Le Cygne

Rethinking Romance: Love Stories of ASOIAF, Part 2

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Hey there. I just thought of something. A few months back I came upon a post [sorry but I remember neither the thread nor the name of the poster, most likely a Jon-centric one] I think might be relevant in the R+L series.

The poster was analysing a Catelyn chapter, the one where she comes upon an old statue of an old king, I think Tristifer was his name. That post was so amazing and I think it had a lot of R+L symbolism and parallels. I'll try and find it. Sorry if it turns out to be nothing.

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Kyoshi: Was it FrozenFire3's post here? There's also good stuff about Tristifer Mudd's crypt in J. Stargaryen's Emeralds thread.

That's the one. Thanks a lot!

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Your comparison of Loras to Jaime is a good one. I also never really considered him ambitious and agree his focus is becoming a great knight and certainly don't find him haughty. Like Jaime thinks, he has a reckless and arrogant streak that comes with youth, talent, mixed in with some entitlement as a member of the nobility.

The age difference between Edward II and Isabella is also a good point, however, according to primary sources, he greatly offended Isabella during the coronation feast by ignoring and lavishing all of his attention on Piers. So, even if consummation had to wait, Edward II failed to follow the etiquette expected of him, something Renly takes care not to do, as, according to Catelyn, he does take the time to feed her bites of food and occasionally kiss her. I like the Isabella/Cersei comparison, too. Also, there are similarities between

Piers Gavenston and Elizabeth Woodville (and family members), in that they were both opportunnistic commoners who incensed the nobility with their haughtiness and greed.

While it's largely assumed that Edward II and Piers were lovers, there are those who argue that Edward II and Piers shared a deep brotherly love.

I do wonder if Loras encouraged Renly to take the throne because he believed he would be a great king and how much influence Mace had. I can see Loras mentioning and Mace thinking it would be a great opportunity to make Margaery a queen. Or if it was solely Renly's idea. Yet, since Renly and Loras were plotting to

replace Cersei by making Margaery Robert's queen, it seems that the Tyrells had their eyes set on this one way or another.

It's common in historical novels (and of course Braveheart) to portray Edward and Piers as "mincing faggots" (Martin's own words). Of course, they weren't. Both were tough warriors, as any knight or king had to be. Edward was a disastrous king, but his personal courage is not in doubt. I suspect Renly would have been a bad king, but he's clearly pretty tough.

I'm glad Martin has actually gone behind the historical novels to portray Renly and Loras in a credible manner.

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Hey Rethinking Romance,



pleased to say that special guest on Radio Westeros for this episode is DogLover, representing this project.



The episode is on Jon, and in the discussion on his romantic side, DogLover joins us and talks us through the romance with Ygritte.



Afterwards we discuss this project in some detail. Hope you enjoy DogLover's contribution and the interview!



Thanks to DogLover & Le Cygne for helping with this collaboration, and we're very happy we got to showcase Rethinking Romance.



Keep up the great work everyone!



(And to listen, click the sig)


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Part 9: What a Woman: As My Lady Commands



(Or Hot Pie’s Words of Wisdom) Part 1



I would like to start with an open statement to Hot Pie: I would NOT want you as my mentor or ally if I was in the Hunger Games, just so you know. This will be addressed later in my essay. Seriously, I adore you, but keep making those cronuts and direwolf bread thingies.





Yeah, it is this one…for those of you who follow the show too. And it includes some things I noted if you are a fan of the book or the movie Gone with the Wind. Also, it happened again. I didn’t realize truly how much was going on in this chapter. So it looks like it will be in parts. Anyway…





So it was great. It captured the right feel that “As my lady commands,” in book, tv series, and roundabout spirit. The delightful laugh and the double take after the shove. The God, she’s too much, surely going through his mind, or the what a handful. And the tripping and falling over that is the best part, to the ground. Yes, he was literally bowled over…and maybe even…swept off his feet. Humor is there and the respect that a lady can take care of herself. Down right comical in both.



Gone With The Wind and classic movie/literature fans. The 75th is coming up this year.



I remember something very similar with another favorite twosome. Which seriously, if you study or enjoy famous literary couples, these two, Rhett and Scarlett broke the mold. Funny, sarcastic, endless mind games, but the dialogue is incredible and never dull.



So she tells him. “How did you ever get out of jail? Why didn’t they hang you?”



