Jump to content
Tyrion1991

Why does Dany keep saying Jorah loves her?

Recommended Posts

I never got Danys reasoning behind this.

In Clash Jorah says that his former wife Lynesse who he loved dearly looks like Dany. Now, most people, would join the dots and think that this is plain simple lust. Tyrion jibes Jorah about this in ADWD “like with like is that the way of it? Guess you’ll take a nice she bear.” Jorah wants his old wife back and Dany just happens to look like her. But instead Dany immediately and without any pause thinks that “he loves me as he loves her”. Which is a massive leap and it then becomes a point that Dany brings up almost whenever she thinks of Jorah. 

To take the most recent and prominent example in ADWD from her last chapter:

Spoiler
 

”My Bear, she thought, my old sweet bear, who loved me and betrayed me. She had missed him so. She wanted to see his ugly face, to wrap her arms around him and press herself against his chest, but she knew if she turned around Ser Jorah would be gone. 

“Iam dreaming” she said. “A waking dream, a walking dream. Iam alone and lost.”

Lost because you lingered, in a place you were never meant to be, murmured Ser Jorah as softly as the wind. Alone, because you sent me from your side.

”You betrayed me. You informed on me, for gold.”

For home. Home was all I ever wanted.

”And me. You wanted me.” Dany had seen it in his eyes.

I did, the grass whispered, sadly.

”You kissed me. I never said you could, but you did. You sold me to my enemies, but you meant it when you kissed me”

 

Yes Dany really is arguing with a ghost that Jorah loves her.

Now I think the last bits probably the most telling about Danys state of mind where she insists that “you meant it when you kissed me”. Because it means Dany isn’t referring to just lust or a platonic bond or some parental affection when she talks of love. When she says that Jorah loves it’s her placing value on that romantic attachment.

Am I missing something here? Iam not sure why George is so keen to stress this. If the point of Jorah is that he should get over his unhealthy obsession and entitlement with this beautiful woman who he’s lusting over; then why have Dany view it in a positive light at all? Seems kind of redundant.

If George wanted to say that Dany missed her friend then there are a lot of ways to express that. Not, waxing lyrical on true love. Why does Dany care exactly?

The only thing I can think is that although Dany doesn’t have any romantic feelings towards Jorah she still takes an enormous amount of reassurance from it. So she wants to believe that this guy truly loves her because it gave her some comfort having Jorah be so beholden to her. Perhaps the best example I can think of is how she is so shocked Jorah could love and betray her; totalling ignoring his point that this was before he came to love her. For Dany this is never a valid point because it doesn’t fit her narrative that’s she’s built around Jorah. Once she learns he loves her she basically defines him by that character trait. This is why she feels the need to argue with the Ghost when it says that he only cared about home and that “I did” love her. Dany again disputes both these points because she doesn’t want to believe them. So I think she has an idealised image of Jorah in her head that doesn’t have any resemblance to his actual character. Perhaps it just means she doesn’t know him at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dany isn't more than a 16 year old and doesn't have much examples in her life of actual love (that she remembers) to compare with.

She wasn't raised by adults, always going from place to place, never even had a real home, and an abusive brother. Where would she have ever seen an example of two people "loving" one another (as caring for)? Drogo is on the verge to come to love her by the time Dany's beliefs and opinion starts to matter to him, and he certainly fell in love with her prior, and he wanted to be loving to her on the first night, but most that Dany has seen and known through him is infatuation and lust.

So, yeah, I get why Dany would think Jorah "loves" her, when of course Jorah's obsessed infatuation with her is creepy AF and rather superficial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Dany isn't more than a 16 year old and doesn't have much examples in her life of actual love (that she remembers) to compare with.

She wasn't raised by adults, always going from place to place, never even had a real home, and an abusive brother. Where would she have ever seen an example of two people "loving" one another (as caring for)? Drogo is on the verge to come to love her by the time Dany's beliefs and opinion starts to matter to him, and he certainly fell in love with her prior, and he wanted to be loving to her on the first night, but most that Dany has seen and known through him is infatuation and lust.

So, yeah, I get why Dany would think Jorah "loves" her, when of course Jorah's obsessed infatuation with her is creepy AF and rather superficial.

 

I never got the sense Dany was like early Sansa. She’s older and has had two romantic entanglements thus far. Maybe she’s a little shallow in her affection for Dario but I don’t think she’s incapable of making the distinction.

Also she has the yard stick of Drogo for if a man loves her. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 

I never got the sense Dany was like early Sansa. She’s older and has had two romantic entanglements thus far. Maybe she’s a little shallow in her affection for Dario but I don’t think she’s incapable of making the distinction.

Also she has the yard stick of Drogo for if a man loves her. 

I did not say she is like early Sansa. Nor do I think so. Sansa romanticises attention and charm. Dany romanticises physical desire from men. I would not call Drogo's feelings for her love, not until after she ate the heart of the horse. Only then does he start to have respect for her, and begins to listen to what she has to say. That's when he starts to do stuff inconvenient to himself and his culture to please her. Sansa actually had examples of genuine love in her life, in her parents, and was loved by her family. Dany hasn't had much at all, except for Drogo and that only towards the end.

Certainly Jorah is blind in aCoK, with lust and infatuation. So, there's more than just lust and projection of Lynesse (though it started that way). She feels the infatuation in that kiss. And through Drogo she recognizes that might be a seed for love. And in that sense, her insistence that he loves her, might be correct by then. Jorah was broken when he learned she was wed, but he seems to have found a strength to be there for her, be on her side, not to win her for wife, but for her. She might be sensing that despite distancec and separation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you open to literary clues?

You may know that GRRM was a writer for a television show loosely based on the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale, so he has put a lot of thought into that odd couple and the meaning behind it and various ways to tell the story. Dany's relationship with Ser Jorah is one of the most obvious of the "Beauty and the Beast" relationships that GRRM gives us.

@sweetsunray is actually an expert on the bear / maid motif that runs through the books in a number of different variations as explored in her classic "Sansa and the Giants" thread in this forum. (Or was it this thread I was thinking of? Hard to search for archived discussions.)

The bear and the maiden fair song reappears from time to time to remind us of the traditional story behind the plot. Olenna Tyrell orders Butterbumps to sing as Sansa tells her and Margaery about Joffrey. The song he sings is The Bear and the Maiden Fair, perhaps telling us that Joffrey is another variation on the beast.

While Sansa and Dany are very different in a number of ways, Sansa has her strange attraction to The Hound, who is a beast character, and Dany has her bond with Ser Jorah, whose family sigil is a bear. Sansa imagines that Sandor kissed her after the Battle of the Blackwater and she saves his bloody cloak and she thinks about him and misses him. Ser Jorah really did kiss Dany and she sent him away but she thinks about him and misses him.

We see numerous other "beauty + beast" relationships such as the bond between Jaime and Brienne, Arianne and Areo Hotah, Starks and their direwolves, etc. I have my eye on Amerei Frey and her cousin, Ser Lyle Crakehall (known as Strongboar) as a weird variation on the theme.

