Watching people misread Catelyn Stark’s chapters with the words right there in front of them is mystifying and painful.
Watching people misread Catelyn Stark’s chapters with the words right there in front of them is mystifying and painful.
No exactly, this is what I’m trying to say! Petyr Baelish does the unpredictable thing!
When Catelyn is in that inn (which she did not go into willingly! Petyr Baelish forces her to come, giving her a very reasonable motive for his action: the Lannisters must not know. Which is true, from the Stark POV), she is not automatically trusting of Petyr. Then the moment comes when Petyr tells her that Tyrion Lannister owned the knife that was used to try to kill Bran. At this moment she has to decide if this statement is likely to be true or likely to be false. At this moment she has to decide if what she knows justifies believing Petyr to be capable of willingly stirring shit between House Stark and House Lannister at her expense, or not. Once this statement is uttered, Catelyn is not deciding whether or not Petyr Baelish is capable of anything less than fomenting a civil war. It is only that question that she has to answer; up until that moment when she is given that lie to react to, she has kept her distance from him.
Once he says this lie, she can’t maintain a stance of vague antipathy. The only alternative to believing that Petyr Baelish is fomenting a civil war that will greatly affect the quality of her own life is to believe that he really was concerned that the Lannisters would find her in King’s Landing (perfectly believable even now) and that he really does want to help her find justice for her son.
People seem to gloss over the fact that before he declared his love for Catelyn and fought a duel for her, they were friends for years. Petyr Baelish spent years at Riverrun, eating Cat’s mud pies and guiding her through fogs and whatnot, and not annoying her with unwanted romantic attention. When he announced his intention to fight a duel for her hand in marriage, it surprised everyone, not just Catelyn (if I am remembering the passage correctly; in any case there isn’t any point where anyone says “I saw that coming”). And all I contend is that a lovesick teenager is not necessarily indicative of sociopathy (or whatnot, I’m not sure what the psychologically proper term is any more, please forgive my ignorance). So you’re friends for years, and then at the end of those years this whole duel thing happens, and it’s awful, and he writes you a letter right after, but then for fifteen years nothing bad happens, and not even that but he does actually leave you alone.
Why, based on that, would you be expected to take a statement like “Tyrion Lannister owned that dagger,” knowing what it would mean if it was intentionally misleading, and see a lie? I’m not saying it was impossible for Catelyn to be just that suspicious, I’m just saying that it’s reasonable that she wasn’t.
@cordeliacassandra tagged me in this post where she was asked why she likes Catelyn Stark, so I’m going to take that as my cue to talk about the same.
Maybe they just have a severe case of Hindsight Is 20/20 and thinks the world has never seen it before or something. Maybe they think that if they imply that they’d totally have been smart enough to be taken in by Petyr Baelish they are a cooler breed of fan. I don’t know. I think they’re insane.
I really cannot understand people who think that Catelyn should have known that Petyr would bear a grudge against her because she rejected him romantically as teenagers. I really can’t.
There was a guy in high school who liked me. I liked another guy who was not him. He was miffed. Should I now expect him to have it in for me and mine because of high school?
Are you people serious? If you are one of these people, please can you even BEGIN to make this make sense? I just cannot comprehend it. THIS IS OBSESSIVE SOCIOPATHIC BEHAVIOR. On what planet is it remotely expected of me to anticipate this??!
And riddle me this: if Catelyn should have known that Petyr Baelish would now hate her, how come half the fandom (who even cares to have an opinion on Petyr and Cat, mind) apparently believes that he wanted to get with her still and that a number of his actions were motivated at least in part by his goal of winning her back? Those are the actions of someone who now hates the woman who rejected him? At least half the concerned population thinks so? Therefore Catelyn should have known?
Catelyn haters are such an obnoxious species of human being.
No but for real guys
Did Cat and Edmure even talk to each other in S3?
All I remember is her saying one line to him when they all get him to marry Roslin. Did he say anything back?
Cuz like Edmure had more interaction with Robb then (SURPRISE SURPRISE) and that’s just messed up (SURPRISE SURPRISE).
