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Varysblackfyre321

The rights of wives stolen to beyond the wall.

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Posted (edited)

I've seen this idea bounced around of wife stealing being beningn-a mating ritual to which both parties rights are to respected even when it involves none-wildlings.  That the vast majority of the women kidnapped on their raids merely choose to stay because they'd like to. I find that hard to swallow. What do you guys think? 

Please try to keep it respectful. 

Note to moderators: this topic isn't meant to be inflammatory: 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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When it involves wildlings it is more or less a part of  their culture. A twisted part but it is expected. The people south of the wall do not follow this idea and thus the women who are kidnapped have no rights and see it as kidnapping (which it is) rather then some twisted form of marriage. This idea of abducting women to marry them is not something out of fantasy. The mongols for example did this a very long time ago (some of them not all). In fact I believe that genghis khans parents met that way.

As for what happens to these "marriages" north of the wall afterwards it seems that women are taught to kill their husband if he attacks them or they are displeased with them to a great degree.

Hence ygritte saying "a man can own a knife or a wife but he can't own both" or something like that. Implying that if a man abuses his wife she is more or less allowed to kill him.

I may have read into this wrong but that is what I took it as.

 

What is really weird and twisted is that after the kidnapping it seems that the women north of the wall have far more rights then the women south of the wall. For example a women south of the wall can be beaten to a pulp everyday by her husband and is not allowed to fight back or she is killed. Where as if a man north of the wall tries that then he can't sleep next to his wife or he will be killed in his sleep. Thus men north of the wall don't have the free reign that the men of the south have

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So if you were woman abducted by group of raiders, and want to escape, how would it go? In case you are still near south, you and your companions are likely heavily watched, perhaps tied up and gagged. And the further you get from home, the harder it is to even find back, let alone survive the journey, especially when you're hunted. Were I leader of raiding group, I most definitely should not let any captives escape. They'll warn the others.

And even if woman somehow escapes, survives wild, and gets home - assuming there's something left of that - her honor will be forever marred and virtue in question. How will she get married? What will she do for living? What do her fellow villagers think of her, especially when there's chance she brought raiders back on her heels?

Now let's go for Ygritte solution and knife your captor. Even assuming this might be common thing among the free folk, how would you know it? Nevermind, maybe you heard spearwives talking of it. Maybe your captor is so horrible you don't care. So you get his knife somehow - would he really trust someone he recently captured? Another hurdle to overcome - and stab him. Deed is done. He's dead. Great. Now do you think his friends, companions, brothers-in-arms, or maybe clan-kin, will really let you get away with it, instead of putting down vengeful and untrustworthy murderess who just killed one of their own when his guard was down?

All in all, sometimes it might be reasonable choice for woman without survival skills simply try and make best of it. Maybe appeal other captors. Or wait a rescue. Good luck with that.

Mind you, some of this is said by other posters in other discussions before.

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The question doesn't really hit home all that much. 'Rights' in a meaningful do really only exist in a society that is sufficiently developed to grant a certain group - usually a minority - certain rights and give them the means to ensure that they have them. That implies some system governance that goes beyond family and clan structures - and that's clearly not the case for the wildlings.

The position in wildling society would greatly depend on the standing of your family/clan and your position within that clan. There you may have certain rights on the basis of who and what you are - say, if you are the daughter of a powerful raider or chieftain you will grow up with the assets allowing you to become an equally powerful spear wife.

How a stolen woman can (quickly) acquire the same amount of familiarity or standing with her 'husband's' clan I don't really understand. She would be an outsider and stranger even if she came from another village/region beyond the Wall - not to mention if she was a kneeler from the Seven Kingdoms, unaccustomed to the customs of the wildlings. That such a woman could not gain standing through the decades if she gave her husbands strong children, etc. I won't deny, but for the siblings and other blood kin of her 'husband' she can also always remain a stranger. And she could certainly also feel as such her entire life because she didn't want to spend her life in a hovel with savages in a foreign land, away from her family and friends.

The idea that women that are mistreated by their 'husbands' have the right to kill them doesn't convince me, either. Ygritte points out that a man mistreating her would constantly risk being killed by her, but that doesn't mean even she would be willing to go through with that in any scenario, nor that the average wildling woman has the strength of character/ruthlessness to actually go through with that.

