Thorin in the dining room at Bag-End
books-a-to-z answered: Thorin/Frerin getting ready for the battle of azanulbizar, like putting on each other’s armor, comforting, etc.
HOW MANY QUEEN/KNIGHT TAKEAPARTS ARE THERE IN THAT BOOK, THOUGH.
Obviously this is a thing in a book almost overwhelmingly about Cersei and Jaime, who, being the most structurally focal ship in the series, are ALL ABOUT THIS in the same way the series is All About taking medieval tropes apart; obviously in a book most fundamentally about Cersei, about the queen hemmed in by court infrastructure, we are given a myriad of court foils, both foil-queens and foil-knights (both because of queenship and ladyship and because Cersei is narratively indissociable from Jaime, bitter-broken knight-paragon to her angry unwilling queen-icon). This, specifically AFFC, is a book about what it is to be a woman in power in Westeros, which generally means a queen, which means femininity, which means limitations, which means a knight offering his hand to go where she cannot, which means knights in devotional postures, which means it’s never that easy because God knows in this series no woman can ever rest easy simply relying on some dude (it’s like “trusting people in general”, which in Westeros you SHOULD NOT DO, only worse!), which means this is a book about love and anxiety and fury and power and queens and knights and every image breaking apart and patterns, goddamn.
- Cersei & Jaime, like I said: the iconic queen and iconic knight and iconic devotional destructive love of the series, which, this being this series, means both the iconography is important in terms of their self-determined identities and that they’re not what they should be—especially in this book, where she’s drunk and disempowered and paranoid, he’s lost a hand, and they’re on the outs (not not in love, fuck knows, but battering at each other as a means of battering at the fractures in both of them—oh, wouldn’t it be ever so much easier a read if they weren’t in love?). “I am a knight and Cersei is a queen”, right? The Guinevere and Lancelot Westeros deserves; the long-game romantic tragedy of the kingdom. This is a book about how their romance becomes tragic, and we see that ripple outward with the rest of the women here.
- Arianne & Arys Oakheart. Queenmaker and white knight; gameplayer and, well, “idiot” wouldn’t be amiss. She seduces him as a means to replace his sullied chivalric ideals with the ideal of her and her political plans; she wants a sword so she takes on him. She is conscious of the tableau in a way that lets her manipulate it; he is conscious of it, of the iconography of honor and chivalry, in a way that blinds him. (And he throws himself on a blade in the end, for honor! And she gets locked in a tower in a chapter called “The Princess In The Tower”!) (Cersei, too, ends the book locked in a tower; both of them lose their sword-hand men and fight their way out sideways with the intellectual upper hand intact.)
- Brienne & Hyle, which is great because Brienne a) is not queen but knight b) BUT is profoundly feminine in her thoughts—genuinely wants romantic love, thinks she has to abjure it because she’ll never be feminine in body. So this is a guy who shows up and offers himself to her as a man to a woman but does that because he has unlikely respect for her as a knight and in spite of his instincts ends up wanting to redeem himself for being ~ungentlemanly. He is her knight because she’s her own knight; he is a weaker fighter than she is and has no claim to assert power through the tenets of masculinity because she’s better at all of those—he is solely “manly” in that he is into her as a woman.
- Asha Greyjoy, who has no use whatsoever for the dude who wants to pledge himself to her specifically because she’s a woman who has a claim on political power with ambitions to further it (like Cersei, like Arianne), who has consolidated her power through physical prowess (like Brienne) who has done so specifically in the one sector of Westerosi politics that lets her do that, who was taught fightin’ and piratin’ from her father the king, who loses nothing from taking on masculine attire and trappings and appetites because she can. Who is weakened specifically when her uncle marries her off—because that’s an enforced feminine role that she would not otherwise have been made to enact.
- Sansa & Littlefinger, wherein Sansa is disempowered princess who gains power from her stay in the tower and Littlefinger is wholly powerful politically but made abject by the weird romance in his head with Cat that he thinks of himself as beholden to and projects onto Sansa, to which Sansa is (obviously) not beholden; he’s queenmaking her and unmaking himself.
- And meanwhile Arya is in her tower (so to speak) learning to be a knight.
End of the day: his book is really smart about queens and princesses and knights and rogues and what men and women are in the songs as translated into (theoretical) flesh-and-blood bodies in the ever-more-decaying kingdom. Favorite in the series by a country mile, not just because of the weird medievalist in me, but that certainly doesn’t hurt.
evilritious asked: please could you draw young fili and kili finding out that there dad is dead or atleast being told by their uncle that their father isnt coming back? i know its dark but i would love to see you draw what could be their most emotional point of their young lives at that age.