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[Book Spoilers] Mother/daughter relationships Catelyn and Cersei


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#1 Ice Turtle

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:25 AM

Watching scene where Cersei rages about Myrcella's betrothal reminded me of betrothals of the Starks girls, especially Arya's to Waldor Elmar Frey.
Catelyn and Cersei have very different experience with arranged marriage, but still, in this I liked Cersei more than Cat, especially after we had seen what sort of life Arya would have led at the Twins, and Cat had seen it too.

#2 David Selig

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

What's so wrong with life at the Twins?

Besides, who said Elmar and Arya had to live there? Emmon Frey lived at the Rock and his situation was really similar to what mar's would've been if he had married Arya.

#3 Oberyn King

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

Cersei reacted that way cause Myrcella's betrothal was Tyrion's decision, not hers. But both Catelyn and Cersei love their kids.

#4 Iron Captain

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

Yeah Walder was trying to get rid of family members, they probably would have lived at Winterfell.

I actually feel the opposite of the O.P. Catelyn was sensible enough to make use of a marriage alliance, Cersei was so overprotective of her children that she went into a rage based on a good plan by Tyrion.

#5 Ser Hippie

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:19 PM

Cersei reacted that way cause Myrcella's betrothal was Tyrion's decision, not hers. But both Catelyn and Cersei love their kids.


Also important to remember is their own personal history with marriage.

Cersei's marriage to Robert was a disaster, Catelyn's marriage to Ned (despite the intention being she marry Brandon) ended up being very loving.

#6 birdsong66

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

I'll take it a step further----I don't imagine Catelyn would have taunted Mycella with the death of her brother(s) for sport, either.

Her "nutty" over Mycella's future was more about Tyrion arranging it, than poor matches for royal offspring, which, BTW, they are decidedly not. That, and the fact that men keep making decisions she feels entitled to make, by birth and position. I'm going to love watching this malignancy fall.

As for Catelyn brokering a match for Arya, I'm afraid I can't imagine any situation in which selecting a spouse for Arya, be it for the benefit of war effort or strengthening Great House alliances, would be a simple thing. so someone better de-bastardize Gendry real quick as it is the closest to a suitable match by temperament at the moment.

#7 sennahoj

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

I'd agree about Cersei mainly raging about the fact that the match was Tyrion's idea, which of course he knew she would. Motherly feelings aside, Cersei knows that noble children are simply pawns in the game of thrones. So she was really annoyed that Tyrion tried to play at the game with her pieces. Same with her rage about Pycelle's arrest, he's another chess piece of hers Tyrion is not supposed to touch (and play with).

#8 Ice Turtle

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

What's so wrong with life at the Twins.


Being surrounded by Freys day and night and have Walder Frey as authority over your life? A lot, especially for someone with Stark values.

Cersei knows that noble children are simply pawns in the game of thrones.


And women are usually only breeding mares, yes that is how things usually are, but that doesn't mean that Cersei wouldn't have tried to do things differently in position of power.

#9 birdsong66

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

.... but that doesn't mean that Cersei wouldn't have tried to do things differently in position of power.


And how's that working out for her so far?

See, Cercei doesn't "try." She "demands." It's only one of the reasons she's not a character I can sympathize with. YMMV, or course.

#10 Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:24 PM

Yeah in that scene I actually sympathized somewhat with Cersei which is not easy to achieve. She is still a terrible person but I understand the sentiment of not wanting her kids to be pawns of game of thrones with their well being coming second and being forced to marry who others want. But to some extend it was also her being pissed at Tyrion being behind it. Of course Myrcella being away of KL in some way does protect her well being if KL would fall. I think she has a fair point about the unfairness of children, and people, especially women being mistreated in that way being forced to marry people. And the fact that she is talking from experience also makes the scene stronger.

But too bad that Cersei doesn't share the same sentiments about people who are not her children (or herself) and are someone else's children and are abused in the game of thrones. Still her being against that kind of abuse although being against it only in a very few select cases, well it might be one of her very few positives.

Catelyn is more intelligent than Cersei and more practical, less delusional person, making a deal with Walder Frey was absolutely vital for her son's war, for the riverlands even, so she did it. She also has been luckier than Cersei in regards to arranged marriages. Catelyn also lacks her daughters. Victories in the war might make it more likely to get them back through diplomacy which is what she is in favor after their victories and capture of Jaime Lannister. I think Catelyn is more concerned about survival/victory/regaining daughters first and to a less extend about who they would marry. I don't think that her priorities were wrong when she was negotiating.

