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Milady of York

The Will to Change: Rereading Sandor II

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It struck me that another parallel could be appreciated in how both Sansa and Sandor assume leadership positions during the battle, ultimately showing more concern towards those present in their respective surroundings than their Lannister supervisors. Sansa takes control of the hall of frightened women and children once Cersei leaves, ordering for a maester to tend to a gravely wounded Lancel, and the Hound as a commander refuses to put more of his men into the terrible fighting conditions outside the gate. We might consider Sansa's encounter with Lollys and her family on the drawbridge to the castle where she tries to tenderly convince the girl to come inside as the beginning of her showing compassion to others during the conflict. Sansa's knowledge of Lollys' pregnancy stemming from from her rape during the riots also brings into relief the Hound's role in saving her from a similar fate.

That’s an interesting parallel too. Can’t wait for the analysis of the next chapter to see what else is there.

As for the double-entendre . . . The implication here isn't that the washerwomen were sleeping with Sandor, or Osmund for that matter, and then comparing their performance. These women needn't to have gotten under the sheets with them to gossip about or wonder about how they're in bed. It's more like what happens to Ser Duncan the Tall in the Dunk & Egg novellas: his towering stature attracts everyone's attention and since he's a man, young, single, and apparently attractive too, it gives way to ribald japes about his "size" down there. Of the you must be large all over sort, by men and women alike. And whilst Sandor isn't the handsomest of all, he has the same impressive and intimidating physique, and he is young and single, so of course that'll lead to the same kind of funny speculative remarks on the part of the female population as happens with the male population with regard to his martial prowess. After all, Sansa doesn't have any hands-on knowledge either, and yet, that didn't prevent her from fantasising with him.

Thank you for the explanation! I must confess it did not occur to me that Sandor had been getting that kind of attention from women but that actually makes a lot of sense. He’s obviously a good match for his skills and the position he has earned with them. Just as Sansa would later point out about Ser Lothor.

This caught my attention, as well. Clearly, Sansa is annoyed and disturbed (rightfully so) that Joffrey beckons her in such a demeaning manner. Yet, at least before Joffrey became king, Sandor preferred to be called dog. Now that Joffrey is king, it's most likely that Sandor no longer cares to be beckoned like a dog by Joffrey. Previously, Joffrey used "dog" respectfully and with admiration when referring to Sandor, but now, as king, his tone becomes increasingly patronizing and demanding. So, when Joffrey commands Sandor to do something, Sandor probably bristles just like Sansa, only adding to his final break.

And Sansa is a wolf, not a dog. Which reminds me of her retort at Septa Mordane: “She’s not a dog, she’s a direwolf.” Again, I can’t wait to see the analyses on future chapters and on whatever it is that dogs do to wolves :dunno:

Terrible isn't used exclusively for the Hound but it is often applied to him-- his face in particular. He also identifies himself as a terror in his upcoming trial. “This cave is dark too,” said the Hound, “but I’m the terror here. ..."

Yes. The most significant one is imo in Bran’s dream which is the one that sets it as identifying of him: One shadow was as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. And again the shadow...

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Hah, the board is finally up!! Lovely analysis Ragnorak and a very interesting perspective.



The first thing that struck me by reading is that Sandor is very competent. In the clusterfuck that is the defending of Kings Landing, Sandor really stands out in this regard. He knows tactics, he can lead the armed forces, in short: he knows the deal and seems all the rarer for it.








Yes. The most significant one is imo in Bran’s dream which is the one that sets it as identifying of him: One shadow was as dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. And again the shadow...





While comparing Sandor to Gregor and how Sandor is often described as looking terrible, he only refers to himself as "terror" while other people refer to Gregor as "terror". When Tyrion discusses whether or not to give Gregor's head to the Dornish, Tywin says:





"Ser Gregor has served us well. No other knight in the realm inspires such terror in our enemies."





As we were looking at the differences between Sandor and Gregor before, it might be worth noting that Sandor may look terrible, but the real terror is Gregor. It also highlights that Tywin knows that Gregor is an insane sociopath killer and it suits him just fine to have one of those around. It must irk Sandor to know that Tywin, his main boss, knows just the sort of man Gregor is, and it's not even as if he turns a blind eye to it; he uses it actively, even knowing the awful and destructive nature of Gregor.



