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  1. Thank you so much for this very special treat, LongRider! Anyone who's familiar with my General forum postings regarding Samwell knows I've never been a fan (meanwhile, I believe Samwell is one of Le Cygne's favorite characters and she's a huge fan of the Samwell/Gilly romance), however, I think you managed to hit the defrost button on my frozen heart :lol: . It's late where I am, but I have a lot I want to comment on after revisiting some of Samwell's POVs. I'll be back at a reasonable hour tomorrow (my time)!
  2. So she walks away and he follows her. They decide to split up to scout. He tells her, “If you need help, bark like a dog.” He is always aware of her and watching out for her, just like Day 1. Well, I guess he does take some advice from Hot Pie. I stand corrected. “That’s stupid. If I need help, I’ll shout help.” The dog bark, er, not a good idea, she thinks. “When she glanced back over her shoulder he was watching her with that pained look on his face that meant that he was thinking. He’s probably thinking that he shouldn’t be letting m’lady go stealing food. Arya just knew he was going to be stupid now.” So funny! And she is intrinsically, instinctively correct about him. Arya goes off and sees the corpses, she notes that something had been at them and there was tearing by the looks of it. Big Nyms and her minions….most likely. Then she sees men have taken a prisoner, and she sees the helm with horns. “You stupid stupid stupid STUPID! She thought. If he’d been here she would have kicked him again.” Funny, but I know I almost died when I read he was taken prisoner. So many had already been taken from her, she meets this nice kid and they become friends…. Sonofabitch….Can’t a Stark get cut a break once in awhile? Er, apparently not….or not yet anyway. As she watches, they take the bull helm off him, seem to ask him something, and then he gets smashed in the face with a spear butt, and gets knocked to the ground. He gets another kick while down and another guard tries on the helm. And you know that just about crossed the line with Arya….eh, Dunsen? Gendry then gets frogmarched to a storehouse and gets locked in with others. She keeps looking out and it registers that there are Lannister banners and it is their men. She see the golden lion and dogs…but she can’t place that sigil at the moment. But she will meet up with the at odds Clegan brothers both in the series. And then there is this: “It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was that they had Gendry.” WOLF….PACK…FOREVER! Out of all of the Arya/Gendry interactions, I think this is my absolute favorite, and, as usual, you did such an incredible job highlighting the subtext, humor, poignancy, and tragedy this particular chapter offers. I LOVE the "Wolf Pack Forever" comment. So awesome! Also, Gendry smiling at Arya when he tells her she knows he's no eunuch :smoking: . Too much! And too adorable even in the face of what they're about to encounter!
  3. I don't have anything to add, Booknerd2, but I do want to say that I've really enjoyed reading your essays and am looking forward to part 3. I'm astounded that you've found so much material with this particular couple and am impressed with how prolific you are. :bowdown: :)
  4. Oh my gosh! I love you, booknerd2! I only had time to skim, but will read more thoroughly tomorrow. I'm pretty sure you're the only forum member who can find so much Arya/Gendry material. You're amazing! Seriously, you blow my mind!
  5. Your comparison of Loras to Jaime is a good one. I also never really considered him ambitious and agree his focus is becoming a great knight and certainly don't find him haughty. Like Jaime thinks, he has a reckless and arrogant streak that comes with youth, talent, mixed in with some entitlement as a member of the nobility. The age difference between Edward II and Isabella is also a good point, however, according to primary sources, he greatly offended Isabella during the coronation feast by ignoring and lavishing all of his attention on Piers. So, even if consummation had to wait, Edward II failed to follow the etiquette expected of him, something Renly takes care not to do, as, according to Catelyn, he does take the time to feed her bites of food and occasionally kiss her. I like the Isabella/Cersei comparison, too. Also, there are similarities between Piers Gavenston and Elizabeth Woodville (and family members), in that they were both opportunnistic commoners who incensed the nobility with their haughtiness and greed. While it's largely assumed that Edward II and Piers were lovers, there are those who argue that Edward II and Piers shared a deep brotherly love. I do wonder if Loras encouraged Renly to take the throne because he believed he would be a great king and how much influence Mace had. I can see Loras mentioning and Mace thinking it would be a great opportunity to make Margaery a queen. Or if it was solely Renly's idea. Yet, since Renly and Loras were plotting to replace Cersei by making Margaery Robert's queen, it seems that the Tyrells had their eyes set on this one way or another.
