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yolkboy

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    fried by r'hllor

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  1. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    test test
  2. Thanks Le Cynge, I hope we represented the project well and we very much enjoyed the process. Glad you liked the nod to you via Saint Saens. ;) DogLover was a joy to work with, and her thoughts on Jon/Ygritte and Romance were illuminating. We've had very good feedback from listeners. Thanks so much to both of you! :cheers: Congrats to all of you for delving into one of the most under-appreciated aspects of grrm's writing. Keep it up!
  3. Hey Rethinking Romance, pleased to say that special guest on Radio Westeros for this episode is DogLover, representing this project. The episode is on Jon, and in the discussion on his romantic side, DogLover joins us and talks us through the romance with Ygritte. Afterwards we discuss this project in some detail. Hope you enjoy DogLover's contribution and the interview! Thanks to DogLover & Le Cygne for helping with this collaboration, and we're very happy we got to showcase Rethinking Romance. Keep up the great work everyone! (And to listen, click the sig)
  4. Hello Rethinking Romancers - just to let you know that resident Rhaegar/Lyanna expert - Ygrain - is our guest in the current episode of Radio Westeros. Given she wrote the Rhaegar/Lyanna piece for this project, we thought you might be interested to hear her talk about her favorite subject. We're also excited to announce that Rethinking Romance will be featured in our next episode - and Doglover will be joining us! She will talk us through a certain romantic pairing and then discuss this project. :D Listen to Radio Westeros via my sig.
  5. yolkboy

    Board Issues 4

    Me too.
  6. Here's a screenshot guide to the poisoning in S4E2, some clues you might have missed... Poisoning of Joffrey in screenshots
  7. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    Quaithe = Rhaella Targaryen Thought this since i first read Storm. Suck it ;) - yolkboy, 22.Feb.'15
  8. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    QUAITHE = RHAELLA
  9. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    Jon's insinuating that the colour of the trees corresponds to them being part of the fabric of man & beast. Although, there could be a further level to the frequent personification. Weirwoods have a colour scheme - red & white - red eyes/mouth, a "head of dark red leaves" & white 'skin'. This is reminiscent of Melisandre, essentially an albino with dark red hair. Some of the descriptions used are very similar, so perhaps there is a purposeful link, eg. (skin) "smooth and white, pale" / "smooth trunks were bone white". The leaves are described as "bloodred". This word is used only three times; weirwoods, Mel and the red star - connected by an unusual descriptive. . Jon thinks Ghost looks "like a heart tree", so with her smooth skin and dark red hair, Mel must look considerably more alike. They also share certain themes - I'll post in-thread. So if there's parallels that might be purposeful, what clue could it give us? If Mel has similarities with weirwoods, there's one thing they do that she yet hasn't. They cry tears of sap - likened to blood. They weep blood. Bleeding. Mel's blood might be an active, essential ingredient for AA's rebirth. When she bleeds in aDwD, it's 'down her thigh', corrupt black smoking blood from a place of terrible magic and shadowbabies. Somehow it doesn't seem fitting for the heralding of Azor Ahai's second coming. There could be another way the red star bleeds. If we're looking for a way - given there seems to be a weirwood connection - crying blood is a candidate. So, seeing if Mel & 'weeping blood' are linked in the text is the next step... This is Mel thinking she's seeing the eyes of nine rangers here, a vision she has "many times". Attention is brought to her eyes shining, as she sees blood weep from nine pale faces. Also, it might not be rangers she's seeing in her flames. Given Mel's interpretations are often wrong, it might be the nine sets of eyes from the weirwood grove close to the Wall... Notice the Mel-associated ruby simile for the crusted sap around the eyes - dried ruby tears. More than anyone else Mel is her ruby. If Grrm sometimes wants to link Mel to weeping blood indirectly, he might use rubies as a 'flag' to remind us of her, like we see with Jon and blue roses. We then have Qorin Halfhand's