Real Talk Tuesday
I’ve been reading Book I in George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, Game Of Thrones. NO spoilers in here, I swear! I’m nearly done, and currently reading a part that deals a lot with the strength of bonds, and the boundaries of loyalty. Different Houses are at war with each other, and need the promise of strength and allegiance from other families and Houses in order for their wills to be exacted with any kind of weight. What good is an order if it isn’t followed? What good is a king if no one will kneel?
Houses who pledge their devotion aren’t always loyal to the bitter end. Situations arise that may cause them to turn and fight with the other side, or withdraw from the battle altogether. They can be viewed as cowardly or valiant, depending on who’s writing the story. As the Houses in this book assemble their armies from people who’ve sworn loyalty, the Lords wonder how far that loyalty stretches, what makes it last longer, and what, if anything, will cause their betrayal.
I’ve been consciously evaluating the notion of loyalty for a few months now. It started a couple days after my wedding, when I reflected on the toasts of the Best Man and Maid of Honor and noticed they both happened to list ‘loyalty’ as our positive traits. And then something within me finally clicked into place.
A couple years ago something happened that caused me to feel betrayed. I have to admit, I’m doing a lousy job of recovering from this. Month upon month I’ve asked myself the question “how?” And here I might finally have this answer:
The trait I value most in myself and others is loyalty. But that’s just me. The person I felt betrayed by may not hold it in the same regard, or may not understand that what happened offended that part of me.
I regret to say I’ve felt much like the Lords and Ladies of these Houses; pleased and comforted by pledges of allegiance from those around me, hurt when some fly their banners for the other, uneasy if someone seems to be straddling both sides. These are my friends, these are people I love. I am not at war with anyone, and I know I respect my friends’ individuality and intellects more than what my own hurt and anger allow when they get the best of me. When I am blinded by the sting of a wound which, I am ashamed to say, hasn’t healed yet.
Will I be hurt again? I have to assume so, I plan to live a long life. I have to learn from this situation and these feelings now. This is an opportunity for emotional growth. Fighting is completely unnecessary.
Fans of the ASOIAF books often choose a House to belong to. It would be easy to choose Game Of Thrones’ protagonist House, House Stark of Winterfell, hard people, honor-bound, set in the old ways, whose words are “winter is coming.” But I think I’m more like House Tully of Riverrun, softer by a bit, and whose words are “family, duty, honor.”
- adventuresinblunderland posted this