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Jamie’s Hand


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On 3/8/2021 at 2:01 AM, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:


6. Something with the Gods? Jamie has his sword hand cut off and Tyrion his nose. All that Jamie ever was was his hand. (His words or close to it.) Nose = Knows.
      “If the gods are good, he'll look like his          
        uncle
 and think like his father.” 


 

Cersei's hair is cut off.  As much is made of Cersei's golden locks, this is a huge loss for her.  Cersei's beauty is and always has been her point of sale, just as Jamie's swordsmanship defines him.  Tyrion is already unattractive--what is the point of the maiming for him?  Tyrion's loss is not bound up in his core sense of identity unlike his siblings' losses.   Why would the gods only punish the brothers?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

Tyrion's loss is not bound up in his core sense of identity unlike his siblings' losses.  

I’m just speculating Tyrion’s nose represents his gnosis/gnoses, knowledge, or intellect. The way he sharpens his mind like a sword. Tyrion “Knows” = “Nose”things. Tyrion is somewhat prideful of his sharp mind.

When Tyrion is speaking to Varys about having children he hopes his son will look like his uncle and think like his Father. Another speculation is the Gods have heard him and are taking their due in a way.

I haven’t considered Cersei or her hair. Maybe because Jamie and Cersei are twins they are taking her beauty and his ability.

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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38 minutes ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

I haven’t considered Cersei or her hair. Maybe because Jamie and Cersei are twins they are taking her beauty and his ability.

Yes it seems obvious - a punishment for what they are vain about and what they have relied on.

On an obscure note - I used to have this sense that it was a bit like they have faced a real threat and survived, though. Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Mycella and Lancel have all lost something but are alive (although Cersei's loss was temporary - the walk of shame parallels Jaime's being dragged along by the Bloody Mummers and paraded into Harrenhal so I would include it). In contrast, Tywin, Kevin and Cleos were whole until they were just killed straight out. It makes me want Tommen to lose something - just a little finger - maybe it sort of immunises them, plot wise, at least for a while...

 

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1 hour ago, Curled Finger said:

Cersei's hair is cut off.  As much is made of Cersei's golden locks, this is a huge loss for her.  Cersei's beauty is and always has been her point of sale, just as Jamie's swordsmanship defines him.  Tyrion is already unattractive--what is the point of the maiming for him?  Tyrion's loss is not bound up in his core sense of identity unlike his siblings' losses.   Why would the gods only punish the brothers?

I think of it like this: Jaime's swordhand was a crucial peice of his identity, so he had to lose it. Tyrion's tongue, which everyone threatens to cut out at some point, is more crucial to him than his nose, so he'll probably lose his tongue someday. Cersei is a narcissist who sees her children as extensions of herself, so losing Tommen and Myrcella would be removing a crucial part of her identity.

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14 minutes ago, Castellan said:

Yes it seems obvious - a punishment for what they are vain about and what they have relied on.

On an obscure note - I used to have this sense that it was a bit like they have faced a real threat and survived, though. Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, Mycella and Lancel have all lost something but are alive (although Cersei's loss was temporary - the walk of shame parallels Jaime's being dragged along by the Bloody Mummers and paraded into Harrenhal so I would include it). In contrast, Tywin, Kevin and Cleos were whole until they were just killed straight out. It makes me want Tommen to lose something - just a little finger - maybe it sort of immunises them, plot wise, at least for a while...

 

Or some divine stripping of their worldly vanities as something of an opportunity to do better, find humility, make a difference.  Character is forged in trial.  We can't make light of Cersei's loss.  The hair cut maybe temporary, but she will never forget the walk.  Nor will anyone else.  Much as Jamie curses his sister, hand or no he would never have allowed her to make that walk of shame.  

Edited by Curled Finger
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1 hour ago, James West said:

To decrease the danger.  Jaime was a dangerous man.  Any mishandling on their part and he could kill them.  

