well... not any more than anyone else in asoiaf that is

Why does she need to die?

In terms of disagreeing with J/B as a canon romance, the position of “no romantic feelings on either side” is more difficult to comprehend, in terms of literary analysis.

(IOW: How much of the text from Jaime’s and Brienne’s chapters do you have to ignore, distort, or willfully explain away, to think there are no feels happening?)

But you know what bugs me a lot more?

It’s the position in which Brienne is in love with Jaime…and the most logical conclusion of her arc is to die to save him from Lady Stoneheart. Y'know, because she couldn’t save Renly, so dying for Jaime would make up for that. That grosses me out.

If you think Brienne’s scheduled for death because you just can’t imagine how a nice person can stay alive any longer than that in Westeros, well, I have some counter-arguments, but I see where you’re coming from, and I sympathize.

If the argument is that Brienne “should” die in the LSH conflict because her dying for the man she loves makes the best sense for where her story has already gone…that’s a whole other sort of wrong. That’s where I have a moral objection.

Any character in the ASOIAF universe who’s ever gotten to know Brienne would be perfectly unsurprised to find out she sacrificed her life to save someone dear to her. (The surprise, for most, would be that she cared that much about Jaime.) This is not a character who needs to experience a moral overhaul to be willing to die so someone else can live. She’s already at that position. Her conflict is not “Oh no I’m going to die, poor me!” It’s “Oh no, I haven’t rescued Sansa and I’ll let Jaime down and I can’t take care of Podrick if they kill me.” This is a girl who already thinks her life is only valuable to the extent that she can protect others. And why is that?

She’s a Westerosi noblewoman who’s used to being told she’s hideous. All her life, she’s been taught no one would ever love her except for her lands and titles, and she believes it. She’s still very young, and she’s completely resigned to the idea that romantic love is unavailable to her. Rather than accept a toxic marriage of convenience with some controlling old man who doesn’t understand how lucky he is to have her, she sets out to serve someone worthy of her loyalty. (Renly is a piece of shit, but starry-eyed teenage Brienne has only seen his nicer side, so there she goes.) She’s used to being roundly mocked whenever she tries to act like a lady, so she walks away from the pretty gowns and dancing and picks up a suit of armor and sword. She joined Renly’s army because she honestly believed that was the place where her life would have meaning and someone would appreciate her talents.

And here’s the thing: she beats herself up for not saving Renly, but really, she was a much better ally than he deserved. He had no business claiming the throne ahead of his brother, and he mocked Brienne behind her back. She would have died for him had it been possible to do so, but it’s a good thing she lived to tell about that shadow. She didn’t fail him. He failed her.

So now she’s carrying around the guilt of having failed to stop an act of magic that was specifically designed to be unstoppable by any human combatant, and also the guilt of having outlived Catelyn Stark, as if anyone could have saved her lady from an entire castle full of Freys and Boltons violating guest right. Was she supposed to have been in two or three places at once? Was she expected to know what nobody in the Stark-Tully force knew about Walder Frey and Roose Bolton’s arrangement with Tywin Lannister? Was she supposed to be unarmed, unarmored, and unprepared at that wedding feast, and still get her lady to safety? Was she supposed to know more about Arya Stark’s whereabouts than Catelyn or Robb knew by then? Should she have teleported down to the Red Keep before the Lannisters had a chance to force Sansa into marriage? And then teleport back up to the Twins before the Red Wedding? What exactly does this girl have to apologize for?

So now she has that burden of survivor’s guilt on one side, and Jaime’s friendship complete with priceless sword on the other side, both pushing her to bust her ass and lose her mind for her quest to look after Ned Stark’s daughter. I should note that she still hasn’t found Sansa in the book version. I think that girl would appreciate a protector who really doesn’t want anything from her except for the honor of being at her service. (For Sansa’s sake, it’s a good thing Brienne was far away from the Red Wedding, as she would have inevitably been part of the body count.) In Brienne’s mind, showing up for Sansa is as much about doing right by Jaime as helping the Starks. She’s conflated the two interests into one concern. “For her lady mother’s sake. And for yours.”

Now that she’s been captured by Zombie Catelyn and her goons, how is this a good time for her to die? She already thinks her life is worthless unless she’s protecting someone else; and no one will ever appreciate the joy of her company in life as opposed to the gift of her death; why does she need to be proven right? Why does the ugly butch girl need to die for the handsome rich man before she even gets a chance to rescue the pretty femme girl? Why does Jaime need to be the man she dies for?

Why can’t he be the man she lives for?

farerb  asked:

Do you think it was necessary for GRRM to kill Catelyn and resurrect her, or could he have done the same storyline with Stoneheart, but with Catelyn never dying at all (probably held captive and somehow escapes)?

Necessary? I suppose it depends on how you define “necessary”. If you cut down the story to the core plot and not much else, then technically very little GRRM has done to any character is “necessary”. If, however, literary devices such as theme and character and foreshadowing are important to you as a writer, as well as comparisons to and commentary on other works of literature, then yes, Catelyn’s death and her resurrection into Stoneheart were very necessary.

Some examples of the above narrative elements re Lady Stoneheart:

“Tell me again what you saved.”
“Your life.”
Mirri Maz Duur laughed cruelly. “Look to your khal and see what life is worth, when all the rest is gone.”

–AGOT, Daenerys X

“Fire consumes.” Lord Beric stood behind them, and there was something in his voice that silenced Thoros at once. “It consumes, and when it is done there is nothing left. Nothing.”

–ASOS, Arya VIII

The steel was polished to such a high sheen that she could see her reflection in the breastplate, gazing back at her as if from the bottom of a deep green pond. The face of a drowned woman, Catelyn thought. Can you drown in grief? She turned away sharply, angry with her own frailty. She had no time for the luxury of self-pity.

–ACOK, Catelyn II

I am become a sour woman, Catelyn thought. I take no joy in mead nor meat, and song and laughter have become suspicious strangers to me. I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings. There is an empty place within me where my heart was once.

–ACOK, Catelyn VII

She clutched tight at his hand. “Nothing will happen to you. Nothing. I could not stand it. They took Ned, and your sweet brothers. Sansa is married, Arya is lost, my father’s dead… if anything befell you, I would go mad, Robb. You are all I have left. You are all the north has left.”

–ASOS, Catelyn IV

Death does change a person. No, I do not think Catelyn is as she was, no more than Lord Beric… And by the way, there will no Catelyn POVs in future volumes, which may tell you something. –GRRM

“Lady Stoneheart does have a role in the books,” Martin said. “Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough… I think it is, or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”

Continues Martin: “I’ve talked about Gandalf [in The Lord of the Rings], and how the impact of his death was enormous. When I was a 12-year-old kid reading The Fellowship of the Ring and ‘Fly, you fools!’ and he goes into the chasm…  it was ‘Holy shit! [J.R.R. Tolkien] killed the wizard! That’s the guy who knew everything. How are they going to destroy the ring without him?’ And now the ‘kids’ have to grow up because their ‘daddy’ is dead. If Gandalf could die, anybody could die. And then just a few chapters later Boromir goes down. Those two deaths created in me the ‘anyone could die’ thing. At that point I was expecting [Tolkien] to pick off the whole Fellowship one by one. And then we also think in The Two Towers that Frodo is dead, since Shelob stung him and wrapped him up. I really bought it because he set me up with those other deaths. But then, of course, he brings Gandalf back. He’s a little strange at first, but then he’s basically the same old Gandalf. I liked the impact we got from him being gone.”

Martin’s explanation initially sounds like an argument against including Lady Stoneheart, but Martin then noted: “Lady Stoneheart is not Catelyn. I’ve tried to set it up beforehand with Beric Dondarrion and his repeated [resurrections]. There’s a brief appearance by Beric in Book One and he rides into the city and he’s this flamboyant Southern knight. That’s not that man we meet later on.”

interview

See also this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and also especially this.

So, yes, GRRM could have done something with a living Catelyn instead of Stoneheart. However, he had absolutely no intention to, and designed her story to build to the climax of her death… and then the denouement, showing what happens when all that really matters is gone and only a mocking travesty of life is left. Hope that helps you understand.

fashi0nmistake  asked:

The writing prompt meme- #50 "I’m starting an idiot jar. Any time you do or say anything idiotic, you have to put at least a dollar in it—more depending on how stupid the thing that you said or did was.” The Starklings. It's such a sibling prompt!

“What? It’s a great idea!”

“Robb, it’s a terrible idea! Mom doesn’t even like hockey,” Sansa protested.

Her older brother looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. “Of course she likes hockey! She has never missed a single game any one of us has played in unless two of us were playing at the same time in different rinks! She’s been to more games than Dad, Sansa!”

Sansa rolled her eyes. “OK. She doesn’t like hockey unless one or more of you idiots are playing. This isn’t just Dad’s anniversary! Stanley Cup playoff tickets are a terrible anniversary gift.”

“You’re just saying that because you’re the only person in this family who never played, Sansa! You probably want to send them to the dumb old ballet!” nine year old Rickon protested.