Scarlett can’t believe, that he, Rhett Butler, super skunk…has the gall, the utter nerve… to still be alive and standing in front of her. She has lumber to sell. She is busy. LOL! She has a heap of work to do and business matters to attend to. And it’s a lumber mill. Not painting china cups or taking up embroidery, like the Atlanta ladies that scoff, behind Scarlett’s back, that a woman being in business is just downright un-ladylike.



So much for gumption… I guess she should have starved in a more genteel manner.



“As my lady commands” was much the same as “ I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot to far. “ Hmppph. Nose in air, head and shoulders back with pride, look cool, urge your carriage horse forward, and trot off like a boss, well, the only woman in the picture that was, er, besides Belle Watling, in an entirely different line of work that is. And it is done in a horse and carriage. The grand exit.



Scarlett and Arya are two of my favorite heroines in literature. They share some things in common: courage, pride, gumption, (love that word) though Arya will have many things she doesn’t have. Caring, modesty, and I think Scarlett has many more flaws. But they are decisive, and tough as nails, and survivors.




So Rhett Butler mutters to himself, “What a woman….” Scarlett has just flounced off after the shooting quote, and left his ass staring after her outside Kennedy's Store, in the dust and with a lot to ponder.



I know Clark, isn’t she something? Er, I mean, Rhett Butler.



Right, Gendry?



So, what lead up to it?



Between the book and I think it translates into the series, there are elements of Gendry and Arya’s swiping and repartee that remind me so much of classic movies.



But then there is always a twist and something fresh and different from the author too.



So it starts out with Arya scouting from a tree. We get a bit of info about what life has been like on the road. They find Yoren’s body, we get details on eating insects, and in general, more of the horrors of war and surviving with just hard work, wits, and off the land, and with the ever-present danger and peril at every turn. Also, Lommy and Hot Pie are being a pain in the ass at times, and others that had travelled with them died, or took off on their own. When Cutjack and Tarber left, it was almost like they couldn’t believe it. Or didn’t want to. But really, I feel she waited, and I have to give the guys credit too, because so far and even later, they don’t leave anyone behind. It was touching because you feel for the kids, as they held out hope that the two men would be returning with game. But I also like this small hint that Gendry does step it up and has some sense and autonomy too. He is the one that makes them leave. That he is willing to voice what nobody wants to hear. No food is coming, and they left them behind.



"Gendry made them move on.”



I have to roll on the floor laughing picturing Arya leaning out in a graceful stance, doing her waterdance moves, and having Hot Pie barking like a dog beneath, with his half-assed attempt at calling, because Kurz died before he could show them how to do it right. Arya thinks that his birdcalls are terrible. And I have to picture Ben Hawkey trying to make these ridiculous animal sounds, and the look on the face of an exasperated Arya, in my mind.



Then we get Arya’s descent from the tree, that just sounds skilled, elegant, and pretty friggin’ cool. She jumps down several feet and goes into a roll.



“Gendry gave her a hand to pull her up.”



The gentlemanly thing to do, anyone want to bet he was watching those kickass moves the whole time with admiration?



“You were up there a long time. What could you see?”



Within two pieces of dialogue, as if we weren’t sure, we get hit with the point that he is watching out for her and keeping an eye.



She tells him what she’s seen.



Weasal leaves the bushes. We find out that Lommy named her, that the incessant crying has stopped, and that she, of course natural for her age, and surely exacerbated by hunger, is putting things in her mouth/eating mud.



Many small statements in this chapter that tell you a lot about what has been going on, how people think, etc.



Weasal clutches Arya’s legs and has been doing it for some time.



Hot Pie yells out brilliantly….that if people are there, there’s got to be food. We learn that pretty much Gendry has been telling him to lower the volume, but it hasn’t helped. That is Hot Pie Words of Wisdom #1.



“Might be they give us some.”



“Might be they’d kill us too.” Gendry is no fool, and is trying to be cautious. I notice he leans a lot that way.



Lommy’s calf injury is not doing so well. But they would never abandon him. Either he limped with one arm around Gendry, or they even tried to carry him Cleopatra litter style, but it was hard and slow to travel. But they tried.



Hot Pie wants to yield. Gendry reminds him that that is what Lommy would do.



Lommy reiterates that they should, just like Yoren should have.