  6. Edward II and Piers Gaveston: The Inspiration for Renly and Loras? A while back Ran mentioned in a forum post that GRRM said in an interview that Loras’ character was partly inspired by Piers Gaveston, King Edward II’s purported lover. I haven’t been able to find the interview (if someone finds it, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared), but it certainly makes sense as Loras’ character shares many of the same personality traits and talents as Piers Gaveston. In any event, I think it’s worth exploring the relationship between Piers Gaveston and King Edward II of England in comparison to Renly and Loras. Piers Gaveston, born around 1284 to a low-ranking Glascon lord, experienced a meteoric ascent. By his early teens, Piers, who managed to ingratiate himself to King Edward I, was a member of the English royal household. In 1300, King Edward I moved Piers to his son’s household, his son being the current Prince of Wales and the future King Edward II. Piers and the Prince of Wales, who were both sixteen years old at the time, took an immediately liking to each other and were inseparable. Prince Edward was said to be enamored with Piers’ wit, charisma, flamboyance, and knowledge of the art of war and military tactics. Even though Piers was originally considered an excellent example for Prince Edward by the king (upon joining the royal household, Piers impressed Edward I with his impeccable and virtuous behavior), Edward I, in a radical change of heart, eventually banished Piers to France in 1307 for being a bad influence on his son, as Gaveston was reputed to have little merit other than “the beauty of his person, the frivolous wit, the showy accomplishments, and the superficial cleverness which had conquered the affections of the young Edward”. However, the real reason is more likely that Edward I was upset that the relationship between his son and Piers had developed into something far more than platonic companionship. Piers also infuriated Edward I when he, along with twenty-one other knights, deserted the English army during a campaign in Scotland to attend a tourney in France. Edward I declared them all traitors, forfeited their estates, and demanded their arrests. Piers asked Prince Edward to intervene on their behalf and Prince Edward was able to convince his stepmother, Queen Margaret, to plead with Edward I to show leniency. The king acquiesced, but his attitude toward Piers remained chilly, especially when he found out that Prince Edward did something unthinkable for his station—he swore an oath to be Piers’ brother-in-arms. This oath included the sharing of all of their possessions, which also meant that Piers, a commoner, could one day share the government of England. Prince Edward further infuriated his father by granting Piers the County of Ponthieu. Treasurer William Langton very reluctantly delivered this message to Edward I: “My lord King, I am sent on behalf of my lord the prince, your son, though as God lives, unwillingly, to seek in his name your license to promote his knight Piers Gaveston to the rank of the Count of Ponthieu." Edward I angrily responded, "Who are you who dares to ask such things? As God lives, if not for the fear of the Lord, and because you said at the outset that you undertook this business unwillingly, you would not escape my hands!" Prince Edward was then summoned by the king to answer for this absurd and offensive request. The prince told his father that he merely wanted him to grant the County of Ponthieu to Piers. At that point, Edward I flew into a rage and not only verbally berated his son, threatening his inheritance, but grabbed the prince by the head and tore out handfuls of hair and then threw him to the floor and kicked him until exhausted. After meeting with the Lords who had gathered for the Parliament of Carlisle, the king announced Piers Gaveston’s banishment. However, this appears to be more of a punishment for the prince than Piers himself, as Piers was granted a generous pension. In addition to exile, Edward I made the prince and Piers promise never to see each other again without his permission. Piers’ exile did not last long, as King Edward I died shortly thereafter and Edward II immediately recalled Piers in 1308. Edward II bestowed upon Gaveston the earldom of Cornwall, a title previously reserved for royalty and was intended to go to Edward I’s second son. This act of raising a commoner to such heights enraged the nobility, a rage Edward II further fueled by arranging an incredibly advantageous marriage for Gaveston—to Edward’s own niece, Margaret de Clare, also sister to the immensely powerful Earl of Gloucester. This marriage elevated Gaveston to the highest levels of English nobility. Gaveston, referred to as “The Favorite,” made no effort to ingratiate himself to the members of the nobility, and, quite to the contrary, provoked them with his haughty behavior. The marriage offered the excuse for a series of feasts and hunts followed by a tournament. In this tournament, Piers handed prominent nobles an embarrassing defeat. It was reported that Gaveston, an excellent jouster, humiliated the earls of Warenne, Hereford, and Arundel, and was hardly humble about his victory. Adding insult to injury, when