This little dot of ink.

joannalannister:

thericajstuff asked:

From what we know about Tywin Lannister, do you really believe that he simply forgot about Elia during the Sack?

To be very clear about my opinion:

From what I know about Tywin Lannister, House Lannister, pre-series events, and the general themes of ASOIAF,

I do not believe Tywin Lannister explicitly ordered Gregor Clegane to rape and murder Elia Martell during the Sack of King’s Landing, nor do I believe Tywin issued an implicit order / order by omission / an order by means of forgetfulness. I believe Gregor acted on his own to rape and murder Elia.

However, I do think that the text makes it very clear that Tywin should be held responsible for Elia’s rape and murder, despite not being directly involved in it.

Very long post under the read more. tw: rape

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2.16 | 3.18

joannalannister:

 submitted:

Regarding the whole prophecy thing, I’ve always thought that a lot of Cersei’s actions in AGOT/ACOK fit that pretty well - she’s constantly telling Joffrey that Sansa is stupid, in part because she’s trying to convince herself that Sansa couldn’t possibly be a threat to her. And she’s always very careful about Joffrey - in addition to the wolf incident, no other child has a bodyguard just for them, and she dissuades him from jousting whenever possible, pulls him back from the walls at the worst possible moment, etc.  

But can’t those also be explained by Cersei’s normal personality? Telling Joff that Sansa is stupid is her jealousy and fear of losing Joff. The direwolf is very much an action-reaction thing, a much smaller scale version of Tywin: “Cat Tully Stark kidnapped Tyrion? OH, time to invade and destroy the Riverlands!” (I don’t think I can call it an eye for an eye, because those aren’t proportionate.)

And if Cersei was truly concerned about the prophecy, why wouldn’t she have a bodyguard for each child? The prophecy doesn’t say the order in which they will die, only “gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds.” Having a bodyguard only for Joffrey suggests to me she is more concerned about maintaining her hold on the throne, through Joffrey. 

So I don’t know. We don’t have a definitive answer, unless GRRM tells us.

joannalannister:

 submitted:

Hi, I have perused a bit through your Cersei tag and haven’t found something about this, but if there is, please forgive me.

So, one of the things I’m wondering about are Maggy the frog’s prophecies. My doubts about it are several. I’ve read somewhere (probably on Tower of the Hand) someone who was disappointed by the introduction of Cersei’s prophecies so late in the series, and lamented that it changed their perception of Cersei (the sense was that it weakened her strong-willed character to have her acting based on a prophecy.) This comment made me reflect.

First of all, do you think that Cersei’s prophecy was something that Martin decided from the very beginning? For example, I admit not having re-read the books after AFfC, so I may totally be wrong, but Cersei’s behaviour toward Sansa don’t seem to me consistently dictated by the “younger and more beautiful queen” threat. Sure, Cersei has Lady killed and is certainly not Catelyn Stark-motherlike toward Sansa, but she does give her counsel (albeit twisted) and in general doesn’t sound as if she wants truly to destroy Sansa as she later does with Margaery.

So (second question), was Cersei’s life as dictated by the prophecy before Joffrey’s death as she was after it? Was Joffrey’s death the trigger that reminded her completely of Maggy the Frog’s words? She also wasn’t completely horrible to Tyrion before that; I remember a scene in which Cersei dances happily with Tyrion at the news of Stannis killing (or marching against?) Renly.

Sorry for the lengthy message and thank you!

Hi! I’m not sure I could say much that hasn’t already been said very well by others. (Everyone should really go read.) The prophecy did come as a surprise to me while reading, and I’ve yet to find anything in rereading AGOT-ASOS that hints it existed at the time.

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Thank you for you thoughts! It was something I hadn’t thought of before (the importance of the prophecy in pre-Feast Cersei, so I’m really happy to learn other people’s opinion about that. It’s interesting what you say about Jaime - that there might be something we’re missing from his past as well. The valonqar is really my least favourite part in the prophecy, I’m afraid - because I don’t want Jaime to kill Cersei (or anybody else, to say the truth), and I struggle with the fact that we, readers, are supposed to guess rightly on Jaime while Cersei’s doesn’t. Given my fondness both for Cersei and for Jaime, I don’t know what’s worse: already knowing that he’s meant to kill her, or reading directly in A Dream of Spring the scene where he kills her (and then dies himself?)