I believe the relationships between these beauties and their beasts is a way of showing how two disparate souls can come together to make one complete whole. A single person can have good qualities, but GRRM is fascinated by combinations of people and he explores this in different ways. In addition to the Beauty and the Beast model, I think his ideal monarch has qualities of both the Targaryens and the Blackfyres, for instance. He achieves this by pairing Aegon V/Egg with Ser Duncan the Tall/Dunk (who may be a bastard son of Daemon Blackfyre).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Seams said:

Are you open to literary clues?

You may know that GRRM was a writer for a television show loosely based on the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale, so he has put a lot of thought into that odd couple and the meaning behind it and various ways to tell the story. Dany's relationship with Ser Jorah is one of the most obvious of the "Beauty and the Beast" relationships that GRRM gives us.

@sweetsunray is actually an expert on the bear / maid motif that runs through the books in a number of different variations as explored in her classic "Sansa and the Giants" thread in this forum. (Or was it this thread I was thinking of? Hard to search for archived discussions.)

The bear and the maiden fair song reappears from time to time to remind us of the traditional story behind the plot. Olenna Tyrell orders Butterbumps to sing as Sansa tells her and Margaery about Joffrey. The song he sings is The Bear and the Maiden Fair, perhaps telling us that Joffrey is another variation on the beast.

While Sansa and Dany are very different in a number of ways, Sansa has her strange attraction to The Hound, who is a beast character, and Dany has her bond with Ser Jorah, whose family sigil is a bear. Sansa imagines that Sandor kissed her after the Battle of the Blackwater and she saves his bloody cloak and she thinks about him and misses him. Ser Jorah really did kiss Dany and she sent him away but she thinks about him and misses him.

We see numerous other "beauty + beast" relationships such as the bond between Jaime and Brienne, Arianne and Areo Hotah, Starks and their direwolves, etc. I have my eye on Amerei Frey and her cousin, Ser Lyle Crakehall (known as Strongboar) as a weird variation on the theme.

I believe the relationships between these beauties and their beasts is a way of showing how two disparate souls can come together to make one complete whole. A single person can have good qualities, but GRRM is fascinated by combinations of people and he explores this in different ways. In addition to the Beauty and the Beast model, I think his ideal monarch has qualities of both the Targaryens and the Blackfyres, for instance. He achieves this by pairing Aegon V/Egg with Ser Duncan the Tall/Dunk (who may be a bastard son of Daemon Blackfyre).

I wrote this essay once about Jorah as Dany's bear: https://sweeticeandfiresunray.com/2015/12/08/a-bears-kiss-jorah-and-dany/

His kiss in aSoS, re-awakens her sexual drive, signaling her mourning is reaching its end. She may not desire him back, but she masturbates the chapter after, to the encounter Daario and eventually make him her lover. It discusses the beauty & beast layer, but points out that where beauty normally discovers the beauty within the beast, here the beastly bear makes the beauty recognize her dragon beast within.

Edited by sweetsunray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

... here the beastly bear makes the beauty recognize her dragon beast within.

I love this. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dany's dragon eggs would not have hatched if Jorah had been absent. He was part of the alchemy that caused the pyre magic to work this time after so many Targaryen egg-hatching schemes failed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I never got Danys reasoning behind this.

In Clash Jorah says that his former wife Lynesse who he loved dearly looks like Dany. Now, most people, would join the dots and think that this is plain simple lust. Tyrion jibes Jorah about this in ADWD “like with like is that the way of it? Guess you’ll take a nice she bear.” Jorah wants his old wife back and Dany just happens to look like her. But instead Dany immediately and without any pause thinks that “he loves me as he loves her”. Which is a massive leap and it then becomes a point that Dany brings up almost whenever she thinks of Jorah. 

To take the most recent and prominent example in ADWD from her last chapter:

  Reveal hidden contents
 

”My Bear, she thought, my old sweet bear, who loved me and betrayed me. She had missed him so. She wanted to see his ugly face, to wrap her arms around him and press herself against his chest, but she knew if she turned around Ser Jorah would be gone. 

“Iam dreaming” she said. “A waking dream, a walking dream. Iam alone and lost.”

Lost because you lingered, in a place you were never meant to be, murmured Ser Jorah as softly as the wind. Alone, because you sent me from your side.

”You betrayed me. You informed on me, for gold.”

For home. Home was all I ever wanted.

”And me. You wanted me.” Dany had seen it in his eyes.

I did, the grass whispered, sadly.

”You kissed me. I never said you could, but you did. You sold me to my enemies, but you meant it when you kissed me”

 

Yes Dany really is arguing with a ghost that Jorah loves her.

Now I think the last bits probably the most telling about Danys state of mind where she insists that “you meant it when you kissed me”. Because it means Dany isn’t referring to just lust or a platonic bond or some parental affection when she talks of love. When she says that Jorah loves it’s her placing value on that romantic attachment.

Am I missing something here? Iam not sure why George is so keen to stress this. If the point of Jorah is that he should get over his unhealthy obsession and entitlement with this beautiful woman who he’s lusting over; then why have Dany view it in a positive light at all? Seems kind of redundant.

If George wanted to say that Dany missed her friend then there are a lot of ways to express that. Not, waxing lyrical on true love. Why does Dany care exactly?

The only thing I can think is that although Dany doesn’t have any romantic feelings towards Jorah she still takes an enormous amount of reassurance from it. So she wants to believe that this guy truly loves her because it gave her some comfort having Jorah be so beholden to her. Perhaps the best example I can think of is how she is so shocked Jorah could love and betray her; totalling ignoring his point that this was before he came to love her. For Dany this is never a valid point because it doesn’t fit her narrative that’s she’s built around Jorah. Once she learns he loves her she basically defines him by that character trait. This is why she feels the need to argue with the Ghost when it says that he only cared about home and that “I did” love her. Dany again disputes both these points because she doesn’t want to believe them. So I think she has an idealised image of Jorah in her head that doesn’t have any resemblance to his actual character. Perhaps it just means she doesn’t know him at all?

Jorah has been with her since the wedding in aGoT, so he's her oldest friend/companion/follower. And after Viserys and Drogo dies, Jorah is Dany's only close relationship - until Missandei, ser Grandfather and Daario tags along he is her only substitute for family. Jorah fills the gap after Viserys death. Love isn't always romantic, Dany had a big brother and Jorah had younger sisters so they might easily have fallen into those roles with each other. And I think maybe Dany looking like Lynesse makes Jorah's thoughts and feelings toward Dany are way more complicated than hers toward him are.

(I don't think - the dragons as pets; or Irri, Jiqhi and Doreah as hand servants - can really fill in for family so that's why I discount them. Sure, Jorah serves her as well but out of all those who serve her Jorah has the highest "rank" so he'd be the most *equal person she has and that she can talk most freely with)

*truly not even close to equal, but you get the idea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Sigella said:

Jorah has been with her since the wedding in aGoT, so he's her oldest friend/companion/follower. And after Viserys and Drogo dies, Jorah is Dany's only close relationship - until Missandei, ser Grandfather and Daario tags along he is her only substitute for family. Jorah fills the gap after Viserys death. Love isn't always romantic, Dany had a big brother and Jorah had younger sisters so they might easily have fallen into those roles with each other. And I think maybe Dany looking like Lynesse makes Jorah's thoughts and feelings toward Dany are way more complicated than hers toward him are.

