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Manderly's Rat Cook

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  1. I can't find it any more, but I meant to say amongst young women in low income countries, not most common in general, that wouldn't make sense. I typed too quickly, and it was a long post. I'll see if I can find it again. I thought I read it here but I don't see it, so I either read it somewhere else, or misremembered. EDIT: I really can't find it. Perhaps I misinterpreted something out misremembered. I got more information Here and Here. I did read other articles as well, however I wrote my post in one go the day after I read them, cause I had to chew on it for a while. I noticed on rereading then that I did misquote some numbers. 35-40 is less than double the number of deaths compared to 30-35. Sorry about that.
  2. He would tell Ned, because it was at least part of the reason why she ran off with Rhaegar. If someone is missing any information can be vital to finding out where they are. Ned would be tracing her steps before she disappeared, similar to how he was asking around what Jon Arryn had been up to before he died. Why would Howland withhold any information that could be helpful. Ned probably believed that Rhaegar abducted Lyanna, IF Howland had reason to believe she went with him on her own account, than that would be information too important not to share. Not to mention that when people spend a lot of time together searching for a certain person, they would have nostalgic conversations about that person. Like how Robert muses about Lyanna when he sees Ned again, and how Edric Dayne tells Arya that he's Jon's milk brother. It's what people do. Since Howland hadn't spend much time with Lyanna, he only had one story to tell. Could be, but that doesn't mean they wanted to share that information with Howland. We really don't know anything about his time there. We can assume he learned things that are important to the story, but that doesn't mean that it has to be a prophecy. That would be a very good reason for the GM not to tell Howland Reed. I bet Howland's children are more willing to sacrifice themselves, than anyone would be to sacrifice ALL his children.. you are probably right that the soiaf is quite vague, like all prophecy. So if Howland knows it, he probably doesn't know what to make of it, but in that light it would be weird not to tell them. I think that if he does know the prophecy, it's one of the stories he has been telling his children, but none of them knows what it actually entices. The green dreams are the main reason Jojen and Meera go to Bran, not the prophecy. If Howland (and M&R) know it, they probably only know that it has something to do with the soiaf, but they don't really understand what exactly.
  3. It never seemed to me that Cat intended to be the judge in the trial. I don't know what her exact plan is, but she was shocked at the way Lysa treated Tyrion, and she was also shocked by the farce of a trial Lysa gave him. Her entire case was based on Littlefinger's word and the lies he told her. She was only lying about where she was going on order to avoid being attacked and possibly murdered by Tyrion's family. Her arrest of Tyrion was rash, and stupid, but I do believe she did intend to have a real trial for Tyrion, probably with LF as a witness that the dagger belonged to Tyrion. She didn't know that LF lied. The mistake she made was trusting his word. If LF had spoken the truth, Tyrion would indeed be the prime suspect. Obviously there was not enough proof altogether, but that is what trials are for; determining whether the proof is convincing enough. Arrests can be made before there's enough proof for a trial, that doesn't make it vengeance. Vengeance would be killing Tyrion on the way to the Vale, or killing his brother. But there's no indication that Cat intended to be the judge. The deserter from the wall in the very first chapter, is arrested. After that the people who arrested him call in Ned, and Ned is the judge. Cat made the arrest, and intended to take him somewhere where he could get a trial and be judge, by someone in a position to do so. I think she intended that judge to be Robert, because Robert seems like the only viable choice to avoid starting a war. Cat acted stupidly by arresting Tyrion, but she was not that stupid that she would flat out start a war. I disagree. Because you are not trying to determine the punishment for the crime. Arresting him, or calling the police is simply the right thing to do. A criminal is a danger to society, and SHOULD be arrested. Calling 911 is not vengeance, and depending on the situation a civilian arrest can be the better option. I think her intention was to write to Robert/Ned from the Eyre, and arrange an escort to KL for him. The only person who could sit in judgement of this trial was Robert, and Catelyn knew that. She just didn't count on Lysa's madness. No she didn't, Littlefinger did. She believed the knife was Tyrion's. If you believe something to be the truth, than you're not lying if you say that that's the truth. You can be wrong, but you're not lying. Yes, that's why she couldn't be the judge, but she can still make an arrest and let him be judged by an appropriate person. Arresting Tyrion was definitely stupid, and yes she wanted him punished for the crime she believed he committed, but she didn't punish him herself, and