A while back on the Westeros.org forum (here and here) I wondered if Lysa was not poisoning herself, maybe unknowingly, with the makeup and clothes she wears. This makeup poisoning would leech into her breast milk, therefore, Sweetrobin Arryn would also be ingesting poison, ramping up his “tolerance” in a way we see later with Maester Coleman.
I also speculate this is why Sweetrobin is always trying to nuzzle at Sansa’s breasts. He is looking for a replacement mother to nurse from, not just for comfort, but because he is having a drug withdraw and needs his fix. He is looking for his replacement relationship.
Tully words: As high as honor.
Poison in Other Stories
This theme of using psychedelics to either open one’s third eye, or distort their reality in order to override their capacities to take control of what ‘features’ the victim may provide, is across most of Martinworld works.
This psychedelic shows up as various concoctions such as dream wine, psionine, chronine, esperon, Josh York’s elixir, etc. Venom is on that list as well, as I discussed on this Daenerys page, but let us take a look at how mother’s milk (milk of the mommy) plays a role:
The story This Tower of Ashes is centralized around a faction of web-slinging, spider beings called Dreamspiders, not to be confused with the similar but different Spiderants of Slide Show. Dreamspiders are an organized society and the female spiders are clearly in charge:
- I nodded. The dream-spiders of Jamison’s World are not quite twins to the arachnids of Old Earth. The female is indeed the deadlier of the species, but far from eating the male, she takes him for life in a permanent specialized partnership. For it is the sluggish, great-bodied male who wears the spinnerets, who weaves the shining-fire web and makes it sticky with his oils, who binds and ties the prey snared by light and color. Meanwhile, the smaller female roams the dark branches, her poison sac full of the viscous dreaming-venom that grants bright visions and ecstasy and final blackness. Creatures many times her own size she stings, and drags limp back to the web to add to the larder.
- The male dream-spider has no venom, but he is a carnivore, and his bite can be most final, especially when he’s the size of this one.
And this line that could nod to the fact that Lysa Tully kep the Vale army out of all the wars (because she is a spider-woman archetype).
- In fact, there is a wound on my neck, and none on my ankle. And her story has a ring of truth. For I have come to know the dream-spiders in the slow-flowing years since that night, and I know that the females are stealthy killers that drop down on their prey unawares. They do not charge across fallen trees like berserk ironhorns; it is not the spiders’ way.
A Storm of Swords – Daenerys I
Viserion’s scales were the color of fresh cream, his horns, wing bones, and spinal crest a dark gold that flashed bright as metal in the sun. Rhaegal was made of the green of summer and the bronze of fall. They soared above the ships in wide circles, higher and higher, each trying to climb above the other.
Dragons always preferred to attack from above, Dany had learned. Should either get between the other and the sun, he would fold his wings and dive screaming, and they would tumble from the sky locked together in a tangled scaly ball, jaws snapping and tails lashing. The first time they had done it, she feared that they meant to kill each other, but it was only sport. No sooner would they splash into the sea than they would break apart and rise again, shrieking and hissing, the salt water steaming off them as their wings clawed at the air. Drogon was aloft as well, though not in sight; he would be miles ahead, or miles behind, hunting.
He was always hungry, her Drogon. Hungry and growing fast. Another year, or perhaps two, and he may be large enough to ride. Then I shall have no need of ships to cross the great salt sea.
And this line that seems to be a base of details re-purposed for Lady Rohanne Webber of the Dunk & Egg story The Sword Shield. This is also yet another example of the cup of ice-cup of fire existential choice one has to make about which road they will follow in life. Here the main character, John Bowen, makes a type of milk of the
poppy mommy concoction, and he seems to be developing a high tolerance for the poison–> the cup of fire.
- Afterwards I set out the miniature goblet, exquisitely wrought in silver and obsidian and bright with spider motifs, and pour it full of the heavy black wine they bring me from the city. I stir the cup with my knife, around and around until the blade is shiny clean again and the wine a trifle darker than before. And I ascend to the roof.
I came across an interesting article about the poison in makeup and women’s dresses a long time ago. Some women would literally spontaneously ignite because of the toxins, and the would go “mad” from the poisons that leached into their systems… their humors would be off.