(I don't think - the dragons as pets; or Irri, Jiqhi and Doreah as hand servants - can really fill in for family so that's why I discount them. Sure, Jorah serves her as well but out of all those who serve her Jorah has the highest "rank" so he'd be the most *equal person she has and that she can talk most freely with)

*truly not even close to equal, but you get the idea

 

But George could have had Dany think of it as a platonic bond. Couch it in terms of friendship, companionship and all that. Yet Dany spends a lot of time telling herself she definitely does not love Jorah in ASOS and saying things like “when you kissed me you meant it”. She definitely does talk about him being a good friend and councillor but this is a very prominent trend in her thoughts. If the focus was on this as a platonic bond I wouldn’t expect that to come up from Dany as frequently as it does.

@sweetsunray

My take was that George was basically swapping the genders of Aragon and Eowyn. So the natural place to go would be that Jorah ends up with somebody else who loves him back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

But George could have had Dany think of it as a platonic bond. Couch it in terms of friendship, companionship and all that. Yet Dany spends a lot of time telling herself she definitely does not love Jorah in ASOS and saying things like “when you kissed me you meant it”. She definitely does talk about him being a good friend and councillor but this is a very prominent trend in her thoughts. If the focus was on this as a platonic bond I wouldn’t expect that to come up from Dany as frequently as it does.

You can not have romantic feelings for someone, but still care for them, and also be young enough to be egocentrical about it and revel in the fact that they love you.

5 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

My take was that George was basically swapping the genders of Aragon and Eowyn. So the natural place to go would be that Jorah ends up with somebody else who loves him back.

Eowyn may have had a crush, but she always respected Aragorn, and if she had done a wrong she owned it. Jorah is in many ways very immature when it comes to love and owning up to his mistakes. There is hope however that he has taken his hard lesson in life: enslaved, and perhaps coming to love someone while accepting it's unrequieted. But it's not over yet for him: he has a debt of honor towards his aunt, cousins, his father's memory and the Starks even (slandering them to make himself out to be their victim). And that one imo excludes finding a woman who loves him. Nor am I convinced that if a man of his age acts so creepy and besotted, once again, that he will ever be able to be in love with a woman responsibly and mature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

You can not have romantic feelings for someone, but still care for them, and also be young enough to be egocentrical about it and revel in the fact that they love you.

Eowyn may have had a crush, but she always respected Aragorn, and if she had done a wrong she owned it. Jorah is in many ways very immature when it comes to love and owning up to his mistakes. There is hope however that he has taken his hard lesson in life: enslaved, and perhaps coming to love someone while accepting it's unrequieted. But it's not over yet for him: he has a debt of honor towards his aunt, cousins, his father's memory and the Starks even (slandering them to make himself out to be their victim). And that one imo excludes finding a woman who loves him. Nor am I convinced that if a man of his age acts so creepy and besotted, once again, that he will ever be able to be in love with a woman responsibly and mature.

 

I don’t think that comes across as Dany revelling in having Jorah wrapped around her finger. There isn’t the vanity, it’s more her stressing how sweet he is for feeling that way.

You’re probably right that George intends to have Jorah kowtow to the Stark Landlords and join a corrupt and broken institution. It is consistent with his overall themes. To me it’s a waste of a life and he certainly owes nothing to the Starks. The most important thing a man can do is to find somebody to love and have a family with them. Killing wildlings in a penal colony is not that. The Old Bear would be condemning his son to a pointless life of misery and self denial. I agree he should accept his failings and move on from his obsession for Dany. But I don’t agree that he should abandon love and choose duty. If he was to chose any “duty”, it should be to see Dany as the daughter he never had. I don’t see why him finding love elsewhere would be so bad. Plus he’d be abandoning Dany to try and appease his fathers ghost if he just up and joined the NW.

He could change. Maybe he comes to think he’s wasted his life pining after women who don’t love him and that he actually values being loved himself more than a pretty face. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I don’t think that comes across as Dany revelling in having Jorah wrapped around her finger. There isn’t the vanity, it’s more her stressing how sweet he is for feeling that way.

Now, why you do you rephrase what I wrote in this way? I didn't say she "revels" or that it's "vanity". She's a 16 year old, and has a tendency to be egocentrical in a teen way - being loved and admired by people is important to her, especially in that last chapter when she wants all the doors of Westeros to be red welcoming doors. I'm not denying the rest of her character, or saying it's only egocentrism. But it is part of her character, which I find quite normal for a 16-year old.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

You’re probably right that George intends to have Jorah kowtow to the Stark Landlords and join a corrupt and broken institution. It is consistent with his overall themes. To me it’s a waste of a life and he certainly owes nothing to the Starks.

He committed a serious crime: he sold people into slavery. You know that vile institution that Dany wages war against. And then he made Ned Stark out to be evil for wanting his head for it. Jorah was a total POS. And if it weren't for his aunt and cousins corroborating how his wife looked down her nose on everything, I'd suspect the picture he paints of his wife is foul and untrustworthy as well. Even when found out about his spying, he never ever recognized responsibility for it - too eager to blame other people and make excuses for himself. I forgive teenagers for such behaviour, after giving them the consequences anyhow... because they still need to learn. But it's apalling in a grown man who had the power of a lord and a whole island to lead. Yes, he owes the Starks - he ought to be honest to himself and to Dany, that he was in the wrong and that Ned Stark had a keen sense of justice. How he painted Ned Stark to Dany was petty - the choices of a coward, a hypocrite and selfish.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The most important thing a man can do is to find somebody to love and have a family with them.

It depends on the man. Jorah has had two wives, did not love the first, sold people into slavery for the second one. Quite obviously he is infertile and he's a creep on Dany. I wouldn't wish him on any woman. And he certainly does not deserve his lordship back.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Killing wildlings in a penal colony is not that. The Old Bear would be condemning his son to a pointless life of misery and self denial.

The NW's purpose was never killing wildings. Jorah condemned himsef to a pointless life of misery  in Essos the moment he chose to sell people into slavery, and he needs to learn some self denial. We all have to learn some degree of self denial, when our own wants and desires are unwanted or harmful to other human beings. Btw I don't necessarily consider him NW material. Only if he chooses it voluntarily.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

But I don’t agree that he should abandon love and choose duty. If he was to chose any “duty”,

It's not about "duty"... it's about recognizing you did wrong, recognizing what shit you put others through because of it. It's about doing the right thing in some way, and not just to Dany.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I don’t see why him finding love elsewhere would be so bad.

