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Forums: Index > Watercooler > "Talisa"/Jeyne, her family, and Volantis

This started out as a blog post which I have recopied here. Personal blogs are not the place for discussion of potential spoiler information, particularly because unlike forum posts, Administrators cannot easily lock or protect them. I don't even know why we have the blogs. So I've moved the entire discussion here. Moreover, I have locked the forum from Anonymous IP editing...because bluntly, the opinions of anonymous editors who have never contributed to this wiki in the past, do not count.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 20:47, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

Hi everyone! Ever since the Red wedding I have been wondering what Talisa's family will do about their daughters murder. In the books Jeyne Westerling aka Talisa's family are allied with Tywin Lannister and Jeyne doesn't even die so her family have no real reason to want to get revenge on the Freys but in the series Talisa is shown to be a foreigner from a noble family. Also she is shown to be in regular contact with her mother (Westores has a great postal service to Volantis apparently) so surely when letters stop arriving her mother and family would find out about the Red Wedding.

Also the people of Volantis would surely be upset that one of their own had been murdered by people from Westores. Anyway basiclly what I'm wondering is if anyone thinks they will arrive in Westores with an army or something to kill Frey. While this would be a major diversion from the books it wouldn't really make sense if something like this didn't happen.

Anyway thanks for reading.--123Action

This is a verygood question because the show is differ from the books we do not what going to happen and Rob's wife is from Volantis and from which noble family is she from? Is it powerful family in the east? what they going do? what can they?--
Yeah thats pretty much what I'm wondering. I also think it would be great to see a small sub plot involving her family. Many book readers might say that this is to different from the book but I think its needed and would actually make the show more fresh for book readers.--123Action

I remember a discussion like this on the asoiaf forums.

The Maegyrs are a pretty strong family, with one of their members being part of the Volantene Triarchy.

Perhaps...when the time comes...we will see Volantene forces assisting the Starks in whatever military endeavours (if that happens) should come, against the Lannisters, Freys and Boltons. The navy they could potentially provide would be very helpful.--

Talisa's family would send assassins, not an army. The show has already introduced us to the assassins that they would employ. --ProfWimsey

I'd be surprised if anything further happens to do with Talisa's family - it would just add extra complication and an extra plot strand to weave in when there are plenty going on already. The deviations from the book have generally been for the sake of simplicity, so I can't see them changing that policy. Also, Talisa seems to be very much the black sheep of her family, having pretty much disowned them, so if you need a plausible plot reason rather than a production reason, you could say that Talisa's family will probably just see her death as evidence of the barbarous Westerosi ways, and that she brought it on herself by abandoning her home and the Volantine traditions.--Esnifador

These are good points. Also, a lot is in Martin's hands: at this point, he (and possibly Beniof & Weis) knows what role Volantis will play in the over-arching plot(s), but even book readers do not. If Volantis becomes relevant, then it might become simpler to use Talisa's family as the "face" of Volantis: the audience will remember the Red Wedding, after all.

If Volantis does not become involved in any unique way, then this is the last we will hear about it.--

I would like to point out that with the exception of Esnifador, none of you have ever contributed to this wiki before. 123Action, ProfWimsey, the anonymous IP addresses. We've actually addressed these issues in various "in the books" sections, you should have read those first.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:03, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

The change from Jeyne Westerling to Talisa Maegyr

The writers usually waved aside the massive changes to Jeyne/Talisa as "we need to show what Robb was doing off-screen". The problem of course is that George R.R. Martin himself stated at World-Con last year that creating "Talisa" was a two-step process:

First, actually showing her on-screen, and even Martin felt this was a good idea.

Second, however, was the decision to make Robb have a romance subplot and marry her out of love instead of honor, which wrecked the whole point of her. That shoots down the crap handwave explanation they've given us so far. So Martin begged them to change her name to "Talisa" to wash his hands of her, to get the token dignity of having the other writers admit that they changed "Jeyne Westerling" so much she isn't really Jeyne anymore.

On top of this, they bizarrely put too much focus on the Karstarks turning against Robb....when LOSING THE FREY ALLIANCE was even worse, cost them more men AND their strategic passage back to the North...yet within the episode, Bolton and other lords openly address her as "my Queen" and thus his marriage, wrecking the Frey alliance, is treated as some sort of inconsequential background event; instead, we should have dramatically seen Frey soldiers riding out of camp.

Thus even the implication from the books is gone; once people find out Robb married someone else and broke the Frey alliance, they openly call him an idiot and he has no real defense against this. Even sodding *Jaime Lannister* of all people, when he's at Harrenhal and Bolton tells him that Robb married a political nobody and thus wrecked the Frey alliance, openly expresses real sympathy for the poor idiot Robb, softly utterl that Robb won the war on the battlefield but has already lost it in the marriage bed (and how right he was).--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:34, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

Talisa and Volantis

In short: the only explanation the writers ever gave about making Talisa a Volentene, not a Braavosi, or Myrish, and a "Maegyr" on top of that they had just read A Dance With Dragons, and Volantis appears prominently in that book.

