Loved your meta on Jon Snow! Could you elaborate this: "if we’re talking about grrm creating *special* characters that’s theon or jaime objectively"? Would love to read your thoughts on them!
SURE I CAN ELABORATE (and thanks glad you enjoyed reading that <3)
okay so let’s go in order: jaime.
okay so jaime is an amazing example of ‘how to write a guy who seems despicable and then turns out is actually the most sensed person moral-wise around’ - OKAY I know it’s an unpopular opinion so bear with me because a lot of my opinions re jaime are not mainstream but is2g I have reasons.
thing is: usually characters like jaime are straight-up assholes. I mean, when you meet this guy he’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister, generally behaves like an ass with most people and the first main thing he does plot-wise is crippling bran, which given the HE KILLED HIS KING backstory makes people go like CHRIST YOU ARE DESPICABLE. now in general you don’t see characters like that having redeeming traits that predate their shitty actions and at most they have redemption arcs where they die to atone for their sins and stuff, but thing is: jaime is subtle in that sense. because I’m not counting asos (I’ll get there in a minute) but there’s a lot of hints in the previous two books showing you that he’s not the asshole he looks like. meaning: it was stated early in the beginning that he waited for ned to come and *take the throne* even if he sat on it for who knows how long when killing aerys when he could have claimed it himself, and if it had been cersei LIKE HELL she’d have waited for ned, he’s the only family member tyrion does not want to see dead and who treats him nicely/who arguably loves him, even if you loathe him he always somehow talks sense (his drunk conversation with cat in acok is imo a character development masterpiece because you could see cat was morally right but he was technically having a lot more points especially when talking about how hypocritical is of her/her family to assume that you can always hold up your honor/fulfill your oaths). mostly, he’s at least on some level entirely aware of how fucked up he is - I mean, the moment I fell for jaime as a character was when he pushed bran out of the window and said the things I do for love with loathing. from which you deduce that he’s entirely aware that he’s doing something shitty and that he’s doing it out of *love* same as he does pretty much everything in his life, and then I was like man this guy is interesting.
and then you get to his chapters and man, JAIME. so, the moment you get into his head, you find out that this guy who until now you found wholly despicable actually stayed faithful to cersei all his life like your standard fairytale knight, that he actually wanted to be a fairytale knight all his life, that he joined the kingsguard both because cersei kind of convinced him to but also because HE WANTED TO BE LIKE ARTHUR DAYNE, that he actually turned out that cynical after two years of guarding aerys during which he arguably developed some bad case of ptsd (man he has a patented checking out method he advices brienne to use whenhe’s sure they bloody mummers might rape her..) and that his supposedlyu most despicable act - killing his king - actually saved an entire city and was everything but dishonorable if you looked at the facts. on top of that when he loses his hand he goes on what I call the reverse redemption arc of the century, as in - the thing is that we’re told that jaime is the same as cersei. (or so she thinks). until we have just her opinion, we might assume it’s true. then it turns out that he used to be an… actual nice person who doesn’t give a fuck about power (honest HE DID NOT TAKE THE THRONE??), and who wanted to be arthur dayne, was the only person in his family who did not abuse his brother, doesn’t judge people on their appareances like 90% of westeros (that was even before he lost his hand, if you look at it after he realizes that brienne is competent he doesn’t demean her for her looks anymore), actually is waaaay less sexist than the average (actually he’s one of the few people who don’t automatically look down on women), has turned out the way he did also thanks to his father being himself (because lol the tysha situation was pure abuse also as far as jaime was concerned never mind tat we could argue about how cersei turns textbook abusive partner after he loses his hand) and the adforementioned ptsd and that brought him to his lowest point aka pushing bran out of the window. then he loses his hand, has to face the fact that he’s not cersei’s mirror, meets brienne, decides that he wants to be the person he used to be again and - like, everyone argues about the supposed redemption arc that jaime has or doesn’t have, but imo the thing is that he started from being a basically good person, turned into a fairly horrid one due to circumstances he couldn’t have much of a say in and now he wants to go back to being the decent-ish person he was before and man, where do you see that in fantasy mainstream fiction? usually that kinda asshole stays an asshole or has the death driven redemption arc, you don’t find out that he actually was on of the most moral/modern-thinking characters in that bunch. (sorry guys jaime’s moral compass imo is a lot less screwed than it loosk like, because he’s a realist about oaths and the likes and he’s not the kind of idiot who’d put his king’s life over the entire city’s and who felt that conflicted about protecting someone who raped his wife. actually show!jaime sorta raping cersei in the sept was ridiculous also because book!jaime is like, I LOATHE RAPISTS UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY. I mean.) also I’m 100% of the opinion that his riverrun arc just shows that - he didn’t want to go, he managed the mission without technically breaking his oath and making use of the fact that he knows people think he’s a despicable person and by the end he’s just… Done with the capital D when it comes to doing what his family wants him to do or things he doesn’t want to - I mean, he goes off with brienne in a second when he sent her on a legitimate heroic quest before, who are we kidding? that is the one thing he wanted from life tbh. he even said it in asos, at some point the kid who wanted to be like arthur dayne had turned into one of the outlaws they despised that much.
