I’m actually so consistently amazed at the hatred people seem capable of throwing at Lysa of all people, and I’m not even referring to what happened on my dash today, so much as I am the tag. The Lysa Arryn/Lysa Tully tags make the Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark tags look positively heavenly. I’m sorry, I know those tags are awful, but I literally, I have never tracked the Lysa tag—LYSA MY FAVORITE BABY—who I have RPed a couple times and who I will never get over as long as I live, simply because there is NOTHING in there but hate. And fashion blogs.
I’m in there right now, and the first post is congratulating LF on killing her. ‘Ding dong the bitch is dead,’ you say. That’s nice. Onward. (This really doesn’t cover the half of my feelings but it’s a primer.)
‘I think that if it wasn’t for Lysa, House Tully would have a much better reputation amongst the fandom.’ That’s also nice. I think that if people weren’t so ignorant when it comes to mental illness and closed-minded when it comes to appreciation of a character who is very different from most others, House Tully would have a much better reputation amongst the fandom. I could go on. I won’t.
But anyway. So some of the common complaints I see (when people bother to voice complaints; usually THAT BTICH seems to suffice) are as follows:
She treats Sansa badly. Well, who doesn’t treat Sansa badly? Cersei treats Sansa badly. Sandor treats Sansa badly, even in the process of saving her he practically verbally abuses her. Petyr is taking complete advantage of her. Let’s look at why Lysa treats Sansa so badly. SURPRISE, it’s because she’s a multidimensional character. Lysa is truly jealous of Sansa. Sansa, who is just a little girl, by all counts. Sansa, whose life sucks. Lysa is jealous of her, sees her as a threat, is afraid that she will take away her husband and her son. And interestingly enough, post-death, Sansa ends up largely ‘filling in’ for Lysa when it comes to Robin. Jealousy by no means justifies awfulness, but can we please stop filing it away as ‘bitchiness’? What the fuck does that even mean?
Lysa is insecure and beyond emotionally fucked up, taught her whole life that nobody wanted her. Her father wanted Catelyn, not her. Petyr wanted Catelyn, not her. Her husband didn’t want her. She was brought up understanding that she was worthless and unneeded in the eyes of others. Which explains a lot about her clinginess when it comes to Robin and the odd way in which he has been brought up. Faced finally with someone who depends on her completely and does love her, and does need her, Lysa is desperate to keep things that way. That’s why she still nurses, that’s why she still sleeps with Robin in the bed. Her clinginess is arguably damaging, especially consider Robin’s proven inability to exist without her post-moondooring. But it’s interesting, far beyond EW GROSS THAT CHICK IS BREASTFEEDING THAT LITTLE BOY?
On that topic, can you all please stop? I find this ‘revelation’ more annoying than JAIME LOOKS LIKE PRINCE CHARMING FROM SHREK. It’s actually so annoying that I can’t deal with it. Yes, she is breastfeeding that little boy. Yes, that goes against most people’s sense of decency and normalcy. However, many mothers do make the choice to continue breast feeding beyond what is considered the ‘normal’ weening age. While Lysa’s reasoning is soundly unhealthy, seeing as it is most likely a selfish move rather than a conscious mothering choice, EW SHE’S BREAST FEEDING HIM is a stupid complaint and you should all stop making posts about it. Or at least stop tagging them.
I’ll stretch into character analysis/speculative territory here when I say that Lysa does not like sex. I can’t imagine her ever enjoying it, truly. I think that she latched onto it at an early age as her means of becoming valuable to men, and exercised this idea when she had sex with Petyr that once. A time that I’m sure was deeply damaging to both of them, since neither was fully aware of the conditions under which they were sleeping with the other. Petyr mistook him for Cat, and Lysa mistook him for aware of what was happening, and excited to sleep with her. Their revelations to the contrary would have been soundly painful for both. However, Lysa’s first child was forcefully aborted, and she was married of, her worth proven again to be no more than that of a political pawn, and, post-sex, a pawn with a big chip missing. However after that first sexual experience she was forced to have sex with a man far older than she who she did not love. The only positive product for her is Robin, which is why years later when she has sex with Petyr, in that lovely bought of ‘dirty talk’ she asks him to make her a baby.
This annoys me to no end, because everyone finds this SO hilarious. I mean, it’s not sexy. But that’s not the point. The point is that she wants Petyr to value her. She’s excited because he’s having sex with her, he knows it’s her, and that equates to value. Furthermore, the only good thing sex has ever gotten he was a son, and to have another one? Another little person who needs her more than anyone else? Of course she wants it. That’s all she wants.
And it’s not ~normal, but it’s not OH DEAR LORD IT’S THAT CRAZY PSYCHO BITCH AGAIN. This is a deeply flawed and damaged woman, in large part because of the actions of the people around her. Because, as a girl who was clearly ~different and suffered from mental illness from a young age, she was not offered help. Westerosi society does not identify mental illness (or learning disorders for that matter) or deal with it constructively (ex. show!tywin’s response to show!jaime’s dyslexia). So, instead, she was bullied by her father, by the boy she loved, by the man she married, and later murdered by that boy she loved.
She was killed, because Petyr Baelish used her as much as he possibly could. He took complete and total advantage of her. He convinced her to do things that she otherwise would not have done. He tricked her into thinking that she had value to him. Then, before murdering her, he stripped that away from her.
And she didn’t even scream. She took it, like she had been taught she was supposed to. Her worthlessness in the end more believable than anything else.
You’re right fandom, what a ‘crazy fucking bitch.’ One dimensional to the very end.