Snarks and Grumkins

Sara_Biddle_Shireen_BaratheonII

“Stop it,” Jon Snow said, his face dark with anger. “The Night’s Watch is a noble calling!”

Tyrion laughed. “You’re too smart to believe that. The Night’s Watch is a midden heap for all the misfits of the realm. I’ve seen you looking at Yoren and his boys. Those are your new brothers, Jon Snow, how do you like them? Sullen peasants, debtors, poachers, rapers, thieves, and bastards like you all wind up on the Wall, watching for grumkins and snarks and all the other monsters your wet nurse warned you about. The good part is there are no grumkins or snarks, so it’s scarcely dangerous work. The bad part is you freeze your balls off, but since you’re not allowed to breed anyway, I don’t suppose that matters.”

A Game of Thrones – Tyrion II


Wow, I never noticed that Melisandre and Selyse are grumkins and snarks! And oh the irony in that AGOT Tyrion quote. This post is carry-over support for Selyse and Melisandre burn Shireen.

Run, Shireen, run!

  • A Clash of Kings – PrologueAn ugly little girl and a sad fool, and maester makes three . . . now there is a tale to make men weep. “Sit with me, child.” Cressen beckoned her closer. “This is early to come calling, scarce past dawn. You should be snug in your bed.”“I had bad dreams,” Shireen told him. “About the dragons. They were coming to eat me.”The child had been plagued by nightmares as far back as Maester Cressen could recall. “We have talked of this before,” he said gently. “The dragons cannot come to life. They are carved of stone, child. In olden days, our island was the westernmost outpost of the great Freehold of Valyria. It was the Valyrians who raised this citadel, and they had ways of shaping stone since lost to us. A castle must have towers wherever two walls meet at an angle, for defense. The Valyrians fashioned these towers in the shape of dragons to make their fortress seem more fearsome, just as they crowned their walls with a thousand gargoyles instead of simple crenellations.” He took her small pink hand in his own frail spotted one and gave it a gentle squeeze. “So you see, there is nothing to fear.”

75abce798890fc92cd2fa560590372f6

Grumkins- Melisandre are mythical creatures that appear in Westerosi folktales. They are associated with granting wishes, either by crafting magical objects which make wishes come true, or by directly giving people a number of wishes, of which the third wish is the last and must be used carefully. Grumkins are implied to be of short stature or otherwise of very small size and may also steal and replace children. Reference.

  • A Game of Thrones – Jon IX Are you such a mighty warrior, or do you carry a grumkin in your pocket to magic up your sword?”

 

  • A Feast for Crows – Samwell IVI remembered that, so I allowed myself to hope . . . perhaps I wanted to . . . we all deceive ourselves, when we want to believe. Melisandre most of all, I think. The sword is wrong, she has to know that . . . light without heat . . . an empty glamor . . . the sword is wrong, and the false light can only lead us deeper into darkness, Sam.
  • A Storm of Swords – Davos IV“Say the name,” Melisandre commanded.The leech was twisting in the king’s grip, trying to attach itself to one of his fingers. “The usurper,” he said. “Joffrey Baratheon.” When he tossed the leech into the fire, it curled up like an autumn leaf amidst the coals, and burned.Stannis grasped the second. “The usurper,” he declared, louder this time. “Balon Greyjoy.” He flipped it lightly onto the brazier, and its flesh split and cracked. The blood burst from it, hissing and smoking.
  • A Storm of Swords – Davos V“They will not.” Melisandre’s voice was soft. “I am sorry, Your Grace. This is not an end. More false kings will soon rise to take up the crowns of those who’ve died.””More?” Stannis looked as though he would gladly have throttled her. “More usurpers? More traitors?””I have seen it in the flames.”

[and then]

“Edric—” he started.

“—is one boy! He may be the best boy who ever drew breath and it would not matter. My duty is to the realm.” His hand swept across the Painted Table. “How many boys dwell in Westeros? How many girls? How many men, how many women? The darkness will devour them all, she says. The night that never ends. She talks of prophecies . . . a hero reborn in the sea, living dragons hatched from dead stone . . . she speaks of signs and swears they point to me. I never asked for this, no more than I asked to be king. Yet dare I disregard her?” He ground his teeth. “We do not choose our destinies. Yet we must . . . we must do our duty, no? Great or small, we must do our duty. Melisandre swears that she has seen me in her flames, facing the dark with Lightbringer raised on high. Lightbringer!” Stannis gave a derisive snort. “It glimmers prettily, I’ll grant you, but on the Blackwater this magic sword served me no better than any common steel. A dragon would have turned that battle. Aegon once stood here as I do, looking down on this table. Do you think we would name him Aegon the Conqueror today if he had not had dragons?”

“Your Grace,” said Davos, “the cost . . .”

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon VI

“Lord Snow.” The voice was Melisandre’s.

Surprise made him recoil from her. “Lady Melisandre.” He took a step backwards. “I mistook you for someone else.” At night all robes are grey. Yet suddenly hers were red. He did not understand how he could have taken her for Ygritte. She was taller, thinner, older, though the moonlight washed years from her face. Mist rose from her nostrils, and from pale hands naked to the night. “You will freeze your fingers off,” Jon warned.

“If that is the will of R’hllor. Night’s powers cannot touch one whose heart is bathed in god’s holy fire.”

