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Rethinking Romance: Love Stories of ASOIAF, Part 2

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God help me…this was not planned. But the comments were so wonderful and insightful it just happened. You open a doc to type a few words you don't want to forget and a monster comes out. LOL!



And guess what, it is long and I have to check things and need to put it in two parts, and eh, part two will need some time.



Post-Essay Drabble and Connections to the Future: When a comment turns into a written piece by absolute accident (Part 1)




Oh, man this is supposed to be a shorter response, the last post got me thinking… and it got long and grew…sorry, I have to put it under the box due to spoilers.




Oh, I agree and I have seen it too. Totally, a literary technique, it brought more attention and excitement by leaving it up in the air until Mercy. Totally we are led by the nose to entertain the notion that Arya forgets her Pack, feels differently, or doesn’t think of them. I er, decided to slap the hand away from my nose though. So why didn’t I go that route? Ok, this sounds corny, but it was my faith in the Pack… being very familiar with literature, and going by all their interactions from books 1 to 3, and yeah, 4 is a quick Gendry cameo, but man, there is a lot to glean from that. Oh, and I covered that on RR in “The Benchwarmer”…he is a friggin’ mess in 4.



I know I almost died from shock, and I was so happy I could barely take it when I read Mercy. It is one thing to have your personal opinion regarding the Pack, but to see it is something else.



I was hanging on my couch and I checked news that day and people were so excited that a new gift chapter was released.



Then I almost convulsed because it is Arya. Never expected that…and I think it is just going to be another FM training/Braavos thing….but I was half wrong. It brought her back to her old life, and us back to the earlier books, and reaffirms that our girl is still Arya. We knew that it was coming, but to see it is awesome. Well, some of the like-minded with certain opinions do. I mean, if you think she becomes the Terminator, dies, whatever…that is fine, but I don’t. But I do respect other people’s opinions.



Than all the Raff mentions…the words mimicking the last chapter I just covered for Arya/Gendry on RR, the “As my lady….” chapter at the end. I mean, I flipped!



I celebrated like a lunatic. WHOOOOH…..Whoah….WOLF Pack. OMG OMG OMG…. We are in….still in the race….she is thinking of them….holy crap…did not expect anything with Packers ( Jesus, I don’t mean the football team) in a gift chapter…



Sorry, that is enough of that now…lol! I think we get the gist of it. That being: I need to calm the hell down, but that was my Mercy reaction.



But Raff/Lommy makes sense. Hot Pie would be too funny for a reference for the first mention of them still on Arya’s mind, because it is a very moving and sentimental chapter.



What I mean is, I am not sure to this degree a Gendry or Hot Pie memory or thought was triggered this deeply before this scene for her yet. I think Lommy's wounded calf kicked the goddamn door open for that.



When she is all about what she does in Braavos, and then….she spots Raff, the damn hairs stood up on me. So I think Hot Pie will come in, when the time is right, as the comical element…and kicking and screaming. Somehow the war comes to him, at the door of the Kneeling Man where he has been trying to work and mind his business, or the Riverlands Webbers, BWB, Gendry, (people looking for both girls), and he just wants to bake, and he gets tied in. Or she runs into him somehow when she is back and it is comical too. Something like a…. “they pull me back in” scenario maybe.



Now my dream, (meaning total speculation and pushing it) and I would love for this to happen, but I am not sure we see it as I imagine... Is if Hot Pie and Gendry meet up, and she, Arya, comes up. Now if Hot Pie runs into Gendry and BWB, it sure as hell is going to, because that very inn is set up to find her, and that is what the BWB is always trying to do: find the girls. How could it not come up?



I would die!



I believe maybe the author might have known this since book 2 and the chapter I just did on RR, because there is a stillness, a big pause at the end where Lommy was killed that you can just cut the tension with a knife; we are really meant to feel and remember that. That blow was struck to Lommy and everything paused in book 2 at that ending. So by Mercy, that was a lovely shock to my system. I almost had to rub my eyes I couldn’t believe it. So it was a shock, but then again not, because I believed she still was tied to her Pack. So much is made with packs, wolves, and leaders, period. Even just through Big Nyms also.



And also there was no way it was going to be any kind of reference to Gendry, his helm, or Dunsen. That will come later though. We got the other perspective, Gendry’s cameo in book 4 when he is miserable at the Inn, two books ago. Now, we need to check up on Hot Pie in book 6 sometime.



But she was way closer to Hot Pie and beyond close with Gendry, so if Lommy can get such a rise out of her, and make her feel that way, forget about the other two. And Big Nyms forget it! When she realizes a few more things…



She recognized Raff right away and for one second grabbed that girl’s arm, almost steeled herself, and then seemed to compose herself within seconds. Not even noticeable.



She looked after Weasal, she made sure Big Nyms got away, more than even Ned could do, she tries to get Gendry back before Harrenhal, and tries to protect Gendry and Hot Pie until she is taken.



You kill someone in her pack, you are dead, and we learn that.



Dunsen is on the list to show her affection for Gendry and just like this chapter emphasizes her anger and his helm being touched BY ANYONE without his consent, and she knows what it means to him, and also, you try to steal him, his identity, that he carved out for himself, well, you just got yourself a nice place on the list.



Arya: Whoops let me get my pencil, er, quill. Take his helm? Ok then, there you go. On my shit/hit list!



Also, it was speculated and ideas were brought forth that Needle is already on Arya. It makes a helluva lot of sense, and I believe if that is the case, and with the Lommy/ wolf pack stuff, she is on her way maybe sooner than I could ever have imagined. That would also be an issue of where the Mercy chapter lies in book 6…



I think it is important to bring up, because if that is the case it changes things. Even things I thought of before.



It is not a theory I came up. I can’t even say it is this fancy, formal thing, because sometimes the best ideas don’t hit that way.



Okay, I will put that in the next post…


Edited by booknerd2

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This and That: Er, Part 2



So that is the beauty of this series…so many things.



From that scene in my last full write up until now:



Arya is steaming,

steaming…that Gendry’s identity (helm) got taken and misrepresented. It was something even made very clear to Ned, and he was firm and it was an involuntary reaction, he was curt and honest, but not rude. And Ned got that right away. I see that as Ned sorta thinking: Even the stubbornness of my friend Robert, he has it… And by the time of later books, we see Arya perhaps struggling to keep her own identity after experimenting with so many out of necessity.


But in Mercy we see, oh, you were worried about me still being Arya….well, let me show you a thing or two…



And it is her boys that will help bring her back. Lommy first, and other things too that will help her get her own identity back fully and do for her as she has done for them. Her Needle from her beloved brother Jon, Big Nyms, WF, etc…but, still speculative, because another thing is, where does this chapter fall in 6? Is it earlier or a bit later?