It's not bad... it's not realistic for him and quite unhealthy. He consistently endeavors to make other people suffer for his "love": selling poachers into slavery, letting his aunt and cousins having to make sure Bear Island remains House Mormont and make sacrifices to prove their allegiance to their liege, trying to get rid of Selmy and Belwas because he wants Dany to himself and does not want to be outed to her (ther he's actually undermining Dany herself), kidnapping Tyrion and intending to gift him to Dany to sathe her revenge on a Lannister to get back on her good side...  :ack: As I said, I would not wish him on any woman.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Plus he’d be abandoning Dany to try and appease his fathers ghost if he just up and joined the NW.

As I said earlier... I was not necessarily thinking of the NW. He can make amends to all without abandoning Dany imo.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

He could change. Maybe he comes to think he’s wasted his life pining after women who don’t love him and that he actually values being loved himself more than a pretty face. 

I suspect he will improve. George had him experience slavery himself, had him experience being sent away by Dany, had him learn she married another man, and for once he seems to have kicked himself out his self-pity eventually for once. I just doubt that this improvement will lead him to a fate where he ends up married happily ever after for a third time.

Edited by sweetsunray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Now, why you do you rephrase what I wrote in this way? I didn't say she "revels" or that it's "vanity". She's a 16 year old, and has a tendency to be egocentrical in a teen way - being loved and admired by people is important to her, especially in that last chapter when she wants all the doors of Westeros to be red welcoming doors. I'm not denying the rest of her character, or saying it's only egocentrism. But it is part of her character, which I find quite normal for a 16-year old.

He committed a serious crime: he sold people into slavery. You know that vile institution that Dany wages war against. And then he made Ned Stark out to be evil for wanting his head for it. Jorah was a total POS. And if it weren't for his aunt and cousins corroborating how his wife looked down her nose on everything, I'd suspect the picture he paints of his wife is foul and untrustworthy as well. Even when found out about his spying, he never ever recognized responsibility for it - too eager to blame other people and make excuses for himself. I forgive teenagers for such behaviour, after giving them the consequences anyhow... because they still need to learn. But it's apalling in a grown man who had the power of a lord and a whole island to lead. Yes, he owes the Starks - he ought to be honest to himself and to Dany, that he was in the wrong and that Ned Stark had a keen sense of justice. How he painted Ned Stark to Dany was petty - the choices of a coward, a hypocrite and selfish.

It depends on the man. Jorah has had two wives, did not love the first, sold people into slavery for the second one. Quite obviously he is infertile and he's a creep on Dany. I wouldn't wish him on any woman. And he certainly does not deserve his lordship back.

The NW's purpose was never killing wildings. Jorah condemned himsef to a pointless life of misery  in Essos the moment he chose to sell people into slavery, and he needs to learn some self denial. We all have to learn some degree of self denial, when our own wants and desires are unwanted or harmful to other human beings. Btw I don't necessarily consider him NW material. Only if he chooses it voluntarily.

It's not about "duty"... it's about recognizing you did wrong, recognizing what shit you put others through because of it. It's about doing the right thing in some way, and not just to Dany.

It's not bad... it's not realistic for him and quite unhealthy. He consistently endeavors to make other people suffer for his "love": selling poachers into slavery, letting his aunt and cousins having to make sure Bear Island remains House Mormont and make sacrifices to prove their allegiance to their liege, trying to get rid of Selmy and Belwas because he wants Dany to himself and does not want to be outed to her (ther he's actually undermining Dany herself), kidnapping Tyrion and intending to gift him to Dany to sathe her revenge on a Lannister to get back on her good side...  :ack: As I said, I would not wish him on any woman.

As I said earlier... I was not necessarily thinking of the NW. He can make amends to all without abandoning Dany imo.

I suspect he will improve. George had him experience slavery himself, had him experience being sent away by Dany, had him learn she married another man, and for once he seems to have kicked himself out his self-pity eventually for once. I just doubt that this improvement will lead him to a fate where he ends up married happily ever after for a third time.

 

I thought you were saying Dany enjoys being loved and having him be beholden to her.

The Hound killed children and I never heard fan demands for him to take the black. Selling slavers is not a big deal in the context of this story, half of Robbs army probably did a lot worse and Ned is in his rights to kill anyone who looks at him funny, be it a poacher or a ranger warning you about the apocalypse. Plus, he’s helping Dany end slavery and went through it himself; the debt has been paid.

Is he supposed to like the man who wants to chop his head off? I don’t buy the entitled Kings of Winter nonsense. Ned Stark is a hypocrite. If he cared about his people he would not keep them as peasants and be running a protection racket. The nation should not be the personal property of one family. He certainly wouldn’t go around chopping peoples heads off without trial. Poverty is not virtue, it is incompetence. Wolves eat children and there’s nothing noble about them.

He saved Danys life. His actions will bring the dragons and all the armies of Essos to fight the Others. That is an important act. Far more important than Robb leading his men in a stupid rebellion down south. Yes, that has earned Jorah the right to go back home to Bear Island.

Its been their main purpose for centuries. They aren’t strong enough to beat the Others and they are useless in their task of alerting people to the danger. How does Jorah becoming another frozen clown on the wall help anyone? It should be about what brings the most benefit not crude dysfunctional notions of feudal honour. If he had done what his father wanted at the start, Dany would be dead and Weteros doomed; all so that another sword could have been at the wall. He is no use to anyone on the wall.

What you are talking about is Duty. His obligation to the Starks as the Kings of Winter, to satisfy Northern honour by joining the NW, to satisfy his family obligations and cleanse them of taint. To do that he will be asked to abandon love. Joining the NW explicitly means giving up on love and having children; two things Jorah does not have. George would not make that his atonement unless he intends to push giving up on love as the characters arc.

George is not going to let Jorah have it both ways. He would make Jorah choose between his family/the North and Dany. That will involve him abandoning Dany, who needs him. I do not for a second believe George will make it just a simple case of saying his farewells and heading on his merry way.

It would not be realistic or believable if only Sam and Gilly end up as a couple whilst everyone else has edgelord tragedies and dies alone. Some characters have to end up in boring or uninteresting relationships.  Some have fulfilling romantic arcs. Everyone forming a queue to the lonely mountain would be absurd.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The Hound killed children and I never heard fan demands for him to take the black.

I don't demand Jorah either to take the black. My reason: at the moment he doesn't even deserve a chance at the black for the moment. He isn't worthy of the black. He did not give those poachers a chance to take the black either. He condemned them to a life of abuse, torture and then death for a crime they at best would have lost a limb for or get to choose to go to the NW for. And we can probably guess why those men poached game on Bear Island - to feed their wife (who loves them truly) and their kids. That's usually what people risk their lives for, hunting food in the lord's forest. I don't think they poached in the Mormont forests, because their wife had some fancy taste.

And no, a few months as slave is "not a debt paid", certainly not as long as he has not vocalized actual moral insight, remorse and regret and responsibility for the choice he made.

And yet the two characters cannot be judged as equals - Jorah Mormont was Lord of Bear Island, the Judge of Bear Island, the man who is supposed to uphold the Law. Sandor was not a lord, not a judge, but the executioner. I do not condemn Ilyn Payne for beheading Ned Stark or executing anyone Joffrey told him to execute either. The level of power, status and entitlement is so different that you cannot compare them.

