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Rethinking Romance: Love Stories of ASOIAF

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It blows my mind when supposedly avid ASOIAF readers stubbornly assert that Arya and Gendry's relationship is a sibling kind of relationship. The hints at romance are very obvious, even if Arya doesn't quite get it yet.

Like, how can you ignore the parallels between Arya (wearing an acorn dress) rolling in the dirt with Gendry and the maiden of the forest refusing the knight's castle and protection and featherbed to sleep (and bang) outside on the leaves.

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LOL! I'm now very concerned about switching gears over to my R-rated and serious Asha/Qarl summary and analysis (I'm not funny :crying: ). But I shall wait until we're done with Jaime and Brienne. And keep your essays, coming, booknerd2! They're too much fun.

I almost died when I checked out the thread and saw Asha/Qarl was one of the pairings. I have never seen any analysis for those two. Ever. Totally can't wait for that.

I am going to post another later. Lady Arya's Song asked about "the featherbed" and I tackled it (with a helmet on) because I had musings for the acorn dress anyway, and really, this one is an open invitation for help. Actually Barbs just brought it up too, so it looks like featherbed is the Arya/Gendry topic du jour. It is my crisis hotline for, I don't know how to take this song, help! I have no idea what the hell the song means. I can grasp and guess but very unsure of the point he was trying to make due to other events that went on in that chapter. Such an unstable bit for me. Part of that essay is a cry for help! LOL. Like some of the prophecies drive me insane too.

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Asha and Qarl, rated R! And there's still the bathhouse scene. And that bell ringing at the Peach. :)

The Peach is coming soon. I promise. Still working on that one. :idea:

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Part 3: In the Castle Where You Dwelled…Er, Once.

(The Acorn Dress and The Featherbed)

Please note: Some events are out of order, but it was the only way to tackle the acorn dress and the song that drives me insane, which worked for me.

I was home watching “My Fair Lady”, one of my favorite classic movies. And I saw the scene that included a popular standard, originally written for Broadway before the movie, of course, and recorded many times and from various artists: On the Street Where You Live.

But in this case it is the castle where you dwelled. Well, this is ASOIAF.

It’s as if Gendry is looking at Arya, Winterfell and what that means, from very far away, and only gets a glimpse, (which is Arya representing it through dress), from the perspective of his street, the Street of Steel in King’s Landing. His view; where he was raised, lived, and worked, is very far from Arya’s background and life; Winterfell, lords and ladies, nobility, class, Houses, etc.

Only this time the girl was born a lady before becoming a street urchin and a lady once more during her time at Lady Smallwood’s. The ultimate decked out lady in full ladydom, both grooming and garb. And the poor sap singing his heart out, or in this case, displaying some mean spurts of anger later on, is not a debonair lad in a morning suit; he is a poor, tough, street smart, orphan boy. No top hat, spats, smart sprig of flower in the crisply tailored lapel - nothing.

But the poor bastard in the movie still tried to get onto Eliza’s street. He roams it, but can’t get her to come out of her house. He keeps waiting, hoping to see her again, but he can’t. She just won’t come out.

But that story is an opposite scenario. Freddie has no idea where Eliza comes from, a flower girl scraping buy in Edwardian England, temporarily residing with two gentlemen who are currently playing Barbie with her. With Higgins viewing her as his sort of Frankenstein experiment much more than the other. But Freddie, the giddy and hopeful suitor, knows himself and he has always been who he is, and a part of the world to which he belongs. In the case of Gendry, he has no idea exactly who he is, who is father is, and is now most certainly clear about who Arya is. And it now affects him and his future friendship with her. Or whatever else seems to be gnawing away at him for the future.

The acorn dress was a glimpse of Arya’s world, or what it was/is, her street, her House, namely the nobility. He knew who she was before, but it is another thing to see something concretely and it becomes more real or tangible to someone. There is a noticeable change in his temperament after this scene. Your street has a name. Winterfell. You have a House and a name. Stark. I don’t have anything. I have the generic name, Waters. No true name, place, people, nothing.

The best part about it and what makes me laugh out loud is his completely losing it, and laughing his ass off when she comes down all dressed up and lady-fied.

Really, it is probably what most of the readers did after getting to know Arya by the third book.

Nobody else laughs. Nobody else finds it funny, or it doesn’t even occur to them at all that it is a humorous situation, only an improvement for the snaggle-haired, feisty, little Stark girl. He does. He knows her very well. It just links their bond and connection. He knows she is miserable, uncomfortable, pissed off, and hates the dress, really, hates all dresses and primping, and he finds it hilarious. Wine even came out of his nose as he was laughing himself something silly.

And it was nice to see him laugh. Rare. He is usually pissed off too. And even more so down the road, in later chapters, which is also connected to Arya and how he can’t be on her street due to birth.

Oh, but the reaction once it sinks in will be a little different momentarily. He will not be laughing for long after he thinks about it a bit. You know, after the shock wears off. By the time they get to Peach, the laughter has died on his end. And it is replaced by anger and much more.

Harwin slapping him upside the head was funny too. As if: come on man, she finally wears a dress, truly is a lady of Winterfell, daughter of my old boss, and now she will never do it again. You had to laugh? Do you know what it was like for the poor septa that had to wrestle her down in the nursery to get her to at least comb her hair? Huh? She comes out of the cocoon and you steal her thunder? Forget fighting a war, do you know what it is like to get Arya into a dress? I dare not speak on it. I will just slap you silly.

But it was sweet and funny.

Now after a very embarrassing conversation between Lady Smallwood and Tom that I would just rather not know about, supper ends, and it is suggested to Arya to go and be a good little lady and run and play in the yard. You know, don’t soil your pretty dress or anything. Run along now, sweetie.

Not the thing to tell her. But they wouldn’t have known that. They don’t know her like Gendry does.

“Arya?” Gendry had followed her out. Er, nobody sent him out, right? He just came on his own. Probably didn’t want to stay there and had no interest in the conversation. Feels sort of shy without his friend being there amongst the people and especially Lady Smallwood, who also is a lady of noble birth. And, hell, somebody has to keep an eye on his tomboy especially now that she is all gussied up and pretty and there are a lot of people about.

Yeah, let’s leave your world, your street for a moment. Forget dinner in a lady’s house.

Let’s go to mine.

“Lady Smallwood said there’s a smithy. Want to have a look?”

(Crickets chirping…) What the hell does she care about that? A smithy? But I like the let’s-really-read-into-this notion. Step into my world. Try it out.

The author gives us this line regarding Arya. “She had nothing else to do.” Yeah, she was not bursting with glee at the fact she was going to see a smithy.

We get another scene of Gendry dishing on Mott and King Robert, who he still, of course, has no idea is his father.

He mourns the loss of his own forge, his own place, and that sweet piece of steel in which he was going to make a longsword, before Mott packed him off to the Night’s Watch. I always found that depressing. He doesn’t know that it is not about him personally. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was a hard worker, honest, and talented. I hope he finds out the real reason. I find it endearing that he doesn’t curse out or blame Mott for where he is now. He respectfully doesn’t do that, if he even harbors resentful feelings at all. I think he might blame himself. That he should have just sold Lord Stark the helmet. Or maybe not? He was not willing to part with the bull helm. It is himself. He made it for himself. It was most likely the most treasured and valuable object he had. Probably ever. A testament to stubbornness, who he is, his identity.

Arya offers him a job. She lost the rest of her pack and she would like him to smith over at Riverrrun when they get there. I am sure that she is also trying to help him out. He does nothing but repeat the word “Riverrun” after she finishes saying it from her last sentence. Not sure what to make of that if anything. He seemed distracted and he was about to change the conversation anyway to focus it on her. Any interpretations? I have a mental block on this one. I just can’t read into it.

His tone becomes more serious, and only moments before he had teased her and pretended to nip at her face with tongs, but she put the smackdown on that; real quick.

So then he dances around it and pretty much says every other thing he can that means he thinks she looks pretty, without having to say the dreaded word out loud. He is probably scared to tell her this, or fears her reception. She’d probably punch him in the face or something. And he knows that. That he is treading on thin ice and should act cautiously. But for some reason, he just has to let it out.

But remember his reception of the dress. He won’t say that. He knows her and knows she won’t like that. And that “pretty” means nothing to her. She packed it in, regarding her appearance, after constantly being compared to Sansa by her septa and mother.

“You look different now.”

“Like a proper little girl.”

“Nice though.”

“A nice oak tree.”

You know, because I still can’t tell you that you’re pretty to your face, in case you pick up the old smithy’s tools and let me have it something awful.

“He stepped close and sniffed at her. You even smell nice for a change.”

When in doubt, go for the funny. It’s what I would do. Good move, Genners!

He is inspecting every detail of how she can clean up as a lady. He is just busting her about their time on the road and kidding around that she isn’t stinky. But you can tell that he doesn’t mind his dirt-caked little tomboy running barefoot and brandishing Needle as an alternative either.

A few things about “the sniff.” Maybe:

1. I read that bulls have a great sense of smell.

2. When people see something pretty, like a flower, they smell it. And I believe her dreaded bath got doused with some flowery stuff.

3. Lady Arya’s Song posted a great point I never noted. It was like a hint, an act of a wolf, to smell – Like tipping a hat to Arya and the Starks and their direwolves.

4. Then one can get into all the animal research, mammals, and pheremones and things that are appealing. (Remember the whole running bit in the Harry Potter series with amortentia. Like I think Hermione was smelling things connected to Ron. So it was a clue to the readers, but the characters had no idea of the bigger picture for themselves.) And as an aside, I see it as a dawning, not that the kid did something inappropriate or had that in mind. He is very confused about his feelings, which we do see in later chapters.

5. In the sandbox and playground of youth, when you are teasing somebody or getting teased by someone, and you either have a crush or figure they have a crush on you, in that hair-pulling, immature vein, there is another tactic in the arsenal that can be utilized. Somebody would turn around and say something to the effect of. “Ooh, you smell. Or he smells. She smells.” It can be used as a negative. He is telling her that she is a positive. She smells nice.

He is cool with both the ladylike picture of her and the swashbuckling little scamp that will run you through with a sword. But he sees her as a girl now.

Everyone has this moment. We have seen it also countless times in literature, movies, and media. Back to Harry and when Ron goggled Hermione when stepped out at the Yule Ball, which is another typical Cinderella moment as well. Even Harry was like what the hell happened to my friend, Hermione? Or back to My Fair Lady, with the Ascot scene and the ball at the Embassy.

Although, this Cinderella may punch him the teeth so he has to watch what he says.

Uh, too late. She shoves him.

And it sort of broke this imaginary bubble where a boundary line was. They were bros, boys, dudes. The bromance that started when he first helped her out with Lommy and Hot Pie and befriended her is now over. There was a shift.

I do think he had a crush on her; the lady she will become. He sees the future, whether he is consciously aware or not. He sees her past and what she was before their buddy/road trip. He is a young boy too and doesn’t clearly understand his feelings while doing it. It was innocent and immature. It broke the ice.

He is laughing so hard as she rains blows and fists down on him. She is quick. He is strong. He had taken her down after she tried to trip him. And they wrestle. Good, old-fashioned rough-housing, and probably a little release of tension too and fun for him at least, because they have been through absolute hell together on this journey. Another example of the corny hair-pulling and teasing that one does on the cusp of a youthful crush, when you might not even be aware yet that you have one.

He tries to hold her still to get her to calm down a bit. But she is too fast for him. He innocently tickles her, as if to break the tough exterior. Never smiling, laughing, always serious and afraid. What is it like to just laugh and be light-hearted for a moment? Can they even get to that place anymore?

I have a feeling that even after the more terrible things she has been through, she is going to be tough like Olenna. But she is Arya, a better woman, so I don’t mean the same, and I certainly don’t wish for her to be just like her either. I always thought of Olenna reminding me of Grandma Fontaine in Gone With The Wind, the very first time I read her character in the series. Grandma Fontaine, who is a laughing riot, until you found out that she did have her entire family killed in front of her as a young girl. She had nothing and no one left, and had to re-build a new life and does. And though she is sharp-tongued and prickly, she does give Scarlett good advice about how to move on after tragedy, or it will consume you and destroy you. I think the wheat and bending with the wind, or staying stiff and becoming broken, was a great piece of dialogue. She roughly points out that Scarlett and their neighbors have a choice. Whether they take it or not is their own damn problem and business, she makes very apparent. Well after Arya was snatched by the Hound, Gendry reappears in book 4, and has apparently taken the train the BitterTown. He is much different, I noticed. Or really, I felt it. And it was so damn sad. But that is for another essay.

