wolf motif

She should be more frightened herself, she knew. She was only ten, a skinny girl on a stolen horse with a dark forest ahead of her and men behind who would gladly cut off her feet. Yet somehow she felt calmer than she ever had in Harrenhal. The rain had washed the guard’s blood off her fingers, she wore a sword across her back, wolves were prowling through the dark like lean grey shadows, and Arya Stark was unafraid. (ASOS)

i have always loved this quote so much. the imagery! the symbolism! the emotion! the drama! arya feels almost calm even though she’s in a forest, at night, being pursued by some of the biggest monsters in westeros. she’s very self aware of her weaknesses in this situation. she recognizes her vulnerabilities which is a real character strength imo. but all the same arya feels at ease and theres a real sense of power coming from her in this chapter. she’s in her element. for many forests are scary, dark, godless places. most societies dont like the wilds. but arya’s own culture revolves around it. for her the forest is a shelter. its also a place where she can be herself. thats a recurring theme in her storyline.

and i think on some level arya knows? understands? feels? that she’s actually safe in the forest. esp this one where nymeria - and therefore arya - rules. inside the stone walls of harrenhal arya was a vulnerable prisoner who could be abused or killed. she was essentially in a cage. she escapes that cage and returns to the wilds - where she’s protected. when those men come after arya, in her territory, she hunts them down and tears them to pieces. 

which is a perfect follow up to arya’s previous chapter in ACOK. at the end of that one the old gods remind her that arya of winterfell, that she belongs in the north and that she has the wolf blood. the wild is literally calling her back (as they are in twow too) so when is in the woods with the wolves she feels confident in herself and her identity. “and arya stark was unafraid”!!!!! hard emphasis on her full name tbh. and the old gods protect her.  the direwolves were gifts from the gods - to protect and guide the starklings - and thats exactly what they do. but they are nature gods and thats where their power is found; in the trees and rivers and animals. they were able to speak to arya within the walls of harrenal - which is miraculous in itself - but to truly tap into that power she needs to be in the wild. 


To clarify, i have no problem with Bigby and Were-McCree looking so much alike.
(idea of Han-Snow from @welcometoicee‘s tag on the post)

“It is curious to find the wolf as a character in children’s literature, for all wolves in literature are creations of adult minds, that is, of adult fears, adult fantasies, adult allegories, and adult perversions.” Of Wolves and Men

all six stark children are born with the ability to become wargs and were each bonded to a direwolf but its the youngest, arya bran and rickon, who most fully embrace their gifts. i think theres a lot of factors that go into this but chief among them is social conventions. the older three, robb jon and sansa, are more bound by their roles as king lord commander and lady respectively. they believe they have to act a certain way and in doing so reject their wolves. they also buy into societies fears of wolves; they’re dangerous, people are afraid of them  and they dont belong among men. the core of their identities is in direct contrast with the wolf within and something is always lost as a result:

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The Red Keep Under the Targaryen Restoration:

  • Immediately after the Battle of the Dawn, the royals didn’t live in the Red Keep because it was still being held by a last contingent of Lannister forces; instead they stayed in one of the wealthiest inns in the city with their servants and councillors (later dubbed the Dragons’ Inn)
  • Neither of them really liked King’s Landing; they found it hot, crowded, and smelly. For a time they briefly considered making the royal residence at Dragonstone instead
  • They made extensive repairs on King’s Landing-they redid nearly all of Flea Bottom and worked very hard to cut down on the city’s poverty through job creation and affordable housing. Within the first decade of their rule the rate of homeless and unemployed went down by nearly 35%. The city would never be their favorite, but in time they did grow to care for it
  • But they did plan a complete overhaul of the Red Keep, to rid it of any lingering traces of Lannister or Baratheon livery and as a sign of their new dynasty. They completely redesigned the castle and built parts of it up from scratch. They also made renovations to Dragonstone, although they kept many of the essentials the same in homage to their family
  • While the castle was still very much a Targaryen castle it had Stark features as well-many rooms featured leaping wolf motifs along with flying dragons
  • They installed a dome in the throne room, decorated with Aegon and Balerion; Visenya and Vhagar; and Rhaenys and Meraxes making landfall in Westeros. It was made out of stained glass and sparkled when sunlight reflected through it-especially at sunrise and sunset
  • They retrofitted the castle (and Dragonstone) with more modern conveniences-including running water, central heating, and (during the reign of Rhaella and Aerion, their grandchildren) Westeros’s first flush toilet
  • They installed a conservatory for their son Daeron, who loved stargazing. It had an all glass ceiling and was beloved by astronomers the world over
  • Most of the public rooms were on the first floor; the queen’s rooms were on the second, the king’s on the third, and the family’s (especially all the bedrooms) on the fourth and upper floors
  • Like their ancestors, the Targaryens displayed the skulls of their dead dragons in the throne room-they retrieved what they could from storage and then continued to add to the collection as other dragons grew old and died
  • The nursery adjoined to the master bedroom (while they were in the castle, the royals never spent a night apart) so the queen and king could easily reach their children (they were determined not to rely on maids and wet nurses in order to raise the kids)
  • The children’s favorite rooms were the private baths; located deep beneath the castle the water was always kept heated and the tubs were elaborately tiled with rubies, onyx, and lapis lazuli (it’s always speculated that at least one of them was conceived there)
  • Most of the attic was dedicated to the children’s playroom
  • Rhaenyra got the bedroom of the Crown Prince (or Princess) and Daeron got his own room as well; Elaena and Visenya shared because they liked each other’s company. They were allowed to design their rooms as they liked and were able to remodel them in their twelfth year
  • Many of the windows were redesigned to the royals’ specifications in order to capture their favorite views
  • The King and Queen were also patrons of the arts and sometimes there would be as many as twenty five painters in the castle at any one time, each painting a different room. They were both deeply inspired by Westerosian mythology and illustrated many of the great legends-Symeon Stareyes, the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Aemon the Dragonknight, and (of course) the original Azor Ahai-Dany and Jon forbade any portraits of the Battle of the Dawn while they lived in the castle, but Rhaenyra and Daeron commissioned one in the family dining room as soon as their parents moved to Dragonstone
  • The family dining room was small and intimate; Jon and Daenerys made a point to have dinner with their children every night, without fail
  • Both the king and queen had their own salons, war rooms, studies, libraries, dressing rooms, sitting rooms, and performance spaces on their respective floors
  • They had a music room for the children and also installed a giant performance space in a nearby cave, where they often invited minstrels and traveling theatre troops to perform. It was carved out of natural rock and never outfitted with candles; stones set into the walls gave off enough bioluminescence to light the scene. The children would sometimes give performances on the stage as well
  • The servants at the Red Keep had some of the best living quarters for servants in the entirety of the Seven Kingdoms, and the royals treated their servants as members of the family-hosting weddings when possible and making sure all had what they needed to provide for themselves
  • The gardens at the Red Keep were painstakingly landscaped, especially the Cemetary for the Lost Children (each of the Targaryens that died before they came of age were given their own rosebush in memorial). The royals often tended to them themselves, out of a sense of respect to their old ancestors
  • They also installed a guest house in the back for visiting dignitaries and their families (although Elaena moved into it for a time when she felt she couldn’t live in the castle anymore). It was especially used by Arya Stark-Baratheon and her daughter Lyanna, who visited the castle often and were very close with the royals