David Benioff and Dan Weiss fucked this whole storyline over for me so badly. Why, just why should I appreciate them? What did they ever, in THREE YEARS of this gd show, do for me?
I’ve literally never understood Catelyn hate because she’s always been one of my favorite characters but I read something that was interesting: “hate towards Catelyn is so strong because people expected more from her.” Like with characters like Jaime, they’ve already been seen in a super negative negative light but Cat has her “Jon Snow” moment in like her second chapter so it’s easy for people to maintain that bias. Not to mention, her utter realism and the fact that she is an intelligent, generally good person who has very human flaws makes people uncomfortable. I would say she’s far more politically conscious than Ned and Robb, and she was basically the mistress of Riverrun at a very early age and running a medieval manor isn’t fun and games.
Not to mention that at least in my opinion, her and Arya are so so so similar internally, and I always thought that Arya’s drive for vengeance comes directly from Cat, not from Ned. And I always viewed Catelyn’s “I despaired of making her a lady” and “forbid it and it will become her heart’s desire” as not criticizing Arya for her wishes but almost sad and wistful, as if when she was a girl she wished for more freedom as Arya does as well but she did her duty for her family and Westeros just isn’t a fair place for women. But if people want to hate Cat more than Ramsay Snow (like actually this is a thing) go for it. That just shows their own utter irrationality.
It’s funny, I feel like I always understood Catelyn hate just enough to know that I’ll never really understand it. Does that make sense? Hahahah.
Yeah people in general expect more from good guys than bad guys. It doesn’t register when bad guys are bad because that’s their job. I get not having a problem with something on a meta level but I think that’s how you end up with morally skewed shit like Catelyn Stark being worse than Ramsay Snow (OH TOWEROFTHEHAND I HOPE YOU NEVER LIVE THIS ONE DOWN YOU SHITS).
And I think this is very interesting, I’ve noticed just how often she is measured against Ned. I remember reading this one reading project where this guy was like, no matter how much I like Ned Stark I can’t seem to like his wife. As in, is she supposed to be worthy of him? Is she supposed to prove an equal yet opposite counterpart? Because there is one very good reason why any comparison will always be asymmetrical, and that’s the patriarchy. Patriarchy privileges Ned in a way it doesn’t privilege Cat and that means that Ned is capable of more nobility because he has been given more by society that he can give away to others. It’s like rich people being able to donate more money to the poor and thus looking better. But a lot of people just go “Oh there’s the Good Male, there’s the Good Female, the Good Male is being sufficiently Good Maleish, but … but wait why is the Good Female not doing what she’s supposed to?” Nevermind that a lot of what she struggles with re. Jon is pretty much the direct consequence of Ned’s actions. Possibly it’s a flaw of GRRM’s designs that the situation doesn’t readily reflect as badly on Ned as it does on Cat, if not worse, to most readers (or at least that by the time it does, there’s no way to do Catelyn’s early impressions over again).
And yes people have more trouble with realistic flaws than outlandish, larger than life flaws. At least, people who arguably are drawn to traditionally escapist genres like fantasy for that very escapist quality.
Cat does have a lot in common with Arya, in addition to the oft-cited penchant for vengeance they are both pretty stubborn, decisive, blunt, opinionated, and they have this tendency to get impatient with people when they can’t express their problem with something for whatever reason. (LOL, there are some Arya fans — and not a whole lot here on Tumblr, but some — who get sooooo pressed if you ever say Arya is like her mother or a Tully or whatever. Hahah. Hahahahhahahah. Hahhhhahahahhahahahh. Hahahah. Hah.) I think both Sansa and Arya have commonalities with both their parents, but a whole lot of people initially tend to see only Arya+Ned and Sansa+Cat and stop there for whatever reason (because Martin makes it easier).
I also saw Catelyn talking about Arya’s quirks as wistful, I dunno if she sees herself as having been similar, but I think she has a mother’s fondness for her child’s little unique qualities. I also don’t think she was awful to Arya, she tried to make a lady out of her because that’s how girl were raised, some girls like Arya might come around as they get older and other girls remain as they are. We don’t know that Catelyn would have been uncompromising and awful if Arya grew up and still behaved as she does now. I mean, we know that Brienne’s father tried raising her like a lady until she got older and then he started doing things differently, and people call him one of the best parents in the story, so we really don’t know what would’ve happened with Cat and Arya (and Ned). Arya’s nine years old, and I’m not saying that children’s views are not to be trusted, but they are still children, you know? Also, I’m not saying I approve of gendered rearing of children, and I do think the Stark children were raised under gendered norms, but I think fandom blows Cat’s parenting of Arya out of proportion.
