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Rethinking Romance: Love Stories of ASOIAF, Part 2

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Sansa/Sandor - Part 1, Part 2

Sansa/Sandor and Jaime/Brienne - Beauty and the Beast parallels

Welcome to Rethinking Romance, Part 2.

I will be your host as we explore the writing of romance in the series.

THREAD TOPIC: The writing of romance in the stories covered. The assumption is these are written as romances. If you don't agree, please take that to another thread.

This is a collection of rereads, not a debate thread. Positive comments are welcome, but please take negative comments to another thread. There are many other threads.

The purpose of the thread is to provide a resource for readers to enjoy the contributions from the individual rereads of the presenters for each story covered.

Please note the author's context for ages in Westeros. And in the tradition of the classics, romantic themes are often introduced early in the stories, and explored as the stories unfold.

Stories:

Arya/Gendry - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8a, Part 8b, Part 9a, Part 9b, Part 9c

Jaime/Brienne - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Sansa/Sandor - Part 1, Part 2

Sansa/Sandor and Jaime/Brienne - Beauty and the Beast parallels

Jon/Ygritte - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10

Dany/Drogo - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Robb/Jeyne - Part 1, Part 2

Asha/Qarl - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Renly/Loras - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Sam/Gilly - Part 1, Part 2

Edited by Le Cygne

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Welcome back! As you can gather from the OP, we've covered seven romances so far, some of them still in progress. Please feel free to comment on any of them, as discussion is intended to be ongoing. Also, feel free to mention romances not yet presented if you think they provide additional insight into love stories already underway.

Since booknerd2 posted another amazing Arya/Gendry essay shortly before the thread lock, I'm going to repost it here (Le Cygne also provided the link--part 8):


Part 8: Know Your Place: Gendry, Arya….and a little Ben Stein

So Arya III (COC) opens with tension, bewilderment, and frustration for Arya and it seeps out to the readers. You can feel it. The roads are confusing, and due to the baggage and number of travellers, Yoren and his motley crew are moving slow, which is not ideal considering the Gold Cloaks are most certainly on their asses and coming for them. Muddy slopes, wheel ruts, and a stalled wagon that is carrying wood with no way to get around has not helped, and neither did the really slow moving ox, once the carts were back on course and the animal was re-hitched.

I remember reading this a few years ago. I was nervous for Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie, Yoren, ok, Lommy…and feeling the urgency and wanting to yell:

Ok, come on now, let’s get a friggin’ move on here!” to an imaginary ox and characters. “The Gold Cloaks are coming, you fools! Sort of like Nicholas Cage in Honeymoon in Vegas… “Just get your goddamned ticket and move on!!!!” Or that is sort of how I picture it. Just replace “ticket” with moldy, warped, creaky “ox cart.” And with no Ben Stein.

Ok, I will see myself out of my own essay….

Arya is tense. Constantly looking over her shoulder for Gold Cloaks, unable to truly rest at sleep, with a few fingers on Needle at all times. She had no faith in the fact that sentries were up at night on patrol. Young boys and she felt that KL was not what they were dealing with here currently.

And especially, because she was able to get past them all the time to pee without them being none the wiser, and I can only imagine her eye roll and scoffing at the boys’ pathetic protection protocol. Yeah, Night’s Watch, riiiigggghhhhttt, she must mumble under her breath. She even states her temptation that once, when she climbed a tree, she almost decided to jump down and land on Lommy to scare the bejesus out of him. But knowing he would scream, she decided not to. Also, that Yoren would whack her something silly. Again.

Ok, now her thoughts shift to the Bull and a great quote.

“Lommy and the other orphans all treated the Bull like someone special now because the queen wanted his head, though he would have none of it.”

Yeah, because he is honest and genuine and modest, and would never desire any special treatment. Also, he is probably confused and a bit on edge wondering what the hell is it about him that he had done.

And I know Martin’s humor. I almost wonder if it is a jab. All these people are treating a nobody like something special, and the irony is that, it will turn out that one day, HE IS. Or that he is special already. We know he is Robert’s son, son of a king. He is a Baratheon. Part Targ and Estermont too. Just throwing that in because I love his character and I am shamelessly promoting his bloodlines. Sorry!

“I never did nothing to no queen,” he said angrily. “I did my work is all. Bellow and tongs and fetch and carry. I was s’posed to be an armorer, and one day Master Mott says I got to join the Night’s Watch, that’s all I know.”

He has to explain away to others almost like he is still trying to go over it and make some clarifications and reviews of his steps and life for himself.