“No, I don’t,” Sansa said, in a voice alarmingly like their mother’s when her patience was nearly at an end. “I’m perfectly well aware that Dad has no interest in the ballet unless I’m dancing.”

“Well, ballet’s boring,” Rickon pronounced, making a face that had Robb, Jon, and Bran all laughing in spite of Sansa’s glaring at them.

“I hate all of you!” Sansa exclaimed as she dramatically turned causing her hair to swish around her shoulders and flounce out of the room. 

From her perch on the back of the couch by the window, Arya sighed. She’d never admit it to a living soul, but she did envy her sister’s ability to do that kind of stuff with her hair, even if Sansa was acting like a baby.

They were all acting like babies. Stupid babies.

Before she could mention that to them, however, Robb turned on Rickon. “Nice going, kid!” he said sarcastically. “Now she’d bailed on us!”

“You laughed!” Rickon protested, throwing his empty Coke can at Robb’s head.

Robb ducked of course, and the can, which apparently wasn’t entirely empty, hit the wall behind him, splattering Coke on a portrait of their family taken on a vacation to the beach about seven years ago. Their mother loved that picture.

“Nice,” Arya said, swinging her legs over the back of the couch and standing up. “You all are just brilliant. We’ve all been saving money for a damn year, and now that it’s time to actually plan this thing, we’ve talked for an hour, decided nothing, chased off Sansa, and gotten coke all over Mom’s favorite picture.

As Robb and Rickon both started to protest, Arya spoke over them. “Robb, go get Sansa back here. I know she’s bossy, but she listens to you more than the rest of us, and does anybody think we can actually plan this without her?”

She looked around the room at her siblings and cousin. Nobody actually disputed that statement. “Go on, Robb!” she said when he didn’t move. “Grovel if you have to, but get her back here.”

“Rickon’s the one who pissed her off!” Robb protested. 

Arya loved her oldest brother, she truly did. He was a wonderful guy. But sometimes when he felt angry or unjustly accused, he could be the biggest baby of all of them. “Yeah. And he’s NINE. Your twenty. Suck it up, Robb. You all laughed, and it was your dumb suggestion that we send Mom and Dad to the playoffs as our gift which got Sansa riled up in the first place. Besides,” she turned to glare at her youngest brother, and the smirk he’d been directing at Robb disappeared immediately. “Rickon has to go get a rag and clean his damn mess. None of us will be alive to give Mom and Dad anything if Mom sees that picture that like that!”

Rickon, fully aware that he couldn’t escape responsibility for the Coke can incident and with no desire to end up on the receiving end of the wrath of Catelyn Stark (in spite of the fact that Mom tended to let him skate more often than anyone because he was the BABY), scampered toward the kitchen in search of cleaning supplies immediately. 

Robb made a face at her that caused him to look alarmingly like Rickon, but he then agreed to go in search of their sister, muttering under his breath as he went. “And she calls SANSA bossy!”

“Well?” Arya asked as Bran and Jon stared at her in silence. 

“Well what?” Bran asked.

“Well where do you two think we should send them?” she asked in exasperation. These two had contributed very little to the discussion so far, although to be fair, neither had she–except to give them an update on their general budget. 

Even the older kids agreed that fifteen year old Arya was the best of all of them at math, so while Robb had opened the bank account last year because only he and Jon were over eighteen and could do it without their parents’ knowledge, Arya had managed it. The others had given her their contributions and she’d made deposits with Robb’s permission and kept track of the balance. Considering that only Jon, Robb, and Sansa had jobs–and they weren’t exactly full time or well-paying, they’d managed to collect quite a sum over the past year. Arya herself had done some math tutoring to raise money. She’d even babysat a few times, which was torture. Of course, she’d never tell the others that the primary way she’d managed to make her contributions almost as big as those of the older three was by giving Gendry money to bet on various sports events. First of all, she wasn’t supposed to still be seeing him and she didn’t want Dad to murder him, and second of all, Dad would likely murder HER if he found out she was gambling. Even for a good cause.

“They’re not really my parents, Arya,” Jon mumbled. “I really think you five should …”

“And THAT has got to be the stupidest thing of all the stupid things said in here so far today!” she exclaimed, rolling her eyes. “You’ve practically lived here your whole life, Jon, and you gave the most money out of anybody! You get a vote!”

“I didn’t put money in to get a vote,” Jon said almost sullenly. “I did it because Uncle Ned and Aunt Cat have given me pretty much everything I have.”

“They love you, Jon,” Bran insisted. “You’re as much their kid as any of us.”

Jon nodded a bit, but he didn’t smile, and under his breath he muttered something like “But they never had to do that” which caused Arya to roll her eyes again.

She adored Jon. It was almost funny because even though he wasn’t technically her brother, his was the face that came first to her mind if anyone asked if she had a favorite sibling. After all, he’d been the one who convinced her mother to not only allow her to play hockey, but to let her play on the boys’ team. But if Robb could drive her crazy sometimes with his belief that things were always supposed to go his way, Jon could make her equally nuts with his insistence on martyrdom at times.

“Seriously, boys, we’ve got enough to give them a really nice vacation somewhere. Not airfare, but Grandpa Hoster said he’d kick that in so we need to come up with something great.”

“What about Disney World?” Bran asked. “They both said that was a great trip when we all went three years ago.”

“Because we were all there,” Jon said. “It was a great family trip, but neither of your parents cared much about most of the rides. I think for just the two of them, maybe someplace else will be better.”

Bran frowned. “But what will they do anywhere without all of us there? I mean … they never go anywhere without us–except for Dad’s work trips. Won’t they get bored?”

Arya met Jon’s eyes and both of them tried mightily not to laugh. Bran was thirteen, old enough and smart enough to understand what went on between men and women, but still young enough to be completely oblivious to the idea of their parents as anything other than just their parents. Heck, she was fifteen and had a not-so-secret much older not-a-boyfriend and still didn’t like to think too closely about what went on in Mom’s and Dad’s bedroom when the door was locked, but she had no doubts they wouldn’t get bored on a kid-free vacation!

“They won’t get bored, Bran,” Jon said. “They do like each other, you know.” He laughed just a bit and reached over to ruffle Bran’s hair. 

Bran blushed then. “I know that!” he sputtered. “I just meant … I just …”

“Don’t worry, Bran,” Arya laughed. “It wasn’t even close to the stupidest suggestion we’ve had.”

“What about you, Bossy?” Robb asked as he came back into the family room, followed by a still pouting Sansa. “What brilliant ideas do you have?”

“I don’t know,” Arya said. “But it should be someplace they would both like. So no hockey. And no ballet.”

“I never said …” Sansa started.

“I know you never said ballet,” Arya interrupted quickly. “I’m just trying to make a point. Nothing that just Dad loves or just Mom loves. It has to be something they love together. What do they both love?”

“Me!” Rickon offered with a grin as he walked back in with glass cleaner and a rag. 

Everyone laughed. “Well, yes, Rickon,” Bran said. “We’ve already established that Mom and Dad love all of us, but this trip is just for the two of them.”

Before Arya and Jon could even cover their smiles at Bran’s about-face on couples trips, Rickon grinned more widely. “I didn’t say us,” he said, sticking a tongue out at Bran. “I said me. They only had all you losers trying to get a kid as awesome as me! That’s why they stopped once they got perfection!”

“You wish!” Bran told him, pulling the little cushion he kept behind his back in his wheelchair out and flinging at at the youngest Stark. Of course, he hit a vase which fell to the floor and broke instead.

“I’m not cleaning that!” Rickon announced.

“Could everyone refrain from doing anything stupid for longer than five minutes?” Arya asked in frustration.

Jon, who’d been standing closest to the vase, bent to start picking up the pieces.

“They both like the country as opposed to big cities,” Sansa said. “I mean, Mom likes the city, but Dad hates it. And even Mom is happier surrounded by green.”

That was actually a useful observation. Sansa really was good at this stuff. Even if she was constantly in other people’s business and wasn’t as perfect as everybody thought. “That’s good, Sans,” Arya said. “What else?”

“Water,” Robb offered. “Mom loves being on the water. And Dad does, too, as long as it’s not too hot. No place tropical.” 

“But warm enough to swim,” Jon put in, having somehow dispatched Rickon to fetch a broom and dustpan without making a fuss or raising a protest from the kid. “Aunt Cat loves to swim, and Uncle Ned loves watching her do it.”

“Eww!” Robb protested. “That’s my mother you’re talking about Jon.”

“Yeah, I know. And it’s obvious your dad thinks she’s the hottest woman around every time he looks at her, and this IS an anniversary trip.”

“Just shut up already, Jon,” Robb said, getting a bit red in the face.

One look at Jon told Arya that wasn’t going to happen. Jon and Robb were almost exactly the same age and had been closer than any real twins their whole lives, but they did love to aggravate each other. With a wicked gleam in his grey eyes, he said, “We definitely need to make sure the hotel room is really nice–in case they never leave it.”