Personally I think Cat’s relationship with Arya is very interesting and if GRRM had my sensibilities he would’ve given it more page time the way he did for Ned. It’s a relationship between generations of women with different views of womanhood and that is so relevant to social realities. But his feminism is kinda limited.
Okay I don’t mean to harsh your squee or anything XD And I don’t mean to be argumentative and stuff, but I have to say
I did find their relationship very poignant and I did think that he was caught between being a child and being an adult and I did find that compelling enough for what it was. But there were times when I did not think that Robb respected his mother enough, and by enough I mean, the way he would have respected his father. And I do think this is important and I do think that sometimes fans don’t get this. The biggest thing that sticks out is how Robb intended to pack Catelyn off to Seagard to stay as Jason Mallister’s *cough* “guest”. This was his indirect way of finally getting Catelyn out of his hair, even after his various mistakes, even after she proved to be just as useful as anyone else on his team. I found this deeply disrespectful and actually very painful from her point of view.
Put it in a different setting: imagine one day you come to work and the CEO says you are being sent on a forced vacation in front of the rest of the board of execs. Imagine that you have been fighting tooth and nail to be taken as seriously as the rest of the board, who scapegoat you for your supposedly emotional decision-making when they are no better, only for various reasons their emotions are sanctioned by “standard business practices” while yours are not. Imagine that on a handful of very critical decisions your advice was the only reason your CEO was still in the black, or would have been if he’d listened to you. All that, and you’re being dismissed under the insulting, patronizing pretense of a nice holiday by the seaside.
Now imagine he’s your son, and there is no way in hell he would have ever felt threatened by you if you were his father.
Yes Robb was a good son by and large, but his constant resentment of his mother was incredibly childish, ungrateful and, yes, sexist. And the way fans think his resentment is totally natural and unmoveable like some rock in the river, around which the onus and duty is on Catelyn to circumvent, does on some level appall me. Catelyn took precise and acute care to never coddle or “mother” him in front of his men, if he can’t handle her daring to presume to be more experienced than him in private than he doesn’t deserve to be boss. It’s one thing to acknowledge that your society has fucked up values and you can’t change them, it’s another thing to share those values. As realistic as it is for Robb to behave this way, and I do think it’s realistic and I do think this constitutes as good writing, I do not think it constitutes as Robb always being the model of a respectful son. Not to his mother. His father? Yes. Not his mother.
A shitty thing:
How, when I (and other people) say that blaming Catelyn for being the victim of malicious opportunistic assholes is unfair, fandom goes for years without giving a shit, but when I (and other people) say that blaming Ned and Robb for being the victim of malicious opportunistic assholes is unfair, fandom leaps to the defense of the good guys, suddenly armed with knowledge of logical fallacies and the noble desire to be just.
The post I made defending Ned Stark’s decisions in King’s Landing got, like, 200 more notes than anything I’ve ever written about Catelyn Stark. And since when the fuck was this a Ned Stark blog?
But of course, this is no big deal at all because stop whining and fandom is totally fair and evenhanded and calm and logical and stuff.
A Classic Hollywood Fancast of Ice and Fire
» Peter Ustinov as Varys the Spider
He had this great eccentricity, he could say lines that were very tedious, but he could say them with a wit that made them interesting … A great raconteur of course. He was quite irascible, he was not the cuddly teddy bear he put out. He was the greatest mimic I’ve ever met, he could do any voice, he was immensely entertaining. — Michael Winner, BBC News.
His full-bodied, full-toned presence often commanded the viewer’s eyes away from the action to solely on him. Ustinov also tended to be elusive in his acted films, particularly the sword-and-sandal ones, intermittently sashaying in and stealing the show. — Parker Mott, thefinaltake.com.