manchester_babe

Why do people hate Sansa?

166 posts in this topic

I struggled  a lot with Sansa at first. She was awful in the first book and I didn’t get her passivity so I couldn’t relate at all. It really wasn’t until it clicked with me that Sansa is very Eastern Philosophy that I really began to see her in new light.

I now respect her (and Jaime) a great deal in that they can go through terrible things and feel the emotions which come with that yet not let those things change them into someone negative. They can live in their present and not their pasts and came out stronger for it.

It’s a type of strength which is sadly very undervalued.

 

33 minutes ago, zandru said:

As for revenge, we have yet to see Book Sansa express any thoughts, desires, or need for revenge. Frankly, it's weird. This doesn't seem to be a matter of her goodness or unselfishness - the girl is almost totally wrapped up in herself. It's as if revenge is not a concept that she's ever heard of, as applied to beautiful princesses.

Why is it weird to choose to move onto something or someone which might make you happy over spending even more time on something or someone which made you miserable?

Edited by Lollygag

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5 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

I struggled  a lot with Sansa at first. She was awful in the first book and I didn’t get her passivity so I couldn’t relate at all. It really wasn’t until it clicked with me that Sansa is very Eastern Philosophy that I really began to see her in new light.

I now respect her (and Jaime) a great deal in that they can go through terrible things and feel the emotions which come with that yet not let those things change them into someone negative. They can live in their present and not their pasts and came out stronger for it.

It’s a type of strength which is sadly very undervalued.

 

Why is it weird to choose to move onto something or someone which might make you happy over spending even more time on something or someone which made you miserable?

I completely agree with this.  First impressions mean a lot, and I don't think Sansa was written to be particularly sympathetic early on in the books.  I've grown to enjoy Sansa and her chapters immensely, some of her recent chapters in the Eyrie are among my favorites.  

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People dislike how long it took Sansa to stop being a victim. As she is currently I quite like her, hopefully she doesn't regress to being a pawn in other people's games again. 

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42 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

It really wasn’t until it clicked with me that Sansa is very Eastern Philosophy that I really began to see her in new light.

I now respect her (and Jaime) a great deal in that they can go through terrible things and feel the emotions which come with that yet not let those things change them into someone negative. They can live in their present and not their pasts and came out stronger for it.

I don't understand the "Eastern philosophy" part. Explain? Also, I don't see Sansa as blissfully "living in her present" where she's the battered wife, in constant fear for her life which somehow makes her a better person. I never got the impression that she took a philosophical approach to what was happening: it was a victim's response and learned helplessness. And there WERE things she could have done to resist and to make it clear to the court what was happening to her with the beatings, etc. She didn't have to cover up her bruises (she didn't want Joffrey to get in trouble with Cersei; she wanted to look pretty for him - come on!); she could have worn them "like a badge of honor" the way Cersei did when Robert hit her.

42 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Why is it weird to choose to move onto something or someone which might make you happy over spending even more time on something or someone which made you miserable?

Justice.

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28 minutes ago, ChuckPunch said:

People dislike how long it took Sansa to stop being a victim.

This. To give Sansa some credit, she'd overdosed herself on heroic "songs" of helpless princesses and the daring knights who rescued them. It was like the idea of doing her OWN rescue had never occurred to her, or was unladylike - or too much like Arya. Like I alluded to, it was "learned helplessness." This can take awhile to break out of.

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1 minute ago, zandru said:

I don't understand the "Eastern philosophy" part. Explain? Also, I don't see Sansa as blissfully "living in her present" where she's the battered wife, in constant fear for her life which somehow makes her a better person. I never got the impression that she took a philosophical approach to what was happening: it was a victim's response and learned helplessness. And there WERE things she could have done to resist and to make it clear to the court what was happening to her with the beatings, etc. She didn't have to cover up her bruises (she didn't want Joffrey to get in trouble with Cersei; she wanted to look pretty for him - come on!); she could have worn them "like a badge of honor" the way Cersei did when Robert hit her.

Justice.

I'm not a natural fit to Eastern Philosophy and actually Sansa as a character is helping me bridge some things about it which I didn't understand before, so apologies if I can't break this down into more detail for you. Link below is to the Stephen Mitchelll translation of the Tao Te Ching.

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

My opinion of Sansa is based on her AFFC chapters and her TWOW chapters, basically how she's evolved until present. No, she wasn't philosophical in her POV, but a lot of characters are expressions of different philosophical views on life. I won't engage in this further. You're coming across as angry.

As for justice, some weigh justice against other things and it's not enough.

