Manderly's Rat Cook

Where are the nerdy girls?

66 posts in this topic

One thing that didn't always stand out to me, but that I recently became aware of, is that there are no nerdy /bookish girls or women in ASOIAF. Or at least, we never hear about them. 

We do hear about certain girls and women who like to fight, like Lyanna, Brienne, Arya, Asha, multiple sand snakes and the spearwives. 

We also hear about men and boys who read a lot, and are very interested in gaining knowledge,  like Sam, Tyrion, the Reader, Maester Aemon, Rhaegar, and probably most maesters in general...

However I can think of no example of a woman or girl who is particularly interested in reading, even though this would be a much easier interest to have for a girl than fighting. 

The only possible example is Sarella /Alleras, but we don't know why she's in the Citadel. She could be an avid reader, but we only see her shoot apples, so she might as well just be there to spy, or to prove that she can become a Maester, and not out of genuine interest in literature.

Now I know the women in the world book are on average much more superficially described than the men, so there could possibly be plenty of women who loved to read, but nothing of the sort is ever mentioned I think, not even a love story where two people connected over their love of books. 

Did I miss something, or are Westerosi women just not that interested in literature? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arianne likes to read. I think she even begs for specific books while she is locked away in her tower. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and Asha has some reading time by herself and with her nuncle. That is when we learn about Torgon the Latecomer... which is probably hints at future plotlines in the upcoming book.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Oh, and I believe even Dany has been reading some history books, but I can't be sure how much or which ones at the moment. Didn't Jorah give them to her for a wedding present? (I'm out and on my phone) 

 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ashes Of Westeros said:

Shereen?

I'm not sure if Shireen really likes to read in the books. I think it's an invention of the show that she teaches Davos to read, and I can't find any quotes of her reading or being interested in books besides her reading lessons. I don't think she dislikes it, but I also don't think there's an indication she has a particular interest in reading. 

16 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Arianne likes to read. I think she even begs for specific books while she is locked away in her tower. 

Could be, I'm not sure if she truly is an avid reader though. I think lots of people would like something to read of they're locked up in a tower. And unlike Tyrion she at least doesn't seem all that interested in history 

Quote

During the daylight hours she would try to read, but the books that they had given her were deadly dull: ponderous old histories and geographies, annotated maps, a dry-as-dust study of the laws of Dorne, The Seven-Pointed Star and Lives of the High Septons, a huge tome about dragons that somehow made them about as interesting as newts. Arianne would have given much and more for a copy of Ten Thousand Ships or The Loves of Queen Nymeria, anything to occupy her thoughts and let her escape her tower for an hour or two, but such amusements were denied her.

It seems like she prefers to read more exciting books (who can blame her), which to me indicates that her interest in books is more a way to pass the time, than an almost obsessive necessity on par with Tyrion, Sam and the Reader. 

All in all I don't think we can conclude that she's someone who usually spends much of her free time reading, but rather that she's probably a person who likes to read from time to time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Oh, and Asha has some reading time by herself and with her nuncle. That is when we learn about Torgon the Latecomer... which is probably hints at future plotlines in the upcoming book.  

That's not the same as having a deep urge to read as much as possible. Ned can read, and asks Pycelle for a book, yet he's not a particularly bookish person. 

21 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Oh, and I believe even Dany has been reading some history books, but I can't be sure how much or which ones at the moment. Didn't Jorah give them to her for a wedding present? (I'm out and on my phone) 

 

I'm not sure if she reads in them (I think she does), but had she been as bookish a person as Tyrion, she would've read them front to back. What stands out to me is that there are no women mentioned who are truly known for reading a lot. Obviously reading is part of the education of highborn girls, and most of them will read at times.

12 minutes ago, DominusNovus said:

Arya is noted for having a good mind for math in aGoT, isn't she?

Yes, at least it's something she considers one of her assets, but she's also not someone who really likes to read. The point is that there is a rather large amount of men who stand out for being VERY interested in reading, but there are seemingly no women with the same interest (except perhaps Sarella, but as I said in my OP, we don't know that for sure)... I finde this peculiar.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sansa isn't particularly "bookish" but she's definitely nerdy.  She's idealistic, and loves old stories.  She also knows her heraldry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think it is safe to include Sarella. Not only is she studying at the citadel but she was very interested in the history of the ghost town she visited with her father and Arianne.

