Seams Posted July 14, 2020 Share Posted July 14, 2020 Obviously, if you are not interested in symbolism in ASOIAF or you actively hate it, you should leave now without commenting. I am offering an example here of a symbol whose meaning I have not fully discerned. If you are interested in guessing at the meaning (or in offering more evidence to help clarify the symbolism) feel free to join in the thread. If people like the discussion, I will try to come up with additional symbols and motifs for discussion. Fruit is a major motif in the books so peaches should be considered in the larger context of apples, plums, oranges, etc. GRRM also seems to equate fruits with body parts. Peaches Robert is a peach-eater: "You need to come south," Robert told him. "You need a taste of summer before it flees. In Highgarden there are fields of golden roses that stretch away as far as the eye can see. The fruits are so ripe they explode in your mouth—melons, peaches, fireplums, you've never tasted such sweetness. You'll see, I brought you some. (Robert to Ned, AGoT, Eddard I) Renly is a peach-eater but Stannis is not: "All this of snakes and incest is droll, but it changes nothing. You may well have the better claim, Stannis, but I still have the larger army." Renly's hand slid inside his cloak. Stannis saw, and reached at once for the hilt of his sword, but before he could draw steel his brother produced . . . a peach. "Would you like one, brother?" Renly asked, smiling. "From Highgarden. You've never tasted anything so sweet, I promise you." He took a bite. Juice ran from the corner of his mouth. "I did not come here to eat fruit." Stannis was fuming. (Renly and Stannis, ACoK, Catelyn III) Gendry is not a peach-eater: On the east side of the market square stood a modest inn with whitewashed walls and broken windows. Half its roof had burnt off recently, but the hole had been patched over. Above the door hung a wooden shingle painted as a peach, with a big bite taken out of it. … The girl did have hair like the old king's, Arya thought; a great thick mop of it, as black as coal. That doesn't mean anything, though. Gendry has the same kind of hair too. Lots of people have black hair. "I'm named Bella," the girl told Gendry. "For the battle. I bet I could ring your bell, too. You want to?" "No," he said gruffly. "I bet you do." She ran a hand along his arm. "I don't cost nothing to friends of Thoros and the lightning lord." "No, I said." Gendry rose abruptly and stalked away from the table out into the night. Bella turned to Arya. "Don't he like girls?" Arya shrugged. "He's just stupid. He likes to polish helmets and beat on swords with hammers." (Gendry at The Peach brothel, ASoS, Arya V) Oddly, I find that Grand Maester Pycelle is apparently a peach-eater: We would walk in the gardens by the river and argue about the gods. I remember the smells of those nights, my lord—perfume and sweat, melons ripe to bursting, peaches and pomegranates, nightshade and moonbloom. I was a young man then, still forging my chain. The heat did not exhaust me as it does now." Pycelle's eyes were so heavily lidded he looked half-asleep. "My pardons, Lord Eddard. You did not come to hear foolish meanderings of a summer forgotten before your father was born. Forgive an old man his wanderings, if you would. Minds are like swords, I do fear. The old ones go to rust. (AGoT, Eddard V) Some of the clues here seem to be the contrasting of peaches and swords: Renly reaches for a peach and Stannis responds by reaching for his sword; Gendry doesn’t want to sleep with Bella and Arya says he instead likes to hammer on swords; Pycelle used to like hot (peach ripening) weather but his mind is now like a rusty sword. The Robert passage and the Pycelle passage both emphasize the hot weather associated with peaches. GRRM’s subtle phrasing in the Pycelle passage may provide an important insight about the Grand Maester: he may embody summer, and his energy is diminishing now that he is old. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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