• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About Walda

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

2,405 profile views
  1. Thank you. I knew there was a reference to dragon droppings somewhere. Sorry @Dorian Martell's son, I know dragon droppings make less sense, but there they are.
  2. I think Unmentionables is not especially historically accurate, actually. From what you have mentioned, In the Regency (1810-1820) and before it, in the Georgian (1714-1810) those dresses were washed, and pressed. Not as often as the underclothes, and it was a fussier process, the different fabrics sometimes having to be taken apart then sewn back together, that laundresses charged more for (a trained eye could calculate the amount of pin money a young lady had at her disposal by the type of embellishments and fabrics of her gown, and the condition they were in.) In the 1500's (I know, but very probably earlier and later) wool and wool mix outer clothes were hung in the guarderobe, because the smell and the light and comparative airyness (compared to being folded and packed in a trunk or chest) and the vertical hanging deterred clothes moths and kept the gown in its best condition. The dressing closet was not the best smelling place, but remember, for every crap m'lady took, there would be a handful of ashes scented with attar of roses added to the mix too. But, by the late eighteenth century, wool and wool-linnen worsted and fustians were being replaced by light cotton muslins and lawns. These outer clothes were not only being washed, but ironed. The better sort of people, while not completely aware of or convinced by Continental germ theory ( partly due to the interruption of scientific communication thanks to wars with Directory France and Napoleon) were nonetheless under the impression that inhaling bad airs led to bad health, and had begun installing water closets in their town houses (which used the storm water drains to take the waste straight down the street and into the Thames, and that, plus the 'improvements' made to the drainage systems to facilitate the process, and the rising prosperity of the first half of the 19th century leading to more and more people being able to afford said town houses with water closets, as well as the rise of manufacturing and butchering industries to supply the newly wealthy middle classes with meat to crap and brightly dyed tablecloths to lay it on, lead to the Great Stink of 1858, but there had been lesser Stinks and cholera epidemics before the Victorian era). In fact, the Victorian era was when the miasma theory of bad airs was finally overturned in Britain (firstly by Farr and Nightingale, with their statistically evidenced theories of zymotic disease,then by the late Victorian era, Pasteur finally convinced the English that germ theory was a thing. By which point British medicine had become scientific enough to accept and assimilate the work of Koch, Cohn, etc. thanks to people like Sir Joseph Lister). The Victorians were the people who took cleanliness from being next to godliness to being something that even the poor should have, to be deserving of charity. They invented disinfectant, and the general improvement in standards of hygiene is a characteristic of their era. Even before the Victorian, it was standard for the middle class and higher to wash themselves about once a week. Elizabeth the First famously (according to the report of a Venitian ambassador) 'had a bath every month, whether she needed to or not'. Richard III had brought back the habit of bathing regularly from his crusades in the Holy Land, where Salidin's saracens ritually purified themselves five times a day before prayer, and wrote in horror of the lack of hygiene of the barbarians that had slaughtered women and children at Acre. His brother, John I, travelled with his own private tub, like Elizabeth I. The habit of bathing on Saturday, before attending mass, was picked up by the monasteries, and sometimes imitated by the godly. In Chaucer's time, every sizeable village had a bath house (or 'stew'). As it was a space where men and women could appear naked in public together, the medieval bathhouse became synonymous with prostitution, so it can be hard to tell if a man going to a brothel or having a bath from written sources, but still, bathing was far from unknown. Throughout the time, water was treated with suspicion, not just because of the association with prostitution, but because river water was not necessarily pure or potable, and it was believed that submerging the whole body in water allowed disease to seep into it. Although for sick people, having baths was often part of the cure (I presume, because the fever or scrofula could seep from them into the water). The public baths were closed down by Henry VIII, ostensibly because of their association with prostitution and plauge, but more probably because they were a place where peasants could meet and plot uprisings. In the medieval, people believed in washing their hands, especially before eating and after using the toilet. Also in washing their faces. And, (I strongly suspect - and know to be the case in later eras) washing their privates after sex, and after going to the toilet. So, while not absolutely spotless, they would not be as dirty as all that. As one Victorian traveller in Korea observed : (Corea or Cho-sen, Arnold Henry Savage-Landor, pub.1895) As you can no doubt see from the above, there are difficulties for historians in generalising about a population's bathing habits, especially as it is most often commented on by outsiders, who may well be presuming as much about the general standards of their own people, as of those they are ostensibly observing. Claimed lack of cleanliness has been used to communicate contempt for, inferiority of, another race, since the time of the ancient Greeks, that I know of, and very probably earlier than that. I'm guessing that if you check the sources in Unmentionable you will find a number of references before 1837 are included as 'Victorian' or not clearly distinguished from them, and that your author has generalised specific cases and selected specific cases that supported her general point, even when there are as many from the period that would refute it, even when the point could be supported in any era by the selection of similar evidence, the kind of hearsay and anecdote that proves nothing. GRRM mentions the stews of Lannisport and the stews along Pisswater bend, but it is unclear if he means brothels/bastards/places of promiscuity, or if he means tanners stews - implying the people referred to are the lowly apprentices of the leather and dying trades, and the diseases are being transmitted by the water. You woudn't want to bathe in a tanners stew. In reference to Jon Snow: furs are shaken and brushed not washed. That is as true for a modern-day person whose tastes run to draping themselves with dead animals as it is for Jon Snow. Note when Tyrion accepts a riding fur from Benjen in Ch.13 of Game of Thrones, it smells a bit of mildew. That is probably because it was stored in damp saddlebags and such at some time and had not been hung in a clean, airy, dry guarderobe at Winterfell long enough to get the mildew smell out of it. Jon and Ygritte talk to each other about hygiene, in a way that indicates they both believe in washing sometimes: (ASoS, Ch.41 Jon V) So, clearly not up to the southern standards of Satin, or the Blue Bard, who comb rosewater through their beards and hair. On the other hand, when he met her for the scene you refer to above and had been there long enough to have bathed and dressed before he found her, and afterwards (ASoS, Ch.26 Jon III) which might not be up to your standards of hygiene, but it shows they do sometimes bathe between having sex.
  3. (ADwD, Ch.02 Daenerys I) So, no, these bones have not passed through a digestive system. If you have seen the pellet of a bird of prey, you would see that these bones were not part of a pellet. Also, birds of prey shit. The shit is what is left over after the digestion process is complete. The pellet is what couldn't get past the stomach, and gets coughed back up like a furball (birds don't have teeth, remember). (ADwD, Ch.52 Daenerys IX) Dragons have teeth. They crack the big bones to get at the marrow, all that goes into their gullet is a paste of bone fragments and flesh. They tear the flesh off the smaller bones, leaving them charred and whole. I think the incinerator gut theory is still plausible, given (ADwD, Ch.57 Tyrion XI) which is, admittedly, a bit cryptic by itself, but better explained by: (ADwD, Ch.52 Daenerys IX) It is hot in there.(I don't want to think too hard about gastric processes and how Dragons get nutrients from their food into their bloodstream - I suppose gases are fluids too, but this is making my head hurt) The father would have been as distressed if his daughter had passed, or if she had been fresh killed and fed to the dragon, or merely burnt on a bonfire and he told she 'had been eaten by a dragon go to the dragon queen for money', to raise the tax his landlord was required to pay to keep their daughter safe as Danerys' cupbearer, and to prevent his landlord from disposing of him and all his children in the same ruthless way.