Sansa has the book with all her knightly tales, but I don't recall her reading anything else. There are also a couple of occasions where Arya remembers reading some fact in a book. No indication as to whether she had read them through choice or not, but I guess her remembering years on shows she was somewhat interested.

Also you have the Poetess in Braavos - a courtesan renowned for her reading.

Missandei as well, obviously.

Edited by Horse of Kent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I've wondered about this too. We know Sarella is bookish, and that Shiera Seastar was as well, although we have never met her. There's also Missandei, and Marei, the prostitute who was teaching Alyaya to read. If I remember correctly, Arianne, Asha, and Dany all open books at one point or another and then get bored pretty quickly.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current females? Can't think of any truly nerdy but we don't really know what Malora Hightower does all day, do we?

Historically, Sheira Seastar was a major book nerd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Manderly's Rat Cook said:

However I can think of no example of a woman or girl who is particularly interested in reading, even though this would be a much easier interest to have for a girl than fighting. 

The big problem with this would be a lack of reading material.  The story echoes the middle ages, which predates the printing press.  Therefore, reading material had to be individually produced, and so was mostly functional.  Which also accounts for the fact that most people can't read.  There isn't really much for them to read. 

Winterfell is described as having a sizeable library, but was unusual, as I recall.  For that matter, Tyrion, Sam, and Hoster Blackwood are the only bookish males that I can offhand recall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Manderly's Rat Cook said:

That's not the same as having a deep urge to read as much as possible. Ned can read, and asks Pycelle for a book, yet he's not a particularly bookish person. 

:dunno: I tried  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

It aren't really books. But can you not say poetry and stories are also a form of literature? 

Sansa according to Arya knows all the songs, she knows a lot sigils, ... 

f.e.

Sansa would have known who he was, and the fat one too, but Arya had never taken much interest in titles and sigils. Whenever Septa Mordane had gone on about the history of this house and that house, she was inclined to drift and dream and wonder when the lesson would be done.

And this...

"Your helmet bears golden antlers, my lord. The stag is the sigil of the royal House. King Robert has two brothers. By your extreme youth, you can only be Renly Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End and councillor to the king, and so I name you."

She and her little brother, who once very proudly showed his uncle Benjen of the NW he could recount all the castles of the Wall from east to west AND from west to east, are very similar in that regard.

 

Edited by Tijgy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Arianne likes to read. I think she even begs for specific books while she is locked away in her tower. 

Arianne finds nerdy books awaiting her in the tower, and she is not interested in them, or the cyvasse table. She takes care to dress in the most sexually alluring clothes she can find, and takes close note of the food, refuses then eats it, before she turns to these nerdy things for entertainment.

And almost as soon as she skims them, she wishes for less nerdy, more entertaining reading.

Quote

The princess was left alone to pace, and weep, and nurse her wounds. During the daylight hours she would try to read, but the books that they had given her were deadly dull: ponderous old histories and geographies, annotated maps, a dry-as-dust study of the laws of Dorne, The Seven-Pointed Star and Lives of the High Septons, a huge tome about dragons that somehow made them about as interesting as newts. Arianne would have given much and more for a copy of Ten Thousand Ships or The Loves of Queen Nymeria, anything to occupy her thoughts and let her escape her tower for an hour or two, but such amusements were denied her.

  (AFfC, Ch.40The Princess In The Tower)

After being locked up in a nerdy environment designed to make her think, she spends a little less than a month dwelling on the spoken word - "Someone told", sleeping a lot and trying to gossip and manipulate the servants. The height of her literary ambition is when: 

Quote

She dare not ask for parchment for fear of rousing the suspicions of her captors, so she wrote the letter on the bottom of a page torn from The Seven-Pointed Star, and pressed it into Cedra’s hand on her next bath day.

(AFfC, Ch.40 The Princess In The Tower)

She takes to her bed, sulking, and when she is called before Doran sometime in the second month of her captivity, she becomes the someone that tells him all.

Arianne is an aggressively sensation-seeking and anti-intellectual creature, the opposite of a nerd, and locking her in a room with books demonstrates this.

