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Armor old, armor new; armor borrowed, armor blue?

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What does it mean when a character wears someone else's armor? Is there a "borrowed armor" pattern that adds up across character arcs, or is each case unique? Should we consider borrowed weapons along with borrowed armor?

The most famous example of borrowed armor is Garlan Tyrell wearing Renly's green armor at the Battle of the Blackwater. The battle may have been turned by the inspiring sight of the leader's suit come back to life as well as the effectiveness of the fighter wearing it.

"It's said you fought magnificently in the battle . . . almost as well as Lord Renly's ghost beside you. A Sworn Brother has no secrets from his Lord Commander. Tell me, ser. Who was wearing Renly's armor?"

For a moment Loras Tyrell looked as though he might refuse, but in the end he remembered his vows. "My brother," he said sullenly. "Renly was taller than me, and broader in the chest. His armor was too loose on me, but it suited Garlan well."

"Was the masquerade your notion, or his?"

"Lord Littlefinger suggested it. He said it would frighten Stannis's ignorant men-at-arms."

"And so it did." And some knights and lordlings too. "Well, you gave the singers something to make rhymes about, I suppose that's not to be despised. What did you do with Renly?"

"I buried him with mine 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."

ASoS, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII

Renly's armor had been made by Tobho Mott and may have been infused with special properties like the Valyrian steel that could be reworked only with Mott's special spells and knowledge. It wasn't special enough to prevail against the Hound in the Hand's Tourney, or to withstand a cut by the shadow sent by Melisandre, but it became the stuff of legend at the Blackwater when Ser Garlan put it to use.

Earlier, we saw Tyrion make use of borrowed armor, at the battle on the Green Fork:

By the time he was dressed, his squire had laid out his armor, such that it was. Tyrion owned a fine suit of heavy plate, expertly crafted to fit his misshapen body. Alas, it was safe at Casterly Rock, and he was not. He had to make do with oddments assembled from Lord Lefford's wagons: mail hauberk and coif, a dead knight's gorget, lobstered greaves and gauntlets and pointed steel boots. Some of it was ornate, some plain; not a bit of it matched, or fit as it should. His breastplate was meant for a bigger man; for his oversize head, they found a huge bucket-shaped greathelm topped with a foot-long triangular spike.

Shae helped Pod with the buckles and clasps. "If I die, weep for me," Tyrion told the whore.

"How will you know? You'll be dead."

"I'll know."

"I believe you would." Shae lowered the greathelm down over his head, and Pod fastened it to his gorget. Tyrion buckled on his belt, heavy with the weight of shortsword and dirk. By then his groom had brought up his mount, a formidable brown courser armored as heavily as he was. He needed help to mount; he felt as though he weighed a thousand stone. Pod handed him up his shield, a massive slab of heavy ironwood banded with steel. Lastly they gave him his battle-axe. Shae stepped back and looked him over. "M'lord looks fearsome."

"M'lord looks a dwarf in mismatched armor," Tyrion answered sourly, "but I thank you for the kindness.

AGoT, Chapter 62, Tyrion VIII

This whole topic is yet another spin-off from @Curled Finger's great thread about the Crannogman's perceptions at the Harrenhal Tourney and my dawning suspicion that GRRM was giving us a comparison between Benjen and Tyrion to hint that Benjen masqueraded as the Knight of the Laughing Tree. The relevant excerpt and some of my logic:

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. . . the mystery knight was short of stature, and clad in ill-fitting armor made up of bits and pieces. The device upon his shield was a heart tree of the old gods, a white weirwood with a laughing red face."

It's been awhile since I've read this. I always agreed with the people who pegged Lyanna as the Knight of the Laughing Tree, and I still think that's a good inference. This description matches Tyrion, however. He is both short and he wears armor scrounged from a discard pile. (The fool's motley outfit he makes on board the Shy Maid is also bits and pieces of second-hand clothing. He makes that motley outfit at the direction of Jon Connington.) Clearly, Tyrion was too young to be TKotLT, and he probably would not have been an effective jouster who could beat three knights. (He learns to joust from Penny while wearing wooden armor.)

But the author seems to want us to compare TKotLT to Tyrion, for some reason.

The wooden armor Tyrion wears during the voyage of the Selaesori Qhoran had originally been made for Penny's brother, Groat. So that's a second set of borrowed armor for Tyrion.

