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Cavendish

Sansa is not a Stark

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Hey sorry I just needed a title that would catch everyone's attention. Anyways has anyone seen this?

http://donewithwoodenteeth.tumblr.com/post/72159040721/ive-been-meaning-to-ask-you-will-you-do-a-write

^This tumblr post claims because Sansa lost her wolf, she will be unable to claim her identity, and it goes into depth. If anything it seems very plausible to me, I could totally see Petyr trying to show the world that Sansa is still alive and no one believing him or her. This is interesting...

Anonymous → I've been meaning to ask you, will you do a write up on what you think the death of Lady means for Sansa? I do think it foreshadowed the death of Sansa Stark- the identity, not the person. As we see now, she's Alayne Stone. But beyond that, what are the ramifications of being the only Stark child without a wolf? And, Arya doesn't have her wolf either, but Nymeria is alive, leading a pack in the Riverlands, and Arya wargs with her every night from Braavos. Their connection is only strengthening.

Well, the whole connection between Stark and direwolf is interesting and very symbolic. It’s also very powerful and important, which means that Sansa and Arya have had to struggle through being separated from theirs.

It’s pretty complex in my opinion.

Unpopular opinion:

Nymeria and Arya’s connection is only strengthening, but Arya doesn’t know that. She doesn’t know that the “night wolf” is Nymeria and her warging into her as opposed to another wolf persona she draws strength from. Also, Nymeria is never mentioned in Arya’s chapters in ADWD. And that is symbolic in that Arya at her most detached, though not actually detached nor going to stay that way, from her identity as Arya Stark is not thinking of Nymeria.

I would argue that you’re confusing Arya’s abilities as a skinchanger and a warg, that are growing stronger and stronger and seem to be stronger than all others besides Bran, are improving and strengthening with her emotional bond with Nymeria that is far more strained than pre-separation. In ADWD, she isn’t brought up at all. In AFFC, she is used for Arya’s cover story as Cat (the ship’s name is Nymeria) and is mentioned in Arya’s speech when she refuses to give up Needle but that’s it. Their bond is untouchable and unbreakable, but Arya herself is completely clueless about that, so it’s hard to really say their bond is just getting stronger.

And GRRM goes out of his way to bring up Arya/Nymeria when Sansa and Lady’s death are brought up in an interview:

Shaw:
You mentioned how closely tied the Stark children are with the direwolves, but how about Sansa now that Lady’s dead?


Martin:
She lost hers, so it kind of leaves her a little adrift. Of course Arya has lost her’s too, she’s separated from Nymeria. [
]

Because in the short run Arya and Sansa were the same in this. Arya was adrift from the loss of Nymeria as Sansa was from Lady’s death. But it’s only in the short run really because it starts to differ when Arya unconsciously starts warging and skinchanging and Sansa doesn’t. In the long run, if when Arya meets up with Nymeria again, Arya will be whole again. But Sansa never will be.

Arya and Sansa have their fates mirrored by their direwolves.

The parallels of their direwolves to their own situations are profound.

(That’s one of the reasons why I give so much credence to the fact that Nymeria is leading hundreds of wolves in the Riverlands for Arya’s future storyline.)

But the direwolves are the Starks in some ways.

“He is part of you, Robb. To fear him is to fear you.”
Catelyn to Robb about Grey Wind, ASoS

Ghost did not count. Ghost was closer than a friend. Ghost was part of him.
Jon, ADWD

“Part of you is Summer, and part of Summer is you. You know that, Bran.”
Jojen to Bran, ACoK

This is what I mean when I say Arya can become whole again, but Sansa never will. Three different POVs, three different direwolf/Stark bonds, and the message is always the same: the direwolf is a part of the Stark. “Part of you”- so what do you do without a part of yourself? Arya and Sansa, through their incredible sense of self and strength of mind, have been attempting to survive the loss of that. That’s why they’re “adrift”.

I think people make light, like really make light, of Lady’s death. This matters. A lot. The entire ASoIaF series was borne of GRRM’s idea of the Stark children and their direwolves.

In 1991, George R.R. Martin was working on a science fiction novel when suddenly an unrelated scene flashed in his head: a group of children finding a litter of direwolf pups. “It just came to me so vividly,” he told me. The children, needless to say, would become the Starks, protagonists of
Game of Thrones,
the first book in his best-selling series
A Song of Ice and Fire
[
]

And Ned thinks to himself about how the old gods must have sent the direwolves to his children and muses on the ramifications of killing Lady:

Bran’s wolf had saved the boy’s life, he thought dully. What was it that Jon had said when they found the pups in the snow? Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord. And he had killed Sansa’s, and for what? Was it guilt he was feeling? Or fear? If the gods had sent these wolves, what folly had he done?
Eddard, AGoT

Losing Lady was a permanent thing that will forever affect Sansa. It’s meaning did not end at what the Lannisters did to Sansa because she lost “a part of her” forever.

