Lost Melnibonean

Margaery's Moon Tea

126 posts in this topic

In the prologue to Storm, we learn that tansy is a wildflower. . .

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He could see Bessa’s face floating before him. It wasn’t the knife I wanted to put in you, he wanted to tell her. I picked you flowers, wild roses and tansy and goldencups, it took me all morning.

Then, we see a delirious Hoster mix up the death of a child, tansy, blood, extramarital sex, and guilt, and we learn that smallfolk often name their children after wildflowers and such, like tansy. . .

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"It is a monstrous cruel thing to lose a child," she whispered softly, more to herself than to her father.

Lord Hoster's eyes opened. "Tansy," he husked in a voice thick with pain.

He does not know me. Catelyn had grown accustomed to him taking her for her mother or her sister Lysa, but Tansy was a name strange to her. "It's Catelyn," she said. "It's Cat, Father."

"Forgive me . . . the blood . . . oh, please . . . Tansy . . . "

Could there have been another woman in her father's life? Some village maiden he had wronged when he was young, perhaps? Could he have found comfort in some serving wench's arms after Mother died? It was a queer thought, unsettling. Suddenly she felt as though she had not known her father at all. "Who is Tansy, my lord? Do you want me to send for her, Father? Where would I find the woman? Does she still live?"

Lord Hoster groaned. "Dead." His hand groped for hers. "You'll have others . . . Sweet babes, and trueborn."

Others? Catelyn thought. Has he forgotten that Ned is gone? Is he still talking to Tansy, or is it me now, or Lysa, or Mother?

When he coughed, the sputum came up bloody. He clutched her fingers. ". . Be a good wife and the gods will bless you . . . sons . . . trueborn sons . . . aaahhh." The sudden spasm of pain made Lord Hoster's hand tighten. His nails dug into her hand, and he gave a muffled scream.

Maester Vyman came quickly, to mix another dose of milk of the poppy and help his lord swallow it down. Soon enough, Lord Hoster Tully had fallen back into a heavy sleep.

"He was asking after a woman," said Cat. "Tansy."

"Tansy?" The maester looked at her blankly.

"You know no one by that name? A serving girl, a woman from some nearby village? Perhaps someone from years past?" Catelyn had been gone from Riverrun for a very long time.

"No, my lady. I can make inquiries, if you like. Utherydes Wayn would surely know if any such person ever served at Riverrun. Tansy, did you say? The smallfolk often name their daughters after flowers and herbs." The maester looked thoughtful. "There was a widow, I recall, she used to come to the castle looking for old shoes in need of new soles. Her name was Tansy, now that I think on it. Or was it Pansy? Some such. But she has not come for many years . . . "

Catelyn I, Storm 2

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Her father was growing weaker and more delirious with every passing day, waking only to mutter, "Tansy," and beg forgiveness.

Catelyn II, Storm 14

And then, ever so slyly, The George tells us that Tansy is an abortifacient. . .

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"The riverlands are full of maids you've pleased, all drinking tansy tea. You'd think a man as old as you would know to spill his seed on their bellies. Men will be calling you Tom Sevensons before much longer."

Arya IV, Storm 22

How many of us had the wit to see it, eh? We should have been able to connect the tansy tea in Arya IV, Storm 22 to the moon tea in Jon II, Storm 15. . .

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"You're bastard-born yourself. And if Ygritte does not want a child, she will go to some woods witch and drink a cup o' moon tea. You do not come into it, once the seed is planted."

We meet one of those smallfolk named Tansy at the Peach. . .

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Arya had never seen Gendry turn so red. "Tansy, you leave the Bull alone, he's a good lad," said Tom Sevenstrings. "All we need from you is safe beds for a night."

Arya V, Storm 29

But here were told that tansy has medicinal uses. . .

