Blue-Eyed Wolf

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  1. There is nothing to suggest he was actively looking for another position with another liege or had even considered it. Why? He's got a pretty privileged position with the Lannisters. They give him a lot of latitude. He's not required to swear vows, even to the kingsguard, which has never happened before. His loyalty is just that undoubted. He's probably compensated pretty well for his service anyway. It appears that after his father died and Sandor left home, Tywin took him into his service, trained him and gave him everything he has. When they call him the Hound for his loyalty, I don't think that's inaccurate at all. I think Sandor was up until near the very end truly loyal to the Lannisters. They essentially took him in when Gregor would have surely killed him when he was a boy. They may not be good people, but this was a hell of a lot better than his own family life. He was the go-to guy for Cersei when she wanted to have Mycah killed and he delivered. He doesn't actually leave Lannister service until Tyrion publically (and unjustifiably) implies he's turned craven effectively ending his military career and his reputation as a commander. He may have begun to really dislike Joffrey, but that's not the reason he left. Until Sansa, there's nothing to suggest he cares that much about how the Lannisters treat people that it would motivate him enough to consider leaving -- and even then it takes him snapping at the Blackwater. As for monetary gain, we actually have observations that dispute he is motivated by material wealth. He's noted to not really wear any ornamentation except his hound's head helm. His armor and clothing certainly aren't flashy like other knights. It's all very plain and practical. When he jousts against Renly in the Hand's tournament, the golden antler snaps off his helm and Renly gives it to him. Sandor just tosses it into the crowd, indicating it holds no value for him. Yes he won the 40,000 dragons at the tourney, but we need to think about why he won. Loras concedes victory to him and Ned says for the first time in [Sandor's] life he seems to have the love of the commons. The BwB for sure is planning on selling Arya back to her family, because they are seeking monetary reward. THey "forage" Sandor's gold, taking the tangible reminder of a day where he actually got a taste of what it's like to be a hero. It's not the money, it's what it represents. So he takes Arya from them. Yes, he talks about being "rewarded." However, he reveals what he's truly hoping for is to join Robb, raise his station to a lordship, and probably march on KL. Hmmmmm... he's only expressed disdain for honors and lordships before. Never has expressed any higher ambition before. Who did he leave behind in KL after botching things up? Who's the only person whose opinion of him even remotely mattered? And even then this whole plan of bringing Arya to her family is a big gamble with slightly better odds of not being immediately killed than say going to Stannis. Not referring to you specifically @Lyanna<3Rhaegar now, just speaking in general... I think because we learn at the tourney that there's more to Sandor than the guy who killed Mycah, many readers ascribe to him more righteousness and virtue than he actually has demonstrated at this early point in the story. It's a little bit of jumping the gun, because his character has only shown that he's capable of better, not that he's really starting to actively change. He's not an evil monster, but he's still not a truly good guy yet. He's still deeply cynical (flirting with nihilism) and he does not allow himself to empathize with 99% of people. He does have a conscience (unlike Gregor), he just doesn't always listen to it. To keep himself safe from being a vulnerable victim, he actively tries to disassociate himself from "the weak." Calls them "meat" and he is "the butcher." Defense mechanism or not, the Hound's need for feeling safe and strong is certainly not more important than the lives of people he's harmed. I firmly disagree with characterizing him as simply a grumpy asshole with a heart of gold. I think we need to see what a dark, low place he was in at the beginning to fully appreciate his journey to the QI and what a remarkable amount of change he's undergone.