27 minutes ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Selling slavers is not a big deal in the context of this story

Selling slaves is a big deal in the context of this story, because part of the context of this story is anti-slavery. George explicitly chose this crime for Jorah in relation to Dany's Essos arc. Only two people make light of it: Viserys and Illyrio... not exactly exemplary characters in the books. And the sole other confirmed Westerosi character rumored to have done something similar is Cersei Lannister. George put Jorah on par with Cersei, not Sandor.

And while we modern people consider peasants in a feudal system no better off than slaves, there is a diference. The feudal contract is not just from the peasants towards their lord, but from the lord towards his people. A lord is supposed to protect his subjects, as well as judge them according to the law. You refer to the Starks as corrupt, but the only one who is definitely corrupt was Jorah - corrupt Judge, corrupt Lord.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

half of Robbs army probably did a lot worse

Much of those who did worse, were Karstarks who had defected. Robb beheaded those who committed war crimes.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Ned is in his rights to kill anyone who looks at him funny, be it a poacher or a ranger warning you about the apocalypse.

You and I may not agree with some of these Westeros laws. I myself am anti-death penalty. But that's easy for me, when I live in a society that has the ability to imprison people for life, in decent humane circumstances. I also regard a society where there is no division of power - lawmaker and judge all into one - as inferior to mine. But I do recognize that a state has the right to decide for themselves what punishments they dole out (even if I consider that punishment as barbaric). Ned has the power to kill anyone who looks at him funny. By law he does not have that right.

Personally I like the dilemma of Ned Stark executing Gared. We know why Gared was out there: fleeing and I am one who believe he fled to warn Ned Stark. We know Gared was telling the truth. And yet we also understand why Ned Stark did not believe him. We also know that since the NW did become a last-chance penal colony, a deserter is an outlaw bound to commit crimes, and a danger to anyone he comes across: milkmaid, farmer, miller sons, Bran, etc...  I like the fact that Ned Stark is tarnished by this execution.

But yes, Ned Stark has the legal right and obligation to execute a deserter, as did Jorah Mormont if a deserter dared to come to Bear Island. But neither have the right to sell Gared to a slaver to pay off the debt they incurred to please the rich taste of their wives.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Is he supposed to like the man who wants to chop his head off?

Straw man, see-saw argument. I did not say Jorah has to like Ned Stark. Like or dislike doesn't come into this. It's about being honest, about recognizing responsibility. Jorah had a responsibility as a lord. He was the corrupt one, selfish, and he committed a crime, abused his power for money, flouted the law he was to uphold as judge. Jorah was in the wrong, proved how incapable a lord he was, and instead of just "disliking" Ned, he intends to incite Dany against Ned Stark, so he can get his lands and lordship back. The man makes me puke.

1 hour ago, Tyrion1991 said:

If he cared about his people he would not keep them as peasants and be running a protection racket. The nation should not be the personal property of one family.

There's a difference between thinking a feudal society as inferior when it comes to human rights (and it is), and expecting a lord to invent democracy. Ned Stark isn't a hypocrite because he's a feodal lord. He's not an enlightened lord though.

Anyhow, since this society has no "industry" and this is a farmer society (not hunter gatherer), you're gonna have peasants. There's nothing wrong with being a peasant. Without peasants, there wouldn't be any food. And the peasants do need protection: from raiders, from outlaws, from potential invaders. Since Ned Stark was loved by both peasants and many lords alike, I'd say he did it well and fair. And we can read how Ned cares for his people, low and high. Nor does he take the execution of Gared lightly. He is burdened by it. All Jorah has shown was how he cares for himself.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

He certainly wouldn’t go around chopping peoples heads off without trial.

There was a trial for Gared: people interrogated him. It's just that in this society, trials aren't like ours, no defense lawyers... just witnesses and the accused, and one judge making the decision. We don't get details of the trial, because we see it through Bran's POV who's only 7 at the time. To him it was just "bunch of people asking questions" and then "father executing the man".

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Poverty is not virtue, it is incompetence.

Whose poverty are you talking about here?

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

He saved Danys life.

What does that have to do with Bear Island? Nothing.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

His actions will bring the dragons and all the armies of Essos to fight the Others.

Will it? I have my doubts about that and their efficiency against Others. I'm pretty sure all those armies of Essos and dragons will end up wreaking havoc in Westeros.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Far more important than Robb leading his men in a stupid rebellion down south.

What the hell does Robb have to do with Jorah earning Bear Island back? Zero, nothing, nada.

Robb's rebellion was not that stupid initially. Tywin invaded the Riverlands and was wreaking havoc there. Robb came to the aid of his grandfather and uncle, who were being besieged. Then Joffrey did something very stupid. Then the Lords of the North did something stupid. Robb was winning his war military. But he made a mistake in sending Theon to the Iron Islands, in trusting Roose too much, and breaking his pact with Walder Frey. He paid for that with his life. 

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 Yes, that has earned Jorah the right to go back home to Bear Island.

He can go back home to Bear Island and be a knight for his house. He has not shown any competence to rule a castle or lands though.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Its been their main purpose for centuries. They aren’t strong enough to beat the Others and they are useless in their task of alerting people to the danger.

A mistaken purpose. And that purpose is no more, since wildlings are either being wighted, or agreed to live by the king's laws south of the Wall.

They don't need to beat the Others, as  long as the Wall stands. They're not useless in alerting people to the danger. It's just that those who ought to listen, prefer to busy themselves with other stuff, and pretend to be deaf. But they managed to get the attention of Davos and Mel and therefore Stannis.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

How does Jorah becoming another frozen clown on the wall help anyone? It should be about what brings the most benefit not crude dysfunctional notions of feudal honour. If he had done what his father wanted at the start, Dany would be dead and Weteros doomed; all so that another sword could have been at the wall. He is no use to anyone on the wall.

He doesn't deserve the black.

I don't think Dany is the savior of Westeros.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

What you are talking about is Duty. His obligation to the Starks as the Kings of Winter, to satisfy Northern honour by joining the NW, to satisfy his family obligations and cleanse them of taint.

He doesn't deserve the black.

Could you please stop telling me what I think. It's not about 'duty', or "kings of winter' or 'honor'. It's about being an actual adult and admit your mistakes, to yourself, to those you wronged, to those you failed, to those you slandered because they were going to present you the consequences for your wrong, to those you used to get away with it. And only when he is capable of that, can I consider Jorah being worthy of having a life of service to his family, to the realm, to the North, to Bear Island. Only then he is worthy of the black.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Joining the NW explicitly means giving up on love and having children; two things Jorah does not have.

Once again, at the moment Jorah doesn't deserve the black.

Love and children are two things he cannot have, period. He has had two wives, and none had any child. He doesn't even have a bastard. Clearly, Jorah has fertility issues. He's not ever going to have children. And so far, Jorah has not ever shown he's able to love unconditionally or in a mature way. That's why he doesn't have it.

