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So I keep thinking about Shae’s line in the show about Tysha and how Tyrion should have known she was a prostitute because “no woman who is almost raped would have sex with a man a few hours later”.

Because I think she brings up a valid point, however, since we know that Tysha wasn’t really a prostitute, I’ve been wondering why the show put that in. And after this season and the complete omission of the truth about Tysha, I’ve come to the conclusion that the show intended all along to portray Tysha as exactly what Tyrion thought she was. Therefore what Shae says makes sense. Tysha was a prostitute and Tyrion should have known it.

And I have a problem with this because it plays straight Tywin’s belief both that Tysha was a “whore” and that Tyrion is inherently unlovable.

I think it’s possible that Tysha, though not a prostitute, didn’t really love Tyrion and agreed to marry him for his gold. And I wouldn’t blame her at all if that was the case. I mean, from Tysha’s perspective, here’s a guy who’s ridiculously rich and completely infatuated with her. Even if she didn’t love Tyrion, he’s offering her safety and security beyond what she might have hoped for. Tysha probably rarely experienced that kind of treatment in her life. I don’t think she would have lied to Tyrion out of maliciousness but she might have thought here’s someone who is kind to her and really rich and willing to marry her, so why not say yes?

However, since we don’t get Tysha’s voice, all we get is what Tywin assumed, that Tysha was a devious whore who only cared about money. And the great thing about the reveal from Jaime that Tysha wasn’t a prostitute is that Tywin is wrong. Because Tywin’s assumptions about Tysha are misogyny born from his disgust at his father’s mistress, plus his ableist assumption that no one would really love Tyrion.

And going back to what Shae says, it is likely that a woman who is almost raped might not want to have sex with someone she just met soon after. However, victims of sexual assault don’t all react in the same way. And thirteen year old Tyrion might have come across as not a threat in Tysha’s eyes. He’s small, and self-described as very shy. I don’t think we should assume we know what Tysha thought or how she dealt with her assault.

I keep going back to the feeling that D&D are essentially agreeing with Tywin by leaving Tysha as just a prostitute. They’re agreeing that Tysha was nothing but a manipulative whore, they’re agreeing that no one could love a person with dwarfism. They’re agreeing that Tywin was right in abusing both his son and a preteen girl. And that makes me really uncomfortable.

The true nature and purpose of the Others

Much as I admire Tolkien, and I do admire Tolkien — he’s been a huge influence on me, and his Lord of the Rings is the mountain that leans over every other fantasy written since and shaped all of modern fantasy — there are things about it, the whole concept of the Dark Lord, and good guys battling bad guys, Good versus Evil, while brilliantly handled in Tolkien, in the hands of many Tolkien successors, it has become kind of a cartoon. We don’t need any more Dark Lords, we don’t need any more, ‘Here are the good guys, they’re in white, there are the bad guys, they’re in black. And also, they’re really ugly, the bad guys. **George R. R. Martin, Assignment X Interview, 2011

What is known of the Others?

The creatures themselves are encountered in the prologue, the battle at the Fist of the First Men, and when Sam kills one with a piece of Obsidian.

What else do we know about them?

Precious little. They have a language, they make things out of ice with magical properties, and they raise the dead to fight for them. We can infer a few other things from conversations about them. Tormund has quite a bit to say:

They’re never far, you know. They won’t come out by day, not when that old sun’s shining, but don’t think that means they went away. Shadows never go away. Might be you don’t see them, but they’re always clinging to your heels.

When the snows came though…snow and sleet and freezing rain, its bloody hard to find dry wood or get your kindling lit, and the cold…some nights our fires just seemed to shrivel up and die. Nights like that, you always find some dead come the morning. ‘Less they find you first.

A man can fight the dead, but when their masters come, when the white mists rise up … how do you fights a mist crow? Shadows with teeth … air so cold it hurts to breath, like a knife inside your chest … you do not know, you cannot know … can your sword cut cold?

