From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa II
Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:47 PM
Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:55 PM
In ASOS, Tyrion at least resolved at one point that he would still protect Sansa because he draped the cloak over her (relating to him not accusing her at the trial, and also dismissing the accusations against her in her absence). I do think his emotions are more complicated than only bitterness, allthough that is part of it.
I don't think he will hold a grudge against Sansa though; he has more and better reasons for his grudges against Lysa and Cersei. I don't think the man holds a grudge against, say, Bronn, for example, despite Bronn not showing up to defend him in the end. But the man never claimed he would, just like Sansa never claimed anything except that she would go ahead with the ceremony as ordered.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:55 PM
I know it is a chess analogy, but a Pawn can become a Queen if it makes it across the board.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:58 PM
Edited by Daidalos, 07 June 2012 - 04:58 PM.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:06 PM
This is true, but by ADWD he seems IMO to be firmly on the "she betrayed me" bandwagon. Now that he's set to become powerful again via alliances in Essos, I don't know if that will bode well for those persons he thinks acted against him in Kings Landing.
I don't think Tyrion would consider Bronn's refusal to risk his neck for him to be equal to Sansa's desertion, and probable framing of her husband to take the fall. Martin may have indeed intended the statement to be ambiguous, but we have two specific references to Sansa in ADWD - the false wife, and the one about girls crying when he kisses them - and both are unflattering. If Tyrion does indeed "miss" Sansa, I would not expect it's the kind of feeling that will inspire a grateful reunion.
Edited by brashcandy, 07 June 2012 - 05:06 PM.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:13 PM
I think Tyrion romanticises all the relationships in his life (apart from the one with Tysha, which really was romantic). Even in ADWD he maybe bitter towards Sansa, but then again he also sees her as an ideal he strived for: the perfect highborn girl. He never seems to acknowledge that he had any agency in hurting her (which annoys me no end) because he was complicit in this. Instead he sees himself as the romantic hero to rescue her, but the problem is that the people he has to rescue her from are his own family, to whom he is loyal and himself. He is a lot like Kevin in that respect, who also placed family loyalty above what was right. Also while I think he now likes the idea of Sansa, he is forgetting the day to day awfulness he felt within their marriage.
However Sansa is very far removed from him at the moment. Given the time it takes to travel between Meereen and Westeros (plus battles and actually locating people) it would take at nearly a year for them to meet again and even then that would be a quick journey. Sansa's story will move on in that time as we know because GRRM left Sansa's chapter out of ADWD as it starts a new plot line for her. What this plot is up for discussion.
Sansa maybe a pawn that is moved around by others, but so far she has survived and if she continues to move forward whilst picking up survival skills, she may indeed have the same almost miraculous change as a catipillar does when it turns in to a butterfly. By which I mean that everyone sees her as a simple hidden pawn, unaware that she has been changing internally all this time and may yet pull the rug out from under everyone's feet in terms of their expectations of her. Especially LF.
Well although the textual evidence almost overwhelmingly points to LF as the savage giant, there are grounds textually for arguing it could be Tyrion that Sansa kills in the end.
Edited by Rapsie, 07 June 2012 - 05:15 PM.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:19 PM
A few quotes to illustrate what I’m talking about:
Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough spoken freeriders of certain birth. Mycah was the worst; a butcher’s boy, thirteen and wild, he slept in the meat wagon and smelled of the slaughtering black. Just the sight of him was enough to make Sansa feel sick, but Ayra seemed to prefer his company to hers.”
"He burned down a holdfast and murdered a lot of people, women and children too."
Arya screwed up her face in a scowl. "Jaime Lannister murdered Jory and Heward, and Wyl, and the Hound murdered Mycah. Somebody should have beheaded them."
"It's not the same," Sansa said. "The Hound is Joffrey's sworn shield. Your butcher's boy attacked the prince."
This are only some of the countless quotes in AGOT featuring these two, where the Arya/ Sansa dynamic is portrayed in the following fashion—Sansa as the rather snobbish, elitist, bratty girly girl, Arya as the unfairly persecuted, kind, down to earth tomboy with a heart of gold.
On Winteriscoming.net, someone wrote: “Arya is amazing and bucks the Westerosi female role, but that doesn’t mean Sansa sucks for wanting to wear dresses and get married. The habitual pitting of two females against each other is an annoying bit of sexism.” And yet, it judging from quotes like the ones above, it seems that “this annoying bit of sexism” of comparing Sansa unfavorably to Arya comes directly from the author himself.
Numerous people have confessed to either find this harmless or unintentional; GRRM merely mildly taking on some of the prejudices of his time. But honestly, due to the stringency and repetition of this theme (Sansa is a pretty girl who knows she’s a pretty girl, wants a handsome mate, and is proud of herself and willing to disobey her father to get what she wants—and therefore is bad, bad, BAD!) I simply cannot see it as accidental on the author’s part.