2 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

It would not be realistic or believable if only Sam and Gilly end up as a couple whilst everyone else has edgelord tragedies and dies alone. Some characters have to end up in boring or uninteresting relationships.  Some have fulfilling romantic arcs. Everyone forming a queue to the lonely mountain would be absurd.

Are you discussing the show here? We are not in the show forum, but book forum. I don't care about the show. Leave it out of the discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George wouldn’t have had the Old Bear ask for that promise if he wasn’t putting that up as a possibility. It is almost certainly where George is going.

It is relevant that you put the Starks on a pedestal and expect Jorah to kiss their boots. They have done nothing for Westeros. They have condemned millions to death in their desire for petty revenge. They placed a crown upon their heads and hurled their people away as cannon fodder. George seems to think that because they are bit more outwardly humble and poorer than the Lannister’s that this makes them good guys. Poverty is not virtue, it is incompetence and it doesn’t make them “the little guy”. Why am I asked to consider the Ironborn a “stupid rebellion” yet consider the Starks these supermen?

I think you’re massively exaggerating the bad Jorah has done and dismissing or downplaying the good he has done. Dany is not wrong to admire him for those things.  

How many peasants do you think the Starks kill to maintain order in the North? How many hands cut off? How much flesh branded and backs flayed for not paying their dues? How many drafted into that proud Northern army? Yes, selling three guys into slavery is more evil than that. They are not nice people.

Having a character with very real flaws gives him room to grow and develop or to fall spectacularly. That’s a lot more interesting to me than some brooding pretty boy on the wall who George insists deserves my sympathy and best wishes coz he’s such a swell guy. When instead you have a guy who manages to be boring, contemptful and unimpressive. He is no Rand al Thor. Yet George clearly wants you to think this and to ship him and Dany.

Personally, I would like his story to revolve around him becoming Danys true knight rather than pining after her. So that he sees her as his Queen and not as a woman he wants. That’s more in keeping with what Dany thinks and says. Ostensibly this is what she wants from him. I detest the primacy people give to anything connected to the North and how that trumps all other considerations.

The Nights Watch is like fifty guys. They are an irrelevance. A petty band of gnats that are going to be swept aside by the others. They just murdered their own Lord Commander. They’re not the Dundain Rangers from LoTR. So this isn’t some holy order of the elect that it Jorah should be honoured to join. At this point there is nothing worth saving in that carcass. Another Northern failure that George wants us to mourn.

I feel I am getting very off topic and this has more to do with my own distaste for the hypocrisy George uses with how the Starks/North is presented. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

But George could have had Dany think of it as a platonic bond. Couch it in terms of friendship, companionship and all that. Yet Dany spends a lot of time telling herself she definitely does not love Jorah in ASOS and saying things like “when you kissed me you meant it”. She definitely does talk about him being a good friend and councillor but this is a very prominent trend in her thoughts. If the focus was on this as a platonic bond I wouldn’t expect that to come up from Dany as frequently as it does.

 

Which is why I said: 

15 hours ago, Sigella said:

I think maybe Dany looking like Lynesse makes Jorah's thoughts and feelings toward Dany are way more complicated than hers toward him are.

edit: I think it is this discrepancy that she is talking about.

Edited by Sigella

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

It is relevant that you put the Starks on a pedestal and expect Jorah to kiss their boots. They have done nothing for Westeros.

See-saw argument once more. Hyperboling the position of someone else does not help. I do not expect Jorah to kiss their boots. I want him to take responsibility. Jorah can be fair about Rhaegar, fair about Viserys, and he would know why Ned Stark was one of the rebels (her father's actions and demanding the heads of two young men who at that point had done nothing). He sets Viserys up first and then Dany to think of Ned Stark as an evil character, not beccause that is the truth. He does not do that for Robert Baratheon, nor for Tywin Lannister. Do I understand how and why he does it? It's human psychology... a lot of people do this. But I have little respect for it. Being honest, responsible and nuanced is not the same as kissing someone's boots. And I certainly do not see how Jorah is helping Westeros if he sets Dany up with a strengthened bias against the families who rebelled against Aerys

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

They have condemned millions to death in their desire for petty revenge. They placed a crown upon their heads and hurled their people away as cannon fodder. 

. Oh, wait, now Robb = all Starks? Come on. Who is being biased here? Initially, Robb's campaign wasn't a revenge campaign whatsoever. Ned Stark was alive when Robb rode south, and Tywin was holding a revenge campaign in the Riverlands. People were already being killed. All leaders involved in the war of 4/5 kings threw Westeros into civil war: Joffrey by killing the man who would have been the coin to bring the North to heel (Ned was a dead man walking anyway, because of his leg; he already had signs of gangrene and sepsis), Renly by wanting a crown, Stannis by using sorcery, Robb by putting a crown on his head.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 George seems to think that because they are bit more outwardly humble and poorer than the Lannister’s that this makes them good guys. Poverty is not virtue, it is incompetence and it doesn’t make them “the little guy”. 

The Lannisters have a gold mine and are one of the richest families in Westeros. Almost everybody else is "poorer". But not being as "rich" as the Lannisters doesn't mean the Starks are "poor". They are not "poor". Jorah is poor, because he put himself into debt, beacuse of his incompetence. The Starks were not. Clearly if both House Mormont and the Starks could afford to have VS swords, they had means.They don't care for southern fanfare, not because they're humble, but because it's all show. In the North, tourneys and fancy dress parties are not going to keep you warm nor help you survive winter. And singers rarely come North, because they don't like the climate. You are projecting your political views and philosophy about wealth onto the story here that is of your own making and racked with falsehoods. The Starks end up being the "underdog", not because they're poor, but because people want to kill/rape Bran, Rickon, Arya and Sansa to have their seat and territory. But an underdog is not the same as "the little guy". The Starks aren't "the little guy". They never were. Your ideas about the Starks is too clouded by the show it seems.

Indeed, poverty is not a virtue, but it isn't always because of incompetence either. In Jorah's case, it is.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Why am I asked to consider the Ironborn a “stupid rebellion” yet consider the Starks these supermen?

You're not being asked to consider the Starks as supermen, nor Robb's attempt of carving an independent kingdom as righteous. George uses the Brotherhood without Banners to throw a big shade on Robb's campaign, and he uses Arya's POV to remind the reader that just because your brother is one of the war leaders it isn't all fine and dandy. It isn't okay. These are not just arguments that readers come up with out of nowhere: George himself put that in the books, deliberately. If George wanted Robb's campaign to not be a folly, he wouldn't have written it as he did. So, you're NOT asked to consider the IB as doing a stupid rebellion and Robb's campaign as virtuous. Quite the opposite. George uses sympathy for POV to draw the reader into cheering Robb on initially, to then hit the reader around the head with the cost of his folly.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I think you’re massively exaggerating the bad Jorah has done and dismissing or downplaying the good he has done. Dany is not wrong to admire him for those things.  

