the wildling princess

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.
Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.

I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want this wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.

Ramsay Bolton, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.
   -ASoIaF

5 new characters to love in a dance with dragons (in no particular order) | val

All the same, the wildling princess was not beloved of her gaolers. She scorned them all as “kneelers,” and had thrice attempted to escape. When one man-at-arms grew careless in her presence she had snatched his dagger from its sheath and stabbed him in the neck. Another inch to the left and he might’ve died.

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Bastard, was the only word written outside the scroll. No Lord Snow or Jon Snow or Lord Commander. Simply Bastard. And the letter was sealed with a smear of hard pink wax. “You were right to come at once,” Jon said. You were right to be afraid. He cracked the seal, flattened the parchment, and read.

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore.

Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me.

I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell.

I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.

It was signed,

Ramsay Bolton,

Trueborn Lord of Winterfell. ― Jon XIII, A Dance with Dragons.

Most if not all readers probably remember the following story, told by Ser Axell the night before Stannis’ fleet was set to take Davos to Lord Wyman Manderly:

As the salmon was being served, Ser Axell Florent had entertained the table with the tale of a Targaryen princeling who kept an ape as a pet. This prince liked to dress the creature in his dead son’s clothes and pretend he was a child, Ser Axell claimed, and from time to time he would propose marriages for him. The lords so honored always declined politely, but of course they did decline. “Even dressed in silk and velvet, an ape remains an ape,” Ser Axell said. “A wiser prince would have known that you cannot send an ape to do a man’s work.”

The symbolism of the story is apparent on its face, with Davos explicitly thinking after that he was “as much a lord as [Axell], and a better man”. Typical of a haughty Florent, Ser Axell sought to emphasize how little changing one’s outward appearance served to make one a member of true nobility; an ape is an ape, even in velvet and silk, and no lord would dare betroth his daughter to an ape. The story serves as an important thematic beat for Davos as he approaches the Merman’s Court: Davos has long struggled with his identity as onion knight turned lord and Hand, but facing Lord Manderly, Davos has to believe that he is legitimate enough an envoy of his king to treat with the Lord of White Harbor in his own hall. Stannis did not merely dress Davos up with a “string of titles” to parade him as his pet lord; he rewarded Davos for the loyalty and honesty Davos already possessed, making him in name what he already was in character.  To be sure, the story bears an obvious message, but it is a message which works with its teller and its subject.

What I did not realize is how that message returns in a more subtle way at the end of ADWD. After Gerrick Kingsblood - purported descendant of King-Beyond-the-Wall Raymun Redbeard, a man eager to tell everyone of the royal blood in his veins - comes through the Wall with Tormund Giantsbane, Jon agrees to present the would-be king and his three red-haired daughters to Selyse Florent. In the following chapter, as Jon goes to Selyse and her court to present his idea for the mission to Hardhome, Selyse has her Florent uncle bring Gerrick in to her court:

“Let us speak of other matters. Axell, bring in the wildling king, if you would be so good.”

“At once, Your Grace.” Ser Axell went through a door and returned a moment later with Gerrick Kingsblood. “Gerrick of House Redbeard,” he announced, “King of the Wildlings.”

Gerrick Kingsblood was a tall man, long of leg and broad of shoulder. The queen had dressed him in some of the king’s old clothes, it appeared. Scrubbed and groomed, clad in green velvets and an ermine half-cape, with his long red hair freshly washed and his fiery beard shaped and trimmed, the wildling looked every inch a southron lord. He could walk into the throne room at King’s Landing, and no one would blink an eye, Jon thought.

“Gerrick is the true and rightful king of the wildlings,” the queen said, “descended in an unbroken male line from their great king Raymun Redbeard, whereas the usurper Mance Rayder was born of some common woman and fathered by one of your black brothers.”

It’s exactly the same. Not that Gerrick is an ape, of course (Jon thinks of him as a fool, but he was at least wise enough to come with Tormund Giantsbane through the Wall), but that Axell is doing precisely what he derided in that nameless Targaryen prince. Axell has effectively taken a wildling for a pet royal: he and Selyse have dressed him up in the discarded clothes of a king, and are now forcing her courtiers to treat Gerrick as the “true and rightful King of the Wildlings” (and, lest anyone miss the story connection, Selyse thereafter announces that Gerrick’s eldest daughter is to be betrothed to her “beloved Axell”). Gerrick, as Tormund Giantsbane would tell anyone who would listen, is no true royal, no more than the prince’s ape was; he is descended not from Raymun Redbeard but from Raymun’s younger brother, who fled the Battle of Long Lake rather than be killed. To wildlings looking for a king, as Jon thinks, that descent matters about as much as claiming descent from Raymun’s horse - and yet there is Gerrick, looking “every inch a southron lord”, being acknowledged as a prince.

