The Ghost of Highheart prophesized Sansa's involvement in the Purple Wedding and her slaying a giant in a castle built of snow.
I dreamt of a maid at a feast, with purple serpents in her hair, venom dripping from their fangs. And later I dreamt that maid again, slaying a savage giant in a castle built of snow."
The scene where Sansa builds a Winterfell snow castle seems to fit this description; however, ripping up Sweet Robin's doll hardly seems to fit among such significant events as the death of Kings. Ser Gregor (as Robert Strong) and Littlefinger (the giant referring to the Titan of Braavos) are popular suspects. If the prophesy does refer to a future event, given the length and detail Martin gives that scene it seems likely that it contains foreshadowing of this future event. I suspect it does and that the giant is Littlefinger. This seems to be supported by the entire chapter, not just the Snow Castle scene.
The chapters opens with Sansa awakening suddenly from a dream.
She awoke all at once, every nerve atingle. For a moment she did not remember where she was. She had dreamt that she was little, still sharing a bedchamber with her sister Arya.
Arya was actually in the dream and the sudden waking from a dream with all her nerves atingle has potential allusions to Bran who communicates through dreams.
Dawn had not yet come. Sometimes she dreamed of Ser Ilyn Payne and woke with her heart thumping, but this dream had not been like that. Home. It was a dream of home.
Her other dreams are of Ilyn Payne beheading her father, an event caused by Littlefinger, that cause her to awaken afraid. This dream is different. It is of Winterfell and she is not afraid. The full meaning of the dream has not yet dawned on her but she is beginning to piece it together.
From bits and pieces of overheard conversations Sansa knew that Jon Arryn’s bannermen resented Lysa’s marriage and begrudged Petyr his authority as Lord Protector of the Vale. The senior branch of House Royce was close to open revolt over her aunt’s failure to aid Robb in his war, and the Waynwoods, Redforts, Belmores, and Templetons were giving them every support.
The source of her knowledge is important considering Lysa's conversational exposition at the end of the chapter. The actual knowledge is helpful as well since she is basically learning that she potentially has some very strong allies in the Vale should she suddenly become a Stark again.
During her Snow Castle scene Littlefinger reminds her of Marillion and may be a symbolic stand in for him in this chapter.
“I won’t.” He sounded almost like Marillion, the night he’d gotten so drunk at the wedding.
Marillion is an ever present manipulative figure that wants to use her. Aside from this obvious parallel of a background figure manipulating events, Marillion has caused three people to be banished-- two girls and a boy. Sansa, Arya and Bran-- the three figures symbolized by the snowballs first used to begin rebuilding Winterfell.
And Marillion. There is always Marillion. When he played for them at supper, the young singer often seemed to be singing directly at her. Her aunt was far from pleased. Lady Lysa doted on Marillion, and had banished two serving girls and even a page for telling lies about him.
At the end of the chapter it is Marillion, the Littlefinger stand in figure, that escorts her to meet Lysa and the Littlefinger stand in that will convicted of a crime on Sansa's words after Sansa learns the truth of Littlefinger's plotting. The two guards at the door might be symbolic references to the two huge bulwarks she builds in her snow castle. The library tower she builds has a tall steep stair that leads to the top. Sansa certainly gains knowledge at the top of the tower at the chapter's end. So the parts of the chapter surrounding the Snow Castle scene have symbolism to reinforce Sansa piecing together Littlefinger's guilt, references to Bran and Arya, as well as other symbolism that ties into the Winterfell Snow Castle.
Wondering if it was the snow that woke her ties the Snow Castle she builds to her thoughts and dream that open the chapter.
I am not going back to sleep, Sansa realized. My head is all a tumult. She pushed her pillow away reluctantly, threw back the blankets, went to her window, and opened the shutters.
Snow was falling on the Eyrie.
Outside the flakes drifted down as soft and silent as memory. Was this what woke me?
This obviously conveys that she is of the North and a Stark, but it is also something we've seen Ned do.
Sansa left the shutters open as she dressed.
This is the scene right before Luwin arrives with Lysa's letter with written with Littlefinger's words. Where Cat thinks of Brandon her original betrothed who helped set Littlefinger on his current path. This is where Cat argues with Ned for Sansa's marriage to Joffrey. It takes us back to Littlefinger's first move against the Starks.
Ned rolled off and climbed from her bed, as he had a thousand times before. He crossed the room, pulled back the heavy tapestries, and threw open the high narrow windows one by one, letting the night air into the chamber.
This strikes me a symbolic but I have no idea what to make of it. Looking for blue, white and/or foxes in Houses beyond the Arryn white and blue: House Florent of Brightwater is a Red fox with blue flowers. Sansa's face is flushed (red) after she's out in the snow and blue flowers could be a Jon reference. House Hawick of Saltpans has white sea birds strewn on a blue field. The Saltpans is both an Arya and Hound reference and birds are a obviously tied to Sansa. Personally, I don't think either of these work but it was all I could find.