So, Arya still won’t calm down. The dress is just too much for her and the last thing she needs is for him to call her out on it. It touches a nerve. Too much has happened. So she knees him in the nuts. She doesn’t want to give up. He can’t win. There is no time for fooling around, dressing up, and light-heartedness. She is afraid to open herself up to that even for a second.

“I bet I don’t look nice now.” She comments as she sees the aftermath. They are both, soiled, her dress is torn, and she wants it that way. I might have seen a sliver of raining on a parade, a little own worst enemy mentality. She just burst his balloon, held it up in front of his face and popped it voluntarily, thereby shutting the slightly open door to humor and fun, that he tried to pry open with his boot. She is still a young girl too and also hasn’t figured out self-image and that it is okay to be pretty too, and not lose your edge. She will find that out later and in time.

And then Tom breaks into that song: But I will bring it up again later too.

My featherbed is deep and soft,

And there I’ll lay you down,

I’ll dress you all in yellow silk

And on your head a crown

For you shall be my lady love,

And I shall be your lord.

I’ll always keep you warm and safe,

And guard you with my sword.

And now that song that baffles me. Always mixed emotions with it. Can someone tell me what the hell this means? The prophecies in the series kill me too. Either no idea or there are tons of proposals.

And I have to agree that it is beautiful. The author did a lovely job with the songs in the series. From more serious ones to the funny and bawdy ones, just the texture and richness it added to a series that is so full of symbolism.

I, er, just can’t interpret that song.

So before my brain exploded I thought of doing a quick wiki search.

Ok, the quick research to see if something popped:

Crown – “A part from the traditional form, crowns also may be in the form of a wreath and be made of flowers, oak leaves or thorns and be worn by others, representing what the coronation part aims to symbolize with the specific crown.”

“The Eastern Orthodox marriage service has a section called the crowning, wherein the bride and groom are crowned as "king" and "queen" of their future household.”

Okay, so not just literally a royal crown. Some are just for weddings. But it could be literal. Some theorize it is tipping the hat to something bigger in the Game for Arya and/or Gendry

Well, this song certainly got my attention, but I still don’t know what the hell it exactly means. I am going to leave the allusions to Lyanna and Rhaegar and even KOTLT to the pros. I am not even going to go there. I can’t do it.

Yellow –“The word "yellow" comes from the Old English geolu, geolwe, meaning "yellow, yellowish", derived from the Proto-Germanic word gelwaz. It has the same Indo-European base, -ghel, as the word yell; -ghel means both bright and gleaming, and to cry out. Yellow is a color which cries out for attention.”

Okay, this seems easy. Yellow silk. Baratheon yellow/gold silk.

And she is getting a lot of attention. Which she thinks is stupid because she feels thatshe looks like a doofus in a dress.

Featherbeds – It seems that featherbeds are costly and mostly for the well off.

Why is this guy telling her this in the song? The guy is established? Or he will do well in the future? One feather at a time? A long, hard road ahead for this love of theirs to get going? A day at a time? Not overnight, but the finest things usually aren’t easy and quick. The things that are true, golden, are hard work and it hasn’t been a garden party for these two if it comes to that.

“Feathers for a featherbed could be saved from geese or ducks being prepared for cooking. In England servant-girls were often allowed to keep feathers from poultry they'd plucked, and could save them to make a featherbed or pillows for their future married life.”

Or no featherbed for me? This love just won’t be in the traditional sense, in many aspects?

(All the quotes were from wiki, by the way.)

Grass – Fertility, a bright, long future, and way too many things and different meanings in different cultures. Check out the meanings of grass in dreams too.

Or he won’t be king, a lord, a noble, legitimized, anything like that, just that that they will be rich in love. She is his queen; like his queen of love and beauty.

Could be that the song is just acknowledging a future fact.

A lady love and her lord, meaning just the two of them. Or if they do marry, it is lord by association because his future wife is Lady Arya of House Stark and he does end up moving upward in the world somewhat. And I have no clue how that would come about but stranger things have happened. Dragons, wights, others, magic, so with all hell about to break loose, who is really going to care if one noble lady slips by with a weaker marriage match in the scheme of things. People will care about surviving and rebuilding. They are not going to give a crap down the road if the flighty Stark girl that carries a sword married a commoner that is half old King Robert’s son/ half alehouse wench. But there will always be some gossipy jerks to spoil the fun.

But let’s not forget. He has moved up a bit from where he started when Mott left him with the Night’s Watch and he downsized. He has made contacts. He was knighted by Beric. Maybe not much, maybe more, or at least better than what he was. Beric was an annointed knight. The Hollow Hill sounds crappy, but hey…And Brienne knowing has to amount to something. She was about to bust a gut until she told him and she is still in the vicinity of BWB, Gendry, and Uncat. But that is for another time when I touch upon another essay. (My “Oh, come-on- now essay, dealing with how Gendry is now with his future-mother-in-law, looking for Arya and his future sister-in-law, Sansa, with Brienne waiting in the wings to tell him. So I will slap my forehead and throw up my hands in disgust, a book or two later, if he either doesn’t end up with Arya and the Starks or never finds out he is a Baratheon. But I won’t get rolling on that now.)

Back to the little ditty of a song…

Sword - And more likely to guard her with his hammer, but don’t forget swords and theories out there. He is still pissed that he had to leave the sweet piece of steel when he was going to make that longsword by Mott’s, and the theories that he is going to re-forge a very important sword.

And he has been very protective of Arya. Many times. But I like when he threatened the nasty old man in the Peach. You tell him, Bull. I will get to that another time too.

I get more out of the second part of the song by connecting it to the first.

And how she smiled and how she laughed,

The maiden of the tree,

She spun away and said to him,

No featherbed for me,

I’ll wear a gown of golden leaves,

And bind my hair with grass,

But you can be my forest love,

And me your forest lass

Okay, the girl in the song is not taking the dude in the song seriously? She is hard to get? She is difficult? Or she is dancing just far away from his grasp, but not lost forever. Because right about now, coming soon in book 3 and at the end of book 5, Gendry has lost her, and they have not seen each other for two books. He is forging it up and babysitting orphans, and she is in bootcamp at Braavos. Oh, and he is with her mother. Damn it! The irony!!! He met both future-in-laws. (And his brother-in-law Sandor too. But I will wait to comment when the Sansa/Sandor in-depth rolls around on the thread.) Well, you know he was not leaving with Edric Dayne and his faction of the BWB. BWAHAHAHAH! Needle is hidden, she not in tune with her identity, and is getting mixed up with new identities, even by trade (Faceless Men) and those, ew, actual faces. That is just gross.

She tells him first that she looks like an oak. Now a song about a tree appears immediately after in the story? Anyway…not complaining. Throw them bones, dear author. It was a squee moment. I am not crazy for that word, but nothing else fit.

Ok, now oak is hard, strong, resilient, and resistant. Not an arborist, I just wiki’d fast. Yep, despite the pretty dress, that is Arya in a nutshell…and she does have stupid acorns on her borrowed gown. Also, the symbolism of trees in general with the Starks, weirwoods, and their gods, more commonly seen with Bran, but still there.

Now to really read into it, reach and stretch some, oaks symbolize endurance, as if these two haven’t endured enough and yet still have so far to go. Also, it is connected to the Greek god, Zeus, who also has taken the form of a bull in myth.

So back to that, hey, we are not traditional people running bit…

Meaning: I don’t need yellow silk, a simple gown will do. Still yellow. Still golden; so I will take the leaves over the silk; it’s true love. Bind my hair with grass. Don’t push it. I love you and I will marry you but I’ll be damned if I am wearing my hair long and pretty like Sansa. Not gonna happen.

Foreshadowing – she is leaving him soon? “she spun away,” but comes back to tell him that the love will be on her terms? Their terms? And for a later time, you know, when they are both on the same street, even closer in terms to status, maybe, and can meet again. When this love can actually happen?

Okay, so you were born in an alehouse and lived/worked on the Street of Steel, but it is still several steps up from Flea Bottom. You don’t have to give me those things to be with me. I’m cool without it. Not a fan of the trappings, dresses, ladydom, arranged marriages, the role of a noblewoman. No problem. We will just have to work around it, Bull.

I don’t think it means run away and never marry and tiptoe through the tulips, while dancing with ribbons and skipping around a pastel maypole.

So in a later chapter, after he ventures onto her street, again; the life she was born to, it will bother him that he can’t be on Arya/Edric Dayne Avenue. Actually, her high birth and status start to bother him when they argue in the Peach. That is for another time though. He really was an ass that day.

So after they wrestle and the lady’s dress gets messy, Lem smacks him upside the head. Looks like they all seem to enjoy having a little lady around. Or someone dressed like a little lady. It was sort of nice to see him do that. No hard feelings after Arya bloodied his nose.

And she defends Gendry, er, immediately. She is not mad and shouting anymore, nor disgruntled about having to wear a dress. “I started it,” said Arya. “Gendry was just talking.” And she takes the blame, or tries to, solely on herself.

Tom winked at her. That song he chose begins. You know, the one I mentioned before that is causing me undue stress. Another ship bone tossed in the air….going for the fifty, forty, the thirty….

Stretching - And the thing I noticed regarding Lady Smallwood. Arya very nicely apologized for having gotten the dress ripped. Lady Smallwood tells her that she is pretty too, while she had just finished dressing her as a boy, and to be brave.

Obviously worried about the girl going on the road. Or it might be that she knows why the dress was ripped or surmised something because Gendry followed her out to the smithy. A reach but…

I have but two regrets.

1. My take on the song was like a brainstorm to get stuff out there. Not my finest hour. Since the first time I read that chapter, and up until today. Nothing has changed. It could be so many things.

2. Why, oh, why couldn’t we have seen his reaction again when she has to wear the even worse lilac colored gown with little baby pearls on it?

Priceless!

Now about that song, from My Fair Lady.

“Let the time go by

I don’t care if I

Can be here on the street where you live."

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Le Cygne was good enough to type out some more of my Jaime and Brienne Summaries.

This one was more of a summary of the TV show than the books:

The sword fight -

Jaime: Alright, you've confused me sexually, so now I'm going to have to...

Jaime: KICK

Jaime: YOUR

Jaime: ASS...

Brienne: (Kicking his ass.)

Jaime: (on the ground after having lost) Wait, what just happened?

*The Bloody Mummers ride up onto the bridge*

Jaime: Hello friends :)

Jaime:

Vargo Hoat: fraid not, bro

Sapphires -

Jaime: Hello friend, I am very rich and important, as is my lady friend, who I am not attracted to in any way.

Brienne: I'm not your friend.

Jaime: D:

Vargo Hoat: What do you want, Kingslayer?

Jaime: Well, I just met you and this is crazy, but my Dad's Tywin Lannister, so untie us maybe?

Jaime: ps. Don't hurt my BFF Bri, and you'll get sapphires too.

Vargo Hoat: Okay.

Jaime: Yay!

Brienne: JAIME, NO!

Vargo Hoat: TOO LATE!

*Hoat slices off Jaime's hand*

Jaime: ARRRRRRGGHH!!

Original post here.

More to follow!

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snip

Wow. Great essay. It does seem interesting that Gendry did see both of her parents as well. Keep up the good work. It's always a blast to read the essays.

I wonder if the color yellow means anything important. Well if you look at the Baratheon and Clegane sigils, they have the same colors. Yellow banner and black for the animals. Considering the relationships being looked at is Arya/Gendry and Sansa/Sandor, is it a coincidence? I'm not sure if that was discussed in any of the forums topics.

Jaime: Well, I just met you and this is crazy, but my Dad's Tywin Lannister, so untie us maybe?

Jaime: ps. Don't hurt my BFF Bri, and you'll get sapphires too.

lol I can just imagine Jaime actually saying that too. That's a great summary of Jaime and Brienne's journey. I can't wait to read more.

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I love Rose-Papillon's stuff, it's SO hilarious! You are awesome!

And booknerd2's essays were great works, I really enjoyed them, full of bits that went totally unnoticed by me. It was really interesting, though I still don't believe in Gendry and Arya.

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Le Cygne was good enough to type out some more of my Jaime and Brienne Summaries.

This one was more of a summary of the TV show than the books:

The sword fight -

Jaime: Alright, you've confused me sexually, so now I'm going to have to...

Jaime: KICK

Jaime: YOUR

Jaime: ASS...

Brienne: (Kicking his ass.)

Jaime: (on the ground after having lost) Wait, what just happened?

