There will come a day when a Name must be gotten, though the owner cannot tell it. Your friend has been Taken, and returned in a trance, and Harbinger says xe needs a name to restore them. One of Them seeks to rescue their lover from a higher power and must weave a mighty spell to do so. A sibling seeks to win back the brother who was melded into a tree.
On that day, someone comes before the Nicknamer. The Nicknamer is not kind, but he is not unkind, and his right hand is cloaked in shadow. He will ask, “Whose Name is it you wish to know?” He will ask, “Who are they to you?” He will ask, “Do you know what you ask for?”
The wisest turn back.
The kindest, the most loving, the most broken hearted stay. They say “yes, I know what it costs. I have brought you the payment.”
The Nicknamer smiles. “No, do you know what you ask for? Do you know what a Name is?“ They will tell him they do.
They do not.
He says to them that there is power in a name. There is no power that remains as pure as it was when it was given. The friends will give gifts that are no longer truly as free. The Gentry seeking a lover will subsume them. The sibling will resent his family, given time. He asks them to swear an oath of fealty, on their name, that they will not harm the one they seek the name of. This is well known, that he asks that. Those who come seeking the names of enemies will find themselves bound to them.
He steals the names, then, with his hand of shadow, and gives them to the seeker. Bound to each other they know that no use of the name will come without equal retribution. They have to stay with each other as long as the oath stands. They come to shreds, then, wishing there was some way to leave each other, to go back. The Nicknamer’s power cannot be undone.
He knows better than anyone that forever is a curse. But something in him cannot stop. His Fae hand would choke the breath from his body if he gave up his post. He swore his oath, long ago – to guide lovers to their beloveds, for a price. A price too high to pay.
I’m still reeling from episode four (SPOILERS), more than I thought I would. I’m seriously shocked. It’s not secret I am no Daenerys fan but what she did here… well, I knew it would happen, I’ve expected it to happen, I thought I was prepared… I wasn’t. It disgusted me. I just gasped, my eyes were bulging and I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at.
That said, the event there that I predicted shouldn’t overshadow what I didn’t predict. because I never actually believed she’d do what she did in that cave. They tried to make it romantic, but what they really did was just eternally destroy the ‘Daenerys really just means well’ arch. No matter how much I’ve always been openly crytical of her, I’ve always defended her ‘kindheartedness’. Well, no more. Done with that,
Why? Because Dany dared to say what I thought would be even too low a move for her… I honestly never expected her to do what she did to Jon in that cave, it was repulsive and I cannot begin to describe how much it angers me.
‘I’ll help you if you bend the knee, if you won’t bend the knee, you’re being arrogant and you’ll choose your ego over the safety of people, What’s most important to you Jon Snow?’.…. ??????
WUT? Let’s turn it around stomme slet met je domme aardappel hoofd: So Daenerys… are you saying you only want to save the world if you get to rule it? Shouldn’t you be ready to save humankind no matter what your reward is? Because you, I don’t know, care so much? Do you need an oath of fealty to help defend a land from murderous undead? I thought you genuinely feel so much for ‘the people’? I thought you were supposed to be a savior? So you really really do only care about yourself? Is it truly, really, all about the freaking throne? Is Dany really the only thing Dany can think about? Shouldn’t you just want to end a march of zombies because everyone should want to end a march of zombies? This guy you’re -trying to- eyesex with is kindly asking you to help him save the world goddamnit, he’s begging you to understand that if you don’t help him, there’ll be nothing but dead people for you to rule, and all you can nag about is him kneeling to you well guess what…. Daenerys Stormborn is a fucking terrible human being. She’s utter shit. I wanted to throw my food at her face. I thought I hated her all this time, I was wrong, I hate her now. Who the Seven Hells does she think she is? An USA politician? She’ll be a dreadful queen. She is an utter disaster of a woman. Kindhearted my f r e a k i n g a s s. Die Daenerys, D I E.
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.
“The North remembers who united it. The North remembers who defended it. And the North remembers who stole it. Long ago, my ancestors spared the Boltons, trusting their oaths of fealty. I shall correct that mistake. Even the North can forget when there’s nothing left to remember.” - Sansa Stark
“Cold and damp, that’s how the Southerners see the North. But without the cold, a man can’t appreciate the fire in his hearth. Without the rain, a man can’t appreciate the roof over his head. Let the South have its sun, flowers and affectations. We Northerners have home.” - Jon Snow
There has been a lot of discussion about the ‘Undercover Lover theory’ on the Jonsa tag and I want to add to this discussion and give some of my thoughts on it. Many people have said that ‘Undercover lover theory’ would make Jon a very mean person and that this would not fit to a ‘hero’. I think to really judge what Jon is doing we must look at his agenda, his knowledge and his likely plans. Please note, that for the sake of the argument, I take the Undercover lover theory to be true.