Samwell Tarly shows up for Night's Watch duty with his own set of armor but also ends up wearing a motley set of replacement pieces:

It was soon revealed that the new recruit had brought his own armor with him; padded doublet, boiled leather, mail and plate and helm, even a great wood-and-leather shield blazoned with the same striding huntsman he wore on his surcoat. As none of it was black, however, Ser Alliser insisted that he reequip himself from the armory. That took half the morning. His girth required Donal Noye to take apart a mail hauberk and refit it with leather panels at the sides. To get a helm over his head the armorer had to detach the visor. His leathers bound so tightly around his legs and under his arms that he could scarcely move. Dressed for battle, the new boy looked like an overcooked sausage about to burst its skin. "Let us hope you are not as inept as you look," Ser Alliser said. "Halder, see what Ser Piggy can do."

AGoT, Jon IV

And then there is the Hound's helmet. At the Quiet Isle, the Elder Brother tells Brienne that someone else has been wearing the Hound's helmet, committing atrocities that have been attributed to the Hound:

"I buried him myself. I can tell you where his grave lies, if you wish. I covered him with stones to keep the carrion eaters from digging up his flesh, and set his helm atop the cairn to mark his final resting place. That was a grievous error. Some other wayfarer found my marker and claimed it for hiself. The man who raped and killed at Saltpans was not Sandor Clegane, though he may e as dangerous. The riverlands are full of such scavengers. . . . "

AFfC, Brienne VI

The reader learns later that the helmet was worn by Rorge, one of the dangerous prisoners that Arya set free along with Biter and Jaqen H'ghar. Brienne kills Rorge and the hound-shaped helmet is later taken up by a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners, Lem Lemoncloak.

I have had a thought that helmets might symbolize egg shells after reading The Hedge Knight, in which Baelor's helmet is partially crushed by a blow from a mace. (The wiki reminds me that Baelor's armor was also borrowed.) Perhaps helmet / egg symbolism applies only to Targaryen armor, however.

One other significant "borrowed" helmet comes to mind:

"Now here is a riddle," Melisandre said. "A clever fool and a foolish wise man." Bending, she picked up Patchface's helm from where it had fallen and set it on Cressen's head. The cowbells rang softly as the tin bucket slid down over his ears. "A crown to match your chain, Lord Maester," she announced. All around them, men were laughing.

. . . "I need no crown but the truth," he told her, removing the fool's helm from his head.

"There are truths in this world that are not taught at Oldtown," Melisandre turned from him in a swirl of red silk and made her way back to the high table, where King Stannis and his queen were seated. Cressen handed the antlered tin bucket back to Patchface, and made to follow.

Maester Pylos sat in his place.

ACoK, Prologue

The reader assumes that the helmet was Melisandre's way of humiliating the maester, but was it also a way of warning him? She seems to know that he is going to try to kill her and she seems to know that he will fail in his attempt and will kill himself in the process. Why does she call the bucket / helmet a crown? It does seem to be a parody of the antlered helmets worn by King Robert and Renly, so she may have been implying that they failed as kings just as Cressen will fail in his attempt to displace her from her position of power next to Stannis.

If there is a pattern with these three helmets "borrowed" by Rorge, Baelor and Cressen, it seems to be that the borrower of the helmet soon dies.

But maybe I am taking too broad of a sampling for this post. Some armor seems to be available for use (Lord Lefford seems to maintain a supply of armor for the Lannister army and the Night's Watch has a stockpile for new recruits), other armor is taken without permission (Rorge taking the Hound's helmet from his "grave"), other armor is willingly loaned or momentarily worn by someone who does not intend to keep it. Should there be a separate discussion of mismatched armor, such as Tyrion and Sam wear in the cited passages?

Why does the author go to the trouble of telling us (sometimes in great detail) that some people don't wear their own armor?

How do the borrowed armor situations compare with Arya wearing a hand-me-down dress from Lady Smallwood's daughter and Sansa / Alayne wearing inherited clothes from Lysa Arryn? If we consider those cases alongside the armor, we should probably discuss Bran and his traveling companions taking swords from the Winterfell crypt. Brienne takes a used shield with the sigil of House Lothston. The hedge knight Ser Illifer the Penniless calls it a liar's shield because he knows that all of the Lothstons are long dead. I've wondered in the past whether some of the armor symbolism is just and extension of the fabric and sewing motifs in the books. Some of these examples make me think that they do overlap.

I'll be grateful if this forum can think of additional "borrowed armor" or "mismatched armor" examples I have forgotten. And even more grateful if you all can discern a pattern of meaning in the examples.

