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MissMatchedEyes

Sansa

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It's interesting you say that, Lady Cleo, because in the series I think they whitewash her a bit. In the books, she's the one that tips Cersei off about her father's plans. In the series, she does no such thing.

Yeah about that. For the first time she stands up for what she wants, and dares to rebel (one of the traits people like about Arya). Of course it was incredibly stupid to trust Cersei, but I get the impression that some people are hating her for the outcome, which she really couldn't foresee.

It is interesting to note that while Sansa is sheltered and naive, her younger sister, who was raised in the same environment, is able to see through the civil veneer of the Lannisters.

Hm, I think Sansa sees it just as well. But at that point in time she isn't willing to let it burst her bubble of marrying a prince.

I agree it's pointless to compare Arya and Sansa, as the book makes it obvious they're like creatures from different planets. But it's interesting that Arya starts out wishing she was like Sansa. She wants to be pretty and lady-like, and is extremely frustrated that she simply lacks the skills and looks.

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Oh, well, I disagree that Sansa saw through the Lannisters. She didn't like Jaime after he attacked her dad, but she was completely taken in by Joff and Cersei. Remember how shocked and hurt she was when Joff said Cersei called her stupid? She thought Cersei genuinely liked and cared about her. And then in the next book she thinks to herself how she trusted Cersei and Joff and how they repaid her trust with her father's head.



I think she blinded herself to Joff's cruelty after the Kingsroad incident because he was courtly and gallant to her at KL and she wanted desperately to believe that this was the "real" Joffrey and that the Kingsroad ordeal was an aberration. Cersei was always kind to her in AGOT. She was taken in by that facade and that was what ultimately led her to divulge her father's plans. I agree she couldn't have foreseen the outcome (and if she could, she would have never confided in her).



I think it's easy to be disgusted by her naivete, especially since it's a betrayal of Ned, the moral compass of the story. To me, it's an opportunity for a great character growth arc.


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Sansa's not a likeable girl in aGoT. But it's not all her own fault. While it's very obvious how Septa Mordane failed horribly in rearing Arya by causing the rift between the two girls, belittling and shaming Arya whenever she can, even in front of Princess Myrcella, by always making a comparison between the two with Arya being the "bad girl"... Septa Mordane also horribly fails with Sansa. First of all, while Sansa may be prone to romanticising life through stories, songs and fairytales, Septa Mordane fills her head with an ideal of womanhood that 1) doesn't exist 2) isn't practical 3) is dangerous. Sansa may be a Tully, but Cat is not a wallflower lady, not by a long shot. Secondly, whenever Sansa even remotely does something that Mordane doesn't approve of, she's threatened that she starts to be like Arya (bad, bad girl) more and more. Septa Mordane had no business rearing girls who're supposed to lead a noble household one day. She's got no respect for the North, and thus can't teach the girls any respect for their own origins. And she fails horribly too as an escort, because she drops asleep, drunk at the tournament's feast, so that Sansa needs to be escorted back home by Sandor.



Sansa's reared as the golden child - she's placated by flatterers such as Beth and Jeyne, who aren't truly her peers. Beth and Jeyne's future relies on how well Sansa likes them and they have no status to quarrel with her (though Jeyne thinks she's in a position to do it to Arya). If there had been girl wards at WF of other Northern noble houses, Sansa's ego might have not been puffed up as much. It's the golden child treatment that is the major cause of Sansa's egocenticism, borering to narcissism. I think this is the most grating on readers when they read Sansa's pov chapters. Everything must be perfect, everyone has to conform to how she wishes the world to be (fantasy, songs), everyone has to like whom and what she likes, must think her beautiful and talk with her about the subjects that pertain her future alone; and when people don't conform to it for their personal reasons, she translates it as a personal rejection (Arya not joining the queen's party or tournament, even although Arya explicitly explains it's because she doesn't like the queen and that she won't be allowed to take Nymeria along), and she wishes that Arya was a bastard or a switch baby instead of a real sister. Basically she doesn't allow people to be different than she wishes them to be. That's controlling, and it flows from the puffed up ego by the golden child rearing.