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About the hall, a ragged score of black brothers squatted on the floor or sat on rough-hewn benches, drinking cups of the same thin onion broth and gnawing on chunks of hardbread. A couple were wounded worse than Bannen, to look at them. Fornio had been delirious for days, and Ser Byam's shoulder was oozing a foul yellow pus. When they'd left Castle Black, Brown Bernarr had been carrying bags of Myrish fire, mustard salve, ground garlic, tansy, poppy, kingscopper, and other healing herbs. Even sweetsleep, which gave the gift of painless death. But Brown Bernarr had died on the Fist and no one had thought to search for Maester Aemon's medicines. Hake had known some herblore as well, being a cook, but Hake was also lost. So it was left to the surviving stewards to do what they could for the wounded, which was little enough. At least they are dry here, with a fire to warm them. They need more food, though.

Samwell II, Storm 33

(I wonder if kingscopper is as good as kingsfoil.) Then, we’re reminded of Hoster’s guilt. . .

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Lord Hoster's last word had been "Tansy,"

Catelyn IV, Storm 35

Then we get the big reveal. . .

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"NO!" Lysa gave Sansa's head another wrench. Snow eddied around them, making their skirts snap noisily. "You can't want her. You can't. She's a stupid empty-headed little girl. She doesn't love you the way I have. I've always loved you. I've proved it, haven't I?" Tears ran down her aunt's puffy red face. "I gave you my maiden's gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me . . . "

"That's past and done, Lysa. Lord Hoster's dead, and his old maester as well." Littlefinger moved closer. "Have you been at the wine again? You ought not to talk so much. We don't want Alayne to know more than she should, do we? Or Marillion?"

Sansa VII, Storm 80

It was all very clever. This was only the second time moon tea was even mentioned. It’s a pity Sansa had no more wit than we did the first time we read Arya IV, Storm 22. The third time moon tea was mentioned was here. . .

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Afterward, Asha had the sense to find a woods witch, who showed her how to brew moon tea to keep her belly flat.

The Kraken's Daughter, Feast 11

And the fourth was here. . .

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"I swore a vow . . ."

". . . not to wed or father children. Well, I have drunk my moon tea, and you know I cannot marry you." She smiled. "Though I might be persuaded to keep you for my paramour."

The Soiled Knight, Feast 13

Damn, I really like Asha and Arianne. . .

Then we get another moon tea bombshell. . .

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Time to squeeze the fruit and taste the juice. "If you are as leal as you claim, why are you lying to me? Do not trouble to deny it. You began to dance attendance on Maid Margaery before Ser Loras went to Dragonstone, so spare me further fables about how you want only to console our good-daughter in her grief. What brings you to the Maidenvault so often? Not Margaery's vapid conversation, surely? Are you courting that pox-faced septa of hers? Diddling little Lady Bulwer? Do you play the spy for her, informing on me to serve her plots?"

"I . . . I obey. A maester takes an oath of service . . ."

"A grand maester swears to serve the realm."

"Your Grace, she . . . she is the queen . . ."

"I am the queen."

"I meant . . . she is the king's wife, and . . ."

"I know who she is. What I want to know is why she has need of you. Is my good-daughter unwell?"

"Unwell?" The old man plucked at the thing he called a beard, that patched growth of thin white hair sprouting from the loose pink wattles under his chin. "N-not unwell, Your Grace, not as such. My oaths forbid me to divulge . . ."

"Your oaths will be of small comfort in the black cells," she warned him. "I'll hear the truth, or you'll wear chains."

Pycelle collapsed to his knees. "I beg you . . . I was your lord father's man, and a friend to you in the matter of Lord Arryn. I could not survive the dungeons, not again . . ."

"Why does Margaery send for you?"

"She desires . . . she . . . she . . ."

"Say it!"

He cringed. "Moon tea," he whispered. "Moon tea, for . . ."

"I know what moon tea is for." There it is. "Very well. Get off those saggy knees and try to remember what it was to be a man." Pycelle struggled to rise, but took so long about it that she had to tell Osmund Kettleblack to give him another yank.

. . .

Lady Merryweather closed the door behind him. "Moon tea," she said, as she turned back to the queen. "How foolish of her. Why would she do such a thing, take such a risk?"

"The little queen has appetites that Tommen is as yet too young to satisfy." That was always a danger, when a grown woman was married to a child. Even more so with a widow. She may claim that Renly never touched her, but I will not believe it. Women only drank moon tea for one reason; maidens had no need for it at all.

