women of asoiaf

Destroy the idea that Robert would have been a better husband to Lyanna than he was to Cersei. Destroy the idea that Cersei is the reason he was an awful and abusive husband. The abused is not to blame for their own abuse. Putting the responsibility for the abuser’s actions on the abused is actually a tactic used by abusers to justify their actions and to control and subjugate their partners. Do not buy into Robert’s rhetoric because Robert is fundamentally characterized by his inability to bear responsibility for his actions and his tendency to justify his fuckups by putting it on other people.

Destroy the idea that Lyana knew and was absolutely fine with Rhaegar fighting in the name of the mad man who murdered her family, or that she willingly approved of staying in Dorne while he went to war against one of her two surviving brothers and to subjugate the people who rose in defense of the Stark of Winterfell and gave their lives to bring them justice.

Destroy the idea that Elia thought nothing of Rhaegar running with another woman just because she is Dornish or that her potential knowledge of what he planned makes his actions alright or defensible. Destroy the idea that she put his precious prophecy ahead of her own children’s well-being and lives.

Here’s a novel concept: how about we stop woobifying Robert and Rhaegar by scapegoating Cersei, Elia and Lyanna?

  • Every other character: *does that twirly thing with their sword*
  • Me: Why do they all do that? What is up with the twirly hand trick thing?
  • Arya: *does the twirly thing with needle*
  • Me: omfg my precious warrior princess you're so fierce you do that twirly thing sweetie you're doing fabulous ilysm isn't my baby amazing?!

ASOIAF: The Book of the City of Ladies

Ruling ladies in the time of the War of the Five Kings 14/…

Barbrey Dustin, Lady of Barrowton.

Tall, unbent and handsome, and regarded as intelligent as bitter, Lady Barbrey was born into House Ryswell and married Lord Willam Dustin before Robert’s Rebellion. After his death at the Tower of Joy, she became the head of her late husband’s house, which she controls with a firm hand to the present day.

A serving man was passing by. Lady Dustin held out her wine cup and let him fill it, then gestured for him to do the same for Theon. “Truth be told,” she said, “Lord Bolton aspires to more than mere lordship. Why not King of the North? Tywin Lannister is dead, the Kingslayer is maimed, the Imp is fled. The Lannisters are a spent force, and you were kind enough to rid him of the Starks. Old Walder Frey will not object to his fat little Walda becoming a queen. White Harbor might prove troublesome should Lord Wyman survive this coming battle … but I am quite sure that he will not. No more than Stannis. Roose will remove both of them, as he removed the Young Wolf. Who else is there?”
“You,” said Theon. “There is you. The Lady of Barrowton, a Dustin by marriage, a Ryswell by birth.”
That pleased her. She took a sip of wine, her dark eyes sparkling, and said, “The widow of Barrowton … and yes, if I so choose, I could be an inconvenience. Of course, Roose sees that too, so he takes care to keep me sweet.

A Dance with Dragons. The Prince of Winterfell.

ASOIAF: The Book of the City of Ladies

Ruling ladies in the time of the War of the Five Kings 9/…

Shella Whent, Lady of Harrenhal.

A recognized friend of the Night’s Watch, Lady Whent is an old woman who was married with her relative Walter Whent and was the mother of the fair maid of the tourney at Harrenhal. During the War of the Five Kings, she yields her seat to forces belonging to House Lannister because she lacks the men to defend it.

“Lady Whent, last of her line, who dwelt with her ghosts in the cavernous vaults of Harrenhal”

A Game of Thrones. Catelyn V.

pips69  asked:

Hi~ You know how it's such a shame that we see no real mother/daughter relationships or scenes in the books? It's even sadder when you think of how more interesting it could have been with them. Like doesn't Cersei seem like the kind of mother who'd have let her daughter do what she herself was not allowed? Like learn to use a sword? Well imagine everyone thinking Sansa & Myrcella would bond, only for the princess to bond more with Ayra over using swords? Before Ned looses his head I mean.

