#ellie reads Tumblr posts

  • tipnaree
    25.05.2022 - 3 hours ago

    Before her, people had never seen a sun set

    that did not leave them in darkness

    —Abū Tammām

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  • namesetc
    25.05.2022 - 6 hours ago

    Hello, yalls blog is really cool and I was wonder if you could do masculine names similar to Teagan? Thanks ^^

    sure! glad you like our blog ^^















    Jordan / Jordon

    Keegan / Keagan







    Regan / Reagan













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  • deus-ex-mona
    25.05.2022 - 16 hours ago

    ken, r u n

    #the bad ‘joke’ is that they share voice actors with izayoi sonosuke and ando ruruka from dr3 #if you know what happens… you *know* (ʘ‿ʘ) #it is suiyoubi my dudes #the funniest va joke to me is still juri+kodai and uesugi+yotsuba (from gotobun) thoughh #that and hiyoko’s gal pal squad and the ladies of persona emblem (read: tokyo mirage sessions) #dream catcher from tokyo mirage sessions gave me idol hiyoko/juri brainrot tbh. idols hiyoko and juri with manager chizuru maybe? #but the funniest part about tms is that manager uchida’s va voices one of the npc managers in the game’s agency lolll #that manager was also the older sis of the idol girl that hiyoko’s seiyuu voiced (which was pretty stonks) #the character that chizuru’s seiyuu (hayami saori) voiced was p. much the equivalent of game-hiyoko’s persona though lol #it would’ve been really funny if she had been allowed to sing in dream catcher as well! pre-hiyoko anime gal pal squad song go— #ellie is still best girl though. the way sakura ayane voiced her was so cute! especially her declarations of her intents to go to hollywood! #i miss tms… if only that ex-acquaintance of mine returned the cartridge to me… (ʘ‿ʘ) #wait this was supposed to be a dr-related post about seiyuu jokes… how did it end up like this (ʘ‿ʘ) #in any case… pls stream ‘dream catcher’ from tokyo mirage sessions!! #shibakentucky fried chicken
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  • bubblyskiz
    25.05.2022 - 23 hours ago

    I wish more shoujo manga had anime adaptations. I love jdramas but some scenes are better of animated😭 Lovesick Ellie would be such a good anime. The manga series is over and I don’t see them making an anime for it, sadly. The anime industry doesn’t care about shoujo or josei and it sucks. Shoujo fans begging for certain series to be translated should give a clue. I just want to see Lovesick Ellie animated

    #lovesick Ellie #lovesick Ellie is too cute to not be animated #shoujo#anime #I’m so glad I read lovesick Ellie
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  • pronounsrus
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    Neopronouns based on victorian era aesthetic? Specially nobles, aristocrats etc

    Can also include ouji fashion

    oohh this sounds prettyyy













    Pocket/Watch/Pocket watches/Pocket watch's/Pocket watchself/Pocketself/Watchself






    Royal/Blue/Royal blues/Royal blue's/Royal blueself/Royalself/Blueself

    Top/Hat/Top hats/Top hat's/Top hatself/Topself/Hatself






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  • namesetc
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    hi!! could i get masculine/androgynous names based off bees and/or ice hockey?

    bee names coming right up!





    Billie / Billi / Billy


    Berry / Barry / Barrie



















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  • captainelliecomb
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    AGOT Tyrion I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Tyrion’s point of view drives home some of the terrible parts of several people in light of their responses to Bran lingering near death. The Hound comes across as Joffrey’s beast except that he doesn’t stop Tyrion from striking him, bit of a fail, that. Tyrion is sly with his siblings, who are also terrible about Bran continuing to live. Jaime manages to both insult Tyrion and foreshadow his response to future Goat things when he says Bran is better off dead than maimed or grotesque, and Jaime and Tyrion throw verbal barbs at each other even as Tyrion claims there is affection between them: Lannisters love painfully.

    Tyrion’s first chapter opening with a wolf howling in the distance, a sound hanging like a “flag of mourning” and something that strikes fear in him even though he’s safe and snug in the library is an excellent piece of setting (more Winterfell creepiness) and foreshadowing (wolves making noise is one big push toward the lions’ downfall).

    Short dialogue between the Hound and Joffrey drives home how cruel and hard they both are in a few simple words (Bran not dying fast enough for the Hound; Bran dying quietly at least but the wolf is too loud for Joffrey). And then, of course, the Hound offering to kill the direwolf. A portent of things to come. A way to show how very much the Hound is Joffrey’s beast.

    Tyrion’s dig at Joffrey’s inability to count past six while the Starks can made me laugh. Surprised that it was enough to make Joffrey blush, though. Get angry, maybe. Try to insult him back. Blush? Did not expect that.

    The Hound is very much Joffrey’s beast and yet does not do a damn thing to stop Tyrion from slapping Joffrey not once but twice.

    The Hound’s helmet is the first real look we get at the ridiculous helmets these people have. His, at least, does sound suitably intimidating with his soot-dark armour and likeness of a snarling black hound.

    For all I’ve heard about (and seen, in the show) Cersei’s pure loathing of Tyrion, I was surprised to see that he describes her expression as the same “faint distaste she had worn since the day he was born.” Perhaps this is a nod to how well she hides behind a pretty mask (...does she hide that well, though), but I would expect a different acknowledgement from Tyrion’s POV, considering all the torment she’s put him through.

    During all the terrible long years of his childhood, only Jaime had ever shown him the smallest measure of affection or respect, and for that Tyrion was willing to forgive him most anything.

    Excellent phrasing there, both in how little it takes to win Tyrion’s affection (similarly to Brienne’s, and I do hope it goes better for her than for him) and how there is a point where Tyrion will not forgive him though he hasn’t found it yet. Subtle until you know more about Tysha, but even without that, a hint that there could be future strife because otherwise it would be Tyrion would “forgive him anything.”

    Jaime and Cersei nearly murder a child and promptly dress in matching green and gold. I love these ridiculously over-the-top terrible twins.

    We’ve seen Joffrey nasty about Bran, and now we see Tommen sweet and soft. I love them already.

    Myrcella is happy to hear that Bran might live, and Tommen nervously smiling (why? Is he so used to things going wrong that he fears any good news, doesn’t believe in it?), but of course Jaime and Cersei have that brief moment that Tyrion catches because he’s looking for it, because he knows his siblings better than they think.

    I love that there’s at least some folklore belief that Summer’s howling/Summer’s presence so near him is keeping Bran alive. The Starklings and their direwolves are part of magic returning to the world.

    We had a conversation earlier in chat about “sweet sister” being a strange phrase. What about “sweet brother”? Jaime calls Tyrion that when he teases him about taking the black and Tyrion returns it when he tells Jaime not to suggest to Ned that Ned put Bran out of his misery. And then we get Jaime saying it again, this time darkly, when Tyrion alludes to the idea that Bran might say something against Jaime and Cersei if he wakes up and speaks, and Tyrion the same, this time wolfishly (fitting), when he says Jaime knows he loves his family.

    This exchange:

    “Even if the boy does live, he will be a cripple. Worse than a cripple. A grotesque. Give me a good clean death.”
    Tyrion replied with a shrug that accentuated the twist of his shoulders. “Speaking for the grotesques,” he said, “I beg to differ. Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.”

    Again, several things here! Jaime the Golden Lion has no true concept of what it’s like to exist in a world without being powerful, beautiful, and rich. Even though he was the only one who offered any affection or respect to Tyrion, he still thinks being crippled, grotesque is worse than death and even if he doesn’t believe it applies to Tyrion, he gives no thought to saying it in front of him. 

    Nice reinforcement of what Tyrion said to Jon, too; he draws attention to a physical aspect of him being one of the grotesques, twisting through Jaime’s insult while making a point, using what he is and undercutting any ability he has to use it against him.

    And, of course, foreshadowing of how Jaime wants to die when his hand is cut off.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads #lannisters are a mess of beautiful things
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  • captainelliecomb
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    AGOT Bran II

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: The entire chapter is one long, terrible wait for Jaime to throw Bran out of the window, but while we get there, Bran takes us through the creepy, monstrous, mysterious side of Winterfell, where he climbs because he loves to learn secrets and to see what no one else sees. Until climbing, learning secrets, and seeing what no one else sees spells disaster.

    Oh no, the hunt left at dawn, I know what’s coming up next.

    Robb being allowed to join the hunters because Joffrey was allowed to do so first must rankle after that whole live steel debacle in the practice yard.

    Bran on his own because he’s too young to go on the hunt, and Rickon is only a baby (though not too young to have a dangerous monsterwolf, huh, Ned), and the girls are only girls (damn it, Bran), and Jon is angry at him, maybe angry at everyone -- oh, Bran, I feel for you. You’re at that uncomfortable age and birth order to not really fit anywhere.

