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Why is Brienne treated so badly ?

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By this I mean folk within ASOIAF universe.

We see extremely often that she is subject of mockery , rejection and even hate. Someone may say its because she is a woman and their society, but from other examples we can conclude that is simply not true.

Daysey Mormont is respected by Northsman and even Robb Stark chose her for personal guard during whispering wood battle.

Asha Greyjoy enjoys huge respect from Ironborns, her father considers her as his heir. She is given command of 30 ships during Greyjoys invasion of North. Even during kingsmoot she has decent support of others to become their ruler.

Obara sand is also female warrior and it seems that no one in Dorne  has problems with that, from her father, uncle , sisters and others.

So why is Brienne exception ? 

She is not terrible at being a warrior , Brienne is extremely tall , strong, with decent speed and stamina, she is probably better than 90 % of other knights, so what is the problem ?

Could it be the fact that she exceeds majority of other male fighters ??? Man can´t really stand when they got beaten by woman , it hurts their pride . Are deep down man just  jelaous of her , they feel insecure , less worthy because woman is better that them so they hide that and rely on hate and mockery ???

What is your opinion ?

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While I think the jealousy of her prowess and intimidation at her size and strength are a thing for sure, I expect the single biggest reason Brienne gets so much grief vs. any of the other female warriors is her personal insecurity. I think dudebros she can dominate in battle are able to sense the awkward and unattractive little girl in her as a weakness they can exploit in a way they could never manage with women who are much more comfortable in their own skins than Brienne.

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On this issue, the North and Dorne are somewhat unusual.  We've seen that Dorne gives women a great deal of latitude.  That probably includes fighting if you want to.  Bear Island has a long tradition of women warriors out of necessity, something the North has evidently gotten used to.  As for Asha, I think Balon was treating her as a substitute son, and that attitude rubbed off on everyone else.

The rest of the country seems more traditionalist in this aspect, so Brienne is looked on a something unusual.  Her appearance, with an apparently ugly face, and very large body, doesn't help matters any, as she doesn't look like most people's idea of how a woman should look.  

Lord Tarly obviously considers her actions to be inappropriate and unsuitable for a Lady, and I see no indication that his attitude is unusual, at least in the South.

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Posted (edited)

queen alysanne had sworn shield, jonquil darke. I think she also was sort of woman - knight, but for some reason commoners liked her (?) anyway, maybe it is specific for andal culture / faith of seven. the warrior is male figure and knighthood is reserved for men

 

 

Edited by broken one

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38 minutes ago, Putin said:

By this I mean folk within ASOIAF universe.

We see extremely often that she is subject of mockery , rejection and even hate. Someone may say its because she is a woman and their society, but from other examples we can conclude that is simply not true.

She is playing at a knight. She is a noble teenage daughter acting like a man. Of course she is seen as something of a joke.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

Daysey Mormont is respected by Northsman and even Robb Stark chose her for personal guard during whispering wood battle.

That is not exactly true.

One of his companions was even a woman: Dacey Mormont, Lady Maege's eldest daughter and heir to Bear Island, a lanky six-footer who had been given a morningstar at an age when most girls were given dolls. Some of the other lords muttered about that, but Catelyn would not listen to their complaints. "This is not about the honor of your houses," she told them. "This is about keeping my son alive and whole."

I doubt Dacey is as accepted in the North as you are suggesting. However she still seems less of an oddity than Brienne. Dacey is a leader of troops, there are women leader of troops in the South as well. On top of that the women of Bear Island had to become warriors out of necessity, rather than choice. Dacey is likely to be more accepted because of this.

Again, it also helps that the Mormonts are the nominal leaders of the Mormont forces with Robb. The soldiers they command have served them for some time.

By Catelyn's lights, that was queer garb for a lady, yet Dacey and Lady Maege seemed more comfortable, both as warriors and as women, than ever the girl from Tarth had been.

They are both more comortable in their positon than Brienne is.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

Asha Greyjoy enjoys huge respect from Ironborns, her father considers her as his heir. She is given command of 30 ships during Greyjoys invasion of North. Even during kingsmoot she has decent support of others to become their ruler.

She has some support, but there is a reason, despite being her father's chosen heir, that both her uncles were the popular choice.

