I'm sure you have many fascinating stories. Sworn to Renly Baratheon, sworn to Catelyn Stark, and now my brother. Must be exciting to flit from one camp to the next, serving whichever lord or lady you fancy.
- I don’t serve your brother, Your Grace.

So this isn't really a meta question, just something that's confusing me. Does Harrold Hardyng know who Sansa is? Everyone is assuming that Robert will die, Harrold is even called "Harry the Heir", so if he thinks Sansa is Alayne Stone, the bastard daughter of Littlefinger, wouldn't he want someone more noble? Since he's possibly the heir of the Vale? If Littlefinger wasn't good enough for the Tully's, why would his bastard daughter be for the Arryn's?


Nope, Harry has no idea! Anya Waynwood, his guardian, accepted Littlefinger’s betrothal suit for his “daughter” Alayne, because he basically legally blackmailed her into it:

"Be that as it may. This is only a betrothal. The marriage must needs wait until Cersei is done and Sansa’s safely widowed. And you must meet the boy and win his approval. Lady Waynwood will not make him marry against his will, she was quite firm on that.”

“Lady Waynwood?” Alayne could hardly believe it. “Why would she marry one of her sons to … to a …”

“… bastard? For a start, you are the Lord Protector’s bastard, never forget. The Waynwoods are very old and very proud, but not as rich as one might think, as I discovered when I began buying up their debt. Not that Lady Anya would ever sell a son for gold. A ward, however … young Harry’s only a cousin, and the dower that I offered her ladyship was even larger than the one that Lyonel Corbray just collected. It had to be, for her to risk Bronze Yohn’s wroth. This will put all his plans awry. You are promised to Harrold Hardyng, sweetling, provided you can win his boyish heart … which should not be hard, for you.”

Littlefinger bought up the Waynwoods’ debt, which means they owe him a ton of money. So when he offered Alayne and a dowry that was beyond Corbray’s “staggering” one for marrying a commoner — I can only imagine it must be hundreds of thousands of gold — Lady Waynwood basically had no choice but to accept.

And even then, Harry still has to agree. So Sansa would have to seduce him as Alayne Stone (ok maybe not seduce, “win his heart”, but uh, c’mon now). Only at the wedding would she reveal who she really is. Now, it’s possible she might try to win Harry via hinting something of the truth, but I think Sansa’s more careful than that — especially because any news of her being Sansa could get her (a) arrested, or (b) used as a gamepiece by somebody else.

TBH, while Littlefinger’s plans all sound very grand, his asides about Bronze Yohn Royce (who probably wanted Harry for one of his daughters or some other suitable noble lady) give me pause. I really, really, don’t think this is going to run on rails, not in the least. (Plus Yohn possibly even recognized Sansa, but didn’t let on, so, y’know.) And then there’s the whole “safely widowed” thing, and Tyrion is steadfastly refusing to die… and while there’s a potential non-consummation annulment, that would require Sansa to reveal herself (and Cersei’s also refusing to be “done”, and I’d bet Littlefinger has no clue whatsoever about Robert Strong), so again, not exactly the most safe and secure plan there.

Man, I really hope we get a TWOW preview chapter for Sansa… there’s so many unanswered questions in her storyline. But GRRM decided not to include her chapter in ADWD because it started a whole new plot, so lord knows if he’d be willing to tease it by including it in the US paperback.


It made him feel like he was lord of the castle, in a way even Robb would never know… It taught him Winterfell’s secrets too.

-Bran, AGoT

Most of all, he liked going places that no one else could go, and seeing the grey sprawl of Winterfell in a way that no one else ever saw it. It made the whole castle Bran’s secret place.

-Bran, AGoT

he trotted forward smiling and set Bran in the high seat of the Starks, where the Lords of Winterfell had sat since the days when they called themselves the Kings in the North. The seat was cold stone, polished smooth by countless bottoms; the carved heads of direwolves snarled on the ends of its massive arms. Bran clasped them as he sat, his useless legs dangling.

-Bran, AGoT

He [Robb] spoke the words so awkwardly that even Bran took note; it was a speech he had learned, not words from the heart

-Bran, AGoT

The maester had taught him all the banners: the mailed fist of the Glovers, silver on scarlet; Lady Mormont’s black bear; the hideous flayed man that went before Roose Bolton of the Dreadfort; a bull moose for the Hornwoods; a battle-axe for the Cerwyns; three sentinel trees for the Tallharts; and the fearsome sigil of House Umber, a roaring giant in shattered chains.

