Raksha the Demon, on 12 April 2012 - 08:37 AM, said:
I just don't want to see Sansa relegated to a humble life in House Baelish on the Fingers while Arya or Jon is Regent of Winterfell for Rickon. I can understand why Sansa wants and needs to stay off the radar now, to be safe; but I doubt that Cersei will be around forever, or that Sansa Stark will remain accused of Joffrey's murder forever. I especially don't want Sansa stuck in obscurity because Littlefinger and the Queen of Thorns framed her for that murder. Sansa deserves warmth, company, and children when she grows up; hopefully the world, or some parts of it, will be safer for her in the future.
the idea of Jon and Arya (the people with the two most boring a-political arcs so far) as Rickon's regents, just makes me want to pull my hair out.
I think whilst Sansa has learnt from Lysa and Cersei, that power and status are not the goal of marriage and life, this does not mean that she should remain Alayne Stone at Casa Baelish with Sandor.
Since whilst Cersei and Lysa may have imparted those lessons to her as women, Sansa is more than just a woman, she is also a potential political player:
If she wasn't what would be the point of putting Sansa in the company of players like Tyrion, and Baelish if her ultimate goal wasnt to be a political player? All of the lessons she learnt from them (Tyrion/the Lannisters: keep your mouth shut and don't be cruel) and Baelish (manage an economy and don't be petty) would be pointless if Sansa wasn't going to apply those lessons to further the interest of house Stark, and the interests of House Stark go much further than slaying Petyr Baelish. Frankly what the North (and the interests of the Starks, as its liege lords must always coincide with the interests of the North) needs more than anything is rule of law, good economic management, with a politician canny enough to defend and attack its enemies. This means that Sansa has duty not to run off to Casa Baelish with Sandor...
I would also say that being the Lady of Casa Baelish wouldn't be all that great (since in Westeros, if you have no power you have no rights and no money). So being stuck at the Fingers wouldn't be a happy ending for Sansa, since whilst the Fingers are huge move up for a Braavosi sellsword, they're a huge step down for Lord Starks daughter.
This also raises the question of "Why should Sansa step down?" she hasn't murdered anybody (and even if Sansa goes down in history as the woman who poisoned Joffrey, the name 'Baratheon" is only going to last until Aegon becomes king, which means that killing Joffrey will not be considered a crime). Or committed any sin that she should spend the rest of her life on some miserable keep in smallest Finger. I think Sansa is just as entitled to live openly as a Stark, sister to the King of the North/Lord of Winterfell, as she is entitled to her good looks and intellect (both inherited traits).
I think the reason many people advocate this path, is that they want Sansa to avoid falling into the trap that Cersei and Lysa were in (married to men they loathed), and marry Sandor.
Now I also want Sansa to marry Sandor, but that doesn't mean that I want Sansa to step down to Sandor's level. That would be ridiculous: we don't want Sansa to have her face burnt (so she's as ugly as Sandor), drink so much that she too becomes emotionally incontinent (as Sandor is in AGOT, ACOK and ASOS), lose her education (which would've been focused entirely on the duties of Great-Ladyship) so that she too views power in terms of "they're all meat and I am the butcher", and her morals so that she, like Sandor would follow an order to murder a child. So why should I want Sansa to lose her inherited status? Indeed just as I expect that Sandor must become a better person, stop drinking, and hopefully gain some sort of formal education (all of which he is able to do at the Westerosi equivalent of a Cistercian monastery) to be worthy of her love. I would also expect that Sandor must gain some sort of status (if not a whole castle, but atleast a military victory/slay Un-Gregor to further Sansa's cause) to be worthy of her hand in marriage (if only for entirely practical reasons, that it will help others accept the marriage).
Basically it's better for the poor to get rich, the sinful to repent, and for the stupid to learn than it is for the rich to become poor, the good to sin, and the educated to become foolish....
Queen Cersei I, on 14 April 2012 - 07:32 PM, said:
Yes, I agree with the Cat thing... I have some similar thoughts about LF and his feelings for Cat (and Sansa) below...
I think this is a factor, but I also think a huge (and seldom recognized) issue in LF’s feelings for Sansa is her as a status symbol—and revenge against all those (including Catelyn) who have ever wronged or looked down upon him (in his mind). Sansa as vengeance against Catelyn, Hoster Tully, the Tully’s, and all others who looked down upon him, denied he was good enough for them because of his comparatively low birth. Now he is getting Sansa, the gorgeous Cat clone, secretly daughter of one the people who laughed at, rejected, and denied him all those years.
I think LF’s feelings for Sansa can be compared (In a way) to Tyrion’s feelings for Shae. In earlier books, part of the reason Tyrion gets off so much on “owning” Shae is that she is a beautiful, witty, desirable young girl who is, he thinks, “all his.” This, in his mind, along with his triumphing as Hand to the King allows him to say “Up yours” to all his former enemies, who (Tyrion feels in his own insecure, unablananced mind) laughed at him and mocked him behind his back his whole life. For instance;
Tyrion stood in the door and drank in the sight of her. Younger than Marei, sweeter than Dancy, more beautiful than Alayaya, she’s all I need and more…It is real, all of it, he thought, the wars, the intrigues, the great bloody game, and me in the center of it... me, the dwarf, the monster, the one they scorned and laughed at, but now I hold it all, the power, the city, the girl. This was what I was made for, and gods forgive me, but I do love it...