The interesting thing here is that Tormund describes the Others as mists and shadows. He never mentions ice swords that shatter steel or camouflage armor or anything specific about their appearance.

This suggests that he, at least, hasn’t had direct contact with them… unless they can take the form of mist.

Old Nan’s stories are the other frequently cited source on the Others. Synopses can be found here

The story we’re presented in the book through Nan’s stories and various others’ recountings and rumination is that several thousand years ago, following a mythological Age of Heroes, the Others came from the far North; prior to that point they were unknown.

According to the tales, the Others brought with them a night that lasted a generation (or the night brought them) and essentially wiped out civilization except for a small number of humans that somehow managed to drive them back. All we know about this retaliation and eventual victory is that it resulted in the construction of an enormous magical Wall of ice that, apparently, holds the Others at bay.

Westerosi attribute this to a figure called the Last Hero, who may or may not be the same figure as Azor Ahai, an Eastern figure associated with the R’hllor faith. Azor Ahai’s magic weapon may be an allegory for the process of taming dragons or creating Valyrian steel, either of which may involve human sacrifice as in the story.

However, there is another point to consider.

Melisandre, the only source we have on the Others outside tales and garbled legends passed down orally from a time so long ago there are no accurate histories of it, says the Others are demons of snow, ice, and cold, and essentially paints them as mindless servants of a single intelligence that opposes her fire god. What if she’s wrong?

I’ve always had a soft spot for the outsider, for the underdog. ‘Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things’, as the title of one of the (TV series) episodes goes. The angst that they have in life makes for more conflict, makes for more drama, and there’s something very attractive about that. My Game of Thrones is told by outsiders of both types. None of them fit comfortably into the society into which they’ve been born, and they’re all struggling to find a place for themselves in which they’re valued and loved and respected, despite what their society considers their deficiencies. And out of that, I think, comes good stories.
This is gonna come off as rough and rushed but its super important to realize that everyone in ASOIAF views themselves as THE UNDERDOG; they all see themselves as the protagonist of their story and that everyone else serves as antagonists or side charterers. They all see themselves as the one that suffers from the world because of circumstances that they had no control of (or were forced into). (via thefreshprinceofevangelion)


idk I never spend much attention thinking about Bran and Arya’s relationship because it’s actually pretty adorable? I mean you have

conflating opinions of who’s better at sword fighting:

She watched her little brother whack at Tommen. “I could do just as good as Bran,” she said. “He’s only seven. I’m nine.”

But that couldn’t be right. If the girl was Arya, the boy was Bran himself, and he had never worn his hair so long. And Arya never beat me playing swords, the way that girl is beating him.

snowball fights:

She remembered a summer’s snow in Winterfell when Arya and Bran had ambushed her as she emerged from the keep one morning. They’d each had a dozen snowballs to hand, and she’d had none.

Playing, Jon thought in astonishment, grown men playing like children, throwing snowballs the way Bran and Arya once did, and Robb and me before them.

caring about another’s feelings:

Arya bit her lip. “What will Bran do when he’s of age?” […] “He was going to be a knight,” Arya was saying now. “A knight of the Kingsguard. Can he still be a knight?”

She wondered how big Rickon had grown, and whether Bran was sad.

Robb was to marry one of their aunts, and Arya one of their uncles. “She never will,” Bran said, “not Arya,” […]

being reminded of them through other people:

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.

For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his older sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled Hodor’s eyes and froze there.

The girl was the older and taller of the two. Arya! Bran thought eagerly, as he watched her leap up onto a rock and cut at the boy. […] He saw no more of his father, nor the girl who looked like Arya.

fear over the other’s safety:

For a moment Arya forgot to breathe. Dead? Bran and Rickon, dead?

Might be it’s from Robb, come to say it wasn’t true about Bran and Rickon. She chewed on her lip, hoping. If I had wings I could fly back to Winterfell and see for myself.

protection from scary crypts:

That was when they heard the sound, low and deep and shivery. Baby Bran had clutched at Arya’s hand.