 And soon enough he learned the faces too, when the lords and their sons and knights retainer came to Winterfell to feast. Even the Great Hall was not large enough to seat all of them at once, so Robb hosted each of the principal bannermen in turn. Bran was always given the place of honor at his brother’s right hand.

-Bran, AGoT

it was left to Bran to fill his place at the head of the table, and act the host to Lord Karstark’s sons and honored friends.

-Bran, AGoT

"You are the lord in Winterfell now," Robb told him […] "You must take my place, as I took Father’s, until we come home."

-Bran, AGoT

Listen, and it may be that you will learn something of what lordship is all about,’ Maester Luwin had said.

-Bran, ACoK

There is no shame in that. A lord must protect his smallfolk. Cruel places breed cruel peoples, Bran, remember that…’ 
-Maester Luwin to Bran


A good lord protects his people, he reminded himself. ‘I’ve yielded Winterfell to Theon.’

-Bran, ACoK

I did welcome them, he told himself, resentful. I was the lord in Winterfell, a true lord, he can’t say I wasn’t. When the Walders had arrived from the Twins, it had been Rickon who wanted them gone. A baby of four, he had screamed that he wanted Mother and Father and Robb, not these strangers. It had been up to Bran to soothe him and bid the Freys welcome. He had offered them meat and mead and a seat by the fire, and even Maester Luwin had said afterward that he’d done well.

-Bran, ACoK

It made Bran feel queer when they called him prince, though he was Robb’s heir, and Robb was King in the North now

-Bran, ACoK

Bran had welcomed them to Winterfell from his father’s 
high stone seat with the direwolves carved into the arms, and afterward Ser Rodrik had said he’d done well.

-Bran, ACoK

 Men crowded shoulder to shoulder on the benches. “Stark!” they called as Bran trotted past, rising to their feet. “Winterfell! Winterfell!”

-Bran, ACoK

“You did well, Bran,” Ser Rodrik told him. “Lord Eddard would have been most proud.” Down the table, Maester Luwin nodded his agreement as the servers began to carry in the food.

-Bran, ACoK

“You have done well, Bran. Here, and at the audiences. You will be an especial fine lord one day, I think.”

-Bran, ACoK

you are your brother’s heir and the Stark in Winterfell

-Ser Rodrik to Bran, ACoK

one day you will be a good lord for Winterfell…

-Maester Luwin to Bran, ACoK  

And finally, from the author himself, the importance of Bran’s name:

“You know, the Starks have [the name] Brandon. We have Bran, who is the kid, Brandon, Eddard’s brother. There are other Brandons, if you look back in the Stark family tree. [Including Brandon the Builder.] And many Brandons in between. Like the English with Edwards or Williams. Even if they’re not named Edward or Henry, they seem to feel the need to adopt that name and become King.”

-George RR Martin [x]



Trigger warning: rape


You know, I’m a Sansa/Sandor shipper, though I acknowledge how hugely problematic it is and how it’ll probably never happen, not romantically at least.  


But Sansa/Petyr really bothers me. It really really really does. (Note: I am excluding the ship variation where she’s just doing it to learn from him and then kill him, though to be honest I’m bothered by that too because I hate the idea of Sansa becoming like Littlefinger in any way, or like Cersei, all bitter and broken and using her body because it’s the only way she can control the men with actual power.) As for why it bothers me, I can point to the whole Alayne as Petyr’s daughter thing, because “come give your father a kiss” is really really fucking creepy.  And I can point to his whole obsession with Catelyn, and using Sansa as a substitute for her, and why that’s also so creepy and sad.

Well, it’s creepy because Littlefinger’s behavior towards Sansa is textbook behavior for perpetrators of sexual violence.  I’m just going to quote straight from David Lisak here:

"-perpetrators are extremely adept at identifying “likely" vicitms and testing victims’ boundaries;

-they plan and premeditate their attacks, using sophisticated strategies to groom their victims for attack, and to isolate them physically;

-they use “instrumental” not gratuitous violence; they exhibit strong impulse control and use only as much violence as is needed to terrify and coerce their victims into submission;

-they use physchological weapons - power, control, manipulation and threats - backed up by physical force, and almost never resort to weapons such as knives or guns;”

(from Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence (pdf))

This describes A LOT of Littlefinger’s behavior towards Sansa, particularly the way he pushes her boundaries, backs off a little, and then pushes them some more.  I mean, the first time he kisses her, she pushes him away and objects.  By the second time she’s not happy about it, but puts up with it (she has to; she’s even more reliant on him post Lysa’s death).  And he just keeps manipulating her into not resisting more and more of his advances.

