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About Vaith

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  • Blood of Dragons
    Sebaston Vaith, Rylla Tyrell

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    Literature, Languages, Linguistics, History, Blood of Dragons MUSH

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  1. Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    Yeah, the "Women on Top" message somehow becomes more poignant (in regard to how anti-feminist it actually is) when, weirdly, all the canon ruling ladies seem to be gone. Since the DVD bonus material seems to be written by booksnobs (or semi-booksnobs, apparently there was a weird video where they claimed that the Starks were sworn to the Ryswells at one point), and, like, nobody watches them except people who are quite into the series, a casual viewer can watch the Sand Fakes' coup and come away with the impression that the only way women *can* get power in Dorne is to commit regicide/kinslaying and stage a coup (I wonder what "Lord Blackmont" thinks of Princess Faullaria though). We can't have an elderly, widowed Lady Oakheart in Renly's retinue (though, budget, whatever,) or a little Lady Alysanne Bulwer in Margaery's retinue. The only way Reach ladies can gain power is through sex (/statutory rape), except if you're an old lady, in which case, you gain control of Highgarden through sassiness.. or maybe Olenna has such a good reputation as a rude negotiator they chose to have her over her daughters or Garth the Gross? In the north, we can't have a Lady Flint casually mentioned, and let's just scrap the Cerwyns, the Manderly granddaughters, and Alys (though according to the leaks Alys may exist)? Like, sure, maybe you could cut down some plots and characters, but as you often say Chebs, it's the pattern that matters, and these microcosms matter. Otherwise you have Lyanna who exists so her age and gender can be comedic. I can't even figure out what the weird implications are of her pretending Sansa of the many personalities exist (though I'm looking forward to your meta about that in a few months). In regard to the season 7 leaks, it's really confusing what the message will be. So Yara and Ellaria are "bad" women and will get punished? Seems strange if they acknowledge the implications of Yara in Volantis, but IIRC only Ellaria and Tyene get sexually humiliated. So... D&D are reading the Walk as superficially as possible? Like, we felt for Carol, but... she's Carol. I seriously think we'll be supposed to revel in the humiliation of these murderers, and that we won't feel that no matter how bad someone's crimes are, they shouldn't be punished in a specifically gendered way... or maybe it'll show how EVHUL Euron is because he's worse than the fakes? (Though anyone who believes in Euron being as sinister as he appears to be in the books is kidding themselves). And then there's the weird Cersei/Dany rivalry... I guess it's supposed to be an empowering battle where the two leaders are both women, but the Madonna/Whore imagery is just too apparent.
  2. Virginity: Important of Chastity in Westeros