Touching, endearing, and his innocence to it all of it is heartbreaking. His point being, that, well, what the hell, hard work, not bothering anyone, and minding your business, and you still get in trouble.

All the best people do, Bull. It always seems to happen to the good ones. Trouble, that is. And you really want to jump off your couch and jump into the book and just tell him who the hell he is already….

Or at least, I do.

“Then he’d go off to polish his helm.” So he still goes to what brings him comfort and what he thinks is right. Keep moving on and working. Do something.

Also, it makes it sound like this was a cycle or it happened a few times. Perhaps, even a routine. He gets a bit bent out of shape, goes off on how he has no idea what the hell happened, and then he polishes his helm some more.

But more about that….his careful handling and care of the helm.

And don’t forget that it started from Day one. He refused, no matter the consequences, to sell it to Ned Stark. You know, Arya/Arry’s DAD….

“It was a beautiful helm, rounded and curved, with a slit visor, and two great metal bull’s horns. Arya would watch him polish the metal with an oilcloth, shining it so bright you could see the flames of the cookfire reflected in the steel. Yet he never actually put it on his head.”

The Italics for the last line are mine.

Let us back it up a bit. I think the description tells us that this young smith has formidable skill.

Not an artist or craftsperson, so bear with me, but I would think we can deduce some info here.

Rounded and curved; to get metal in such a shape and have it smooth and without bumps or errors, and have it symmetrical, I would think, is not LEVEL 1 smithing. I would think, and please, if someone knows stuff about working with metal, please, by all means, let me know, and that the horns are the most difficult part to form and weld. Ok, and conical at the base, and tapering to points. To make it smooth, seamless, keep the shape, and to make it symmetrical/identical as a pair. Er, I would think, would take some mad skills.

To be fair, it is a slit visor, which I think is not the same as an articulated one that rises and falls, which would show more skill, or that is not the design he had in mind?

Also, that he makes sure he has an oilcloth on him still to polish it everyday. Probably still from KL?

I like to think of it as him rubbing a genie lamp, wishing for better or for life to be a bit more clear to him, his purpose, and really, it is right friggin’ under his nose. Or even a bit of a crystal ball in a way.

Because something is going on with those two avatar men: Hound and Bull. Hound helm which is now iconic, and this yet to reach full potential bull helm.

And, hey, they both like Stark ladies.

Just don’t tell Arya or Big Nyms I called her a lady.

Ok, now this part….

“Yet he never actually put it on his head.”

He has to find himself, and he has not yet. FACT. But we have seen he his on his way. His identity has not yet been revealed. To himself, and to really everyone else except a small few. We know that Ned knew, Jon Arryn knew, Stannis knows, and possibly others, and very soon Brienne will know. Thoros is not counted out yet by me either. He will not slip on the helm yet full time; he needs a bit more time. He will eventually, and truly become the Bull, like the Hound was once the Hound, but in a better way. Like a Stark is known as a direwolf. But he will still have much more to do to reach the end of the road and his identity, but when he puts it on permanently, and the helm matches the ready persona inside of him, he will reach and have his feet on the beginning of the path at least, and it will pick up from there. I think of him polishing and handling carefully his helm, as Dany cradling her dragon eggs in the beginning, wishful and hopeful. But he is not in touch with it yet, not ready to do it at that point, either from within, or fate is playing its hand.

There is a point when he does put it on, more on that later…. I like to think he is getting more comfortable to being open and embracing things. Beric knighted him, he has a bit of security, a place, comrades, work, he is smithing, even currently working on a sword, he saves Brienne from Biter, which is big, and she recognizes who he is. But the organization he is with has been having problems, and my main concern, is if that will put any problems in his way, either thwart for a bit, or activate his progress? But he does have a long road ahead. I like to think there are pros and cons to being with BWB and all that has happened to him so far in the series. I like to think of it as stepping stones. But obviously, things are going to take a turn with the BWB, Thoros, Uncat, Brienne, Jaime, the orphanage, and other events, and that is when he will or will have to step it up. I think this is when the Bull emerges more.

My crystal ball is cloudy too with this. You know when I ramble, so I will put it down for now. I did it with the Feathebed Song. I do it with prophecies too.

The character of Gendry is tension, potential, and possibility. Just a great character. He just hasn’t gotten his Hogwarts letter yet.

Ah, the Stark girls and their animal avatar men…

Paging Edric Storm. Bueller….Bueller….Bueller….Wow, that is two Ben Stein references in one essay so far. I may do a Gendry and Edric little written piece thingie one day. I think we know who I favor. Also, I think we need to do a TV Gendry/Arya piece too. Different in some ways, but things/facets of the characters I think are spot on and well done, and ones that echo the book and how I envision the characters. They both bring much to the table. But let me not get off topic here….