Jorah has done little good. The good he did only relates to Dany. That's the sole person he did good for: helped her see that Viserys would be a shit king, prevented Viserys from stealing her eggs, saved Dany from drinking poisoned wine, saved Dany from being stoned to death when she foolishly had MMD magically save Drogo. He snuck into Meereen to capture the city and he was one of the men on Pyke. Jorah would have snuck into Meereen regardless of Dany's motivations. Of course, Dany admires him for these things. I do not fault her that.

I personally do not admire the man, because he shirks accountability every time. All the bad he does follows from that. And in that regard Robb is far more likeable. He took things too far, made huge mistakes, and those mistakes actually followed from his sense of accountability. He doesn't marry Jeyne, because he loves her, but because he feels accountable of having taking her maidenhood when he grieved over the new of the death of his brothers. He let Theon go to the Iron Islands, trusted him, and lost Winterfell and "his brothers" because of it. So, he wants to rush back North. Etc.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Yes, selling three guys into slavery is more evil than that.

It is evil that he shirks responsibility and accountability for his own actions. That is how most people who are not psychopaths come to do evil. And Jorah does not want to help Dany conquer Westeros by any peaceful means either, let alone to save Westeros from the Others. Just because we don't have the results of Dany's war in Westeros on page yet, it doesn't mean you can exclude that idea when you make a comparison to Robb.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Having a character with very real flaws gives him room to grow and develop or to fall spectacularly. That’s a lot more interesting to me than some brooding pretty boy on the wall who George insists deserves my sympathy and best wishes coz he’s such a swell guy. When instead you have a guy who manages to be boring, contemptful and unimpressive. He is no Rand al Thor. Yet George clearly wants you to think this and to ship him and Dany.

There's no point in debating taste. I find Rand al Thor utterly boring, because of his over the top magical powers. I have contempt for Jorah on the morality of his character. It's not just a real flaw. It's an evil flaw. I want nothing to do IRL with adults who are irresponsible and shirk accountability. I like Jon's arc, because of the constant moral dilemmas George puts in there. I certainly do not think Jon is Rand al Thor. I do not ship Dany and Jon.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Personally, I would like his story to revolve around him becoming Danys true knight rather than pining after her. So that he sees her as his Queen and not as a woman he wants. That’s more in keeping with what Dany thinks and says. Ostensibly this is what she wants from him. I detest the primacy people give to anything connected to the North and how that trumps all other considerations.

I would be okay with Jorah becoming Dany's true knight, as a true knight would include holding himself accountable. If I connect him to the North, it's not because I think his allegiance should be to the North. He's an outlaw. But he is of the North, and the people he wronged, includes his Northern family, and he does owe them some form of recognition that he forfeited any right to be lord over his ancestral home, by not using Dany to get her to decide - hey Lady Mormonts, from now on Jorah is your lord once more. I would think the same thing, if Jorah was a man of the Westerlands, Vale, Riverlands, Reach, Ironborn or Dorne. It's got nothing to do with the North or Ned Stark even... Of course, if Jorah were a man of the Westerlands, Jorah's hypothetical shade on Tywin Lannister would have far more truth in it. Tywin is in fact ruthless and considers himself as unaccountable as Jorah does. And the debt Jorah would owe his family would be worse, because Tywin would have had his aunt and cousins killed, if Jorah had displeased Tywin. Jorah and his house can thank his lucky stars that he committed a crime in the North.

3 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

The Nights Watch is like fifty guys. They are an irrelevance. A petty band of gnats that are going to be swept aside by the others. They just murdered their own Lord Commander. They’re not the Dundain Rangers from LoTR. So this isn’t some holy order of the elect that it Jorah should be honoured to join. At this point there is nothing worth saving in that carcass. Another Northern failure that George wants us to mourn. 

The NW has become a rotten thing. But there are many who are not. Not all are petty. And not all are irrelevant. Some attempted to assassinate their LC, not all. Before the Targs helped to make it rot and dwindle, it was an honorable institute. It's not a Northern failure, but a Targaryen failure. Nor do I think they will be irrelevant in the future. I don't think the Others will be completely destroyed.

It is not so much George who writes all the wrong stuff, but you trying to belittle Jorah's deep flaws and how he as a much older experienced man keeps perpetuating this behavior, then bringing in the wrongs of other characters as if that suddenly makes it alright (two wrong don't make anything right), and mostly arguing from a show perspective instead of the books, even if you keep it vague. And that's mostly on D&D, rather than George. Is Jorah an interesting character in the books - yes. I think ill of him regardless.

Edited by sweetsunray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

George is not that critical of the Starks and not morally grey in their depiction. He simply expands upon the consequences of their actions but he is careful to distance the Starks and the Northern Myth from it. 

Lets take an example, Dany, even though it is also her POV gets a ton of criticism and demonisation because her dragon killed one person; possibly even by accident. Yet Aryas direwolf going on a rampage with its pack and killing who knows how many barely gets a mention instead being depicted as kind of badass. That is a double standard. I don’t see Arya thinking she’s a monster because of this. You don’t see people spitting in Rob Starks face and saying you damned us all to die. Karstark is depicted as a loser who killed kids for vengeance; whereas the Astapiri ambassador kind of has a point. You don’t get widows denouncing him as a monster for bringing the scourge of war into the Riverlands. Piling up the bodies of burnt children at his feet. Instead you have the humble Tully’s calling him King of the North. Yes, his war almost kills his sister because she’s down with the little people. That’s just for drama. But George does sanitise what should be no different than the raiding during the Hundred Years War because he knows we wouldn’t like the Starks if he went there. Edward the Third did not give a dam how many French peasants he killed. He is very careful to distance the Starks from any bad stuff that happens or to leave it all a little vague.

You are asked to consider the Ironborn very differently. Rob wants to make himself King and take the Riverlands from another Kingdom. On the grounds that he has claims of ancient kingship and kinship with the Tully’s. For personal revenge and even for glory. Balon is depicted as an ass the entire time. His reasons for revenge on the death of his sons as petty. His ambitions delusions of grandeur. His people thuggish and superstitious. Too proud and committed to a dated warrior culture. Their poverty the result of a society built around war and so not virtuous. Theon wants to prove himself to his father just like Rob but is instead shown as a fool and a braggart before he’s even set foot in the Iron Islands. It is night and day. You are told the Starks are the Kings of Winter, the First Men who hold to the true Gods of nature and it’s people virtuous Spartans fighting to avenge good Ned. Whereas the Ironborn are the scum of the earth who do nothing but rape, loot and run. An ugly people who worship Cthulhu.

George can add the faintest shade of grey he wants but it’s a little lost in translation when he’s ratcheting up the villain scale for the other side. This pushes you into thinking that Rob has to pass through the crucible to beat the hated Lannister’s and Ironborn; which is excusing his actions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you skipped the Arya chapters where she hears talk of the Stark forces taking food, etc, by the smallfolk, Gendry's criticism about lords, and Arya at some point feeling ashamed over it all when she cannot deny the truth. Sevearl times we hear about Maidenpool being attacked by all type of forces: Stark, Lannister, Bloody Mummers.