  2. Sandor does not give a rat's ass about Loras. Since he's pretty perceptive, he probably saw that Loras was cheating with the mare in heat (that's just an educated guess since he called it correctly on Gregor vs. Ser Hugh). He would be exactly the kind of knight that Sandor would disdain. It has everything to do with his conversation with Sansa the night before when he spilled the secret of his burns. Her response that Gregor "was no true knight" was not only compassionate, but it was probably the first time anyone took Sandor's side and acknowledged his brother is a pile of garbage and the system was wrong to reward him with knighthood. All that in one simple sentence and it shouldn't be understated how that would have affected him. As the story goes on, we realize that Sandor's hatred of knights stems from his childhood idealism being crushed not so much by Gregor, but by his father and the system that not only protected Gregor but rewarded him and continues to do so. Gregor has already had three wives and the family home and lands. So it doesn't matter that he doesn't care about Loras or that Loras cheated. Gregor is still wrong to kill his horse and attempt to murder Loras. What is amazing is that this is the perfect opportunity to kill his brother. No one would call it kinslaying if Gregor was obviously out of control and going to kill Loras. Sandor would get his revenge and it would be completely justified. He doesn't do that though. Gregor is without a helm so the holding back from a fatal head blow shows restraint and a sense of honor. It's a big deal, since we know how powerful his desire for revenge is if he can at least temporarily set that aside. It's through Ned's eyes (as in the Father's judgement) that we witness this and we know how honor resonates with Ned. It's also no coincidence that the night before Sansa is wearing a green dress and the next day he appears wearing an "olive- green cloak." Olive branches being symbolic of peace is pretty appropriate since Sandor restores peace from Gregor's violence.
  3. This song is just giving me all kinds of ASOIAF feels. Not one thing in particular, but it's so beautiful and the lyrics capture some of the central themes. The existential crisis and the human heart at war with itself. Nature, nurture heaven and home Sum of all, and by them, driven To conquer every mountain shown But I've never crossed the river Braved the forests, braved the stone Braved the icy winds and fire Braved and beat them on my own Yet I'm helpless by the river Angel, angel, what have I done? I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire I've conquered country, crown, and throne Why can't I cross this river? Angel, angel, what have I done? I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire I've conquered country, crown, and throne Why can't I cross this river? Pay no mind to the battles you've won It'll take a lot more than rage and muscle Open your heart and hands, my son Or you'll never make it over the river It'll take a lot more than words and guns A whole lot more than riches and muscle The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river It'll take a lot more than words and guns A whole lot more than riches and muscle The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river (Nature, nurture heaven and home) It'll take a lot more than words and guns (Sum of all, and by them, driven) A whole lot more than riches and muscle (To conquer every mountain shown) The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river (Braved the forests, braved the stone) It'll take a lot more than words and guns (Braved the icy winds and fire) A whole lot more than riches and muscle (Braved and beat them on my own) The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river Nature, nurture heaven and home And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river Nature, nurture heaven and home And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river
  4. While my husband and I are waiting for this thing to pass over I'm caring for my dog that woke up paralyzed last Thursday. The vet had him on prednisone and muscle relaxers. I took him in for a check on Friday just before the storm hits. Their office will be closed from Saturday through Wednesday. Well he wasn't that impressed with his little bit of leg movement so he doubled his dosage of the prednisone. By Friday night he's just drinking and not eating. Saturday he's become extremely lethargic, like dead weight. Shallow, slow breaths through his mouth. Inner eyelid half covering his eyes. Will only take water with a syringe and he moves his mouth so poorly he can't eat, even to take his pill. I called the university emergency vet hospital in Gainesville this morning freaking out. At a 2 hour drive there's no way I can get there and back with the storm. I talked to a vet on the phone who told me to stop all medications and just give him water. Then as soon as its safe to drive up. Until the storm is passed, we're stuck and can't do anything for him. The latest projections for my area are encouraging, but this is gut wrenching.
  5. I'm north of Tampa Bay and about 20 miles inland from the Gulf. Hubby and I are about as prepared as we can be. This area hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane in like forever, so a lot of people here aren't accustomed to this. I went through Andrew in Miami, 2 weeks without power, family members left with 4 walls and a foundation where their home was. I remember the eyewall sounding like a train running outside the door. I feel so much for the islands and south Florida. It's a very rough ride. I feel fairly fortunate by comparison even though we may get hit with "only" a category 2 or 3. I'm just gonna take one moment to bitch because I've seen a lot of older retirees just leave the neighborhood, but they leave all their patio furniture and lawn decorations out. FFS that's a missile that will go through someone's window.