Also as someone else said, if say Myrcella was her prisoner I don't see her treating her as badly as Cersei treated Sansa.

Edited by Qhorin Halfhand and Yoren, 16 April 2012 - 05:40 PM.


#11 Dr. Pepper

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

Just a side-bar question: What did that scene with Sansa and Shae mean? I got that it showed where Shae ended up and that Shae lies about her background, but I got the feeling there was some other meaning we were supposed to interpret from their interaction.

#12 Ice Turtle

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

Just a side-bar question: What did that scene with Sansa and Shae mean? I got that it showed where Shae ended up and that Shae lies about her background, but I got the feeling there was some other meaning we were supposed to interpret from their interaction.


I think that they are building up for Sansa/Tyrion marriage.

#13 Harle The Handsome

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:06 AM

Just a side-bar question: What did that scene with Sansa and Shae mean? I got that it showed where Shae ended up and that Shae lies about her background, but I got the feeling there was some other meaning we were supposed to interpret from their interaction.


I got the feeling that Sansa took it as another slight against her. Here she is supposedly the betrothed of the king and her chambermaid is insolent and has no clue what she is supposed to be doing. It is as if she was an afterthought or this move was intended to be a slight. This scene had the whole shock, anger, bargaining and acceptance vibe to me.

#14 teemo

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:13 AM

I just figured Sansa was frustrated because not only was Shae incompetent, but Sansa also believes all of her chambermaids are Cersei's spies.

However, I never remember Sansa using that kind of tone with anyone in the books, especially while she was in KL, and even when she thought the maids were spies. She's so timid and depressed in KL she hardly has the energy to barely talk to someone, let alone go off on them.

#15 Ice Turtle

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:05 AM

I just figured Sansa was frustrated because not only was Shae incompetent, but Sansa also believes all of her chambermaids are Cersei's spies.

However, I never remember Sansa using that kind of tone with anyone in the books, especially while she was in KL, and even when she thought the maids were spies. She's so timid and depressed in KL she hardly has the energy to barely talk to someone, let alone go off on them.


I can remember only one person, when she was angry that was exactly how she talked with Arya.

#16 Raksha the Demon

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:21 PM

I just figured Sansa was frustrated because not only was Shae incompetent, but Sansa also believes all of her chambermaids are Cersei's spies.

However, I never remember Sansa using that kind of tone with anyone in the books, especially while she was in KL, and even when she thought the maids were spies. She's so timid and depressed in KL she hardly has the energy to barely talk to someone, let alone go off on them.


Book-Sansa was far more courteous than TV-Sansa; book-Sansa was never rude to her Septa the way Sansa was in Season 1. Sansa did mention, in her thoughts, in the books, that her maids spied on her for the queen, but I don't recall any instance where she was rude to them. There is one time where Sansa was not so much rude as hysterical, trying to burn her clothes and ending up burning linens I think, and struggling with the maids when they tried to calm her down - that was when she woke up to her first menstrual bleed, which she knew meant that she would be married, and believed (since Joffrey had told her so) that she would be married to Joffrey. In those circumstances, particularly after months of abuse and maintaining her calm, courteous veneer, I'd have freaked out too. But there was no incident in the books where Sansa was rude to a servant who displeased her.

