liege-lord

my problem with the ‘harry becomes lord of 2/¾/5 ancient noble houses’ trope is so unbelievably petty because its that fic writers don’t take it to the potential extreme. like, okay, you wanna make harry the bossest of bitches i get that, i understand, i have that urge too from time to time, but c’mon, be a little more creative about it please

so how about a fic where harry goes to gringotts after the fighting is all over to try to make peace with the goblin nation because this boy does not need more problems and after much hostility and some groveling and promises of future payments for damages caused a plucky goblin lass comes and shuffles harry into her tiny cube office to discuss the nature of his financial situation

(this is a grave insult among goblins. getting handled by a female, first of all, because they are supposedly less capable bankers, hello misogyny among other species, and because they consider anyone who needs help with his money to be lower than cave scum. harry doesn’t know about his. and if he did, he wouldn’t care because he does, desperately, need help)

and plucky goblin lass (who we will call PGL for short) brings out this MASSIVE tome of parchment and slams it down on her desk. a cloud of dust rises. harry sneezes and gets a terrible feeling. some of the parchment is mildewing. the stack is taller than his hand is wide. this can only end badly

PGL tells him that he’ll need to read the entire book to fully comprehend the new scope of his property and harry kind of weakly says “what??”

and it turns out that heyo, when the death eaters swore to follow voldemort with all their lives and souls and magic in their little racist hearts they actually swore a modified liege lord oath which also has the coincidental side effect of ceding all titles (and property connected to said titles) held to the lord in question too. haha how funny who knew

and that’s an ongoing thing. so voldemort was the de facto head of two dozen magical houses at the beginning of the war and he just picked up more as he gained more followers and he probably could have just voted himself and his crew into every position of the government and run the country like that if he cared to do it but voldemort was not about dat political life. he wanted change and he wanted it now. he wanted to MAKE AMERICA MAGICAL BRITAIN GREAT AGAIN. so he started a civil war and just never informed his loyal death eaters of that little fact because they didn’t need to know.

and you might think that gringotts vaults are tied into bloodlines but they’re really not. the malfoy family vault belongs to whoever is the current head of the malfoy family. normally, that’s a malfoy and his malfoy spawn becomes the next head and so it passes through the family, accumulating inherited wealth. it was a working system until voldemort got involved and exploited the ever-living hell out of it.

now this all becomes harry’s problem because it turns out that Right of Conquest is an actual thing. what was voldemort’s is now his and voldemort has has the time to accumulate A Metric Fuck Ton of stuff.

also connected to titles are votes in the wizengamot. and whoo boy, this is where harry’s problem becomes really really really problematic. because the noble families squabble over those votes like children, hoarding them and passing them down, occasionally trading them for advantageous marriages and such, but mostly jealously guarding them like the politcal gold they are. it’s such a bitterly tight-fisted market that any one family has ~maybe~ three or  four votes.

and now harry bloody potter has a hundred of the things and a completely unintentional stranglehold on the government. whoops

and then hermione would shotput harry straight into the wizengamot against his protests and things would become so hilarious i just

some jerkass attempts to increase his own salary for doing basically nothing

“how about no,” harry and his hundred votes say.

somebody attempts to tighten restrictions on where magical creatures like vampires and werewolves can work

“how about no.” harry crosses his arms. “actually, how about we repeal those bullshit laws already in place that make it almost impossible for werewolves to get a job right now, hmmmm? and how about we put something in place to catch abusive owners of house elves? and make sure they get paid? and vacation days? and healthcare? actually how about we get healthcare for EVERYBODY HOW ABOUT T H A T?”

ten generations of purebloods cry out in horror. look upon him ye mighty and despair.

the years after voldemort’s defeat don’t go down in history as The Golden Era. in fact, thanks to harry bloody potter (and some incessant nudging by hermione granger), they go down as The Decade of Frankly Astonishing Strides Toward Equality *cough* enforced by a semi-plutocracy.