Finally, while Ned takes the time to instill empathy within Arya for the septa and Sansa (and succeeds in it, since Arya manages to apologize for her conduct to the both of them), teaches her the message that family and loyalty to family is all they've got and how they need to stick together (a Tully motto btw), and yet he doesn't try the same thing with Sansa, who's actually the sole one who betrayed her sister and family through lying by ommission. Ned knows that Sansa lied when she said she couldn't remember, because Sansa already told him the truth the night that Arya went missing. Joffrey would have wounded Arya severely if he hadn't killed her, if not for Nymeria. Sansa saw that, witnessed that, but at the time all she could give as an argument to stop them is by saying "You're ruining!". It's pure cognitive dissionance from thereon. In many ways Ned tries to rectify the mistakes made with Arya: no more staying indoors under the Septa's control, heart-to-heart talks that improve her self-image (Oh, I look like Lyanna? But everyone says she was beautiful!) and ability to take responsibility for her own actions (trying to make amends for ruining Sansa's dress). But he never rectifies the mistakes made with Sansa: sorry about Lady, but telling the truth might have given the King the info to refuse Cersei's request; you should have seen what happened to poor Mycah, who was a complete innocent in all of this; consider what might have happened to your sister; is that raelly a prince who fits the songs and stories? He never confides in Sansa as he does with Arya, while Sansa desperately needs to learn to be critical of songs, stories, courtlife, flattery and outward beauty, and the danger they might be in (it's the "Don't tell Sansa" issue).



Sansa's betrayal of her faths is not only rooted imo in preserving the fantasy to remain with Joffrey, but also herself feeling she the right to question her father's authority. Once she leaves for KL (her dream come true), life actually goes downhill for her. Arya hasn't changed in her opinion (though actually there are quite a few changed in Arya), she hasn't changed in her opinion, Septa Mordane is still the septa, and Jeyne is still Jeyne. The sole thing that has changed is the parent: Ned instead of Cat. In her mind, it's Ned who lets Arya run wild without being punished for it, which leads to he trident incident and Lady being killed, and it's Ned who wants to pack her off back to the North. Teenagers naturally question their parents, and the parent switcheroo from Cat to Ned amplifies this, which gives her the justification to betray her father's plans to Cersei.



Sansa is insufferable in aGoT, but she's the product of much of the shaping by Septa Mordane, and the lack of her parents' choices to interfere with her fantasy image of life, the lack of teaching her understanding and respect for other people, the lack of ensuring her to grow up with friends who are her peers instead of her subordinates.

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I spent the first book wishing Sansa would jest grow a freaking clue already and then I felt bad for her. Sweet, simple girl! She just wants to believe the world is a good place.


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Sansa is my least favourite stark. But I dont think she can be blamed for being naive, I think that has more to do with her upbringing? She lied, but at that point in time she was pretty infatuated with Joff, and was trying to do what she could to stay in his good books, and I think the idea of being queen served as an additional bonus. What i find funny, is that she gets bitten in the ass for the less than stellar things she does, her lying resulted in the death of Lady, and Her pleading with the queen to stay in Kings Landing, despite being told not to tell anyone about going back to WF, eventually got her to stay in Kings Landing, but not in the way she liked. I don't think she deserved to go through everything she went through afterwards, but I feel like it was necessary.


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Sansa's not a likeable girl in aGoT. But it's not all her own fault. While it's very obvious how Septa Mordane failed horribly in rearing Arya by causing the rift between the two girls, belittling and shaming Arya whenever she can, even in front of Princess Myrcella, by always making a comparison between the two with Arya being the "bad girl"... Septa Mordane also horribly fails with Sansa. First of all, while Sansa may be prone to romanticising life through stories, songs and fairytales, Septa Mordane fills her head with an ideal of womanhood that 1) doesn't exist 2) isn't practical 3) is dangerous. Sansa may be a Tully, but Cat is not a wallflower lady, not by a long shot. Secondly, whenever Sansa even remotely does something that Mordane doesn't approve of, she's threatened that she starts to be like Arya (bad, bad girl) more and more. Septa Mordane had no business rearing girls who're supposed to lead a noble household one day. She's got no respect for the North, and thus can't teach the girls any respect for their own origins. And she fails horribly too as an escort, because she drops asleep, drunk at the tournament's feast, so that Sansa needs to be escorted back home by Sandor.