The point is underlined by the escapist literature she would rather read. The Loves of Queen Nymeria  is  used to contrast her dull sublunary soul  to that of the uber-nerd Tyrion. When he finds himself confined with only sea and sky to look at for a month, and nobody talking to him, he seeks the library and finds:

Quote

a collection of nautical poetry that went from bad to worse, a well-thumbed tome about the erotic adventures of a young slave girl in a Lysene pillow house, and the fourth and final volume of The Life of the Triarch Belicho, a famous Volantene patriot whose unbroken succession of conquests and triumphs ended rather abruptly when he was eaten by giants. Tyrion had finished them all by their third day at sea. Then, for lack of any other books, he started reading them again. The slave girl’s story was the worst written but the most engrossing

Although he would prefer geographies, histories, maps, and old books on dragons full of facts rather than nonsense, Tyrion gets the kind of light literature Arianne wishes for. He reads it all within three days, and re-reads it for want of anything better. Arianne could have got the last complete copy of Blood and Fire, but she finds it too dull to read. She isn't interested in understanding the religion of the seven, or knowing about places she hasn't been. She wants books that affirm her own place and her own culture. And she wants the mythos of even that - not the dry dusty law books that might support or rebut her plan to crown Myrcella and make her heir to the Iron Throne.

Tyrion's reading on the Selaesori Qhoran also implies that one of the two authors in Planetos that have been identified as female, is a bad writer. 

Arianne's reading preferences are also used to cast shade on what Dany has read of Westerosi history. Arianne requests Ten Thousand Ships and it is implied that Dany has too:

Quote

“Sunspear has never been a sea power, Your Grace.”
“No.” Dany knew enough of Westerosi history to know that. Nymeria had landed ten thousand ships upon Dorne’s sandy shores, but when she wed her Dornish prince she had burned them all and turned her back upon the sea forever.

(ADwD, Ch.50 Daenerys VIII)

This quote the implies she has read something that sounds like Ten Thousand Ships. By itself it is not a slur on her as a reader or the book as literature. But in spite of being gifted in language and comprehension, the only books in the common tongue she owns are the ones Ser Jorah gave her as a wedding gift. And all we know of them is that they generally are like this one:

Quote

fat leather-bound volume was full of songs and stories from the Seven Kingdoms. Children’s stories, if truth be told; too simple and fanciful to be true history. All the heroes were tall and handsome, and you could tell the traitors by their shifty eyes. Yet she loved them all the same. Last night she had been reading of the three princesses in the red tower, locked away by the king for the crime of being beautiful.

(ASoS, Ch.71 Daenerys VI)

We know what well educated men like Tyrion and Oberyn think of the story of Baelor and the Maidenvault, and we know that Sansa, who was much better at remembering the histories of great houses than Arya, is distressed to hear a version of Baelor's exploits so at variance to the one she knew and loved.

Dany reads to escape, as Arianne wishes to. The three princesses in the red tower parallel Arianne's own exile, and reminds us that the princesses beauty might not have been the reason they were locked up, or their only crime.

Nymeria's story has the power to mislead and misinform Dany. Dorne does not claim to be a naval power, but the seas around it are surrounded by non-state war ships, and there are a whole distinct cultural group that call themselves the Orphans of the Greenblood. Coincidence? I don't think so. 

It doesn't serve the state of Dorne to have a strong navy while they are part of the Seven Kingdoms - they have trade, and their rivals in the Westerlands, the Reach, and the Crownlands are obliged to protect it with their navies, at their expense. White Harbour,  the Ironborn, Stannis at Dragonstone,  also believe/believed in obfuscating the extent of their naval power before deploying it.

But maybe this kind of education is why young girls know little of the ways of war. We don't see Dany write, and we know she doesn't do much reading. We can't call her nerdy, although she could be a nascent nerd - she is a lot like Rhaegar, who was definitely a nerd, but without his opportunities to study. I think, if she was a nerd like Rhaegar, she would want to make a short trip southwest from Vaes Tolorro for the scrolls, before leaving for Qarth, where the learned might help her translate them.

Shireen also devours simple histories, but illiterate Davos rejects King Daeron's book (that was a favourite of Jon Snow, when he was fourteen, although Jon isn't a nerd, and Benjen had reservations). Davos prefers to slog it out with scrolls and parchments, great leather tomes, and primary sources he thinks might be valuable to his King, no matter how hard they are to understand.

Shireen studies with Edric and Devan. It is remarkable that, in a society where education is so equitable between the sexes, as long as they are wealthy, that authorship, and erudition, are so stratified, that there are so few Alleras's trying to get into Oldtown, that there are no female salons or conversaziones, that we know of. 

Asha isn't a nerd. When Asha comes to Harlaw she loses her uncle's place by turning the pages of a discourse on Maegor the Cruel’s war against the Poor Fellows, and threatening to eat and drink over it. Then she threatens to take Haereg's book on Kingsmoots, and destroy it in the rough and tumble of her cabin and her galley. Rodrick tells her firmly she can read it there, but she doesn't.