  4. I don't think Jon Arryn was attempting to disinherit his heir on his deathbed. He wanted SweetRobin at Dragonstone, out of King's Landing, before Cersei had any reason to wish for a hostage from Lysa. And he knew he had run out of time, and he at least had the good fortune to have raised a heir for seven years to replace himself. A man of Jon Arryns age, with Jon Arryn's history, might think twice before putting aside an heir half raised, for one that he has not yet found the wife to create. Before he died, (AGoT, Ch.27 Eddard VI) And then he asked Pycelle for Malleon, and took a great interest in that. A couple of comments mention SweetRobin's hair: (AGoT, Ch.34 Catelyn VI ) (AFfC, Ch.41 Alayne II ) which we know does not match Lysa's (AGoT, Ch.34 Catelyn VI ) and it seems likely that it did not match Jon Arryn's, either (Winds of Winter) Nor is it a match with Petyr Baelish's (AGoT, Ch.18 Catelyn IV) But it is a good match with the fine brown hair, brown eyes, and pug noses of House Strong, who had their share of paternity doubts of old (A World of Ice and Fire) I'm guessing there is some military advantage, or some prophecy about the seed of House Strong, that is lost on me, but known by the heirs of House Baratheon. There is nothing in SweetRobin having Strong seed that would imply he is not Jon Arryn's child:- If we look at Jon Arryn's family tree, we can see that it is largely unknown, for hundreds of years, as has the Tully and Whent family trees. I'm guessing this is to obscure the many pure Targaryen matches both families have made, which are the root cause of the fertility issues that dogged both families. SweetRobin is dragonseed, is one of the things that means, descended from the true heir of King Viserys I and Aemma Arryn, whose children were the last generation of Targaryens to hatch dragons. There must be other implications, more complex to explain and of greater significance to the realm, given Jon Arryn's insistent determination to share this knowledge on his deathbed. Unfortunately, these were lost on Lysa and King Robert, and it would appear that, the minute it occurred to Pycelle to go back and check Malleon, he was brained by a reading candlestick, ruining at least the page that explains the mystery, if not the whole codex. ETA: I don't think Jon Arryn had detected the Lannister incest in Malleon - that was so obvious a child of twelve could spot it - note it was Sansa, who had not read Malleon, who pointed it out to Eddard, who sincerely believed it would have taken his men "years to find this brothel" without Petyr Baelish's help. That is, Chataya's brothel, the most famous in King's Landing, with a secret tunnel connecting it to his own bedroom. Eddard is a bit slower on the uptake than most of the people who have seen Robert's bastards, is all. ETA: Also, there is something odd about the way people go on about how low Petyr Baelish was. I mean, his father had a lordship, and a holding. It wasn't big, he was a hedge-knight's son, but still, he was a lord. Petyr was ambitious, but so was Lord Frey, when he sought the hand of Gemma Lannister for his non-heir son. People talk about Petyr Baelish as if he had been raised from the gutters of Myr, rather than the first-born son of a small but legitimate lordling. Also a little odd that he was taken as a page by Hoster Tully, rather than a lord of the Vale. But Hoster took him willingly enough, it was no insult to his house to have the boy in his household, on equal footing with his own children. Also, Petyr's resentment over his being outranked by the Starks, seems a bit out of control. It was hypocritical of Hoster to send Petyr away because he didn't want anything to get in the way of the ambitious marriages he was making for his daughters, railing against Petyr's ambition as he did, but Petyr seems to have been young enough, subtle enough, and clever enough to both get over it, and to get the Lordship of Harrenhal, and (nominally) of the Riverlands, before marrying Lysa- and collecting the Vale and Ayrrn inheritance that Hoster had coveted, in the process. That he is still resenting the pride of the Lords Declarant and his own 'lowly' birth, seems a bit slow, a bit pathological - he is like Heathcliff, only when Heathcliff's origins are described as obscure, it means we can't be sure that he is not Cathy's half-brother. While with Petyr Baelish we know he is the legitimate heir of a small lordship in the Fingers.
  5. While I agree that what Tywin does is paedophilia (or, if you prefer, hebephilia) and constitutes sexual abuse of all participants, as well as emotional abuse of Tyrion, and physical and emotional of Tysha, not to mention abduction and deprivation of liberty, and (in his capacity of Warden of the West) legal abuse. There is probably financial abuse as well. Using money to control others is financial abuse, even when transactionally giving rather than taking the money. Tysha isn't a whore; these men have not contracted her to provide them with a service; they have in fact been paid to provide him a sexual assault service; Tyrion is not worth 210 times as much as the average Lannister guard rapist; the gold dragon is, like the silver stags, is a device intended to induce a sense of complicity. Tywin has said that what happened was that they were all serviced by a whore, and if anyone has a different recollection of events (for example, a recruiter from the Night's watch, looking for Westermen to chose between being gelded or going to the wall) that money, on the stewards ledger and in their pockets or their spending (especially Tysha's) is proof that it was what Tywin said it was. Not that anyone is likely to mention it in a place where Tywin is at the apex of all financial, legal, social, and military power. What Tywin did was child abuse whether or not Tyrion was forced. However, it is not clear that Tyrion was forced. In the jurisdiction I live in, ten is currently the age of criminal responsibility. In the medieval, a boy or man old enough to be capable of committing a rape, was legally old enough to face full adult responsibility for it by law. We know Donel Noye has kept a boy of five at the Wall (although not as a member of the Watch), and some of the orphans travelling up with Yoren ("She was two years younger than the youngest orphan" with Hot Pie and Lommy being the main subject of Arya's meditations at the time, strongly hint that one of them is only about 12. And that Hot Pie seemed to work for his mother, had not been formally 'prenticed, which traditionally happened at 13 (although, for orphans could happen as young as seven or eight) hints that the youngest of the orphans is probably him.) (ETA: Meant to finish that thought with Dareon - who was a boy, but found guilty of rape by Westerosi law, implying that a child of thirteen could be sent to the wall for rape, although Dareon is more like fifteen) Thing is, though, we don't know how much coersion or force Tywin employed. We do know how Tyrion performed on the night, though. An erection is not consent, but he has a brain to think things with. From then until Jaime tells him that Tysha was not a whore, Tyrion has hated Tysha of his own accord. It might be his own self-loathing driving it, but his self-loathing seems almost an indulgence he gives himself after a hard night's whoring, the way the remorse of an alcholic or gambler, while sincere, is more part and parcel of of the problem, the deep lows that make the high seem so intense and brief and (in retrospect) glorious. Above all, it results in him abusing women more, not less, as he matures. (ETA: as a short sharp shock, this was always doomed to failure. We know that Tyrion had spent the years since providing whores 'from Dorne to Casterley Rock' with 'his coin and his seed'. A lot of that time, Tyrion was under his father's roof at Casterley Rock, and for all of that time, the coin in his pocket was put there by his father.) I mean, your point of view makes sense to me, in a world where women are one-dimensional disposable sex toys that can be fridged for the lulz without consequence, which certainly seems to be the case in GRRM's Planetos, although it was not the case in the European medieval. And there is a kind of hint that he still loves Tysha in spite of all his narrative thoughts on her. When he is on the verge of death, it is her name that finally comes to him, and when he is finally becoming sapient, when the fever is breaking (note, in his delirium 'the fire had gone out') he gives us a memory of her, rather than a memory of what he thought of her, and its all about love and tenderness, and humour, and no malice. On his wedding night he tells Sansa of the pork they ate at his first wedding feast ( did it taste like triumph to him, I wonder? Or just defiance?) and when he stares sleeplessly up to the canopy of the bed in his unrequited lust, he sees Tysha smiling back. The balmy Pentos Doctor riffles his hair the way she used to during the false spring of their marriage, She managed to give him plenty of good memories in the space of a fortnight, thirteen years ago. Of course all these memories are bracketed by analogies to false springs, and other blights that seem pleasant