    Yeah, but because the books are novels, we see more and more characters that defy the norm of what's expected. Not everyone in Westeros are Daeneryses or Ashas; IMO what they experience would be different for, say, a Targaryen princess who was one of Egg's sisters, or a daughter of Lord Greyjoy who wasn't a captain of a ship. The books also happen at a rather exceptional time in Westeros - while rebellions and civil wars have certainly happened before, and in some cases been very severe like the Dance of the Dragons and Blackfyre Rebellions - they usually didn't cause as much turmoil as replacing two great houses, so many factions fighting for power, etc, and this situation can sometimes undermine the usual social norms. What you say about Delena is true, I suppose, and I can't assume that Hosman Norcross is a particularly distant scion or that the banner house isn't very wealthy or something. Walder's sister's marriage is talked about in the novella as if it wouldn't have happened if not for the affair - and while a Wode girl might love to marry Lord Butterwell, it is of course relative to the standing of the house. Also the Jaime/Lysa match happened before the affair: Jaime joined the Kingsguard in 281 and it was in 282 that the Catelyn/Brandon wedding was announced, leading to the subsequent duel and Lysa sleeping with Littlefinger. However I will admit that Tywin could have still agreed with it (maybe) because of "southron ambitions" and valuing a Tully alliance over an intact maidenhead, yes - but in say the rule of Jaehaerys I I think a Lord Lannister really wouldn't want to marry his heir to a "soiled" Tully maiden. I agree that Galazza should stop being so squeamish and I'm all for Dany's sexual agency! But the fact that she does behave so squeamishly is because she doesn't want the Dany/Hizdahr marriage undermined by any potential kids not being his. As I said, the rumours about Maege and Alysane are kind of ridiculous considering they're about bears and could likely just be about their masculine traits rather than any extramarital or premarital sex, and again, we don't know how widespread knowledge is of Barbrey and Asha's affairs since we either hear it from Asha personally or from Barbrey talking to someone with no power at a very sentimental time. So it is all about appearances, I suppose, because nobody can ever no for sure - but as much as I can't say for certain knowledge of this isn't public, I really don't think they're being very open about what affairs they have or may have had (though sure, I don't really think Asha's men at Deepwood Motte think she and Qarl are "praying" or what have you). Sure Merrett's an idiot, but I don't think anyone wants to marry their daughter off to a landless, nameless hedge knight? While I agree that Ami's extremely far down the line of succession and it's surprising the Freys have as many good marriages as they do (or not, we don't know how many wives are distant cousins and such) I think she would've been destined for maybe a younger son of a lesser knightly house - not Pate of the Blue Fork. I should've clarified that when I talk about Great Houses I do mean the paramount houses, so I agree with you there, and though it is a little telling Aegon had no Lannister, Tully, Baratheon etc mistresses, the Blackwoods and Brackens are pretty great. And the mistresses got influence because Aegon created a court structure of open mistresses which wasn't really followed by any subsequent kings. And there is no "picture of the perfect maid", but well, during this time, there was Aegon's wife, Naerys, who was essentially that, as well as his cousin Rhaena who became a septa (and sure, there were Daena and Elaena - but it seems Daena was too defiant for any marriage after having Daemon, and Elaena - a king's daughter - first married a very old westerlander lord who doesn't even seem to be the most influential in the world, and then to a member of House Penrose - which is a good banner house of the stormlands I'll admit, but we don't even know if Ronnel was the lord, and I would say it's a little middling for a princess anyway.) Well, in my hypothetical scenario I wasn't factoring the War of Five Kings into it - I should've made that clearer, I just mean in a regular no-conflict scenario. And really, an "open secret" might devalue a husband a little, but the Lord of Storm's End is always the Lord of Storm's End. Winning the favour of Highgarden is important for sure, and a particularly shrewd lord might ignore a woman being "soiled" if he really wanted some more influence. But idealised maidenhood is a hell of a drug in believing a woman's value on the marriage market steeply drops. Also yeah, I wouldn't say a Vyrwel or a Meadows is a stretch considering Janna Tyrell is married to a green-apple Fossoway, the junior branch, despite not appearing to have an affair. I suppose when talking about virginity in Westeros it's true that Westeros can have a lot of conflicts which undermine the social codes of peacetime. Lancel marries Ami because of Darry, when in peacetime, if Kevan had to pick between her and Jeyne Westerling, I really think he would've picked Jeyne any day. So, as much as the ideal exists, yes, circumstances can exist which undermine it... but just because Jeyne was off the table for Lancel, Kevan and Martyn, that could just be because there were Prester, Marbrand, Crakehall, Farman and Serrett girls available with a higher dowry? So yeah, extramarital sex "ruining" a woman does differ on each case. But I think it's a risk too great to be free of consequences, even for princesses and daughters of paramount houses.
  3. Some great theories to discuss?

    I mean, reasonable debate is fine, but I was four minutes into that video and the first point made was that Catelyn is apparently incestuously aroused by Lysa and Edmure because her mind wanders to non-sexual things during sex.
  4. Some great theories to discuss?