(all thanks to a third tier plot never really explored by a would-be dictator YOU’RE ALL WELCOME)

2

1988. Master Control

is the third album by band Liege Lord.

Liege Lord’s music is fast, energetic, heavy, and catchy as hell - all the qualities of a top-notch power metal band. Their previous two albums are both very good 80s USPM, but they lacked the sheer perfection found in Master Control. If you’ve heard the first two albums, the first thing that you will immediately notice from the opening chord of Fear Itself is the production, The previous two albums suffered from very lacking production, which always detracted from the enjoyment of the music, but fortunately this is not the case on Master Control. The guitars are crunchy and heavy, the drums are hard-hitting, and the vocals are clearly audible but not overpowering. The bass perhaps could have been slightly louder, but that’s nitpicking - the production is damn near flawless.

this album is a shining example of the best the genre has to offer. From start to finish, Master Control never once disappoints. This is an absolutely essential album for any fan of ( “‘speed/power metal”“). In fact, even if you’re not a power metal fan, give this a listen - if you enjoy good music, you won’t be disappointed.

Joseph Comeau   Frank Cortese   Matt Vinci   Tony Truglio   Paul Nelson

Robb Imagine...

IMAGINE…being the granddaughter to Walder Frey and being chosen as Lady Catelyn’s ward and Robb Stark’s betrothed.

((Just a little something short that came to mind as I try to get back into the swing of writing for this fandom!))

Word Count: 1,285

Warning: None

You were in the hall when Lady Catelyn was brought in to speak to your grandfather. You watched her closely. Wondering why the Lady of Winterfell, the wife to the Hand of the King, and the daughter to your grandfather’s liege lord was standing there begging something from the “Late” Walder Frey. You were given your answer just moments after. You weren’t too surprised. You did your best to remain away from everyone else at the Twins, meaning you missed out on all the gossip of the Seven Kingdoms.

Keep reading

supernutellastuff  asked:

I was thinking about Brienne the other day, and that got me wondering about her father. What do we know about Selwyn Tarth from the books? According to you, what kind of an influence has he had on her life?

We don’t know that much about Selwyn Tarth, but what we know is… mixed. Some good stuff, very good, but some stuff that’s sort of questionable too. Anyway, some details:

  • “Selwyn of Tarth, by the grace of the gods Lord of Evenfall,” is called the Evenstar, the traditional title of the Lord of Tarth, a title that goes back to the Dawn Age and the First Men (although the Tarths themselves became Andalized during their invasion). The Tarths have blood connections to the Baratheons, Durrandons, and recently to the Targaryens. (Not explained how, to our frustration.)
  • Tarth is called the Sapphire Isle, although it has no sapphires – it’s named because of the beautiful blue of the waters surrounding the island. It’s a pretty large island, about as large as the Arbor. Galladon of Morne was a legendary knight from Tarth during the Age of Heroes, who bore the magic sword the Just Maid – the Tarths (and others) claim descent from him.
  • Selwyn is 54, in 300AC. That means he would have been born in 245 or 246, and was about 13 years old at time of the Tragedy at Summerhall. If he does have a Targaryen connection, that means either he didn’t attend (too distant to be considered the blood of the dragon that Aegon V summoned for the ceremony), or was one of the few survivors. (Perhaps one of those rescued by Dunk? Ah god GRRM.) Selwyn would have been about 14 during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, and so probably was a squire to someone there.
  • Selwyn had 4 children – Galladon, his son who died from drowning when he was eight, Brienne, and Arianne and Alysanne who died in infancy.
  • Brienne doesn’t remember her mother, who must have died when she was very young. Selwyn instead had female companions, a new one every year. What’s up with that, I don’t know – maybe avoiding attachment to mistresses who might want to move above their station? Maybe avoiding love? *shrug* But he’s never remarried, even though he could have (especially because he only has one daughter).
  • Brienne used to believe that all men were as noble as her father. While her opinion of men changed, her opinion of her father didn’t. It’s also said that Selwyn is a good man, quoted by Randyll Tarly (whose judgement is highly suspect, but as he’s only repeating what he’s heard, we can’t consider it wrong).
  • Selwyn had two employees who shaped Brienne’s life – Septa Roelle, who broke her self-confidence and told her that men who complimented her were lying, the truth was in her mirror; and Ser Goodwin, who trained Brienne at arms, even sending her to butcher piglets and lambs to harden her for battle (“the lambs screamed like frightened children”, thanks Thomas Harris GRRM), and taught her that men would underestimate her abilities. Having a septa for his daughter is normal, but Selwyn allowing his daughter to learn to fight is very unusual, even with her size and build and inclinations, which tells us he must love her very much to break standards like that.
  • Selwyn also regularly had singers at Evenfall Hall throughout Brienne’s childhood, whose songs of knighthood and honor and heroism she memorized, also shaping her life.
  • Selwyn tried to find matches for Brienne, for her status of the future Lady of Tarth. First, a younger son of Lord Caron, but when she was 9, he died of illness along with his immediate family. Then when she was 12, Ser Ronnet Connington (from a formerly lordly family who should have jumped at Tarth), but he broke the betrothal when he saw her. And lastly when she was 16, an elderly knight, Humphrey Wagstaff, who wanted her to give up her martial studies and dressing in men’s clothes – when she beat him in a fight, she broke the betrothal, his collarbone, and two ribs. Regarding Selwyn, while the first two matches were pretty good, the third smacks of desperation, alas. However, after the last one, he stopped trying to marry her off. Again, Selwyn must love Brienne more than Westeros standards of behavior would consider normal.
  • Renly Baratheon, the liege lord of the Stormlands, visited Tarth on his lord’s progress when he was 16 and came of age. Brienne was 13 and had just had the trauma of Ronnet throwing a rose at her and calling her uglier than a sow to break their betrothal – but Selwyn wouldn’t let her hide in her room and commanded her to attend at Renly’s welcoming feast. There Renly danced with her, making her feel beautiful and graceful, and other men followed his example.
  • When Brienne was about 17-18, Selwyn sent her to Storm’s End to serve Renly. He must have been effusive with praises of her skills, as Renly told her (after she won the great melee at Bitterbridge), “You are all your lord father claimed you were.”
  • Selwyn declined to support Stannis Baratheon, although he did at least meet Davos (in a grove, at midnight) to tell him that. (Many lords refused to meet Davos at all.) He was not one of those who went over to Stannis after Renly’s death. (But Tarth men aren’t mentioned to have joined the Tyrells and Lannisters, either.)
  • After Brienne was captured by Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions, Selwyn offered a ransom of 300 gold dragons, “a fair ransom for a knight”. However Hoat refused it and demanded sapphires instead (because of Jaime’s lie to save Brienne from being raped). That was something Selwyn could not provide. :(
  • As far as we know, Brienne has not been able to contact Selwyn since Renly’s death, nor since her rescue from Harrenhal. Perhaps she was able to get a message sent while she was confined in the Red Keep, but nothing mentions it. (And considering she’s been accused of murdering Renly, god knows what he’s heard about her.)
  • Aegon Targaryen and the Golden Company’s invasion of Westeros has landed on the coast of the Stormlands. According to fishermen, Tarth has fallen. What that means for Selwyn, we don’t know.