Eighteen, Tyrion thought. Eighteen, and a whore, but quick of wit, nimble as a cat between the sheets, with large dark eyes and fine black hair and a sweet, soft, hungry little mouth… and mine!”
IMO, these thoughts of triumphant ownership of Shae in my mind may well mirror LF’s glorying in his own “getting” Sansa. Tyrion is proud and thrilled that, after years of being looked down on, he’s gotten a “top” girl (i.e., young and gorgeous and desirable.)
Similarly, LF’s “possession” of Sansa no doubt gives him a little sexual thrill, and for more than just his obvious lust for her. Here he gets to possess Cat Tully’s daughter, one of the greatest prizes in Westeros, not just for her “sweet” body and gorgeous face, but her claim on Winterfell, and noble birth.
I think his hatred of Cat is almost as great a factor in his interactions with Sansa as his “love” of her. In some scenes we see LF as the sentimental would be lover; in others the political player; in others the would be lech/ seducer. However, I think in a way he wants to make Sansa “his” in a way that goes even deeper than sex. He wants to make her morally his, make her see things from his POV, be his protégé.
IMO, his “only Cat” should be seriously held up for question. It would not surprise me if he loathed Cat far, far more than he cared for her. Or, at least, by the time he meets her as an adult, I think it is mostly left over humiliation and bitterness he feels for her, not remaining love (as some have speculated, and as we see on the TV show.) I think he wants Sansa sort of to replace the love he’s lost—however, more so, I think he want’s her as a prize—as a gorgeous, highborn, well off prize; just the girl he couldn’t get and was mocked and shunned for even trying for all those years ago. Similarly, I think he wants revenge at Catelyn, who chose Brandon over him, who never went to visit him as he lay possibly dying. Remember, LF wanted to marry Sansa from the beginning, as we learn from Cersei in ADWD.
You know how every character is basically on a plot (Slaying the Monster, Rags to Riches, Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy and Rebirth) but in many ways those plots are the same plot told from the perspective of different characters (best example is Slaying the Monster and Tragedy with the latter being from the monster's perspective) but in many ways all subversions end up being tragedy... after all isn't the monster the hero of his own story and the hero is the monster that the monster-hero must slay? I think from the perspective of the monster, being monstrous is heroic, but because from the perspective of most people, being monstrous is not heroic, but is well monstrous, and monsters should be slain (for the betterment of all non-monsters). I would also say that all monsters are basically stupid, so not only should they be slain, but for this reason they will be slain...
Many love interests are apparently on some sort of rebirth plot, with the love interests in the voyage and return being on the tragedy plot... Interestingly Sandor is probably on a Tragedy or Rebirth plot (Tragedy if like King Lear his repentence occurred too late and is insufficient, Rebirth is his repentence is sufficient and timely) and Tyrion is probably on the tragedy plot (since he started off good and became increasingly evil) I would say Sansa is on a voyage and return with elements of slay the monster, with the return being a 'quest'. I would say that Baelish is one of the monsters that Sansa must slay.
Which raises the question what plot is Baelish on?
I think it's safe to say that Baelish is on a rags to riches plot. But unlike the heroes of these stories, Baelish does not genuinely want to better himself (or atleast he only wants to benefit himself in terms of power/status rather than morality, ie he is not aiming at genuine maturity) but rather wants vengence on the people who supposedly wronged him (by refusing his suite which basically puts Baelish on the same level as an acid thrower
, ie the values that Baelish represents are pettiness, cruelty and destruction, rather than broadmindedness, kindness and creation/preservation).
So in his quest for power he acts unethically/with irrational cruelty, which makes his very existence a threat to non-monsters (Sansa and the rest of Westeros). But because like most monsters, he is essentially stupid (since it is smarter to create, forgive minor insults/be broadminded and be kind to people), but in order to dehumanise people who exhibit traits like creation/preservation, forgiveness and kindness he must view such traits as stupid, which causes him to underestimate people who exhibit these traits.
But because he is still human he is still needs people who are creative/want to preserve society, kind and forgiving (because people who are petty, cruel and destructive are just as dangerous to monsters as they are to normals, this is why most predators are loners, and Gregor and Ramsay the least human of GRRM's monsters are complete loners).
