You don't belong here.
Posted 27 November 2007 - 12:39 PM
After the third time I read the thread title, my brain turned the phrase on it's head a little (Surely this has been discussed elsewhere and not to go off on a R+L=J tangent, but...) If Jon is a Targ... And/or should be "elsewhere..." "saving the world..." then he really shouldn't be hanging around Winterfell, should he. ;) Naturally, that's not what Cat would have meant, but foreshadowing, perhaps?
Posted 27 November 2007 - 12:39 PM
Edited because I can't spell.
Edited by Lady Blackfish, 27 November 2007 - 12:48 PM.
Posted 27 November 2007 - 12:59 PM
Posted 27 November 2007 - 01:01 PM
Posted 27 November 2007 - 01:05 PM
Posted 27 November 2007 - 02:30 PM
1. In bringing Jon to Winterfell, Ned willingly created his own dysfunctional family, and created the situation that gave rise to what Cat says to Jon. So it's Ned and his precious honor that are at fault, not Jon or Catelyn.
2. Ned was the lord of Winterfell and the Warden of the North, if he deemed that Jon should be raised in his castle, that's all there is to it. It was not a kind thing for him to do as it regards Catelyn, but I think in Ned's mind had other promises to keep as well (the heart in conflict with itself). And we see Ned agonizing over his promises and over Jon repeatedly before he died.
3. Catelyn was almost delirious with grief, exhaustion, and hunger when she said what she did to Jon. It doesn't make it right or wrong, but it just might be the reason why she gave voice to such a venomous sentiment.
So to me it was understandable that Cat felt the way she did and said what she did. It was a cruel and vindictive thing to say, but was borne of grief and long frustration. And this on top of the fact that she had already gotten Ned to agree to send Jon away from Winterfell.
Edited by Benjen, 27 November 2007 - 02:34 PM.
Posted 27 November 2007 - 05:36 PM
Well, of course they do. But these are not as clear as they would be anywhere else. Jon is the bastard, no question - but he eats with his brothers, spars with them, takes lessons with them. We don't know of any other household where this is true. We might suppose it to be true of the Freys, but as I say, there is as much reason to suppose it's not true of them because of the attitude Walder takes to his bastards.
I see no evidence one way or another on whether Walder's bastards had to "earn" their place or whether they were given it. We just don't know. The only thing that I can think of is the quote that Lord Walder believed in "taking care of all of his own" which would seem to suggest giving more than earning. I'm not sure how much evidence there is that the Jon's place as a bastard is "less clear" than the Freys other than the fact that Walder Frey is very blunt and is not afraid to say "you are a bastard" the same way he's not afraid to say "you are waiting for me to die".
No, because keeping a bastard at your own castle and parading him before the whole Court are not the same thing.
Yes, but when I am able to find so many instances of this in the few chapters that are given, I begin to wonder just how often these "special exceptions" happen.
Well, maybe. I always thought that Tyrion seemed like he was trying to make Jon angry in that scene (Jon doesn't start out angry), but maybe not.
Well, also that the child must apparently be raised in the family from infancy. And the proving that it should be in the lord's family seems to involve several subpoints; proving that they ate meals with the family, that they took lessons with the other children, that the father didn't point out that they were bastards too often. Happy Ent also seemed to think that the child should have to be conceived when the lord was married and the lord must still be married to the same woman when the child is living with the family. And you yourself said that the Alayne example didn't count because there should have to be legitimate children. Quite a few conditions.
But it depends on what you mean by 'raising', and in that regard the last sentence is absolutely crucial.
Cersei does? If you are thinking of the scene I think you are, then I believe she just comments that Robert had the grace to keep his bastards out sight. This compares Ned to Robert, not Ned to every other lord in Westeros. This is the scene where she also comments that Catelyn should have smothered Jon?
Well, I tend to regard Catelyn as an unreliable narrator concerning Jon Snow. I also think that her own father's take on what should be done about bastards may have been a more secretive one based on the fact that he forces Lysa to have an abortion rather than shame her with a bastard. He probably never would have raised one of his family's bastards at Riverrun and this may have caused Cat's view on what the "general" attitude is to become skewed. Also, even with Cat, do we only have the one quote? I'm not even sure what that quote means. "The Starks are not like other men" she says, which means that Jon gets raised at Winterfell. But in what way are the Starks not like other men? Their northern-ness? This would suggest that other northern lords raise their bastards. Their honor which Ned supposedly has so much of? This would suggest that raising Jon the way he did was the "honorable" thing to do and thus socially acceptable on some level.