bloody 'red tears'. Again, a Mel indicative ruby simile is used. Cersei's dress. Weeping blood and rubies, yet again. Either by a mention of her eyes or representation by rubies, there's a strong connection between weeping blood & Mel. If Mel is the red star bleeding & we're considering tears of blood, it's interesting that the only human feature ever to be described as red star/s - are Mel's eyes (and what do red stars do?). This might explain the switch from singular 'star' to plural in the varying prophesies. The red star bleeding = Mel, the red stars bleeding = her eyes. We see "red stars" on a sword pommel, that happen to be described as "ruby eyes". So, with all the links between Mel and weeping blood - often via rubies - the red star's eyes could cry red tears, like the weirwoods she resembles. It's worth noting - the only time Mel is described as "weeping" in the books - is in the same paragraph as when she spontaneously bleeds. These two things were put side by side in the text for a reason - Mel weeping blood is possible. Red Blood One problem with this idea is that the blood we saw from Mel's womb was black - the above links Mel to red tears. Again, Mel's association with weirwoods points to a clue... Here we see weirwood leaves - bloodred and healthy on top, black with rot beneath. This is linked to Mel not just through the weirwood or the ruby, but through the word 'bloodred'. 'Bloodred' is in the text only once more, again as a device to connect Mel to something indirectly (the red star). It's the first colour used to describe her, and in the context of discussing the red star bleeding, bloodred is already a curious term.The leaves are further linked to Mel via 'black rot', and her memorable line to Davos about the onion, which shared the same theme of semi-decay... Perhaps the insinuation is that Mel is like the fallen weirwood leaves, and the onion she talks against - half corrupted. If she's black with dark magic rot beneath, but bloodred on top, like the leaves, the red star could bleed healthy red tears of King's blood - to wake the dragon. The fact that Mel seems to repeatedly be seeing visions of the nine sets of bleeding eyes from the weirwood grove where Jon took his vows, might be a clue as to the possible location of this event. Which also happens to be where the half rotten-half healthy leaves were seen. Grrm using representations by weirwoods, rubies and standout words to give us clues about Mel's secrets, is again reminiscent of methods used for Jon's - meaning what's hidden away is likely very important. S+B=M If Shiera+Bloodraven=Mel, she has King's blood, Valyrian, Andal & Essosi blood, blood of the first men / children o-t-f and blood touched by R'hllor. Could her blood perhaps be symbolic, significant, or even magical? The red star's blood might be an active part in Azor Ahai's rebirth, rather than something merely coinciding, it takes King's blood to wake the dragon. If she needs a cue to cry her blood, she might find herself surrounded by a circle of weirwood eyes, showing her the way. Bran might have a role in this, if he got upset at something like seeing Jon's body - "if I cry, will the tree begin to weep?", he wonders whilst looking out from a weirwood. If Bloodraven shows up in a raven and squawks "blood", as he does when she is mentioned, and with Bran weeping into the weirwoods, these could be the triggers that make the red star bleed. One final thought. If Mel crying blood to rebirth Azor Ahai is the most important event in the planet's history - could the anchient prophetic wise men of the children otf have foreseen this? Did they initially start carving bleeding eyes into the red and white trees to 'keep watch', or were they trying to make them look like someone from a critical moment envisioned with greensight, perhaps in religious ceremony? Does Mel resemble weirwoods, or is it the other way around? Thanks! ;) Jon briefly compares Mel's eyes with the weirwoods. This is the only time a human character is compared to a weirwood - so it puts something in our sub-conscience. Then Jon decides Ghosts eyes look like the trees', and Mels don't - so he immediately puts us off the idea. Making us think about Ghosts eyes, is misdirection. The trees' red and white colour scheme that Jon mentions, is of course more similar to Mel than Ghost. It's not until aDwD that the next piece of the puzzle is laid out... Jon decides Ghosts eyes look like Mels', but only "in a certain light". Ergo, 'in a certain light' Mel's eyes do infact, look like the weirwoods. You can