My thing is: If she doesn’t have Needle yet is earlier. If Needle is on her it is a bit later. Just feels.



But that is also her. Keep smacking her down, and she will bounce right back again. She keeps getting up and up…it is why I love her character. She can do it on her own, but it will be just as sweet to know she is not alone, to remember more vividly that there other people she cares for and she bonded with. It will help. Lommy already has.



The Pack will help her get hers back, return the favor, and in Mercy we see that has already started.



So I write this….



This is from Riverlands Web V.2



So I read that “Mercy chapter.” It went something like this:



Oh, before I do. I did not put everything is chronological order. It didn’t flow that way, and I have way too much. Think of it as random things that hit me from “Mercy.” And I can never say I am overly formal or structured, I just don’t write that way, or think that way either. I can only talk about what struck me or what I noticed or how something made me feel, so surely there are so many other things I don’t mention, didn’t notice, or can’t discuss with conviction, if not something I felt.



Jesus…. H….Hot Pie….Christ….. I jumped up and the i-pad fell. I paced like a lunatic and flipped out from unbridled hopes dancing in my brain. All the angles popping up like moves in cyvasse. Er, I guess.



Oh, God…..oh god oh god oh god oh god…..the wolf Pack…oh god oh god oh god oh god….we are in…still in the game, wolf packers…



It’s her. Not her. But her…still her.



She is thinking of them.



And I got totally toyed with. Who would have thought Lommy or a listee?



Than I thought of my essays over time…all my comments about her and how I felt the Pack was important to her, with the Pack being Gendry and Hot Pie, and Lommy too.



Really, were you surprised? Like you hadn’t felt and sensed such things, and weren’t a bit surprised when some hold that she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about her pack anymore? It was not a gloat for myself. Happiness and reassurance that there are still chances. I’m not writing the book. But the best I can hope for.



Is Hot Pie and Gendry next? She was helpless and could do nothing for Lommy at his sudden and swift death, but what about the people she can? I took it maybe as another clue that she is going to go back to the Riverlands.



I am thinking that Needle and Nymeria, will pull her back first. No…it is the Wolf Pack! (But let us hold on Needle a bit…that theory is coming after my post and it is not mine. I could be very wrong here about Needle in that Mercy excerpt.)



“The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”



The pack in her mind survives. They were buddies. I think it is a reminder how strong those ties in youth are. Look at Ned and Robert. Lommy: someone that was never as close as top tier Gendry and second tier Hot Pie. He still matters to her. She considers him and made him important and acted on it with no hesitation. She placed a value on him. Surprising to me, but then again maybe not.



So Sandor asked a good question: “What the fuck’s a Lommy?”



Well, apparently, he’s everything. Pretty important.



So what about them? And “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives?”



It is not her death or literal death, it means the being on your own stuff has a shelf-life. They bonded and she is not cut off. She cannot escape it or be indifferent too it. Far away in Braavos, Needle is buried?, a new life, and identity change….does NOT matter. And it parallels another chapter, the other “hey, how is the wolf pack doing?” chapter. Gendry is thinking of you in 4 and you are thinking of the pack in 6. Yeah, this connection has been going across 6 books now, from the meeting of the pack in 1 to now.



And it is a nice safe thing to write a chapter about Lommy. Safe but to interpret what it really means. If it was Gendry or a reference to him, it would not be good writing. It would be too blatant, to much hint-dropping. This was good, and it wrapped up the Raff thing. One more strike off the list.



Check my last part 9 post on Re-Thinking Romance. Where I poke fun at Lommy and Hot Pie. How much they complain and whine, and do not pull their weight like Arya and Gendry does to survive. He calls Arya names, and granted, he doesn’t mean it. He is a scared boy, can’t walk, is hungry, and knows that the leg is infected. She still offers to find him food, and is nice to him.



She still cares about him. And takes it personally with Raff. “You do NOT touch my pack.” Yes, even Lommy.



We got a little Sandor/Sansa thinking of you action going on here too, but more subtle. So much time has passed, books even, and they are still thinking of their time on the road and what it meant.



That Benchwarmer essay of mine…means even more to me now.



You are not alone though, Arya. Gendry is a mess at the orphanage. They are looking for you. He can never get away from it. He is thinking of it and faces it everyday since you were taken.



The pack survives. It will get back together, meet again somehow. Those ties binded. It even gives me some hope for Hot Pie. The show gave a nice nod too. In the show, Hot Pie just got stuck giving advice to the Webbers Brienne and Pod, and that was like a dream scenario on how to get Hot Pie back into the story.



Two things struck out for me that she did: She assists the Stranger. Has to find a needle. This is when she is getting the acting troupe ready.



Did you see that?



Okay some quotes and then a little of how I took it and stuff.



“She woke with a gasp, not knowing who she was, or where.”



Well she does by the end. Nice opening. The coverlet like a snake…hold that thought throughout the story. Wait for the end, the opener links to the end of the excerpt.



“Half-light filled the room, grey and gloomy.”



She dreamed of wolves. She is still herself, her identity, the Starkness trying to break though to her. The light hasn’t penetrated all the way yet, gray is for Stark. Nymeria is reaching out to her and is still there. That bond can’t be broken either. But her awakening has begun, and things by the end of this excerpt will have taken a turn. Big Nyms is out there doing what she is doing, and later so will Arya be doing something similar.



“She took a breath to quiet the howling in her heart,”



This is like Stranger trying to bust out of the stable. Her wolfness, who she is, is in her head, and wants to break out. It is in her heart too as we can see.



“…a tree that watched her as she ran.”



Oh, boy…BR, Bran?



“…only a wall of shifting grey fog.”



I took the weather as Stark allusions. Dream-like. Her identity is fogged over. With fog, it covers stuff. It is still there, but you have to look for it. Find it. It is Starkness coming at her. Think of the last scene of Gone with the Wind and before that. Scarlett has bad dreams, she is lost, she has to find something. She has reoccurring dreams of fog, that she faces at the end for real as she races back to the Butler mansion. For him. Because the fog has cleared, she is plowing through it literally and figuratively. Rhett is what she has been seeking. She knows now that she loves him. He has been what she has been looking for her whole life, and doesn’t know it until then. The fog of her obsession with Ashley is over.



So Arya’s past, her old life infiltrates. This was a test…to show us. Westeros came back to her. And she deals with it.



As an aside, I had to chuckle: She still can’t sew…neither can I. I admire anyone that can.



“….had a pretty smile, and a certain grace.”