at first. There is a lot of death in the brackets. And hands. And misogyny mindselt stuff like " Tyrion knew that she was dead; no man spoke so fondly of a woman who had abandoned him." But, you know, Shae. Did Shae have it coming, for sleeping with his dad? or with him? For betraying him after he not only stopped paying but in fact took all her wealth away from her. Or did she have it coming for lying about being a whore? Or being a whore? Can't help thinking that if he was able to meet Tysha again 1/ She would be far too old and ugly for his taste 2/ He is just as likely to rape her and more likely to murder her now his father cannot actively manipulate him. We can't call what he did to Shae child abuse. Being in his father's bed might have been provocation to him, but his father didn't know Tyrion was coming (unless Varys tipped him off, which is possible. And we can see clear signs that Varys is manipulating this situation even if Tywin isn't. Varys seems to have been a Lannister semi-loyalist from way back. My provocation was the excessive repetition of 'where whores go' which grated on me because it comes when Tyrion knows Tysha genuinely loved him and was never a whore. I don't think that has anything to do with his being a dwarf in an abliest society (although not as ableist as our own society - as was the case in the real medieval, too.) Then, I wouldn't say short stature is exactly a disability. More a condition or a state of being. However, I accept that GRRM writes it as a disability of the legs and face. The first thing we learn about him is that he is ugly, I guess GRRM does strongly hint that ugliness and achondroplasia are synonymous, with what Jon sees as "a brute's squashed in face beneath a swollen shelf of brow". Tyrion waddles when he walks, his calves cramp at the slightest provocation, he needs a special saddle to ride a horse. But then, he doesn't need special help getting up onto his destrier (he has a destrier), and he is very successful as a warrior and a battle commander, a hand, a scholar, a civil engineer, a tax collector, a chessmaster, a tumbler, and a player. He gets more sex than most, and seems to be blessed with Tormund's member, which never lets him down. And could give Aeron's member a run for it's money. His nose injuy is unrelated to his dwarfism, and happened too recently to have formed his character. We can't blame it for his attitude to women, although that hasn't improved since Ser Mandon cleared his sinuses. It doesn't seem to have affected his sense of smell or taste. Tyrion can smell the herbs infused in the wine Ballabar uses to clean his wound, and Petyr's venture capital deals, greyscale-vinegar, slave-brothel-incense, minty drinks, Yezzan's piss. It seems to be a purely cosmetic injury: he has no difficulty breathing or sleeping, no trouble with hearing or balance, no nosebleeds, no sinus infections, facial pain, headaches. I have previously and could now again critique how GRRM portrays disability generally, and dwarfism in particular, but dwarfism is at most an unconvincing excuse for Tyrion's attitude towards women. Or did you think that dwarfism really was related to high sex drive and indecent treatment of sex partners? I think GRRM makes it pretty clear that that is an unreasonable prejudice that the people of Westeros (and especially Tywin) have about dwarfs, and that is all. Although, Tyrion plays up to it, and there is that headjob prostitute in Oldtown. And his .. Generally, I don't think there is much realism in his depictions of most conditions. Realistic depiction of disability (or anything, honestly) isn't his game. It is all about what the plot needs, and having characters with the characteristics that can drive the plot. GRRM has said he regrets the somersault off the top of the door of the great hall of Winterfell - but he has Tyrion cartwheeling along the deck of the Shy Maid and down the stairs of the slave-brothel, and (I'm guessing) it is because Tyrion needs tumbling skills for a future plot element, even if they are incompatible with achodroplasia. The think about Tyrion's dwarfism, like Bran's love of climbing, is that it serves as a completely arbitrary reason for feelings that drive the plot. In real life, there is no distinctive association between a love of secrecy and a love of climbing, and swinging hand over hand is not a natural choice when there is a wall (a good climbing wall, no less) limiting movement on one side. Swinging hand over hand, dropping and catching the window ledge on the way down, hanging off it one-handed, are moves that rely on having long arms and fingers, and huge bicep strength compared to bodyweight. It woudn't be unnatural in a monkey, but we don't hear of Bran having arms as long as his legs, fingers as long as his feet, biceps muscled like those of a man grown. If we decide, well he got across the blind side of the First Keep because the gargoyles lean out quite a way, and are really close together, that creates issues about the size and strength of the First Keep's roof and foundations, and how it was constructed (even purely decorative grotesques had to be put in place by some mason/s of old, and to have remained in place in spite of Bran swinging across them previously). So rather than be a slave to the laws of physics, BRan and the first keep obey the first law of writing, which is, engage the reader. GRRM writes about Bran as if his climbing ability is excellent, but not supernatural. Then, while he distracts us with his not realistic performance, he gives Bran motives for climbing that are unique, and quite unlike the natural motivations of climbers/seven year olds/second sons. Bran climbs because he loves spying and secrecy; because of dark feelings he suppresses, which climbing allows him escape; because of feelings of defiance, that climbing allows him to express. It is the same with Tyrion's dwarfism. It does not cause him the issues that real-life dwarfism does. It is endowed with issues that people generally can relate to, rather than ones that only short-statured people can relate to. So GRRM-style dwarfism is mostly about being disabled by a hyper-sensitivity about what people think of him, about being scorned, about being unloved, about being ugly - as if short stature was a mental illness, a kind of neurosis. As if it is related to self-esteem. Especially, I loathe the 'all dwarfs are bastards to their fathers' and 'but not all bastards are dwarfs'... in real life, in general, I would say that fathers (especially sole fathers) tend to personally invest more in their most vulnerable child, than the ones they are sure can stick up for themselves. I can't claim to know many short statured people, but the very few I have met were far from as utterly hung up on being approved of or as unreasonably resentful as Tyrion. To the best of my knowledge, none have ever murdered anyone. (Although a/ not every person has a father like Tywin, and b/ I know a short-statured person who really might murder the next person who wants to talk to him about upskirting.) Penny seems to have an unreasonable fear of 'big people', and apart from the stripling sellsword copping a feel, she seems to attract less sexual interest from the opposite sex than Tyrion. But then, she doesn't have Tyrion's daddy issues, or her own viewpoint, and apart from the very cursory notice Quentyn gives her, she is described by Tyrion (who also has troubles telling one dwarf from every other dwarf). Also, dwarfism seems more common in Westeros than in the real world. At least dwarfs are unquestionably human, unlike Planetos giants (that is one he has over Tolkien's dwerrows - although Tolkien writes dwarfs in a way that is a better reflection of medieval view of dwarfs.) I guess, thinking about it, the thing that really gets me is that Tyrion doesn't have issues with people mistaking him for or treating him like a child, or making the usual tedious jokes (in fact, it is Tyrion that makes the short jokes. Off the top of my head, the only person I can think of that makes short jokes he finds tedious is the Hound). It seems that the main problem about being a dwarf in Westeros is that you worry that people won't have sex with you because you are sooo ugly. In real life, I haven't noticed dwarfism cripples self esteem. In my admittedly limited observation, the challenges of dwarfism are not primarily internal, more about bizarre attitudes and unhelpful design standards (quite a lot of the built environment seems to be modelled on the WWII US marine average body measurements, that were used to design the Ford F-series. And short-statured people have never struck me as unusually (or usually) ugly. And they don't seem to see themselves as unusually anything...as with any congenital condition, it seems perfectly normal for them to be the size they are. Which in fact it is. So, I don't really think GRRM makes dwarfism itself the issue. Anyway, the main reason I didn't spend a lot of time critiquing Tyrion's condition in his ablest society is that dwarfism isn't to blame for that vocal tic 'where do whores go'. The believe that the opposite sex are revolted by him and would only sleep with him for money, and that he has every