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Westeros is Gettin’ in Touch with its Wild Side.

"Out with the new(?), in with the old(?)."

It’s at the end of A Storm of Swords that the reader thinks to themselves, more than any other book, “EVERYTHING IS SO FUCKED.” Cersei’s nosedive into crazy-town in AFFC, The Crow’s Eye being voted king, and the Meereen fiasco in ADWD; those are just icing on the shit-cake.

The sacred laws around kinslaying, kingslaying and guest right have all been broken, and scarcely anyone uses the Wall anymore as a way to safely get rid of enemies. These sacred laws were essential to keeping of the peace and making alliances.

What GRRM is writing is not just personal narratives, but also a massive historical one that frames them. It’s one where civilizations rise and fall and where the old, primal nature and memory of humanity continually resurfaces again and again.

What I’m saying is: Westeros is in the phase of de-evolution. You might have noticed how the most powerful Andal Houses are dying, while several First Men Houses are getting stronger.

  1. The Lannisters, Arryns, and Baratheons, all mostly Andal, are nearly dead, left with few trueborn, trueblooded or capable heirs.
  2.  The Freys are being hunted down and are cursed.
  3. The Faith of the Seven is in turmoil.
  4.  The Horn of Winter is out there, somewhere, meaning that the Wall is doomed and the Others will swarm over the 7K. (The ice zombies aren’t a big deal if it doesn’t).
  5. A greyscale epidemic seems likely, food stories are low, armies have been decimated.
  6. The Reach, has the last and largest food stores, and those are under attack now by the Ironborn.

Human civilization is being wiped away, but especially the things that are “new” arrivals to the continent.

Meanwhile, everything ancient and native is getting stronger.

  1. A snow-bound North is inhospitable to humans, but seems habitable for Giants.
  2. Direwolves are south of the Wall again, and one of them is the leading a massive pack in the Riverlands.
  3. The magic of the weirwoods is getting stronger. New ones are growing in the South, and Brienne saw a younger one in an abandoned Crackclaw castle.
  4. There’s a new Bran the Builder, whose powers are godlike and unmatched, apparently in all history.
  5. The crannogmen, the most primitive and traditional of the North’s people, are untouched by the war and likely know about Bran and Rickon.
  6. The Royces are the strongest house in the Vale now, and they’re First Men: their banner is FM runes and their motto is “We Remember.” They and several other Vale families wanted to join Robb Stark.
  7. A Kingsmoot has been held on the Iron Islands for the first time in thousands of years.

“The trees have eyes again.”-Qorin Halfhand, ASOS

 “History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.”-Rodrik Harlaw, AFFC

 “I am wolf. I will not go.”-Bran, ACOK.

“Old powers waken, shadows stir. An age of wonder and terror will be soon be upon us, an age for gods and heroes.”-AFFC

53,006 notes   •   VIA: bookshop   •   SOURCE: bookshop


TIP: Tumblr has unveiled @ notifications for users!

Tumblr has a basic feature on its platform that will make many users happy—if they notice it.

Did you know you can type @ to auto-link a username? You can now see notifications when someone @mentions you on your Activity page and your dashboard:


Want an email when you are mentioned on Tumblr? Go to Notification Settings. Click the pencil/edit icon for your blog. Under “Email you about” activate the toggle for Mentions. Click Save.

Permalink   •   Tags: #tumblr #resources #mod note
34 notes   •   VIA: quickguide   •   SOURCE: quickguide

How to: Enable your Tumblr ask box


Step one: click on the ‘settings’ cog


Step two: Navigate the blog settings


In the right-hand bar, select the name of the blog you wish to add ask support to.

Here you can change the name shown in the title of the ask page, as well as anonymous questions (you won’t know the identity/username of the person asking the question).

Step three: Save!

Tumblr will save your preferences.

If you contact us and you want a response, please enable your askbox.

If I visit your blog and I go to your ask page (for example, yourblogurl.tumblr.com/ask ) and I see this:

That means your ask is not enabled. Please enable your ask.

228 notes   •   VIA: emiliosandoz   •   SOURCE: emiliosandoz

Why Book!Theon Still Has His Dick and What it Means to You


Welcome to the unofficial gathering of meta as to why book!theon still has his penis. I’ve seen a lot of good, well-supported meta in favor of the theory that this poor guy had his penis flayed and amputated, so consider this the opposition.