Why don't you condemn Aegon The Conqueror like you do Renly Baratheon? After all, they both ultimately based their claim on the strength of their arms, rather than the will of the people or rights of succession. I'm not defending either of them, just wondering what you see as the difference.
I think that’s a misinterpreation of Aegon the Conqueror. As I discuss in my essay on him, far from being based solely through strength of arms, Aegon and his sisters were careful to establish consent from and establish legitimacy with his subjects:
“Having taken a dozen castles and secured the mouth of the Blackwater Rush on both sides of the river, he commanded the lords he had defeated to attend him. There they laid their swords at his feet, and Aegon raised them up and confirmed them in their lands and titles. To his oldest supporters he gave new honors…Heraldic banners had long been a tradition amongst the lords of Westeros, but such had never been used by the dragonlords of old Valyria. When Aegon’s knights unfurled his great silken battle standard, with a red three-headed dragon breathing fire upon a black field, the lords took it for a sign that he was now truly one of them, a worthy high king for Westeros. When Queen Visenya placed a Valyrian steel circlet, studded with rubies, on her brother’s head and Queen Rhaenys hailed him as, “Aegon, First of His Name, King of All Westeros, and Shield of His People,” the dragons roared and the lords and knights sent up a cheer … but the smallfolk, the fisherman and field hands and goodwives, shouted loudest of all.”
“the men of the Trident had no love for their ironborn overlords…so now the riverlands rose against him, led by Lord Edmyn Tully of Riverrun. Summoned to the defense of Harrenhal, Tully declared for House Targaryen instead, raised the dragon banner over his castle, and rode forth with his knights and archers to join his strength to Aegon’s. His defiance gave heart to the other riverlords. One by one, the lords of the Trident renounced Harren and declared for Aegon the Dragon. Blackwoods, Mallisters, Vances, Brackens, Pipers, Freys, Strongs… summoning their levies, they descended on Harrenhal…The next day, outside the smoking ruins of Harrenhal, King Aegon accepted an oath of fealty from Edmyn Tully, Lord of Riverrun, and named him Lord Paramount of the Trident. The other riverlords did homage as well —to Aegon as king and to Edmyn Tully as their liege lord.”
And this went on and on - the homage of the Westermen and the Reachermen ater the Field of Fire, the submission of Highgarden, Torrhen kneeling at the Trident, and Aegon’s anointment and coronation at Oldtown. At every step of the way, Aegon spends as much time establishing the reciprocal bonds of feudal obligation and enacting the symbolism of monarchy as he does fighting. And he continued this policy as King:
“he worked to knit the realm together with his presence—to awe his subjects and (when needed) frighten them…the other half of the year he dedicated to the royal progress. He traveled throughout the realm for the rest of his life, until his final progress in 33 AC—making a point of paying his respects to the High Septon in the Starry Sept each time he visited Oldtown, guesting beneath the roofs of the lords of the great houses (even Winterfell, on that last progress), and beneath the roofs of many lesser lords, knights, and common innkeepers… In these progresses, the king was accompanied not only by his courtiers but by maesters and septons as well. Six maesters were often in his company to advise him upon the local laws and traditions of the former realms, so that he might rule in judgment at the courts he held. Rather than attempting to unify the realm under one set of laws, he respected the differing customs of each region and sought to judge as their past kings might have.”
*Warning for domestic violence trigger****but girl power conquers all!
Your father Lucifer, is the Alpha of your pack and he rules your town with an iron fist. He is forcing you to marry the son and heir of a rival pack. It is 3 weeks before your wedding when you find out Sam Winchester is back. Sam was your first love at 17, and when your father found out, he forced his family to leave town. You haven’t spoken to him since. What will happen when you see him again?
Characters: Alpha! Sam Winchester, Beta! Dean Winchester, Omega!Castiel Novak, Omega! Mary Winchester, Reader, Alpha! (Nick) Lucifer, Beta! Michael, Beta! Gabriel, Beta! Stephanie (OC), Alpha Eric (OC) Chuck (mentioned)
“Please tell me you’re going tonight,” I whispered to Steph the minute she answered her phone.
“Of course I am. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t have your back against that asshole?” Steph barked. Saying that my best friend hated my fiancee would be a vast understatement. Steph LOATHED Eric.
She didn’t like the way he talked down to me or the way he looked at any female that came in his line of vision. Her older brother David had told her he’d heard whispered stories of some twisted shit that went on in the Whitehall pack.
“Steph”. I sighed. “You know I have no choice, right?”