Yes, it’s a huge issue that GRRM doesn’t write any significant mother/daughter interaction, considering the amount of fleshed out father/child dynamics in comparison (Tywin/Tyrion, Tywin/Cersei, Ned/Jon, Ned/Arya, Doran/Arianne and Doran/Quentyn, Balon/Theon etc, not considering all the various surrogate fathers like Jeor for Jon or Ned for Theon or even the daddy issues for dead fathers i.e. Dany for Aerys and Jon—eventually?—for Rhaegar). In part it ties back to the whole dead ladies club problem, because yeah it’s hard to have a relationship with your mother IF SHE DIED IN CHILDBIRTH, but we have two giant walking “mother” povs in Cersei and Catelyn and GRRM still manages to avoid to make them interact with their daughters in REAL TIME and ON PAGE. (he partially makes up for that by having Cat act as a surrogate mother for Brienne, but that’s not enough).

andddd… nice thought about Myrcella getting swordfighting lessons, but the fact that Cersei never (apparently) considers it is imo a sign of how she actually doesn’t take any truly subversive action against the patriarchy she loathes so much. Cersei has internalized the patriarchy, to the point that she doesn’t perceive the problem of reinforcing patriarchal values on women that aren’t her, and that, sadly, includes her daughter. (but also, Cersei’s power, as the queen and in her marriage with Robert, is limited. Limited to her ability to perform her traditionally feminine role. How would Robert like it if Cersei suddenly advocated for a less gendered education of their children? How would Tywin like it? Cersei’s strategy has always been to move within patriarchal boundaries, while deeply resenting it—she doesn’t know any other way, and her goal is to change things for herself, not for women in general.)

  • <p> <b>What she says:</b> im fine<p/><b>What she means:</b> sansa stark is a perfect example of how a woman doesn't need to have masculine traits to be a strong female character and you can be feminine and like pretty things and still be respectable and independent and she is so underrated as a character and doesn't deserve all the hate she gets and we need more characters like her in mainstream media.<p/></p>

ASOIAF: The Book of the City of Ladies

Ruling ladies in the time of the War of the Five Kings 2/…

Larra Blackmont, Lady of Blackmont.

Mother of Jynessa, her heiress, and Perros, a squire. She, along with her children, are part of the escort that accompanies Prince Oberyn Martell to King’s Landing when he comes to claim his seat on the small council.

My lord of Lannister,“ said Lady Blackmont, "we have come a long dusty way, and rest and refreshment would be most welcome. Might we continue on to the city?

A Storm of Swords. Tyrion V.

Lyanna Mormont’s Dismissal of Sansa Stark (Show Breaks Its Own Rules AGAIN)

Lyanna Mormont, in this scene: 

dismisses Sansa Stark out of hand, despite her allegiance to House Stark. After consulting, she shoots back with, “You’re a Lannister, or a Bolton, I’ve heard conflicting reports.” Except that that’s not entirely how Westeros works, the women of Westeros still are deeply tied and those ties are valued, as children of their parents, in cases of nobility. Sansa takes this put down meekly, which is in direct contrast to her own mother. Catelyn had no issue calling upon her lord father’s bannermen to help take Tyrion hostage, nor did they dismiss her with some, “oh, you’re a Stark now….bugger off” nonsense. Her family and her relationship to her family was an intricate part of the entire plot, from leaving Winterfell to the Red Wedding (far more in the books.

But note how nobly the scene is handled in which Catelyn calls upon her father’s bannermen to arrest Tyrion Lannister in Season 2: 

So, in the universe of the show, we already have the horrors that are breaking guest right broken again without much regard, kinslaying completely ignored (so far) in the case of Cersei blowing up at least two relatives in the Sept of Baelor, among other examples (show!Balon), but we also have Sansa’s newly acquired inability to invoke her ancestry as a Stark, as the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark (Lyanna Mormont is still loyal to him, as shown in even this scene, “the North remembers” has been woven in as well. So, why is no one horrified that Sansa was forced to marry these men, both of families that are enemies to Bear Island, for the sole purpose of using her name to gain control of Winterfell and the North with it? Why wouldn’t they rally to her cause?

Like so much else, that if just watching the show alone, you’d have to scratch your head over the constantly changing rules thrown at you. Catelyn was a Stark–but remained also the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and was respected as such. Sansa, meh. The North knows no King but the King in the North whose name is Stark! But this one Stark standing in front of you (forget about Jon’s status for now) who should be lauded for trying to help unite the North, or at least by the standards of the show should be USED for her name in order to do so, is no Stark. Because it was more awesome to introduce a badass little girl to “steal the episode” and rip a hole right through the overall universe. 

Ugh, sorry, it just has bothered me since the scene aired. Much like Dany being thought of as a witch somehow changed….when she set fire to all of the Khals yet walked out unscathed to be worshiped by a people notoriously fearful and with animosity towards anything that can be construed as magic. But hey, she looked like a badass (trademark), right? 

Tsk, tsk, Benioff & Weiss. 