right to hit, rape, abuse, and own women, is not a natural consequence of being short. His intolerance of being made fun of, his suppressed baseless feelings of inadequacy, are the real excuses he gives himself for behaving in an appalling way, and these are not because he is a dwarf, although he sometimes claims so. Really, it is because he is like Tywin. For example, the one time he has it within his power to do something for Jeor Mormont's Night's Watch, he gives them the gleanings of his dungeons, the least trustworthy of the old gold cloaks, and 100 spades. He treats their cause and their ambassador with contempt, mocking them in public, excusing himself with the doubtful notion that Ser Aliser, whom he has already noted as a notably humourless man, might be pranking him, and he personally dislikes him, and if he doesn't completely humiliate him, the whole of the south might laugh at him rather than with him. There is a moment when he remembers looking over the wall to the north, but he shakes that off no trouble. Some people might claim the hundred spades and the gold cloaks are more than they would get from Tywin. Perhaps the spades. I think Tywin might have got Janos Slynt up there himself - although because Janos was the son of a butcher, and too big for his boots, rather than because he was corrupt and sent out hits of babies. Tyrion might have thought he would have future opportunities to send literate men, knights, men who could think, lead, read. Although even if he had had a future opportunity, his preoccupation with pleasing the crowd he was playing to at the time, his susceptibility to Varys's flattery and Bronn's snickers, make it inevitable that those future good intentions for the NIght's Watch and especially Jon Snow, would come to no better end. As it was, he soon found himself back in the position of being in opposition to the hand, being able to bleat his sincere protest at his father for failing to give the Watch the men it needs, and considering an alliance with Mance Raydar. But this, like Tyrion's preoccupation with the revulsion he has no doubt women feel for him, is nothing to do with his short stature. It is about his mental hangups. Although it is conflated, in Tyrion's mind, and in the minds of some of his other povs (esp. Sansa) as one and the same. As to his success with women - well, he gets a better relationship than his attitude earnt him from Shae, And he managed to get himself two thirteen year old brides that did not marry him for money, or leave him because of anything he did. Although he did enough in both cases to fully justify them leaving him in revulsion (not revulsion at his being a dwarf, but revulsion at him being a rapey, gropey kind of guy - which would be revolting if he was as big as Gregor Clegane.) Now I'm back on Tyrion's attitude towards females, I could also add how he seems to think he deserves a medal for not sleeping with Sansa, when he had every right to, to his sins. In his mind she is clearly a child, not a woman grown, so sleeping with her is wrong. But telling her to strip, and demanding that she look at him naked and erect, and groping at her tit -when he can see she is rigid with terror, and telling her he desires her, and being bitter when she suggests, after prompting from him, that she might never want to sleep with him...like, he thinks he is being a mensch, treating a child (his pov) like that? And he gets the shits when it isn't immediately successful as a seduction technique? But he didn't rape her, and that is why he is such an amazing guy? Again, it isn't to do with how tall he is.
  6. Ah, you give with one hand and take away with the other. I never said, never even entertained the idea that Tyrion wanted to 'revenge on' Tysha 'because she was a whore', especially not after he learnt that she wasn't. That is a straw-whore argument. The thing that grates is, after being incredibly thick-headed and being very bitter about Tysha being a ;lying whore after he had been so good as to marry her, Tyrion discovers that he can no longer use that as an excuse for participating in his perverted father's voyeuristic gang-rape thing. Then, after he murders his father because he is so angry about Tysha not being a whore after all (as if that would have made what he did any less a gang-rape at all), he goes straight back to mouthing his father's lie. Only this time, he knows it is a lie, that Tysha is not a whore. But he is just going to check out the nearest slave brothel, just in case Tysha decided to become a sex slave. Because whores are so into not making money out of sex. And Tysha isn't a whore, so its worth a look! Plus, he gets to rape a sex slave while he is there. Only it isn't rape, because he paid the guy whose carpet he vomited on. And he was so deeply traumatised by raping her that he vomited. And then had another go. It also seems to assume that, because she got gang-raped, even though she didn't have any experience in the sex industry before, his former wife must have become a whore, or a sex-slave. Because every woman that gets raped always is a whore. No other possibilities. Because, basically, what other options do women have but to provide more or less satisfactory sex. No other options. And it isn't limited, stupid, mono-dimensional and sexist to think like that. It's just how it was, in the faux-medieval. It is depressing to think that GRRM intended it to be read, exactly as you describe it - that we are to believe Tyrion's self-pity and his anger mean that he has suffered exactly as much as Tysha, and is therefore not a rapey murdering turd, but as a rape victim just as much as Tysa, even if he wasn't done by every one of his father's guards, and even if his status in society, his home, his freedoms and restrictions, were unchanged as a result of this trauma he has suffered so deeply, that it is only thirteen years after the fact that he stops blaming his co-victim. Actually, now I think about it, maybe the reason Tysha didn't murder anyone was because she wasn't quite as traumatised by the whole experience as Poor Tyrion. And lets not forget the trauma Tywin inflicts on Poor Tyrion when he forces Poor Tyrion to murder him. And Shae. I'm divided on whether it is Tyrion or GRRM. There is no doubt that Tyrion's pov is full of this kind of self pity, especially in Dance. But then, Tyrion is his author's favourite character, a very sympathetically written misogynist. And GRRM really doesn't ever leave the unmistakeably cis male perspective, not even (or should I say, especially when, he is writing a supposedly female point of view. For example, Dany's ability to see straight through the vests of the Dosh Khaleen, to where "their withered dugs swayed back and forth, shiny with oil and sweat."(AGoT, Ch.46 Daenerys V), or Dany applying spiceflower oil "on the tips of her breasts, and one last one, cool on her lips, down there between her legs."(Ch.03 Daenerys I) while wearing a sheer gown, not bothered that the perfume will go straight through her 'wisps' and ruin the scarily sheer plum silk with two distracting and awkward splotches, and also not bothered by a less than classy itch.) I guess, all in all, it would not surprise me if GRRM decides to have Tysha as sailors wife, or some other whore, or a sex-slave in a Lysene pillow house. But it still grates. Because she is not a whore, was never a whore, was just a thirteen year old that was raped by a bunch of rapists. And this kind of blinkered sexism is not medieval. Medieval blinkered sexisim came with religious hangups. Also, for the children of crofters, going back to mum and dad, or staying with them, was a viable option - another pair of hands to rick the hay or plait the straw or milk the goats or hoe the corn, rated more than reputation to the dowerless serfs that had to pay their rent in produce and labour. (Incidentally, the average age of marriage among women of this class in the medieval was early twenties, men mid to late twenties, older for the poorer, and in tougher times). If the father of the pisswater prince was willing to sell his son for a taste of Arbour gold, there is a possibility her parents might be induced to take her back and hide her shame, and help her spend a hundred silver stags and a gold dragon. Maybe after being gang-raped Tysha wouldn't voluntarily have had sex with anyone ever again. Maybe that hundred silver stags and one gold dragon in her pocket give her the option of leaving the Westerlands and reinventing herself somewhere where Lannisters do not go. Medieval women had the option of taking thier own life (there is documentary evidence of female suicides in the medieval, as well as literary tropes like Chaucer's Dido, or Gower's Canace). A lot can happen to a multi-dimentional character in thirteen years, regardless of how they support themselves or are supported. Tysha could be mother of a dozen children, or of one, with a tail, in consequence of the rape, or the life she lived after it. She could have been shipwrecked, or lived in a cave as mystic, used her sweet voice to become a singer with a mummers troop, travelled to Asshai to were a mask and learn the wisdom of the Maegi. She could be tatting fine lace in Myr, or selling oysters clams and mussels in Braavos. She could be a washerwoman in Stokeworth, a Septa in Oldtown. She might have become a tavern owner. She had enough money to buy a brothel - why would she work for 50% of her own bodys earnings, when she could get 50% of every body's earnings as a madam? Being raped at thirteen has never, in any era, made sex work, by choice or by slavery, the only option for the next 57 years of one's threescore and ten, simply because of one's gender. Incidentally, 'Finders fee'? - it seems odd to me that you think it is realistic for one of the rapists to sell the rape victim to a brothel, but not steal from her when he knows she is now in possession of a sizable fortune. And also: 'de facto' slave? "where four bored slave girls were lounging about...All four had tears tattooed beneath one eye...Her back was crisscrossed by ridges of scar tissue."