  6. Um... no. The entire point of that post wasn't that there's tons of animals that are all possibilities of skin changing. It was to show that animal imagery, for the overwhelming majority of contexts, was a reflection of where that character is in their story and not about skinchanging. From talking parrot < dove/pigeon < merlin. The falcon is not Sansa, but she's been offered a chance to become a falcon by marrying an Arryn, which I'm 99% sure is not going to happen. Unlike her other siblings, Sansa has been the longest in captivity, so it also doesn't surprise me if she has more birds than the others as birds are often symbols of desiring freedom. But I never said I was ruling out a literal bird as a possibility for skin changing. I said maybe. And looks like that is dependent upon her spending some time up close and personal with a bird. We do know is that the closest she has come on page to skinchanging so far is the old blind dog. She was already bonding with it, but that relationship was cut short. I wasn't even arguing that bats were the strongest of candidates and I did say the bat imagery was probably going to be no more or less symbolic than birds or any other animal both sisters have been compared to. What makes the bat slightly different in my opinion, is that it does come from within both sisters in their heritage and is related to their true identities. Bird identities are mostly thrust upon them by other people or ones they've had to adopt to survive. And mixed up in the bird imagery with Sansa and SR is also bear imagery. Twice Sansa has been compared to a bear cub in the Eyrie and SR wears a bear skin cloak. She is mothering him more overtime so she's become a she-bear with her cub, indicating her growing protective nature of him. But she's also a surrogate mother, she has no milk. And the "milk" he's been getting all his life is toxic. How to mother birds feed their chicks? By mouth. How does Sansa nourish SR? By telling him he's brave and strong, he's Ser Sweetrobin and Artys Arryn, which leads to him changing his thinking and behavior for the better. So no, there are no coincidences with any animal, bird or otherwise.
  7. @The Fattest Leech and @kissdbyfire, thanks I had been mulling over that scene with Margaery, but it was Weirwood that put the pieces together and had it all make sense. Especially connecting the heron to LF. The convo was in PM btw.
  8. They have and also all of her living siblings. Ravens for Bran and Jon. Arya as Squab (another type of pigeon) and swans especially (the ugly duckling theme, Swan Lake and water dancing, the beautiful swan-like courtesans of Braavos floating on their barges). Sansa has been basically called a talking parrot repeating everything she's taught before Little Bird becomes a more affectionate term. Then she's a dove, which links the two sisters when they are vulnerable to being preyed upon. Sansa looks at the falcon flying and dreams of freedom. Doesn't that reflect what she's being offered by marrying HtH? Become a falcon, an Arryn, and you'll be able to fly home? Okay I'm not ruling out that she will literally skin change a bird one day, but the bird identities seem to reflect where the sisters are in their own stories. And I honestly don't see Arya having a reason to literally skin change a swan. Often it's an identity being thrust upon them and not of their own choice. Yes Arya spent time with the cat and skin changed it, but Sansa also had an interaction with the same cat: Very clever turn of phrase that definitely points to Sansa being able to skin change at some point. Keep in mind both girls are connected to cats in that their mother is a Cat. Sansa wanted to call herself Catelyn in her bastard identity, before Petyr named her Alayne Stone. Arya became Cat of the Canals. Sansa is the spitting image of Cat, but Arya shares more of her mother's personality. The cat symbolisms comes up more frequently in Arya's POV, but it's not exclusive to her. We see her finding the mother cat and her kittens as she's searching for a boat to get herself back to her mother. So the cat is more than just about skinchanging. What's very interesting in that above quote for Sansa, is that it pretty much mirrors her meeting the Hound on her way back from the godswood, while she meets the cat going to the godswood. He comes out of the shadows and scares her, black hair/fur, the missing ear, "spitting" and harsh language. And while that may seem weird to connect the Hound to a cat, at that time he's still belonging to the lions. So while, Arya skin changed this cat, I firmly believe Sansa would have skin changed the old blind dog at the Fingers had she been able to spend more time with him. If this seems all over the place with different animals, it is. We have many cases of connections to widely different animals and they may or may not be skin changed. Sometimes they are purely symbolic. They are not completely exclusive to one character. I'm never going to rule out that Sansa could skin change a bird, but she came closest to skin changing the dog which she connects to Lady. She will find something to skin change for sure. As for the bat, Arya also has the exact same heritage to bats as Sansa and she is also connected to Harrenhal. Arya definitely has shades of Batman / Bruce Wayne in her arc. GRRM is a huge Batman fan. Sansa has her own Robin sidekick in SR. There was even an "Ace the Bat Hound" dog sidekick in the comics. There's also the red-haired sorceress Mad Danelle Lothston connection to bats and Sansa was slandered as using sorcery to kill Joffrey in the same place she's said to have turned into a wolf with bat