And then - the wildlings may be a fucked-up culture, but I doubt the average family member/kins(wo)man of a man looks favorably on his murderess, never mind the reason why she did that. Ygritte (or any other stolen woman) might be able to put her rapist down, but that doesn't mean his family and buddies cannot put down her, too. Not to mention the fact that you can, of course, break the will and resistance of the woman first. That should be part of the average stealing process, anyway, especially when we are talking about kneeler women. They most definitely don't want to go with the wildlings and have to be forced to accept their new lot in life, very much like salt wives and thralls.

In general, one should also keep in mind that the woman in charge beyond the Wall (and among the clansmen of the Mountains of the Moon) are only very tough birds. A husband in the Seven Kingdoms might have the legal right to chastise his wife physically, but he is not likely to do that with a woman like Brienne or Asha - just as tough women like Ygritte, Harma, or Chella can take leadership roles. But they are not handed to them, or anything. They have to claim them with raw strength and power.

The overwhelming majority of the wildling women should be like Gilly and Craster's other wives - obedient and utterly submissive slaves of the men (and sometimes women) who control their lives. You see how Ygritte looks down on women who lack her strength, women who cannot thrive in the toxic environment she lives in.

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Posted (edited)

Individually speaking: show of force, for me. Wildling women appreciate strenght and a kidnapper, for them, is strong. It doesn't inmediately suggest that they become property or slaves. There is the example of Munda that got kidnapped by Ryk, and even if he got away with it, she almost beat out the death out of him but stayed all the same. 

More on a general basis: there isn't any ethnographic studies performed on the wildlings yet, but I'd say that the principle is that it is a culture based on strength. In the case of abductions, it seems partly ritualized too. 

It is said that the wildling man steals a woman also to strenghten his clan. I gotta assume, then, that he chooses the strongest woman he meets, so she can have a strong child and they all can go to war with an enemy clan.

Edited by Jon Fossoway

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I suppose that would depend on whether the stolen woman comes from the widlings or the other side of the wall.  A wildling woman may see that as part of the mating process and be glad that she now has a man to provide for and to protect her.  She may even be flattered that a man would go to the trouble of stealing her.  A woman from Westeros will see herself kidnapped but there is little she can do about it.  To escape is to die on that side of the wall.

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Seems to me that the wildling culture has a simple "might makes right" belief system. A woman who is able to overpower her husband is thus right to do so. In the lower seven, a woman is just property - valuable property, in the case of the various lordly Houses, but property nonetheless. You can treat your property any way you like, but if it turns on you, you can punish or smash it at will.

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Posted (edited)

Freefolk women seem to genuinely see it as an aspect of their culture to the point where they see marrying within your own tribe as incest. Getting nabbed by a big, strong man who can hold his own and presumably father big, strong children is what many freefolk want. t's why Ygritte was all over Jon like a rash, wanting him to sleep with her despite him not wanting to - from her POV, he had "stolen" her, making him her husband. He didn't see it that way but culturally the act of taking her hostage when the others just wanted to kill her, she saw it as him taking her for himself. Together with his killing the other wildlings she was with and then Qhorin, demonstrated his prowess as a strong husband.

Jon did it all by accident, too. That is probably why there is some chat here and there about whether he might have accidentally done it again with Val who he "captured" during the battle and then protected by placing her in a Tower with a giant stopping anyone who might take her instead. It is a debatable but that is the priority of women of the freefolk -- "if a man is good enough to take me without me killing him, he's going to give me strong kids." Looking at the harsh realities the freefolk live in, what is to us a barbaric act of hapis corpus. Plus, in Val's case, it does seem to happen that unmarried women who have yet to be stolen do sometimes have "pets" (I guess paramours) that they "steal" themselves. Point is, Jon acknowledges that bride-stealing is something important to freefolk and to the women themselves. I seem to recall him thinking when Stannis has offered him Winterfell and Val, Jon even thinks that he will have to "steal" her in order for her to respect him as a husband. Of course, we don't know whether Val already thinks she's been stolen or not.