tldr jaime is an incredibly complex and layered character who deconstructs perfectly both your typical asshole backstabber, the arthurian knight and the courtly love trope (both with brienne and cersei) at least and imo if it wasn’t for theon he would be the most original/innovative/well-conceived character in asoiaf tbh - except that then you have theon.
christ where do I start. okay, let’s start from the deconstruction - I ranted about it a while ago but lol I can’t find the link (it’s under my janie writes meta tag if you want to look for it) - but like, theon’s a flawless destruction of the traitor trope. like, usually your typical backstabber betrays the hero/heroine, who usually doesn’t die but is majorly fucked because of that - anyway most times they stand back up, get their revenge and said backstabber gets their due and usually they did it for their own personal gain or jealoiusy and it’s always from the betrayed’s POV. also by the end we’re all happy when the backstabber gets their due.
theon utterly and completely destroys that because a) we get HIS pov and never robb’s, b) his betrayal is the result of a situation he had no choice in which brought him to have to deal with severe mental issues, c) when he gets his comeuppance it’s so horrific that just people with zero empathy actually would think he deserved ramsay, d) he thought he’d take WF for his personal gain but ended up losing everything instead, e) he’s the person who regrets most his own actions and he wishes he had died with robb, f) HE’S NOT DEAD YET, g) and not just that, he did one of the few arguably truly honestly 100% heroic fairytale TM actions in the books (as someone once said, him saving jeyne and jaime saving brienne in the bear pit are arguably the only two truly fairytale-worthy things anyone’s ever done in ASOIAF and look at who is behind them…) which gave him narrative redemption/catharsis since it also was a mostly selfless action done for someone no one could give two fucks about. that’s already groundbreaking territory because that shit rarely happens in mainstream fiction but it’s not even all of it.
okay so, acok!theon is hardly a nice person, but I think it’s very inspured that if you take into account where he comes from (the hostage situation and howhe can’t reconcile coming from a background and being unable to fit in another, never mind the IF YOUR FATHER REBELS THE GUY YOU’D LIKE TO BE YOUR FATHER COULD AND WOULD PROBABLY KILL YOU) it shows that such a context does not breed well-adjusted people, and the thing is that while I think taking WF was a ridiculous delusional fk-up, actually siding with his father was normal - I mean, in retrospective ofc he’d side with robb but in his position of course you pick your asshole family rather than your bff when picking the latter leaves you disinherited, IN A SOCIETY BASED ON HOUSE BELONGING. ops. and when he knew robb was the only prson who gave two fucks about him overall, and he still was having his AH BUT HE OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T CARE ABOUT ME phase to convince himself he was better off in pyke. and the fact that he takes a decision most of us would take even if it’s not the right one narrative-wise when he’s also not easy to sympathize with and the decision harms the supposed heroes of the story (the starks) is imo a+++ writing because like, I’m 90% sure that people hate theon that much because it’s a human decision and most of us would the same in his shoes, but it’s not too easy to admit that… especially when the character taking it is not relatable.
