As voted by everyone, Gumi is officially crowned the #1 Lesbian, Queen of the Gays as she undeniably has the most amount ship requests out of any vocaloid ever mentioned on this blog 👑 Bow down to the queen
someday i’d like to break into jj abram’s house and beat him over the head with a box. then when he asks me who i am and why i’m doing this, i’ll tell him it’s a fucking mystery and then beat him over the head again for the next two years or so
Still getting through my ASOS reread and came across this passage, which is near and dear to my heart (and near and dear to some themes of the series, I think):
… [Grenn] grinned as Sam came chuffing up. “The Others get your boot, Slayer?”
Him too? “It was the mud. Please don’t call me that.”
“Why not?” Grenn sounded honestly puzzled. “It’s a good name, and you came by it fairly.”
Pyp always teased Grenn about being thick as a castle wall, so Sam explained patiently. “It’s just a different way of calling me a coward,” he said, standing on his left leg and wriggling back into his muddy boot. “They’re mocking me, the same way they mock Bedwyck by calling him ‘Giant.’”
“He’s not a giant, though,” said Grenn, “and Paul was never small. Well, maybe when he was a babe at the breast, but not after. You did slay the Other, though, so it’s not the same.”
“I just … I never … I was scared!”
“No more than me. It’s only Pyp who says I’m too dumb to be frightened. I get as frightened as anyone.” Grenn bent to scoop up a split log, and tossed it into the fire. “I used to be scared of Jon, whenever I had to fight him. He was so quick, and he fought like he meant to kill me.” The green damp wood sat in the flames, smoking before it took fire. “I never said, though. Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending is how you get brave, I don’t know. Let them call you Slayer, who cares?” [ASOS, Samwell II]
In addition to the ongoing theme of “embracing the name” and taking strength from it (bastard, dwarf, Kingslayer, etc), there’s a delightful irony in how, as they are discussing the importance (or lack thereof) of how other people perceive you, Sam also falls for other people’s perception of Grenn (“Pyp always teased Grenn about being thick as a castle wall”) and then is so flummoxed by Grenn’s impeccable logic he totally flounders in response.
I also love when Grenn says, “Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending is how you get brave.” Grenn, dispenser of wisdom and insight!
I’m not a huge fan of the “some people are tin, others steel, others iron, etc” formulation of character that crops up occasionally in the series; as a metaphor, it’s a pretty static and essentialist way of thinking about the self, as when Jon says Sam will never be anything but tin (of course, it’s very common, too, and Jon’s speech is well-intentioned, in service of Sam’s future and finding a place for him).
(Should we take Jon to be at least a little bit wrong here? In light of how Sam discovers a heretofore unknown courage and ability in service of defending Gilly … maybe. Then again, while you can’t hammer tin into steel, you can hammer the raw material into different shapes and uses, so the metaphor isn’t a total loss … but I digress.)
I much prefer Grenn’s “pretending is how you get [X],” whatever X might be. Brave, kind, bold, anything. Another way of putting might be that our choices and habits shape ourselves, our habitus or hexis–the predisposition to act in a certain way.