The crew of her Black Wind took a perverse pride in the deeds of their woman captain.

Again, Asha was allowed to do what she did because of who her father was, not because the Ironborn are particularly enlightened. Watch how she was quickly married off after his death and abandoned by most of her forces.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

Obara sand is also female warrior and it seems that no one in Dorne  has problems with that, from her father, uncle , sisters and others.

We really have no idea about that.

Oberon was unusual, we simply don't know how respected Obara was from the average Dornishperson. Her birth allows her to be treated with respect, her father raised her to be comfortable with who she was.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

So why is Brienne exception ? 

She's not. And she is playing knight. It is one thing to be a female warrior, another to call herself a role that was reserved for men.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

She is not terrible at being a warrior , Brienne is extremely tall , strong, with decent speed and stamina, she is probably better than 90 % of other knights, so what is the problem ?

The problem is she is a female taking on a male's role. If a male noble joined the Silent Sisters he too would be looked upon as a freak. For all intetents and purposes, Brienne is seen as a cross dresser in their society.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

Could it be the fact that she exceeds majority of other male fighters ???

Probably not as most men underestimate her ability. They don't think of her as a great warrior. Jaime thought she was a joke and presumed that he would easily beat her.

38 minutes ago, Putin said:

 

Man can´t really stand when they got beaten by woman , it hurts their pride .

This is true, but I don't think it is the case on this one. Jaime respecter her more after she beat him and Brienne was seen as a freak from a young age before she would have became great with the sword.

 

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18 hours ago, Putin said:

By this I mean folk within ASOIAF universe.

We see extremely often that she is subject of mockery , rejection and even hate. Someone may say its because she is a woman and their society, but from other examples we can conclude that is simply not true.

Daysey Mormont is respected by Northsman and even Robb Stark chose her for personal guard during whispering wood battle.

Asha Greyjoy enjoys huge respect from Ironborns, her father considers her as his heir. She is given command of 30 ships during Greyjoys invasion of North. Even during kingsmoot she has decent support of others to become their ruler.

Obara sand is also female warrior and it seems that no one in Dorne  has problems with that, from her father, uncle , sisters and others.

So why is Brienne exception ? 

She is not terrible at being a warrior , Brienne is extremely tall , strong, with decent speed and stamina, she is probably better than 90 % of other knights, so what is the problem ?

Could it be the fact that she exceeds majority of other male fighters ??? Man can´t really stand when they got beaten by woman , it hurts their pride . Are deep down man just  jelaous of her , they feel insecure , less worthy because woman is better that them so they hide that and rely on hate and mockery ???

What is your opinion ?

As others have mentioned, not only is Brienne breaking gender stereotypes in a hopelessly chivalrous culture where men's and women's roles are clearly defined, but she is actually better at it than most men. This is very threatening, particularly to men of status and power, because it means women are in fact more than capable of defending themselves, and that is deeply upsetting to those, both men and women, who benefit the most from the current social order.

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Inconsistency is the real answer but let's have some fun.  There are and have always been female warriors.  Nymeria, Visenya, the Mormont women, the Sand Snakes.  So why is Brienne treated differently by the people around her?  Let's forget inconsistency on the part of the author for now.  Brienne's appearance is one reason.  She does not have those female characteristics desired by males.  Visenya was at least beautiful and had social grace.  Being a Targaryen, she must have also been schooled in dancing and such.  Brienne looks and acts masculine.  Visenya can be charming and witty.  Brienne is simple and not likely to know how to go about charming men.  The women looking at Brienne are of the same mindset as Sansa.  Sansa does not look kindly on Arya's ways.  Brienne and Arya are very similar.  They would fit in better with the Free Folk and isolated tribes of the north.  The Mormonts come from the north where living conditions are meaner and harsher.  They are not expected to be pretty people.  The northern males may prioritize different qualities in their women.  To use modern examples, maybe they like their women in camouflage and combat boots.  They don't mind their women having enough dirt beneath the fingernails to grow a garden.  An occasional northern girl with a pencil thin mustache is not likely to have trouble finding a husband if she can skin elk and hunt game.  So what if she hasn't taken a bath in six months.  They haven't either.  Flea colonies in the hair would not be a deal breaker during mate selection among the northerners.  Life seems easier and cleaner in the south.  The expectations in dress, manners, and hygiene will naturally be different.  The nobles are richer and can afford to enjoy the finer things in life.  Male expectations will differ accordingly.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2020 at 10:09 PM, Bernie Mac said:

She is playing at a knight. She is a noble teenage daughter acting like a man. Of course she is seen as something of a joke.

