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Thoughts on Jon and Sansa


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#1 Queen Alienor

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:46 PM

While rereading the series, I realised that Jon's and Sansa's arcs show some interesting parallels. There are some overall themes that they share when you look closer.

 

Let's start with the beginning.

 

In early AGOT, Sansa and Jon seem as different as you can get. They are on opposite sides of the social ladder, her the daughter of a Lord Paramount and bethrothed to the crown prince, him the bastard that goes to the Wall. She is absolutely comfortable with her place in the world, while he has a huge problem with the stigma of bastardy and tries constantly to prove that he is just as good as his trueborn brothers.

 

Yet, both of them share a belief in fairy tales and songs they heard growing up. He believes in the tales of heroic kings and knights, for example Dareon I is said to be his hero, while Sansa loves stories about love and knights saving the innocent lady. They share a naivety that sets them apart to the people they will meet at their destinations. Sansa at court is blinded by the smiles and false friendship, while nobody at the Wall bothers to pretend anything. Jon gets his awakening about the truth of the situation at the Wall much sooner than Sansa. He is surrounded by rough people, not the heroes he thought he'd meet. His disillusionment mirrors Sansa's later when she sees her father beheaded. Both have to navigate in places that are much different from home.

 

Sansa saving Dontos parallels Jon helping Sam in a way. Dontos and Sam are both people who mean nothing to Jon and Sansa, they don't know them. Both Dontos and Sam aren't what is expected of them, a drunken knight and a bookish heir, and both Jon and Sansa help them out of instinct. Both make sure the ones they saved aren't harassed further, Jon by bringing his fellow recruits to leave Sam alone and Sansa by suggesting that Dontos should be a fool, thus preventing him from ever being taken serious again, which is a protection of sorts. Both Dontos and Sam feel indebted to Jon and Sansa afterwards, while Sam becomes Jon's best friend, Dontos tries to save Sansa.

 

As another parallel stands out the moment were Cersei flees from the room during the Battle of Blackwater, where Sansa calms down the ladies, and Jon's "They cannot pass" moment on the Wall. Both of them act out of instinct again, they don't think about what they say, and it has similar effects on the people that listen. Sansa calms down the women and gives them hope, while Jon too gives the men hope that they can win this battle. Both of them act as leaders here, without realising it, maybe, but Sansa acts as the queen in this moment, while Jon acts as a commander, maybe even the Lord Commander here.

 

Both of them draw strength from the cold and the weirwoods, Jon always has while Sansa learns to during her story.

 

Her becoming Alayne Stone is interesting because she is provided with a whole new world view. She has to take a step back and see how the world is for people who aren't the daughter of a high lord, which is a bit like when Jon came to the Wall, because while he has always been a bastard, he does feel superior to the recruits there. Only when he lets go of this superiority feeling he is able to make friends, like Sansa, who eventually accepts that her new, lower status is a protection. I always read her AFFC line about it being the first time in ages that she thought of him a bit like Ned's line in the first book that it was the first time in years he thought of Rhaegar, which we know not to be true. I think Sansa has unconciously been basing her Alayne Stone persona on Jon. She thinks of being bastard brave, and the only bastard she knows is Jon. She does not know wether to dance at the feast, but it seems like dancing is something that women of all station like, so why should Alayne Stone be the exception? We know from ADWD, that Jon doesn't like dancing. That could be the answer to why Sansa isn't sure. Also, she makes Alayne Stone 14 years old, conveniently the age Jon was when she last saw him.

 

Both of them wanted the nice aspects of ruling, Jon the prestige (and maybe the finale being equal to Robb) of being Lord Commander as he jokes with Tyrion and Sansa the ability to make Arya be nice to her and the other perks of being queen. Yet, when they face the ugly reality, they step down from their goals. Sansa just wants to go home, while Jon has been forced into command, but only wants to fight the Others and doesn't give two shits about others opinions of him anymore.

 

To me, Sansa and Jon are the two of the Stark kids that are most like Ned with their firm set of morals and that certain naivety they show.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by SansaSnow, 13 January 2014 - 06:07 AM.


#2 WeirwoodTreeHugger

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

Although all Arya and Bran think of their siblings lots of times too, it seems like Jon and Sansa think of their siblings more often and are more nostalgic.  So yes, I see your point.