    Bran’s excitement over going south is absolutely heartbreaking because I know what’s coming, but it’s also interesting. Sansa’s excited to go, we can infer that because of what we’ve seen of her from other people, her excitement over Joffrey and the potential betrothal, her love of fashionable things, her thrill over the royal visit, and here’s Bran excited for different reasons. Ned’s not happy to go. Arya’s going to be unhappy, that’s clear, and I’m fairly certain she already knows it. Of all the children leaving, Arya is the only one who isn’t happy. (Jon may be angry at everyone, but we’ve seen his eagerness to go dedicate himself to something where he can be his own man outside of the not-quite-a-Stark bastard shadow.)

    Bran wanting to be a knight of the Kingsguard will never not break my heart.

    I knew this from fandom osmosis, but it is utterly heartbreaking to read knowing what a knight of the Kingsguard is about to do to him.

    His recitation of all the old names is lovely, a good way to build out the world without it feeling like an info dump (he’s just a boy daydreaming, a boy stuffed full of songs and stories -- so many of them are, Sansa and Arya, Bran and Jon, Brienne, songs and stories that fail them over and over and over again). In that line of names (Dragonknight, White Bull, Sword of the Morning, the Bold, of the Mirror Shield, etc.) and then we have Ryam Redwyne. Alliterative name, not much else about him, you have failed, Ryam.

    I like the way Robb said Jaime shouldn’t count as a Kingsguard because he killed Aerys and so Bran doesn’t count him, says only three came with the king, even though Jaime looks far more like a knight of the stories (and like a king, per Jon) than Boros or Merwyn.

    What exactly are the other Kingsguard doing when the entire royal family is in Winterfell? Hanging out with Tywin? You’d think Robert would have brought all of them, considering we have king, queen, two princes, and a princess.

    (How does it work for Jaime and Tyrion. Are they not princes because Cersei is only queen by marriage? If, say, Jaime had taken the throne after he killed Aerys, would Cersei and Tyrion become princess and prince because their brother was king? Or duchess and duke, maybe, I’ve never understood titles.)


    (That latter part will come true, at least.)

    Now that the last day is there, though, he’s sad and at a loss. Oh, honey. He wants to say good-bye but he can’t even see his pony without wanting to cry, so, of course, instead he plays with Summer (who is too smart to want to chase sticks, I love these direwolves) and then, of course, he has to climb.

    Arya named Nymeria after “some old witch queen in the songs”. Interesting that they both love songs and stories, are stuffed full of them, and yet Arya looks at Nymeria as a warrior queen, and Bran doesn’t even grant her a name, just “old witch queen”. Stories have an effect on us all, but we internalise them, process them, understand them in different ways.

    Bran who looks more Tully than Stark also finds the heart tree disturbing, like his mother. I’m surprised Ned wants to take him south; if he plans to betroth the girls to southerners, it makes sense from them to learn southern ways, but you’d think he’d want his sons, who will remain Starks, to be more tied to the north. Maybe he doesn’t know how Bran feels; he was quick enough to judge Rickon for fearing a wild direwolf pup.

    Summer howling and howling when Bran starts to climb is interesting. Bran’s not frightened, so he’s not reading fear off his boy. Is it the scent of Lannisters fucking where they haven’t been before (strange scents in new places)? Do the direwolves sense threats to their people before the threat even becomes clear? (Does Grey Wind howl before the Red Wedding?)

    Bran telling Summer he’s worse than Cat because of how he howls at Bran’s climbing the way Cat tells him to stop climbing made me laugh and made me wish he’d actually listened to her.

    The place had grown over the centuries like some monstrous stone tree, Maester Luwin told him once, and its branches were gnarled and thick and twisted, its roots sunk deep into the earth.

    The more descriptions we get of Winterfell (and the north in general), the more I love this haunted, creepy, shadowy, monstrous place.

    Bran climbing and looking out over Winterfell (a) makes him feel like lord of the castle in a way even Robb would never be, which is an interesting look at how he, perhaps subconsciously, feels he’s competing with his brother, little lordling, heir to title and expectations and home, how proud he is of knowing it in ways that no one else ever will, and (b) teaches him Winterfell’s secrets in ways no one else will know, not even the learned Maester Luwin.

    Bran lord in ways other people, including other Starks, don’t understand and learning secrets other people don’t know, that’s some nice foreshadowing.

    Ned undermining Cat’s order for Bran not to climb because she fears he’ll fall and kill himself makes sense at a character level; he loves his children and is soft to them in sometimes surprising ways (e.g., Arya’s sword fighting lessons), and I can see him giving up on ever controlling Bran’s climbing. On a reader level, though, it’s infuriating, particularly on reread (or otherwise knowing what’s coming) because Ned not seeing the threat or reacting to it in a way that might save him and his family is the same weakness we see with him trusting Robert and with his actions in the south generally.

    Old Nan trying to scare Bran into not climbing by telling him stories about crows pecking out a bad little boy’s eyes and Bran not being afraid because he’s already befriended the crows is excellent foreshadowing and a good character detail.

    People never looked up. That was another thing he liked about climbing; it was almost like being invisible.

    Many things here. (a) Something often true! People don’t expect threats from above as we’ve evolved into the creatures we are, and life into the society we have, today. (b) Bran wants to feel invisible. Is this a part of his middle child, too young/too old thing? And he’s going to disappear in the not too distant future, separated from almost everyone and everything he knows. (c) Bran climbs in part because he won’t be seen. The Lannisters climbed the First Keep in part because they won’t be seen. When they see each other, disaster.

    Cersei’s paranoia is already highlighted here, and yes, it can be paranoia even if some of it is actually true. It’s true that Ned doesn’t really take interest in things south of the Neck ever since the Rebellion (though Cersei acts like it was never at all, conveniently forgetting that whole, you know, Rebellion that helped make her queen), and it’s true that he has ulterior motives when accepting the position of Hand (and not just the hand jobs to come from Robert), but Cersei is letting her -- not guilt, but knowledge of what she’s done drive her. She of all people should know that no one can truly safely say no to the king when he wants something.

    Jaime’s statement about birthing making all mothers mad and the bitterness of his laugh are an interesting combination. Difficult to analyse when influenced by other sources even on this first read, though. Is he bitter over the children taking Cersei’s attention from him? Is he bitter over not getting to be a father himself? Is he bitter that she’s arguing with him at all? Is he bitter over his mother dying when he was so young?

    Bran knows he needs to see who is talking before he goes to tell his brothers what he’s heard, and I suppose I can see why, but it also feels a little like the plot is forcing him to do this rather than go back as soon as he realised he shouldn’t be listening. It’s pretty clear that Cersei, at least, is involved, even if not the man’s identity, and she’s said some damning things if he repeated them to an adult, or even to Robb, likely. He’s already moving to get close enough to look when Jaime actually calls her Cersei and cements his identity, but Bran could have withdrawn at that point, too.

    Maybe it’s that GRRM writes the children as older than they are. Maybe it’s that I don’t have a broad enough experience to really understand how much Bran could have figured out from what he’s heard (and maybe even recognising Cersei’s voice itself, though I can see him not hearing her enough in whatever time they’ve been at Winterfell for that to make sense). Maybe it’s some combination of both and other things. Whatever it is, I cannot believe that by the time Bran looks at them he doesn’t know who the woman is at the very least.

    Our first look at the play between Jaime and Cersei during sex (and in their communication outside that per the earlier argument): Cersei ordering him to stop, begging for something though we don’t actually get a please stop, while holding him close at the same time.

    Can fraternal twins even be as identical as Jaime and Cersei are meant to be?

    I know that Bran’s able to identify certain emotions because GRRM wants us to at least consider that Jaime is bored or bitter or loathing, but I am entertained at the thought of Bran reading people so well.

    Bran digging gouges into Jaime’s arm as Jaime pulls him up is, depending on which arm he actually uses to shove Bran out the window, interesting foreshadowing to the maiming, and the way it impacts Jaime, to come. If we take Jaime as growing bitter and unhappy with being kept from his children, with the things Cersei demands of him, and even with what he chooses to do to protect the people he loves, the damage Bran does to him here could mark the start of Jaime’s coming change.

    Summer howling. The crows circling, waiting for what Bran usually brings them. Bran falling. This breaks my heart.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads#starklings #lannisters are a mess of beautiful things
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  • namesetc
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    Do yall have any names related to the color yellow? preferably more masc or androgynous please and thanks

    we sure do, hope these work!









































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  • namesetc
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    hii do you have any puppy related names?? ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

    yeah! im sure we have some!














































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  • captainelliecomb
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    AGOT Arya I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Arya’s introduced with her dismay over her crooked stitches and that sets the tone for the entire chapter. She’s caught in rules that do not fit her, the restrictions of ladyhood that does not fit her, and she’s miserable and hurt and angry and sad over it all. Her humour is a little snarky and pointed, and it’s a nice balance to the wry humour we saw from Jon and Cat. Arya gives us a look at how Joffrey is spoilt and how unfair life is for girls and bastard boys alike.

