Blue-Eyed Wolf

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  1. Hey @redriver If you want a condensed, organized version of this thread, it's in my essay linked in my signature. You are exactly right to notice the First Men / Old Gods connection on his sigil. Iron and bronze are metals associated with the First Men. The water and earth can apply to HR/SS's travels, but also Meera says her father could "change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word." When Jon speaks about his wolf with the same coloring, he says he belongs to the Old Gods. It's the distinct coloring of the weirwood faces. Furthermore, he says he is the Mad Mouse because the average mouse runs away from danger. He's a contradiction and not like others of his kind. Much like Meera says her father is bolder and braver than the average crannogmen who are shy and stay close to home. We've seen the contradictory weirwood sigil before with the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Weirwood faces don't laugh or smile. They're always depicted as pained or frightening in expression. Other than a mention of being at the Tower of Joy, the only story that features HR in the series is the story of the KotLT and the Harrenhal tourney. It's such an important piece of history that solidifies HR's loyalty and friendship to the Starks so loyal he would send his only children and heirs to help Bran after Ned dies. It makes sense that when HR enters the story, he will have references to that pivotal event.
  2. So Robert is born sometime in 292. It's possible, because we have no one saying how long he stayed in Gulltown, just when he started. Tyrion says in ACOK: So that puts his time in Gulltown about 289. He's there long enough to noticeably increase revenues, but "soon" suggests this happens rather quickly. This motivates Jon to bring LF to KL. George can't math too well, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt LF really took less than 2 years to increase revenues "threefold" (or "tenfold" by Lysa's telling). As long as he's there by 291 or early 292, it can still work for him to be the father.
  3. I don't know where I stand on the idea, but I think Littlefinger as the father does have some merit. I think it makes good thematic sense in many ways to add to the tragedy. One very good reason I can think of for Lysa not blurting out that SR is LF's, is that it would declare her son a bastard. If he's not Jon's, then he's not Lord of the Eyrie, she isn't regent, and LF can't be Lord Protector. Both of their positions and the power they enjoy hinge upon SR always being Jon's. No one can ever have a reason to suspect Robert's paternity, especially when his hair doesn't match either parent. In the period after Lysa retreats back to the Eyrie, her behavior has alienated her vassals. Refusing to enter the Wot5K, relishing the lords courting her while having no intention of marrying one of them, marrying LF instead, spoiling the near universally hated Marillion, etc. If it ever got out Lysa cuckolded the much loved Jon Arryn, I don't think those lords would have a problem ousting Lysa and LF at that point and installing Harrold Hardyng immediately. So it's imperative to live that lie as if it were the truth. I can see LF as occasionally having secret sex with Lysa in KL to keep her on the hook with promises of "someday." Obviously by LF instructing her to poison Jon in KL and with him probably providing the Tears of Lys, they have had secret meetings at least a few times. For fearful Lysa to take such a risk, I'm sure he had to sweeten the deal to assure her they would be together. Lysa can be extremely petulant and demanding by her insistence on marrying and having sex the very night she arrives on the Fingers, which he eventually acquiesced to out of necessity. Remember Lysa essentially raped an extremely drunk Petyr at RR. She's not one to take no for an answer. She's the one who convinced Jon to bring him to KL from Gulltown. I'm sure she also helped him ascend to master of coin eventually. It would be consistent with her character to push for sex while he needs her help in KL. While this conversation is about sending an assassin for Dany, LF has a curious analogy for it: Just get it done and over with. It's almost like LF is affirming to himself that this will end in a steel kiss, so suck it up for now. Petyr eating the seed is a powerful symbolic image, as pomegranates have strong sexual connotations. We also saw something like this before with Cersei: No doubt Robert would force himself on Cersei, but everytime she would devour his heirs. The boar tusk reference to Robert's death is kinda like the promise that one day this will end with a "steel kiss" no? There's the parallels of the unwanted sex that must be borne, but the secret destruction of the heirs. Black haired heirs Cersei cannot allow to exist that would expose her infidelity as well as her taking vengeance against Robert. We have the bastard children being passed off as Robert's children. Cersei must live the lie that these children are Robert's. Her position as regent depends on it. Except with Littlefinger, he wouldn't feel anything for his own flesh. He prefers the pretend bastard daughter he imagines he had with Cat and desires to place her in the Arryn seat. There's some parallels here, but with a few twists.