it's quite clear that she didn't intend to do so. For something to truly be vengeance, you'd have to do the actual act of punishing, and deciding what the punishment should be. Catelyn clearly doesn't intend to do that. You are right that the arrest is an emotional act, but arresting does not equal punishing. By your reasoning any victim of a crime providing evidence to the police, is trying to take revenge, because they want the perpetrator punished. Any victim who would point to the perpetrator in a line up would be trying to take revenge. Especially if they're emotional, and angry. They can be wrong as well. But it can ONLY be called vengeance, if they point out a person who they don't recognise from the event, but know is the one who has been arrested, which is why they're not supposed to know. Taking steps within the law (and there's no indication whatsoever that Tyrion's arrest was illegal) to get a criminal to trial without KNOWINGLY providing false evidence or harming the perpetrator (and Catelyn absolutely believed him to be the perpetrator), is not taking vengeance. Taking vengeance is going to any length to punish someone. She didn't send men after him to kill him, after he won the trial by combat. She didn't do anything that was out of line. Lysa did, yes, but not Cat. She definitely shouldn't have arrested Tyrion, it was stupid and dangerous, and she had virtually no proof that he was guilty, but it wasn't like she was pulling a Cercei on him. Catelyn is balancing on the line between justice and vengeance, but as long as she is simply trying to bring him before a judge, rather than being the judge herself, it cannot be called vengeance. If you want vengeance, look at the trial Cercei gave him, or look at Arya..
  4. Yeah I just realised I got that the indecisiveness the wrong way around.. but my actual point is that it literally makes no sense to force the abortion on Lysa AFTER the marriage. All information we have on the subject indicates that Lysa revealed that she was pregnant of LF before the marriage, hoping to marry LF. And that both Hoster and Arryn were aware of that pregnancy, which was the reason she was used to "seal the deal". Even a hastily arranged marriage takes some time to arrange, and it's indicated that she must've had the abortion before the marriage, probably as soon as Hoster found out she was pregnant in the first place. There would be no logical reason whatsoever to wait until after the marriage, for marrying soiled goods is one thing, marrying soiled still pregnant goods another. Lysa nearly died of the abortion, so it was probably quite some time before the wedding. But that doesn't explain why she's radiant during the wedding, or why all the life went out of her when her period turned out to be late. Could be a postponed depression from the actual abortion, because believing she was pregnant again have her new hope, even if it wasn't LF's child, but it makes little sense to have the abortion weeks after the marriage, if the pregnancy was the whole reason said marriage took place with both Hoster and Arryn knowing about it.
  5. It's specifically stated in the books, that Jon Arryn wanted to marry Lysa because she had already been proven fertile. He urgently needed an heir. Perhaps Lysa didn't know that they knew she was pregnant, but it makes no sense to urgently marry a proven fertile woman in order to produce an heir, and then go off to war without trying to produce said heir. Both Hoster and Jon knew she was capable of getting pregnant, hence they knew she was pregnant. Knowing that, it makes no sense to not get rid of the bastard, and try to produce a trueborn heir, before potentially getting yourself killed. So with that in mind they must have already given her the moon tea, or at least that would've been the most logical thing to do. I think she was given the moon tea without knowing it, and her next period may have been delayed due to the earlier pregnancy, or because she got pregnant again by Jon, but miscarried, and thought she miscarried LF's child. But nothing truly makes sense, because it she believed to be pregnant by LF, but was given the moon tea secretly, how could the bleeding induced by the moon tea not have tipped her off? We do know that Sybell Spicer secretly gives Jeyne Westerling moon tea, but Jeyne believes it will help her get pregnant, and if she would be given it during or right before her periods it wouldn't be suspicious. Unless moon tea doesn't induce bleeding..?? I don't know. But however I look at it, it never makes sense. Unless Catelyn is wrong, neither Jon Arryn nor Hoster knew that Lysa had "proven to be fertile". Hoster didn't have many Great House options left for an alliance. He has already refused Tyrion, the Martells would never side with them, because Elia, so that would leave Willas Tyrrell I guess, although we don't know his exact age, he could be 2-10 years younger than Lysa. 10 years would be problematic, with Lysa already being sexually active. But still.. rather a crippled young boy, than a stinking old man, and the Tyrells are definitely a useful alliance. Which makes one wonder why they wouldn't get rid of the bastard well before the wedding. I mean, sure... The wedding was hastily arranged, but still messages had to be sent, terms agreed to. Was Jon Arryn already in Riverrun, because he had to travel a long way to get there too, with an army most likely. This