    I love that the first real look we have at Arya, besides her escorting Tommen from Jon’s POV, is that her stitches are crooked and she’s dismayed over them.

    The septa saying Arya has the hands of a blacksmith is (a) interesting that she befriends a blacksmith soon, and (b) one of the first, if not the first, examples we get of even “good” septas being horrid to girls who step outside the rigidly designed way to be a lady. (SEPTA ROELLE.)

    I’m not Catholic, and I don’t know much about Catholicism nor GRRM’s relationship with religion, but is this a criticism of Catholic school teacher nuns?


    My kingdom for a happy adventure with Arya and Myrcella.

    The lack of girls and ladies around our main characters is something I’d noticed in the show, but I didn’t feel the lack as strongly as I do now, seeing all these girls together. The show left women standing alone. The books do this, too, worse and worse as we go on, and it is just as frustrating.

    Arya, don’t be rude toward Tommen, he’s a delight!

    Arya telling Sansa what Jon said about Joffrey instead of what she herself thinks (which, we see a few paragraphs before, is that he’s handsome, much like Sansa thinks) made me laugh. And of course Arya thinks of Jon as their brother, not their bastard brother as we’ve seen Bran do and not the bastard half brother as we just saw Sansa do.

    Arya feeling exposed and judged and hurt by the laughter from Jeyne and the pity from Myrcella is heartbreaking. I already love this dear, sweet girl. Go be friends with Brienne, dearheart! You can have sword adventures. Collect your hodge-podge of commoners as you go.


    Arya with the snark! Jon’s and Cat’s humour has been dry wit. Arya’s fierce snark, and I love it too.

    The only things Arya can do better than Sansa is ride a horse (shades of Lyanna,  yes) and manage a household. She’s smart and balanced and I hate that Arya feels so constrained by the world of being a lady and by the torment of the older girls. Arya Horseface. Bloody hell.


    Arya, my dear girl.

    I can see why some readers cling to Arya and hate on Sansa, particularly readers who have felt out of place, ugly, talentless, awkward, etc., which a lot of people assume makes up all of fandom. (It doesn’t.)

    Arya running with Nymeria at her heels is a great image and makes me want to see her running with the great wolf pack Nymeria builds in the Riverlands, to see Arya, the wild little wolf, the wolf girl with sharp teeth, running with them in defense of the north.

    Jon and Arya both going to the covered walkway to watch Robb and Joffrey train with swords is a nice way to show how similar they are beyond the physical, how close they are as siblings, and how each of them is outside the bounds of life at Winterfell, outside what is expected of them.

    Ghost already being larger than his litter mates is excellent. He was the runt, Theon swore he would die, and here he is, thriving where he shouldn’t. Hello, metaphor for Jon.

    Little Bran and Tommen sparring with so much padding they are ridiculous is cute.

    The Tully look, “easy smiles and fire in their hair.” Vivacious, friendly, charming, and yet ready to burn with righteousness and love.


    If I didn’t already love her, this would be the point where she stole my heart completely. And YES, she should make her mother’s House equal in honour to her father’s. She’s a Tully and a Stark. Catelyn is still a Tully and a Stark for all she’s embraced her married House.

    “[...] if a girl can’t fight, why should she have a coat of arms?”
    Jon shrugged. “Girls get the arms but not the swords. Bastards get the swords but not the arms. I did not make the rules, little sister.”

    Oh Arya. Oh Jon.

    Makes me think of Brienne and the painted shield and earlier than that, Ser Duncan the Tall having his shield painted.

    The Hound snarling at Ser Rodrik over Joffrey and Robb fighting with live steel, and Rodrik’s pointed slap about him training knights, which the Hound of course wouldn’t find an insult, because knighthood is a farce, I liked that introduction to him. So many people who see knighthood as an honour don’t also see the ways it can be an abusive system.

    I feel for Robb, belittled by Joffrey (and would whether or not Joffrey was otherwise a shit) in his own home. It’s no surprise that Joffrey turned out terrible and following his worst impulses, he was never checked, told always that he should receive whatever he wanted as a prince, no matter how dangerous.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads#starklings #wolf girls have sharp teeth
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  • captainelliecomb
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    AGOT Catelyn II

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Lysa sends a hidden, coded message to Catelyn claiming that the Lannisters -- specifically Queen Cersei -- killed Jon Arryn. Ned refuses and refuses and refuses to accept the role of Robert’s Hand -- to the point he willfully refuses to see the danger to his family (and the hypocrisy of claiming to trust Robert with his family while at the same time hiding Jon with such force), until finally Cat and Maester Luwin convince him. Cat already hurts for the children and husband she’s losing to the south, and she doesn’t even know the extent of it yet.

    I love the imagery of “scalding waters rushed through its walls and chambers like blood through a man’s body, driving the chill from the stone halls” -- could see blood flowing as a way to drive the chill/the Others from the world again.

    I also love that Cat’s bedchambers are the warmest rooms in the Great Keep. A sept for the southern wife, the warmest room for her bedchamber -- Ned’s taking care of his wonderful Tully wife, even though he cannot tolerate the heat. (That does not bode well for his trip to King’s Landing, even without everything else! Though I suppose winter is coming even there.)

    The Starks were made for the cold, he would tell her ...

    All the better to fight creatures of ice, then.

    Oh, Ned got a Hand job from Robert and had to run straight into his wife’s bed. (I’ve seen this joke all over during the past week, and I assume most of it came from you lot [in book club]. I appreciate it every time.)

    The wind swirled around him as he stood facing the dark, naked and empty-handed.

    Oh, Ned.

    He looked somehow smaller and more vulnerable ...

    Oh, Ned.

    Love that even these many years into their relationship, their lovemaking is urgent and good.

    Don’t love how Cat talks about giving him another son: 

    She could feel his seed within her. She prayed that it might quicken there. It had been three years since Rickon. She was not too old. She could give him another son.

    Even Cat, beloved by her husband, a love that took time to grow between them, still looks at whether she can give him another son as not just a part of her worth but a way to bind him to her more -- I think at least some of this ties back to Jon the bastard and how Ned came back from war to his new wife with a bastard child when she’d only just had/was about to have Robb, so he basically got two women pregnant at the same time, as far as she’s aware, and then put his bastard son into her home, treated him very nearly the same as Robb. For all his love, for all the things he’s given her, I can absolutely understand lingering doubts about honourable Ned who has broken his honour and potentially harmed her and her children, who brought a potential threat into her very home. All made worse because all her sons look more Tully than Stark.

    Now Ned is going to leave again, with Robert again. If Cat can give him another son, perhaps he will not look elsewhere, will not dishonour their vows.

    I know it was punishment, but the second time Ned rode to war with Robert, he returned with a damn Kraken for their home, one who could (and very much does) turn on them. Ned riding off with Robert doesn’t bode well for them.

    Ned shook his head, refusing to believe. “Robert would never harm me or any of mine. We were closer than brothers. He loves me. If I refuse him, he will roar and curse and bluster,  and in a week we will laugh about it together. I know the man!”
    “You knew the man,” she said. “The king is a stranger to you.” Catelyn remembered the direwolf dead in the snow, the broken antler lodged deep in her throat.

    NED. You have kept a secret from him for more than a decade! You are keeping a secret from him AS YOU SPEAK. A secret you’ve kept from almost everyone for fear Robert would harm someone of yours! GET YOURSELF TOGETHER, MAN.

    In your own damn chapter you think about how different he is now!

    You know kings change, people change!


    I know why. She’s got a cunt.

    They were closer than brothers: probably means they were closer than Ned’s experience with being close to his brother, because he basically wasn’t, it seems. How I read it was much more: closer than brothers LIKE THE TARGARYENS.

    She also makes a good point that Robert is honouring Ned even if Ned doesn’t see it that way; it’s another point in how different it is in the north and the south. 

    Though Ned not wanting to recognise it as an honour has as much to do with his willful disbelief and naivety as it does the way honours in the south don’t feel like honours to northerners when it involves leaving the north.

    Brandon. Yes. Brandon would know what to do. He always did. It was all meant for Brandon. You, Winterfell, everything. He was born to be a King’s Hand and a father to queens. I never asked for this cup to pass to me.

    Oh Ned. I did not know what bitterness he carried with him over this, bitterness layered with grief and the weight of responsibility he doesn’t feel equipped to handle. He was so young when it all landed on him, too, including the heavy secret of Jon. It’s no wonder he took himself off to the north and never wanted to leave it again.

    This makes me want to see interactions between Ned and Brienne, both younger siblings not meant to rule. Probably not within a canon divergence, even, because I don’t think he’d handle her fighting (for all the reasons she reaches for the sword) even as well as he handled Arya wanting it, but I did not expect to see this similarity between them. It makes my heart hurt for them both. Their honour is another point of connection, but I’m glad Brienne has been learning that a strict code of honour does not always let you see the real story and does not always serve the actual right thing.