  4. I like this topic. Thank you! I read the salt in the mouth thing as related to the bread and salt of guest right which relates to the RW. It's very common for hanged people to be left with some kind of sign for the crime they committed. Like the man in the crow cage Arya saw with his genitals cut off as a sign he was a rapist. I have to type fast and come back to this later, but it's made me think about Randall Tarly and how he does justice when Brienne, Pod, and Hyle come back to Maidenpool: Ugh. So... the point being is that Randall has stuffed this poor woman (for the crime of survival prostitution and having an STD) with lye as a sign of her "crime." I think someone else brought up (and I'm sorry I missed who said it because I'm in a hurry) that salt is a pretty valuable commodity for common people as a food preservative. That's why Meribald is carrying it with him to hand out. I think it rings true that salt wouldn't be wasted like this by the BwB, especially after it's mentioned their food supply is dwindling by Thoros (?) when Brienne wakes up. Tarly is supposed to be securing the area, but in Brienne's chapters he's having bakers lashed for putting sawdust in bread (probably because grain is scarce) and gruesomely punishing old women who resorted to prostitution for food. Wow, I'm sure everyone feels safer with this display of tough justice. I think it's evident that Tarly doesn't give one shit about the plight of the smallfolk because their "crimes" are related to starvation. But he does seem to be interested in securing Maidenpool for himself. With the Saltpans completely razed and empty (as EB says) that makes Maidenpool the only working port and the fisherman on the Bay of Crabs are unloading there. Doesn't that make it in his interest that the Saltpans stay empty? What if stringing up the corpses is meant to keep people scared of returning? It forces all business to come to Maidenpool instead. I still have to think on this more to explore it further, but Tarly's game here might be an interesting one.
  5. Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I think I found an early inspiration for the Hound and Braith Bretan of "The Dying of the Light." George has listed The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (published 1957) as one of his favorite sci-fi novels in more than one post on his LJ. The main character, Gully Foyle, is consumed by a burning need for revenge that is his main motivator for his actions. In the course of the story, he is captured and his face is given this shockingly horrific bestial tattoo. His personality early on his described as brutish and blunt. Later in the process of removing the tattoo with acid he receives equally horrific scarring that flares up when he becomes emotional. Gully also tormented by visions of The Burning Man, which is himself on fire. Some very interesting cover art for the novel too.
  6. The Apple Eater lol So deceptively uncool, but Lothor Brune earned his knighthood by cutting his way through Fossoway soldiers, killing two knights, and capturing the head of the green apple branch.
  7. I agree. I'm not 100% on this, but I feel Harwin is the top candidate for many of the reasons you stated. I really feel his motivation and mission is an Arya centric one, not a revenge murder mission. Harwin is already established in the story has having a personal connection to Arya, most importantly he's spent one-on-one face time with her. As you said, he's a character that has shown deep emotional attachment to the Starks. He's the one that pleaded to revive Catelyn. Not because he thought she'd turn into a revenge-driven revenant, but simply out of grief at her horrific fate and defilement of her body. It reminds me of the way Arya asked Thoros if he could revive her beheaded father. You noted that Harwin knows the layout of WF, which is important. But I think what gives Harwin an advantage over other candidates is that he can positively ID Arya. Also that Arya knows him and would trust him. We know that LSH and the BwB are actively looking for Arya. Before they hang Merritt Frey they ask him about the Hound having Arya. The Heddles and Gendry are stationed at the inn at the crossroads, one of Arya's last known sightings with the Hound. They're collecting orphans from the area so there's a hope that Arya will be found among them. So they are following up on leads and it makes sense they'd check out any lead they got. One of those leads would be the news that Roose is marrying his son to Arya. This is using some information from the ASOIAF timeline. We know from Jon VI, ADWD that Roose is announcing his son’s marriage to Arya in letters calling for the Northern vassals to swear fealty circa mid-April. So word of “Arya Stark” being in the North and her marriage to Ramsay Bolton is getting around and it would be big news. Brienne’s capture by the BwB happens in mid to late May where Harwin was present. Theon first meets the hooded man at the beginning of August. That’s enough time for even a single rider travelling at an average speed to get to WF from the Trident region (8-10ish weeks). So I don’t see how he can be ruled out based on time and distance. He may not have had the opportunity yet to get a good look at her since Jeyne has been confined and now she's left with Theon. It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the HM because we've now lost the POV inside the castle at least until Stannis retakes it. We may find that he's affected the plot somehow off page during this time.