To sum up – Selwyn Tarth is a good, honorable man. (His relationship with his many mistresses is questionable, though.) He raised Brienne extremely atypically, allowing her to learn to fight and receive a knight’s training. His employment of Septa Roelle is not spectacular though, but many parents don’t seem to know the kind of things their septas are teaching their daughters (see Septa Mordane and Arya). He did his duty as a father with Brienne’s betrothals, if somewhat well below her status by the end, but allowed her to break that one and hasn’t pressed her since. He sent her with pride to Renly, and did his best to save her from Vargo Hoat. I think Selwyn loves Brienne and does all that he can with such an atypical child, far more than any typical Westerosi lord would do. (The fact that he hasn’t even remarried to have another child is very telling.) And Brienne loves him, she deeply wishes that she could be the daughter her father needs, to sing to him and give him grandsons, or a brave son to bring him honor, and is heartbroken that she can’t be either for him.

I hope that helps!

youtube

Liege Lord - Kill The King [Rainbow Cover]

Catelyn, Smart

Much like her elder daughter, Catelyn Stark is a character whose intelligence is seriously underrated. There’s less of an intellectual arc apparent in her story as compared to Sansa’s, as Catelyn is a grown woman, but that doesn’t mean her thinking is static. It must be said that she is one of the series’ most staggeringly unfortunate characters, as the tragic structure of her arc demands that her decisions and risks to protect her family fail and rebound upon them.

Yet lack of success does not equal lack of intelligence. Even in her mistakes and failures, it is more than possible to see that this is not a woman who didn’t think before she acted.

Keep reading

Knights and Rogues – How to design a knight using a Rogue oriented build

Originally posted by monthofloveart

So you want to play a Knight, but you don’t feel like being super Lawful Good or sacrificing reason over honour? Maybe you like the way you play an assassin/ninja over a clunking plate armoured god of war?

Well, not to worry – far from being purely locked into a fighter/paladin figure, a knight can be a bit free in the way they are played, and contrary to more popular culture of being utterly locked into a rigid code of conduct, knights can be fairly free in the way you play them. Here’s a few ideas on knights and rogues, and how you can do them.

Originally posted by zechs

What Makes a Knight?

We can call a lot of things as making a knight; a code of chivalry, a plate armoured warrior following a cause, following a liege lord, heavy cavalry, some noble figure, etc. But to make it more simple, it’s worth remembering that a Knight is a social class, not a profession. A warrior knight is actually what is termed “man-at-arms”, and this term is used by Knights themselves to refer to both Knights as a class, and the commoners that have training and equipment like a knight (basically being knights in all but social standing). Geoffroi de Charny saw no distinction between Knights as a class and men-at-arms, referring to them in the same fashion, and holding them to the same standard of chivalric ideal as he held himself to, and his book on Chivalry constantly refers to ‘knights’ purely as “men-at-arms”. So, in this regard, we have two forms of ‘knight’, the actual social class of noble that is inclined toward warfare, and the men-at-arms that lack social status but are otherwise equipped and trained. And here we have some space to play:

-        Knight as a social Class are nobles, and the Elite of society, particularly in warfare. If you are playing a rogue or stealth based Knight that fits this base, there is space for the ‘gentleman thief’ archetype, the noble-assassin whom uses his status to procure contracts and execute his marks by duel of by waylaying, the special forces stealth type that might be more stealth oriented through means of combat, than outright facing their foes in open battle. Equally, they may well challenge their opponents to fixed duels to maintain honour and appearances while clearly ensuring they cannot lose.

-        Another part of being a rogue can be the use of subtly and guile. A Knight as a noble does not by any means have to be an armour-clad warrior, but can be a courtly figure with good connections, that uses their status to maintain both royal and baronial ties in court, and equally employing underworld bandits, assassins, and spies. The game of politics runs deep in any court, and a knight that favours words over blades may well be a master tactician, as well as a cunning schemer.

-        A well-trained special forces tends to have elite soldiers that are, simply put, skilled at whatever they are needed for. If a Monarch commands their finest knights to learn the arts of secret killing, espionage, spying, theft, or stealth, then it is the place of the knights to learn. Perhaps the knight already possessed these skills, as part of their House’s creed; a line of warrior nobility dedicated to conflict through less open tactics. While many knights take the arts of war to perfection, some knights may choose the methods by which wars are halted before they begin…or by paralyzing the methods by which to wage war, once it begins.