She is coming into beauty and the rest is from Syrio and the water dance training. From herself too…



“Sailors would hail her as she passed the docks, calling down from the decks of tarry Ibbenese whalers and big-bellied Westerosi cogs. Mercy could not always understand their words, but she knew what they were saying. Sometimes she would smile back and tell them they could find her at the Gate if they had the coin.”



Coming into her own and growing up. Telling us that she is becoming striking. Skinny, flat chested means nothing. This is the face that is captivating…and the movement. Even with a shaved head. Covered up. That many men were looking. There are certainly more beautiful and elegantly put together women in Braavos. She stands out though. Many of the women and the standard or pedestal of feminine value at the time was long hair and of course elaborate gowns. She doesn’t need it. Now, more carriage, and she is learning how to deal with that. Yes, the face is Mercy, I think? What I am trying to say is that before that, with her own, people were complimenting her face was pretty as time passed more from book 1... It is changing, getting there. So by the time her real looks catch up, she is ready. She can act and feel beautiful, but not truly until herself matches her real physical self. Taking someone else's face is a mask, I won't be surprised what it is like, when she doesn't use masks, nor mask her identity.



“The long way also took her across the Bridge of Eyes with its carved stone faces. From the top of its span, she could look through the arches and see all the city: the green copper domes of the Hall of Truth, the masts rising like a forest from the Purple Harbor, the tall towers of the mighty, the golden thunderbolt turning on its spire atop the Sealord’s Palace… even the Titan’s bronze shoulders, off across the dark green waters. But that was only when the sun was shining down on Braavos. If the fog was thick there was nothing to see but grey, so today Mercy chose the shorter route to save some wear on her poor cracked boots.”



LF and Syrio flashed into my mind. Nothing big here. Just the mention of the Titan and the Sealord respectively…I got goosebumps.



Ok, Gendry….



So we get another comparison. We are asked to interact and compare two men and two chapters. Two scenes. What is missing from one and not the other? Let’s play a game! What she deserves and how it should be done, the right show of future love, physical admiration, respect, attraction, period, well, that is Gendry. We are meant to compare her acorn dress and scene with Gendry, to her scene with Raff. In which, like any old movie, even old noir ones, the femme fatale tricks the guy, and he has no idea until it is too late or something bad goes down.



So we learned: Do and Don’t. It is very simple really. It means more now to them than it ever did at the time it happened. Yes, all that work Martin put into the Feather bed song means something. That is how you do it. That is right. Not a disgusting Raff laying on the featherbed in your FM-financed apartment that doesn’t love you and wants to use and has hurt you, and a pack member.



Do: Acorn dress with Gendry. That is a gentleman. That is love.



Don’t: Raff’s entire exchange – He admires her as an object in which to get some gratification for his wenis. Like the Hangover, wolf pack, reference? LOL! That is all. He is a cad. He is a disgusting human being. And it is all wrong, and nothing like the Acorn Dress scene. She is truly valued there, for all the right reasons.



We are meant to make the comparison



Raff might be her first kiss… that sonofabitch!



I do laugh thinking of Gendry. What, what do we give it, five seconds before he punched him in the face, if he was there? Knocked his ass out flat. He wouldn’t have even let him touch her before his fist or a hammer flew out.



There is so much reference to grey, fog, mist – a day in Braavos. Foggy for her, she is not herself. It is Mercy. On a sunny clear day, she would be Arya, she has to escape the fog of Braavos, the fog over her identity, and one day leave….to truly be herself again. It is always not sunny in Braavos…but it is always sunny in Philadelphia.



It was the beauty of her scenes with Gendry and the pack on the road. Disaster at every turn, but she would wake up, travel, or hunt and there would be green rolling hills, flowers, the sun shining down. Ok, so there was misery too, due to hunger and danger, but beauty of the dealing with everything together, some funny moments too. But it was real.



The fog might be alluding to confusion or the point that she is covered up with another identity she is utilizing.



But back to the comparison of Acorn Dress and Raff’s gross stuff…



But in a way, she handled it without Gendry. And she puts Bobono in his place too. The sailors that eye her…she deals with a smile and goes about her day. She will be okay and can handle herself. Makes me think it is not the first time…damn it, poor girl.



Gendry put that perv ass in his place at the Peach. She can do it herself now. One hand on his shoulder and a threatening look…like let me make myself clear, asshole! Touch her, I will hurt you. Gendry has tried to protect her from the day they first met with Yoren and she had to deal with Hot Pie and Lommy. There is evidence on the road that I usually discuss on Re-Thinking Romance, and even at the Peach.



If she is pissed about Lommy…if anyone messes with Gendry down the road. Hello. I think I’ve got my answer.



She does have a quick reaction. She sees the uniforms. It reminds her of groups of lions looking for them from their time on the road, and every bad thing that has happened to her and her family.



A big thing with this too…she is getting the last laugh. We get satisfaction and relief too. Her role in the play and her role in the play-acting with Raff, well, it is what EVERYBODY that cares for her/is looking for her, is worried might actually have HAPPENED to her. It just plays out like a farce, it doesn’t happen, it is only an act on stage, and what she staged with Raff. This is like Gendry’s worst nightmare as he sits at that orphanage and thinks and worries, and tries to find her. What if she was raped? Hurt? Beat up? Murdered? She has found her pack. She just has to make it happen physically one day too when they meet again. Her “role” in the play is exactly what LS, Gendry, BWB, Sandor, Brienne, everyone is hoping hasn’t happened to her.



She is like the girl in the Acorn Dress song. This time it is serious. She is dancing around everyone that loves her and their perceptions/worst case scenario worries of what happened to her and she gets the last laugh. So do we. She is safe.



It is Raff that isn’t. Injured in the leg…and just like Lommy. Raff was about to take advantage of her. She takes advantage of his taking advantage of her.



And the grabbing his package was symbolic. She has him by the balls. He is not getting away with what happened to her, nor what he did to Lommy.



That one, was for the Pack. On her. A freebie. Ok, and Raff is on her


shit/hit list.



Snake coverlet, serpent boat…green…a lot of mentions for snake or snake-like. Ties in with the end. And it probably refers to how she strikes at the end. Even slithering that finger down his leg until it is too late.



Slimy…like a snake…like Raff, and those words appear a lot too.



There is blood in her dreams in the beginning. She is sharing with Nymeria. There is blood at the end. Nymeria most likely made a kill at the beginning. She does it at the end with Raff.



Arya dreams of prey in the beginning of the story and wakes up, then she sees her prey in the theatre and has almost he same reaction. And her true identity gives a little start and begins to awaken. She clutches her friend’s arm and recovers nicely.