Robb flew at Jon and tackled him. Thankfully, nothing fell to the floor except the two of them, and neither of them was truly angry so they just wrestled for a moment with Jon laughing so hard the whole time that Robb finally couldn’t help laughing as well. “Idiot,” he muttered, as he stood up to let Jon off the floor. “Just shut up about my parents’ sex lives, okay? Five times. That’s all I’ve got to acknowledge, man. Five times.”

Of course, that comment caused Sansa, Arya, and even Bran to dissolve into laughter until Rickon finally asked, “Five times what? And you’re not supposed to talk about sex. Big Walder Frey got sent to the principal’s office for talking about sex to some girl on the playground. She called him a dirty liar and told the teacher!”

That stopped the laughter pretty quickly. 

“Hey, bud,” Robb said, going to put an arm around Rickon. “Whatever that Frey kid says about anything is probably wrong.” Arya was honestly quite impressed at how quickly he’d gone from total dork into mature responsible big brother mode.

Rickon looked up at Robb a moment, as if considering his words. “Yeah. He lies a lot,” he said finally. “Is it true that …”

“Later, Rickon,” Robb interrupted with only the slightest hint of red returning to his cheeks. “Ask me later. Or better yet, ask Dad.”

“Please,” Arya said. “We need to stick to the topic at hand. Mom and Dad will be home soon, and who knows when we’ll get everybody here at once and them gone again. So no more acting like idiots. Are we all good with finding someplace in the country–on a lake maybe?”

“With a great big bed …” Jon mumbled, before bursting into laughter again.

Normally, Arya loved seeing Jon’s playful, teasing side, but as Robb punched him hard in the arm, and Rickon looked as if he were trying very hard to puzzle something out, she’d had enough. “That’s it! I’m starting an idiot jar. Any time you do or say anything idiotic, you have to put at least a dollar in it—more depending on how stupid the thing that you said or did was.”

“Hear, hear!” said Sansa. She turned and pulled a little basket down off one of the shelves. “This will do for now,” she said. “We can get an official jar later. Now, let’s get this trip planned.”

All the boys adopted serious expressions, and everyone who’d been standing found places to sit. Arya looked gratefully at her sister. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d wanted so much to just hug Sansa.

“The mountains,” Robb said. “Dad likes mountains, and it doesn’t get too warm there ever. But as long as it gets sunny and warm at all during the day, Mom will swim. You know her.”

“Yes!” Sansa nearly squealed. “And there are places with warm springs. I bet I could find someplace like that! And they could take long walks and go hiking and watch sunsets and have breakfast in bed and …”

Arya smiled as Sansa waxed poetic about the ideal vacation spot for Mom and Dad. The others actually all looked pretty excited now as she talked about it, and Arya had every confidence that their sister would get on-line and find a real-life place that wasn’t too far from the image in her head now that it seemed they’d agreed on a general idea. 

Maybe she’d keep the idiot jar (or basket), though. With this bunch, she could likely raise enough to do a vacation for the entire family next in no time at all. 

Cuddles and Cling....

((Anon! I hope you like it!))

((I started off strong and then near the end my creativity died so…I hope it’s not that terrible!))

Word Count: 1,370

Warning: none

The fever came on suddenly, claiming the lives of many inside and outside of the Red Keep. At the first death, the King was locked away in his chambers in order – in hopes – of protecting him from the outbreak.

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anonymous asked:

Sorry if this question has already been asked to you but what do you think Jaime menant when he says: "There are no men like me. Only me."? I honestly love this quote so much but it''s so hard to determine what he meant by that. Some people think it's arrogance, but I don't think it's arrogant to say that we're not like others, because we're all unique in our own way. I personally felt a great loneliness from this quote, what do you think?

actually no no one ever asked me that specifically so… *cracks knuckles*

first thing: I love that quote to pieces I mean I loved jaime like woah before then too but at that point it was just cemented xD that said hahaha nope arrogant my ass. okay here comes another episode of ‘janie’s unpopular opinions about jaime lannister’s true character TM’ brace yourself

okay so, let’s see the entire context and let’s recall that at this point the guy is somewhat drunk since I think he was at the point in the exchange with cat where he was fairly beyond tipsy.

“Your crimes will have earned you a place of torment in the deepest of the seven hells, if the gods are just.”

“What gods are those, Lady Catelyn? The trees your husband prayed to? How well did they serve him when my sister took his head off?” Jaime gave a chuckle. “If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?”

“Because of men like you.”

There are no men like me. There’s only me.”

There is nothing here but arrogance and pride, and the empty courage of a madman. I am wasting my breath with this one. If there was ever a spark of honor in him, it is long dead.

now, first thing: obviously cat does not know jaime’s backstory and we know that she’s fairly wrong about pretty much all of her evaluation - like jaime has a lot of pride obviously and he’s arrogant, but his honor is far from dead as you can see later in asos and he’s not a madman. actually, he’s the only one actually speaking sense in this exchange - obviously not from cat’s pov, but tbh his reply is pretty dead-on. he is alive and ned is not, and we all know that killing aerys is what turned him into the cynical pseudo-heartless person he thinks he is these days and that he’s presented as in the beginning (pseudo-heartless because he’s not but never mind), and he’s probably spent a lot of time thinking over the fact. like it’s also obvious from his confession to brienne, but he really fucking resents having been judged that harshly over aerys. I mean:

The water had grown cool. When Jaime opened his eyes, he found himself staring at the stump of his sword hand. The hand that made me Kingslayer. The goat had robbed him of his glory and his shame, both at once. Leaving what? Who am I now?
The wench looked ridiculous, clutching her towel to her meager teats with her thick white legs sticking out beneath.
“Has my tale turned you speechless? Come, curse me or kiss me or call me a liar. Something.”
“If this is true, how is it no one knows?”
“The knights of the Kingsguard are sworn to keep the king’s secrets. Would you have me break my oath?” Jaime laughed. “Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honorable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty." 

wow. he’s totally not angry over it still, isn’t it?

thing is: no one else in the kingsguard at least in recent times as far as we know has murdered their king as he did. he has never gone and tried to correct it with anyone else because everyone judged him on principle because of it and at that point let’s remember that he had guarded aerys for two years and when he burned people in front of him he was most likely dissociating so having to kill aerys was probably the straw breaking the camel’s back to jaime’s feelings about questioning his role in the kingsguard and the likes. I mean, don’t forget that he had been questioning the whole ‘why don’t we lift a finger if the king is horrid to his family’ rules for a long time and no one else saw fit to either do something about it or voice their concerns if they had any. there’s literally no one like him because as far as we know he’s been the only KG member who ever put the entire system into question. and as far as he knows he made the right decision (he doesn’t really regret killing aerys even if he has conflicted feelings about it ie his glory and his shame) but no one else does.

now, after that he thinks that the whole oaths/honor talk is bullshit for obvious reasons and that’s why he doesn’t give a fuck (externally) if people think he has no honor. he’s gonna embrace it if that’s what they think even if deep down he loathes it - or he wouldn’t be telling that story to brienne who’s, guess what, the One True Knight & Honor Personified Except That She Is True To It And Not A Fraud in the entire continent. this stated, let’s look at the first exchange.

cat is basically telling jaime that his crimes have eternally damned him and she obviously means pushing bran, killing aerys and possibly banging his sister, but as far as jaime thinks the only one out of the three he might consider a crime is pushing bran, not loving his sister (as far as he’s concerned) or killing a madman (and I’m saying he’d consider pushing bran a crime because before he pushes him he says ‘the things I do for love’ with loathing, which would suggest he KNOWS he’s doing something shitty). so hey she’s doing exactly the same thing ned did with him ie judging him without knowing the entire story or the reasons why he committed most of his supposed *crimes*. he gives her a perfectly logical answer that also complies with his character development - at that point he’d hardly care about gods whatsoever and he hasn’t for a long time most probably. also he’s laughing the entire time which would suggest he’s finding it all hilarious in the way it is when you’re drunk and you’re already cynical in the first place. anyway, ‘why is the world so full of pain and injustice’ isn’t just aimed at cat, it could be aimed in general, because that’s most likely a question he’s asked himself since he got into the KG. it is the question someone who has to serve aerys and hates it would ask themselves.

and she replies ‘well, because of men like you’, supposing that he is the kind of horrible person that makes the world full of pain and injustice while actually the guy had to live for years serving someone who made the world full of pain and injustice and made everyone a favor when he killed aerys. so basically she went and told him that he is the same as aerys which I’m fairly sure jaime wouldn’t agree with since they’re absolutely not.

and then he tells her that there are no men like him. but like that’s literal truth - there aren’t. no one has done what he has done, no one has been reviled for it as it happened to him, no one went into the KG at fifteen and no one did the things jaime did in that specific context and he’s just telling her the truth. he’s telling her that not only he’s not like aerys, but no one else could have done the things he did and he doesn’t really want to be likened to aerys in the first place.

and as you said there’s obviously the loneliness part of it since if you look at the whole picture, jaime’s basically kept that story for himself until he told brienne. but like he kept that secret for more than ten years also because no one would have cared to hear his part of the story, and he didn’t share it even with cersei when one presumes he would since at that point he still buys into the ‘we are the same person etc’ mantra. but he doesn’t. he never has. and he’s probably felt the burden of it for that entire time, and then again if he never told others it probably was also because he thought it wouldn’t change anything. (and guess what when he tells brienne it actually does change things but never mind.) also jaime tends to keep a lot of things that end up eating him from the inside ie he never tells tyrion about tysha or never tells anyone about aerys and the likes. of course there’s no one like him. because no one’s had his experiences and no one bothered to understand them and he’s not the kind of person that makes the world a horrible place but everyone thinks he is and at that point of the story he had sort of embraced it in the ‘well they think that of me fine I’ll deliver’ sense. he meant all of that, but obviously cat was not the right interlocutor for it since she thinks he’s insane when he’s the one out of the two of them that’s talking most sense. it’s not that it’s arrogance (he’s arrogant in other ways), it’s just the way it is.