It was called the “Arsenic waltz” https://hyperallergic.com/133571/fatal-victorian-fashion-and-the-allure-of-the-poison-garment/
- Perhaps the most evocative fatal fashion trend of the 19th century is the color green. Before inventor Carl Wilhelm Scheele came along near the end of the 18th century, there was no color fast green, only the option to do a blue overlay with yellow or vice versa. By mixing arsenic and copper, Scheele developed a pigment that would hold, whether in wallpaper, paintings, or clothing. It also happened to look fantastic under natural and new gas light, an important duality for the time. By the mid-19th century, when, as Matthews David notes “nature was disappearing from the environment,” this “Emerald Green” was incredibly popular in artificial flowers. It was also highly toxic, even deadly, and it’s no coincidence that Baudelaire titled his book of tormented poems Les Fleurs du Mal — The Flowers of Evil — just as the death of a young artificial florist was being investigated.Fashion Victims is presided over by one of these arsenic dresses, its color still vivid, and beguiling. And even as Emerald Green’s hazards were exposed in the 19th century, people still wanted it, and in a way, that hasn’t changed. “Emerald Green was the Pantone Color of the Year for 2013, which suggests that we still love it,” Matthews David said.
And green dye in history was known to be a killer, as was makeup in general with the copious uses of lead, arsenic, and other poisons and irritants. Lommy Greenhands was a dyer’s apprentice.
A Clash of Kings – Arya I
The men paid her no mind, but she was not so lucky with the boys. She was two years younger than the youngest orphan, not to mention smaller and skinnier, and Lommy and Hot Pie took her silence to mean she was scared, or stupid, or deaf. “Look at that sword Lumpyhead’s got there,” Lommy said one morning as they made their plodding way past orchards and wheat fields. He’d been a dyer’s apprentice before he was caught stealing, and his arms were mottled green to the elbow. When he laughed he brayed like the donkeys they were riding. “Where’s a gutter rat like Lumpyhead get him a sword?”
And we readers are given hints of this idea in Essos as well.
- A Game of Thrones – Daenerys
Across the aisle, a fat cloth trader from Yi Ti was haggling with a Pentoshi over the price of some green dye, the monkey tail on his hat swaying back and forth as he shook his head.
Lord of Light
Robert “Sweetrobin” Arryn (SR) may well be suffering from epilepsy, plain as that. But what, in Sweetrobin’s case is brining it on? I do not expect GRRM to completely plagiarize another author’s work. No. What he says he does is borrow and rework it into something that is his own.
Sweetrobin is a “brokedown” parallel to Bran, albeit a false or inverse parallel, but they have many strings attached between the two. Bran will be a bringer of light with his Greenseeing is Enlightenment knowledge. One thing both Bran and Sweetrobin do have in common are the medicines and mind altering porridge’s and “stews” that are fed to both. A few more commonalities include:
- SR rides/flies down the Eyrie in a basket and mule; Bran rides in a basket on the back of Hodor, who was compared to a horse.
- Both eat a paste or porridge, provided by their caretaker, Bran the Children of the Forest, Sweetrobin with Maester Coleman. SR gets plenty of Milk of the Poppy which dulls his senses (like the psionically gifted Thale in the story Nightflyers who is given psio-nine 4), whereas Bran is given weirwood paste which opens his third eye.
- So what I am suggesting here is a play on words/symbolism between Milk of the Poppy and breast milk (milk of the mommy) and venom. This page here has plenty of nursing-milking-venom book quotes under the Milking the Venom Snake heading.
- Sweetrobin is obsessed with making people “fly”, that is, executing them via the moondoor. Bran is told he will “fly”, which again is opening his third eye consciousness.
- SR has an emotionally “dark” mother, while Bran is guided to embrace the darkness like a mother (just as the protagonist Josh York in Fevre Dream does).
- The same Sweetrobin is a version of Bran, the sweet summer child. The word ‘Bran’ has a few meanings, one being crow or raven. Bran = SweetCrow.
- Sweetrobin has the moondoor of death, whereas Bran goes through the Black Gate at Nightfort as part of his long journey to save lives.
- Lysa is first described as “bloated, pale, puffy, watery” as she sits in a dead weirwood throne, whereas when we meet Bloodraven in his weirwood throne, he is actually still alive and now in the ultimate greenseer phase as a teacher.
- Both have a love of stories, especially the fighting ones with knights. Sansa begins to create the Brotherhood of Winged Knights for Sweetrobin, as Bran becomes a “knight of the mind” through his greenseeing talents, which also a watcher, and part of the Night;s Watch brotherhood.
