AlaskanSandman

Whats in a kiss?

42 posts in this topic

23 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.

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

I assume your talking about the fact that Lady did not seem to pick up on the notion that she was about to be killed, but I don't know if we can attribute this to a lack of connection between her and Sansa. All of the direwolves acquired the particular characteristics of their assigned Stark:

Greywind: bold and faithful

Lady: gentle and trusting

Nymeria: stubborn and wild

Summer: loyal and patient

Shaggy Dog: angry and untamed

Ghost: silent and brooding

 

We can also see the wolves picking up on the states of mind of their own Stark, and other Starks as well:

Greywind, Summer and Shaggy's reaction to Bran's coma and Tyrion's return to Winterfell

Ghost attacking Tyrion the moment he upsets Jon

Nymeria refusing to be brushed by Arya, who doesn't like to be brushed either.

Shaggydog biting Little Walder after hitting Rickon with a stick

Summer snarling at Jojen when he upsets Bran

 

We even have examples of this working in reverse:

Rickon tries to bite people who try to cut his hair, and this from Jon:

Quote

He wanted it, Jon knew then. He wanted it as much as he had ever wanted anything. I have always wanted it, he thought, guiltily. May the gods forgive me. It was a hunger inside him, sharp as a dragonglass blade. A hunger ... he could feel it. It was food he needed, prey, a red deer that stank of fear or a great elk proud and defiant. He needed to kill and fill his belly with fresh meat and hot dark blood. His mouth began to water with the thought.

It was a long moment before he understood what was happening. When he did, he bolted to his feet. "Ghost?"

So it's probably fair to say that Sansa is not a strong in the mind connection with Lady, but it is there. And the fact that Lady does not seem to believe that Ned is about to kill her could very well be a reflection that perhaps Sansa did not believe it either.

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On 12/5/2017 at 2:52 PM, John Suburbs said:

Is Sandor a skinchanger? Probably not in the fullest sense, but if you look closely he does seem to have a connection with Stranger:

Okay, sure, why not. Hey! When Sandor calls himself a "dog", it isn't because he's called the Hound, and it isn't because he's a Clegane with a family sigil of three running dogs. It's because Sandor is LITERALLY A DOG. Sansa was just lucky that her super psychic warg-o-matic senses picked up that the man in bed with her whose face was moving near hers might be trying to kiss her. Truly something requiring a high degree of ESP. Had Sansa gone through with it, Sandor would have immediately reverted to his true being: a big ugly mutt. Kind of a "frog prince" in reverse. We all know how George RR loves his old fairy tales, right?

(That was meant as a parody, by the way. Please don't feel personally attacked. I have a harsh sense of humor.)

On the other hand, many, many people are good with animals, form bonds with animals, and are trusted by animals. More so back in Westeros, where horses etc are more prevalent, and a man can hardly call himself a knight (even if he doesn't) without being mounted. (On a horse.) Not a warg among any of them, either.

Like Tyrioni (who is George RR) sez, don't use "magic" as an explanation any more than absolutely necessary.

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10 minutes ago, zandru said:

Okay, sure, why not. Hey! When Sandor calls himself a "dog", it isn't because he's called the Hound, and it isn't because he's a Clegane with a family sigil of three running dogs. It's because Sandor is LITERALLY A DOG. Sansa was just lucky that her super psychic warg-o-matic senses picked up that the man in bed with her whose face was moving near hers might be trying to kiss her. Truly something requiring a high degree of ESP. Had Sansa gone through with it, Sandor would have immediately reverted to his true being: a big ugly mutt. Kind of a "frog prince" in reverse. We all know how George RR loves his old fairy tales, right?

(That was meant as a parody, by the way. Please don't feel personally attacked. I have a harsh sense of humor.)

On the other hand, many, many people are good with animals, form bonds with animals, and are trusted by animals. More so back in Westeros, where horses etc are more prevalent, and a man can hardly call himself a knight (even if he doesn't) without being mounted. (On a horse.) Not a warg among any of them, either.

Like Tyrioni (who is George RR) sez, don't use "magic" as an explanation any more than absolutely necessary.

Well, you're taking it to extremes. I think it is hinted at strongly that some people have more of a connection to animals than others, and this can be used to puzzle out all kinds of things.