(mind that jaime is one of the few people who tends to say things straight and tends to not bullshit in his povs and grows more self-aware with the narration rather than being unreliable - he’s like one of the most reliable narrators in asoiaf tbh if you don’t count the part concerning his feelings for cersei, but he also gets progressively self-aware in that sense as well. so like he generally means 90% of what he says unless he’s deliberately lying and you know when he is, it’s his pov most of the times. I think you can generally take at face value most of the things he says and this one also counts.)

manbunjon  asked:

jon x sansa x dany. instead of fighting over their husband and king, sansa and dany become friends. and then something more.

Hi, sorry for taking so long with this and thank you for the ask! It was so much fun to write. It got a bit long though so I have also posted it onto archive if you find it easier. This is more Daensa than all but I hope you like it anyway. 

She snuck into the library, finally releasing that breath she hadn’t known she was holding. It had been close to a year since she had become Jon’s wife and queen but that all so familiar fear still wrapped itself tightly around her heart. Kingslanding was full of vipers, all of them hungry and waiting to strike. No, she thought to herself dully, it didn’t matter how many years she spent in Kingslanding. She would always feel uneasy and scared. She was a woman, a queen and yet she still felt like a little girl. She closed her eyes tightly, willing herself to remain strong and push her emotions back. You love Jon, more than anything, she reminded herself and it was true, she did. She just wasn’t sure if she would have accepted his proposal and a crown if she had had the chance.

She heard a sound and quickly turned around, sharp words on the tip of her tongue. I already told them, I wish to be alone.  The words quickly died at the sight of who it was, gone before they could truly form.

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Ramsay x Reader...

Imagine having yours and Ramsay’s first son.

((It’s short! I’m sorry! I didn’t want to make it too long and add in a lot of pointless details and dialogue and so on))

((Word Count: 824))

Ramsay Bolton. The bastard turned legitimate son to Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort and Warden of the North. Ramsay had plenty of names and even more reasons as to why he should be feared. With his black hair and those cold blue eyes, it was hard to mistake him for anything but a Bolton. And a Bolton he was…especially when it came to his favorite past time. Flaying.

But you never feared him, you never had a reason to. From the moment you first met him, Ramsay had been nothing but nice and protective to you. He saved you from your abusive Lord of a Father and took you into his Father’s castle. He clothed you, he fed you, he gave you a place to live, and somewhere along the way…even though you knew it was wrong…you found yourself falling in love with him.

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Men’s Lives Have Meaning, Part 4: The Prince Who Came Too Late

Series so far here

“King Quentyn. Why did that sound so silly?”


There’s a moment in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, when Travis Bickle is in the process of realizing he irreparably blew it with the girl of his dreams, that ranks among the most powerful camera moves ever performed: it moves away from him. Travis’ hunched form disappears on the left, and the camera comes to halt on an empty corridor. We still hear the conversation, the story keeps going, but the camera motion stands out as a direct authorial insertion–the storyteller couldn’t bear to watch.

Of course, if Scorsese were given the option to tell someone’s story from ASOIAF, he’d probably be more drawn to any given Lannister than Quentyn; the director specializes in making us empathize with people like Travis even while showcasing their sins and dysfunction. (Hell, Scorsese even uses lion imagery in multiple movies. How has he not made a movie about Tywin?) Nevertheless, that camera move comes to my mind when considering Quent’s appearances in other POVs’ chapters in between “The Windblown” and “The Spurned Suitor.” GRRM can’t bear to be in Quent’s head for this, so he moves the POV camera away.

And after all, it’s always interesting to view POV characters from another POV. After spending time in her or his head, with intimate access to their thoughts and feelings, we suddenly see them from the outside, as the world sees them, as we would if we actually met them. Done right, it fills out the character and puts them in context.

Such is the case with Quent’s arrival in Meereen. While the previous essays in this series covered his own POV chapters (“The Merchant’s Man” and “The Windblown”), this one will deal with his successive appearances in other people’s chapters: Dany VII & VIII and Barristan’s “The Discarded Knight.”

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Rather than getting vague and repetitive on a handful of asks about Robert’s Rebellion, this is an explanation of my current best guess at how Rhaegar seems to have been thinking. Obviously there’s plenty we don’t know and a lot of ways to fill in those gaps. But, assuming only that the information presented in WOIAF is accurate, there is one discernible pattern here: Rhaegar was a world-class choke artist.

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Gendrya Ship Week Day 2-Protect

A little late but ya know life happens.

Arya


The battle raged around them.  Screams of both terror and despair occupied the night air, the ringing of swords clashing seemed to rip the world apart.  Bodies littered the ground, catching her feet, making it harder to move quickly.  Time was meaningless; it could have been a minute or a day since the battle had started.  The wights kept coming.

Gendry fought be her side.  They had trained together during their second journey from King’s Landing to the north.  They knew each others’ styles, moves, tells.  She didn’t trust anyone else by her side as much as he.

One wight came from behind Gendry, one arm gone with the other raised with a battle axe in hand.  Needle quickly disposed of him.

She could feel her battle instincts kicking in.  She could hear Syrio Forel chanting to her.  Quiet as a shadow.  Calm as still water. Fear cuts deeper than swords.

Another charged her left side.  Gendry swung up with his war hammer and the dead went flying.

An arrow whizzed by two inches from her face.  Leaving no time to think another wight charged with a two-handed sword.  His face decayed, not all bones like so many of the others.  One eye had melted half out of it’s socket.  The other focused on her with it’s crystal blue orb.

She ducked under his first swing and parried another, letting it slide off the edge of Needle.  Swift as a deer.  She jabbed quickly at his chest, then dodge another swipe.  Quick as a snake.

They’re plan was to send in a wave of swords, hack off as many limbs as possible.  The second wave would attack with fire.  It worked at the Battle for Wolfswood better than expected.  But now, in open fields, it appeared to be less effective.  Jon had charged her with keeping the east clear of the undead.  She couldn’t fail now.  Not with everything being at stake.

Gendry yelled “Duck!” and she followed the order.  Fierce as a wolverine.  He slammed his hammer into the wight and it flew off into the air.  Strong as a bear.

“Thanks,” she breathed, already looking for another enemy.  She stepped over one of her comrade’s severed head.

Another arrow flew by, this one lit on fire, and coming from the other direction.  The second wave had moved in.

A man ran by, screaming in terror as a body lumbered towards him, an axe buried in his side.  An arrow pierced the back of his head.  The man who fears losing has already lost.

More infinite moments whisked by, filled with horrific images.  None of it phased her.  None of it mattered.  She had seen worse.

Shouts, cries, pleas rang out around her.  She couldn’t tell who was winning. She pressed deeper into the fray.  Gendry followed.

Their lines were scattered, both the wights and her allies.  Banners stuck up every once and a while, refusing to die.  She set her eyes on a Tully fish waving above the mass, before it was taken down in a mob of dead.

Arya retreated a step, her back against Gendry’s.  “Where?” he asked, shouted in desperation.  He wasn’t scared for himself, Arya knew; he was worried for her.

She quickly swept the field with her eyes, spotting a group of men attempting to regroup.  They were being surrounded and slaughtered.

“Follow me!” She hoped he heard as she charged past mountains of bodies, friends and foes.

She ran.  She dodged.  She killed.  Fear cuts deeper than swords.  She moved faster.  A few of her men started running, the wrong direction. She grabbed one of their chain mails and pulled him along with them. Fear cuts deeper than swords. She kept moving, Gendry by her side, covering her back and everywhere she couldn’t be.  He would never run.

They reached the group and renewed the battle.  Hopeless screams were whipped away by the wind.

An archer stood on the hill, teeth rotting from his head.  His bow was taunt, then it wasn’t.  Another man taken down, shortening their numbers.  He reached back, grabbing another arrow to volley into their midst.

Arya turned, arm reaching out.

She saw a look of horror on Gendry’s face.  His arms reached out as well, but to catch her, to stop her fall to the earth.

Two more screams joined the rest.  Gendry’s was one of them.  The other, she wasn’t sure.  It sounded like a girl’s.

______________________

She woke up greeted by darkness.  A candle was on the table beside her, giving her a glimpse into the tent.  A dark figure was at the foot of her bed, slumped in a chair.