 

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I meant to cite another example: Mance wears the rattleshirt of the Lord of Bones when he is glamored by Melisandre. This is part of creating the disguise, and could tie into Jaime's description of Garlan in Renly's armor as a "masquerade."

Of course, Rattleshirt himself was "borrowing" bones from others to make his armor. His helmet was the skull of a giant.

I also meant to ask whether some other well-known armored characters might have involved swapping out the owner of the armor for a substitute: Lord Rickard Stark roasting in his armor might have been someone else, for instance. Some of the helmets really obscure the face of the person underneath.

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14 minutes ago, Seams said:

But the author seems to want us to compare TKotLT to Tyrion, for some reason.

 

14 minutes ago, Seams said:

Why does the author go to the trouble of telling us (sometimes in great detail) that some people don't wear their own armor?

I know this isn't the discussion point on answer you're looking for, but I truthfully don't see any connections in the borrowed armor or major revelations to be made in connecting any similarities between the descriptions of characters in borrowed clothing/armor/weapons.  While in specific cases I believe there may be some deeper meaning hidden, more often than not I believe the author's detailed descriptions of clothing, food, and surrounding environments is really just his way to help immerse us into the novel.  The novels would be far less rich if every word served only to advance the narrative plot.  The excessive descriptions serve to put us as readers in the scenes in our mind's eyes, helping to create higher stakes, higher tension.  I imagine when GRRM was writing AGOT he had no idea the what the breadth of the world of ice and fire and all related novels and stories would become, so I find it hard in 2018 to compare small passages presenting immersive non-narrative details across books released in 1996, 2000, 2011, etc.  Of course Tywin's army did not bring Tyrion's armor on their rescue war, and of course Tyrion being a dwarf will ill fit anything else.  It is strictly for story immersion / dramatic pacing that GRRM describes this as we prepare for Tyrion's battle scene.  The POVs would feel oddly paced without the occasional page dedicated to describing a room, a meal, an outfit.  Just my take on it.  I think the excess of pages and time we have been waiting for TWOW has led us to look too many places for what is not there as readers.  That being said I would much prefer if you found something because I find these connections so fun - I just remain unconvinced so far.

14 minutes ago, Seams said:

I'll be grateful if this forum can think of additional "borrowed armor" or "mismatched armor" examples I have forgotten. And even more grateful if you all can discern a pattern of meaning in the examples.

 

Tyrion in AGOT when first facing the mountain clans on the way to the Vale picks up a helm, dirk, axe, and cloak on the way.  He gets more armor/weaponry as Catelyn's doubts to Tyrion's guilt grows.

Eddard in AGOT borrows clothes for his first small council meeting.  Could symbolize how uncomfortable/out of his place he is.

Ramsay wearing Reek's outfit in ACOK (could have been ASOS) to trick Theon and the northerners.  Could also foreshadow the new Reek "borrowing" Theon's armor to take Moat Cailin.  In both cases the person they are borrowing from is who they really are (Ramsay really is a foul man, Reek really is Theon) and yet they "pretend" to be themselves in order to bring death.

I can't think of anything else right off the top of my head.  Good luck!

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Well, you've certainly been busy, @Seams.  I've been pondering armor too, these days.  As you may know I have begun a reread of the series and just happen to be taking notes on The Hand's Tourney.  Not precisely borrowed armor, but I think there may be something relative to the OP in the armor Bronze Yohn Royce sons wear.  Their armor is an exact copy of the ancient armor Bronze Yohn wears including the runes.   Sansa makes note that both boys are defeated and perhaps the runes were not enough to protect them from harm.  Says to me that the magic in the runes cannot be simply duplicated.   There is another step--perhaps magic or spells--that is essential to the warding of Bronze Yohn's armor.  For all that's worth.

We've got Tyrion, Penny and Jorah all wearing "borrowed" armor during their stint with the Second Sons in ADWD. Tyrion goes to great lengths to find "suitable" armor for Penny.  How about the Shield Hall at Castle Black?   Not borrowed armor, but retired shields?  Brienne of course has an old shield painted with the sigil she noticed in her own father's hall.  Jamie uses Brienne's tourney sword to fight off the bear then of course gives her Oath Keeper.  Probably best for me to stay away from swords though.   

Thank you for your kind words and shout out to our other conversation.  I hope these meager offerings can help.  