#3 BrightStar Of The Day

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:01 PM

I'd say that Jon isn't entirely like Ned, he may have started of as arrogant and naive, but to me he certainly isn't naive anymore. Ned also wasn't naive, he was just too sure of the fact that all people will act with "the honourable thing to do" first in mind, and was disgusted by all people who played the game.


Edited by BrightStar Of The Day, 12 January 2014 - 05:01 PM.


#4 John Hulboy

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:06 PM

I believe sansa at the end will be a mother figure for the survivor.she will be the lady of winterfell / lady of vale, .Jon an sansa will get along well. I hope the surviving starks get back together early in winds of winter but dawn of spring is more likely for a reunion.

#5 empresslaseen

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

It's funny/tragic how Sansa (who almost looks like an exact replica of younger Cat) and Jon (who's probably not even Ned's son) are most like Ned.

 

Also, hopefully a Jon/Sansa alliance (while Arya, Bran and Rickon are still MIA) coming up soon?



#6 The Ned's Little Girl

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

There is a lot of emphasis put on Sansa looking so much like her mother, that it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Sansa is just like her mother in personality as well. (It's the opposite with Arya; she looks most like the Starks of all of Ned's children, yet she most resembles Catelyn in personality.)

 

Of all of Ned's children, I think Sansa is the most like him.

 

Of all the other children, Jon is the most like Ned (but I don't believe he is Ned's son, at least biologically. Psychologically he is definitely Ned's son.) Sansa basing her bastard personality and preferences on Jon Snow is certainly very interesting.

 

Good analysis!



#7 Winnief

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

I like your post, Sansasnow.  And I agree that as Alayne Sansa is definitely modeling herself on Jon, if only subconsciously.

 

 It's also notable that both find themselves taking on responsibilities and leadership roles simply by default; because no one else is there to do it.  Jon becomes LC for want of anyone else who can be elected for the job.  Jon is the one who also deals head on with the fact that under the current circumstances they can't keep excluding the Wildlings-and because of the disastrous Bolton/Lannister coalition the NW can no longer afford to stay out of politics.  Cersei's abdication of her duties during the BoB, means Sansa feels obligated to step up, and she mother's SR because no one else will either.  It's also why she's so diligent about household management and acting as Lady of the Vale-someone has to do it, and she's there.

 

There's also a bit of domesticity in their shared visions.  Sansa builds a snow model of Winterfell. In SoS, when contemplating marriage to Willas she's not concerned with the wealth and glory of the match but in security, and family-she dreams of sons.

 

She would name them Eddard, and Bran, and Rickon, and raise them all to be valiant...In Sansa's dreams, her children looked just like the brothers she had lost.  Sometimes there was even a girl who looked like Arya.  

 

This is remarkably similar to Jon's dreams as well...

 

Winterfell, he thought.  THeon left it burned and broken but I could restore it.  

 

I might someday hold a son of my own blood in my arms...I could name him Robb.  

 

Again, hopes to rebuild the Stark family, and the Stark home.  Not so much dreams of greater glory or power, but of family life, and preserving the family legacy.  In both cases, they can't pursue these wishes-there are more immediate problems at hand but that doesn't change what's in their hearts and Jon and Sansa seem to be remarkably on the same page here.



#8 Tynned Lannistark

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:18 PM

There is a lot of emphasis put on Sansa looking so much like her mother, that it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Sansa is just like her mother in personality as well. (It's the opposite with Arya; she looks most like the Starks of all of Ned's children, yet she most resembles Catelyn in personality.)

 

Of all of Ned's children, I think Sansa is the most like him.

 

Of all the other children, Jon is the most like Ned (but I don't believe he is Ned's son, at least biologically. Psychologically he is definitely Ned's son.) Sansa basing her bastard personality and preferences on Jon Snow is certainly very interesting.

 

Good analysis!

 

Arya is like Lyanna not Cat, not only in looks but also character.

Sansa has a bit of Ned in her , probably more than the other Kids.

 

 

Very nice analysis and I agree that the part of Sansa basing on Jon Snow is great stuff.



#9 Winnief

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:24 PM

Well I think Arya has Lyanna's looks and her willful,wild, spirit-but she certainly got Cat's vindictiveness.  