“…the far end of the bridge vanished in greyness.” Got that, Freys? Winter is coming. Lady Winter will be there soon. So will others.



With Raff and Swfyt, Westeros came to her a lot quicker than I thought. In her face…and this is reaction time, window peering time for the reader and if you love Arya, and you want to kind of gauge what is going on with her. And what it is going to take to get back to Westeros.



The remark about Wendeyne giving sexual favors to get what she wants is very clear. Not me. Never. But I will act like it…just like the show later on stage…to lure Raff and get revenge. Wendeyne is the real thing. She will do those things. Me, Arya, it is only playacting.



Poor thing – The Bloody Hand – Ned. Lady Stork…for chrissakes like the name Lady Stoneheart isn’t bad enough.



She can deal with the king of mummers, Izembaro…she is the queen of all of them in this chapter.



The fat one – is Robert – Robert saw she was a handful at the direwolf sentencing. She gets around it and saves Big Nyms. She gets around the mummer king too.



It is noted that she has such a small role as Mercy, she really has a big one offstage, yet is acting with Raff, before the kill.



Phario Forel – name drop – oh, that was cruel. I loved Syrio.



Daena – Same name as the Targaryen, the Defiant.



Many references to light and fog…



Now for the kiss, ugh!



The kiss is like an eel; the tongue, all wet and slimy, and later, he will be disposed of by eels, and even the word slick pops up in the chapter. She will have to be to pull this off. They meet his dead body later. Raff paid dearly for that kiss. She does not enjoy it…and it does nothing for her and we are meant to get that in the description. Maybe with the right person one day it will be and under better circumstances….Oh, God, Gendry would have body slammed him, or a hammer to the nuts.



So she acts like a dopey airhead. Exactly not like Arya.



Mercy licked it with her tongue. I thought of the reference again of snakes, eels, and snake tongues. This is the kiss of death by Lady Winter…bitch!



When she told him she knows his name was Raff, I got nervous. He’d suspect something or question her. She was throwing it in his face that she knows something he doesn’t. Then I thought of Oberyn’s taunting Gregor and flipped. No! Not too confident, Arya. That is how grave mistakes are made!



And all of the “I want him. I want him so bad.” And totally so it sounds like to Daena and the reader that she liked Raff. Little does Daena know she wants to kill that bastard and shorten the list.



Slid the knife down his thigh. And she stalls and probably hit a major vein or artery. Not a maester, bad with that stuff, if it has a name. She waits and acts giddy and dumb to let him bleed out and weaken so he won’t go for her.



It works.



She makes the references to him having to walk. She acts like he did with Raff. He talked normally to Lommy until he used the spear on him.



With the “carry me,” there is no question that was for the Pack and Lommy. Their “play” ended and so did he. No more taunts. She had to act and weaken him, and got in what she had too, in stall time. No further lines. Just what was said with Lommy; no more no less. “Carry me, think so?” Then the knife…



It is apparent that for her it is justice. Raff is getting what he did to Lommy. Exactly what he said and how he treated him. It is apparent that it still bothers her. The Leader of the Pack…remembers. Just like “the North Remembers.”



“Valar Morghulis.” I think of Jaqen and Harrenhal, and the people of three, and how people end up dead. We don’t see the lengths he went to, nor how he does it. We get an idea. Also, it is a reminder of her terrible time there.



Lights going out in Raff’s eyes…there were many light references in this.



She danced around him – Her dance of death. Her play-acting. He had no idea what is coming.



She cracks an “old” joke. I was happy he didn’t get pissed, that she said that to his face.



She tries to get him to nap. How was she going to kill him? Was that Plan A? Plan B was the knife to the thigh?



She remarks about the gods of many faces – no R’hllor?



Green…the color comes up a lot. Totally in regard to snakes. But also, blue, purple, yellow – many color references.



Ah, my girl. Living on her own in an apartment, but the stuff is not hers. FM stuff.



There are lots of references to razor, blades, swords, knife… hinting at the knifing at the end.



This whole excerpt deal, and the focus with time, hour, and being late…she is expected. You are expected in Westeros. We are shown she is taking her time, but she will be there when it counts. Mercy, not her is bad with time. But she is not Arya.



Obviously Mercedes is close to Mercedene, meaning mercy. She will have none for Raff. She started her day kicking a snake-like coverlet off her, Raff ends it, and ends his days, with his body being eaten by snake-like eels..




So people respond and LeCygne just throws this back out at me:



I think it's very likely Needle. It's a cloak, lots of room. He's giving us a lot of detail:



The blade doesn't belong to Mercy. And at the end of a chapter filled with references about her old life, she's Arya.



It's described as "the long thin blade came sliding from her sleeve" (she's got something up her sleeve).



She owns a very well-loved long thin blade. And adding this... "A real blade." A "treasure."



It makes the arc complete, that's when she lost Needle, and now she's got it back, when she avenges Lommy.



There are hints throughout the chapter (needle and thread, she's not good at that kind of sewing).



They are secret pockets: first she hid Needle from the FM, now she's hiding Needle in a mummer's cloak.



If he's going to this much trouble to suggest Needle, just make it Needle.



This also sounds very much like the show scene: "She slipped it through his throat beneath the chin, twisted, and ripped it back out sideways with a single smooth slash."







This is mine. But cut out is the part where I am flabbergasted. I just never entertained it being present yet. So I let it sink in…and then I ask myself: why not? And sometimes comparisions are warranted, okay, sometimes silly ones on my part, but sometimes when trying to take in, process something, and swirl it around to try to understand or see how it sits, sometimes it is just that simple:




“It makes the arc complete, that's when she lost Needle, and now she's got it back, when she avenges Lommy.”



Ok, this is why I have problems. LOL! When my visions stick too firmly in my head, and I pass up clues….things to think about.



I pictured in my mind something, my golden egg Needle reuniting dream: She is on the run, has little time, shoves her little hand into the ground and pulls Needle out and goes….Thundercats….hooooooo!



LOL! Er, something like that.



No, we don’t need a big production. We already know how big it is. I can see that totally being the reason, if this is the case.



Like when Superman as Clark gets the crap beaten out of him and he only wants a cheeseburger…well, and Lois. He shivers and ice cold snot is running down his nose to hoof it to the Fortress. He becomes Superman again. Much is made of it; big production.



You are so right. How anticlimactic if much ado is made and we see her retrieve it? Very anticlimactic, maybe? This. 100,000 times better, it would be. Maybe we got it already, because for me one of the hardest to swallow scenes was her putting Needle away. True, why would we see something like that again?