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1 hour ago, Caterina Sforza said:

As I said, I have no love for her but this is unfair, IMO. She was not the reason why Ned was killed. Nobody could prevent that and Joffrey would've killed him no matter what.

Ned would have had a lot better time surviving if CERSEI HADN'T KNOWN HE WHAT HE WAS PLANNING.

Sansa is my 2nd favorite character but GRRM wrote her to be hated in the first two books. Can't really get around it and Ned is the patriarch of his self-admitted protagonist family

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1 hour ago, Lollygag said:

Why is it weird to choose to move onto something or someone which might make you happy over spending even more time on something or someone which made you miserable?

Because they are not mutually exclusive and the lengths and horrors she was subjected to should engender some kind of revenge motive in 99% of people. Were I her, I'd move heaven and earth to make sure Joff and Cersei suffered at length to atone for what they'd done do me. Then again, I am a grown man and not a 12 year old girl. 

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In AGOT She was a selfish and naive child and she was also mean to her sister.

But she has changed a lot since her father's execution and has become a better person. I think we should not judge her only based on her attitude in the first book and ignore her growth and good qualities.

4 hours ago, GyantSpyder said:

She is not competent. She has very few skills of her own to do relevant things in the world. This is because she is a child, but it compared unfavorably with her siblings who often have supernatural/unrealistic capability at things like combat, magic or leadership. This is why people hope so much that Sansa is learning from Littlefinger how to play politics and will someday be really good at it - though she's not there yet.

"...She is beginning to at least try to understand how she can play the game of thrones and be not a piece but a player with her own goals and moving other pieces around... and she is not a warrior like Robb, Jon Snow. she is not even a wild child like Arya. she can't fight with swords, axes. she can't raise armies... but she has her wits the same as Littlefinger has."

GRRM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcjj0X6h6m0

Just like LF, Her gift is her wits. She is good at charming and manipulating people and I think that's one of the reasons the writer has given her a master manipulator like LF as her mentor.

Edited by winter daughter

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Sansa and Arya are much closer than a superficial read of AGOT may suggest. Both suffer from being pigeon-holed in diametrically opposed juxtaposition, when that has not been the case for Sansa since the first book and ever for Arya. The former by being hated forever as that spoiled brat twelve year old and the latter by only ever being seen as a badass.

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11 minutes ago, Horse of Kent said:

Sansa and Arya are much closer than a superficial read of AGOT may suggest. Both suffer from being pigeon-holed in diametrically opposed juxtaposition, when that has not been the case for Sansa since the first book and ever for Arya. The former by being hated forever as that spoiled brat twelve year old and the latter by only ever being seen as a badass.

This just in:

People's first impression of a character (or anyone for that matter) is the baseline by which they are judged. News at 10

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52 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

You're coming across as angry.

You make it sound as if this is a bad thing. What about the inherent positivity you cite about "feeling the emotions" and "coming out stronger for it"?

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1 hour ago, zandru said:

And there WERE things she could have done to resist and to make it clear to the court what was happening to her with the beatings, etc.

She was beaten bloody and stripped in front of the court. what did they do?

the whole court knew what was happening to her. it was not a secret.

What things she could have done to resist?

1 hour ago, zandru said:

She didn't have to cover up her bruises (she didn't want Joffrey to get in trouble with Cersei; she wanted to look pretty for him - come on!); she could have worn them "like a badge of honor" the way Cersei did when Robert hit her.

She wanted to look pretty because she taught Joffrey would be less cruel that way. it was Sandor's advise actually.

"Save yourself some pain, girl, and give him what he wants."

"What … what does he want? Please, tell me."

"He wants you to smile and smell sweet and be his lady love," the Hound rasped. "He wants to hear you recite all your pretty little words the way the septa taught you. He wants you to love him … and fear him."

After he was gone, Sansa sank back onto the rushes, staring at the wall until two of her bedmaids crept timidly into the chamber. "I will need hot water for my bath, please," she told them, "and perfume, and some powder to hide this bruise." The right side of her face was swollen and beginning to ache, but she knew Joffrey would want her to be beautiful.

And why do you think she didn't want Joffrey to get in trouble with Cersei? I don't remember her mentioning this.

Edited by winter daughter

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People can't get over GoT and accept that kids are stupid, which is funny because the same people who hate Sansa make a million excuses for the blunders of adult men! Sansa hate is stupid, mainly because the hatred is stemmed from this illogical belief that 1) people can't learn from the mistakes they made as kids, and 2) Sansa should have grabbed a sword and killed everyone. I kid you not, there was this one fan who insisted 9 year old Arya would have killed Joffrey and his KG.