see in the first quote, it was getting dark. In the clear light of day, Mel's eyes and the weirwoods probably look very alike - remembering hers are described as 'unearthly'. The underlined part seems to be a reference to to the first quote, to link them further. If you look at how the passage is written, Grrm uses standout descriptions and similar wording to purposely link these two together. This was a sort-of puzzle, and a subtle round-about way of letting the reader know, Mel's eyes look very similar to weirwoods eyes - giving further weight to the idea that she might bleed in the same way. The fact he's tried to hide and disguise these parallels from the reader emphasise one thing - that this is important. Jon's insinuating that the colour of the trees corresponds to them being part of the fabric of man & beast. Although, there could be a further level to the frequent personification. Weirwoods have a colour scheme - red & white - red eyes/mouth, a "head of dark red leaves" & white 'skin'. This is reminiscent of Melisandre, essentially an albino with dark red hair. Some of the descriptions used are very similar, so perhaps there is a purposeful link, eg. (skin) "smooth and white, pale" / "smooth trunks were bone white". The leaves are described as "bloodred". This word is used only three times; weirwoods, Mel and the red star - connected by an unusual descriptive. . Jon thinks Ghost looks "like a heart tree", so with her smooth skin and dark red hair, Mel must look considerably more alike. They also share certain themes - I'll post in-thread. So if there's parallels that might be purposeful, what clue could it give us? If Mel has similarities with weirwoods, there's one thing they do that she yet hasn't. They cry tears of sap - likened to blood. They weep blood. Bleeding. Mel's blood might be an active, essential ingredient for AA's rebirth. When she bleeds in aDwD, it's 'down her thigh', corrupt black smoking blood from a place of terrible magic and shadowbabies. Somehow it doesn't seem fitting for the heralding of Azor Ahai's second coming. There could be another way the red star bleeds. If we're looking for a way - given there seems to be a weirwood connection - crying blood is a candidate. So, seeing if Mel & 'weeping blood' are linked in the text is the next step... This is Mel thinking she's seeing the eyes of nine rangers here, a vision she has "many times". Attention is brought to her eyes shining, as she sees blood weep from nine pale faces. Also, it might not be rangers she's seeing in her flames. Given Mel's interpretations are often wrong, it might be the nine sets of eyes from the weirwood grove close to the Wall... Notice the Mel-associated ruby simile for the crusted sap around the eyes - dried ruby tears. More than anyone else Mel is her ruby. If Grrm sometimes wants to link Mel to weeping blood indirectly, he might use rubies as a 'flag' to remind us of her, like we see with Jon and blue roses. We then have Qorin Halfhand's bloody 'red tears'. Again, a Mel indicative ruby simile is used. Cersei's dress. Weeping blood and rubies, yet again. Either by a mention of her eyes or representation by rubies, there's a strong connection between weeping blood & Mel. If Mel is the red star bleeding & we're considering tears of blood, it's interesting that the only human feature ever to be described as red star/s - are Mel's eyes (and what do red stars do?). This might explain the switch from singular 'star' to plural in the varying prophesies. The red star bleeding = Mel, the red stars bleeding = her eyes. We see "red stars" on a sword pommel, that happen to be described as "ruby eyes". So, with all the links between Mel and weeping blood - often via rubies - the red star's eyes could cry red tears, like the weirwoods she resembles. It's worth noting - the only time Mel is described as "weeping" in the books - is in the same paragraph as when she spontaneously bleeds. These two things were put side by side in the text for a reason - Mel weeping blood is possible. Red Blood One problem with this idea is that the blood we saw from Mel's womb was black - the above links Mel to red tears. Again, Mel's association with weirwoods points to a clue... Here we see weirwood leaves - bloodred and healthy on top, black with rot beneath. This is linked to Mel not just through the weirwood or the ruby, but through the word 'bloodred'. 