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Nothing comes to mind other than what has been cited in the OP but I'm guessing that you are wondering about the attributes of certain pieces of armor or clothing that are magicked up in some way or carry some memory of the previous owners.  Thoros' trepidation about Clegane's helm is an example.  Melisandre explains that bones, articles of clothing, etc. can carry a memory of their previous owner that can be drawn out to cloak another in a glamor.  

The thing that strikes me the most about Renley's armor is that it changes the eye color of whomever wears it to green.  Another case of mysterious eye color would be Val.  Jon first describes her eyes as pale grey and then blue. When she returns from her mission beyond the Wall, she is wearing white bear skins and a weirwood pin.  Not the clothing she set out in.  So I wonder if this is something akin to 'Renley's armor'.  The affect of her appearance on Jon is that she is the lovliest thing he has ever seen; rather than what's going on with her eyes.

Qyburn is another one who uses eye color to great affect.  His warm brown eyes disarm Jaime, working against his perception that Qyburn is a monster who can't be trusted.  While Cersei thinks that Qyburn's bold blue eyes remind her of something. Qyburn is magicked up in some way that I can't determine since he is wearing dirty brown robes both times.  So perhaps an object he carries with him like a grumpkin in his pocket.

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 "The Citadel took my chain." Qyburn put away his needle. "I should do something about that wound above your eye as well. The flesh is badly inflamed." 

Clegane's helm could also have spells woven into it.  I wonder if Tobho Mott made it.    

 

 

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I will be convinced until the last page of the series that something was going on with Rhaegar’s fancy black armor — armor that as described sounds similar that of Daemon I Blackfyre, I might add....particularly the winged dragon helm.   I’m not sure what to make of that.

There’s also the “hall of dragons” that may be significant:

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Hesitantly, Ned followed. Littlefinger led him into a tower, down a stair, across a small sunken courtyard, and along a deserted corridor where empty suits of armor stood sentinel along the walls. They were relics of the Targaryens, black steel with dragon scales cresting their helms, now dusty and forgotten. "This is not the way to my chambers," Ned said.

Seems like pretty easy access to some old Targaryen armor—I wonder if someone helped themselves to a piece or two at some point?

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Most prominently, I see a connection between mismatched armor and fools/fooling people. It seems to mean something but as so many of these character arcs are as yet incomplete, it’s difficult to tell. It’s interesting to note below that Tommen gets the last laugh on Joff.

Since mismatched armor is so connected to Tyrion, perhaps there’s a connection to his mismatched eyes? While armor is a shield, the eyes are the opposite, so open and defenseless that they’re windows to allow others to see our souls.  I’ve noted before that fools are connected to hidden daggers so perhaps mismatched armor when not required by plot (Vale Wildlings for example) is related to this? Your example of Mel/Cressen and Sansa/Lysa’s clothes and Arya/Lady Smallwood’s daughter’s clothes are all linked to trying to fool someone.

I am wondering about the history of fools wearing motley. I’ve seen where the fool’s motley is meant to represent the fool’s not belonging to any class hence their ability to say anything or it is meant to represent abject poverty in that one can only create a proper outfit by Frankensteining the cast-offs of the fool’s betters. Poverty reflects Tyrion’s own situation as he has no other clothes and must take what is offered no matter how absurd. If so, it’s interesting that we see Tyrion in motley as he’s estranged and penniless (but soon not Penny-less!).

From Wikipedia:

Motley is the traditional costume of the court jester, fool, or the harlequin character in commedia dell'arte. The harlequin wears a patchwork of red, green and blue diamonds that is still[citation needed] a fashion motif.

The word motley is described in the Oxford English Dictionary as a cognate with medley, although the unrelated mottled has also contributed to the meaning. The word is most commonly used as an adjective or noun, but is also seen as a verb and adverb. When used as a noun, it can mean "a varied mixture". As an adjective, it is generally disparaging — a motley collection is an uninspiring pile of stuff, as in the cliche motley crew.

The word originated upon the birth of Hemmers in England between the 14th and 17th centuries and referred to a woolen fabric of mixed colours.[1] It was the characteristic dress of the professional fool. During the reign of Elizabeth I, motley served the important purpose of keeping the fool outside the social hierarchy and therefore not subject to class distinction. Since the fool was outside the dress laws, the fool was able to speak more freely.

