If anyone was betrayed it was Sansa and Arya by Ned and Cat. Despite knowing the Lannisters may have killed Jon Arryn, and knowing Lannister nature, they sent their very unprepared children off to KL.
I think both can be true without having anything to do with one another; Ned and Cat may have made some ill-advised parenting decisions, but that doesn't have anything to do with the question of whether Sansa betrayed Ned. This thread concerns whether Sansa betrayed Ned, not whether Ned and Cat could have prepared their children better for King's Landing. While I appreciate your reasoning, it seems irrelevant to the central question of whether Sansa, in going to Cersei, betrayed Ned.
As for that question? I don't think so. She was disobedient, for sure, but betrayal implies to me some form of disloyalty or giving information/aid to a known enemy. She knowingly defied her father and disobeyed him, which was a crappy, ill-advised thing to do, but was she disloyal? Ned hadn't given Sansa any reason to think of the queen as an enemy; all he had said was that they were leaving and it was better that no one know of their plans. I guess an intelligent person would infer from that statement that it was dangerous in King's Landing and no one was to be trusted with this information, but Sansa has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer. She was fully aware that she was disobeying Ned and that she was doing something wrong, but I don't think that this amounts to disloyalty, as Sansa lacked the information to understand that any revelation of this information would be a betrayal of her family; she had no idea that Cersei was an enemy of the family (you'd think Cersei's ordered murder of Lady would have been a tipoff, but again, not the sharpest knife in the drawer). All that she knew was that their departure was to be a secret. It's true that she was thoughtless as to the potential consequences, indicating a lack of concern for Ned and Arya, but again, Sansa's not the sharpest knife in the drawer; it never occurred to her that she might be doing something dangerous.
However, Tyrion himself (one of the smartest and most perceptive characters in the books/voice of GRRM) considers that Sansa is "hardly innocent of betrayal." Cersei lied about the extent of Sansa's responsibility, but she is not lying about Sansa telling Cersei Ned's plans. So while I personally might not consider it betrayal, I think GRRM does.
Further, Cersei perpetuates the lie that it was Sansa who played the crucial part when she tells Tyrion of the incident, but what Cersei is really doing is covering up that Ned found out about the incest.
That's part of it, but I dunno; I think GRRM wants us to remember that Sansa played a role in Ned's fate. It comes up in ACOK when Cersei is crowing about Sansa being "wet with love" (gross) and gloating to Tyrion about Sansa spilling all; she's lying about the extent of Sansa's responsibility for Ned's fate, true, but she's not wrong about Sansa coming to her and telling all voluntarily for love of Joffrey. That part's all true. It also comes up in ASOS when Tyrion is hesitant to trust Sansa, knowing that she's "hardly innocent of betrayal." The information on which he's forming that opinion--Sansa told Cersei Ned's plans because she was in love with Joffrey and would have done anything for him--is 100.0% accurate.
It seems important that GRRM reminds us a few times that Sansa did what she did in AGOT. I'm not a mind reader, but my sense is that I don't think he wants us to forget or to explain it away with reference to Sansa's age or arguments about Ned and Cat's parenting deficiencies. It's important that we remember what she did, whether you wish to characterize it as betrayal or not. Maybe it foreshadows Sansa tracking into Littlefinger 2.0, another person who's been known to use deceit and subterfuge to advance his own selfish interests with no regard to the consequences to others. To me, GRRM seems to be emphasizing that Sansa's actions with Nymeria/Arya and with Cersei, regardless of whether they're properly characterized as "betrayal" or just disobedience/dishonesty at a very inopportune time, say something about her character, and they don't say anything good. I therefore think arguments against the "betrayal" interpretation, which rely heavily on Sansa's age/innocence/insufficient training to absolve Sansa of even a whiff of moral culpability and to refute any suggestion that she even did anything wrong, are missing the point.
As to the discussions that Sansa "does not belong with the wolfpack," I think these two moments in AGOT (with Nymeria/Arya and with Cersei) represent two instances where Sansa implicitly chose the Lannisters over her own family, even though I don't think she really understood the implications of her actions. The moment she threw her lot in with the Lannisters (by lying about Nymeria/Arya), she lost her direwolf; that's not a coincidence. It's not just that her connection to the Starks was severed
; a connection to the Lannisters was formed
. She's been cut off from her family and tangled up with the Lannisters ever since. She may have married Tyrion in ASOS, but she married the Lannisters in AGOT. Even the flight from King's Landing hasn't severed her bond with the Lannisters; she's still married to a Lannister, and she's still wanted by a Lannister for murder.
And really, if she did symbolically throw her lot in with the Lannisters with these two separate actions in AGOT, it's hardly surprising. In doing so, she showed herself not to be a Stark, but a Lannister, at least in a spiritual sense. Starks aren't known for acting like selfish, amoral liars who turn on their own, but Lannisters? Absolutely.
She didn't lie about Nymeria, she said I don't remember.
She did remember, though, so "I don't remember" is indeed a lie. Ned also later agreed with Arya's statement that Sansa lied when she said she didn't remember.
Also why does anyone think that Sansa backing Arya's story would have changed anything.
This is entirely irrelevant to whether Sansa betrayed Arya by lying. (I tend to think Sansa's actions with Nymeria/Arya were worse than what happened with Cersei, since Sansa had no idea what she was risking when she went to Cersei beyond some sense that she was being disobedient, but she knew darn well that the incident with Joffrey was serious business and that the consequences for her sister and Nymeria could be very, very bad if she didn't support Arya, and she went ahead and lied anyway. Not cool.)
Edited by Newstar, 16 October 2012 - 03:47 AM.