The Knight of the Laughing Tree

 

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Art by Modji-33 on Deviant Art

One of the more interesting tales that Bran Stark hears is that of the Knight of the Laughing Tree. This is the story that Meera and Jojen Reed tell Bran in Chapter 24 of A Storm of Swords. The most interesting aspect about this story is that both Reed children are astounded that Ned Stark never told his children this story, it’s a story that the Reeds heard a hundred times or more from their father Howland.

I propose to explore why Ned didn’t tell the Stark kids this tale. It’s a simple reason: it was too dangerous to tell them. He couldn’t risk them asking inconvenient questions about two fictions that he was desperate for the children to believe.

  1. He only loved their mother, Catelyn Tully Stark; and
  2. Their aunt Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, according to the official Robert Baratheon version of history.

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Robb & Honour: What was Ned’s example?

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Gif sourced from FanPop

One of the Young Wolf’s major disastrous decisions is his hormonally-influenced rash choice to totally ignore the marriage pact his mother arranged with Walder Frey to guarantee the Northern armies could cross the Trident during the War of The Five Kings, in favour of wedding the girl whose honour he had besmirched by bedding her when upset after learning about the “deaths” of his younger brothers.

Would Robb have made a wiser decision if he had learned different lessons about honour from daddy dearest Ned Stark?

What impact does Robb’s relationship with his much loved and, by his mother, much hated bastard brother do to inform Robb’s decision making process?

Or was Robb’s dick just making all the decisions for him?

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Cersei, the Mad Queen

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Artist unknown, taken from here

Repost of a theory I posted to /r/asoiaf

Superficially, Cersei is the Mad Queen. Paranoid, with delusions of grandeur, and meeting more than enough criteria from the DSM to get a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder, Cersei appears to be Westeros’ answer to the cliche “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

As Queen Regent, she has – or thinks she should have – absolute monarchical rule over Westeros and, more importantly, over the Great Houses and families that she thinks are beneath the glory of House Lannister. However, she lacks the skills, tools, and intelligence to be the effective ruler she wants to be, and her plans are all undone by her own paranoid attack on Margaery Tyrell, resulting in her own fall from grace and naked Walk of Shame forced by the High Sparrow’s crusade against the sexual and other largesse that Cersei represents.

But what else does Cersei represent in the world of Westeros?

How can we assess femininity in Westeros through Cersei’s warped world view?

And where does her madness come from?

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Sansa: Ned’s naive daughter

This is something I posted on /r/asoiaf way back when… now that I’ve made a blog to consolidate all my ASOIAF theories, I’ve copied, pasted and updated it. 

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A while back I had one of those lightning bolt moments where you realise something really obvious.

Fans have all commented endlessly about Ned and Sansa’s individual naivety and romanticism in how they view the world.

I guess I had always done what Westeros did – lumped Sansa in with her mother, because she looked and acted like the perfect Southron lady, with her Faith in the Seven and perfect manners for court, her Southron hair styles and enthusiasm for King’s Landing.

But…

Sansa really is Ned’s daughter. She might not have the same hair, same look, follow the same gods but she has the same stupidly naive world view.

Continue reading “Sansa: Ned’s naive daughter”