Very true. I should have put in a mention in about any oath of taking up “arms” against House Stark. I can’t recall the conversation between Cat and Jamie. I’ve left my book at my brothers.

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1 minute ago, Nathan Stark said:

I think of it like this: Jaime's swordhand was a crucial peice of his identity, so he had to lose it. Tyrion's tongue, which everyone threatens to cut out at some point, is more crucial to him than his nose, so he'll probably lose his tongue someday. Cersei is a narcissist who sees her children as extensions of herself, so losing Tommen and Myrcella would be removing a crucial part of her identity.

Only mild sarcasm in my original post.  The point was drawing attention to the entire Lannister loss experience among the siblings.  Cersei is as much a part of the experience as her brothers.  It's an overall Lannister blight.  It's OK if we understand she suffers, too.

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9 minutes ago, Nathan Stark said:

I think of it like this: Jaime's swordhand was a crucial peice of his identity, so he had to lose it. Tyrion's tongue, which everyone threatens to cut out at some point, is more crucial to him than his nose, so he'll probably lose his tongue someday. Cersei is a narcissist who sees her children as extensions of herself, so losing Tommen and Myrcella would be removing a crucial part of her identity.

Reminds me of

Jaime Lannister smiled. "Quite true. I'm looking for my brother. You remember my brother, don't you, Lord Stark? He was with us at Winterfell. Fair-haired, mismatched eyes, sharp of tongue. A short man."

 

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I always assumed the maiming of Tyrion's nose is related to the motif of bad smells associated with House Lannister. In addition to Jaime's "shit for honor" and Tywin's "He shits gold," a couple of examples:

Quote

"The wolves do not like your smell, Lannister," Theon Greyjoy commented. (AGoT, Bran IV)

Quote

The stink of the Lannister host reached Arya well before she could make out the devices on the banners that sprouted along the lakeshore, atop the pavilions of the westermen. From the smell, Arya could tell that Lord Tywin had been here some time. The latrines that ringed the encampment were overflowing and swarming with flies, and she saw faint greenish fuzz on many of the sharpened stakes that protected the perimeters. (ACoK, Arya VI) 

I haven't done a follow-up re-read, though, that might indicate whether the loss of nose is intended to tell us that Tyrion is immune to the continuing bad smell of House Lannister, or whether it means that he "stops smelling" as he soon becomes alienated from his father (who demotes him from the position of Hand of the King) and from his sister (who accuses him of killing Joffrey and offers a price for his head). Losing his "smell" might mean he is less of a Lannister. (On the other hand, he will subsequently roll in pig shit while he is aboard the Selaesori Qhoran with Penny and Pretty Pig.) 

When a character loses an eye or is altogether blinded, it often seems to mean that they can see things others can't see - opening the third eye seems to be facilitated. Perhaps the loss of Tyrion's nose allows him a heightened or magical sense of smell. The Night's Watch brother Dywen has the ability to smell cold. 

There are some parallels between Myrcella and Tyrion that lead me to wonder whether her maiming is a further symbolic maiming of Tyrion. If there is a grain of truth to this, maybe we have to wait until the next book to see it clearly. 

14 hours ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

I’m just speculating Tyrion’s nose represents his gnosis/gnoses, knowledge, or intellect. The way he sharpens his mind like a sword. Tyrion “Knows” = “Nose”things. Tyrion is somewhat prideful of his sharp mind.

This is worth exploring. GRRM might want to play with he idiom "keeping one's nose to the grindstone" with the knows/nose in conjunction with Tyrion's remark about sharpening his mind like a sword. 

So far, however, the symbolism around body parts and swords tends to go toward tongues and claws. I'm thinking of Gendry's sword coming through the back of Biter's head as he attacks Brienne, who mistakes the blade for Biter's tongue. There is also a phallic connection, of course, although phalluses are compared to a number of things such as a "fat pink mast" and a small trout in Edmure Tully's pants. The leeches Arya removes from Roose Bolton's body may be part of the phallic symbolism. Asha compares her dirk to a "suckling babe," of all things. 