Also Sansa's feminine and that's a big no no

Edited by Pikachu101

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On my initial reading of the AGOT I couldn't stand her. Rereading it I gained a  lot more understanding for her ... and at the same time more dislike for Cat

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On 10/22/2017 at 7:00 PM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Short answer, people are biased against her from her actions in AGOT (acting mean toward Arya, lying about the Joffrey incident, and playing her part in getting Ned killed), and lots of readers (especially the male readers which I suspect is a large majority of the fandom) have a difficult time seeing things through the eyes of a young girl, especially when her younger sister is such a badass. I personally fell into this trap and initially disliked Sansa a lot, but on subsequent rereads I have become much more sympathetic toward her.

Yes, I'm one of those male readers, and disliked her a lot. But rereading has made be not only sympathetic, but a great fan of her. Arya is obviously the badass whose character arc is easy to appreciate, while Sansa seems silly.

There is a bit of simple humanity in my thinking - that Sansa is young and a hostage and abused - thence looking at her story

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Like many ASoIaF characters, Sansa is pretty divisive: people tend to group around the extreme of loving her or hating her. In fact, I may go as far as to argue that female characters in this series tend to evoke this kind of reaction from fans. Cersei, Daenerys, and Catelyn would be other common ones.

I'm inclined to say that gender and gender roles can play into this, especially in the case of Sansa. I could be rusty, but she seems to be the only female POV character that seems to always strictly sticks to the expected boundaries of women regarding what they could say or do. "Planetos" is a world where violence is, more often than not, the way problems end up being solved. Women being confined to domestic duties and being untrained in battle means that they aren't given the same tools for survival that their male counterparts get. With that said, it's not hard to see why Brienne, Arya, and Asha make for really interesting female characters; they swim upstream against societal expectations.

But even non-warrior women push the boundaries. Daenerys, an exiled princess sold to a horselord, rising above adversity and setting out to conquer Westeros. Cersei plots, murders, and sleeps her way to protect herself and her loved ones. Catelyn Stark (raised as heir to Riverrun for several years) shows a subtle yet impressive grasp of diplomacy throughout her chapters if you care to notice. What does Sansa do when thrust into danger in violence? She fakes a smile and essentially resigns herself to being a victim. Or at least I feel like that's the interpretation of her character from those who especially don't like her.

I think it's useful to think about the roles the characters were written to fill. GRRM is admirably intentional. He not only gives us a picture of court life through Sansa's perspective, but he also paints a picture of the experiences of a privileged young woman in Westeros. And how women with famous names like hers are juggled around like pawns by those playing the game of thrones. The big expectation is that she is evolving from being a pawn into being a player, which would be quite interesting.

 

While it's not my goal to try and convert anyone to a Sansa fan, I think that there's plenty of interesting things about her character that can be discussed when you read between the lines. For example, her Septa taught that "courtesy is a lady's armor." And she certainly arms herself well given that she's a child trapped as a prisoner of war in a deadly, decadent court. Any plot to escape or defy the Lannisters/Baratheons would likely cost her very dearly. As mentioned before, as a girl  her parents left her depressingly ill-equipped to do anything other than arm herself in said courtesy. This doesn't always stop her, as we see when she dares to argue out against Joffrey in order to save Dontos.

This also leads into the controversial topic of how good of a father Eddard actually was considering he never demonstrates much parenting to Sansa (compared to what he does for Arya) in the books. He brings them to court with the partial intention of discovering who murdered Jon Arryn, so he knows it's a dangerous place. Sure, he has a Septa employed to teach her to be a proper Lady, but a woman of the Faith is not likely to teach her about the dirtier side of court life. Add that to his list of lapses that lead to his demise, as it results in (or fails to stop, at least) Sansa foolishly confiding in Cersei about them secretly leaving for Winterfell.

Sansa also paints the tragedy of a young girl desperately clinging to this idea that the songs and stories she was taught as a child are true, even though the evidence to the contrary surrounding her is staggering. I can't blame a child for holding onto dreams. But even with this major character flaw she manages to keep herself alive rather than throwing herself from a tower (as many lady's of legend and song seem want to do)... She sacrifices a lot of dignity along the way to stay alive.