(ADwD, Ch.27 Tyrion VII) There is no hint that these girls are anything but slaves, no pretence that they are doing this for personal gain or from personal choice. Remember his experience in Selhorys? I could accept that Bella at the the Peach, who feels free to offer Gendry sex for free, might be a de-facto slave, given that she has apparently been born and raised in the brothel, and is too young to have had the opportunity to explore options beyond what she has grown up with, even supposing she had access to things like education or alternate occupations. Likewise Rosy, whose mother is selling off her virginity, although she currently works as a barmaid and may well continue to, there is in both these instances an appearance of choice, a seeming ability to have sex for free when she wants, in Bella's case, or to do something other than have sex for money, in Rosy's. There is nothing 'de facto' about the chattel sex-slaves in the Volantene brothel. Anyone who does not put themselves trenchantly and fixedly in the point of view an entirely self-absorbed punter, can see there is a difference between sex-workers, who work because they gets paid, and sex-slaves, who are assaulted by the patrons of thier owners because they are slaves. There is also a difference between a whore and a woman who has casual sex, and between a woman who has casual sex, and one who is raped. Tyrion, as self-absorbed a punter as any, (in fact, now I think about it, Sunset girl could have been as much Tyrion avenging himself on those sex slaves that giggled at him for being a dwarf, as his quest to find a person whose sole defining feature is that she was not a whore, in a brothel.) and he often does find these differences ineffably subtle. He is amazed that Chataya can have grace and dignity while being a whore, bitterly certain for thirteen years that 'his sweet Tysha had been a lie', and perversely incapable of believing Shae was doing him for money, that he takes the jewels and finery he paid her and leaves her destitute, his wife's maid, perfectly positioned to become his sister's/father's/sell-sword's catspaw. But even he, at his self-pitying worst, can detect that the Volantene girl had not in any way chose to have sex with him, not in any sense willing. Although, the distinction, like the stripes on her back, only struck him after he got his moneysworth. And didn't stop him getting himself some more. Also, when he comes out he makes a point of tipping her owner generously. That is weird, like she owes him, because now she might only have to clean his sick off the carpet and get raped in a room that smells of vomit, instead of being whipped for being raped by a guy that vomited all over the carpet, or apparently so Tyrion hopes. (Poor Tyrion, so equally traumatised. Possibly more so than slave-whore. After all, he felt so sick after that rape, he vomited. She just acted like a dead thing, probably didn't feel anything at all.) There is this thing going on, with Alayaya, with Shae, where Tyrion and Tywin are playing this voyeristic rapey game of cat and mouse with each other. Like Tywin goes 'the next whore I catch you with, will be punished' and Tyrion goes straight out and puts a whore (or, in Tysha's case, a non-whore) in the situation where his father can punish her. Where he is forced to be part of his father's punishment of her. So his father tells him he is going to King's Landing, no whoring, and he tells Shae 'I'm taking you to King's Landing'. Then he 'carelessly' visits Chataya's, making a point of preferring Alayaya, 'as a blind' to his real relationship. When Alayaya is in Cersei's clutches, he gives her a kiss and promises to free her, in order to 'blind' Cersei. As is usual, Tyrion's promises amount to nothing, and Tywin flogs Alayaya and sends her wherever whores go (back home to mum). Then it is too risky to keep Shae in her manse, so he takes it, and her freedom, and her fine clothes and her jewels, and makes her Lollys servant. But that isn't close enough. So she becomes Sansa's servant. But the sight of her doing drudge work around the Red Keep is too much of a turn-on, so he gets Varys, who at least pays lip-service to having a qualm that this might get Shae hanged, you know. So Varys organises for Tyrion to have sex with Shae by the light of a single candle in his own quarters (I firmly believe, with Tywin looking on, as aranged with Tywin. On an only slightly related topic, it woudn't surprise me if Tywin was stoking up the Cersei/Jaime incest thing by 'making sure they never met' and then secretly scooting round to the Eel Alley spy rooms Varys had set up to perv on the consequences). Only when they are done risking her life (with Tyrion's full knowledge and consent, not Shaes) , Shae asks if she can see the wedding (and I'm still suspicious about her motives, but that is beside the point I'm making at the moment). Tyrion tells her It is like a game he plays, knowing he putting her life in danger for a quickie, and by making her Sansa's maid. Then scolding her for the recklessness of even suggesting she could be one of the crowd at the feast. Like her life is not hers to decide, but his. You perhaps struggle to see Tyrion as a rapist. I don't. He bashes women, he threatens to rape them (Cersei especially), he does rape them. That is what rapists do. He might (or might not, hard to tell really) have been traumatised by raping Tysha. He was very upset when he found out thirteen years later that she had never lied to him, that he had been coerced into betraying her. But whether he was traumatised or not, he raped her. And it would have been rape if she had been a whore. And she would have been his wife, if she had been a whore. It's like when he murdered Tywin. There is no doubt he was traumatised by murdering his father (all that thrumming and drinking and where do whores go, afterwards), there is no doubt he was coerced (by Varys, who thoughtfully positioned the perfect weapon for the deed above the chest of Shae's clothes and jewels, knowing that otherwise, Tyrion would be too short to reach it. Everything from Jaime's rescue to Tyrion arriving at Illyrio's was helped along by Varys). But for all that, Tyrion murdered his father, and however traumatic it was for Tyrion, he was evidentially not equally murdered, or as much a victim as his actual victim. ETA Sun1Oct: I've just re-read the account of Tysha that Tyrion gives Bronn (AGoT, Ch.42 Tyrion VI) and realise that going home to dad was not an option for Tysha - he died of a fever. We don't know what happened to her mother, but the father dying probably means their croft has been leased to someone else as well. One infuriating little thing I noticed - Tysha told Tyrion where she was going when she first met him on the road, and his recollection is "on her way to … well, nowhere, really." So, before he had married her, before he had raped her, before his marriage was annulled, she had told him where she had been heading, but he just couldn't be bothered remembering anything she said that was so irrelevant to him. It's not like her pretty face, or which dragon killed Ser Byron Swann in the Dance of Dragons. And (it seems) he had already decided that was not going to happen, now she had met him. The other thing I noticed, is the story still has a lot of unanswered questions. For example, who the men chasing her were, and why they were in hot pursuit (clearly something had happened to start the chase very recently, and also, they seem to have already torn her dress half off her back.) and what happened to them - apparently Jaime just let them vanish into the woods, then came trotting back. Also not explained is why a member of Ayrs Kingsguard is riding back from Lannisport with his brother at that point in time. There is plenty of room in this telling for Tywin to have set this encounter up...the girl was on foot, so the croft she came from was likely on lands rented from his land-steward, or a factor of his land-steward. As Tyrion noted- it was unusual to have lawless predators so close to Casterley Rock - so maybe these are lawful ones, serfs or employees of Casterley Rock. I'm thinking, if Tywin had somehow set it up, it would probably have been as an attempt to get Jaime to break his vows, rather than a whim to divest Tyrion of his virginity as soon as humanly possible.