*The Bloody Mummers ride up onto the bridge*

Jaime: Hello friends :)

Jaime:

Vargo Hoat: fraid not, bro

Sapphires -

Jaime: Hello friend, I am very rich and important, as is my lady friend, who I am not attracted to in any way.

Brienne: I'm not your friend.

Jaime: D:

Vargo Hoat: What do you want, Kingslayer?

Jaime: Well, I just met you and this is crazy, but my Dad's Tywin Lannister, so untie us maybe?

Jaime: ps. Don't hurt my BFF Bri, and you'll get sapphires too.

Vargo Hoat: Okay.

Jaime: Yay!

Brienne: JAIME, NO!

Vargo Hoat: TOO LATE!

*Hoat slices off Jaime's hand*

Jaime: ARRRRRRGGHH!!

Original post here.

More to follow!

Ok, that's it. I can't sip coffee when I read your work. Too damn funny! I just picture them and it is too much. Checked out the blog with pics that compliment the writing and it is hilarious.

I love Rose-Papillon's stuff, it's SO hilarious! You are awesome!

And booknerd2's essays were great works, I really enjoyed them, full of bits that went totally unnoticed by me. It was really interesting, though I still don't believe in Gendry and Arya.

Thanks!

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Wow. Great essay. It does seem interesting that Gendry did see both of her parents as well. Keep up the good work. It's always a blast to read the essays.

I wonder if the color yellow means anything important. Well if you look at the Baratheon and Clegane sigils, they have the same colors. Yellow banner and black for the animals. Considering the relationships being looked at is Arya/Gendry and Sansa/Sandor, is it a coincidence? I'm not sure if that was discussed in any of the forums topics.

Thanks! I feel like a fool. Sure I noticed that Baratheon is a yellow and black and Clegane is too. But I never thought about the pairings and the males involved sharing the same colors. Crap! Every day I have posted something and then saw response posts, people have commented and shared things they have noticed that I totally never thought of even as a reader. And that is the best part!

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A lady love and her lord, meaning just the two of them. Or if they do marry, it is lord by association because his future wife is Lady Arya of House Stark and he does end up moving upward in the world somewhat. And I have no clue how that would come about but stranger things have happened. Dragons, wights, others, magic, so with all hell about to break loose, who is really going to care if one noble lady slips by with a weaker marriage match in the scheme of things. People will care about surviving and rebuilding. They are not going to give a crap down the road if the flighty Stark girl that carries a sword married a commoner that is half old King Robert’s son/ half alehouse wench. But there will always be some gossipy jerks to spoil the fun.

Another awesome and entertaining essay, booknerd2! I'll have to go back and reread the chapter with the song, as I never really paid attention to it before.

As far as the possibility of highborn Arya marrying Gendry, I agree with what you wrote. Civil war (and potential apocalypse) brings about massive social, political, and economic change. By the time spring is ushered in, I don't think it would be inconceivable for Arya to be able to marry whom she damn pleases, including Gendry, or Sansa to marry Sandor (assuming they survive).

Original post here.

More to follow!

Looking forward to it! I love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

ETA: This is off topic, but I wanted to share this link. ADORABLE!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/sophie-turner-adopted-direwolf-game-of-thrones_n_3780679.html

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Another awesome and entertaining essay, booknerd2! I'll have to go back and reread the chapter with the song, as I never really paid attention to it before.

As far as the possibility of highborn Arya marrying Gendry, I agree with what you wrote. Civil war (and potential apocalypse) brings about massive social, political, and economic change. By the time spring is ushered in, I don't think it would be inconceivable for Arya to be able to marry whom she damn pleases, including Gendry, or Sansa to marry Sandor (assuming they survive).

Thanks DogLover,

And truly, stranger things would have happened by the time that even became an issue.

I also have one more essay I am going to post. I think that 4 is going to be it for a while. This is stuff that was already sort of thought out and ready to go so they came out fast. I have some more ideas but for those themes I have to book hop and that is going to take some time.

I just wanted to thank you and LeCygne and Lala again for this enjoyable thread!

Also, since Gendry/Arya has been the topic for a bit. There is a Gendry/Lady Stoneheart thread that was created last night. An interesting theory about orphans was put out that I never thought of. It seemed to be new for some other posters also.

In my essays, I always jokingly give Gendry props for protecting the orphans. LOL! But a poster geniusly pointed out Tom's questioning, how the BWB location was planned out, and how the orphans are about Arya's age and all gathered in one spot. So basically, it looks like Uncat and BWB and Gendry are actively seeking Arya out, perhaps gathering orphans hoping they find her. Never looked at it that way before.

Too bad they don't know she is in Braavos. But it is nice to know they all have hope she is alive. It was a nice thought I didn't pick up on.

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My four essays are it for a bit. There are other things I have in mind, but the way those themes are forming, I am going to have to check some things out and skip about the series, and they are going to take a little time.

My next two, depending on when they gel:

Part 5: ”The Benchwarmer”

Part 6: “Hey Stupid!”

Coming, uh, eventually.

Part 4: The Ripest Peach is Highest on the Tree

I took my title from a quote by James Whitcomb Riley. Well, for many reasons. I think it pretty much sums up Arya and Gendry and what went down at the Peach.

I think the connection between the drama at the Peach and the night she got taken by the Hound after the Gendry/Edric episode is important. This Peach is the appetizer.

So bells will be ringing…really, for every other male at the Peach except Gendry. A bell? No, a red alert went off. And a really big ship bone was thrown. Like for a mastiff or a great dane.

Well, every good story needs that scene when someone busts out of a door of a pub and into the night steaming mad. Or the usual movie bar scene when somebody just wants to sit alone and nurse a drink with some old song playing on the jukebox as they feel sorry for themselves. And yes, it is usually about a female.

We get both. Sort of.

And then I thought of the song One for My Baby, One More For the Road. Frank Sinatra’s version is awesome. And so is the wonderful Fred Astaire’s, which was featured in a film. Watch him fake slur his way and elegantly bitch while trashing a bar. Ah, only in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Disney Hollywood Studios is my playground. He then breaks into a tap number as the buzz goes away quickly. Wow, what a recovery! If only it were that easy. All I needed to do was dance, dance,

dance!

I love old movies. Think I got that from my grandparents. Anyway…

So bells were ringing and jingling all over the Peach. The girls were wiggling and jiggling. So what.

I am holding out for wedding bells. Years after this interesting evening took place between my favorite smith and tomboy. I’ll wait. (crosses arms towards chest and taps foot.)

Well, this was another scene; shorter but nonetheless interesting. And it was a not so peachy scene, because the Tomboy and the Bull have an argument. He started it. And it carries into a later chapter I discussed in my Part 2 essay already when Arya and Edric talk. Gendry started that one too.

Also, we heard his mom worked at an alehouse. I naturally assumed King’s Landing, or was he taken from a pub on the Kingsroad or something when she died? I don’t think that was made clear, right? I just assumed that it was KL because that is where he makes his appearance in the book. But who knows, and it might not really matter much anyway.

The red-haired innkeeper embarrassed the hell out of him. Pinched his cheek, admired his arms, and the blushes like a maid comment is too much. Dear God, he is not like Robert. Good-looking, strong but sweet, modest, and his father had, er, been at that particular establishment in the past so we know how he acted there. We know that Lyanna told Ned that Robert needs to keep it in his pants and chill, and wasn’t impressed with it. Good thinking, Gendry. And nobody had to tell you either. You came to that conclusion on your own. It is just not your bag. Thank the Seven. The Tomboy has a future keeper on her hands.

And this was discussed in Parts 1,2,3, and 4 of the essays. What is not to love about the Bull? We are getting crammed with info that he is just a good boy, a great guy, with a very good head on his shoulders. I don’t understand the “dumb rap” he gets. So he throws a hissy fit over Arya sometimes, and some of his own issues that were all connected to Arya anyway. I just let it slide. It is stupid on its own, but not so much among the bigger, broader picture. Well, the pieces add up. And I don’t have to be Richard Castle to know this.

I love that Tom, though we hear all the talk of his ladies and conquests and love ‘em and leave ‘em tendencies, realizes he is a good boy and has Tansy leave him be. He sees he is shy and not like that. Or we can reach and say that he doesn’t want him getting involved in that business and knows he is bff’s with Arya, and have deduced that they are close; that it might cause problems.

“Arya had never seen Gendry turn so red.” Still blushing. LOL! I blushed too. I was sooooo embarrassed for him. It was painful. And he could probably kick himself in the ass that Arya noted this.

And I forgot that poor Arya was dressed up like a doll again in a dress trimmed with lace. ROFL! No comment from Gendry. The shock wore off, and now what that means, her ladyhood thrown again in his face, is registering, and landing like frozen peas and carrots in a school cafeteria food fight. You can’t even hold up your tray long enough to stem the flow and defend yourself as if it were a shield. But just because it isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean it is not noted. It is a funny running bit that for at least two chapters she is hell-bent on trying to avoid baths and dresses, but then these women appear that are clawing at her to get her to look pretty. Too funny. And in this case, she is playing dress up with ladies of the night. But it is interesting that these women play Barbie with her too. And I think it is a small comment on a society trying to box women in. They never gave it any thought. Ok, they want to prevent the poor girl from hatching more lice and give her a good bath too, but automatically the thinking is, forget that she is travelling, we have to get her into girls clothes, at all costs. It is driving Arya nuts, and they are not very practical ensembles for the road ahead. Just saying. But they are not supposed to be. But while the females are around they tend to get a dress on her somehow whenever she is indoors.

So Arya is stewing and fuming “in her stupid girl clothes.”

Then she tells Gendry that she thinks it is a brothel. LOL! He turns bright red again. He tells her that she doesn’t know what a brothel is. Probably trying to drop the subject, but what worse way to do so than to challenge Arya that she doesn’t know something. Or any kid for that matter. It is his denial again. No, lalalalala (covers ears) you are a lady, you do not know what this place is. Sorry. You don’t. Damn it, Arya, I am telling you that you don’t! I am surprised he doesn’t cover her eyes with his hands.

“It’s like an inn, with girls.” Adorable.

“What are you doing here, then?” he demanded. “A brothel’s no fit place for no bloody highborn lady, everybody knows that.” Dude, she is a girl. It is just left hanging in the air, probably right over her head, that she is not one of those girls. And he makes that clear. She is a lady. He doesn’t want her to know them, see them, even know they or a place like that exists if he could help it. His little princess, that packs a mean punch, should not know these things.

But it is okay to stab someone at Harrenhal. What she has had to do for them to survive, he takes in stride. She is so strong, to him, that he takes for granted the fact that she can handle it. I think she gives him strength. I am not sure he could have done half the things he’s had to do, for example, kill to save Brienne, without knowing Arya. He has seen her compartmentalize to save herself and him and Hot Pie. They had no choice on the road. They had to survive or die, and they all chose survival. Just saying…and I think there is not a minute that he doesn’t appreciate that. I think it is why he seems bitter and lost in book 4. One of the many reasons actually. And on paper, his appearance doesn’t seem necessary and I think there were so many other options of how he could have been written out. But he does make a cameo. More on that for another time.

He has just not articulated this in grandiose ways, but I think he does feel for her, and is eternally grateful that really, she saved him. I am not sure what would have happened to any of them had they stayed. She was sort of his security blanket on the road that gets pulled from him too early.

She did save Hot Pie too, and I am sure he is holding up. Hot Pie is a great baker. He is probably at the Inn of the Kneeling Man right now working on a Westerosi version of a cronut.

So:

1. He just admitted she knows what a brothel is. Duh.

2. A taste of the anger that erupts later with Edric Dayne appears. It flares worse in a second.

3. Where the hell is she supposed to go? Did he want her to go upstairs to take a nap and leave the common room? Guess so. Like that was bloody likely….

4. He doesn’t want her to see these things? They have killed and seen countless worse things on the road. This is about him. This is about him and her. He wants to protect the innocence of his little lady. In regard to the birds and the bees, at the very least. That he can do. He views her as his little lady that he is somehow in charge of when she is dressed up and in little lady mode. Because for the most part on the road, when the going got rough, she is the leader and very much in charge, and he deferred to her. He has put her on a very high pedestal. Out of his reach, and it is like a sacrilege for her to be in that joint (the Peach.) He just had to add “highborn lady.” Man, it really bothers him.

5. But man, he is such a decent fellow.

So, to recap that he appreciates the whole package and the many sides of Arya:

1. It is okay to be herself at all times. Cursing, fighting, not bathing, etc.

2. It is okay to be a tomboy and puncture anyone she chooses and crack skulls at will. She pretty much made all the plans with him on the road as they handled each crisis. Lommy and Hot Pie just tagged along.