  8. @The Fattest Leech Thanks for the tag! I will will be following along!
  9. I believe this was what @The Weirwoods Eyes was referring to. The bond between wolf and warg is described as a marriage. A spiritual partnership. I don't think I have to describe further the imagery of warging and being inside your spiritual partner. Before I get accused of claiming there's literal skin changing between Sansa and Sandor (I'm not), I'm pointing out that Haggon's metaphor means this is more than just protector/pet relationship. Sansa doesn't want a dog (a domesticated servant), she wants her spiritual partner (her equal, her packmate). And George includes juxtapositions of dogs and wolves all over the place. They are related and can mate. He calls "taking" a wolf to mean warging, but "taking" a woman means something else and both = a marriage. When it comes to her spiritual partner, Sansa is as "willful" or wolf-blooded as her sister and she doesn't give a fig what anyone thinks. And why can't he be both a protector and lover? I fail to see how they are mutually exclusive. I guess Sansa doesn't eroticize knights or imagine being wed to them? Nevermind that Loras is also a third son without land of his own and would never be an appropriate match on paper... funny how she doesn't consider that when it comes to her desires. After all the times we hear her talking about status and marriageability, at the end of it she just wants who she wants and all those other considerations go out the window. Try and guess how many fucks I give about being accused of shipping? Nice try using the ad hominem shipper accusation as an automatic trump card for your argument. I ship canon ships. Sansa ships it. George ships it. So I ship it and I never would if I honestly thought the evidence weighed in favor of her being traumatized by him. By the way, there's plenty of analysis out there by people who don't ship anything that agree Sansan is canon. Do they have validity then because they aren't tainted with the "shipper" label? And all shippers have to 100% agree on every detail or their basic premise is invalid? Are you sure that's not setting a different goalpost of evidence for the shippers that you wouldn't demand of a non-shipper? Because all anyone can do to back up their opinions is offer textual evidence and that's what the strength of anyone's argument should be based on. And yet you do not point out what you find to be incorrect about my walk through of events specifically. Even if I don't agree with someone's opinion, I don't handwave their opinions away based on them being a "whatever shipper" or an "anti-". I'll agree or disagree with their actual argument based on their textual evidence presented. But by all means, handwave the shippers away for being shippers. It's transparently revealing. It's fine by the way if you or anyone disapproves of Sansan or if you think what Sandor did was unforgivable. That's not out of whack to feel that way. What he did was wrong. I don't sugar coat the actual Blackwater, but I don't blow it up to being PTSD inducing. Seriously, why even give Sandor another thought if he's just another person she trusted that betrayed her? She's been there and done that. Why not replace him in her thoughts with someone like Arys Oakheart who by her own words is "dashing,", has always been polite to her, and even protested on her behalf once? On paper he seems like the natural choice to be the gallant, courteous knight to chase away her nightmares. The better kingsguard that conforms to her ideas of what's good. Or why not her crush Ser Loras that she clearly eroticizes? Make him the salve to cover up those unpleasant memories. No one has been able to explain why Sandor of all her abusers to create a mis-memory around if the unkiss is a trauma coping mechanism? It's not like she was really falling for him before or even thought he was a great guy. He's not nice, gallant or dashing. Anything traumatic wouldn't be a betrayal, but a confirmation that he's just a savage dog. Joffrey has had her beaten, publically stripped, humiliated, groped her, unequivocally threatened to rape her and kill her repeatedly. She once trusted wholeheartedly in his goodness and his word, so this seems like a way worse betrayal. Same with Cersei. Pycelle molested her while Cersei's maids held her down and she was naked. Tyrion ordered her to take her clothes off while she's utterly terrified, made her look at his erection, and he groped her breast. At least he relented and promised he would never force her. Dontos regularly tries to force kisses on her and lies to her, taking liberties with his role as her "rescuer." Marillion tried to rape her and continued to harass her with unwanted attention. Littlefinger creeps on her, has made her sit on his lip, forced kisses on her, touched her breast, manipulated her into compliance with his crimes, is going to pimp her out to serve his needs, etc, etc, etc... Again, taking liberties with his role as her "savior." All of these things have crossed lines Sandor never crossed, even when he was at his worst. The latter is far worse and more insidious than anything else she's experienced. It's classic sexual abuse grooming. While being pressured to lie for the man she thinks saved her life repeatedly, she's had to always stuff down her feelings of guilt and shame. If any PTSD symptoms are likely to arise from a series of events, it's from what LF has put her through. She's never been allowed or allowed herself to fully process the horror of Lysa's murder, where she was almost murdered too with the help of her attempted rapist. She can't even look at the Moon Door without being triggered. Marillion's singing torments her. Again, there's no such triggered discomfort or anxiety surrounding cloaks or dogs. This memory persists over a long period of time and separation from him. It endures but never seems to be triggered by any other sexual threat. It's triggered by girls talking about kissing and a little boy's clumsy kiss. Littlefinger's forced kisses? Nope. So... why not make up mis-memories of any one of these objectively horrible events and abuses? If that is her go-to coping strategy, why does it only happen surrounding Sandor? Did he touch her sexually? No. Did he rip her clothes? No. Did he actually force anything sexual on her? No. I won't defend anything he actually did, but I don't think Sansa is wrong for seeing her way past it to forgive him. That's just who she is. Once she knows someone's tragic backstory she can be very understanding even when they lash out at her. THis is not good to be so forgiving if him in the long term though. Sandor's PTSD has to be addressed and his excessive macho posturing and lashing out have to be curbed for a romantic relationship to even be possible. He knows he fucked up big time. Judging by the humble, quiet service of the gravedigger (he also serves food and clears the table as one of his jobs), Sandor is learning a lot about patience, humility, respect, and self-control. I think George is depicting a problematic relationship, not a fluffy one, but one that doesn't have insurmountable issues on either side. One that he's written the means of both Sansa and Sandor overcoming their issues separately, but paralleling each other. I think it's kind of funny too that you're saying a man who did this awful thing to her that was so bad it warped her memory, is meant to be her sworn shield and protector. Why the hell should he ever be allowed within a hundred yards of her again if he is the source of a major traumatic event? Why should he ever deserve to have a position of trust with her again after costing her a huge chunk of her mental well-being? He swore he'd keep her safe then held a knife to her throat and threatened her. I think that would be a pretty big deal breaker for applying for the position of her sworn shield. Unless you are saying the bad thing wasn't actually that bad in the end to justify him being her personal knight and sworn sword? That she isn't so traumatized by him after all? That he deserves a second chance for her to trust him like she trusted Lady? Because I can't buy that she's both mentally damaged by him to the degree you claim and that she can or should accept him being close to her and entrusting her safety to him. But hey, thanks for supporting what the Sansans have always said, that she isn't really traumatized by him. Seriously, why are there only two choices in how Sansa has dealt with abuse and trauma in her life? Completely fine or mentally unhinged?She's not "fine." She's definitely been affected by her experiences. She was suicidal after her father's death, which Sandor was the only one to pick up on btw. She's internalized the abusive language of Joffrey and Cersei, who repeatedly call her stupid. Her self-esteem has been shredded. She's been manipulated into having conflicting feelings about Littlefinger which is part and parcel to sexual abuse grooming. But I don't think she's permanently or long term psychologically unhinged from them either. I think the truth is more like, she's been affected and changed by experience, but she's also pretty resilient in many ways too. Even if she can only keep her affirmations of her Stark identity and true thoughts hidden in her mind.