  7. That chapter disgusts me the way an ad with a shouty man threatening to kill a puppy if I don't buy something disgusts me. And I feel like the whole chapter is written with the assumption that the reader is a voyeur and cool with sexualising children. However, it is one I've gone back to because (like the Sansa snow-castle scene) it gives very specific detailed information on the layout of Winterfell. Little Walder was found in almost the exact same spot as Bran would have been, when he fell. Lady was buried in that lichyard. I've also come to appreciate the way it builds Bran's character: his secretiveness, his refusal to accept his own unpleasant emotions (ie: he starts the chapter looking for Jon to say goodbye to, but not too hard because he rationalises Jon is angry with him. Then he does a bit of farting around and then, because he is feeling a bit teary, and frustrated by his failure to train his direwolf, he starts climbing.) Bran's pride, his love of underhand defiance, his desire to be one up on everyone else, to spy on people, be invisible, know better than anyone else...all the characteristics that come out as ethical issues when he skin-changes into Hodor, are all here in this chapter. Climbing is an analog for warging. I don't think there is a word wasted. Yes it is hard to keep track of. I found this chapter extremely tedious the first time I read it - all that "Seahorse..Fury... Pride of Driftmark..wraith...lady marya...Black Betha...Harridan...Bold Laughter", like a horse race you have no money on, being played out in slow, slow motion. Again, there is a lot in this chapter when you sift through it - heaps of foreshadowing in those ships, for example. And there is a lot in Tryion's arc at that point, too. When he is killing those twenty guys, that is the precise time Mandon Moore, who started out carrying his banner and yelling out his orders in a proper battle voice, turns against him for no reason Tyrion can identify. Tyrion has crossed the bridge of galleys almost to the South bank - enough that he sees Stannis's men fighting, although he doesn't understand who. I think Mandon had crossed the bridge, received an order from his Real Boss, and that order was, specifically, to assassinate Tyrion. It is interesting, because up until then, Mandon has seemed completely loyal to the Lannisters. I suspect his Real Boss was Petyr Baelish (I'm still writing a long post about it, that I hope to post one day) but it could be Tywin, or the Tyrells, or even Renly's Ghost that turned him. Anyway, it makes me pay particular attention to Tyrion's actions, and while I know the guy rates himself, his killing and his relative impunity, seem a little over the top, even supposing that Tyrion is feeling a lot more effectual than he really is, and counting every stab and slash as a confirmed kill. Basically, most of the things I found dull and unnecessary on the first read were these kind of highly detailed things, that turned out to be really important and not at all unnecessary when I identified a reason why I wanted to know. Although 'where whores go' does not come into that category. There is the needless, uninspired repetition that makes me suspect that GRRM has done himself a deal that he wouldn't eat breakfast until he has written a certain number of words, and that gives the general impression that his moments of desperation outnumbered those of inspiration when he was writing Dance. And then there is the fact that this is what Tyrion is saying to himself AFTER he has discovered that his first wife was not a prostitute. Apart from being angry with her for being a lying whore for years, and then being furious at his father for facilitating his participation in the gang-rape of a woman who was not a whore (with the 'omg, I raped my wife' thing - like a/It's ok to gang-rape prostitutes that give you the girlfriend experience and b/like he didn't know he married her, or that she was a virgin when he married her...married to a whore who had never had sex with anyone except him, he conveniently forgets for about fifteen years.)...But then, as soon as he kills his father for calling her a whore, he starts calling her a whore, constantly. And he doesn't seem to realise that the girls in SLAVE brothels, ARE NOT WHORES, because they are not PAID. I'm pretty sure that 'where whores go' is taking us on a rapey misogynistic tac, with as little excuse for doing so as is possible to have, and even then, it is needlessly repetitious.
  8. (ACoK, Ch.59 Tyrion XIII) (AFfC, Ch.38 Jaime VI) Father and son share the same punny sense of humour.
  9. Legendary https://imgur.com/dFZ8t5u
  10. Also, Robert revives the notion of 'The King's Justice'. He sits on the Iron throne listening to petitions from high and small folk, until his bum is numb. Then he hands the job to Ned, who he knows will do his best to be fair and honourable, and who he knows has no vested interests in the affairs of the southerners. Even in the 'trial' of Arya and Joffrey, he made a point of having a hearing and considering the schooling the children in this notion of the King's Justice (AGoT, Ch.16 Eddard III) Aerys cowered out of sight of his people. He did not listen to petitions, he cut out tongues, he attempted to destroy Duskendale for it's defiance, he had people drink wildfire, and finally he had the most ancient families of the highborn summoned to King's Landing, the reigning lord and his heir, to be murdered in a sadistic mockery of the King's justice. While there were Targaryen kings that were not as bad as he was, there were plenty that were just as bad, or worse. And justice in Westeros is whatever the reigning monarch says it is. Robert attempted to be genuinely just. Robert could be guided by counsel. He sought balance (which is why he sought out Ned, rather than Tywin) but he did not rely on any one counsellor (and was certainly not so foolish as to ignore Tywin, however little Eddard liked the Lannisters, nor would he remove Jaime from his Kingsguard, whatever Eddard felt about Jaime sitting on the throne to await the man who came to take it from him). Militarily, too, Robert was canny. As a solider and a general, he proved himself in the Rebellion, of course, but peace and plenty never rid him of his ability to identify threats and protect the realm against them. Eddard (wrongly) writes the Targaryens in Essos off as 'the shadow of a shadow' while Robert keeps an eye on them and looks for the opportunity to assassinate them both before they aquire an army of Dothraki and come heading his way. After he puts down Balon's pretensions to rule as King of the Iron Isles, he does not demolish Balon's fleet, but he takes care to build his own. And his way works, until Stannis and Cersei destroy his fleet, and Balon decides to take advantage of the new weakness of the crown. I do think Robert's success was aided by the longest summer in memory, and by short, mild winters from the start of his reign, and also that, in a feudal society, the local community and the local lord are much more relevant and powerful than any central authority, but it is not just Robert's very good luck that he has a prosperous and peaceful land for the fifteen years of his rule so far.