Sansa's reared as the golden child - she's placated by flatterers such as Beth and Jeyne, who aren't truly her peers. Beth and Jeyne's future relies on how well Sansa likes them and they have no status to quarrel with her (though Jeyne thinks she's in a position to do it to Arya). If there had been girl wards at WF of other Northern noble houses, Sansa's ego might have not been puffed up as much. It's the golden child treatment that is the major cause of Sansa's egocenticism, borering to narcissism. I think this is the most grating on readers when they read Sansa's pov chapters. Everything must be perfect, everyone has to conform to how she wishes the world to be (fantasy, songs), everyone has to like whom and what she likes, must think her beautiful and talk with her about the subjects that pertain her future alone; and when people don't conform to it for their personal reasons, she translates it as a personal rejection (Arya not joining the queen's party or tournament, even although Arya explicitly explains it's because she doesn't like the queen and that she won't be allowed to take Nymeria along), and she wishes that Arya was a bastard or a switch baby instead of a real sister. Basically she doesn't allow people to be different than she wishes them to be. That's controlling, and it flows from the puffed up ego by the golden child rearing.

Finally, while Ned takes the time to instill empathy within Arya for the septa and Sansa (and succeeds in it, since Arya manages to apologize for her conduct to the both of them), teaches her the message that family and loyalty to family is all they've got and how they need to stick together (a Tully motto btw), and yet he doesn't try the same thing with Sansa, who's actually the sole one who betrayed her sister and family through lying by ommission. Ned knows that Sansa lied when she said she couldn't remember, because Sansa already told him the truth the night that Arya went missing. Joffrey would have wounded Arya severely if he hadn't killed her, if not for Nymeria. Sansa saw that, witnessed that, but at the time all she could give as an argument to stop them is by saying "You're ruining!". It's pure cognitive dissionance from thereon. In many ways Ned tries to rectify the mistakes made with Arya: no more staying indoors under the Septa's control, heart-to-heart talks that improve her self-image (Oh, I look like Lyanna? But everyone says she was beautiful!) and ability to take responsibility for her own actions (trying to make amends for ruining Sansa's dress). But he never rectifies the mistakes made with Sansa: sorry about Lady, but telling the truth might have given the King the info to refuse Cersei's request; you should have seen what happened to poor Mycah, who was a complete innocent in all of this; consider what might have happened to your sister; is that raelly a prince who fits the songs and stories? He never confides in Sansa as he does with Arya, while Sansa desperately needs to learn to be critical of songs, stories, courtlife, flattery and outward beauty, and the danger they might be in (it's the "Don't tell Sansa" issue).

Sansa's betrayal of her faths is not only rooted imo in preserving the fantasy to remain with Joffrey, but also herself feeling she the right to question her father's authority. Once she leaves for KL (her dream come true), life actually goes downhill for her. Arya hasn't changed in her opinion (though actually there are quite a few changed in Arya), she hasn't changed in her opinion, Septa Mordane is still the septa, and Jeyne is still Jeyne. The sole thing that has changed is the parent: Ned instead of Cat. In her mind, it's Ned who lets Arya run wild without being punished for it, which leads to he trident incident and Lady being killed, and it's Ned who wants to pack her off back to the North. Teenagers naturally question their parents, and the parent switcheroo from Cat to Ned amplifies this, which gives her the justification to betray her father's plans to Cersei.

Sansa is insufferable in aGoT, but she's the product of much of the shaping by Septa Mordane, and the lack of her parents' choices to interfere with her fantasy image of life, the lack of teaching her understanding and respect for other people, the lack of ensuring her to grow up with friends who are her peers instead of her subordinates.

Very well said! I will just add that I agree that Ned should have addressed a lot of issues with Sansa. He is not the best communicator. I think he does find it easier to communicate with Arya because she reminds him so much of his beloved sister. I disagree about the family sticking together being a Tully motto only, however, as Ned explains to Arya, when the hard winter sets in, the pack that sticks together survives, whereas the lone wolf dies. Family loyalty is as much a Stark trait as it is a Tully trait. It's also kind of ominous as most of the Stark pack gets separated by the end of this book and then even more in the books to come.

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@ The North: I agree she is incredibly naive, which can be an annoying trait to read. But she also lacks any other kind of depth or redeeming quality to make her likeable, before she is victimized.

Oh hush... that's like saying GRRM is a bad writer... it gives me the sads

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I am so tired of people hating Sansa for not rebelling the way Arya did. What was Sansa supposed to do? She did not know a thing about Cersei or Joffrey. At the time, Sansa had no reason to believe they were anything other than benevolent. She was raised to assume that they were perfectly fine individuals, especially since she was originally going to marry Joffrey. Sansa didn't know a thing of what was going on between the Lannisters and the Starks. Ned ought to have told his daughter what was going on. Instead, he chose to keep her ignorant about the politics of the court and in doing so endangered her further.