“Gendry?” she asked, and he startled awake, meeting her eyes quickly.

His face broke into a grin.  “You look like shit, m'lady.”

She stuck out her tongue, then pushed herself into a sitting position. Until she fell backwards, groaning.

Gendry shot forward, reaching out to grab her, help her.  “Are you alright?”  His eyebrows were knit together.

“I’m fine, stupid.”  She pushed him away lightly, then propped her arms up behind her.  She heaved herself forward, not making any more progress than before.  Gendry rolled his eyes then wrapped an arm around her, pulling her into a sitting position.

“Stubborn bull,” she mumbled, but didn’t protest anymore than that.  It wouldn’t get her anywhere.

He let her go and pulled the chair closer to the edge of her bed.  “What in seven hells were you thinking?”

Arya glared at him.  “There was an arrow.”

“So?”

“So I jumped in front of it.”

“That’s not what you’re suppose to do when an arrow is coming at ya.”

“You could just say thank you,” Arya retorted, swinging her legs off the edge of the bed and grimacing.

Gendry didn’t look convinced.  “I can take a few more hits than you.”

“And what makes you say that?”  She wasn’t going to let him get away with that.

“I am three times your size, therefore I can take three times the hits.” He smiled smugly at her.  Cheeky arse.

“Well next time, maybe I will let it hit you.”  With that she slid off the bed, and promptly collapsed to the ground, clutching her side.  A wave of pain washed over her.

“Dammit, Arry!”  Gendry looped one of his arms under hers.  And then the other under her legs.

She hit his chest, her side screaming in protest.  “Put me down!”

He just grinned at her.  “Or what?”

“Or I’ll shoot you myself!”  She punched his chest a few more times ignoring the pain, but he didn’t even react.  “I swear it by the old gods and the new, Gendry, I will-”

“Okay, gods!”  He laid her back on the bed.  “Don’t try and get up again then.”  This time he sat on the edge of her bed.  He took a deep breath.  “Now tell me why I couldn’t just take that arrow.”

Arya bit her lip.  “I didn’t-” she stopped.  She tried again.  “I’m tired of losing people.”  He looked at her, eyebrows scrunched together.  She needed him to understand, but she didn’t know how. She flashed back to a moment four years ago, one that changed her whole life.  “I told you that I could be your family.  Did you think I was lying?”

Gendry’s face changed.  His eyes averted.  He looked guilty.  Ashamed.

Arya rushed on.  “I don’t blame you, stupid.  I was just some little girl then.  I thought that if I got back to my mother and brother it would solve everything.  I thought that I could finally have everything.”  She looked down at the bed, studying the pattern on the covers.  “I was being stupid then too.  Like one of Sansa’s stories.”

Arya looked up at him.  He wasn’t looking back still.  She reached out, grabbing his arm.  “But I still don’t want to lose you.”

Gendry looked up at her.  “I shouldn’t have left you like that.  I thought that-” he cut off suddenly, looking anxious.

“Thought what?” she asked, curious.

He ran his fingers through his hair, nervous.  “I thought that if I did go back with you, that—that we’d never see each other.”

Arya’s eyebrows lowered.  “Why would you think that?  I told you that I’m not some lady that would ditch you.”

He met her eyes again.  They were dark, but hopeful.  A small smile played on his lips.  “I know that.  But your mother, from what you said… I mean, I never would have had a chance-”  He cut off again, eyes widening.  “Not like—I wouldn't—I-”

Her mouth had popped open.  He was still talking, still stuttering over his words, trying to take it back, trying not to.  The whole time his eyes aimed at the fur blanket in front of her.

Arya reached higher on his arm, grabbing his shoulder.  He stopped, neck flushed.  His blue eyes met her gray’s again.  Still hopeful.

“Gendry,” she breathed.  “I don’t care where you came from.  I care about who you are, not your parents.  You should think the same.”

They stared at each other for another second.  Hesitant for him, nervous for her.  Then he leaned in.

She had never kissed anyone before.  No one but her siblings or parents cheek or forehead.  This was a lot different.

The world spun around her.  But there was nothing else in the world but them.  The tent could have collapsed, the White Walkers overrunning the country, and she would still be here, with him.

His mouth opened slightly, and she copied him.  He gently grabbed her bottom lip with his teeth, tugging slightly.

Then he pulled away.  Her eyes were still closed.  Her breathing heavy.

When she opened them, she found him staring at her intently.  No, not intently.  Worried.  Worried he’d overstepped.  That he’d misread.

“I’m sorry,” he said suddenly.  “It’s not my place to-”

Arya grabbed his neck and pulled him back in.  Biting his lip like he did to hers.  He groaned, wrapping his hands around her waist.  She groaned as well and he pulled away again.

“Shit, I forgot, sorry,” his eyes darted around her face, in a frenzy.

Arya laughed at his panic, her side aching again.  “Don’t be so stupid next time.”  She shoved him lightly.

Gendry grinned a little, his face lit up.  “Don’t try and protect me next time,” he countered.

“I’ll always protect you,” Arya said.  “You’re family.”

silentstep  asked:

Why was Ned never betrothed to anyone in his youth? + Who would have been a potential match for him, had Rickard and Brandon lived as they expected to?

Well, Ned was only about 18 as of the Tourney at Harrenhal, and men in Westeros often marry much later than girls. (Who may marry after flowering, but far more typically near adulthood at 16.) With Brandon and Lyanna betrothed south, Rickard was probably holding out for something else with Ned… possibly another southern match, if the Southron Ambitions theory is correct. Or possibly Rickard was considering a northern match for Ned, to mollify his bannermen who would have been expecting a Stark for one of their children. (Such as Lord Rodrick Ryswell, who pretty much threw his daughter Barbrey at Brandon, and tried for Ned too.) A second son isn’t as prestigious as the next lord or only daughter, but any Stark is nothing to turn up your nose at. Either way, most likely Rickard was judging all the options, waiting for feedback from his bannermen after Brandon and Lyanna’s weddings, waiting to see how things were going with Mad King Aerys, before deciding to do anything definite with Ned.

So, of southern ladies, there’s lots of possibilities. To match the Stark connections to the Riverlands and Stormlands, a Vale lady could be an option, maybe a Royce or a distant cousin via Jocelyn Stark (Waynwood, Corbray, or Templeton), though Ned’s fostering with Jon Arryn was probably alliance enough. For Dorne, @goodqueenaly​ has a great post about the pros/cons re a marriage to Ashara Dayne re Southron Ambitions, which would apply to other Dornish bannermen too. The Westerlands were being handled by the Tullys at the time, and Tywin would have said hell no for Cersei anyway, and any other house there wouldn’t have been much use. And if SA was trying to reach out to the Reach too, there’s Janna or Mina Tyrell, or maybe a Hightower girl (though not Alerie, she was already married).

But if Rickard was planning on keeping Ned in the North, for balance and bannermen-sweetening (which Barbrey thinks unlikely, but y’know she is slightly paranoid), there’s quite a few northern ladies to list. Though first I should note that Rickard might have considered Barbrey Ryswell damaged goods because of Brandon, and if so it’s possible there weren’t any other sufficiently highborn northern ladies who’d flowered yet, which could also be why there hadn’t been any betrothals made. For example, Sybelle Locke (now Glover) has rather young children now, so it’s probable she would have been way too young at the time. Berena Hornwood’s eldest child was born c.285, so she’s probably a little closer to the right age, but perhaps was still too young for marriage or betrothal back then. Donella Manderly would certainly have been old enough (if not too old), but was probably already married or betrothed to Halys Hornwood. Jonelle Cerwyn would actually have been just the right age (14, in 281) for betrothal at least, though she’s “plump and homely” so maybe Rickard thought she wasn’t good enough.  And Bethany Ryswell was also married already (Domeric Bolton was born c.281 or before that), as was the unnamed Glover girl (married to Jorah Mormont). After them… um… Leona Woolfield (now Manderly)? Nope, the Woolfields are likely sworn to the Manderlys, and therefore not a house high enough for Ned, or for Rickard’s plans rather. Jyana Reed (whatever her maiden name might be) would also likely be not quite highborn enough as she’s a crannogwoman from a house sworn to the Reeds. And, well, that’s it for named Northern ladies – there would have been others, I’m sure, in the mountain clans and in the rest of the North, but I don’t know their names so I can’t judge their matchability.

Anyway, there’s a nice list of possibilities for Ned for you. Hope that helps!

Five Unfounded Assumptions the Arianne/Aegon Speculators Make

There are lots of people on the internet who enjoy speculating about where the story of A Song of Ice and Fire is going. There are some terrifyingly elaborate theories out there with books worth of support behind them. Yes, there is a tiny group of speculators who seem convinced that they have it all figure out. That they’re cracked the code and if GRRM were to drop dead tomorrow they would be able to finish the novels for him because they’ve got it all figured out, but the vast majority of people who enjoy speculating are reasonable people who see this as a way to engage with the material. And yeah, it is. It’s not for me, but I can see the appeal. 