“I know you THINK you don’t have a choice.” Steph snapped. We’d had this conversation before. “This is America, not medieval England. You father can’t legally force you to marry someone you don’t even like, just because he’s the Alpha. He should want what’s best for you, and Eric is so not it. Please don’t do this, Y/N. Please, I’m begging you. There’s something in Eric’s eyes…… Something that scares me.”
Anyone who knows me knows I can’t bake to save my life, so it was off to Mrs. Robideaux’s bakery for something sweet to bring to the pack meeting. Uncle Gabe had been famous for his sweet tooth, so I was sent to Mrs. R’s for cakes and baked goods from the time I learned to ride a bike.
Mrs. R. was a rotund African-American woman who was always covered in flour and smelled like cinnamon and vanilla. She gave the best hugs. When she saw me a smile lit her face and she came from behind the counter.
“And just where have you been, young lady? Your Uncle Gabe must be in town because I haven’t seen you in here in ages.”
“He should be coming in soon for the wedding. I came to get some of your lemon bars for the pack meeting tonight.” I said as I hugged her tightly.
I saw the smile on her face falter slightly as I mentioned the wedding. She gave a nod to her niece Thea to continue waiting on customers as she pulled me into the back for a chat as she had so many times before.
“Are you sure about this, Y/N? I have heard things…..I just want to make sure you’re not in over your head.”
I closed my eyes for a brief moment, feeling completely overwhelmed with my life. Why couldn’t this be a real wedding? Why couldn’t people be congratulating me, instead of worrying I was making a huge mistake? Why couldn’t I be looking forward to my wedding with breathless anticipation, instead of feeling like I was simply exchanging one prison for another?
The pack meeting was held at an old hunting lodge in the woods outside of town. Eric, and his father would be attending as part of the delegation from the Whitehall pack. Knowing my Dad, he was going to pull out all the stops to impress them with a show of his power as Alpha.
At least I had one thing to be happy about. When I got home from Mrs. R’s, Uncle Gabe was in my father’s study talking with him and Uncle Michael. He had his feet up on the coffee table, ignoring my Dad’s frown of irritation as usual. He jumped up as soon as he saw me.
“Hey beautiful! Did you miss me?” He opened his arms wide and I ran to him like I did when I was a little girl.
“Always, Uncle Gabe, Always. Where’s Kali?” I asked immediately.
“She’ll be coming in for the wedding, but she had some work stuff to finish up first.” He said smoothly. Kali was Uncle Gabe’s mate. She worked for one of Dad’s many companies doing who-knows what. No one told me much of anything. Everyone in the family worked for my Dad.
“Y/N,” My Dad said, turning to me. “You should go and get ready.”
“Ready for what?” I asked grumpily. “To be seen and not heard?”
My father glared at me, and Uncle Gabe snickered. “I need to go pick up Steph. She asked for a ride. She’s having car trouble.”
“We can catch up afterwards, Uncle Gabe. I want to hear all about your adventures!” I told him, kissing him on the cheek and earning his trademark smirk in return. I was so happy he was back. Everything seemed so much lighter and more pleasant when he was around.
I left the room and Uncle Michael closed the door behind me. I stood outside the closed door for a moment, and I could hear raised voices, my fathers and Uncle Gabe’s. “I don’t Like this, Luci, not one damn bit! I’ve heard that Eric has a really bad temper, and the Whitehall Alphas treat their Omegas like shit!”
“Y/N will be fine.” My father said smoothly. “We need this alliance.Besides, do you really think he would be stupid enough hurt her? She is a strong independent Omega. She’s just like her mother.”
“Yeah, and look where it got her.” Michael said darkly.
When Steph and I arrived at the pack meeting, the Whitehall pack had already arrived. I spotted Eric and instantly felt myself tense. Oh he was handsome enough, but when he touched me it made my skin crawl.
As Steph and I walked over to the refreshment table to put down our treats, I heard an amused voice behind me. “You still remembered that I like lemon bars?”
I took a deep breath and turned around. “Hi, Sam. You remember my friend Steph. Steph. This giant was once my math tutor Sam Winchester. And this is his brother Dean.”
I felt a hand on my shoulder and I tensed momentarily, but it was only Uncle Gabe. “Sam, Dean, Steph. You guys all remember my Uncle Gabe, right? He just flew in for the…..for the wedding.”
Sam’s jaw clenched at the mention of the wedding. As we stood talking, I felt a hand reach over and slide down the curve of my ass. I jumped and turned to see who the pervert was. What the hell?
I saw Steph roll her eyes at Dean and I knew t was Eric. “Hey, Babe. Who are your friends?” He asked, not bothering to introduce himself.