Obviously, that is freefolk-freefolk marriages. Things are inevitably different for women taken during raids south of the Wall, such as the Umber girl who was kidnapped. In the society of the Seven Kingdoms, women generally marry who their family wants them to. To a "Southern" woman even in the North, her expectations of a husband is that he will be allied with her family and be in a position to keep her financially. Strength, while important, doesn't factor into the match. Being carried off by wildling men with the intention to take them as wives, again probably because they want ladies they aren't related to as part of their culture, is going to be nothing more than an abduction and rape in the "bride's" mind. Thus if she kills him, she still has no where to go but the other wildlings would probably not hold it against her... and sadly she'd probably just get nabbed by someone else. I can't imagine a stolen woman from the South will have many people willing to help her fight off anyone else who tries to take her or even kills her in revenge for killing her "husband". Her best option would be to make for the Wall and turn herself over to the Lord Commander at Castle Black. Even then, they'd be sceptical of her claim, presuming she even makes it to the Wall and doesn't die on the way there.

Edited by Faera

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I've seen this idea bounced around of wife stealing being beningn-a mating ritual to which both parties rights are to respected even when it involves none-wildlings.  

You have been around long enough to know the word play.

16 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

That the vast majority of the women kidnapped on their raids merely choose to stay because they'd like to. I find that hard to swallow. What do you guys think? 

Some of the stuff Martin writes can’t be pigeonholed into either or. In the story “stealing’ means different things to different people.

Ygritte believes Jon stole her when he physically bested her. Jon believes he captured an enemy. Sounds like a cultural problem to me.    As I know Jon did not kill her. He let her go free. When Jon is captured by the free folk she defends him. She claims her man.

The wildlings, as the people south of the Wall name them, are diverse groups. They refer to themselves as free folk or whatever name they are given to call themselves, such as Hornfoot, Thenns, etc. I doubt that all the groups follow the same mating ritual (s).

The northmen seem to follow a bonding rite in front of a heart tree. The supposition is the families set the terms of the marriage. With the free folk it doesn’t seem to work that way.

Tormund & Jon chat about how Longspear took Munda out of his tent. It doesn’t say whether Tormund was at home at the time ---- it’s kinda open ended as to whether Tormund would have stopped the process. A few of Munda’s brothers did put up a fight.

A Storm of Swords - Jon X       "You bloody crows." Tormund's tone was gruff, yet strangely gentle. "That Longspear stole me daughter. Munda, me little autumn apple. Took her right out o' my tent with all four o' her brothers about. Toregg slept through it, the great lout, and Torwynd . . . well, Torwynd the Tame, that says all that needs saying, don't it? The young ones gave the lad a fight, though."      "And Munda?" asked Jon. "She's my own blood," said Tormund proudly. "She broke his lip for him and bit one ear half off, and I hear he's got so many scratches on his back he can't wear a cloak. She likes him well enough, though. And why not? He don't fight with no spear, you know. Never has. So where do you think he got that name? Har!"/

Raiders do what raiders do. They raid and take what they fancy. Of course the people living south of the Wall are going to be angry about someone killing people & stealing their possessions. In this story most of the time women & children fall into the possession category.

Raiders are a group within a group. A spearwife is a fighting woman such as Ygritte & Osha. The below quote happens when the wildlings are trying to get over the Wall to attack CB and really doesn’t add any support to my opinion.  I’m putting it here to show what raiders do.

A Storm of Swords - Jon IV     The Wall did not awe Jarl's raiders, Jon saw. They have done this before, every man of them. Jarl called out names when they dismounted beneath the ridge, and eleven gathered round him. All were young. The oldest could not have been more than five-and-twenty, and two of the ten were younger than Jon. Every one was lean and hard, though; they had a look of sinewy strength that reminded him of Stonesnake, the brother the Halfhand had sent off afoot when Rattleshirt was hunting them.  <snip> Along the east coast the raiders most often built boats to slip across the Bay of Seals. In the west they would descend into the black depths of the Gorge to make their way around the Shadow Tower. But in between the only way to defeat the Wall was to go over it, and many a raider had. Fewer come back, though, he thought with a certain grim pride. Climbers must of necessity leave their mounts behind, and many younger, greener raiders began by taking the first horses they found. Then a hue and cry would go up, ravens would fly, and as often as not the Night's Watch would hunt them down and hang them before they could get back with their plunder and stolen women. Jarl would not make that mistake, Jon knew, but he wondered about Styr. The Magnar is a ruler, not a raider. He may not know how the game is played./

Personally I agree with Jon’s line of thinking. He captured an enemy. Ygritte disagrees with Jon & I.