Maybe we need to search on noses and see how they are used elsewhere in the books. The merchant Xaro Xhoan Daxos has a big nose that is encrusted with rubies, opals and jade. 

16 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Cersei's hair is cut off.  As much is made of Cersei's golden locks, this is a huge loss for her.  Cersei's beauty is and always has been her point of sale, just as Jamie's swordsmanship defines him. 

I like the comparison of Cersei losing her hair and Jaime losing his hand. Cersei and Jaime's hair is always described as gold in color, which could fit with that wheat harvesting symbolism that may come from the scythe-like blade used to cut Jaime's arm. But Arya and Dany lose their hair as well, at different points in their arcs. Sansa loses her auburn hair when she has to dye her hair as part of her Alayne disguise. So hair loss may not be a unique Jaime / Cersei parallel (although I do think we are supposed to compare the various hair loss situations across the characters). 

Maybe there is an interesting parallel for the loss of Jaime's hand in Cersei's burning of the Tower of the Hand. She is mesmerized by the fire she sets, which is understandably not similar to Jaime's reaction when he loses his hand. But both incidents appear to be turning points in the arcs of these characters. Maybe the point is that the twins are diverging - we know that hands of gold are always cold, and Jaime now has a gold hand; Cersei's Tower of the Hand is not cold at all - it is on fire.

Cersei wants Jaime and Kevan to serve as her Hand, but both of them decline. When Kevan becomes regent, he names Mace Tyrell as Hand. 

Cersei also lures her handmaiden into Qyburn's dungeon where she apparently becomes part of the dark magic for revivifying Ser Gregor as Ser Robert Strong. 

I admit, in keeping with my earlier points about the range of characters experiencing haircuts or burned hair, and about the vast range of symbols around hands and hand injuries, Cersei's maimed tower and maid may be part of the larger "hand" symbolism and not a specific parallel to Jaime's loss of a hand. 

Edited by Seams
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6 hours ago, Seams said:

This is worth exploring. GRRM might want to play with he idiom "keeping one's nose to the grindstone" with the knows/nose in conjunction with Tyrion's remark about sharpening his mind like a sword. 

Bah! I kept thinking “Cutting ones nose off to spite your face.” Just didn’t fit. I felt like there was a saying associated with his nose. 
Your idiom,clever,clever.

 

6 hours ago, Seams said:

the vast range of symbols around hands and hand injuries

Oh man, I haven’t included Cersei in my scope. To focused on Jamie and his surrounding events....sigh so much more to look through.

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It made for a very powerful irony. Jaime broke Bran. He was broken by another. The reason behind why it was done inside the story isn’t all that important. Vargo needed a laugh. It raised his self-esteem to maim the handsome rich boy. 
 

Aerys was murdered by Jaime.  He died at the “hand of Jaime.”  Bran’s dreams were shattered by Jaime’s hands.”  So, by amputating the offending part, Jaime was somehow cleansed of his most sinful acts. It is silly. But we don’t know the author on a personal level. It may seem this way to George.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Prince Rhaego Targaryen said:

So, by amputating the offending part, Jaime was somehow cleansed of his most sinful acts

That’s a beautiful answer and I like it.

“my shield, my stalwart, my strong right hand."

I keep thinking it may be related to a higher power. A tool of office. Warden of the East. Davos’s skeletal hand warden of the dead? Hand of the dead? The gods tool of influence that moves the pieces on the board? Like Jamie’s actions are now his own, free of the Hand that’s held him.

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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On 3/9/2021 at 9:41 PM, Mourning Star said:

Jaime's story very much centers around justice, and oaths... and breaking them.

From his entrance into the Kingsguard as an assurance of his fathers loyalty, to his Kingslaying, to his capture and swearing oaths to Cat, to giving Oathkeeper to Brienne, to the Bracken/Blackwood conflict and lifting the siege of Riverrun.

