Sansa fits into a very defined (and very real) character type. The slightly spoiled, rich girl, tweeny still very much at the air head stage.
Ever been to a girls private school - Sansa and Jeyne are just the typical girls of the era - giggling in the corner and discussing boys, while also impressing the teachers. They are concius snob, discussing clothes others have and using terms like "povvo" For Austalians (and others) she is a little like Jaim'e in Chris Little's Summer heits high - or at leastlike one of her friends.
Arya is the girl in the top maths class who joins the greens and spends her weekends handing out leaflets to save the whales. Her friends are the nerdy loners while Sansa mixes it with the good looking jocks. These characters exist today.
I suspect that Martin had some run ins with the "cool" girls in his youth and Sansa is the outcome. Life and hardship mellow these "cool" girls so at 30 he may meet them again and no longer hate them
Myrcella is in between the two with I suspect a slight leaning to Arya is she was braver.
Cat is brilliantly written. I actually liked her the GoT. It was not until later (as Lady SH) I realised what a nasty bit of work she was.
Now I know why I find Arya so annoying...She reminds me of so many self righteous little bullies... I might humourously suggest that perhaps you have hit on something very true about the Greens: they pretend to be so righteous, but like Arya, they are murderous (
didn't someone mention the Stasi earlier...).
Although Actually I like Arya's idea of eliminating with extreme prejudice people like Gregor. No doubt the world will be a better place if people like that died. Though ordering Jaqen to assassinate the cook was pointless evil. (and puts Arya back into the-hating-people for what they are rather than what they do).
Yes but Jaim'e is a bogan with money... Not a comparison to Sansa, who has genuine class. Having been to a private all girls school in Australia.I would say Sansa reminds me of very few girls, as we are alas, a crass and vulgar people, even in the best of circles.
Perhaps there was a Singapore Chinese girl who was a bit like Sansa (she wanted to a be a teacher despite her great talent at languages), and maybe a Saudi girl (a pretty feminine profession given the Saudi need for female doctors), although the Saudi girl had too much sex appeal even in a hijab and a sack variation of our uniform to be like Sansa...
Actually there was one Australian Girl who was a bit like Sansa (but actually I think her maternal family were Polish* or some other variety of Contintental European that isn't German) so not completely Aussie: GC was polite and kind, genuinely fond of chapel, she had a soft voice and played a musical instrument, she was civic spirited and participated in causes. GC had one strange trait: she seemed incapable of hating, certainly GC, like most good people could look down at people who she perceived as wicked, but she didn't really seem to hate people that wronged her. In this GC was most like Sansa: for whilst it makes sense for Sansa to be dishonestly polite and kind to Cersei, Joffrey, Tyrion and Lancel. It certainly makes no sense for Sansa not to fantasize about harming them and wish them ill: or to feeling pity when Joffrey died, which was utterly bizarre, or not fantasizing about scratching Tyrion's eyes out.... Perhaps GRRM doesn't understand that, just because someone is not an idiot like Arya, who loudly proclaimed her hatreds at the top her lungs, that therefore someone is a milksop incapable of hating even the evil that is done directly to ones own person... I don't know if GC was like that though, as after all I could not read her mind, though I should say that saints who 'resist not evil' and 'turn the other cheek' are mercifully rare...
Perhaps GRRM does not understand that one can be well mannered and compassionate, whilst passionately hating evil and wish to see evil wiped out. Think of Miss Marple (who was significantly, created by a female author), hopefully Sansa will progress towards a Marpleian approach to evil in the next book.
I also like Dany, she is rather like George W Bush with the looks of Paris Hilton though...
Personally I think young George Bush
was far sexier than Paris Hilton but that's just me...
*and I think it's Poland due to a story she told about her grandmother...
Some thoughts about Jon growing up in Winterfell with Cat as the closest thing he had to a mother...
The Cat/Jon relationship of Cat ostracizing and distrusting and saying cruel things to Jon (admittedly when short on sleep and desperately worried for her comatose child) never made much sense to me in light of Jon's attitude towards women. If the only mother-figure in Jon's early life, the female authority figure of his childhood and early youth, hated him and at the very least constantly turned a cold shoulder to him, why is Jon not more angry at and distrustful of women? Jon seems to get along well with females. He has a healthy, loving relationship with his younger sister, he has good memories of Sansa despite her catching Catelyn's anti-Jon vibes and qualifying him as a 'half-brother'; he later has a loving sexual relationship with Ygritte (brief as is), he helps Alys Karstark, and speaks with the very assertive Wildling 'princess' Val as an equal (not at all threatened by her).
I would suspect that Jon had had a loving governess or nurse who gave him the maternal affection that Cat would supposedly have died rather than bestow on him; but Jon never mentions a nurse or nanny who was a mother-substitute. I just don't get how a boy whose only maternal figure, the mother of his beloved siblings, shuts him out or snaps at him all the time, grows up without any resentment or fear or even distrust of women. Could Cat have actually given very young Jon some affection, and then grown cold to him? I think that would have messed him up; and there's no indication of that in Jon's memories either.
