Power ‘Ship, because what is a powerful drama without powerful relationship? Now many of you are asking, “What is a Ship?” Most of you reading this are of fandom lore, and understand fandom terminology (Hey Tumblrverse!). See there are those who are fans of a show and then there are those who live in it’s fandom.Where you might discuss the show for a few minutes after the season finale, the fanatics of a fandom will discuss a show for YEARS after it goes off the air, ad naseum.
One of THE hottest topics of any fandom are it’s ships; slang for Relationships. They follow they same sort of name smashing monkiers that heralded after the Brangalina era. So for example, Sansa and Joffery would be Jonsa or Saffery. Something weird like that, but are the basis of many ‘a conversations, the most diehard of shippers able to pick up on subtle references, slight glances of the eye (called ninjastares) and take a sentence and weave it into a dissertation.
Okay, non-fandom people, you got it? GODD! On to the good stuff. Oh! Bloger Note: Disclaimer; this contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read up to Storm of Swords, or hasn’t read anything at all and have watched up to Season This contains incomplete information for anyone who has read past page 525 of Storm of Swords, where I currently am staring loving at my bookmark.
Now, what was I saying? Right. The Good Stuff.
After a tricky espinoage – turncoat – this is the only way to save your life scheme thought up quickly by famed ranger Qhorin Halfhind of the Night’s Watch after a ranging mission goes terribly wrong, we now find Jon Snow on the wrong side of the tracks, North of the Wall and alone. His only true friend it seems would be the wildling woman he “stole”, a woman eager to get into his pants and his heart, but mostly his pants. Ygritte is a fierce and wildly independent woman, spending her entire life North of Wall in the free lands, while Jon, although a bastard, spent most of his life as a Lord’s son in the guarded keep of Winterfell.
Why They Work: Ygritte’s a spitfire, and her sense of loyalty smoothly accompanies her sense of unchecked liberty and because of this she has become one of Jon’s greatest teachers. She provided him another spectrum, one so completely left and foreign to his world, one that makes him question more than enough of his life spent South of the Wall. She takes up for him in the greatest way a wildling woman can, by forcing Mance to recognize them as a joined couple, thus becoming soley responsible for The Crow in the land of the free. Jon in part gives Ygritte the honor of being “stolen” by a strong man but at the same time with the gentleness and courtesies of a Southern man. They are like Ying and Yang, Dark and Light, Hot and Cold, and play off of each other in a captivating and wild way. Three cheers for The Crow and His Woman Kissed by Fire.
Daenarys Stormborm of House Targaryen is the last of the dragons, the last of the Royal family that is no more, but that was to change as Viserys had every means of retaking what was stolen from them when the Usurper Baratheon took the Iron Throne. One way Viserys plans to do that is to gather him an army. But what do you do when you have no money or any lands to buy an army with, nor do you captivate loyalty from the people who once bowed to you? Use earth’s most valuable asset, a woman. Or your sister. Or future wife, whatever the Targareyns like to do. His “selling” of his sister Dany to the most fearsome Khal in Vaes Dothrak, Khal Drogo. What started off as a carnal and savage way of life for Dany sprouted into love she grew to adore, the name Khalessi she loved to hear, and her rightful place as Khal Drogo’s queen.
Why They Work: Dany had to be a strong woman to be married off at such a young age, and into a lifestyle she had no history of, customs she was unfamiliar with, and people who looked nothing like her (save the Ser Jorah Mormont of the Bear Islands). Not only was there a huge language barrier between Dany and Drogo, but it seemed intially Drogo only had designs of the sexual kind (although he and his people did gift her favorably and she inspired loyalty from a number of Drogo’s people). Soon Dany’s fierce desire to be a good wife to her husband lead her to learning the language, the customs, rites of passages and mostly how to love a Dothraki. Their marriage of convience soon evolved into the most passionate marriages The Game of Thrones universe has yet to top, setting precedents on fierce loyalty and acceptance that hasn’t been matched by other couples. We stand in awe of The Moon of Khal Drogo’s life and Daenerys’s Sun and Stars.
The youngest of our lovers, and when I say young, I mean nine and fourteen respectively, and when I say lovers, I mean we’ve got a couple of years before we seen the first sprigs of true romance (although the literal rolling in the Hay they did at Lady Smallwood’s home, that was flail worthy). But still, there is a great hope in these two. After the execution of her father, Eddard Stark, Arya Stark was carted off by Yorin of the Night’s Watch under the guise of the “boy” Arry (a favor to Eddard; to watch and protect his youngest daughter). This was a ploy to keep her safe and out of the hands of the Lannisters who were running havoc on the Red Keep. There, after a challenge as the new “boy” from Lommey and Hot Pie, Gendry comes to her aid, bigger and stronger than any of the other boys traveling to the wall to start a lifelong servitute to the Night’s Watch. He serves as her protector, being the first to realize true gender and identity. So far Gendry has never left her side and if they were in fact seperated, they found their way back to each other.
Why They Work: Because they just do. It’s one of those stories where you can see the affection between the two, but they are too young to reailze it. Any feelings between the Gendry and Arya is largely platonic, but underneath that is the loyalty to each other, the jealously, and the desire to stick together. Any futher development of even a puppy dog crush are thwarted due to the fact that Gendry knows Arya is highborn and a lady, while he is a bastard and unwanted, lowborn as they can get. But even so, even with the fact that Arya couldn’t give a damn what Gendry’s station is, she wants him by her side and him in kind. So many references to the two getting angry with the other for threatening to leave, or Arya’s jealously over the tavern girl flirting and trying to bed Gendry, or Gendry’s dislike of Ned, because he talks to Arya more than he would care to like. What will be the catalyst is when Gendry realizes that he is no ordinary bastard, but most likely the eldest of Robert Baratheon’s true sons, making him the heir of all Westeros. Watch the sparks fly then between The Wolf and The Bull.