Edward II left England to marry Isabelle, Princess of France, he appointed Gaveston as regent in his stead. Since regents are typically close members of the family, this decision only intensified the nobility’s exasperation and rage, especially since the already arrogant Piers ramped up his outlandish and disrespectful behavior: Gaveston was accused of doing little other than “take a proud attitude to those who came before him.” Peirs’ arrogant behavior continued even after Edward’s return. Edward II, apparently oblivious to the political climate (or he simply just didn’t care) committed an unforgivable faux pas--during the coronation feast he ignored his new wife, focusing all of his attention on Gaveston. King Philip IV of France, insulted by the treatment of his daughter, supported the English nobility’s demands that Gaveston be sent back into exile, a demand Edward II could not refuse. The Archbishop of Canterbury also threatened Gaveston with excommunication if he returned. Gaveston also lost the earldom of Cornwall, a contingent of the exile, but Edward II found other ways to restore prestige and wealth to Gaveston. He conferred upon Gaveston land worth 3,000 marks annually in Gascony, which equaled the same value to lands lost in England. Gaveston was also appointed the king’s Lieutenant of Ireland. This decision of Edward II has been interpreted as restoring Gaveston’s honor, which was besmirched when he was ordered into exile. Edward II was devastated after Gaveston went into exile in Ireland. He supposedly took his entire household to bid Gaveston adieu, and pined and sulked during Gaveston’s absence. He even involved himself in trite legal matters, such as punishing trespassers on Gaveston’s property on the Isle of Wight. Edward II managed to bring Gaveston back from exile in 1309, and Gaveston resumed his prestigious role at court as Edward II’s principal advisor and controller of royal patronage. Gaveston also allegedly continued to behave as arrogantly as ever and bestowed unflattering nicknames upon prominent leaders, making no secret about it: the implacable Earl of Warwick was ‘the Black Dog of Arden’, Earl of Pembroke was ‘Joseph the Jew’, and the highly regarded Earl of Lincoln was ‘Burst Belly’. According to the Vita, in this year Edward II and Piers spent Christmas together “making up for former absence by their long wished-for session of daily and intimate conversation.” On September 7, 1310, Edward II pardoned Piers for the death of Thomas de Walkyngham of Yorkshire, but no other details are available, so it is not certain why this man was killed. Edward II also pardoned Piers for “all other felonies and trespasses with which he has been charged," but what those charges are also remain a mystery. The buildup of resentment among the great lords continued and soon boiled over, resulting in the appointment of the Lord Ordainers—a committee of 21 earls, barons, and bishops who drew up rules for royal household and realm management. In 1311, the Ordainers demanded that Gaveston again be sent into exile, but this time permanently. Edward II, in an attempt to save Gaveston from exile, told the Ordainers that he would agree to any restriction on his authority if Gaveston could stay. The Ordainers remained resolute and demanded that Gaveston be exiled. A devastated Edward II had no choice but to obey. However, he brought Gaveston back from exile within a few months, declaring the exile illegal and restored all of Gaveston’s confiscated possessions. This violation nearly led to a civil war. Edward II fled with Gaveston from Newcastle to Scarborough with the Earl of Lancaster in pursuit. Edward II left Gaveston in Scarborough and then went to York. Gaveston was forced to surrender after the earls of Pembroke and Warwick besieged him. Pembroke, promising Gaveston’s safety, took him to Deddington. The next day Warwick captured Gaveston and took him to Warwick where Gaveston was paraded past a jeering crowd and placed in a dungeon, all to the dismay of Pembroke, who felt his honor was tarnished since he guaranteed Gaveston’s well-being. Lancaster and Warwick, after a mockery of a trial, decided that Gaveston must die and ran him through with a sword before decapitating him. His body was left on Blacklow Hill to rot, but was later brought to the Dominican frairy at King’s Langley in Hertfordshire for embalming and burial. In 1823, a monument, with the inscription “the Minion of a hateful King beheaded by Barons as lawless as himself” was erected on Blacklow Hill where Gaveston was believed to be executed. Edward II was devastated by Gaveston’s death. Initially reacting with rage and then cold fury, the king was hell bent on revenge and ten years after Piers’ death, Edward II had the Earl of Lancaster killed. Edward II’s relationship with Piers Gaveston not only incurred the enmity of the nobility, but the queen consort, as well. Edward II openly favored the company of Gaveston over Queen Isabella, causing discord in their marriage very early on. This discord apparently intensified over time, since Isabella took a lover, Roger Mortimer. Together, they plotted to overthrow Edward II in favor of Edward II and Isabella’s son, a plot she followed through on, resulting in Edward II”s