  • A Dance with Dragons – Melisandre I“Me?” Snow sounded startled.”Who else, my lord? Only his life’s blood could pay for his crimes, your laws said, and Stannis Baratheon is not a man to go against the law … but as you said so sagely, the laws of men end at the Wall. I told you that the Lord of Light would hear your prayers. You wanted a way to save your little sister and still hold fast to the honor that means so much to you, to the vows you swore before your wooden god.” She pointed with a pale finger. “There he stands, Lord Snow. Arya’s deliverance. A gift from the Lord of Light … and me.”

{snipped}

But the widow’s peak dissolved. The brown mustache, the knobby chin, the sallow yellowed flesh and small dark eyes, all melted. Grey fingers crept through long brown hair. Laugh lines appeared at the corners of his mouth. All at once he was bigger than before, broader in the chest and shoulders, long-legged and lean, his face clean-shaved and windburnt.

Jon Snow’s grey eyes grew wider. “Mance?”


Selyse Florent-Baratheon, the new Night's *Queen*. artist Daria Tuzova

Snarks- Sleyse are creatures of folklore in the Seven Kingdoms. The snarks are supposed to live beyond the Wall with grumkins, monsters used in nursery tales to frighten children. In derision of the apparent futility of the Wall and the mission of the Night’s Watch, the snarks are often referenced as an improbable danger that is hiding in the haunted forest. They are known to be elusive and some may have beards. Reference.

Adults no longer believe in snarks and consider them imaginary beings, comparable to legendary animals and supernatural entities or the monsters which children’s nurses warn them against. As a result, several attempts to seek aid against the danger of the Others are met with mockery which ridicules the messenger as also fearing “snarks and grumkins,” which the speaker implies are similarly non-existent.

  • Selyse has just moved in to Castle Black as she awaits the residence of Nightfort, but she is chasing after her red priestess in the duration to be with her. The snark went to live with the grumkin.
  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon XIII

It was the answer that Jon Snow had expected. This queen never fails to disappoint. Somehow that did not soften the blow. “Your Grace,” he persisted stubbornly, “they are starving at Hardhome by the thousands. Many are women—”

“—and children, yes. Very sad.” The queen pulled her daughter closer to her and kissed her cheek. The cheek unmarred by greyscale, Jon did not fail to note. “We are sorry for the little ones, of course, but we must be sensible. We have no food for them, and they are too young to help the king my husband in his wars. Better that they be reborn into the light.”

That was just a softer way of saying let them die.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon X

He glanced at Queen Selyse. There must have been a blizzard the day she and Stannis wed.

  • A Clash of Kings – Prologue

    Lord Stannis scowled. “I do not beg. Of anyone. Mind you remember that, woman.”

    “I am pleased to hear it, my lord.” Lady Selyse was as tall as her husband, thin of body and thin of face, with prominent ears, a sharp nose, and the faintest hint of a mustache on her upper lip. She plucked it daily and cursed it regularly, yet it never failed to return. Her eyes were pale, her mouth stern, her voice a whip. She cracked it now. “Lady Arryn owes you her allegiance, as do the Starks, your brother Renly, and all the rest. You are their one true king. It would not be fitting to plead and bargain with them for what is rightfully yours by the grace of god.”

    God, she said, not gods. The red woman had won her, heart and soul, turning her from the gods of the Seven Kingdoms, both old and new, to worship the one they called the Lord of Light.

 

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon XIII

    The chamber was crowded. Princess Shireen stood beside her mother’s seat, with Patchface cross-legged at her feet. Behind the queen loomed Ser Axell Florent. Melisandre of Asshai stood closer to the fire, the ruby at her throat pulsing with every breath she took. The red woman too had her attendants—the squire Devan Seaworth and two of the guardsmen the king had left her.

    Queen Selyse’s protectors stood along the walls, shining knights all in a row: Ser Malegorn, Ser Benethon, Ser Narbert, Ser Patrek, Ser Dorden, Ser Brus. With so many bloodthirsty wildlings infesting Castle Black, Selyse kept her sworn shields about her night and day. Tormund Giantsbane had roared to hear it. “Afraid of being carried off, is she? I hope you never said how big me member is, Jon Snow, that’d frighten any woman. I always wanted me one with a mustache.” Then he laughed and laughed.

  • A Dance with Dragons – Jon IXQueen Selyse sniffed. “We are done with Eastwatch. We did not like it there. A queen should be mistress beneath her own roof. We found your Cotter Pyke to be an uncouth and unpleasant man, quarrelsome and niggardly.”You should hear what Cotter says of you. “I am sorry for that, but I fear Your Grace will find conditions at the Nightfort even less to your liking. We speak of a fortress, not a palace. A grim place, and cold. Whereas Eastwatch—””Eastwatch is not safe.” The queen put a hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “This is the king’s true heir. Shireen will one day sit the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms. She must be kept from harm, and Eastwatch is where the attack will come. This Nightfort is the place my husband has chosen for our seat, and there we shall abide. We—oh!”

9936d217853626a46561a8fbfa01f81f--wolf-face-wolf-eyes

But maybe Ghost will make it all better?

  • A Game of Thrones – Tyrion IIWhy did he attack me?” Tyrion asked with a sidelong glance at the direwolf. He wiped blood and dirt from his mouth with the back of his hand.”Maybe he thought you were a grumkin.”Tyrion glanced at him sharply. Then he laughed, a raw snort of amusement that came bursting out through his nose entirely without his permission. “Oh, gods,” he said, choking on his laughter and shaking his head, “I suppose I do rather look like a grumkin. What does he do to snarks?”

You don’t want to know.” Jon picked up the wineskin and handed it to Tyrion.

 


Thanks for reading along with the ramblings of the Fattest Leech of Ice and Fire.