'Bloodred' is in the text only once more, again as a device to connect Mel to something indirectly (the red star). It's the first colour used to describe her, and in the context of discussing the red star bleeding, bloodred is already a curious term.The leaves are further linked to Mel via 'black rot', and her memorable line to Davos about the onion, which shared the same theme of semi-decay... Perhaps the insinuation is that Mel is like the fallen weirwood leaves, and the onion she talks against - half corrupted. If she's black with dark magic rot beneath, but bloodred on top, like the leaves, the red star could bleed healthy red tears of King's blood - to wake the dragon. The fact that Mel seems to repeatedly be seeing visions of the nine sets of bleeding eyes from the weirwood grove where Jon took his vows, might be a clue as to the possible location of this event. Which also happens to be where the half rotten-half healthy leaves were seen. Grrm using representations by weirwoods, rubies and standout words to give us clues about Mel's secrets, is again reminiscent of methods used for Jon's - meaning what's hidden away is likely very important. S+B=M If Shiera+Bloodraven=Mel, she has King's blood, Valyrian, Andal & Essosi blood, blood of the first men / children o-t-f and blood touched by R'hllor. Could her blood perhaps be symbolic, significant, or even magical? The red star's blood might be an active part in Azor Ahai's rebirth, rather than something merely coinciding, it takes King's blood to wake the dragon. If she needs a cue to cry her blood, she might find herself surrounded by a circle of weirwood eyes, showing her the way. Bran might have a role in this, if he got upset at something like seeing Jon's body - "if I cry, will the tree begin to weep?", he wonders whilst looking out from a weirwood. Bloodraven could show up in a raven and squawk "blood", as he does when she is mentioned, or even "Melony", remembering what happened in her POV. With Bran weeping into the weirwoods, these could be the triggers that make the red star bleed. One final thought. If Mel crying blood to rebirth Azor Ahai is the most important event in the planet's history - could the anchient prophetic wise men of the children otf have foreseen this? Did they initially start carving bleeding eyes into the red and white trees to 'keep watch', or were they trying to make them look like someone from a critical moment envisioned with greensight, perhaps in religious ceremony? Does Mel resemble weirwoods, or is it the other way around? Thanks! ;) The Dornishman's Wife, Lady Gwyn, Dr. Pepper & the Small Questions posse. Lady has just been killed in the previous chapter, so this scene seems to be Ned pleading with Robert to let Lady live. Sansa is crying because Lady is dead, and Arya is watching, her secrets include her role in Nymeria's escape. It makes little sense to interpret this scene as being in King's Landing, with Ned pleading about Dany's assassination. The passage indicated the Trident for a reason, the Starks are currently there and Bran's vision groups them together, as well as describing the recent scenario involving all of them. Then... The shadow "dark as ash” (ash = burned), with the “terrible face” (burned face) “of a hound” – is Sandor the Hound. The beautiful golden man is Jaime – we have already seen him described as “shining with light, golden” and having a “shining golden face” in this same chapter. He wears "golden armour", has "golden hair" and is said to be “beautiful”- so fits the puzzle perfectly. When we first meet Jaime and Sandor, they are paired together and described in the same sentence. Jaime is “bright” and “gold”, and Sandor has a “terrible burned face”. Notice that whilst this dream is somewhat cryptic, it's also very straightforward, in a way. Like Jojen's greendream of the “winged wolf bound to earth” - we don't have to try too hard to figure out the identities of these people. There were shadows all around the Starks and Robert. Initially this sounds like it's threatening (perhaps a hint at the future problems headed towards these characters), but it could also just be people Bran doesn't know or doesn't recognize - he's just suffered a head injury and we know he struggled to recall Jaime (and others). But there's a definite switch from here on, and the dream takes a twist from it's preceding logic, away from the present or recent past - remembering this is a fluid, cryptic dream. Although the shadows surrounding Arya, Sansa & Ned might not necessarily be threatening, there is then a clear instance of a threat, specifically aimed at Jaime and Sandor. I'll colour code this... "Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood." Compared