    Maester Luwin hiding things in his sleeves, including books and artifacts and toys, made me laugh. I want ridiculous sleeves filled with oddities.

    Catelyn is all over the portents and signs and feelings! Yes, her feeling that there is grief in the secret message from Lysa is also a logical feeling, but she certainly seems to look at it as a portent feeling rather than simply knowing that her sister has lost her husband (a husband she didn’t want and didn’t grow to love). I did not expect for her to be the adult character leaning into the horror story that is the north and the winter is coming plot.

    Young Lysa and Catelyn having a private language is heartbreaking, knowing what was done to Lysa as they grew up.

    Cat flat not caring about her nudity because this is far more important than “false modesty” is perfect. I love her.

    Cat: You have to solve the mystery and find the truth!

    Ned: I have to never leave the north!

    You are both right and both wrong.

    Cat knowing that the victory must be won for her children’s sake before she can comfort Ned is excellent foreshadowing for how driven she is to do whatever it takes to protect the ones left to her when she so desperately lets Brienne take Jaime south to exchange for her daughters. I love how Catelyn loves her family, hard and deep and fierce.

    “My father went south once, to answer the summons of a king. He never came home again.”
    “A different time,” Maester Luwin said. “A different king.”
    “Yes,” Ned said dully.

    I don’t think he could have actually turned this down, but I hate that Maester Luwin saying Robert is a different king than Aerys is the last line we get about it before Ned agrees, as if that was the tipping point, as if the weight of all the logic Cat laid before him didn’t do it but two sentences from a man did.

    Again, a different time and a different king, Robert the king is different from Robert the man from the time before his rule.

    Ned thinking it is past time for Arya to learn the ways of a southern court means he intended to betroth her to a southern family. His father did the same with his children, or at least started to, southern betrothals rather than northern. Is it that they are the only great house in the north? Is it fear of bloodlines tied too tight? Was Lord Rickard trying to build alliances in the south to put a stop to Aerys? Did Lord Rickard’s generation also marry southerners?

    Bran is only seven, Ned, I don’t think he’ll be becoming friends with Joffrey even if Joffrey wasn’t a sadistic monster. Tommen at most. There’s no way Tommen and Arya or Bran and Myrcella will be betrothed if Joffrey and Sansa are to wed.

    Oh damn! I did not know that Ned brought Jon to Winterfell before Catelyn arrived. Not only is there the threat of the bastard taking Robb’s place as Lord of Winterfell, but she didn’t even get to come to her new home, far from everything she’s ever known, without Jon and his wet nurse already being there making it Jon’s home first.

    No wonder Catelyn carries so much anger and pain over him.

    Ned says he is certain that Robert will never harm one of his, but he keeps Jon hidden; he lashes out at Catelyn both in her memories, when she asked about Ashara, snapped that Jon was of his blood and that was all that mattered -- so much for both those beliefs when it comes to hiding him from Robert; and snaps at Catelyn now when she wants him to take Jon away so she’s not faced with all the complicated things Jon is.

    Ned won’t risk anything of Robert when it comes to Jon, but he’ll pour his anger and heartbreak onto Catelyn. It isn’t fair, but it’s an interesting flaw to his honour. 

    She is, of course, a safe place for him in numerous ways, including their love and their marriage and home as a source of respite.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads#starklings #i love catelyn tully stark
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  • danainthesky
    24.05.2022 - 1 day ago

    highlights from keira’s bday party :D

    #fsdjkaksld too lazy to put this under a read more besides u all should look at it and appreciate keiras bday #tata was Yeonjun from Txt and arden was Elly from Weki Meki fjdshfdsa #mp
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Jon I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Jon Snow is judgmental and descriptive as he takes his turn introducing us to the royal family at the welcome feast and swoons over Jaime almost as much as Ned fawned over young Robert. He tries hard to find happy moments as a bastard in a world that hates bastards, and has a run in with Tyrion where Tyrion delivers that iconic but blatantly false advice about using weaknesses as armour. Jon has struggled to find his place in the world his entire life, and now that he wants to join the Night’s Watch, Uncle Ben (does not embrace that old adage with great power comes great responsibility -- oh, wait, wrong Uncle Ben) discourages him because he’s too young and has not yet known a woman.

    Jon Snow! My growing Jon Snow appreciation society tag on Tumblr really should become an actual appreciation society because I’m starting to adore book!Jon (and I’m rather fond of certain show!Jon interpretations and fic!Jons can be great).

    Jon is occasionally glad he’s a bastard and this large welcome feast is probably one of them. He’s glad to sit with the younger squires and drink sweet, fruity summerwine. He apparently has a man’s thirst, and I am delighted by his joy in this and his joy in the squires and their stories of battle, and bedding, and hunting.

    Jon gives us slightly more detailed descriptions than Ned did.

    The Queen: As beautiful as men said, jeweled tiara in her long golden hair, emeralds a perfect match for her eyes. False smile that Jon sees through even at fourteen. Jon, I love you.

    King Robert: (Would it be so difficult to give Cersei her name, Jon? This coupled with your forthcoming comment about Myrcella makes me love you a little less, what with the misogyny (possibly of your youth). Too many men leave off Cersei’s name and title despite her being the highest ranking woman in the realm) A great disappointment to Jon, not the fierce warrior and giant among princes that Ned described him as when he was the demon of the Trident (don’t fret, Jon, Ned was in love with him) but a fat man, red-faced and sweating and walking like he’s already drunk.

    Rickon: Managing the long walk with all the dignity a three-year-old could muster. Stopped to visit Jon, and I already love this sweet soon to be feral child.

    Princess Myrcella, escorted by Robb: (Who at least gets a name.) Wisp of a girl, not yet eight, hair a cascade of golden curls under a jeweled net, gives shy looks to Robb, smiles timidly, Jon decides she’s insipid and is annoyed that Robb doesn’t have the sense to realise how stupid she is. Oh Jon.

    Prince Tommen, escorted by Arya: His white-blond hair is longer than Arya’s. He’s plump. That’s all we get. (I’m curious as to where the white-blond came from, considering all the rest of them have golden curls.)

    Prince Joffrey, escorting Sansa: Twelve, younger than Jon or Robb but taller than both of them, annoying Jon. (I laugh. This short boy.) He has Myrcella’s golden curls and Cersei’s deep green eyes. He wears a golden choker and high velvet collar. Jon doesn’t like his pouty lips or bored, disdainful look at Winterfell.

    Jon is far more interested in the Lannister brothers, the Lion and the Imp.

    Ser Jaime Lannister: tall and golden, flashing green eyes, smile that cuts like a knife. He wears crimson silk, high black boots, and a black satin cloak; the lion of his House is embroidered in gold thread on his tunic, roaring its defiance. Called Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered Kingslayer behind his back. Jon can’t stop staring and we get this glorious: This is what a king should look like.

    I see you too, Jon Snow. This isn’t quite as detailed and long as Ned going on about Robert in his youth, but it has shades of that interest.

    Tyrion Lannister: The ugliest Lannister, waddling, half Jaime’s height, stunted legs, head too large for his body, brute’s squashed-in face, swollen shelf of a brow, one green eye and one black eye, lank hair so blond it seemed white (ah, so that’s similar to Tommen). “All that the gods had given to Cersei and Jaime, they had denied Tyrion.” Jon is fascinated by him, but not in the same besotted way he’s fascinated by Jaime.

    Fuck, the narration is horrid to Tyrion.

    Benjen Stark! And Theon Greyjoy, but BENJEN!

    Jon feeds an entire honeyed chicken to Ghost, and I am both delighted and horrified. CHICKEN BONES ARE BAD FOR DOGS. But I suppose this is a rapidly-growing direwolf pup. None of the other direwolves are allowed at the feast but his end of the hall is filled with curs and so he gets his wolf too, another plus to not being allowed to sit with the family.

    As much as I love Catelyn, it is truly heartbreaking to see how Jon has to grasp for moments of happiness.

    Benjen comes down to visit with Jon, and I love this moment of familial bonding, both because Jon isn’t allowed to have familial bonding right now due to the presence of the royal family and because if Benjen and Jon are both read as queer (Benjen gay and Jon bisexual), it’s a nice touch in how queer people come together in situations sometimes, not acknowledging the way they are facing the world in similar ways but still supportive.

    Benjen Stark: Sharp-featured, gaunt as a mountain crag, always a hint of laughter in his blue-grey eyes, dressed in rich black velvet, high leather boots, and a wide belt with a silver buckle, a heavy silver chain looped around his neck.

    There is so much glorious fashion in the book, and so little made it into the show, particularly by the last few seasons.

    Jon notices things, like Ned being tense and unhappy, because “a bastard had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes.”