  11. Lavender, lilacs, and lemon. Roses too, but that spoils the alliteration. Varys might use powders and potions to create effective glamours. And maybe more than just glamours. If Maester Pycelle is correct and he was born a slave in Lys, he might have been brought up in the alchemist's line of work. Being a slave, the more dangerous parts of that work. (remember the match girls? something like that). That would explain why Varys, as a young child, learnt to read and write - because he needed to be able to make up these potions and powders according to precise recipes, in order for his master to run a profitable business in quality products. It would also explain why (and how?) he escaped his master, and why he hates magic (Not just because someone castrated him to skype a daemon, but also because Varys knows many 'magic' tricks very well, understands it better than most.) I also think the perfume and powder could be used to conceal something else. For instance, could Varys be a squisher using perfume and powder to conceal his fishy smell and clammy skin? He isn't the only person in Westeros to be perfumed and powdered. (AGoT, Ch.38 Tyrion V) (ASoS, Ch.68 Sansa VI) We know that Lysa nearly died of a dose of poison when she was younger, that she became plump, with a blotchy complexion and a sour smell later on. Perhaps Varys resorts to cosmetics to conceal the same problems. Or perhaps it is an affectation he picked up in Myr. We know that Vargo Hoat had "bowmen with powdered cheeks"(ACoK, Ch.30 Arya VII) in his company, and at a later point we learn "One of the crossbowmen kept shouting, “I soldier, I soldier,” in a thick Myrish accent."(ASoS, Ch.39 Arya VII) So perhaps powdered cheeks mean something warlike in Myr. Perhaps Varys had been a Myrish crossbowman at one time. Whatever the reason for the powder, Eddard Stark seems unsettled by it. And Tyrion mentions it a lot in the first two books, too. We know Melisandre keeps pinches of various powders up her sleeve, and that maesters have that predilection as well. Perhaps Varys uses powder cosmetically so non-cosmetic powders can be concealed in his toiletries bag. Or perhaps he is aware that bathing alone can't conceal all smells. (ASoS, Ch.51 Catelyn VII) Or perhaps, Ser Ryman should try powder as well as bathing. And there are worse things than sour sweat to conceal. (ADwD, Ch.25 The Windblown) And there, that proves the OP's theory. Although later we learn of Yezzen that: (ADwD, Ch.47 Tyrion X) Yoren smells of sweat and sour wine, and the man who pulled Sansa from her horse in the riot of Kings Landing had garlic breath - perhaps Varys is a faceless man and has assumed the identity of a dead man, Yoren or Rugen. Or perhaps the eunuch is an assumed identity, and Yoren or Rugen is a faceless man. Lavender and lilac seem to be associated with Valyria, so perhaps his preference for these smells, and his purple garb, indicate Targaryen loyalties. Not just for Varys, for people like Lady Smallwood (whose daughter had a lilac dress decorated with seed pearls) too. I've been meaning to take a good look at exactly what was going on where in KL just before Varys wafts in, and of what his different perfumes signify. I'm sure these scents are mentioned for particular reasons, especially the rose and the lemon. But I got distracted by the myriad other associations with lemons and roses, and never really got anything on smelly Varys. So I'll just give you the quotes I had collected on his odours, in the hope that you can find something in them. I'm sure there is something in them. -- Lilac His flesh was soft and moist, and his breath smelled of lilacs.(AGoT, Ch.18 Catelyn IV) “I might have passed within a foot of you and never recognized you,” he said, incredulous. He had never seen the eunuch dress in anything but silk and velvet and the richest damasks, and this man smelled of sweat instead of lilacs.(AGoT, Ch.30 Eddard VII) -- Lavender Varys entered in a wash of lavender, pink from his bath, his plump face scrubbed and freshly powdered, his soft slippers all but soundless.(AGoT, Ch.49 Eddard XIV) When they were done, Varys came gliding into the hall, wearing flowing lavender robes that matched his smell.(ACoK, Ch.08 Tyrion II) The scent of sour wine and garlic clung to Varys instead of lavender.(ACoK, Ch.15 Tyrion III) It was Varys he thought of then, smiling and smelling of lavender. (AFfC, Ch.27 Jaime III) Varys entered in a wash of powder and lavender.(AFfC, Ch.08 Jaime I) She wondered whether Aegon’s Red Keep had a pool like this, and fragrant gardens full of lavender and mint.(ACoK, Ch.27 Daenerys II) [This is the only mention of lavender not directly associated with Varys. Also recalls the woman's head in the rainbow pool...eta: Aha! I see @Seams has quoted this one already.] -- Roses Powdered, primped, and smelling of rosewater, the Spider rubbed his hands one over the other all the time he spoke.(ASoS,Ch.66 Tyrion IX) -- Undifferentiated Flowers His hand left powder stains on Ned’s sleeve, and he smelled as foul and sweet as flowers on a grave.(AGoT, Ch.20 Eddard IV) Lord Varys hovered over them, smelling flowery.(AGoT, Ch.51 Sansa IV) -- Lemons The eunuch was humming tunelessly to himself as he came through the door, dressed in flowing robes of peach-colored silk and smelling of lemons.(ASoS, Ch.12 Tyrion II) Beyond a line of stony hills the grass grew greener and more lush, and there were lemon orchards watered by a spider’s web of old canals. (AFfC, Ch.21 The Queenmaker)[Not directly associated with Varys, but interesting] -- Powder plump, perfumed, powdered, and as hairless as an egg. He wore a vest of woven gold thread over a loose gown of purple silk, and on his feet were pointed slippers of soft velvet.(AGoT, Ch.18 Catelyn IV) “If?” Varys asked softly, wringing powdered hands together.(AGoT, Ch.33 Eddard VIII) He stroked a powdered cheek.(AGoT, Ch.33 Eddard VIII) The eunuch stroked a plump, powdered cheek.(AGoT, Ch.43 Eddard XI) He wore a black velvet robe that brushed the floor, and his face was freshly powdered.(AGoT, Ch.47 Eddard XIII) The eunuch Varys took the letter and turned it in his delicate powdered hands.(ACoK,Ch.03 Tyrion I) a soft eunuch’s smile on his powdered face.(ACoK,Ch.03 Tyrion I) The eunuch rubbed his powdered hands together.(ACoK,Ch.03 Tyrion I) “Why are you so helpful, my lord Varys?” he asked, studying the man’s soft hands, the bald powdered face, the slimy little smile.(ACoK, Ch.08 Tyrion II) Galt of the Stone Crows informed him not an hour later that the powdered man was at his door.(ACoK, Ch.17 Tyrion IV) Varys stroked a powdered cheek.(ACoK, Ch.17 Tyrion IV) Varys stroked a powdered cheek.(ACoK, Ch.25 Tyrion VI) The eunuch stroked a powdered cheek. (ASoS, Ch.12 Tyrion II) clutching a crossbow in soft powdered hands.(ADwD, Epilogue) --
  12. Yeah, I thought the Antler men had trade deals and loans with the Master of Coin, and also had business interests in common with Petyr Baelish, and were effectively Renly supporters while Robert was alive, and after Robert and Renly died, would swing the way Petyr Baelish swung. So they (at most) has a preference for a Baratheon ascendant. If Varys and Petyr are working together, the Antler men on the list Varys gave Tyrion were business partners that had outlived their usefulness to Petyr Baelish when he headed out of Kings Landing. So they would have known of his conspiracy to get Robert to put Cersei aside for Margaery, or of lords and knights Petyr had recruited to Renly's cause at the Tourney of the Hand, or details of Petyr's preferred supply lines during the famine of Kings Landing. If Varys and Littlefinger are not allies, it could be tit for tat. Note that Cersei was disenchanted with Varys, had set him aside when Littlefinger had Alayaya brought to her. It is then Varys goes to Tyrion with his list of traitors, every one of whom is a useful supporter of Petyr Baelish. Varys never tells Tyrion outright that it was Baelish that bought Janos and his goldcloaks (with Ned's money), and then killed Ned, and Ned's household guard, and Barra, and Barra's mother, and came after Gendry with what looks a lot like a Royal Warrant (although it was sealed, so there might not have been any warrent inside), and was