Background-wise, there is a lot to play with here. Knights by class and skills can easily work as bandits and assassins in all manner of ways, from the armoured horseman that runs down a mark, to the courtly type that fixes a duel between peers, to the more secretive shadow-knight that retains skills subversive to a common man-at-arms (possibly under orders from their liege), there is freedom in how one manages things here.

Originally posted by kelgrid

Build Ideas

Do we play a straight Knight (armoured warrior) that works as an assassin or bandit?
A more courtier-type Knight that uses diplomacy and bluff, sleight of hand and outright lies, in conjunction with their Noble status to make them more trustworthy, or more intimidating, more legally entitled, etc?
Do we play a Rogue, with more emphasis upon skills in combat, to become a flurry of weapons and agility to overcome towering men of steel, an unorthodox but highly talented warrior that stands with their more stalwart friends, while acting more as a skirmisher?
Perhaps a Rogue that is socially a Knight, yet has for some reason has learned arts far different from their fellows. They may wear armour on parade, joust in a tourney, but all other knights know and quietly whisper that the lady of that particular House is far better at unlocking doors in dark places where treacherous nobles gather, who seems to have the ear of the Monarch and knows the darkest secrets of their peers, as if they had spied upon them all this time…
Even more strange, perhaps a Rogue that has employed their talents while adopting a looser form of the code of Chivalry – defending others even through misdirection, never actually LYING, demonstrating enormous courage and loyalty to their fellows, and maintaining humility despite their talents and guile?

Ultimately, the choice as to how the Knight-Rogue is played is down to the player…however…


Originally posted by degrassi

ALIGNMENT

A knight is bound by a code, Chivalry being the most common. Even a bandit or assassin knight must have some rule by which they are bound. A rogue that is a Knight might well break into a house to steal an item or information from another Noble, but they will generally be doing so for some greater purpose than simply for their own vanity and greed. Perhaps the Monarch ordered them to discreetly conduct a search? Perhaps the bandit knight will not kill innocents? Maybe the assassin will not slay any but their mark? Maybe the Courtier will not act directly outside the rules of law or Chivalry?

Regardless of how the Knight-Rogue operates, they will never be outright Chaotic, and more normally will be Lawful, following a personal code of ethics, or adhering closely to the Law or rule of their liege. A code of conduct is a major marker between a knight and a common thug in armour, and even a base-born ‘knight’ will keep closely to it, perhaps even more zealously than a noble.

Adherence to Chivalry will likely be key here. You should agree with your DM what your Rogue-Knight can and cannot do within their code of conduct, before building one in their game.

Originally posted by i-am-roadrunner

Final Notes

As @we-are-rogue herself has mentioned before, knights and rogues have a lot in common, more often than not, and I agree. I also feel it worth mentioning that, both in Europe and Japan, knights and samurai would often fill the roles of spies and assassins (most ninja retained by the Shogun were of Samurai class, and in Europe many knights would be hitmen for hire), making it not uncommon for figures of war to become killers for pay, information gatherers, and perhaps because of their educated background would often end up being ‘skill-monkeys’ of their time.

Do not be fooled. Honour among thieves and assassins may very well exist.
And they that know are in a far better position than those that do not.

Originally posted by samurai-spirit

Alternate Rewards – Relationships

Nothing makes me happier in my campaign as when my players seize on some NPC I’ve created and tell me how much they like or loathe that person. When I hear that, it tells me that my players are buying into that NPC’s reality – that I’ve made that NPC live for them. The same thing goes for a location. If my players get to love a town they’re helping, or to hate a place they’re exploring, then I feel like that place has become a character in and of itself – one that my players have developed an attachment to, either positive or negative.

When you’re looking for ways to reward your players for good roleplaying or successful adventuring, one way to do so without involving any real treasure is by developing their relationships to certain NPCs or locations. Have your players rescued a minor noble? Maybe that noble now becomes a patron, offering them quests or sponsoring them to meet that noble’s liege lord. My players rescued a minor Baron and his family from slavery in the Underdark, and now they have an invitation to stay at the Baron’s manse in the capital city of Estwald during the New Year’s celebrations. Not only that, but, between their exploits against the orcs in the military and this Baron’s contacts, they will be dining will the King of Summerlund on New Year’s Eve! No doubt this will lead to all manner of social activities and possible adventures.

It doesn’t need to be a noble family to be a worthy reward. In my last session, four of the sailors the PCs are traveling with were killed by wyverns. Eustace, the minotaur cleric, is insisting on casting Raise Dead on them all, despite the fact that it will cost 500 gold pieces for each one. “Don’t even try to tell me these men’s lives aren’t worth that,” he said, firmly. “We attract danger to ourselves; we are responsible for these deaths.”

In the coming sessions, I intend to bring these four sailors (and the fifth, whom the PCs rescued) into more detail. By raising them from the dead, Eustace has clearly changed the nature of the relationship between them, and I want to reward his player (beyond the Inspiration I’ve already given him for such a magnanimous act) by letting him see the positive results his actions have.

A relationship with a place can be really valuable to cultivate as well. If the PCs are protecting a town or developing relationships with the locals, there are good ways to get them invested. Anything from a local flower girl smiling and shyly pressing a flower into her hero’s hand to a tavern holding a feast in their honor can make the PCs start to feel invested in a place. Then, when that place becomes threatened, you can bet the PCs will feel motivated to step up and take action.

Sometimes it can be very enjoyable to foster a positive relationship with people or places that a player’s character does not like. Ghost, the shifter ranger, does not care for goblins. Understandable since goblins (and their barghest leader) wiped out her village when she was small. Recently, however, the PCs have traveled in the goblin kingdom of Gristamere. Not only that, but, in honor of services rendered, he has given them honorary membership in the Redwing Regiment – a most prestigious order that non-goblinoids are rarely ever considered for. Ghost’s distaste for the whole affair is palpable, but she’s been forced to (grudgingly) admit that not all goblins are bad.

Getting your players to feel invested in people, places, and even things in your campaign can really develop their relationship to your campaign. It promotes a buy-in to that world’s reality. After all, it’s hard to think of a world as make-believe when you actively care about its inhabitants. Relationships between your player’s characters and elements of your campaign world can be very rewarding to cultivate.

anonymous asked:

You write all the best ASOIAF meta so I have to ask, any thoughts on the Reeds? They are inexplicably my favorite and I wonder what you think of them.

You’re too kind, anon. Thank you! I quite like the Reeds. I find their place in the narrative really fascinating in a way that transcend their character arcs. I mean, individually they rock, but the way the text handles their introduction and the place they occupy in the Starks’ overall story is extremely compelling to me.

Look at how GRRM handled their introduction. We’ve been hearing about Howland Reed since AGoT as the only other survivor of the Tower of Joy and someone whose relationship with Ned sounded was deep and strong. It was not just that Howland was present for one of the most traumatic events in Ned’s life, one that haunts Ned throughout the book till his very end, but there is also a pointed intimacy in the description of the event that frames the relationship Howland enjoyed with the Stark siblings and the care he displayed for both Lyanna and Ned. Howland was there to take care of Ned as Ned shut down in his grief over Lyanna’s death, he was the one who eased Lyanna’s hand from Ned’s grasp, and I have no doubt that he took on the bulk of the effort of preparing Lyanna’s body for transport and any other needed task, something that must have been excruciating for him in light of his own personal friendship with Lyanna. That profound care Howland showed to the Starks as friends and not merely liege lords is compounded by being a holder of the secret of Jon’s real parentage, something that forms a certain bond between him and Ned as the two people who loved Lyanna fiercely enough to essentially commit treason to save her child’s life. I think Howland’s obscurity and the hardship of trying to find Greywater Watch makes people forget that had the truth about Jon’s parentage come to light, Howland’s life would have been in danger alongside Ned’s. The man was not just holding a secret for a friend, he was endangering himself by doing it.

But Howland is not the Reed GRRM chooses to shape our view of the house though, instead it’s Meera and Jojen that we meet first. The first interesting about this is how Meera and Jojen’s relationship with Bran doesn’t only reflect Howland’s relationship with Ned and Lyanna, but House Reed’s historical relationship with House Stark in general as well. The loyalty of House Reed to the Starks has been made a point even in TWOIAF, and as we see, Meera and Jojen really embody that loyalty. I’d be remiss if I did not speak about the historical weight that Meera and Jojen’s oath of fealty has which truly communicates the enormity of House Reed’s loyalty to the Starks in an oath that is hands-down the best oath of fealty I’ve ever heard. This is our first introduction to any member of House Reed in current time, and their oath is not only one that sets them apart from other loyal Stark vassals, but it also holds the weight of history and thousands of years of loyalty and trust between House Stark and House Reed, while also acknowledging the true spirit of feudal vassalage oaths and their reciprocal nature and how the Starks historically upheld it. Look at how meaningful it is.

“To Winterfell we pledge the faith of Greywater,” they said together. “Hearth and heart and harvest we yield up to you, my lord. Our swords and spears and arrows are yours to command. Grant mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you.”
“I swear it by earth and water,” said the boy in green.
“I swear it by bronze and iron,” his sister said.
“We swear it by ice and fire,” they finished together.

Allow me to go on a little tangent here because I just love that oath. This is an oath that is steeped in history, both personal and political. Note that Meera and Jojen’s first appearance is during the harvest feast, which is pretty symbolic considering that they were pledging everything to Winterfell, hearth and heart and harvest, trusting that Winterfell will reciprocate with protection and generosity and justice and friendship because that’s what Winterfell has done for thousands of years. It takes profound trust to say “here, we’re prepared to yield everything up to you. We only ask for mercy, help and justice” and knowing that trust will be rewarded. There is an acknowledgement here to thousands of years of good faith and the personal responsibility Winterfell took to look after their vassals through the worst winters. This is House Reed displaying the fierce loyalty that marks its members’ actions, while reflecting the reason the Starks garner such deep loyalty from their vassals. It is, first and foremost, a show of conviction and gratitude, because the Starks are not only known for upholding their solemn duties of protection as feudal lords, but also sharing Winterfell’s beneficial higher technology to ease the suffering of their people in winter in what can only be described as sheer generosity and kindness. They gave residence in the winter town as a right to their people so they could personally care and provide for them. They gave them justice and safety so trusted that the Liddle keeps talking about how different things were when there was a Stark in Winterfell, and the return of the Starks is treated as a symbolic restoration of order in the North. It will be alright when the wolves comes again.

I can spend a lot talking about that oath tbh but I don’t want to derail the conversation too much. I’ll just say that, unnoticed by many, we got our first inkling of ADWD’s Northern storyline and the first reminder that the North Remembers even before we actually heard that specific phrase. Link Meera and Jojen’s oath with Wylla Manderly’s passionate speech about how the wolves “nourished us and protected us” to the Liddle’s conviction that “when there was a Stark in Winterfell, a maiden girl could walk the kingsroad in her name-day gown and still go unmolested, and travelers could find fire, bread, and salt at many an inn and holdfast.” The groundwork for the story about Northern loyalty and Ned’s legacy, the explanation of the reason behind it is all laid in Bran’s chapters in book two and three. The Starks earned that indispensable place they hold in Northern history; they cared for their people, so their people cared for them back. The oaths of loyalty are personal to the Northmen because the Starks’ oaths of protection are also personal.

Those riveting declarations of devotion and faithfulness to the Starks that mark ADWD go back to ACok, it starts with Meera and Jojen Reed. We shall never fail you, they declare and then go on to be a steady source of guidance, support and protection for Bran. It’s Jojen Reed that assures us in no uncertain terms that “the wolves will come again” and that’s huge in what it tells the audience. Hang on. Don’t lose faith. That decency and morality and honor the Starks displayed will be rewarded. No, this is not a story about how honor gets you killed. The Starks honored their oaths, and their bannemen will honor them back.

That same sentiment is reflected in Howland’s actions with Lyanna and Ned which was built on a relationship formed when the Starks stood up for him at Harrenhal, Lyanna by charging into the foray to defend him and later riding in the tourney in his name, Ben by offering to help him find armor, and Ned for offering him a place with them, pretty much inviting him to their pack. I tend to see the Reeds as almost kin to the Starks if I’m being frank, which relates to how I also see them as the guardians of the Starks’ magical side, whether directly or symbolically. Their safeguarding of the Starks’ magic ranges from Jojen’s tutelage of Bran and his encouragement for him to seek the three-eyed crow, to Meera taking on the task of his protector through the journey so she could ensure that he does make it to where he is supposed to go, to both Reed siblings coming to Winterfell with the specific mission of saving Bran and setting him free of the chains from Jojen’s dream, to Howland assisting in protecting Jon who has his own magical destiny. The Reeds are protectors - protectors of secrets, protectors of magic (House Reed has its strong mystical connections, including Jojen’s green dreams and whatever magical knowledge Howland gleamed during his stay on the Isle of Faces so it’s a fitting role), protectors of magically-inclined individuals, protectors of Starks. Howland saved Ned’s life during the rebellion and helped conceal Jon Snow, while his daughter provided for Bran and Jojen and offered physical protection and emotional support during the journey to beyond the Wall, and his son displayed staggering strength and courage in his persistence to get Bran to the three-eyes crown, even knowing that his end would be in that cave and subsequently struggling with consuming depression. It is more than appropriate, then, that the Reeds’ geographical location and dominion over the Neck makes them the protectors of the entire North from enemies from the south.

idk not a fan of downplaying house stark’s desires for northern idepedance, not just for the own safety of their house and the north, but also the title of kings of winter was theirs for centuries before they were forced to give up for the safety of their people, i don’t see it as a bad thing for them to want it back, the north is cut off from the south both geographically and culturally and nearly every northern character has talked about this distance from the rest of westeros,

also in a period of less than 20 years three of their liege lords have been murdered, two directly by the crown and third with the support by the crown who had desire in creating serious instability in the region so they could control it with their own men, i don’t see what choice they have as a region and a people but ruling themselves again, and the starks want that too

tdlr: the starks and byassociation the north has been getting fucked over by the south to a violent degree for 300+ years, and they have every right to be  angry and untrustworthy of any southern rulers who want to subjugate them, including being angry at jon and being untrustworthy of daenerys, they owe her zero loyalty

The Importance of Longclaw

To begin, Longclaw’s history is murky. It came into possession of the Mormonts a hundred years before Ice came into the possession of the Starks. The Mormonts have long been a poor house, and would not have been able to afford such a weapon. This meant they would have needed to come into it through battle, like similar poor houses, or that is was given to them or found, but the chance of them giving it to their liege lords is actually quite high.

Originally posted by thejoysofafangirl

It’s rather interesting that such a poor house with a sword that was given to the main character had no story shared about its origin. It must be interesting. Maybe too interesting and spoilery. Perhaps it is a mystery even to the Mormonts. Perhaps it was given to them by the Starks. Perhaps it isn’t a valyrian sword, but the first important sword made in similar fashion - Lightbringer. We don’t know.

But this isn’t a meta about Longclaw’s creation or its heritage. No, this meta is about Longclaw’s future with the Starks – with Jon and Sansa specifically.

Keep reading