  10. Thanks. I was also going to say if Sansa was coping with trauma and using a false memory to do so, we'd have to keep in mind there are other triggers beyond her control that pop up now and then. If George has done his homework, then we should see her having some sign of discomfort or panic when something spawns a supposed unwanted and intrusive thought. There's the old blind dog on the Fingers that lays with her in bed. Literally a dog in her bed. People let dogs sleep with them in bed so they can be comforted by their presence. She wouldn't be bonding and cuddling with it. She'd probably be kicking it out of the room and want nothing to do with it. Especially after Marillion had tried to assault her in her bed, before Lothor Brune saved her and she mistook him for Sandor. If she was ever going to be triggered to a painful flashback of that night, this should be the moment. That's totally not what happens. It's not a dream about the Blackwater. It's a dream about her marriage bed. It can't be the Blackwater scene she's reliving, because Tyrion is in it and her marriage to him doesn't happen until much later. She specifically calls it her wedding night. It starts out like a nightmare with Joffrey and Robb. Then it segways into the wedding night and Tyrion. Yes, Sansa was terrified that night. Unpleasant though it was, nothing ultimately traumatizing happened in the end there either. She had Tyrion's word that they would only have sex if she consented. But Tyrion gets transformed immediately into the guy she has designated her protector and it turns erotic. "I wish that you were Lady" is a pretty lackluster sign of repulsion if the dream truly ended as a nightmare. But what about those who keep insisting that it is? Oh George, why couldn't you have given us a clearer sign with this "nightmare" so we can put this stupid argument to bed!?! Oh wait, he does: Oh look. A nightmare of the wedding night where Joffrey turns into Ilyn Payne. She wakes up visibly shaken by it. It's almost as if he included a parallel wedding night dream and Sansa's reaction to it for us to compare it with. All the dream says to me is that she rejects his worst trait, but not him. She wishes he was her wolf and not a tormented mad dog. It looks to me like her mind replaced her real nightmares with a comforting one that is also conflated with sex as is very human thing to do. @Lady Dacey Yup, thanks for bringing that up. By including Tyrion, she's not misremembering what happened on her wedding night. Her memory is just fine and that was clearly unpleasant with the ambushed forced marriage, the reception with Joffrey's threats of rape, and the wedding night itself. Why not make up a new memory to cope with a clearly very bad day when she thought she might be raped? It was way more sexually explicit than the Blackwater where nothing sexual actually happened. This an active conscious thought on her part to include Sandor in the marriage bed and associate him with sex, not a misremembering what happened on her wedding night. By choosing to place him in a bed he was never in, her feelings have definitely been processed and she's actively fantasizing.
  11. Probably going to regret this, but I'll bite. I find it helpful to do a walk through of events to understand Sansa's processing of what happened. Even though Sansa has had alcohol prior to going to her bedroom, she seems to be reporting the events as they happen pretty accurately. Even during the more frightening moments. So she has a good grip on what actually happened as it is happening. This is before the first incarnation of the unkiss: 1) It’s implied she’s already forgiven Sandor after he leaves her room wrapping herself in his cloak. She was cold, but she was already in her own bed. She has cloaks of her own. That does not speak of fear and trauma after the fact to seek out his cloak and remain under it for some time. It speaks of subconscious emotional attachment. People who are actually traumatized don't tend to cling to to objects that would be triggering reminders of the traumatic event. They tend to avoid them. Since George seems to have done his research in depicting men's trauma from war and violence, I would expect he's familiar with how PTSD develops and is triggered. Not all people who have been through a frightening event will develop PTSD, which occurs post events and is more likely to happen when a person has been unable to process what happened around the time of the event. 2) This passage takes place approximately one month later according to the ASOIAF timeline. She wishes the Hound were there for his advice. She’s has spent more than one night considering the events of the Blackwater, so she’s already processed it. Everything she is saying here is factually true. There's no mis-memory. She secretly kept his cloak with her future wardrobe, though she can’t give a reason she is consciously aware of. Keeping the cloak again does not speak of it being a triggering object or that she is traumatized. It's a source of comfort to her. She understands why things happened the way they did from a non-emotionally charged place and with critical thinking. It's processed. This makes it highly unlikely she will experience PTSD over it later. With understanding the why, it's implied she's forgiven him. The only fear she emphasizes is the fear of the wildfire, both inside and outside the castle. By “wondering if she’d been wise” (that slight pause over her choice but without overwhelming regret) says she might have chosen differently if he had approached her the right way. He came to her seeking comfort and reassurance, but he didn't offer her the same comfort and reassurance because he was in the thick of his PTSD meltdown. Now we get to the first incarnation of the unkiss. Compared to what actually happened, let’s look at what’s stayed the same, what’s changed or added, what’s been removed: He did not not come to her. He was already in the room. It’s been changed so he’s coming through the door where she can see him instead of startling her in the dark. The first thing she says is that she kissed him. The whole tone of the passage is matter-of-fact. Not emotionally charged