would take at least several weeks. I mean first Jon Arryn would say, you guys are cool and all that, but you know I think I'm staying in this time, not really in the mood for war and stuff right now. Then Hoster learns through the Maester that Lysa is pregnant, or Lysa figures it out herself, and tells Hoster that she's pregnant so now she'll HAVE to marry LF it have a bastard (I think she would've been naive enough to genuinely believe that would work). Then Hoster would be like: yo Arryn, dude, you need an heir right? I have a very fertile daughter who can make you one. I give her to you if you come and do war with us. Jon: you sure? How... Do you even know that? Hoster: yeah yeah totally sure! 100% Jon: how do you know?? Hoster: oh, just a hunch... Jon: yeah right... Oh well.. as long as she is young and fertile.. Presumably after this he still has to get to Riverrun with his army. Or maybe he was already there, but in that case he would basically have already joined/declared his allegiance and a marriage wouldn't have been "necessary" or at least not until after the war, like with the Robb/Frey alliance. But Jon Arryn needed an heir FAST and would want to impregnate his wife before dying in battle. So perhaps Catelyn is completely wrong and the "proven fertility" was not part of the deal, but in that case there's not really any reason for her to even come up with it, just to mislead the reader into thinking that Jon/Hoster are even worse people than they actually are. It's just one confusing mess, even though it's quite trivial. Of course it was important to find out that Lysa got pregnant by LF and was forced into an abortion. Of course it was also important to find out that Jon Arryn made the marriage a condition of his alliance, but there was no reason to add to that that that wife also was conveniently proven to be fertile, if that wasn't the case at that point at all. The only thing it does, is confuse the reader, while all the people involved are already dead, except LF who may not even have known at the time that Lysa was pregnant.
  6. Yeah that was what I intended to say, that it was a strategic plan to move slowly, keeping all his men fresh, and waiting to see what would happen between Tywin and Robb. Whoever would win, would need time to regroup. If Tywin would send half his army to protect KL, Robb would certainly win (that was what was to be expected at that point anyway). Robb's army would defeat half of Tywin's army for him, costing him not one man. Then, even with the other half of his Tywin's army in KL, Renly had enough provisions for a long long long siege. He was expecting Stannis to come to his senses and join him, and if not, he could easily beat those 5000 men, he could swat it like a fly. The advantage of besieging KL would be not having 100,000 restless soldiers in an already crowded city, and not having to feed the small folk to prevent riots. He would feed them afterwards like Margaery cleverly did. In hindsight it might seem smarter to first take KL, but that's only we because we know in hindsight that there would even be a shadowbaby. Yeah I agree. Nothing Renly did was stupid. Catelyn was also wrong about him. She didn't understand the importance of keeping the men entertained while patiently waiting for the others to fight the war for them. Cercei's comment also makes clear that his strategy worked in the sense that the looming threat of an immense, but slowly advancing army can be much more intimidating than quickly being taken by surprise. It invites for the enemy to act rashly. Tywin obviously was too smart to make rash decisions, and it pissed Cercei of immensely, because she would've run straight into any trap layed out by Renly. Meanwhile Renly just say there enjoying his peach, waiting for the enemy to destroy itself. His army was big enough to afford him to take his sweet time. He didn't need to take KL before Tywin sent reinforcements, he could just wait and trap the reinforcements in the city and starve them out. And his army was too large to have in the city anyway, that would've become a huge HUGE problem. I agree, and there was literally nothing that would be threatening his life. Stannis couldn't and wouldn't kill him during their little chat, and anyone trying to enter his camp would be caught. He had his rainbow guard around him at all times. He was safe. Yeah I think it's a damn shame he was killed so early on. He obviously had too much of an advantage, but I would've liked him to have at least a fair chance to actually do something. I think it may be the most disappointing thing in the whole story. Had he massively screwed up, like Robb did with his marriage, there would at least have been some sort of 'justice' to it. This was just incredibly unfair. Renly did everything 'right'. It wasn't like he was blind to a looming threat (like ignoring rumours of dragons, and then having dragons burn your entire massive army or something). He was cheated out of his chance of giving kingship a shot, by a form of magic noone even knew existed. It still pisses me off. I have no problem with Stannis playing dirty or murdering his brother, I have a problem with Stannis playing dirty in a way that was only invented to enable him to play dirty, and appears not to serve any other function in the rest of the books. Renly deserved a better death than that. Something infuriating, but in a good way, like the Red Wedding.