I myself, don’t think I have any particular insight into where the story is going. I can see how some things might be seeded and foreshadowed but it’s never really any better than a guess, and I’ve always had a kind of live and let live attitude towards speculation.

But there’s one thing….

I don’t know where this idea, that Arianne would marry The Prince Formerly Known as Young Griff, started exactly. I don’t know who added the almost universal element that she’ll do it because she’s so ambitious and reckless and she wants to one-up her brother. I certainly have no idea how this idea came to be seen as, like, an obvious forgone conclusion in a very large part of the fandom. 

I’m not going to link anything because I don’t want to pick on people but in many places, Arianne/Aegon is used as a foundational assumption rather than a speculation in itself. “We all know Arianne is going to marry Aegon,” “so obviously, Arianne is going to try to seduce Aegon,” “after the Dornish join the CG and Aegon and Arianne marry”…  Sometimes there are fun variations, like Aegon going for Elia Sand instead (and Arianne murdering her for it… true story). Sometimes the alliance falls through because he rejects her and she gets all huffy… But, yeah, this idea that Arianne is out be Aegon’s queen is EVERYWHERE.

And I just don’t get it.

I mean, I know that I’m a complete Dorne fangirl and Arianne is my imaginary girlfriend, but what about her arc in A Feast for Crows make people think she’s going to act this way?

And let me be clear, I’m not saying it’s not going to happen. I can imagine circumstances where this development (that is, Arianne marrying Aegon and giving up on ruling Dorne) might be motivated. I don’t think it’s any more likely than a dozen other options, but it’s not impossible. I’m quite sure that it’s completely OOC of her to do this because she’s out for herself, but that’s another matter. I don’t pretend to know what will happen, I just can’t help but notice some very common assumptions that people tend to make around this topic that are, in my deeply considered opinion, (and I’ve looked VERY closely at this chapter) completely unjustified.

And let me be clear again, not everyone who speculates about Arianne and Aegon makes all or even most of these assumptions. But there are several common elements. And most of them seem to be born of a deep misunderstanding of Arianne’s character, and her arc in aFfC.

1. That Arianne regrets that she missed out on being queen

“Arianne wants to be queen” is one of those things that people keep stating as though it were a matter of fact that makes me question my sanity, because I just don’t see it.

There are two passages that people point to when they say this, both from her spoiler chapter:

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The Stranger (Unrelated To Arya)

Arya fits in with the Father most, followed by the Warrior and the Maiden (especially given recent chapters, but people like to ignore the sexuality/puberty aspect of Arya’s chapters.) Those all fit her very well if we’re going to try and connect her with one of the Seven at all. 

The problem with the Stranger is it is everything Arya’s not. To think she corresponds at all with the Stranger is to ignore the majority of Arya’s characterization and all of her motives.

The Father passes judgement, administers justice. The Warrior fights to the end. The Stranger is a completely cold, uncaring, out-of-society nonperson who takes lives because that’s it’s purpose, because that’s the way of the world, not because of any belief someone deserves to die or even thirst for death. The Stranger doesn’t decide, doesn’t pass judgements- that’s the Father- which is why I’m constantly baffled by this idea that Arya has anything in common with the Stranger.

The Kindly Man wishes! She’s literally failing her Faceless Men training because she can’t be an “instrument of death/god” like the Stranger. She plays the Father/Warrior too often. It really seems to be that people don’t understand what the Stranger represents when they act like there’s some connection between Arya and the Stranger. 

Ilyn Payne, Kindly Man, debatably bodyguards/slaves/King’s Justice/Kingsguard, anyone who is a tool rather than acting on their own impulses. And even then that’s a stretch (except maybe the Kindly Man) because people can’t separate their desires from their actions to do that all the time (hello Jaime Lannister, couldn’t stay the tool given the knowledge he had about Aerys and what was to come.) 

“He was ever the Imp’s creature. Only the Stranger knows how many men he’s sent to hell at Tyrion’s behest.” Cersei, AFFC

“At Tyrion’s behest” because the Stranger doesn’t choose, doesn’t work that way. The judgements, the decisions to execute or kill, they’re done by the Warriors and the Fathers. The Stranger is just a representation. It’s kind of like the messenger of death in some ways.

Best yet, why don’t people use the Silent Sisters because they actually are connected with the Stranger in a big way.

“it’s said they are the Stranger’s wives, and their female parts are cold and wet as ice.”  Creighton in Brienne, AFFC

The Silent Sisters don’t kill people, they just collect the bodies. Why would they be associated with the Stranger? Because the Stranger has nothing to do with killing.

Saying the Stranger represents death is misleading. It does, but it doesn’t really represent killing. Killing is a human action, it’s an act serving some purpose (even if just insanity.) The Stranger isn’t that. It isn’t even human really unlike the rest of the gods:

…even the Stranger, carved to look more animal than humanDavos, ACoK

And the seventh face… the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes. Catelyn, ACoK

there were even a few flames dancing below the Stranger’s halfhuman face. Sansa, ACoK

The Stranger in the shadows, his half-human face concealed beneath a hooded mantle. Jaime, AFFC

The Stranger represents Death in the sense of being a Grim Reaper type of figure. 

One day she must light a candle to the Stranger for carrying Renly off and leaving Stannis. Cersei, AFFC

“I anticipate no difficulty. The Crone will light our way, and the Warrior will give strength to our arms.”
Or else the Stranger will turn up for the whole holy lot of you…

The Stranger might have made off with the Goat before Jaime could get around to him, but fat Zollo was still out there, with Shagwell, Rorge, Faithful Urswyck, and the rest.  Jaime, AFFC

“It is too late to go running back. The Stranger waits outside my door and will not be denied.” Aemon in Sam, AFFC

If you switched the Stranger with “Grim Reaper” in the above lines, it would make sense for most modern societies (the ones who know what that is.) It’s the purest representation of death in that there is no drive, no human motive, nothing to be explained, rationalized, or understood. It’s a force. It is literally referred to as being the kiss of death at times.

“I promise you, she will be singing to the Stranger, begging for his kiss.” Cersei, AFFC

It’s not human, it’s “unknown and unknowable”. When people talk about the Stranger, it’s like some death force. It’s oddly the most god-like of the Seven gods. 

“And I swear it by the Stranger, may he take me now if I am false.”. Brienne, AFFC

The best way to simplify the Stranger is to say that it is the transportation to the underworld/heaven or hell. It doesn’t kill you, it plays no part in your death, but when it shows up, you know you’ve died. 

It represents death, it doesn’t cause it. 

So to say most any human character- especially one as passionate and opinionated as Arya- represents the Stranger misses the meaning.

ser-lorass  asked:

So we know your thoughts on R+L=J but what about R+L = J+M? They are the same age, she could be the third head (Though not what R planned). Her book description is similar to Arya, who we know looks the closest to Jon.

Hi ser-lorass! I’m responding to you, and to aplyflwynd, baasovlov, and staybadassmissjackson, who all sent in asks on this subject. I’m also addressing this answer to huffingtonpost/huffposttv, whose wonderful little article is the reason why I’ve received 4 asks on this subject in less than 36 hours.

The theory: R+L=J+M – that Jon Snow is not the son of Ned Stark and some unknown woman, but actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark… but Lyanna didn’t just have one child, she had twins! Jon and Meera Reed are twins, just like Luke and Leia!!! Oh my god, this changes everything!!!!!

The evidence: Looks.

HuffPo posted some pictures of Kit Harington and Ellie Kendrick, the actors who play Jon and Meera (respectively) on Game of Thrones, and says they look alike. Um, sure. Maybe they might, a little. (If you ignore bone structure, facial shape, eye shape, jaw shape, nose shape, lip shape, everything except for the fact they both have dark curly hair.) But the show is the show, and we can note that Arya and Jon are supposed to look extremely alike, as well as Ned and Jon, and yet… they don’t. Not to mention the fact that Bran and Rickon are supposed to all be auburn-haired and have the same face shape as Robb and Sansa and their mother Catelyn… and yet, on the show, they don’t. The show’s casting doesn’t prove anything, sorry.

But “Meera looks like Arya in the books”, you say! No, not really. Bran’s narrative says she reminds him of Arya. (So does one of the Children of the Forest, note.) And this is the reason why:

Jojen was so solemn that Old Nan called him “little grandfather,” but Meera reminded Bran of his sister Arya. She wasn’t scared to get dirty, and she could run and fight and throw as good as a boy.

A Clash of Kings, Bran IV

However, this is what Meera actually looks like:

As the newcomers walked the length of the hall, Bran saw that one was indeed a girl, though he would never have known it by her dress. She wore lambskin breeches soft with long use, and a sleeveless jerkin armored in bronze scales. Though near Robb’s age, she was slim as a boy, with long brown hair knotted behind her head and only the barest suggestion of breasts. A woven net hung from one slim hip, a long bronze knife from the other; under her arm she carried an old iron greathelm spotted with rust; a frog spear and round leathern shield were strapped to her back.
Her brother was several years younger and bore no weapons. All his garb was green, even to the leather of his boots, and when he came closer Bran saw that his eyes were the color of moss, though his teeth looked as white as anyone else’s. Both Reeds were slight of build, slender as swords and scarcely taller than Bran himself.