When it comes to answered prayer, Sansa prayed for Joffrey's shield to shatter.





Let his sword break and his shield shatter, Sansa thought coldly as she shoved out the doors, let his courage fail him and every man desert him.




Perhaps people should be careful with prayers, if we consider Sandor to be Joffrey's shield? Sansa just prayed here for him to break and desert Joffrey. Which he did, too, in a manner of speaking. Perhaps luckily, she also prayed to the Mother to help him and to gentle his rage (which is what later follows, at the QI). Like Sam who also didn't believe in answered prayers, it ended up answered, just in a different way.


Edited by Lyanna Stark

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I'm going to have to break my rule about making phone posts, so forgive me for not quoting. Lyanna Stark, great point about Sansa praying for Joffrey's shield to shatter and Sandor as Joff's sworn shield, who does break during battle. I hadn't connected the two before. Food for thought, for sure.

This is a bit off topic, but while Gregor and Littlefinger have both been considered the giant in Bran's prophecy, I wonder if Ser Ilyn Payne could be the looming giant. While he hasn't been referred to as a giant (that I recall), he's often described as looking like stone, and the thick, black blood could reference his occupation as executioner. He also has a much stronger connection to Sansa than Gregor, is on Arya's death prayer list, and is currently traveling with Jaime looking for the Hound.

Milady, I also thought Sandor picked up on the Stark's warg abilities after Arya told him about her dream about her mother, and maybe even before that, possibly due to Arya's dreamtime sleep when she's warging Nym, which would have reinforced any rumors. Sandor is also moving closer to the "wild" and Stark way.

Edited by DogLover

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I find Sandor's connections to the religions of the series very curious. His origin story and the opponent and nature of this battle tie him to the Red God of fire. Even his constant placement in the shadows reflects the connection. There's tons of Faith references here along with his eventual trip to the Quiet Isle and hints he may eventually face unGregor in a Faith-centric trial by combat (maybe even trial by seven.) Robert's line about getting Sansa a dog or a pretty clear hint at his being a lady replacement. The Bloodraven hints surrounding her first trip to the godswood and Sandor being the true Florian sent in answer to her prayers all make for a very strong old gods connection. Then we have him teaching Arya the Gift of Mercy which along with his placement and removal from her list makes him significantly tied to the god of many faces of the House of Black and White. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I think Sandor might have amongst the strongest religious connections of any character in the series.

It occurs to me now that mercy is what Sam was praying for when I first noticed the subtle trend of prayers being answered. Mercy is the connection Sandor will have to both Arya and Sansa through prayer. I'm getting a sense there's a larger picture of mercy at play throughout the series. Part of that larger picture is tied to First Men justice-- one point of wielding the sword is to search for mercy reflected in the sentenced's eyes.

Does anything jump out about the theme of mercy especially tied to Sandor?

While this is my first official reread as both a host and participant, I'm not as informed to other characters' arcs that have been placed under the microscope, so I couldn't say if Sandor has the strongest connection to religion, but I am amazed by how strong that connection is, something I never noticed before this reread project (and I'm certainly going to take your word for it). While it initially seemed surprising to me, I'm now facepalming considering the Quiet Isle. Ugh...I'm now fearful Lummel's prediction may come to fruition. No, Stranger deems otherwise!

I'm still pondering the Shakespeare quote.

In following with this peculiar connection of Sandor to all three major religions in-story, has it occurred to you that he's actually the only one that appears to have the Old Gods-Approved stamp on his forehead amongst the men drawn to Sansa? Specifically with regard to the godswood, I am thinking.

Yes, I do see Sandor more aligned with the Old Gods (they're looking out for him :) ): and not regardless of his trial but combat, but because of his trial by combat. But that will have to wait until ASoS.

Edited by DogLover

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...

When it comes to answered prayer, Sansa prayed for Joffrey's shield to shatter.

