in my time working for the state government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. i lived in villages with eight people, rural farming communities, college towns. i was sent to every corner of indiana. and then i came here. and i realized that this whole time, i was just wandering around, everywhere, just looking for you.
or: a sadomasochist exercise in sunday morning meta for the anon who left me some asoiaf questions here, sorry if it’s taking me ages to reply.
so, one of those questions was why theon/robb. beware for the wordvomit.
general premises first out of the way: they fit a good number of my tropes of choice (as in, I tend to ship best friends with very close relationships/character a who has a fairly unhealthy life and his only healthy-ish rship is with b a lot of the time, and I apparently like age gaps as well sooo, or at least half of the stuff I ship has an age gap I don’t do that consciously though) so like, it’s also fitting in some of the patterns I notoriously like.
but other than personal preferences (also sorry if I end up linking some meta I previously wrote but if I rehash everything it becomes extra long) there’s the part where this two doomed idiots have the most fucking beautiful and tragic relationship ever and it’s built in such an exquisitely cruel way I can’t even with them and they’re so important to each other even if they should have never been and guys listen I just - okay let’s just do the list.
instance one: these two idiots were best friends and they should have never been. by all logic theon should have hated robb just on account of being related to the person who is holding him hostage and the reason he’s been pretty much eradicated from his homeland. and robb should have disliked theon just on account of his heritage never mind that robb was probably discouraged from befriending him throughout his life and people didn’t understand why he actually hung out with theon. also in canon they have an age gap that might have been an issue, because I mean, four years are nothing when you’re both in your twenties but in between kids/teenagers they’re not a small gap, especially teenagers. instead they weren’t just friends, they were close enough that robb was more of a brother to theon than his real ones let’s just have that sink in for a moment. that’s also because robb was a westeros saint for the standards and didn’t look at surnames when judging people (and there goes my other theory, as in, he liked theon that much because theon was genuine just with him and theon at his genuine is the person who ends up saving jeyne poole when he has to take that decision, but I’m gonna shut up before I word-vomit for the next two years while I drown in my tears).
instance two: their storylines are a complete masterpiece of literary crafting, because not only they’re intertwined in the best and worst ways and everything is connected in the most tragic way, but they’re actually very well-placed foils. as, in if you look at it it’s just - we have theon who goes back home genuinely wanting his plan to succeed so that both robb and his family get what they want and they’re peers. at the same time he’s still riled up over robb being angry at him when he saved bran’s life, but that is one of the reasons robb brought up to cat to justify his decision - as in, theon can be trusted because he saved bran LIKE. then theon, in order to get the love/respect of his family (and no one except his sister deserves his efforts tbh because his dad had already written him off the moment he was taken hostage) ends up betraying the only person who ever gave that to him without him needing to prove anything. but at the same time when he conquered winterfell he was like ‘well robb can be king in the trident who am I to take that from him’ (SERIOUSLY THEON DO YOU THINK YOU’D HAVE EXCHANGED FRUIT BASKETS) while robb didn’t go back home at once because even with the betrayal he thought theon could never harm his brothers. and theon faked it, technically, but that was what pushed robb to sleep with jeyne and therefore served tywin & co a pretext for the red wedding on a silver platter. this when no one else would have risked a war for the likes of a jeyne westerling… same as no one would have risked their life for the likes of a jeyne poole *cough*. meanwhile that entire stint ends up with theon getting tortured and robb dying and what does theon realize before doing the Right Thing and saving jeyne poole? yeah, that he should have been with robb. who died because of a jeyne no one cared about, while theon is currently living also because he saved a jeyne no one cared about. I honestly can’t handle that okay I mean it’s just so well put together and thought-out I can’t even. I just love it on both technical and feels-inducing plane.
instance three: even after all the betrayal they still cared about each other in frankly ridiculously tear-inducing ways - as in, there’s a part in asos where roose bolton gives robb news of what happened at winterfell (long before the piece of prince thing) and robb is completely distressed when asking what happened to theon (and roose noted that he looked upset, but not in the angry way), and later when roose gives him the piece of skin from theon’s finger robb is basically wanting to vomit in his face and tells him he doesn’t want theon tortured. meanwhile if you take care to notice, in the reek povs in adwd as I think @capitaineblackbird once noted, robb’s name shows up more than theon’s actual name and even when he’s supposed to be reek he thinks about robb more often than he thinks about his life pre-ramsay.