Tyr, the Norse god of oaths, justice, and the sword, for whom Tuesday is named, swore an oath to Fenrir the Wolf when they bound him to the ground with Gleipnir. Tyr placed his hand in the wolf's mouth as assurance it would be released. He breaks this oath, and Fenrir bites off his hand at the wrist (which is why we call it a wrist or "wolf joint"). Afterwards, Tyr fights left handed. Come Ragnarok Fenrir will swallow Odin and the Sun itself.

Jaime pushed Bran out of the window, binding him to the earth, and ends up losing his hand at the wrist.

"So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other."

Yeah. I don't really know all that much about Tyr, but the parallel with Jaime is clear once one knows about it.

What I find curious are Anthony Faulkes' translations, via Wikipedia:

High said: 'There is also an As called Tyr. He is the bravest and most valiant, and he has great power over victory in battles. It is good for men of action to pray to him. There is a saying that a man is ty-valiant who surpasses other men and does not hesitate. He was so clever that a man who is clever is said to be ty-wise. It is one proof of his bravery that the Æsir were luring Fenriswolf so as to get the fetter Gleipnir on him, he did not trust them that they would let him go until they placed Tyr's hand in the wolf's mouth as a pledge. And when the Æsir refused to let him go then he bit off the hand at the place that is now called the wolf-joint [wrist], and he is one-handed and he is not considered a promoter of settlements between people.

Re: ty-prefix, well, Tyrion, Tywin, Tygett, Tytos, Tywald, Tyland, Tybolt...

Jaime also fits the 'bravest and most valiant' part, jumping to a bear pit at one point and insulting archers to their face at other. (And shot. They miss though.) He also has power over victory, the Whispering Wood nonwithstanding. Before that he wins two victories, even in the WW he mounts a charge that nearly reaches Robb, and the sieges of Riverrun and Raventree end shortly after he shows up. The loss at the battle of the Camps can also strengthen this, as Jaime was captured at this point, perhaps allowing the other side to access his charm. At the same time, with Jaime lost, the Lannisters are left in bad shape and the tides of war turn.

AGoT, Catelyn X.

"No one can fault Lannister on his courage," Glover said. "When he saw that he was lost, he rallied his retainers and fought his way up the valley, hoping to reach Lord Robb and cut him down. And almost did."

"He mislaid his sword in Eddard Karstark's neck, after he took Torrhen's hand off and split Daryn Hornwood's skull open," Robb said. "All the time he was shouting for me. If they hadn't tried to stop him—"

Tyrion IX.

Ser Kevan did as he was bid. Lord Tywin unrolled the leather, smoothing it flat. "Jaime has left us in a bad way. Roose Bolton and the remnants of his host are north of us. Our enemies hold the Twins and Moat Cailin. Robb Stark sits to the west, so we cannot retreat to Lannisport and the Rock unless we choose to give battle. Jaime is taken, and his army for all purposes has ceased to exist. Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion continue to plague our foraging parties. To our east we have the Arryns, Stannis Baratheon sits on Dragonstone, and in the south Highgarden and Storm's End are calling their banners."

Note also the part about promoting settlements, and recall the two sieges. Of course, if that's really not rather than a misspelling of now, that interpretation needs to be adjusted.

Tyr's name apparently stems from *Tīwaz, meaning '(the) God', and there's this proposition of him having had more important role... incidentally, in the 1993 outline Jaime was one of, perhaps even the, villain in display. One might even entertain a question whether GRRM was already thinking a different direction for Jaime's arc, rather than this being a pure happenstance.

Tyr's fate is also interesting.

Then will also have got free the dog Garm, which is bound in front of Gnipahellir. This is the most evil creature. He will have a battle with Tyr and they will each be the death of each other.

