Reviews for Wild at Heart
weshallflyaway chapter 11 . 9/10/2012
Even better than finishing your story, was the story of your own family at the end! I have always loved stories of cross-cultural love affairs, particularly ones related to Native Americans, thank you so much for sharing your family's story with us :)

And now onto comments on the actual fic! I started reading this during the ficathon and then got waylaid by uni work and didn't have time to read anything for the longest time! Am so glad that I finally got to finish it today! I really did love the way the story developed, the way that she gradually came to accept, admire and love him, and their happiness at the simple life they would have north of the wall. I'm also glad that the Starks (minus Catelyn!) came to love and respect Sandor as well, I really can see him as a Northman, I think he'd be much happier with that type of life (no knights, the old gods, far less pretense) than he is with Southron life. Thank you for such an entertaining read :)
Littlefeatherofhope chapter 10 . 9/5/2012
Since I am being called out on being insensitive to cultures I feel I have to respond here. My Wilding Sandor is based on my great uncle's great grandfather of the Lakota Sioux tribe on Native Americans. He found a 14 year old German girl lost in the forest and took her back to the tribe. He told his chief he wanted to marry her; when the chief agreed it was done. He never raped her or forced her; instead he courted her by bringing her gifts even as they lived together.

After a long period of time she learned the language and fell in love with him. They were happy together and when given the chance to leave she wanted to stay with her husband. He would trade animal furs for items he thought his wife would like, such as a ribbon for her hair or a wash tub; thus they accumilated items uncommon to the tribe.

Sansa's experiences with family and dress are based on his wife's experiences to other whites reacting to her Lakota clothing which she wore to honor her husband, not because he forced her to, and availability obviously.

Benjen was based on an Indian Affairs agent that befriended my great uncle on the reservation in North Dakota who left his government job and entire life to live with his Lakota wife, as she was not allowed to leave the reservation in the 1930's.
voodooqueen126 chapter 11 . 9/5/2012
You know, unrealistic compromise, where one partner gives up everything (and going from princess to woman living in a 5 room hut would count) is a relationship disaster. Catelyn is very right to be worried for her daughter...look up 5 Movie Romances that That Won't Last (According to Science) on cracked...which presents that rather humourously.
Because that simplicity would not be comfort, it would be back breaking labour in a struggle to survive, with a limited chance of children reaching adulthood...
Do you not have empathy for Cersei (whom I despise in canon for her lack of sense) about being married to a man who beats her and humiliates her in public? Sure adultery with her brother is not the most rational reaction, but Cersei did not have Catelyn's luck, and she was stuck with an abuser.
Catelyn and Eddard are pretty well suited in canon and very much in love by AGOT. People are unfair on her for not loving Jon, but he was a threat to her children, given her limited information.
Seriously, why shouldn't Sansa wear nice fashionable clothing? Is Sandor so insecure that he worries that if his wife dresses well, she might cheat on him? Does dressing like a peasant make her a better person than Catelyn or Cersei?
Sansa would probably help the village more by using the money to buy the latest plow (agricultural technology developed constantly in the Middle Ages), spinning wheels, looms, etc.. anything really to help that village develop economically.
Finally on the matter of Romance: if you have heard of Romanticism Versus Enlightenment, then I would say that this seems to be more romantic, where as I essentially believe that canon is an Enlightenment text. In that it shows the horror of living in a society with widespread ignorance and a lack of law and order...
I think Harry Potter canon is a Romantic work, whilst the fanfiction "Methods of Rationality" is an Englightenment text. I heartily recommend that fanfiction...
voodooqueen126 chapter 10 . 9/5/2012
For all my reviews (and I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings, since we are both SanSan shippers), I should like to say that much of what rendered this fic problematic to me was that your portrayal of the Wildlings seemed idealised-Rousseau and the Noble Savage-were very much in evidence, and the only unsympathetic Wildling was one who cared about status... However given
your wildlings have a concept of laws and property ownership. Unlike the vile little anarchists of canon... I think this differs so much in canon, that if you changed names around, you would have a reasonable piece of original fiction... Creating an original work of fiction is not easy, so you actually have achieved there. Indeed I think the changes you made (re property ownership and rule of law) are probably the reasons why the reasonable comfort of the Wildlings looks plausible, rather than noble-savage/Rousseau.
To make it a truly great piece of fiction, I would advise you to study real cultures: those in climates similar to The-Lands-Beyond the Wall and cultures that practice bride kidnapping... given that serious, truthful study, whilst it encourages empathy, will not necessarily engender cultural relativism... This would help you get rid of the political correctness as evinced by Benjen, Robb and Eddard, which whilst it is mortifying in modern men (how would you feel if you got kidnapped and your father and uncle defended your kidnapper on the grounds that it was just his culture) it is improbable in Medieval men, who had all the tolerance of the West Boro Baptist Church (and would do more than just picket funerals, but would be willing to burn people alive or impale them on steaks for belonging to different religions much less shame their family by kidnapping a daughter/remember that rape, in pre modern contexts was defined more in terms of property crime and family honour than as a violation of women's consent ). If you were going to go down the root of having the North being a culture in transition between bride kidnapping savagery and civilized arranged marriages... Then you might want to play up the tragedy of men who are willing to sacrifice their daughter's life to preserve ancient cultural values (and thus disregard the 'modern' southern mother who wants her daughter to marry a man who can support her). However given that you have written consistently good sex (like really really good sex) I would suggest you keep your main plot (of which this story would form the core) and have the other one being a subplot...
In short, I think you need to do empirical research into the real world, and you could be a great writer of original fiction.