  7. No Lysa was found to be pregnant before the marriage was arranged. Although it may be that she didn't know that. I think she may have believed she would be marrying LF until the morning of her wedding, when she found out she had to marry Jon Arryn (a bit like Sansa with Tyrion). Catelyn thought that Lysa was crying because she was just nervous. But in fact she was crying because she had to marry an old man that she didn't even know. I believe that somewhere this same morning it was explained to her that she had to get married because she was pregnant. And was later given the moon tea to get rid of the bastard. Although this does seem confusing, because one would expect that Jon Arryn would've wanted to attempt making an heir during his wedding night. So perhaps she was given the moon tea before the wedding, and it was a the miscarriage of her second pregnancy that made "all the light go out of her", but if that was the case, than I don't understand why'd she be happy and radiant during her wedding. Unless she was unaware at that point that she wasn't pregnant anymore, or took so much comfort from the thought that she'd be pregnant again after that night.. I don't know.. is all a bit vague.. In any case it was actually Jon who had leverage over Hoster. Jon Arryn was safe in the Vale in his impregnable castle, and could easily wait out the war. The Riverlands didn't have that luxury. Hoster had to choose sides, and since Cat had already been betrothed to Brandon, he was automatically on the traitor list. So he had no choice but to marry Cat to Ned. Jon Arryn only agreed to join the rebellion, after he was promised a new young wife who had proven to be fertile. Perhaps Hoster would've allowed Lysa to actually carry the baby to term, and have it raised somewhere in the household or village, if there had been more time, but due to the rebellion she had to get married right away, cause Jon would only join the battle after getting married, so she couldn't. It's implied that Jon and Lysa's fertility issues were related to Jon, having his first wife die in childbed, giving birth to a stillborn child, and a second childless marriage as well. I think the combination of the forced abortion and all the miscarriages drove Lysa mad, especially since she probably blamed the miscarriages on the abortion, and on Hoster. I don't think Hoster was an awful person. I think he had very little choice in the matter. As I said he would automatically be seen as one of the rebels, due to Cat's betrothal to Brandon. With a normal king he could've made his alliance to the crown known officially, and that would clear it up, no biggie. But with a mad and paranoid king like Aerys, he would most likely still be required to go to KL to declare his allegiance, and then be burned alive anyway. So he had no choice but to marry Cat to Ned and Lysa to Jon. I'm pretty sure that that wasn't the marriage she had wanted for her. Mind you, he was negotiating a marriage with Jaime Lannister for her, before Aerys made him kingsguard. Tywin offered Tyrion, and he flat out refused, because he wanted his daughter to marry a whole man. In the end he had to make a match that was less than ideal to protect both his family, cause they'd all be dead without the alliance of the Vale, and for his duty towards his Bannermen and his people. One could argue that the most honourable thing to do was to put his duty towards his people above the emotional well-being of his family members. And in the end all his loving care for his daughter and future grandchild, wouldn't be able to protect them were they to lose the war. Had he made an emotional, rather than a political choice, than both his daughters may have suffered a fate far worse than being married to an old man with bad breath.