    Oh Jon. My heart is full. I like, too, the way we keep meeting these characters who are considered broken in some way or another, who struggle to find their place. Jon and Dany and Brienne and Podrick come to mind first, but I know Sansa and Arya will both do so as well, in different ways and at different times -- the younger characters are trying to find their way in the adults’ world, and many of them girls and young women in a man’s world, and all of it in a world that is coming apart at the seams after barely being held together for the last fifteen years.

    Benjen likes that Jon doesn’t miss much and thinks he would do well at the Wall. Jon is filled with pride at this and says that while Robb is better with the lance (ahem), Jon’s better with the sword (AHEM) and sits a horse as well as anyone in the castle. (Shades of Lyanna.)

    Uncle Benjen studied his face carefully. “The Wall is a hard place for a boy, Jon.”
    “I am almost a man grown,” Jon protested. “I will turn fifteen on my next name day, and Maester Luwin says bastards grow up faster than other children.”


    One of Jon’s heroes is Daeren Targaryen who was fourteen when he conquered Dorne, but as Ben points out, the Young Dragon’s conquest lasted merely one summer, and he lost 10,000 men taking it and another 50,000 trying to hold it. (As Robert says, taking it is easier than holding it, though in different ways.) Daeren Tagaryen also died at eighteen.

    Jon hasn’t forgotten that. “I forget nothing,” Jon boasted. Oh, Jon, maybe you should take another lesson from your hero. Nice foreshadowing for Jon dying too soon.

    Jon’s already been thinking about the Night’s Watch because he, as a bastard, has no place. Robb will inherit Winterfell and command great armies as Warden of the North. Bran and Rickon will be his bannermen and rule holdfasts in his name. (Which holdfasts? How will they get them as second and third sons? I need more information, GRRM.) Arya and Sansa will marry heirs of other great houses and go south to be mistresses of castles of their own.

    (I dearly hope Arya gets to make her own path and still have the love and family and companionship she wants.)

    “Until you have known a woman, you cannot understand what you would be giving up.”

    Really, Benjen? REALLY? Also, the vows only say have no families, take no wives, father no sons. That doesn’t mean you have to give up knowing women. Or men.

    Benjen tells Jon to father a few bastards of his own before he comes back to ask about joining the Night’s Watch again, and Jon is horrified at the very idea. He will never, ever father a bastard, he spits like venom.

    My heart breaks for him. He’s trying so hard to find his own way, he clings to bits of happiness, and here even his hope at becoming something more is forbidden to him as too young.

    Jon knocks into a serving girl as he flees so they won’t see him cry, people laugh at him, he’s drank more than he should, Ghost follows him out into the night, everything is heartbreaking.

    Tyrion is also sitting outside the otherwise dark and silent castle, “looking for all the world like a gargoyle.” I get it, GRRM, he’s ugly and this world hates him. Tyrion wants to see Ghost, tumbles off the wall with a nice little summersault into a handstand and a backward flip to standing.

    Tyrion knows he’s Ned Stark’s bastard, and Jon gets cold when he’s called a bastard, already hurt by what happened at the feast. Tyrion flat out states his own position in this world: 

    Dwarfs don’t have to be tactful. Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head.

    And that advice: 

    Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you. [...] All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes.

    The advice is iconic and it sounds good, but it is wrong wrong wrong, and Tyrion likely knows it even if he won’t admit it. There’s no armouring yourself enough to stop your weakness from being used against you, and Tywin’s coming failures will be but one example of that.

    All these characters the world tries to break in so many different ways.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads #growing jon snow appreciation society #lannisters are a mess of beautiful things
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Eddard I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Ned brings us to the ostentatious arrival of the King and far too much of his court. Ned describes Robert across paragraphs and paragraphs and everyone else gets a couple words at best. We return to the horror story setting with the Winterfell crypts, the Stark dead, and the lingering sense of their judgment on Ned. Robert demands Ned become his Hand, and Ned worries about leaving the north, where he belongs. Fair concern, that.

    Robert makes quite the entrance, I’ll admit:

    The visitors poured through the castle gates in a river of gold and silver and polished steel, three hundred strong, a pride of bannermen and knights, of sworn swords and freeriders. Over their heads a dozen golden banners whipped back and forth in the northern wind, emblazoned with the crowned stag of Baratheon.

    I like that this appears to be Baratheon gold on the surface but it is all backed by Lannister gold (actual gold and house colours), much as the princes and princess are Baratheon gold on the surface and Lannister gold in actuality.

    Roll call:

    Ser Jaime Lannister: Hair as bright as beaten gold. So glad that’s the first thing you find worthy of telling us, Ned. How beautiful his hair is.

    Sandor Clegane: Terrible burned face. We get it, you don’t want to fuck him, you want to fuck Jaime.

    Joffrey: Not even named, just called the crown prince, the tall boy.

    Tyrion Lannister: the Imp, the stunted little man. Thanks for that, Ned.

    Robert: Huge man, familiar roar, bone-crunching hug; during the Rebellion (15 years ago), he was 

    clean-shaven, clear-eyed, and muscled like a maiden’s fantasy. Six and a half feet tall, he towered over lesser men, and when he donned his armour and the great antlered helmet of his House, he became a veritable giant. He’d had a giant’s strength too, his weapon of choice a spiked iron warhammer that Ned could scarcely lift. In those days, the smell of leather and blood had clung to him like perfume.

    Robert now: Perfumed with actual perfume, girth to match his height. (Ned hasn’t seen him nine years during the Greyjoy rebellion. Robert has gained at least 8 stone since then.) Beard coarse and black as iron wire hid his double chin and sagging jowls. Big stomach. Dark circles under his eyes.

    Ned’s shallowness (and GRRM’s strange hatred of fat characters, particularly fat men) are not hidden at all.

    Cersei Lannister (not Baratheon despite her long marriage and, you know, that marriage being what makes her queen): Entered on foot with her younger children. Loving the lack of description of, you know, the highest woman in the realm after paragraphs about Robert. I see you, Ned Stark, and your ongoing love for Robert.

    Cersei, Myrcella, and Tommen make an even more ostentatious entrance than Robert, somehow. Their wheelhouse is a huge double-decked carriage of oiled oak and gilded metal pulled by forty heavy draft horses and is too wide to pass through the castle gate.

    Robert describes food the way Ned describes a younger him: 

    Highgarden has “fruits [...] so ripe they explode in your mouth -- melons, peaches, fireplums, you’ve never tasted such sweetness.” 

    And even Storm’s End has “markets bursting with food, the summerwines so cheap and so good that you can get drunk just breathing the air. Everyone is fat and drunk and rich.” (At least I think he’s talking about Storm’s End at that point; he might still be talking about Highgarden.)

    Robert Baratheon had always been a man of huge appetites, a man who knew how to take his pleasures. That was not a charge anyone could lay at the door of Eddard Stark.

    No really, Ned, I see you. Young Robert with his passion and his pleasures and his appetites, you loved him, but now it’s eating away at him. Besides the whole Ned wants to fuck Robert part, there’s some Be Careful What You Wish For going on here; Robert got access to everything he loved (but for Lyanna), women and food and fighting and hunting, and they are taking a toll on him.

    The first crypt description is a nice turn back to the horror of the prologue:

    Shadows moved and lurched. Flickering light touched the stones underfoot and brushed against a long procession of granite pillars that marched ahead, two by two, into the dark. Between the pillars, the dead sat on their stone thrones against the walls, backs against the sepulchres that contained their mortal remains. [...] Robert followed wordlessly, shivering in the subterranean chill. It was always cold down here. Their footsteps rang off the stones and echoed in the vault overhead as they walked among the dead of House Stark. The Lords of Winterfell watched them pass. Their likenesses were carved into the stones that sealed the tombs. In long rows they sat, blind eyes staring out into eternal darkness, while great stone direwolves curled round their feet. The shifting shadows made the stone figures seem to stir as the living passed by. By ancient custom an iron longsword had been laid across the lap of each who had been Lord of Winterfell, to keep the vengeful spirits in their crypts. The oldest had long ago rusted away to nothing, leaving on a few red stains where the metal had rested on stone. Ned wondered if that meant those ghosts were free to roam the castle now.

    I want these dead to rise but not as the Ser Waymar rose in the prologue, I want them to rise and take up arms to protect Winterfell, to protect the North, from the Others. The Starks carry magic in their blood, and the Kings in the North can continue to protect their kingdom.

    He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. [...] when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister’s eyes.

    That’s my heart broken. And nicely handled bit of double speak from Ned, giving Robert something, arguing against him about what Lyanna wanted, while still protecting the actual promise she begged him to make.

    “In my dreams, I kill him every night,” Robert admitted. “A thousand deaths will still be less than he deserves.”

    Robert proving, always, that Ned was right to make his promise to Lyanna and to uphold it for so long no matter the cost.