murder. Loras, similar to Piers Gaveston, is extremely arrogant, as noted numerous times by Tyrion, Jaime, and Cersei. He is also a renowned tourney knight, but really doesn’t cross a line over to haughty, provocative, and disrespectful, as Piers Gaveston was often accused of behaving. To the contrary, his character is often gallant, as he was when participating in the Hand’s Tourney when giving the ladies roses, and when escorting Sansa to supper with his sister and grandmother (before Sansa mentioned Renly). Of course, considering his reputation for pomp and ceremony and his ability to ingratiate himself to Edward I, Piers also most certainly knew how to behave gallantly. Clearly, Loras himself was playing a role when making the ladies swoon with roses and sweet words, as evidenced by Sansa’s reaction. But there’s the issue of resorting to “trickery” during the Hand’s Tourney by riding a mare in heat against Gregor’s ill-tempered stallion, making Loras appear dishonorable. Gregor’s reaction to losing is also somewhat similar to the reaction of the earls of Warrene, Hereford, and Arundel when Piers’ team defeated them in a tournament. They were reported to be humiliated and resentful, and carried a grudge against Piers. Comparing the relationships, or at least specific events, between Edward II/Piers and Renly/Loras, some key incidents really stand out. For one, Edward II ignoring his new wife during the coronation feast is redolent of Cat’s thoughts about Renly ignoring Margaery while focusing most of his attention on Loras. Two, Piers abandoning a military campaign so he can participate in a tourney is very similar to Cat’s dismay that Renly (and, by association, Loras) are actually “playing at war” rather than fighting an actual war. And Edward II and Piers fleeing Newcastle just as the country is on the brink of civil war is evocative of Renly and Loras fleeing King’s Landing immediately after Robert’s death and Renly’s unsuccessful attempt to convince Ned to arrest Cersei and take custody of her children. On an emotional level, the relationships are often inverted, with Edward II’s grief over Piers’ banishments and death paralleling Loras’ grief when Renly dies. It’s impossible to determine if Piers was just an opportunist, or if he really was in love with Edward II, yet, Loras’ devotion to Renly and his devastation when Renly dies is evidence that he truly loved Renly. This doesn’t negate that the Tyrells are ambitious and opportunistic. But their ambitions don’t undermine or diminish Loras’ love for Renly. There also is no way of knowing if Pier’s was simply using Edward II for his own gain. Most primary sources we have in this matter are biased propaganda used to disparage an unpopular king. Edward II’s moods indicate his feelings were genuine, but I know of no account of Piers’ emotions when he was forcibly separated from Edward II. Another similarity is Margaery’s bethrothal to Renly—Loras’ own sister marries his lover. This union elevates the Tyrells a great deal—Margaery is a queen. Edward II marries his lover to his niece, securing an incredibly advantageous position for Piers, elevating him to one of the highest stations possible. While Edward II was very much the legitimate heir to the English throne, Renly was a usurper. However, Edward II was largely considered an inept king and those who knew Renly doubted his ability to rule. Maester Cressen: Stannis: Olenna Redwyne: Donal Noye: Jaime’s thoughts when Loras’ asserts that Renly was “the king that should have been. He was the best of them”: It can be argued that Edward II’s infatuation for Piers made him a reckless king, blinding him to the growing resentment of the powerful nobility. The same could be said of Renly in a sense. Did Renly usurp Stannis’ crown at Loras’ behest? As just mentioned, the Tyrells are certainly interested in climbing the social and political ladder. While this can be interpreted as a reckless move that sealed Renly’s grim fate, Renly did have the support of the Tyrells and many other powerful families, such as the Tarlys, and was popular with the people. Edward II was not only loathed by the nobility, but he wasn’t well regarded by his own father and his wife who rebelled against him. <insert a proper conclusion eventually> Sources http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/50215-book-spoilers-renly-and-loras/?p=2886944 http://www.britainexpress.com/History/Edward-II-and-Piers-Gaveston.html http://www.geni.com/people/Piers-de-Gaveston/6000000004838088326 http://www.geni.com/people/Piers-de-Gaveston/6000000004838088326 http://edwardthesecond.blogspot.com/2009/02/nineteen-things-you-never-knew-about.html
  7. Thanks! That sounds right up my alley and I'll check it out. Ah, wait--I just noticed that it's in my sources cited for the Edward II/Piers essay. But I'll check it out more thoroughly later. I'm kind of under the impression that Renly would have treat Margaery well and do nothing to overtly humiliate her, but still intended to keep Loras close. Good question about arranging an advantageous marriage for Loras. Considering how ambitious the Tyrells are, I could see them pressing this issue themselves. Were the members of Renly's Kingsguard expected to take a vow of chastity?