There may not be much, but what is there is pretty cute in my opinion.

Permalink   •   Tags: #arya stark #bran stark
I think there’s going to be a bittersweet ending. I’ve always taken my influence from J.R.R. Tolkien and if you’ve read Lord of the Rings, Sauron is defeated and the ring is destroyed in the end but it’s not a happy, happy ending. There’s a real sense of things lost too, and I found that very powerful, and very moving. So I think my ending will also have a bittersweet tone, I hope, if I can bring that off the way I want.
Permalink   •   Tags: #grrm #asoiaf




No, It Wasn’t Normal Back Then
(yes, you do have to look at your ships critically)

There’s this very popular perception among SanSan, Sansa/Petyr, and Sansa/Tyrion shippers that is was normal, in the medieval era, for young maidens to be sexually active or romantically involved with older men. It’s also an incorrect perception, one that perpetrates an (often disrespectful to survivors of sexual abuse) attitude that erases the problematic (and potentially triggering to other members of fandom) nature of these ships.

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Also, for those who objects that “Yeah, Westeros was different from the Middle Age” let me tell you, even there 12 is not an age to get married - with older men or not.

« ”Come south with me, and I’ll teach you how to laugh again,” the king promised. “You helped me win this damnable throne, now help me hold it. We were meant to rule together. If Lyanna had lived, we should have been brothers, bound by blood as well as affection. Well, it’s not too late. I have a son. You have a daughter. My Joff and your Sansa shall join our houses, as Lyanna and I might once have done.”

This offer did surprise him. “Sansa is only eleven.”

Robert waved an impatient hand. “Old enough for betrothal. The marriage can wait a few years.”» Eddard, AGOT

See, Ned is shocked at the idea of Sansa marrying, and that’s not only because he is a good father. To wed this young was not common and very much frowned upon. And there, it’s between two people who are almost the same age (Sansa is eleven and Joffrey 12/13), not even with older men.

However it was quite common to set betrothals at this age. They were used as promesses, alliances. It wasn’t like our days, the marriage didn’t take place shortly after being engaged. Let’s have a look at the one between Catelyn Tully and Brandon Stark :

« ”[Robert] offers his own son in marriage to our daughter, what else would you call that ? Sansa might someday be queen. Her sons could rule from the Wall to the mountains of Dorne. What is so wrong with that ?”

"Gods, Catelyn, Sansa is only eleven,” Ned said. “And Joffrey… Joffrey is…”

She finished for him. “… crown prince, and heir to the Iron Throne. And I was only twelve when my father promised me to your brother Brandon." » Catelyn, AGOT

So, I looked a little at the timeline. Catelyn is born in 264AC ; the betrothal happens when she is twelve, so in 276AC. But Brandon (who by the way isn’t much older because he’s born in 261AC or 262AC, so barely 3 or 4 years older than her) comes for the wedding in 281AC. We know that because he was travelling towards the Riverlands to get married to Catelyn when he heard that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna and decided to go to King’s Landing instead, which was roughly one year before the Rebellion (282AC) - and his death.

So, in this case Catelyn must have been 17 when she was about to get married to Brandon and 18 to Ned. Her sister was two years younger than her, which means she was about 16 when she married Jon Arryn (a little young but still less than 12).

Another example : Cersei was married to Robert Baratheon at the age of 18 (284AC).

Margaery Tyrell is married to Renly Baratheon at 14/15, and to Joffrey at 16.

« [Margaery] was sixteen, brown-haired and brown-eyed, slender and beautiful. » Sansa, ASOS

Elia Martell’s betrothal to Rhaegar Targaryen came when she was 20, and likely married him shortly after.