on top of thart you have one of the most beautiful identity arcs in fantasy fiction AT LEAST but honest it’s probably the best one I ever read and I read a fair amount of novels. like you can sum it in ‘we think we know this guy, then we see that his head is a shitty place to be, we realize he has serious identity issues in the sense that he’s split between two cultures and can’t make sense of it, we see him going waaay deep into that rabbit hole until he loses about everything for it, then he gets brainwashed into thinking he’s someone else and someone subhuman for that matter, and then he actually goes back from that on his own and finally realizes who the hell he’s supposed to be and the moment he does he does the Heroic Deed Of The Book TM’ and it′s beautiful, because when have you ever seen that much effort put into giving that amount of depth to a character whose technical actions are supposed to be all-around despicable? like guys theon’s identity arc is a punch in the stomach to read but I swear I rarely read a thing with such a cathartic ending and given that grrm gave that sl to a character the audience was not supposed to sympathize with going by your regular tropes I kee on thinkign it was a literary stroke of genius if you look at it from the technical crafting-a-story sense
also I could go on a long rant about how on top of that you also have one of the best narratives re an abuse victim I read in my life (because like if you count everything, the guy’s been a victim of some kind of abuse all his life way before ramsay was in the picture) and actually that’s also why I’m 99% sure he’s not headed for the cathartic death, it makes a lot more sense if he survives the story in spite of everything but this post is already hellal long and my laptop lags (guys really it’s taken me an hour and twenty to get up to this point ew) so in conclusion
tldr theon is absolutely groundbreaking because not only he’s a trope deconstruction, but narratively he’s the result of a lot of choices that are not mainstream or popular when it comes to that kind of character, has honestly the best written chapters in the entire thing if you ask me and he’s absolutely not the kind of character you find easily in mainstream fiction. what I mean is that jon is a chosen hero deconstruction but he’s still a chosen hero and the world is full of them, jaime is already more rare but you can find chaarcters who have some traits in common with him, and I’ve never once in my life read a character that was comparable to theon when it came to sheer originality/reading something I never ran into before. (I could SORT OF MAYBE say the same for brienne but brienne is also the warrior woman trope and there’s a lot of that around tho brienne is the best instance I’ve sene of it - anyway she’s not *original* per se, it’s original in the way grrm approaches it. anyway this is not about brienne and it’s really too long so I’m gonna cut it here) so imo theon’s actually the best character grrm has singlehandedly conceived/churmed out in his career if not just in asoiaf (but I read enouhg of the rest to be sure of that assessment) and yeah okay I’m done XD
As someone who was abused by my mother and stepmother, these people are delusional.
Anon said: I’ve been harassed by at least a dozen other women before…
Anon 2 said: wow that ‘internet for women’ post pisses me off. i’ve been harassed quite a lot on the internet (i’m more well known on the internet due to my job), and a significant amount of that comes from women. I was also bullied during high school, and most of that came from ladies. I’m female, and a feminist, but people need to realise that violence isn’t gender-specific. Women can say and do hurtful things too. as well as that, porn and sexism aren’t just a male thing. I love women but COME ON.
I might not be on Tumblr tomorrow much at all because I still have over 5,000 words I’ve been procrastinating on editing for Friday’s chapter and I also have to pack and stuff to leave tomorrow so yeah, gonna be busy
I do still plan to post on schedule though, even if I’m going to spent most of Friday and Saturday on the train without internet
I WILL POST MY FIC EVEN IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO
“On the Scribe’s Moon we read and
compare the writing of different people, especially if they have
different views on the same subject. It’s a good time for a book
discussion or for intelligent research, and an even better time to
send ideas out to places where they can be read. Above all else, it’s
a good time to write … anything.
People born on the Scribe’s Moon have a
strong intellectual curiosity about a wide variety of subjects, and
often have strong opinions about those subjects. They can be glib and
articulate, especially in writing, and may actually express
themselves better that way—I’ve met Scribe’s Moon people who were
reticent talkers in person but poured themselves eloquently into
Internet posts. While they enjoy higher education, they are more
goal-oriented about it than the Scholar’s Moon folk; for them, a
college degree lends their words credibility, and research is less
about collecting knowledge for its own sake and more about collecting
impressive references to prove their worth in the world. Dual majors
and multiple degrees about among the more academic of these folks,
for similar reasons. The nonacademic ones may resort to quoting
popular magazines or websites.
They are happiest when writing about
something they love—this is a Moon sign, remember—and they may
resort to all sorts of measures to get people to read their work.
Above all, they want to be heard. Some may even resort to
sensationalism if it means that they will be read. They should be
encouraged to journal, and they need to learn to value writing that
openly and honestly shows experiences through the lens of their own
perceptions, rather than trying to pretend that those perceptions are
—Raven Kaldera, Moon Phase
Astrology:The Lunar Key To Your Destiny