And you know, I’ve seen the occasional fic where Littlefinger is just sooo broken up over the Red Wedding, and how he never meant for Cat to die, and how he reaches out to Sansa because he’s so broken-hearted and shit, and futurefic where he’s managed to get the Iron Throne and yet he’s so empty because Cat is dead, and I almost, almost got into his head there…

See this is one of the (many) things that thoroughly skeeves me about Littlefinger.  Despite the fact that he’s constantly professing his love for Cat, we never actually see him mourn her AT ALL.  Or even express any kind of grief at her passing, really.  And in my view, this is because he doesn’t care about HER so much as what she represents; he’s kind of like Robert and his fixation on Lyanna in that he’s more in love with the idea of Cat than in her actual person.  And it’s completely wrapped up in his social status too; one of the reasons he’s so obsessed with her over the years is that she represents this thing he couldn’t obtain because of his low birth.

And I think the reason we don’t really see him expressing any grief over Cat’s passing, is because hey, he’s got Sansa, who represents all the same things Cat does, and who he can pretend is both the daughter he might have had with Cat and her replacement as a love interest (since she’s basically a younger hotter version of her mom, and is around the same age Cat was when he was infatuated with her as a kid).

But then ADWD went and put the lie to that, because in Cersei’s POV chapters we learn that when Littlefinger went to Tywin with the word of the Tyrell plot to marry Sansa off to Willas (which he’d learned from Dontos, and is yet another reason I hate Littlefinger’s manipulations, because Sansa thought Dontos was her friend and he was just a spy) — he offered to marry her himself.  This was before the Red Wedding.  Cat was still alive, widowed, and yet Petyr wanted Sansa even then.  So much for the “he’s just guilty because Cat died” thing.  So much for any sympathy I could have had at all.

Exactly.  For goodness’ sake if he was really interested in Sansa’s well-being, interested in heras a person, he would have let her go off to Highgarden.  Instead her rats her out, which I’m sure he knew would place her in a position where she would be forced to marry Tyrion (and which he would have every reason to assume would involve consummating said marriage).  What’s important is that it keeps her in King’s Landing.  It honestly didn’t matter to him what happens to her, as long as he gets her in the end.

(note: as usual, I don’t judge the shippers themselves […] please ship whatever you want, ignore my opinion, like I have room to talk anyway.)

Ditto.  I just kind of assume when people say they ship something it just means “I find the dynamic of this relationship interesting.”  I may personally dislike certain ships, but I won’t judge the individual people who ship them unless they give me reason to (i.e. misogyny, rape apologism, etc), but that holds for ANY ship, including ones I like/dislike/am ambivalent about.


I mean, ok, not only did Littlefinger convince Lysa to kill Jon and write the letter to Cat blaming the Lannisters for his murder; not only did he lie to Cat about the provenance of Bran’s assassin’s dagger, blaming Tyrion — and both these lies are basically the cause of the war and the reason why Sansa was trapped in King’s Landing in the first place;

But Dontos was in his pocket. Dontos, whose word of escape kept Sansa from looking for other offers. (Not that Sandor’s not-exactly-offer was especially better mind you, but still.) And Dontos, you know that post the other day on A-U that said he was not a reliable source re the Tyrells? He compares them to Lannisters to Sansa specifically because Littlefinger didn’t want her to trust them. Dontos also told Littlefinger of the Tyrell plan to marry Sansa to Willas, and Littlefinger told Tywin, and thus the marriage to Tyrion was arranged, trapping her further.

And sure, Littlefinger engineered Sansa’s escape. But if you look at what Olenna was saying at the Purple Wedding, she is clearly hinting to Sansa that she can get her out of King’s Landing and away from Tyrion too. Littlefinger was not Sansa’s only option. (Although I’m not sure exactly how Olenna expected to get Sansa out considering she’d probably be arrested same as Tyrion was — perhaps spirit her out of a cell or something? Either way I’m certain the Tyrells did not know of Dontos or the secret passage out.)

And then Littlefinger repays Dontos’s service with murder, and tells Sansa he only pretended to be her friend for money — further teaching her that she can’t trust anyone and has “no friend but Petyr”. All he’s done is move her from his indirect influence to his direct control,isolate her and groom her and push her boundaries again and again.

So, no, Mr. Baelish. You can sit down.

You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong.

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there were once brothers and sister
growing up together, loving each other
but they left us with only ghosts and memories

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Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?

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Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?

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