So in short :

  • Catelyn : wed at 18
  • Lysa : wed at 16
  • Cersei : wed at 18
  • Margaery : wed at 14 and 16
  • Elia : wed at 20+

The acceptable age to get married wasn’t the same as the one to be betrothed - when there were still some rules and decency in Westeros. Everybody would have thought it was sick to wed a child. Tywin makes her wed only because he doesn’t give a fuck about her well-being. He doesn’t see her as a person, only ‘the Key to the North’, and it’s probable he would have killed her after she gave Tyrion a son.

(That’s why I’m having a hard time shipping Sansa with anyone, because her potential courtiers are so much older and frankly, not very much healthy for her… Not to say you can’t ship her, but please be aware of how young and psychologically unprepared she is.)

Also, the two youngest girls (at marriage) were married under different circumstances: Holster wanted to have Lysa married off quickly, as he considered his daughter already “stained”. The fact that she got pregnant also could have made Holster see her as more adult. I can hypothesize that Margaery was offered as wife to Renly in a haste, to be made queen and ensure the Tyrell support in a stronger way than a betrothal would have made.

"She would rather kill herself than go on, she decided one night."



"She would rather kill herself than go on, she decided one night."

Or, Why Shipping Dany/Drogo is Problematic

For some reason the Dany/Drogo ship is one of the most popular in the fandom. I must ask: why? This ship is one of the worst in the entire fandom (along with Sansa/LF) and yet it has a legion of followers who willfully ignore the very problematic parts of the relationship. Well, that needs to change. Now.

(Massive TW for Rape and Abuse)

(Dedicated to youngermorebeautifulqueen)

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Agreed. And I’d like to add, if you don’t mind, my thoughts as to why Dany romanticized the relationship.

As you said:

 I think it was because the reality was too horrifying to face, so she pushes the truth away and makes up her own version of the truth. Better that than facing the fact that your husband was abusive.

I think that’s definitely a part of it. However, she is eventually able to admit that Viserys abused her, so I think there’s more to this, and I think it’s pretty simple.

Once Dany got pregnant, Drogo began to treat her with affection and respect. As you already mentioned, Dany is 13/14 and has been abused, neglected, and living in fear her entire life up to this point. She has probably never experienced affection or respect before, and IMO, she’s desperate for them.

Note, for example, how quickly she bonds with Jorah. Once he proves he’s on her side by ignoring Viserys’ orders (there’s a great meta about that moment), she immediately considers him a friend…probably the first friend she’s ever had. 

When she becomes the mother of the Stallion Who Mounts the World, not only does she have Drogo’s respect, but suddenly that of the entire khalasar as well. Suddenly she has agency, respect, a bit of power.

To Dany, her time with the Dothraki represents the first time in her life that she experienced affection, sexual pleasure, friendship, family, agency, safety. Of course she romanticizes that - if she didn’t, if she really admitted that her whole relationship with Drogo was tainted by marital rape - then she would have to accept that has never truly been safe and happy in her entire life. That bright spot, along with her grandiose dreams of the Iron Throne and her firm belief in her right to rule, is what keeps her going…letting go of it would, I think, create some serious psychological trauma for her.

Eventually, when she has grown a bit and settled into a stage of her life when she does feel safe and happy again, she might come to accept her marriage to Drogo for what it was. But probably not, and certainly not any time soon.

sabotensan asked: Hey Butterfly. :> I’m doing a reread and notice all the other things, and actually I’m wondering /when/ Theon would have been returned to the Greyjoys, given the War of Five Kings don't happen? As far as I understand the party in power holds a hostage until their demands are met (or death happens i.e. like with Kevan’s sons). Theon - as the apparent sole male heir after Balon’s Rebellion - was the Stark hostage to prevent Balon from another uprising. (1/2)

By AGOT he was long a man grown by law and still was with the Starks (and the Greyjoy brothers were scheming stuff + Asha was his heir + Balon basically gave up on Theon, so it’s a bit of an ironic coincidence that he returned to Pyke at that time). Anyway, would he be free to go only after Balon’s death (no matter when that would happen)? Thanks in advance for your time!