Well, of course people are going to speculate about who Jon's mother is. This is just gossip and it would happen even if Jon were fostered out. Note that people gossip about Robert's bastards. I mean people being specifically surprised that Eddard raised Jon at Winterfell among his own children.
This is so incredibly true. Great observation.
Posted 27 November 2007 - 10:31 PM
I don't remember this as being something Catelyn dwells on. It seems to come up most apparently when Jon goes to visit Bran. She's emotional. She probably enjoyed being there, alone, for her injured son. I bet she got snippy with most everyone that walked in the room. She was just taking out her anger. Otherwise, she doesn't seem too preoccupied with it. After 14 years, she has gotten used to it.
However, that doesn't mean that any "hatred" - if that is what it is -of Jon is justified. I can understand that she probably was pissed in the beginning. And she never should be expected to "favor" him by any means. But Jon has always known his place and has tried to demonstrate this to everyone.
Jon sits with the castle workers at the feasts. He doesn't complain. Ned has raised him as his son, but also as his bastard. Robb has always been next in line and Jon has never been a threat to that. This is something Ned, Robb, and Jon have always known. The only time Jon mentions resentment is when he fakes resentment to win over Mance. But he is obviously faking - he says as much. Jon stayed only as long as he had to, then begged for the Black. He has been a good brother to his siblings and they love him for that. Even Sansa, stuck on class and chivalry, remembers him fondly. Hell, Jon even made the statement that the direwolf pups were for the trueborn children of Ned, and Ned respected him for that.
It could have been much worse for Catelyn. If anything, at least she has been able to keep her eye on Jon to confirm he is not a threat. If Cat wants to be angry, be angry at Ned. But Jon, given his situation, has made it as easy on her as he possibly can.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 05:56 AM
That's a possible interpretation, but not IMO a likely one. It really is only possible to interpret that comment in that way if you are actively looking for evidence that Walder treated his bastards unusually. Looked at objectively, it's not supportable, I think. Walder's bastards don't tend to have the same status as his legitimate children.
Of course, the fact that Walder has children by so many different women is also a complicating factor. The inheritance and status issues are already complex.
This is a big, big thing, though. Bastardy is a social stigma as well as a legal status: being reminded of it constantly is therefore a big part of it.. Ned can't do much about Jon's legal status, but he does treat Jon exceptionally in regards to the stigma.
But those instances are all related to Robert's visit, so that doesn't wash. (Except for the pups, of course, but that still only makes two.)
Sure. Bringing an adult child into a household is by definition not 'raising' it: it's already raised! ;) That's not an additional stipulation I've added, it's inherent in the discussion.
In any case, the only example you've supplied there where the bastard is apparently taken into the family as opposed to the household is 'Alayne', and that is questionable. For a start, when Lysa was alive, 'Alayne's' status was clearly marked out from the 'family': there was a separation there that there doesn't seem to have been in WF with Jon. I would argue that she was not regarded as part of the family in the same way Jon was. Even after Lysa's death, LF treats 'Alayne' differently than Robert, although since Robert is Lord of the Eyrie, it's dangerous to place too much weight on that. :P
Well, I would be happy to look at other proofs, but the main point was that being raised in the castle was not sufficient to show that the child was being raised in the family.
Cersei comments on it more than once (IIRC). But even in the scene you're thinking of, to read that as a comparison to Robert only and not as a general comment on social expectations takes some highly selective reading, I'm afraid.
Rather a lot of guesswork here. In particular, the last sentence is a supposition based on a hypothesis, and not confirmed by anything directly in the text. We need more to suppose that Cat is not correct in what she says.
'The Starks were not like other men' can only have one interpretation - they're unique. If it was a question of their Northern-ness, she would have said 'the Northmen were not like the Southrons'. If it was a question of their honour, she would have said 'the Starks were honourable'. If it was a question, on the other hand, of the Starks having a unique interpretation of 'honourable behaviour' that others regarded as socially unacceptable - then she would say 'the Starks were not like other men'.