......The problem, of course, which I dare anyone to argue against, is that the writers didn't really pay attention to anything ABOUT Volantis. It has slavery and it has a bridge, that much they got right.

Otherwise: Volantis is notable for its extreme segregation, with five sixths of the population slave, and the remainder are the elite nobles -- who *do not even live in the same part of the city*. Thus there is no way Talisa would ever dramatically see a slave drowning or whatever. Moreover, this segregation means that the Volantene nobility are Valyrian - they look white, with white-blonde hair and brightly colored eyes. Basically, they look like Daenerys Targaryen. The same goes for Lys, though that's more of a blonde-hair blue eyes mixture. A better fit to the actress would have been Myr or something, which is famous for having dark hair and olive-colored skin. Frankly, I was willing to look the other way on this as we don't have a definitive list of all Volantene nobility and their physical descriptions.

But that's just what's so weird: if you have an olive-skinned dark-haired actress, like Oona Chaplin, why not say she's "from Myr", whose inhabitants are infamously dark-haired and olive skinned? This isn't meant to be racially insensitive. It's the equivalent of....making a period-piece about Robin Hood, and casting an African-black actor as King John. Or, conversely, the equivalent of casting a blonde-haired blue-eyed Swedish actor as Jesus of Nazareth. They're just both implausible given the setting. And fundamentally, the change to "Talisa" revealed SO LITTLE about Volantis that they might as well have made her from Myr.

Even so, ask yourself: why Volantis, and not Myr?

For that matter, given that the writers loosely give the explanation that "we wanted to introduce Volantis more"......did ANYTHING from the Talisa change, really...introduce anyone, to Volantis? Syrio Forel and Jaqen H'ghar set up Braavos, gave us some indications of its culture.

Quite simply....what do you know about "Volantis" now that you didn't before encountering Talisa? They have do most of the Free Cities. And they've got a bridge which she mentioned once in passing. This isn't a rhetorical question: can anyone, here, say that Talisa helped introduce Volantis?--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:34, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

Talisa and the Maegyr family of Volantis

In the books, Volantis is ruled by an oligarchy of three "triarchs", who are elected by the nobility for one-year terms. Certain powerful noble families routinely get members elected as triarch. One of the current Triarchs of Volantis is from the powerful "Maegyr" family.

George R.R. Martin pretty much said they changed the character of Jeyne Westerling so drastically that he begged them to change her name to something else, to acknowledge how different she was. "Jeyne Westerling" isn't a name from the Free Cities, so they made up "Talisa Maegyr".

I actually think, seriously, that they picked the last name "Maegyr" simply because it was a known surname from Volantis in the books...without pausing to consider, "wait, are we implying that she's a member of the ruling family?"

It's sort if some local TV show in Belarus wanted to invent an American character, so they asked themselves "wait, what's a good American-sounding name? I know, "Obama"!"....without pausing to realize that American viewers would say, "wait, are you implying she's one of THE Obamas?" Another example would be...imagine if the story were set in the Free Cities, not Westeros, and they wanted to invent a character from "The North", so they just picked the name "Stark" because it sounds "Northern"....without pausing to realize that this implies that the character is a member of THE House Stark.

Thus even today, after Season 3 is over, we have *no frelling idea* if "Talisa Maegyr" is meant to be a member of THE "Maegyr family" from Volantis, a family of triarchs.

They simply didn't think out what the implications of picking such a name were: I seriously think they just pulled a Volantis-style name from the index.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:35, July 14, 2013 (UTC)

The Reaction of Talisa's family to the Red Wedding

In the books, Jeyne's mother was in on the Red Wedding and one of the major planners. Jeyne *apparently* didn't know what was going to happen. Also, Jeyne didn't die at the Red Wedding and is indeed still alive in the books.

On the other hand, we never got much answer about her opinions on the Red Wedding.

Consider that MANY people myself included felt that the changes to "Talisa Maegyr" were so corny and ridiculous that we more than half expected that Jeyne's mother and Talisa would be combined in the TV series, so that Talisa was a Lannister honeytrap to trick Robb into breaking his marriage alliance to House Frey. I honestly expected a big moment in the Red Wedding when she openly asked Robb, "didn't it ever occur to you that I don't look Volantene, told you my last name was the same as the ruling family of Volantis but you didn't pause to check this, and that I'm constantly writing letters even in the midst of your army?" -- seriously, that scene in season 2 where she seemed to be calling Robb's bluff by claiming "oh yeah, I must be a Lannister spy sending reports on your army movements" -- so much was leaning towards that. Instead, it was just a straight-up corny romance.

On a certain level, I can deal with corny romance....the biggest question is the more simple, "why Volantis and not Myr"? Very little thought went into this choice by the writers.

In short, they didn't know anything about "Volantis" as it is depicted in A Dance With Dragons, nor did they think out the practical results of this. At no point did making Talisa from Volantis, instead of from Myr, actually serve to better introduce Volantis to the narrative.

Think about that.

(sigh) I do want to say that actress Oona Chaplin did a great job, the problems were all with writing decisions, not her.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:34, July 14, 2013 (UTC)