“We are stronger than we seem, my lady”
“Catelyn had grown fond of Lady Maege and her eldest daughter, Dacey. The daughter was tall and lean, the mother short and stout, but they dressed alike in mail and leather, with the black bear of House Mormont on shield and surcoat. By Catelyn’s lights, that was queer garb for a lady, yet Dacey and Lady Maege seemed more comfortable, both as warriors and as women, than ever the girl from Tarth had been”.
“There’s a carving on our gate. A woman in a bearskin, with a child in one arm suckling at her breast. In the other hand she holds a battleaxe. She’s no proper lady, that one, but I always loved her.”
“We are stronger than we seem, my lady.”
Mormont women modern AU
↳ ‘It’s all I’ve ever known’
Cold summers, one after the other.
(***spoilers through A Dance With Dragons & The Winds of Winter excerpt***)
Some people like to dismiss the North entirely or choose to write off Northern women as “unimportant to the storyline,” forgetting that these women, on the losing side of an endless war, have suffered just as much hardship with just as much fortitude as the few favorites who get acknowledged constantly.
I see all of these “a woman can” and “the women are the strong ones” posts with the same three to four faces over and over again. This isn’t to say “don’t love these popular characters” - it’s to say, here are some other women in the series who are amazing and overlooked and who you should consider. If ASOIAF is indeed a story about the strength of women, as some claim, then it’s not only silly, but downright irresponsible, as readers, to dismiss them.
There are others, too—I’m not including every Northern woman that I could (just a few of the ones that I really love) or the women of the Riverlands, Dorne, or the Iron Islands, for instance—but I thought I’d present you with a few great Northern ladies to remember when you think about ASOIAF ladies.
- All the Mormont women (Maege, Dacey, Alysane, Lyra, Jorelle, Lyanna) - for a fairly exhaustive list of why you should care about them, please see this post.
- Donella (Manderly) Hornwood - did everything in her (very limited, pretty much non-existent) power to stop the Bastard of Bolton from going after herself and her lands. Was forcibly married to him and starved to death.
- Eddara Tallhart - the nine-year old daughter of Ser Helman Tallhart. After the death of her father at the Battle of Duskendale, and of her older brother during the Sack on Torrhen’s Square, is now the heiress of Torrhen’s Square.
- Jeyne Poole - the daughter of Lord Eddard’s steward, Jeyne is thrust into the violent, unrelenting game of thrones the day her father is slain by Lannister men in King’s Landing. She is further pulled into the game by Petyr Baelish, used as a pawn and married off to Ramsay Bolton under the pretense that she is Arya Stark.
- Wylla Manderly - 15 year old granddaughter of Lord Wyman. With no fear, shouts the truth about the Red Wedding in a room full of enemies, as well as advocating joining Stannis’ cause. (“They killed Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn and King Robb. He was our king! He was brave and good and the Freys murdered him. If Lord Stannis will avenge him, we should join Lord Stannis.”)
- Sybelle Locke - in charge of Deepwood Motte after her husband, Robett Glover, and his brother (the master of Deepwood), Galbart, went to war. She and her young children were captured by Asha Greyjoy during the Ironborn attack on Deepwood. When they are rescued by Stannis and the Mormonts, it is Sybelle who sends many Glover men with Stannis to march on Winterfell. She also ransoms her Ironborn prisoners to the Iron Bank.
‘But the ghosts that we knew
Made us black and all blue
And will live a long life’
”- Are all your Bear Island women such warriors?
- She-bears, aye. We have needed to be. In olden days the ironmen would come raiding in their longboats, or wildlings from the Frozen Shore. The men would be off fishing, like as not. The wives they left behind had to defend themselves and their children, or else be carried off”.
Dacey Mormont looked up at the sky. “I would sooner have water raining down on me than arrows.”
Catelyn smiled despite herself. “You are braver than I am, I fear. Are all your Bear Island women such warriors?”
“She-bears, aye,” said Lady Maege. “We have needed to be. In olden days the ironmen would come raiding in their longboats, or wildlings from the Frozen Shore. The men would be off fishing, like as not. The wives they left behind had to defend themselves, or else be carried off.”
“There’s a carving on our gate,” said Dacey. “A woman in a bearskin, with a child in one arm suckling at her breast. In the other hand she holds a battleaxe. She’s no proper lady, that one, but I always loved her.