I think GRRM often goes wrong in child psych:
for instance a lack of affection/mothering is generally linked to psychopathy in humans and monkeys
So whilst Tyrion's mysoginistic attitude towards women is completely comprehensible given that he was raised by Tywin and wetnurses, rather than Joanna. I am not sure if GRRM intended that though.
The fact that Joffrey and Robert Arryn are such creeps makes less sense given how much affection they received from their mothers (although in Joffrey's case it is explicable by his Lannister genes), perhaps Robert Arryn has crappy Littlefinger genes... Whilst neglected Jon and Tommen are so terribly nice...
This may sound cliched, but it is the absence of love, not spoiling that makes children awful in the real world.
This is not just feminine concerns being ignored, it's lower-class concerns. The things you mention are for the peasant women to do. Noble women probably had other things to do besides being midwives and healers. I mean, we don't see the minutia of common living for either sex. Off the top of my head I'd say that the noblewomen would be more into charity, supporting the arts and other such things, menial labour wasn't on the table.
Well, if the viewpoint characters were peasant women, then the absence of this sort of thing would be absolutely galling...
However being a medieval noblewoman would be the equivalent of running a large corporation. Being a princess would be like being a diplomat/hostage and potential deputy prime minister/vice president if your husband dies and your son is a child. At the same time serving as a broodmare, artistic and charity patron and event organiser..In short there is nothing shallow about being a medieval noblewoman or princess. I think GRRM, but definetly the fandom, didn't really understand this and just thought princess=Diana, who was shallow and represents, to moderns. An idea of Princesses as pretty and glamourous. Where as historical paintings of princess show them to be quite plain (like the Hapsburgs)... and reading the lives of Medieval princesses, noblewomen, and queens show them to have been rather brilliant (and often better monarchs then their male counterparts) and well educated.
For instance one of the things that went wrong in the marriage of Joanna of Naples
to Andrew, Duke of Calabria
, was that he lacked education and was a dullard.
So having Sansa having a fairy tale notion of princesses, is frankly unrealistic. Certainly the peasant women who told stories like "Cinderalla" and "The Feather of Finist the Falcon", might have thought (like moderns today-but then most of us moderns are descended from people who were peasants during the Middle Ages) that being a princess was all about luxury and being pretty. But I doubt anyone in Sansa's position would have been so naive. But I tend to think that this reflects naivety on GRRM's part (in that he failed to think about 'what would being a medieval lady really be like at 12" and "what kind of education did medieval ladies have").
As a writer of forbidden literature, I tend to blame Ned (due to that scene with Mordane in AGOT)
We can't avoid reader interpretation as well, in truth it is more difficult for me to understand Catelyn's actions because I'm viewing them through the eyes of a man. For this reason I am always hard pressed to take a hard line stance against her, to put it simpler I have no idea what it means to be a parent or mother. I can't relate to Cat's rational when reading her chapters so I judge her actions by face value disregarding anything else. That is why I love this board though, I can toss out an argument and it can get verified or torn apart. At the end however I have a deeper, better understanding for the text. For me a large part of my sympathetic approach is understanding the motives behind a characters actions. Not necessarily judging the results, because GRRM does not give us the outcome we expect ever, just judging the motives. Which is why I love Dany, her results suck but her motives are pure IMO. Plus I want a female character to come out on top in all this, so sue me. /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />
For a man a baby is a 5 minute or less exertion followed by a squirt. A man could theoretically father another baby in less than an hour.
For a woman a baby is a 9 month pregnancy (hazardous), risking death (from post-partum fever to pre-eclampsia to simple blood loss), disability (obstetric fistula), or infertility with each childbirth. Then there is breast-feeding till atleast 6 or 9 months but probably more like 18 months. Then a baby has to be raised and will be with you atleast until the age of 14 (whatever a few creepy cultures do) but probably 16 or 17. Then there is menopause, after which a woman can no longer have children. Of course no mother ever thinks about why she loves her children more than her husband does... in fact, a woman who thought about children in the rational way that I have described would not be very likable (infact women, generally speaking, are encouraged by society to be emotional, rather than rational, even if emotions have their own rationality)
Thus for a woman, for completely rational reasons, losing a child would at the absolute greatest adult fear
imaginable. Which is why, even if GRRM doesn't especially like Catelyn, many adult women (Raksha, WoW, and another lady here), can instantly sympathize with her, despite authorial intent. Even if they aren't thinking "gosh it would suck if my kids died, or were forced to marry a whore monger with a genetic disease, because then I would lose my shot at having grandkids/viable grandkids." Rather they are feeling "waaahhh" awful feeling of sadness and fear"
Edited by voodooqueen126, 13 December 2012 - 01:42 AM.