I tried not to clench my teeth as I spoke. “Eric, this is Sam and Dean Winchester, old friends of mine. They are joining the pack tonight.”
“Hey,” Eric said, nodding his head. He smirked at Steph. “Hey, Steph. Once Y/N and I are mated, we are gonna have to find you a mate in the Whitehall pack. I know some guys that would love a hot piece like you.”
Steph gasped and her face turned red. “I will NEVER let that happen, Eric,” I said, glaring at him and grabbing Steph’s hand, I hauled her off to the bathroom.
Eric acted like I hadn’t spoken. Sam and Dean watched me drag Steph to the bathroom as fast as possible to get away from him. “That Y/N is a feisty one.” He told them conversationally. “But I’m gonna knot that feistiness outta her real quick. We like our Omegas a little more……docile in Whitehall. Know what I mean, boys?” He shot Sam and Dean a telling grin before walking away.
Sam cursed under his breath and started to head in Eric’s direction. “No Sam,” Dean said firmly. “Don’t. Now is not the time or place. Calm the fuck down.” Dean’s hard grip on Sam’s arm kept Sam from charging after the other Alpha and kicking his ass.
“There is no fucking way this wedding is happening, Dean,” Sam growled at his brother.
“You flipping your shit right now isn’t gonna do Y/N any favors. Stick to the plan.” Dean hissed.
My father called the meeting to order, Uncle Michael and Uncle Gabe at his side. It was so strange to see Uncle Gabe looking serious and unsmiling. Dad’s commanding voice held the room at attention.
“Tonight we welcome our guests from the Whitehall pack. In two weeks my daughter Y/N and Eric, the son of their Alpha, will be married. We hope this union will end years of tension and hostility between our packs.”
“Don’t count on it.” I muttered under my breath.
Sam and Dean were welcomed as new members of the pack and they both took the oath of fealty to the Alpha. I knew Sam didn’t mean of a word of it. Why was he doing this? What did he hope to accomplish?
I had finally gotten Steph calmed down. Eric had really rattled her. After the meeting was over and people started to leave, Eric said he wanted to talk to me. “Wedding stuff.” He said tersely.
“I have to take Steph home. I’m her ride.” I said weakly.
“I can give her a ride home.” Dean offered. “I came straight from work so Sam and I rode separately. I mean, if that’s okay with her. Steph nodded, not saying much, which was rare for her.
Sam had already left, without even saying goodbye. Dean said he “wasn’t feeling well”, which was utter bullshit. I could feel the anger rolling off him in waves as soon as Steph and I left for the bathroom. I kept sneaking looks at him during the meeting and he looked like his head was gonna explode.
“Okay, Eric. I’ll come with you.” I said meekly.
Everyone had pretty much left when he and I started walking out.
“What was that crap with you contradicting me in from of your friends, huh Y/N?” He demanded suddenly.
“What?” I asked, confused.
He grabbed my arm and pushed me up against his car. “You don’t EVER contradict me in front of people, Omega.”
“Get the fuck off of me, you asshole!” I demanded.
He leaned in and kissed me hard until I bit his lip, then he pulled away with a curse. When he touched his hand to his lip and it came away bloody he cursed and backhanded me hard, knocking me back against the car, his ring splitting my lip.
He started to undo his belt. “I think I need to start your lessons early, Omega. I’m gonna fuck that fire right outta you, and fill you up with my pups. Starting right now.”
I reached into my purse which hung across my body and felt around for my can of wolfsbane spray and sprayed Eric full in the face. He screamed and clutched at his eyes. I got to my feet and kicked him in the nuts as hard as I could. He dropped like a stone, moaning and crying and clutching at his groin. His eyes were rapidly swelling shut.
I sent Steph a quick text
Please have Dean call Sam to come get me. I’ll explain later
I pulled off my engagement ring and dropped in in Eric’s lap. “Lesson’s over, Alpha.”
Let it be known that I, Warsmith Altarn Garrick Vrull of the IV Legion’s 117th Grand Battalion, hereby annul all oaths of fealty to the Primarch Perturabo and his bastard children. I spit upon his edict and renounce his diction, for I cannot follow one who crushes his own hearth-home in petty anger, in direct defiance of the Emperor’s mandate. Let it be known that I thus swear an oath of moment - an oath that neither I nor my men will rest until all of his ‘loyal’ sons are corpses in the earth, lest even one of my battalion remain alive.
Should there be a hell beyond this life, I will claw myself from its depths and drag him there myself.
Let this diction be known, to the Emperor and all the Warmaster’s craven followers. Let it be known that I have looked upon my gene-sire’s works, and declared: no more.
Vengeance for Olympia.