3. It is okay be in silks, smelling sweet, and looking like a little lady, but he feels he needs to protect her and correct her. But I don’t mean correct her in a bad way, like he would be a pushy, critical, overbearing type of partner in future. Neither does he. He is just upset. When she is dressed like a lady, he suggests she should follow the protocol. Just like in the songs. He is the chivalrous man trying to defend a maiden. Arya hates that. He goes into fling-a-cape-on-the-mud-so-the-lady-can-cross mode. What makes me think he will get along nicely with his future sister-in-law Sansa?

Arya and the Hound had a moment were they were on a road trip too. They can just tell their spouses where they can shove their melodramatic songs.

He is digging the whole package. And like a fine wine in a few years it will be even better. He knows that. He hates that, because it will be someone else’s vintage. He knows her value. Meaning her qualities. There is no value to her being a lady. He just wishes she weren’t, and that she was of his class so he doesn’t have to lose her eventually. It was less complicated socially when it was just them on the road. So he has realized that for her to pair off eventually, as ladies do, it will be to some other high lord that he can’t be. And the unfairness of it all leads to his meltdown next in the chapter where he picks on Edric and Arya. (Part 2 essay)

Please, Lord Stark, I’ve asked before. Let us do it. Let us book the hall now. I can wait 10 years for the wedding. If Allyria Dayne can do it, I can wait too.

Oh, God and then the black hair connection from Arya regarding Bella, Gendry, and King Robert. When I read that and realized, whoooaaaahhh, wait a sec…. uh, am I being told… his sister….oh, dear lord.

Bella makes no headway. Nobody would make any headway. He is just not that into whores, or any other girls. In his head he has his ideal vision he is holding out for. And she just has to grow up first. And it makes him at least want to try and be a better man. Take his chances. And that is why he turns down Riverrun. He has to try to strike out on his own.. He might see point A and point B but has no idea how to link it, hence his frustration and anger. And I think, still being young, he thinks: okay, so she is a lady with resources, family, etc. She will know I am smithing with BWB. So she can go home like they promised. They delivered her, and her family will be grateful and we can still be buds. She can find me later and I can find her because I have a permanent home. Hey, we are both not going anywhere. She is still young and not getting married any time soon. By joining them I just saved myself from the Night’s Watch. No roaming. We will both know where to find each other. So for now, she can go see her mom, uncle, grandpa, etc. and I can set up my base. Or something to that effect, and I know I am pushing it with the reaching, but hell, when I read it, the thoughts did cross my mind. He had hope, or took hope and gave it to himself irrationally. But the lady thing constantly being thrown in his face, with the dresses, with Edric Dayne, reminds him and bursts his bubble. So he gets

Mad and it boils over by the time they meet Edric and that is their final scene, because Arya is taken.

Because the big thing that doesn’t jive and makes no sense is why leave the wolf pack and not take her up on her invitation to work at Riverrun? Maybe even with my guess, with the understanding of how Arya might think, that when reunited with her family, he would probably leave with them and go to work at Winterfell, yet he acts bat-shit insane that she is a lady and he is lowborn and be so eager to join Beric?

Doesn’t add up. Well, looking at it this way sort of makes sense for me. And I am not saying I am right, but it is the first thing that came to me when I put all these bits and hints together throughout their interactions.

But guess what? Doesn’t matter. He meets up and ends up with Uncat anyway.

Just like Sandor loses Sansa and runs into Arya and seeks to join Robb and her Northern peeps.

And joining Beric… I know I am reaching again, but I would be a fool not to throw something out there that popped into my head, that might be possible.

Okay, and I am sure it is true. He does want to smith. It is something he can do and he might have said it also to convince them to take him because he can contribute with a useful skill. But I am sure that he wanted to do it to rise a little, and not in a Littlefinger, calculated, smarmy way. He is just not that guy. But he had been with them and heard surely that he can be “promoted” and can be knighted. Hey, still a knight. Better than what he was. But he wasn’t going to tell them that out loud. Hey, I want to be a knight, so I want to join so you can make me one. Noble Beric wouldn’t go for that, nor his sidekick Thoros. It was a smart move. Not much now, but it can be. He has moved up a bit.

The sweet part is that he is probably wishing he could be a lord, secretly hoping he could be like them, so they are on the same level. He probably hates that too, but it crossed his mind that the problem would be solved. And so far he doesn’t know, could never imagine, that his father is a Baratheon. His father was a king. He is a Targaryen and an Estermont. Bastards do have a shot in hell. Look at Ramsay. Something is in store for Jon Snow. Not saying it is guaranteed, but:

1. This Brienne bursting to tell him crap has to be resolved. And the hype of how she is crazy about Renly and then she sees his mirror image in meeting Gendry who makes a tiny appearance in her big presence and pov’s in book 4, is constantly brought up in the series over many books.

2. Not just over Arya. So many times his issues of who he is were brought up. Starting with his series entrance when he meets Ned who is investigating Jon Arryn’s leads over Baratheon children, up until his screen exit in book three when he blows a gasket over lords and ladies and not knowing who is real dad is in front of Edric and Arya.

Okay, back to Bella and how she got served.

He shoots her down. Quick. I don’t think he wanted to leave Arya alone either. And he was right to go with his gut instinct and common sense. The creepy man is coming up. Ugh!

Young, attractive, seductive, willing, and was Bella offering for free? I forgot. He doesn’t bite. Well thank God because it is his sister. And a bit of dark humor because he isn’t going to with anybody. So there was no chance in hell of that happening.

No, I said.” And he busts out of his chair, out the door, and into the night.

Damn!

A bit forceful there, dude. Simmer down. I am sure that she is not used to that. You are scaring the ladies and disrupting business. Littlefinger would have thrown you out by now if it were his place.

So Bella asks Arya if he likes girls. Arya thinks he does, he just likes work more. I think she knows he does, but he is not up for that either.

I love how she offers the nice and diplomatic way to answer. Though she does throw out a frustrated and what I think is now an affectionate, “Well, he is stupid.” More on that for another time. Ever see somebody ask about someone they are interested in or even not, and a friend, instead of dishing and going into personal stuff, just says stuff like: “Yeah, nah, they are busy, they are more into work, they want to focus on school, they want to finish college first. You know, before they embark on “getting involved.”

And he was out there, er, a while. And I think those thoughts of distress, confusion, what not, carried into my Part 2 essay. The day he got not-a-lord zoned and freaked out on Arya and Edric.

Uh, this is really bothering him. Just say no, not tonight or whatever. Be somewhat polite even. There is crap on his mind.

And he comes back right on friggin’ time.

“She’s my sister.” Gendry had put a heavy hand on the old man’s shoulder, and squeezed. “Leave her be.”

Tactful. Just try something. If the words are misunderstood, my strength won’t be. I love the implied verbal threat and physical presence. Well done! If only more people did this first instead of punching first in a bar fight and breaking the head off a beer bottle.

“Why did you say that?” “You’re not my brother?” I took that as a reminder of her age. She doesn’t get it. He is not meant to be viewed as a brother. Not Mycah. It might be a future love interest. Not Jon either, and their sibling relationship. It is different. Subconsciously, Arya knows there is a difference.

“That’s right,” he said angrily. “I’m too bloody lowborn to be kin to m’lady high.” M’lady high is not a term the nobility uses. That is a name to hurt her. He is hurt. Like calling someone high maintenance…

As my dearest hero Snape cracks snidely to Lupin and Black. “Arguing like an old married couple, are we?”

Yes, professor, I would say so.

It really bothers him. He shrugged off Bella so fast. He knows it is all he can have, but he doesn’t want it. He pushes it away. And unlike Robert, he doesn’t become easy and take the easy way out. Or take up anything that is just thrown his way for the hell of it. He runs deeper than that. And I am sure the whores were disappointed, because as talked about before, we are slammed over the head repeatedly with how good-looking he is; really, with all of the Baratheon males. Er, just not Stannis. He wants Arya, or some girl like her, to be fair, in a few years. He would rather wait. He is a patient person, or he was. And that “plan” had some legs, but now it is nothing because the wait won’t matter, how they get along and hit it off smashingly won’t matter, and how he cares for her is not a factor. He is not a lord. He is a bastard by birth.

Even she was surprised that he was that furious. This shit runs deep. He didn’t mind Mott, Night’s Watch, or the simple life. Of course, it is about her, more than him. He never complains about work, not having riches and stuff like that. Only now he complains he is “too lowborn” because she is highborn. Seems to be the only reason it bothers him now.

And as if this poor boy hasn’t learned and seen constant times that life is not fair. Has lived by this mantra that life is really, really, really not fair, and can be cruel, brutal, and short. This, this thing with lordship and Arya, is now what seems to have finally put him over the edge.

And it convinced me of how deeply he really cares for her, and whether he realizes it or not and to what extent. But I am sure he had a lot of thinking to do after she was taken and time went on with no sign of her by book 4.

Because what the hell else is he really mad about regarding birth, status, etc? He was never the type for riches, attention, etc. Beginning with Ned, lords never impressed him. Neither did money or social mobility. This was never an issue until it sunk in and it became an obstacle to a future connection with Arya. I’d bet Randly Tarly’s life on it. I hate that guy. No loss to me if he goes. Er, anyway…

“That’s not the way I meant it.”

“Yes, it is. “ No it isn’t Gendry, and you know that. He is just lashing out at her, because he is mad and there is nothing he can do about it. He can’t change anything. So all will suffer his wrath. Poor Edric Dayne.

“But.”

“I said go away, m’lady.” He doesn’t even want her around. A reminder. He has to face this and he hates it. And then he has to remind her that she is a m’lady…again; a second time. And really throws it in her face because he is having a hard time dealing with this. This was a calm, take it as it comes guy, for the first three books. What the hell happened? Why take the anger out on her? Well, because it is about her. And if she sticks around he has to see all her lady dresses and what her status in the nobility is and it is driving him nuts.

He really starts in with the lady references. He can’t even leave it off the end of any sentence he yells out within those pieces of dialogue. A little composure, dude…

So why? Some thoughts:

1.A reminder to himself? Whatever you were thinking, you are an idiot. You can’t have her, so get over it, and stop acting a fool and an ass. Push her away. It is easier and it won’t hurt as much later maybe.

2.To torture himself further? For being stupid enough (he thinks) where he should have known it is impossible, and he should never have cared for her. He loses everyone; father, mother, etc. Even Mott tossed him, he thinks.

3. To taunt her? Again, just to project his pain on her. Just to let it out and seek relief, but it is not working out to well for him.

“I want to drink the wine in peace.” Oh, Jesus, he has to drink to not think about it. Don’t hit the bottle like, Dad. Please. You are almost perfect. Don’t go the Robert way.

Man, those Stark girls. They drive the Baratheon men batty and to distraction. They all get stark raving mad. (crickets chirping…pun…ooh, that was bad) Give me a rim shot.

“Then maybe I’ll go find that black-haired girl and ring her bell for her.”

(A moment of silence.)

(But I remember when I first read this and had to pull myself off the floor and get back on my couch. Also, retrieve my book from wherever it landed. And it is not good because book 3 is a rather large book. Then I muttered a “what the hell?)

Oh, snap. I had no other words to type that worked.

Oh, come on now…that was just too pathetic. I cringed for him. I really felt bad. He just threatened that he would go ahead with it, to spite her? And it is completely out of place. Yet it was childish, and desperate, and brutally in your face style sincere, and so friggin’ moving, because it was a very real moment. It is not exactly what was said, more so the raw intentions behind it. I will get back at you, because I am hurt. Remember, he is young, acting stupid, confused with new feelings, and feels there is no future and that he is trapped. Because at this point in my first reading of the series, if I had any doubt that he cared for her and wanted their friendship to eventually grow to more…well, this rang a bell for me. And I am sure he feels a bit of peer pressure with all the other men being comfortable in a place like this, and seeking out the girls. He is only human after all. So that might be a small part of it too.

It was so sad. Gah! I was embarrassed for him.

He knows what to do. He has to convince himself this crap is all he can have. Hoping the wine will help. Trying to make Arya jealous in a stupid and immature way. Again, a very telling thing he did to insinuate that he cares for her. It was so dumb you have to laugh. Or I did after the cringe factor. That he had nothing else he could think of off the top of his head and on the spot to piss her off except say that, when he had no intention of doing so. Well, he busted her chops about “m’lady high” but it didn’t work, didn’t make him feel better, and changed not a thing.