Tormund the father of Munda did not seem to be upset about Munda.

I think that when raiders take women from south of the Wall it is kidnapping while the raiders think they are merely plundering from their enemy. Why do men take women during their warring?

In the USA for many a year domestic disputes were left to be handled by the family. If the extended family wasn’t interested, too bad you made your bed now lay in it. That of course is dependent upon the social and economical standing.

16 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Please try to keep it respectful. 

I did.

 

 

 

Edited by Clegane'sPup

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9 hours ago, Jon Fossoway said:

Individually speaking: show of force, for me. Wildling women appreciate strenght and a kidnapper, for them, is strong. It doesn't inmediately suggest that they become property or slaves. There is the example of Munda that got kidnapped by Ryk, and even if he got away with it, she almost beat out the death out of him but stayed all the same. 

That is clearly not the kind of violent stealing we see when raiders raid other villages. Munda and Ryk met each other on the march, when there was peace among the tribes, clans, and villages.

The fact that the whole thing is called 'stealing' implies that women are, in general, movable goods than can be stolen - and are stolen when a raiding party raids a village or settlements outside their own domains. Which should be quite common among the wildlings, or else they wouldn't raid the Seven Kingdoms, either. We also know from the clans of the Mountains of the Moon that the clans fight among each other as much as against the Vale.

9 hours ago, Jon Fossoway said:

It is said that the wildling man steals a woman also to strenghten his clan. I gotta assume, then, that he chooses the strongest woman he meets, so she can have a strong child and they all can go to war with an enemy clan.

He would choose the woman he wants, never mind whether she is strong or weak. It is his call. And he isn't limited to one woman, either, as both Craster and Ygon Oldfeather show.

8 hours ago, Aline de Gavrillac said:

I suppose that would depend on whether the stolen woman comes from the widlings or the other side of the wall.  A wildling woman may see that as part of the mating process and be glad that she now has a man to provide for and to protect her.  She may even be flattered that a man would go to the trouble of stealing her.  A woman from Westeros will see herself kidnapped but there is little she can do about it.  To escape is to die on that side of the wall.

That seems to happen only in a romantic fairy-tale. I mean, sure, there can be a Ryk-Munda situation, but considering there is no indication that the opinion of the woman in question - whether she wants to be stolen by this or that guy - matters in the end, pretty much any man can steal any woman he wants if he is strong enough to overpower and her defenders. As far as I know women don't simply fall in love with men because they show how powerful they are by physically overpowering them and abducting them...

That should indicate that a majority of wildling women do not actually get all horny and wet at the thought of some dude stealing them.

6 hours ago, zandru said:

Seems to me that the wildling culture has a simple "might makes right" belief system. A woman who is able to overpower her husband is thus right to do so. In the lower seven, a woman is just property - valuable property, in the case of the various lordly Houses, but property nonetheless. You can treat your property any way you like, but if it turns on you, you can punish or smash it at will.

That doesn't seem to be the case. There is no indication that a woman has the right to overpower her husband, or the right to kill him - or rather, there is no indication that said man's family and friends do not also have the right to put that mad woman down. It might not happen when you live along with your abusive husband in the middle of nowhere, but if you are living in a village then there are other people around and they might actually like the dude they grew up with more than the whore he brought back from some raiding.

In the Seven Kingdoms women are the property of their husbands, too, but to a lesser degree. They have certain rights, they can inherit property and titles. They still live shitty lives, of course, especially among the commoners, but the idea that women are more equal to men in wildling culture is pretty much insane. There are special, privileged women who can fight for and seize real power in the wildling world which, on average, is less hierarchical than the society in the Seven Kingdoms. 

The majority of the wildling women are neither spear wives nor leaders. They are the timid followers and effectively the property of their men.

4 hours ago, Faera said:

Freefolk women seem to genuinely see it as an aspect of their culture to the point where they see marrying within your own tribe as incest. Getting nabbed by a big, strong man who can hold his own and presumably father big, strong children is what many freefolk want. t's why Ygritte was all over Jon like a rash, wanting him to sleep with her despite him not wanting to - from her POV, he had "stolen" her, making him her husband. He didn't see it that way but culturally the act of taking her hostage when the others just wanted to kill her, she saw it as him taking her for himself. Together with his killing the other wildlings she was with and then Qhorin, demonstrated his prowess as a strong husband.

I'm not sure Ygritte *really* thought that. She is not as stupid as that, nor do I think a woman like her would have such a limited view of herself as to see herself as an object due to the fact how some guy treated her.

Ygritte liked Jon because he was strange and exotic from her point of view. But he was clearly not strong or powerful, especially not in the beginning. A strong man would have put her down. And it is pretty clear that he did not, in fact, steal her when he made her go away.

She and Tormund played that 'stealing card' in their interaction with Jon to corrupt him. They knew if Ygritte could get into his pants he would become theirs, body and soul. This whole thing was never only a romance - there is a romance part to all that, but it was also a game to ensure the boy behaved the way Mance wanted him to behave.

4 hours ago, Faera said:

Obviously, that is freefolk-freefolk marriages. Things are inevitably different for women taken during raids south of the Wall, such as the Umber girl who was kidnapped. In the society of the Seven Kingdoms, women generally marry who their family wants them to. To a "Southern" woman even in the North, her expectations of a husband is that he will be allied with her family and be in a position to keep her financially. Strength, while important, doesn't factor into the match. Being carried off by wildling men with the intention to take them as wives, again probably because they want ladies they aren't related to as part of their culture, is going to be nothing more than an abduction and rape in the "bride's" mind. Thus if she kills him, she still has no where to go but the other wildlings would probably not hold it against her... and sadly she'd probably just get nabbed by someone else. I can't imagine a stolen woman from the South will have many people willing to help her fight off anyone else who tries to take her or even kills her in revenge for killing her "husband". Her best option would be to make for the Wall and turn herself over to the Lord Commander at Castle Black. Even then, they'd be sceptical of her claim, presuming she even makes it to the Wall and doesn't die on the way there.

Marriage is in general not 'a romantic institution'. Historically, it has nothing to do with love and everything with controlling property (including women). Marriages in the Seven Kingdoms are usually arranged between the elite - royalty, nobility, and rich merchants. Yet we do not know if the overwhelming majority of the population of the Seven Kingdoms - the smallfolk - follow the same customs. Might be, or not. One assumes that rich peasants may also have preferred that their children marry other rich peasants from the neighboring village rather than some farmhands, but that's just speculation at this point.

We cannot say that the unnatural lifestyle of the pampered nobility is even remotely the same as the lifestyle of the commoners.

In that sense, I don't think the average woman in the Seven Kingdoms (i.e. Northwoman or Vale woman) being abducted by some wildlings (or Westerwoman or Reach woman being abducted by Ironborn) is caught between an unwanted arranged marriage and unwanted wildling abduction.

And the few highborn girls who are ever taken by such savages usually would find themselves in a very fucked-up situation, never mind how gentle or nice the new rapist/husband is simply because they lose all their servants, clothes, and other fine thing. Even if you are stuck in a loveless marriage - like Selyse, Lysa, or Cersei - you still have your gold, your finery, and all the privileges that come with your station. You may also be raped every night by a stinking, ugly husband, of course, but if you look at the facts being living with a rapist in the dirt is worse than living with a rapist in a castle.

And you coming to terms with you fate as 'a stolen woman', finding even joy in your husband and the children you birth doesn't mean that this is a great life.

We have an interesting example for a 'great career' in those terms would be Johanna Swann, the so-called 'Black Swan'. She was abducted by the Lyseni, made a whore because her niggardly uncle refused to pay the ransom for her. Eventually she rose to become a famous courtesan and the ruler of Lys in all but the name. But if she had had a choice she most likely wouldn't have put her through the ordeal she had to live through to rule Lys. 

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I think 99 times out of a hundred, women taken by raiders south of the Wall will be smallfolk. Highborn women are generally safe behind castle walls, and as our spidey friend points out we don't know much about the usual marriage practices of smallfolk. We can't be sure whether a 'wildling kidnap' is any worse than a regular smallfolk marriage or not.