  8. I agree, but my guess is that he wouldn't mind his wife doing the same, whereas Robert would be a hypocrite about it. It seems to be pretty much acceptable for Arianne to be promiscuous, as long as she doesn't get pregnant at least. The same would probably be expected of Lyanna, because inheritance. That being said it's basically unclear what puts her off about Robert. His promiscuity is the reason we're given, but it's unclear if that's all there is to it. Somehow I think there's more to it than just that, but as long as we don't know more about it, it's just wild guesses. Perhaps he's simply not her type. Perhaps she sensed that he liked the idea of her more than who she was (which is probably more than she could've expected from any match made for, and not by her). Perhaps she was just pissed off that she didn't have a say in the matter. Perhaps all of those reasons, it something entirely different. Who knows... Maybe you're right about the riding and fighting, but I do think that their relationship would've turned sour after a while when Robert realized that she didn't admire him. Perhaps that's why he was so into her in the first place.. His manic pixie dream girl, who was also hard to get, but was cooler than all the other girls, so he had to have her. But he never could, because she just wasn't into him. I think Robert and Lyanna COULD have been a great match; both being wild and spirited, if only Lyanna would've been into him. He may have even been relatively loyal to her, more than to Cercei anyway, although I do think that he would've slipped up when he was away from her. I do think they could've connected with hunting. I think Lyanna might have missed some depth in him, but at least they had more in common than him and Cercei, and I don't think he would've become such a fat drunk, as with Cercei. Just a slightly chubby, often - but not always - drunk. It's hard to say though. Assuming that Lyanna did have a lot in common with Arya, they would probably have heated arguments on a regular basis. I think that Robert would either find this endearing, and funny, or he would start to resent her, like he resented Cercei. If Lyanna would never love him, it care about him, my money is in resentment after a few years of desperately trying to swoon her. But Lyanna isn't Cercei, and with Robert making actual efforts to win her love, she may in time have grown to love him anyway. I can imagine them as being slightly older versions of Arya and Gendry, with Lyanna calling him stupid and trying to hit him when she's angry, and him just laughing at her efforts, while holding her at arms length, thinking what a lucky bastard he is to have her as his wife. At the very least Robert would've been happier than he was with Cercei, albeit possibly not as happy as he imagined.. and I think Lyanna may actually have been happier than she imagined, after some time.
  9. It did cost him, but he had no reason to expect that it would. If you would have a basket full of candy, and the only people around are bound hand to feet, would you stuff all your candy in your mouth at once, because you were afraid that someone would steal it? Renly had such an advantage, that it was virtually impossible for him to lose. Yes in hindsight it would've been much smarter to move faster, but he had no possible way to expect being killed by a shadow demon. There is no indication that he didn't have a plan, or that his plan was stupid. He was making use of Tywin and Robb wearing each other out while he was taking care of Stannis. He wasn't wasting men on Tywin, because Robb was winning at the time, so he probably expected Robb to defeat Tywin (which was a reasonable expectation) thinning out Robb's army in the process. Even if Tywin won the same would be true for Tywin's army. Whichever was the case, he had time to deal with Stannis while those two were squabbling. That's smart, not stupid. He could've rushed more to get to KL sooner, but he would've had to deal with Stannis on the way anyway, and then.. shadowbaby. You seem to think that he should've expected it to be dangerous for him to deal or negotiate with Stannis himself, but the ONLY reason that it was dangerous for him, was a shadowbaby, that he couldn't possibly have foreseen. Renly probably wasn't the smartest player in the game, and he may have turned out to be a very stupid commander, but we'll never know, because he was killed before he had the chance to do anything stupid. What we do know was that he'd planned a pretty smart scheme, first with trying to set Robert up with Margaery, then marrying her himself, after Ned ruined his initial plan and got Robert killed, and gathering the largest army in the realm. That's all we know. We will never know if he'd make a smart commander, or whether his slow pace would've proved an advantage or not... had there not been a mf shadowbaby. From any normal perspective, where shadowbabies aren't a thing that exists, it was Stannis who was doing an utterly foolish thing, besieging Storm's End with 5,000 men against 100,000+. Renly could not have possibly known that there could be such a thing as shadowbabies, and it was not like he placed his tent in the middle between the two armies, without any guards, and took a little nap wearing a Pikachu onesie, 5 minutes before the announced battle time.
  10. Renly wasted precious time, that's true, but he could AFFORD to do that. His army was basically a guaranteed victory, and Tywin and Robb were dealing with each other. He wanted to smirk in Stannis's face, sure that was petty, but he couldn't reasonably expect to be killed by a shadow baby.. Perhaps it would've been smarter to move faster and more effectively, but nothing he did was particularly stupid. There's also something to be said to keeping your men entertained, and showing off in terms of wealth and generosity. A slowly advancing threat can also be more intimidating than a fast moving army. He wasn't going for the element of surprise, he was going for the element of unsettlement. He was sending the message that he was already savoring the victory that he already had in his pocket. He was eating his peach and enjoying it too.