For instance, a common trope in Rags To Riches, is marrying the false mate, which is the false ending. Now in Petyr's opinion, he has just overcome his false mate (the woman he married just for status) in the person of Lysa, and indeed for a hero Lysa would indeed be a false mate (since no man would be happy married to a crazy, jealous woman with a history of miscarriages), and is about to obtain his true mate (Sansa, who from the perspective of the hero, would be the perfect wife, since she is forgiving, kind and well suited for the role as creator of new life and nurturer). But because Baelish's values/goals (destruction of aristocratic society, petty vengence on Stark-Tullys, cruelty to those who are not useful) are so inimical to Sansa's values/goals (preservation of aristocratic society, forgiveness of minor wrongs, kindness to the defenceless), she cannot be his true mate. Indeed in terms of suitability, Catelyn was his first false mate (since she desired to marry aristocratic Brandon, was kind to Baelish even though he was worthless to her, and forgave Baelish when he embarrassed her in public), whilst Lysa was his true mate (since she too desired the destruction of the Tullly-Starks, was cruel to defenceless Sansa all of this because she couldn't forgive Catelyn for being more loved than she was). Yet because Baelish cannot see this (ie he suffers from the false belief that he is a hero, not a monster) he doesn't recognise Lysa as his true mate, yet at the same time he has the intellect to recognise that Lysa is a threat to him (because her pettiness causes her to betray him and yell out his plotting to poison Jon Arryn/frame Lannisters) and his goals (since her jealousy and cruelty causes her to try and kill Sansa, whom he perceives as his true mate), he therefore kills Lysa, his true mate. He is now alone with Sansa, whom he falsely believes is his true mate, but actually holds values and goals completely inimical to his own. If Baelish were a hero, then Sansa would be his monster, and he would be alone with the monster. Yet becaus Baelish is the monster, he has the monsters tendency to dehumanise people who exhibit traits like kindness, forgiveness and creativity and preservation (here symbolised by Sansa's love of songs in which heroes destroy monsters). Thus Baelish confides in Sansa and trains her to be his mate, whilst believing Sansa to be so stupid that she will never figure out that his values and goals are inimical to hers (ie that he has destroyed her family, cruelly sold her best friend to a brothel all because Hoster Tully refused his suite when he was 15 and he, Petyr Baelish, is a petty little man), thus Sansa, who in the literature of previous, more mysoginistic yet more stupid eras, would have been stuck in the love interest/damsel in distress role (and Tyrion, Sandor, Harry the Heir or Aegon would have heroically swept in and slain Baelish and rescued Sansa), is forced to become a heroine, rather than remain a love interest.
and how will Sansa rise from love interest to heroine? Well I think one of the distinguishing features of love-interests and damsels in distress is that they are basically saintly: they forgive everyone and everything, are cruel to nobody and are cruel about nothing and they want to preserve every single life.
But if saints have but one flaw, and that is that they cannot seem to distinguish creation from destruction.... A truly saintly person would not lie even to save their own lives, would not have children (because that takes away resources from others) would not make money (because that takes away money from others), would not go to university (because that takes away the opurtunity to gain knowledge from others), would not wear beautiful clothes (because that makes other women look bad), they would sleep with everybody who asked them (because it would hurt people's feelings if they were refused sex), they would not eat because that would deprive another of food...they would be dead, and therefore wouldn't be much of a love interest, which is why no love interest is truly ever saintly (since the hero could hardly have a wife who doesn't want kids and yet sleeps with everybody, including the villain), which is to say even the most shallow love interest/damsel in distress imaginable needs to have some sense of her own value. To me the thinking of saints and monsters is not all that different, since both view goodness as being completely alruistic (ie self destructive and therefore stupid), it's just that saints chose to be completely good whilst monsters chose to be self-preserving and therefore avoid becoming what they think of as stupid. I would also say that monsters need saints, since monsters, being completely destructive, need to feed off saints to survive.
Needless to say Sansa gives many indications that she isn't all that saintly, but what characteristics will she need to go from love interest and damsel in distress to heroine? I think the distinguishing feature of the hero is his ability to make distinctions: he is kind to the defenceless but cruel to the wicked, he forgives people who give minor/unintentional insults, but pursues justice for those who commit genuine wrongs, since to deliver justice is to be kind to the defenceless and cruel to the wicked, in order to do this (ie commit the ultimately act of cruelty to the monster, and be kind to the defenceless he must kill the monster). The hero must persevere (atleast in simplistic or less realistic works of fiction, or even in cases where the villain is not very complex, like Gregor or Ramsay) but he must also show creativity (especially in more realistic fiction, and against more complex villains, like Baelish or Cersei).
It goes without saying that throughout ACOK and ASOS Sansa has shown immense perserverence, and in ACOK and ASOS but going back to AGOT Sansa has shown some creativity.
I would say that the aristocratic upbring that Sansa received probably makes Sansa far more willing to deliver cruelty to the wicked than a modern woman (since so many modern women are against the death penalty) whilst this aristocratic upbring would also give Sansa an inflated sense of duty and kindness towards the defenceless (most modern women aren't royalty). Indeed Sansa has demonstrated both characteristics in the past: her saving of Dontos (rescuing the defenceless) kindness to Sandor (when he was at his most vulnerable-she was quite severe to him when he was being rude), whilst her destruction of SweetRobin's doll, refusal to kneel for Tyrion and desire to push Joffrey off a ledge show her willingness to inflict cruelty upon the wicked. Thus to bring about justice, Sansa needs to the information to help her realise that Baelish is wicked, and thus a worthy recipient for a cruel death. From there all she needs is a little bit of creativity to bring about Baelish's cruel death/justice.