    Yes, as others have said, they seem to have a quite strange anti-R+L agenda. And look, I'm not going to say that alternate theories have no merit. But honestly, it's really futile at this point. I definitely dislike a lot of the things the show does and think a lot of things will happen quite differently in the books, but Benioff and Weiss got to make the show because they knew of Jon's true parentage. Things like Meera Dayne, Aegon VI Snow, and Daenerys Stark are really a reach. I think a lot of people want to find the "next" R+L, that is a parentage theory that explains everything and is oh-so awesome, but the fact is that that isn't possible because, well, only Jon has a very important secret parentage, and in a storytelling and thematic level, it really works. And I'm sorry, I know this is contentious among people who like Jon, but seeing that their most recent video is called "Why Catelyn Sucks" is really off-putting. Personally, my favourite theories include BR+SS=M and other Melisandre theories, theories about Quaithe, northern and eastern magic theories (as in, what happened during the long night, how much power do the old gods and R'hllor have, are they both "true" and complimentary to each other, etc) as well as some Drowned God theories, theories about Lightbringer, the Others, the dragons and the "song of ice and fire". I'm seeing a pattern here... the magical aspects of the theories that I'll feel we'll learn a lot more about in the upcoming novels and see just how fundamentally magical ASOIAF actually is. For the more political aspects of the series, I tend to like predictions for what will happen rather than theories like the "Grand Reach Conspiracy" and "Grand Vale Conspiracy" and the like that ties up a lot of political ongoings in a neat little bow. I like to speculate on Aegon's supporters and the queens' trials on the like, but I tend to like them less simply because I don't want to get attached to one speculation and be disappointed in the future.
  5. Stannis wrote the Pink Letter

    Ah, sorry, that's just a common part of the theory I've read in other Stannis=Pink Letter author theories. Reading your post in more detail, it seems a little confusing to me. He needs a Stark puppet ruler for the north, so... he sends Jeyne, whom he believes is Arya, to the Wall with Massey, and then pretends to be Ramsay and threatens to sack Castle Black? Okay, I can understand that if he's thinking of a better martial candidate, he would prefer Jon to Jeyne/Arya. But this still doesn't explain how Stannis would be sure Jon would react in the way he did, and it doesn't explain why he thought he could pull it off without some in-fighting. And then, if Jon did take all his troops south... and arrived at Winterfell to find that Stannis had won, well, even if he continued deceiving him, making him think that a tricked Ramsay wrote it, well, would it be a given that Jon would then abandon the Night's Watch and be named Lord Stark? Also, what would happen to Jeyne? If Jon was alive, and met her, of course he would know that she wasn't actually Arya, but let's think of what Stannis thinks is going to happen, considering he doesn't have that knowledge. Would he be so sure that Jon would abandon his vows if he knew that his younger legitimate sister was alive? Also, you mentioned how in the letter it's mentioned Ramsay wants both "Reek" and his bride. Well, considering Jon doesn't know at all who Reek is, and he isn't going to Castle Black and so can't show up so all will be explained, this is a line which make me doubt a lot of "it's not Ramsay" theories at it would be a futile line in convincing Jon. I really do think there are just to many variables for Stannis, with the knowledge he has, to think that this situation would work - even for Littlefinger, this is just too much of a gambit.
  6. Stannis wrote the Pink Letter

    That's true, I suppose I was generalising a bit. But I have to say that I think those are different situations because while Mace is a wildling who wanted to invade the Seven Kingdoms, Jon has always been an ally to him - and though I suppose he deceives all his men in making them believe Mance is dead, that's different from sheer manipulation. Again, I do think it could occur in a drastic situation, but while Stannis isn't a picture of honour 24/7, he's not a mindreader. The Pink Letter is a very big gambit - he couldn't predict the point where Jon would agree to join and, as actually happened, there would be huge resentment for an Oathbreaking Lord Commander (again, while Jon had been lenient, it might have been a bit much for Stannis to predict that the black brothers would tolerate outright allegiance to Stannis and sending forces to help in southron affairs). And again: nobody in Winterfell can predict that there will be a significant fighting force at the Wall. So yes, deceit is one thing, but in my opinion this would be far too convoluted and chaotic for Stannis to bet on so much.
  7. Stannis wrote the Pink Letter