instance four: the way acok theon pre-meeting his dad is just so fucking gone re robb makes me cry because I mean, first he goes like ‘well yeah I have a certain affection for him but I shouldn’t mention it’ and then proceeds to mention how much they’re friends and how awesome robb is to just about anyone. including his uncle and father. like he honestly can’t keep himself from doing it and if you compare it with the way robb defends his decision to send him to cat I just cry again and curse balon for being an unreasonable idiot who could have just made everyone happy by going with theon’s plan. yeaah.
instance five: guys robb is about the longest lasting healthy relationship that theon ever had with anyone because they knew each other ten year straight and it was the longest theon ever stayed in one place, and not counting his mom and partially his sister he didn’t have a healthy relationship with any of his relatives I honestly can’t with the knowledge that he had to throw it away for people who couldn’t give a damn, mostly.
every other instance: theon was on robb’s war council when most probably no one else in it thought it was a good idea (and they laughed about roose bolton together christ guys), theon was the one robb was with after knowing ned had died (GUYS MY FEELS), grey wind pretty much wanted to at least attempt to rip the throat out of everyone who was later involved in the red wedding but he never had that reaction to theon guess why, theon not only wishes he was with robb, he wishes he had… died with robb, and let’s just remember that robb died in the worst possible way anyone could. I mean, he doesn’t just want to talk things out, he wishes he had died in that massacre. robb spent pretty much two thirds of his life since he was five being friends with him because he liked him that much when everyone else didn’t understand what he saw in the guy and wouldn’t go back to take his castle even after the first betrayal because that was how much he was sure it was supposed to be a misundestanding.
then I have to live with the knowledge that robb never actually knew that theon never technically harmed his brothers or destroyed his home. grrm is fucking cruel guys. and theon has to live with the knowledge that they can never straighten things out, which isn’t that much better at this point.
the above reasons are enough to send me into throbb hell but honestly I’m complete trash for this kind of relationship and I’m complete trash for how much they cared for each other whichever way you want to look at it and again, robb was probably the one person who really knew theon beyond his coping methods/the image he fronted to everyone else and guys, I just really love this ship okay.
also it’s about the one thing about both characters they got right in the show, except for the entire part where they didn’t understand their storylines were foils and so they completely missed that train, but that’s another story altogether I guess. DDD:
Up for a writing challenge? Use this click and drag AU generator to discover an AU that’s a little out of the norm and write something! Long or short, it’s still a good writing exercise. This includes 60 items.
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Harvey moves to put his hands on Mike’s hips, presumably to pull him closer, but his hand brushes against something hard in Mike’s pocket. He glances down at it as he steps back. “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” he smirks.
Mike lets out a nervous chuckle. “It’s uh…” he pulls a black velvet box from his pocket, twists it around in his fingers for a moment. “I’ve been carrying this around for nearly two weeks, trying to find the perfect moment.”
There’s a beat of silence. “The perfect moment for what?” Harvey asks, voice low.
Mike looks up and meets his eyes. “You know what.”
Harvey doesn’t say anything, just keeps his gaze fixed on Mike, and Mike takes courage from his silence.
“Harvey, you took a chance on me when the world was content to let me pass them by. I knew then how lucky I was to find you, to find someone who believed in me. I had no idea that meeting you would lead to this, to us, but it did and I have never been happier than when I’m with you. You let me see the real you when no one else did and I feel so fucking privileged to know you. To love you. To be loved by you. And I never want to go another day without that, for the rest of our lives. So…”
Mike takes a deep breath, and then slides down onto one knee.
Proposal scene written by the lovely and truly amazing tattooedsiren. Without her, this wouldn’t exist.
“That last pitch was good. They can’t hit your pitch past the fence if it’s that low. The important thing isn’t to prevent every hit. It’s what you do after they hit. You’re starting to pitch like an ace.”