the lannisters

4

Loras rots in a cell because of you. The High Sparrow rules this city because of you. Our two ancient houses face collapse because of you, and your stupidity. You’re right, I made a terrible mistake. I carry it with me every single day. Good. I delivered an army of fanatics onto our doorstep. And now we must fight them together.

2

I waited, and so can he. I waited half my life. She had played the dutiful daughter, the blushing bride, the pliant wife. She had suffered Robert’s drunken groping, Jaime’s jealousy, Renly’s mockery, Varys with his titters, Stannis endlessly grinding his teeth. She had contended with Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, and her vile, treacherous, murderous dwarf brother, all the while promising herself that one day it would be her turn.

I’ve just finished the original, unabridged Beauty and the Beast novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and thought it had some fascinating implications for Jaime/Brienne. Thoughts below. Some of these won’t be anything new, and people more familiar with ASoIaF than I should be able to extend (or dispute) these insights. 

I’ve always thought it one of the most convincing arguments for Jaime/Brienne that GRRM modelled their relationship on Beauty and the Beast: a tale which centres around a romance, where a beautiful character learns to love a beastly one, and through her love transforms him. Of course, Jaime and Brienne’s dynamic is far more subtle and complex. Brienne is physically ugly but noble and tender-hearted (per Jaime, SoS ch. 1: “As well dress a cow in silk as this one”). Jaime is physically beautiful but morally reprehensible (per Brienne, SoS ch. 1: “Talk with Ser Cleos then. I have no words for monsters”). So on one level, Brienne is the beast whom Jaime slowly comes to care for and through that he begins to transform himself: he performs a conscientious act in rescuing her from the bear at Harrenhal, for example. On another level, Jaime is the beast whom Brienne comes to care for and in doing so begins to transform him (or at least her perspective of him; he is no longer a “monster” to her). 

A collocation of parallels: 

  • Beauty and the Beast –> “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”
  • Beauty is the Beast’s captive. Jaime begins A Storm of Swords as Brienne’s captive. 
  • The Beast is cursed not only to be physically hideous but “a dull creature”. Brienne is, aside from being physically ugly, awkward and not witty/clever with words.
  • The Beast’s true form is revealed to Beauty in dreams. Jaime dreams of Brienne: “In this light she could almost be a beauty, he thought. In this light she could almost be a knight.”
  • Beauty over the course of the narrative learns to “distrust appearances, to let her heart guide her, and not her eyes”. Could a parallel be drawn between this and the fact that Cersei’s influence on Jaime diminishes as Brienne’s increases? 
My dash is dead!

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