Perhaps people should be careful with prayers, if we consider Sandor to be Joffrey's shield? Sansa just prayed here for him to break and desert Joffrey. Which he did, too, in a manner of speaking. Perhaps luckily, she also prayed to the Mother to help him and to gentle his rage (which is what later follows, at the QI). Like Sam who also didn't believe in answered prayers, it ended up answered, just in a different way.

Excellent, Lyanna! I even specifically thought about that prayer and it went right over my head. "[L]et his courage fail him and every man desert him" This actually resembles the Gold Cloak revolt after Cersei has Joffrey pulled away from the battle. It is a bit of a failure of courage that results in a mass desertion.

The sword breaking I'm not sure about. Joffrey's sword never sees battle. His greatest victory with a blade is against Tyrion's wedding gift. Here, would it be appropriate to view Tywin and his army as Joffrey's sword? All the discussions between Tyrion and Cersei seem to indicate Tywin and his host are the only offense (and real defense) available to them. Tywin breaking himself against Edmure's river defense is the only "sword breaking" metaphor I can think of.

While this is my first official reread as both a host and participant, I'm not as informed to other characters' arcs that have been placed under the microscope, so I couldn't say if Sandor has the strongest connection to religion, but I am amazed by how strong that connection is, something I never noticed before this reread project (and I'm certainly going to take your word for it). While it initially seemed surprising to me, I'm now facepalming considering the Quiet Isle. Ugh...I'm now fearful Lummel's prediction may come to fruition. No, Stranger deems otherwise!

I'm still pondering the Shakespeare quote.

Yes, I do see Sandor more aligned with the Old Gods (they're looking out for him :) ): and not regardless of his trial but combat, but because of his trial by combat. But that will have to wait until ASoS.

Our dearest Lummel is only pulling his little sister Lyanna's pigtails when he talks of Sandor trolling the poor people of Westeros in a hair shirt using his terrible visage to force them to listen to readings of the Seven Pointed Watchtower.

Mercy is a series wide theme. First Men justice and looking into the sentenced's eyes is all about mercy. Dontos, the false Florian standing in for Sandor, was spared because Selmy, the man Sandor replaced, asked him to be spared as a mercy. Mercy is amongst the primary contrasts between the Starks and Lannisters. Ned's "stupidity" in telling Cersei he knew was about mercy in contrast to Tywin's Rains of Castamere which is all about showing no mercy. Ned's mercy toward Cersei's children is contrasted with Cersei's lack of mercy toward his own children including Sansa's treatment, her desire to have Arya killed for what happened to Joffrey on the Trident, and even Joffrey's hiring of the catspaw to kill Bran-- he overheard Robert talking of how death would be a mercy. Sandor is right in the metaphorical middle of all of that.

In full disclosure, aside from the Shakespearean quote being a rather famous literary commentary on mercy, I have been pondering whether Arya's first Faceless Man assassination assignment in Braavos is a bit of an inversion of the Merchant of Venice. If so, what does that tell us about the series wide theme of mercy? I don't want to derail Sandor with an Arya exploration but it does seem like there's a rather rich vein of mercy to mine.

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That's a quite astute catch and a good interpretation, Lyanna! It fits well in Sansa's record of attracting "curses" on something through her prayers and wishes.





The sword breaking I'm not sure about. Joffrey's sword never sees battle. His greatest victory with a blade is against Tyrion's wedding gift. Here, would it be appropriate to view Tywin and his army as Joffrey's sword? All the discussions between Tyrion and Cersei seem to indicate Tywin and his host are the only offense (and real defense) available to them. Tywin breaking himself against Edmure's river defense is the only "sword breaking" metaphor I can think of.





Because it wasn't uncommon for literal swords to break in battle, exposing the knight or infantryman to being left momentarily defenceless and making it likelier to get killed, the straightforward meaning of Sansa's line is for Joffrey's life to be at risk through losing his sword if he went into battle, as she was thinking he would and also tried to make sure he would by goading him with "my brother Robb." The shield shattering part also has the same implication, though to lose your shield is relatively less dangerous in direct or hand-to-hand combat than losing your weapon when already carrying protection in the form of any armour, but here it works fine because Joffrey wasn't carrying a literal shield, and Sandor is specifically referred to as his shield, not his sword (he is referred to as a sworn sword in relation to the Lannister family, which makes sense as he's a liegeman to the House), so he stands in as the metaphorical shield that was shattered.