One last point on Cat 'hating' Jon and the unfairness thereof: I've commented before that she seems to acknowledge this at a certain level, and that her feelings towards Jon are actually not personal, in a sense. Cat rarely if ever ascribes negative traits to Jon: when she thinks of him (which is rare) she doesn't think he's hateful or run him down or whatever. She pretty clearly doesn't hate Jon: she hates his presence. Now, it's clearly still unfair for her to vent those feelings upon him, but it's not the same as if she really did hate him or blame him.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:04 AM
Correct, and for the most part neither does Jon.
Again, correct. She takes her anger out on Maester Luwin as well: her behaviour to him is equally out of line.
Not sure about this. Do you have specific examples in mind? The memory Jon has of playing with Robb, for example, can be interpreted as him not knowing his place - and he does seem to have had fantasies about being Lord of WF one day. Yeah, they're only fantasies, but still...
He does this at the feast in AGOT, and we're told this was unusual. We don't know what he did other feasts, but at 'regular' meals he seems to have eaten with his siblings, so it seems reasonable to conclude that he did at feasts too.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 07:05 AM
Jon has always known the place Ned gave him, and that place is so much larger than what bastards are expected to have that he thinks about wanting Winterfell for himself and is bitter at not being sitted or allowed to spar with the trueborn nobles.
Edited by Errant Bard, 28 November 2007 - 07:05 AM.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:03 AM
I don't recall Catelyn telling Maester Luwin he should have been injured instead of Bran. That being the case, her fit with Maester Luwin is hardly equal to the vitriol she spewed at Jon. Not to mention the fact that Maester Luwin was a man with an important position in Winterfell who wasn't being shipped off to the Wall to get him away from Catelyn before receiving his tounge lashing.
Her behavior, as I said before, is understandable. However, that doesn't make the behavior right or just.
Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison, 28 November 2007 - 09:05 AM.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:08 AM
I don't recall Catelyn telling Maester Luwin he should have been injured instead of Bran. That being the case, her fit with Maester Luwin is hardly equal to the vitriol she spewed at Jon.
I agree with this. And it's not just that one comment either. I don't see how snapping at someone by saying "how dare you suggest that I leave my son to attend to trivial duties" is comparable to repeatedly calling Jon a bastard, threatening to call the guards if he comes in to see his brother before he leaves for an extended period of time and telling him that he should have been injured in Bran's place. Cat's attack on Jon is personal, her attack on Luwin is not.
Neither does Jon. I think we are just going in circles by now.
Then I'm afraid that I can't think of where you mean. Not selective reading, just a different interpretation and the most obvious one, IMO. The way that Robert handled bastards was "more decent" to Cersei's sensibilities than the way that Ned handled it. I don't see anything to suggest that it is unusual.
Yeah, it's a theory. It's also considering what we know of a characters' upbringing to tell us about their POV.
There still has to be some way or combination of ways in which they are unique. She wouldn't necessarily phrase it like you suggest because she IS a southron.
I think that there are several interesting points here. For one thing, yes, keeping an eye on Jon should help her confirm that he is not a threat. It also seems that Jon is less likely to attempt to try to steal his brother's birthright the more he loves his family. He can only truly love them as brothers if he is raised along side them and the more kindly he is treated, the more likely he is to care about his family and to be a kind person.
Secondly, I don't know if Jon actually has made it as easy on Catelyn as he can, but from the infamous scene where they interact, it certainly appears this way. I think this is one of the reasons why so many people hate Catelyn so much for this scene. If Jon had gone into it with a fighting attitude, it would have been different. Instead, he just lets Catelyn speak to him this way. It obviously hurts him and he even seems a little fearful of Cat at the beginning of the scene. Yes, he insists on seeing Bran, but other than this the vitrol just seems so one sided in this scene.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:32 AM
Her attack on Luwin is interrupted by Robb, so we don't know what else she might have said. But it still leaves the man shaken, is unprovoked, and is caused by her venting her frustrations on a handy target using whatever excuse comes to hand. So in these ways, it's equally out of line. Note that I didn't suggest the two things were exactly the same. ;)
Then you need something to suggest that Cersei's sensibilities are unusual, surely? Because without that, we must assume that she is talking about her perception of the norm. Which chimes with Cat's. And we have nobody taking the other side: in four books, nobody has explicitly suggested that the norm is different from what these two characters describe it as. Nor has GRRM done anything but confirm the idea that Ned's treatment of Jon was unusual, when asked. So we are entitled to assume that Cat and Cersei are correct.