- Excerpt of transmission routed to the Iron Blood and the Throneworld, one Terran standard month after the Decimation of Olympia.
Warsmith Altarn Garrick Vrull, the Fatherless Son, Lord-Praetor of the 117th Grand Battalion. Born of Olympia and forged in the anvil of the Black Judges campaign upon the Primarch Perturabo’s return to his sons, Vrull soon ascended to command of the 117th Grand Battalion after the disgrace and reassignment of Terran-born Warsmith Dacharion, the ‘Bitter-Blooded’, to the 204th. A pragmatic and stubborn commander, Vrull was well suited to the task set to him by his Legion, and the warrior-mason led his contingent of the 1606th Expeditionary Fleet with aplomb throughout the decades of his service.
Despite countless years of thankless war, Vrull never chafed at the increasingly ignominious tasks set for his battalion by both his father, Perturabo, and the edict of the Emperor, from the liberation of the Tharsine Hegemony to the bitter xenocide of the Sur-Surrak Geno-Hoplites. When word reached his forces of the atrocity the Iron Tyrant had committed on Olympia out of seemingly nothing but sheer rage, Vrull accepted the news with cold hatred in his heart. The embittered warsmith spat upon his oaths to his gene-sire, declaring him weak for buckling in the face of the Emperor’s task, and thus commenced a long and bloody war against his former brothers that saw world after world burned to ash in the face of grinding and utterly merciless warfare.
Warsmith Vrull carried a motley ensemble of weapons and wargear, each with their own designated task.
- Graviton Hammer: Olympia-Mortis pattern siege hammer, paragon-class artifice. A tool designed to break rockcrete and buckle plasteel with percussive waves of force, this weapon was later repurposed to rend open Astartes power armour. Faster to swing than a thunder hammer albeit lesser in force of impact, the weapon’s haft can be unscrewed just below the grip to render it usable in trenches and tunnels.
- Volkite charger: .M30 Mars pattern, focussed deflagration ray. Increasingly rare in the ranks of the Legiones Astartes even before the Heresy, Vrull favoured this weapon for its efficiency when dealing with lightly armoured targets.
- Artificer Armour: Mark III ‘Iron’ pattern artificer-class power armour. Highly personalised to the wearer, Vrull’s suit is up-armoured even above the standards of contemporary Iron-class suits, with a heavier power unit to compensate for both this and its in-built halo-class field generator. Fitted with a servo-arm, cortex controller, and enhanced sensor suites, this suit is built to be the mantle of a warmason and a commander. The unassuming cloak is threaded through with adamantium-laced chainmail links to serve as a shrapnel blocker and blade-catcher.
Note: Deceased Astartes appears to wear the markings of the VI Legion ‘Vlka Fenryka’. This may corroborate with reports of Legionaires loyal to th[ALL DATA REDACTED]esulting conflict at Cyprus Machinator.
Hobby Note: Vrull uses the rules for Kyr Vhalen, hence his hammer is actually a Paragon Blade.
Sansa Stark and why I love her
(Queen in the North)
I love Sansa Stark. Lady of Winterfell. Queen in the North.
To be honest, I did not start the show feeling that way. I started the show loving Ned Stark though and I will always do. And Ned’s relationship with his daughters Sansa and Arya has always made me appreciate him even more since he shows his tenderness/gentleness when he is with his daughters. He showed his strength and bravery all throughout the show but his tenderness and gentleness will always be for his girls, Catelyn, Sansa and Arya. Hence, even though I did not like how Sansa is so focused on “adoring” the Lannisters, going to the South and finding Arya very annoying, I still gave Sansa a bit of leeway because of my love for Ned. Since Ned wants her safe and protected and alive then I also want her alive.
Then we were given that scene of Sansa losing her direwolf, Lady.
The very first horrible thing to happen to a Stark that we witness was to Sansa when she lost Lady and by Ned’s hand no less. In that moment, I felt like the show has shifted suddenly to a different point of view and me along with it. I actually tried to ignore the shift but i knew then that Sansa has earned my sympathy. I did not like her but I never wanted her to loose Lady, never that. But I knew I was now definitely with Sansa on her journey. The point of view that I am watching the show with has now shifted with Sansa, I can suddenly relate to her and realized something a bit more about myself in the process. Sansa reminded me of that time in my childhood where I also believe in stories, of dreaming of noble princes and brave knights of old and how it would be so sweet to be a princess in those stories. This reminder is not something that I welcome because I now knew that the world is not going to be like those stories, hence, me not liking Sansa lol. But, just like Arya saying to Ned “I don’t hate her, not really” I also acknowledge that I don’t actually NOT like her.