There's another meaning, too. There's a practice of handing over one's sword to the victor during surrender or on defeat, and the victor had a choice to either accept it and keep it intact as acknowledgement of honourable surrender/defeat after doing battle valiantly, or to bend/break it in half to signal dishonourable surrender or humiliating defeat. For a knight, his sword represents his honour, too, so when presenting his sword to he who prevailed in battle is handing over his honour, putting it at the mercy of the victor, who in turn can hand sword and honour back intact or dishonour the knight by breaking it. From that originated the expression "Break the sword" (or the bow or another weapon) to mean vanquishing someone's military power, and "May your sword break" is used to wish for someone to be defeated horrendously in battle. Essentially, Sansa is wishing for Joffrey to be defeated, which goes with her internal thoughts on Tyrion's questioning of what she prays for: for Robb's victory and Joffrey's defeat, the prayer she thinks the gods don't hear. But that sword-breaking part didn't go by without any effect, if we think that at Blackwater, the Lannisters could've been--and were actually on the verge of being--defeated after their best commander (Sandor) and their strategist/overall commander (Tyrion) went MIA, if not for the Tywin-Tyrells combo's stab-in-the back attack.


Edited by Milady of York

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Great analysis Ragnorak! You have a real eye for battle strategies. I am guessing you are a chess player and a very good one. I appreciated the explanation of Sandor as a battle commander and leader and the realization that even when Tyrion confronted him and ordered him to go back out the gates, his refusal there was not the exact moment of his abandonment as he had been willing to fight and even suggested that Stannis' men should be allowed through the gate where his men and he could attack them. That actually is quite a sound strategy and it was only after Tyrion forced his hand and took his men that he left his post. And also his refusal to go back out was not motivated solely by his own fear of the fire but out of genuine concern for his men after they had suffered so many losses by that point.



The ship names also jumped out at me as being significant and I agree that Loyal Man is a reference to Sandor and wonder what it means that the Fiery Heart standard was raised over that ship. It could foreshadow that Sandor will somehow come to serve Stannis as you suggested, or given that the fiery heart represents the religion of Rhllor, maybe it foreshadowed Sandor's upcoming associations with the Thoros and Beric and the duel in the cave.



Regarding the question of answered prayers, I noted something while going through these last few chapters though it's not necessarily related to Sandor. Sansa prays to the Mother for help and we get two verses of the song. The first is "Gentle Mother, font of mercy, save our sons from war, we pray," which as has been discussed here will be answered for Sandor specifically when he ends up at the Quiet Isle. But we also get the second verse, "Gentle Mother, strength of women, help our daughters through this fray,". It's interesting that we see this verse here because the Catelyn chapter just before this Sansa chapter is where Catelyn releases Jaime and sends him with Brienne to bring back her daughters. Sansa doesn't know it but it is her mother, and only her mother, who has taken the steps to try and help her and her sister when no one else would which suggests that Sansa's prayers are also being answered for herself here. It also brought me back to Sansa's nightmare of the riot in her previous chapter and how she called out for all these men to save her, including her father and her brothers, but interestingly does not call for the man who did actually save her, but none of them can save her and in the case of Robb he won't even take the steps to have her and Arya released as prisoners. Only her mother did something to try and help, as she prayed for here. (ETA Something else I noticed is that Catelyn's talk with Jaime in the dungeon of Riverrun very much mimics Sansa's talk with Sandor on the rooftop. Catelyn talks of Jaime's death and that he should fear the place of torment in the deepest of the seven hells, "if the gods are just." "What gods are those Lady Catelyn? . . . If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?" And then they talk truthfully to each other, and then at the end Catelyn uses a sword at Jaime's head in an inversion of when Sandor places the sword at Sansa's neck.)