Yeah, right. Go ahead she’s right there. Sure. Right. Never start with empty threats you have no intention of carrying out.

A stupid bullheaded bastard, boy, she thinks to herself in anger. But she is sweet enough never to be so mad at him that she will call him that to his face. She would never hurt him that way but using the “b” word, even though he was a complete ass to her back there. She is starting to realize the sore spot and how much of a very sore subject it is with him now. Arya is very intuitive with him. Even with her assessment of his hating Edric’s guts later on. She knew if he could spread a germ to bring on the head cold in the pouring rain when Edric started bitching he would have.

He could ring all the bells he wanted, it was nothing to her. Yet, she was a little pissed and possessive. She was so pissed she left.

All was forgotten the next day with the arrival of the Hound.

Arya eventually goes to sleep. When she awakes he is sleeping next to her. Probably sleeping off that hangover.

Well, after he got his drink on he just marinated and stewed for a while, sitting by himself at the Peach, but got nowhere. It didn’t solve the problem, because he is even angrier and blows worse of a gasket with Edric Dayne.

So far, the dress of a lady makes him see that yes she is a lady.

We see the confrontation at the Peach put him on edge.

But what is worse than these realizations and conclusions he comes to?

When someone, who is of Arya’s status appears, and has the damn nerve and gall to talk to her!

When everything he can’t be (Edric Dayne) is hitting if off with his tomboy. Then he is at his worst.

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My featherbed is deep and soft,

And there I’ll lay you down,

I’ll dress you all in yellow silk

And on your head a crown

For you shall be my lady love,

And I shall be your lord.

I’ll always keep you warm and safe,

And guard you with my sword.

And how she smiled and how she laughed,

The maiden of the tree,

She spun away and said to him,

No featherbed for me,

I’ll wear a gown of golden leaves,

And bind my hair with grass,

But you can be my forest love,

And me your forest lass

Maybe it's a little bit simple, but I had interpreted this song like this: Gendry is afraid he isn't good enough for Arya, since, she is a lady. He believes that, to be with her, he will have to give her all sorts of comforts - which he can't do - and protect her. This is what he wants to do - unconsciously, of course. And when she realizes that, she laughs, because she had no idea those things troubled him. Then she shows him she prefers to live his way, than as a lady, that she's wild and that she isn't a little thing that must be protected.

Considering they're both too young to realize any of that, but in the future it's possible.

**

Oh, I simply love the Jaime/Brienne summaries! They are my favorite couple, so I can't wait for more.

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I think the No Featherbed for Me song implies no marriage and is possibly a what could have been.

The lord wants to make it official. To give her yellow silks and give her a crown. The lady says no but you can be my forest love. So lover not husband imo.

The male seems to want something more stable and the female rejects what he offers. She will have him only on her terms.

If the oak tree dress is supposed to be symbolic it was discussed in another thread that Arya and Gendry ruined that dress. The clothing she did like was that of Lady Smallwood's dead son.

Also, the KM does offer her to marry a nice apprentice boy which is Gendry's description but she rejected it. Of course shippers can say it's not Gendry.

This was Artemis' interpretation from a while back:

This was the scene where Arya was forced into the acorn dress in ASOS. Arya's acorn tress = acorns grow on trees = "the maiden of the tree" in the song = Arya.

We all know how free-spirited and carefree Arya is, which is exactly how the "maiden" of this song is described. The "lord" of the song, who's offering "the maiden" the featherbed, indicates that he desires something more stable, like marriage. We can see that manifest in the scene at Harrnehal when Gendry tells Arya that he's comfortable working at the smithy there, and doesn't seem to happy about her ideas of taking off and running away. Furthermore, he unpromptly leaves Arya's "pack" for the BwB and takes shelter at the inn with the orphans for the time being, forsaking all the adventures to come on the way to get Arya home to her mother.

I feel like the song shows that both Arya and Gendry want different things out of their lives. They both go down different paths, and I think they both will have distinctly separate futures. However, that's not to say that I don't see a possible reunion in the future. I do, in fact, but void of romance. The song is a bit sad, a bit nostalgic for a time of innocence and first love that's tenuous at best, especially with respect to it burgeoning into a full-blown romance.

Edit: As to the "forest love" and "forest lass" part, it draws a parallel to their current situation where they're both traveling with the BwB through the WOODS to return Arya back to her family. Again, another indication of how their "romance" was fleeting.

ETA: I forgot that Arya briefly thought about going back to the woods with Gendry and the rest of the BWB while she was with the Hound but then dismissed it as stupid and that it wasn't her place anymore.

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Here's the next Jaime and Brienne summary:

Directly after Jaime lost his hand -

Jaime: ["Hello darkness my old friend"]

Brienne: ... u okay, Jaime?

Jaime: ["I've come to talk with you again"]

Brienne: You should probably eat something.

Jaime: I can't. I'm dying.

Brienne: EAT YOUR FUCKING FOOD, LANNISTER!

Jaime: I SAID NO, YOU INCONSIDERATE COW!

Brienne: I'll be your BFF?

Jaime: *om nom nom*

Brienne:...twit

In the bathhouse -

Brienne: Get out.

Brienne: R U fucking serious right now? (Oh god, I can see his balls.)

Jaime: ... what?

Brienne: I hate you.

Jaime: Oh cry me a river. It's not like I find you attractive. I mean, you're so masculine, I bet there's nothing for me to even look at...

(Brienne stands up)

Jaime:

Jaime: OH SHIT, SHE'S HOT.

Jaime: AND NOT JUST A LITTLE HOT, I MEAN LIKE PROPER HOT.

Jaime:

Jaime: Oh god.

Jaime: Oh dear god, not now.

Brienne: Still gonna say I'm not smokin hot?

Jaime: SHUT UP, IT'S JUST A PLATONIC ERECTION! STOP READING INTO IT!

Brienne: That's right, bitch.

Jaime: Oh, okay, you know what? You may have won that round, but I can still gain the upper hand here.

Brienne:

Jaime: Okay, bad choice of words, but whatever. What would you say if I told you that by the end of this conversation, you will have a new found respect for me?

Brienne: I don't have any respect for you.

Jaime: WELL THEN, WE'RE OFF TO A GOOD START!

Jaime: So, I've never told anyone this before, but that one time when I killed the king, I actually saved the entire city from a fiery death. You're welcome.

Brienne: Oh my god.

Jaime: Told you so.

Jaime: *le swoon*

Brienne: Did you just flop into my arms like the pretty little princess you are?

Jaime: It was a platonic swoon.

Brienne: You're such a fucking twit.

Jaime: Jaime. My name's Jaime.

Brienne: Right. You're such a fucking twit, Jaime.

Original Post Here.

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Love the presentations, Rose-Papillon and booknerd2!

Like, how can you ignore the parallels between Arya (wearing an acorn dress) rolling in the dirt with Gendry and the maiden of the forest refusing the knight's castle and protection and featherbed to sleep (and bang) outside on the leaves.

Exactly.

A few things about “the sniff.”

I love that GRRM put the word sniffed in italics, too. That was so funny. Someday, there's going to be a faithful adaptation, and this scene, along with some others, I'd love to see.

Everyone has this moment.

Oh, yes. Great examples there, of those moments. And this was such a good one.

What is it like to just laugh and be light-hearted for a moment? Can they even get to that place anymore?

It just kept getting better. :) That was so nice to see, I wish there were more of these moments in the story.

And now that song that baffles me. Always mixed emotions with it.

I love the song, I think it's beautiful.

I think it's a celebration of women like Lyanna and Arya, they are free-spirited. They are going to do what they want. The man was trying to impress her, to win her. And the woman said I'll take you, but I don't need those things. He just wanted her, so as long as he loved her for who she is, they'd be happy.

I wonder if the color yellow means anything important. Well if you look at the Baratheon and Clegane sigils, they have the same colors. Yellow banner and black for the animals. Considering the relationships being looked at is Arya/Gendry and Sansa/Sandor, is it a coincidence?

Great point, and I thought of that, too. I think these things are not always meant to be just for one person, or a strict one-to-one foreshadowing, but suggestive of what is there now, and what may be possible.

In AFFC, Sansa as Alayne casts aside a dress in Tully blue, and chooses a dress embroidered in gold leaves, and chooses to wear a ribbon of gold around her neck.

As far as the possibility of highborn Arya marrying Gendry, I agree with what you wrote. Civil war (and potential apocalypse) brings about massive social, political, and economic change. By the time spring is ushered in, I don't think it would be inconceivable for Arya to be able to marry whom she damn pleases, including Gendry, or Sansa to marry Sandor (assuming they survive).

Great point, totally with you there.

<snip>

<snip>

I love love love those exchanges, they are just so them. I laugh every time I read them. :)

Maybe it's a little bit simple, but I had interpreted this song like this: Gendry is afraid he isn't good enough for Arya, since, she is a lady. He believes that, to be with her, he will have to give her all sorts of comforts - which he can't do - and protect her. This is what he wants to do - unconsciously, of course. And when she realizes that, she laughs, because she had no idea those things troubled him. Then she shows him she prefers to live his way, than as a lady, that she's wild and that she isn't a little thing that must be protected.

Yes, exactly, very nicely stated. That's how I see it, too.

Just getting to reading booknerd2's latest essay...

And then I thought of the song One for My Baby, One More For the Road. Frank Sinatra’s version is awesome.

His version is so awesome, and now I'll never read that scene the same way again. :)

This Brienne bursting to tell him crap has to be resolved. And the hype of how she is crazy about Renly and then she sees his mirror image in meeting Gendry who makes a tiny appearance in her big presence and pov’s in book 4, is constantly brought up in the series over many books.

Seems like she's going to tell someone, if not him.

Because what the hell else is he really mad about regarding birth, status, etc? He was never the type for riches, attention, etc. Beginning with Ned, lords never impressed him. Neither did money or social mobility. This was never an issue until it sunk in and it became an obstacle to a future connection with Arya.

And this is it. What brought this on? Learning Arya was a lady. Same thing with Sandor suddenly wanting Robb to make him a lordling. They never cared about things like that before.

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Maybe it's a little bit simple, but I had interpreted this song like this: Gendry is afraid he isn't good enough for Arya, since, she is a lady. He believes that, to be with her, he will have to give her all sorts of comforts - which he can't do - and protect her. This is what he wants to do - unconsciously, of course. And when she realizes that, she laughs, because she had no idea those things troubled him. Then she shows him she prefers to live his way, than as a lady, that she's wild and that she isn't a little thing that must be protected.

Considering they're both too young to realize any of that, but in the future it's possible.

**

Oh, I simply love the Jaime/Brienne summaries! They are my favorite couple, so I can't wait for more.

Totally.

And I believe even when he gets pissed that she is discussing that she knows what a brothel and what it means, that is what irks him. Here she is with a lace lady dress again to remind him that she is in this place, this environment being exposed to this, and he can't do much about it. And he doesn't want her to see it. He has tried to tackle her modesty and maiden facets, to shield her. Which is why he turned down Bella. He is not a hypocrite. If he is going to try to protect the sexual innocence of his little lady, than the thought process is " you demonstrate or make your point by example."

Arya_Nym. I agree. This world the author has created is unpredictable, has twists and turns; is constantly reminding us that life is unfair, life is very unfair, life stinks, etc. etc.....certainly there is a possibility they don't see each other again, have a fleeting moment, or end up with different lives or different people, but for me, and this is only my opinion, there is too much brought up by the author to not look at the pro-pairing side of it.

But believe me, I am still bracing myself for the possibility that they do not end up together.

I am going to touch upon Gendry's role in the series and do an opinionated and funny take on what his purpose is in my essay, "The Benchwarmer." Er, whenever I can finish it.

And thanks again, Le Cygne!

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Okay, this one gelled quicker than I thought. It also helped that I had a free day while my sweetling went off to play golf with the guys. Part 6: “Hey Stupid” is barely an outline at this point, so this essay is most likely the last for a while, truly, for real, unless a miracle happens, or at the very least the skies open and drop something down.

Note: This one is very silly. This is, in some parts, silly, serious, speculative, funny, and runs loosely because there are other theories/other events that can happen, may not happen, or do exist that might be connected to the blacksmith situation. I can think of no other way to explain it, just that it covers a lot of ground. And in other parts highly speculative, er, very thorough, but entertaining, I hope.

Part 5: The Benchwarmer

So, Gendry may be a benchwarmer, but he is hardly alone. There are more.

