Rickard of House Rakkoon

Where is the love?

240 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

nevermind. Quoter quirk.

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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8 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Several years ago now several of us began a thread on the re-read forum called Rethinking Romance. And there is a rethinking Romance II they are both easily googleable. They explored the various relationships in series at great depth, you may enjoy reading them. They fizzled out but I do wish they'd continued as some of the less obvious relationships would have been interesting to explore too. 

Hey all good stuff in your post!  I remember this project and I wish it had continued.  Maybe when TWOW comes out there will be even more material to work with.  

8 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

There is a lot of love in the book series, both the main ones and the additional texts. I think the mistake a lot of people make is thinking love is only what they think it is. I see this a lot.  So often in fact that I sigh and roll my eyes. Love is not a clean, neat, sanitary emotion. It doesn't only happen between two people who you deem socially and culturally compatible. Sometimes people fall in love with wholly inappropriate people.

...

I have a theory as to why people seem to seek to dismiss any form of love which does not conform to their safe ideal of a healthy relationship. I think it likely stems from a desire to diminish previous relationships and feelings in favour of idealising the mature, stable, monogamous relationship we as a society place on a pedestal.

Agree.  I think it's partly because of the culturally ingrained myth of the "one true love" that is enforced in so many ways but particularly in Disney-esque fairy tales, the fantasy genre, and rom com movies.  I got so many thoughts on this, but I've seen so many times where we feel compelled to demonize an ex as having wronged us terribly.  Sometimes they do, but more often than not relationships end because they just fizzle out.  We just don't feel what we felt at the beginning and this is treated like a crime or a bad reason to move on.  I have seen people stay in totally unfulfilling relationships for years because nothing catastrophically bad has happened yet like cheating or abuse.  We feel compelled to have a "good reason" to move forward.  Stale can look like "mature" and "stable" so if we walk away we look like the bad guy for hurting another person.  Or we do break up, but then we invent or cause something catastrophically bad to happen to justify the break up.  What is really bizarre is that we feel we're not allowed to express respect or friendship toward our past relationships else we be considered not really moved on or still in love somehow -- which would be in violation of the "one true love" rule.  Anyway, just to steer it back to the books...         

I think George is exploring how everything under the umbrella of love, sex, and romance rubs up against (har!) feudal ideas, modern ideas, and even fairy tale ideas about it.  From the feudal perspective, generally parents make a match for their children based on what will help secure the family's fortune.  I think this is presented in two ways.  The Tywin way that sees his children as pawns who will marry who he damn well tells them to marry to further Lannister supremacy.  The destructive aspects to the individual of this philosophy are obvious.  Then there's the Cat and Ned way.  They are traditionalists that make matches based on a family first mentality, but not because they see their children as pawns.  They just think it's the normal thing people do.  However, they don't want their children to be miserable either.  I think they have a naivete in following the prescribed system because their relationship turned out favorably on an individual level.  They are the exception, not the rule.  So I can understand why Sansa being so sheltered has complete faith in the system as well as the songs that her betrothal to the prince will work out perfectly.  

I can't think of a character more set up to be the deconstruction of the Disney princess and it's the twisted fun house mirroring of the "one true love" idea.  Yet, she isn't someone who has just one attraction, she has many and some at the same time.  Her development from childhood to more mature ideas about compatibility and desire are pretty accurately depicted IMO.  We first see her first thinking Waymar Royce was dreamy.  While she's star-struck by Joffrey, her thoughts of him are still very chaste.  While she's convinced that she loves him and he loves her back (because that's how things work in the songs), it would be easy to dismiss Sansa's feelings as childish.  They are childish, but this new thrilling experience that seems to line up with her dreams feels like love to her and she reacts accordingly.  This is actually a very human and relatable mistake to fall in love with the idea of love.  Even adults can fall into this trap.  At the same time, she also crushes on Loras at the tourney.  He's definitely an adult by Westerosi standards, but he's still close enough in age to Sansa that he's not threatening.  He's still unavailable in more ways than Sansa knows, but in her fantasy life he's her first toe-dip into a less chaste romance.  He's Justin Beiber and this type of fantasy and attraction is perfectly normal for her age group.  It's safe experimentation before a girl enters the more precarious world of sex and adult relationships.  It doesn't matter really that these are attractions that are not going anywhere.  What matters is that Sansa is working out what she like out of a relationship.  Also I think she begins to realize that her physical beauty does not mean the "right" guy she desires will automatically fall in love with her.  She's been trained all her life to perform idyllic femininity to be pleasing to a husband.  This is not the same thing as being loved for oneself, as she has repeatedly expressed a desire for.  Part of Sansa's struggles with love involve a good amount of self-discovery and breaking down the perfect lady persona that is the antithesis of finding true connection.  Whether or not people approve the idea of "Sansan" is actually irrelevant, but Sandor is a character that repeatedly prods Sansa out of courtesy mode to bring out a real person that will engage in genuine conversation even if it's rude and offensive.  That's a whole can of worms on that dynamic, but I think it does reflect George's gritty realism that things don't need to be perfect to have connection.  While we may disapprove of problematic aspects, we shouldn't ignore the chemistry that keeps these two engaged with each other even when they find each other frustrating.                   

