LiveFirstDieLater

Promises Kept - Examples

12 posts in this topic

I was hoping this forum could help me find good examples in the text of promises explicitly made and explicitly kept...

Quote

"Tell him that when you see him, milord, as it … as it please you. Tell him how beautiful she is."

"I will," Ned had promised her. That was his curse. Robert would swear undying love and forget them before evenfall, but Ned Stark kept his vows. He thought of the promises he'd made Lyanna as she lay dying, and the price he'd paid to keep them.

The above quote for instance doesn't qualify... Ned doesn't tell Robert how beautiful Barra is.

And the promises he made Lyanna?

Quote

There was no sun and no moon. He could not see to mark the walls. Ned closed his eyes and opened them; it made no difference. He slept and woke and slept again. He did not know which was more painful, the waking or the sleeping. When he slept, he dreamed: dark disturbing dreams of blood and broken promises. When he woke, there was nothing to do but think, and his waking thoughts were worse than nightmares. The thought of Cat was as painful as a bed of nettles. He wondered where she was, what she was doing. He wondered whether he would ever see her again.

There are a lot of examples of things promised and not delivered on, as well as some examples of things only after the fact being referred to "as promised"... I was hoping for some help collecting examples of promises kept... especially since honest Ned himself has such trouble keeping his promises...

So if you find a good quote of a character making a promise (explicitly, using the word "promise") and they keep their word, I'd appreciate the post!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/7/2017 at 4:29 PM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I was hoping this forum could help me find good examples in the text of promises explicitly made and explicitly kept...

The above quote for instance doesn't qualify... Ned doesn't tell Robert how beautiful Barra is.

And the promises he made Lyanna?

There are a lot of examples of things promised and not delivered on, as well as some examples of things only after the fact being referred to "as promised"... I was hoping for some help collecting examples of promises kept... especially since honest Ned himself has such trouble keeping his promises...

So if you find a good quote of a character making a promise (explicitly, using the word "promise") and they keep their word, I'd appreciate the post!

 

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn VII

She had seen men practice at their swordplay near every day of her life, had viewed half a hundred tourneys in her time, but this was something different and deadlier: a dance where the smallest misstep meant death. And as she watched, the memory of another duel in another time came back to Catelyn Stark, as vivid as if it had been yesterday.

They met in the lower bailey of Riverrun. When Brandon saw that Petyr wore only helm and breastplate and mail, he took off most of his armor. Petyr had begged her for a favor he might wear, but she had turned him away. Her lord father promised her to Brandon Stark, and so it was to him that she gave her token, a pale blue handscarf she had embroidered with the leaping trout of Riverrun. As she pressed it into his hand, she pleaded with him. "He is only a foolish boy, but I have loved him like a brother. It would grieve me to see him die." And her betrothed looked at her with the cool grey eyes of a Stark and promised to spare the boy who loved her.

That fight was over almost as soon as it began. Brandon was a man grown, and he drove Littlefinger all the way across the bailey and down the water stair, raining steel on him with every step, until the boy was staggering and bleeding from a dozen wounds. "Yield!" he called, more than once, but Petyr would only shake his head and fight on, grimly. When the river was lapping at their ankles, Brandon finally ended it, with a brutal backhand cut that bit through Petyr's rings and leather into the soft flesh below the ribs, so deep that Catelyn was certain that the wound was mortal. He looked at her as he fell and murmured "Cat" as the bright blood came flowing out between his mailed fingers. She thought she had forgotten that.

She thought it was mortal -- but it wasn't, because despite his wildness Brandon Stark was an honorable man, and foolish...and so the Tullys and the Starks were doomed...

Because of a misplaced promise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/10/2017 at 5:53 PM, ravenous reader said:

She thought it was mortal -- but it wasn't, because despite his wildness Brandon Stark was an honorable man, and foolish...and so the Tullys and the Starks were doomed...

Because of a misplaced promise!

Perfect, thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LiveFirstDieLater --

As promises go, this one is my favorite in terms of underlying symbolism:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

"My hair comes out in handfuls and no one has kissed me for a thousand years. It is hard to be so old. Well, I will have a song then. A song from Tom o' Sevens, for my news."

"You will have your song from Tom," Lord Beric promised. He gave her the wineskin himself.