My cat is as good a reader as Asha, pestering readers to get their noses out of their books and up her arse at every opportunity. Asha didn't write to Tris, who attempted to write to her. Iirc, she visited her only living brother once at Winterfell, and never wrote to him once, in spite of receiving letters from him and from Ramsey. (I suppose it is still possible she authored the pink letter. She seems to be capable of writing and reading, although I don't think we see ever see her actually do either.)

When Asha comes to invite him to join her Queensmoot, Roderick the Reader is symbolically engrossed in the only book in Planetos attributed to an unambiguously female author, other than the bedslave's story - Signs and Portents. This was written by 'the maiden daughter of Aenar Targaryen'. We are not sure what effect her virginity had on Daeyn's style or content. Indeed, we learn nothing about her style, as he is in fact reading about  her book in the book of an unambiguously attributed male author (by far the most common sort in ASoIaF).

Marwyn claims he found three pages of it. Her book is now lost, and her name is not given (by Roderick, at least) but Marwyn must have given some excerpt or description of the text, as the claim is not in itself engrossing. We know Daeyns was writing about her dreams or visions, and that this was the impetus for Aenar's move to Dragonstone twelve years before the Doom of Valyria, which she had apparently foreseen. So her writing is more of the imagination and the hypothetical than something nerdy that requires learning to write, and to understand. However it is a consequential book.

Nearly all the other books are of authors unambiguously identified as male either by their reader or GRRM mentioning it, or by their profession (Maester, Septon, Commander of the Kingsguard).

In others, their name identifies them as male. There is Addam of Duskendale , and I strongly suspect that  Ayrmidon of Engines of War and Harmon On Miasmas are also male, as there are no named female characters in ASoIaF whose names end in -on, while the male character names ending in -on are: Aegon, Aemon, Aerion, Aeron, Aron, Aaron, Arson, Baelon, Balon, Beron, Brandon, Branston, Byron, Burton, Calon, Camarron, Cleon, Cleyton, Colemon, Creighton, Criston, Daegon, Daemon, Daeron, Dagon, Damon, Dareon, Denyo, Desmond, Dickon, Edderion, Eddison, Eggon, Egon, Eldon, Elron, Eon, Euron, Eryon, Galladon, Galyeon, Garizon, Garrison, Gerion, Glendon, Gormon, Haegon, Haggon, Haldon, Halmon, Harton, Harodon, Harrion, Horton,Igon, Jason, Jon,Karlon, Luceon, Luton, Mandon, Marillion, Marlon, Maron, (Moon Boy?), Morton, Murmison, Orton, Quellon, Quenton, Rickon, Ryon, Sallereon, Sargon, Sebaston,Sargon, Sefton, Simon, Steffarion, Steffon, Stevron, Sybassion, Symeon, symon, Tanton, Theon, Timon, Tion, Triston, Tyrion, , Urrigon, Urron,Varyon,Vanyon, Vickon, Victarion, Walton,Wynton,Ygon,
Gender not positively identified: Urrathon Night-walker, who has a house, and glass candles. 

Likewise,  Bello of End of the Tall Men, Galyendro of The Fires of the Freehold, Vaggoro of Ruined Cities Stolen Goods and Colloquo Votar of the Jade Compendium.  No female character has a name that ends in  -o,  while for male names we have:  Aggo, Alequo, Antario, Areo, Belaquo, Beqqo, Bharbo,Brusco, Cohollo, Collio,Cossimo, Daario, Denyo, Ferrego, Fogo, Fornio,Groleo, Gyleno, Gyloro, Haggo, Hotho, Iggo,Jhaqo, Jhogo,Leo,Lotho, Luco, Lysono, Mago, Mero,  Moqorro, Moredo, Moreo, Moro, Narbo, Noho, Ogo, Ollo, Orbelo, Ordello, Oro, Otho, Pono, Qarro, Qotho, Quaro, Racallio, Rakharo, Rhaego, Rhogoro, Ricasso, Roggo, Roro,Syrio, Tagganaro, Ternesio, Terro, Theo, Temmo, Tobho, Tom Too, Tumco Lho, Tybero, Tycho, Vargo,Wendello,Xaro, Xhondo, Yorko, Zarabelo, Zekko, Zollo. 