And now for a little apprehension….

This:

“…shining it so bright you could see the flames of the cookfire reflected in the steel.”

You ever get that feeling when you notice something in your food. Like a bug or something, and you pick it out, you want it the way you thought it would be, decide you can’t partake, and throw it all away?

Ok, the quote above. People, what the hell is this? Anyone? Bueller….Bueller? R’hllor…R’hllor? Did I even friggin’ spell this right? I still can’t. It has only been years though…

Er….uh….was that a hint at the future with the BWB and fire and R’hllor? Maybe, a little teensy hint by the author that he will forge some type of sword? Totally reading into this, and it could be my Martin paranoia that flares up, well, ALL OF THE TIME!

So let me leave that to marinate a bit. I don’t know how to take it either.

Back to Arya.

Lommy whispers, so Gendry can’t hear. Smart boy….that he is probably the traitor, Ned Stark’s bastard.

You know….ARYA’s DAD….that Gendry met and that KNOWS his identity.

This series causes me multitudes of undue stress. I face palm at the irony again.

Anyway…

Arya gets pissed. It is her father. She wishes to leave and just go it alone on home. She doesn’t.

The Yoren-adventures-in-babysitting- journey continues…

And I have never done this before, but I am going to cut off about mid-chapter.

1. A lot more coming up

2. I think this is long enough

3. Because of 2. I didn’t think I would have as much to say regarding this one, and I was wrong. A lot to say, and even more next time.

So, Bueller….Bueller….Pie, Hot?

Present.

Arya?

Present.

Bull?

Present.

Booknerd?

Present. And ready for some more Rethinking Romance….very soon.

This is awesome, booknerd2. I will comment on it soon, but I do want to yet again express my appreciation. You've really outdone yourself with this particular story and you present a strong argument for romance in the most delightful way. :cheers:

On another note, even though I prefer to post scene-by-scenes back-to-back with the analysis, since it's been quite a long while since we've introduced a new romance, I'm going to post the finished Renly/Loras scene-by-scene now and follow with the nearly finished analysis very soon (hopefully before the weekend).

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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:




He was the handsomest man Sansa had ever set eyes upon; tall and powerfully made, with jet-black hair that fell to his shoulders and framed his a clean-shaven face, and laughing green eyes to match his armor.


In Sansa II, Chapter 29, Sansa is entranced by Loras when she first sees him at the Hand's Tourney:




Ser Loras was the youngest son of Mace Tyrell, the Lord of Highgarden and Warden of the South. At sixteen, he was the youngest rider on the field, yet he had unhorsed three knights of the Kingsguard that morning in his first three jousts. Sansa had never seen anyone so beautiful. His plate was intricately fashioned and enameled as a bouquet of a thousand different flowers, and his snow-white stallion was draped in a blanket of red and white roses. After each victory, Ser Loras would remove his helm and ride slowly round the fence, and finally pluck a single white rose from the blanket and toss it to some fair maiden in the crowd."




Her eyes were only for Ser Loras. When the white horse stopped in front of her, she thought her heart would burst.

To the other maidens he had given white roses, but the one he plucked for her was red. "Sweet Lady," he said, "no victory is half so beautiful as you." Sansa took the flower timidly, struck dumb by his gallantry. His hair was a mass of lazy brown curls, his eyes like liquid gold. She inhaled the sweet fragrance of the rose and sat clutching it long after Ser Loras had ridden off.




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.



A few days past, he had taken Ned aside to show him an exquisite rose gold locket. Inside was a miniature painted in the vivid Myrish style, of a lovely young girl with doe's eyes and a cascade of soft brown hair. Renly had seemed anxious to know if the girl reminded him of anyone, and when Ned had no answer but a shrug, he had seemed disappointed. The maid was Loras Tyrell's sister Margaery, he'd confessed, but there were those who said she looked like Lyanna. Could it be that Lord Renly, who looked so like a young Robert, had conceived a passion for a girl he fancied to be a young Lyanna? That struck him as more than passing queer.


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.



"Enough, my lords. If I had a dozen vans, all of you should have one, but the greatest glory by rights belongs to the greatest knight. Ser Loras shall strike the first blow"

"With a glad heart, Your Grace." The Knight of Flowers knelt before the king. "Grant me your blessing, and a knight to ride beside me with your banner. Let the stag and rose go to battle side by side."




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 fifth of Renly’s knights departed with Ser Loras rather than bend the knee to Stannis. It’s said the Knight of Flowers went mad when he saw his king’s body, and slew three of Renly’s guards in his wrath, among them Emmon Cuy and Robar Royce.