A case in point: Lyanna Stark is mad about horses and is an expert rider. It also happens that Dom Bolton has the same trait, so does this lead to the possibility that Dom was not a Bolton but actually a Stark, maybe Brandon's son? Maybe, maybe not. But it would explain a lot as to why Roose cared nothing about Dom's death, and even went so far as to reward his murderer with lands and titles.

And sorry, there is something more than just being "good with animals" when we look at Sandor and Stranger. He doesn't seem to be good with any other animals, but Stranger seems to behave a lot like Sandor, and it was very odd for a horse to start freaking out when men were coming to cut his balls off -- almost like he knew what was going on.

Don't use magic any more than necessary? Agreed. But do use magic when normal explanations fall short, I say.

 

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A Clash of Kings, Sansa VII 

"I could keep you safe," he rasped. "They're all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I'd kill them." He yanked her closer, and for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her. He was too strong to fight. She closed her eyes, wanting it to be over, but nothing happened. "Still can't bear to look, can you?" she heard him say. He gave her arm a hard wrench, pulling her around and shoving her down onto the bed. "I'll have that song. Florian and Jonquil, you said." His dagger was out, poised at her throat. "Sing, little bird. Sing for your little life."

So. No warging or psychic habiliteis nor anything like that. In the actual moment she believed he would kiss her. He probably almost did, but gave up on it (he'll later tell Arya he should have "had" Sansa...). 

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2 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

I assume your talking about the fact that Lady did not seem to pick up on the notion that she was about to be killed

No, actually, it's on the basis of several Sansa POVs in which she never, ever mentions feeling a mental link with Lady. Possibly if they'd been together longer, she might, but she's relatively old when she gets Lady. Even Arya doesn't have wolf dreams for maybe a year or so after getting Nymeria. Shaggy and Rickon bonded at once, but he was 3. Bran had wolf dreams once he came out of his coma. We know Jon regularly sees (and smells and tastes) through Ghost. Robb was never a POV, so we can't be sure. But we see into Sansa's mind for five solid books (plus a pre-released chapter), and never once does she show any warging or skinchanging tendencies, or even seem aware that's a thing.

Even if one has "innate" abilities, training and experience are necessary. And - those direwolves were the key to awakening the potential. Even Bran, with his great powers, needed to be trained on what he could do, and how. Sure, Sansa may have "potential" - but it's not going to be realized, nor has it been yet. It's not a part of her character arc.

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3 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

it was very odd for a horse to start freaking out when men were coming to cut his balls off -- almost like he knew what was going on.

Clearly you've never seen a castration. An animal doesn't need psychic powers to see trouble coming. Are you assuming Sandor was standing there watching the brothers moving in with their sharp tools, and beaming his own castration fears at the horse? Animals are not that stupid or unobservant. And after all, this is a war horse - trained to kick and bite.

@Lady Dacey I think has it right. And thanks!

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On 5. 12. 2017 at 7:03 PM, zandru said:

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

IIRC, it is not uncommon for victims of a traumatising event to erase or replace the memory, so I beg to differ.

Either way, I think @Lollygag has the right of it - a coping mechanism. Sandor came into her room with the intention to rape her. I think she figured that out, or intuited, and the thought of the one person in KL she sort of bonded with and who saved and protected her turning into a monster was simply too much to bear for her.

 

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Since I don't think Sansa's going insane, I'm inclined to believe that the Unkiss was a premonition of sorts. I doubt GRRM would keep having Sansa bring it up if it didn't have some sort of greater significance. 

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20 hours ago, zandru said:

No, actually, it's on the basis of several Sansa POVs in which she never, ever mentions feeling a mental link with Lady. Possibly if they'd been together longer, she might, but she's relatively old when she gets Lady. Even Arya doesn't have wolf dreams for maybe a year or so after getting Nymeria. Shaggy and Rickon bonded at once, but he was 3. Bran had wolf dreams once he came out of his coma. We know Jon regularly sees (and smells and tastes) through Ghost. Robb was never a POV, so we can't be sure. But we see into Sansa's mind for five solid books (plus a pre-released chapter), and never once does she show any warging or skinchanging tendencies, or even seem aware that's a thing.

Even if one has "innate" abilities, training and experience are necessary. And - those direwolves were the key to awakening the potential. Even Bran, with his great powers, needed to be trained on what he could do, and how. Sure, Sansa may have "potential" - but it's not going to be realized, nor has it been yet. It's not a part of her character arc.

OK, but the point of this speculation is exactly that: Sansa's abilities are so slight that she doesn't even realize she has them, and she wasn't with Lady long enough to develop them properly. This, then, is why she would recall the kiss later as a false memory, because it wasn't really her thought to begin with. But that's a far cry from saying that she has no ability at all.

But I wish I had gone back and read the chapter in Clash like @Lady Dacey did. Clearly, the thought pops into her head at the moment, and a second later she has a knife to her throat. So what we have here is a terrifying, sexually charged moment between a giant of a man and a slight 13yo girl. So in all honesty, she is probably just burying the fear she experienced at the moment with something a little more palatable, psychologically. But how this would play a part later in the story is still a puzzle. One way is that the initial thought wasn't really her own, but it is by no means the only way.

20 hours ago, zandru said:

Clearly you've never seen a castration. An animal doesn't need psychic powers to see trouble coming. Are you assuming Sandor was standing there watching the brothers moving in with their sharp tools, and beaming his own castration fears at the horse? Animals are not that stupid or unobservant. And after all, this is a war horse - trained to kick and bite.

@Lady Dacey I think has it right. And thanks!

Um, and yet horses are castrated all the time without biting anyone's ears off. Are you suggesting that horses and other animals know they are about to be castrated? I'm thinking you're suffering from just a little anthropomorphism here. Stranger is not in battle, he is at the Quiet Isle, and Brother Gillam is the same guy who grooms the horses, feeds them, cleans their stalls... So why Stranger would pick this moment to freak out is unusual at best.

So no, Sandor was not intentionally "beaming" his thoughts to Stranger, but if the warging ability that is so prevalent in the Starks can in any way be traced to the Cleganes somehow, then Stranger would have known what was happening simply because Sandor knew. That's how it works.

 

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20 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

she is probably just burying the fear she experienced at the moment with something a little more palatable, psychologically. But how this would play a part later in the story is still a puzzle.

I agree with this interpretation 

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1 hour ago, Lady Dacey said:

I agree with this interpretation 

Yes, it is entirely plausible. So in order to pursue this line of thought, the next question is how will this "eventually mean something" in the story? If it's just a false memory brought on by trauma, then at best we will have a moment with Sansa when she realizes that it never happened and, oh my, isn't that curious? Hardly meaningful.

This is why I suspect there is more than meets the eye. A warg-mind connection at least has the potential to introduce additional layers of characterization and may even influence the plot in some way.

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I personally find it very interesting to follow the psychological bevelopement of the main characters. Sansa's coming of age story is interesting and very appealing to me. The false memory is a way to make the past more palatable, but it also shapes what she wants of the future - men like the Hound, or even the man himself? What does she like in men? Grace and courtesy, like Joffrey singing to her on the Trident or Loras giving her a rose at a tourney, or roughness and a sour breath? 

I don't know about you, but for me the fun in asoiaf is as much about dragons and Others and wars and the game of thrones as it is about inner conflicts, growth, loss of innocence, love and hate, passion and desire - character development, if you will. The inner world, the changing psychological features of each POV character are very entertaining to me. So the "fake memory" doesn't have to play out anything in the "real world" for me to consider it meaningful. It's meaningful already!! 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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14 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Hardly meaningful.

I personally find it very interesting to follow the psychological bevelopement of the main characters. Sansa's coming of age story is interesting and very appealing to me. The false memory is a way to make the past more palatable, but it also shapes what she wants of the future - men like the Hound, or even the man himself? What does she like in men? Grace and courtesy, like Joffrey singing to her on the Trident or Loras giving her a rose at a tourney, or roughness and a sour breath? 

I don't know about you, but for me the fun in asoiaf is as much about dragons and Others and wars and the game of thrones as it is about inner conflicts, growth, loss of innocence, love and hate, passion and desire - character development, if you will. The inner world, the changing psychological features of each POV character are very entertaining to me. So the "fake memory" doesn't have to play out anything in the "real world" for me to consider it meaningful. It's meaningful already!! 

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1 hour ago, Lady Dacey said:

I personally find it very interesting to follow the psychological bevelopement of the main characters. Sansa's coming of age story is interesting and very appealing to me. The false memory is a way to make the past more palatable, but it also shapes what she wants of the future - men like the Hound, or even the man himself? What does she like in men? Grace and courtesy, like Joffrey singing to her on the Trident or Loras giving her a rose at a tourney, or roughness and a sour breath? 

I don't know about you, but for me the fun in asoiaf is as much about dragons and Others and wars and the game of thrones as it is about inner conflicts, growth, loss of innocence, love and hate, passion and desire - character development, if you will. The inner world, the changing psychological features of each POV character are very entertaining to me. So the "fake memory" doesn't have to play out anything in the "real world" for me to consider it meaningful. It's meaningful already!! 

This is well said and true. The books work on a lot of different levels simultaneously (clever stuff). I often think that the deeper levels - e.g. character, motivation, links to world culture - get the analysis they deserve, but what get relatively overlooked are the sweet, sparkly treats the author designed for the average reader. The Unkiss falls into this category, I think. It has been discussed ad infinitum, as pointed out upthread, and that's because it's been set up as a problem and a talking point. You can solve the puzzle psychologically, but I'm sure there will be a payoff as well in the top layers of the story, i.e might and magic and metaphor. Stuff to reward the one-time reader, as well as dedicated fans.

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 7:17 AM, Lady Dacey said:

I personally find it very interesting to follow the psychological bevelopement of the main characters. Sansa's coming of age story is interesting and very appealing to me. The false memory is a way to make the past more palatable, but it also shapes what she wants of the future - men like the Hound, or even the man himself? What does she like in men? Grace and courtesy, like Joffrey singing to her on the Trident or Loras giving her a rose at a tourney, or roughness and a sour breath? 

I don't know about you, but for me the fun in asoiaf is as much about dragons and Others and wars and the game of thrones as it is about inner conflicts, growth, loss of innocence, love and hate, passion and desire - character development, if you will. The inner world, the changing psychological features of each POV character are very entertaining to me. So the "fake memory" doesn't have to play out anything in the "real world" for me to consider it meaningful. It's meaningful already!! 

Yeah, maybe. I'm assuming that "means something" has to do with the plot rather than character development, but that part is unclear. But since we already know that this is a false memory, the mere development that Sansa comes to realize it will not further our understanding of her character, just further her understanding of herself. So if this can then be parlayed into a new, more resolute, attitude for Sansa, then I would consider that meaningful. But I guess we'll have to wait to find out for sure.

 

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1 hour ago, Wild Bill said:

INTERMISSION

A kiss is just a kiss and more speculatively Kiss on My List (forgiving Sansa's list vs Arya's list...)

END OF INTERMISSION

 

Lol that one made me laugh haha 

Love reading all the thoughts on here though and some great contributions and discussions :)

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1 hour ago, AlaskanSandman said:

Lol that one made me laugh haha 

Love reading all the thoughts on here though and some great contributions and discussions :)

Good thread. :) 

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Hmm, Do I really want to go down this rabbit hole? 

To me, the UnKiss is a manifestation of Sansa's emergent sexuality. Her very normal adolescent sexual awakening. Sansa's story is in large about this, she begins as a girl on the cusp of puberty, she thinks love is a song, a fairy tale, she doesn't know yet or understand the reality of sexual relationships or sex does not feature on her radar of what love is when we first meet her. She tells us that she loves Joff and wants to have his babies and to her at that age she thinks this is the be all and end all of a relationship; she has been conditioned by her society to see marriage and love as this and to crave the pomp and ceremony of a big wedding to a handsome socially advantageous man.   That is deliberate! You have to sweeten the pill for little girls who are effectively commodities in this world.

But soon Sansa reaches menarche and with it comes the hormones responsible for sexual desire. Sansa begins to feel more than just crushes which are based upon a boy being cute. Think about the transition between being in love with the latest floppy-haired boy band member and actually starting to crave real contact with that guy in your science class who has something you can't quite put your finger on but it might be his eyes because when he looks your way you start to squirm your legs together or that when you get a whiff of him you kinda get the feeling your heart is actually beating a bit faster. 

At this transition point with Sansa, the UnKiss happens. In fact I think it might be the thing which kicks it off? though I don't recall the exact order of things and am trying to post fast before an appointment. Another hint of it is when she imagines actually touching Loras's chest rubbing her hands over his muscles. That's not her thinking about wearing nice dresses and making everyone else in the realm happy by popping out smiling chubby babies. 

As has already been pointed out Sansa thought the Hound was actually going to kiss her, so much so that she cupped his cheek and closed her eyes in readiness. She then begins to believe that he did kiss her and we get our first glimpse of this when she talking about kissing and practising kissing with the Tyrell girls they are each trying to one-up each other by telling tales of kissing boys, squires, all innocent and fun, but not one of them is dabbling with anything which could lead to their virtue actually being in danger. Sansa, however, feels that she has kissed a man, a real man, not a boy and one who would scandalise the girls would she to tell them. And yes endanger her reputation. 

Sansa goes on to recall this kiss over the next few books and she describes it in terms which can be interpreted as quite sexual, she replays the idea of it so much in her head that it feels real now to her, and she thinks of it whenever kissing comes up, she also dreams of him in her marital bed. Her husband transforms right at the moment she dreams of him coming to take her virginity from Tyrion to The Hound! This is very telling, she's reliving her wedding night and the what if after hearing Lysa in the throws of orgasm and Marillion's unwanted advances, and she replaces Tyrion whom we know she does not and feels she never can desire with the man whom she has been fantasising about kissing. 

I think the reason the UnKiss will become important is because it has been the catalyst for her sexual awakening and has gone some way towards allowing her autonomy over her own sexuality.

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1 hour ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Hmm, Do I really want to go down this rabbit hole? 

To me, the UnKiss is a manifestation of Sansa's emergent sexuality. Her very normal adolescent sexual awakening. Sansa's story is in large about this, she begins as a girl on the cusp of puberty, she thinks love is a song, a fairy tale, she doesn't know yet or understand the reality of sexual relationships or sex does not feature on her radar of what love is when we first meet her. She tells us that she loves Joff and wants to have his babies and to her at that age she thinks this is the be all and end all of a relationship; she has been conditioned by her society to see marriage and love as this and to crave the pomp and ceremony of a big wedding to a handsome socially advantageous man.   That is deliberate! You have to sweeten the pill for little girls who are effectively commodities in this world.

But soon Sansa reaches menarche and with it comes the hormones responsible for sexual desire. Sansa begins to feel more than just crushes which are based upon a boy being cute. Think about the transition between being in love with the latest floppy-haired boy band member and actually starting to crave real contact with that guy in your science class who has something you can't quite put your finger on but it might be his eyes because when he looks your way you start to squirm your legs together or that when you get a whiff of him you kinda get the feeling your heart is actually beating a bit faster. 

At this transition point with Sansa, the UnKiss happens. In fact I think it might be the thing which kicks it off? though I don't recall the exact order of things and am trying to post fast before an appointment. Another hint of it is when she imagines actually touching Loras's chest rubbing her hands over his muscles. That's not her thinking about wearing nice dresses and making everyone else in the realm happy by popping out smiling chubby babies. 

As has already been pointed out Sansa thought the Hound was actually going to kiss her, so much so that she cupped his cheek and closed her eyes in readiness. She then begins to believe that he did kiss her and we get our first glimpse of this when she talking about kissing and practising kissing with the Tyrell girls they are each trying to one-up each other by telling tales of kissing boys, squires, all innocent and fun, but not one of them is dabbling with anything which could lead to their virtue actually being in danger. Sansa, however, feels that she has kissed a man, a real man, not a boy and one who would scandalise the girls would she to tell them. And yes endanger her reputation. 

Sansa goes on to recall this kiss over the next few books and she describes it in terms which can be interpreted as quite sexual, she replays the idea of it so much in her head that it feels real now to her, and she thinks of it whenever kissing comes up, she also dreams of him in her marital bed. Her husband transforms right at the moment she dreams of him coming to take her virginity from Tyrion to The Hound! This is very telling, she's reliving her wedding night and the what if after hearing Lysa in the throws of orgasm and Marillion's unwanted advances, and she replaces Tyrion whom we know she does not and feels she never can desire with the man whom she has been fantasising about kissing. 

I think the reason the UnKiss will become important is because it has been the catalyst for her sexual awakening and has gone some way towards allowing her autonomy over her own sexuality.

100% agreed. That's what I meant when I said the unkiss was already meaningful! Imagining being kissed by a man you find attractive has nothing to do with warging or going insane with hallucinations, please

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