Words of Hot Pie Wisdom #2: “They told Yoren to open the gates, they told him in the king’s name. You have to do what they tell you in the king’s name.”



Uh-huh. Roll out the dough, dude. Leave the thinking to Wolf Girl and Bull Boy.



It was funny and naïve. Gendry doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass to this chiding like Arya, who has experience firsthand with kings and nobles in power.



Gendry does point out that it applies to the nobles, that nobody cares if it’s them, a bunch of nobodies.



How wrong we are, Bull Boy, if you only knew….Brienne, where are you? Tell him!



Gendry goes right back to asking Arya what else she saw.



For many that accuse him of being dumb or doing nothing. I’ve seen him be second in command, organize and motivate in first command role, and leads as Arya does. They balance each other out. This guy was doing the thinking and strategizing this whole chapter. He is not a dunce.



Words of Hot Pie Wisdom #3. If it is a fishing village, they sell fish.



Can someone launch his ass into the tree, so he can see what happened from Arya’s vantage point?



In hindsight, I learned a lot about the boys and Arya from this chapter.



“I don’t know about fish.” Arya tugged at the Weasal’s matted hair, thinking it might be best to hack it all off.



I always loved that. It is sweet. It reminded me of a mother clucking absent-mindedly minding their child and taking in how to fix something for them, which parents do several times a day. It made me love her more. Notice the author calls her “the” Weasal. It could be anyone’s child and many children that were suffering from this war. But I am still not satisfied with that answer. Anybody interpret it in other ways too? That “the” thing?



Then Hot Pie and Lommy start in with the crows.



“Fish, washed up on shore,” Hot Pie said. “If the crows eat it, I bet we could.” Hot Pie Words of Wisdom #4. He is on a roll today. Oh crap, I just read that and it sounds like a really bad pun. Oh, well, I will just leave it in here and go with it. Must keep typing…it has been awhile since my last essay.



Now that we are up to #4 and counting, what is with the Captain Obvious predictions? So funny… And he and Lommy throw out suggestions, like they want to emulate Gendry and Arya, who have totally emerged as the leaders, especially now that the rest have left them.



“We should catch some crows, we could eat them, said Lommy. We could make a fire and roast them like chickens.”



Then there is this:



“Gendry looked fierce when he scowled. His beard had grown in thick and black as briar. “I said no fires.”



Well…if that isn’t making a Robert allusion….I don’t know what would. Now notice in a few lines they also discuss hunting boars.



He is smart. And he is willing to sacrifice and go hungry some more for safety. He is very practical. Not the first example of this either.



The next I love. Because I loved Arya even more.



“Lommy’s hungry,” Hot Pie whined. “And I am too.”



“We’re all hungry.” It is a fact, but Arya reminds them they are in this together.



“You’re not,” Lommy spat from the ground. “Worm breath.”



Now if I was near starvation, hell, if I was really hungry and I got ‘tude like that on a less forgiving day, when I am doing all the hunting and scouting, and slowing down which is dangerous, I might be guilty of retorting and throwing out an, “well, you can kiss my ass” then.



This is the person she is. She does not say anything back. No name-calling. Nothing. She offers to help. “I said I’d dig worms for you too, if you wanted.”



A few things: I ‘m not mad. The boys are not like her and Gendry. They are scared, frightened, and always on the precipice of starvation, which takes very little to go over. This is not even the worse that there has ever been, or could happen to them, but it is terrible. Things are getting worse and will continue to do so.



Also, we do not get his thoughts, but Lommy has been complaining more since his injury. He is scared. I think he knows something is not right. He is angry and frustrated. Something has to be done about that wound. He knows, they all know, what the hell happened to Kurz.



Also, I think it was interesting that with all the whining, name-calling, and really, if Arya and Gendry were lesser people, they could have just left both their asses behind, and Weasal too, if they were heartless. But they won’t and would never. They, even in better health, never contributed food wise, strategy wise, as much, and hell with Hot Pie being loud and the rest, he can be a pain, and with Lommy in his condition, they are huge liabilities. And Arya has to get somewhere.



But I think this is why we earlier got the info regarding Tarber and Cutjack leaving, to show that people can and do, because they just did. And we see Arya and Gendry in comparison are better people and will not take the easy road out. She does not leave her pack, motley group that they are.