    I understand that Ned believes strongly in birthright (except for when it came to monstrous Aerys and the rest of the Targaryens, though I suppose I don’t know what he would have done had the Lannisters not had Elia and the children slaughtered), but Robert’s not actually wrong that a sickly child controlled by a mother (who at least appears to be) deep in grief should not be Warden of the East. It is a lot that he’s already Lord Arryn as it is, Lord of the Eyrie.

    “I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one. Laws are a tedious business and counting coppers is worse.”

    As if you’re doing much copper counting. Look at the sheer extravagance in your travel to Winterfell.

    And more of the Be Careful What You Wish for as well as a hint at what Viserys and Dany (and Young Griff, when we eventually reach that point) should worry about as they all try, at different times and in different ways, to take the Iron Throne (or cities and holds and institutions).

    The echoes rang through the darkness, and all around them the dead of Winterfell seemed to watch with cold and disapproving eyes.

    You should probably listen to them, Stark.

    “They say it grows so cold up here in winter that a man’s laughter freezes in his throat and chokes him to death,” Ned said evenly. “Perhaps that is why the Starks have so little humour.”

    That is a rather large lie from an honourable man, Ned. You Starks have plenty of humour (and maybe most in the North do), it is simply a dry wit, and I love it. Even Catelyn has it (though perhaps she picked it up from you, or maybe that’s a part of why you were able to fall so deeply in love, you are similar in important ways).

    For a moment Eddard Stark was filled with a terrible sense of foreboding. This was his place, here in the north. He looked at the stone figures all around them, breathed deep in the chill silence of the crypt. He could feel the eyes of the dead. They were all listening, he knew. And winter was coming.

    Such a horror story. And a tragedy because Ned’s foreboding is real, and he should believe in it, and he’s setting his family out for pain and death and heartache and monstrous changes because he does not.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads#starklings #ours is the fury ours is the fear ours is the ridiculous stag helm
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Daenerys I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Daenerys brings us to Pentos and introduces several important characters, including her abusive brother Viserys, her quite a bit older future husband Khal Drogo, and the Dothraki and Unsullied as a whole. She is skeptical of the stories they’re told by Illyrio but too afraid of her brother to question them; Viserys believes in them because they support his own desire for power and what he sees as his birthright. There’s a lot of Westeros as a realm from a song, from a story, set against what we’ve already seen of it from inside, and some interesting parallels between Targaryens and Lannisters (and not just the incest).

    Viserys demanding that Dany touch and caress something he’s giving her has some connotations in a world where Targaryens were incest-heavy. And Dany so certain at 13 that the world will give them nothing without demanding something in return is heartbreaking. This poor, sweet child.

    Viserys being “a gaunt young man with nervous hands and a feverish look in his pale lilac eyes” is a shade of Aerys as he descended into madness. Especially with his own acknowledgement of, love of, waking the dragon.

    “Khal Drogo has a thousand horses, tonight he looks for a different sort of mount.” 

    VISERYS THIS IS YOUR YOUNG SISTER COULD YOU PLEASE BE A BETTER BROTHER TO HER RATHER THAN SELLING HER FOR YOUR CROWN? Which is, of course, something that happens often and usually for something less important than a crown, but it is still infuriating.

    Dany could hear [...] the shouts of ragged children playing games beyond the walls of the estate. For a moment she wished she could be out there with them, barefoot and breathless and dressed in tatters, with no past and no future and no feast to attend at Khal Drogo’s manse.

    Sweet girl! As with many girls in Westeros and beyond, she’s had her childhood stolen from her, and her wish for peace and simplicity and joy is heartbreaking and understandable.

    The Westeros of stories and glorious songs!

    Somewhere beyond the sunset, across the narrow sea, lay a land of green hills and flowered plains and great rushing rivers, where towers of dark stone rose amidst magnificent blue-grey mountains, and armoured knights rode to battle beneath the banners of their lords. The Dothraki called that land Rhaesh Andahli, the land of the Andals. In the Free Cities, they talked of Westeros and the Sunset Kingdoms. Her brother had a simpler name. “Our land,” he called it. The words were like a prayer with him. If he said them enough, the gods were sure to hear. “Ours by blood right, taken from us by treachery, but ours still, ours forever. You do not steal from the dragon, oh, no. The dragon remembers.”

    Pretty sure it’s the North remembers, but sure thing, Viserys. Not only is this a description of a realm from the songs -- the knights and glorious battle and the beauty of everything (and this makes me want friendships between Dany, Brienne, Sansa, and Arya, and all the other girls we see grow up loving the songs but who have those things ripped from them) -- but Viserys tells, has been told, a story, that they lost the throne due to treachery and not taken by right of conquest just as Aegon the Conquerer once did.

    Interesting that one of the places Viserys tells her about is the Isle of Faces, which stands out against the riches and weight of places like Casterly Rock, Highgarden, and the Eyrie.

    More images from the songs!

    Yet sometimes Dany would picture the way it had been, so often had her brother told her the stories. The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship’s black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. [Interesting that Rhaegar is framed as loving Lyanna; it’s a better story if their brother sacrificed for love than anything else, I suppose, than a whim, than desire.] The sack of King’s Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper’s dogs, the lords Lannister and Stark. [Tywin only comes in at the last moment and yet he still gets to carry a lot of blame; though, of course, the Lannister army did do the bulk of the damage.] Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar’s heir was ripped from her breast and murdered before her eyes. The polished skulls of the last dragons staring down sightlessly from the walls of the throne room while the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword.

    Clearly I don’t come at this with a blank slate, I know the truth of Aerys, but I do wonder if I would have doubted this story anyway, at least in pieces, because we’ve already seen Viserys tells himself one thing while doing another (the way he treats Dany rings of this) and we’ve already seen the old stories saying one thing that is then dismissed (see Old Nan’s stories and my thoughts on them earlier). And there’s a lot of details from people who could not possibly have been there; Viserys himself, of course, was not there for, say, Elia and Jaime, but it’s likely that not even Ser Willem Darry or his four loyal men were there or they would not have been in a position to rescue Dany and Viserys.

    “We will have it all back someday, sweet sister,” he would promise her. “[...] The jewels and the silks, Dragonstone and King’s Landing, the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms, all they have taken from us, we will have it back.

    Looks like incest isn’t the only thing Jaime and Cersei have in common with the Targaryens. I don’t know if that echoes show-only language, but I think the feeling of it, at least, also exists in the books between them, at least before Jaime’s return minus one hand.

    There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves.

    This is horrifying and another good look at how the surface/the story told can be a lie even as it has a kernel of truth.

    She had always assumed that she would wed Viserys when she came of age. For centuries the Targaryens had married brother to sister, since Aegon the Conqueror had taken his sisters to bride. The line must be kept pure, Viserys had told her a thousand times; theirs was the kingsblood, the golden blood of old Valyria, the blood of the dragon. Dragons did not mate with the beasts of the field, and Targaryens did not mingle their blood with that of lesser men. Yet now Viserys schemed to sell her to a stranger, a barbarian.

    More shades of the Lannisters, the only ones to trust are other Lannisters, Tywin’s obsession with legacy, Cersei and Jaime being one and the same, no one matters but them, Cersei wants perfect Lannister children, and yet she will take other men (and at least one woman) into her bed to get what she needs/what she wants, much like Viserys is now selling off his sister despite what he’s always claimed. 

    Interesting that Viserys is considered abusive toward Dany but when Cersei treats Jaime in similar ways, it is not abusive at best and at worst it is love. Of course, Jaime and Dany are in very different places in their lives, with different types of power (or lack of power in Dany’s case), and Jaime has made plenty of decisions that enable his sister and hold her close, but at least some of what the Lannisters got up to started when they were quite young, younger even than Dany, much less Viserys. The talk of how if Jaime and Cersei were gender-swapped it would more clearly be recognised as abuse touches on this.

    “I suppose,” her brother said doubtfully. “The savages have queer tastes. Boys, horses, sheep…”

    Up until recently, you were going to take her to wife yourself, Viserys. And again the echoes of Targaryen and Lannisters being similar (Jaime to Brienne in that he hasn’t yet realised he’s intrigued by her, that he’s going to want her; Viserys here may not want Khal Drogo but he wants the power (he assumes) Drogo brings him, knowing boys, knowing horses).

    More stories, and stories as power because of what they make people believe.

    “Ten thousand, that would be enough, I could sweep the Seven Kingdoms with ten thousand Dothraki screamers. The realm will rise for its rightful king. Tyrell, Redwyne, Darry, Greyjoy, they have no more love for the Usurper than I do. The DOrnishmen burn to avenge Elia and her children. And the smallfolk will be with us. They cry out for their king.” He looked at Illyrio anxiously. “They do, don’t they?”
    “They are your people, and they love you well,” Magister Illyrio said amiably. “In holdfasts all across the realm, men lift secret toasts to your health while women sew dragon banners and hide them against the day of your return from across the water.” He gave a massive shrug. “Or so my agents tell me.”