    I do think many Pink Letter theories are well-evidenced, and I have seen many candidates put forward: Stannis, Barbrey, Mance, many, many, northern lords... But for me, the question is never "who wrote the letter", but rather, "what is true." For example, when Tormund and Jon are discussing it, the only hint the reader gets is the fact that if someone had a quill and a maester, they could say whatever they liked - as in, what has actually happened at Winterfell. In terms of the author of the letter, we get no such hint that it's forged - the style and tone and appearance is all like Ramsay would usually write, even in spite of Jon and Ramsay not having communicated before. Really, I think it would be very, very out of character for Stannis to write such a letter. So the man who is almost notorious for how dutiful and honour-abiding he can be deceives a staunch ally? I don't know, he would have to be pushed very far. He also doesn't know about Tormund so he can't know of any significant forces to recruit through such deception, and it seems very out of character for Stannis to play such a gambit -can he really predict Jon's "breaking point" where he will put House Stark above the Night's Watch, considering he's rejected Stannis' offers before? In my opinion the letter is usually over-analysed to the extent that many theories about authorship require sub-theories and it all becomes more complex than it probably will be. Spoilers for Theon I TWOW, but my favourite theory is that Ramsay sent the letter after treacherous Karstark soldiers went to WF with Ice, that Stannis was dead and told Ramsay both Jeyne "Arya" and Theon were at the Wall. But then again there are many variables and I wouldn't bet on anything.
  8. I think from a character perspective, it makes much more sense for Sansa to be the one to be directly complicit in Littlefinger's downfall. Littlefinger isn't even on Arya's list - in fact, I don't even think she knows about his role in the AGOT coup. Sansa, on the other hand, is tied to LF from the start of the novels - right from AGOT she notices that his eyes and smile do not match. And then he continues to be instrumental in her story: helping her flee King's Landing, and essentially taking him on as his protegee who doubles as a substitute for his desire for Catelyn. She's going to be geographically closest to him in the next novels, she's the one who's been the most dependent on him the whole time - it just makes the most sense. Even if Arya learned of all that LF did, IMO the payoff still wouldn't be as great because she wouldn't have forged an important connection to him across the novels. Now, of course, ASOIAF is great in building up prophecies that can be subverted and changed. But "later I dreamt that maid again" ... again is simply too explicit in my opinion, it just has to be the same woman, who is clearly Sansa because of the purple serpents. To be honest I'm not 100% about that prophecy line, but the two questions to me have always been who the giant is (Petyr or Gregor) and where the castle is (Harrenhal or Winterfell). To me the maid is Sansa, no question. And while she does see Arya's true nature (and/or what will become of her) she could definitely see that separately. Also I don't think there's the same opportunity for narrative irony like the YMBQ prophecy because Arya had no idea who the maid with purple serpents in her hair was, and never thinks on the prophecy.
  9. Knowing Nothing

    Yeah, I always read it as Ygritte telling Jon how he knows nothing about the free folk's way of life. Though I have to say, the other interpretation of "knowing" "nothing" is quite amusing. I don't think those words carry the same double-meanings as they did in our world, as Martin only uses some archaisms and I don't think these carry those meanings anywhere else in the novels, but I won't rule it out as unintentional, especially as the phrase is said during a certain scene, and more frequently following that scene if I remember correctly. And yes, it must be quite a common phrase among the free folk as Val also says it to Jon when she has no connection to Ygritte. (Of course, Melisandre also uses it, but specifically to prove she has some real magical powers)
  10. Virginity: Important of Chastity in Westeros