Edit: Thanks for adding on and weighing in to so many people, I didn’t expect something I wrote half asleep again would get such a response, please see added edit link at top for my rant on female characters as rewritten for television from ASOIAF. I just was pleased but also bothered by the Lyanna Mormont badass scene and wrote about it. I wish I could address everyone who added quotations on this, but I’m not that good with Tumblr. As for the showrunners’ views per their Inside the Episode, here it is: 

For the notion that Sansa would be seen as a betrayer for staying in KL and having anything to do with the Lannisters, it’s broadly regarded on the show and in the books that the North remembers, Catelyn was treated severely for freeing Jaime Lannister to try and deal with the Lannisters to get Sansa back, but it was quite understood that she was doing it to save her captive daughter by those close to Robb, which included Maege Mormont. Who also knew that Ned Stark was beheaded at the Sept of Baelor by the Lannisters. As a member of a noble house, L. Mormont would’ve had full knowledge of all of this (having additional facts being whispered in her ear, even), due to better communications via raven of events and direct contact with remaining Starks (Maege) after Ned’s execution. Jeor Mormont got accurate information on the situation in KL, all the way at the Wall, which continued through that source, Maester Aemon (and Samwell), which led to Jon also knowing more than he otherwise might have.It’s known that this was done with Sansa present, and that she was held afterwards, and while “hostages” among rebellious houses are common (Theon with the Starks, which was only seen as negative by the Ironborn as he’d become less like them), with the North united under Robb as King in the North Sansa was known to be a captive and not cavorting around in KL for fun after they murdered her dad. 

That Sansa was forced to keep condemning, in word only, her own Dad just to stay alive is hardly a point against her, the main Westerosi issue by this point against her (which I don’t think the Northerners involved in the Grand Northern Conspiracy believe but isn’t mentioned here much beyond Robb and Catelyn, book and show, realizing she was a hostage and the initial letters were Cersei’s words in Sansa’s writing) is that she is wanted for her supposed role in Joffrey’s murder. Considering Lyanna’s knowledge as well as animosity towards the Lannisters, in particular the one who had their liege lord executed, I’m unsure of how much blame would be placed on Sansa herself, nor how much is known in the North as to her comments to Lannisters that her father and brother are traitors, which was self defense on her part being considered to possibly have “traitor’s blood” as well as risking constant torture by Joffrey and Cersei. As in the books she’s in the Vale and other mentions (IIRC again) are disbelief that she had poisoned Joffrey or played any part (though she unwittingly was used there, yet again, as a pawn by Littlefinger and Lady Olenna). That would be the main question I’d expect to be asked at Bear Island, instead of dismissal for being forced into marriage. The Mormonts have more knowledge of, and devotion to, the Stark family and their information (book and show) would be more accurate than what many other houses or the smallfolk would get. I understand that Sansa’s having been put in an even worse position than Theon was by her father in terms of her honor would make her position less powerful than Catelyn’s, but the repeated emphasis as to her being “key to the North” is still a key point, as the North is an extremely large area that has and can operate separately from the rest of Westerosi Kingdoms. That Robb is hailed, “King in the North” all the way back in AGOT is rather telling of the North’s attitude there, his failure is not well regarded having led to the deaths of many in the North, but the fury due to the Red Wedding cast even more sympathy to what little remains of House Stark. Regardless, everyone has suffered from the War of 5 Kings and continues to. 

That Catelyn’s little adventure with arresting Tyrion was not regarded as a good or smart move generally, this is well known, but as per the show, she wasn’t regarded as someone not worthy of the respect and fealty once she asked for aid in the name of her FATHER, not her husband or her Bran, and aside from the mountain clans, also had the Vale behind her in this. Her position in that Tyrion is a Lannister and she had no solid proof makes this, overall, less tenable than Sansa’s asking for help taking back her House’s own castle from the hated Boltons. The mere fact she’s there asking, free of Ramsay, is rather a more powerful position. The main change is that Westeros has now been torn apart by war and the long summer has ended, making everyone’s positions more precarious, another reason to (again, just by show rules–an example here would be breaking the idea that Sandor Clegane is at peace at the Quiet Isle perhaps detracts from where GRRM is going in the books with The Hound, but having him still disillusioned with being able to live at peace in a war torn world in the SHOW is still very consistent to how that character is being portrayed on the show). 

The Bolton issue can’t be explained as much, as that is show only, but her escape from Ramsay is obvious and Ramsay’s reputation among those in the North isn’t exactly a good one. The stranger position in this mix would be the fact that Jon is there, asking for fighters to combat Ramsay, who still has Rickon captive at that point in the show (another Stark) when his vows (no one seems really aware that he was killed and resurrected, & many debate whether that would free him of his duties to the Watch, but as per the show it seems a-ok, despite desertion being considered a treasonous and immediate execution situation. I personally think he died, should be free by that loophole to leave & take part in the affairs of the Realm, but that’s what he is doing here, so it seems the Mormonts suddenly have either intimate knowledge of his execution & resurrection or don’t care, which would be odd considering Jeor’s position in the Watch. That’s mainly something I read others debating over, not a personal sticking point. 