Friendly reminder that Jon Snow shows some political skill even in the show - even if it is not at the same level as in the books. He also shows the ability to go through with politics he doesn’t like, at least to a certain extent.
- He convinced Mance that he had changed sides by alluding to the double standard of the watch (showwise, his lie in the books is more cleverly done).
- He made Janos Slynt refuse a direct order. Afterwards he could be executed.
- He tried to persuade Mance to bend the knee for the survival of the Wildlings.
- At Sam’s suggestion he signed letters even to the Boltons informing them of the WW threat, when he was Lord Commander.
- He convinced Tormund Giantsbane to trust him.
- He convinced the Wildlings at Hardhome to come with the Nightwatch.
- He convinced the Wildlings to fight for Winterfell.
- He suffered the presence of Littlefinger because of his army and only went after him after extreme provocation.
- In a bold move he went against the traditional punishment for traitor families and tried something else.
- He secured an alliance with someone who controls dragons - maybe a game changer in the war to come.
So, I don’t really get it. All the ‘political Jon theory’ is about, is that Jon is not a complete fool, that he has an agenda to save the North and humanity, and that he did not suddenly forget that agenda which has been part of his story arc since season 1. Add his ‘oath of fealty’ to North in episode 2, I don’t really get it why some people still have no idea about Jon’s priorities. ‘Political Jon’ means that the character actually is after the same goal consistently for seven seasons.
Fenris/f!Hawke, 4113 words, sfw. Hawke tries to make up for her failures by staying in Kirkwall in the wake of the Chantry explosion, but soon comes to realise that she will be of more help by leaving the city altogether. At least she doesn’t have to be on her own.
Apostate. Refugee. Basra. Shem. Bitch—usually in combination with “Fereldan” or “dog lord,” as if that made it clever.
Words never bothered her—and she’s been called many—until Kirkwall snatches the title it bestowed upon her and spits it back in her face.
Thanks for nothing, Champion.
Void take you, Champion.
Shove your help, Champion.
Funny how that works. Save a bunch of plump nobles from the big bad oxmen and you get a title and a medal, but keep a towerful of mages from getting slaughtered by their gaolers for a crime they didn’t even commit, and Kirkwall retracts its favour at head-spinning speed.
It was home, once. The mages she frees aren’t stupid enough to stay, but she does—tries to put the city back together as she did her mother’s favoured tea plate as a girl, though her hands were always more suited to breaking things than mending them. Some glue and a bit of magic made the plate serviceable again, but all she could ever see thereafter were the cracks, the split second when the porcelain slipped out of her fingers to shatter at her feet. All she sees now is the red hue of the blast, seared in shades of blue on the inside of her eyelids.
Never again will Kirkwall be the same. Never will it be more than the collection of its scars, a grim reminder of her failure, a pretty plate lost to a girl’s carelessness. At once she knew it, standing there with her heart about to fall out of her chest: the same terrible certainty that dawned on her when the darkspawn horde rose on the horizon of Lothering like a black sun, the sort of soul-rending moment that one ought to suffer only once in a lifetime, if at all.
Her second home, lost—and the second home she lost, too.
Make me choose: The House of Eorl or The House of Isildur
This new realm the Éothéod called Rohan, and themselves the Rohirrim (“Lords of Horses”); also, Eorlingas, (“Sons of Eorl”). Eorl became the first King of Rohan, and Eorl swore an oath of fealty to Gondor.
The Oath of Eorl pledged that whenever Gondor was attacked and called
for aid, the Rohirrim would come to fight for them. The Oath was renewed
by each successive King of Rohan. The Steward also pledged the faith of
Gondor to come to the aid of Rohan if need be.
Notes: Happy Pokemon Day! 1,332 words. Game Spoilers. Moon = Selene btw. Weird sort of Medieval AU, but Pokemon are still around so…
Summary: Lillie expected a large, battle-hardened and burly man to enter her chambers, not… whoever this is. (Or, Lady Lusamine locks Lillie in a tower in the woods near Castle Aether and is rescued by a mysterious lady-knight.)
Sauron’s a royal hostage, not a captive or a slave! “But Ar-Pharazôn was not yet deceived, and it came into his mind that,
for the better keeping of Sauron and of his oaths of fealty, he should be
brought to Númenor, there to dwell as a hostage for himself and all his
servants in Middle-earth” - Sauron swears to Pharazon as one of his vassals, he agrees “as one constrained” to go to Numenor but Pharazon does get his agreement, he doesn’t drag him there in chains.