The dwarf woman drank deep, the wine running down her chin. When she lowered the skin, she wiped her mouth with the back of a wrinkled hand and said, "Sour wine for sour tidings, what could be more fitting? The king is dead, is that sour enough for you?"

Arya's heart caught in her throat.

"Which bloody king is dead, crone?" Lem demanded.

"The wet one. The kraken king, m'lords. I dreamt him dead and he died, and the iron squids now turn on one another. Oh, and Lord Hoster Tully's died too, but you know that, don't you? In the hall of kings, the goat sits alone and fevered as the great dog descends on him." The old woman took another long gulp of wine, squeezing the skin as she raised it to her lips.

The great dog. Did she mean the Hound? Or maybe his brother, the Mountain That Rides? Arya was not certain. They bore the same arms, three black dogs on a yellow field. Half the men whose deaths she prayed for belonged to Ser Gregor Clegane; Polliver, Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling, the Tickler, and Ser Gregor himself. Maybe Lord Beric will hang them all.

"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells. I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow." She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. "You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now."

Cold fingers walked down Arya's neck. Fear cuts deeper than swords, she reminded herself. She stood and approached the fire warily, light on the balls of her feet, poised to flee.

The dwarf woman studied her with dim red eyes. "I see you," she whispered. "I see you, wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death . . ." She began to sob, her little body shaking. "You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!"

There was such fear in her voice that Arya took a step backward, wondering if the woman was mad. "Don't frighten the child," Thoros protested. "There's no harm in her."

Lem Lemoncloak's finger went to his broken nose. "Don't be so bloody sure of that."

"She will leave on the morrow, with us," Lord Beric assured the little woman. "We're taking her to Riverrun, to her mother."

"Nay," said the dwarf. "You're not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it's the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there's to be a wedding." She cackled again. "Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you'll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists." She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. "I'll have my payment now. I'll have the song you promised me."

And so Lem woke Tom Sevenstrings beneath his furs, and brought him yawning to the fireside with his woodharp in hand. "The same song as before?" he asked.

"Oh, aye. My Jenny's song. Is there another?"

I can't put my finger on it, but there is something very important in this passage relating to 'promised songs' -- and my instinct tells me it relates to this:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:
Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

"My hair comes out in handfuls and no one has kissed me for a thousand years. It is hard to be so old. Well, I will have a song then. A song from Tom o' Sevens, for my news."

"You will have your song from Tom," Lord Beric promised. He gave her the wineskin himself.

...

Lem Lemoncloak's finger went to his broken nose. "Don't be so bloody sure of that."

"She will leave on the morrow, with us," Lord Beric assured the little woman. "We're taking her to Riverrun, to her mother."

"Nay," said the dwarf. "You're not. The black fish holds the rivers now. If it's the mother you want, seek her at the Twins. For there's to be a wedding." She cackled again. "Look in your fires, pink priest, and you will see. Not now, though, not here, you'll see nothing here. This place belongs to the old gods still . . . they linger here as I do, shrunken and feeble but not yet dead. Nor do they love the flames. For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists." She drank the last of the wine in four long swallows, flung the skin aside, and pointed her stick at Lord Beric. "I'll have my payment now. I'll have the song you promised me."

And so Lem woke Tom Sevenstrings beneath his furs, and brought him yawning to the fireside with his woodharp in hand. "The same song as before?" he asked.

"Oh, aye. My Jenny's song. Is there another?"

I can't put my finger on it, but there is something very important in this passage relating to 'promised songs' -- and my instinct tells me it relates to this:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Daenerys IV

"Will you make a song for him?" the woman asked.

"He has a song," the man replied. "He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." He looked up when he said it and his eyes met Dany's, and it seemed as if he saw her standing there beyond the door. "There must be one more," he said, though whether he was speaking to her or the woman in the bed she could not say. "The dragon has three heads." He went to the window seat, picked up a harp, and ran his fingers lightly over its silvery strings. Sweet sadness filled the room as man and wife and babe faded like the morning mist, only the music lingering behind to speed her on her way.

 

Also a possible Jenny's Song:

Quote

 

"Oldstones, all the smallfolk called it when I was a girl, but no doubt it had some other name when it was still a hall of kings." She had camped here once with her father, on their way to Seagard. Petyr was with us too . . .
"There's a song," he remembered. "'Jenny of Oldstones, with the flowers in her hair.'" 
"We're all just songs in the end. If we are lucky." She had played at being Jenny that day, had even wound flowers in her hair. And Petyr had pretended to be her Prince of Dragonflies. Catelyn could not have been more than twelve, Petyr just a boy.