Tyrion Lannister, the one shining light in the dark stronghold that is Casterly Rock and the Lannisters, has his history with whores. Married young to Tysha, he came to find love and find acceptance, only for it to be snatched away when he found out it was a cruel cruel jape at the hands of his brother and father. One the started with getting Tryion laid and turned into a jarring memory for the youngest of the Lannister siblings. But still he couldn’t get enough of them, everywhere Tyrion went, he frequented the pleasure houses, experiencing new women and adventures everywhere South of The Wall. It wasn’t until he found his way to his father’s battle-camp, that he learned what true affection and loyalty felt like. He met Shae.
Why They Work: Shae exhibits a different type of woman in the Game of Thrones universe. The women in this world are very strong, intelligent and ingenious. Strong female characters rule Game of Thrones. What make Shae different is, her apathetic attiude towards what people think she is, what she likes and who she loves. Despite Tyrion’s status and stature in the world, she stands by her Imp, Her Lion through all things; battles, politics, hideous scars, his disfigurments, and lastly his marriage. She believes in Tyrion in a way that no one has and is constantly fighting the notion that she is only with him because of his money, because she is a whore. Many times when she could have escaped or fled, she stayed by Tyrion’s side, giving him the courage to fight and showing him what if feels to be appreciated and loved; something he’s never truly had in his life. Now we don’t know what is in store for this couple, tides change everyday as do loyalties, but as of right now Shae and Her Lion stand as one of the strongest relationships in Westeros.
Jamie Lannister has a dark reputation. The Kingslayer as they call him, he was the first to betray Aerys Targaryen by taking him to the sword. He is also guilty of his incestious relationship with his twin sister, Cersei; their coupling and following births of their children has caused the world to spin on it’s axis, driving it to death, treason and war. He also is responsible for Brandon Stark’s paralysis, pushing him out of a window when he caught Cersei and him going at it in a towerkeep in Winterfell. Jamie is no saint, but he is also driven by a strigent set of expectations, his love for his family, his love for his sister and his loyalty to the realm, despite what people may think. Brienne of Tarth is a foil to Jamie’s tarnish but grew from the same crack in the cement. Large and unwomanlike, Brienne has lived her life knowing her limitations and embracing what the world has given her. Because of her size and apperance, she knew to put down the needle and pick up a sword, to fold the silk and linens of gowns and adopt the more manly look of mail and hard boiled leather. They are two different ends of a spectrum looking at the same thing.
Why They Work: As mentioned before Brienne is Jamie’s foil. Where Jamie is seen as unloyal and surripitious, Brienne is seen valant and ardent, serving those she is sworn to with upmost fevor and dedication. Brienne is given the responsibility of taking Jamie back to King’s Landing after his subsequent escape by the hands of Catelyn Stark, the mother to the King of The North. There relationship is built on distrust and mockery; Brienne seeing Jamie as an oathbreaker, while Jamie despising Brienne for her looks and her repeated lectures on honor. But here is the reason why Jamie and Brienne are one of the most popular ‘Ships, taking the Game of Thrones world by storm despite their unorthadox image of a romantic relationship. The strength behind this ship is the slow discovery of truth. Brienne, who took an oath to protect Jamie until King’s Landing, does so, but in that journey slowly learns more about Jamie Lannister and his infamous past than was ever revealed to her, learning to care for him outside of the realm of just her duty. Jamie on the other hand (no pun I SWEAR, no pun at all), used to Cersei’s beauty and grace which is a harsh reality against Brieanne’s counterance, begins to see “the wench” in a different light, becomes protective of her in the fiercest fashion, even going as far as risking his life to save hers. He begins to see her more than as an unattractive woman…he begins to see her as Brienne. Nothing warms my heart more than The Kingslayer and His Maid of Tarth.
So there you have it, BlackNerdJade’s power ships, the ones that keep me coming back to these THICK AND LENGTHY books time after time (amongst other things). Agree or disagree, these couples reign supreme and I DARE YOU to put yours up against mines! I’ll win everytime.
Eddark and Catelyn Stark:
IF you’re going to ask about loyalty and virtue, who ELSE are you going to look at? Even after Ned’s death, their love lives on.
Robert Baratheon and Lyanna Stark:
After Aerys kidnaps her, and kills her father and her older brother, Robert Baratheon damn near kills all of Westeros to get her back. He fails and she dies, but to this day he has never stopped loving her.
Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell
Okay, so not exactly sure HOW canon (raise your hand if you know what canon means) this is (there have been hints I believe, very subtle …Like, c’mon Renly names them the RAINBOW guard! Too much? Not enough? Well what about…wait…I’m about to drop a spoiler. *HALTS herself*) but despite that, it was made VERY clear in the show that Renly and Loras were head over heels in love with each other. If we use context and a very vivid and wicked immagination, I’m sure the passion between the two rivaled Dany and Drogo’s love. We can see just how heartbroken Loras is when Renly dies and how Renly tries to keep Loras as close as possible in a time when they couldn’t be together. VERY honorable mention. Very.