    I do think that chastity is basically expected to be a given anywhere outside of Dorne. This doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of stuff that contradicts that information - we do see many examples in the books of women that eschew this. But in many cases, the books star exceptional characters, and the consequences of being "soiled" are quite severe. For example, Delena Florent. Even though she was "soiled" by the king and had his bastard son, the best she could do was be quietly married off to one of her father's bannermen. Lysa Tully was only considered fit to marry Jon Arryn on the condition that Hoster would support the rebellion, and even then Catelyn wasn't aware of it, etc. And we can see this with Lady Butterwell Frey in the prequels: okay, she got to marry a head of a house that was on probably on a similar level on House Frey at the time, but from how the characters speak of it, it's quite clear the match happened as a consequence of an affair. Now, there are many exceptions we see in the novels, but again, the novels have exceptional characters. Dany, obviously, but by the time she has extramarital sex she's established herself as a highly influential female ruler with dragons - and it's not like people disapprove of it, Galazza Galare is still being snooty with her. Asha is one, but there was an active effort by Alannys to separate her from Tristifer Botley. And there's also the fact that she's considered one of the quite rare female captains that are allowed to take on masculine traits. We don't know how widespread knowledge is of her virginity as well. You also mentioned the north: well, I'm not sure if you can take what's said about Maege and Alysane at face value - of course Maege didn't really sleep with a bear, and Alysane's line to Asha about not being married and that her children were fathered by a bear obviously has a playful tone to it. I think it's mostly to show how masculine they are in contrast to most Westerosi women, and even most northerners - after all, Bear Island developed its own culture of warrior women due to ironborn raids and the fishing trade of men, etc. The other northern non-maiden is Barbrey Ryswell, which is the most notable in her virginity still allowing her to marry well. Well, we don't know how widespread this knowledge is - she just confesses it to Theon/Reek, who's nobody at that point. And her father would obviously want to advance her as the potential next Lady Stark - so maybe he allowed it to advance his daughter? She did believe Brandon truly loved her and wanted to marry her, after all. But I would say it would mostly be considered risky as things aren't set in stone. Other characters mentioned in the Jeyne thread were Ami Frey. And Merrett even thinks how awful it was that she had to marry a hedge knight because of it! Of course she ended up marrying Lancel but that was because she was the only marriageable Darry-Frey woman so Lancel could quickly be granted Darry. Then there's Aegon's mistresses and during his time as king it was kind of exceptional that they got the influence they did - and mind you, though the Blackwoods and Brackens aren't poor or uninfluential, they aren't great houses, so they could afford to advance their daughters as mistresses. Delena was more of a one night stand I suppose, and Cersei would definitely protest to Robert having an open mistress, hence why she got a shorter end of the stick. So as for the notion that it's not as bad for women of great houses, I don't really know. Obviously a woman of a great house is going to be a good trophy wife for anyone, but if say, it was known Margaery had sex before her marriage with Renly, she wouldn't be able to marry the king's brother, obviously, but probably not a son of any great house. Sure, an heir might want to marry her - but probably a banner house less influential than the Hightowers, Redwynes, Rowans, Tarlys, etc. and she might have ended up marrying a Vyrwel or a Meadows. In terms of explaining the ideal and what's expected, well, because of Westeros' very patriarchal nature and the system of inheritance through the male line, there can be no suspicion of a child actually being a bastard. Therefore everywhere but Dorne it's thought that a woman not being a maiden at marriage could lead to her being more likely to cheat, and the child not being the husband's.
  11. Jeyne the schemer?

    I honestly think the whole situation was born out of chance. Robb's choice to marry Jeyne was very shocking to everyone involved, so I don't know why she would choose to seduce him, as it would just leave her "soiled" and with a chance of having a bastard. I mean, maybe there was some oddity to it - why would Jeyne attend a wounded Robb instead of the Crag's maester, for example, but I think this can be explained as Jeyne just helping the maester, as ladies sometimes did have knowledge of healing and the like. Likewise, I think the scenario of Sybell planning with Tywin before Jeyne slept with Robb is a bit unlikely - Sybell relying on Jeyne to sleep with Robb as said above would be too big a chance and even if it happens it didn't guarantee anything. I don't see Jeyne as being inclined to reject the social code of out of wedlock sex. And I don't really buy the notion that sex in Westeros isn't a big deal for some houses: Barbrey is a bit of an exceptional character and thought she would marry Brandon eventually, Delena Florent was quietly married off to the Florents' bannerman even though the man who "soiled" her was the king, the Tyrells had to perpetuate the notion that Margaery didn't have sex when married, etc. I think the most likely scenario was that the Jeyne slept with Robb, he agreed to marry her. Sybell then wrote to Tywin asking what she should do because she didn't want the Westerlings to suffer the same fate as the Reynes and he told her to use the moon tea. I also think on a storytelling level it works better for this to be Robb's conscious choice rather than it being all a grand scheme of Tywin. I think using the RW scene as evidence is a bit much. He was already dying and I only read the line as saying the name of his queen that he loved before he died. Honestly though after her scene with Jaime in Feast I don't know how anyone can think she was involved. She has no reason to lie or keep up the appearance of a Stark loyalist to him - and even if she loved Robb, the smart thing to do in that scenario would be to quietly accept defeat - but she openly defies her mother in front of Jaime of all people.
  12. INFO: Feedback Thread

    I'm really new, but fixed times for roleplay sounds fun. I haven't RP'd with anyone yet and Dorne especially seems rather empty, so fixed events would be a great way to meet other players. My timezone is GMT but I know that not everyone's is, so perhaps it would be good in the afternoons, about 17:00 game time - especially on Friday nights and weekends.