- Both boys need a “fix”. SR needs his drug fix, as Bran wants his legs “fixed”.
George RR Martin was first a fan of, then inspired by, and finally became the very close personal friend to Roger Zelazny, the author of Lord of Light. In Lord of Light, there is a neighbor to the Siddhartha called the Gran Shan and he has a seizure to which the response is, ” Then the fit hit the Shan.” According to GRRM in his forward to Zelazny in the book Shadows & Reflections, the origin of this absolute must read scifi/fantasy book was based on this pun. This Shan is unknowingly being poisoned by others in order to manipulate him.
- As the evening wore on, the prince’s physician excused himself so as to superintend the preparation of the dessert and introduce a narcotic into the sweetcakes being served up to the Shan. As the evening wore further on, subsequent to the dessert, the Shan grew more and more inclined to close his eyes and let his head slump forward for longer and longer periods of time. “Good party,” he muttered, between snores, and finally, “Elephants are no damn good at all … ” and so passed to sleep and could not be awakened. His kinsmen did not see fit to escort him home at this time, because of the fact that the prince’s physician had added chloral hydrate to their wine, and they were at that moment sprawled upon the floor, snoring. The prince’s chief courtier arranged with Hawkana for their accommodation, and the Shan himself was taken to Siddhartha’s suite, where he was shortly visited by the physician, who loosened his garments and spoke to him in a soft, persuasive voice:”Tomorrow afternoon,” he was saying, “you will be Prince Siddhartha and these will be your retainers. You will report to the Hall of Karma in their company, to claim there the body which Brahma has promised you without the necessity of prior judgment You will remain Siddhartha throughout the transfer, and you will return here in the company of your retainers, to be examined by me. Do you understand?””Yes,” whispered the Shan.”Then repeat what I have told you.”‘Tomorrow afternoon,” said the Shan, “I will be Siddhartha, commanding these retainers … “
- [and then]
“Who are you?” inquired the tall, sharp-eyed rider mounted upon the white mare. “Who are you that dares block the passage of Prince Siddhartha, Binder of Demons?”
The prince looked upon him, muscular and tanned, in his mid-twenties, possessed of hawklike features and a powerful bearing, and he felt suddenly that his doubts had been unfounded and that he bad betrayed himself by his suspicion and mistrust. It appeared from the lithe physical specimen seated upon his own mount that Brahma had bargained in good faith, authorizing for his use an excellent and sturdy body, which was now possessed by the ancient Shan.
“Lord Siddhartha,” said his man, who had ridden at the side of the Lord of Irabek, “it appears that they dealt fairly. I see naught amiss about him.”
“Siddhartha!” cried the Shan. “Who is this one you dare address with the name of your master? I am Siddhartha, Binder of…” With that he threw his head back and his words gurgled in his throat.
Then the fit hit the Shan. He stiffened, lost his seating and fell from the saddle. Siddhartha ran to his side. There were little flecks of foam at the corners of his mouth, and his eyes were rolled upward.
“Epileptic!” cried the prince. “They meant me to have a brain which had been damaged.”
The others gathered around and helped the prince minister to the Shan until the seizure passed and his wits had returned to his body.
“Wh-what happened?” he asked.
“Treachery,” said Siddhartha. “Treachery, oh Shan of Irabek! One of my men will convey you now to my personal physician, for an examination.
Puffy, Pale, Watery- Drowned Mother God
When we meet Lysa, she is caked in makeup, and we know that Sansa loves lemon cakes, so there could be a connection. Plus, the Whent blood also helps. Poison is negatively gendered as “women’s work”, but then again, so is wearing makeup (not a rule, just in general as far as ASOIAF goes).
- A Game of Thrones- Cat VI
… in truth; five cruel years, for Lysa. They had taken their toll. Her sister was two years the younger, yet she looked older now. Shorter than Catelyn, Lysa had grown thick of body, pale and puffy of face. She had the blue eyes of the Tullys, but hers were pale and watery, never still. Her small mouth had turned petulant. As Catelyn held her, she remembered the slender, high-breasted girl who’d waited beside her that day in the sept at Riverrun.
- “Quiet!” Lysa snapped at her. “You’re scaring the boy.” Little Robert took a quick peek over his shoulder at Catelyn and began to tremble. His doll fell to the rushes, and he pressed himself against his mother. “Don’t be afraid, my sweet baby,” Lysa whispered. “Mother’s here, nothing will hurt you.” She opened her robe and drew out a pale, heavy breast, tipped with red. The boy grabbed for it eagerly, buried his face against her chest, and began to suck. Lysa stroked his hair.