First things first: I read the books, but many of these quotes I had to search the world wide web for because I don’t have ADWD on me. So, I won’t be citing page numbers or anything… also, there’s a vague order that I put the quotes in, but not all of them build neatly on top of each other.

Trigger warnings: this theory describes how Ramsay didn’t remove Theon’s penis, and how the hints actually point to rape/sexual abuse (and potential circumcision). Triggers of this nature apply. There will be talk of torture, rape (and gang rape), penis removal, circumcision, and Ramsay Bolton and everything he entails, as well as homophobic, sexist, and cissexist language (i.e. Westeros equating being a man to one’s genitalia).

Welp. Buckle up. Here we go.

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Why I’m Worried that Season 5 Will be Terrible:


It’s honestly not the issue of running out of book material that concerns me. D&D have two books, a good chunk of The Winds of Winter manuscript and knowledge of the series finale to go on until then. It’s narrative cohesion that I’m worried about. Let me explain:


While the books have so many POV’s, three narratives in particular are its heart and soul: Bran, Arya and Sansa. Their narratives have many parallels, but their perspectives are fundamentally different: One is northern/magical, another is “on the ground” and another is mostly political. They are identity narratives.


Three others, Jon, Dany and Tyrion serve as the hero stories. They are much more external. Their character archs of are essentially about heroes coming into their own. And dragons.

The POV’s of the numerous secondary characters support these six core narratives and revolve around them.  Sam becomes a true brother of the Night’s Watch (just like Jon) in the same way that Theon fights regain his identity as a “Greyjoy” just as Arya and Sansa are fighting to remember that they are “Stark”.

D&D have ripped that narrative structure to shreds.

They straight up don’t care about Arya and Bran. Arya’s observance of injustice and her personality as a whole really, Bran’s spirituality and historical awareness, and Tyrion’s less savory character traits: these things probably bored them to death while reading the books. I can just hear D&D’s complaints now:

“Yeah we get, it sucks you can’t walk, but you got a magic wolf who kicks ass so who cares?”

“Just go and start assassin training already.”

"Can we have get back to Tyrion being witty already?

“It was cooler when Jon was just a badass ranger.”

Tyrion and Jon are obviously their favorites, and it’s plain to see why. They’re white, they’re male, they make wise-cracks and they’re the underdog heroes. One of them even kicks ass with a sword. But Tyrion’s story has been watered down to keep him as an uncomplicated “good guy.”

And so where does that leave us? Jaime and Cercei and have huge roles in AFFC, but one has been reduced to a bland good guy and D&D hate the other intensely, no matter how interesting her story is. Will D&D even care about the Greyjoys, or Asha? Where is Brienne going if there’s no Lady Stoneheart? The drama around Myrcella, honestly, always felt like a sideshow. Mayhaps the drama of the Sand Snakes can draw carry the weight.

The narratives in AFFC and ADWD were incredibly frayed and scattered. The strength of the core characters, the Stark children most of all, is what keeps the story powerful and meaningful, and will probably be center stage in TWOW. With a brilliant mind like GRRM straining under the task, I have little faith that D&D have what it takes.

TL;DR, I’m very worried that season five will suck.


While Bran and Sansa are my absolute fav’s, I’m the sort of person who thinks that people should really be talking more about how ALL the Starks’ siblings stories (Bran, Arya and Sansa, those that have POVs) are deeply linked, with many, many parallels to each other. Collectively, they’re my favorite meta topic.

What’s interesting is that very few of the parallels work for all three of the siblings at once. For example, while all three take on new mentors after their father’s death, only the sisters’ mentors have evil intent (Bloodraven is a scary dude, but he’s still fightin’ for the good guys). All three identify with animals but differently: Bran and Arya think of themselves as wolves, while both Bran and Sansa both long to be like birds and fly, at one point or another.

Taken altogether, however, these parallels bridge the far divide between the crumbling civilization of the South, and primordial wildness of the North; between animal and man; between deep magic and the ordinary, between ice and fire.

(Note: This work is basically a huge compiliation of all the meta written by others: namely: Donewithwoodenteeth, ladysmallwood, joannalannister and nobodysuspectsthebutterfly. If you want to check out meta on these themes in more detail, you check out their pages. The only thing I’ve done is compile it all together to make my own meta-meta [ha!] conclusion).

