War seems like a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. Then they get a taste of battle.
For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they’ve been gutted by an axe.
They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now, They take the wound, and when that’s still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.
If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron half helm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the small folk whose land they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad in all steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world.
And the man breaks.” —Septon Meribald, A Feast for Crows (via thehoundking)
oh, uhm.. i have a bachelor degree in ‘communication and information sciences’ which is basically a mixture of three majors: communication (commercial/marketing but also interpersonal/organizational and linguistics), film & television, and new media (simply put: how media influences society and vice versa through time and how they manage to do that, both by discourse and cinematic techniques etc) and my minor was ‘pop music and popular culture’ which was basically about the history of pop music and how people are affected by fandoms, subcultures etc.
and i have a master degree in Dutch language and culture, specializing in textual communication, with a focus on educational texts
and now i work a dumb job while going through an existential crisis because /life/
So when I see “the proud lord” or “a lion still has claws” applied to a Lannister, I facepalm. Those lines are not about the Lannisters, they’re about a dead lion who tried to fight the Lannisters and lost.
And when I see “And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours” applied to a Stark, I facepalm even harder, because it’s an empty claim. It’s a claim that got the person who said it killed. Though I suppose that means it could apply to the Starks, but only in a graphic for Robb re the Red Wedding — it’s not especially appropriate to use for any other Stark that a fan hopes will defeat the Lannisters in the future.
Anyway. Sorry. Been sitting on this complaint too long, had to get it off my chest. :/
Forgive me for taking out the explanation about the Rains, for I know it well enough, and this is not meant for others as much as it is for a personal clarification. As someone who steadily uses the words of Rains on graphics and gifsets, I fail to see the point.
It is a song about the destruction of House Reyne, yes, but it is first and foremost a song about Tywin Lannister’s ruthless war policy. So how wrong is it to use a song that praises Tywin’s merciless conduct on a Lannister graphic? Lannisters who are just as merciless as Tywin himself, often? Lannisters who are trying to wipe out dynastyes, not unlike Tywin did with the Reynes?
When I (and people generally, in the Lannister fandom) write “And who are you, the proud Lord said, that I must bow so low,” on a Tywin Lannister edit, I think the message we are not stressing the LORD part, as much as the BOW part. Seven kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister, seven kingdoms forced to bow before Tywin Lannister just like the Reynes were forced to bow, and die. I don’t see it as out of place, not even a little bit.
And the fact that The Rains of Castamere is a Lannister song, it means that it is a song that Lannisters across the Seven Kingdoms perceive as a proud anthem to the blood in their veins. It’s as much Tywin’s song as it is Tyrion’s, Jaime’s, Cersei’s, Kevan’s, Lancel’s, Genna’s and I could go on. Yes, it is a song written about Tywin Lannister, but it is also a song that belongs to every Lannister in King’s Landing, Lannisport, everywhere in Westeros Lannisters members, even the least famous ones, leap to their feet in pride at the first string.
Not to mention the fact that a song may be written for a purpose, but that doesn’t mean people can’t use its words as they wish? I am not trying to be hostile, I mean I agree with your whole explanation and it is one of my pet peeves too when people think the proud lord is Tywin. What I am trying to say is, people shouldn’t feel bad, or worse, wrong, for using the lyrics to a song that is first and foremost a Lannister song. They can adapt it as they wish. They can use “Mine are long and sharp my Lord” for Cersei and/or Tyrion, deciding to interpret it in the light of Cersei and Tyrion’s struggle to be respected by their father. Or they could use “And so he spoke, and so he spoke” for, say, Ned Stark, deciding to interpret it in the light of Ned’s attempt at warning Cersei and losing his head.
I understand where you’re coming from, I totally do, but I also think people are free to feel a song the way they want to. If they want to feel pride, and splatter the words across every graphic, let them.
Belonging is a beautiful thing, whether it is a real place or a fictional House of Westeros. And sometimes even a little thing like a song can do wonders.
Let me add to this. While The Rains of Castamere originally was meant as a song about Tywin and House Reyne, it’s not just that song anymore. Interpretations of a song change constantly. People hear it and apply their own feelings, thoughts and personal experiences to it. This happens to fans who watch the show, but also in Westeros itself.