  11. But we don't know for sure if he told Lyanna anything. For all we know she just fell madly in love with Rhaegar. We can only make assumptions. My personal belief is that they told Howland something, which may just have been a small part of the prophecy, or they didn't tell him anything about the prophecy, but perhaps he just learned some random information that didn't seem connected to anything whatsoever. I do believe that Rhaegar got a piece of information, be it from Lyanna or Howland directly, and connected some dots of the prophecy that he couldn't connect before. But it's not something I, or anyone else for that matter, know. Presumably Howland learned something with the GM, but it may as well have been skills. I would assume he'd tell Ned whatever he told Lyanna, because it might give Ned some clues about where his sister was hanging out, and why she went there in the first place. Maybe not though, but he seemed to have become quite close with Ned during their journey, so I think there's a reasonable chance he'd open up to him. Besides, Ned wasn't going to run off with Rhaegar to make babies with him. But it's possible that Howland didn't know that he knew valuable information. With everything I meant the full prophecy/song of Ice and fire, not the entire history of everything. I thought that was quite clear. You seem to be going out of your way to not understand what I'm saying. If Howland has learned exactly what the song of Ice and fire is, or means(which was what you were suggesting, although now you seem to have changed that opinion). Then he probably still remembers it in the current timeline. I'm the current timeline Jojen and Meera go to WF for a reason. To swear fealty, sure, but also because of Bran and a greendream Jojen has had. With that in mind, at the very least, Howland must understand that it is somehow connected the soiaf. That Jojen and Meera are connected to the soiaf. And if so, wouldn't it be the most sensible thing to say: "hey, before you go I have some potentially relevant information, that Bran may need to know." Jojen has been dreaming about his death for ages, wouldn't it at least be fair to give him a better understanding of where is death could fit into the bigger picture? I'm sure both Howland and Jojen already knew that it wouldn't be just a visit to WF and then back home. I think it's at least reasonable to assume, or guess if you prefer, that if Howland has some vital information about the soiaf, he would've told Jojen, and perhaps Meera as well. They may not have shared that information with Bran yet, but I think that if it was extensive information, they would've at least dropped some hints during all this traveling chapters..
  12. It's the way Dalla's death is treated, as an afterthought, that is bothersome, not the fact she dies in childbed imo. It's true that she could've died any kind of death there, but there is enough context in the stress of giving birth in the middle of a battle, to make it a plausible death. The problem lies in that it's treated as an "oh that's too bad, but happens all the time" kind of way. I don't think it's that important that the numbers add up. If one in 2 women would die in childbed it could still be fine, as long as it wasn't treated like ".... aaaand there goes another one... Yup.. yup.. we've lost her, neeeext!" And yes, GRRM definitely does that to his minor female characters.
  13. The reason why I didn't think of them is mostly because it's been a few years since my last re-read. I did realise I didn't mention Rhaella though after I wrote my reply. I'll get back to her later. At the start of the 20th century maternal mortality was about 1 in 100, which is similar to low income countries that have the worst mortality rates. The worst has 1 in 75, so I think 1 in 100 might be a good estimate what the maternal death rate could be. What you didn't take into account I think it's the lifetime maternal death risk is though, which increases with the number of pregnancies a woman goes through. So the number of women dying doesn't equal the number of births. One woman would generally have multiple children, and often lots of them. And the numbers you state are only applicable to live births. The number would be significantly higher if it included stillbirths and miscarriages. Stillborn births, van be very dangerous, since it increases the chance of the child being in the wrong position, and the child also doesn't give a hormonal response to the mother's hormones, which can prevent her from properly going into labour. So if you have 10 women, and all those women give birth 10 times to either live or dead children, they will have 100 children between them. If one dies during the tenth birth, then you have a maternal mortality of 1 in 100, or 1%. And that would be INCLUDING stillbirths, so it would STILL be LOWER than the current maternal death rate in low income countries, cause that number only includes live births. I'm not entirely certain but I believe that haemorrhaging also occurs more often after miscarriages and stillbirths, which in turn would be more common when children couldn't be delivered through C-section (if necessary), and labor couldn't be induced. After 41 weeks of pregnancy, the risk of mother and/or child dying in childbirth significantly increases. Even today in low income countries childbirth is the most common cause of death amongst women, and the more pregnancies a woman goes through, the more it increases. So I actually believe that the maternal death rate in