  • Dragonstone took almost five years to completely restore and refurbish; it had fallen into complete disrepair after years of neglect
  • It always held special significance to the royal family, as it was the place where Daenerys (and later Elaena) was born and the place where Jon and Dany first met
  • They often picnicked at Dragonstone-the dragons loved the open air and were more than happen to fly the distance
  • When Jon and Dany grew tired of ruling, they lived on Dragonstone until their deaths. The castle stayed empty for another decade, until Queen Rhaella and King Aerion entrusted it to their siblings Laena and Vhaegon to be castle stewards. Their family took care of the castle for the next two hundred years. Even when Westeros eventually changed first to a constitutional republic and later to a democracy, Dragonstone was never open to the public and always stayed an heirloom of the Targaryen family
  • Dragonstone was always behind technologically. Refurbishments were few and far between because it was important that tradition be preserved at all cost
  • The caves became a sort of hallowed ground; Targaryen rulers came there to ask the strength and advice of their ancestors on the eve of battle or their coronations. One of their descendants, Jaehaerys, was convinced that the paintings gave him prophetic visions and spent months at a time in the caves subsisting on bread and water
  • Queen Visenya sent dragon eggs from (New) Valyria whenever the royal family required them and the eggs were incubated on Dragonstone, protected in underground vaults that only those with the blood of the dragon could access until they would be needed
  • They celebrated all the major holidays on Dragonstone, along with name days and funerals
  • A chapel dedicated to the Seven was installed; Jon and Daenerys broke ground on the first weirwood grove three months after the Battle for the Dawn, leading to a resurgence in the old gods
  • The Targaryen crypt was also on Dragonstone, in one of the caves; the bodies were cremated of course, as a way to give back to the fire that had given them all life

The Summer Palace

  • The Targaryens built a small getaway palace in the Crownlands, close enough to the Red Keep so they could easily return if they had to but far enough away to provide privacy
  • Nearly the entire palace was made of sea glass harvested from the Narrow Sea, in all different colors and placed in mosaics that illustrated some of the most important events in the royals’ lives
  • They spent at least a month in the summer at the palace; only the royals and the Queensguard were able to attend, to allow the king and queen to unwind as much as possible
  • Also called the children’s palace, as it was beloved by all the royal children

As promised because I’m thinking about castles. At some point I’m going to have to design Elaena’s palace in Essos and Visenya’s palace in New Valyria but….ajkdfjal;sdjf;kajelfj I can’t even castles are my favorite thing in the world ok the history geek in me is freaking the hell out

Nous protégeons ceux qui ne peuvent pas se protéger eux-mêmes

for ally a. i miss you. special thanks to dauntsinyhale, and all the other people who encouraged me when i posted a wip of this on twitter, pretty sure without it this wouldn’t have been finished

Strifesodos Week Day Seven –  Soulmates / Hero

In that moment, as he tried to stand back up again, Genesis realized two things.

First, he realized why Cloud chose that wolf motif for himself.  It had nothing to do with that wannabe “lone wolf” garbage, as he first suspected.  Wolves were, at the end of the day, pack animals.  They loved and cared for their pack, and, like Cloud was doing now, defended their packmates with terrifying ferocity.

Second, he realized, he very much was one of Cloud’s “pack”.

Providing they both lived through this, Genesis was going to kiss that man stupid later.

So I was rereading through a section of The Wizard of Oz last night to find something, and I gotta say.

At this point, Ruby is barely Little Red Riding Hood. Even her wolf motif has vanished.

But man, she has a lot of Dorothy in her.

i know everyone has a thing with Guts as a werewolf due to his wolf motif but i would like to see him as a vampire…he would probably have big ugly fangs and monstrous appearance. griffith wouldn’t go all out but if you anger him…he gonna get ugly…i want griffguts vamp au ok?


i guess i should say what my thing is

Seph meets Old Cloud

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The Courser and the Wolf

“Fen’Harel tried to shake his pursuer, but the hound ran as coursers can only run in their dreams. Even the wind couldn’t have fled that hound.” 

- Merrill, First of the Sabrae Clan


I commissioned the lovely and very talented @martini-september to create this wonderful piece of art of my Inquisitor Ellana and her lover Solas! Thank you so much martini, it’s fantastic! You got the wolf and hound motif nailed!

I always thought that Merrill’s fable was a very apt allegory for a Solasmanced Lavellan.