Edited by Elba the Intoner

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Regarding the question of answered prayers, I noted something while going through these last few chapters though it's not necessarily related to Sandor. Sansa prays to the Mother for help and we get two verses of the song. The first is "Gentle Mother, font of mercy, save our sons from war, we pray," which as has been discussed here will be answered for Sandor specifically when he ends up at the Quiet Isle. But we also get the second verse, "Gentle Mother, strength of women, help our daughters through this fray,". It's interesting that we see this verse here because the Catelyn chapter just before this Sansa chapter is where Catelyn releases Jaime and sends him with Brienne to bring back her daughters. Sansa doesn't know it but it is her mother, and only her mother, who has taken the steps to try and help her and her sister when no one else would which suggests that Sansa's prayers are also being answered for herself here. It also brought me back to Sansa's nightmare of the riot in her previous chapter and how she called out for all these men to save her, including her father and her brothers, but interestingly does not call for the man who did actually save her, but none of them can save her and in the case of Robb he won't even take the steps to have her and Arya released as prisoners. Only her mother did something to try and help, as she prayed for here. (ETA Something else I noticed is that Catelyn's talk with Jaime in the dungeon of Riverrun very much mimics Sansa's talk with Sandor on the rooftop. Catelyn talks of Jaime's death and that he should fear the place of torment in the deepest of the seven hells, "if the gods are just." "What gods are those Lady Catelyn? . . . If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?" And then they talk truthfully to each other, and then at the end Catelyn uses a sword at Jaime's head in an inversion of when Sandor places the sword at Sansa's neck.)

Good point, Elba. In that chapter you mention, Catelyn specifically asks this of the Maiden for her daughters:

She went to the Maid and beseeched her to lend her courage to Arya and Sansa, to guard them in their innocence.

This line also goes to reveal that one of the attributes of the Maiden is courage: her role has to do with bravery, not just with maidenly innocence and lovers. And Sansa effectively had courage during Blackwater, which Cersei lacked at the Ballroom, and also got a measure of it to handle the Hound at her bedchambers. Every time she is talking herself into being brave, she either uses her brother or her mother as examples. I also love that you drew a parallel between the Catelyn-Jaime conversation and the Maegor's Holdfast rooftop one, the specific exchange about going to Hell and the gods especially, because it goes to support what I've been saying for a long time: Sandor's reply isn't about a negative attitude towards certain people with health issues but a statement made in support of the fact that loving and caring gods shouldn't allow so much suffering to exist, ergo, there are none. That is definitely something Sandor picked up in the Lannister household, because Tyrion and Cersei also think similarly, the former voices it in quite the same phrasing even.

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Firstly, phenomenal write up, Ragnorak. I've been away for some time and this was quite the treat to welcome me back to the boards. Also, as usual, I really enjoyed the contributions by Milady, Brashcandy, Doglover, Lyanna, and Elba to the discussion, as well as comments by Longrider, Chanco, CatherineLaw, Gambolpuddy and Colonel Green. Heartfelt thanks to each of you for your insights. I loved so much about the many themes (threads) woven into these chapters: prayers, songs and silence, Mother and Warrior, fire and water, courage and cowardice, strategy and tactics, powerful and powerless, and so much more. The colors: white, green, red, black, grey - all are meaningful.



While I suspected the ship names held meaning, I was daunted trying to discern meaning. I appreciate the suggestions you have made. Here is a curious sentence: "Cat was taking on men from the fast-sinking Courageous."



Milady, I had thought this was foreshadowing something to come later: either Lady Stoneheart's gathering BWB and miscellaneous folk or perhaps Cat of the Canal/Arya's gathering of forces in some future battle. But your quote above ("She went to the Maid and beseeched her to lend her courage to Arya and Sansa, to guard them in their innocence.") makes me think perhaps Sandor is the answer to Cat's prayer. His courage was fast-sinking in the face of the wildfire battle but he rallied and went first to Sansa and then to Arya in the Riverlands. He tried to take each of them to safety - Sansa away from the soon-to-be-sacked city and Arya away from the wartorn Riverlands to her brother.


ETA: typing


Edited by Avlonnic

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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?

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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.