ADWD Tyrion IV

His clothing was still soaked from his involuntary swim, clinging to his arms and legs uncomfortably. Whilst Young Griff went off with Septa Lemore to be instructed in the mysteries of the Faith, Tyrion stripped off the wet clothes and donned dry ones. Duck had a good guffaw when he emerged on deck again. He could not blame him. Dressed as he was, he made a comic sight. His doublet was divided down the middle; the left side was purple velvet with bronze studs; the right, yellow wool embroidered in green floral patterns. His breeches were similarly split; the right leg was solid green, the left leg striped in red and white. One of Illyrio's chests had been packed with a child's clothing, musty but well made. Septa Lemore had slit each garment apart, then sewn them back together, joining half of this to half of that to fashion a crude motley. Griff had even insisted that Tyrion help with the cutting and sewing. No doubt he meant for it to be humbling, but Tyrion enjoyed the needlework. Lemore was always pleasant company, despite her penchant for scolding him whenever he said something rude about the gods. If Griff wants to cast me as the fool, I'll play the game. Somewhere, he knew, Lord Tywin Lannister was horrified, and that took the sting from it.

Perhaps the motley he is given is foreshadowing those who will give Tyrion aid in the future? Perhaps suits of mismatched armor can be interpreted similarly. If we interpret Tyrion’s motely to represent who will give him aid in the future, solid green might be Jorah Mormont and the Tyrellish colors might be Garlan who has shown to be sympathetic to Tyrion. Dany has purple eyes and the Dothraki and the Unsullied are linked to bronze. The bronze studs especially make me think of an army of the bronze caps of the Unsullied. The red and white...perhaps Sansa, perhaps Jon/Ghost, perhaps Stoneheart who kind of owes him (white hair and red eyes), perhaps Bloodraven/Bran, perhaps the old gods, perhaps all of them as a lot, maybe Melisandre though I can’t find her linked to white at the moment unless you include light. As Tyrion has a positive relationship with Jon, Bran (Bloodraven?), Sansa and Stoneheart owes him, I’m leaning strongly towards red/white meaning the Starks.

ASOS Sansa VII Before her hair is brown, she is red and white here in the loaded-with-meaning snow castle scene and she is otherwise associated with white/porcelain/ivory/milky pale skin.

Sansa left the shutters open as she dressed. It would be cold, she knew, though the Eyrie's towers encircled the garden and protected it from the worst of the mountain winds. She donned silken smallclothes and a linen shift, and over that a warm dress of blue lambswool. Two pairs of hose for her legs, boots that laced up to her knees, heavy leather gloves, and finally a hooded cloak of soft white fox fur.

ASOS Jon XII

Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre's. He had a weirwood's eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they'd found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow.

AGOT Tyrion III

"This is the last place I would have expected to be seen," Tyrion admitted. "I was captured by a whim. If I touch Ghost, will he chew my hand off?"

"Not with me here," Jon promised.

Tyrion scratched the white wolf behind the ears. The red eyes watched him impassively. The beast came up as high as his chest now. Another year, and Tyrion had the gloomy feeling he'd be looking up at him.

AFFC Brienne VIII Stoneheart’s hair has turned white.

The woman in grey hissed through her fingers. Her eyes were two red pits burning in the shadows.

———————————————————————————

Below, Tyrion uses his fool’s qualities to save his life with wildlings. This later results in Tyrion’s first formal battle experience. His first informal battle experience was against the Vale wildlings while being Catelyn’s prisoner.

AGOT Tyrion VI

"Conn speaks truly," Gunthor said. "Your silver is ours. Your horses are ours. Your hauberk and your battle-axe and the knife at your belt, those are ours too. You have nothing to give us but your lives. How would you like to die, Tyrion son of Tywin?"

"In my own bed, with a belly full of wine and a maiden's mouth around my cock, at the age of eighty," he replied.

The huge one, Shagga, laughed first and loudest. The others seemed less amused. "Conn, take their horses," Gunthor commanded. "Kill the other and seize the halfman. He can milk the goats and make the mothers laugh."

AGOT Tyrion VIII

Ser Kevan leaned forward. "We had a thought to put you and your wildlings in the vanguard when we come to battle."

Ser Kevan seldom "had a thought" that Lord Tywin had not had first. Tyrion had skewered a chunk of meat on the point of his dagger and brought it to his mouth. Now he lowered it. "The vanguard?" he repeated dubiously. Either his lord father had a new respect for Tyrion's abilities, or he'd decided to rid himself of his embarrassing get for good. Tyrion had the gloomy feeling he knew which.