Like this? ;)
I don't see that argument at all. Surely that makes it more likely that she would refer to 'Northmen' in general?
But the more time he spends at WF, the better he is able to steal his brother's birthright, should he ever choose to. The more people will say he is fit for the job, because he knows the people, the places, the ways of his family. The more loyalties he can win. The more visible he is. And as I said earlier, Cat's family background is of a loyal uncle rebelling against his beloved brother over a relatively minor issue. She knows that love is not always a proof against dissent.
Besides, Cat's fears are not necessarily rational. You can't expect her to dismiss them with this sort of argument.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 10:37 AM
That isn't true unless you are saying "out of line" isn't a spectrum. I'd say she was much more "out of line" with Jon given the nature of the attack and Jon's relationship to Bran.
Posted 28 November 2007 - 11:47 AM
Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:13 PM
But what she did say to Luwin is not a personal attack. Also, she attacks Jon personally right off the bat. The personal dimension is what makes it more out of line -- the problem shouldn't be separated into categories of out of line-ness, but each of these factors should add to how out of line it is. That was a very strangely phrased paragraph on my part ... ;)
Are you sugesting that Cersei's view on bastards is the norm? She has them killed! Also, I think your argument only works if you assume what is socially acceptable for a bastard is an either/or proposition. That only one of the options can be socially acceptable. I've maintained from the beginning that there are different options that lords take regarding their bastards and Ned's is probably not even the most common -- it’s just sometimes done. Therefore, Cersei only suggests that she dislikeswhat Ned has done as opposed to Robert in this quote, not that it is unusual.
Not if she took what southron lords did as the norm. Then Ned as the northern lord that she knows best would be the odd one. But I see what you're saying too.
True, it's a delicate problem. But the chance of Jon being able to take his birthright away from his brothers while they still live is slim anyway. The biggest threat is that he would try to kill them and he is not likely to do this if he loves them.
Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:02 PM
I disagree - suppose Robb was dead or unavailable - the Northmen would have to decide between a crippled ten year old (then a male toddler and then two girls) ...... or the "mature" natural son of Ned Stark. As we see, family trees and chains of command can be up-ended pretyy easily in Westeros.
Less immediately, suppose Robb manage to sit the High Seat of Winterfell but never managed to sire any sons. A generation later, the offspring of Jon Snow might look more attractive than whatever sons were born of Robb's siblings, or any daughters of Robb.
Technically, Robb's daughter would inherit, but inheritence laws are legal niceties - very clear in concept but very sloppy in the execution.
Catelyn thinks very clearly about the Blackfyres and their long-lasting insurrection - if not simply Jon vs. Robb, she is very concerned about her grandchildren on down. That's part of her responsibilities as a matriarch of a reigning family.
Edited by Daena the Defiant, 29 November 2007 - 09:03 PM.
Posted 30 November 2007 - 02:40 AM
I agree that the Northmen may look to Jon for leadership in such a scenerio, but I don't think he would ever get the title or Winterfell unless his brothers were dead. Often, bastards are passed over even when there are no trueborn sons or daughters to inherit. This is why Robb has to formally name Jon as his heir instead of it just being assumed as it was with Bran.
Posted 30 November 2007 - 03:14 AM
Suppose Jon has a son, fostered at the Dreadfort. Call him Jim. Suppose House Bolton wants Winterfell. They can build a claim about Jim, whose birthright (arguably) supercedes everything Robbs wife can press through her narrow hips. It's not a question of you and me agreeing on the legality of it—it's a question of this claim being sufficiently valid for House Bolton to build a rebellion about it. Say, enough to get House Karstark on its side.
Jon's personal characterstics have not much to do with this. (And even so, we have his POV. We know that Lord of Winterfell is a title he might have coveted, had his situation been just a little bit different.)