The Folk of the Air Characters and their Game of Thrones Counterparts
Game of Thrones is returning and I have never been more excited for a television event since the first season finale of Naruto when I was thirteen. I am ready to watch Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons fight the dead army and the Night King. I am also ready for more Tyrion sass, Arya bad-assery, Bran revelations, Samwell smarts, and, most importantly, more Jon Snow booty.
But now that this sprawling epic fantasy is coming to a close, I cannot help but be reminded of yet another fantastical epic that will end early next year. Yep, you guessed it, I’m talking Folk of the Air. But you already knew that because you read the title of this blog.
Because Game of Thrones and the Folk of the Air series share so much (ie: political trickery, magical mayhem, and assassinations left and right), we thought why return only to Westeros? Let’s throw some Elfhame into it! Here are the Folk of the Air characters and their Game of Thrones counterparts.
Jude Duarte // Arya Stark
Arya Stark takes her childhood traumas and rage and channels them into a career of assassination and murder. She takes herself from a position of powerlessness and dedicates her life to a patron who will grant her power in exchange for her violent services. Her patron turns to violent, dubious training methods that Arya meets head on, slowly learning the art of assassination. Right. Nothing like Jude at all.
Cardan Greenbriar // Tyrion Lannister
Ignored and partially despised by their family, both Cardan and Tyrion coped by becoming sassy lushes who pride themselves on their verbal wit. They both have been dealt pretty bad hands by fate. Tyrion was born a dwarf and his mother died in childbirth, meaning he received double the vitriol from his father and his siblings. Couple that with the fact that his father was already tyrannical and twisted, it’s no wonder Tyrion ended up as snarky as he is. He uses his wit as his weapon of choice and humor to hide his rather strong political acumen.
While we don’t know nearly as much about Cardan’s upbringing, we learn a little from the way his family treats him in The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. And if there is anything The Wicked King showed us, it’s that Cardan is not as inept as he seems. He just hides it behind humor and drink. Hmm… where have I heard that before?
Taryn Duarte // Sansa Stark
Taryn reminds me so much of Sansa, it is not even funny. Sansa was one of those characters that infuriated you while also making you feel pity for them. Which is almost worse than just being vile or hate-able. Because it is through maddening naivete that Sansa’s mistakes are made, which means you kind of can’t hate her even though your main thought is, “Girl! Get it together! Can’t you see they’re using you!?” Meanwhile, Sansa thinks she’s the good sister because she follows the rules and acts like a lady. Remind you of anyone?
Sansa at least improves in the later seasons, even becoming kind of a bad-ass. While the jury is still out for Taryn, perhaps there is hope.
Madoc // Stannis Baratheon
Uncompromising, unflinching, and undeterrable toward achieving their goals? Check. Vying for the throne despite the odds and the bloodshed it will require to achieve? Check. Willing to betray their family and put their loved ones in danger all in the justification that what they want will be best not matter what anyone else has to say about it. Check! Goodness, Madoc and Stannis are more twin-like than Jude and Taryn! Let’s just hope Madoc reaches a similar fate.
Oak // Rickon Stark
Poor Rickon and poor Oak. They never asked for any of this. They’re just sweet babies, born into fraught houses, caught in the middle of the political turmoil of succession and the battle for the crown. These ill-fated, wretched, pitiable, infant baby boys. All they want is to play and be children! Why can’t the world just leave them alone?
Locke // Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
Littlefinger is one of the characters that enraged me most in Game of Thrones. The fact that he can get away with so much without his dastardly plans coming to light is beyond frustrating to watch and that vile little smile he puts on while deceiving everyone makes me want to break something. Namely, his face. Just like a certain Locke, betrayer to everyone. Locke cannot be trusted to do anything other than to stab everyone in the back and cause chaos just for the fun of it. And even if Littlefinger is a repellent worm-like cretin, at least he has the motivation of revenge. What is Locke’s motivation you ask? I’m still looking.
Valerian // Joffrey Baratheon
I’ll be honest, I am a little frightened to say anything bad about either of these characters. I know they’re not real, but some part of me still thinks that they might kill me in my sleep if I say anything bad about them. But… here it goes! Jeoffrey Baratheon is a repugnant, loathsome, odious, pompous louse! Violent by nature, lacking any form of empathy, and undeniably monstrous, Joffrey is one of the most despicable in the series. Valerian shares all of his undesirable qualities, but at least he does his own dirty work. Mostly.
Queen Orlagh // Olenna Tyrell
Olenna Tyrell has been around the block. She’s seen wars and the changing of the times, and she knows how to gain and keep power. As the leader of one of the richest houses in the Seven Kingdoms, she knows what it takes to be a leader in hard times and she is willing to step on anyone who threatens her family or her plans. Orlagh is no different, trying to gain power during a time of turmoil in the court, using and guiding her daughter to help her gain power. Not unlike the way Olenna guides her granddaughter through the politics of the Red Keep.
Taniot // Lyanna Stark
Taniot, Locke and Oak’s mother, dies before The Cruel Prince even begins. But her actions have far-reaching consequences on the lives of our characters and on the fate of the throne. Not dissimilar to Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned Stark. The war that led to the dethronement of the Targaryens and the crowning of King Baratheon was started by the abduction of Lyanna, and her actions influence the story insurmountably.
Balekin Greenbriar // Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay Bolton is perhaps, the most dangerous of all the characters in Game of Thrones. Not because he is murderous; most of the characters in Game of Thrones are quite stabby. But because he takes pleasure in inflicting pain while also being smart enough to know who to inflict pain upon without getting into enough trouble to be stopped. He is good at being vile but also climbing to the top of the hierarchy. He has power, knows how to keep it, and uses it to torture others for pure pleasure’s sake. He is a semi-competent Joffrey, really. Balekin is similar in that he knows how to vie for power without raising suspicion, and he knows how to torment without drawing the attentions of the powers that be. Until, of course, he shows his hand. Then all hell breaks loose.
The Roach // Davos Seaworth
Oh Davos. Oh the Roach. What stalwart, lovely boyos. Davos was once a smuggler brought up to the rank of lord by Stannis, and for that gift he has been forever grateful and loyal. Just as Davos is wily and shrewd with under-the-table dealings, so too is the Roach. They’re both a little rough around the edges, but they have good hearts and honorable intentions.
Nicasia // Shae
Oh, stupid, foolish Shae. Shae and Tyrion have a passionate romance after meeting on the battle field, and then live within the Red Keep together. But after Tyrion is forced into a marriage, Shae’s jealousy gets the better of her. Imprudent and jealous, huh. Well, Nicasia, looks like you’ve met your match.
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him—and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.