 

 
 
 
Quote

If the Eyrie had been made like other castles, only rats and gaolers would have heard the dead man singing. Dungeon walls were thick enough to swallow songs and screams alike. But the sky cells had a wall of empty air, so every chord the dead man played flew free to echo off the stony shoulders of the Giant's Lance. And the songs he chose . . . He sang of the Dance of the Dragons, of fair Jonquil and her fool, of Jenny of Oldstones and the Prince of Dragonflies. He sang of betrayals, and murders most foul, of hanged men and bloody vengeance. He sang of grief and sadness

.
The "flowers in her hair" is oddly reminiscent of Lyanna...
 
Also seems pertinent:
 
Quote

 

The love between Jenny of Oldstones ("with flowers in her hair") and Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies, is beloved of singers, storytellers, and young maids even to this day, but it caused great grief to Lord Lyonel's daughter and brought shame and dishonor to House Baratheon. So great was the wroth of the Laughing Storm that he swore a bloody oath of vengeance, renounced allegiance to the Iron Throne, and had himself crowned as a new Storm King. Peace was restored only after the Kingsguard knight Ser Duncan the Tall faced Lord Lyonel in a trial by battle, Prince Duncan renounced his claim to crown and throne, and King Aegon V agreed that his youngest daughter, the Princess Rhaelle, would wed Lord Lyonel's heir. 
As the Seven in their wisdom would have it, it was the match that King Aegon V agreed to in order to appease the Laughing Storm that ultimately led to the end of Targaryen rule in the Seven Kingdoms. In 245 AC Princess Rhaelle fulfilled her father's promise and wed Ormund Baratheon, young Lord of Storm's End. The following year she gave him a son, Steffon, who served as a page and a squire at King's Landing and became a close companion of Prince Aerys, eldest son of King Jaehaerys II and heir to the Iron Throne

 

.
I'll get back to promises in the next post, but I agree the songs are important, name of the series after all...
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A song of sweet sadness

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

"Fire burns them. Fire is always hungry."

That was not Arya's voice, nor any child's. It was a woman's voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart. Bran squinted, to see her better. It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe's beneath a cloak of leaves. Her eyes were queer—large and liquid, gold and green, slitted like a cat's eyes. No one has eyes like that. Her hair was a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VII

After a time the candle guttered and went out. Moonlight slanted between the slats of the shutters, laying pale silvery bars across her father's face. She could hear the soft whisper of his labored breathing, the endless rush of waters, the faint chords of some love song drifting up from the yard, so sad and sweet. "I loved a maid as red as autumn," Rymund sang, "with sunset in her hair."

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII

"Do you require guarding?" Marillion said lightly. "I am composing a new song, you should know. A song so sweet and sad it will melt even your frozen heart. 'The Roadside Rose,' I mean to call it. About a baseborn girl so beautiful she bewitched every man who laid eyes upon her."

A Feast for Crows - Cersei IX

Cersei plucked a string and smiled at the sound. "Sweet and sad as love. Tell me, Wat . . . the first time you took Margaery to bed, was that before she wed my son, or after?"

   

Edited by LynnS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The "flowers in her hair" is oddly reminiscent of Lyanna...

On the surface, Jenny's song is about Jenny of Oldstones, but scratch the surface on the one line we know about it and I'm pretty sure the song has to do with Harrenhal.

Edited by Widow's Watch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an interesting one, where Littlefinger is leading Ned down the secret path out of the Red Keep so he can meet with Catelyn at the brothel:

Ned studied the rocky face of the bluff for a moment, then followed more slowly. The niches were there, as Littlefinger had promised, shallow cuts that would be invisible from below, unless you knew just where to look for them. The river was a long, dizzying distance below. Ned kept his face pressed to the rock and tried not to look down any more often than he had to. (AGoT, Eddard IV)

This interests me because the "shallow cuts" sound like the many wounds Brandon inflicted on Petyr in their duel over Catelyn at Riverrun. The duel came to an end when Brandon stepped into the river and Petyr yielded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AGoT, Tyrion VI

