Ah yes, thanks for sharing indeed. That is a pivotal little plot mystery morsel.
I am a little disappointed that it is not a different word with some clever twist.
However, with all the outlandish options proffered before this GRRM confirmation it is worth remembering that Brienne's "trial" before Lady Stoneheart took place underground. Brienne is lead by a handful (two I think) of BwB men above ground to be hung. So Lady Stoneheart is not present when she is being hung. Whatever word she says had to appeal to those men, not Lady Stoneheart. "Sword" works because all her heard Lady Stoneheart's deal.
Brienne needed to get Jaime out of the Castle. She could have simply said "I need your help". Mentioning Sansa has more dramatic tension but its not necessarily a lie. Brienne realizes that she is the only one (& Pod) out abroad seeking Sansa who wishes to protect her. She does not wish to fail Sansa (or Jaime's honour) in that. So by Jaime helping her escape the BwB he is helping her rescue Sansa. (Against this is that Brienne doubts she can find Sansa, but Brienne is nothing if not resolved in her quest).
I agree though... the key to this situation is not Brienne, who is caught between conflicts of honour (though she has simple, clear-cutting cleverness of a sort). It is not Jaime who is not sword-capable and beyond all appeal to Stoneheart&BwB as a lion and a kingslayer. The key is GENDRY
Melisandra, on 08 June 2012 - 10:08 AM, said:
What reason/evidence has there been for Gendry to turn against Lady Stoneheart?
SugarVampire, on 08 June 2012 - 10:47 AM, said:
“We were king’s men when we began,” the man told her, “but king’s men must have a king, and we have none. We were brothers too, but now our brotherhood is broken. I do not know who we are, if truth be told, nor where we might be going. I only know the road is dark. The fires have not shown me what lies at its end.”
“Justice.” Thoros smiled wanly. “I remember justice. It had a pleasant taste. Justice was what we were about when Beric led us, or so we told ourselves. We were king’s men, knights, and heroes . . . but some knights are dark and full of terror, my lady. War makes monsters of us all.”
“I am saying we are human. You are not the only one with wounds, Lady Brienne. Some of my brothers were good men when this began. Some were . . . less good, shall we say? Though there are those who say it does not matter how a man begins, but only how he ends. I suppose it is the same for women.”
BwB is definitely in flux. Many of them are tired of war. A large portion of them don't like the way justice are carried out. Plenty of them are grateful for Brienne to save the children. All they need is someone who can lead them. Given that Gendry saved Brienne from her fight with Biter, he has grown to be more assertive. He will have a larger role to play given his story arc. Stoneheart is not going to be united with Arya as GRRM is not one to do so.
Hence I think Gendry is the one who will emerge from Jaime/Brienne/unCat a leader who leads to the demise of unCat. Isn't that GRRM's favorite ironic thing to have Gendry undo unCat given his close relationship with Arya in the past. More tragic, less obvious.
Gendry will accept a lot of abuse (he takes his father's abandonment and Tobo Mott's rejection to the Watch in his stride). But he has some fierce principles. He needs momentum to rile him to action.
The last thing Brienne was trying to do with some urgency before Biter & Rorge was tell Gendry of his father. Lady Stoneheart and Jaime and Brienne all KNOW with some certainty (from the Jaime dungeon interview) that Tommen is not a Baratheon. Many might see that as granting Gendry a real and legitimate claim to the Throne. The new king to lead the King's men (He is older than Edric Storm).
We also see in the inn that Gendry is also decidedly serious about his new faith in the lord of Light. Lady Stoneheart is not. With the lightest of pushes from Thoros this may spur Gendry to action as well.
We see he is still making his sword (which he plans to use) so maybe he is in brooding preparation (Him and Stannis would get along).
We also know he joined the BwB because he was truly inspired by how Beric was different. He also took an oath. And he's not afraid to die or face danger or hardship.
This is the scene where Gendry joins the Brotherhood without Banners:
A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII said:
“You would do better serving Lord Tully at Riverrun,” said Lord Beric. “I cannot pay for your work.”
“No one ever did. I want a forge, and food to eat, some place I can sleep. That’s enough, m’lord.”
“A smith can find a welcome most anywhere. A skilled armorer even more so. Why would you choose to stay with us?”
Arya watched Gendry screw up his stupid face, thinking. “At the hollow hill, what you said about being King Robert’s men, and brothers, I liked that. I liked that you gave the Hound a trial. Lord Bolton just hanged folk or took off their heads, and Lord Tywin and Ser Amory were the same. I’d sooner smith for you.”
“We got plenty of mail needs mending, m’lord,” Jack reminded Lord Beric. “Most we took off the dead, and there’s holes where the death came through.”
“You must be a lackwit, boy,” said Lem. “We’re outlaws. Lowborn scum, most of us, excepting his lordship. Don’t think it’ll be like Tom’s fool songs neither. You won’t be stealing no kisses from a princess, nor riding in no tourneys in stolen armor. You join us, you’ll end with your neck in a noose, or your head mounted up above some castle gate.”
“It’s no more than they’d do for you,” said Gendry.
“Aye, that’s so,” said Jack-Be-Lucky cheerfully. “The crows await us all, M’lord, the boy seems brave enough, and we do have need of what he brings us. Take him, says Jack.”
“And quick,” suggested Harwin, chuckling, “before the fever passes and he comes back to his senses.”
A wan smile crossed Lord Beric’s lips. “Thoros, my sword.”
This time the lightning lord did not set the blade afire, but merely laid it light on Gendry’s shoulder. “Gendry, do you swear before the eyes of gods and men to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to protect all women and children, to obey your captains, your liege lord, and your king, to fight bravely when needed and do such other tasks as are laid upon you, however hard or humble or dangerous they may be?”
“I do, m’lord.”
The marcher lord moved the sword from the right shoulder to the left, and said, “Arise Ser Gendry, knight of the hollow hill, and be welcome to our brotherhood.”