I was trying to stick heavily to the rules the show itself has laid out, which I expanded on with more my own op-ed on how women are written, but the original piece was entirely based on the universe presented to us, first by the books, then as rewritten for television. I included there some additional notes on the Dothraki and views on magic, show and books. 

I’m hardly someone who counts themselves as an expert in the books either, but have done several rereads, and this is all just my opinion. I’m NOT an expert at all at Tumblr, so just trying to add my perspective in answer to @id-rather-be-in-disneyland, @no9-revolution, @arianassunflower, and @imheretodebateorami who made some very excellent points re: the entire piece, but also on blood magic and fire, though we don’t know much per the show except hints from the Dothraki who capture Dany that she is a possible witch, and the show hasn’t made as many about them re: fire, though I’d imagine a horse based culture would not be as fond of fire. Yet we know they use it as a tactic in war. I found recreating Dany’s emergence from the funeral pyre to be a bit cheap, personally. Very overtly obviously cheap, but wrote that up in the reblog.  I just consider the show’s glossing over of some of this as bizarre as having Ellaria kill….the rest of Oberyn’s family as her revenge plot before joined by Varys and Olenna to be odd, which again is the show trying to cram all of Dorne in there, not being able to, doing a job of it that was so panned by critics that they tried to re-do it yet again with those more intricate touches that made the show so compelling in the earlier seasons. I covered my personal views on this in the reblog linked above. The same as I op-ed additioned Dany and her being so dramatically different from book to show. 

I’m critiquing show inconsistency and what I consider shoddy, faster paced plot lines since seasons 3-4 in that sense here, the universes don’t necessarily line up to where they were when they were sticking more to the books. Most of my character critiques that bring in a modern worldview deal with aspects of trauma, and what I consider to be an excellent grasp on the effects of trauma as written by GRRM; I don’t consider it nonstop rape for women in arranged marriages in Westeros to not pick or even like their new spouses, as this is the world GRRM created, echoing much of the past that inspired him, a world in which that was the reality for especially noble women, even costing their lives in childbirth. Is that a world I find just or fair personally? No. Is it the world we’re discussing? Yeah. I do still like to read those critiques by writers here, as with most others. If someone tries to postulate that Theon is actually Azor Ahai, then I may want to disagree. 

I agree, @imheretodebateorami for the most part, just went back into can’t shut up or be concise mode here (Qyburn messed with my metaphorical stump here, and I was again given milk of the poppy, quite a rare situation for me here, again, apologies for the length here–and all of the Defense of Jaime Lannister pieces!). But excellent points, just mine are rooted in those pages of lore GRRM gave us and I was trying here to critique the show as stated above.  Lyanna’s stated desire to keep Bear Island safe, this is very believable. Her letter regarding knowing no King in the North but the one whose name is Stark, that is largely the issue with her then treating two Starks as not worthy of much respect, but listening to Davos. Barbrey Dustin, or Wyman Manderly having to openly condemn or dismiss a Stark, those are intricate and interesting issues, both, this is the simplified version, leaving that out to race to an endpoint, glossing over intricacies in plot that drove the earlier seasons so well, often making little sense. 

It’s a petty point, really, but stemming on my part from these two main issues with the show at this point, the show!Badass, cold, one dimensional women (not written this way in the books whatsoever) and faster paced intricate plots that are lacking where they weren’t before. I’m more and more asked by shownly friends to explain what is going on, and as we’re almost entirely out of book world now, it falls to the writers and showrunners to keep things on track that line up at least with what they’ve presented viewers in the past, even if they veer from it heavily as well as from the books, but they seem less and less able to do this well. This was just a good example of that, aside from my “there are no sharks (to jump) in Dorne piece that’s in here somewhere. 

As in the Inside the Episode, they wanted to boil down numerous “bearded men” into a very young character with a lot put on her shoulders. She’s just quite a bit more harsh than previous Mormonts have reacted to other Starks, so it’s out of place and odd, and at odds with whatever on the show “the North remembers” right about now. 

Now for the love of the old gods and the new, can someone explain how I can discuss these matters with people who have great replies to me or questions without me reblogging or adding edits nonstop? I figured out tagging people, but I’d like to be able to discuss back and forth with people here with their views being shared back and forth with mine instead of  just writing what feels like a position paper on the topics! Too many with interesting things to discuss where I can’t seen to hit “reply to”.