"I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool… You see, I think everything’s terrible anyhow… And I know. I’ve been everywhere and seen everything and done everything."
She is five and she watches Jaime and she knows that he is the only thing she has never had to live without.
Their father is strict, and for all his wealth does not spoil them. Cersei know that they are wealthy, but as their father tells her— and Jaime, who is always asking for a new this and a new that —he is wealthy for a reason. Because of this, they are wealthy, children of a rich man, but they are never spoiled.
It is much later that Cersei comes to understand that a woman is never spoiled, not unless she is allowed to believe that dresses and jewelry are all she is meant to want from life. If a woman is gifted gowns, she can only be spoiled if she wants them, if she is not haunted always by the knowledge of what more there is that is mean for men. If she does not look, a woman might never know the secret world of men where bright colors aren’t confined to fabric, and things that glitter bite and do not hang around your neck.
Cersei sits in the window and watches Jaime in the yard training with a wooden sword.
It is when Myrcella is born that Cersei decides to spoil her children. She is wealthy, but it is her father’s money, and her husband’s, and that is not the same. Joffery has wanted for little in his short life, because he is her son, and she loves him, but when she sees her yellow daughter and first holds her in her arms, Cersei knows that this girl will long for silks and gems, and she will get them.
If there is one thing she will deny this child, it is the keen sting of those things she will never have, and in the effort of striving toward be beaten down by time. Cersei has gotten by, knowing, but she is waiting still for the pay off, wrecked her fingernails in the efforts to hold onto a future tailored by society for a man. Like a suit of armor, it doesn’t fit right, never meant for her slight frame, however glittering and perfect it might seem from far away. Myrcella will not feel this. Her silks will fit; she will marry a man who will smile so sweetly that she will forget that there was ever a time in her life when she did not love him, or know him, and she will work her way toward a pretty death, fingernails unharmed.
Myrcella grows, and is smart, and strong, and Cersei wonders, absently, if she has not made the wrong choices for the both of them.
A week after Elia Martell’s 8th name day passes, the Lady of Dorne shares with her a curious thing.
“It won’t be long before we find you a handsome prince,” her mother says, prising the tangles out of her daughter’s long, dark tresses with deft fingers. “It is fortunate that you are such a pretty girl.”
Elia is rendered aghast by her mother’s knowing look and she confides as much to her younger brother. In response, Oberyn wrinkles his delicate nose.
“You shan’t marry anyone!” he cries fiercely, with a petulant stamp of his little feet. “I won’t let them! But if you must, I promise that you will only be wed to the best.”
Oberyn is true to his word; of all the oaths that he enters into when he is a child, the pact that he forges with Elia is not forgotten. When Elia comes of age, scores of suitors are cast aside with a dismissive arch of her brother’s eyebrow. It is only upon the arrival of Rhaegar Targaryen to the shores of their kingdom that Oberyn relents.
It is decided then, that the Dornish Princess and the Crown Prince are to be tethered together in the fall.
“I told you that you were always made for greater things,” Oberyn croons triumphantly on her wedding day, as her stomach curdles with trepidation. “That haughty Lannister bitch pales in comparison to you.”
Much later, after the hammer falls and the blood congealing beneath her fingernails are all that she has to remember her children by, Elia Targaryen becomes a benumbed thing. Amidst the carnage, they come for her. As Ser Gregor Clegane’s thick fingers tighten upon her throat, her brother’s words of yesteryear ring painfully in her ears.
In the end, she wonders if her brother’s high hopes of grandeur for her have shepherded her to her doom. Perhaps Oberyn Martell was wrong; perhaps she was made for the small, instead.
Why I think ashara dayne is pretty damn interesting outside of what Ned, Brandon, or Barristan think of her:
- Was probably heir to Starfall for a while (her eldest brother was Lord of Starfall for a while, and apparently didn’t have a kid until after Robert’s Rebellion. Meanwhile Arthur had joined the Kingsguard and had given up his right to inherit. Ergo heir!Ashara :D)
- Brave enough to go with her friend Elia up to King’s Landing, to a region of the country that is quite different from Dorne. By which I mean far more restrictive of women’s rights. (I like the idea of her, Arthur, Elia, and Lewyn meeting up for drinks and being like OMFG WHAT IS WITH NON-DORNISHPEOPLE SRSLY)
- Managed to not only survive in said misogynistic court- ruled by an increasingly cruel king- but also worked the system enough to thrive and charm the fuck out of people.
- Witnessed several blatant insults to said friend Elia.
- Watched many people she knew (on both sides) go to war.
- Had a baby that either died (the alleged stillborn daughter) or was taken from her (Jon Snow.) Depending on who you ask.
- Heard about and potentially witnessed her acquaintance (and possible lover?) Brandon Stark being strangled to death.
- Was in Starfall at the end of the war, so she had to leave King’s Landing. Knowing full well she might not see Elia again.
- Lost Elia to one of the most gruesome murders in the series.
- Lost older brother Arthur, and then had to deal with Ned directly after that.
Jaime’s perspective from A Feast of Crows
jaime & cersei (at eel’s alley) for fran"He remembered that night as if it were yesterday. They spent it in an old inn on Eel Alley, well away from watchful eyes. Cersei had come to him dressed as a simple serving wench, which somehow excited him all the more. Jaime had never seen her more passionate. Every time he went to sleep, she woke him again. By morning Casterly Rock seemed a small price to pay to be near her always. "
Finally finished this one. It was sort of tricky (because our canon knowledge of Balon is so patchy) but here goes:
1) After Dagmer Cleftjaw took Balon reaving for the firs time, they became serious bros. In this fandom, people seem to be into the parallel roles different characters play and, if Victarion is the Stannis to Balon’s Robert, Dagmer is Balon’s Ned Stark. Or, perhaps more tragically accurately, the Cleftjaw is the Theon to Balon’s Robb - a little older and more experienced but not the finest advisor. But then, Balon, like Robb, is a patchy strategist.
2) All of Balon’s family are a bit of a disappointment to him. (Aeron is a mess, Theon is a weakling, Euron is too unwieldy, Victarion is too steadfast.) The only one who has never disappointed him is Asha. He is an ambitious man, a man with expectations but he expected nothing of a daughter and so she did not disappoint him.
3) Balon valued Alannys and loved her but only as she gave him strong sons. He knows well that his father’s first wife had three boys who all died in infancy, though it was before he was born. He saw Lord Quellon’s third wife though and her weak son, saw that son sicken and die, and learnt from that the value of his mother’s own strong sons. (All but Urrigon had lived and Urrigon would have survived if not for that damned maester.) It’s why the death of Rodrik and Maron and the loss of Theon destroyed them both. Alannys was sad and distant, wanted no more sons because she feared she would lose them, too; and Balon wanted sons so that he might have a legacy worth of his father and of the Ironborn of old.