Oh and an obvious solution would be to have Arya marry Joffrey (sucks to be Arya, but hey)
voodooqueen126 chapter 9 . 9/5/2012
If you look at Wildling names, you will notice that they tend towards Germanic. Iron Islander names are often more Norse. Whilst Northern names tend towards Anglo-Saxon. This indicates that the Old Tongue was probably a Germanic language. Interestingly, Andals often have Celtic names, or names favoured by Scottish kings, Patrek, Kevan, Catelyn, Duncan, Brynden, Tristan, Tyrion, Cersei, Shae, Denys, Davos (David is the patron saint of Wales, Robert and James were the names of several Scottish Kings)... So calling a character Oona (after the actress in the show) or Padrick is cool and clever and appropriate to Westeros, but perhaps those names are more Andal then Old Tongue... Draco sounds positively Valyrian... Let's hope that he doesn't show Sandor bad faith aye?
Also, given that Wildling women have very little choice in their mates, wouldn't facial symmetry/male beauty matter considerably less than male strength and height?Heck even our society where women have a lot of choice, women generally judge men as providers/intellect (indicated by 'sense of humour' in personal adds) thus foregoing sexy sons in favour of creature comforts and daughters with above average intelligence. Although height and strength are more or less the essence of male beauty. Given that much of the Wildling population would be drawn from escapees from the Wall-ie criminals, who tend be uglier than average. I can't imagine that Wildling women would be bothered by scars, when Sandor could provide for them and has the ability to kidnap anyway, thus rendering their choices moot.
voodooqueen126 chapter 8 . 9/5/2012
"I'm fighting so that the Night's Watch will respect the Free Folk and their rights to the land."
If only the free folk would respect the right of Northerners to the fruits of their labour, and the right of women to not be kidnapped.
"We are not in a position to judge their customs."
A man with an attitude like that would eat his words if he-rather than some hapless woman-became a victim of some delightful custom.
"How dare they? Are we supposed to feel honored by this...interview they want with her? They want to see if she's pretty enough for their son, is that it?!" Robb fumed. Is there no end to the degradation heaped upon my younger sister? First she's kidnapped-now she is expected to subject herself to scrutiny by Queen Cersei and Joffrey? If she married King Robert's son, she would have to live in King's Landing...the Wilding man may be the lesser of two evils after all, thought Robb"
I can hardly imagine Robb, criticising Joffrey (whose psychopathy was unknown at this point) for wanting to meet his wife before the wedding. Given that he didn't seem to be too happy about marrying that Frey. The reason the Tyrion/Sansa marriage is so abhorrent, is that goes against the wishes of the bride's family and bride. It is however quite common for single westerosi in all but the highest families (the Starks, Lannisters etc) to meet each other at tourneys and at court. Indeed even Catelyn had met Brandon several times before the wedding (and his demise). A woman has far more control over her spouse as a member of the lower nobility in the North or South (and probably a little control in the Great Houses) than some poor wildling woman kidnapped by whichever brute is big enough (thus breeding people to be big, but rather psychopathic)
I would also point out that many of the Umbers, really hate the Wildlings for the practice of bride kidnapping (since their own daughter was kidnapped). Which would show that Northerners do not practice bride kidnapping (even if they practice the Lords Right, which seems incredibly unlikely)
voodooqueen126 chapter 7 . 9/5/2012