I want to start with a brilliant quote from Mother of the Others from a while ago:

“And since Nymeria is roaming like a hovering helicopter waiting for an assignment.”

This, the quote above, made me smile and laugh out loud when I read it. I had this funny mental picture of Nymeria hanging by a cable thingie like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible with sunglasses on, leather gloves, and an earpiece, (apparently, these are the things that go through my mind that amuse me) but it also reminded me of the strong love, connection, fierce loyalty, etc. that the direwolves had/have for their Stark counterparts, and the other way around. They are them/an extension of them. It is a silly and touching thought. And spot on by the poster. But also she is pointing out that, yeah, we do have a gnarly, and quite nasty direwolf pacing back and forth like a father in an old movie waiting for the doctor to tell him that his baby had arrived and his wife delivered safely. You know, Nymeria, puffing on a cigar and balancing a snifter of brandy in her paws, and having her pack do her bidding and wait on her as she holds down the fort. Nymeria is in character limbo; Martin mentions the female wolf roaming about aimlessly and the havoc she is wreaking. (Hi-fiving/fist bumping Nymeria) It has to go somewhere. (Has she killed any travelling Freys by default because she was hungry yet?) And the same for the Stark girls and their guys... So we wait as patiently as possible, while Nymeria snarls,” Put me in, Coach!!!” And as she struggles and wriggles around as the author holds her up at the scruff of her neck, she growls out, “Let me at ‘em.”

So I was looking back at some of my old posts and I came across that one regarding Nymeria and Arya when I responded to a post. And the quote bowled me over again by how very true it is. I have posted a lot regarding Gendry and Arya. So before I initially hashed out some essays, I wanted to check out some things I had posted or responded to before on threads. And this struck me again for the fantastic line that it was.

And I thought, hmmm….well, aren’t Gendry and Sandor doing the same thing? Gendry for Arya, storywise, and Sandor for Sansa, of course, and both appeared during a Brienne pov in their benchwarmer scenes during book 4. And they both dropped in unexpectedly, but not uninvited, bluntly and abruptly for tiny screen time in book 4. As if they were proclaiming, Hey, we are still here. We are ready! So the cowl and robes, really, the Novice Brother Halloween costume isn’t stumping me too much either. I know it is you, Sandor. And I am relieved too that Stranger is on standby, in the first class waiting area, er, stable, on his upcoming flight to “KickSomeAss Town.” Touch me, again, bitch, and you lose your other ear. That was just the warm up. You wanna dance again? Just try me! He almost lost his nuts, but he has not lost his spirit and he is still riled, so I am hoping with the right catalyst his owner will be too. Because I can only imagine that while on lock down, Stranger would be only too happy to bust out of there with Sandor.

Please, just heal the leg, get centered, lose the gown, temper the inner beast/anger, and hop on that badass horse and bounce. But someone may come to him first, he hears some news, or whatever, so he can just do that while both he and Stranger look cool, when the time is ripe.

So back to Gendry…. what the hell happened to him? I think I ask this rhetorical question in every essay by now.

Let’s just come right out with it….He is just not the same since Arya left.

Poor eager, earnest, brave, and sweet Brienne; she really tried. That whole conversation, short as it was with Gendry, was as rough as sandpaper. If anyone could be more uncooperative and abrasive… In general, he was not helping. To say the least it was painful to watch. He would not budge. It was like the over-amped Colin Creevey trying to get Harry Potter to give him the time of day. Or like a kid jumping around in gym class. Throw it here, here, here, I’m open…over here! But they never do. Brienne just did not get possession of the ball.

He appears, in a blink-and-you-miss-it time span, in book 4. Is there any doubt that somehow he’s changed and is not the same kid he was? He mourns her. And he is in that limbo, where you don’t know if it would be better for closure, if he could be certain she was dead, or it is worse waiting, not knowing, as more orphans show up. (I will get to that later. That is not my theory. But a little light was shed regarding that on a great post recently, and I wish to credit the poster, frogeaters, and discuss it in a bit. ) We don’t get the full Arya-was-taken reaction in real time in book 3, and now by book 4, he has had many months or so to deal with it, and NOT very well if you ask me. Bitter, and with this whatever (talk to the hand) attitude; he misses her, and he wasn’t like this before, or to this extent. His security blanket, his strength, a piece of him is gone. He was trying to protect his little lady and it went bust. Only the Seven knows what the Hound or someone else did to her. She could even be dead, maybe a horrific death too. And various other scenarios must have entered his mind. And all because he went on a tear, when she already heard family info from Edric that she couldn’t understand or scarcely believe, and she fled right into the hands of a Hound that now knew her identity and also got the shaft when Beric and BWB kept his gold tournament winnings and was pissed.

But I need help with his. Has the rumor reached Gendry, Uncat and BWB about (F)arya and the Bolton marriage? That news had to have been on its way by then, right? It should soon? Cause that, I would think, is even worse if he hears she is alive and married to someone else and all the crap that has happened to Winterfell. Never realizing it is fake Arya, of course. And I am sure the Bolton stories of how they like to act out their sigil on victims and friends, has made the rounds. That he literally treats his dogs better to say the least.

She ran after they were arguing. He knows he started it, and probably blames himself. He called out after her in the rain, or Arya comments that she believed it was Gendry. And by now maybe he thinks she was with Bolton, given by the Lannisters, and she is married to Ramsey Bolton. Ugh! The guilt he would feel! But can Jaime maybe correct this information and give Uncat and Gendry and BWB peace of mind? I need the full series pros/vets for this. Jaime can always crow that see, I fooled Bolton, I have changed and even if I had your daughter I would never do it. See, Brienne and I really want to help you find your girls and keep our oaths. The things you might have to say to avoid death. Even outside of Gendry and this essay, that is a whole other can of worms. What Jaime and Brienne, both separately and together, are going to have to say, show, or do to convince them, once they face Mother Merciless and her backup dancers has many variables.

And then, to twist the knife in my heart unintentionally, Brienne has to mention that maybe Willow Heddle, (falls off couch and drops book 4 too) well, she thinks it could be Arya, and there might be a resemblance between her and this girl hanging out with Gendry. Thanks for pointing that out, Sapphires! Oh, and the author too for giving her those lines. Just point out Gendry’s futile attempts to replace her in a way just to get by, like a defense mechanism. Let me take out my handkerchief and tissues so I can start bawling for the 50th time. Gendry could have been written as to be alone at the orphanage, it could have been someone else, other characters, but no, it has to be a girl around the same age that Brienne has to make Arya allusions about. Jesus!!!!

(a big “duh” rolls around the back of my throat, but won’t come out because I am still drying my tears and attempting to blow my nose from grief.)

And a few things:

But Brienne is not having a good day either, and it is about to get worse. Much worse as she is slammed in the face with the second coming (visually) of her beloved Renly. And we see through her deductions as she ponders it, and the cool hairstyles that Renly used to rock, as the internal dialogue goes, that she knows he is a Baratheon, Robert’s son, Renly’s nephew, and she wants to tell him. So she goes to take him lunch at his smithy, he doesn’t even want to eat, where he is currently banging and pounding away, probably pretending it is the Hound’s face for taking Arya, and hopefully becoming an even better smith with practice. And it is smart to try to lure a guy into talking with food. Well, no, she did feel bad that everyone had eaten, food was scarce and hard to come by, and he wouldn’t eat their food for whatever reason. Where he looks cute, ripped, and sweaty and I felt bad because it is probably killing Brienne and her ovaries, as he reminds her of her sweet Renly. I saw a gif/meme of the Death Star exploding and that is how I imagine it. One ovary down, and one more to go, but she has to worry about her face for right now.

I will never forget the first time. Oh….wait….oh, god….oh, no….he is chewing her face off!

But Rorge and Biter have to show up to ruin it. Well, Gendry ruined Biter’s face with a spear to the back of him that came out the face, so that made up for it. Thank God, those two are off the road and can’t torment people anymore. I will never forgive them for the undue stress they caused me when they travelled with the Night’s Watch and I worried about those two whackadoos hurting Arya, Gendry, Lommy, or my poor delicate Hot Pie. He’s a baker not a fighter! Still perfecting those cronuts….

And he was horrible. And then a bunch of things stick out in no particular order. He was glowering, refusing to even sit with everybody. Sensitive, when she asked if he was a bastard and she informed him he was a knight. He tells her she has an ugly face. She asks if he is a lord, and he says that he is a smith. The Septon comments that Willow would probably marry Gendry down the road, due to the sorry state of affairs in the region. Sorry, dude, he is taken. Or at least his heart is. (I need to sabotage this.) Gendry doesn’t want to rent them rooms, he doesn’t want to take or eat their food. And he tells her he is a knight. He tells her that when he is done with making that sword, it is his. Why? It has been months. Why is a sword so imperative now? What makes me still think he is going to wield a hammer when he hears about Robert and his bloodline, or use the sword but still prefer the hammer that he is used to? I guess he figures that knights do have swords, so he should make one just in case. Too funny. Ah, just like in the songs. Gendry and Sansa would totally be two in-laws that got along.

And seriously, it was still so vague because we have the hindsight of knowing, but I wonder if in time, off screen and in his thoughts, that maybe he has or will put two and two together between Ned, Jon Arryn, and Brienne all seeking him out at some point, going out of their way to discuss his looks, background, mother, and King Robert with him. She points out: the black hair, blue eyes, Red Keep, King Robert. Ugh! The toying with us…I can’t. She has all but spelled it out for him. She has left him the best clues. Better than Jon and Ned. So I was wondering if maybe he will ask someone or Brienne when she gets back there. Wouldn’t be surprised if he starts asking someone who knew King Robert about him. If somebody tells him what he was like: strong, wielded a hammer, had a lot of bastards, black hair, blue eyes, etc….if maybe his mother dropped a few hints or whatever, that he recollects later.

So, we see a soap opera hospital bed scene. Brienne with fever dreams and delirious with half her face chewed off and struggling; Must…tell….him. Must….tell….speak….to….Gendry…must….

I also thought of Gendry seeing what has become of Arya’s mother…damn, and knowing Ned briefly and Arya, and how much she wanted to find her mother, of course, it is so sad. And he knows what happened to Robb and Grey Wind and the whole story. We see Uncat with Robb’s crown as she held it in her hands. Ok, let me run and get some more tissues.

Back to Brienne: Somebody better tell her I am done with it. She has to tell Gendry when she goes back to Uncat with Jaime. Or….

Brienne got a hold of Jaime and we think they are going towards Uncat’s lair and the BWB, where Gendry is. So I now wonder if Mr. WiseAssRemark, Think-the- Thought, Out-Through-My Mouth Lannister, just might not be able to contain himself and will say something. I wonder if Brienne might confirm to him that, hey this is what I thought too, when I first saw this boy. Jaime has had countless years to study, and despise, Robert and Renly. Now I don’t think he has any reason now that he is sort of lightening up to hurt him but…. And, I don’t think he would kill him for Cersei. He has it out for her and is not doing her any special favors anymore, I think. But would he do if for his kids? At one time, but not sure anymore, and he already had his dance with flinging small children out of windows, so I think he is done. Plus, on the one hand (pun), he is not where he was swordsman-wise, and Gendry could snap him in half if he had too, with Uncat and the BWB cheering him on or helping or hanging him first. Or they can just have Uncat pull down her hood to scare him to death, until he pees himself and cries in a fetal position on the ground, until Brienne runs over to soothe him and help him up. (Sorry, there is some Uncat fan art out there that made me sleep with the lights on.) He is not the same man he was, from his own realizations and through his changes due to Brienne’s influence. I am even starting to sympathize with him now, but sweet Brienne has that effect on me. I am seeing Jaime through her eyes/pov. Not like he would get too close to him or get away with it because he is in deep shit right about now. But I still have to worry for the Bull. Not taking any chances. Never too careful with my series paranoia….

There is also a crackpot pet theory I have. Thoros is disgruntled. He has sort of had it with Uncat and the BWB and what it has become. So much so that he doesn’t even care that he is openly discussing it and expressing it, which I am even surprised that the tough as nails Uncat and the BWB don’t even see that as dangerous or treasonous. He was pretty candid with Brienne. And remember that Thoros refused to revive her, he lost Beric when he took on the job of bringing back Cat, and now his worst fears and the worst case scenario is happening right before his eyes. He says something to the effect that he is having trouble seeing into his flames, the future for them, and what it will be. How long is he willing to put up with that? And especially now that Brienne, Hyle, and Pod were almost killed? He talks about how the BWB with Beric went on even after losing Robert, er, having no king. But they still go on in his name. What if he finds out about Gendry? More on that a bit later. But the big question is, would Thoros leave her? Get rid of her? Replace her? Stage a coup? And considering it was Arya’s mom, I don’t think Gendry would wish to have anything happen to her either, despite her being “The Hangwoman”. Just a thought.