What really seems an issue here, rather than GRRM simply trying to characterize a teenage girl and failing to do so, is that Sansa—like Cersei and a few others—is being punished for her pride. Specifically, her female pride. Not the same sort of “acceptable” pride of women like Brienne, Arya, and Asha, that entails confidence in oneself and one’s ass kicking abilities, but that nevertheless leaves the individual in question without airs, accessible, and accepting.This, in stark contrast to the “proud” but friendly, accessible, girl/ woman of the people attitudes of females like Arya, Asha, Brienne, et. Al., is a sort of pride where the female in question holds herself in high regard due to her beauty, high birth, and accomplishments. She knows what she wants and what she deserves; and this may lead her to looking down upon men GRRM relates to or rejecting men due to their physical appearance, social class, or what have you. (I should say people in general, and yet, when this tendency is shown with both Sansa and Cersei, it is always men who they are rejecting, and being demonized for it.)
With Cersei, strangely, it seems she is very much characterized as “that bitch who wouldn’t talk to me in high school”. It seems that fans are (at least initially) encouraged to dislike her for her cold demeanor and her looking down on Tyrion (as he himself does with ugly females, but whatever) as for her evil deeds.
This continues, when Cersei’s aloofness, air of superiority, and tendency to pay little attention to “good” men the author relates to is highlighted, and contrasted with Myrcella’s naturally sweet, accepting nature:
“Will Bran get better, uncle?” little Myrcella asked. She had all of her mother’s beauty, but none of her pride.”
Consider the way the attitudes of the two women are contrasted as they enter the Winterfell feast in the beginning:
“(Mryrcella) …was a wisp of a girl, not quite eight, her hair a cascade of golden curls under a jeweled net. Jon noticed the shy looks she gave Robb as they passed between the tables and the timid way she smiled at him…Robb… was grinning like a fool.
“His lord father came first, escorting the queen. She was as beautiful as men said….His father helped her up the steps to the dais and lead her to her seat, but the queen never so much as looked at him.
Cersei’s lack of interest in men like Ned and Tyrion is subtly portrayed as evidence of snobbery and specifically feminine pride on her part. And is portrayed far less favorably than the modesty and friendliness of a “good” girl like Myrcella.
And to an extent, a similar style of characterization is taken with Sansa. Rather overtly in the first book; and far more subtly in books two and three. For instance, Sansa's thoughts on social class in AGOT:
Sansa knew all about the sorts of people Arya liked to talk to: squires and grooms and serving girls, old men and naked children, rough spoke freeriders of certain birth. Mycah was the worst; a butcher’s boy, thirteen and wild, he slept in the meat wagon and smelled of the slaughtering black. Just the sight of him was enough to make Sansa feel sick, but Ayra seemed to prefer his company to hers.”
Here Sansa places herself above some common born boy. (The more accepting Arya is portrayed as morally correct here.)
I see very little effort being made to understand or sympathize with Sansa’s feelings here, or placing her attitude in context. And, once again, it is worth noting that Sansa is being castigated for her specifically female pride; for placing herself above this boy due to her high birth and social background.
I think this IS a gender issue, too, since I’ve noted males like Jaime, Tyrion, and even Ned Stark doing the same thing (operating with a great awareness of their social situation and place in the Westeros hierarchy, and looking down upon others due to this issue) with no caricature or criticism whatsoever on the part of the author. Hell, Shae and Tyrion's entire relationship is built around this issue, but that is held against him quite infrequently.
At other points, Sansa demonstrates awareness that her legitimate birth places her above the illegitimate Jon; this attitude is portrayed in the following manner:
“He’s our brother,” Arya said, much too loudly. Her voice cut through the afternoon quiet of the tower room. Septa Mordane raised her eyes…
“Our half brother,” Sansa corrected, soft and precise.
Ultimately Sansa, in AGOT and to an extent later novels, is portrayed as “good” but also with a good deal of subtle devices to portray her as wrong, incorrect, and needing to be “taught a lesson” about countless matters. (Which is perhaps why numerous people have creepily referred to everything that has happened to her since her father’s downfall as (and I quote) “Sansa reaping what she has sewn.”
It is this
Oh, not overtly, and the treatment of Joffrey and others is portrayed as “wrong.” Yet I couldn’t help but notice that in a sense, like Estella from great expectations, it seemed the author was at times using a sociopathic, evil male to “give Sansa what she needed”—i.e., break her noxious pride and beat her into shape. So while Sansa’s physical abuse and trials are portrayed as clearly wrong and she is never portrayed without sympathy, there’s also a weird feel to them, as though GRRM is somehow endeavoring to “break” Sansa of her feminine pride and other undesirable qualities that she shows overtly in AGOT, more subtly in ACOK and ASOS.
Edited by Queen Cersei I, 07 June 2012 - 05:25 PM.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:24 PM
Tyrion has an advantage over Cersei in that he knows he didn't give Sansa any poison; and he is aware (he explicitly thought so in ASOS) that Sansa cannot just magically summon poison either so at least one other party would have to be involved. I'd expect Tyrion will want to know who really framed him and while he will probably confront Sansa over that, I think he'd do it to get to know the real player behind the scenes (he would happen to be at the right address for that). Assuming it wouldn't be already clear by then if Sansa had turned on LF in the meantime.
Any meeting between Tyrion and Sansa would likely also take place within the framework of Dany being the power and arbiter; I would not be surprised if she would take a direct interest in matters as this.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:24 PM
Edited by Daidalos, 07 June 2012 - 05:25 PM.
Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:30 PM