  8. Thanks, Kyoshi and SeanF. SeanF, it's interesting that you mention Edward and Piers just now because I'm literally just finishing an essay comparing the two couples. I hope to have it up by the end of the weekend. I do believe GRRM said Piers Gaveston is partly the inspiration for Loras. After I finish the essay, we'll move on to Dany and Daario. :love:
  9. Yay! Another Arya/Gendry essay by booknerd2! I had completely forgotten Arya shared the rabbit leg with Gendry. So sweet and touching. I also really like how you include Gendry as someone who is significant to Arya's identity, just as Needle and Nymeria are, therefore will be reunited with her in the future. There's been so much emphasis on all three, so I will be very surprised and disappointed if she and Gendry don't cross paths again. And considering Gendry is at the inn with LS, it seems very likely that their story isn't over. Thanks for sharing this, Ygrain. I had never heard of this Hindu tale before and really enjoyed reading teej6's post. The theory that Rhaegar would stage Lyanna's kidnapping to protect her honor, as well as her family's, seems very probable. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced. :)
  10. Thank you for the correction! :blushing: The analysis has been updated, as well as the scene-by-scene (Renly's porn stash and Oberyn's "little rose" comment have been added). And a thanks to you and LongRider for the kind comments. I hope to have a Renly/Loras essay posted fairly soon.
  11. Renly/Loras Analysis The relationship between Renly and Loras is one of my personal favorites. Based on mutual respect, genuine affection and passion, and common interests and goals between two consenting adults, their love story lacks the controversy and tumult that characterize many of the other romances: romances that often result in heartbreak and with grave consequences. If Renly wasn't murdered so young, these two could very likely have happily grown old together, joyfully sharing their twilight years. It's possible that a less-than-careful reader may miss that Renly and Loras are in a romantic relationship since most of the references are nuanced and rooted in subtext. To quell any doubt that Renly and Loras were in a same-sex relationship, the following quotes refer to Renly's homosexuality, two of which link him to Loras: Stannis: "In your bed she's like to die that way": referring to Renly’s boast that Margaery, his bride, came to him a virgin. What other reason would there be for Stannis to make such a quip, especially someone who wouldn’t bother with gossip and rumors? Oberyn: "There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was," said Tyrion. "Renly's little rose? I doubt that." (ASoS, Tyrion V, Ch. 38) Oberyn’s comment clearly suggests that Renly’s feelings for Loras are more than platonic. Jaime: “I am the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, you arrogant pup. Your commander, so long as you wear that white cloak. Now sheath your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place Renly never found.” Clearly a crass and homophobic reference to sodomy. This is not something someone would typically say to a woman who has a male lover since heterosexual relationships are institutionalized. Catelyn’s observation that Renly paid more attention to Loras than Margaery also hints that there’s something more than just a friendship between the two: “It was Ser Loras who shared most of his [Renly’s] jests and confidences." This is further reinforced when Renly invites Loras to pray with him after dismissing everyone else. The “It’s been so long, I’ve quite forgotten how” remark implies it’s been a while since Renly and Loras have had an opportunity to be intimate. Loras, when speaking to Jaime, pauses and catches himself when recounting his last moments with Renly--“We had…prayed together that night.”—the pause strongly suggesting that Renly and Loras were hardly “praying,” but spending some much needed quality time with one another. It's clear that Loras truly believes in Renly and provides him with both emotional and martial support, as demonstrated by bringing the Tyrell bannermen to rally for Renly's cause and his comments to Jaime about Renly being the “best of them”: Renly returns this support by awarding Loras the van, calling him the “greatest knight” probably much to the chagrin of seasoned battle commanders like Randyll Tarly. Renly also usually entrusts Loras to don his armor, once a responsibility of his as Renly’s squire, but a tradition that he continues even as a renowned knight. Loras speaks of this with a sense of honor and pride tinged with intimacy. He responds similarly to Cersei when she asks