64 notes   •   VIA: roadsiderose   •   SOURCE: roadsiderose

The Bloody Games of Meereen


Before I begin, I must confess the Meereenese plot was one of the stories that held the least amount of interest for me. I think one of the reasons is due of the multitude of new characters with foreign names. I also found it hard to understand the motives of some characters or where the plots were headed. And I think if we had answers to some questions like - (Who poisoned the locusts? Why? Who is the Harpy? Who must Dany fear in Meereen?) we would get a better understanding of Meereen. I plan to focus on one of these questions here.

Disclaimer: This is a viewpoint of mine. It could be partially right, or fully wrong for all I know.

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ahh, okay, so I’m just kind of continually in a state of thoughts and emotions about Rhaenyra Targaryen

she’s so striking and she just grabs me really hard in a way I can’t quite articulate, and part of it is her personality but oddly enough for me since this isn’t something that usually resonates with me, that’s not the only part of it?

a lot of why she grabs me is how she’s presented in TPATQ - it’s such a huge example I feel like of the body as a site of rhetorical violence

she’s not dainty and beautiful. she’s not a “maiden”, not that sort of ideal that all the songs are written about, that is shorthand in Westeros and outside the text for virtue, for the type of person we’re supposed to think yes, she deserves something good. it’s really apparent if you scroll through all the descriptions that Martin gives of the historical Targ women in one go - she’s not thin, she’s not nonthreatening or “properly” feminine at all. the first scene we get with her in it in TPATQ is when she’s giving birth, and it’s violent and she’s violent and from the outset, we see bad omens and her personality and her… “embodied-ness” being all twisted up together. she shouts and screams and rants about the injustice done to her, and her child is stillborn. described as monstrous.

and we see this sort of thing again, when she takes King’s Landing and we hear about (the rumours, because I refuse to believe them true, or at least not true in the rhetorical purpose they are used for) how she sits on the Iron Throne and it cuts her. repeatedly. the Iron Throne is described as cutting the “unworthy” multiple times in other places, as well; this is an established thing, such as with King Aerys. but Aerys exists in a much different context; he is a single individual with a single individual’s failings and flaws and cruelties; he is a man. with Rhaenyra, she comes from an entirely different context and she’s already had her body used as this rhetorical tool, and it comes across very differently, that oh, once again we see her supposed bleeding as she walks from the throne, this is a sign of her unsuitedness to rule, some flaw in her character, being writ on her physical form. she is hardly alone in committing atrocious deeds at some degree of removal or another, among the characters in the story, but she is the only one where this sign is recounted.

her death, too, is visceral and physical in a way that many of the other deaths aren’t, to me - an intimate destruction and consuming that I feel like, again, ties person and body together where a lot of other deaths, almost work to separate those two entities… her destruction by family, by a symbol of her birthright and something that feels tied into her personality and her physical form as well… it’s a very deep-seated horror, to me, especially as the conclusion to the rest of her arc.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m saying any more; I don’t really have the language for what I’m trying to convey. but I have a lot of feelings. Rhaenyra just feels like such a unique part of the ASOIAF world, even as she’s kind of… where you see a lot of how the world operates being revealed in who she is, the symbolic visuals of her character design, the way she’s framed (and this I think is a strength of TPATQ in terms of it being an in-universe text, even as that framing frustrates me for other reasons)… yeah. ok. I’m done for now.

Southron Ambitions


Written by Stefan Sasse, a contributing writer to Tower of the Hand. You can follow along with Stefan’s reread of A Dance with Dragons, or read more of his work at Geschichtsblog and Oeffinger Freidenker.

In A Dance with Dragons, we learned that Lady Barbrey Dustin hates the Stark family and especially Eddard Stark for first not letting her marry Brandon Stark and then dragging her forced husband into the rebellious war of Robert Baratheon. While it may seem possible that the anger about her dead husband is only a surrogate for something she doesn’t wish to reveal, she tells Theon some conspiracy theories that make more sense than they should, and which fill the reader with a sense of unease. In short: there seems to be more about the outbreak of the rebellion than we originally knew. It seems like Aerys’ summoning of people to the court was not just the product of an insane mind, but also the very real backlash against something that was going on before. In fact, what Lady Dustin calls “southron ambitions” of Lord Rickard Stark seems to be not so much a conspiracy theory of hers than reality. And it’s rewarding to go into it.

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a song of theories

A blog where you can read about theories and discussions regarding prophecies, mysteries and potential secret identities in A Song of Ice and Fire. There will be spoilers in this blog, but you can avoid them easily. Feel free to ask questions, check out our previous meta and submit your own theories.