Whilst it's indeed an apt simile, it's an idiomatic construction rather than a deliberate word choice meant to foreshadow Sandor's future. Given that wild wolves that attack farms tend to go either for sheep or chickens, just like foxes, the expressions "wolves amongst chicken" and "wolves amongst sheep" are the linguistic norm in English. Lions are wild hunters that don't normally target such small prey, and dogs, on the other hand, don't go for farm animals as a rule, though they do love to scare chickens; instead, they protect farm animals like chickens and sheep, so another animal wouldn't have been neither grammatically appropriate nor a good metaphor.

Cersei is indeed dismissive of the women in the Ballroom, which arises from her internalised misogyny, but I'm not seeing her being dismissive of their men. Quite the contrary, she envies them and wishes to be in their position, fighting and leading men into battle, which she thinks she could do just as good as Jaime but she's a woman and reduced to sitting inactive with other useless women. Her use of "cocks" to refer to the men in itself says she places the value on the men and not their women; in fact, she says those women by themselves are worth nothing but are valuable in relation to their men, who are outside. She sees those women as a "security" against the men fighting outside, as a way to keep them loyal through fear: of losing, of the city falling and their women being raped and killed in the sack; and also since she has them all with her at Maegor's, she is by this sending a subtle message to their men against losing heart and thinking of treason: I have your mothers, wives, sisters and daughters with me; you do anything vaguely treasonous and I can have them killed. That's the implication of having Ilyn Payne there as well; it's not just to have him behead Sansa if the city falls, she can also order him to behead the mother or wife or daughter or sister of any of the men fighting outside that fails in battle.

The Caligula quote comes from Suetonius, and it's dubious, but that doesn't matter here really. Suetonius was the main source for I, Claudius, a novel and show that GRRM knows well and from which he's drawn inspiration, so it's likely he's familiar with the quote and adapted it for his books. In ASOIAF, though, the "better fear than love" motto isn't original or exclusive of Cersei. It comes from Tywin, who passed it to his children, with unequal results because not all listened. In AFFC, Cersei reminisces hearing her father telling child Jaime that love was a weakness and that it was best to be feared, and she absorbed it, nursing Joffrey with the same philosophy as we can see from the beating at the bailey chapter. Her brothers have that philosophy too, but differently absorbed, and Jaime is the one that's the farthest from that because he's had the chance to see other management methods (i.e. Dayne). Sansa can contradict Cersei because her own father's ruling philosophy was the opposite to Tywin's, but there's fear there too, with one big difference: Lord Lannister is feared because of his brutality and ruthlessness, and Lord Stark is feared because he's fair and honest, which makes it difficult to escape punishment. That's what Cersei doesn't grasp. Also, although Sansa wasn't as close to the smallfolk back home as her siblings, she must've observed the Stark management method was hands-on ruling, get into it with your people, opposite to the more distant "a tool and a task" Lannister method that stresses less on the people.

Edited by Milady of York

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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. ~~~~snip~~~~

Whilst it's indeed an apt simile, it's an idiomatic construction rather than a deliberate word choice meant to foreshadow Sandor's future. Given that wild wolves that attack farms tend to go either for sheep or chickens, just like foxes, the expressions "wolves amongst chicken" and "wolves amongst sheep" are the linguistic norm in English. Lions are wild hunters that don't normally target such small prey, and dogs, on the other hand, don't go for farm animals as a rule, though they do love to scare chickens; instead, they protect farm animals like chickens and sheep, so another animal wouldn't have been neither grammatically appropriate nor a good metaphor.~~~~~snip~~~~~

I've seen dogs kill sheep many times, domestic dogs (not the feral ones either) will kill livestock as easily as a wolf will. I have to agree with Ornitorrinca, the wolf description for Sandor was quite deliberate. It also mirrors Sansa's description, she too became a wolf among chickens.

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I've seen dogs kill sheep many times, domestic dogs (not the feral ones either) will kill livestock as easily as a wolf will. I have to agree with Ornitorrinca, the wolf description for Sandor was quite deliberate. It also mirrors Sansa's description, she too became a wolf among chickens.