. . .

I am awash in roses. It was vexing. She still had need of Mace Tyrell, if not his daughter. At least until such time as Stannis is defeated. Then I shan't need any of them. But how could she rid herself of the daughter without losing the father? "Treason is treason," she said, "but we must have proof, something more substantial than moon tea. If she is proved to be untrue, even her own lord father must condemn her, or her shame becomes his own."

Cersei IX, Feast 39

Cersei soon combined Osney’s false charge with Pycelle’s testimony to accuse Margaery of treasonous adultery. . .

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Septa Moelle was a white-haired harridan with a face as sharp as an axe and lips pursed in perpetual disapproval. This one still has her maidenhead, I'll wager, Cersei thought, though by now it's hard and stiff as boiled leather. Six of the High Sparrow's knights escorted her, with the rainbow sword of their reborn order emblazoned on their kite shields.

"Septa." Cersei sat beneath the Iron Throne, clad in green silk and golden lace. "Tell his High Holiness that we are vexed with him. He presumes too much." Emeralds glimmered on her fingers and in her golden hair. The eyes of court and city were upon her, and she meant for them to see Lord Tywin's daughter. By the time this mummer's farce was done they would know they had but one true queen. But first we must dance the dance and never miss a step. "Lady Margaery is my son's true and gentle wife, his helpmate and consort. His High Holiness had no cause to lay his hands upon her person, or to confine her and her young cousins, who are so dear to all of us. I demand that he release them."

Septa Moelle's stern expression did not flicker. "I shall convey Your Grace's words to His High Holiness, but it grieves me to say that the young queen and her ladies cannot be released until and unless their innocence has been proved."

"Innocence? Why, you need only look upon their sweet young faces to see how innocent they are."

"A sweet face oft hides a sinner's heart."

Lord Merryweather spoke up from the council table. "What offense have these young maids been accused of, and by whom?"

The septa said, "Megga Tyrell and Elinor Tyrell stand accused of lewdness, fornication, and conspiracy to commit high treason. Alla Tyrell has been charged with witnessing their shame and helping them conceal it. All this Queen Margaery has also been accused of, as well as adultery and high treason."

Cersei put a hand to her breast. "Tell me who is spreading such calumnies about my good-daughter! I do not believe a word of this. My sweet son loves Lady Margaery with all his heart, she could never have been so cruel as to play him false."

"The accuser is a knight of your own household. Ser Osney Kettleblack has confessed his carnal knowledge of the queen to the High Septon himself, before the altar of the Father."

At the council table Harys Swyft gasped, and Grand Maester Pycelle turned away. A buzz filled the air, as if a thousand wasps were loose in the throne room. Some of the ladies in the galleries began to slip away, followed by a stream of petty lords and knights from the back of the hall. The gold cloaks let them go, but the queen had instructed Ser Osfryd to make note of all who fled. Suddenly the Tyrell rose does not smell so sweet.

"Ser Osney is young and lusty, I will grant you," the queen said, "but a faithful knight for all that. If he says that he was part of this . . . no, it cannot be. Margaery is a maiden!"

"She is not. I examined her myself, at the behest of His High Holiness. Her maidenhead is not intact. Septa Aglantine and Septa Melicent will say the same, as will Queen Margaery's own septa, Nysterica, who has been confined to a penitent's cell for her part in the queen's shame. Lady Megga and Lady Elinor were examined as well. Both were found to have been broken."

The wasps were growing so loud that the queen could hardly hear herself think. I do hope the little queen and her cousins enjoyed those rides of theirs.

Lord Merryweather thumped his fist on the table. "Lady Margaery had sworn solemn oaths attesting to her maidenhood, to Her Grace the queen and her late father. Many here bore witness. Lord Tyrell has also testified to her innocence, as has the Lady Olenna, whom we all know to be above reproach. Would you have us believe that all of these noble people lied to us?"

"Perhaps they were deceived as well, my lord," said Septa Moelle. "I cannot speak to this. I can only swear to the truth of what I discovered for myself when I examined the queen."

