynist bullshit, the only one here who is being a misogynist is you. It just eats at you that Jon needed Sansa, his sister,  to help him find a purpose after dying and being brought back to life. And it kills you that Jon needs Dany to help fight the WW. You want Jon to be able to do it all on his own but he can’t, and the fact that he can’t makes him weak in YOUR mind. And you can’t stand that Sansa and Dany are show, in your estimation, to be stronger. Your world view is so warped that men can’t be weak and women can’t be strong. 

Sorry to disappoint you but the she-bosses of Westeros don’t give a fuck about you think. 



Anonymous asked: Hi! Would you be able to write a Tyrion x female reader (a stark who is blunt & independent/strong willed) where she is being forced to marry Joffrey but Tyrion secretly likes her and she likes him back & he convinces Tywin that he should “have to” marry her instead. (sort of like the Sansa ‘marriage swap’) Sorry for being so complicated!

Here’s your one-shot, lovely!! I do not own Tyrion or Tywin Lannister, Joffrey Baratheon or Sansa Stark. They belong to George R.R. Martin.

Warnings: None, I think. Let me know if I missed something.

Pairings: Tyrion Lannister x fem!Stark!reader, mentions of Tywin, Joffrey, and Sansa.

Originally posted by antoinwonderland

“No.” You starred at Lord Tywin Lannister stunned. Tywin arched his eyebrow at your boldness. ’“My Lord Hand, with all due respect, King Joffrey is a child. I am far too old for him,” you argued. It was true. Joffrey was many years younger than you were. “My sister Sansa would be a better match for His Grace.” It’s not that you would wish such a marriage on your sister, but you certainly had no desire to marry the spoiled king either. “That may be, but I suspect that you could keep him in line where your sister could not. You may go,” Lord Tywin stated, putting an end to the conversation.

               With both your parents and your brother dead, the Hand of the King decided that he would arrange marriages for both you and Sansa. You had been certain that Sansa would be wed to Joffrey and you would be wed to some obscure lord or other. You gave a slight curtsy and left the room. As you fought back tears, you went in search of your best friend, Tyrion Lannister. To no surprise, you found him in the library.

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Joffrey: Sweetness in the Bath (silly name I know..not good with titles)

Imagine Joffrey dismissing the servants so you and he can have a quiet bath together.

(Hope you like it! i am in love with sweet Joff i swear…if only he hadn’t killed Ned….)

(Word Count: 2,135)

“Your bath is ready My Lady,” one of the many servants who had been hired to tend to you day in and day out said as the metal tub was finally full enough with water and scented liquids. Turning to her, you smiled and nodded toward your handmaiden to help you undress. Just as your dress and underclothes landed in a pile on the floor at your feet there was a hard, knock on the door that made you stiffen.

“My Lady, are you expecting company?” your handmaiden asked softly as she grabbed your robe and helped you into it.

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anonymous asked:

Why does Leyton Hightower marry Jorah to Lynesse? Isn't house Mormont pretty poor compared to most houses, so why would Leyton marry her to Jorah?

Thanks for the question, Anon.

Well, there’s the fairy-tale tourney reason, which is that Lord Jorah won the Tourney of Lannisport and, as the victor, could ask for and should (in chivalric theory, at least) receive any boon he desired. This aspect of chivalric culture is taken seriously - we see Renly, self-proclaimed king, holding himself to his own promise of the champion’s boon to Brienne at the melee of Bitterbridge, though he desperately wanted Barristan Selmy to wear the blue cloak - and would certainly be understood by the Old Man of Oldtown - a man whose House traces its mythic ancestry to Maris the Maid, a woman whose hand was won at Westeros’ legendary first tourney. Jorah was the champion, and he asked for the hand of Lord Hightower’s daughter as his boon - well, unless she was already betrothed or there were some other compelling reason to deny him, Lord Hightower should duly play his part and grant it. Now, I wouldn’t say that’s the only reason he said yes, of course - Lord Hightower being far too powerful to be swayed merely by the likes of romantic notions of chivalry, or a cash-poor Northern lord - but that’s definitely a factor that applies here.

What’s also going on underneath is that - for all her Hightower name - Lynesse is a youngest daughter in a large family, and unfortunately in the world of dynastic marriage, even a Hightower youngest daughter doesn’t have the best prospects. I talked about this a while ago, but it’s worth mentioning again.  Someone has to marry all (or at least many of) those minor-league sons of Westeros, after all, and sometimes that someone happens to be the daughter of a very prominent House. Sure, Alerie Hightower became the Lady of Highgarden, and her sister Alysanne the wife of Lord Arthur Ambrose, but less fortunate daughters Denyse and Leyla marry a younger son of House Redwyne and Ser Jon Cupps (my - admittedly entirely personal - headcanon about his being the Knight of Vinetown would make him a vassal of a vassal, hardly a great match). We see this happen outside Oldtown as well, with Jocelyn Stark marrying a younger son of House Royce and Alys Arryn marrying a younger son of House Waynwood (and her youngest daughter marrying a knight of the Waynwood’s vassal House Hardyng).  Lynesse might have been exceptionally beautiful (at least to lovestruck Jorah), but it was probably unlikely she would win a lord to wed, especially a lord sworn to a paramount House and who controlled an entire island. 

It’s also worth noting the context this betrothal happened in. I mentioned before that Jorah was the champion of the Tourney of Lannisport, but he had more going for him than just being the winner. He had just been knighted, by the king himself, for exceptional valor during the siege of Pyke. He was a vassal of the king’s closest friend, Lord Eddard Stark, and with those credentials might have been expected to rise high in the latter’s, and possibly the former’s, favor. He had just beaten seasoned tourney riders and even Ser Jaime Lannister - one of the most talented knights of his generation. Jorah was the hero of the hour, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Leyton thought he had an up-and-coming tourney hero in his prospective son-in-law. Lord Jorah Mormont, military hero, favored vassal, renowned victor of the lists, with his Hightower lady fair giving him her favor - there were worse marital fates for Lynesse, Lord Leyton might have thought.

So yes, House Mormont is not wealthy, or even a particularly powerful vassal House to the Starks (they’re not the Manderlys, to be sure, unless someone gets on building Baywatch over there). But Jorah had a promising and (hopefully) growing resume - a lord in his own right, leal vassal of the king’s closest friend, a prospective tourney champion. With Lynesse unlikely to win a lord of equal standing otherwise, and the rules of chivalry pressing him to assent to the match, Lord Leyton might have thought the marriage a fair bargain, all things considered. It didn’t turn out that way, of course, but hindsight something something.  

The Queen Regent (NFriel)