Arya got nearly killed several times because of Tywin's wardogs, the same guys who killed Elia Martell and her children. Tywin let them loose before Robb had even marched south of the Twins, and Arya even got there. The reason why Varys intended to send Ned along with Yoren overland was because he knew wat type of warmongerers he was bound to meet: Ned was never meant to get to the Wall alive. You forgot about the reason why Beric was even out there? Robb made mistakes and he continued a war, but it certainly is not all on him either. He paid for it with his life.

Yes, George strings you along at first in rooting for Robb, but he always intended him to die, and from aCoK onwards, he shows the reader more and more what a folly Robb made of it and in aSoS, he makes even Robb's sister feel ashamed for what her brother's forces are doing to the smallfolk. Glover and Manderly eagerly going for Duskendale to raid it is one of those other bitter-tasting Northern exploits. Sure, it was a trap by Roose, but they sure took it eagerly. And there are plenty of people in aSoS and aFfC  in the Riverlands who mention how war brings out the worst in men. George does not exclude Northern forces from doing that.

That's not the "faintest shade of grey".

The Ironborn are indeed worse. They make pillaging their livelihood and consider living from farming and mining beneath them. That's stupid. But then we also are introduced to Ironborn who realize that isn't too smart and not a long term solution. And their land is indeed some of the worst soil. Only the Mountain Clans of the Vale and Free Folk have it worse. Balon Swann is stupid, because he uses "old times" to do this, and like Jorah he refuses accountability for his earlier rebellion, where he lost all his sons but Theon. But, an economical solution is required for the Ironborn, if any of the regions of Westeros want peace. You have to extend a hand to the losing side of a war and help them get back on their feet. Robert forgave Balon, but beyond that the Ironborn were left to rot on the Iron Islands. And eventually that backfires. This is why after WWII the allies finally realized that imposing punitive payments on Germany was unwise.

Yeah, Arya dreaming of the wolves and their hunting. She's in for a shock and likely a guilt trip once she realizes that what she dreams is really happening. She likely won't regret the soldiers and Freys killed in this way, but she will feel bad for them going after smallfolk, just as Dany felt when a father presented her the body of his child who go charred by Drogon.

Are the Starks overall better people at heart than Balon, Walder Frey and Tywin? Yes. So? But even they can commit war crimes and atrocities and be petty. They are "better" human beings, because they can admit to themselves that they made a mistake. And Dany does so as well, sometimes, or ends up choosing to acquire forces that do not pillage and rape. And some mistakes she does not want to recognize. Not everyone is a psychopath or a machiavelist. Seems to me that you dislike the Starks because you stan a few non-Stark people in the books, and you think it's "not fair!" But then we get these strange arguments of "see what Ned, Robb, Arya, etc are doing! But it's not fair, because George is only throwing a faint shade on them." Seems to me that if he indeed was only throwing a faint shade at them, then he wouldn't write Ned executing Gared, have Varys point out some valid issues about the impact Robb's war will have to Ned in the black cell, Robb making dreadful mistakes and put in smallfolk disliking him for it, etc...  2.5 books George spent on this cost: from aCoK until the end of aFfC. But hey, George is favoring Starks and not being harsh on them enough, right? Sure, he's too kind on them - their home burned down, 3 of them died, 3 are believed to be dead and surviving far away in harsh circumstances, and another gets shanked by his fellow brothers... almost all by alleged "allies", and they're all doing stuff a certain section of the readerdom cry foul over. What you claim is only in your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because you don’t have characters like the Reader dressing down their entire mindset and society. Up North you do not have this self criticism and reflection. Rob failed because he didn’t manage his vassals well. It’s the man who failed, not the North and it’s warlords. Nobody has ever said that the North was fighting a “stupid rebellion” and that their culture is a broken relic.

Instead you have a little girl talking about how much they love the Starks and how wrong it is that the evil Frey’s murdered everyone. It’s a wonderful scene, do not get me wrong. You also have the She Bears being awesome and taking names; immediately saying there is no King but Stark. But there is no moral ambiguity here. You do not get this sort of heavy handed romanticism with the Ironborn. There George savagely deconstructs the idea of the “warrior society”. You can’t satirise it in one instance and then enshrine it in another as he does with the North. The Ironborn are “worse” as you put it because George wants you to root for the Starks and to make the story less ambivalent. If the Greyjoy’s had legit reasons to make themselves Independent and attack the Starks it would not fit. Theon has to be utterly in the wrong.

Why didn’t Arya add Rob to her list then? If he did such bad things to innocent people and she cared that much? How many Butchers boys do you think Rob killed? If she cares about the people her Direwolf has killed would she kill Nymeria? I doubt it. 

He doesn’t favour them with victory. Of course the Starks have had a rough time of it. George wants to sell the romantic tragedy of this good family being destroyed by war. That requires him to romanticise the North, the Old Gods, the First Men and the Starks. If people were led to believe they were just another feudal overlord fighting for petty reasons then that story would lose its edge. So he tones it down. It’s always robs subordinates Lords who commit crimes, they’re the defending power for most of the war and there are references to him reigning his men in. This deflects those scenes that Arya has suggesting Robbs war is a bit edgy. All that amounts to is a “wars hell” It doesn’t undermine that the North is fighting a Just War or cast doubt on the venture. 

You have to view Rob in the context of the story. Tywin is a baby killer who abuses his own son. Stannis is in the thrall of a Daemon god and who demands submission like he’s General Zod. Balon is an imperialist who wants to make the North howl. Oh but Robs vassals burnt a few farms and took some sheep from the Riverlands. That’s not the author wanting me to condemn the Starks. If he did then it would be as he does for all the other characters. George would need to show Rob explicitly ordering a town put to the sword or sending out reavers to pillage the countryside. There’s too much deliberate ambiguity between the troops on the ground and the man himself to make such a judgement.

Plus those are still mild judgements of the conduct of the war; not the cause itself or it’s people. For example, you hear a TON of reasons (almost all Targaryen history and lore) why Dany should not pursue the throne. It is very rare, if ever, that the North claiming it’s ancient Kingship back is criticised. That is put on a pillar and they have one of the most squeaky clean backstories ever apart from the occasional cryptic inference that they had to bash a few skulls in millennia ago which is ancient history. You don’t hear about, I dunno, “The Red Wolf” who ate his own young or “The She Wolves” who went mad with power. All of which is common fodder with the Targaryens and very much colours everything Dany does. Yet the Starks are given a near perfect origin. I recall a few of Brans visions maybe implying some possibly Starks were a bit dodgy but it pales compared to the arsenal that is the targaryens. So we are led to infer that their bloodline is pure and untainted. Generally, the First Men are repeatedly shown as morally and racially superior, with the Starks themselves gifted with magical abilities and a bond to the creatures of nature. As opposed to the inbred family whose “blood” might have no magic at all and have no tie to the land of Westeros as the Starks do.

I might be wrong. Maybe the Starks origins are a mystery for a reason, since some of them were extremely evil and the Children of the Forest are evil too. But as of writing there just isn’t enough to say for certain that they have as tainted a legacy as the other houses. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×