That is not exactly true.

One of his companions was even a woman: Dacey Mormont, Lady Maege's eldest daughter and heir to Bear Island, a lanky six-footer who had been given a morningstar at an age when most girls were given dolls. Some of the other lords muttered about that, but Catelyn would not listen to their complaints. "This is not about the honor of your houses," she told them. "This is about keeping my son alive and whole."

I doubt Dacey is as accepted in the North as you are suggesting. However she still seems less of an oddity than Brienne. Dacey is a leader of troops, there are women leader of troops in the South as well. On top of that the women of Bear Island had to become warriors out of necessity, rather than choice. Dacey is likely to be more accepted because of this.

Again, it also helps that the Mormonts are the nominal leaders of the Mormont forces with Robb. The soldiers they command have served them for some time.

By Catelyn's lights, that was queer garb for a lady, yet Dacey and Lady Maege seemed more comfortable, both as warriors and as women, than ever the girl from Tarth had been.

They are both more comortable in their positon than Brienne is.

She has some support, but there is a reason, despite being her father's chosen heir, that both her uncles were the popular choice.

The crew of her Black Wind took a perverse pride in the deeds of their woman captain.

Again, Asha was allowed to do what she did because of who her father was, not because the Ironborn are particularly enlightened. Watch how she was quickly married off after his death and abandoned by most of her forces.

We really have no idea about that.

Oberon was unusual, we simply don't know how respected Obara was from the average Dornishperson. Her birth allows her to be treated with respect, her father raised her to be comfortable with who she was.

She's not. And she is playing knight. It is one thing to be a female warrior, another to call herself a role that was reserved for men.

The problem is she is a female taking on a male's role. If a male noble joined the Silent Sisters he too would be looked upon as a freak. For all intetents and purposes, Brienne is seen as a cross dresser in their society.

Probably not as most men underestimate her ability. They don't think of her as a great warrior. Jaime thought she was a joke and presumed that he would easily beat her.

This is true, but I don't think it is the case on this one. Jaime respecter her more after she beat him and Brienne was seen as a freak from a young age before she would have became great with the sword.

 

I agree with most of this.

From a different point of view, I would like to add that I think GRRM, on the one hand, tries to show us that women can have the right abilities to be fighters and can indeed be fighters if circumstances permit it (typically on the "peripheries" of the kingdom), and, on the other hand, he is also deconstructing (in Brienne) the trope of the beautiful woman warrior who fights like a knight (and possibly sings like a nightingale), even pretends to be a knight (cf. TKOTLT), is extremely skilled with the sword, yet, at the same time is beautiful and admired by all men, and, when love touches her, she has no (big) problem fitting in a more traditional female role eventually. Brienne shows us that her prowess as a warrior comes at a price (one is either a warrior or a dutiful daughter and later wife), that getting acknowledged as an equal of men is extremely difficult in this society, that her physical appearance needs to have certain masculine characteristics (she needs to be big and muscular rather than pretty and feminine), that simply falling in love does not make her a sweet and lovely creature, that fighting actually affects her the same way as a man could be affected (horrible wounds and scars etc.).   

Maybe he is also experimenting with the idea of having a "feminine" soul embodying the virtues of a true knight - a kind of "what would the world be like if women had greater influence in shaping it" - but that's getting off-topic. 

I don't find any inconsistencies in Brienne's situation as compared with those of other female warriors. As others have said, the daughter of the ruling house may have more freedom than the average girl, and Asha (an already establish warrior and leader) was basically rejected by the majority of their society as soon as Balon was gone. On Bear Island, the Mormonts are the ruling house, and in those rather inhospitable climatic and geographical circumstances, any talent that helps the survival of the group must be used.  

As for historical female warriors, we don't know much about how they were looked upon by society before they became legendary. 

Edited by Julia H.

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Fighting women are not socially accepted in her circle and she lacked interpersonal skills.  She's one of those people who focus on a goal and can't see on either side.  

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