I like the depiction of Jon and Ygritte's relationship.  It's Jon's first brush with romantic feeling and sexual attraction and we see it unfold in technicolor glory.  I think Ygritte clearly has deeper feelings for Jon than the other way around, but that doesn't diminish the fact that he cares for her.  Sometimes feelings are not perfectly mutual and he is struggling with issues of duty versus his normal desires as a human.  But he also learned to perhaps see his mother and father's (as he knows it) relationship as not a shameful act of lust, but two people who may have had genuine feelings for one another.  He also maybe starts to consider his mother as not "just some woman."  Ygritte was never going to work out long term, but Jon moved forward a little more mature with some valuable insights.  WHile people make much of Jon being "only" attracted to non-traditional females, I think it speaks to him being attracted to the girl that can teach him a thing or two.  Val is very traditionally beautiful and not a warrior like Ygritte, but she's a straight shooter, has experience and knowledge to share, and their goals are aligned.  There's mutual admiration and respect. But I don't think Jon would be as prepared for Val if it hadn't been for his coming of age experience with Ygritte. 

Glad this subject is revived, because George has given us a huge array of different types to pour over.   

    

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You're right The closest we have to a loving relationship in the books is the in my opinion the bromance between Robert and Ned. 

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Joncon loved Rhaegar, and loves Young Griff as a son.

Many of these comments on love are impressively wise. May we all find different flavors of love, a heart that can deal with the hard stuff, and a brain that can sort out the bull!

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15 hours ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Hey all good stuff in your post!  I remember this project and I wish it had continued.  Maybe when TWOW comes out there will be even more material to work with.  

Agree.  I think it's partly because of the culturally ingrained myth of the "one true love" that is enforced in so many ways but particularly in Disney-esque fairy tales, the fantasy genre, and rom com movies.  I got so many thoughts on this, but I've seen so many times where we feel compelled to demonize an ex as having wronged us terribly.  Sometimes they do, but more often than not relationships end because they just fizzle out.  We just don't feel what we felt at the beginning and this is treated like a crime or a bad reason to move on.  I have seen people stay in totally unfulfilling relationships for years because nothing catastrophically bad has happened yet like cheating or abuse.  We feel compelled to have a "good reason" to move forward.  Stale can look like "mature" and "stable" so if we walk away we look like the bad guy for hurting another person.  Or we do break up, but then we invent or cause something catastrophically bad to happen to justify the break up.  What is really bizarre is that we feel we're not allowed to express respect or friendship toward our past relationships else we be considered not really moved on or still in love somehow -- which would be in violation of the "one true love" rule.  Anyway, just to steer it back to the books...         

I think George is exploring how everything under the umbrella of love, sex, and romance rubs up against (har!) feudal ideas, modern ideas, and even fairy tale ideas about it.  From the feudal perspective, generally parents make a match for their children based on what will help secure the family's fortune.  I think this is presented in two ways.  The Tywin way that sees his children as pawns who will marry who he damn well tells them to marry to further Lannister supremacy.  The destructive aspects to the individual of this philosophy are obvious.  Then there's the Cat and Ned way.  They are traditionalists that make matches based on a family first mentality, but not because they see their children as pawns.  They just think it's the normal thing people do.  However, they don't want their children to be miserable either.  I think they have a naivete in following the prescribed system because their relationship turned out favorably on an individual level.  They are the exception, not the rule.  So I can understand why Sansa being so sheltered has complete faith in the system as well as the songs that her betrothal to the prince will work out perfectly.  