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.



He took his had from her arm. “I slew Robar at Storm’s End, my lady.” It was not a boast; he sounded sad.


Him, and another of King Renly’s Rainbow Guard as well, yes. Sansa had heard the women talking of it round the well, but for a moment she’d forgotten. “That was when Lord Renly was killed, wasn’t it? How terrible for your poor sister.”



“For Margaery?” His voice was tight. “To be sure. She was at Bitterbridge, though. She did not see.”



“Even so, when she heard…”



Ser Loras brushed the hilt of his sword lightly with his hand. Its grip was white leather, its pommel a rose in alabaster. “Renly is dead. Robar as well. What use to speak of them?”



The sharpness in tone took her aback. “I…my lord, I…I did not mean to give offense, ser.”



“Nor could you, Lady Sansa,” Ser Loras replied, but all the warmth had gone from his voice. Nor did he take her arm again.




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.




“Prince Aemon the Dragonknight took his vows at seventeen,” Ser Loras said, “and your brother Jaime was younger still.”


“I know their reasons. What are yours? The honor of serving beside such paragons as Meryn Trant and Boros Blount?” He [Tyrion] gave the boy a mocking grin. “To guard the king’s life, you surrender your own. You give up your lands and titles, give up hope of marriage, children…”



“House Tyrell continues through my brothers,” Ser Loras said. “It is not necessary for a third son to wed, or breed.”



“Not necessarily, but some find it pleasant. What of love?”



“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”




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:



"There are those who say that Ser Loras is better than Leo Longthorn ever was," said Tyrion. "Renly's little rose? I doubt that."


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 grabbed the boy with his good hand and yanked him around. “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.”


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.



“I buried him with my own hands, in a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm’s End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest.” He [Loras] looked at Jaime defiantly. “I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was the best of them.”


The best dressed perhaps, Jaime thought, but for once he did not say it. The arrogance had gone out of Ser Loras the moment he began to speak of Renly.




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:



Ser Loras made a move to rise. “She fled,” he said. “She and Catelyn Stark, they left him in his blood and ran. Why would they, if it was not their work?” He stared at the table. “Renly gave me the van. Otherwise it would have been me helping him don his armor. He often entrusted that task to me. We had…prayed together that night. I left him with her. Ser Parman and Ser Emmon were guarding the tent, and Ser Robar Royce was there as well. Ser Emmon swore Brienne had…although…”


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:



"I have glanced at it. The shields are pretty. I prefer books with more illuminations. Lord Renly owned a few with drawings that would turn a septon blind."


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.



”The Red Keep has had no master-at-arms since Aron Santagar was slain,” Ser Loras said, with a hint of reproach in his voice. “His Grace is almost nine, and eager to learn. At his age he should be a squire. Someone has to teach him.”


Someone will, but it will not be you. “Pray, who did you squire for, ser?” she asked sweetly. “Lord Renly, was it not?”


“I had that honor.”



“Yes, I thought as much.” Cersei had seen how tight the bonds grew between squires and the knights they served. She did not want Tommen growing close to Loras Tyrell. The Knight of Flowers was no sort of man for any boy to emulate.



Edited by DogLover

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Is Ned and Catelyn's relationship ever going to be covered?

Yep, after we finish the first ten, we'll move on to other romances, including Ned and Cat.

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Nice DogLover. You forgot Renly's "gay porn", I think.


The chapter where Loras tells Jaime that Renly owned books with illuminations that would turn a septon blind. :blushing:


I think it's chapter 16 in AFFC.


Edited by ambi76

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Nice DogLover. You forgot Renly's "gay porn", I think.

The chapter where Loras tells Jaime that Renly owned books with illuminations that would turn a septon blind. :blushing:

I think it's chapter 16 in AFFC.

Thanks! I'll add that and a couple of other things I missed later on today.

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Sansa and Baelish? Why not?

You may as well ask: Gilly and Craster? Why not?

I think it's self-evident why not. Look at the thread title. It's about romances .

Edited by Annara Snow

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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”:





“I will defend King Tommen with all my strength, I swear it. I will give my life for his if need be. But I will never betray Renly, by word or deed. He was the king that should have been. He was 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.





"Enough, my lords. If I had a dozen vans, all of you should have one, but the greatest glory by rights belongs to the greatest knight. Ser Loras shall strike the first blow."

"With a glad heart, Your Grace." The Knight of Flowers knelt before the king. "Grant me your blessing, and a knight to ride beside me with your banner. Let the stag and rose go to battle side by side."




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.