A Clash of Kings, Bran III

Meera Reed was sixteen, a woman grown, but she stood no higher than her brother. All the crannogmen were small, she told Bran once when he asked why she wasn’t taller. Brown-haired, green-eyed, and flat as a boy, she walked with a supple grace that Bran could only watch and envy.

A Storm of Swords, Bran I

Please note that not only is Meera very short for her age (barely taller than an 8-year-old boy), because she’s a crannogwoman, but she also looks much like her brother Jojen, with the same height, the same brown hair and green eyes. Funny, you’d think that if Meera were Rhaegar and Lyanna’s child, she should look like at least one of her parents. (They don’t have contacts in Westeros.)

Jon Snow, however:

Jon’s eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black… –A Game of Thrones, Bran I

[Ned] had a grim cast to his grey eyes this day… A Game of Thrones, Bran I

Arya had her father’s eyes, the grey eyes of the Starks. –A Dance with Dragons, Reek (Theon) II

[Arya] even looked like Jon, with the long face and brown hair of the Starks, and nothing of their lady mother in her face or her coloring. A Game of Thrones, Sansa I

And her betrothed [Brandon] looked at her with the cool grey eyes of a Stark and promised to spare the boy who loved her. –A Clash of Kings, Catelyn VII

The evidence: Age

Shocker! Meera and Jon are the same age! (Both 16-17 years old as of ADWD, both born in 283 AC.) Well gosh oh golly oh wow, you got me there. But you have to pity poor Lyanna, because guess who else was born in 283:

No wonder Lyanna died in childbirth, having undecuplets is really hard on a woman. :(

The evidence: Themes. Oh, this one isn’t even worth talking about, but you remember Romulus and Remus, right? The founders of Rome? They were twins, nursed by a she-wolf! Surely that means Lyanna the Stark she-wolf had twins! And because Jon Snow and Meera Reed are just like Romulus and Remus! I greatly look forward to the scene where Jon and Meera build a city together and then he kills her. Truly, that will be some of GRRM’s finest writing.

But enough about this “evidence”. Let’s talk real proof.

One of the best run-downs of the evidence for Jon Snow’s parentage is here. It’s my favorite link for proof of R+L=J, because it lists all the quotes in the narrative that lead to this conclusion. (Although since it’s a pre-ADWD list, it doesn’t have some of the most recent evidence, but it’s still great.) If you follow the link, you’ll see some of the most significant quotes are from Ned Stark’s narrative. Notably, when Ned is speaking with Cersei, he does not list Jon as one of his children:

“You love your children, do you not?”
Robert had asked him the very same question, the morning of the melee. He gave her the same answer. “With all my heart.”
“No less do I love mine.”
Ned thought, If it came to that, the life of some child I did not know, against Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon, what would I do? Even more so, what would Catelyn do, if it were Jon’s life, against the children of her body? He did not know. He prayed he never would.

A Game of Thrones, Eddard XII

And when he’s in the dungeons, with his regrets:

The thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, and a sorrow too deep for words. If only he could see the boy again, sit and talk with him…

A Game of Thrones, Eddard XV

People who believe in the R+L=J theory feel that in this scene Ned is deeply regretting that he has never told Jon Snow the truth about his mother. How interesting, then, that it doesn’t include the line “And if only he could see Meera Reed, sit and talk with her…”

In fact, Ned never once thinks of Meera Reed at all. Take a look for yourself. He does think of Howland Reed a few times, but never about Howland’s children. You would think, if there were any truth to the idea that Lyanna had twins, and made Ned promise to keep her son safe and raise him as his bastard and never tell him about his parentage, but give her daughter away to be raised by someone else (because that makes sense), there’d be some part of Ned’s narrative that would lead to this conclusion. Something about Howland protecting the gift Ned had given him, perhaps. Anything. Any textual evidence of any kind.

Well, there isn’t any. Because this theory is crap, and entirely baseless, with nothing but the coincidence of age and two actors with brown curly hair. Oh, and an idea stolen from movie series that, y’know, is popular and had a heck of a twist that was not that much of a reveal because Leia is the only female character of any substance in the original trilogy… ahem… hey, that is something, isn’t it? If ASOIAF was really leading to some huge reveal about Meera being Jon’s sister, you’d think that Meera would be at least as important a character as Jon? But though I do love her, she really really isn’t; Meera’s a supporting character in Bran’s story, and that’s all. Meera is Howland Reed and his wife Jyana’s daughter, and Jojen’s sister, and that’s all.

(Oh, and Meera’s mother isn’t Ashara Dayne. And Jyana isn’t Lyanna. And Howland isn’t Arthur Dayne. And Howland isn’t the High Sparrow. And Wylla Manderly isn’t Jon’s real twin sister. And Dany isn’t Jon’s twin sister/Lyanna’s real secret child either. You know, this fandom has way too much time on its hands.)

A Defense of Tyrion’s ADWD Storyline, Part 7: Well Trained For Your Amusement

Series so far here

And then all of a sudden, it’s a comedy. 

“And one,” said a crone in a violet tokar. The auctioneer gave her a sour look but did not disallow the bid.

“Eight hundred.”

“And fifty.”

“And one.”

“One thousand,” bid the grotesque fat man.

“And one.” The crone again.

“Thirteen hundred.”

“And one.” The crone.

“Who will give me one hundred?” cried the auctioneer.

That drew a bid at last, though it was only fifty silvers. The bidder was a thin man in a leather apron.

“And one,” said the crone in the violet tokar.

The overseer squinted at the auction block. “Him?” The bidding for Jorah Mormont had reached two hundred silvers.

“And one,” said the crone in the violet tokar.

Our heroes are at the mercy of the Wise Masters of Yunkai: the driving villains of the Meereenese Knot, the seething defenders of privilege looming outside Dany’s walls, threatening to kill her and her dragons and clap her people back in chains…and it turns out they’re a bunch of vain petty useless self-aggrandizing idiots! 

Most of the guests paid them no more mind than they did the other slaves…but one Yunkishman declared drunkenly that Yezzan should make the two dwarfs fuck, and another demanded to know how Tyrion had lost his nose. I shoved it up your wife’s cunt and she bit it off, he almost replied…but the storm had persuaded him that he did not want to die as yet, so instead he said, “It was cut off to punish me for insolence, lord.”

Then a lord in a blue tokar fringed with tiger’s eyes recalled that Tyrion had boasted of his skill at cyvasse on the auction block. “Let us put him to the test,” he said. A table and set of pieces was duly produced. A scant few moments later, the red-faced lord shoved the table over in fury, scattering the pieces across the carpets to the sound of Yunkish laughter.

The Yunkish suck. At everything. All the time. It’s great. It so beautifully undercuts their entire festering ideology, because that’s based on their ostensible supremacy, but I–just–

“Have the Yunkishmen chosen a new commander?”

“The council of masters has been unable to agree. Yezzan zo Qaggaz had the most support, but now he’s died as well. The Wise Masters are rotating the supreme command amongst themselves. Today our leader is the one your friends in the ranks dubbed the Drunken Conqueror. On the morrow, it will be Lord Wobblecheeks.”

“The Rabbit,” said Meris. “Wobblecheeks was yesterday.”

“I stand corrected, my sweetling. Our Yunkish friends were kind enough to provide us with a chart. I must strive to be more assiduous about consulting it.”

Other than every single thing Balon Greyjoy does, that may be the worst idea I have heard in the series so far. And the way the sellswords describe it made me laugh until my jaw hurt (the nicknames oh my god). Hell, the Yunkish lords barely even pulled off the march to Meereen, which, y’know, Bataan Death March that ain’t. And then they get there, and some get trampled at the Pit, and a lot more die horribly of disease, and the rest are going to have their blood spilled across the opening pages of TWOW by Barristan, Victarion, the Unsullied, the Windblown, the Second Sons…basically everybody is going to kill them all at once, and I cannot wait. (Ironborn reavers fighting Yunkish slavers! Whoever dies, hooray for humanity, and feed the corpses to the dragons! God, I love the Battle of Fire. It’s the gloriously cynical mushroom-cloud climax to Tyrion’s ADWD storyline: everyone in Essos killing each other while he watches and snarks.) 

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Post - BotB...JonxReader

Imagine helping Jon clean up after the Battle of the Bastards.

((Saw this idea floating around and…well…here ya go. I got carried away. SORRY if Jon’s a little ooc. I’m out of practice writing for him.))

Word Count: 2,532

WARNING: SMUTTY times staring about half way through.

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So you think R + L = J is "too obvious"...?

Hello! So, I’ve had a lot of meta thoughts before on similar topics and I’ve been thinking for a while I should start to collect my thoughts/words so people can easily find them/ask me other questions too :) And well, this one thing kept popping up when I started looking to write down my personal view of R+L=J. And then a guy in real life told me it was ‘so obvious’ that he really didn’t want it to happen now because it would be 'cliche’ and my palm hit my forehead, so I thought I’d write out my response.