either positively or negatively. No mention of the knife at her throat. Then he kisses her. Then he threatens her and makes her sing him a song. So the kiss comes before any threat and is tied to the song instead. The kiss didn’t come under duress, the song did. We know from Sansa’s fantasies of Loras Tyrell, she imagines herself being an actor, not just acted upon. All while the Bear and the Maiden Fair is sang LOUDLY in the background (pointing to the subconscious) by Butterbumps just to drive the point home it’s the bear that satisfied the maiden. Loras is still very much her conscious ideal at this point. It’s the type that she is supposed to be with. He’s what the songs are made of and she wants her life to be just like a song. Sandor doesn’t fit in that superficial equation at all. That’s the struggle. The unkiss is not about coming to terms with trauma. It’s coming to terms that deep down her erotic desires are the stuff of Gothic literature. She’s not scared of Sandor, she’s scared of what wanting him says about her. Her first erotic dream that replaces Tyrion with the Hound in the marriage bed is definitely not a nightmare at the end. It comes the night of Lysa and Petyr’s very loud bedding after their marriage and after Lothor Brune (who she initially mistakes for Sandor) saved Sansa from Marillion’s unwanted advances. So if the dream is coming after she’s being reminded of sex by the wedding night and Sandor is replacing and protecting her from the unwanted, doesn’t that make his presence wanted? Desired? The context in how we interpret these things is key. Finally, let’s get to the second and last (so far) incarnation of the unkiss: Once again, we must look at the context of what sparked this final version: Robert’s clumsy kiss. Clumsy and cruel are now tied together. Although Sansa has no desire to reciprocate Robert’s crush, she does want to be kissed again. Her first inclination is to pretend he’s Loras, but that doesn’t work. She’s accepted the reality that courtship among the noble class is first and foremost about pedigree and politics. The rose given was an empty gesture. She can’t make him the focus of her desires any longer while accepting the truth. Then her thoughts pivot to her “memory” of the unkiss. This version is far more poetic in tone than the first. The wildfire outside is now turned into a vivid backdrop to the scene, not a horrific apocalypse. There’s no knife, no threat, no vomit, no wine, no startling her in the dark, no fear. She’s removed all unwanted elements and kept only the intensity of the moment. Remember that Sansa wants to be an actor, not just acted upon. As far as she knows the unkiss is her first real, mature, and erotic kiss. And it was impulsively done (clumsy) under circumstances where she wasn’t prepared to meet it like an equal participant. And he left! The cruelty is making her desire him and leaving her nothing but a bloody cloak. While the addition of the cloak is factual, it speaks to what she was given, what she was left with, was ultimately unsatisfying though she kept it all the same. “That day is done,” there’s no going back. No other erotic fantasy will measure up now and it’s over before it can be satisfied. We know from the preceding passage about Loras that her conscious desires now hinge upon accepting the truth. This isn’t fear or trauma, it’s disappointment. Like “I kissed the Hound and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” She’s consciously accepted her desire and must put it behind her immediately because he’s gone.
  12. I know right! There needs to be an app for this. Not a dating app. I just want to swipe right and hook up with someone to talk about ASOIAF ships or just the books in general.
  13. So my coworker told me he was going on a date with this new guy and he was a big ASOIAF fan. I got a little too... invested in these two working out. Especially when he was showing me a text message that said he ships Sansan, Gendry x Arya, and Val x Jon. My coworker is only lowkey interested in the show and had to ask me who Val was. I admit I had no chill at that point. Seriously, I wanted to meet this guy! When they didn't really hit it off I was actually a bit sad about it.
  14. It is a metaphor for sex. Specifically female orgasm. You are referring to the scene on the serpentine steps. I think Sandor is saying something that feels somewhat safe to express because he knows it will go over her head. It does for the most part. She is thinking in terms of a literal song and suggests "Florian and Jonquil." She does have to have some idea that even singing a literal song to a man is kind of an intimate act in itself. Even on that level, she is saying that the intimate act of literal singing a romantic song is agreeable to her. Sansa will learn what "singing" really means when Marillion tries to rape her on the Fingers and uses that term. Then in hindsight she can full understand the implication. However, the night of the Blackwater, Sandor was demanding only the literal song of Florian and Jonquil. Yeah, still totally not appropriate, but he knows the other song is just not okay. He doesn't touch her in any way sexually. What he wanted was intimacy and comfort in his PTSD meltdown and went about it in the wrong way. He botched up this "rescue" of the maiden in the tower big time and he knows it. Do I think he was physically attracted to her? Yes. But he never crossed that particular boundary, even though what he did was wrong. It is definitely written with sexual subtext (in Sansa's internal narration), but nothing sexual actually happened. What's hinted at is a future meeting between them as indicated by Sansa putting the bloody cloak in her hope chest beneath her summer silks, her future wardrobe. You might find the Pawn to Player project very helpful to understanding their dynamic. It's just such a multi-layered scene it's hard to do it justice in one post, but there's some really great essays there. I highly recommend it. Also ladycyrpus on tumblr has a great collection of meta essays on the topic. I also have an unkiss essay on my tumblr differentiating it from trauma. You can always hit me up there. Hope that helps!
