AlaskanSandman

Whats in a kiss?

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GRRM is asked about Sansa misremembering the name of Joffrey's sword.]

The Lion's Paw / Lion's Tooth business, on the other hand, is intentional. A small touch of the unreliable narrator. I was trying to establish that the memories of my viewpoint characters are not infallible. Sansa is simply remembering it wrong. A very minor thing (you are the only one to catch it to date), but it was meant to set the stage for a much more important lapse in memory. You will see, in A STORM OF SWORDS and later volumes, that Sansa remembers the Hound kissing her the night he came to her bedroom... but if you look at the scene, he never does. That will eventually mean something, but just now it's a subtle touch, something most of the readers may not even pick up on.

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/SF_Targaryens_Valyria_Sansa_Martells_and_More


 

Well aside from being a great example of unreliable narrator's and the fact that we shouldn't always trust what we're reading.

What is Martin possibly alluding to with Sansa. the Hound and the phantom kiss? Has this played out and i just missed it? This was 2001. And what other bigger lapse in memory could he be alluding to? 

Just randomly interesting 

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If I remember correctly Sansa is around girls who are gossiping about dreamy knights or something and she remembers Sandor kissing her before he left King's Landing during the Battle of Black Water Bay. But he never did. 

Joffrey, Sandor and even Tyrion her husband have never kissed Sansa, but you know who has? Robert Arryn, and more then once. 

Edited by Ralphis Baratheon
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Swords kiss - we get that from the Jaime-Brienne fight, and other scenes I think. The reverse is also true: a kiss signposts an injury, a metaphorical blow from a sword. This could quite easily be universally true, given the amount of injuries given and received in the story.

Examples:

  • Ned kisses Arya, whilst telling her that her only role in life is to be someone's wife.
  • Brienne's lips are made for kissing.
  • The most enthusiastic kissers so far were Tyrion and Tysha. Their private joke was 'What do the Lannisters do with lazy servants?' Answer: 'They kiss them.'

So the Unkiss, a kiss from a cruel mouth, a kiss that never happened, was a major injury that Sandor might have done to Sansa but did not. And we can all guess what that was.

2 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Joffrey, Sandor and even Tyrion her husband have never kissed Sansa, but you know who has? Robert Arryn, and more then once. 

Sansa kissed Joffrey's sword, on her knees I think. It sort of describes their relationship.

Robert Arryn, though - something's got to happen here!

Edited by Springwatch
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3 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

 

Joffrey, Sandor and even Tyrion her husband have never kissed Sansa, but you know who has? Robert Arryn, and more then once. 

Sansa and Tyrion kiss during their wedding ceremony, and then Joffrey forces a kiss on her when they're dancing during the reception.

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7 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

but you know who has? Robert Arryn, and more then once. 

Those are baby kisses. Nothing at all like the full tongue-rape treatment that adults go in for, and therefore meaningless.

The "unKiss" has been discussed ad infinitum since at least 2001. To me, and adding that in with some of Sansa's other unreliable memories, it points to an increasing habit of editing what she "remembers" to be favorable to herself. What other POVs have we seen that have done this? Well, Cersei - but Cersei has gone into full mad-queen self-justification mode by the end of Dance w/Dragons. Will Sansa take the same route? I think the chances increase the longer she remains with, and under the control/tutelage of Littlefinger. Not only does he constantly tell her how the ends justify the means, she also has more and more "means" that she really can't justify to herself. Sansa may end up

1. Creating a largely fictional current history for herself (like Cersei), and believing it.

2. Deciding she can't continue to support Littlefinger, and quietly rebelling/"playing" him behind his back (which would be REALLY hard to do with the old scammer).

3. Being abducted by Ser Shadrick the Mad Mouse before she has a chance to do 1 or 2.

Personally, I'm going with 3, but a case can be made for all options.

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The other day, I entertained the thought that the forced kiss is actually an edited version of rape constituted on her by LF, who sneaked into Maegor's to check on her after the battle.

 

Pure fanfiction, of course, but remembering that would definitely be meaningful for her story arc :-)

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14 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

I entertained the thought

But that would imply that Sansa was already beyond mad-queen-level delusional, which I personally reject. ("Your mileage may vary"...)

Edited by zandru
changed "full mad queen" to "beyond", upon reflection

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Those inclined to SanSan will object very much, but Sansa swings from crush to crush like a monkey swings from tree to tree. It started with the singer who came to Winterfell and left never to return leaving Sansa in tears. Then Waymar, then Joff, then Loras, she auditioned Oakhart but rejected him (doesn’t beat her hard but still beats her), there was Willas, she tried with Tyrion but “pity is death to desire”. While Dontos wasn’t a good romantic option, he did suffice as a romantic storyline in the sense of songs and heroes. She’s in love with love and is never without an object. Concurrent with the Unkiss is her very unromantic and disappointing kiss with Robert who is no object of anyone’s fantasy. Likewise LF is also being creepy and Sansa already rejected him noting that he was two-faced and one of those faces was unacceptable. She was also very lonely and isolated in the Eyrie.

I think there’s a strong connection between Sansa and the Hound, but I don’t agree with how much weight some on the forum ascribe to it. I think that as a romantic fantasy, the Hound was the best of the options around her during the Unkiss but he never made the cut of romantic lead in Sansa's world while he was actually in her world. When one is in love with love, you’ll focus on the best option around you until another better option comes along. I did this myself when I was Sansa’s age. A lot of kids did.

I also think it’s part of a coping mechanism. She was deeply frightened of the Hound sometimes.

I think white-washing the past and people is Sansa’s specific coping mechanism. You can find some sort of coping mechanism with most of the characters. Dany has “if I look back I am lost”. Arya has her list and revenge. Jon throws himself into his duty and ignores what he doesn’t want to confront (knowing Marsh is corresponding with Tywin yet doing nothing, Mel’s warnings, etc.). Theon has Reek. Ned runs away from things he doesn't want to confront and pretends they’re not there unless forced. Catelyn is suddenly functional again after Bran’s attack when she has revenge to focus on. When she gives up revenge and just wants her girls back, she begins to fall apart again. Cersei blames everyone around her and drinks. Tyrion whores, drinks and rationalizes. Jaime refuses to think about things. Tywin turns a blind eye to what he doesn’t want to see (twincest).

At this point, I think the Unkiss and its selective white-washing is more set up of something which will happen in her future rather than a reflection of something in her past. It could be very bad in itself but it also could be used to good ends if one has to do a bad thing to prevent an even worse thing.

 

Edited by Lollygag

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12 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Well aside from being a great example of unreliable narrator's and the fact that we shouldn't always trust what we're reading...

It's probably worth repeating that it's the SSM that's unreliable here. It was Arya, not Sansa, who misremembered the name of Joffrey's sword.

I don't think any of the characters have a problem with memory, I think the author is interested in identity - can it be erased, can it be created anew, that kind of thing.

If he'd wanted to write about memory loss, he could have written scenes to progressively show that. He doesn't. Sansa gives Arya the lie that Mycah attacked the crown prince, but later tells it accurately to the Tyrells. Similarly, in the Vale some of her thoughts are labelled 'Alayne' and some as 'Sansa' - suggesting she does make a distinction between the pretend character and the real one.

The Unkiss isn't about memory or identity or even coping mechanisms - varied scenes would be used to show those. This is one thing repeated three times - because it's important in itself. Girlish fantasies are not important. There's only one important thing here and that is the fact that Sansa is a skinchanger and so has the ability to touch minds and feel the impulse of a kiss before anything ever happened.

A very faint, imperfect psychic bond has been created, nothing of the scale that Bran achieves, but still significant.

This makes sense of the statement that the Unkiss will 'eventually mean something', because Sansa's going north, and pretty soon all lines of communication will be down. Except the psychic ones.

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10 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

It's probably worth repeating that it's the SSM that's unreliable here. It was Arya, not Sansa, who misremembered the name of Joffrey's sword.

I don't think any of the characters have a problem with memory, I think the author is interested in identity - can it be erased, can it be created anew, that kind of thing.

If he'd wanted to write about memory loss, he could have written scenes to progressively show that. He doesn't. Sansa gives Arya the lie that Mycah attacked the crown prince, but later tells it accurately to the Tyrells. Similarly, in the Vale some of her thoughts are labelled 'Alayne' and some as 'Sansa' - suggesting she does make a distinction between the pretend character and the real one.

The Unkiss isn't about memory or identity or even coping mechanisms - varied scenes would be used to show those. This is one thing repeated three times - because it's important in itself. Girlish fantasies are not important. There's only one important thing here and that is the fact that Sansa is a skinchanger and so has the ability to touch minds and feel the impulse of a kiss before anything ever happened.

A very faint, imperfect psychic bond has been created, nothing of the scale that Bran achieves, but still significant.

This makes sense of the statement that the Unkiss will 'eventually mean something', because Sansa's going north, and pretty soon all lines of communication will be down. Except the psychic ones.

Hmmm. Not bad. And we can also see the psychic bond that exists between skinchangers, such as Jon and Arya finishing each other's thoughts.

Is Sandor a skinchanger? Probably not in the fullest sense, but if you look closely he does seem to have a connection with Stranger: their personalities are very similar, and Stranger seemed to know when his balls were about to be cut off.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

There's only one important thing here and that is the fact that Sansa is a skinchanger and so has the ability to touch minds and feel the impulse of a kiss before anything ever happened.

Sorry, no. Sansa never developed that kind of bond with Lady; didn't have the time. Here's a thought - most people even today, none of whom are skinchangers nor wargs, have the ability to read people's expressions and actions without supernatural psychic abilities. It's a natural part of being human (or maybe, just being a mammal), and is present literally from birth. Relatively few of us can't do this - some sociopaths, some autistic, etc. NOT being able to "touch minds" is the unnatural part. Folks in Westeros are no different, as we can tell by the many dialogs and interactions that ASOIAF provide.

GRRM's Razor: Don't assume "magic" when there are regular, non-occult explanations that also fit.

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2 hours ago, Springwatch said:

It's probably worth repeating that it's the SSM that's unreliable here. It was Arya, not Sansa, who misremembered the name of Joffrey's sword.

I don't think any of the characters have a problem with memory, I think the author is interested in identity - can it be erased, can it be created anew, that kind of thing.

If he'd wanted to write about memory loss, he could have written scenes to progressively show that. He doesn't. Sansa gives Arya the lie that Mycah attacked the crown prince, but later tells it accurately to the Tyrells. Similarly, in the Vale some of her thoughts are labelled 'Alayne' and some as 'Sansa' - suggesting she does make a distinction between the pretend character and the real one.

The Unkiss isn't about memory or identity or even coping mechanisms - varied scenes would be used to show those. This is one thing repeated three times - because it's important in itself. Girlish fantasies are not important. There's only one important thing here and that is the fact that Sansa is a skinchanger and so has the ability to touch minds and feel the impulse of a kiss before anything ever happened.

A very faint, imperfect psychic bond has been created, nothing of the scale that Bran achieves, but still significant.

This makes sense of the statement that the Unkiss will 'eventually mean something', because Sansa's going north, and pretty soon all lines of communication will be down. Except the psychic ones.

Hahah i did notice that and just figured Martin was so exited to slip some clues, that he forgot who even mispoke, and went off on a Sansa tangent hahah still makes me feel like he's trying to hint something

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All in all this makes me wanna go back and look at every thing she says in Feast and Dance and see if there's some story she tells or something that could be wrong. 

 I honestly dont recall much of her scenes, she wasn't one of my favs

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@Ran do you think this played out already or something still cooking?

Edited by AlaskanSandman

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7 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Those inclined to SanSan will object very much, but Sansa swings from crush to crush like a monkey swings from tree to tree. It started with the singer who came to Winterfell and left never to return leaving Sansa in tears. Then Waymar, then Joff, then Loras, she auditioned Oakhart but rejected him (doesn’t beat her hard but still beats her), there was Willas, she tried with Tyrion but “pity is death to desire”. While Dontos wasn’t a good romantic option, he did suffice as a romantic storyline in the sense of songs and heroes. She’s in love with love and is never without an object. Concurrent with the Unkiss is her very unromantic and disappointing kiss with Robert who is no object of anyone’s fantasy. Likewise LF is also being creepy and Sansa already rejected him noting that he was two-faced and one of those faces was unacceptable. She was also very lonely and isolated in the Eyrie.

I think there’s a strong connection between Sansa and the Hound, but I don’t agree with how much weight some on the forum ascribe to it. I think that as a romantic fantasy, the Hound was the best of the options around her during the Unkiss but he never made the cut of romantic lead in Sansa's world while he was actually in her world. When one is in love with love, you’ll focus on the best option around you until another better option comes along. I did this myself when I was Sansa’s age. A lot of kids did.

I also think it’s part of a coping mechanism. She was deeply frightened of the Hound sometimes.

I think white-washing the past and people is Sansa’s specific coping mechanism. You can find some sort of coping mechanism with most of the characters. Dany has “if I look back I am lost”. Arya has her list and revenge. Jon throws himself into his duty and ignores what he doesn’t want to confront (knowing Marsh is corresponding with Tywin yet doing nothing, Mel’s warnings, etc.). Theon has Reek. Ned runs away from things he doesn't want to confront and pretends they’re not there unless forced. Catelyn is suddenly functional again after Bran’s attack when she has revenge to focus on. When she gives up revenge and just wants her girls back, she begins to fall apart again. Cersei blames everyone around her and drinks. Tyrion whores, drinks and rationalizes. Jaime refuses to think about things. Tywin turns a blind eye to what he doesn’t want to see (twincest).

At this point, I think the Unkiss and its selective white-washing is more set up of something which will happen in her future rather than a reflection of something in her past. It could be very bad in itself but it also could be used to good ends if one has to do a bad thing to prevent an even worse thing.

 

I co-sign all of this.

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13 hours ago, zandru said:

Those are baby kisses. Nothing at all like the full tongue-rape treatment that adults go in for, and therefore meaningless.

Are you saying that the Warden of the East doesn't know how to kiss properly? 

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6 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

Are you saying that the Warden of the East doesn't know how to kiss properly? 

Even as a baby, he needs work. We can hope little Bob lives long enough to improve his technique - but I wouldn't count on it. Even Sansa seems to be getting tired of humoring him - and Bobby is her meal ticket.

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15 hours ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Hahah i did notice that and just figured Martin was so exited to slip some clues, that he forgot who even mispoke, and went off on a Sansa tangent hahah still makes me feel like he's trying to hint something

He didn't forget. It has been pointed out that in the 2003 version of the book, Sansa misremembers the name of Joffrey's sword. So the mistake is not on GRRM's part.

 

Another user posted this but I can't remember the thread:


Older edition of ACOK - 2003 UK paperback - Sansa remembers it as "Lion's Paw":

 

http://oi57.tinypic.com/a1mj4z.jpg

 

Newer edition of ACOK - 2011 US paperback - Sansa remembers it as "Lion's Tooth":

 

http://oi60.tinypic.com/30ah06v.jpg

 

The fault could be with the editors.

Edited by Houseofthedirewolves

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18 hours ago, Springwatch said:

It's probably worth repeating that it's the SSM that's unreliable here. It was Arya, not Sansa, who misremembered the name of Joffrey's sword.

I don't think any of the characters have a problem with memory, I think the author is interested in identity - can it be erased, can it be created anew, that kind of thing.

If he'd wanted to write about memory loss, he could have written scenes to progressively show that. He doesn't. Sansa gives Arya the lie that Mycah attacked the crown prince, but later tells it accurately to the Tyrells. Similarly, in the Vale some of her thoughts are labelled 'Alayne' and some as 'Sansa' - suggesting she does make a distinction between the pretend character and the real one.

The Unkiss isn't about memory or identity or even coping mechanisms - varied scenes would be used to show those. This is one thing repeated three times - because it's important in itself. Girlish fantasies are not important. There's only one important thing here and that is the fact that Sansa is a skinchanger and so has the ability to touch minds and feel the impulse of a kiss before anything ever happened.

A very faint, imperfect psychic bond has been created, nothing of the scale that Bran achieves, but still significant.

This makes sense of the statement that the Unkiss will 'eventually mean something', because Sansa's going north, and pretty soon all lines of communication will be down. Except the psychic ones.

Sansa misremebered it too http://oi57.tinypic.com/a1mj4z.jpg

Edited by Houseofthedirewolves

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2 hours ago, Houseofthedirewolves said:

Sansa misremebered it too http://oi57.tinypic.com/a1mj4z.jpg

asearchoficeandfire.com says 'Tooth' too. Strange! If we're supposed to get some significance out of a name, it would be nice if we could be told which name is the right one.

21 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Hmmm. Not bad. And we can also see the psychic bond that exists between skinchangers, such as Jon and Arya finishing each other's thoughts.

Is Sandor a skinchanger? Probably not in the fullest sense, but if you look closely he does seem to have a connection with Stranger: their personalities are very similar, and Stranger seemed to know when his balls were about to be cut off.

There might be something in it. Stranger not only allows Sandor to control him, but shows a completely different personality to him - gentle as an old gelding, Arya says.

And there was that time he promised to quiet the direwolves for Joffrey. Loving dogs as he does, it's not likely he was going to kill them (stupid idea anyway), so he must have been pretty confident he could just walk up to the pack of them and somehow persuade them into silence.

21 hours ago, zandru said:

Sorry, no. Sansa never developed that kind of bond with Lady; didn't have the time. Here's a thought - most people even today, none of whom are skinchangers nor wargs, have the ability to read people's expressions and actions without supernatural psychic abilities. It's a natural part of being human (or maybe, just being a mammal), and is present literally from birth. Relatively few of us can't do this - some sociopaths, some autistic, etc. NOT being able to "touch minds" is the unnatural part. Folks in Westeros are no different, as we can tell by the many dialogs and interactions that ASOIAF provide.

Skinchangers are born, not made.

Sure, people can read each other's emotions, but the Unkiss seems a very heavy handed way of showing it.

21 hours ago, zandru said:

GRRM's Razor: Don't assume "magic" when there are regular, non-occult explanations that also fit.

That's Tyrion's Razor, not grrm's: forget all those grumkins and snarks, and loser knights with dead hands in jars. (And yes, I'd have agreed with Tyrion too, it only made sense.)

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