For a moment let us also forget the Baratheon/ Robert’s son identity actually getting out. What does Gendry do with it or what do the people around him with agendas do when it does? Good or bad for him? This crystal ball is foggy.

But I have concerns about this too. When you see people post and theorize that Gendry will lead the BWB, they may be barking up the right tree. Or maybe BWB will want him to lead because the BWB was carried on in the spirit of King Robert and Ned who had sent them out. What better turn of events than to have the son as your front man; but I don’t want them to use him either. Ironic again. He can’t shake that Baratheon and Stark looming cloud and web. So the BWB are serving King Robert’s memory, and if BWB finds out who he is, will they rally and use it? Good PR? There is irony too that they were also serving Ned Stark who sent them out to get Gregor Clegane to answer for his crimes in the first place. Mother-in-law, Father-in-law, King Daddy, and being associated with their movement…. ahhhhhh…

So Jaime is running smack into Gendry, with Brienne and BWB and Uncat present. We know how he felt about Robert. I could see him opening his big mouth, even if it is by accident. We will just have to see how that unfolds. Also, if there is a point where her life is in danger, I don’t see Brienne not making sure she tells Gendry or somebody, so he knows, or making other arrangements so the secret doesn’t die with her. If not for herself or the boy, but to do it for Renly, because she is “romantical” like that sometimes…and Renly did not have an heir that was in her face, so…

And by the way….Jaime, you found that blacksmith that you mentioned in regard to the Stark girl and marriage.. Jaime, I like this unintentional prophecy sort of stuff you did; like what you did right there. Somebody pay the man!

I would love how this would stick it to Cersei, the Baratheon baby killer. Robert had been had. She screwed him over by presenting him with three children that are not his. Robert never had a connection with them and I think subconsciously felt it was wrong, was ill at ease, or something, and he did comment somewhat that Joff was not right and disturbed, well, after that sick cat incident. Posthumously, if this works out, Robert gets a son he can be proud of. He has Mya and Edric, but I don’t see them rising by merit as much as Gendry has or might, but time will tell. And Ned gets a son-in law that he could be proud of. Well, he already did seem to like him and was impressed! (essay 1) But maybe we shouldn’t count out Mya and Edric yet. In a nice twist, Robert had his fake three kids, and it would be nice that his real three black-haired kids contribute to the story later too. Also, Gendry, Mya, Edric ( two sons, one daughter) and the fake ones, Joff, Myrcella, Tommen (two sons, one daughter) Well, there were more but they were killed. And it is funny that Gendry argues with Edric Dayne, yet doesn’t know he has a brother named Edric, while the argument is about family and kin. Pretty funny. But this is reaching and stretching. Or maybe not all of it.

And life would be so easy if there were science laboratories in Westeros. So, there is magic but no DNA testing in Westeros? Lovely! To quote Sawyer from the tv series Lost. “Sonofabitch!”

I am also concerned that he was bitchy to Edric Dayne (now BWB faction 2) who has that other faction of BWB and nobody knows quite where the hell they’re at presently. Did he make an enemy or Edric brushed it off? Or do they have it out for the way Uncat works and will turn on BWB faction 1, being only a matter of time? I am still concerned if they cross paths or a conflict of interest between the two factions arises. If the only sour sticking point is Uncat, what if she is gone? Thoros? Any takers? I still honor the memory of Catelyn Stark deep down within her somewhere, so I am not saying I am wishing the demise of Uncat, but I don’t know what those around her are thinking. Her run will come to an end, no denying that fact, but I have no idea how.

The sad, sorry, replacement for Arya. (The one that made me grit my teeth and roll my eyes in disbelief)

Please God, not the Nagging Spoon Whacker….please God… I’ll do anything…he knows the difference, the real deal, the real thing. Houseful of whores? Not bending at the Peach, remember? If he can do that, he can do this. Remember, for the 1001 time we are reminded he is stubborn! She is too young like Arya anyway, he is too traumatized by the loss of Arya, and Arya is coming back to Westeros in time. Nymeria is cooling her heels and is primed and ready to pounce with her go bag packed, and ready to growl, “Let’s roll and I’m goin’ in,” and things are setting up, so not going to happen. I hope.

That Theory I Love: Also, I did some research on those Tobho is Izembaro theories, and I might want to join that team. (Remember that I left it as a cliffhanger from Essay Part 1)If Arya ends up working with Gendry’s former mentor, than I am throwing a party. The second I read book 6 and that is who she is with, than my pairing stocks just shot up. I will celebrate and break dance, moonwalk, spin, do the robot and dance with joy! Because that is just too much connecting them if that happens, and my favorite ship just got an upgrade. I hope.

Please God, anything but her. And not Jeyne either.

A few other things:

Stoneheart being referred to as m’lady. Yup. My future mother-in-law. Can’t understand a friggin’ word since she mumbles and rasps like a dementor, but I got the gist of it. Doing it for both her and for Arya who are m’ladies. You will show up in front of her, Brienne. Now the minute you can sit up, you are going! End of discussion.

And not that I want Brienne treated that way, but this is Gendry we are dealing with. She just got caught red-handed with Lannister items, shouting out “Jaime!” in delirium, they are Arya’s and the BWB and Stark enemies, and just like Sandor, Gendry is on Team Stark.

He hasn’t left the inn where Arya was last spotted. Does he hope she comes back? Can somehow find her way back to that spot? A search on two fronts: 1. The BWB is actively looking for her 2. Keep the blacksmith buddy at a sort of command central where she last was? Does he hope that she has gotten away like she has in the past and will come back to a place she knows, so he wants to be there in case she does? (If he thinks that, it is very smart, because he knows her, and that she has escaped from impossibly bad situations before, and if anyone can get out of a sticky situation, his tomboy can do it.) I think it shows a bit of faith and hope in her abilities. Or maybe it makes him feel a bit better, something to hold on to?

But, the saddest part is she went to Braavos because she thought she lost everything, her family, her home, her wolf, etc. Even her wolf pack. Hot Pie left her to bake and not get killed, and Gendry joined BWB and wasn’t going to Riverrun. He probably has been ruminating about that argument he started and breaking up the pack.

But now I am surely hopeful, and yet we have seen that the BWB have people planted in a bunch of places, maybe more than we even know, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some are places where she had been, was sighted, where there is a lot of human traffic, and where she might have to pass through/ or whoever has her has to pass through ( they may ponder that too.) Like the Kingsroad, Maidenpool, Saltpans, the ferry area, etc. I am sure people and children are being stopped. All they need to do is ask about the Hound and a little boy/little girl, and you make it look like you are looking for the Hound. Many are, and you get info too about the child without revealing it is Arya Stark.

My crackpot wishes: That eventually BWB are on to Littlefinger and look for Sansa and get to QI and join forces and find the Hound there. Now could they maybe, through a connection with sparrows, or whatever, need to talk to Elder Brother or he seeks them out neutrally? They can also have the Hound fill in the missing hours about where he parted with Arya. And then join forces. I can dream….many dreams. Or that the Blackfish resurfaces, Uncat has Jaime, and he also shares with them, after the shock of his niece wears off a bit, that Littlefinger has hold of Robert Arryn and some “daughter” is there too that popped out of nowhere. Or whatever. I still think serendipity will play a part. People will be trying to do something else, or looking for something, question more people or have run-ins, and there is a break in the case.

My favorite book 6/7 crackpot: That when she has to come back to Westeros, even if she is in Faceless Disguise, somebody recognizes Needle or Nymeria with her and/or stops her for questioning because she is a little girl on the road alone. But what about Uncat, Harwin, Gendry? The face changes, but can Arya change her mannerisms, choice words she uses, pattern of speech? Is she that schooled yet? That is why I like the idea of a relentless, wide reaching, and enduring BWB network/checkpoint areas. She may come back for work or whatever, but she doesn’t know exactly what is out there. I like the theme in the book of her always getting caught or tripped up somehow and exchanging hands with people. Yet she always carries and powers on. But the BWB net and spider web is out there. The invisible web, and I hope she stumbles into it.

And deep down if Gendry thinks this he is right. Well, Uncat and the BWB too. Let us take a look at his feels and Arya’s current whereabouts:

1. She is alive. (check)

2. She did get away from the Hound. (check)

3. For the most part unscathed. (check) (But we can debate the loss of identity themes, emotional/psychological turmoil, etc.)

4. There is a possibility she can get back on her own somehow. (check.)

5. Then we get her! (They hope.)

And a part of me wonders too. Does he regret now joining BWB? Does he sort of connect it with how she took it as him leaving her and their pack, and declining Riverrun? Because if he does, he must really feel like shit; just a bit longer and we would have been with your mother anyway.

And the orphans have crossbows for chrissakes. Why is he the only man left behind? Even if something happens, one guy is going to hold off everyone? He is a knight, does he alternate/rotate with the other BWB dudes on assignments? How come he gets to be sort of safe and not fight or venture out? They want it this way or he insisted? Or if she popped out of nowhere, acting funny or in disguise or traumatized, he was closer to her, and could pick her out the best? They feel she might not run or she would listen to him more? They know Arya can be troublesome and impulsive. Are they concerned, knowing her, that she may not come quietly and would try to trick them, play “not Arya,” and try to slip by? And she might not run from him like she ran from the other BWB people that she had no emotional investment with, meaning, they were not her friends, like Gendry was? All speculation, but I am throwing it out there. If they saw how upset he was when Arya was taken, they can probably deduce they were close and have a shot. I hope Uncat knows how much he cared for her daughter too, and how they supported each other on their journeys. At least she has a snippet of time where she knows her girl was safe and okay.

I thought of a lot of off screen stuff, that you would think would likely happen, but we are not privy to. When Beric revived Uncat and died. She arises. BWB has to talk to her, get info from her, fill her in as well. Gendry sees her mother dead, what happened to her, he was with Arya the longest. I am sure some conversation happened. I would think BWB and Uncat would pick his brain. So where were you guys headed, what were you doing before we caught you? Cat hasn’t seen her daughter in ages, and this kid can fill her in regarding her life, all the way from when she was still in King’s Landing, got picked up by Yoren, the road, Harrehnal, and all the way to the present time. He is a valuable source of info.

Also, Thoros was bros with Robert, and they liked to drink and have a good time. He doesn’t see the resemblance? Does he not have magic that he can check or look into his fires? Or do some Red God magic and move this identity thing along. Help! Thoros put the cup down and pick up the flame and use it! Why does he not recognize Gendry or does he? But Thoros, is saying it is out of order currently. He can’t see anything. What can change this? Not permanent, I hope?

This is the quote from frogeaters: “I'm sure he has already told her. That's why they're bringing all the orphans to the inn. They're trying to find Arya.

I love you, dude….you made my week. And I could kick myself for being so wrapped up in Brienne constantly asking about Sansa in her povs and Gendry being snotty, that I never picked up on what the BWB is actually doing there with Gendry and the whole orphanage racket.

My observation of Gendry on Day 158 of caretaking for orphans:

Lem: “Boy, another bunch of orphans has arrived. Have a look. One quiet one looks like her but she won’t talk to me.”

Gendry: “That is not her again. Sonofabitch!” (Cue once again, the Sawyer clip from above for the full effect)

Willow: “We have over thirty already!!! We are all going to starve!”

But Heddle mentioned too that some orphans are arriving on their own, or are being brought by sparrows. Not just the BWB. So the sparrows know this is orphanage central too? The network is bigger than I thought?

We are going to see bullves in the future. I hope. Bull + wolves= bullves. I like this build up of how hard everyone is looking for her. I hope it can help her to know this when she returns, because I am not sure who, but she is going to run into someone. And I think she will reunite with Gendry and some of BWB. Uncat I am not so sure about. It is sad because she is struggling with identity in Braavos, and even before that, and currently, feels alone, thinks nobody cares or thinks she is dead, and you just wish that she knew what us, the readers, know. Many have not forgotten her.

So what is his showing up in book 4 purpose again? To show us he hasn’t forgotten Arya and they are all looking for her. And it is sad to see Gendry with his replacement/ cardboard-cutout Arya, (Willow) trying to cope a bit with what happened. But they are running the place. Nobody said they are friends. It seems like he just puts up with her and vice versa, and they don’t seem to agree on how to go about things, and it is different. It is lacking all the fun and spirit and feistiness that his arguments with Arya had. Storywise, all we really had to see was Brienne get attacked by literally anyone, any crazed whackadoo off the Kingsroad, and then have her brought to Jeyne, or anyone else, where anybody from BWB could have handed her over to Stoneheart.