And then…this makes me cringe when I’ve seen it… the quote that is used to say Gendry is a dummy. “Gendry was in no mood to hear it.”



“Quiet, both of you., I need to think what to do.”



“ He always looked pained when he tried to think, like it hurt him something fierce.”



No, I just think the kid has to make hard decisions in even harder, life or death situations, and he is trying to concentrate. He left the hard, yet placid routine of just following orders and obeying Mott, at a top shop in KL. Well, until he couldn’t part with his helm for Ned. The one that comes in mighty handy now with his daughter, Arya. He knew his place was to keep to his work, and not have to worry. Mott ran everything. He might even rise to a better spot later in life. And he had the rug pulled from under him. Nothing like poor Arya, but still… He wasn’t prepared for this shit. Neither was she, neither were the others they encountered, but what is it in people, that some survive and cope better, and keep their values and kindness? In a way I think his faces are nervous tic or stress. I think he is conscientious and mature, he weighs things heavily and is afraid to make a bad decision. I mean, it could cost him his life and those he is leading with Arya.



Really, I do think that.



Which leads us back to Gone With the Wind.



Grandma Fontaine to Scarlett:



“Well, this is the reason. We bow to the inevitable. We’re not wheat, we’re buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it’s dry and can’t bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat’s got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren’t a stiff-necked tribe. We’re mighty limber when a hard wind’s blowing, because we know it pays to be limber….”



That, my child, is the secret of the survival.” And after a pause, she added: “I pass it on to you.”




And I am sorry. This is really long. So I will have to do this in another part or two. A lot to cover, especially with the Arry is a girl reveal, coming up next!


Edited by booknerd2

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Oh my gosh! I love you, booknerd2! I only had time to skim, but will read more thoroughly tomorrow. I'm pretty sure you're the only forum member who can find so much Arya/Gendry material. You're amazing! Seriously, you blow my mind!

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booknerd2, love the Arya/Gendry essays!

Yolkboy, Lady Gwynhyfvar, and DogLover, you were so awesome on the podcast! The love wiki! :) I can't recommend the podcast enough, I love that you played Le Cygne (The Swan) from Saint-Saëns - Le carnaval des animaux at the end! And DogLover, you were fabulous!

(Also thanks for asking me to be on the show! Sorry I couldn't do it!)

Edited by Le Cygne

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Yolkboy, Lady Gwynhyfvar, and DogLover, you were so awesome on the podcast! The love wiki! :) I can't recommend the podcast enough, I love that you played Le Cygne (The Swan) from Saint-Saëns - Le carnaval des animaux at the end! And DogLover, you were fabulous!

Thanks Le Cynge, I hope we represented the project well and we very much enjoyed the process. Glad you liked the nod to you via Saint Saens. ;)

DogLover was a joy to work with, and her thoughts on Jon/Ygritte and Romance were illuminating. We've had very good feedback from listeners. Thanks so much to both of you! :cheers:

Congrats to all of you for delving into one of the most under-appreciated aspects of grrm's writing. Keep it up!

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“Gendry gave her a hand to pull her up.”

The gentlemanly thing to do, anyone want to bet he was watching those kickass moves the whole time with admiration?

It just kills me how Gendry is more "regal" than Robert ever was. Despite his lack of education, he's more knightly and gentleman-ish than many other men we've met. I think we already seen that in the scene at the Peach. Robert wouldn't have contained himself from going with Bella, Arya or not. Gendry didn't: he knew his behaviour could have "offended" Arya.

I like Aegon a lot, and I would love him as King at the end, but I think Gendry fits more Varys' description of what a King should be, except of course the education, which is something he could later learn (or not learn at all): Gendry knows what is to be hunted, what is to be hungry and what is to be with the "lesser" people. He's been one of them. Aegon always had a safety net: Varys, Illyrio and Jon were never going to let him starve to death. And of course, Gendry never had a protective figure (although Varys tried to keep him safe).

“Gendry looked fierce when he scowled. His beard had grown in thick and black as briar. “I said no fires.”

Well…if that isn’t making a Robert allusion….I don’t know what would. Now notice in a few lines they also discuss hunting boars.

The beard is definitely an allusion to Robert, but I think it's a more subtle way to tell us that Gendry is reaching manhood, both in body and mind. Not only he is the de-facto leader of the group, but it offers a contrast with Arya also becoming a "girl", and being discovered precisely by Gendry.