I don't know if Beldecar of the History of the Rhoynish Wars is known by his or her family name or if that is his given name. I suppose all the names of the one-name authors could possibly be family names that also happen to be male given names. Of course it is possible that some of the books with male names on them are in fact written by females, either because she chose to use a male pseudonym, or because he plagiarised, copied, edited, or subsumed the identity of a female author, the way Yandel did when it comes to Linda's contribution to his body of work. The chroniclers need not have all been male, although all the named ones are.

For the chronicles, it is possible some of the chroniclers were female. Catelyn was expected to appoint a Master of Horse for Winterfell, and the time of the She-Wolves was chronicled, in spite of the paucity of men. Typically the Chroncile itself becomes attributed to a particular maester that curates it, or to maesters generally, because it is kept in, say, the Oldtown library. Of course, the maesters might include people like Salleras, who identifies as male and wouldn't be allowed to study or have any credibility as a scholar otherwise. Off the top of my head, she is the only one that qualifies as a nerd, and as the OP points out, her book learning isn't the focus of her character, even when the point of view is the bookish Sam, rather than the hapless Pate. 

There are other books that are not necessarily of all male authorship, but are effectively attributed to maesters. The fragments of The Summer and Winter Annals are probably guarded and transcribed by maesters. True History is probably written by maesters or a maester. The Red Book  was translated into the common tongue by a maester- written by an unknown Yunkai who is presumed to be male. Given what we know of the subject matter there is an outside chance the original author was not identified as a woman because she was Ibbenese (when it comes to Ibbenese women, the attitudes expressed by all points of view so far have been uniformly that they are a sexist and racist joke. A female author mistaken for a man would be tonally consistent.)

The Life of the Triarch Belicho was most probably an individual biographer working from multiple sources. It is four volumes long, so I'm guessing Triarch Belicho's own speeches, letters and documents make a large part of it. If it was a Westerosi book, the nature of the book would make it pretty much a given that the biographer was a maester and therefore a man. But Volantis might have had female scholars and biographers, although we don't see any.

The four remaining named books of unidentified authorship are the two Arianne is locked up with, and the two she would rather. The Loves of Queen Nymeria sounds like a slightly scurrilous, popular title. Ten Thousand Ships might well be something written by a maester for the education of young children. whatever its merits as literature. Presumably Arianne strongly identifies with the "Warrior Queen" that was not actually a warrior, and whose most brilliant command moves seem to have been a/ Being a princess, and b/ Making wise marriages, and avoiding marrying for love, with her most masterly command move apparently her first marriage to Mors Martell.

Lives of the High Septons was most probably written by an individual septon or maester. It is one of the books in Arianne's room. I wonder if Doran was planning to send her to sit on the Small Council, but realised she was too stupid to grasp the role of the church in the governance of Westeros, or to identify likely supporters and enemies of Dorne within it. Although in the end he gives the Small Council gig to Lady Nym, rather than Tyene, who knows the faith of the seven. I suppose Tyene's mother counts as a learned woman, she reads to her daughter in the cradle. Also, there is no reason a septa couldn't have written Lives, except that it is a serious history and we know nothing of septas keeping libraries or studying anything.

Seven pointed star : given it is an ancient religious text, with multiple sections, I'd guess it was written in multiple ages by multiple authors, with Septons choosing which writings were part of the canon and attributing authorship to particular individuals that might not have been individual or particular, or even historic people. Hugor Hill, for example. Septons in plural would also edit, annotate, and control the interpretation of the texts, in ways that are neither transparent, straightforward, or consistent, and would probably have individual treatises explaining exactly where and how this or that other septon had moved from orthodoxy to heresy, and why.

Or  else they might decree the whole book was written by the Gods themselves, in which case, we can count the Maiden as the only attributed author among them. And add a third book to our list of Planetos's female authors.

TL:DR Yes, it's odd. And casually sexist. And not in a way that is consistent with medieval norms.

Edited by Walda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Walda said:

The four remaining named books of unidentified authorship are the two Arianne is locked up with, and the two she would rather. The Loves of Queen Nymeria sounds like a slightly scurrilous, popular title. Ten Thousand Ships might well be something written by a maester for the education of young children. whatever its merits as literature. Presumably Arianne strongly identifies with the "Warrior Queen" that was not actually a warrior, and whose most brilliant command moves seem to have been a/ Being a princess, and b/ Making wise marriages, and avoiding marrying for love, with her most masterly command move apparently her first marriage to Mors Martell.