Garm is the wolf or dog guarding the gate of the underworld, associated with Hel, the ruler of the underworld and sister of Fenrir. In ASoIaF, we have Shaggydog, the dangerous direwolf belonging to Bran's brother Rickon. There's this scene in the crypts of Winterfell. (Bran VII.)

Maester Luwin stepped toward the open sepulchre, torch in hand. "As you see, he's not here. Nor will he be, for many a year. Dreams are only dreams, child." He thrust his arm into the blackness inside the tomb, as into the mouth of some great beast. "Do you see? It's quite empt—"

The darkness sprang at him, snarling.

Bran saw eyes like green fire, a flash of teeth, fur as black as the pit around them. Maester Luwin yelled and threw up his hands. The torch went flying from his fingers, caromed off the stone face of Brandon Stark, and tumbled to the statue's feet, the flames licking up his legs. In the drunken shifting torchlight, they saw Luwin struggling with the direwolf, beating at his muzzle with one hand while the jaws closed on the other.

"Summer!" Bran screamed.

And Summer came, shooting from the dimness behind them, a leaping shadow. He slammed into Shaggydog and knocked him back, and the two direwolves rolled over and over in a tangle of grey and black fur, snapping and biting at each other, while Maester Luwin struggled to his knees, his arm torn and bloody. Osha propped Bran up against Lord Rickard's stone wolf as she hurried to assist the maester. In the light of the guttering torch, shadow wolves twenty feet tall fought on the wall and roof.

"Shaggy," a small voice called. When Bran looked up, his little brother was standing in the mouth of Father's tomb. With one final snap at Summer's face, Shaggydog broke off and bounded to Rickon's side. "You let my father be," Rickon warned Luwin. "You let him be."

"Rickon," Bran said softly. "Father's not here."

"Yes he is. I saw him." Tears glistened on Rickon's face. "I saw him last night."

"In your dream . . .?"

Rickon nodded. "You leave him. You leave him be. He's coming home now, like he promised. He's coming home."

Black scary canine guarding the dead. Shaggydog, Garm, Cerberus, the Hound.

There's talk about the Hound around Jaime, with Kevan, then at Harrenhal and Darry, and most importantly with Brienne. (ADwD, Jaime I.)

Jaime scrambled to his feet. "My lady. I had not thought to see you again so soon." Gods be good, she looks ten years older than when I saw her last. And what's happened to her face? "That bandage . . . you've been wounded . . ."

"A bite." She touched the hilt of her sword, the sword that he had given her. Oathkeeper. "My lord, you gave me a quest."

"The girl. Have you found her?"

"I have," said Brienne, Maid of Tarth.

"Where is she?"

"A day's ride. I can take you to her, ser . . . but you will need to come alone. Elsewise, the Hound will kill her."

Appearance of a supernatural black dog in folklore can portend death. (So can a howl of such. Grey Wind howls in the Whispering Wood, and Summer howls when raven arrives with news of Ned's death.) Jaime might actually die in the hands of the Brotherhood. Also in Jaime's dream, in ASoS Jaime VI...

"Do they keep a bear down here?" Brienne was moving, slow and wary, sword to hand; step, turn, and listen. Each step made a little splash. "A cave lion? Direwolves? Some bear? Tell me, Jaime. What lives here? What lives in the darkness?"

"Doom." No bear, he knew. No lion. "Only doom."

Direwolves are not ruled out. And of course, they are fine with the dark, Bloodraven telling Bran that darkness will make him strong, Shaggydog above. And speaking of him, apparently one of the suggested reasons for the name of Black Shuck (one of the black dog legends in Britain) is a provincial word for shaggy.

Still, some benevolent supernatural hounds "known as guardian black dogs, guide travellers at night onto the right path or guard them from danger."

Btw, @Mourning Star, while I quoted and broadly agree with your post, I'm not writing this to lecture you anything (you seem to have your own theories), but rather to write out my own thoughts on the subject. A lot of this is unoriginal, but it's more or less where I am on this and might actually be useful to someone.