There's also an interesting article/essay out there that explores the parallels of Jon Snow and Sansa Stark's story arcs. For example, Jon's idea that the Wall is a place to cloak yourself in glory and honor is very quickly shattered when he actually arrives there, much like Sansa's idea of King's Landing and life in the royal palace. Jon pretending to defect to the wildlings mirrors her time in the Red Keep. Jon donning his mask as the cold Lord Commander Snow is similar to Sansa cloaking ("armoring") herself in bastardy by becoming Alayne. The point being they are both going through very similar experiences at very similar points in the series timeline. What does it hint at?

Anyways, I was just listing out the things about Sansa that I find interesting beyond the obvious personality flaws in her character. I personally feel like there are interesting things that can be overlooked if you become too dismissive of the character. And let's face it: all characters in the series are not entirely likeable.

Perhaps on my first readthrough of the series I thought "If I were her I would have done this or that. Why is she so useless?" But this or that also would have likely resulted in my beheading. So I give her kudos for being a survivor, albeit in a much, much different way than her sister has done.

 

Edited by Traverys

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5 hours ago, Traverys said:

Like many ASoIaF characters, Sansa is pretty divisive: people tend to group around the extreme of loving her or hating her. In fact, I may go as far as to argue that female characters in this series tend to evoke this kind of reaction from fans. Cersei, Daenerys, and Catelyn would be other common ones

Has a lot to do with the amount of hate female characters get in comparison to their male counterparts, fans of these female characters are constantly on the defensive because of the blind hatred targeted towards them. 

6 hours ago, Traverys said:

I'm inclined to say that gender and gender roles can play into this, especially in the case of Sansa. I could be rusty, but she seems to be the only female POV character that seems to always strictly sticks to the expected boundaries of women regarding what they could say or do. 

:agree:

6 hours ago, Traverys said:

This also leads into the controversial topic of how good of a father Eddard actually was

I love Ned but he was a terrible father to both girls, but that's mainly because daughters aren't the father's responsibility they're raised by their mothers and Septas and this shows in Sansa's behaviour. 

6 hours ago, Traverys said:

Perhaps on my first readthrough of the series I thought "If I were her I would have done this or that. Why is she so useless?" But this or that also would have likely resulted in my beheading. So I give her kudos for being a survivor, albeit in a much, much different way than her sister has done.

Exactly! Sansa's one of the only realistic characters in the books, how can anyone expect an 11 year old girl to fight Joffrey, the KG, and escape Kingslanding all on her own? Deep down people know if they were in her shoes they'd behave the exact same way and that annoys them. 

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15 hours ago, Caterina Sforza said:

As I said, I have no love for her but this is unfair, IMO. She was not the reason why Ned was killed. Nobody could prevent that and Joffrey would've killed him no matter what.

She went to Cersei with information that let her set up his capture, which led to his execution.

That said, I don't hate Sansa because it wouldn't be reasonable not to expect her to be that naïve back then.

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 6:15 PM, manchester_babe said:

Why do people hate Sansa Stark? 

I can't tell you why other people hate her, but I can tell you why she is one of my favorite characters and, from the extrapolate on why some people may not like her.

It is my belief that Sansa, above and beyond anything else, represents us...the reader.

Like most fantasy/sci fi readers we went into AGOT with some very set notions on how these epic books and tales go. We learned them from reading LOTR or Robert Heinlein or Dune or watching Star Trek or Star Wars, or D&D fantasy series, etc. etc. etc.

So, like Sansa, our pretty little heads were filled with the silly songs of knights and chivalry, of beautiful good guys and ugly bad guys and happy endings.


Then things start seeming odd to us, much like the did with Sansa. The handsome young prince is really a monster. The valiant king is bloated and fat. People do not mean us well. The tourneys we dreamt of are bloody and cruel. Kingsguard are not brave or noble at all. As we read our story and see incest and murder and monsters and things that remind us in little ways that the old songs, the old tropes, the old paradigms don't quite fit our story we are left uneasy, but like Sansa we keep pushing on.

Then it happens: We witness something we really didn't believe would happen....Ned Stark's head rolls and like Sansa that is it. We are now changed forever. We know we aren't reading a story where we can expect certain comforts that we have grown used to and we enter a new world where we have to think differently about things.

Like Sansa, we become more clever, we become more suspicious, we question motives of seemingly everyone, we guard our very thoughts. This is one of the reasons I think Sansa will see the end of the epic....she is us...she is learning to deal with this new and ugly world just as we are learning to deal with fantasy epics in a new and possibly frightening way.

Why do people hate Sansa Stark? Maybe because in some way she holds up a mirror to the ignorance and simplicity of the reader who hates her.

 

Anyhoo, just a guess.

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