That is also a nice parallel to another Stag-Wolf pair. Robert died not knowing the truth about Lyanna, that she loved Rhaegar and had a child by him. Robert even saw the child in front of him but never figured out, because Ned hid the secret very well. Also, Robert, as Ned pointed out, never knew of Lyanna's true nature, what she really was inside, only her pretty face. Gendry was not only able to discover Arya's secret at once (something older men didn't notice, apparently), but has seen Arya in her worst moments, and he's not afraid of her wild nature. If Robert ever thought that Lyanna would be his docile sweet wife, he was quite mistaken. If Gendry ever gets paired with Arya in years to come, he knows what he's getting and he's ok. with it.

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I saw GWTW on the big screen last year for the first time, and it was fantastic! The only way to watch that film I think. Scarlet and Arya are both survivors and both are strong women in many ways. And both had negatives too; Scarlett was so fixed on herself she lost the man she loved the most, and Arya is so fixed on revenge she is losing herself.



Hopefully, Arya will be able to get back to home and family and let that need for revenge fade. She really does have leadership qualities and is whip smart too. But there are hints that Arya is still with us; Needle she hid instead of throwing away, she couldn't kill the Hound and wasn't he the first on her list? She doesn't think of Gendry or Hot Pie, but if she lands in Westeros I hope she and Gendry meet up. He can remind her that she is a Wolf girl and she can remind him that he works the forge and to give up that silly fire worship thingie.



Thanks for the post Bookie!



I haven't listened to the pod cast yet, will try for this weekend.


Edited by LongRider

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Thank you so much, as always, DogLover and LeCygne.



And I can't thank you guys enough for creating and hosting Re-Thinking Romance. It is an absolute joy to be a part of. And fun…great fun. It really is unbelievable what is in those chapters. I know it more now than I even did a year or so ago when I started. When I go back and research the chapters again, and single them out for a piece, the numbers of instances where there is stuff to pick up on is truly astonishing.



And I checked out Radio Westeros and the Re-Thinking episode and it was awesome! Very engaging and well presented, and so informative. And Dog Lover, you were fantastical!



Can't wait to check out the rest of the stuff coming. LeCygne, you sound like you are going to be very busy from your post. LOL! I am crazy excited for Sandor and Sansa, my other favorite especially, and the Beauty and the Beast parallels.


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It just kills me how Gendry is more "regal" than Robert ever was. Despite his lack of education, he's more knightly and gentleman-ish than many other men we've met. I think we already seen that in the scene at the Peach. Robert wouldn't have contained himself from going with Bella, Arya or not. Gendry didn't: he knew his behaviour could have "offended" Arya.

I like Aegon a lot, and I would love him as King at the end, but I think Gendry fits more Varys' description of what a King should be, except of course the education, which is something he could later learn (or not learn at all): Gendry knows what is to be hunted, what is to be hungry and what is to be with the "lesser" people. He's been one of them. Aegon always had a safety net: Varys, Illyrio and Jon were never going to let him starve to death. And of course, Gendry never had a protective figure (although Varys tried to keep him safe).

The beard is definitely an allusion to Robert, but I think it's a more subtle way to tell us that Gendry is reaching manhood, both in body and mind. Not only he is the de-facto leader of the group, but it offers a contrast with Arya also becoming a "girl", and being discovered precisely by Gendry.

That is also a nice parallel to another Stag-Wolf pair. Robert died not knowing the truth about Lyanna, that she loved Rhaegar and had a child by him. Robert even saw the child in front of him but never figured out, because Ned hid the secret very well. Also, Robert, as Ned pointed out, never knew of Lyanna's true nature, what she really was inside, only her pretty face. Gendry was not only able to discover Arya's secret at once (something older men didn't notice, apparently), but has seen Arya in her worst moments, and he's not afraid of her wild nature. If Robert ever thought that Lyanna would be his docile sweet wife, he was quite mistaken. If Gendry ever gets paired with Arya in years to come, he knows what he's getting and he's ok. with it.

I am floored….blown away. Your post is amazing. On the money, and I totally agree. Yes, regal, I could never find the word, or put it into the way I was satisfied with, but there is something about his character that possesses a natural dignity and refinement. You can't buy it, learn it, or fake it. He has it!

I DID NOT pick up on the Robert and Lyanna parallel in that way. Genius!

Oh, and I LOVE your avatars…lol!

Edited by booknerd2

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I saw GWTW on the big screen last year for the first time, and it was fantastic! The only way to watch that film I think. Scarlet and Arya are both survivors and both are strong women in many ways. And both had negatives too; Scarlett was so fixed on herself she lost the man she loved the most, and Arya is so fixed on revenge she is losing herself.

Hopefully, Arya will be able to get back to home and family and let that need for revenge fade. She really does have leadership qualities and is whip smart too. But there are hints that Arya is still with us; Needle she hid instead of throwing away, she couldn't kill the Hound and wasn't he the first on her list? She doesn't think of Gendry or Hot Pie, but if she lands in Westeros I hope she and Gendry meet up. He can remind her that she is a Wolf girl and she can remind him that he works the forge and to give up that silly fire worship thingie.

Thanks for the post Bookie!

I haven't listened to the pod cast yet, will try for this weekend.

So lucky…nobody wants to sit in the movies for three hours or so, but I got my box set. My honey, a big resounding "no." I told him it had action…hey, I tried. LOL!

Scarlett and Rhett have the best dialogue. Whether early on with vase-throwing to the bazaar to Atlanta and the final chapter. Best sparring dialogue ever. And Gendry and Arya, it is there. So many classic movie/literature tropes, but very much his own unique writing too, where what you expect is totally turned around, and then again, and then once more.

Edited by booknerd2

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Gendry was not only able to discover Arya's secret at once (something older men didn't notice, apparently), but has seen Arya in her worst moments, and he's not afraid of her wild nature. If Robert ever thought that Lyanna would be his docile sweet wife, he was quite mistaken. If Gendry ever gets paired with Arya in years to come, he knows what he's getting and he's ok. with it.

I don't think he has.

Psychologically- It's debatable when she was at her worst. Some may think it was when she was with the Hound. She was most depressed after the Twins and she snapped during the fight with the Tickler. He's never seen her like that. Others might think it's her latest chapter and she's going to get worse.

Morally-When he was around her kills could be justified much easier and they aren't as predatory as she is now. It can be argued that she wasn't a murderer until she went to Braavos starting with Dareon.

He did have a problem though with the weasel soup. Outwardly, we know Hot Pie had a serious problem with the Bolton guard but we don't know how Gendry felt. Whatever he felt he kept it internally.

To me character development shows she is not the same now as she was when she was Arry. But that would also be simple maturation IRL. Knowing someone as a child is not necessarily the same as knowing them as an adult or older as we see with LF and Cat or even Lysa and Cat.

Oh, and for some or many the latest chapter was a shock. So even going from the Ugly Girl, Beth, or Cat to that there was a difference. He knew her as Arry but that doesn't mean he would know she was capable of what she did.

ETA: As for Gendry's behavior there has been moments when he was rude-to Ned and to Brienne. Both of whom are much higher station than him. Comparably, Val is seen as regal but she's disrespectful and lacks tact quite a few times. I don't see them as any better than Arya's lack of lady like manner.

Arya fits Varys' speech more than Gendry does what with the speaking several tongues. She just misses the poetry and law and she hasn't received knightly training. She studied history but I doubt she paid much attention. She has lived with the fisherfolk in Braavos and she cooks with Umma.

Aegon has been shaped for rule since before he could walk. He has been trained in arms, as befits a knight to be, but that was not the end of his education. He reads and writes, he speaks several tongues, he has studied history and law and poetry. A septa has instructed him in the mysteries of the Faith since he was old enough to understand them. He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid. Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them.”

Gendry hasn't studied all those things. He hasn't been trained in arms. I don't think he reads and writes. I'm guessing no on the Faith.

Although I don't think fitting the speech means much. I'm skeptical Aegon even fits it and you can fit it and not be what would be best for the realm.

Edited by ARYa_Nym

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For many that accuse him of being dumb or doing nothing. I’ve seen him be second in command, organize and motivate in first command role, and leads as Arya does. They balance each other out. This guy was doing the thinking and strategizing this whole chapter. He is not a dunce.

Definitely not a dunce, there's a lot of understated humor going on in their interactions, what's unspoken is that they complement each other. They work well as a team.

The beard is definitely an allusion to Robert, but I think it's a more subtle way to tell us that Gendry is reaching manhood, both in body and mind. Not only he is the de-facto leader of the group, but it offers a contrast with Arya also becoming a "girl", and being discovered precisely by Gendry.

I really like this observation, love the way he set up that contrast.

Best sparring dialogue ever. And Gendry and Arya, it is there. So many classic movie/literature tropes, but very much his own unique writing too, where what you expect is totally turned around, and then again, and then once more.

Sparring is the best kind of romantic chemistry. I still shake my head over Ashley, what the hell was she thinking. She could have had Rhett.

Edited by Le Cygne

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Also, I think it was interesting that with all the whining, name-calling, and really, if Arya and Gendry were lesser people, they could have just left both their asses behind, and Weasal too, if they were heartless. But they won’t and would never. They, even in better health, never contributed food wise, strategy wise, as much, and hell with Hot Pie being loud and the rest, he can be a pain, and with Lommy in his condition, they are huge liabilities. And Arya has to get somewhere.

I've made this observation before but both Hot Pie and Gendry wanted to leave Weasel alone in the woods. If Arya had been the one who wanted to leave them behind instead of them she would have been called all kinds of evil for it.

"Hot Pie stepped out of the barn. "Arry, come on! Lommy's gone, leave her if she won't come!" Stubbornly, Arya dragged all the harder, pulling the crying girl along. Hot Pie scuttled back inside, abandoning them..."

"He's going to die, and the sooner he does it, the better for the rest of us. We should just leave him, like he says. If it was you or me hurt, you know he'd leave us...I'm sick of carrying him, and I'm sick of all his talk about yielding too. If he could stand up, I'd knock his teeth in. Lommy's no use to anyone. That crying girl's no use either." "You leave Weasel alone, she's just as scared and hungry is all." ...."She's no use," Gendry repeated stubbornly. "Her and Hot Pie and Lommy, they're slowing us down, and they're going to get us killed. You're the only one of the bunch who's good for anything. Even if you are a girl."

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Updated the index (put it all on the first page)...

Edited by Le Cygne

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[snip]

Ok. I agree that "at her worst" was poorly phrased. But he has definitely see her in unladylike attitudes, so to speak. He has seen the iron beneath, something Ned mentioned about Lyanna, which Robert apparently didn't know about her. Gendry already knows Arya is not your average noble lady, not even your average girl. He respects the fact she's both a girl and a highborn, but he doesn't behave patronizing or anything similar towards her.

About comparing Gendry and Aegon, well, I like Aegon a lot and I do believe he would make an incredible King (fake or not), but Varys' speech (who is up to the reader to believe it or not), doesn't portray him as accurately as he believes. Yes, he's well educated, and he's definitely a good gentle man (with some flaws that can be explained due to his young age), but he has been protected all of his life. Gendry hasn't: he has been actually chased (by the Queen), he has starved (in Clash), kept prisoner and feared for his life (in Harrenhall) and knows how to survive on his own. I'm not saying Aegon couldn't make it alone, but he hasn't yet had the need.

I agree that the speech isn't a checking list of what makes a good King either. Many leaders, even nowadays, don't know how to read or write or finished high school. Yet, to rule you need to have some basics knowledge of certain things like history, politics or economics, which I suppose Gendry doesn't have.

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I'm not sure Gendry would make a good leader, he's too moody and he seemed to really resent high-born folk, as they treat the small folk poorly and small folk bastards even worse. But, little highborn Arya didn't treat Gendry that way. She learned about bastards by having one of her most loved sibling being identified as one. He was treated a bit differently from her full sibs, but still had basically a high-born life and training. She treated Gendry more like she saw Jon Snow, as an equal.



Arya on the other hand, was pretty blind to many of the nuances of class. That was one of the reasons she was able to survive the Riverlands. But her suggestion of going to Riverrun and having Gendry work as a smithy there did not set well with Gendry, she couldn't see to the 'why' he wasn't for that idea. Staying with the BWB was a unique opportunity for him. It really upset Arya and when she lost her temper and ran away, well, she disappeared from the BWB and from Gendry. Will they ever see each other again?



Westeros is primed for a civil war and a war against foreign enemies, human and supernatural, so how the culture will shake out remains to be seen. How that will affect Gendry and Arya, if they meet up again, remains to be seen.


Edited by LongRider

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