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moonisacircleofghosts asked: I still laugh when imagining Varys as three children standing atop each other's shoulders under a big robe, so thank you for sharing that crack theory once upon a time, wherever it came from (I no longer remember). I also at times ponder if Littlefinger will try and have a 'Snape arc' forced on him as the silliest possible thing: dies saving Sansa some way even though he's a royal creep and perv, lauded as a secret hero all those years, etc.
boiledleather answered:

Ha! I’d say no way to a Littlefinger redemption arc. For one thing, Martin, unlike J.K. Rowling, is a good writer. For another, it just seems to me that Littlefinger’s thematic purpose is to be a schemer, a self-interested monster who will see all his plans come to naught when the Others come. He’s the embodiment of the selfishness and shortsightedness and senselessness and stupidity and evil of war in light of our common humanity that is the book’s central thesis. If he doesn’t die having witnessed his life’s work in ruins I’d be really surprised.

Sansa and Arya, Catelyn and Ned: Role Switching

how-much-farther-to-go:

In most respects we say that Arya is very like Ned: a skilled fighter, compassionate, loyal, “pack-minded”, and average-looking (or at least, not really called “ugly” except as a sexist insult). She is also very devoted to the old gods and calls herself a “wolf.”

And Sansa is like her mother: diplomatic, well-spoken, dutiful, thinks analytically and is considered very beautiful.

And I absolutely agree with that 100%. But when you go back and look at the text, the Stark sisters switch roles several times. It’s NOT a “Stark” vs. “Tully” sort of thing, it’s just the personality differences between Ned and Catelyn.

This is not a coincidence: Sansa was the closest witness to their father’s death, and will finish his work in the South by defeating Littlefinger and winning allies for her House.

  1. Like her father, Sansa now lives in the Vale, is being mentored there, and has befriended a Baratheon.
  2. After his death, her chapters in ACOK pick up where he left off in descriptions of the royal court. She compares them to “whining dogs”, howling for Joffrey’s approval.
  3. Before meeting Mya, Sansa used to live by a somewhat elitist-tinged southron version of her father’s beliefs about honor and chivalry, and refers to these things frequently, unlike Arya. Ex. In ASOS, she comments that Lothor Apple-Eater is “no true knight” based on his simple, rough clothing.

Arya was the closest witness to their mother’s death and now has all of the skills she needs to finish Cat’s work, and do what UnCat cannot: get justice for her family.

  1. Like her mother, she is now called “Cat” and lives by flowing bodies of water. Huh.
  2. Like her mother, Arya would rather pass up a chance for vengeance to save people she cares about. Ex. Gendry and Hot Pie instead of giving Tywin’s name to Joffrey.
  3. Like her mother, Arya believes in Justice: she judges by more universal concepts of good and bad, not rules of honor. Ex. “A girl has no honor.” (shrugs in response)
  4. EX. Arya thinks that Dareon a “foul heart” at first meeting, only later calls him a “deserter.” Ned’s mind, Dareon would be a bad person because he deserted. In Arya’s mind, it’s the other way around: Dareon deserted because he is a bad person. She decided to kill him on moral grounds, not exactly legal ones.

 On the surface, Arya’s story is about a girl who seeks “honorable” vengeance, when it’s actually about a girl who still believes in fair and good justice.

On the surface, Sansa’s story is about a girl who loses all her faith in honor and chivalry, when it is actually about a girl who still, deep down, believes that those things have a place in politics. A person with decency can still win in the end.

TL;DR how the Stark sisters take after their parents is much more complicated than “one is Ned, the other is Cat.”

how-much-farther-to-go:

I’ve been asked about the Stark siblings again, which means MORE INFO GRAPHICS, but unfortunately my write-up is kinda long.
First off, I’ll admit that there’s no way for us to really be certain about what will happen at the end, but this is the scenario that I’m betting on.
I’ve been asked the question recently by Joannalannister when I said that very likely, Bran will come back as to be King in the North (Bran the Builder 2.0), I was asked, “But how do you step down from being a god to *just a king*? If the politics are a red herring, why get your god involved in politics?”
That’s a good question. I should probably explain what I think the future holds for the North.
I have two reasons for why I am so certain that Bran will return to Winterfell as King with his sisters.
1.  Their stories are three parts of a complete whole. Three wolves=one pack.
2. Northern kingship is based in magic, not politics.
Think about the sort of place the North will be after the War is over. Think about how few people will be left alive after 10 years of winter and war. It will be very primitive, wild, and magic will rampant, just as it was in the time of the first Bran the Builder. To be a king in this kind of place, you need the primordial magic of the Greenseers. The sorts of skills Sansa will be useful but won’t be enough to rule such a savage place. If Sansa and Arya know that Bran is alive, they will back his claim.
The issue really hangs on whether Bran will be bound to a tree like Bloodraven is in the next few years. When you go back and look at Bran’s chapters in ADWD, there’s actually nothing and no one saying he will do that. None of the Singers ever suggest that he will be stay in the Cave forever or that he will be bound to the tree very soon. That idea was really born out of the generally creepiness of the Cave, and it is a really creepy place.
In contrast, there’s simply too many parallels to the Builder to ignore. The things Bran wants: knighthood, warrior’s glory, etc.. never happen. But he always gets what he doesn’t want: he was afraid to be Lord of Winterfell, he was afraid of the weirwood trees, and he was very afraid when the Reeds told him that he is warg and greenseer. And he never liked the story of Bran the Builder. Why give such a monumentally important title and place to a non-POV character (Rickon)?
I want Bran to return as king because of the balance it brings to their tri-narrative.
TL;DR Their stories began together in Winterfell and they must end together in Winterfell.
P.S. you can see my other meta on the Stark siblings narrative unity here

how-much-farther-to-go:

I’ve been asked about the Stark siblings again, which means MORE INFO GRAPHICS, but unfortunately my write-up is kinda long.

First off, I’ll admit that there’s no way for us to really be certain about what will happen at the end, but this is the scenario that I’m betting on.

I’ve been asked the question recently by Joannalannister when I said that very likely, Bran will come back as to be King in the North (Bran the Builder 2.0), I was asked, “But how do you step down from being a god to *just a king*? If the politics are a red herring, why get your god involved in politics?”

That’s a good question. I should probably explain what I think the future holds for the North.

I have two reasons for why I am so certain that Bran will return to Winterfell as King with his sisters.

1.  Their stories are three parts of a complete whole. Three wolves=one pack.

2. Northern kingship is based in magic, not politics.

Think about the sort of place the North will be after the War is over. Think about how few people will be left alive after 10 years of winter and war. It will be very primitive, wild, and magic will rampant, just as it was in the time of the first Bran the Builder. To be a king in this kind of place, you need the primordial magic of the Greenseers. The sorts of skills Sansa will be useful but won’t be enough to rule such a savage place. If Sansa and Arya know that Bran is alive, they will back his claim.

The issue really hangs on whether Bran will be bound to a tree like Bloodraven is in the next few years. When you go back and look at Bran’s chapters in ADWD, there’s actually nothing and no one saying he will do that. None of the Singers ever suggest that he will be stay in the Cave forever or that he will be bound to the tree very soon. That idea was really born out of the generally creepiness of the Cave, and it is a really creepy place.

In contrast, there’s simply too many parallels to the Builder to ignore. The things Bran wants: knighthood, warrior’s glory, etc.. never happen. But he always gets what he doesn’t want: he was afraid to be Lord of Winterfell, he was afraid of the weirwood trees, and he was very afraid when the Reeds told him that he is warg and greenseer. And he never liked the story of Bran the Builder. Why give such a monumentally important title and place to a non-POV character (Rickon)?

I want Bran to return as king because of the balance it brings to their tri-narrative.

TL;DR Their stories began together in Winterfell and they must end together in Winterfell.

P.S. you can see my other meta on the Stark siblings narrative unity here

86 notes   •   VIA: pisatnavzryd   •   SOURCE: pisatnavzryd
pisatnavzryd:

Hi!
(I accidentally posted this without answering so I’m just answering in picture form. Plus tagging man)
Okay so, first of all, wow thank you for trusting my feminism because I honestly have been told recently by people irl I’m not a feminist because I’m racist against white people and sexist against men. Whatever that means. Apparently I blame all men for things only some men do. Lmfao.
But I sort of understand your dissatisfaction with the way women are written in ASOIAF, because there is so much sexual violence against them, and in some cases, it’s much easier to like male or “tomboy” characters (I hate that term so much because like why is everything we do compared to men instead of having inherent value?) than the conventionally feminine characters. But, maybe that’s our own ingrained biases coming in, I probably definitely have many of them that I’m trying to fight out. I personally consider Arya to be written as more likable than Sansa (in AGOT anyway which influences perceptions through the series), Ned more likable than Catelyn, and Jaime and Tyrion as far more likable than Cersei, but that doesn’t mean that I’m right.
Tyrion and Jaime are given certain “they’re capable of good!!!!!” spots which Cersei isn’t very much but that could also be that we’re not given Cersei’s perspective until AFFC where she’s “psycho” to put it crudely, but to put it more accurately, suffering from a pretty severe mental breakdown and manifestation of PTSD and long standing paranoia. I personally loved it because her story was the depiction of a woman falling into madness but one that made a lot of sense from her perspective. It’s very Greek Tragedy, like Oedipus killing his father after trying so hard to evade his own prophecy, and Agamennon, and it’s a story that’s generally reserved for men, for kings, and for Cersei to get that is fascinating.
We can talk about the sexism associated with giving her the falling into madness arc, and giving Jaime the identity arc, and Tyrion, who is a rapist with so many of his own negative qualities, the antihero arc (I’m pretty sure he’s the third head of the dragon) but I don’t think Cersei’s story is misogynistically written exactly. Something about feminism is that it’s not just about women being capable of achieving everything that men can, it’s about women having the emotional range that men are given as well. Like, the anger and rage that Cersei has all through AFFC is very stereotypically male and the violence she enacts is quite masculine in nature. But her story is also infused with issues that are just inherently female in nature that few men face.
There’s the whole fact her story is a horror story about being trapped inside the patriarchy, mother sister daughter wife and has no escape. She undergoes marital abuse (not that women aren’t ever abusive to their husbands but it’s far and away more common for men to abuse their wives), she’s punished for her sexuality, and instead of being denigrated as a bad person, the Faith imprisons her for sleeping with the Kettleblacks and the mob calls her a whore, a slut, ugly, washed up etc; those are specifically gendered insults. Since the age of what, 12 or 13, women are told their worth is in their appearance and their sexuality and they’re also told to care about those things makes them vain and worthless. See the hypocrisy? The quote that comes to mind is from Cara Hoffman’s “So Much Pretty,” “There were bodies and bones. Women’s bodies, which first became coffins at puberty, a skin coffin. A place from which you will never be heard, except maybe by those who are buried nearby, or those with their ear to the ground.”
But yeah, don’t listen to people who just dismiss her as a psycho bitch. I have issues with the way Cersei’s written, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in her narrative and in her arc as it is. Just try to be objective about it and see the reasoning behind her actions instead of just resorting to “she must be crazy” rhetoric that many men love to apply to women they’re scared of because they can’t understand them.

pisatnavzryd:

Hi!

(I accidentally posted this without answering so I’m just answering in picture form. Plus tagging man)

Okay so, first of all, wow thank you for trusting my feminism because I honestly have been told recently by people irl I’m not a feminist because I’m racist against white people and sexist against men. Whatever that means. Apparently I blame all men for things only some men do. Lmfao.

But I sort of understand your dissatisfaction with the way women are written in ASOIAF, because there is so much sexual violence against them, and in some cases, it’s much easier to like male or “tomboy” characters (I hate that term so much because like why is everything we do compared to men instead of having inherent value?) than the conventionally feminine characters. But, maybe that’s our own ingrained biases coming in, I probably definitely have many of them that I’m trying to fight out. I personally consider Arya to be written as more likable than Sansa (in AGOT anyway which influences perceptions through the series), Ned more likable than Catelyn, and Jaime and Tyrion as far more likable than Cersei, but that doesn’t mean that I’m right.

Tyrion and Jaime are given certain “they’re capable of good!!!!!” spots which Cersei isn’t very much but that could also be that we’re not given Cersei’s perspective until AFFC where she’s “psycho” to put it crudely, but to put it more accurately, suffering from a pretty severe mental breakdown and manifestation of PTSD and long standing paranoia. I personally loved it because her story was the depiction of a woman falling into madness but one that made a lot of sense from her perspective. It’s very Greek Tragedy, like Oedipus killing his father after trying so hard to evade his own prophecy, and Agamennon, and it’s a story that’s generally reserved for men, for kings, and for Cersei to get that is fascinating.

We can talk about the sexism associated with giving her the falling into madness arc, and giving Jaime the identity arc, and Tyrion, who is a rapist with so many of his own negative qualities, the antihero arc (I’m pretty sure he’s the third head of the dragon) but I don’t think Cersei’s story is misogynistically written exactly. Something about feminism is that it’s not just about women being capable of achieving everything that men can, it’s about women having the emotional range that men are given as well. Like, the anger and rage that Cersei has all through AFFC is very stereotypically male and the violence she enacts is quite masculine in nature. But her story is also infused with issues that are just inherently female in nature that few men face.

