17.9.11

Inspritations for The Mountain Part 1 - Gregor & Melly

Ser Gregor Clegane as played by Conan Stevens
Gregor, The Mountain - Everyone knows who The Mountain himself is based on. Of course he's Ser Gregor Clegane. During a re-read of the series I suddenly thought, wouldn't it be interesting if someone wrote about Gregor and gave him a story of his own, showed another side of him. No one ever did, so I decided to play with the idea more myself. I was also interested in seeing if I could write a long running story, as most of my experience has been in short stories, essays and opinion pieces. This Mountain is based off of the Mountain in the books, as well as Gregor Clegane from Season 1 Game of Thrones, played by Conan Stevens.

Who is Lady Melicent? I've had many people ask after reading the fic, is Lady Melly you? Sure, but I think she's only a little bit of me. Aren't all characters a writer writes some element of themselves? Otherwise, how could we know them so well? She is an element of me, I think though, as is my Ser Gregor, and Nella and all the others. There are varying degrees of me in everyone I write.

What does Melly look like? In my head, she looks like a green eyed, human version of Disney's Belle. Below is a good depiction of how she might look, were she real. She's only Melly from certain angles and not usually head on and she also has dark eyes. However, if you want a glimpse into my mental image, there you go. Lady Melicent Karstark is also an internet persona, taken from a role play character who I developed and and liked. The name Melicent is the name of very minor characters in the ASOIAF series.

Why Karstarks, Redwynes, Cleganes, Daynes etc? Where are the book characters who you've replaced with your own original characters? I don't know, I like to think of this Westeros as a parallel universe. These things may not really happen, but they could have happened if things had been different. My main goal was to write about Gregor, and very few book characters felt right. It's just fan fiction. I'm not claiming it's good or bad, it's just something that grew in my head. Does it all make sense? Maybe only in my head. It's been a fun challenge to take some random Houses, a handful of characters, a handful of O/Cs and see what comes from it.


Lady Melicent and her Lord Husband
 
The Lady Clare - Lady Melicent and her little doe were actually inspired by a painting "The Lady Clare" painted by John William Waterhouse in the year 1900.

This painting has long been a favorite of mine. I discovered it in high school when I was studying art & something about it drew me. Maybe it was the little white doe, but I think it had more to do with Clare's expression. To me, she looked sad, but resigned and I wondered what it was that made her so. After much searching (we had no internet back in those ancient days) I found that Waterhouse's painting was inspired by Tennyson's poem 'Lady Clare'.

Reading the poem I found that the Lady Clare was willing to make a great sacrifice & give up everything she held dear, to give her true love what she thought he was owed. I read the poem again & again, it was magical. "It was the time when lilies blow, And clouds are highest up in air," it still, to me, the most beautiful opening line of any poem, song or story. However, this was the was the passage that stayed with me the most:

She clad herself in a russet gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale, and she went by down,
With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
And follow'd her all the way.
- Tennyson


For years I've wanted to write a story about the Lady Clare and her little doe, but every time I began, I'd realize again, that Tennyson had already written her story. All these years later I was walking in the woods with my dogs and the Lady Clare popped into my head as I went. There's a place along this walk where a huge old tree (might be a maple, I'm not good with those sorts of things) grows in a sort of a small clearing. It was autumn & the leaves were red. I looked up at the tree & thought how it resembled a weirwood. Then suddenly the whole storyline of Lady Melicent started running through my head. Just like that, I had her story. I didn't end up putting her together with Gregor for several years, instead I used her for role play in a few different forums. When I began to think about writing a Gregor story, Lady Melicent seemed to fit.

Here is the full poem, for those who might be interested:

Lady Clare by Lord Alfred Tennyson

It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air,
Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

I trow they did not part in scorn-
Lovers long-betroth'd were they:
They too will wed the morrow morn:
God's blessing on the day !

'He does not love me for my birth,
Nor for my lands so broad and fair;
He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well,' said Lady Clare.

In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, 'Who was this that went from thee?'
'It was my cousin,' said Lady Clare,
'To-morrow he weds vith me.'

'O God be thank'd!' said Alice the nurse,
' That all comes round so just and fair:
Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
And you are not the Lady Clare.'

'Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse?'
Said Lady Clare, 'that ye speak so wild?'
'As God's above,' said Alice the nurse,
' I speak the truth: you are my child.

'The old Earl's daughter died at my breast;
I speak the truth, as I live by bread!
I buried her like my own sweet child,
And put my child in her stead.'

'Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother,' she said, ' if this be true,
To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due.'

'Nay now, my child,' said Alice the nurse,
'But keep the secret for your life,
And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,
When you are man and wife.'

' If I'm a beggar born,' she said,
'I will speak out, for I dare not lie.
Pull off, pull off, the brooch of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by.'

'Nay now, my child,' said Alice the nurse,
'But keep the secret all ye can.'
She said, ' Not so: but I will know
If there be any faith in man.'

'Nay now, what faith ?' said Alice the nurse,
'The man will cleave unto his right.'
'And he shall have it,' the lady replied,
'Tho' I should die to-night.'

'Yet give one kiss to your mother dear !
Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee.'
'O mother, mother, mother,' she said,
'So strange it seems to me.

'Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,
My mother dear, if this be so,
And lay your hand upon my head,
And bless me, mother, ere I go.'

She clad herself in a russet gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale, and she went by down,
With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,
And follow'd her all the way.

Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower:
'O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!
Why come you drest like a village maid,
That are the flower of the earth?'

'If I come drest like a village maid,
I am but as my fortunes are:
I am a beggar born,' she said,
'And not the Lady Clare.'

'Play me no tricks,' said Lord Ronald,
'For I am yours in word and in deed.
Play me no tricks,' said Lord Ronald,
'Your riddle is hard to read.'

O and proudly stood she up !
Her heart within her did not fail:
She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes,
And told him all her nurse's tale.

He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn:
He turn'd and kiss'd her where she stood:
'If you are not the heiress born,
And I,' said he, 'the next in blood--

'If you are not the heiress born,
And I,' said he, ' the lawful heir,
We two will wed to-morrow morn,
And you shall still be Lady Clare.'


List of Chapters

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