  15. Hey @Seams! Glad to see your input. I love that you brought up the dragonbone hilt! Not enough attention gets paid to hilts and pommels. Lemme just address this first: So here's the passage: It doesn't read to me that Joffrey honestly thinks dragonbone is too plain for him... it's that he just got busted by Tyrion who is telling him he knows about the dagger and he's making an excuse. He was caught off guard, was about to react then switched gears to distance himself from the attempted murder weapon. I am going to adjust my opinion a bit on why Joffrey picked that dagger. You're right he probably didn't chose it because it was cool looking. It still has significance to the distant dysfunctional father he desperately wants to identify with for paternity's sake. It was the dagger Robert won at Joffrey's 12th nameday tourney. In many years of parental neglect and moments of abuse, Robert being present to celebrate Joffrey's birthday probably felt like real moment of acknowledgement as his son. At 12 Joffrey is getting closer to manhood where comparisons to the father are going to be more frequent and scrutinizing, especially as he is Robert's heir. He probably chose the dagger because it's Robert's dagger from an event that links them as father and son. And even more personal significance about the dagger at the tourney feast: Robert shows "Uncle Jaime" the dagger to rub it in his face that he lost! As I said I do believe Joffrey deep down knows about the incest, but cannot express that rage except in his acting out and patterns of largely unconscious choices. Seems like everyone was betting on Jaime, except Robert. The dagger in question represents Uncle Jaime being punished by Robert, "salting his wounds. As far as Jaime's real karmic punishment for what he actually did to Bran goes, he did lose his sword arm, the same arm that did the shoving out the window. That's really interesting. Robert wants every last Targaryen eradicated from the world and he fears what Dany's marriage to Khal Drogo could mean. His reign began with the murder of dragon children and I think as a karmic justice he was denied legitimate children of his own body. He did fear a Dothraki invasion early on while everyone thought it impossible. It could be a Dothraki (literary) connection as well as they highly value bows made of it. It's lighter and more flexible than steel, but also stronger, doesn't burn, and has a high iron content that makes it dark. There might be something there to figure out in the symbolic sense. I can't quite wrap my brain around it yet either. It might be comparable to a dragon's tooth and a hidden dagger: It's a good weapon for someone without much martial skill don't you think? It's super sharp and lightweight. You can do a lot of damage without much force. As you said Littlefinger wields it pretty deftly. The dark handle makes me think of "daggers in the dark" The dagger is still in play as far as the future of the story goes and it came full circle back to the original owner. It was the dagger he pulled from Ned Starks's belt to hold to his throat: And then used to cut fruit for Sansa with the blood orange being particularly relevant: It has to be the same dagger. No other dagger would be as significant as the dagger held to her father's throat when they discuss the assassination of Joffrey. Especially with the image of LF tilting his head back and exposing this own throat as he explains how it was all done. I'm also thinking about Joffrey's penchant for finding humor in animals and sigils killing or eating their own kind. Send a dog to kill a wolf, he wants to serve Robb's head to Sansa to eat it, etc. then there's: It wasn't actually gold dragons that killed Viserys, but we get the idea. Gold = dragons = Targaryens. Dragons killing a dragon. None of these things actually work out like Joffrey says. Yes a dragon tried to kill a dragon, but it was Viserys who was the aggressor on Dany. Funny enough, even Dany comments that the Usurper owes Drogo a lordship for killing Viserys as he has decreed as a reward. The catspaw was paid in silver stags using a stag's dagger by a wannabe stag. Perhaps what "stinks" about the catspaw is the lie surrounding the dagger. The main lie is that LF says Tyrion won the dagger at the tourney, not Robert. Sleeping in the stables could mean there's a "horseshit" here, but not the kind the character's might think. It's the truth that gets doubted and the lie that gets believed, even when there are gaping holes in the false story. Smelling is often linked to detecting the truth in the story. The catspaw stinks of horseshit, but it's the sweet minty breath of Petyr that is believed. It's actually more like the wannabe stag is really a cat that sent a catspaw to kill a Cat who got misdirected into blaming the wrong cat. It's this incident that sets the lions to begin to questions and turn on each other.