There’s the whole fact her story is a horror story about being trapped inside the patriarchy, mother sister daughter wife and has no escape. She undergoes marital abuse (not that women aren’t ever abusive to their husbands but it’s far and away more common for men to abuse their wives), she’s punished for her sexuality, and instead of being denigrated as a bad person, the Faith imprisons her for sleeping with the Kettleblacks and the mob calls her a whore, a slut, ugly, washed up etc; those are specifically gendered insults. Since the age of what, 12 or 13, women are told their worth is in their appearance and their sexuality and they’re also told to care about those things makes them vain and worthless. See the hypocrisy? The quote that comes to mind is from Cara Hoffman’s “So Much Pretty,” “There were bodies and bones. Women’s bodies, which first became coffins at puberty, a skin coffin. A place from which you will never be heard, except maybe by those who are buried nearby, or those with their ear to the ground.”

But yeah, don’t listen to people who just dismiss her as a psycho bitch. I have issues with the way Cersei’s written, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in her narrative and in her arc as it is. Just try to be objective about it and see the reasoning behind her actions instead of just resorting to “she must be crazy” rhetoric that many men love to apply to women they’re scared of because they can’t understand them.

Permalink   •   Tags: #cersei lannister

Two beauties

miss-m-calling:

Brienne and Pia, gender, beauty, strength, violence.

Spoilers through ADWD.

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Mother Mole and Arya: The Salvation Across the Water

how-much-farther-to-go:

“[Mother Mole] had a vision of fleet of ship arriving to carry the free folk to safety across the narrow sea…Mother Mole has led them all to Hardhome, there to pray and await salvation.”-Jon ADWD

When we read ends up happening to the free folk that fled to Hardhome, we normally just chalk it up to betting on the wrong horse. The men are apparently mostly killed, and the women and children are enslaved by slavers who had set anchor in the bay. Some three shiploads of them, we know, are taken to Braavos, which seems like a terrible idea for a slaver even if you’re just passing by, because the Braavosi HATE slavery,

But I wonder, what if Mother Mole wasn’t wrong?

Because, funny thing, there is a certain girl living in Braavos who:

  1. Has a fierce personal sense of right and wrong.
  2. Named her pet direwolf after a historical queen who led shiploads of her people, mostly women and children, to safety after they were chased from their homeland. That direwolf is leading a massive pack right now.
  3. Has a habit of freeing prisoners.
  4. Is working for a guild of assassins that has taught her stealth, intelligence-gathering, and “face-changing”, shit that’s useful for things like rescue missions.
  5. Works for a guild of assassins that HATES slavery.

Their salvation is there. Their Nymeria is waiting. She has a name the Free Folk respect, a magical gift from the old gods that they honor, and the skills to lead them.

Her name is Arya Stark.

Permalink   •   Tags: #arya stark #submission

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: ACOK, Theon I

racefortheironthrone:

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: ACOK, Theon I

“The green lands have made you soft, and the Starks have made you theirs.”

“You’re wrong. Ned Stark was my gaoler, but my blood is still salt and iron.”

Synopsis: brilliant strategist and manly man Theon Greyjoy sails home to Pyke, where everyone falls over themselves to say how awesome and important Theon is, and then he has a heart-to-heart with his daddy, who accepts him completely and instantly agrees to his proposals. Just kidding.

Political Analysis:

Theon I is one of those chapters that reads completely differently after the publication of ADWD, when you can see the payoff to this setup. I remember initially finding Theon’s interior monologue, reeking (ha!) as it did with Axe body spray, misogyny, and a raging entitlement complex, really annoying (although Theon’s nigh-instant comeuppance is quite cathartic), especially when he actually succeeded in his long-shot plan to take Winterfell (perhaps one of the most consequential POV actions of the post-AGOT series). On the other hand, now that I’ve read ADWD and I go back to this chapter, I am beyond impressed at how precisely GRRM layers in themes that will become absolutely crucial to Theon’s storyline later –  the chapter revolves around questions of identity and self-worth, questions that Theon attempts to answer with appeals to his masculinity, and Theon’s inner monologue constantly flips back-and-forth on his feelings about the Starks and his own family.

There’s a lot to get into in this chapter, and I know I’m not going to cover everything.* Someone far better than I at gender theory needs to tackle Theon’s masculine privilege/entitlement, the way in which misogyny covers for his massive insecurity, how Martin uses sexposition to both illustrate character and introduce us to the history and culture of the Iron Islands, and then the deconstruction of the aforementioned in ADWD – and probably has.

* I did want to briefly note the use of conflicting point-of-views, with Theon being so sure that “even the bastard Jon Snow had been accorded more honor than he had,” compared to Jon Snow’s absolute belief that he was on the bottom rung at Winterfell. Interesting how nobody agrees who was the sympathy-invoking underdog, either here or in the case of Arya and Sansa.