And it is not like KM will let her have it back, right? She was supposed to not have it. That little rebel…



But I did have that feel also and on the flip side, and it goes with the possibility that she already has Needle on her. We’ll just know she has it one day. That the surprise would be pulled so fast on us, like the one second to rip a sword out of a scabbard. But that feel came and went, back and forth.



Not this though. I hadn’t considered it.



Maybe it is that simple. She has Needle. What does that mean? She is even more disobedient? Her mind is already made up but she has to sit tight for a bit for the right time? She did not expect to see Harys and Raff. She sees clearly and isn’t listening to anyone. She knows what is right for herself? She was Mercy but she was in an awfully good mood too. I got the vibe. Ayra knows something we don’t. Could be wrong. But if felt it….but I didn’t think it was that, that it was Needle. She comes off as very well-possessed and more in control in that chapter.



I missed this too. “She's not good at that kind of sewing”.



Just another allusion to her old life and very Arya…



Now total speculation…of course, it could be wrong. But it really truly gives me something to think about.



And I’ll just do what I’ve been doing, with this, and other stuff or ideas I’ve seen or thought about. Read, rip apart, write a little blurb, let it marinate, wait, see if I feel differently, come back to it and look again, rinse…repeat.



And I’m not done. I think there are still things to look for in Arya and Pack chapters. The Gendry chapter in book 4 and other stuff too.


Edited by booknerd2

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I do not quite understand how this thread works, but I am enjoying it. Thank you for all the work.


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I've finished Sam and Gilly part 2. My apologies for taking so long!




Sam and Gilly. Part 2.


“No happy choices and no happy endings.” Samwell Tarly.


Part one was the story of Sam and Gilly journeying from Craster’s Keep to the Wall. While they had many terrors and hardships along the way, they discovered their courage and that love can come to any one; even the craven.


After sometime spent at Castle Black, Sam and Gilly journey again, but this journey is very different from the last. This is not a journey of discovery, but a passage to misery. It is an unexpected voyage; Sam sent away to the Citadel in Oldtown to earn a Maester’s chain, something he does not want. Maester Aemon and Gilly sent away with Dalla’s boy to protect the old man and babe from Melisandre’s fires. At Eastwatch, they are joined by Dareon, a singer whose task is to sing about the NW in hopes of gaining recruits.


They travel by the NW ship, the Blackbird to Braavos. A journey filled with Gilly’s tears and grief, Maester Aemon’s increasingly frail health and Dareon growing drunkenness and hostility. Gilly’s constant grief is something Sam does not understand until blind Maester Aemon tells him what Sam cannot see; she was forced to leave her babe at the Wall and bring Dalla’s boy to protect him. Sam learns that even good men like Jon must make hard choices that make no one happy.


Once they land in Braavos the misery continues. Maester Aemon becomes too weak to travel and their money is quickly spent. Dareon sings to earn coin but spends more and more of it on wine and whores. The situation comes to a head when Sam hunts the winesinks and brothels in search of him.


He’s saved from some pompous bravos by a waif selling clams who also tells him where to find Dareon. Once he’s found, he and Sam have a fistfight as Dareon refuses to return with Sam and tells him he’s leaving the NW. The fight ends when Sam is dumped in a canal. He almost drowns but is saved by a big man from the Summer Isles; Xhondo.


Xhondo tells Sam all he has heard about dragons. When this is told to Maester Aemon, he becomes very animated and revived. Xhondo helps them negotiate passage to Oldtown on the ship Cinnamon Wind. It is when they are traveling on the Cinnamon Wind luck turns.



There is a Change on the Wind.


Their situation gets worse before it gets better tho. Maester Aemon’s recovery was brief and he soon became even more weak and frail till at last he dies. Sam gives an eulogy ending with the poignant phrase “And now his watch has ended.” The crew of the Cinnamon Wind gathered for Sam’s words and after saying them he cried deep sobs for his old friend leaning on Gilly‘s shoulder.


The ship is a trade ship from the Summer Islands and they honor the dead a bit differently than the Westerosi traditions. After he cries for a bit, Xhondo says “Black Sam said good words. Now we drink his life.” The custom of celebrating the life of Maester Aemon had begun. Spiced rum is served and Sam and Gilly both try their first tastes of rum. They quietly share stories together of Maester Aemon and Gilly wants to name Dalla’s boy after him. They decide the name will be ‘Aemon Steelsong’. “When he is two,” she promised, “not before.”


Sam wonders where the babe is and Gilly tells him, the Captain’s daughter, Kojja Mo has taken him for a time. They drink several more cups of rum until Gilly says she’s dizzy and Sam helps her down to the cabin. He bangs his head on a lantern, Gilly says “Are you hurt? Let me see.” She leans in close and plants a big ole kiss on Sam’s mouth! He’s kissing her back and she’s tugging at his laces and he says “We can’t” and Gilly insists “We can.” And they do!


She bares her breasts for him and puts a nipple in his mouth. Mother’s milk and rum for a Sweet Amore cocktail. The sweetness was tempered with a bit of guilt of course, but then Sam discovers he’s very hard and exposed and Gilly knew just to do. She whispers “I am your wife now.” and Sam could only say “Yes.” After the loving they fell asleep in each others arms…



The next morning Sam awakes alone in his own bunk and is consumed with guilt and shame. He goes topside to his ship chores and the hard work of avoiding Gilly. He is not able to reconcile his love for Gilly, the very human gift of physical intimacy she has shared with him and his vows of the Night Watch.


Sam spends the day working on avoiding Gilly. If she came topside, he went below. If she came forward, he went aft. If she smiled at him, he would look away. But they weren't alone on the ship and at the end of the work day Xhondo took Sam by the scruff of the neck and delivers him to Kojja Mo.


She points to the coast of Dorne and tells Sam he can swim there, or go to Gilly. Sam protests and Kojja Mo then tells Sam; “…you honored your dead, and the gods who made you both. ..All you Westerosi make a shame of loving. There is no shame in loving. If your septons say there is, your seven gods must be demons. In the isles we know better. Our gods gave us legs to run with, noses to smell with, hands to touch and feel. What mad cruel god would give a man eyes and tell him he must forever keep them shut, and never look at all the beauty in the world? Only a monster god, a demon of darkness.” She puts her hand between Sam’s legs and tell him “The gods gave you this for…fucking. For the giving of pleasure and the making of children. There is no shame in that.”


Sam protests that he took a vow to “…take no wife, father no children. I said the words.”