(Sorry, I don’t seem able to reblog this directly from joannalannister)

Easter Monday is national holiday here in Italy, and a very heartfelt one to boot. Pasquetta (“little Easter”) is a traditional day for excursions and picnics, (usually with a lot of food involved), and since everyone leaves, it’s also a day of traffic in the highways and so on.

Today, we went to a natural/historical attraction here in Calabria, the Pentedattilo rock, a natural agglomerate of various stones shaped by wind and water as a hand (Pente-dattilo, from Greek “five fingers”.)

I had already been there before, but I didn’t know this ASOIAF-like story tied to the rock. I learnt that there was a castle built at the very top of it (you can still see ruins and walls, though most of it is gone now), in a position not so different from how the Eyrie would look like.

In 1686, the noble family owning the Pentedattilo castle (and feud), the Alberti family, was slaughtered in a passion-driven crime. Antonietta Alberti, sister to the Pentedattilo lord Lorenzo, became bethroted to don Petrillo Cortez, son of the Spanish Viceroy don Pedro Cortez (South Italy was Spanish at that time.) However, Antonietta was in love with a local baron, Bernardino Abenavoli, who when discovered her bethrotal to don Petrillo, decided to take his revenge. He bought the complicity of the Alberti major-domo and entered by night into the castle with a band of henchmen. Lorenzo Alberti was stabbed in his bed, and his little brother Simone, 9 years old, was thrown against a rock. Don Petrillo Cortez was taken as hostage and Antonietta married Bernardino two days later.

However, the reaction from the Spanish in Naples didn’t wait for long. Seven men of Abenavoli’s band were taken, beheaded, and their heads exposed on the walls of the castle. Abenavoli was able to escape and joined the Austrian army. His marriage with Antonietta was nullified and she died in a nunnery.

ASOIAF, Italian history doesn’t give you a damn.

troius:

fuchsiagroaning:

dotofink:

I have just sent this Ask to joannalannister, but since opinions on this subject interest me, I’m copying it here. If anybody wants to discuss, I’d be happy to hear your take :D

Hi, I have perused a bit through your Cersei tag and haven’t found something about this, but if there is, please forgive me.

So, one of the things I’m wondering about are Maggy the frog’s prophecies. My doubts about it are several. I’ve read somewhere (probably on Tower of the Hand) someone who was disappointed by the introduction of Cersei’s prophecies so late in the series, and lamented that it changed their perception of Cersei (the sense was that it weakened her strong-willed character to have her acting based on a prophecy.) This comment made me reflect.

First of all, do you think that Cersei’s prophecy was something that Martin decided from the very beginning? For example, I admit not having re-read the books after AFfC, so I may totally be wrong, but Cersei’s behaviour toward Sansa don’t seem to me consistenty dictated by the “younger and more beautiful queen” threat. Sure, Cersei has Lady killed and is certainly not Catelyn Stark-motherlike toward Sansa, but she does give her counsel (albeit twisted) and in general doesn’t sound as if she wants truly to destroy Sansa as she later does with Margaery.

So (second question), was Cersei’s life as dictated by the prophecy before Joffrey’s death as she was after it? Was Joffrey’s death the trigger that reminded her completely of Maggy the Frog’s words? She also wasn’t completely horrible to Tyrion before that; I remember a scene in which Cersei dances happily with Tyrion at the news of Stannis killing (or marching against?) Renly.

Sorry for the lenghty message and thank you!

From a storytelling standpoint I don’t think pre-AFFC Cersei is totally consistent with the prophecy, personally. In Cersei’s own universe you can always come up with explanations: we’re not inside her head so we don’t know that she’s just putting on a fake concern for Sansa, etc etc. But when looking at the story as a series of decisions on GRRM’s part, personally I feel like if it was truly consistent, he would’ve found ways to let you know that something more was going on in her interactions with Sansa and Margaery. Even though he writes a perspective-limited story, he does sometimes break perspective to let the reader know things he wants them to know. So he’s not always technically strict about sticking to perspective.

I don’t know if that means that he didn’t think of the prophecy until AFFC or if he had it in mind all along. It’s hard to analyze because he scrapped the five year gap he had planned between ASOS and AFFC. If he had had that in there, who knows, maybe someone would’ve told Cersei the prophecy at age 34 instead of her in childhood. Maybe it was just a way to explain the accelerated descent into paranoia, and Martin hid it behind the “well we were never in her mind before” excuse. I think he always knew that after she ascended to queen, she would then fall to ruin, somehow. That’s the trajectory for House Lannister in general. They get the power they wanted and then it ruins them. But I am not convinced the prophecy was part of the mechanism from the beginning.