Theon’s Never-Going-to-Work Big Plan

One thing I had forgotten about this chapter is how much of the responsibility for the offer of alliance between the Starks and Greyjoys this lies directly on Theon’s shoulders. In part because of the  foreknowledge of what Theon’s going to do and what’s going to happen to Robb, the blame tends to get lumped onto Robb as one more example of how the boy king won every battle but lost the war. Here, however, Theon is quite insistent that he, rather than Robb Stark, is primarily responsible for the idea: “There is nothing small about the letter I bear..and the offer he makes is one I suggested to him…It is my plan, not Robb’s,” Theon said proudly. Mine, as the victory will be mine, and in time the crown. “I will lead the attack myself…as my reward I would ask that you grant me Casterly Rock for my own seat.”

And to be fair to the poor doomed idiot, it’s actually not a terrible idea. The plan for the Ironborn to attack the Westerlands from the sea while Robb attacks from the land is actually quite sound militarily…

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faramircaptainofgondor:

lyannas: I’ve been racking my brain over this maths ever since I found out about R+L=J (which is a long time ago), but who do you think is most likely older: Robb or Jon? If I remember correctly The rebel houses met up in Riverrun for the weddings after The Battle of the Bells, and Cat likely got pregnant on her wedding night. We also know Ned found Lyanna after the war “in a bed of blood” shortly after giving birth to Jon (assuming that her screams were that of childbirth).

Now when Ned returns to Riverrun after the ToJ, Robb is already born. So again: who’s older? Of course they’re very close in age, and may only be separated by a few months (or days, even), but I’m trying to figure out as definitively as I can and I hoped you could help!

I never thought about it before. I don’t think I cared, to be honest. (And I still don’t.) And we can’t know for sure, by the way. Because to be certain, we need to know precisely how long the Rebellion lasted.

Robb was conceived the first time Ned and Catelyn had sex, and I’ve seen people suggest that Robb is older because he was born nine months into the Rebellion (which lasted, roughly, a year) whereas Jon was born after the Rebellion ended, in ToJ. This is false. The Rebellion had already started when Ned and Cat got married. I’m pretty sure the battles of Summerhall and Ashford had already taken place by then.

I always felt like Robb was older, but it was probably because everyone else (the characters) thought Robb was older as well, since they think Ned is Jon’s father. I think it all depends on this: Was Robb born while the war was still raging (or when it was over and Ned was going to ToJ, it makes no matter) or was he born when Ned retrieved Jon and was journeying back to the North? 

As I said, we need to know exactly how many months the Rebellion lasted before we can come to a 100% correct conclusion. They’re both born in 283AC and that’s good enough for me.

Permalink   •   Tags: #Robb stark #Jon snow
beat-train asked: I'm re-reading AGOT and was struck by the importance given to the Wardenships, particularly Ned's concern that if Jaime Lannister is Warden of the East and later inherits Warden of the West that he'd have control of half the armies of the realm. Do you think GRRM has shied away from the Warden concept? It's not like the Royces will suddenly follow Jaime over the Arryns as their liege right? And related - why would Ned be concerned with Jaime inheriting anything as a member of the Kingsguard?
boiledleather answered:

I wouldn’t say Martin’s shied away from the warden concept, no — it’s just that as is often the case in Westeros, while de jure titles carry a lot of weight, they don’t mean nearly as much if they’re in conflict with a de facto claimant on the same institution. At the same time, the realm has fallen apart, so East West North and South don’t matter as much as they used to. So no, the Lords of the Vale are not gonna ditch House Arryn for Jaime, unless and until Jaime starts defeating various lords of the Vale. 

As for Jaime inheriting the Warden of the West position, it’s not a castle or a lordship, it’s a title designed to ensure  the realm’s loyalty to the monarchy like Hand of the King, which Kingsguards can and have occupied. And it’s been in the hands of House Lannister since the Conquest. There’s no reason to change that now. 

she was red, and terrible, and misunderstood.

marciaoverstrand:

yo so tonight instead of doing any of my work I have become consumed with melisandre emotions/analysis so congratulations you lot get to reap my early-morning-stream-of-thought bullet points yee haw I apologise for the general incoherency.

melisandre is one of the most heinously underrated and misunderstood characters in the entirety of GoT/asoiaf, and it’s for one big reason (a reason that is - shock!!!!! horror!!!!! - prevalent in both the show and the books. that may terrify those who uphold the books as the paragon of narrative brilliance, but at this point I’m too tired to do anything more than chuckle feebly in that direction. also it’s beside the point. but whatever).

anyway, what I’m getting at is that whenever I try to discuss melisandre or attempt to glean another’s opinion of her, what I get met with the vast majority of the time is this:

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Permalink   •   Tags: #melisandre