Anyway it’s this kind of… parodic mirror of loyalty and service, I like to imagine it as Sauron playing really elaborate headgames with himself. Like, absently maneuvering Pharazon into increasingly bizarre and convoluted levels of lord-vassal roleplay to keep himself amused. Pharazon has the increasing suspicion he’s not actually in control of this situation, but between Sauron’s almost-fond gaslighting and the fact that it’s a bit late to do anything about it even if he isn’t, he manages to successfully avoid contact with reality right up until the point it buries him under a mountain.
In the books wasn’t there 3 treasons, and one of them was a treason of love or something? Maybe daario will be danys final treason? I guess it could happen but honestly daario and Cersei just sounds odd to me. Even if he’s bitter and wants revenge, he knows exactly what dany is capable of and knows he’d be on the losing end.
Hey, anon. I’m going to use this ask to make a post about all of these “leaks” in general. Hope you don’t mind. The supposed leaks can be read here. More of my answer under the cut.
What Lo Bu, known as the Boy Too Bold By Half, would have worn, image from the Curse of the Golden Flower
When he ascended to the throne of Yi Ti, the nomadic Jogos Nhai had become bolder and more rapacious, causing the young emperor to seek to exterminate them. He assembled a host said to be three hundred thousand strong and swept the plains with it, leaving a burning wasteland behind, unswayed by tributes, hostages, oaths of fealty or offerings of peace.
When the Jogos Nhai resorted to their traditional tactic of melting away before an army, Lo Bu divided his host into thirteen smaller and sent them to hunt down the nomads. History tells one million of Jogos Nhai perished at their hands. Thus, the rival clans of zorse-riders united and raised up a jhattar, Zhea. Though Lo Bu was courageous and skilled at arms like no other, he was not as cunning as Zhea, who in two years isolated and destroyed each of Lo Bu’s armies one by one, slaying scouts and foragers, starving them, denying them water, or leading them into wastelands and traps. Finally her riders fell upon Lo Bu’s own army and slaughtered it, the young emperor included, ending the line of the Scarlet Emperors. When Lo Bu’s severed head was presented to her, Zhea commanded that the flesh be stripped from the bone and the skull dippsed in gold and made into a drinking cup. Since that day, every jhattar has drunk fermented zorse milk from the gilded skull of Lo Bu, who is remembered as the Boy Too Bold By Half.
Yooooo it’s Thrones time baby! I know a ton of people are going to write about this season and I originally wasn’t going to, but then I wasn’t writing about anything else and the gaping pit of self doubt and shame that lives just beneath the surface of all my thoughts was beginning to open up again so I thought fuck it I’ll write about it because you only live once. Unless you’re Jon Snow.
Game of Thrones is one of the only shows I continue to watch live, and there is truly no greater television joy than hearing that theme song swell. Game of Thrones has led the vanguard of must see TV for the past six years and facing a world without it is a dark prospect indeed. But winter is here friends, and we are facing a cold eternal darkness without Westeros. So let us return, together, for the second to the last time, to our favorite blood-spurting, boob-baring, dragon-wrangling, power-plotting, Stark-slaughtering show.
Shall we begin?
Season seven begins with a cold open, and it is the COLDEST of opens. Mysteriously we are back with Walder Frey (as unwelcome as he may be, a scenery chewing performance from David Bradley is always extremely welcome) who we witnessed Arya kill in the most delicious way possible at the end of season six. The clearly still living Walder has gathered his miserable brood in celebration, even treating them to fancy wine. However his speech of celebration becomes increasingly pointed, accusing the gathered of celebrating the death of an unborn child as well as a hardworking mother of five. That’s because twist- Walder is really Arya Motherfucking Stark and she has come to MURDER EVERYONE. THE NORTH REMEMBERS SMASH TO-
Doo doo do do doo doo do do doooooo.
Not only is Arya cold as ice, she can now literally be any character at any time. I am super cool with this. We are all Arya. Arya is me. Anyway moving on we get treated to a sweeping dramatic shot of the the army of the Night King, it is big as hell and includes many giants. Winter is coming indeed. Also Meera Reed has hauled Bran all the way to the Wall in a sled. What a metaphor for life.
In Winterfell we pick up with King of the North Jon Snow and Sansa talking Night Army strategy. Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island is also there smashing the patriarchy and repping Bear Island. Truly my all time favorite character on any show. Westeros could burn to the ground, or freeze into a block of ice, and Bear Island will still be an impenetrable fortress filled with men, women and children all armed to the teeth and ready to fuck you up. Long live Lyanna.