Re: losing the offending hand, that's biblical, Matthew 5:30.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and

cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee

that one of thy members should perish, and not

that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Of course, Jaime's redemption arc is a topic of differing opinions.

Edited by TsarGrey
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On 3/9/2021 at 2:41 PM, Mourning Star said:

Jaime's story very much centers around justice, and oaths... and breaking them.

From his entrance into the Kingsguard as an assurance of his fathers loyalty, to his Kingslaying, to his capture and swearing oaths to Cat, to giving Oathkeeper to Brienne, to the Bracken/Blackwood conflict and lifting the siege of Riverrun.

Tyr, the Norse god of oaths, justice, and the sword, for whom Tuesday is named, swore an oath to Fenrir the Wolf when they bound him to the ground with Gleipnir. Tyr placed his hand in the wolf's mouth as assurance it would be released. He breaks this oath, and Fenrir bites off his hand at the wrist (which is why we call it a wrist or "wolf joint"). Afterwards, Tyr fights left handed. Come Ragnarok Fenrir will swallow Odin and the Sun itself.

Jaime pushed Bran out of the window, binding him to the earth, and ends up losing his hand at the wrist.

"So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you're forsaking one vow or the other."

So Brienne is trying to fulfill her oath to Lady Stoneheart, and since Lady Stoneheart thinks Jaime broke his oath... I think he’s going to be hanged. Because GRRM likes to subvert our expectations.

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3 hours ago, TsarGrey said:

Shaggydog above. And speaking of him, apparently one of the suggested reasons for the name of Black Shuck (one of the black dog legends in Britain) is a provincial word for shaggy.

Nice find. Hmmm black shuck associated with electric storms. Bah Now I have to look back at electricity and touching iron. I thought the grounding effect of iron kept evil spirits away or warded against telepathy. 

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Posted (edited)

Just had this thought. Probably nothing, but interesting.

Purple with rage, the king lashed out, a vicious backhand blow to the side of the head. She stumbled against the table and fell hard, yet Cersei Lannister did not cry out. Her slender fingers brushed her cheek, where the pale smooth skin was already reddening. On the morrow the bruise would cover half her face. "I shall wear this as a badge of honor," she announced.
"Wear it in silence, or I'll honor you again," Robert vowed. He shouted for a guard. Ser Meryn Trant stepped into the room, tall and somber in his white armor. "The queen is tired. See her to her bedchamber." The knight helped Cersei to her feet and led her out without a word.
Robert reached for the flagon and refilled his cup. "You see what she does to me, Ned." The king seated himself, cradling his wine cup. "My loving wife. The mother of my children." The rage was gone from him now; in his eyes Ned saw something sad and scared. "I should not have hit her. That was not … that was not kingly." He stared down at his hands, as if he did not quite know what they were. "I was always strong … no one could stand before me, no one. How do you fight someone if you can't hit them?" Confused, the king shook his head. "Rhaegar … Rhaegar won, damn him. I killed him, Ned, I drove the spike right through that black armor into his black heart, and he died at my feet. They made up songs about it. Yet somehow he still won. He has Lyanna now, and I have her." The king drained his cup.
Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe
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12 minutes ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

Wear it in silence, or I'll honor you again,"

This man dishonors you with every breath he takes, and yet you stand there meekly, asking if his leg pains him and would he like some wine."

Robert's face was dark with anger. "How many times must I tell you to hold your tongue, woman?"

Something interesting with the hold your tongue lines throughout the books. Worthy of a post.

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6 hours ago, Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe said:

Wear it in silence, or I'll honor you again,"

This man dishonors you with every breath he takes, and yet you stand there meekly, asking if his leg pains him and would he like some wine."

Robert's face was dark with anger. "How many times must I tell you to hold your tongue, woman?"

Something interesting with the hold your tongue lines throughout the books. Worthy of a post.

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