Even Mord had scarcely believed it when Tyrion tossed him the leather purse. The gaoler's eyes had gone big as boiled eggs as he yanked open the drawstring and beheld the glint of gold. "I kept the silver," Tyrion had told him with a crooked smile, "but you were promised the gold, and there it is." It was more than a man like Mord could hope to earn in a lifetime of abusing prisoners. "And remember what I said, this is only a taste. If you ever grow tired of Lady Arryn's service, present yourself at Casterly Rock, and I'll pay you the rest of what I owe you." With golden dragons spilling out of both hands, Mord had fallen to his knees and promised that he would do just that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AGoT, Daenerys V

It had grown so silent in the hall that she could hear the bells in Khal Drogo's hair, chiming softly with each step he took. His bloodriders followed him, like three copper shadows. Daenerys had gone cold all over. "He says you shall have a splendid golden crown that men shall tremble to behold."
Viserys smiled and lowered his sword. That was the saddest thing, the thing that tore at her afterward … the way he smiled. "That was all I wanted," he said. "What was promised."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have another promise, from Brienne : 

Quote

She had spoken of Arya too, her younger daughter, but Arya was lost, most likely dead by now. Sansa, though . . . I will find her, my lady, Brienne swore to Lady Catelyn's restless shade. I will never stop looking. I will give up my life if need be, give up my honor, give up all my dreams, but I will find her. (Brienne II, AFFC)

I think she gave up her life during her fight against Biter :

Quote

Biter's mouth tore free, full of blood and flesh. He spat, grinned, and sank his pointed teeth into her flesh again. This time he chewed and swallowed. He is eating me, she realized, but she had no strength left to fight him any longer. She felt as if she were floating above herself, watching the horror as if it were happening to some other woman, to some stupid girl who thought she was a knight. It will be finished soon, she told herself. Then it will not matter if he eats me.

She gave up her honor when she accepted to trapp Jaime and bring him to LSH with a lie. 

We know her dreams during her near-death experience : dreams of love and marriage. I think this part will also be kept (mayhaps will she gain instead great renom as knightess ^^)

In constrast, she swore she would kill Stannis to avvenge Renly, but I have the feeling this promise is lost (perhaps, this promise is also a part of her dreams; or it represents her honor and Jaime's trap is the renouncement to her dreams)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Seams said:

AGoT, Daenerys V

It had grown so silent in the hall that she could hear the bells in Khal Drogo's hair, chiming softly with each step he took. His bloodriders followed him, like three copper shadows. Daenerys had gone cold all over. "He says you shall have a splendid golden crown that men shall tremble to behold."
Viserys smiled and lowered his sword. That was the saddest thing, the thing that tore at her afterward … the way he smiled. "That was all I wanted," he said. "What was promised."

This calls to mind two passages concerning the Ghost of High Heart:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys IV

The old knight hesitated. "Princess Elia was a good woman, Your Grace. She was kind and clever, with a gentle heart and a sweet wit. I know the prince was very fond of her."

Ser Barristan went on. "I saw your father and your mother wed as well. Forgive me, but there was no fondness

there, and the realm paid dearly for that, my queen."

"Why did they wed if they did not love each other?"

"Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line."

"A woods witch?" Dany was astonished.

"She came to court with Jenny of Oldstones. A stunted thing, grotesque to look upon. A dwarf, most people said, though dear to Lady Jenny, who always claimed that she was one of the children of the forest."

What became of her?"

Summerhall." The word was fraught with doom.

Rather than "the prince that was promised"; Barristan says "that the prince was promised."   Promised what?  In Viserys' case, he was promised a crown. 

The GoHH gives another reference to the sound of bells:

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Arya VIII

"I dreamt a wolf howling in the rain, but no one heard his grief," the dwarf woman was saying. "I dreamt such a clangor I thought my head might burst, drums and horns and pipes and screams, but the saddest sound was the little bells. I dreamt of a maid at a feast with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow." She turned her head sharply and smiled through the gloom, right at Arya. "You cannot hide from me, child. Come closer, now."

Cold fingers walked down Arya's neck. Fear cuts deeper than swords, she reminded herself. She stood and approached the fire warily, light on the balls of her feet, poised to flee.

This passage points to promises that were broken.  Viserys gold crown wasn't the crown he was promised.

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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