You're still missing the point. "Wolf amongst chickens" is an idiomatic expression that's been in use for centuries as well as "wolf amongst sheep" whereas "dog amongst chickens" and "lion amongst chickens" aren't common idiomatic expressions in English. The argument never was that dogs won't kill livestock, if you read with attention, I said "as a rule" because dogs aren't predators, wolves are, and the poster was arguing Martin could've used any other animal instead of wolves, so if he chose that it must mean it's foreshadowing, which isn't the case from a linguistic point of view. Martin uses the most common predator to convey the panic and disorder a cavalry charge would cause, and if he'd used dogs or lions instead, besides how odd a linguistic construction it'd have been, he'd have incurred in redundancy since Sandor is already "the Hound" and it's the "lions" who are charging the Baratheon forces.

Edited by Milady of York

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You're still missing the point. "wolf amongst chickens" is an idiomatic expression that's been in use for centuries as well as "wolf amongst sheep" whereas "dog amongst chickens" and "lion amongst chickens" aren't common idiomatic expressions in English. The argument never was that dogs won't kill livestock, if you read with attention, I said "as a rule" because dogs aren't predators, wolves are, and the poster was arguing Martin could've used any other animal instead of wolves, so if he chose that it must mean it's foreshadowing, which isn't the case from a linguistic point of view. Martin uses the most common predator to convey the panic and disorder a cavalry charge would cause, and if he'd used dogs or lions instead, besides how odd a linguistic construction it'd have been, he'd have incurred in redundancy since Sandor is already "the Hound" and it's the "lions" who are charging the Baratheon forces.

I found "wolf amongst chickens" interesting because it is less common (and more appropriate) than the "fox in the henhouse" expression that I am more accustomed to hearing. I suppose this varies according to each person's background.

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I found "wolf amongst chickens" interesting because it is less common (and more appropriate) than the "fox in the henhouse" expression that I am more accustomed to hearing. I suppose this varies according to each person's background.

Both are common in my own reading experience, I find both expressions in the books I read with certain frequency. And the expression is very, very old. For example, the Israelites had it, in their sacred texts that have survived to date as the Bible and the Talmud, lions and wolves amongst livestock are the most common metaphors for danger, and the Romans had it too, the saying lupus apud oves was everyday parlance, and from it has passed on to many languages.

Edited by Milady of York

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Martin has called Sandor the Hound, dog and mad dog, but this time, he was called a 'wolf.' He chose that expression purposely, it's the only place I can think of where Sandor is referred to as a wolf.



Dogs, like wolves, are indeed predators, it's because of their predator's nature they can be used for hunting; like Sandor's grandfather's hounds who killed the lion. What's worth noting here is that he was called a wolf instead of a dog, as he is usually referred to.


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Martin has called Sandor the Hound, dog and mad dog, but this time, he was called a 'wolf.' He chose that expression purposely, it's the only place I can think of where Sandor is referred to as a wolf.

...

What's worth noting here is that he was called a wolf instead of a dog, as he is usually referred to.

No, you're very wrong, he wasn't called a wolf. The quote says:

The knights fell among the archers like wolves among chickens, driving them back toward the ships and into the river before most could notch an arrow.

Nowhere is he being called a wolf specifically, Martin is using the metaphor of wolves amongst chickens as a linguistic construction to drive across the image of chaos that the charge of the knights caused in the archers. And notice too that the passage is mentioning ships in plural, because the charge was simultaneously against the archers in two ships, Prayer and Piety, the first ships to touch ground, and there's no specification nor singling out of anyone in particular but a mention of the entire defence forces under that metaphor. Sandor is mentioned later ahead in the same passage once he's boarded Prayer. Nothing has so far demonstrated textually why this should be more than what it is, a common turn of phrase.

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Dogs, like wolves, are indeed predators, it's because of their predator's nature they can be used for hunting; like Sandor's grandfather's hounds who killed the lion.

Oh, and this isn't true either, domesticated dogs aren't predators, it's a common idea that canine behaviourists and biologists have been speaking against for a long while. I'd recommend you read on the subject, something like 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs by Alexandra Semyonova, it clarifies a lot of myths about canines. The hunting use of dogs requires human training for the dogs to tap on its natural assets.

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I won't argue about dogs being predators, having seen domestic dogs hunt kill and eat prey. Not hunting dogs either, just dogs on a trail ride. I will say however, it's off topic and won't mention it again.


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