 

Sansa definitely has something of Ned in her-it just isn't obvious because Sansa is the feminine version of Ned, in a medieval society.  The same unfailing sense of duty and noblesse oblige, but Sansa is turning that to the position of being a Great Lady rather than a Great Lord.  The former wasn't perhaps as exciting as the latter, but if you know your history, it was just as important a job with an immense amount of responsibilities and obligations.



#10 Queen Alienor

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:28 AM

Although all Arya and Bran think of their siblings lots of times too, it seems like Jon and Sansa think of their siblings more often and are more nostalgic.  So yes, I see your point.

Yes, I've noticed that too. While all Stark siblings draw strength from their memories of home, that stands out most with Jon and Sansa.

 

I'd say that Jon isn't entirely like Ned, he may have started of as arrogant and naive, but to me he certainly isn't naive anymore. Ned also wasn't naive, he was just too sure of the fact that all people will act with "the honourable thing to do" first in mind, and was disgusted by all people who played the game.

True enough. Yes, Jon grows up to be different from Ned, but they still both expect people around them to be more honorable than they actually are, shown by the fact that both got betrayed by people they trusted.

 

 

I believe sansa at the end will be a mother figure for the survivor.she will be the lady of winterfell / lady of vale, .Jon an sansa will get along well. I hope the surviving starks get back together early in winds of winter but dawn of spring is more likely for a reunion.

Yes, I certainly think this is a possibility. Especially now that Sansa knows where Jon is she might try to contact him.

 

It's funny/tragic how Sansa (who almost looks like an exact replica of younger Cat) and Jon (who's probably not even Ned's son) are most like Ned.

 

Also, hopefully a Jon/Sansa alliance (while Arya, Bran and Rickon are still MIA) coming up soon?

I agree. It's a bit like Tyrion being Tywins true son. And I definitively hope for a Jon/Sansa alliance. (I refuse to believe that Jon is dead, and I really hope Sansa only learns of the Ides of Marsh when that is clear, because seeing her thinking she lost another family member would be truly heartbreaking)

 

There is a lot of emphasis put on Sansa looking so much like her mother, that it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Sansa is just like her mother in personality as well. (It's the opposite with Arya; she looks most like the Starks of all of Ned's children, yet she most resembles Catelyn in personality.)

 

Of all of Ned's children, I think Sansa is the most like him.

 

Of all the other children, Jon is the most like Ned (but I don't believe he is Ned's son, at least biologically. Psychologically he is definitely Ned's son.) Sansa basing her bastard personality and preferences on Jon Snow is certainly very interesting.

 

Good analysis!

Thank you!

If R+L=J is true (which I tend to believe), it's certainly an interesting view on nature vs. nurture. And yes, I think it's interesting that while Ned seems to have a deep bond with Arya, he just doesn't seem able to connect with Sansa. He loves her deeply, but he doesn't understand her, which is heartbreaking because she is so much like him.

 

 

I like your post, Sansasnow.  And I agree that as Alayne Sansa is definitely modeling herself on Jon, if only subconsciously.

 

 It's also notable that both find themselves taking on responsibilities and leadership roles simply by default; because no one else is there to do it.  Jon becomes LC for want of anyone else who can be elected for the job.  Jon is the one who also deals head on with the fact that under the current circumstances they can't keep excluding the Wildlings-and because of the disastrous Bolton/Lannister coalition the NW can no longer afford to stay out of politics.  Cersei's abdication of her duties during the BoB, means Sansa feels obligated to step up, and she mother's SR because no one else will either.  It's also why she's so diligent about household management and acting as Lady of the Vale-someone has to do it, and she's there.

 

There's also a bit of domesticity in their shared visions.  Sansa builds a snow model of Winterfell. In SoS, when contemplating marriage to Willas she's not concerned with the wealth and glory of the match but in security, and family-she dreams of sons.

 

She would name them Eddard, and Bran, and Rickon, and raise them all to be valiant...In Sansa's dreams, her children looked just like the brothers she had lost.  Sometimes there was even a girl who looked like Arya.  

 

This is remarkably similar to Jon's dreams as well...

 

Winterfell, he thought.  THeon left it burned and broken but I could restore it.  

 

I might someday hold a son of my own blood in my arms...I could name him Robb.  