if he was Renly’s squire: “I held that honor.” Worth noting is how unashamed Loras is when discussing Renly, even when others are attempting to shame him, which only further proves his devotion to Renly, as well as the confidence he has in himself. Loras’ reaction to Renly’s death also illustrates that their relationship was much more than just a casual fling. The profound grief Loras' feels when Renly is murdered is evidence of someone who was in a deep, passionate, and loving relationship. The horrendous crime Loras commits when he slays Emmon and Robar is an act of a devastated lover experiencing a paroxysm of extreme anguish. The sense of love and commitment Loras felt for Renly is again emphasized when Loras tells Jaime he buried Renly with his own two hands in a special place that only they shared, a place no one can find and disturb Renly’s rest, which certainly speaks to more than just a friendship. It's also through Loras that the readers learn how Renly and Loras met. Loras was Renly's page and squire at the Stormlands. While this relationship is largely without controversy, some have criticized the age difference, since Loras would have been quite young as a squire, but they are both very close in age—Renly only four years older. Yet there’s no indication as to when they developed romantic feelings for one another, or acted upon them. The elusiveness to the beginning of their romance could possibly be interpreted as the author intentionally thwarting judgment from the readers, since homosexuality throughout much of the modern world is still condemned. This is a beautifully written romance that deserves appreciation. GRRM uses both nuance and poetic language to illustrate this relationship. Loras is always proud and poignantly sorrowful when discussing or hearing about Renly, feelings he does not disguise, as evidenced by his reaction when Sansa mentions Renly’s death, Tyrion asks about his decision to join the Kingsguard (“when the sun has set, no candle can replace it”), and when discussing Renly with Jaime. While the Starks and the realm at large seem to be in the dark about Renly’s and Loras’ sexual preferences and relationship, it does seem fairly well known, as evidenced by comments made by Jaime, Stannis, Oberyn, and Chiswyck (who could not possibly have been close to Renly or Loras but refers to Loras as the Knight o’Pansies). Cersei also thinks that she doesn’t want Tommen to be around “that kind of man” because he’s a bad influence, but this seems more a rationalization since her real fear is the Tyrell’s exerting their power over Tommen. She later muses that Loras lusts for glory the way real men lust for women. (AFfC, Cersei VII, Ch. 32) However, even though the remarks and thoughts can and should be criticized as homophobic and derisive, the relationship between the two doesn’t really seem to be treated as scandalous. Even though Jaime threatens Loras with a violent act, using an unkind and crass reference to his relationship with Renly, Jaime has no qualms about Loras’ Kingsguard membership. He even compares himself to Loras, realizing he was very much like him when he was young: ASoS, Jaime VIII, Ch. 67 Jaime also admires Loras’ riding and jousting skills as a group of knights practice jousting, and also thinks that Loras has the potential to be truly great: AFfC, Jaime II, Ch. 16 AFfC, Jaime I, Ch. 8 Jaime’s attitude is quite a contrast to modern-day United States where homosexual men are still shunned from participating in pro sports and the military and their “coming out” really is considered scandalous and a threat by certain political parties and religious groups, as well as many heterosexual athletes and soldiers, unfortunately. Not only is Jaime quite comfortable with Loras as a member of the Kingsguard, there are clues that Loras’ family not only knows, revealed when Garlan tells Sansa that Tyrion would make a better husband than Loras, but is much loved and held in high regard by his family ("Loras is valiant and handsome and we all love him dearly...but your Imp will make a better husband." ASoS, Sansa III, Ch. 28). Regardless of his homosexuality, he’s considered Mace Tyrell’s favorite son and the entire family and their bannermen throw their lot in with Renly. Margaery clearly adores Loras, and he joins the Kingsguard not only because he wants to take a vow of chastity and remain faithful to the memory of Renly, as revealed when he tells Tyrion “when the sun sets, no candle can replace it,” but to protect Margaery. Margaery is aghast when Loras volunteers to go to Dragonstone, and then beside herself when he’s reported injured. It’s also quite possible that, in addition to consolidating