I can't think of a character more set up to be the deconstruction of the Disney princess and it's the twisted fun house mirroring of the "one true love" idea.  Yet, she isn't someone who has just one attraction, she has many and some at the same time.  Her development from childhood to more mature ideas about compatibility and desire are pretty accurately depicted IMO.  We first see her first thinking Waymar Royce was dreamy.  While she's star-struck by Joffrey, her thoughts of him are still very chaste.  While she's convinced that she loves him and he loves her back (because that's how things work in the songs), it would be easy to dismiss Sansa's feelings as childish.  They are childish, but this new thrilling experience that seems to line up with her dreams feels like love to her and she reacts accordingly.  This is actually a very human and relatable mistake to fall in love with the idea of love.  Even adults can fall into this trap.  At the same time, she also crushes on Loras at the tourney.  He's definitely an adult by Westerosi standards, but he's still close enough in age to Sansa that he's not threatening.  He's still unavailable in more ways than Sansa knows, but in her fantasy life he's her first toe-dip into a less chaste romance.  He's Justin Beiber and this type of fantasy and attraction is perfectly normal for her age group.  It's safe experimentation before a girl enters the more precarious world of sex and adult relationships.  It doesn't matter really that these are attractions that are not going anywhere.  What matters is that Sansa is working out what she like out of a relationship.  Also I think she begins to realize that her physical beauty does not mean the "right" guy she desires will automatically fall in love with her.  She's been trained all her life to perform idyllic femininity to be pleasing to a husband.  This is not the same thing as being loved for oneself, as she has repeatedly expressed a desire for.  Part of Sansa's struggles with love involve a good amount of self-discovery and breaking down the perfect lady persona that is the antithesis of finding true connection.  Whether or not people approve the idea of "Sansan" is actually irrelevant, but Sandor is a character that repeatedly prods Sansa out of courtesy mode to bring out a real person that will engage in genuine conversation even if it's rude and offensive.  That's a whole can of worms on that dynamic, but I think it does reflect George's gritty realism that things don't need to be perfect to have connection.  While we may disapprove of problematic aspects, we shouldn't ignore the chemistry that keeps these two engaged with each other even when they find each other frustrating.                   

I like the depiction of Jon and Ygritte's relationship.  It's Jon's first brush with romantic feeling and sexual attraction and we see it unfold in technicolor glory.  I think Ygritte clearly has deeper feelings for Jon than the other way around, but that doesn't diminish the fact that he cares for her.  Sometimes feelings are not perfectly mutual and he is struggling with issues of duty versus his normal desires as a human.  But he also learned to perhaps see his mother and father's (as he knows it) relationship as not a shameful act of lust, but two people who may have had genuine feelings for one another.  He also maybe starts to consider his mother as not "just some woman."  Ygritte was never going to work out long term, but Jon moved forward a little more mature with some valuable insights.  WHile people make much of Jon being "only" attracted to non-traditional females, I think it speaks to him being attracted to the girl that can teach him a thing or two.  Val is very traditionally beautiful and not a warrior like Ygritte, but she's a straight shooter, has experience and knowledge to share, and their goals are aligned.  There's mutual admiration and respect. But I don't think Jon would be as prepared for Val if it hadn't been for his coming of age experience with Ygritte. 

Glad this subject is revived, because George has given us a huge array of different types to pour over.   

    

I just wanted to say that I absolutely loved this post and totally agree.  I too would like to see the topic of romance and love in the series revived. I think TWOW will have several romances and hope this gives the opportunity to explore the human heart a bit more. 

Jon and Val is an interesting one. I agree he would not have been in the right place to believably form a relationship with her had he not had the one with Ygritte. His relationship with her has readied him for this one. And to be honest that is kind of how it works in real life too. Each relationship teaches us something and rounds us as people. I think Val is likely more than she at first appears and that they will form a Vala and Odin figure relationship. Which will help unite the people of the free folk and the people of the north.   

As to SanSan, yes I see that this is where the text is going and I won't get all morally up in arms about it. personally, it doesn't bother me anyway. It isn't real, it's a book. And frankly, I am married to a man who is a lot older than me and we've been together since I was a teenager. Underage by the standards of the USA. But luckily I don't give a shit about the standards of a country I don't live in when assessing the morality of my twenty-year relationship.  Sansa's arc is very strongly about her finding her own autonomy and her sexual awakening. Which as you've so eloquently pointed out has been very normal and typical thus far.  