He wasn’t necessary, right? Except if you think he is crucial to the Arya future arc, or that it was another shout out to his being a Baratheon, another reminder he is still working at the forge for the sword theories, etc. Just another reminder not to forget him after his abrupt exit from book 3 when Arya goes on her trip with the Hound, and her story picks up from there. But the Brienne observation of Willow and Gendry and Arya was another I-can’t-believe-this-blatant-crap head smacker moment. Where I got down on my knees and begged the author not to toy with my emotions nor play with my sore heart for the 1001 time. And we had to see him moping, all emo, defending orphans, helping the sisters out, etc. What a great guy we are told. Again. This time hit with a sledgehammer that we shouldn’t forget this, even a book later, as we were introduced to this theme back in book 1 with Ned and Tobho Mott. He may bitch and act out because he is hurting, but he is still brave and carries on his duties and responsibilities. He still saved Brienne from that nut with the filed teeth!

So get ready! Cause they are coming! At some point in Arya’s and I am going to say Sansa’s story too, their dudes, direwolf, and Sandor’s horse who is currently raring to go, are going to show up to help, save them, or something. And maybe even bring some friends and relatives along,

But let’s not be sad. Let’s not be a walking dark cloud like Gendry has been for two books and maybe more. Let’s celebrate hope!

Makes you want to run over to the makeshift orphanage and the Quiet Isle singing and dancing with fists pumping! Like running down the produce aisle with a shopping cart in that Michael Buble video with dancers and a marching band…

It certainly looks like both guys are on ice for now, both out of the way temporarily, but when the necessary time comes…

Regarding the story….the lyrics are too much. Here is just one line of many good ones:

“I hope I get to you before they do, the way I planned it…”

If that ain’t feel good music…I don’t know what is. Sam the Eagle from the Muppets, or Stannis, well, they might not be lovin’ this as much.

So in his cameo book 4 appearances, it is sort of like: Hey, world, here I am. Forget about me? Here. I. Am. (He waves) Gendry, Sandor, Stranger, and Nymeria are all wearing orange jumpsuits and signaling in pilots with those orangey baton thingies. Or whatever the hell they are called that I am too lazy too look up. Shooting off flares, turning on the Bat Signal, and whatever to get a little of our attention.

Cheers and good luck to our four honorary benchwarmers, especially the smith.

I’ll be rooting for you guys, horse, and direwolf, with my Stark/Baratheon/Clegane banner!

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Gendry could have been written as to be alone at the orphanage, it could have been someone else, other characters, but no, it has to be a girl around the same age that Brienne has to make Arya allusions about.

I was paying so much attention to Brienne, I didn't notice he stayed there to protect an Arya substitute.

And he tells her he is a knight. He tells her that when he is done with making that sword, it is his. Why? It has been months. Why is a sword so imperative now?

That's true and Brienne thought it was odd, too.

Also, Thoros was bros with Robert, and they liked to drink and have a good time. He doesn’t see the resemblance?

That's a good question, I never thought of that, either. How could he not, the resemblance seems to be quote striking. It didn't take Brienne long to put two and two together.

And what a grim couple of chapters for Gendry. He changed so much!

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I'm a little confused about whether this thread is officially started or not and which couple is being discussed.

Seeing as it seems to be open season for analysis I'm going to post a little bit about my problems with Arya/Gendry. Obviously if anyone thinks this is out of place I'm happy to be moderated and will post at a more appropriate time.

Firstly just to respond to a couple of booknerd2's comments.

But remember his reception of the dress. He won’t say that. He knows her and knows she won’t like that. And that “pretty” means nothing to her. She packed it in, regarding her appearance, after constantly being compared to Sansa by her septa and mother.

I know this might seem insignificant but it will relate more to what I say later. I believe that the assumption that Arya's lack of concern with her appearance is a result of comparisons to Sansa and bullying by other girls is wrong. Yes those perspectives have influence how she views herself but not all girls, especially and particularly tomboys, value looking pretty and don't think of achieving beauty as a valuable goal. Furthermore the assumption that not prioritising being pretty will fade with the onset of puberty is false.

I do think he had a crush on her; the lady she will become. He sees the future, whether he is consciously aware or not. He sees her past and what she was before their buddy/road trip. He is a young boy too and doesn’t clearly understand his feelings while doing it. It was innocent and immature. It broke the ice.

I think you're entirely correct that the more Gendy perceives Arya as a lady and sees her potential as an adult the more angry and sullen he gets, however to me this is reflective of his growing awareness of the rigid class structure in Westeros and not specifically because his and Arya's respective social statuses will prevent them marrying.

So, Arya still won’t calm down. The dress is just too much for her and the last thing she needs is for him to call her out on it. It touches a nerve. Too much has happened. So she knees him in the nuts. She doesn’t want to give up. He can’t win. There is no time for fooling around, dressing up, and light-heartedness. She is afraid to open herself up to that even for a second.

“I bet I don’t look nice now.” She comments as she sees the aftermath. They are both, soiled, her dress is torn, and she wants it that way. I might have seen a sliver of raining on a parade, a little own worst enemy mentality. She just burst his balloon, held it up in front of his face and popped it voluntarily, thereby shutting the slightly open door to humor and fun, that he tried to pry open with his boot. She is still a young girl too and also hasn’t figured out self-image and that it is okay to be pretty too, and not lose your edge. She will find that out later and in time.

Again, i think this plays into widely held assumptions that being 'girly', prioritising looking pretty and dressing nicely are things that tomboys suppress or reject for fear of not meeting expectations and thus suffering a blow to self esteem - essentially saying the desire is there but for one reason or another is not actively pursued or acknowledged.

Speaking from the experience of being a tomboy in childhood and adulthood, I can say this is a false assumption. Such feelings probably do exist for a number of girls and women, however to assume that all girls feel this and react in such ways is basically saying that the desire to look pretty is innate to all girls and no matter how much they appear to not be interested in or value such things they never truly are.

So after they wrestle and the lady’s dress gets messy, Lem smacks him upside the head. Looks like they all seem to enjoy having a little lady around. Or someone dressed like a little lady. It was sort of nice to see him do that. No hard feelings after Arya bloodied his nose.

And she defends Gendry, er, immediately. She is not mad and shouting anymore, nor disgruntled about having to wear a dress. “I started it,” said Arya. “Gendry was just talking.” And she takes the blame, or tries to, solely on herself.

I think rather than this being some kind of evidence for Arya's romantic feelings, it is probably meant as a parallel to the situation with Micah along the Kings Road. I guess it demonstrates Arya's growing awareness of the class structure she lives in and her responsibility as a highborn person.

Then she tells Gendry that she thinks it is a brothel. LOL! He turns bright red again. He tells her that she doesn’t know what a brothel is. Probably trying to drop the subject, but what worse way to do so than to challenge Arya that she doesn’t know something. Or any kid for that matter. It is his denial again. No, lalalalala (covers ears) you are a lady, you do not know what this place is. Sorry. You don’t. Damn it, Arya, I am telling you that you don’t! I am surprised he doesn’t cover her eyes with his hands.

“It’s like an inn, with girls.” Adorable.

“What are you doing here, then?” he demanded. “A brothel’s no fit place for no bloody highborn lady, everybody knows that.” Dude, she is a girl. It is just left hanging in the air, probably right over her head, that she is not one of those girls. And he makes that clear. She is a lady. He doesn’t want her to know them, see them, even know they or a place like that exists if he could help it. His little princess, that packs a mean punch, should not know these things.

I think his reactions in the brothel are more likely due to simple embarrassment that he is being forced to talk about sexual matters (his embarrassment upon being propositioned is another example of this) because he is sexually inexperienced, because he is discussing this with a girl and if there's anything masculinity dictates of boys and men is that they are knowledgeable and cool about sex especially in front of girls, and also that he is very aware that it is socially inappropriate for low born people to talk to high born people about sex, the class distinction having very much been on his mind.

One doubts that sex education is taught in Flea Bottom and there's nothing like being ignorant and immature and having others assume that you are knowledgeable and mature to make you embarrassed when called upon to demonstrate this.

Because the big thing that doesn’t jive and makes no sense is why leave the wolf pack and not take her up on her invitation to work at Riverrun? Maybe even with my guess, with the understanding of how Arya might think, that when reunited with her family, he would probably leave with them and go to work at Winterfell, yet he acts bat-shit insane that she is a lady and he is lowborn and be so eager to join Beric?

He isn't impressed with Arya's suggestion because it is a public acknowledgement of Arya's superior social status and along with this a patronising and paternalistic suggestion which is insulting when coming from someone younger than you, who is also of the 'lesser sex' and with whom you had previously enjoyed a relationship of equal status.

So Bella asks Arya if he likes girls. Arya thinks he does, he just likes work more. I think she knows he does, but he is not up for that either.

I love how she offers the nice and diplomatic way to answer. Though she does throw out a frustrated and what I think is now an affectionate, “Well, he is stupid.” More on that for another time. Ever see somebody ask about someone they are interested in or even not, and a friend, instead of dishing and going into personal stuff, just says stuff like: “Yeah, nah, they are busy, they are more into work, they want to focus on school, they want to finish college first. You know, before they embark on “getting involved.”

Arya calls everyone stupid, including herself. I don't think there is more to read into this, it is just her stock response when someone is being weak, illogical, etc.

“Why did you say that?” “You’re not my brother?” I took that as a reminder of her age. She doesn’t get it. He is not meant to be viewed as a brother. Not Mycah. It might be a future love interest. Not Jon either, and their sibling relationship. It is different. Subconsciously, Arya knows there is a difference.

“That’s right,” he said angrily. “I’m too bloody lowborn to be kin to m’lady high.” M’lady high is not a term the nobility uses. That is a name to hurt her. He is hurt. Like calling someone high maintenance.....

“I said go away, m’lady.” He doesn’t even want her around. A reminder. He has to face this and he hates it. And then he has to remind her that she is a m’lady…again; a second time. And really throws it in her face because he is having a hard time dealing with this. This was a calm, take it as it comes guy, for the first three books. What the hell happened? Why take the anger out on her? Well, because it is about her. And if she sticks around he has to see all her lady dresses and what her status in the nobility is and it is driving him nuts.

I think you're accurate that Gendry's hostility is a self-defence mechanism, however I think it is a reaction to the increasingly apparent class differences between them and the unfairness of the class system in Westeros rather than because his hopes they would be married one day be dashed. The BWB is a very real opportunity for Gendry to be respected and treated as an equal, Arya is a constant reminder that whatever status he may attain with the BWB, he is still on the lowest rung of the class ladder in the 'real world'.

Also....

I think the No Featherbed for Me song implies no marriage and is possibly a what could have been.

The lord wants to make it official. To give her yellow silks and give her a crown. The lady says no but you can be my forest love. So lover not husband imo.

The male seems to want something more stable and the female rejects what he offers. She will have him only on her terms.

I agree with this analysis but don't think it reflects anything more that an adult bystander looking at a pair of children and seeing a potential there that the children don't see themselves, not because the feelings are really there yet they are too young to see it, but is because of the social narrative (that exists within our own society too) that male and female friendships often end in romance and that platonic relationships between the sexes are never really platonic.

You've probably guessed but I don't believe this is the case for a lot of men and women.

I've touched upon some of this above but my main problems with Arya/Gendry centre around Arya and the assumptions that are placed on her both in the book and by commenters, such assumptions include:

-that Arya is heterosexual

-that heterosexual relationships in Westeros are not problematic with regard to the relative power of men and women and that Arya will view engaging in such a relationship as something she will be willing to do

-that Arya will be more interested in traditional femininity as she grows older and will find enjoyment in this

-that Arya will view the role of wife (and potentially mother) as one that she wants to inhabit

-that male and female relationships are unlikely to be platonic if both parties are unattached and display any non-romantic chemistry or attraction

I think that it is these assumptions which are the foundation of the Arya/Gendry relationship. However I think all these assumptions are:

a - not true of real life (in fact I know many people who break these assumptions and for whom such assumptions are problematic and damaging)

b - that they are really patriarchal and reflective of dominant social narratives about girls and women rather than the lived reality of these people

c - not being applied to Arya because of who she is but because of her sex and who people want her to be

In essence I don't believe most or all of these assumptions to be true of Arya.

I know this was a super long post. Sorry.

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