wings. There's also a "flying mouse" motif I've discussed before that has connections to the CotF and magic. CotF are referred to as squirrels by the Giants. Bran thinks Leaf looks like Arya and Arya has been referred to as a squirrel several times. Crannogmen who are said to be interbred with the CotF can "run on leaves." There's a squirrel that runs up and down Yggdrasil as a messenger. The way squirrels flit about effortlessly from tree to tree fit the flying rodent motif. Bats, fledermaus, or "flying mouse" are part of that motif... and both Sansa and Arya have been called mice. "A mouse with wings would be a silly sight" says Ser Shadrich, the Mad Mouse, to Sansa. I was being only semi-serious when I said it would be cool if she skin changed a bat. Bats could be no more or less metaphoric than any other animal and not meant to be taken literally as skin changing animal.
  9. I agree the delegating jobs to the right people is something good leaders do, but I'm not seeing Sansa as specifically a military leader because we have no basis for that in her experience. Warden is a military title and kinda-sorta still belongs to Robert Arryn. I know Ned and King Robert debated this issue as the king feared a Targaryen uprising and he wanted an adult, experienced man named as Warden of the East at least until/if Robert reached majority. What we thought was Robert's paranoia actually turns out to be a rather valid point. Sansa doesn't have any military experience or tactical training in her background. Unfortunately, her mother seemed like she had some of that practical knowledge of castle defense but didn't pass this on to her daughters. If we wanna talk about who would actually be the military leader of the Vale, the acting Warden, that would probably be Yohn Royce. He's kin to the Starks and he's the man with military experience. Prior to LF, he was the most influential and powerful of the vassal houses. What we've seen so far of the young knights of the Vale, they are "knights of summer" still playing at jousting. I don't have as much confidence in them as I do in the clans, who are battle experienced. The prevailing Vale chivalric culture is still a highly sexist one so I don't expect them to hand her the reins of command automatically as a young female, even if she is Ned's daughter. What's stopping them from immediately thinking in terms of marriage proposals as well? What's interesting is that she may have an easier time being taken seriously as a young female with the mountain clans and their egalitarianism between the sexes and democratic style of rule. I don't think we'd be wrong in looking to Jon's story for how wildling culture has affected the POV as well as the wider story. I mean, as far as skin changing a bird? Maybe. I don't think anything will replace Lady as that spiritual relationship was special (the only thing that will come close is her Dog). She would need to be exposed to someone who can teach her about being a skin changer or be around an animal long enough to create that bond. I had this conversation about hawking with @The Weirwoods Eyes not that long ago who had some good points about that. Maybe not a falcon, but a perhaps a merlin which is the smallest ("Little Bird") of the birds used in hawking. Lady was the smallest of the direwolves. They might be small, but they are known to be aggressive hunters that can take down birds as big as themselves. Let's hope it's a mockingbird. They are also colloquially known as "pigeon hawks" and just prior to and at the PW Sansa is connected to doves and pigeons (the dove-grey dress, the dove from the pigeon pie that metaphorically "shits" on Tyrion and flies away). This passage of the hawking with Margaery probably had significance to the next part of her story post-PW. It comes in the context of Sansa warning Margaery that Joffrey will hurt her if she marries him and to her confusion Marg is pretty confident that he won't. We know why. The peregrine is a type of falcon and it's paired with the heron, which Weirwood eyes noted is a bird of prey that snatches up unsuspecting fish (Tully!). Falcon = Lysa Arryn and the fish-stealing heron = LF. It's Lysa that arrives at the Fingers to snatch up her lover and take him back to the Eyrie, her nest. This is all under the same conversation where we know one side of the marriage is planning on offing the other. It's just the roles are reversed. Margaery is also seducing Sansa with promises of marrying Willas and how wonderful her life will be at Highgarden once they spirit her away from the capital. LF spirits her away and promises her she can get her home back if she marries the next falcon, HtH. Sansa just isn't an Arryn though, so I doubt the falcon will be the bird that best fits her character. So with that said, we can see that Sansa's merlin is paired with the three ducks. I don't wanna go into it here and derail the thread, but I'll just say I think it relates the hedge knight theory in my signature. (If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, they must be ducks right? ). So I'm not totally certain the bird imagery means she will definitely skin change a bird, but I bet she will skin change something. I don't know in there's going to be all this leisure time for hawking in TWOW. I expect the shit will hit the fan fairly fast. If not a merlin, there's another possibility of a small but mighty animal: the bat. She's been connected to bats in the text, a "wolf with bat wings," the bats in her tummy, her maternal grandmother's Whent heritage, and a reasonable belief her path will intersect with Harrenhal. Skin changing a bat would be pretty effing metal IMO.