with Robert Strong: Remembering what was said about the straightforward nature of the people's identities in this dream and the greendreams we've seen, it seems absurd to shoehorn Littlefinger as this giant. We have to get far too cryptic, and even then, there's too many discrepancies. Robert Strong fits every part of this description, without having to squint one's eyes. The emphasis on the 'no head' and 'thick black blood' even puts this beyond it being Gregor – it's clearly Robert Strong with undertones of the man he used to be. The way it's worded, this giant isn't necessarily one of the 'shadows' surrounding the Starks (it can be read that he's not even a 'shadow' at all here), and by looming over Jaime and Sandor, the giant's role in this sequence might have nothing to do with the girls. So, now Bran seems to be glimpsing the future, as Strong isn't 'born' yet. With Strong now in the kingsguard to protect Cersei, Jaime in some disagreement with her, and with Sandor still over-due a moment of confrontation with his brother, a fall-out between these two and Strong seems far from unlikely. If we do perceive these particular shadows as being a threat to the Starks, the answer is that they possibly could be, in the future. But the only clear threat, is that of Strong over Jaime and Sandor, and the fact that we're still in the Riverlands might be a clue towards the location of a potential showdown. Now Bran sees Essos, and “Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.” Bran has seen smoke as dragons, when warging. Remember the 3EC's hosting this dream and showing Bran why he needs live. Seeing smoke would be pointless, so perhaps this is literal dragons, remembering dragons are firemagic and next we see the icemagic of the Wall. Having gone into the future to see Strong, we might now be in the distant past. Dany heard dragons came from Asshai originally. There have been no reported sightings of dragons over Asshai in recent times, they are likely all dead at this point. Dany's dragons causing a surge in magic seems to confirm this, so if the 3EC wanted Bran to see dragons, he would have to take him to the past. Now we see Jon at the Wall... What might initially have seemed like Jon arriving at the Wall now seems like it could be something else, in the future. The description sounds like Jon's dying, in a very cold place, alone (he usually sleeps with Ghost). Following the stabbing, it's possible Jon's body could be put in an ice cell, as he awaits resurrection. We're told “cold preserves”, and we're also informed the NW's meat is preserved in a similar fashion. There's foreshadowing for this ice cell scenario. This is the only time we see Jon in an ice cell onpage. And Jon sees himself in there. Ice is not a particularly reflective surface, there is no other instance, aside from sunlight, of the Wall mirroring a person or shape. So what's the purpose of Grrm mentioning this mirroring here? Also, during Jon's ice cell incarceration we have this; “You will die in here, Lord Snow,” Ser Alliser had said...and Jon had believed it.” I will give a stronger case for this ice cell scenario in my next thread. Bran then looks beyond the Wall, across the icy wasteland and sees the end of the world and a curtain of light. The light might be a nod to Lightbringer, a magical barrier or the aurora borealis. However, the 'end of the world' might also be meant in the apocalyptic sense. A curtain is used in our world to denote the end of a show, cessation – and might have similar connotations here. Beyond is the 'heart of winter', which could be a place or a literal heart, perhaps relating to the Others. The notion of a wintery heart might be a contrast (or symbolic adversary) to the fiery heart of Nissa Nissa – said to be responsible for igniting Lightbringer. Bran begins to cry, and his tears are burning – linking to Mel's tears which are described as 'flame'. I've argued in this thread that it's Mel's tears, as the red star bleeding, that might awaken Azor Ahai – so that moment might be alluded to here. The dream concludes with a vision of dead greenseers, impaled on these ice spears. This highlights that fact that a new greenseer is needed, “because winter is coming”, as says the 3EC. The greenseer should be Bran, and that's the motivation behind the 3EC leading this dream. Fittingly, Bran awakens from his coma directly after the dream, and so takes the first steps towards his fate of becoming a greenseer like the 3EC. At the beginning of the dream, the crow was pecking at Bran's forehead, where