power and making Margaery a queen, Margaery’s marriage to Renly also offered Renly and Loras the ability to remain in close proximity to one another, something Margaery could very likely have accepted and condoned. If Stannis is aware of Renly’s sexual orientation, it’s also quite possible the womanizing Robert knew as well, but didn’t appear bothered by it. Not only did Robert make Renly Lord of Storm’s End, a decision that angered Stannis since Storm’s End is richer than Dragonstone, giving Renly more power than him, but Renly also served as Master of Laws on the small council without controversy and enjoyed hunting trips with Robert. Renly and Loras’ relationship probably parallels Asha and Qarl the Maid’s relationship more closely than any other relationship examined in this project. Both couples are close in age, very much in love, seemingly have been in a committed relationship for at least several years, and are extremely supportive of one another. Yet, neither couple can marry. Qarl’s lowborn status makes it impossible for Asha to marry him if she wants to claim the Seastone Chair, and while most might turn a blind eye to Renly and Loras’ amorous activities, they certainly cannot marry regardless of their shared highborn status. A king has to reproduce, after all. And as uncontroversial as these relationships are to the modern reader, actually, because of how uncontroversial and socially acceptable these relationships are, it’s interesting to note that GRRM decides to depict the most stable and uncontroversial relationships between a homosexual couple and a woman in a position of authority and power in a misogynistic and patriarchal society with a lowborn man who supports her claim. Even Ned and Catelyn had to come to love each other after marriage, and Jon Snow was always a source of tension. What does this say about GRRM? The entire political landscape of Westeros suggests that the current patriarchal and monarchal society is unsustainable and destructive. Could the relationship between Renly/Loras and Asha/Qarl be interpreted as a declaration that regardless of status, gender, and sexual orientation, in the most functional, stable, and progressive societies, consenting adults are able to choose whom they can love and marry and are entitled to the same privileges and protection as everyone else? In the world of Westeros, love can often be dangerous and tragic, however, in the case of Renly and Loras, even though they attempt to keep their relationship clandestine, their relationship doesn’t result in a tragic ending. Yes, Renly meets a terrible and early grave, leaving Loras devastated, but Renly’s demise wasn’t related to his love for Loras. As much as I enjoy and appreciate all of the romances in ASoIaF, I find this particular relationship a refreshing divergence from the romantic tragedies and stories of unrequited love. More Renly/Loras to come…
  12. Because it isn't even remotely romantic.
  13. Thanks! I'll add that and a couple of other things I missed later on today.
  14. Yep, after we finish the first ten, we'll move on to other romances, including Ned and Cat.
  15. Renly/Loras Scene-by-Scene Game of Thrones Both Renly and Loras are introduced to readers in Sansa's POVs. In Sansa I, Chapter 15, Sansa meets Renly when he and Ser Barristan Selmy ride out to join Robert's procession, which is now returning to King's Landing from Winterfell. Sansa thinks Renly is the handsomest man she's ever seen: In Sansa II, Chapter 29, Sansa is entranced by Loras when she first sees him at the Hand's Tourney: Eddard VII, Chapter 31 Renly and Loras both compete in the Hand's Tourney. Renly performs well, but is ultimately defeated by the Hound. Loras, after also performing well, competes against Gregor, unseating him after Gregor's horse rears and bucks him off. After an ill-tempered Gregor attacks Loras for unseating him, Renly appears amused when Littlefinger suggests Loras rode a mare in heat to agitate Gregor's stallion: "There is small honor in tricks," the man [ser Barristan] said stiffly. "Small honor and twenty thousand golds," Renly smiled. Earlier, in Eddard V, Chapter 25, Ned wonders what to make of Renly, recalling when Renly approached him with a picture of Margaery, asking if she bore any resemblance to Lyanna Stark. Eddard XIII, chapter 47 After Eddard leaves a dying Robert, Renly approaches him and tells him he can provide him with a hundred swords so he can strike against the Lannisters, advising him to take Joffrey into custody, as well as Tommen and Myrcella, in a move that will declaw Cersei Lannister and strengthen Eddard's hold over the kingdom. Eddard refuses. After Robert's death, Eddard finds out