Anyway the idealogical rift between Jon and Sansa is only getting wider coming to a head when Sansa calls Jon out for choosing not to punish the Karstark and Umber families for fighting alongside the Boltons. Sansa believes the keeps of these traitor families should be given to knights loyal to the Starks, while in Jon’s view the offending family members have already paid with their lives on the field of battle. Jon gets his way and has the surviving member of each house (who are literal children) swear an oath of fealty. Sansa is pissed and rightly so. Yes Jon’s choice may seem like the magnanimous one, but it is not necessarily the wisest. Rewarding the fortresses of the Karstarks and Umbers to loyal families seemed to be the popular choice among the Stark banner men, a group whose loyalty he will need to retain when things start getting cold and scary. Whats more the two fortresses in question are in critical tactical positions north of Winterfell and he has handed them over to inexperienced children. Sansa is on point when she tells Jon he needs to be smarter than Ned and Rob, especially when Jon himself has already been betrayed to his death (once again by a child). Sansa is also correct that while Cersei may be a distant threat, she doesn’t need to march an army to Winterfell to cut down the Starks. Jon is wary of Cersei’s influence on Sansa, but he should be putting the lessons of King’s Landing to use! Yes there was political maneuvering at the Wall, but none of those crows has ANYTHING on the Lannisters and in this arena Jon truly knows nothing (sorry).
One of the many (many) beautiful aspects of Game of Thrones is the storytelling work done in costuming. in this episode Sansa is rendered in a black dress with severe, chain-like metal detailing. The costume suggests the threat of war, the confines of duty, the acquisition of power and resolve. it also mirrors….
The new Queen of the Seven (more like three) Kingdoms Cersei Lannister! While she may be queen, Cersei has now lost all her children, leaving her only with the warm embrace of the iron throne and Jamie’s semi-terrified love to prop up what remains of her humanity. But despite looming threats from every cardinal direction, Cersei is still on her game and looking to get into bed (perhaps literally) with Westeros’ hottest new family to ally with - the Greyjoys! More specifically Euron Greyjoy who has a new look and party attitude! I don’t remember him being this much fun last season, but I welcome it.
Meanwhile Arya is walking through the woods and comes upon a wild Ed Sheeran, as one does. The success of Game of Thrones means that they can integrate higher profile names into the show (see Jim Broadbent) without breaking the ~*~*~illusion~*~*~ of the world. Personally, I felt like Ed was a little too extra… I couldn’t stop thinking “That’s Ed Sheeran sitting next to Arya. Do the Lannisters know that Ed Sheeran is in their army? What does ‘Shape of You’ sound like on a lute?” I was assuaged by the knowledge that he was hired as a treat for Maisie Williams, who deserves treats, so I will let it slide. Other than the presence of the Ginger One, this was a nice counterpoint to Arya’s brutal opener. While she may be a hardened killer, she is still a young girl, just as most of the cannon fodder in the Lannister army are young boys (and Ed Sheeran), and this scene offered a poignant contextualization for the cost of war in Westeros.
Phew, I forgot how many things happen on Game of Thrones. The Hound comes across the man and child he doomed seasons earlier and feels remorse (character growth!) He also has a chilling fire-vision of the Army of the Dead marching away by a mountain (or maybe THE Mountain? Never let the dream of Clegane Bowl die).
Sweet Samwell is essentially a house elf at Maester HQ, and instead of learning about how to kill White Walkers, he is carrying poop and organs around. We also find out that poor greyscale infected Jorah is locked up there likely in hopes of being cured. While his outside may be peely and gross, his profile remains as rugged as ever. All that out of the way, we did learn some important plot stuff here too. Sam steals a book from the Restricted Section filled with tips and tricks to slicing and dicing White Walkers. White Walker kryptonite is dragonglass, which we kind of knew from Jon Snow and company’s misadventures north of the Wall. But what is more interesting is that we learn the Targaryen built fortress of Dragonstone (hey that’s the name of the episode) is built on a giant pile of dragonglass (convenient!). If you cast your mind back to previous seasons, or even just the previously on at the beginning of the episode, that castle is where Stannis (lol remember him) had his base. In my experience Previously Ons are often the Rosetta Stone of television and the premiere’s held additional clues as well. Not only did the Previously On remind us that Dragonstone was where Stannis hung out, it also made sure to show us that the ill-fated Shireen spent quite a bit of time there too. Shireen who miraculously recovered from her greyscale after living on a giant pile of dragonglass, suggesting perhaps that dragonglass could be the solution to more than one problem…
And speaking of Dragonstone, we finally come to the titular location. Seemingly completely abandoned since Stannis bounced, Khaleesi and her crew roll up as their first landing in Westeros. In a beautiful silent sequence Dany mounts the stairs of the throne but eschews the seat of power for the strategic promise of the war room. And she might as well be addressing the audience itself with her final cool query.
Oh my god that was so much writing. I’m going to bold keywords so you skimmers can anchor on to the topics you want to read about.