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About ornitorrinca

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  1. ornitorrinca

    The Will to Change: Rereading Sandor II

    I really like the wolves and chickens imagery in this group of chapters. Davos describes the defenders of King's Landing when they attack Stannis's archers as "wolves among chickens." Sandor, though not a knight, is one of those wolves; in fact, he is their leader. He is spotted and described by Davos just two sentences after the wolves comment. As Ragnorak said, "The Stannis forces aboard Prayer were not reduced to chickens among wolves by chance" and the man who orchestrated the slaughter was the Hound. Davos could have used another animal simile, perhaps with dogs or lions, but the wolves-among-chickens analogy seems apt. It conjures up images of carnage and total dominance by one side, and coming from a pro-Stannis POV, the success of the attack on the archers highlights Sandor's capabilities as a leader. It also foreshadows his future, immediately after leaving the battle and later, with Arya. Who knows? It might even hint at Sandor leading soldiers in the North sometime in the future. The chickens imagery resurfaces in Sansa's POV. Cersei refuses to empathize with the women around her, believing that her mere presence is sufficient leadership. She scoffs at the women as "hens" and derides their men as "cocks." But when she flees the room later on, solidifying the notion that she is unable to lead, we are reminded that there is a wolf among chickens here as well: Sansa Stark. Sansa as a wolf is not a destructive force, but she is definitely a leader in her own way, like her brother, the Young Wolf. She has the courage to address the women, attempting to allay their fears by providing them with information about the battle and telling them that they are very safe. She also gets Lancel to a maester. She proves herself capable of empathizing with both women and men, similar to how Sandor empathizes with his soldiers and defends their desire to avoid another sortie. She's a different type of wolf from Sandor, but a wolf to be sure. Cersei's dismissal of the men as "cocks" shows that, though she envies men for the power they're given simply by being men (and, crass as she can be, she probably meant it as a double entendre), she does not appreciate the valor these men show when they go out to, as Sandor said, fight, kill and perhaps even die. Davos, on the opposite side in this battle, calls some of these same men "wolves." This attitude contrasts with Sansa, who, as Brashcandy said, has gained a deeper understanding of what war means, what it does to men and what it means to be brave. Here we see that she also understands what it does to women, and she is willing to get involved to help both men and women. As has been said, both Sansa and Sandor distinguish themselves as leaders in these chapters, with the imagery of being wolves linking them. Finally, at one point, Cersei tells Sansa that fear (of one's lords) is the best way to ensure loyalty, which, along with her flippant treatment of her "guests," reminds me of a quote attributed to Caligula: oderint dum metuant - "let them hate [me] so long as they fear [me]." We know that Sansa mentally refutes this, thinking that it's better to earn loyalty through love. Considering the previous and following chapters, is it fair to say that just as she is thinking this, Sandor, known for his loyalty, is simultaneously justifying her reasoning by leaving the Lannisters and making his way to her bedroom?