    Illyrio tells stories and undermine them back at the same time, already shifting the blame to his agents when these stories prove false. Even Viserys himself struggles to always believe the story, the destiny, he’s told himself so many times.

    Dany is skeptical, smart girl. I wonder how this impacts her later drive to take the throne herself. She’s wanted her home (the red door, the lemon tree), she’s wanted to play like the children with no importance and no responsibilities, she doesn’t believe Illyrio’s stories, but how long does she carry that with her? Does the weight of birthright rip that away? 

    Or perhaps I mean, how badly did the show fail her story?

    Already we’re introduced to both the Dothraki and the Unsullied, some of the people who will be most important to her story long after her brother is dead.


    No description, but Viserys has to borrow a sword even as he swears to kill Robert and Jaime, though he’s not been blooded yet.

    Daenerys looked at them all in wonder … and realised, with a sudden start of fear, that she was the only woman there.

    Common experience, that, and makes Dany even more sympathetic. Dany and Brienne and Catelyn, all moving in a man’s world mostly devoid of any other woman.

    Ser Jorah fled Westeros because of “some trifling affront”; you know, selling people into slavery. For a magistrate of a free city, Illyrio certainly doesn’t walk the walk to go with his presentation. Another way the stories people tell contain both lies and truth and cannot be trusted but also cannot be ignored.

    Despite being banished, Jorah still wears his house colours and heraldry. I find that sad in both a slightly pathetic and also aching way.

    Dany begging for Viserys not to sell her to Khal Drogo who frightens her even more than the brother who has actually hurt her is heartbreaking, especially when Viserys immediately turns his fury on her. 

    Infuriating, too, the racism written into this. A white woman fearing a man of colour, particularly one the text goes out of its way to present as save, will always carry the weight of this, and GRRM does nothing to overcome that baseline.

    “We go home with an army, sweet sister. With Khal Drogo’s army, that is how we go home. And if you must wed him and bed him for that, you will.” He smiled at her. “I’d let his whole khalasar fuck you if need be, sweet sister, all forty thousand men, and their horses too if that was what it took to get my army.”

    I hate Viserys. However, men selling their daughters and sisters in order to get what they want is common in ASOIAF and usually treated as the right thing to do. Viserys is, perhaps, more vicious and angry than many of them, or some of them at least, but he is not all that worse than some of the others we’ve seen. Even Cersei, with all the power of a beautiful daughter of a rich great house and then as queen, is sold to an abusive man and has no real recourse for it. And don’t get me started on SELWYN FUCKING TARTH allowing a grown man to verbally abuse his twelve-year-old daughter and then would have allowed an old man to verbally and physically abuse his, what, sixteen-year-old daughter. Even honourable Ned Stark sells Sansa to the Baratheons (Lannisters) even if it is because he doesn’t feel he can stand up to the king, no matter how much he and Robert are old friends.

    Even beautiful Dany is judged as physically imperfect, as not woman enough to bring her brother his army by winning Khal Drogo; she’s too skinny, her breasts are too small (“Gods know, you have little enough as is”); Cersei’s beauty and femininity does not protect her from an abusive husband; Brienne’s gender-nonconforming body brings her just as much danger. There is no way to win at being a woman, not in ASOIAF and not in reality, either.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads #dragons  burn and burnt #lannisters are a mess of beautiful things #brienne of tarth makes my heart sing
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Catelyn I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: Catelyn brings us into Winterfell and the strangeness of the north and northerners set against her experience growing up in the south. It’s very stranger in a strange land. There’s a beautiful horror to her descriptions of the godswood, and the weirwood, and the old gods, nameless and faceless. She brings Ned news of Jon Arryn’s death and Robert’s travel to Winterfell with far too many people. For a southerner still unsure of the northern ways, Catelyn worries of inhuman things north of the Wall and signs of danger with the direwolf dead from the antler in her throat.


    Her description of Winterfell is chilling and breathtaking. 

    The gods of Winterfell kept a different sort of wood. It was a dark, primal place, three acres of old forest untouched for ten thousand years as the gloomy castle rose around it. It smelled of moist earth and decay. No redwoods grew here. This was a wood of stubborn sentinel trees armoured in grey-green needles, of mighty oaks, of ironwoods as old as the realm itself. Here thick black trunks crowded close together while twisted branches wove a dense canopy overhead and misshapen roots wrestled beneath the soil. This was a place of deep silence and brooding shadows, and the gods who lived here had no names.

    And a bit later: 

    Her gods had names, and their faces were as familiar as the faces of her parents.

    And later still: 

    [...] the blood of the First Men still flowed in the veins of the Starks, and his own gods were the old ones, the nameless, faceless gods of the greenwood they shared with the vanished children of the forest.

    Interesting that the gods are faceless when the weirwoods, the heart trees, have faces carved into them.

    Catelyn still an outsider in the North despite living there for so long and birthing Stark babes -- she is still part fish but she’s also part wolf and I know we later see the depth of that when she’s trying to save her daughters and keep Robb from leading them into disaster, but the North can be unwelcoming to outsiders, and for Catelyn, the Lady of Winterfell, to still feel unwelcome at times, uncomfortable in her own home, it is particularly painful to read.

    Ned building Catelyn a sept and Catelyn going deep into the grove because she knows that’s where Ned will be carry the same sort of feeling for me: they are different, their backgrounds, their beliefs, and yet they’ve grown to love each other so much.

    “[...] but Rickon is not quite sure.”
    “Is he afraid?” Ned asked.
    “A little,” she admitted. “He is only three.”
    Ned frowned. “He must learn to face his fears. He will not be three forever. And winter is coming.”

    NED. Did you not just tell Bran that the only way to be brave is to also know fear? Also: HE’S THREE. Grown men were terrified enough to immediately want to slaughter an already dead direwolf bitch. 

    Catelyn still finds the northerners a strange people, and I love that. They are, and the North remains a horror story.

    The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words. Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honour and glory [no, those are horses], promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. All but the Starks. Winter is coming, said the Stark words.

    The strangeness of the Starks, their ties to the old ways, the old gods, the greenseers and wargs, the inhuman monsters of the North -- I love how they are set apart and how even as Catelyn (and the southerners from earlier) does not fit well into the North (and for those earlier men, did not survive the North), it can be inferred that northerners won’t do so well in the South.


    She could see the rippling deep within the steel, where the metal had been folded back on itself a hundred times in the forging. Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty. It had been forged in Valyria, before the Doom had come to the old Freehold, when the ironsmiths had worked their metal with spells as well as hammers. Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged. The name it bore was older still, a legacy from the age of heroes, when the Starks were Kings in the North.

    Was Ice named for a different sword, then? Or from the war against the ice (against the Others and the Long Night) tied to the Age of Heroes?

    Also, anyone who makes fun of Brienne and her magic sword can shut their bloody mouths. Oathkeeper is a damn magic sword even before it is Oathkeeper.

    Ned talks of needing to call his banners and deal with Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. Catelyn worries about him going north of the Wall because she believes there are darker things than Wildlings there, which is interesting because she doesn’t believe in the old gods, but she does believe in the old stories, and Ned does not believe, or at least show his belief, in the old stories.

    The Others and the children of the forest are gone eight thousand years, and Maester Luwin says they were only ever stories.

    “[...] No living man has ever seen one.”
    “Until this morning, no living man had ever seen a direwolf either,” Catelyn reminded him.

    It is a shame that Catelyn hates Jon so because I think they’re somewhat similar, at least when it comes to some of that dry delivery and their observations. She could have been a fantastic mother-figure for him.

    Ned’s glad for news of Robert’s visit, but again Catelyn, who believes in the Seven, is seeing the same sort of signs as the northerners (the direwolf dead with an antler in its throat, stags and wolves at each other).

    A HUNDRED KNIGHTS AT LEAST AND HALF AGAIN AS MANY FREERIDERS. Really, Robert? REALLY? Have you heard of overkill? (No, no he has not.)

    Ned, for all his honour, calls the queen of the seven kingdoms “the Lannister woman” and talks of Tommen sucking at her teat the last time he saw them. Not exactly an honourable way to discuss your queen.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads#starklings #i love catelyn tully stark
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Bran I

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    Summary: The North north of the Wall might have brought us cold, inhuman death and the old tales coming true, but the North south of the Wall brings lessons on honour, fear and bravery, and old tales dismissed. Bran watches his first beheading, they find a dead direwolf with living pups, Jon is dryly funny when speaking to and about Theon, and winter is still coming.

    Young Bran is an interesting point of view to introduce us to the ways of the North, an entire group of them off to watch a beheading, including Bran himself, a boy of seven.

    The morning is clear and cold, hinting toward the end of summer, and Bran has known nothing but summer; it has lasted nine years, and he is only seven. He’s so very young. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep their ages in mind, at least for the Starklings and Jon Snow. Part of that is the show’s influence, sure, but also, they deal with terrible things in ways that make them seem older.

    “He had taken off Father’s face, Bran thought, and donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell.” 