The picture of this sour old crone poking her wrinkled fingers up Margaery's little pink cunt was so droll that Cersei almost laughed. "We insist that His High Holiness allow our own maesters to examine my good-daughter, to determine if there is any shred of truth to these slanders. Grand Maester Pycelle, you shall accompany Septa Moelle back to Beloved Baelor's Sept, and return to us with the truth about our Margaery's maidenhead."

Pycelle had gone the color of curdled white. At council meetings the wretched old fool cannot say enough, but now that I need a few words from him he has lost the power of speech, the queen thought, before the old man finally came out with, "There is no need for me to examine her . . . her privy parts." His voice was a quaver. "I grieve to say . . . Queen Margaery is no maiden. She has required me to make her moon tea, not once, but many times."

The uproar that followed that was all that Cersei Lannister could ever have hoped for.

Even the royal herald beating on the floor with his staff did little to quell the noise. The queen let it wash over her for a few heartbeats, savoring the sounds of the little queen's disgrace. When it had gone on long enough, she rose stone-faced and commanded that the gold cloaks clear the hall. Margaery Tyrell is done, she thought, exulting.

. . .

Cersei gathered up her skirts and dignity. "This must be very frightening for you. I shall forgive those words." Here, as at court, one never knew who might be listening. "I would be afraid as well, in your place. Grand Maester Pycelle has admitted providing you with moon tea, and your Blue Bard . . . if I were you, my lady, I would pray to the Crone for wisdom and to the Mother for her mercy. I fear you may soon be in dire need of both.

Four shriveled septas escorted the queen down the tower steps. Each of the crones seemed more feeble than the last. When they reached the ground they continued down, into the heart of Visenya's Hill. The steps ended well below the earth, where a line of flickering torches lit a long hallway.

She found the High Septon waiting for her in a small seven-sided audience chamber. The room was sparse and plain, with bare stone walls, a rough-hewn table, three chairs, and a prayer bench. The faces of the Seven had been carved into the walls. Cersei thought the carvings crude and ugly, but there was a certain power to them, especially about the eyes, orbs of onyx, malachite, and yellow moonstone that somehow made the faces come alive.

"You spoke with the queen," the High Septon said.

She resisted the urge to say, I am the queen. "I did."

"All men sin, even kings and queens. I have sinned myself, and been forgiven. Without confession, though, there can be no forgiveness. The queen will not confess."

"Perhaps she is innocent."

"She is not. Holy septas have examined her, and testify that her maidenhead is broken. She has drunk of moon tea, to murder the fruit of her fornications in her womb. An anointed knight has sworn upon his sword to having carnal knowledge of her and two of her three cousins. Others have lain with her as well, he says, and names many names of men both great and humble."

Cersei X, Feast 43

Pycelle mentions the moon tea he provided Margaery with one more time. . .

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"Lord Tyrell loves me not," Grand Maester Pycelle said in gloomy tones when the Hand had departed. "This matter of the moon tea … I would never have spoken of such, but the Queen Dowager commanded me!

If it please the Lord Regent, I would sleep more soundly if you could lend me some of your guards."

Epilogue, Dance

But then Varys murders him.

While all the folks in King’s Landing seem to think moon tea only has one purpose, we should keep in mind that it’s key ingredient, tansy, had medicinal value as well. Is it possible that Pycelle was providing moon tea for some medicinal purpose?

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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When Pycelle confesses to making moon tea for Margaery, Cersei cuts him off mid-sentence, assuming she knows the reason. That "for..." seems to indicate Margaery had requested the moon tea either for another person, such as Megga or Elinor, or for another reason, since Pycelle felt the need to try to explain. Real world birth control is prescribed and taken for other reasons, so I see no reason why moon tea could not also be used in the same way. Of course, Cersei thinks moon tea has one use only, but Cersei also thinks she is Tywin the Second. However, with Pycelle dead, the only way we could learn of the alternative use  Margaery was taking the moon tea for would be if Varys asked Pycelle before his death. Since Varys is unlikely to testify at Margaery's trial, I would not be surprised if one of Margaery's cousins confesses the moon tea was theirs.