#17 Woman of War

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:44 AM

I think here we have a problem resulting from the fact that HBO Sansa is so much older than book Sansa. If she were the same timid and formally courteous child she is in the books it would hardly be believable, since we see a very tall, strong and healthy looking young woman who can certainly not be presented as a naive child. She would come over as outright stupid, there they certainly made some mistakes in series one. The HBO Sansa is a girl that would be able to speak up to people, and since they cannot show her as more actively speaking up to Cersei or Joffrey without changing the storyline of her character they are forced to make her more age adequate in her exchange with Shae. And of course, and this is a shame, there will be no menarche scene, Sansa is too old. Actually this was the part of her story where she had come most alive to me, there she was really authentic, a living, breathing girl who reacted in a completely understandable manner.
So we have here a character that will either, like in series one, act too young, naive or you might call it inexperienced for her age or there will be some changes, one is that she can get truly bratty, forgetting her courtesies towards the (supposed) weaker.
Sophie Turner looks physically strong, not princesslike fragile at all, so Sansa should be able to develop some skills of self defense or riding for her life, letting her continue as damsel in distress would make her seem unnecessarily dumb and helpless, not going along with age and looks.
But nonetheless the Shae character struck me as the stronger personality of the two, given the inferior position. HBO Shae has no idea of the danger she is in at KL, giving happily away her secrets to Varys..... Maybe this is the moment when she gets hired as spy.... But she is streetwise and full of life, not the nicest person, but interesting.
Sorry, very much off topic.
Back to topic:
It always struck me as so very cold and cruel how both Cat and Robb reacted when they heard about Sansa's marriage to Tyrion. Of course they must have believed that Tyrion had claimed his "marital rights". And there was no pity for Sansa as a person, no feeling for her pain and misery, only scorn about the betrayal to house Stark and fury about the stolen claim. But where was the beloved daughter, the little sister in it? Sansa was no longer "one of them" to Robb and Cat, she had become a lost cause, a problem. here I understood Cat's feelings much less than her emotions towards Jon.
And this makes me believe that, if Sansa had been returned to them, they would have married her off to the next guy whom they needed as ally, like they had planned with Arya but in Sansa's case straightaway. Sansa would have had to do her duty without protest, so little advantage compared to the Tyrion marriage, only in that case served by her own beloved family.

Edited by Woman of War, 19 April 2012 - 11:49 AM.


#18 Rapsie

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

It always struck me as so very cold and cruel how both Cat and Robb reacted when they heard about Sansa's marriage to Tyrion. Of course they must have believed that Tyrion had claimed his "marital rights". And there was no pity for Sansa as a person, no feeling for her pain and misery, only scorn about the betrayal to house Stark and fury about the stolen claim. But where was the beloved daughter, the little sister in it? Sansa was no longer "one of them" to Robb and Cat, she had become a lost cause, a problem. here I understood Cat's feelings much less than her emotions towards Jon.



I think they were quite worried for Sansa as a person as well as shocked about the betrayal. Arranged marriages are normal in Westeros. Forced marriages, when the child involved is a prisoner are not the norm. They do show quite a bit of concern for Sansa:

Robb's fingers brushed the pommel of his sword. "If I could I'd take his ugly head off. Sansa would be a widow then, and free. There is no other way I can see. They made her speak the vows before a septon and don a crimson cloak.


"I should have let Lysa push him out her Moor Door. My poor sweet Sansa ... why would anyone do this to her?"


Bring my girls back to me, Brienne. Bring them back safe.


and they'll kill Sansa too once the dwarf gets a child from her.


my daughter has been given to a faithless dwarf to bear his vile children



Was there ever a wedding less joyful? she wondered, until she remembered her poor Sansa and her marriage to the Imp. Mother take mercy on her. She has a gentle soul.



#19 Makea

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:42 PM

Catelyn is a more loving and protecting mother. And, as someone said before, i too believe that she would treat Myrcella differently, with more kindness anyway, than Cersei threats Sansa.
As for the marriages, well, Catelyn did have the best interest of her son and the war in mind and I believe she also negotiated in such a way that Arya's future husband is fitting as she knows her daughter. But yes, Gendry is a better match for Arya and I hope someone will get him put og the position of the king's bastard so they can be together.
Cercei is a completly diffenrent story. I do believe she was fustrated because she wanted to be the one to decide who Myrcella will marry. Not having a mothjer to teach her what to do and how to do it is probably why she is so overprotective about her kids and she is maybe trying to compensate and this is why i believe she will make a good decision about the marriage of her children (this also seeing how her arranged marriage to Robert was not a good one). Do not get me wrong, I do not like her, but it was not her fault the marriage was a mess (again, not having a mother did have a bad influence on her and also the fact that Robert was a drunk and never showed her any affectin as he will always love Lyanna).

#20 Lykos

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

Ice Turtle, I think it´s unfair to compare these two incidents. We don´t really know how much of Cersei´s outrage was due to her concern for Myrcella, or if she was just pissed because Tyrion arranged this betrothal without consulting her. Catelyn on the other hand had little choice if she wanted Robb to succeed. Catelyn certainly was a hard mother, very stern, but when it came down to a matter of her daughters chance for survival, she even freed Jaime knowing and accepting it could mean her own death at the hands of Robb.

I think Cersai really loved at least Joffrey and Myrcella, but I don´t know how she would have acted if they stood in her way to power. And I think she despises Tommen´s "weakness".

ETA: Forget all I said, didn´t notice that this was the GoT TV series subforum.

Edited by Lykos, 21 April 2012 - 04:35 PM.