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Just as Tyrion had to fool wildlings, Jon has to fool the Wildling King Mance for his life. He’s wearing faded blacks and If you wear any amount of black, you know that faded blacks can be seen as a sort of grayscale motley of sorts as they don’t fade to the same degree with different blacks showing different undertones from the dyes. It’s worth noting that when Jon fools Mance (this is up for debate), Jon is given a new cloak. As both armor and cloaks are associated with house loyalty, oaths and the NW is a type of “knight”, this may be a variation on the fool/knight connection especially given the NW are considered fools by most. If so, then Jon is wearing mismatched armor of a sort: NW faded blacks and a wildling-offered cloak.

ASOS Jon I

Jon took another swallow of mead. There is only one tale that he might believe. "You say you were at Winterfell, the night my father feasted King Robert."

"I did say it, for I was."

"Then you saw us all. Prince Joffrey and Prince Tommen, Princess Myrcella, my brothers Robb and Bran and Rickon, my sisters Arya and Sansa. You saw them walk the center aisle with every eye upon them and take their seats at the table just below the dais where the king and queen were seated."

"I remember."

"And did you see where I was seated, Mance?" He leaned forward. "Did you see where they put the bastard?"

Mance Rayder looked at Jon's face for a long moment. "I think we had best find you a new cloak," the king said, holding out his hand.

ASOS Jon III

A wind sighed through the trees, rich with the smell of pine needles, tugging at his faded blacks. Jon could see the Wall looming high and dark to the south, a great shadow blocking out the stars. The rough hilly ground made him think they must be somewhere between the Shadow Tower and Castle Black, and likely closer to the former. For days they had been wending their way south between deep lakes that stretched like long thin fingers along the floors of narrow valleys, while flint ridges and pine-clad hills jostled against one another to either side. Such ground made for slow riding, but offered easy concealment for those wishing to approach the Wall unseen.

For wildling raiders, he thought. Like us. Like me.

 

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Here, Tommen (a rather foolish character) is obviously wearing a very fine suit of armor, but Sansa’s description puts one in mind of mismatched armor. Tommen ends up playing fool for Joff. Sounding like a bag of old pots is an appropriate choice for a plump little boy who so takes after Great Grandfather Tytos.

ACOK Sansa I

Tommen got his pony up to a brisk trot, waved his sword vigorously, and struck the knight's shield a solid blow as he went by. The quintain spun, the padded mace flying around to give the prince a mighty whack in the back of his head. Tommen spilled from the saddle, his new armor rattling like a bag of old pots as he hit the ground. His sword went flying, his pony cantered away across the bailey, and a great gale of derision went up. King Joffrey laughed longest and loudest of all.

(Tommen gets the last laugh)

————————————————————————————-

Again, Sansa implies mismatched armor.

ACOK Sansa V

Ser Meryn Trant held the blood bay for Joffrey to mount. Boy and horse alike wore gilded mail and enameled crimson plate, with matching golden lions on their heads. The pale sunlight flashed off the golds and reds every time Joff moved. Bright, shining, and empty, Sansa thought.

The Imp was mounted on a red stallion, armored more plainly than the king in battle gear that made him look like a little boy dressed up in his father's clothes. But there was nothing childish about the battle-axe slung below his shield. Ser Mandon Moore rode at his side, white steel icy bright. When Tyrion saw her he turned his horse her way. "Lady Sansa," he called from the saddle, "surely my sister has asked you to join the other highborn ladies in Maegor's?"

 

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I’m not sure why, but this stands out to me so I included it. Dontos is the most obvious character to change from knight to fool to knight.

ASOS Sansa V


They continued down the serpentine and across a small sunken courtyard. Ser Dontos shoved open a heavy door and lit a taper. They were inside a long gallery. Along the walls stood empty suits of armor, dark and dusty, their helms crested with rows of scales that continued down their backs. As they hurried past, the taper's light made the shadows of each scale stretch and twist. The hollow knights are turning into dragons, she thought.

 

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Jorah who is perhaps one of the most foolish characters (in regards to love at least) undergoes an evolution when he acquired mismatched armor. He was forced to play the fool’s part of the Bear who carries off the Maiden Fair shortly before receiving his mismatched armor.

ADWD Tyrion XI

"Bring the pails," Tyrion told Penny. He went off with the man Morgo to fetch Ser Jorah Mormont from his cage.