This is why I think people make light of Lady’s death. In the short term (mid-AGoT-ASoS,) it’s been the same as Arya losing Nymeria. In the less short term (ASoS-ADWD,) it has still had only a slight difference in that Arya is disconnected from Nymeria but is not unconsciously warging into her consistently. But in the very long term (TWoW-ADoS and probably after,) that’s when the real difference will be illustrated.

Arya and Nymeria are reuniting, but Sansa is never getting Lady back.

So the consequences for Lady’s death are different in the short and long run. In the short run, when Sansa is separated from her Stark identity regardless and pretending to be Alayne Stone, it really isn’t that big of a deal. But after this, when Sansa can be Sansa again, what will it mean?

I believe it is symbolic of the death of her Stark identity. Arya and Sansa’s narratives both deal heavily with identity loss. Actually, Arya’s connection with Nymeria can be seen as a huge reason (besides just her strong sense of self) why she hasn’t succumbed to the Facleess Men’s identity loss training.

But as we examine storylines, Sansa’s is the most detached from the North and being a Stark- in some very similar ways to Arya (identity loss) but in some potentially permanent other ways as well.
For starters, while people deal with identity loss, Sansa is the only Stark child to lose her name officially.

They have made me a Lannister, Sansa thought bitterly.
Sansa, ASoS

  • Sansa’s wolf Lady was killed despite being innocent and blameless for another’s (Joffrey, Nymeria, whoever you want but certainly not Lady) crime. The Lannisters ensured she was put down. Similarly, Sansa is punished for crimes that are not her own (and don’t really exist) and her Stark identity (represented by Lady) is forcibly put down by the Lannisters. The Lannisters’ actions result in her Stark identity kind of being killed as she denounces her family over and over publicly in KL in order to just stay alive.
  • On the other hand, Arya is forced, for fear of Nymeria’s life, to chase (in a physical, almost violent way with throwing rocks at her) Nymeria away. Similarly, Arya is forced to chase her own Stark identity away in fear of her own life. It also becomes almost more distant as her life becomes more violent and chaotic. Also, Nymeria is separated from all she knew (her real siblings and Arya,) forced to make a new pack that doesn’t
  • quite fit the same (they’re wolves, not direwolves) and deals and adapts to new environment and abandonment- which is Arya’s storyline.

“By right Winterfell should go to my sister Sansa.”

“Lady Lannister, you mean? Are you so eager to see the Imp perched on your father’s seat? I promise you, that will not happen whilst I live, Lord Snow.”
Jon, ADWD

Sansa is officially Sansa Lannister. She is tied to the Lannisters and is no longer a Stark technically (she’s still a Stark obviously, but not by law.

And that’s not looking like it’s something that will change- definitely not any time soon as Sansa can’t annul her marriage as she’s wanted for kingslaying.

But then there’s the fact that Sansa deals with noNorthern or Stark aspects in her narrative. It all centers around the game of thrones (southern politics,) being forced to denounce her family publicly, and spends all her time post-beginning of AGoT out of the North.

By comparison, we have:

  1. Rickon who is in Skagos (which is in the North,) spent much of his storyline in Winterfell, has his direwolf by his side, is assumably warging into him.
  2. Bran who rules Winterfell for some time, interacts with many Northern lords, travels afterwards North with Stark bannermen, goes beyond the Wall (so more Northern traveling,) wargs into Summer regularly and stays with his direwolf, skinchanges, is a greenseer, met the Children of the Forest.
  3. Robb who ruled as King in the North. Enough said I would think, but he also was close with Grey Wind, presumably warged into him, and worked closely with Northern lords.
  4. Jon who is in the Night’s Watch (which has always been closely tied to the Starks and the North,) wargs into Ghost, is at the Wall and travelled even more North beyond it.
  5. And then Arya who has had a lot of connections with the Night’s Watch (Yoren, Daeron, Samwell,) plotted to free hundreds of Northmen in Harrenhal, listened to many discussions of Northern politics while serving Roose Bolton, served Roose Bolton, wargs into Nymeria nightly, can skinchange, has cast aside the Seven but not the old gods, met a member of the Children of the Forest, has thought of and utilized the Northern and Stark tradition of the man who speaks the sentence should swing the sword, she even killed a NW deserter as is the job of the Warden of the North, and consistently draws her strength from wolves. See this for details.
By comparison, Sansa’s narrative has veered far away from the North and her Stark identity. Even the parts about her going to the godswood a lot aren’t really related to her Stark identity. After all, that’s because (most of those times) she’s plotting with Dontos- and the location was picked by Littlefinger.

“Come to the godswood tonight if you want to go home.”