Westeros might be even lower than in contemporary low income countries. I do agree that we could do with more interesting female deaths though, especially in the world book. It almost seems as if the only women in the world book who would go on adventures sometimes and die in the process, were Targaryens. Where are the Aryas and the Briennes? I don't think we have too many childbirth deaths, I think we don't have enough fascinating female deaths. For the main series I think the childbirth deaths are not that bothersome when it comes to the women who we aren't supposed to focus our attention on. Imagine if Jorah's Glover wife fell off a cliff? The first thing that would happen was forums full of people who are convinced that she didn't fall, no, Jorah pushed her, since he'd somehow foreseen that he'd fall madly in love with Lynesse. And the Glover wife didn't really die anyway, no she swam to the Iron Islands, joined Euron Greyjoy's crew and somehow ended up being Patchface. I don't think it's beneficial to the story if she had more backstory, and I think she was only written into the story, because GRRM wanted Jeor Mormont at the wall, and Jeor needed his son married before giving up his seat. Although it would've been cool if Jorah's first wife had had an actual name, and would've eaten herself to death or something. I definitely agree that it's lazy to not even give them names and a little more variety to their deaths. Still it's not the death rate itself that is the problem, more how casually it is treated. Which is a different subject altogether, and I totally agree with you on that. I get that they are very minor characters (if you can even call them that), and that maternal mortality would be a likely cause of death, they just could've been presented more as.. actual persons, with at least some specifics about them. I think the point of the Grey wives is more about Walder, and the fact that he outlives all his wives, and he himself doesn't see them as people, so I can kinda forgive that. Some of them were bound to die in childbirth, cause not all 1000 of them could possibly die an interesting death. I won't go into all of these women, because this post is already very long, but I do think that the deaths of the more important characters are treated with respect, and do serve a purpose. Starting with Lyanna: her death is interesting, BECAUSE she dies giving birth. It is important because we need to find out that she has a child, and that she may have run off with Rhaegar on her own account. The death itself might be a cliché one, the reasons why she died that specific death, make it interesting. Now Rhaella... Poor Rhaella... I think her death is the most poetic (if you can call it that) ending to her arch of miscarriage misery. I think she was bound to die in childbed. You may agree or disagree, but her death also makes sense. All the circumstances contributed to it, and it would almost have been surprising if she survived. * First off: she was close to 40. The risk of maternal mortality more then doubles for the ages 35-40, compared to 30-35. 40-45 it almost doubles again compared to 35-40. And those are today's numbers. So her age wasn't in her favour to begin with. * This was her 11th (!!) pregnancy (and obviously the only one that killed her. She already had 5 miscarriages and stillbirths, and lost three babies in the crib, which must have caused an immense amount of grief, and also fear for each new birth, and so much pressure. The physical and emotional strain of going through all that by itself must've crushed her. * Her oldest son was recently killed in battle. Her husband was killed as well, although that must've been a relief. But she was obviously grieving during her pregnancy, and grief can result in malnutrition, and obviously causes a lot of stress and anguish. Not a good thing for mother or child. * Her daughter in law was violently raped and murdered, her grandchildren were brutally murdered as well. * She herself just barely escaped the same fate with her only surviving child. * She was in the middle of a war, that her side had already lost, and she and her only surviving child were at the top of the most wanted list. * She had suffered severe and prolonged physical, emotional and sexual abuse by the hands of her husband. * The child she was bearing was the result of a violent rape. * Her husband had been the most powerful man in Westeros, and also a paranoid schizophrenic, and she had had to live with him, abiding his will at any time. * There was a violent storm going on, that must've sounded like the castle was under siege. What could possibly go wrong? Under circumstances that stressful, more stressful than I can possibly imagine, it's at the very least unsurprising that the birth didn't go well. She probably barely had any strength left to give birth at all, and it's a wonder that Dany even survived. With this in mind I think any other death for Rhaella would've felt hollow and off. This is how she was supposed to die; her entire arch builds up to it. Dalla gave birth in the middle of a battle as well, so I suppose GRRM's reasoning was that it was caused by stress as well, but I suppose she could've been stabbed to death as well, or the tent caught fire, and Val could only get the baby out our something. There were other possibilities, but the circumstances at least make her death in this manner plausible for reasons other than that she's woman, and she's giving birth, and I think that that's the point you were trying to make, that