Certainly Joffrey’s death seems to play into Cersei’s later behavior. But the fact that we don’t even get inside her head until after it happens acts as a confounding variable. We can’t attribute it wholly to one or the other and thus we can’t be sure that the prophecy was always constantly in her head all along.

Personally I find the prophecy very clunky and not really Martin’s best writing. It’s possibly my least favorite part of Cersei’s story and chapters. I also think that Martin’s habit of having mothers go mad because their children were hurt is a little annoying, not because it means they’re weak but because it seems like an overstated fixation of his. But that’s what the story is and all I can do is make the story make sense as much as possible. So Joff’s death reminding Cersei of the prophecy and convincing her of it even more sounds good to me even though I’m not sure Martin planned it that way all along.

I think you probably hit it right on the head— Martin needed some reason for Cersei to get to the some place in terms of character development in AFFC, but scrapping the gap created a problem.

I’d imagine the original Cersei paranoia gameplan involved Jaime staying away from King’s Landing for most of those five years, making it clear he was intentionally staying away from Cersei. If you combine that with some political occurrences, like the Tyrells gradually asserting control over the council, a few small uprisings in favor of Stannis, and perhaps an assassination attempt or two on Tommen (not to mention the actual assassination attempt on Myrcella), and you could see Cersei getting to where she is in AFFC without prophecy.

Because ruling is stressful. One of the most brutal parallels in Cersei’s story is how she ends up becoming frighteningly similar to Robert— she drinks heavily, puts on weight, begins abusing her partner, and sees a threat in every shadow. And for Robert that was just a result of dealing with the events that take place while you’re the king, over the years, and I expect the original plan was just to mirror that (Jaime’s abandonment serving as Lyanna’s death did).

Reblogging for more interesting thoughts about the five-year-gap and how it could have influenced Cersei’s rendition in AFfC.

Cersei’s prophecy ask

fuchsiagroaning:

dotofink:

I have just sent this Ask to joannalannister, but since opinions on this subject interest me, I’m copying it here. If anybody wants to discuss, I’d be happy to hear your take :D

Hi, I have perused a bit through your Cersei tag and haven’t found something about this, but if there is, please forgive me.

So, one of the things I’m wondering about are Maggy the frog’s prophecies. My doubts about it are several. I’ve read somewhere (probably on Tower of the Hand) someone who was disappointed by the introduction of Cersei’s prophecies so late in the series, and lamented that it changed their perception of Cersei (the sense was that it weakened her strong-willed character to have her acting based on a prophecy.) This comment made me reflect.

First of all, do you think that Cersei’s prophecy was something that Martin decided from the very beginning? For example, I admit not having re-read the books after AFfC, so I may totally be wrong, but Cersei’s behaviour toward Sansa don’t seem to me consistenty dictated by the “younger and more beautiful queen” threat. Sure, Cersei has Lady killed and is certainly not Catelyn Stark-motherlike toward Sansa, but she does give her counsel (albeit twisted) and in general doesn’t sound as if she wants truly to destroy Sansa as she later does with Margaery.

So (second question), was Cersei’s life as dictated by the prophecy before Joffrey’s death as she was after it? Was Joffrey’s death the trigger that reminded her completely of Maggy the Frog’s words? She also wasn’t completely horrible to Tyrion before that; I remember a scene in which Cersei dances happily with Tyrion at the news of Stannis killing (or marching against?) Renly.

Sorry for the lenghty message and thank you!

From a storytelling standpoint I don’t think pre-AFFC Cersei is totally consistent with the prophecy, personally. In Cersei’s own universe you can always come up with explanations: we’re not inside her head so we don’t know that she’s just putting on a fake concern for Sansa, etc etc. But when looking at the story as a series of decisions on GRRM’s part, personally I feel like if it was truly consistent, he would’ve found ways to let you know that something more was going on in her interactions with Sansa and Margaery. Even though he writes a perspective-limited story, he does sometimes break perspective to let the reader know things he wants them to know. So he’s not always technically strict about sticking to perspective.

I don’t know if that means that he didn’t think of the prophecy until AFFC or if he had it in mind all along. It’s hard to analyze because he scrapped the five year gap he had planned between ASOS and AFFC. If he had had that in there, who knows, maybe someone would’ve told Cersei the prophecy at age 34 instead of her in childhood. Maybe it was just a way to explain the accelerated descent into paranoia, and Martin hid it behind the “well we were never in her mind before” excuse. I think he always knew that after she ascended to queen, she would then fall to ruin, somehow. That’s the trajectory for House Lannister in general. They get the power they wanted and then it ruins them. But I am not convinced the prophecy was part of the mechanism from the beginning.