“The note… it was you?”

“It had to be the godswood. No other place in the Red Keep is safe from the eunuch’s little birds… or little rats, as I call them. There are trees in the godswood instead of walls. Sky above instead of ceiling. Roots and dirt and rock in place of floor. The rats have no place to scurry. Rats need to hide, lest men skewer them with swords.”
Sansa, ASoS

As her fake “father”, the creator of the Alayne Stone persona, and the person who had a huge hand in Ned Stark’s death, Littlefinger is one of the biggest anti-Stark representations in Sansa’s narrative.
So even if you ignore the fact that her frequent trips to the godswood are almost all unrelated to her Stark identity and count it, there’s not much else of the North and Starks in her narrative.
Lady’s death was the first in a sequence of events that led to Sansa having this storyline, a storyline almost completely detached to being a Stark.
So that’s what I think Lady’s death means. What part of Sansa died with Lady if not her Stark
identity? The direwolves are symbolic of the Starks, it’s their sigil and this:

“There are five pups,” he told Father. “Three male, two female.” “What of it, Jon?”

“You have five trueborn children,” Jon said. “Three sons, two daughters. The direwolf is the
sigil of your House. Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord.” …

Their father understood as well. “You want no pup for yourself, Jon?” he asked softly.

“The direwolf graces the banners of House Stark,” Jon pointed out. “I am no Stark, Father.”
Bran, AGoT

The direwolves are symbols of the kids’ Stark identities. In fact, this is brought up again in ADWD:

“Roose Bolton has Lord Eddard’s daughter. To thwart him White Harbor must have Ned’s son …
and the direwolf. The wolf will prove the boy is who we say he is
, should the Dreadfort attempt to deny him.”
Davos, ADWD

Wyman Manderly, a prominent Northern lord, point blanks says in the most recent book that the direwolf will confirm Rickon’s identity as a Stark.
So the direwolves are symbolic of the Starks’ identities as Starks.
So what does it mean for Sansa that she lost Lady for good? That she has had a part of herself, her Stark identity, killed?
This could be indicative of many things:
  • that Sansa will never be able to reclaim her name (that her chances at getting an annulment will be ruined because she has sex or something)
  • that Sansa will never be able to return to Winterfell (not a fan of this one)
  • that Sansa herself will die (100% disagree with this idea, I’m fairly confident that she’ll live)
  • that Sansa cannot prove her identity to others when she tries to stop being Alayne (with no direwolf to prove her identity and her family in short supply and scattered, this seems very possible)
  • or just that Sansa’s ultimate endgame ends up being not in the North, Highgarden, the Vale, King’s Landing, wherever else.
Anyway, that’s my opinion on what Lady’s death means for Sansa.

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No, of course not. She's a Lannister by marriage. Duh.

Seriously, what are you thinking? Of course she's a Stark. Her arc just like all her siblings will eventually allow her to contribute her newfound political skill to House Stark's restoration and advancement. She knows where she came from, she just forgot for a brief period in the first book.

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Sansa was very well known at court in KL, she was betrohed to the King, while Rickon was just a 3 year old kid who never left Winterfel, so i don't see her having trouble to be recognized. Lady's death means she will die before this series ends.

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No, of course not. She's a Lannister by marriage. Duh. Seriously, what are you thinking? Of course she's a Stark. Her arc just like all her siblings will eventually allow her to contribute her newfound political skill to House Stark's restoration and advancement. She knows where she came from, she just forgot for a brief period in the first book.

You completely missed the point of my opening sentence.

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Fair warning : Mladen is coming

Hopefully MLaden comes. I love Sansa but when I read theories like that, it makes me wary that G.R.R.M will throw a curve ball and Sansa will... yeah.

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Jon, Jaime, Barristan, and many others in court know Sansa. :dunno:

Rickon's direwolf is needed because the kid is in a strange land. Only a direwolf can tell Davos that that specific child is Rickon Stark. Sansa is a different case: they would need a whole conspiracy for people claiming she' snot Sansa Stark.

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Hopefully MLaden comes. I love Sansa but when I read theories like that, it makes me wary that G.R.R.M will throw a curve ball and Sansa will... yeah.

Posters in Tumblerland and Reddit forums use too much of imagination and their own fantasies for my test and write up most ridiculous of theories. There are posters like that here too but they are kept in check by other posters.

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Jon, Jaime, Barristan, and many others in court know Sansa. :dunno:

Rickon's direwolf is needed because the kid is in a strange land. Only a direwolf can tell Davos that that specific child is Rickon Stark. Sansa is a different case: they would need a whole conspiracy for people claiming she' snot Sansa Stark.

I didn't look at this this way, thank you my good sir, my suspicions have been eased.

Posters in Tumblerland and Reddit forums use too much of imagination and their own fantasies for my test and write up most ridiculous of theories. There are posters like that here too but they are kept in check by other posters.

I will keep this in mind. I do remember seeing a theory that LF would sell Robin to Corbay, and yes that came from reddit :D

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No, of course not. She's a Lannister by marriage. Duh. Seriously, what are you thinking? Of course she's a Stark. Her arc just like all her siblings will eventually allow her to contribute her newfound political skill to House Stark's restoration and advancement. She knows where she came from, she just forgot for a brief period in the first book.

I give 5 000 000 dollars to person who finds me "Sansa Lannister" in books. No, seriously find me where these two words are used together at one instance in the series and I will give you the money. And please offer the same for "Sansa Stark" AFTER the marriage...

Fair warning : Mladen is coming

Not so fair :)

Hopefully MLaden comes. I love Sansa but when I read theories like that, it makes me wary that G.R.R.M will throw a curve ball and Sansa will... yeah.

And here I am. The post is, IMO, a misogynist BS. Sansa rejected Tyrion like a true Stark, like a daughter of FIrst Men, like a "not a kneeler".

And beside, have you read the snow castle scene? That was reiterating-Stark identity as there was one.

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I don't know that her missing wolf will play into the story, I think it's more symbolic. Sansa's wolf is dead and her Starkiness is dying as well. She's becoming deceptive instead of honorable. She's becoming uncaring and cruel instead of compassionate. She's becoming selfish instead of selfless.

On the other side of the coin is Arya whose wolf is lost. She's actively trying to forget who she is, but since her wolf is alive and only lost, she's symbolically holding onto who she is better. She will regain her identity, but Sansa will not.

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I give 5 000 000 dollars to person who finds me "Sansa Lannister" in books. No, seriously find me where these two words are used together at one instance in the series and I will give you the money. And please offer the same for "Sansa Stark" AFTER the marriage...

Stannis refers to Sansa as 'Lady Lannister' when talking with Jon Snow at the Wall. But it's not a 'Sansa Lannister' so, darn.

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I give 5 000 000 dollars to person who finds me "Sansa Lannister" in books. No, seriously find me where these two words are used together at one instance in the series and I will give you the money. And please offer the same for "Sansa Stark" AFTER the marriage...

Mladen, I...

I... I WAS BEING SARCASTIC.

Jesus. Apart from "They have made me into a Lannister" at the Purple Wedding, there's no place where she's identified as a lion.

She is 100% Stark. She just forgot for a little bit.

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Stannis refers to Sansa as 'Lady Lannister' when talking with Jon Snow at the Wall. But it's not a 'Sansa Lannister' so, darn.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Mladen, I...

I... I WAS BEING SARCASTIC.

Jesus. Apart from "They have made me into a Lannister" at the Purple Wedding, there's no place where she's identified as a lion.

She is 100% Stark. She just forgot for a little bit.

I know :)

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You didn't say which books!

Of course I meant "Wheel of Time" series.

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Of course I meant "Wheel of Time" series.

Does picking random letters from different words and then arranging them as "Sansa Lannister" count. I mean, its also like the method that some members use to make their threads? At the very least it would be the first time I ever looked at the Wheel of Time books.

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Does picking random letters from different words and then arranging them as "Sansa Lannister" count. I mean, its also like the method that some members use to make their threads? At the very least it would be the first time I ever looked at the Wheel of Time books.

LOL... You made me now remember a thread about Lemore being one of Hightower's daughters, Melora, I think.

The point is clear. The "Sansa Lannister" exists solely in readership, not the authors. I can easily find two dozens mentions of "Sansa Stark" after she was forcefully married to Tyrion. And the quotes include Lannisters - Kevan, Jaime and Tywin, Tyrells, commonfolk, etc.

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I like the idea that Sansa losing her direwolf foreshadows her 'Starkness' being lost. It makes sense that she would, not only because of the Lannister / Baelish influences on her life, but because of the well done comparisons to Arya that have been established. The main reason I like this theory however, is because it means she may actually survive. That would be more than enough for me, as i'd say she has become the character I'm rooting for the most (along with maybe Jon and Davos, who I also think will die).



That said, I do think she will die, I've been expecting it for many books now. Now that she is ready to become a political player in her own right, I worry her time is near. Losing her direwolf to me signaled that from the very beginning, especially as the only other dead wolf is Greywind (although Robbwind obviously lives). I loved the insight as to the importance of losing Lady, something that really is all too often skimmed over. The reason for this is probably that Martin killed her off too early, before we had begun to understand the importance of the direwolves, and before Sansa could be killed off. I get that Lady had to die, I mean Jeoffrey could hardly bully Sansa in King's landing if she had a freaking direwolf by her side, but it still feels too early for her to be killed off.

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