What I find difficult to believe is that captured women are successfully hoisted across the Wall in the first place. We've seen how difficult it is to climb, even for motiivated raiders used to a life of hardship and exertion. Admittedly some raid by boat, but I find it hard to believe that any serious amount of women (or any other stolen material) can easily be got back over the Wall...

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is clearly not the kind of violent stealing we see when raiders raid other villages. Munda and Ryk met each other on the march, when there was peace among the tribes, clans, and villages.

The f

He would choose th to rule Lys. 

Ugh.

1 - Yeah, I was typing about examples, and I put forth Munda and Ryk.

2 - Mine was a generic evolutive statement about tribal growth, appliable to wildlings. The very wiki resonates in this idea. Sure, in the end they pick what they 'want'.

Edited by Jon Fossoway

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21 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I've seen this idea bounced around of wife stealing being beningn-a mating ritual to which both parties rights are to respected even when it involves none-wildlings.  That the vast majority of the women kidnapped on their raids merely choose to stay because they'd like to. I find that hard to swallow. What do you guys think? 

Please try to keep it respectful. 

Note to moderators: this topic isn't meant to be inflammatory: 

I think it can be summed up with Ygritte’s  line, “a man can own a women or a man can own a knife”. In wilding culture, violence isn’t foreign to women. If a man stole a woman against her consent, he’d wake up dead. Stealing the woman away from her family and clan is the man showing off his strength, cleverness, etc. he still has to woo the woman though.

 

like Drogo did the night of Dany’s wedding!

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21 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I've seen this idea bounced around of wife stealing being beningn-a mating ritual to which both parties rights are to respected even when it involves none-wildlings.  That the vast majority of the women kidnapped on their raids merely choose to stay because they'd like to. I find that hard to swallow. What do you guys think? 

Please try to keep it respectful. 

Note to moderators: this topic isn't meant to be inflammatory: 

It seems to be akin to the mating rituals of the ancient Spartans where the woman , if she doesn't accept you can and will kill you , and you still must escape her kin .

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

I think it can be summed up with Ygritte’s  line, “a man can own a women or a man can own a knife”. In wilding culture, violence isn’t foreign to women. If a man stole a woman against her consent, he’d wake up dead. Stealing the woman away from her family and clan is the man showing off his strength, cleverness, etc. he still has to woo the woman though.

 

like Drogo did the night of Dany’s wedding!

Drogo was an oddity among the dothraki-him asking his present if she personally wanted to screw, hell a lot of his behavior would not not be typical among Khals. A woman can kill her husband-but her husband's kin and fellows likely will not let her go unscathed, if she kills one of their own, the vast majority of the time they're not just going to let her go-no matter the reason.  If you can work up the courage to do that-which after being "taken" and seeing loads of people you know and love hell possibly everyone, you know and love butchered by this big scary raider, and raped, you will probably be too scared to try.  Women who are taken south of the wall never give their consent. Hell women north of the wall aren't really expected to meet prior to the ritual to give their explicit approval. It's already given in the Wildling's' mind. If they're  were too weak to defend themselves-they allowed it.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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9 hours ago, Rufus Snow said:

I think 99 times out of a hundred, women taken by raiders south of the Wall will be smallfolk. Highborn women are generally safe behind castle walls, and as our spidey friend points out we don't know much about the usual marriage practices of smallfolk. We can't be sure whether a 'wildling kidnap' is any worse than a regular smallfolk marriage or not.

As I said, I can see arranged marriages happening between rich peasants and merchants (the arranged marriage between Lord Lyonel Corbray and the daughter of a rich Gulltown merchant indicates as much) but even with peasants a poor farmhand might not be the idea son-in-law for a rich peasant yet it wouldn't cause that much of scandal as improper marriages do among the royals and nobles. In fact, if such a man was diligent and hard-working he could still help the old man to enlarge the farm, etc.

But among smallfolk of roughly equal rank and property marriages for love should have been far more common than among the nobility. If you don't have anything to offer nobody is going to want to enter into an arranged marriage with your children, anyway.

9 hours ago, Jon Fossoway said:

1 - Yeah, I was typing about examples, and I put forth Munda and Ryk.

