Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Game of Thrones: Alys Karstark

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

Alys Karstark is a character introduced in A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire. She flees her uncle who is trying to gain control of the  Karstark ancestral lands, but she's not having any of it. With her father executed and her brothers scattered (or dead), her uncle sees this as an opportunity to wed her and be lord of Karhold. She flees to Castle Black, where Jon Snow gives her safe haven. But her uncle will not give up easily.

This post will have spoilers for A Song of Ice and Fire.

You are my only hope, Lord Snow. In your father's name, I beg you. Protect me. 

Alys is first seen by Melisandre in her flames, and mistaken for Arya. The red priestess sees a girl on the run, heading north, and tells Jon- but when she arrives, she asks for protection from Cregan, her uncle (or technically a cousin since Cregan's father Arnolf is her great-uncle). Another case of Melisandre seeing one thing but misinterpreting it. Jon grants her sanctuary, and when Cregan shows up, Jon has him imprisoned.

"Daggers in the dark. I know. You will forgive my doubts, my lady. A grey girl on a dying horse, fleeing from a marriage, that was what you said. "
"I was not wrong."
"You were not right. Alys is not Arya."
"The vision was a true one. It was my reading that was false. I am as mortal as you, Jon Snow. All mortals err."

Alys is a bit like Lyanna Mormont- assertive and loyal to the north. Her father was executed for killing Lannister prisoners, and her brothers Eddard and Torrhen were killed by Jaime Lannister. Her betrothed, Daryn Hornwood, was also killed. Her brother Harrion, who is currently the heir, is a prisoner to the south.

Before the war I was betrothed to Daryn Hornwood. We were only waiting till I flowered to be wed, but the Kingslayer killed Daryn in the Whispering Wood. My father wrote that he would find some southron lord to wed me, but he never did. Your brother Robb cut off his head for killing Lannisters. 

I thought the whole reason they marched south was to kill some Lannisters. 

To prevent her from being victimized, Jon arranges for her to marry Sigorn, the new Magnar of Thenn. A wildling. This in effect creates a new noble house, which will inherit Karhold if Harrion Karstark dies. Problem solved- and Jon has an ally in Karhold. Melisandre officiates at the wedding.

Jon turned to Alys Karstark. "My lady. Are you ready?"
"Yes. Oh, yes."
"You're not scared?"
The girl smiled in a way that reminded Jon so much of his little sister that it almost broke his heart. "Let him be scared of me." The snowflakes were melting on her cheeks, but her hair was wrapped in a swirl of lace that Satin had found somewhere, and the snow had begun to collect there, giving her a frosty crown. Her cheeks were flushed and red, and her eyes sparkled. 
"Winter's lady." Jon squeezed her hand. 

I love the relationship between Jon and Alys.

"You could dance with me, you know. It would be only courteous. You danced with me anon."
"Anon?" teased Jon. 
"When we were children." She tore off a bit of bread and threw it at him. "As you know well."
"My lady should dance with her husband."
"My Magnar is not one for dancing, I fear. If you will not dance with me, at least pour me some of the mulled wine." 


  1. I really like the idea of marrying her to Sigorn. It's such a big step for the wildlings.
    Her relationship with Jon is so sweet ~

  2. I loved these quotes and it makes me more fidgety to get to this series sooner rather than later.

  3. I skimmed Greg, as I have yet to read or watch the series. I know, I know I am living in the Dark Ages.

  4. "Let him be scared of me" oh Alys and her story sound fantastic! I wish it had been included in the show! taking about the show.. I'm officially depressed about it ending. Not sure ho my "world after GoT" would look like but it seems very sad to me :(

  5. I've never read or watched the series, but my daughter and SIL loved the series.