from Varys that Renly left the city with Loras. A Clash of Kings Catelyn II, Chapter 22 Catelyn rides to Renly's camp to treat with him. After a melee and their initial meeting, Catelyn and her men dine with Renly and his bannermen. Catelyn notices Renly occasionally feeding Margaery food from his dagger and kissing her lightly on the cheek, yet "it was Ser Loras who shared most of his jests and confidences." Catelyn III, Chapter 31 During a parlay between Stannis and Renly, Stannis tells Renly that his wedding to Margaery was a mummer's farce. Renly admits that he schemed to make Margaery Robert's queen only a year ago, but is happy to have her as his queen. He tells Stannis she came to him a maid, to which Stannis replies, "In your bed she's like to die that way." After the parlay, Renly wonders where he can get a sword like Stannis' but then says Loras will make him a gift of it after the battle. Later Renly silences arguments as to who will lead the van, informing them that Loras will have that honor. Renly then dismisses everyone except for Loras, whom he wants to stay with him to pray: "Loras, stay and help me pray. It's been so long I've quite forgotten how." Tyrion VIII, Chapter 36 Varys reports the news of Renly’s death to Cersei and Tyrion, informing them that Loras, in a mad rage, slew three members of the Rainbow Guard, including Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce, for not protecting Renly. A Storm of Swords Sansa I, Chapter 6 Loras appears at the threshold of Sansa’s room to escort her to supper with Lady Olenna and Margaery. After engaging in polite small talk, Sansa recalls the time Loras presented her with a red rose at the Hand’s tourney, reminding him that it was right after Loras unseated Robar Royce. Loras then confirms that he did slay Robar, but with a tone of sadness. Sansa mentions Renly’s death and Loras becomes agitated and withdrawn. Tyrion II, Chapter 12 Tyrion, while seeking out Varys, runs into Loras who is standing guard on the drawbridge to the Red Keep. Tyrion thinks it’s strange to see Loras in all white when he had always dressed so colorfully. Tyrion asks Loras how old he is, to which Loras responds “seventeen.” Tyrion inquires why Loras would choose to join the Kingsguard. Tyrion V, Chapter 38 Tyrion discusses the Tyrells with Oberyn Martell, specifically Oberyn's joust with Willas. Tyrion warns Oberyn that Loras has the potential to be as great as Leo Longthorn. Oberyn dismisses Tyrion by referring to Loras as Renly's little rose: Jaime VII, Chapter 62 Just as Jaime makes his return to King’s Landing with Brienne in tow, they cross paths with Loras. When Loras sees Brienne, he is enraged and accuses her of murdering Renly, demanding that she draw her sword: “You have no honor. Draw your sword. I won’t have it said that I slew you while your hand was empty.” As Loras continues to threaten and insult Brienne, Jaime steps in: Jaime VIII, Chapter 67 Jaime meets with the members of the Kingsguard. After verbally sparring with Loras, Jaime gets Loras to admit that his brother Garlan wore Renly’s armor during the Battle of the Blackwater. Jaime then asks what Loras did with Renly’s body. Loras continues to insist that Brienne is guilty and demands justice. Jaime defends Brienne, telling Loras that Brienne grieves Renly’s death just as much as Loras, but Loras continues to press the case: Jaime convinces Loras to question Brienne himself and to judge her fairly. Loras then tells Jaime that Renly thought Brienne was absurd and grotesque, but allowed her to serve in the Rainbow Guard because all she wanted was to die for him. Loras also thinks about Robar and Emmon with regret and remorse, his act far more horrific and egregious if Brienne was indeed telling the truth about a shadow. Jaime reflects “The Knight of Flowers had been so mad with grief for Renly that he had cut down two of his own Sworn Brothers, but it had never occurred to him to do the same with the five who had failed Joffrey.” Jaime XIV, Chapter 72 Loras determines that Brienne is innocent of Renly’s death and considers the possibility of Stannis’ involvement. A Feast for Crows Jaime II, Chapter 16 Loras approaches Jaime while he's looking through the White Book in the White Sword Tower. Jaime comments on the history of "every man who has ever worn a white cloak..." and Loras responds with: Cersei V, Chapter 24 Much to Cersei’s dismay and anger, Ser Loras is teaching Tommen how to joust. Cersei pulls Loras aside to tell him it’s inappropriate for him to train Tommen, as that’s the responsibility of the master-at-arms. Loras points out that the Red Keep hasn’t had a master-at-arms since Aron Santagar was slain.