“I buried him with my own hands, in a place he showed me once when I was a squire at Storm’s End. No one shall ever find him there to disturb his rest.” He [Loras] looked at Jaime defiantly.


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:





He’s me, Jaime realized suddenly. I am speaking to myself, as I was, all cocksure arrogance and empty chivalry. This is what it does to you, to be too good too 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:





Jousting was three-quarters horsemanship, Jaime had always believed. Ser Loras rode superbly, and handled the lance as if he’d been born holding one…which no doubt accounted for his mother’s pinched expression. He puts the point just where he means to put it, and seems to have the balance of a cat. Perhaps it was not such a fluke that he unhorsed me. It was a shame he would not have the chance to try the boy again.

AFfC, Jaime II, Ch. 16





The Knight of Flowers was still half a boy, arrogant and vain, but he had it in him to be great, to perform deeds worthy of the White Book.

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…


Edited by DogLover

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Beautiful essay DogLover. Ser Loras's grief and devastation over Renly's death is truly touching and sad, but beautifully written.



I think your essay captured alot of that. Well done.

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Loras volunteers to go to Storm’s End,

Minor quibble and often made mistake: That should be Dragonstone not Storm's End (Mace goes there and it is often mixed up).

Otherwise: :love: :wub: :thumbsup:

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Minor quibble and often made mistake: That should be Dragonstone not Storm's End (Mace goes there and it is often mixed up).

Otherwise: :love: :wub: :thumbsup:

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.

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How did I miss that RRII was up?



Ah yes that would be because I didn't have a laptop for several weeks. Anyway. Fantastic essay Doglover, I am another fan of the Renly Lorras relationship and found it all rather heartbreaking.



The tragedy of Lorras killing Emmon and Robar, the sadness and anger at his lovers death, the guilt, no doubt he feels as if had he been there dressing Renly as usual, and not preparing to lead the Van, then Renly would be alive.



I look forward to reading further about this couple.

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Know Your Place – Part 8 – Continued….



Ok, it has been a long time and I sort of left the last one as a cliffhanger and promised to go back to it and finish. Way too busy at work and with summer stuff. And really, there was just too much going on in that chapter to delve into for one part. But crap, maybe I shouldn't wait that long. This one is long too. You stop for awhile and then the brain starts flowing...



Honestly, I will try not to do that again. Split parts into 2, but with this one it was warranted. Just too much going on that overlapped into other issues with Gendry and Arya. And this time also, Big Nyms.



I even thought about renaming this something else and making it part 9. I stopped myself. Knowing your place is a big theme in this one, so it had to stay.



So, as we were….



Yoren had loaded up the wagons with food in King’s Landing. It is now depleted and Yoren and his band of future NW misfits are living off the land. So, Yoren employs Koss and Kurz, which sounds like a law firm, but really, they are two NW recruits who were caught as poachers, and he utilizes their services at this particular skill—poaching.



The little orphan boys help too. They pick berries or climb fences to gather apples if they come across orchards.



It is noted that Arya was a skilled climber and fast picker. There are always hints at how fast she is and that she liked to go about it alone. Also, many comparisons of how she is the swiftness and speed, and Gendry is the strength. Almost, just almost, thrown in so deftly like the two abilities compliment each other; like the yin to yang bringing balance. I would have to go back and remember the exact wordings in passages, where it was brought up and the thought crossed my mind.



She catches a rabbit, and thinks nothing but of survival and practicality and she gives it a thwack with a stick. Yoren stewed it with mushrooms and onions.



Always mushrooms and onions… The author must love duxelles…I know I do. And I love when he throws the oyseters in certain food descriptions, because I never met an oyster I didn’t like. Rockefeller…hello!



And then what made me gush and my heart soar so many years ago…



Well, that this little girl can hold her own. Just like back in very primitive times. She turns the tables and is the hunter and provider for the older males.



The group got a spoonful or two, just a taste. It was only one rabbit. Yoren did which was very sweet, fair, and smart, to give others initiative to haul ass and help; he gave Arya her own rabbit leg because she caught it. And probably, a rare time he can be nice to her and not hurt her identity reveal and her place as lady.



And then….get ready….grab a tissue….



“She shared it with Gendry.”



Why?



Because they are buddies.



Why else?



Feels bad because he is a wanted guy? He sticks up for her? She feels his sense of being dispossessed and confusion too? Not sure exactly.



UGH! I can’t. It is too sweet….too nice….too moving…. I just can’t. It brought such a surge of emotion for a chapter that started off nailing us over the head at just how dangerous the road, people, and situations were, and it is a bright light amongst a gloomy time. They are all hungry and never know if they will have enough each day.