She's rejecting the cultural norm of marrying for prosperity and political alliance IMO. And will probably marry a man far below her socially. For love, Sandor fits that bill perfectly. Plus there has already been a shit tonne of marriage imagary between them. Which you'd have to be a fool to ignore. Well or have your pearls clutched so tight you have lost the abillity to seperate reality from fiction.  Thankfully the excessive amount of Sansa's sexuality policing which the forums have previously indulged in has ebbed away after it became clear that the author is indeed going to go there. 

One thing I wish we'd been told more about was the questions of @The Fattest Leech's friend at Balticon. regarding Arya & Gendry. because that is another hottly debated relatiosnhip. And I'd have liked to know more about what GRRM replied to those questions. 

 

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1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Each relationship teaches us something and rounds us as people. I think Val is likely more than she at first appears and that they will form a Vala and Odin figure relationship. Which will help unite the people of the free folk and the people of the north.   

:agree:

1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

She's rejecting the cultural norm of marrying for prosperity and political alliance IMO. And will probably marry a man far below her socially. For love, Sandor fits that bill perfectly. Plus there has already been a shit tonne of marriage imagary between them. Which you'd have to be a fool to ignore. Well or have your pearls clutched so tight you have lost the abillity to seperate reality from fiction.  Thankfully the excessive amount of Sansa's sexuality policing which the forums have previously indulged in has ebbed away after it became clear that the author is indeed going to go there. 

Right.  We should remind ourselves this is a world with vastly different standards of age appropriate.  From our beloved Ned, we learn the right way to raise your seven year old boy is to take him to a beheading where he has to watch every detail while showing no reaction.  :rolleyes: There's a lot of projection on to Sansa of what she "ought" to feel.  I think George wrote Sansa's arc to show exactly how traditional arranged marriages in a patriarchy can go horribly wrong, even though her parents had a favorable outcome to theirs and had good intentions with hers.  As I said, Ned and Cat are traditionalists because they believe this is the normal thing to do.  Securing the "best" marriage option for Sansa is not just for the family, but the best way to secure a good life for her.  As much as Sansa has a complete faith in the patriarchy and a willingness to please authority figures, on a closer look we can also see someone who is also drawn to "forbidden love" in the songs.   There's a natural sensuality when it comes to the language in her POV, which can be easy to dismiss as being dazzled by the superficial.  She is willful when it comes to her heart, she just made the mistake of falling in love with the idea of love with the wrong guy.  She imagines herself as being an equal participant in love and she looks forward to her wedding night as a happy occasion.  Deep down, she isn't really that much of a conformist and I think it takes time and experience to embrace this aspect of herself.  I think this is where George is heading too, which is why I think it's so curious when all people can imagine for her is being a prize or accessory to even less important male characters.  I don't that this equates to happily ever after, but I imagine she will be given a choice if she's willing make sacrifices to be with someone of her own choosing.  It's no different than any other choice that male characters get between duty and love.  As Aemon says, between the two there's no clear cut right decision, but only the decision you can live with.  

I think her encounter with Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell is an early exposure to another possibility:

Quote

As they were crossing the yard, Prince Oberyn of Dorne fell in beside them, his black-haired paramour on his arm. Sansa glanced at the woman curiously. She was baseborn and unwed, and had borne two bastard daughters for the prince, but she did not fear to look even the queen in the eye. Shae had told her that this Ellaria worshiped some Lysene love goddess. "She was almost a whore when he found her, m'lady," her maid confided, "and now she's near a princess." Sansa had never been this close to the Dornishwoman before. She is not truly beautiful, she thought, but something about her draws the eye.

What draws Sansa's eye I think is Ellaria's strength and dignity.  Shae is shallow and projecting her own desires to become like a princess, so I sincerely doubt Ellaria was ever anything close to a prostitute.  In the rest of Westeros, women like Ellaria are supposed to be ashamed and Sansa should be scandalized by her.  She's not.  She's curious.  Oberyn and Ellaria are really interesting.  Their relationship is a passionate one and even open to other lovers, yet they have been committed to each other for many years.  At least 15 or 16 years, since the conception of their eldest daughter.  The idea that she is considered a "whore" is frankly racist and misogynist.  We also learn she has a very kind and gentle heart.  Her sentiments on avenging Oberyn's death are not that different that Catelyn's to Ned's, but also reveal how sweet and committed their relationship was:

Quote

Ellaria's cheeks were wet with tears, her dark eyes shining. Even weeping, she has a strength in her, the captain thought.

"Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end?" Ellaria Sand laid her hand on the Mountain's head. "I saw your father die. Here is his killer. Can I take a skull to bed with me, to give me comfort in the night? Will it make me laugh, write me songs, care for me when I am old and sick?"

So we see more than just the sexual aspect, but two people that expected to care for each other into old age.  

14 hours ago, HoodedCrow said:

Joncon loved Rhaegar, and loves Young Griff as a son.

Many of these comments on love are impressively wise. May we all find different flavors of love, a heart that can deal with the hard stuff, and a brain that can sort out the bull!

I would love to discuss Jon Con but I got to get to work now :) Arya and Gendry is another good one.  Real life calls but will get back to this.    

                 

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Posted (edited)

Hi there @The Weirwoods Eyes And @Blue-Eyed Wolf  

I haven't had coffee yet, but I will try my hardest to make sense without my daily dose of brain juice. 

Regarding the George comments about Arya and Gendry, well, I wish I could get more info as well but my con friend doesn't visit this forum anymore and moved in the meantime. So I think knowing Arya will flower soon combined with the fact George said he will revisit them should be a good thing. George gave them a song! 

Regarding the Jon and Ygritte thing, good points on all. We readers should know the clues by now and looking back, there was no way these two would be together for long. There is the phrase in the story (and real life) that the brightest flames burn out quickest. 

That leaves Jon and Val. I had a short conversation with George about these two (an actual conversation, not a quick flyby as he signed a book) and he gave me some interesting bits about them. Not too many specifics, but enough to know they "could be a good fit" and anyone who thinks she is not important better have a plan B in place. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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11 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Hi there @The Weirwoods Eyes And @Blue-Eyed Wolf  

I haven't had coffee yet, but I will try my hardest to make sense without my daily dose of brain juice. 

Regarding the George comments about Arya and Gendry, well, I wish I could get more info as well but my con friend doesn't visit this forum anymore and moved in the meantime. So I think knowing Arya will flower soon combined with the fact George said he will revisit them should be a good thing. George gave them a song! 

Regarding the Jon and Ygritte thing, good points on all. We readers should know the clues by now and looking back, there was no way these two would be together for long. There is the phrase in the story (and real life) that the brightest flames burn out quickest. 

That leaves Jon and Val. I had a short conversation with George about these two (an actual conversation, not a quick flyby as he signed a book) and he gave me some interesting bits about them. Not too many specifics, but enough to know they "could be a good fit" and anyone who thinks she is not important better have a plan B in place. 

damn it!!!! But I do think it is clear they're going to meet back up and something will occur. I'm not necessarily thinking happily ever after. mainly because I think Arya is a gonna by the end of ADOS. 

I remember arguing vehemently with a certain forum user about 4 years ago that Arya was going to get her period by the end of TWOW. Oh, boy was that/they actually; she argued the point with me over several threads! frustrating drawn out arguments.  And indeed he wrote them a song! doesn't get much clearer than that IMO. 

Your last paragraph regarding Jon & Val has me salivating for more.  Gonna be honest. I can't wait for this aspect of the story to play out. 

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1 minute ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

damn it!!!! But I do think it is clear they're going to meet back up and something will occur. I'm not necessarily thinking happily ever after. mainly because I think Arya is a gonna by the end of ADOS. 

I agree. I think the bittersweet ending will apply to more than one character, including these two. George did not give any hints as to how involved he would have Arya and Gendry become, or for how long, just the little hints as mentioned (but even those don't have a time limit). And since George sorta works some details out along the way, who knows where he has these two end up? 

1 minute ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Your last paragraph regarding Jon & Val has me salivating for more.  Gonna be honest. I can't wait for this aspect of the story to play out. 

If it plays out like I think it will, which is based on some of his past stories where he has set these character archetypes and scenarios up before, this should be really good. Also maybe a little bittersweet, but really good. 

It is good to use George's outside inspiration to help figure out the future ASOIAF books, but if you base George's work on his own works first, yeah, it is there... big time ;)

must get coffee :drool:

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1 minute ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I agree. I think the bittersweet ending will apply to more than one character, including these two. George did not give any hints as to how involved he would have Arya and Gendry become, or for how long, just the little hints as mentioned (but even those don't have a time limit). And since George sorta works some details out along the way, who knows where he has these two end up? 