Certainly Joffrey’s death seems to play into Cersei’s later behavior. But the fact that we don’t even get inside her head until after it happens acts as a confounding variable. We can’t attribute it wholly to one or the other and thus we can’t be sure that the prophecy was always constantly in her head all along.

Personally I find the prophecy very clunky and not really Martin’s best writing. It’s possibly my least favorite part of Cersei’s story and chapters. I also think that Martin’s habit of having mothers go mad because their children were hurt is a little annoying, not because it means they’re weak but because it seems like an overstated fixation of his. But that’s what the story is and all I can do is make the story make sense as much as possible. So Joff’s death reminding Cersei of the prophecy and convincing her of it even more sounds good to me even though I’m not sure Martin planned it that way all along.

What you say makes a lot of sense (also Re: the prophecy happening in the 5 years gap).

Pre-Feast Cersei never looked particularly fearful to me (and that’s one of the things I admire in her; probably you know, but it’s better to make it clear, that she’s one of my favourite characters in the novel.) Actually I’d never considered having to blend pre-POV and after-POV Cersei together, but that post made me think about it. If I have to be completely honest, the part I like the least is that apparently Cersei will have to be killed by Jaime - something I feel will be pushed down my throat as the Widow’s blood.

Thanks a lot!

Cersei’s prophecy ask

I have just sent this Ask to joannalannister, but since opinions on this subject interest me, I’m copying it here. If anybody wants to discuss, I’d be happy to hear your take :D

Hi, I have perused a bit through your Cersei tag and haven’t found something about this, but if there is, please forgive me.

So, one of the things I’m wondering about are Maggy the frog’s prophecies. My doubts about it are several. I’ve read somewhere (probably on Tower of the Hand) someone who was disappointed by the introduction of Cersei’s prophecies so late in the series, and lamented that it changed their perception of Cersei (the sense was that it weakened her strong-willed character to have her acting based on a prophecy.) This comment made me reflect.

First of all, do you think that Cersei’s prophecy was something that Martin decided from the very beginning? For example, I admit not having re-read the books after AFfC, so I may totally be wrong, but Cersei’s behaviour toward Sansa don’t seem to me consistenty dictated by the “younger and more beautiful queen” threat. Sure, Cersei has Lady killed and is certainly not Catelyn Stark-motherlike toward Sansa, but she does give her counsel (albeit twisted) and in general doesn’t sound as if she wants truly to destroy Sansa as she later does with Margaery.

So (second question), was Cersei’s life as dictated by the prophecy before Joffrey’s death as she was after it? Was Joffrey’s death the trigger that reminded her completely of Maggy the Frog’s words? She also wasn’t completely horrible to Tyrion before that; I remember a scene in which Cersei dances happily with Tyrion at the news of Stannis killing (or marching against?) Renly.

Sorry for the lenghty message and thank you!

ASoIaF has always had to walk a tightrope in its subversion of the high-fantasy genre in that it portrays people and events closer to the way they really work in real life, but in doing so risks coming across as an endorsement of the way things really work in real life.

Martin has always been clear, for example, that good men (eg. Ned) don’t always make good rulers. But to me the second part of that statement has always been an implicit but clear “and that really sucks.”

I’m not sure everyone sees it that way, though. Time and time again, we see fan backlash against some of the main characters when their attempts to behave decently backfire or fail in some way — Ned giving Cersei the chance to flee rather than die; Dany using her dragons and burgeoning following to liberate slaves and attempt to create a just peace in Meereen rather than leveling everything between her and King’s Landing; Jon’s increasingly status-quo-threatening attempts to get the wildlings south of the Wall and on the side of the rest of the realm. You end up with arguments that life would be better under a despot like Tywin Lannister than under a liberator like Daenerys.

In other words, many readers seem to take Martin’s realpolitik approach to how the world works in his writing as a reprimand against those with a more idealistic outlook. I don’t think that’s the case at all, in large part because of the issues of war and peace that provoked this thread.

Martin has unfailingly portrayed war as a grotesque folly, a crime against our common humanity. He does this by setting up a supernatural antagonist of whom most of the warring parties are unaware but who we know (to the extent that we can know anything of GRRM’s longterm plans with this series) is the enemy of all humanity, such that every time people raise their swords against one another, or burn each other’s towns and crops, or sack each other’s strongholds and rape and torture and murder their families, they are doing the enemy’s work.