 

Again, hopes to rebuild the Stark family, and the Stark home.  Not so much dreams of greater glory or power, but of family life, and preserving the family legacy.  In both cases, they can't pursue these wishes-there are more immediate problems at hand but that doesn't change what's in their hearts and Jon and Sansa seem to be remarkably on the same page here.

Thank you!

Interesting about the WF connection, I didn't catch that, but you're right. Out of all Stark siblings, Sansa and Jon seem to be the ones most concerned with rebuilding and healing the wounds of the war, while Arya is very much on the revenge page and Bran simply thinks of different things. And the Alayne Stone/Jon Snow connection was a bit like a big duh!! moment in ADWD for me, because I've wondered why Alayne Stone would not like to dance and then it turns out Jon doesn't like it...it suddenly made sense :)

 

 

Arya is like Lyanna not Cat, not only in looks but also character.

Sansa has a bit of Ned in her , probably more than the other Kids.

 

 

Very nice analysis and I agree that the part of Sansa basing on Jon Snow is great stuff.

Thank you!

 

Well I think Arya has Lyanna's looks and her willful,wild, spirit-but she certainly got Cat's vindictiveness.  

 

Sansa definitely has something of Ned in her-it just isn't obvious because Sansa is the feminine version of Ned, in a medieval society.  The same unfailing sense of duty and noblesse oblige, but Sansa is turning that to the position of being a Great Lady rather than a Great Lord.  The former wasn't perhaps as exciting as the latter, but if you know your history, it was just as important a job with an immense amount of responsibilities and obligations.

I agree.

I think Arya has quite a bit Lyanna in her, but certainly much of Catelyn, too. Sansa too seems to have a bit Lyanna in her. For example, if Lyanna truly eloped with Rhaegar, Arya or Catelyn would never do that, but maybe AGOT Sansa.



#11 Darksnider05

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:39 AM

 

Arya is like Lyanna not Cat, not only in looks but also character.

Sansa has a bit of Ned in her , probably more than the other Kids.

 

 

Very nice analysis and I agree that the part of Sansa basing on Jon Snow is great stuff.

 

Lyanna was a tame shrew in comparison to the monster that is Arya Stark.  Arya and Lyanna share looks and some of the same hobbies.

 

Arya Stark attacked a Prince over a commoner.  Lyanna folded like a deck of cards either to marriage or a pretty prince. 

That or she was kidnapped and couldn't save herself.

 

Cateyln and Arya hold grudges like you wouldn't believe but are both capable of great compassion. 



#12 Ghost's Shadow

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:53 AM

I would not call Arya a monster, but I agree that the part where Lyanna and Arya were comparable has long stopped.

 

Lyanna, despite her toughness, tom-boyishness, seems to have fallen for the prince after all, something I cannot see Arya do. Lyanna had some lady in her, but not so much Arya.



#13 Winnief

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:15 AM

 

Thank you!

If R+L=J is true (which I tend to believe), it's certainly an interesting view on nature vs. nurture. And yes, I think it's interesting that while Ned seems to have a deep bond with Arya, he just doesn't seem able to connect with Sansa. He loves her deeply, but he doesn't understand her, which is heartbreaking because she is so much like him.

 

 Well for one thing Sansa was on the cusp of puberty and that's always a hard time for fathers and daughters.  Also I think the fact that Sansa was so much like Ned, (overly trusting, expecting the world and people in it to be better than they are, but being dutiful, and compassionate,) was maybe why Ned had more trouble with her.  Sometimes its more difficult to get on with people precisely because they're so much like us.  He understood Arya's fierceness and rebellious spirit, that reminded him of Robert, but Sansa's dedication to fulfilling the role she's born for, (and later in fulfilling the role of Alayne who she has to adopt,) which was exactly what Ned was all about, was harder for him to get in part because it was feminized.

 

And yeah, Arya is turning out positively feral compared to Lyanna.  That's partly Cat's grudge holding abilities, (her behavior towards Jon was often shocking,) and partly environmental forces.  

 

Jon in the meantime, who keeps protesting, "I'm not a Stark," is of course ALL Stark in appearance, behavior, and Warging-despite it all coming from the maternal line.  It's interesting that Jon doesn't show any Targ tendencies, (at least not so far) in him at all.  Which is probably all for the good.  



