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Le Cygne

Rethinking Romance: Love Stories of ASOIAF, Part 2

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20 hours ago, Le Cygne said:

Eight narrative events take a heroine in a romance novel from encumbered to free. In one or more scenes, romance novels always depict the following: the initial state of society in which heroine and hero must court, the meeting between heroine and hero, the barrier to the union of heroine and hero, the attraction between the heroine and hero, the declaration of love between heroine and hero, the point of ritual death, the recognition by heroine and hero of the means to overcome the barrier, and the betrothal. These elements are essential.

This is very interesting, and when thinking of Sansa and Sandor I can see this pattern emerge.  Also, thinking about other romances I've read or seen in movies, that pattern can be seen as well.  A good example would be Pride and Prejudice. 

With Sansa and Sandor, I would say we've seen, the society, the meeting, the barriers and the attraction.  Sandor gave his declaration of love to Sansa on the night of the Blackwater (I can keep you safe) and Sansa's is beginning to emerge (the unkiss, among others).  Sandor certainly has had a ritual death taking him to the Quiet Isle, would Sansa taking on the Alayne persona be considered a ritual death as well? 

Thanks for posting this Le Cygne, this type of information is very interesting to me.

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On 8/10/2018 at 8:28 AM, LongRider said:

This is very interesting, and when thinking of Sansa and Sandor I can see this pattern emerge.  Also, thinking about other romances I've read or seen in movies, that pattern can be seen as well.  A good example would be Pride and Prejudice. 

With Sansa and Sandor, I would say we've seen, the society, the meeting, the barriers and the attraction.  Sandor gave his declaration of love to Sansa on the night of the Blackwater (I can keep you safe) and Sansa's is beginning to emerge (the unkiss, among others).  Sandor certainly has had a ritual death taking him to the Quiet Isle, would Sansa taking on the Alayne persona be considered a ritual death as well? 

Thanks for posting this Le Cygne, this type of information is very interesting to me.

Good points, and definitely!

There's  another book on romance you might find interesting. I recently read Pride and Prejudice: the Story Grid Edition annotated by Shawn Coyne, and he discusses a similar narrative structure that is common to good romances (there's commonality with Sansa and Sandor, too):

  • Lovers Meet Scene
  • Confession of Love Scene
  • First Kiss/Intimate Connection Scene
  • Lovers Break Up
  • Proof of Love Scene
  • The Lovers Reunite Scene

More on the Proof of Love scene: The key component in the Proof of Love scene is that one of the lovers must sacrifice for the other's happiness without hope that the sacrificial act will do them any good whatsoever.

Also there are conventions (distinct add-on elements that give the story context):

  • The Rival (without rivals, there is no possibility for crisis)
  • Moral Weight (if the lovers cannot elevate themselves morally, they will not be able to find authentic love; that is, they must have a worldview shift that raises their moral fiber)
  • Helpers, Hinderers (those who help the two come together, those who work to destroy the match)
  • Gender Divide (distinct differences in the ways the two lovers view love must be in play)
  • External Need (external pressures to find a mate)
  • Forces At Play Beyond the Couple's Control (social convention)
  • Forces At Play in the Couple's Control (one or both lovers has to get out of their own way to change their behavior and worldview)
  • Rituals (the lovers develop little things they only do with one another)
  • Secrets
    • Secrets society keeps from the couple
    • Secrets the couple keeps from society
    • Secrets the couple keeps from one another
    • Secrets one of the couple keeps from himself/herself

Some quotes from the annotations:

These run-ins [they keep running into each other] are very important as setup for Darcy's proposal... Austen needed to make sure the signs of Darcy's fascination were actively on the page...

Their verbal teasing is the stuff of intimate connection, which becomes a ritual between them... These two are not afraid of conflict... in fact, it excites them... Darcy thinks they're doing their usual verbal par and thrust and is enjoying it...

Darcy is hitting the truth, the nerve of her internal problems that are preventing her from seeing that this guy is absolutely the one for her... I could have bullshitted you and given you the standard crap guys tell girls in order to get you to accept me. Instead I told you the truth out of respect....

THIS [the rejection of his proposal] IS DARCY'S ALL IS LOST MOMENT... Austen wants to leave the readers terribly upset by this exchange, but also hopeful that both Darcy and Elizabeth will change and come to realize their roles in keeping themselves apart...

Mr. Darcy's proof of love turns the global story and convinces Elizabeth to devote herself to him without reservation. By the way, Elizabeth proves her love for Darcy in an earlier scene (the confrontation with Lady Catherine)...

Also here's a good quote from the book, the proof of love, he did it for her:

"If you will thank me," he replied, "let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you."

Edited by Le Cygne

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