westeros sorting

wendynerd-deactivated20170511  asked:

Do you think there was a point where Cersei suspected Ned of being the Valonquar? He was Brandon's little brother, his daughter was slated to be Joffrey's queen, his possible future grandchildren and investigations could potentially motivate him to wipe out her and her children, he was Jon Arryn's protege, like a brother to Robert, there was bad blood between the Starks and Lannisters beforehand which only got worse, and one of the wolves DID bite Joffrey.

I don’t think so. It’s my impression that Cersei has always believed the valonqar to be Tyrion. The first time we’re introduced to that word in the text it’s Cersei referring to my valonqar, like, “my twisted little brother Tyrion” 

Her dwarf brother was down in the black cells, condemned to die this very day. […] I will be the one laughing, come dusk. My children will be safe, Tommen’s throne will be secure, and my twisted little valonqar will be short a head and rotting.” (AFFC)

I think it’s interesting how GRRM uses dramatic irony in this passage, like, Cersei believes Tyrion is still imprisoned and awaiting execution, while readers had known for years that Tyrion escaped at the end of ASOS. Which is the same thing I think GRRM is doing with the valonqar prophecy, where Cersei believes the valonqar is Tyrion, while readers know it’s Jaime. 

Anyways, from the moment Cersei heard the prophecy, she associated the valonqar with a monster:

“What is a valonqar? Some monster?” The golden girl did not like that foretelling. 

And Tyrion has repeatedly been referred to as a monster since he was born:

“The gods cannot abide such arrogance. They have plucked a fair flower from [Tywin’s] hand and given him a monster in her place, to teach him some humility at last.”

And on another level, like … if a witch tells you a prophecy like “Uncle will kill you on your 21st birthday” … it seems a little strange to me to start suspecting everyone in the world who could be an uncle. How it works is you start looking askance at your own uncles, because you are the subject of the prophecy, and it’s about your own familial relationships. 

So when Maggy tells Cersei, like, Little brother will murder you, I believe Cersei only ever thought of Tyrion, forgetting that Jaime is also her younger brother, because “she taught me never to trust anyone but Jaime.” Given how large family sizes typically are in Westeros, the prophecy sort of becomes meaningless if Cersei believes it could be anyone’s little brother, even Ned. Cersei didn’t seem paranoid in AGOT that the whole world was out to murder her. 

I do believe that the YMBQ is an evolving concept in Cersei’s mind, from Sansa to Margaery, and then in TWOW I believe she’ll suspect Arianne (who may actually be crowned Aegon’s queen), until finally Dany arrives, “The younger queen whose coming [Maggy]’d foretold”. (I don’t believe Arianne carries as much narrative weight as Daenerys, and the way the prophecy is referred to makes me associate it with the other messianic prophecies fortelling Dany’s arrival. What sets it apart is that Maggy’s prophecy is a messianic prophecy heard by a villain instead of a hero, predicting the villain’s downfall.)

But I think Cersei has always believed the valonqar was Tyrion. Perhaps other people believe differently though?

Westerosi dialects (or lack thereof)

Doesn’t it strike you that Margery Tyrell from Highgarden has the same accent as Lysa Tully from Riverrun? Why does Brienne of Tarth speak in the same way as Balon Greyjoy from Pyke? 

For a continent that is allegedly as big as South America, there seems to only be three variants which I call Northern (From above the Neck to Beyond-the-Wall), Central (The Neck to the Arbor) and Southern (Dorne). [From time to time, I will use phonetic symbols but that won’t prevent you from understanding. More on phonetics on Wikipedia ]

Northern Westerosi is very much like stereotypical Northern English, Central Westerosi is Received Pronunciation/BBC English and Southern Westerosi betrays a Hispanic influence. And that’s it. We’ve heard a lot of characters speak but few accents in comparison. 

From there, you have two solutions; the extra-diegetic one: it’s a complex task to portray that many accents on TV shows. You have to find people with the desired  accents or the actors who can emulate easily accents that aren’t theirs (E.g.: Jack Gleeson, from Ireland, has an exquisite upper-class British accent).

And then, you have the intra-diegetic one: a solution is rooted in the history of the Realm: the North and Dorne are perhaps amongst the Seven, the ones with the strongest regional/national identity. The North might be the most linguistically static. The North stood its ground against the Andal invaders and there was no mix of populations. The blood of the First Men did not mix. Even during Aegon’s Conquest, there may have been very few contacts because no army clashed, no farmer left their abode. Peoples stayed on each side of The Neck. The North is conservative.

Dorne is quite similar, for it took a very long time to bring the last kingdom into the Realm. Aegon didn’t succeed in invading and the Dornish membership is rather recent. With continuous tensions with the Stormlands and the Reach, very few willful contacts with outsiders. One last major aspect is the massive immigration of Rhoynars from Essos. We learn that the Dornishmen and the Rhoynars blended in perfectly on the political and cultural aspects. Very likely, their language bears traces of Rhoynish influence.

On the other hand, the Stormlands, the Reach, the Vale, the Riverlands were tied together more tightly and before the North and Dorne. With nothing to stop the dragonlords’ armies, Aegon imposed a linguistic imperialism on Westeros thus makings a sort of unified Central Westerosi. No cannogs, no desert, no mountains to divide the dialect. Every lord must have followed the linguistic model imposed from King’s Landing to give birth to dialectal unity. 

The Iron Islands remain a problem I will deal with later. 

anonymous asked:

The show's response about Stannis killing Shireen because he's ambitious is laughable to say the least. Cersei, one of the most ambitious characters in Westeros who clings to power as hard as she can, would burn to the ground anyone that would dare to even mention killing her children in front of her. This has nothing to do with ambition! This only makes Stannis look idiotic and unsympathetic.

Agreed, anon, you are spot on, in my humble opinion! It’s not only out of character (not only for book!Stannis, but for show!Stannis as well), but it’s also quite the stupid move. Also, you are so right, the point to Stannis as a character is duty: if something like this happens in the books (I’ve speculated several times how I think Melisandre is a big danger for Shireen in the books as well, though I have a hard time picturing Stannis agreeing to any of this), it wouldn’t be born out of ambition, but duty. Not to win a stupid battle, not due to bad weather and lack of resources (seriously, the man resisted a siege that lasted a year when he was, what, 17? And he’s one of the best military strategists in Westeros?), but some sort of greater good –a Nissa Nissa kind of scenario. I still have big doubts that he’ll play a role in her death at all, but if he does (and it’s such a big IF for me, that I can’t quite picture it), damn, it won’t be for a freaking battle that leads him anywhere!

I’m starting to think that was exactly the point? So, if Brienne kills him, we won’t feel bad for him/blame her? Or make us more sympathetic towards Dany? I have no idea anymore, but I happen to prefer narratives who don’t tell me who are the bad and good guys, and allow me to have deep conflicts when it comes to rooting for this or that character.