That’s what I love so much about this pausing to detail Gerrick’s dress and daughters’ betrothals; I’m almost certain GRRM intended it as a callback to Axell’s story. This moment highlights how much of a hypocrite and villain Axell Florent truly is: a man who would denounce Davos Seaworth as an ape in velvet, and yet treat a wildling newly come from beyond the Wall as an equal to any of Selyse’s assembled southron knights. Indeed, Axell actually goes beyond the prince of the tale: while the lords offered the ape’s hand for their daughters would always politely decline, Axell has openly accepted the hand of his pet king’s daughter. Again, the message is more subtle here than it was toward Davos, now emphasizing Axell’s hollowness. Axell Florent might have an ancient name and a queen for a niece, but Davos was correct to say that he is the “better man”; as it was convenient for Axell to mock Davos without Stannis there to protect him, so it is now convenient for Axell to say that a wildling is a rightful king, and take a wildling “princess” for a bride. By taking the time to describe Gerrick’s new royal dress and daughters’ betrothals, GRRM reminds the readers that the story of the prince and his ape cuts both ways - a reflection on Davos’ identity struggle, but an underlining as well of Axell’s reproachable character.

they are all convinced she is a princess. val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. a warrior princess, he decided, not some willowy creature who sits up in a tower, brushing her hair and waiting for some knight to rescue her.    //     annabelle wallis as val

fancasting meme || nineeleven characters’ who aren’t portrayed in the show/movie ( 8 — 11)

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Hairstyles for offscreen characters

1. Brea, a fishmongers daughter in Braavos. 2. Sarella Sand, Oberyn’s fouth daughter. 3. Princess Elaena Targaryen, the youngest child of King Aegon III Targaryen. 4. Princess Arianne Martell, princess of Dorne. 5. Val, the Wildling ‘princess’. 6. Taena of Myr, lady of house Merryweather. 7. Wylla Manderly, daughter of the lord of White Harbour. 8. Lyanna Stark, the shewolf sister to Eddard. 9. Rohanne of Tyrosh married to Daemon Blackfyre

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When his cup was filled the king drank, and said, “Horpe and Massey aspire to your father’s seat. Massey wants the wildling princess too. He once served my brother Robert as squire and acquired his appetite for female flesh. Horpe will take Val to wife if I command it, but it is battle he lusts for. As a squire he dreamed of a white cloak, but Cersei Lannister spoke against him and Robert passed him over. Perhaps rightly. Ser Richard is too fond of killing. Which would you have as Lord of Winterfell, Snow? The smiler or the slayer?”

Jon said, “Winterfell belongs to my sister Sansa.” ― Jon IV, A Dance with Dragons.

“ [The risk] is mine, Lord Snow. And I am no southron lady but a woman of the free folk. I know the forest better than all your black-cloaked rangers. It holds no ghosts for me. [….] You have my word, Lord Snow, I will return, with Tormund or without him. Look for me on the first day of the full moon”

-

G. R.R. Martin, “A Dance With Dragons”.

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Val was the sister of the woman the King-beyond-the-Wall had taken for his queen.The wildling princess was what Stannis and his men were calling her. Her sister Dalla had died during the battle, though no blade had ever touched her; she had perished giving birth to Mance Rayder’s son.

8

The wildling princess was not beloved of her gaolers. She scorned them all as “kneelers,” and had thrice attempted to escape. When one man-at-arms grew careless in her presence she had snatched his dagger from its sheath and stabbed him in the neck. Another inch to the left and he might have died.

(requested by queen-of-ashes)

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When his cup was filled Stannis drank, and said, “Horpe and Massey aspire to your father’s seat. Massey wants the wildling princess too. He once served my brother Robert as squire and acquired his appetite for female flesh. Horpe will take Val to wife if I command it, but it is battle he lusts for. As a squire he dreamed of a white cloak, but Cersei Lannister spoke against him and Robert passed him over. Perhaps rightly - Ser Richard is too fond of killing. Which would you have as Lord of Winterfell, Snow, the smiler or the slayer?”

                       Jon said, “Winterfell belongs to my sister Sansa.”