  10. I think she does, but it's more tempered by experience. She sees that all to often people treat the knighthood as window dressing. The problem many of our soiled knights encounter is that they made their knightly vows second to all their other vows and decisions, when it should have been the other way around. Yes, there is some inherent misogyny in knightly culture, but the defending the weak and helpless is always a good thing. I don't think George wants us to throw the baby out with the bathwater as he is turning a very critical eye on the institution. The songs are about high ideals. But instead of saying the songs are stupid and lies, he's saying that most people will fail to live up to their highest ideals but the effort is important. It's still worth trying. So sometimes the songs are true and there are legit heroes in the world. I hope a song is written about Brienne . While she may start out as a Maiden figure, she certainly has tons of marriage and motherhood symbolism surrounding her. I doubt she's ultimately destined to be a "virgin queen" figure. I'm just saying that she dreams of a daughter that looks like Arya (who's been mistaken for someone's kid) and she pictured being surrounded by puppies (not children) when she imagined her marriage to Willas, with the lame leg. And Stranger is a stallion and he refuses to be gelded . I think there will be a permanently rejecting the expected role and telling society to go pound salt on this one area of her life even if she's looked down upon for it. She does have a willful streak when it comes to love as we saw with her running to the queen out of "love" for Joffrey. That had tragic consequences because of her childish understanding of what love was and the fact that Joffrey was not a guy worth rebelling over (to say the least). But if the guy was someone worthy and she has a more mature understanding of love... There's lots of people in the story that wanted to be Starks, but couldn't. I think there's maybe one or two that might actually get adopted as a Starks after all is said and done.
  11. You do realize an army needs to be supported by food and supplies, something only the non-combat folk can supply to them. Someone has to do it. The living won't last long without someone handling logistics. I'm not trying to start anything here, but this sounds heavily female coded in the value of this labor and effort compared to fighting on the field. This work is vital to the overall war effort and not beneath her or a poor use of her character. It fits extremely well with her experience in the bread riots seeing how bad things can go when basic needs are not met. She saw the Tyrells use food to manipulate the smallfolk after they were the ones that actually starved them to begin with. She heard Cersei's advice to rule through fear and brutality. She rejects both and says love is the better way to rule. She will earn her heroism by legitimately caring about people and their needs. That's her father's legacy and a major reason why people want to fight for his kids ("for Ned's little girl") long after he's dead.