definitely an attempt to kill the boy. The bastards of the King, and Eddard the Hand, and the whorehouse that can be reached via tunnel from the Red Keep are all Varys' business, that Petyr Baelish is intruding on. But with Tyrion, as with Ned, Varys seems to prefer to pose questions, to create a riddle (like the one about the sell-sword) that leads to Baelish as the obvious answer, but he never says so himself. If he isn't in cahoots with Baelish, he is strangely afraid of him. Strangely, because Petyr Baelish has no army, his informants are not more skilled, more loyal, or more able than Varys's, and Varys himself seems properly wary of him - Petyr is unlikely to poison him or put a sucessful hit on him, assuming he would even feel the need to. Yet, for whatever reason, Varys let Tyrion go on supposing Cersei gave the orders, and ignore what Cersei told him - that she had only ordered Ned's arrest and intended to pardon him, hence the venue of Baelor's Sept. Cersei wasn't bothered that Ned's household guard died, or that Robert's humiliating bastards in the shadow of the Red Keep had died. She admitted herself that she didn't want to humiliate Joffrey by contradicting his execution order in public (although Ilyn was so eager to swing Ice, and Janos was so quick to push Ned down, that if Cersei had tried to contradict Joffrey's order, she might have been the one to be humiliated.) I don't think Varys collected all the antler men, or even attempted to. There were no lords or ladies on his list of Names and I'm pretty sure that the Stokeworths and Ser Balman would have been on it if there were. It seems to me that the Antler Men are of the northern Crownlands, from Rosby to Duskendale in particular. It might be that the Antlers of the Antler men are really of House Buckwell, the Targaryen loyalists whose only currently known member is in the Night's Watch on the Wall. Their ancestral home is in the right area for antler-people. Sorry for not explaining where in the text I found my proofs of all the above. I have not yet posted a long post on the riots of King's Landing that details where I'm getting all this from. I've been writing it up on and off for a year, and still are not done, and so over it, I'm not going to start re-writing it here - just letting you know I have seen hints in the text that the Antler men are Baelish people, that they are likely to be interested in the Rosby inheritance, and various Crownlands houses (Crabbe, Brune, Celtegar, Velaryon, Hollard, Darklyn) that Patchface has foreshadowed are likely to be in with them or at least, know their game. Also a few other houses ( Estermont, Tarth) that lead up from the Stepstones. The Antler men probably know what happened to the fat High Septon's Crown, and maybe still have Tyrek Lannister. As the dragon flies, they are between Dragonstone and King's Landing, so their lands are likely to be laid waste when the Dragons they have sewn banners for and drank secret toasts to return. I think there is going to be more about Antler men in Winds of Winter, maybe even an explicit storyline. Please give me a link to your rant/s, I totally agree with you re. King Robert Keynes. Also, it occurs to me that just because you have filled your treasury with hoarded gold doesn't me you are not in debt. We know Aerys was in debt to Tywin when Robert took the throne (might have considered it would secure him Tywin's loyalty, that Tywin would hurry to Kings Landing to defend his gold, if not his King, and get blown up with the rest of the city). And yeah, Robert might have inherited that debt and thought about something better to do with it than keep it sitting in the treasury, pissing off Tywin, guaranteeing him no return on investment and forcing a crippling deflationary recession on King's Landing. The only think I would quibble with (and only a little) is that I would give Septon Barth (and maybe Jaehaerys I) full credit for the expansion of the King's Road to the Wall, even if it wasn't as magnificent as the Valyrion ones, and the creation of the sewers of King's Landing. There were agendas that were not all necessarily pro-the-people behind them, but still, they were fine things in their time and proved valuable ever since. I don't believe any Targaryen before or since have invested anything but a few youthful dreams in infrastructure since. Apart from him, only Aegon IV had any notion of justice for the smallfolk, or fair trade. Every other Targaryen has been more a destructive kind of parasite than anything else. Even the Code Jaehaerys seems to have been in a way forced on him, a means of uniting the smallfolk behind him and giving him leverage to shut down the Faith Militant without fighting a war. In fact every innovation of Jaehaerys seems to have a military strategy at the bottom of it. But his schemes benefited the whole realm whatever the King's underlying motive really was. Which makes him that much better than Maegor, who only built for himself, or Baelor who also only built for himself, but because he was a septon, a sept instead of a castle or a carpark. And in these works, even this doubtful pair have done more for Westeros, than any of their argumentative and unstable descendants. And than all of their war-mongering antecedents, who were probably exiled from the Valyrian freehold to the backwaters of the planet because of their chilling effect on trade as much as because of the prophecy.
  13. It's not in a part of the book that lends itself to close reading, but it just occurred to me... (AFfC, Ch.32 Cersei VII) Either Cersei knows the microscopic constituents of semen and their purpose, or she has been giving Robert hand jobs day and night every day since their wedding night. Also, it is odd she is thinking in terms of avoiding conception, given the situation.
  14. That throwaway line is not thrown away on the reader - it tells us that Cersei's (really Petyr Baelish's) informer has been in communication with Marei about Tyrion and Alayaya. It makes Bronn the most likely person to be Baelish's informer, and when you look at when and how Baelish bought Bronn, it seems likely that Bronn and Chiggen were both in Baelish's pay when they took the road to the Eyrie with Catelyn rather than speeding off to Kings Landing where they might win Lannister gold for their information, and if not they still have the tourney. It does have a big impact on Tyrion, although I don't think he went to extreme lengths to protect her from Cersei - it was Shae he was protecting before Cersei locked Alayaya up. We don't know his rash promise protected Alayaya from beatings and rapes under Cersei, and we do know they lead to her being publicly whipped and cast out of the city naked by Tywin, just to serve as a lesson to Tyrion for saying that (well, and also because he has this creepy voyeuristic thing about public sexual humiliation of women, and of overseeing Tyrion's sex life while affecting detatchment) . And of course Tyrion was too busy protecting the city, and recovering from the wounds he took in the siege, to protect even himself, let alone anyone else. I also don't think Chataya would train her girls to spy - for her that would be one of the points of difference between her upmarket place where patrons can be perfectly comfortable, and a place where the girls all work for Petyr Baelish. It would also be the reason why Petyr would be sending spies into Chataya's, making sure their revelations were about what was happening on her premises, and justifying raiding her brothel by murderous Goldcloaks, while his went about their discreet business as usual. Chataya seems to have no book-learning, either. Although that may be a language thing. There are probably not many books in the Summer Island tongue in Westeros. And Tyrion isn't there for her conversation. In contrast to Petyr Baelish, who is there to advise everyone, and is not bookish but still knows the full details of apparently every family tree of the Vale back three generations, and spends his nights keeping up his extensive correspondence.
  15. Sorry, I meant the female lack of interest in history and scholarship in Westeros, not in real life. In the real medieval there were many women who loved history and learning, as there are now.