The knight had not adapted well to bondage. When called upon to play the bear and carry off the maiden fair, he had been sullen and uncooperative, shuffling lifelessly through his paces when he deigned to take part in their mummery at all. Though he had not attempted escape, nor offered violence to his captors, he would ignore their commands oft as not or reply with muttered curses. None of this had amused Nurse, who made his displeasure clear by confining Mormont in an iron cage and having him beaten every evening as the sun sank into Slaver's Bay. The knight absorbed the beatings silently; the only sounds were the muttered curses of the slaves who beat him and the dull thuds of their clubs pounding against Ser Jorah's bruised and battered flesh.

 

ADWD Tyrion XII

A big knight stepped down from the back of a wagon, clad head to heel in company steel. His left greave did not match his right, his gorget was spotted with rust, his vambraces rich and ornate, inlaid with niello flowers. On his right hand was a gauntlet of lobstered steel, on his left a fingerless mitt of rusted mail. The nipples on his muscled breastplate had a pair of iron rings through them. His greathelm sported a ram's horns, one of which was broken.

When he took it off, he revealed the battered face of Jorah Mormont.

He looks every inch a sellsword and not at all like the half-broken thing we took from Yezzan's cage, Tyrion reflected. His bruises had mostly faded by now, and the swelling in his face had largely subsided, so Mormont looked almost human once again … though only vaguely like himself. The demon's mask the slavers had burned into his right cheek to mark him for a dangerous and disobedient slave would never leave him. Ser Jorah had never been what one might call a comely man. The brand had transformed his face into something frightening.

 

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8 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Well, you've certainly been busy, @Seams.  I've been pondering armor too, these days.  As you may know I have begun a reread of the series and just happen to be taking notes on The Hand's Tourney.  Not precisely borrowed armor, but I think there may be something relative to the OP in the armor Bronze Yohn Royce sons wear.  Their armor is an exact copy of the ancient armor Bronze Yohn wears including the runes.   Sansa makes note that both boys are defeated and perhaps the runes were not enough to protect them from harm.  Says to me that the magic in the runes cannot be simply duplicated.   There is another step--perhaps magic or spells--that is essential to the warding of Bronze Yohn's armor.  For all that's worth.

We've got Tyrion, Penny and Jorah all wearing "borrowed" armor during their stint with the Second Sons in ADWD. Tyrion goes to great lengths to find "suitable" armor for Penny.  How about the Shield Hall at Castle Black?   Not borrowed armor, but retired shields?  Brienne of course has an old shield painted with the sigil she noticed in her own father's hall.  Jamie uses Brienne's tourney sword to fight off the bear then of course gives her Oath Keeper.  Probably best for me to stay away from swords though.   

Thank you for your kind words and shout out to our other conversation.  I hope these meager offerings can help.  

It's not an exact copy. The runes are copied.

“Bronze Yohn’s heir, Ser Andar Royce, and his younger brother Ser Robar, their silvered steel plate filigreed in bronze with the same ancient runes that warded their father.”

“Sansa remembered Lord Yohn Royce, who had guested at Winterfell two years before. “His armor is bronze, thousands and thousands of years old, engraved with magic runes that ward him against harm,” she whispered to Jeyne.”

 

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10 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

It's not an exact copy. The runes are copied.

“Bronze Yohn’s heir, Ser Andar Royce, and his younger brother Ser Robar, their silvered steel plate filigreed in bronze with the same ancient runes that warded their father.”

“Sansa remembered Lord Yohn Royce, who had guested at Winterfell two years before. “His armor is bronze, thousands and thousands of years old, engraved with magic runes that ward him against harm,” she whispered to Jeyne.”

 

I thought that's what I said, but I thank you for the quotes.  

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4 minutes ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

His armor is bronze. Their armor is steel filigreed with bronze. Pretty substantive difference imo

Ah yes, you're right!  Thank you for the clarification there. I was so focused on the runes I didn't even notice the different materials.  That sneaky GRRM.   Good thing your eyes are open wide, Ser!  

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35 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Ah yes, you're right!  Thank you for the clarification there. I was so focused on the runes I didn't even notice the different materials.  That sneaky GRRM.   Good thing your eyes are open wide, Ser!  

Someone pointed it out to me and that Sansa is the POV for both lends credence to it. Carry on!

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

The thing that strikes me the most about Renley's armor is that it changes the eye color of whomever wears it to green.  Another case of mysterious eye color would be Val.  Jon first describes her eyes as pale grey and then blue. When she returns from her mission beyond the Wall, she is wearing white bear skins and a weirwood pin.  Not the clothing she set out in.  So I wonder if this is something akin to 'Renley's armor'.  The affect of her appearance on Jon is that she is the lovliest thing he has ever seen; rather than what's going on with her eyes.