his third eye would be, as if to temporarily open it and show Bran what's possible. Visions of the past, present and future, with no need for weirwoods or anything else. When Bran awakens, he checks his forehead and the marks the crow made are gone... but now his real journey towards opening his third eye begins. Thanks! ;) The Dornishman's Wife, Lady Gwynhyfvar & The 6th Stark Male Influence Project; Sansa's Effect on Lancel Lannister When we are first introduced to Lancel in AGOT, he is a squire for the king, and immediately we learn that Robert's treatment of the two Lannister cousins is less than kind. "My wife insisted I take these two to squire for me, and they’re worse than useless." At fifteen years old, Lancel is becoming a man, yet this introduction frames him as timid and cowering—very much a boy. It's worth noting that at the same age, his cousin Jaime had won a tourney, fought against the Kingswood Brotherhood, was knighted for heroics, and was soon to be part of the elite Kingsguard. Lancel, in contrast, is portrayed as a mistreated lackey. "Don’t just stand there gaping, Lancel, pick it up!” The lad jumped. Despite Barristan and Ned finding the scene amusing, with the drunken king reducing the Lannister boys to tears, it's fair to assume that Lancel might have felt bullied and trapped in his role as squire to Robert. How frustrating his situation must have been, given his later confession in AFFC that his idol, role model, and primary male influence was Jaime. "I only wanted...” Lancel shuddered. “Seven save me, but I wanted to be you.” Jaime had to laugh. Jaime and Lancel are physically comparable, a likeness Tyrion noticed. The quite understandable ambition to be like a successful relative in this case has sinister connotations, which grow to haunt Lancel further down the line. Jaime notoriously murdered his king, and as Lancel supplying Robert with strongwine is presented as a poisoning-of-sorts, the squire followed in his cousin's kingslaying footsteps. When Cersei invites Lancel into her bed, he is once again following the path of Jaime—losing his virginity to her at approximately the same age that his cousin did. So Lancel's aspiration to “be” Jaime has led him down a questionable path. With his mother far away, he seems to have no positive female influence, nobody to be genuinely kind to him. On the contrary, Cersei is taking advantage of him for her own gain. Lancel has a dutiful nature—it took him running for the breastplate stretcher, but also fit perfectly into Cersei's strongwine plot. “A stalwart boy, Ser Kevan Lannister’s son ... I hope the dear sweet lad does not blame himself." After taking to Cersei's bed and gaining a knighthood, Lancel's confidence increases. At this stage, his self-concept is no doubt more in line with his idol, Jaime. The ACOK riot scene in King's Landing shows us that he has also grown brave. “Back to the castle. Now.” Cersei gave a curt nod, Ser Lancel unsheathed his sword. Whether Lancel could have been an effective fighter against the mob is questionable, but this does not seem like the tearful, cowering squire we witnessed in AGOT. However, Lancel's bravery is questioned in his obedience to Cersei and Tyrion. When the Imp blackmails him completely with threats to go to Joffrey, his cockiness is washed aside very quickly. This is typical of a victim, and someone who still feels powerless underneath the bravado. Then we have the most vicious beating of Sansa, the first time the two characters are seen together. Lancel is present as Sansa is to “answer for [her] brother’s latest treasons”, and it's clear she is about to be beaten. It's impossible to know what Lancel was thinking at that point, but perhaps GRRM is trying to let us know via Sansa's perception of him at that moment: "there was neither pity nor kindness in the look he gave her" Lancel might have related to Sansa here, watching a monarch be abusive towards a powerless victim, as Robert had been to him. The regret at the situation felt by Dontos and Sandor is easy to pick up on, but with the look Lancel gave, there is no reason to think he had any objections. He was a Lannister with values in line with Cersei and Joffrey: that it was OK to beat Sansa Stark. The lack of pity might suggest he even gained satisfaction from seeing the girl disempowered, not unusual for someone who has himself felt that desperation. Lancel goes on to deliver the false accusations that earn the innocent and defenceless Sansa “countless blows” and almost a sexual assault. The fact that it's Tyrion