And at long last, people say she's not a "likeable" character, therefore she is "victimized." Here's a stark (har har) idea: feminine strength is more than just wielding a blade and going head-on rebellious. Sansa is stronger because of what she's endured and lived through. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to learn your future groom was an abusive, spoiled brat coupled with his conniving mother just seeking your demise. Everything Sansa has believed in was stripped away from her. Those songs of chivalry and her beliefs in justice are gone. Try imagining how that must feel, try having a heart. She is a victim of her circumstances and you don't have to like her (I hate a good number of popular fictional characters myself), but you ought to at least respect what she's gone through.


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I am so tired of people hating Sansa for not rebelling the way Arya did. What was Sansa supposed to do? She did not know a thing about Cersei or Joffrey. At the time, Sansa had no reason to believe they were anything other than benevolent. She was raised to assume that they were perfectly fine individuals, especially since she was originally going to marry Joffrey. Sansa didn't know a thing of what was going on between the Lannisters and the Starks. Ned ought to have told his daughter what was going on. Instead, he chose to keep her ignorant about the politics of the court and in doing so endangered her further.

And at long last, people say she's not a "likeable" character, therefore she is "victimized." Here's a stark (har har) idea: feminine strength is more than just wielding a blade and going head-on rebellious. Sansa is stronger because of what she's endured and lived through. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to learn your future groom was an abusive, spoiled brat coupled with his conniving mother just seeking your demise. Everything Sansa has believed in was stripped away from her. Those songs of chivalry and her beliefs in justice are gone. Try imagining how that must feel, try having a heart. She is a victim of her circumstances and you don't have to like her (I hate a good number of popular fictional characters myself), but you ought to at least respect what she's gone through.

Well, at the Trident she learned a lot about Joffrey, and later on about Cersei when she demanded for Lady to be killed. It's more than being naïve then. I certainly don't hate her, and I'm very willing to regard he as a victim of the golden child treatment and the short sighted upbringing she received from the Septa (her mother should have known far better than that. She actually had to run Riverrun before her brother was born). But basically she saw Joffrey threaten a defenseless boy with life steel, wanting to hurt him, and then saw him about to kill Arya most likely if Nymeria hadn't intervened. But there was the glaring evidence what they both were.

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I've been doing a close analysis of every chapter in my current reread of A Game of Thrones.  I'll try to keep anything that hasn't happened beyond the Trident in a spoiler tag, but without giving much away.  Sansa lies, yes.  But is that really such a horrible thing?  Her lie is so heavily misinterpreted, it's baffling as to why it's okay when someone like Ned lies, but not Sansa.

 

By saying that she doesn't remember, that's her way of trying to stay out of it.  She's pleading the 5th.  If she had told the truth, what would have happened to Joffrey?  Nothing, he's the prince.  In fact, there's something that Joffrey does that is far worse. [spoiler]  It's something that Jamie figures out in Book 2 and Tyrion in Book 3 if I recall correctly, and it's implied that Robert knows about it because he finds Joffrey disturbing.  Mind you, Robert was a great war hero who prides himself on killing Rhaegar and thinks that his babies deserved their brutal murder just for being Targaryen.  And Joffrey does something worse that Robert finds disturbing. [/spoiler]  

 

But if Sansa backs up the story about her sister that means Arya gets off scott free, right?  Well, no, Arya just attacked the crown prince.  It doesn't matter what you, the reader, think is okay and moral, but attacking the prince is a crime in the world of Westeros.  In fact, it could even be seen as treason.  It doesn't matter how much of a dick Joffrey may be or how much he actually deserved it, he's the prince, and what Arya did could be considered to be a really serious offense by law, really only the King can save her at this point.  Thankfully, for both Arya and the readers, King Robert decides to let Ned deal with Arya and decide for himself what her punishment should be.  A different king might not have been so insouciant about the matter at all.

 

As you can see from all of this, if Sansa told the truth, it would have put herself and her family in danger, especially Arya.  And it wouldn't be the first time that Sansa has lied to protect Arya, in fact she does it at the very beginning of the chapter so that Sansa doesn't get into trouble with Septa Mordane.  But even so, it's more complicated than that...

 

 

But Sansa still lied and she was on Joffrey's side!

 

Okay, let's take a close look at Sansa's character for a second.  We know terribly little about her so far from other POV chapters, and in her own chapter, we learn more about Arya and Joffrey than her.  On the surface, we see Little Miss Perfect.  She's pretty, she's has feminine graces, she stays out of trouble, she's obedient, she's well behaved, she's everything she's ever been taught to be.  And yet she is not the favourite of either parent, if anything there is a distinct lack of parenting as most of what she is taught is by Septa Mordane.  Cat is busy with the smaller children, Bran is clearly the Mama's Boy.  And Arya is Daddy's Little Girl, the clear favourite of Ned, because Arya reminds Ned of Lyanna in both looks and personality.