- A Game of Thrones – Sansa VI
“I will need hot water for my bath, please,” she told them, “and perfume, and some powder to hide this bruise.” The right side of her face was swollen and beginning to ache, but she knew Joffrey would want her to be beautiful.
- A Storm of Swords – Sansa VI
They put on their cloaks and waited outside. The riders numbered no more than a score; a very modest escort, for the Lady of the Eyrie. Three maids rode with her, and a dozen household knights in mail and plate. She brought a septon as well, and a handsome singer with a wisp of a mustache and long sandy curls.
Could that be my aunt? Lady Lysa was two years younger than Mother, but this woman looked ten years older. Thick auburn tresses fell down past her waist, but beneath the costly velvet gown and jeweled bodice her body sagged and bulged. Her face was pink and painted, her breasts heavy, her limbs thick. She was taller than Littlefinger, and heavier; nor did she show any grace in the clumsy way she climbed down off her horse.
Petyr knelt to kiss her fingers. “The king’s small council commanded me to woo and win you, my lady. Do you think you might have me for your lord and husband?”
Tears welled suddenly in Lady Lysa’s eyes. “We are women alone now, you and I. Are you afraid, child? Be brave. I would never turn away Cat’s daughter. We are bound by blood.” She beckoned Sansa closer. “You may come kiss my cheek, Alayne.”
Dutifully she approached and knelt beside the bed. Her aunt was drenched in sweet scent, though under that was a sour milky smell. Her cheek tasted of paint and powder.
- A Storm of Swords- Sansa VII
Amidst so much white marble even the sunlight looked chilly, somehow . . . though not half so chilly as her aunt. Lady Lysa had dressed in a gown of cream-colored velvet and a necklace of sapphires and moon-stones. Her auburn hair had been done up in a thick braid, and fell across one shoulder. She sat in the high seat watching her niece approach, her face red and puffy beneath the paint and powder. On the wall behind her hung a huge banner, the moon-and-falcon of House Arryn in cream and blue.
“Are you my mother?” asked the little bird.
The creepiness continues as Sweetrobin tries to get his milk “fix” from his cousin Sansa, now disguised as Alayne. Lysa was already thinking of arranging a marriage between Robin Arryn and Sansa Stark, which is something that is considered a too close relationship/incest in Westeros. This is added to the story for the readers to root against as we have been shown and told how negative that arrangement is. So not only does Sweetrobin want to marry his cousin, but he wants to use her as a mother replacement milk bar?
As mentioned above, One of the (inverse) similarities between Sweetrobin and Bran is the desire for a “fix”. When Bran asks for a fix, he is talking about his broken legs, which he won’t need anymore because he will “fly” = greensee. Bloodraven can no more fix Bran’s legs as Sansa can give Sweetrobin his fix.
A Dance with Dragons – Bran II
“A … crow?” The pale lord’s voice was dry…
“I’m here,” Bran said, “only I’m broken. Will you … will you fix me … my legs, I mean?”
“No,” said the pale lord. “That is beyond my powers.”
Bran’s eyes filled with tears. We came such a long way. The chamber echoed to the sound of the black river.
“You will never walk again, Bran,” the pale lips promised, “but you will fly.”
A Dance with Dragons – Bran III
One day I will be like him. The thought filled Bran with dread. Bad enough that he was broken, with his useless legs. Was he doomed to lose the rest too, to spend all of his years with a weirwood growing in him and through him? Lord Brynden drew his life from the tree, Leaf told them. He did not eat, he did not drink. He slept, he dreamed, he watched. I was going to be a knight, Bran remembered. I used to run and climb and fight. It seemed a thousand years ago.
What was he now? Only Bran the broken boy, Brandon of House Stark, prince of a lost kingdom, lord of a burned castle, heir to ruins. He had thought the three-eyed crow would be a sorcerer, a wise old wizard who could fix his legs, but that was some stupid child’s dream, he realized now. I am too old for such fancies, he told himself. A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. That was as good as being a knight. Almost as good, anyway.
The moon was a black hole in the sky.
And Sweetrobin wants his fix as well. This is a common bit of subject matter that comes up in several stories by Martin- drug and alcohol abuse. I do not see this as a goofy sub-plot to make light of, and I don’t think that is what Martin is trying to do either, but rather it will end up rather tragic if something is not done to help save Sweetrobin very quickly. One of the strongest examples I can think of that shows this terrible case of drug abuse and family abuse deteriorating a character in the the story The Armageddon Rag with the character Slum. In short, Slum comes from a high-born, rich family ruled by a hard-handed conservative father named Butcher. Over many years of Slum trying to “fly free”, he ends up falling hard, getting put in prison where he is repeatedly raped, caves in to drug addiction, completely breaks as a human, but in the end his friends re-band together to help save his life.
- The Armageddon Rag
Lark was looking at the dedication again. “Thanks, I guess,” he said. He looked up once more and said, “Hey, what about Slum? Where’s the old Slummer?”
That wiped the smile off everyone’s faces quickly enough. “I forgot,” Sandy said, “you don’t know about Slum.” He told him, wearily. Lark looked incredulous by the time he was finished. “That’s why I did the book, really,” Sandy concluded.
“I don’t get it, Blair,” Lark said. “How’s the book going to help Slum?”
“The story was wild enough so I knew it’d be a cinch to hit big. And I was right in the middle of it.” He smiled wanly. “My publisher tells me it’s outselling Butcher’s latest by a nice comfortable margin now. And every fucking cent is going into a fund to pay Slum’s legal costs. I’ve already gotten some high-priced hotshit lawyers, and Froggy has gotten some of his ACLU friends interested. And if I run out of money, Peter Faxon has offered to help. Faxon and I have gotten pretty close since West Mesa, and believe me, Peter could buy and sell Butcher out of loose change. There’s no guarantees, but—” he raised his glass “—a toast, to Slum, who I hope like hell will be here drinking with us next year!”
Many readers suspect the reason why Sweetrobin was put in the path of Sansa is just for that reason; Will she will become a healthier version of the momma bird to the fledgling falcon. Could be? I hope so.
But first, Sweetrobin has to get over his drug addiction.
A Feast for Crows – Sansa I
Robert’s lip quivered. “I was going to come sleep with you.”
I know you were. Sweetrobin had been accustomed to crawling in beside his mother, until she wed Lord Petyr. Since Lady Lysa’s death he had taken to wandering the Eyrie in quest of other beds. The one he liked best was Sansa’s . . . which was why she had asked Ser Lothor Brune to lock his door last night. She would not have minded if he only slept, but he was always trying to nuzzle at her breasts, and when he had his shaking spells he often wet the bed.
A Feast for Crows – Sansa I
Sometime during the night she woke, as little Robert climbed up into her bed. I forgot to tell Lothor to lock him in again, she realized. There was nothing to be done for it, so she put her arm around him. “Sweetrobin? You can stay, but try not to squirm around. Just close your eyes and sleep, little one.”
“I will.” He cuddled close and laid his head between her breasts. “Alayne? Are you my mother now?”
“I suppose I am,” she said. If a lie was kindly meant, there was no harm in it.
A Feast for Crows – Alayne I
“He sleeps twelve hours a day,” Petyr said. “I require him awake from time to time.”
The maester combed his fingers through his hair, dribbling globs of porridge on the floor. “Lady Lysa would give his lordship her breast whenever he grew overwrought. Archmaester Ebrose claims that mother’s milk has many heathful properties.”
“Is that your counsel, maester? That we find a wet nurse for the Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale? When shall we wean him, on his wedding day? That way he can move directly from his nurse’s nipples to his wife’s.” Lord Petyr’s laugh made it plain what he thought of that. “No, I think not. I suggest you find another way. The boy is fond of sweets, is he not?”
A Feast for Crows – Alayne II
“I hate mules,” he insisted. “Mules are nasty. I told you, one tried to bite me when I was little.”
Robert had never learned to ride properly, she knew. Mules, horses, donkeys, it made no matter; to him they were all fearsome beasts, as terrifying as dragons or griffins. He had been brought to the Vale at six, riding with his head cradled between his mother’s milky breasts, and had never left the Eyrie since.
Other characters in Makeup?
The only other person we see in story who is using an external application to primp themselves in a similar manner (possibly covering something up) is the Spider, Lord Varys. However, he is simply powdered, rather than painted and powdered:
- A Game of Thrones – Catelyn IV
“Family, Duty, Honor,” he echoed. “All of which required you to remain in Winterfell, where our Hand left you. No, my lady, something has happened. This sudden trip of yours bespeaks a certain urgency. I beg of you, let me help. Old sweet friends should never hesitate to rely upon each other.” There was a soft knock on the door. “Enter,” Littlefinger called out.
The man who stepped through the door was plump, perfumed, powdered, and as hairless as an egg. He wore a vest of woven gold thread over a loose gown of purple silk, and on his feet were pointed slippers of soft velvet. “Lady Stark,” he said, taking her hand in both of his, “to see you again after so many years is such a joy.” His flesh was soft and moist, and his breath smelled of lilacs. “Oh, your poor hands. Have you burned yourself, sweet lady? The fingers are so delicate … Our good Maester Pycelle makes a marvelous salve, shall I send for a jar?”
- A Game of Thrones – Eddard IV
The councillor Ned liked least, the eunuch Varys, accosted him the moment he entered. “Lord Stark, I was grievous sad to hear about your troubles on the kingsroad. We have all been visiting the sept to light candles for Prince Joffrey. I pray for his recovery.” His hand left powder stains on Ned’s sleeve, and he smelled as foul and sweet as flowers on a grave.
The only thing I can think of that could relate these two characters, Lord Varys and Lysa Tully-Arryn, is their sex… somehow. I know when Varys was cut, his fear was he was going to be used as a young male slave whore, whereas Lysa was basically sold off to Jon Arryn because she was seen as “ruined” because she already deflowered herself with Baelish. Lysa Arryan became a “painted whore”, to use the antiquated reasoning and verbiage.
(will add more book quotes soon… or ask me in the meantime if I forget!)
Lysa is a little off her dead weirwood throne…
…but she may have has a
little a lot of help in the chemicals department…
- A Storm of Swords – Sansa VI
“They made me marry him. I never wanted it.”
“No more than I did,” her aunt said. “Jon Arryn was no dwarf, but he was old. You may not think so to see me now, but on the day we wed I was so lovely I put your mother to shame. But all Jon desired was my father’s swords, to aid his darling boys. I should have refused him, but he was such an old man, how long could he live? Half his teeth were gone, and his breath smelled like bad cheese. I cannot abide a man with foul breath. Petyr’s breath is always fresh . . . he was the first man I ever kissed, you know. My father said he was too lowborn, but I knew how high he’d rise. Jon gave him the customs for Gulltown to please me, but when he increased the incomes tenfold my lord husband saw how clever he was and gave him other appointments, even brought him to King’s Landing to be master of coin. That was hard, to see him every day and still be wed to that old cold man. Jon did his duty in the bedchamber, but he could no more give me pleasure than he could give me children. His seed was old and weak. All my babies died but Robert, three girls and two boys. All my sweet little babies dead, and that old man just went on and on with his stinking breath. So you see, I have suffered too.” Lady Lysa sniffed. “You do know that your poor mother is dead?”
Think back to these bits of information:
- A Storm of Swords – Catelyn I
He does not know me. Catelyn had grown accustomed to him taking her for her mother or her sister Lysa, but Tansy was a name strange to her. “It’s Catelyn,” she said. “It’s Cat, Father.”
“Forgive me . . . the blood . . . oh, please . . . Tansy . . .”
Could there have been another woman in her father’s life? Some village maiden he had wronged when he was young, perhaps? Could he have found comfort in some serving wench’s arms after Mother died? It was a queer thought, unsettling. Suddenly she felt as though she had not known her father at all. “Who is Tansy, my lord? Do you want me to send for her, Father? Where would I find the woman? Does she still live?”
Lord Hoster groaned. “Dead.” His hand groped for hers. “You’ll have others . . . sweet babes, and trueborn.”
Others? Catelyn thought. Has he forgotten that Ned is gone? Is he still talking to Tansy, or is it me now, or Lysa, or Mother?
When he coughed, the sputum came up bloody. He clutched her fingers. “. . . be a good wife and the gods will bless you . . . sons . . . trueborn sons . . . aaahhh.” The sudden spasm of pain made Lord Hoster’s hand tighten. His nails dug into her hand, and he gave a muffled scream.
- A Storm of Swords – Sansa VII
“We’ll send her away, then. Back to King’s Landing, if you like.” He took a step toward them. “Let her up, now. Let her away from the door.”
“NO!” Lysa gave Sansa’s head another wrench. Snow eddied around them, making their skirts snap noisily. “You can’t want her. You can’t. She’s a stupid empty-headed little girl. She doesn’t love you the way I have. I’ve always loved you. I’ve proved it, haven’t I?” Tears ran down her aunt’s puffy red face. “I gave you my maiden’s gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn’t me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me . . .”
“That’s past and done, Lysa. Lord Hoster’s dead, and his old maester as well.” Littlefinger moved closer. “Have you been at the wine again? You ought not to talk so much. We don’t want Alayne to know more than she should, do we? Or Marillion?”
Leave the Lemons and Run!
Basically, Sansa needs to get the F out of the Eyrie, and the F out of Auntie Crazy’s makeup and dresses and lemoncakes. And hmmm, interesting, Uncle Creepyfinger tells Alyane to avoid the cream:
- Alayne looked down at her dress, the deep blue and rich dark red of Riverrun. “Is it too—”
“It is too Tully. The Lords Declarant will not be pleased by the sight of my bastard daughter prancing about in my dead wife’s clothes. Choose something else. Need I remind you to avoid sky blue and cream?”
I can say that in all of my scouring of the infinite George RR martin stories I have read and noted extensively, the idea of painting something has only ever come up one other time and it is in relation to “fire god” type of characters. This page here starts to cover the fire religion in GRRM’s works.
- Fevre Dream
The bald man nodded. “There’s more. This Tipton visited Fork-in-the-Road.” “It’s a big slave mart,” the black partner said. “He bought a mess of slaves. Paid with gold.” The bald man pulled a twenty-dollar gold piece from his pocket and set it on the table. “Like this. Bought some other stuff back in Natchez, too. Paid the same way.”
“What kind of stuff?” Marsh asked.
“Slaver’s stuff,” the black man said. “Manacles. Chains. Hammers.”
“Some paint, too,” said the other. And suddenly the truth of it burst on Abner Marsh like a shower of fireworks. “Jesus God,” he swore. “Paint! No wonder no one has seen her. Goddamn. They’re smarter than I thought, and I’m an eggsuckin’ fool not to have seen it straight off!” He slammed his big fist down on the table hard enough to make the coffee cups jump.
“We figure just what you’re thinkin’,” the bald man said. “They painted her. Changed her name.”
[and then in this scene where truth is greatly exaggerated in order to find out some information, but the details of the story are an ASOIAF parallel. However, the boat in Fevre Dream was actually repainted from White to Black when the fires people too over.]
Karl Framm pushed through the crowd, a brandy in his hand. “I know a story,” he said, sounding a little drunk. “ ’S true. There’s this steamboat named the Ozymandias, y’see …”
“Never heard of it,” somebody said.
Framm smiled thinly. “Y’better hope you never see it,” he said, “cause them what does is done for. She only runs by night, this boat. And she’s dark, all dark. Painted black as her stacks, every inch of her, except that inside she’s got a main cabin with a carpet the color of blood, and silver mirrors everywhere that don’t reflect nothing. Them mirrors is always empty, even though she’s got lots of folks aboard her, pale-looking folks in fine clothes. They smile a lot. Only they don’t show in the mirrors.”
Someone shivered. They had all gone silent. “Why not?” asked an engineer Marsh knew slightly.
“Cause they’re dead,” Framm said. “Ever’ damn one of ’em, dead. Only they won’t lie down. They’re sinners, and they got to ride that boat forever, that black boat with the red carpets and the empty mirrors, all up and down the river, never touching port, no sir.”
“Phantoms,” somebody said.
“Ha’nts,” added a woman, “like that Raccourci boat.”
“Hell no,” said Karl Framm. “You can pass right through a ha’nt, but not the Ozymandias. She’s real enough, and you’ll learn it quick and to your sorrow if you come on her at night. Them dead folks is hungry. They drink blood, y’know. Hot red blood. They hide in the dark and when they see the lights of another steamer, they set out after her, and if they catch’er they come swarming aboard, all those dead white faces, smiling, dressed so fine. And they sink the boat afterward, or burn her, and the next mornin’ there’s nothing to see but a couple stacks stickin’ up out of the river, or maybe a wrecked boat full of corpses. Except for the sinners. The sinners go aboard that Ozymandias, and ride on her forever.”
*Editing in progress*
For additional mother/son relationships in A Song of Ice and Fire, I recommend this essay by SweetSunRay.
Thanks for reading the blog of the Fattest if Leech. I can only update when I can, however if you have any questions in the meantime, just ask.