who saves Sansa is worth noting, for when the Imp later offers to match her with Lancel instead of himself, Sansa (although in a submissive, defeated state) does not object to maintaining the betrothal, on account of Tyrion's kindness here. The offer of Lancel is ignored; despite finding him “comely”, Lancel's part in the beating leads Sansa to accept Tyrion without hesitation. The next time Lancel and Sansa are seen together is in the (apparent) safety of the Queen’s Ballroom, during the Battle of Blackwater. Lancel and his men were rumoured to be in the thick of the action, and there's no reason to believe he wasn't fighting well. He endures a painful wound that would nearly take his life. Trying to convince Cersei to let Joff join the battle is the first time we see Lancel act defiantly towards her. "Gods be damned, Cersei" […] “No!” Lancel was so angry he forgot to keep his voice down." Here Lancel wants what's best for the troops and the people of King's Landing, and not what's best for Cersei. She responds by palming his wound, causing him to almost faint. In the absence of Cersei, Sansa changes the mood of the Ballroom immediately; she calms the women and exerts a positive and calming influence under terrible circumstances, as she thought her beheading was inevitable at this stage. Then comes a key moment in the study of Lancel and Sansa: she helps him at this most crucial point. “Sansa went to Ser Lancel and knelt beside him. His wound was bleeding afresh where the queen had struck him. “Madness,” he gasped. “Gods, the Imp was right, was right...” “Help him,” Sansa commanded two of the serving men. “Take him to Maester Frenken.” Although this act of kindness causes Sansa some cognitive dissonance and she thinks she should rather be killing him, her merciful nature shines through. Given the confusion amidst the invasion, and the fact we see people running to avoid the injured soldier, it's quite possible Lancel would have not received the treatment he needed were it not for Sansa. This is something he was surely well aware of in the months spent lying on his recovery bed. When he arose, it was as a devout and pious man. Before the battle commenced, we saw the people of King's Landing singing together, a communal prayer to ward off the horrors of war. Across the city, thousands had jammed into the Great Sept of Baelor on Visenya’s Hill, and they would be singing too, their voices swelling out over the city, across the river, and up into the sky. Surely the gods must hear us, she thought. Sansa witnessed this, and the song she sings with the crowds is rather fitting to the Ballroom scene. She knew the hymn; her mother had taught it to her once, a long time ago in Winterfell. She joined her voice to theirs. Gentle Mother, font of mercy, save our sons from war, we pray, stay the swords and stay the arrows, let them know a better day. Gentle Mother, strength of women, help our daughters through this fray, soothe the wrath and tame the fury, teach us all a kinder way. It's not unreasonable to think that soldiers injured or in frightening positions would have thoughts of the Mother, representing mercy. And Sansa embodied the qualities of the Mother when she helped Lancel. In AFFC, when Lancel is discussing the moment he became decidedly pious, he pinpoints the influence of the Mother with saving him. “When it seemed that I might die, my father brought the High Septon to pray for me. He is a good man.” Her cousin’s eyes were wet and shiny, a child’s eyes in an old man’s face. “He says the Mother spared me ..." So Lancel believes he was spared by the Mother, and he must realise Sansa's actions in the Ballroom both helped to save him, and were in the spirit of the Mother. In retrospect at least, through his now pious lens, perhaps Lancel reflects on Sansa's kindness as a 'religious moment', one where mercy was given from the unlikeliest source —at the most desperate moment. The Seven is the only entirely faith-based major religion, instead of displays of magic, the facets of the Deities can be embodied by common everyday people, in their behaviour. It's perhaps significant how GRRM chose to portray Sansa’s approach the injured Lancel: "Sansa went to Ser Lancel and knelt beside him." Sansa is kneeling, an act associated with both submission and prayer. The last time Lancel saw Sansa kneeling was back at the beating, just before his speech condemned her to the violence he watched from a short distance. How these two scenes must have replayed in his mind as he lay incapacitated: Sansa on her