Hmm. I’m trying to think of other hostage-on-good-behavior examples in ASOIAF, and the only thing that comes to mind is the hostage children that were taken to King’s Landing after the end of the Blackfyre Rebellion. (For example, Alysanne Osgrey.) Most of these hostages died during the Great Spring Sickness (13 years after the end of the war), and thus their parents began plotting again, resulting in the Second Blackfyre Rebellion.

So, considering that so many people could be hostages for 13 years (Alysanne was 7 when she was taken, became a silent sister, and died at age 20 without ever returning home), with no time of return even suggested… well, that says a lot about Theon’s situation.

If the War of Five Kings had never happened — if Ned Stark had never gone south and died, etc — I really do think that Theon might have only been returned to Pyke after Balon’s death. And considering his uncles, his return would probably be arranged so that his inheritance would hopefully continue the Greyjoys’ good behavior. Of course that doesn’t factor in Greyjoy internal politics, Balon giving up on Theon, Asha being treated as Balon’s heir, Euron’s ambition, etc., and it’s possible that Ned (or Robb, depending) would have had to make different arrangements if they learned the details.

But one of the presumable benefits of having a child hostage is teaching them the “good behavior”, so that they will continue in that manner once they are allowed to return. (Think of MCU’s Loki, the Jotun heir raised in Asgard; Odin hoped to eventually install him as an Asgardian-friendly ruler of Jotunheim.) I mean, Balon was basically correct when he told Theon that living with the Starks had made him forget the Ironborn ways. And whether this was planned or accidental, I wouldn’t doubt that Ned would have approved of this difference if he had noticed it.

Of course sometimes you get a total backlash to this attempted conditioning (for example, um, Loki, or well, Theon). So even if a nice Stark-friendly Theon had returned to the Iron Islands after Balon’s death and inherited the rule without too much internal strife, there’s no guarantee he would have stayed Stark-friendly.

On the other hand, I once wondered what would have happened if Theon had not been sent as a messenger to his father, if he had still been with Robb when word came of Balon’s new rebellion. (Posts here and here.) Would Robb have done what he’d think Ned would have done and executed the hostage? Would Ned have even done that (the question of whether Ned would have ever executed child Theon is a good one btw), or would he have seen how that obviously would not affect any of Balon’s plans, and just write Theon off as a loss? And if Theon had not been executed, but not allowed to ever go back to the Iron Islands again in case he turned his cloak… would he have just stayed a greenlander? Married some northern lady (probably not Sansa as he briefly dreamed as a child, but somebody), had northern kids, maybe eventually been given some keep in the North? There was a Theon Stark once, you know…

Anonymous asked: People want to feel sorry for everybody else in Game of thrones, but why not Petyr Baelish? Unjust things happened to him in his young life and turned him into what he is. I see why you don't like him, but can you feel no compassion for him?
themiddleliddle answered:

Ok, ok, serious answer behind the cut.

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More worrisome is that the TV series has actually never established that Dorne follows equal primogeniture, unlike the rest of the continent. In stray mentions throughout Season 4, when the TV series could have introduced that women have an equal chance of inheriting lordships in Dorne, they avoided it. A “Lord Blackmont” appeared in the Season 4 premiere, when in the books House Blackmont is ruled by a woman. When Oberyn recounts to Tyrion how he traveled to Casterly Rock when Tyrion was a baby, he says that his father took him on the trip - while in the books, it was his mother, the Ruling Princess of Dorne. Indeed, Dorne’s equal primogeniture laws are one of its most prominent cultural features, setting it apart from the rest of the continent - as well as directly tying into Myrcella Baratheon’s major subplot in Dorne, as Arianne hopes to press the token excuse that under Dornish law, Myrcella would inherit the Iron Throne ahead of her brother Tommen.