Tansy gets the "credit" as the abortifacient because of Hoster's repeated mentions, but could his fixation on the tansy be because it failed him? Tansy is listed as a healing herb in the inventory of the Night's Watch, perhaps it is included in the moon tea to counteract the effects of another ingredient? I've always had the impression Lysa had been given more moon tea than the usual dosage in an attempt to guarantee the pregnancy would not last, and instead of a full recovery, Lysa appears to have suffered significant physical harm from her moon tea. 

Lysa's account is the only one which mentions the full list of ingredients for moon tea: tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. Mint and honey can be eliminated as the dangerous ingredients, and are likely included to help with taste and/or smell. 

"Wormwood" is used to refer to a number of plants, but the most common wormwood is used to make absinthe, and can be toxic in incorrect dosages, especially to the kidneys. Dysfunctional kidneys are extremely dangerous during pregnancy, which could explain Lysa's later problems, but I would think kidney function so poor as to end a pregnancy would run a high risk of ending the woman's life as well. Another wormwood has fever reducing qualities, so wormwood could be another "helpful" ingredient. 

Which leaves pennyroyal. Like the other ingredients (except honey), pennyroyal is a plant, but unlike the others, we have a drop of pennyroyal, which means rather than brewing the leaves, the pennyroyal has been distilled to an oil. Pennyroyal oil contains a toxic compound which effects liver and uterine function. Slightly off-topic I know, but since tansy is only mentioned in the Riverlands' moon tea and the Night's Watch inventory, I wonder if "moon tea" us just a generic term for "pregnancy preventing tea" and the recipe varies between regions based on the available flora?

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19 hours ago, Eden-Mackenzie said:

When Pycelle confesses to making moon tea for Margaery, Cersei cuts him off mid-sentence, assuming she knows the reason. That "for..." seems to indicate Margaery had requested the moon tea either for another person, such as Megga or Elinor, or for another reason, since Pycelle felt the need to try to explain. Real world birth control is prescribed and taken for other reasons, so I see no reason why moon tea could not also be used in the same way. Of course, Cersei thinks moon tea has one use only, but Cersei also thinks she is Tywin the Second. However, with Pycelle dead, the only way we could learn of the alternative use  Margaery was taking the moon tea for would be if Varys asked Pycelle before his death. Since Varys is unlikely to testify at Margaery's trial, I would not be surprised if one of Margaery's cousins confesses the moon tea was theirs.

Tansy gets the "credit" as the abortifacient because of Hoster's repeated mentions, but could his fixation on the tansy be because it failed him? Tansy is listed as a healing herb in the inventory of the Night's Watch, perhaps it is included in the moon tea to counteract the effects of another ingredient? I've always had the impression Lysa had been given more moon tea than the usual dosage in an attempt to guarantee the pregnancy would not last, and instead of a full recovery, Lysa appears to have suffered significant physical harm from her moon tea. 

Lysa's account is the only one which mentions the full list of ingredients for moon tea: tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. Mint and honey can be eliminated as the dangerous ingredients, and are likely included to help with taste and/or smell. 

"Wormwood" is used to refer to a number of plants, but the most common wormwood is used to make absinthe, and can be toxic in incorrect dosages, especially to the kidneys. Dysfunctional kidneys are extremely dangerous during pregnancy, which could explain Lysa's later problems, but I would think kidney function so poor as to end a pregnancy would run a high risk of ending the woman's life as well. Another wormwood has fever reducing qualities, so wormwood could be another "helpful" ingredient. 

Which leaves pennyroyal. Like the other ingredients (except honey), pennyroyal is a plant, but unlike the others, we have a drop of pennyroyal, which means rather than brewing the leaves, the pennyroyal has been distilled to an oil. Pennyroyal oil contains a toxic compound which effects liver and uterine function. Slightly off-topic I know, but since tansy is only mentioned in the Riverlands' moon tea and the Night's Watch inventory, I wonder if "moon tea" us just a generic term for "pregnancy preventing tea" and the recipe varies between regions based on the available flora?