Then Kojja Mo tells Sam “She knows the words you said…She knows why you wear the black, why you go to Oldtown. She knows she cannot keep you. She wants you for a little while is all. She lost her father and her husband, her mother and her sisters, her home, her world. All she has is you, and the babe. So you go to her, or swim”


So Sam goes to Gilly, tells her if he could, he would take her as wife, he can't because he “…said the words before a heart tree.” And the ever sweet and understanding Gilly replies “The trees watch over us. In the forest they see all…but there are no trees here. Only water Sam. Only water.”


As they approach Oldtown they see the effects of Euron’s raiders and Sam realizes that there could be war coming this way. He ponders what to do with Gilly. Keep her at Oldtown with him? Send her away with the Cinnamon Wind or send her to Horn Hill? He decides as planned, to send her to his mother at Horn Hill.


Discussion and Analyses.


As noted this journey starts out terribly for Sam and Gilly. Gilly’s despondency over the switching of the babies and the loss of her own son affects everyone. In Braavos their situation is worsened by the continued wailing of Gilly and babe, Maester Aemon’s worsening illness and Daeron’s increasing hostility and final abandonment of them.


Once on the Cinnamon Wind Maester Aemon dies and Sam and Gilly get caught up in the drinking of rum to celebrate Maester Aemon’s life. But then, down in the Women’s Quarters, Gilly's kiss, turns into more and Sam and Gilly make sweet, although brief love.


Later, Sam is so wracked with guilt he thinks of jumping in the sea but instead spends the whole day doing everything he can avoid Gilly. The Southern Islanders see this and take matters into their own hands and tell Sam about their ways of mourning the dead.


Thanks to Kojja Mo, Sam realizes that Gilly has given him a gift; of intimacy, love and affection. She only wants the same in return and knows his responsibilities to the NW still apply. But Sam also now understands, that he needs to respect the physical aspect of her gifts in the spirit it was given and goes to Gilly. He confesses his shame and worry about his vows, and here Gilly gives him another gift. She understands, accepts that reality and forgives him.


Sam’s story is part of Martin’s continuing comment on the absurdity and extreme difficulty of keeping vows of chastity and celibacy. Sam slams into the reality of just how unrealistic this type of vow is. He is very attracted to Gilly from the first time he meets her and as he spends more time with her it becomes inevitable that his ability to keep this vow will be challenged. After the misery of the voyage to and time spent in Braavos, his defenses completely breakdown in the wake of the grieving of Maester Aemon’s death.


The Summer Islanders however, are there to educate Sam that the breaking of this vow, at this time, is not the sin he thinks it is. He deserves Gilly’s love and wants to return that love as well. Kojja Mo wisely informs him that sex can be a gift from the gods, one best when freely given and accepted and returned with grace. Gilly knows this brief interlude is temporary, but is willing to take the chance anyway.


So Sam and Gilly consummate their love with the knowledge that the future is uncertain but that the present matters too. When the ships docks at Oldtown, our our ever responsible Sam, knows time to do his duty at the Citadel for the NW and tears himself away from Gilly.


This journey, one so difficult and times is seemingly so endless in its gloom and despair, ends quite brightly. Sam experiences physical love for the first time and must confront the breaking of his vows. He learns that vows are fine but some can only go far and like Jon Snow, he must learn to live with that dichotomy. Kojja Mo is there to guide the way for Sam and he learns that for the rest of the journey, he can relax and love Gilly.


But what of Gilly? Gilly experiences grief, fear, and a deep loneliness. The journey is so difficult and the worst happens, she is separated from the child of her body and her grief knows no bounds. Maester Aemon cares but cannot assuage her grief. Sam and Daemon are oblivious and so she is left alone with a stranger; a babe she must suckle and care for as her own. As her grief abates she learns to love the child in her arms, and sees that Sam has been there for her too, as best that he can. She realizes she loves him too.


So Gilly, the simple wilding girl, the girl raised her whole life knowing her father was to be her husband and father of her children, a girl with no choices in these matters, makes a woman’s choice; a choice of her own. She chooses Sam.


Sam speaks a touching eulogy for Maester Aemon after which he and Gilly drink spiced rum and remember the departed Maester. So under the effects of rum, the funeral and the Southern Islanders she takes matters into her own hands and chooses this moment to show her love to Sam. The wilding girl has become a woman.


So, did this part of their story have a happy ending or no? Ah, yes and no. Sam and Gilly have strengthened their relationship through sexual intimacy and learning that not all things are permanent, but to be enjoyed in the moment. Sam also learns that not all peoples feel shame in sex. He realized too, that in a situation such as his and Gilly’s, this approach to love and life can have meaning, if only for a short time, even for one such as him. So not a ‘happy’ ending, but one that is bittersweet.


Do Sam and Gilly continue to have sex during the rest of the journey? I believe they do. The ship is sailed by a people who have a very different approach to sex then the Westerosi so in that environment, he would not be shamed if he and Gilly continued. Plus, the text is subtle but he wrestles with doubts the rest of the voyage.


He reflects that the Citadel ‘did not permit novices to keep wives or paramours, at least not openly. He thinks “Besides, if I stay with Gilly very much longer, how will I ever find the strength to leave her?” He had to leave her, or desert. “I said the words, if I desert it will mean my head, and how will that help Gilly?” Also, when Sam departs for the Citadel she gives him a kiss for luck. But if Sam and Gilly continued to have sex as I believe, does Gilly have Sam’s bastard in her belly? Alas, we are left with questions that must wait to be answered.


In Part 1 I discussed the wedding cloak imagery that begins with their first meeting. As they make love Gilly whispers “I am your wife.” and Sam answers “Yes.” Also in Part 1, Sam sings to Gilly a hymn about the gods protecting the little children. As difficult as it was, Sam did what he could to protect and keep safe the little child that is Dalla’s babe. Are these small foreshadowing of a future marriage of Sam and Gilly? Will Sam have a little child of his own to protect some day? Well, I certainly hope so!


So Sam and Gilly’s relationship has moved forward. But Sam, like Jon returns to his NW responsibilities alone. But the parting is made with planning for Gilly’s future with Sam’s family, not a parting as full of the traumas and regrets as the partings Jon and Ygritte.


Gilly is last seen waiting on the boat for Sam’s return the next day to start her next trip to Horn Hill. Does the Cinnamon Wind stay in port if Sam doesn't return the next day? Marwyn rushed from the Citadel to join the boat for the return trip, does the boat leave earlier than expected?


In the end both Sam and Gilly have grown, in their love, in their knowledge of each other and their shared life experience. But Oldtown is where they must part ways, so their journey’s end is bittersweet.


