Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jon • Daenerys

I was very curious to see how Lady Stark would treat the living symbol of Eddard’s infidelity. The contrast between the warmth and care she showed toward her trueborn children and the coldness toward Jon was huge. I was already wincing when she brushed off Jon’s consoling words about Bran, but her “It should have been you” is up there on the harshness rank. She’s essentially telling a young kid with emotional problems “I wish you were dead.” I realize Catelyn is hysterical because her son is in a coma, but did she know Jon was two blog posts and a bad dwarf convo away from slitting his wrists the other night when Benjen half-rejected him? Then again, Catelyn probably doesn’t care whether Jon is on the Night’s Watch or suicide watch, as long as he’s gone.

When Jon told Arya that he had something special to give her and to close the door, I was afraid that the present was more incest, but thankfully Martin has maxed out on that at this point in the book. Jon gets +10 cool points for giving his little sister a gift that she truly loves, but imagine Eddard's or Catelyn’s reaction if Arya accidentally cuts off her hand or decapitates Sansa. It's refreshing and enjoyable whenever Jon and Arya interact, so I'm disappointed that they are parting.
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Viserys acts like spoiled, powerful prince, but in reality he’s a pathetic kid who sold the only family he has for a hollow chance at conquest. I find it hard to believe that Drogo and his khalasar would risk so much to fight for him. Even if they did, there’s no guarantee of success -- it's not like the castles in Westeros are going to just roll over. The way Viserys acts and the brutal traditions of the Dothraki don’t seem to mesh well. Less “the dragon commands!” and more “please Mr. Drogo sir” would be wise, but I don't see that happening until someone decides to slap the ego out of him.

Dany is dreading her wedding night. It’s understandable, as Drogo is a very large man and she is barely a teenager. We can all do the anatomical math. When the dreaded consummation finally arrives, Drogo is surprisingly gentle and caring, and suddenly the entire marriage seems like a good idea for all parties involved. Who would have guessed that a wedding with twelve deaths and several rapes would end happily with consensual, romantic, post marital sex? As for the underagedness, I’m just going to assume thirteen in dragon years equals eighteen or twenty-one in our century.

16 comments:

  1. i'll be honest, am absolutely loving this blog. you seem to be genuinly getting into the story and the characters, but you're not taking it quite as over-the-top seriously as some other fans, which is a good thing!
    re the age issue: you've got to keep in mind that this series is based upon medieval sort of times, times when children had to grow up fast, or die. i don't think age was a particular issue when it came to sex back then, particularly where sex before marriage was very much frowned upon and marriages were essentially political (as this one is).
    what im basically trying to say (and not at all in a rambling or semi-incoherent way! :P) is that the only way for the age issue to make sense in ASoIaF is to not apply modern day standards to the characters actions.

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  2. As joe above said, don't try to parse these books with modern US morality. Some things, like twincest, coincide (so long as it not the kings with dragons that do it - they get a free pass because they have the power), but the morality of Ice and Fire is medieval morality. If a girl has her period, she is old to marry and have children. Mental maturity does not come into it. That said, in modern days we coddle teenagers too much - in the rough world of Ice and Fire, as in our own medieval times, you were probably adult-ish as soon at around the time you hit puberty anyway.

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  3. "When Jon told Arya that he had something special to give her and to close the door, I was afraid that the present was more incest, but thankfully Martin has maxed out on that at this point in the book."

    Funny, that.

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  4. Don't know how you're able to limit yourself to only two chapters at a time once you're to this point in the book.

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  5. Thanks for the comments everyone! Yes I realize its a different universe, but its hard to see a thirteen year old as anything but that in your mind when they describe Dany.

    As for the two chapter at a time pace, I'm pretty good about sticking to a schedule. As much as I want to read the next chapters, I force myself to write a post before reading ahead. I like reading slowly and not rushing, so it works out fine. If I end up ahead of where I'm writing (I anticipate this to happen when the book reaches its climax), then the blog will be "behind" where I am reading wise.

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  6. Ha! Maxed out on incest. True enough.

    I was just like you.. pretty bummed when they parted Jon and Arya. I really like that pairing. Especially without incest!

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  7. Definitely agree with Grey Wolf. When a girl has her period, her body is telling her that she can have babies now. These days we factor mental maturity into it (which i agree in), but essentially we are animals, whose purpose it is to reproduce. We can of course choose not to these days. It is interesting however when someone talks about medieval and modern morality, they will generally accept modern as right. Thought is definitely susceptible to going backwards in some cases however.

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  8. Knight of winterMay 11, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    You know as I was reading that Jon chapter I found the interaction between Jon and Catelyn fascinating.

    At one point it seemed that they both might reconcile somewhat in greif/worry over a common loved one. Yet no Catelyn for all of her qualities is harsh, unforgiving and proud.

    If Jon get 10 cool points for the gift of the sword to Arya, Catelyn gets 10 'queen of the harpies' points for her harshness, grief notwithstanding

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  9. "Viserys acts like spoiled, powerful prince, but in reality he’s a pathetic kid ... I find it hard to believe that Drogo and his khalasar would risk so much to fight for him."

    Drogo is risking it for Dany. A guy like Drogo isn't going to settle for breeding with just any mare, after all. ;-) But whether she was worth the price, I'll leave you to discover for yourself ...

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  10. Careful mate. Foreshadowing counts too.

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  11. well, under normal circumstances, I would never ever parallel relationship between Jon and Arya to that of the Lannister incest. However that does make sense.

    Normally people compare the Lannister incest with the Targ incest. The former by will and the latter as a results of tradition and education. This comparison makes sense (though a bit cliche) as it questions the life style of some of our old royals (at least the European ones all do that) as well as depicts vividly the Lannister ambitions.

    The comparison between the Lannister brotherly and sisterly love and a healthy relationship between brother and sister (such as the relationship between Jon and Arya) raised a more pointy question: why do we condemn incest in the first place. Apart from the higher probability of producing an unhealthy kid, incest is no more sinful than other relationship between opposite sexes.

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  12. sorry i've been overly serious. Truth be told, I like your sarcastic take on the story. I think it is actually closer to GRRM's altitude: if you can laugh at your own defects and unfortunate, people will never be able to use them to taunt you.

    Some more seriousness:
    well, I am not a supporter of incest. I just hate the fact that people condemn such acts simply because everybody else does so.

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  13. I'd almost forgotten how much of a bitch Catelyn is.

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  14. tittie pinching pervs!

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  15. In the later books, you come to understand just why the highborn loathed and feared their bastards.

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  16. "I’m just going to assume thirteen in dragon years equals eighteen or twenty-one in our century."

    Love this.

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