Perhaps, but that's not the way the author sets it up. 

The Spider would know what Margaery uses the moon tea for. But I expect Margaery will give us the explanation at her trial. 

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19 hours ago, Eden-Mackenzie said:

 

Tansy gets the "credit" as the abortifacient because of Hoster's repeated mentions, but could his fixation on the tansy be because it failed him? Tansy is listed as a healing herb in the inventory of the Night's Watch, perhaps it is included in the moon tea to counteract the effects of another ingredient? I've always had the impression Lysa had been given more moon tea than the usual dosage in an attempt to guarantee the pregnancy would not last, and instead of a full recovery, Lysa appears to have suffered significant physical harm from her moon tea. 

 

And notice that Lady Smallwood calls it tansy tea, suggesting that tansy is the abortifacient. 

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Margaery could have been asking for someone else.

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1 hour ago, Fire Eater said:

Margaery could have been asking for someone else.

this. In Fact, wouln´t it beinteresting if Alla, the shy one, the one accused of only witnessing, was the only guilty one?

 

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Ser Tallad's the worst, Osney says. That big oaf don't seem to know if it's Elinor or Alla he wants, but he knows he wants her awful bad.

(...)

Behind Margaery came a long tail of courtiers, guards, and servants, many of them laden with baskets of fresh flowers. Each of her cousins had an admirer in thrall; the gangly squire Alyn Ambrose rode with Elinor, to whom he was betrothed, Ser Tallad with shy Alla, one-armed Mark Mullendore with Megga, plump and laughing.

(...)

Tell him how you bedded Margaery and her cousins.”

Osney blinked. “What, the cousins too?”

“Megga and Elinor,” she decided, “never Alla.” That little detail would make the whole story more plausible. “Alla would sit weeping, and plead with the others to stop their sinning.”

(...)

The septa said, “Megga Tyrell and Elinor Tyrell stand accused of lewdness, fornication, and conspiracy to commit high treason. Alla Tyrell has been charged with witnessing their shame and helping them conceal it. All this Queen Margaery has also been accused of, as well as adultery and high treason.”

(...)

My cousins too. Megga sent one septa crashing into the candles and set her robe afire. I fear for Alla, though. She went as white as milk, too frightened even to cry.”

“Poor child.” There were no chairs, so Cersei sat beside the little queen on her pallet. “Lady Taena has gone to speak with her, to let her know that she is not forgotten.”

(...)

“Damn them, then,” said Margaery. “Damn them all to seven hells. Alla is gentle and shy, how can they do this to her?

She is the one Taena was trying to turn, so that she would declare against Marg in the trial

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“All three may not be guilty,” suggested Lady Merryweather. “Why, it might well be that one of them took no part. If she was shamed and sickened by the things she saw . . .”

“. . . she might be persuaded to bear witness against the others. Yes, very good, but which one is the innocent?”

“Alla.”

“The shy one?”

“So she seems, but there is more of sly than shy in her. Leave her to me, my sweet.”

“Gladly.” Alone, the Blue Bard’s confession would never suffice. Singers lied for their living, after all. Alla Tyrell would be of great help, if Taena could deliver her.

(....)

“Whilst I am comforting my good-daughter you shall speak with the three cousins,” she told Taena. “Win Alla if you can, but be careful what you say. The gods may not be the only ones listening.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse

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On March 20, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

And notice that Lady Smallwood calls it tansy tea, suggesting that tansy is the abortifacient. 

The women Lady Smallwood is referring to are most likely peasants, and unlike Lysa and Margaery, they would not have access to a Maester and a Maester's store of ingredients. We learn from Chett that tansy is readily available, and if it is included in moon tea for its medicinal properties, it may be the main ingredient in moon tea for the peasant women, who may not have mint, honey, and wormwood to spare. 

On March 19, 2016 at 6:56 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

Perhaps, but that's not the way the author sets it up. 

The Spider would know what Margaery uses the moon tea for. But I expect Margaery will give us the explanation at her trial. 