For those (who are GOT /ASOIAF fans) who are unfamiliar with it, please check either westeros.org’s citadel or nobodysuspectsthebutterfly’s tag “r+l=j” – but otherwise, further discussion on why this is a … misguided statement to make, will be below the cut! (Because I’m a teensy bit wordy.) 

Short answer? It’s not obvious, it’s obvious to you because you’ve analyzed the text/read other fantasy novels/read the theory all neatly packaged together for you online/saw videos of it/read fanfiction of it and it's become obvious to you. That doesn’t make it cliche, it makes it make sense. Pat yourself on the back though, because you did a good job!! :) 

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riana-one  asked:

On your earlier Cersei question, what should or could she do to secure her son and power base (if you were her) against the Tyrells?

If I were Cersei I wouldn’t remotely be in this situation in the first place. I’m not an ambitious person, I’m not a jealous person, and I’m not really politically oriented. (Not to mention all of Cersei’s other problems, they obviously just don’t apply.) Honestly, if I woke up and found myself in Cersei’s body at the start of AFFC, I’d just take Kevan’s offer – give him the Regency and head home to Casterly Rock and be the ruling lady there – because I don’t want to deal with conflict, and I don’t like the politics of King’s Landing, and I don’t care if the Tyrells get power. I’d be much more confident on a lower more personal level, trying to rebuild the Westerlands after the Wot5K, trying rebuild the Lannisters’ reputation and my own (fairly improbable but it’s worth a shot).

But that’s me, that’s not Cersei. This is Cersei:

The rule was hers; Cersei did not mean to give it up until Tommen came of age. I waited, 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. If Margaery Tyrell thinks to cheat me of my hour in the sun, she had bloody well think again.   

So I’m really not sure how you can start with these principles:

  • Cersei is Queen Regent and will not give away that power to anyone else
  • Cersei wants Tommen to be safe and secure, but also wants him to grow up to be a powerful forthright ruler (like how she idealizes Tywin)
  • Cersei wants House Lannister to succeed above all others, especially House Tyrell, and will not give an inch if she can help it
  • Cersei doesn’t trust the Tyrells (and is actually justified in this distrust despite everyone else’s doubts of her distrust)
  • However, Cersei can’t just get rid of the Tyrells, because she does need their money, army, food supplies, and especially their PR abilities (which is why her eventual plan for removing Margaery included ruining her reputation)
  • Cersei doesn’t have many capable and trustworthy allies… or at least none who will let her do as she pleases if she gives them equivalent royal power (e.g. Kevan or Jaime or various others)
  • The Tyrells want to take every bit of power that they can (remember that when Kevan made Mace Hand, Mace showed up to the Small Council that very day with a hand-shaped oaken throne. That wasn’t made in a day, tyvm), and would be pleased to push all the Lannisters out of power if they could
  • While the Lannisters hold the royal “Baratheon” power in the first place because of murder, an illegal coup, and treacherous incestuous adultery, the Tyrells have also proven themselves willing to commit murder and framing innocent parties for a stronger hold on the throne

…and find any sort of feasible political process. The only point both Cersei Lannister and the Tyrells are willing to agree on is that Tommen is king and his legitimacy cannot be questioned – otherwise Cersei cannot remain Queen Regent nor can Margaery be Queen – so threats like Stannis’s letter (and army) and the like must be defended against. But other than that? There’s too many fundamental conflicts here.

But, fine, fine. Say you’re Cersei now (haha, she’s your problem not mine), what do you do? Jaime has irritatingly refused to be Hand, Kevan won’t be Hand unless you give him the Regency too. If you appoint a Lannister bannerman Hand who’d be good at his job (like Roland Crakehall or Forley Prester), you’re not going to be as powerful a regent, so it’s not something you’d like. You can’t be Hand yourself because, idk, sexism. (Why GRRM has a political system where a woman can control the king in every political way as his regent, but can’t be the king’s most powerful political advisor, I have no idea.) You don’t trust the Grand Maester because… I dunno, you think he sucks at his job. You don’t trust the Tyrells on the Small Council – Lord Mace, Mathis Rowan, or Paxter Redwyne (master of ships). Your only advisor you think is any good is the former master of coin, Petyr Baelish, and he’s off in the Vale trying to keep power as regent to its boy-lord. If you demand he comes and helps you in King’s Landing, you’re going to lose control over there. You’re also going to gain a council member you don’t know that you really shouldn’t trust and who will actually be working against you, so that’s honestly not a good choice either. If you look to your future in-laws the Martells to be your allies (since they don’t particularly like the Tyrells either), you don’t know that’s another group who will be secretly working against you and trying to bring you down.

So, frankly, given the options of capitulating to the Tyrells and letting them have the power they want (which is what Tywin did after the Battle of the Blackwater, and Kevan did after Cersei’s arrest, and neither of them liked it very much)… or appointing a Hand who will decrease your power as regent… or trading control of the Vale for a snake in your bosom… or bringing in even more poisonous (sand) snakes… you’re pretty much screwed. Sucks to be Cersei, doesn’t it?

But, like I said, I’m not the most politically oriented person. Maybe there’s something I haven’t thought of here, some method of giving away power but retaining it at the same time… idk, something in The Art of War or Machiavelli that I wouldn’t even know applies here. For that, I’d again suggest @warsofasoiaf or @racefortheironthrone (or @goodqueenaly for general understanding of queens or @joannalannister for general understanding of Lannisters or @poorquentyn for general inventiveness) and see if they’ve got any solution to Cersei’s Catch-22. Although whatever it is, I’m sure it involves making Cersei not be Cersei, and that’s an even harder job than solving her problem, I think.

edralis  asked:

Hi! Could you perhaps share your thoughts on the topic of Stannis' sexuality? Primarily as pertains to Melisandre. (How did it even come to happen, the first time? And what exactly has their relationship evolved into overtime? And how does Stannis think about it - is he conflicted about it?) I ponder their dynamic for years, and I have gotten some great responses from a few asoiaf scholars, but it remains a mystery to me. Thanks!

Hiya! So this is necessarily speculative, and just my headcanon, nothing more.

I don’t think Stannis is asexual, but is deliberately celibate. Partially, I think this is due to a general discomfort with showing vulnerability, losing composure, and giving oneself over to empathy; IMO the best sex comes from feeling your partner’s pleasure almost as strongly as if it was your own (and feeling them feel your pleasure, and so on), and Stannis prefers quieter and subtler ways of empathizing, ones that don’t require a response. Stannis communicates to Davos that he loves him more than once, but it’s always in the form of a monologue, and Davos’ job is to sit there, shut up, and look pleased.

Partially, I think it’s also a reaction to Robert, as with so much else about Stannis; we see that in our very first moments with the man.

His brother, the late King Robert, had grown a beard in his final years. Maester Cressen had never seen it, but they said it was a wild thing, thick and fierce. As if in answer, Stannis kept his own whiskers cropped tight and short.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Stannis’ proposal to outlaw whoring in King’s Landing was an extremely heavy-handed and misguided attempt to get Robert specifically to stop visiting prostitutes, and maybe also stop drinking and being so sad and gross and start ruling the kingdom like your best self, because Stannis loved him, no matter what he had Pylos put in that letter.

“I have no doubt that Cersei had a hand in Robert’s death. I will have justice for him.”

Or, to put it another way: “I did love him, Davos. I know that now.”

And partially, I think it’s because Stannis very very much prefers to be alone; even Davos often rides his nerves, not really by doing anything, just by being in the room. He’s in his version of a good mood (still grim and grouchy compared to anyone else) in Theon’s released TWOW chapter because he’s seeing a stream of people, and so doesn’t have to tolerate any one of them for very long. (Which suggests he could actually do a great job at holding court, despite again the inability/unwillingness to perform empathy.)

So how does Melisandre become an exception? Well, her anointing him as the messiah on the one hand removes any vulnerability on his part, and on the other oddly enough kinda bakes loss-of-composure in to the cake, diminishing the obstacle for her. In my headcanon, Mel assumes such an immediate intimacy with Stannis that she kinda disarms his defenses. Her otherworldliness also counters his desire for solitude, as Mel deliberately cultivates the impression of being more a vessel for her god than a discrete individual (which is why it was such a good idea to make her a POV, thus humanizing her). I think the show, for all they botched both Stannis and Mel (they did a little better by Davos), was trying to get at this aspect of their dynamic when Stannis tells Davos “we are alone” even as the camera confirms that Mel is, in fact, standing right next to him. (A super creepy moment, very well performed and captured; credit where credit is due.)

Now, I’ve also always thought that part of the reason Stannis slept with Melisandre is that she was such a stranger to his world, with no connections there besides him, that what goes on in their tent could feel self-contained, almost on a different plane from the rest of his world…like a dream, and I think it’s this compartmentalization that led him to his denial RE killing Renly via the shadowbaby created during said sex. I think Stannis mentally separates their relationship from every other part of his life, acting like the former doesn’t impact the latter, which is very very dangerous. IMO he won’t be able to keep that up forever, especially when it comes to Shireen.