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James Steller

Jonquil Darke - Missed Opportunity?

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One of the many tidbits we learned in FaB is the inclusion of Jonquil Darke, the Scarlet Shadow. For anyone who doesn’t know, Jonquil was a skilled warrior who wanted to serve in the Kingsguard but got rejected because she was a woman. Later, Jaehaerys summoned her to King’s Landing after Alysanne was nearly killed while she was unguarded in Maidenpool’s bathhouse. Jonquil became Alysanne’s bodyguard for presumably the rest of their lives.

Thinking about it, I’m kind of surprised that this didn’t set a precedent in Westeros. Why should the queens get their own bodyguards who are able to follow them into places where men are traditionally not allowed? Brienne could have named her at any point in the main story, unless Jonquil has been otherwise forgotten to history (which I find a bit doubtful: women who broke through the glass ceiling in the Middle Ages definitely got mentioned in the history books, negatively or otherwise, they still got noticed and mentioned).

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I think the missed opportunity with Jonquil is that she is just introduced and then she basically does nothing but guard Saera in her cell in the Red Keep.

There should have been a point to this character, a later threat to Alysanne's life, or one of her daughters or grandchildren.

But, yeah, I think there should be more female bodyguards like her, and I'd not be surprised if Queen Myriah and Queen Betha had some of those.

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I thought Jonquil was just a way of paving Brienne's path.  So much is made of Brienne's self identification as a knight, but she is not the first and it can be a successful and rewarding career despite her gender.  I thought the really missed opportunity was to introduce Florian the Fool as another woman into her story.  

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