 

Sansa has been brought up on tales of gallant knights, true honour, and fair maidens.  She's a romantic and so she likes to play out the nicer stories in her head and find ways to act them out.  But in addition to all those stories of the true knights, there are also very many gruesome stories of which she is more than well aware.  And aside from tales of old, there's a very recent story of a king who was brutal to her family.  Her grandfather were brutally murdered by the last king, Aerys for a verbal threat made to his brother Rhaegar.  What would happen if she told the room that Joffrey was a liar? 

 

At the trial, Sansa cannot win.  If she tells the truth, Arya could be killed, and in addition it mean telling a giant room full of people (mostly Lannisters) that the prince and the Queen are liars.  Again, it doesn't matter what we think is moral, treason is a serious offense in Westeros, punishable by death, and so from Sansa's perspective, she could be killed for that too.  And if that happened, then both of the Stark sisters would be dead and then we'd all wonder "what if Sansa had lied..." on these forums.  Siding with Joffrey and the Queen would have meant agreeing to their story, which she does not do.  She wishes to stay out of the matter, and by doing so, she is giving up herself.

 

But coming back to that lack of good parenting, there is no reason why Sansa should have ever been called to speak in the first place.  This was something to be settled between the King and the Hand, and no one else.  The Queen wanted Sansa to lie and side with Joffrey in front of a crowd.  Sansa does not do this, and this is why Cersei points out that there is another wolf.  Lady is killed not because Sansa lied, but because she was not loyal to her Queen, and Cersei didn't like that. 

 

But lying is still bad and it's not honourable and Sansa is just the worst!!!

 

Okay, here's an excert from Chapter 23 Arya II where a beloved character whom everyone loves for his honour admits that it's okay to lie, that everyone does it, and it's okay when done with honour.

 

[spoiler]

 

"We all lie," her father said. "Or did you truly think I'd believe that Nymeria ran off?"

 

Arya blushed guiltily. "Jory promised not to tell."

 

"Jory kept his word," her father said with a smile. "There are some things I do not need to be told. Even a blind man could see that wolf would never have left you willingly."

 

"We had to throw rocks," she said miserably. "I told her to run, to go be free, that I didn't want her anymore. There were other wolves for her to play with, we heard them howling, and Jory said the woods were full of game, so she'd have deer to hunt. Only she kept following, and finally we had to throw rocks. I hit her twice. She whined and looked at me and I felt so 'shamed, but it was right, wasn't it? The queen would have killed her."

 

"It was right," her father said. "And even the lie was . . . not without honor."

[/spoiler]

 

 

But Sansa still sides with Joffrey after the incident!  Again, she's the worst!

 

Again, not really.

 

Spoiler from the Sansa II chapter.

[spoiler]

 

Sansa is scared to speak to Joffrey at the Tourney of the Hand.  Six weeks have passed since the incident at the Tridents, and she and Joffrey have not spoken at all.  The prince still has thick bandages all over his arm and appears to be in pain.  Sansa notices this and it worries her to the point where she is trying very hard to be perfect.  Keep in mind that she's sitting right near Cersei who has every capability of observing all of this.  If you don't think Cersei is going to try to manipulate Sansa, you haven't been paying attention. 

 

Without a doubt, Sansa hasn't lost her sense of romance, but now her affections are directed towards Ser Loras.  Yes, this petty crush has a purpose.  The way she acts around Joffrey in this chapter is out of fear, and this is probably why GRRM included this silly crush of hers.  It's to show the contrast between her feelings for an actual crush and someone who's in the early stages of abusing her.

 

Sansa may have lost Lady in her first chapter, but the Lannisters have lost their "dog" to her in the second. 

 

[/spoiler]

 

 

 

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Sansa telling the truth would not put Arya and her family in any more danger than it was. Arya never denied that she struck the crown prince. She denied she had done it without provocation, but that he had been threatening an unarmed boy with his live steel. Joffrey's version was one where Arya had struck him without any cause. So, both versions agree that Arya had struck the prince, but not on the why. And it was on the why that Sansa kept silent. Arguing that Sansa pleaded the 5th to protect Arya is rubbish... especially since moments later she very much turns on Arya when she understands her lie-by-omission cost her direwolf's live.

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