Introduction: A Bride Fit for a King
There are discrepancies and mistakes in A Song of Ice and Fire. Inevitable in a series of this size. One such mistake – infamous for a time in the fandom – has to do with the child-bearing suitability of a particular pair of hips.
When Catelyn Stark first meets her daughter-in-law Jeyne Westerling, she describes her thusly:
“She was pretty, undeniably, with her chestnut curls and heart-shaped face, and that shy smile. Slender, but with good hips…”
When Jaime Lannister meets Jeyne – now a widow – a book later, his description conflicts:
“Jeyne was a willowy girl, no more than fifteen or sixteen, more awkward than graceful. She had narrow hips, breasts the size of apples, a mop of chestnut curls, and the soft brown eyes of a doe. Pretty enough for a child…”
Theories abounded for a time. Was this really Jeyne that Jaime met? Was it an impostor? A decoy?
As it turns out, it was a mistake. George R. R. Martin has said as much firsthand; secondhand reports confirm this, and later editions of A Feast for Crows remove Jaime’s reference to Jeyne’s hips entirely.
Both times, Jeyne is described in terms of her fertility and sexuality. She is either fecund or sterile, but there’s no room for her to be anything other than a vehicle for childbearing – and childbearing at the whims of her family, and those who rule her family.