    That’s quite a description considering (a) he’s going to lose his head soon but even more important (b) Arya, the one child who looks like him, will be off to train with the Faceless Men.

    The North is a horror story in the middle of a political fantasy.


    Ice is “as wide across as a man’s hand, and taller even than Robb. The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke.” 

    Seriously, Ned, why the overkill? And I love how Bran compares the height to Robb, his beloved big brother.

    Bran’s bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer. “Keep the pony well in hand,” he whispered. “And don’t look away. Father will know if you do.”
    Bran kept his pony well in hand, and did not look away.

    Hi, Jon Snow!

    That set against Jaime telling Tommen to look without seeing, etc. The Starks have known horrors, including during Robert’s Rebellion, but did not see the horrors Jaime did under the Mad King, despite one Stark being burned alive and the other strangled trying to save him.

    People make fun of Daenery’s titles, but this is a mouthful itself: Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

    Robb and Jon and their differences, physical and personality, and their friendship and the tension lurking between them.

    “Robb says the man died bravely, but Jon says he was afraid.”
    “What do you think?” his father asked.
    Bran thought about it. “can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?”
    “That is the only time a man can be brave.”

    Beautiful look at a part of what it means to be human.

    Looking forward to this playing out, particularly with Sam Tarly.

    Another touch on honour more important than life: He is an oathbreaker, a deserter, a man who must die; a man like that is the most dangerous because he knows his life is forfeit if taken, he will not flinch from any crime, no matter how vile.

    If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

    Interesting that Ned does not, or maybe cannot, differentiate between being the one physically capable of swinging the sword and the one who looks into his eyes and hears his final words. The two do not have to go together, but Ned is unyielding in what he feels is his honour -- the same as in King’s Landing, the same that gets him killed. He can be too literal and too caught in the one path he decides is the only way to go, though his honour could allow for other things or a slight bending of the honour could protect people better. 

    Obviously, if a Northern ruler can’t literally swing the sword themself, they can use someone or something else to carry out the sentence, the important part is the watching, the listening, the taking responsibility. I hate the show’s storyline for Sansa and Bolton, but her taking his last words, passing the sentence, using his dogs as the weapon to kill him, that can be read as doing just this, Ned’s rule for the honour of the North. 

    What keep will Bran hold? How does one get a keep when one is a second son?

    I love how Jon is calm when Jory and Theon are wary and immediately want to fight a (dead) direwolf.

    I feel the need to track direwolf size through the series, though I will probably fail to do this as we continue: Dead bitch is bigger than Bran’s pony, twice the size of the largest hound in his father’s kennel.

    Uh, if she is twice the size of a hound and yet bigger than Bran’s pony, how big are the rest of Stark’s hounds?

    Theon Greyjoy said, “There’s not been a direwolf sighted south of the Wall in two hundred years.”
    “I see one now,” Jon replied.

    Jon with the dry humour! I hope we see a lot more of this.

    Two hundred years since the last direwolf was sighted south of the Wall, or so we’re told by Theon. The old stories are undermined in this chapter (Old Nan’s tales of Others and Wildlings and Ned’s dismissal of them; Jory calling the direwolf a sign and Ned dismissing it) and yet supported at the same time, with a direwolf actually south of the Wall again and winter coming.

    Jon the bastard standing up to his father and Theon and all the men who want the pups dead, at least in part because Bran is heartbroken over the idea of them dying. Jon protecting his siblings like this, foreshadowing how he will protect them in the future. Jon clearly setting himself aside because it is what he thinks is best for his siblings in this moment.

    “The pups may die anyway, despite all you do.”
    “They won’t die,” Robb said. “We won’t let them die.”

    Oh Robb. The arrogance of youth here again, which we’ve already seen go badly with Ser Waymar and will very soon with Bran and his climbing against the rules, and knowing what is coming for Robb and for Grey Wind, this is heartbreaking.

    “An albino,” Theon Greyjoy said with wry amusement. “This one will die even faster than the others.”
    Jon Snow gave his father’s ward a long, chilling look. “I think not, Greyjoy,” he said. “This one belongs to me.”

    Jon and his determination and his stubbornness, how I love him.

    Even in his narration here, Bran calls Jon “Jon Snow” like he calls THeon “Theon Greyjoy” at least some of the time, but even at the end, long after Jon has been introduced as his bastard brother, he calls him “Jon Snow” while he never calls Robb “Robb Stark” even as he calls his father Lord Stark and Lord Eddard Stark at least once each. Interesting separation even from someone who does consider Jon his brother and does love him.

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #starklings #growing jon snow appreciation society #ellie reads
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    AGOT Prologue

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    I write summaries for the book club, and in revisiting them, I realised how much longer they get as I continue reading. Even knowing some of what happens from the show, and knowing how frustrated people are with the long delay in the next book, I am wrapped up in this story from the beginning.

    Summary: Will and Ser Waymar Royce of the Night Watch’s, how little we knew you. Horror story opening that presents two big threats of Westeros: the cold itself (Winter is Coming) and the Others, who seem, in some ways, to be cold made flesh. Ser Waymar’s youth and arrogance and lordling nature brings about his death, and Will’s. Gared survives, but not for long. We see early on that the night is dark and full of terrors.

    Far closer to a horror story than anything else, in a wonderful way. 

    Ser Waymar Royce is a fashion plate, and I am again saddened that the show didn’t give us fancier, more fun fashion.

    “It was the cold,” Gared said with iron certainty. “I saw men freeze last winter, and the one before, when I was half a boy. Everyone talks about snows forty foot deep, and how the ice wind comes howling out of the north, but the real enemy is the cold. It steals up on you quieter than Will, and at first you shiver and your teeth chatter and you stamp your feet and dream of mulled wine and nice hot fires. It burns, it does. Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after awhile you don’t have the strength to fight it. It’s easier to just sit down or go to sleep. They say you don’t feel any pain toward the end. First you go weak and drowsy, and everything starts to fade, and then it’s like sinking into a sea of warm milk. Peaceful, like.

    Gared’s description of the threat of cold is glorious.

    Just like ice versus fire is set up this early, so too is the question of honour and being honour-bound to follow orders even when they’re afraid, even when it’s dangerous, even when it will lead to your death. As is the idea that fear will unman you and, of course, being a man is the most important thing to strive for (if you are a man, not for, say, Brienne), which I think will set against Sam and his fear and his bravery.


    Royce: Longsword, jewels glitter in its hilt, shining steel, castle-forged, new, and likely never swung in anger.

    Gared: Short, ugly thing, grip discoloured by sweat, edge nicked from hard use. If Gared draws it, Royce is likely to die, Will thinks.

    The juxtaposition of the swords is great! Ineffectual beauty versus competent ugliness.

    And the incomparable sword of the Other: Longsword, like nothing Will had ever seen, no human metal used in the forging of the blade, alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on, faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, (shades of Jaime’s weirwood dream and Oathkeeper?) sharper than any razor.

    A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. [...] Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk [the warm milk the cold will make you drown in, metaphorically?]. Its armour seemed to change colour as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.

    The Others are far more frightening than the mindless dead. Danger in cold things, danger in beautiful things.

    Ser Waymar faces off with the Other, brings it in to dance, and in that, facing danger, facing fear, he is no longer a boy, he is a man, and not just a man, but a man of the Night’s Watch, which makes me think at least to some of them, being a man of the Night’s Watch is something to be proud of, no matter what we see of the makeup of Brothers later from Jon’s POV.

    Blue the colour of death, of ice, of Others: its eyes were “blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice.” (Brienne has astonishing blue eyes, are they also tending toward inhuman? Will Brienne with her fiery blue sword and her astonishing blue eyes be set against the Others in important ways? Gods forbid, will she become an Other somehow? GRRM, this will be my villain origin story and you my nemesis.)

    The sound of the battle not the ring of steel on steel but an animal scream. And eventually, the steel shatters, shards “scattering like a rain of needles.” And later, “the end splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning.”

    Love this description of the swords.

    The Other speaks in a language Will doesn’t know, mocks Ser Waymar, speaks in a voice “like the cracking of ice on a winter lake.”

    Ser Waymar rising from the dead, eyes that same inhuman blue, his face ruined. A shard of sword in his left eye. Isn’t there folklore of shards in eyes needing to be removed to see the truth or return to self or similar?

    #late to the party asoiaf #a game of thrones #ellie reads #to the north beyond the wall
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  • captainelliecomb
    23.05.2022 - 2 days ago

    Late to the Party: ASOIAF

    I’ve been reading ASOIAF with a brilliant book club, but I want to keep a copy of my notes here, too, so I can reference them easily. 

    A Game of Thrones

    Prologue | Bran I | Catelyn I | Daenerys I | Eddard I | Jon I | Catelyn II | Arya I | Bran II | Tyrion I |

    #late to the party asoiaf #ellie reads #a game of thrones
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