Amazing that he got this sexual experience, and his wealth...The wealth in particular is untenable: The Wildlings live in a state of nature (which Rousseau so idealised) but is more accurately described as a state where in the words of Thomas Hobbes "every man has a right to every thing, even to one another's body"-with such a view-and the Wildlings, with their practice of bride kidnapping and raiding upon the productive and hardworking Northerners-certainly hold such a view-there is a state of war of every man against every man. Therefore life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." For this reason, the wealth that Sandor possesses seems very unlikely-he would have no way of trusting his fellows not to steal his stuff in his absence, and would therefore lack an incentive to get stuff (although that he gains his labour through theft, rather than purchasing it probably lessens this affect).
Given how all men hate such poverty (and women suffer even more-see women in Saudi Arabia have it bette than women in Sierra Leone) and misery they form governments with laws. What Hobbes calls a Commonwealth. Even though men men "(who naturally love liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in Commonwealths, is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent, as hath been shown, to the natural passions of men when there is no visible power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the performance of their covenants..."
voodooqueen126 chapter 6 . 9/5/2012
This attitude to rape is incredible given Varamyr's behaviour (and the behaviour of so many other Wildlings).
You are aware, that Rousseau, was a silly, silly man?
voodooqueen126 chapter 5 . 9/5/2012
Given that Wargs are rather more common north of the wall... I doubt that they would think of the Stark direwolves as pets. Indeed a few wildling women have gained prominence due to their wargitude.
voodooqueen126 chapter 4 . 9/5/2012
Howland Reed is Ned's friend, Jojen is Howland's son and closer to Bran in age, therefore it is unlikely that he would be Ned's friend.
voodooqueen126 chapter 3 . 9/5/2012
I doubt Wildling women would find such size offputting, given that their culture would focus on physical strength rather than intellect or good nature.
not that their consent matters in Wildling culture.
It is over all rather amazing that a sensitive new age man was born into such a culture.
voodooqueen126 chapter 2 . 9/5/2012
"Her father had taught them to respect the beliefs and cultures of others, no matter how different they might be. She may not like it but she had no right to judge Sandor's ways as wrong."
It is practices like bride kidnapping that make multiculturalism is such a bogus, silly doctrine...
Given that Sandor's culture is indifferent to female consent, wouldn't he have kidnapped woman ages ago (given his impressive physical strength), rather than some one so far South of the Wall. Indeed there is one Wildling-Ygon Oldfather-who has like 18 wives... Even with the polygyny threshold, I doubt they are very satisfied with that arrangement.
voodooqueen126 chapter 1 . 9/5/2012
I think the Lord of Bones is presented as a true psychopath in the book. Generally the Wildlings are far more chaotic and vicious than the Clan structure you describe. Which is logical given that much of their population is not only First Men, but also escaped prisoners (I imagine that given that escape would be easy, defection to the Wildlings woud be high).
Fittingly, Sandor comes across as a bit abductory, even if he insists he is not a rapist.
Having said all that. If you changed this work sufficiently made the Wildlings less vicious than they are in canon, you could write this as original fiction.
asongofashandshadow chapter 1 . 8/30/2012
I'm now in love with the idea of Sandor being a wildling and his story is awesome already!
Guest chapter 10 . 8/26/2012
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