 

It seems that you haven't read the worldbook. Prince/princess is the title used by the Rhoynar for their rulers, for one thing. Second, apparently Nymeria salvaged the remnants of their civilization, escaped the most terrifying military force of the time, held her people alive and together through a gruelling journey around half the world and at the end of it conquered Dorne physically, politically and culturally. Mors Martel was a relatively minor lord whom she survived to be married twice after him and during the course of her reign subdued all others contesting the rulership of Dorne and was succeded by her eldest daughter. She is described as being the single most competent ruler in canon, by far.

Also Denys maidenhood, given that she married and had children apparently has no other relevance than to indicate that she had said visions when she was young.

People also keep forgetting Missandei, who at ten is a multilingual interpreter and scribe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@The Sleeper, I have not read the World Book in the last couple of years, and to be honest, the small print, the colour of the text (especially dark colours on dark and patterned backgrounds) made it a difficult read. But I did read it. And while Nymeria is mythologised for engineering the exile of the Rhoynar and Making Dorne Great, there are no anecdotes of her ingenuity, no bon mots that display her brightness, and nothing specific credited to her command. Even disasters dressed as heros (like Baelor, and Daeron I, and Arys II, according to their own chroniclers) have these things that credit them directly for specific things. For Nymeria, her specific things are: fleeing the Rhoyne, burning the ships, marrying well. Even the details of those are so sketchy. The things she is credited with could easily have been engineered by her advisors, or her puppet-masters. Given that both Arya and Arianne admire her, and Old Nan is apparently named after her, she does seem to be held up to young girls as a woman to admire and emulate. 

Daenys's maidenhood hints that she was very young, too young to be very learned, unless she was unusually scholarly and precocious. The subject of her book is not one that requires a great deal of nerdy thinking. She probably wasn't a huge nerd. The main reason I mentioned it is because, for both her and the other female author in Planetos, the history of their sex life was passed down along with their authorship. I don't see that happening with male authors, not even Addam of Duskendale.

22 minutes ago, The Sleeper said:

People also keep forgetting Missandei, who at ten is a multilingual interpreter and scribe.

That is a really good point. Missandei is absolutely a nerdy girl.

Edited by Walda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Walda said:

@The Sleeper, I have not read the World Book in the last couple of years, and to be honest, the small print, the colour of the text (especially dark colours on dark and patterned backgrounds) made it a difficult read. But I did read it. And while Nymeria is mythologised for engineering the exile of the Rhoynar and Making Dorne Great, there are no anecdotes of her ingenuity, no bon mots that display her brightness, and nothing specific credited to her command. Even disasters dressed as heros (like Baelor, and Daeron I, and Arys II, according to their own chroniclers) have these things that credit them directly for specific things. For Nymeria, her specific things are: fleeing the Rhoyne, burning the ships, marrying well. Even the details of those are so sketchy. The things she is credited with could easily have been engineered by her advisors, or her puppet-masters. Given that both Arya and Arianne admire her, and Old Nan is apparently named after her, she does seem to be held up to young girls as a woman to admire and emulate. 

Daenys's maidenhood hints that she was very young, too young to be very learned, unless she was unusually scholarly and precocious. The subject of her book is not one that requires a great deal of nerdy thinking. She probably wasn't a huge nerd. The main reason I mentioned it is because, for both her and the other female author in Planetos, the history of their sex life was passed down along with their authorship. I don't see that happening with male authors, not even Addam of Duskendale.

That is a really good point. Missandei is absolutely a nerdy girl.

Very few historical figures are given many details. The claim about councilors and surrounding figures being responsible for succeses or failures can be said about anyone. She still overshadows her husbands, she is attributed with sending six kings to the Wall and many of the laws and customs of the Rhoynar survive, of whom she was the leader. You could argue that she has been built up in Dorne to add luster to their origins. But even their it would have been more likely that they would have add luster to the Martel half of their origins. If you take it into account that history is written by the winners ... It sounds more like Mors Martel married well rather than the other way around. As for outside of Dorne, I very much doubt that she is an approved rolemodel, both because the general attitude which would view women in leadership roles as an anomaly and the fact that the Reach and the Stormlands hate the Dornish.

Old Nan is almost definitely not short for Nymeria. There is noone north of Dorne with that name, apart from the direwolf, much less someone lowborn. And Bran called her some witch queen from the songs. If anything it was meant to tell something about Arya that she chose that name both for her direwolf or herself. If anything it was a bit of a scandal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now