If it plays out like I think it will, which is based on some of his past stories where he has set these character archetypes and scenarios up before, this should be really good. Also maybe a little bittersweet, but really good. 

It is good to use George's outside inspiration to help figure out the future ASOIAF books, but if you base George's work on his own works first, yeah, it is there... big time ;)

must get coffee :drool:

Get coffee!! I have my husband (coffee slave) at home today so am fully caffeinated! B)

I am just reading Dream Songs now actually. I read all the Wildcards stuff, and am gonna read all his other works too. So I'm keen eyed for ASOIAF inspiration.  I also loved Prett Pigs Marvel stuff. and think it is definitely likely George is drawing from his childhood love of his funny books.  As well as obviously all the real world historical and mythical stuff which we know he's pulling on for this most epic of fantasies. 

I was just watching a documentary on BBC iPlayer the other night about Medieval marriage and keeping an ear out for stuff which might play into ASOIAF theories. It has been a three parter on Births Deaths and Marriages. The thing which stuck out most to me was the fact that marriage was such a un regulated thing pre the churches intervention and it really struck me that this is represented in The Old god's as all you need is a tree and two people (or more it seems in many historical accounts) And especially so in the Wildling culture, which has not been as corrupted by the advent of the Seven as the need to integrate the two religions as in the main part of Westeros. 

People just used to get married in hedgerows, and you didn't need a priest or they'd just rock up at the pub and call upon those present to bear witness. Also becoming unmarried was pretty simple, you just kinda said yeah, not married anymore actually. Have gone off him a bit. 

Which is all very interesting.

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4 minutes ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Get coffee!! I have my husband (coffee slave) at home today so am fully caffeinated! B)

I am just reading Dream Songs now actually.

Awesome. That is the best way to get to know an author and his intent. His own work.

If you want a really good Jon/Val pre ASOIAF story, read Nightflyers and then contact me. I can go line by line and break  down how much of a Jon at the wall, the mutiny, the incest ideal is rejected, honey- blonde hair, the importance of bringing two different sides together to make something better, or "improved" as it says in that story. 

Dreamsongs has great characters like Arya, Dany in a few, and even bit characters like Ramsay and Jorah. 

I know you are also in to the magics of ice and fire. Pay attention to the repeating Melisandre types that are always charlatains. Good stuff. 

-to the op

In short, George does romance just not the way we are used to. His are gritty and real. He knows there are conflicts in relationships just as there are moments of "lords kisses". 

Another thing George likes to do, based on his personal experiences, is he has the constant love triangles in his stories. Not just in ASOAIF, but all of his stories where there is love. This is reality. 

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5 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Awesome. That is the best way to get to know an author and his intent. His own work.

If you want a really good Jon/Val pre ASOIAF story, read Nightflyers and then contact me. I can go line by line and break  down how much of a Jon at the wall, the mutiny, the incest ideal is rejected, honey- blonde hair, the importance of bringing two different sides together to make something better, or "improved" as it says in that story. 

Dreamsongs has great characters like Arya, Dany in a few, and even bit characters like Ramsay and Jorah. 

I know you are also in to the magics of ice and fire. Pay attention to the repeating Melisandre types that are always charlatains. Good stuff. 

-

4

I am actually really excited at this invitation. Hahahaha. and I guess that is testament to how deep into the whole thing I've gotten. Lost in ASOIAF analysis. Thrilled at the prospect of discussing it with another in such minute detail. 

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1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

That leaves Jon and Val. I had a short conversation with George about these two (an actual conversation, not a quick flyby as he signed a book) and he gave me some interesting bits about them. Not too many specifics, but enough to know they "could be a good fit" and anyone who thinks she is not important better have a plan B in place. 

 

1 hour ago, The Fattest Leech said:

If it plays out like I think it will, which is based on some of his past stories where he has set these character archetypes and scenarios up before, this should be really good. Also maybe a little bittersweet, but really good. 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.... How will I be able to sleep from now on?

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54 minutes ago, Julia H. said:

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.... How will I be able to sleep from now on?

You won't. I've tried :dunno:

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On 7/19/2017 at 0:29 AM, Rickard of House Rakkoon said:

Throughout the series we see a wide range of emotions, anger, sadness, lust, rage, relief, envy, hate, revoltion, ect. What we dont really see is real love.

In the realms of power, wealth and status as takes place in Westeros love is not #1 on the list of top priorities. 

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 2:30 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

:agree:

.  

I think her encounter with Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell is an early exposure to another possibility:

What draws Sansa's eye I think is Ellaria's strength and dignity.  Shae is shallow and projecting her own desires to become like a princess, so I sincerely doubt Ellaria was ever anything close to a prostitute.  In the rest of Westeros, women like Ellaria are supposed to be ashamed and Sansa should be scandalized by her.  She's not.  She's curious.  Oberyn and Ellaria are really interesting.  Their relationship is a passionate one and even open to other lovers, yet they have been committed to each other for many years.  At least 15 or 16 years, since the conception of their eldest daughter.  The idea that she is considered a "whore" is frankly racist and misogynist.  We also learn she has a very kind and gentle heart.  Her sentiments on avenging Oberyn's death are not that different that Catelyn's to Ned's, but also reveal how sweet and committed their relationship was:

So we see more than just the sexual aspect, but two people that expected to care for each other into old age.  

.    

                 

By this stage of his life (well into middle age) Oberyn was probably a pipe and slippers man.

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At least to me, the whole SanSan plotline has seemed like a triumph for classical, epic "knightly love".

Okay, okay, I surely know what the opposers want to say now: "Sansa is a child! The Hound wants to fuck her! The Hound isn't even a knight!" And you are right about all that.

Still, there is everything in this classical coctail: there is the beautiful maiden, surrounded by suitors. There is the low-born man who has no right to claim her hand but who still dreams of her. When the maiden is wedded off, the knight's forbidden love doesn't disappear, he begins to worship her from afar, without fulfilling the  physical intimacy he still yearns for. The maiden is locked up in a faraway castle. The knight overcomes impossible-seeming challenges... 

It doesn't fit the modern concept of love and relationship but it is very much a classic, almost a mother of all classics. This is the type of theme Knights of the Round stories, fairytales and Romeo and Juliet circle around. SanSan is a "fairytale romance" indeed, just not in the comfortable and magical way Sansa probably has in mind.

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One of my favorite Arya x Gendry scenes because Arya doesn't grasp what Gendry is feeling.

Quote

Gendry turned the breastplate with the tongs to look at it closely. "And if we did escape, where would we go?"

"Winterfell," she said at once. "I'd tell Mother how you helped me, and you could stay—"

"Would m'lady permit? Could I shoe your horses for you, and make swords for your lordly brothers?"

Sometimes he made her so angry. "You stop that!"

"Why should I wager my feet for the chance to sweat in Winterfell in place of Harrenhal? You know old Ben Blackthumb? He came here as a boy. Smithed for Lady Whent and her father before her and his father before him, and even for Lord Lothston who held Harrenhal before the Whents. Now he smiths for Lord Tywin, and you know what he says? A sword's a sword, a helm's a helm, and if you reach in the fire you get burned, no matter who you're serving. Lucan's a fair enough master. I'll stay here."

When he thought Arya was lowborn like him, he thought he had finally found a real connection with an equal, especially with a girl he thinks is pretty.  It's a very cute, chaste chemistry at this point.  It's when he finds out she's highborn that he feels the crushing reality that she's beyond his reach.  Arya herself doesn't care about class distinctions, which is a wonderful thing about her; however, people like Gendry don't get the privilege of ignoring them.  There's harsh consequences if they do.  So when she suggested he could serve her family in Winterfell, it's salt in the wound.  She clearly wants him to stick around, but she inadvertently stepped on a landmine.  Gendry knows full well they wouldn't have the kind of intimate friendship or even romantic relationship he would want.  There's only getting "burned" for reaching above his position which would be no different serving the Starks.  

And yet, Gendry will stick around at the inn at the crossroads as the orphans collect there, probably hoping that someday Arya will turn up among them.  :wub:        

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On ‎21‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 11:39 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Several years ago now several of us began a thread on the re-read forum called Rethinking Romance. And there is a rethinking Romance II they are both easily googleable. They explored the various relationships in series at great depth, you may enjoy reading them. They fizzled out but I do wish they'd continued as some of the less obvious relationships would have been interesting to explore too.

 

I've reead it all, I  think. It's very interesting. I wish it had continued!

 

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