We do not know the ingredients in any of the other moon teas mentioned, and tansy is only mentioned in the Riverlands or by Riverlanders. The same plants do not grow in Dorne as grow in the Reach as grow in the Riverlands as grow north of the Wall, yet they all have a drink referred to as moon tea. This is why I think "moon tea" could be a generic term, referring to a brew intended to prevent pregnancy, thereby ensuring a woman's moon blood returns, with ingredients varying between regions. It's like "wine" or "barbecue sauce", products people are generally familiar with but which vary tremendously based on where they originated.

So which route do you think Margaery will go - medicinal purpose unrelated to pregnancy or got it for a friend?

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I don't really expect this plot point to be particularly medically or anatomically correct because we are dealing with fantasy fiction. But it's possible that tansy may operate in a similar way to synthetic progestins which can be used as contraceptive methods, which changes the lining of the uterus which prevents fertilized eggs from attaching, or as hormonal remedies for uterine problems and endometriosis. I'm not a doctor, but I think that taking a significant amount of progestin or progesterone while pregnant can be harmful to the fetus and can act as an abortifacient.  

I don't think Margaery was getting moon tea for someone else, because I'm not sure why 1) one of her friends wouldn't do it for themselves and 2) Margaery and her family wouldn't recognize how politically dangerous it would be for a queen who is evidently not having sex with her husband to be getting moon tea. It seems more likely that she was getting the tea to treat a health issue, especially when tansy has been referenced in-series as also having medicinal properties, and that her family was outraged with Pycelle for not clarifying that he was giving Margaery moon tea for that health issue. 

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It is certainly possible LM. It could be for medicinal purposes or she could be getting an it for one of her handmaiden's. I could see that as a possibility.

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I do feel like medicinal reasons are more likely than the "she was getting it for one of her cousins" idea.

Tansy is a real-life plant, and in medieval times, it was used for numerous folk remedies including but not limited to an abortificent. Oddly enough, it was apparently used to improve fertility and prevent miscarriages as well. Maybe Margaery is hoping if she drinks moon tea regularly for the next few years, she can more easily have oodles of babies once Tommen is old enough to impregnate her.

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On 18 March 2016 at 7:59 AM, Lost Melnibonean said:

In the prologue to Storm, we learn that tansy is a wildflower. . .

 

 

Then, we see a delirious Hoster mix up the death of a child, tansy, blood, extramarital sex, and guilt, and we learn that smallfolk often name their children after wildflowers and such, like tansy. . .

 

Catelyn I, Storm 2

 

Catelyn II, Storm 14

And then, ever so slyly, The George tells us that Tansy is an abortifacient. . .

 

Arya IV, Storm 22

How many of us had the wit to see it, eh? We should have been able to connect that Arya IV, Storm 22 to Jon II, Storm 15. . .

 

 

We meet one of those smallfolk named Tansy at the Peach. . .

 

Arya V, Storm 29

But here were told that tansy has medicinal uses. . .

 

Samwell II, Storm 33

(I wonder if kingscopper is as good as kingsfoil.) Then, we’re reminded of Hoster’s guilt. . .

 

Catelyn IV, Storm 35

Then we get the big reveal. . .

 

Sansa VII, Storm 80

It was all very clever. This was only the second time moon tea was even mentioned. It’s a pity Sansa had no more wit than we did the first time we read Arya IV, Storm 22. The third time moon tea was mentioned was here. . .

 

The Kraken's Daughter, Feast 11

And the fourth was here. . .

 

The Soiled Knight, Feast 13

Damn, I really like Asha and Arianne. . .

Then we get another moon tea bombshell. . .

 

Cersei IX, Feast 39

Cersei soon combined Osney’s false charge with Pycelle’s testimony to accuse Margaery of treasonous adultery. . .

 

Cersei X, Feast 43

Pycelle mentions the moon tea he provided Margaery with one more time. . .

Epilogue, Dance

But then Varys murders him.

While all the folks in King’s Landing seem to think moon tea only has one purpose, we should keep in mind that it’s key ingredient, tansy, had medicinal value as well. Is it possible that Pycelle was providing moon tea for some medicinal purpose?