#14 Caesar beyond the wall

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:27 AM

I would not call Arya a monster, but I agree that the part where Lyanna and Arya were comparable has long stopped.

 

Lyanna, despite her toughness, tom-boyishness, seems to have fallen for the prince after all, something I cannot see Arya do. Lyanna had some lady in her, but not so much Arya.

Arya is still just an 11 year old girl at the end of ADWD. Peoples perspectives on marriage and love tend to change a fair bit between 11 and 16 (the age Lyanna was if I remember correctly). Still I'm with you on there being a fair few differences between the two - Lyanna may have been 'wild', but was she join-an-elite-cult-of-face-changing-for-hire-religious-hitmen wild?



#15 greensleeves

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

Interesting essay.  Have you ever read this essay from tze?  It's also about the parallels between Jon and Sansa.

 

http://asoiaf.wester...40#entry3550409



#16 Elba the Intoner

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:01 AM

Very nice!  You have hit on some interesting connections between Sansa and Jon and the trajectory their arcs are on.  Have you seen this post by Tze?  It's a wonderfully detailed analysis of Jon and Sansa's relationship and it touches on many of the things that you mention here, like Sansa basing her bastard identity on Jon.  It seems that Sansa and Jon are on opposite paths, Sansa going from high born lady to bastard and Jon going from Bastard to probably being named Lord of Winterfell and Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.  I too think Sansa's and Jon's personalities are the most like Ned's.

 

ETA Ninja'd by Greensleeves!


Edited by Elba the Intoner, 13 January 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#17 greensleeves

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:16 AM

 

ETA Ninja'd by Greensleeves!

 

:ninja:

 

You sold it better though.  That essay is one of my favorite posts on the forums; tze is so good.



#18 Queen Alienor

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:04 PM

Interesting essay.  Have you ever read this essay from tze?  It's also about the parallels between Jon and Sansa.

 

http://asoiaf.wester...40#entry3550409

 

 

Very nice!  You have hit on some interesting connections between Sansa and Jon and the trajectory their arcs are on.  Have you seen this post by Tze?  It's a wonderfully detailed analysis of Jon and Sansa's relationship and it touches on many of the things that you mention here, like Sansa basing her bastard identity on Jon.  It seems that Sansa and Jon are on opposite paths, Sansa going from high born lady to bastard and Jon going from Bastard to probably being named Lord of Winterfell and Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.  I too think Sansa's and Jon's personalities are the most like Ned's.

 

ETA Ninja'd by Greensleeves!

Thanks! I didn't know it, but it is a very interesting post. I agree that Jon and Sansa are on opposite paths right now, even though I think that may change in the future books. Sansa clearly has some politics skills, and she seems very capable of running the Eyrie as effective lady of that castle, so it might be that she gains power in the future books.



#19 Whitering

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:55 PM

Arya is still just an 11 year old girl at the end of ADWD. Peoples perspectives on marriage and love tend to change a fair bit between 11 and 16 (the age Lyanna was if I remember correctly). Still I'm with you on there being a fair few differences between the two - Lyanna may have been 'wild', but was she join-an-elite-cult-of-face-changing-for-hire-religious-hitmen wild?

Perhaps she would have if her brother and father had died whilst she was free to do something about. We don't know what Lyanna would have done having gone through the same path as Arya. All we can say is that they had a similar base, it shows that nurture had a huge effect on their ultimate development. Lyanna was groomed to be married, in fact she was engaged to Robert; Arya wasn't groomed to be anything. Rickard certainly never hired a swordmaster to teach Lyanna and Lyanna never saw her whole family get destroyed, thinking she was alone in the world and having seen the brutal torture and feared for her life in the same way Arya did.

 

Arya got on that ship because it was the only real path she saw before her. So, no by the time Lyanna died she was not a join a cult of assassins type of woman, but we can't know whether she would have made the same choices as Arya or not.

 

I do not think Sansa is like Ned but maybe it's just because I can't get over her going to Cersei with the plan and equivocating before Lady was killed, things I don't think Ned would have ever done.



#20 The Weirwoods Eyes

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:16 PM

Posting to find in the AM its not often my fave two characters are in a thread together.  :cool4: