falcotron

Why didn't Littlefinger bring up Sansa's complicity?

205 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, falcotron said:

That's all true.

But she's not that 12-year-old anymore. She's grown up, and she's going to save herself from her abuser—and all of the other people he still has twisted up as unwilling accomplices—without stooping to his level. If you want a fist-pump moment of triumph, it's hard to think of a better one.

Or at least that's how it should have played out. If she'd revealed everything, including her own complicity, besides removing any possibility of doubt in her as a paragon of justice, she'd also be taking responsibility for everything she did out of fear, and actually resolving the half-assed Arya-vs.-Sanya plotline into part of her character growth instead of just nullifying it. (There's a reason half the fans still insist they were plotting together from the first episode, despite the writers and directors saying otherwise—because, as cool as the resolution may have been, the story just doesn't seem to have a point beyond "Arya and Sansa weren't getting along for reasons" the way they resolved it.)

By not doing that, she's relying on the fact that Littlefinger is too smitten with her to ever even consider that casting doubt on her could serve him better than appealing to her affection. Which, admittedly, does work in-story, but (unless they're going for a much darker version of Sansa for S8 than they seem to want) it doesn't work thematically.

  By stooping to his level you mean the fact that she accused him of covering up for him initially and not admitting it at the trial? I think most of the attendants were aware that she lied and was complicit in the initial cover up- but then the conversation could've happened offscreen, BY going "why did you lie tho?" and Sansa going "I had no choice, mea culpa". I'm sure most of them understood her complicity and made peace with it, making allowances for age and mental state. It would've been more satisfying if she said "yes, I covered up for you but I was scared and traumatised", but it wouldn't change the outcome, he's guilty of murder and he made no attempt to deny it. 

I agree that the whole Littlefinger/Sansa interplay was executed pretty badly- it reduced a previously cunning and cynical LF into a smitten idiot too busy fawning over Sansa to notice his growing lack of influence -by removing his allies such as Corbray, Nestor Royce and a protective figure Lothor Brune from the show they left him exposed- book!LF would never leave himself as powerless as he did in the show. Seriously, Arya could've slashed his throats in a dark corner/slipped him a poison and no one would bat an eyelid, but they needed to prolong the fake tension, so all previous characterisation went out of the window. Suddenly, LF was hatching really obvious plans, Arya and Sansa were at each other's throat despite longing to reunite with family for years after they last saw each other, Sansa making moves against Jon despite running for his help in the first place, they really are butchering characters right left and centre. To me it feels that they are really pushing the Dark Sansa really heavily- the way she copies Cersei's style and the way she seems to admire her, the way she questions Jon/Ned\Robb and their decisions, the way she becomes vary of Arya because she's not the same skinny little thing she remembers. I think it's used to generate a lot of fake tension- so that we wonder if she's becoming Cersei 2.0, even if it doesn't always make sense and relies on everyone around her becoming stupid (the way Cerseis plot armours hinges on everyone else around her dropping IQ points). It is bad storytelling, but after Dorne, nothing surprises me anymore.

As an aside, though, I can't help but notice a parallel between Stark sisters and Tywin Lannister, of all people. Both girls and Tywin saw significant harm come to their respective houses due to the bad decisions made by their fathers- Tytos Lannister was far too kind to his enemies, and the same applies to Ned and Robb- they suffered for their honourable nature, and their children became much more ruthless and cynical than their parents to make up for what they suffered due to their elders decisions. As far as I know the show doesn't explore Tywin's daddy issues much, but even book wise, the parralel worls- Sansa is becoming more of a politically savvy player and Arya is on full on revenge mode. Show wise, Arya stopped just short of Castamering Freys, and Sansa Littlefingered Littlefinger- that's not how Ned would've gone about things, but then that's why he died.

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On 9/8/2017 at 6:08 AM, Princess_of_Sunspear said:

  By stooping to his level you mean the fact that she accused him of covering up for him initially and not admitting it at the trial? I think most of the attendants were aware that she lied and was complicit in the initial cover up- but then the conversation could've happened offscreen, BY going "why did you lie tho?" and Sansa going "I had no choice, mea culpa".

This is the key issue that keeps coming up over and over.

Many people seem to think that the trial was a weeks-long conspiracy involving every single Northern and Vale Lord that somehow still managed to surprise Littlefinger, or a weeks-long conspiracy involving just Arya and Royce and a couple others but nobody else matters at all anyway so they didn't even really need to bother with the trial. Neither of those seems plausible to me.

It would be one thing if this assumption made the story work better, but all it does is solve one problem that most of its proponents don't think i a problem in the first place while creating a whole slew of new problems that aren't in the story as shown, and people then go on to complain about those new problems.

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On 9/8/2017 at 6:08 AM, Princess_of_Sunspear said:

As an aside, though, I can't help but notice a parallel between Stark sisters and Tywin Lannister, of all people.

This is an interesting point.

Sansa openly says that she learned a lot from Cersei—who thinks she's being Tywin, but since Sansa doesn't share Cersei's delusions, it's probably obvious to her when Cersei falls short of that and what the real Tywin would have done.

Arya, of course, learned directly from Tywin as his cupbearer.

Still, I don't think it's accurate to say that Sansa Littlefingered Littlefinger. She held a legitimate trial, where she acted as regally as possible and served justice rather than revenge or political murder. Littlefinger is just one of the people Sansa learned from, along with Cersei and Olenna, and she learned both from all of their failures as well as their successes, and used all of that to take Littlefinger down in a way that's befitting of a true Lady Paramount.

Getting back to your point, that's probably exactly what Tywin would probably do. He usually sets things up so that he can play the last move totally above-board. When pushed into a corner, he will do things like the Red Wedding or murdering the Targaryen babies, but even when he does such things, he keeps his hands as clean as humanly possible. That's why most people consider him harsh but fair, rather than murderous and slimy. Which is very helpful. If Littlefinger were King, or eminence gris, anyone with any power would have to think about rebellion just out of worry that he's going to find some sleazy way to eliminate them; with Tywin, everyone powerful was more interested in making sure they did nothing that could be justifiably punished.

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7 minutes ago, falcotron said:

This is an interesting point.

Sansa openly says that she learned a lot from Cersei—who thinks she's being Tywin, but since Sansa doesn't share Cersei's delusions, it's probably obvious to her when Cersei falls short of that and what the real Tywin would have done.

Arya, of course, learned directly from Tywin as his cupbearer.

Still, I don't think it's accurate to say that Sansa Littlefingered Littlefinger. She held a legitimate trial, where she acted as regally as possible and served justice rather than revenge or political murder. Littlefinger is just one of the people Sansa learned from, along with Cersei and Olenna, and she learned both from all of their failures as well as their successes, and used all of that to take Littlefinger down in a way that's befitting of a true Lady Paramount.

Getting back to your point, that's probably exactly what Tywin would probably do. He usually sets things up so that he can play the last move totally above-board. When pushed into a corner, he will do things like the Red Wedding or murdering the Targaryen babies, but even when he does such things, he keeps his hands as clean as humanly possible. That's why most people consider him harsh but fair, rather than murderous and slimy. Which is very helpful. If Littlefinger were King, or eminence gris, anyone with any power would have to think about rebellion just out of worry that he's going to find some sleazy way to eliminate them; with Tywin, everyone powerful was more interested in making sure they did nothing that could be justifiably punished.

Re Trial and Lysa Arryn murder charge/possible conspiracy, I think that the trial itself was as you say, a legitimate process (so that no one could accuse Stark girls from being underhand) and at the same time a show of power to any possible detractors (Umbers and Karstarks if they didn't learn the lesson already), and I think this is why he wasn't offered either a trial by combat or offered to take the black (though for someone like LF this is a death sentence in any case). I think starting with Lysa's death was almost a psychological trick- get LF started with admitting something he knows he can weasel out of, by claiming that he did it out of concern for Sansa, rather than getting rid of an inconvenient witness, then hit him with something that he would struggle to deny/ be completely unprepared to defend himself against, as prior to that he was absolutely sure that no one left alive knows about his schemes. When he went for the "you can't prove that, you weren't there" line of defence, he pretty much signed his death warrant - in a society like ours you need to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt to be convicted, and a testimony from a kid who looks high most of the time, tied with circumstantial evidence wouldn't cut the mustard, but this is Westeros- they didn't need any material proof once he established his own guilt, and his reaction to Bran's revelation was all they needed to see.

I also think that this is the reason the trial started so ambiguously, with everything made to look as though Arya was the one on trial, they've lulled him into a false sense of security and accomplishment, hence his customary smirking at the start, his guard is down at the start and the sudden reversal hits him like a brick.

By Littlefingered, I meant that Sansa has clearly outwitted Littlefinger, the man who very successfully managed to outwit most powerful families in Westeros ( five great houses out of seven!), not that she dealt with him in a sleazy manner. Someone like Ned or Robb would probably offer taking the black or trial by combat if asked for mercy, but I think Sansa and Arya learned from their mistake and realised how dangerous LF was if he was given an opportunity to escape, which is much more shrewd, more in line with Tywins thinking, but at the same time they couldn't quite stoop to his level and jusr murder him or torture him into a confession, so the trial was more of a compromise between values Ned instilled in them and Tywins Machiavellian tactics.

idk about Tywin being considered harsh but fair though, he is mostly despised in universe by rival houses- both Jaime and Tywin were considered traitors even by their own allies, what saved Jaime and the likes of Clegane and Lorch from being executed or sent to The Wall was the fact that Tywins help was invaluable in taking the capital, and that Robert needed someone to do the dirty work and not spoil his image. Plus, you obviously don't piss off a rich and powerful ally by sending his heir and banner men to the wall, when the war has just ended. He was still considered a monster though, Ned wasn't impressed by the Lannisters even before the events in GoT, and as far as I remember a lot of people, like Barristan spoke about him in less than flattering manner. Even at his funeral, Jaime notes how he had few smallfolk come to the procession, as a lot of them still remember the sack. With the Red Wedding, most of the blame went to Freys, but most people did realise and talk about how they couldn't have acted without Lannister help, they just couldn't voice it (Northmen and Riverlords being being held hostage, Tyrells being in a formal alliance, Vale being forced to remain neutral).

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6 hours ago, Princess_of_Sunspear said:

idk about Tywin being considered harsh but fair though, he is mostly despised in universe by rival houses- both Jaime and Tywin were considered traitors even by their own allies … Ned wasn't impressed by the Lannisters even before the events in GoT, and as far as I remember a lot of people, like Barristan spoke about him in less than flattering manner. 

Let's leave Jaime out of this—everyone did consider him the Kingslayer, and he seems to have almost intentionally (if subconsciously) set him up as the scapegoat despite Tywin not wanting him to. But as for Tywin…

Yes, Ned and Barristan both despite him. But they're the two most honorable people in the realm. (And they both have personal reasons—Ned broke with his king and best friend over this very issue, while the other was just kicked out of his life's work by the Lannisters—although that may be less relevant for them than for most people.)

Robert wants to foster Sweetrobin with Tywin. Robert and the rest of the Council aren't impressed by Ned's arguments against having Dany assassinated, and Robert is no more impressed after Ned compares it to something Tywin would do. Even using the word "treachery" and saying there was no honor in the sack doesn't get him anywhere.

Meanwhile, Cat: "The Lannisters of Casterly Rock had come late to Robert's cause, when victory was all but certain, and Ned had never forgiven them." Even Ned's own wife doesn't really understand his problem with Tywin.

So, I think Ned is the unusual one here, not Robert.

Things may not be as clear-cut on the show, where Tywin was at least sometimes portrayed as a more open villain. (I think that's just because TV makes it harder to pull off GRRM's trick of making him obviously an enemy to the protagonists in AGoT without making it look obvious to everyone in-universe—see Littlefinger for an extreme example.) But even on the show, Tywin has his lines about helping someone up after they've conceded and so on, and they're presented as important wisdom (that, notably, Cersei has always failed to understand), not as empty posturing to make himself feel better.

ETA: At any rate, this is pretty off-topic for the thread, so apologies for the distraction; feel free to ignore it if you don't want to take it further off track.

Edited by falcotron

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