She donned silken smallclothes and a linen shift, and over that a warm dress of blue lambswool. Two pairs of hose for her legs, boots that laced up to her knees, heavy leather gloves, and finally a hooded cloak of soft white fox fur.
Later Sansa sees Lysa.
They are both in blue and fox fur. Sansa is specifically cloaked in fox fur as she is cloaked in her bastard identity be Littlefinger. Earlier Sansa thinks:
Sansa saw Lady Lysa gazing down from her balcony, wrapped up in a blue velvet robe trimmed with fox fur,
So she is identifying with Lysa on loneliness caused by Littlefinger. All i can think of is the fox in the hen house. They are both in what could by House Arryn colors and Littlefinger is the the dangerous fox in House Arryn.
Lysa was as lonely as she was.
Sansa descends into the garden just as the snow does. From the beginning before she even goes outside she is one with the snow.
Sansa eased open the door, and made her way down the winding stair.
The snow drifted down and down
The statue seems important and IIRC it was broken in Tyrion's trial by combat which would add signifcance especially given their marriage. The taste of innocence and dreams continues to tie this back to the chapter opening.
Drifting snowflakes brushed her face as light as lover’s kisses, and melted on her cheeks. At the center of the garden, beside the statue of the weeping woman that lay broken and half-buried on the ground, she turned her face up to the sky and closed her eyes. She could feel the snow on her lashes, taste it on her lips. It was the taste of Winterfell. The taste of innocence. The taste of dreams.
She has fallen into prayer just as the snow is falling again emphasizing they are one. She is kneeling in reverence and supplication hungering for the past and nourishing herself with snow. A godswood without gods, as empty as me-- but she fills it. "You’re crusted over with snow ... but your face is flushed"
When Sansa opened her eyes again, she was on her knees. She did not remember falling. It seemed to her that the sky was a lighter shade of grey. Dawn, she thought. Another day. Another new day. It was the old days she hungered for. Prayed for. But who could she pray to? The garden had been meant for a godswood once, she knew, but the soil was too thin and stony for a weirwood to take root. A godswood without gods, as empty as me.
She has become red and white like a weirwood in the act of building Winterfell.
The ghostly silence is one of the strongest Jon references in the chapter, but far from the only one. Snow is the central image which obviously has connection to Jon Snow. Sansa is currently shrouding her true identity pretending to be a bastard just like Jon, and her recollection of snow in Robb's hair is primarily associated with Jon. Sansa is walking through the snow making no sound which seems to equate her with Ghost. There are also similarities to this passage in Jon's thoughts.
The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. All color had fled the world outside. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here.
Yet she stepped out all the same. Her boots tore ankle-deep holes into the smooth white surface of the snow, yet made no sound. Sansa drifted past frosted shrubs and thin dark trees, and wondered if she were still dreaming.
The warmth took some of the ache from his muscles and made him think of Winterfell’s muddy pools, steaming and bubbling in the godswood.Winterfell, he thought. Theon left it burned and broken, but I could restore it. Surely his father would have wanted that, and Robb as well.
You can’t be the Lord of Winterfell, you’re bastard-born, he heard Robb say again. And the stone kings were growling at him with granite tongues.You do not belong here. This is not your place. When Jon closed his eyes he saw the heart tree, with its pale limbs, red leaves, and solemn face. The weirwood was the heart of Winterfell, Lord Eddard always said… but to save the castle Jon would have to tear that heart up by its ancient roots, and feed it to the red woman’s hungry fire god. I have no right, he thought.Winterfell belongs to the old gods.
Given all the Jon references I wonder if this
refers to Sansa marrying Jon. Two snowballs together in marriage, adding a third is a child, and packing in snow around them is the continuation of the Stark line. I know that steps on a lot of Jon and Sansa matchmaking wishes, but I'm just trying to make sense of the Jon imagery in the chapter. Other interpretations are welcome.
She pushed two of her snowballs together, added a third, packed more snow in around them
Sansa starts off with snowballs-- weapons-- but she has no one to throw them at. This symbolizes that she has not yet identified her true enemy. Later, her last act of building Winterfell is to make the Broken Tower and she throws the snow at Littlefinger.
What do I want with snowballs? She looked at her sad little arsenal. There’s no one to throw them at. She let the one she was making drop from her hand. I could build a snow knight instead, she thought. Or even…
Both the removing snow from the top of the tower and the snow sliding under his collar point toward beheading.
Sansa stuck her fingers through the top, grabbed a handful of snow, and flung it full in his face. Petyr yelped, as the snow slid down under his collar.
I struggled a bit here to make sense of the Jon references. Tze has an absolutely wonderful post in the PtP thread about Jon and Sansa that I highly recommend to anyone who finds the connection interesting.
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Edited by Ragnorak, 11 September 2012 - 07:52 PM.