I have always thought that it was for some other purpose, margeary would never have went to Pycelle for moon tea for her own contraceptive needs.

ps it could also be one of Varys motives for taking out Pycelle first because Pycelle could quite easily have testified information that would clear margeary helping the Tyrell Lannister alliance, so Varys took him out to keep him silent!

Edited by Neds Secret

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8 hours ago, Eden-Mackenzie said:

The women Lady Smallwood is referring to are most likely peasants, and unlike Lysa and Margaery, they would not have access to a Maester and a Maester's store of ingredients. We learn from Chett that tansy is readily available, and if it is included in moon tea for its medicinal properties, it may be the main ingredient in moon tea for the peasant women, who may not have mint, honey, and wormwood to spare. 

We do not know the ingredients in any of the other moon teas mentioned, and tansy is only mentioned in the Riverlands or by Riverlanders. The same plants do not grow in Dorne as grow in the Reach as grow in the Riverlands as grow north of the Wall, yet they all have a drink referred to as moon tea. This is why I think "moon tea" could be a generic term, referring to a brew intended to prevent pregnancy, thereby ensuring a woman's moon blood returns, with ingredients varying between regions. It's like "wine" or "barbecue sauce", products people are generally familiar with but which vary tremendously based on where they originated.

So which route do you think Margaery will go - medicinal purpose unrelated to pregnancy or got it for a friend?

Medicinal purpose. 

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This whole thing with Marg asking Pycelle for moon tea... Its not right. There is no way Marg would be that stupid. Nothing in her character says she's dumb (other that Cersei, but her point of view is so extrem it can't really count).

 So why did she? I can't help thinking that there is some purpose with it.

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1 hour ago, Sigella said:

This whole thing with Marg asking Pycelle for moon tea... Its not right. There is no way Marg would be that stupid. Nothing in her character says she's dumb (other that Cersei, but her point of view is so extrem it can't really count).

 So why did she? I can't help thinking that there is some purpose with it.

I expect we'll find out in WoW what the purpose of the moon tea is for. Perhaps she's been with Lancel, Osmund Kettleblack, and Moon Boy for all I know...

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If she was getting the tea for someone, it was most probably Elinor - the one who is already flowered and betrothed to a squire, who she seems rather taken with and he is present in KL. If those two were having premarital sex, it would probably be viewed as rather innocent, as long as Elinor didn't get pregnant. In early Middle Ages, betrothal was perceived as a sort of precontract which allowed the involved parties to have sex.

I don't think it was medicinal purposes because for these, she wouldn't need the whole mixture, or it wouldn't be called "moon tea", it would be "stomach tea" or something like that - even "tansy tea" if that was the main ingredient - but I doubt that something medicinal would go under the name of an abortificant.

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15 hours ago, Sigella said:

This whole thing with Marg asking Pycelle for moon tea... Its not right. There is no way Marg would be that stupid. Nothing in her character says she's dumb (other that Cersei, but her point of view is so extrem it can't really count).

 So why did she? I can't help thinking that there is some purpose with it.

I think the Tyrell Master Plan mentions using it as  kind of a False Flag operation against Cersei. Pycelle is a noted Lannister crony. They must of known that Pycelle would tell Cersei.

Who knows?

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23 hours ago, StarkofWinterfell said:

I expect we'll find out in WoW what the purpose of the moon tea is for. Perhaps she's been with Lancel, Osmund Kettleblack, and Moon Boy for all I know...

:D

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9 hours ago, Lord Wraith said:

I think the Tyrell Master Plan mentions using it as  kind of a False Flag operation against Cersei. Pycelle is a noted Lannister crony. They must of known that Pycelle would tell Cersei.

Who knows?

That would be such a dangerous game. And it would jeopardize Margaery's reputation among the smallfolk, which the Tyrells cared about very much. 

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Asha thinks about it keeping her belly flat.  Any chance it's for weight loss?  If so, I'd like the recipe.  :D

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4 minutes ago, DarkSister1001 said:

Asha thinks about it keeping her belly flat.  Any chance it's for weight loss?  If so, I'd like the recipe.  :D

Tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. ;)

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