Hey ! At some point, Catelyn said that she had been betrothed to Brandon when she was 13, and that Arya would probably follow the same scheme. At this point of the novels, isn't she 12 or so ? Do you think she'll get married when she returns home ?
I had to look it up, but apparently Catelyn was twelve when she was engaged to Brandon.
“Gods, Catelyn, Sansa is only eleven,” Ned said. “And Joffrey…Joffrey is…”
She finished for him. “…crown prince, and heir to the Iron Throne. And I was only twelve when my father promised me to your brother Brandon.” (Catelyn, A Game of Thrones)
And I think this is the quote you’re thinking about pertaining to Arya, but it’s actually Ned that says it in Cat’s chapter:
“You must,” he said. “Sansa must wed Joffrey, that is clear now, we must give them no grounds to suspect our devotion. And it is past time that Arya learned the ways of a southron court. In a few years she will be of an age to marry too.” (Catelyn, A Game of Thrones)
By A Dream of Spring, Arya will be twelve and marriages will be imperative for the continuation of House Stark. And since GRRM has confirmed that he will be writing Arya as if the five-year gap happened anyhow, I’d say there’s a very good chance that the “romantic” portion of her story will be amped up.
But going back to the parents, I always am intrigued by the stark differences in the ways Ned and Cat dealt with Arya’s personality and future. Ned accepts her as she is, though admits that she should learn the way of a southron court (because the north and south are inherently different), and tells her that she will marry a king and rule his castle and bear princes. Cat thinks of Arya almost as a lost cause that is desperate for refinement, and sells her off (in case she ever comes back from the hellhole of King’s Landing) to some umpteenth son of House Frey. It’s quite apparent who misunderstood her, and who embraced her.
What do you think of the theory that Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella really are Robert's children, but due to the medieval misunderstanding of genetics and general Stannis/Jon Arryn/Ned distrust of Lannisters they all jump the gun and believe they're Jaime's kids? Does that sound like an ironic twist that GRRM would do?
I think that theory is as wrong as it is possible to be.
Cersei is quite explicit about this:
Ned said. “How is it that you have had no children by the king?”
She lifted her head, defiant. “Your Robert got me with child once,” she said, her voice thick with contempt. “My brother found a woman to cleanse me. He never knew. If truth be told, I can scarcely bear for him to touch me, and I have not let him inside me for years. I know other ways to pleasure him, when he leaves his whores long enough to stagger up to my bedchamber. Whatever we do, the king is usually so drunk that he’s forgotten it all by the next morning.”
…Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs.
Cersei avoided having sex with Robert, when she had to she would do so in “other ways” that would not result in children, and when that failed she would have an abortion. There was no black-haired baby, Gendry is not her baby, none of those theories made any political sense whatsoever.
And while we’re at it, while GRRM is not a geneticist, the fact that each and every one of Robert’s bastards - Barra, Bella, Gendry, Mya, etc. - have black hair regardless of the hair color of the mother is meant to be a sign that Robert Baratheon was homozygous for black hair.
So to those who would propound this theory, I would say:
I promised myself I'm not going to send you new prompts, but apparently I don't have a lick of self-control. Feel free to ignore it. That being said, a prompt is: How Ned met Ashara (and how they both met Catelyn): A modern!ot3 love story
… lol you temptress DO YOU THINK I CAN RESIST THIS?? cc @yol-ande in case you don’t get notified
Ned isn’t really proud that he finds it in himself to talk to Ashara Dayne in the first place to apologize for his brother.
It’s probably pathetic that after crushing on someone for an entire year and secretly wishing that you could find it in yourself to at least ask her out for drinks you actually approach her because your brother was quicker, asked her out for drinks first and was a complete jerk to her, but -
Ned might feel completely awed when he’s around her, and why wouldn’t he - she’s the first of their class, she’ll be great when she graduates and then specializes in pediatrics as she’s said since the first day they met in med school, she’s breathtakingly beautiful with her dark hair and violet eyes and charming smile, he never really knew what to do with himself whenever they were in the same space.
Then Brandon noticed her once when he picked Ned up after a final and he had no problems introducing himself and asking her out, of course -
And then he dumped her a month later. God, Ned already hates the way Brandon seems to think his girlfriends are disposable, but the fact that he did that with the one girl Ned has been wanting to ask out for this long and who’d deserve so much better - yeah, no.
So he clears his throat and sits next to her before their next class begins.
“I’m sorry,” he says, without preambles.
“What?” Ashara doesn’t sound angry, more surprised than anything else.
“Uh, my brother. You didn’t deserve that, and I thought he was more serious than his usual. And I feel guilty because you’d have never wasted a month of your life with him if he hadn’t come to pick me up, so. I just wanted to tell you that.”
He expects her to shrug and tell him to get lost. Instead - instead she smiles. A tiny bit, but she does. “Well, that’s sweet of you to say.”
“Ned, your brother is a complete ass, I’m not going to argue over it, and he definitely deserved the slap he got when he told me -”
“Oh, he didn’t report that.”
“’Course he wouldn’t. I left him in the middle of the coffee shop with the bill to pay, that was the least. But he’s not the kind of guy I lose sleep on. He doesn’t deserve it. Still, it was nice of you to say that.”
“It was the least,” Ned says, praying that he doesn’t start stumbling over his words. God, he’s not twelve anymore, he shouldn’t be feeling like an awkward teenager at twenty-three, fuck’s sake. “And - I’m just, it’s true that I’m sorry he had to go and be an asshole. You deserve better than that crap.”
“Hm,” Asha mutters, staring at him. “Can I ask you something?”
“Uh, sure. I mean. Whatever you want.”
“Do people in general deserve better than him, or do I specifically deserve better, according to you?”
Ned can feel his face go on fire. Christ, he hadn’t thought he was this obvious -
“Right,” she says before he can answer. “Because you know, I think that maybe I might have made a small judgment error here.”
“You wouldn’t -”
“Oh, I would. I think that if I had to try and date someone named Stark, I might have picked the wrong one.”
You know what's weird? When the show told us Jon is Lyanna's son, I simply said "So, this is how they decide to tell us". No shock, no surprise, I've always known he wasn't Ned's bastard. However, now that a few months have passed, I'm beginning to "feel the shock": the other day I suddenly thought "you may be different as the sun and the moon but the same blood flows through your hearts" ---> "you may not have my name, but you have my blood". All the dots are connecting...