knees, once begging for mercy, and once offering it. Lancel then goes on to do some kneeling of his own, when in prayer during Jaime's visit, confessing his sins. Following Blackwater, Joffrey's wedding is the next time we see Lancel, and Sansa is there too. His appearance has deteriorated to the extent he is comparable to a post-Ramsay Theon, an indication that his injury caused sustained and significant suffering, and likely emotional suffering as well. This adds further weight to the notion Sansa's intervention saved his life by getting him to the maesters in time. Having not left his sickbed in months, and looking like a corpse, Lancel's reaction to Sansa's kind and courteous words is telling. His cousin Ser Lancel had been brought down by Ser Kevan, the first time he’d left his sickbed since the battle. He looks ghastly. Lancel’s hair had turned white and brittle, and he was thin as a stick. Without his father beside him holding him up, he would surely have collapsed. Yet when Sansa praised his valour and said how good it was to see him getting strong again, both Lancel and Ser Kevan beamed. So, barely able to stand and not far from death, Lancel shone for a moment here. He's too weak to be insincere, so this might be an indication of the profound effect Sansa has had on him, and along with other significant factors, the moment of mercy perhaps contributed to a redefining of his character. Compare this moment to when Cersei, the woman he “loves”, visits him: “Lancel, I am happy to see you looking so much stronger." ... “There are outlaws in my castle.” Her cousin’s voice was as wispy as the moustache on his upper lip. There is neither beaming nor happiness from Lancel in the passage. He maintains feelings for his cousin, but also harbours guilt and sin. Cersei's pleasantness is notably forced; she has ulterior motives for the visit. This contrasts with Sansa: although she was obliged to complement Lancel at the wedding, we can guess her courtesy came naturally to her, and there was little selfish intent. Now Lancel enters a new phase of his character arc—remorse, piety and devotion. Radical changes in personality are often accompanied by influences both good and bad. Brienne seems to bring out the best in Jaime, set against the relationship with his sister. Perhaps a similar if less pronounced dynamic is occurring with Lancel; this time with Sansa's brief but significant influence being the foil for Cersei's poisonous control. They are certainly the two females with the largest impact on his recent life. His relationship with Cersei has steered him towards kingslaying, incest, and deceit, among other things. Yet, for all the affection he thought they shared, Cersei cared little for him or his life. This became apparent and the guise was dropped when Cersei aggravated his war-wound, effectively leaving him to die. Sansa showed him kindness, mercy and care—some of the qualities associated with his new influence, the Seven. Lancel has made a choice to become virtuous in the eyes of the Gods. With his family wanting him to be a political pawn once again, and without underplaying the role of the High Septon's preaching, it's difficult to see where anyone in Lancel's story displayed the qualities of the Seven that Lancel now aspires to. Sansa and her benevolence is the exception, and must surely have played its part in his new found faith. With Lancel's confession to Jaime signifying his final repentance regarding his passions for Cersei and with Sansa long gone after the wedding, Lancel has decided to adopt entirely new female influences altogether: the Mother and the Maid. Lancel displays kindness, compassion and understanding in his time with Jaime; and like the Mother, perhaps Sansa Stark taught Lancel Lannister a kinder way.
  10. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    wiki
  11. see you on a dark night

    1. Jon's Queen Consort

      Jon's Queen Consort

      I just stopped by to pay my respects for your and Lady Lady Gwyn’s awesome podcasts. They are very helpful not only for *old* fans but also for newbies too. Most probably my words don’t mean anything but I have to do it.

      More MoRe MORE!!!

    2. yolkboy

      yolkboy

      hey, sorry, i just saw this. Thanks very much for the encouragement TDC! There will be more, if everything goes to plan.

  12. yolkboy

    Official Testing Thread

    BBC so i write bbc, highlighted it, then pressed the link chain, entered www.bbc.co.uk and thats it. SUCCESS AT LAST
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