women shouldn't just die all the time because they're women and are having babies. The last one I'm going into is Jeyne Royce; Jon Arryn's wife, since I believe the way she dies serves as important purpose as well. We are meant to think about whether Jon Arryn was the one who had fertility issues, rather than Lysa. This can only happen if we know that he had problems producing offspring with other women than Lysa. His previous wife had to die as well for him to be able to marry Lysa as well. Now the point of her dying in childbed, was not that she was a woman giving birth, but that she died because she was giving birth to a stillborn child. Probably a child that didn't die because of a lack of oxygen during birth, but one that was already dead in the womb, and thereby making the birth harder and more dangerous. The way she dies is intended to make us think that there is a genetic defect on Jon's side, rather than Lysa's. Luckily his second wife just died of a chill, otherwise it would be overkill. The last thing I'd like to mention is that in the current timeline in the books, we only see Dalla dying in childbed. Lysa dies an interesting death, as does Cat. Ygritte is killed by an arrow, that Jon was afraid was his. We hear of Barra, Robert's bastard daughter being murdered, and Dany walks into a pyre and doesn't even die. We see Brienne almost being killed by face-eating.. if any of the main female characters die, I can't imagine any of them dying in childbirth. Maergery will die an unusual death, and so will Myrcella. Cercei won't go that way either, nor would Brienne, or Arya. The only one I could possibly imagine dying that way would be Sansa, but I don't think she will. Jeyne Westerling perhaps, or Roslyn Frey.. maybe Jeyne Poole.. probably one of those three, I can see that happen, but not all of them, although I do think that at least both Jeynes will die. Because Jeyne rhymes with pain :-( Sorry for giving you an entire book to read. I think we're basically on the same page, except on whether the amount of maternal deaths is realistic.
  14. Sansa was supposed to get married to Joffrey as soon as she flowered, and got married to Tyrion at 12 yo. Nobody thought anything of it, so it must have been a very normal thing. She was also expected to start producing babies at that age. Pregnancies at such a young age are incredibly dangerous both to mother and cut, since the body isn't fully grown, and prepared to give birth/carry a baby to term yet. An increased amount of maternal deaths is not surprising under those circumstances. Putting aside the whole bloodmagic debacle; Dany's pregnancy at 13-14 yo was incredibly dangerous as well and could've easily cost her her life. Even without the bloodmagic it's not in the least surprising that she miscarried at that age. Even Lyanna's death could be related to her age, since she was at the age where it just starts getting safe. I still can't think of many examples in recent asoiaf history, although that might just be me. If you look at the entire timeline, it may stand out as more than it actually is. I know if several pregnancies and births in my own family and among friends that in different times could have well resulted in death, including my own mother's. My aunt very nearly bled to death after a miscarriage, and all her deliveries were very difficult and potentially dangerous, and they were fully grown women. In asoiaf we're (often) talking about children having babies.. Giving birth is dangerous in itself, going through many pregnancies is a repetition of that danger. And thus an increased chance of a fatal one. Getting pregnant at a very young age, not enough time to recover from a previous pregnancy it all contributes to increased maternal mortality. Genetic defects and inbreeding among noble families (all of them) doesn't help either. Giving birth under the extremely stressful circumstances of living in an active warzone has probably contributed to some deaths as well. Even the use of wet nurses isn't beneficial, since breastfeeding prevents a woman from getting pregnant again (to a degree). Which gives her more time to recover after giving birth. This works quite well for 3-6 months after giving birth, after that the chance of getting pregnant again increases, but is still lower than without breastfeeding. I'm not saying that "death in childbed" wasn't more common than it is in our world, it just doesn't stand out as unrealistically high to me, given the circumstances.
  15. Maternal mortality doesn't stand out as particularly high to me to be honest. The only examples in recent history that I can think of are Lyanna and Joanna Lannister; the latter giving birth to a child with dwarfism, who probably should've been delivered through a C-section due to his large head. Can't think of any recent others, perhaps one of Walder Frey's wives? Perhaps I've forgotten others. Elia Martell had difficulties giving birth, and long recovery times, but that was linked to her already frail health. Miscarriages seem very common though, but specifically amongst Targaryens and certain specific people, who seem to have fertility problems. Didn't Selyse also have many miscarriages? Or was that just the show? I thought she became weird because of those, like Lysa. And yes Stannis didn't seem too big a fan of sexy times, but if I remember correctly he did his duty in the bedchamber, which suggests he at least tried to produce a male heir, and at some point just gave up.
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