Mine own eyes wil be described as green, grey or blue depending on the lighting and the clothes I'm wearing. They are actually a light shade of cool greyish green. Put me in a deep dark green dress and they'll look emerald green - I can't imagine what full enameled plate armour would do for them, but it's probably amazing! I took a picture once on a sunny day at the beach when I was wearing a blue bikini top and they are positively blue, only a hint of a green behind - the same effect happens if the sky is blue and the sun is bright and the floor is covered in white, just like in Val's case. On a bright cloudy day or under fluorescent my eyes look greyish green, their actual colour. When I dyed my heir red nobody ever thought my eyes to be grey, no matter how the room was lit or what I was wearing. Now my hair is the regular brown and often people think they are more grey than green.

Also people's perception of colour is subjective. What Sansa sees as green Ned may see as blue. 

I do believe Martin is just depicting real eye colours as people perceive them to be, which is very realistic. 

(Qyburn's brown to blue can't be explained like that of course. There might be something there, but he is plenty magic to begin with.)

Edited by Lady Dacey

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6 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

I do believe Marting is just depicting real eye colours as people perceive them to be, which is very realistic. 

But we also know that the Knight who impersonated Renly had green eyes as well and that Tobho Mott made the green armor for him.  Otherwise, yes we are given many examples of when eye color seems different based on light, or clothing or dyed hair.  But there are three situations when this is not the case and magic is involved.  You can't change brown eyes to blue or pale grey eyes to blue or sky blue eyes to green without some kind of sorcery at work.

Edited by LynnS

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@LynnS Pale grey to blue and sky blue to green is very possible, I think. Brown on the other hand really can't be explained. But do we have any accounts on Garlan's eyes looking green in the blackwater? Wasn't he wearing a full helm? 

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4 hours ago, LynnS said:

 

The thing that strikes me the most about Renley's armor is that it changes the eye color of whomever wears it to green. 


I'm pretty sure GRRM said that's just a mistake in an interview. 

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12 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

@LynnS Pale grey to blue and sky blue to green is very possible, I think. Brown on the other hand really can't be explained. But do we have any accounts on Garlan's eyes looking green in the blackwater? Wasn't he wearing a full helm? 

Lady D, I accept that there is magic and magical objects in the story.  The question is whether the reader can tell one from the other. 

Pale grey eyes come up only in a few situations:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Reek I

Ramsay was clad in black and pink—black boots, black belt and scabbard, black leather jerkin over a pink velvet doublet slashed with dark red satin. In his right ear gleamed a garnet cut in the shape of a drop of blood. Yet for all the splendor of his garb, he remained an ugly man, big-boned and slope-shouldered, with a fleshiness to him that suggested that in later life he would run to fat. His skin was pink and blotchy, his nose broad, his mouth small, his hair long and dark and dry. His lips were wide and meaty, but the thing men noticed first about him were his eyes. He had his lord father's eyes—small, close-set, queerly pale. Ghost grey, some men called the shade, but in truth his eyes were all but colorless, like two chips of dirty ice.

A Dance with Dragons - The Prince of Winterfell

Here and there a torch burned hungrily, casting its ruddy glow over the faces of the wedding guests. The way the mists threw back the shifting light made their features seem bestial, half-human, twisted. Lord Stout became a mastiff, old Lord Locke a vulture, Whoresbane Umber a gargoyle, Big Walder Frey a fox, Little Walder a red bull, lacking only a ring for his nose. Roose Bolton's own face was a pale grey mask, with two chips of dirty ice where his eyes should be. 

 A Clash of Kings - Tyrion I

"I know the man." Ser Mandon's eyes were pale grey, oddly flat and lifeless.

"Knew," Bronn corrected with a thin smile.

In the chilly white raiment of the Kingsguard, Ser Mandon Moore looked like a corpse in a shroud. "Her Grace left orders, the council in session is not to be disturbed."

This is being pointed out for a reason.

 

Edited by LynnS

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1 minute ago, Trigger Warning said:


I'm pretty sure GRRM said that's just a mistake in an interview. 

But then he repeats 'the mistake'.  LOL

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Renly's and Val's eyes seem like genuine depction of real eye colour to me, truly. That's not connected to the OP though, and I do think there might be something magical about Renly's armour and about the Hound's helm and anything else from Tobho's forge. I just don't think it's eye colour connected, is all. We can have different opinions and move on I guess :) 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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