They aren't a good example because their union happens under exceptional circumstances while the wildlings are united under a king and on the march. There might be similar unions of that type among allied and friendly clans and villages, but the way wildling society is portrayed indicates that they usually are at each other's throats while there is no king-beyond-the-Wall. That's what happens, too, after Mance is captured.

And the whole stealing thing implies that you take what you want - a movable good, not a person - from somebody else. That would mean that a raiding party overpowering an enemy village would put down all the men there and take the women and girls for themselves as their prices. That's how you get fresh blood into the clan.

When you are at peace this savage practice is no longer all that savage, of course, because people can adapt, but that's the core of the thing - and the way the thing still practiced when you go on a raid.

And it is exclusively a male thing. Only men still women. Women do not steal men.

9 hours ago, Jon Fossoway said:

2 - Mine was a generic evolutive statement about tribal growth, appliable to wildlings. The very wiki resonates in this idea. Sure, in the end they pick what they 'want'.

My point there is that cultural norms do not really tell you what you find attractive. Strength is what gives you power among the wildlings, but there is no reason to believe that strong men want, on average, equally strong women at their side. They might prefer meek women they can dominate (like Craster does) or they might prefer beautiful trophy women or they might look for fertile women who can give them many sons. In the end, it is the man who steals the woman. He makes the call. And chances are very low that he wants to get to know a woman as a person when he decides who to grab while he is raiding a woman. He'll most likely go by looks, which means that beautiful women are going to be the first and most popular targets.

8 hours ago, Aegon VII said:

I think it can be summed up with Ygritte’s  line, “a man can own a women or a man can own a knife”. In wilding culture, violence isn’t foreign to women. If a man stole a woman against her consent, he’d wake up dead. Stealing the woman away from her family and clan is the man showing off his strength, cleverness, etc. he still has to woo the woman though.

We never see a wildling woman putting down an abusive husband, nor do we know what would happen thereafter. I mean, take Mance as an example - would his buddies not try to avenge him if Dalla had put him down one night? I have a hard way picturing everybody being okay with that.

Ygritte is making herself attractive and powerful when she gives Jon her little speech about the woman and the knife, but the brute fact is that most raiders would know how to deal with such women - they are likely not going to steal spear wives, anyway. If they attack a village they would likely put them down along with the men because they are more trouble than they are worth.

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On March 10, 2018 at 11:15 PM, snow is the man said:

What is really weird and twisted is that after the kidnapping it seems that the women north of the wall have far more rights then the women south of the wall. For example a women south of the wall can be beaten to a pulp everyday by her husband and is not allowed to fight back or she is killed. Where as if a man north of the wall tries that then he can't sleep next to his wife or he will be killed in his sleep. Thus men north of the wall don't have the free reign that the men of the south have

Meh, she can leave. Face public ridicule for being a bad wife but doing so isn't a legal death sentence. If you're from a weaker tribe, or you're family is butchered  there isn't really a protection for you-if you cut your husband's throat you have to be ready to cut all his kin's throats as well. 

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On March 11, 2018 at 4:34 PM, Lord Varys said:
On March 11, 2018 at 10:39 AM, Faera said:

 

I'm not sure Ygritte *really* thought that. She is not as stupid as that, nor do I think a woman like her would have such a limited view of herself as to see herself as an object due to the fact how some guy treated her.

Ygritte liked Jon because he was strange and exotic from her point of view. But he was clearly not strong or powerful, especially not in the beginning. A strong man would have put her down. And it is pretty clear that he did not, in fact, steal her when he made her go away.

She and Tormund played that 'stealing card' in their interaction with Jon to corrupt him. They knew if Ygritte could get into his pants he would become theirs, body and soul. This whole thing was never only a romance - there is a romance part to all that, but it was also a game to ensure the boy behaved the way Mance wanted him to behave.

This makes sense-might I add Mamce probably wanted Jon to put in a good to the govenore of the north(his brother), who he knew Jon was close to? 

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On 3/13/2018 at 3:41 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Meh, she can leave. Face public ridicule for being a bad wife but doing so isn't a legal death sentence. If you're from a weaker tribe, or you're family is butchered  there isn't really a protection for you-if you cut your husband's throat you have to be ready to cut all his kin's throats as well. 

the same can be said if a man killed someone. Their relatives would want vengence and if the "killer" wasn't part of a powerful tribe or family he would have no protection.

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