Jaqen thanked her politely and Rorge and Biter….er, I guess it was a positive response. Dead silence and not jumping up and trying to tear a chunk of skin off and maybe a noncommittal grunt has to like, uh, count for something



And then things get worse and tighter.



Food is harder to come boy. People are now more likely armed and guarding their food as the NW recruits trudge on.



Yoren gets bawled out for taking corn and rues the day that the NW no longer gets help or respect. His scorn at the corn refusal and Gee-well-I- never attitude made me laugh. Though it is sad, touching, and the author drives home just how desperate the situation is and then really drives home vividly the danger and risk of the road. Hunger is terrible. For them, no modern conveniences, like diners, take-out, delivery, fast food, 24 hour convenience stores, and the like.



But in a war torn land, they face either destroyed crops or private property. There is nothing, then you eat nothing. Yeah, you starve. No back up. Nothing. Sometimes coin won’t even matter.



They spot people ahead and go a longer route out of their way to avoid them. They come across a fire. A burnt village and the devastation is evident. And something more; impaled bodies.



Yoren has the younger ones stay back to guard the wagons and goes in to check it out further. Arya notices they take long and asks Gendry if they should go after them.



He tells her that they should listen to Yoren and stay behind.



But…she notices he is wearing the Bull Helm.



He is brave, smart, expectant, and preparing for any trouble or danger. Starting to take a step to step it up.



I like that that she sees him with it. A glimpse of who he could or will be. The Young Bull. And he sees later who she could be with The Acorn Dress and with a little bit of Bad Ass Edge.



Another thing I thought of which is just my opinion. How many times have you seen people that have been together a long time? They have a significant other and they say something to the effect, “They knew me when I was nothing. They knew me when I was younger. They know the real me. They stuck by me through thick and thin. We weathered any storms.”



And I think, and hope this is where the author is going with these two. This cannot be replicated in life. Just my opinion, but I have no hopes or see nothing that would have the impact of these two, whether it be Aegon, Edric Dayne, Edric Storm, or many other suitors that have been thrown out there when the subject arises, from the possibilities to the not so likely. If Arya decides to throw in the towl and marry, they cannot replicate her connection to Gendry. It is the best in the very best sense. Anything else, really, anyone else would be second place. And I for one, believe Arya deserves no one but the best. Who cared/cares for her with dirt, stink, killing, torn clothes, posing with different identities, lying, stealing, getting debts out of Faceless Man, etc., any of the negative things she has dealt with or done from the trivial to very heavy. Gendry did. Still does, I imagine. Who can top that?



It is a powerful moment, and neither Arya or Gendry or the author comments. It is a stand alone sentence.



A one-armed survivor and her child are brought back with Yoren. More on that later. I think Weasal is for another time.



And now for the wolves…and many questions.



Like what the hell is going on with the wolves?



Uh, did Big Nyms send an ambassador? She has her own sentries? What the hell just went happened? Did a wolf go back and communicate (tell) Big Nyms? Did they somehow know already? Sense the connection from Arya to Big Nyms, that they are a part of each other? Has Big Nyms been following Arya? If so, for how long? Did it continue for a bit until she got separated from the Hound? Is there a Wanted: My Mommy, Arya, poster circulating and hanging at Big Nyms hide-out? Like a wanted or milk carton with Arya’s face on it that wolves see on a bulletin board and keep in mind? Big Nyms sleeps on the ground with a framed photo of Arya next to her side? Does Big Nyms break out a bull horn and announce, “Don’t touch that girl. She is not dinner. I love her?”


So Arya is left alone. The wolf does nothing. He leaves. No other wolves come back even lead by that wolf. And we know they attack later because at the end of the chapter Arya hears screams and hears the howls of the wolves. And really, even before this event, stories of the wolf attacks were known to Arya and others as well.



Something made that wolf leave her alone.



This is friggin’ heartbreaking. I had a big reaction the first time I read Arya doing everything in her power to save Nymeria and goading her off. Having to be firm and even physical (rock-throwing) to get the point across, when it was tearing her apart in side. Wondering, how upset Big Nyms was when she finally gave up and turned away, and what went through her mind. I still have a rough time on a re-read.



Let me share my forum experience. Or the day my laptop took a beating.



I was an idiot. Well, I was a big one a few years ago. I just thought on my first read, with an info overload overwhelming series, that they were just wolves.



Yeah, I know. Hard to believe in hindsight…



Until somebody pointed out that it was most likely Big Nyms and her pack on a thread I was reading. Well, I almost broke my laptop. I blubbered. I teared. Like an idiot, I thought they were so reuniting in book two, sentimental fool that I was. I lost it while reading the forum.



It is consolation that Nyms most likely knows she is alive and can some day get back to her. That maybe she has a bit more info than Arya has at this point in time. Maybe she did not approach out of fear of their original parting? Or some other reasons?



How does it work? There is still limited info between Stark warging abilities by individual Stark and wolf. And most likely because of Sansa’s unique situation that is still very mysterious and offers many variables. Her losing Lady and the potential to catch up to where her siblings are, is always a great debate on the forums with many opinions. Unfortunatlely, much like Big Nyms, we will have to wait and see.



But I truly believe they are all, the Stark children, special cases. The gods left that pregnant and dead direwolf with exactly enough pups. And the Baratheon stag antler was a nice touch too. Not sure if is the gods foretelling troubles along with, of course, the author’s foreshadowing of events. More is going on from above and elsewhere. And to me it was comforting. It will get better. Eventually. The antler is bad. The gifting of pups to throw the children a bone in gaining their abilities was a plus. They cannot however control all human nature.



For example:



Cersei is a real bitch. Not even the gods can help that. They can’t help that she wanted Nymeria dead and had a hand in Ned preferring to spare Lady a death by a Lannister goon.



The Freys are asswipes. Ditto for poor Grey Wind.



But Ghost, Summer, Nyms, and Shaggy were meant to carry on. Just as these Starks were too.



So Arya has one part of her identity, a facet of herself, Big Nyms, floating around. Eventually, Arya will also voluntarily part with Needle as well, for other reasons.



But, we can leave that be for now, and back to Gendry and his helm.



And let’s not forget. The two Stark girls, their avatar animal men, and how their men are both very closely associated with their helms as well as animals.



We have his helm, the bull, her wolf and sword, their identities waiting just around the bend for when they are ready. Or when destiny is ready for them.



Now I know what you are thinking. This is Rethinking Romance. Why the hell is Booknerd talking about Needle, Nymeria, and other stuff.



Because all roads back to her identity and Westeros will be open to her by the things and people she cares about and that are a big part of her life. That time, circumstance, even other factors can allow her or force her to part from them, but they will never truly go away. Needle, Nymeria, Jon, her remaining family, Winterell, and Gendry. And I believe she could meet again with Hot Pie too as her pack member, though that would be in the icing vein, and more on the comic relief side should it occur.



Really, the most important things to her are hanging in a limbo sort of. Nymeria is out there, and if she knows it is Arya and was apprehensive to approach her, it makes it even more heartwrenching and would be a double, triple, happy reunion. Needle- Hey, even Superman gave it 24 hours. He hooked up with Lois, almost had a cheeseburger, and went right back to the Fortress of Solitude and found himself again. She will retrieve Needle. Or it would have been shitcanned already. Even Joff’s sword she didn’t hesitate to launch it into water to permanently get rid of it.



And all these chapters with Gendry….and even I haven’t tipped the iceburg yet by covering only a few. There are a lot more. So I don’t get the he is insignificant bit, or her barely shows up in the series, because it is not true really. There are so many of these strong moments of bond forming. The rabbit leg, for instance. So small, but so telling… Everyone is starving, she didn’t get a chance to get the larger or choicer cut every day. Hell, they didn’t even have meat or other food items like carbs that are filling, regularly, but she shares it with him.



So let us fastforward to another essay and scene that was discussed. His orphanage limbo. For chrissakes, he is stuck at an inn, the very inn which was the last time he saw her, with her mother Lady Stoneheart now, with Harwin from WInterfell originally, meets Brienne who is looking for Arya, is with people (BWB) who is looking for Arya, and hangs with a girl that Brienne mistakes for Arya. And he kills the guy that once threatened Arya. And in general, it is surmised that the orphanage was started to aid, yes, but to collect children in case Arya turns up. So Gendry is hanging in the wings, just like the buried Needle, just like the roaming Nymeria. Just like the temporary ruins of Winterfell, occupied by a temporary, but very permanent, lunatic, Ramsay.



And let us not forget Elder Brother. For surely when Sandor told him things, I believe he told him everything. Not just about Sansa, but that he was with the true Arya. And there are theories that there is contact between the QI and Elder Brother with the Inn and BWB with the orphanage set up. Information was certainly passed along. It is probably why the whole orphanage thing began to begin with. The brothers bring some of the children there. So how many are looking for her in reality? Maybe even more that those that are looking for her even know.



So the stillness of the Gendry/Arya scene and the first time he dons the bull helm is poignant. I think it was the first day in a beginning where he will have to don the helm more often.



So, I truly believe that Arya needs to reconnect with these three things: Nymeria, Needle, and Gendry. The bigger question is: does she come to them or they come to her?



A guess? Needle first, Nymeria, than Gendry last.



But there is no doubt, I think, that the set up has been happening since even before book 4.


Edited by booknerd2

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An update on R+L, thanks to teej6's post. I mentioned that Lyanna's abduction may have been staged, to protect her honour and Rhaegar would take the fallout, only I had no parallel to support this. It seems that one does exist, after all:

There is a similar story in the Hindu epic the Mahabharata (which btw is awesome) that describes the elopement of a princess that was made to look like a kidnapping. Subhadra, a princess from the Yadav dynasty was betrothed to Duruyodhan, a prince from the Kuru dynasty. However, Subhadra was in love with Arjuna (the hero of the epic), a cousin to Duruyodhan and also a prince of the Kuru dynasty. Duruyodhan and his brother were called the Kauravas and Arjuna and his brothers were the Pandavas. The Kauravas and Pandavas were foes and the story of the Mahabharata ends with a cataclysmic battle with these two warring branches of the Kuru dynasty. Anyway getting back to the Subhadra story, the princess was promised to Duruyodhan by her older brother and subsequently her father. However, as mentioned earlier, she was in love with Arjuna who happened to be in the Yadav kingdom at the time. Krishna (an avatar of the second person of the Hindu trinity) who was best friends with Arjuna was also Subhadra's older brother. Right before the marriage, Krishna asks Arjuna to save his sister from a loveless marriage (and the fact that if Duryodhan became the son-in-law of the Yadavs they would have to support his cause if war broke out between him and his cousins) by kidnapping her right before her wedding. However, Krishna asks Arjuna to have Subhadra be the abductor foreseeing the repercussions the kidnapping will have. Arjuna reluctantly agrees to this arrangement and so the next day when Subhadra attends morning prayers at the temple, Arjuna shows up as planned and takes Subhadra in front of her attendants and guards. When Duruyodhan and his retinue arrive for the marriage ceremony, the soon to be bride is missing but as she was kidnapped they cannot blame the Yadavs for reneging on the marriage contract and therefore cannot go to war with them and is forced to leave. This way Krishna prevents this conflict and saves his sister. However, as the Yadavs are insulted by Arjuna they prepare to go to battle with him but Krishna intervenes and claims that Subhadra was the charioteer and therefore she was the abductor and Arjuna the abductee. Thus Krishna convinces his family to accept Arjuna and all is well.

I narrated this story because I feel there are parallels between this and the Rhaegar/Lyanna story. Lyanna may have been concerned about the effect her elopement and disregard of the marriage contract with Robert would have on the honor of her father, brothers, and the Stark family name. The kidnapping story would have prevented the Stark honor from being tainted and good old Robert/Baratheons would not have felt insulted (at least not that much) and be forced to declare war on the Starks.

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Know Your Place – Part 8 – Continued….

<snip>

She catches a rabbit, and thinks nothing but of survival and practicality and she gives it a thwack with a stick. Yoren stewed it with mushrooms and onions.

Always mushrooms and onions… The author must love duxelles…I know I do. And I love when he throws the oyseters in certain food descriptions, because I never met an oyster I didn’t like. Rockefeller…hello!

And then what made me gush and my heart soar so many years ago…

Well, that this little girl can hold her own. Just like back in very primitive times. She turns the tables and is the hunter and provider for the older males.

The group got a spoonful or two, just a taste. It was only one rabbit. Yoren did which was very sweet, fair, and smart, to give others initiative to haul ass and help; he gave Arya her own rabbit leg because she caught it. And probably, a rare time he can be nice to her and not hurt her identity reveal and her place as lady.

And then….get ready….grab a tissue….

“She shared it with Gendry.”

Why?

Because they are buddies.

<snip>

So, I truly believe that Arya needs to reconnect with these three things: Nymeria, Needle, and Gendry. The bigger question is: does she come to them or they come to her?

A guess? Needle first, Nymeria, than Gendry last.

But there is no doubt, I think, that the set up has been happening since even before book 4.

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.

An update on R+L, thanks to teej6's post. I mentioned that Lyanna's abduction may have been staged, to protect her honour and Rhaegar would take the fallout, only I had no parallel to support this. It seems that one does exist, after all:

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. :)

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It does seem suspiciously similar, right? Now we have to find out if GRRM has read Mahabharata, or if there are other similar stories which he may be familiar with.



I especially like the twist how the bride becomes the abductor - it's not like this course of events hasn't been proposed for Lyanna :d


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