Obviously, war against the Others and their wights will be necessary — but it’s striking that the only necessary war Martin allows for is one that can’t possibly have a counterpart in real life. We have no white walkers to worry about. We only have each other.

[ADwD Spoilers] On War and Peace - A Song of Ice and Fire - Page 2

The above quote is my contribution to a provocative thread on how Martin’s characters “wage peace,” started by Westeros.org’s Elio García in response to the Curt Purcell post I talked about earlier.

I would also add that part and parcel of how Martin has humanized epic fantasy by fleshing out heroes and villains into characters less easy to identify as either is similarly fleshing out the humanity of the people who die in the wars waged between the two. That’s why it’s so weird to me to see people endorsing Tywin Lannister or, god help me, Roose Bolton as a superior ruler to Daenerys Targaryen or Eddard Stark — or to see people arguing that Victarion Greyjoy — wifebeater, gaybasher, rapist, war criminal, mass murderer — is the Prince Who Was Promised or Azor Ahai reborn. These men dehumanize others, and humanizing others is the project of the entire series.

(via boiledleather)

————————————————————————————

Just to throw my own two cents here - firstly, I really wish Hymn for Spring was out already because I have a long essay in there on this very topic that is hard to sum up in a few words. Secondly, one of the major reasons why I started Race for the Iron Throne is that I don’t think the major characters acting decently is the reason for their political failings - I think the reason is that they fail to understand institutional power and how it is gained and lost. 

So, to do a short version:

Ultimately, Ned’s godswood chitchat with Cersei would not have hurt him in any way had he used the power of his office to ensure military hegemony in King’s Landing, because people often forget how utterly vulnerable Cersei was at that moment. He didn’t need to buy the Gold Cloaks and entrust that to Littlefinger; he could have replaced it’s officer corps with Jorey Cassel and other trusted Northmen from the get-go, or hired mercenaries en masse. Moreover, he could have gotten to the bottom of things much sooner, i.e before Robert’s death, had he sent Jorey Cassel with a legal summons to Ser Hugh or Stannis.

Likewise, Dany’s mistake in Slaver’s Bay wasn’t to overthrow slavery - it was that she took every last soldier out of Astapor so that the government could be overthrown by a butcher, that she took the slaves of Yunkai but left their masters in control of most of the city’s wealth, that in Meereen she freed the slaves but left the economic resources of the city in the hands of the Wise Masters, and then tried to make a conciliatory peace. She didn’t need to go full scorched-earth to win, but she did need to follow through on her revolution. 

Similarly, Jon Snow’s mistake in ADWD wasn’t that he tried to bring about a social revolution on the Wall (although when it comes to Hardhome he was suffering from a bad case of tunnel vision) - it’s that he followed the maxim of “kill the boy and let the man be born” and utterly failed to build a constituency for his agenda. Jon Snow should have been eating with his men all the time so that they came to like and trust him, rather than systematically sending away every friend and ally (although he did need good people to staff the castles) he should have been building up a base of supporters, moving them into positions of power where they could help him, and most importantly reproducing his initial network of allies by recruiting. But most of all, he should have regularly and loudly explained to everyone what he was doing and why BEFORE he did it in order to persuade them that this was a good idea and to make it clear what his motives were, rather than waiting until the very last moment to chew out his subordinates for not getting the plan.

In other words, it’s not that being a good person makes you a bad politician and vice versa, it’s that being a good person isn’t enough - you also have to learn how to be a good politician.

But the vice versa doesn’t have a better track record - Tywin’s dead and his legacy will die with him because no one will march for the memory of Tywin Lannister; Walder Frey is watching his family die all around him and his carefully-hoarded strength dissipate in futile attempts to take the North; Roose Bolton faces rebellion and siege that threatens to topple him within the first year of holding the North, his attempts to rebuild Winterfell are being visibly undone around him, and his son Ramsay will destroy everything the day after he dies. 

(via racefortheironthrone)

gawaincomic:

…I have just started posting my comic there. It’s still the sketch version; I will replace the sketch pages with the definitive ones as I draw them. Still a bit of work to do :p…

gawaincomic:

A set of ‘artist cards’ I gave away on my blog last year for Valentine’s Day. I had the hardest time findng candidates who wanted them XD. It’s not my best Gawain, I know (I keep struggling to mix a good colour for his hair), but I thought his wives came out quite nicely…