In the show the Lannister army was singing The Rains of Castamere to prepare for war. It was used at the Red Wedding, it is later used by Jaime to use as a threat to what Lannisters can do when you try to cross them…. all those events CHANGE the way a song is interpreted. The Rains of Castamere isn’t just a song about Tywin against the Reyne’s anymore. It’s also a song about Lannisters versus Baratheons, Lannisters versus Starks etc etc…. and people who hear it respond to it in different ways, all according to their own personal points of view. for some people it might mean fear, for other’s pride…… EVERYONE IS FREE TO INTERPRET THIS SONG IN ANY WAY HE LIKES. THATS THE WONDERFUL THING ABOUT ‘ART’: THERE IS NO WRONG WAY CAUSE ITS ABOUT WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. A song isn’t a fixed object existing in a vacuum: it is in constant interaction with its listeners who give the song new meaning.
While I agree the original meaning is interesting and helps you to understand the song better, there is NOTHING WRONG with using “And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours” for the Starks. as is there nothing wrong with applying “a lion still has claws” to a Lannister. It even makes sense. These are the lyrics that, purely based on the text itself, fit the current situation best.
Let me give you another example to show how ridiculous it is to hold onto the original meaning. Think of Ke$ha’s Die Young for example. The entire Game of Thrones fandom took this song and applied it to the Red Wedding. Do you think Ke$ha is going to be angry we misunderstood her true meaning behind the song? Does this mean we are not allowed to do this? Does this mean everyone has to take up the same meaning and can’t make other connections to it?
Interpretations of a song don’t HAVE to be true to their original meaning.
Songs mean to people however the fuck the song makes them feel.
And don’t let anyone ever tell you the way a song makes you feel or the way you add your own personal experiences, knowledge, thoughts and feelings when listening to a song is wrong. ITS NOT. Everyone does.
Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner. (Tyrion VI, A Storm of Swords)
Don’t you just love it when Tywin Lannister does that thing in which he calls roughly 3,500 people ‘a dozen’. This is a quote that has always bothered me because I’ve seen a lot of people praising it and calling it smart. I know that war is a terrible thing, but Tywin is wrong: it is more noble to kill ten thousand men than “a dozen” at dinner based on the simple fact that those ten thousand people will have an opportunity to defend themselves or at least, an opportunity of being aware of the fact that they’re in battle. I think Tywin is mistaking ‘more noble’ for ‘better’ here - it would not be better to kill ten thousand men in the battlefield than “a dozen” at dinner because killing is wrong, period.
At the Red Wedding, the Freys got the northmen drunk so they were unconscious or not sober enough to fight. Not to mention that they broke the Guest Right which by nature in Westeros is sacred and simply “cannot” be broken. And this is just leaving out the fact that by itself, the fact of killing an army after offering them an alliance and a night of peaceful rest is cruel.
These are the things that killing “a dozen” people at dinner instead of ten thousand in war is: smarter, crueller, more pragmatic, more cowardly.
It is not “more noble”.
Yes THIS! This exactly — of course the Red Wedding is better than a battle from Tywin’s perspective, but first of all, it wasn’t just “twelve men” — it was most of the combined forces of the North and of Riverrun, probably more than Tywin could have hoped to kill in a battle — and second it wasn’t “noble,” certainly by Westerosi standards.
Okay, the point about it not being a dozen stands, but Tywin is not saying that the RW was more noble than a battle. He is saying that a battle is not more noble than the RW. It’s not the same thing.
The “honorable” characters like to ascribe notions of “nobility” to acts of war so they can justify the fact that they’re willing to kill untold numbers of nameless, faceless smallfolk to defend their own power and security. There is nothing noble about war.
Tywin’s not trying to justify the “nobility” of his actions; he knows that the RW is less “noble” by Westerosi standards. He’s pointing out the hypocrisy of labeling any act of war as “noble.” Not that Tywin cares that much about hypocrisy, but he does care about people wasting his time with ethical debates that don’t hold water.