********

Yeah, I’m Going There…


I have to mention the one phrase that most people think of when/if they think of Sam or Sam and Gilly. “And suddenly his cock was out, jutting upward from his breeches like a fat pink mast. It looked so silly standing there he might have laughed, but Gilly pushed him back onto her pallet, hiked her skirt up around her thighs, and lowered herself onto him with a little whimpery sound.” (my italics)


Sam, the shy virgin gets the surprise of his life from the love of his life and he just doesn't know what to think of himself. His father had told him before he joined the NW that he expected Sam to die ’a maid.’ Well, some parts of Sam and Gilly just didn't agree.


One other thing, the fandom enjoys the ’trope busting’ from GRRM and lets face it ’fat pink mast’ busts the many tropes for describing an erection. Very unlike Tyrion’s “purple bulbous head’ for example, which is more inline with descriptions of such things. So GRRM’s simple ‘fat pink mast’ has blown many minds with it’s humble description.


I personally think it is quite funny and a bit of surprising description on first read. Once Sam gets his, um, sea legs, he may think quite differently about this part of his anatomy. Gilly didn't seem to think it was funny tho, and she knew just what to do with it!


Last Word;


I think that chapters in AFFC were so bleak and wretched, that these chapters affected how many in the fandom feel about Sam and caused them to dislike the him more than many already did. Really, it’s a shame in my view as Sam and Gilly’s story is really rather sweet but gets lost in the doldrums of such boring and grim episodes. The ‘fat pink mast’ was distracting to the story for many and is all that they remember. It’s too bad.


******


Thank you for reading!

Edited by LongRider

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I do not quite understand how this thread works, but I am enjoying it. Thank you for all the work.

Thanks! :) They all did such a nice job. It's a collection of individual re-reads, and there is more on the way. This was meant to be a sort of "love wiki" - a place where you could read about the stories, the things that are usually left out of chapter summaries - romance!

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<snip>

Loved your take on Mercy! I meant to comment on that before...

Edited by Le Cygne

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<snip>

I really loved that! I read part 1 again, too, and you told the story so beautifully.

The part I think the author pulls off so nicely is there are all of these truly horrible things going on around them, but here they are, wherever they find themselves, in the midst of the sweetest love story in the series.

I love the way you showed how even though they found themselves in difficult situations, they made choices, and they were choices to love. Each other, and Dalla's baby.

And the nicely shown contrast of the way Sam's father and Gilly responded to Sam. Also the marital symbolism, and I hope that's in their future, after all they have been through.

And I love that you went there with the fat pink mast! Like you said, Gilly seems to like the cut of his jib just fine. :)

Edited by Le Cygne

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I really loved that! I read part 1 again, too, and you told the story so beautifully.

The part I think the author pulls off so nicely is there are all of these truly horrible things going on around them, but here they are, wherever they find themselves, in the midst of the sweetest love story in the series.

I love the way you showed how even though they found themselves in difficult situations, they made choices, and they were choices to love. Each other, and Dalla's baby.

And the nicely shown contrast of the way Sam's father and Gilly responded to Sam. Also the marital symbolism, and I hope that's in their future, after all they have been through.

And I love that you went there with the fat pink mast! Like you said, Gilly seems to like the cut of his jib just fine. :)

Thanks Le Cygne! I have to say that while the actual writing of an essay can be a bit difficult, it pays off as one gets to know the characters and situations they're in so much better and can see the small details and can bring them out. That's the case with Sam and Gilly, a love story that doesn't get that much attention from the fans. GRRM however, paid attention to the details and themes, large and small and it's really a fine, sweet love story. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to look deeper into their story.

Love your last line! Perfect!

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I'm a big fan of Sam & Gilly's love story. I liked how you pointed out GRRM's ongoing theme of the impossible nature of celibacy vows. I do think that this is something which runs through the books, you have essentially 4 organisations which forbid marriage and because sex outside of a marriage is technically also forbidden the unsaid connotations for forbidding marriage is that sex is forbidden.



We have the Septons & Septas, who are celibate, the Maesters who have not been explicitly said to be celibate but who we assume are supposed to be, they are supposed to dedicate themselves to service, they clearly can't marry & Pycelle having a woman in his bed is suggested to us in Tyrion's POV that he is breaking the rules. Then the Kings Guard, we know are again supposedly celibate & of course the Nights Watch.



And just as in real life we find that people in these organisations struggle to keep their vows. Its a really good reflection on the absurdity of forbidding people from having sex.



I think that the journey to Braavos & their time their whilst fraught with upset & difficulty shows a family, it's almost like Sam is tasked as the father here, he is caring for his wife & child and the elderly relative. He is striving to provide for them and to keep them warm. His character is continually developing, from craven sam whom we meet in AGOT to Sam who is stepping up in AFFC, he's growing all the time, he is able to grow not through any of the harsh methods his dad metered out to him, but through love. His love for Jon sparks the journey, their friendship empowers him to become a brother truly a brother not just of the NW but a brother in their little group of young men, he responds to Gilly when she pleads with him for help, and obviously he is attracted to her, but I think new Sam would have wanted to help no matter if she had not appealed to him physically, new sam who has become bolder through brotherly love, and through the love of his mentor Aemon who validated his interests and encouraged them, and new Sam not only wants to help, he takes action to do so. Craven Sam would have been too afraid of the consequences to seek assistance in Jon, though at this time he can't help her, not even with his new friend, he does as we know later choose to do so.



So these various forms of love are enabling Sam to grow as a man, Once he is alone with Gilly he begins really growing, the responsibility he feels to get her and her son to safety pushes him to "man up" and once again he finds necessity prods him into action, Daeron isn't going to be the leader their little group needs so Sam will, I love that he goes to fisticuffs with the deserting singer, craven sam would NEVER have done such a thing, but New Sam does, new Sam ends up in the canal still, but what of it? the winning wasn't the point was it, the point was that love has strengthened him, love has grown him some balls. I think if someone told Randyl Tarly that his son walked into a brothel and called out a deserter, he'd not believe them in a million years.



And love gives him a reason to carry on, when they have nothing left, and the situation is growing ever more desperate love strengthens his sword arm once more, and he is determined to get them passage, somehow, there are people who need him, damn it!!! New Sam, bolstered by love works his arse off to get his family passage, he rows and hauls and sweats buckets, he's got grit now, he got it because of love, no amount of aurochs blood baths could give him what love could.



Then the tragedy Aemon dies and its a huge low point in the books, everyone loves Aemon. Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to bring up, I loved that you noted how Gilly told him she was his wife now. I love is because she gets to live a fantasy for a while, a fantasy that she probably grew up thinking could never happen, she got to choose for herself a husband. She tells him, You are my husband. :D Go Gilly! and that little whimper she gives as she slides down his cock. fist pump moment for me personally, can you imagine getting to have sex with a man you choose for the first time after having been forced to endure your fathers dick for years and years.