  12. Yes. I really believe GRRM (being ultimately feminist) does intend to have Sansa's purpose mean something more then getting married and having children. Not that marriage and children are inherently bad or unfeminist (they aren't), but her story isn't about using her body and family name as a bargaining tool or her worth as a human being. I think the books show us all the ways this patriarchal role for women can go horribly wrong. And Sansa herself is someone who starts with absolute faith and trust that performing her societal role perfectly will naturally lead to a happy outcome with prince charming. Her own sense of self worth is directly to this. It hurts when she sees with every marriage proposal she's confronted with that it's really her claim that people want. But it's also good that her eyes are now opened and she can examine the option critically for what it is. You have to wonder as a reader, can all George think of for Sansa to deal with is yet another marriage plot point??? There's been 5 so far. I think he's showing us the problem, not the solution. He wants us to question it. Yet so many people are so quick to think her only contribution to the story is not actually her contribution, but her husband's. That invalidates her experiences and the things she's learned along the way if it only amounts to her husband doing all the heavy lifting of the story. It's making her take a backseat in her own POV. I think with the Mountain Clans we have an opportunity to settle an issue that has been going on for a while. Lysa said Petyr will set things to right with them and that is completely wrong. He hasn't done one thing about the raiding and he is both the Lord of the Trident and LP of the Vale. The clans are the remnants of the First Men of the Vale that were isolated out by the conquest of the Andals. The deal they made with Tyrion is that they would take back the Vale by force. What they really want isn't scraps and looting, but to get their home back which points to a desire for stability. One of Sansa's biggest strengths is that she is a genuine people person. She has the "soft power" of making people feel comfortable (even good about themselves) and she is a compassionate listener. This makes some people just want to act on their better natures. This shouldn't be underestimated as a very useful tool in convincing people to act for mutual benefit. It's very akin to how her father treated people. Yet Sansa also has first hand observations about the uses of political theater. The Vale culture operates heavily on chivalric ceremony and custom, so she knows how to speak their language. Yohn Royce, as a very close friend and kin of the Starks, should be a major player in this as well. He's been iced out as a major leader in the Vale by LF bribing the other lords. It's no wonder that he married his daughter Ysilla to Horton Redfort's son Mychel because they are the few remaining hold outs against LF. They're against the ropes right now and might be more open to a negotiation with the clans for their support. Possibly. There are the grain stores and the Vale of Arryn still has winter wheat growing and soon to be ready for harvest. Even Jon thought to borrow money from the IB to buy food from the Vale. There's also Harrenhal. It's monstrously huge and could be put to use sheltering thousands of people. It also has fertile farm land surrounding it, but a major problem as well. All the wars and ravaging have taken it's toll on the smallfolk population of the Riverlands. What the land needs is an influx of new people to farm and harvest. Resettlement is a huge part of Jon's plan in the North. Harrenhal also is centrally located and it's close to waterways for transport. Curses aside, it's also has enormous historical importance. It keeps coming up over and over again in the story. We should expect to see it put to use in the future for something important. It's currently being held by the pious Bonifer Hasty, who just might respond positively to Sansa based on her being the most devout of her siblings in regards to the Seven (though she has definitely gravitated more toward the Old Gods as well). Especially if she plays up the Maiden / princess imagery to him considering his history with Rhaella Targaryen. I don't know if that will go down, but I see a lot of potential options here in the region that could help tremendously in the war and winter.
  13. Earning leadership is a big deal in the series with lots of characters. More specifically, I see a strong possibility of brokering a peace between the Mountain Clans and the rest of the Vale. Repeatedly the clans are mentioned as still hovering around post-Blackwater. It appears that it's mainly the Stone Crows doing the raiding in the Riverlands, who are no friends of the Black Ears and Burned Men. She knows some of the leaders from her marriage to Tyrion: Timett and Chella. The clans are considered the Free Folk of the Vale and they know how to survive in tough conditions. They have new steel and formal battle experience from their time in the Wot5K. If she could get them to give up raiding and get the Vale lords to allow them to assimilate, you'd have two groups of people that can help each other survive in Winter. It's the same theme we get with what Jon, Val, and Tormund are trying to accomplish in the North.
  14. With her experience with the bread riots and how both Lannisters and Tyrells responded to the crisis, I would say she has a good chance of helping to shelter smallfolk refugees and raise food and supplies.
  15. I don't want to totally insult fanfiction, because some people write better characterizations and plots than the show. But this shit is pure fanfic nonsense. I guess Bronn (who I thought was already married to Lollys Stokeworth?) is now married to another younger, "bad pussy" of Oberyn's loins? Just shoving Tyrion together with any geographically close female I guess. And they have sex after a few lines of dialog of course.