I hope she rode the fuck out of him.



I'm sure she did. lol.

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Love your comments TWE! Yes, one look at that 'fat pink mast' and she hoisted up her sails and pumped out the ballast! LOL!

I love is because she gets to live a fantasy for a while, a fantasy that she probably grew up thinking could never happen, she got to choose for herself a husband.


This is an important theme with some of GRRM's female characters, we see them grow and reach for agency. Here with Gilly we have a girl who is doing what she may have thought she never could. Her marriage to Craster was an 'arranged' marriage just as the marriages and betrothals we see in Westeros.

But that Gilly, she pushed the envelope; she approaches Sam at Craster's Keep when to do so was dangerous for her and him. One step at time and she makes a free choice, her choice in the man she wants as husband, and beds him too!

Without Jon and the NW Sam would not have the opportunity for growth that has changed him, and his relationship with Gilly takes that even further. What a great story really.

Thanks for your post, you caught what I missed.

:thumbsup:

Edited by LongRider

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She's one hell of a woman, she endured abuse, she reached out in spite of the danger, and when opportunity did finally arise she grabbed it and she escaped, she lost her whole family in the process too, her mother/sister, auntsisters niecesisters. her home and all because her son means so much to her she needs to save him, but then she has to leave him too. and love another woman's baby, and sets out to travel half the world, which must take a huge amount of bravery given that she had never before left the confines of the keep and forest around it. She is a vastly underappreciated character, strong women are sprinkled liberally throughout the books and Gilly is up there with the most lauded imo.



I hope we see more of her too, I so want her to settle into life at Horn Hill and give Sam's family the account of their journey, it will blow their minds to imagine Sam killing an other, (not to mention that they actually exist!) bravely protecting her and "their" son through the land beyond the wall, and then taking charge as they travelled to Braavos, looking after them all, standing up to the deserter Daeron, finding them passage and working his arse off on the ship. They'll be stood open mouthed. lol.


Edited by The Weirwoods Eyes

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When Gilly first contacted Sam and then Jon about leaving Craster's, she offered both of them "I could be your wife." This was I think her offer to be a sex slave in order to leave her father and his abuse and to save her unborn babe. We see this with Theon and the ship captain's daughter when she offers to be his salt wife, again as a way to better her situation. (good thing for her that Theon said no) This is a sad offering from one who is desperate and has nothing else to give.



However, on the Cinnamon Wind, Gilly the woman strongly declares "I am your wife." So different from the pleading of a frightened girl in a desperate situation. Gilly the woman, taking things in hand. She instinctively knew that if their relationship was to progress, Sam would need a push. And Sam says "Yes" The love sick fool!



I'd like to see her telling Sam's family of his exploits as well. His mother would really love that!


Edited by LongRider

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I am replying from my phone so this won't be a long reply but I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this essay Longrider. It seemed like a labor of love for you. I don't think I picked up on the cloak symbol for Sam and Gilly before but it is really amazing how George throws these little details in consistently to give a hint of what is really going on. He consistently uses the cloak of protection idea as a means of showing us that these two people are married, not officially or legally, but in the way that counts most, in their own minds and hearts. And nice discussion too on Gilly's agency and that she is choosing Sam of her own free will as opposed to the first time she made the offer back at Craster's which was more of an attempt to make a bargain because of her desperate circumstances.

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I am replying from my phone so this won't be a long reply but I just wanted to say that I enjoyed this essay Longrider. It seemed like a labor of love for you. I don't think I picked up on the cloak symbol for Sam and Gilly before but it is really amazing how George throws these little details in consistently to give a hint of what is really going on. He consistently uses the cloak of protection idea as a means of showing us that these two people are married, not officially or legally, but in the way that counts most, in their own minds and hearts. And nice discussion too on Gilly's agency and that she is choosing Sam of her own free will as opposed to the first time she made the offer back at Craster's which was more of an attempt to make a bargain because of her desperate circumstances.

Thanks Elba!

I do like Sam and Gilly's story and there is quite a bit too them really once one digs into their stories. The groom giving the bride his cloak in the formal weddings of Westeros is a beautiful custom in my view and I've grown to like it. Of course, it had to be pointed out to me that that was what was happening the various Sansa/Sandor scenes where this occurs, so once I became aware of that I found that symbolism is all over S&G.

Gilly starts out as frightened little mouse (with good reason!) and grows into quite a woman, it's been a pleasure to read and write about.

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When Gilly first contacted Sam and then Jon about leaving Craster's, she offered both of them "I could be your wife." This was I think her offer to be a sex slave in order to leave her father and his abuse and to save her unborn babe. We see this with Theon and the ship captain's daughter when she offers to be his salt wife, again as a way to better her situation. (good thing for her that Theon said no) This is a sad offering from one who is desperate and has nothing else to give.

However, on the Cinnamon Wind, Gilly the woman strongly declares "I am your wife." So different from the pleading of a frightened girl in a desperate situation. Gilly the woman, taking things in hand. She instinctively knew that if their relationship was to progress, Sam would need a push. And Sam says "Yes" The love sick fool!

I'd like to see her telling Sam's family of his exploits as well. His mother would really love that!

True but misleading. Gilly remains a frightened victim relying on Sam to protect her from the big wide world. Not inspirational.

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A very nice essay, LongRider.

Why would secular institutions like the NW, the Citadel, or the Kingsguard insist on celibacy? Presumably, so their members can dedicate their lives to public service, unencumbered by any ties to family. But, it's a hard sacrifice, especially if you're given no choice in the matter; a criminal sent to the Wall, or a noble younger son, sent to the Citadel.

"Fat Pink Mast" is funny. Martin's sex scenes aren't written as erotica. They're meant meant to be awkward, funny, incongruous, and this one works well.

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Thanks for the kind words SeanF!



The vows for celibacy don't work out very well in story; the Kingsguard has example of parmours and bastards, the Citadel as Sam notes "He reflects that the Citadel ‘did not permit novices to keep wives or paramours, at least not openly." and the NW has molestown. The breaking of the celibacy vows does bring some great tension and angst for Sam and Jon Snow, not so much for Jaime tho', so it's been interesting to follow their stories as they work out how that particular vow works out.



And 'fat pink mast' is funny as you noted.



:P


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Hey Longrider fantastic essay. Sam and agilely are one of the sweetest couples in the series.

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Thank you Rapsie for your comment! Gotta agree with you, Sam and Gilly do add a bit of sweetness to this story.



:wub:


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