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Why do you all hate Sansa Stark?

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14 hours ago, manchester_babe said:

Why do all hate Sansa Stark she's just a little girl?

I never understood how one can hate a fictional character. Truly. Certainly I shiver every time I read Ramsay, but this means that character is very well written.

Sansa is also a extremely well written character and is that the reason why she induces such a wild range of emotions among the readers. I must confess I didn't like Sansa's chapters at the beginning, too girly for my tastes, but with time I must admit they are extremely well written ones and they should be carefully checked by anyone interested in how people creates psychological defences under situations of stress.

On the other hand there are also bad written characters, Jorah is one of them. And there are also problem around the whole Dany's plot unfortunately, because I like Daenerys and understand the centrality of her in the story.

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An even better question is what is there to like about Sansa Stark? Shes litterally one of the most boring characters in asoiaf. Also shes a traitor to her family and should be sacrificed to the nearest heart tree. 

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39 minutes ago, Stormking902 said:

An even better question is what is there to like about Sansa Stark? Shes litterally one of the most boring characters in asoiaf. Also shes a traitor to her family and should be sacrificed to the nearest heart tree. 

Throwing stones at glass houses here. All of the Starks screwed their own family at some point. And like Sansa, all for understandable if not always agreeable reasons.

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53 minutes ago, Stormking902 said:

shes a traitor to her family

Well she was just a kid, so that’s hardly fair.

I don’t see anything she did as “betrayal” really, just naivety. She couldn’t be expected to know that by going to Cersei she was going to get anyone hurt. She just thought Cersei would find a way to stop Ned sending her home. In her head, Cersei was a lovely lady.

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3 hours ago, Stormking902 said:

An even better question is what is there to like about Sansa Stark? Shes litterally one of the most boring characters in asoiaf. Also shes a traitor to her family and should be sacrificed to the nearest heart tree. 

So did the 13th lord commander

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19 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Very few of the characters do unless you read between the lines. If all of the characters mulled over their mistakes, grief, loss, etc like readers thought they should, then the books would be just one long and boring wet blanket. Notice we’re never in a character’s head when they get really bad news, when their grief is at its worst, etc?

 

And Sansa is literally getting beaten repeatedly for her mistakes. Her thinking about them on page would be redundant.

I disagree. Just one sentence from time to time would make a difference. Sansa is written in a way that makes her not really likeable.

I didn't find a single instance in the books where she admits her mistakes. I don't like Catelyn as well, but at least she has some moments where she realises she was wrong.

Also, the fact that she keeps forgetting Arya is very sad: we know that the Stark sisters are very different and didn't have an idyllic relationship, but while Arya thinks about Sansa and misses her, Sansa seems to have forgotten to have a sister.

That said, I don't hate any character and I enjoy reading Cat's and Sansa's chapters. The fact that the fandom is split in relation to certain characters  is a testament to George's ability to create complex and two-dimensional characters.

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23 hours ago, The Ned's Little Girl said:

1) She was also lying to protect Arya, since if she definitively said what happened - that Arya and Arya's wolf attacked the crown prince - Arya could have at minimum lost one of her hands

That seems extreme. Arya is the daughter of the warden of the North. I mean sure Robert could order Arya to be mutilated but, the backlash would be so great any likelihood of him doing would be too great to make such an action or something as sever as that remotely likely-hell if it was don’t you think Ned would be thinking how the worst thing to happen is that he lost a family pet that he himself originally wanted to see destroyed upon first encountering it?

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I always got the impression of Sansa not being particularly good or bad in AGOT. She’s as normal(personality wise), as one can expect given her upbringing and her age. Robb and Jon(her elder brothers), could be just as bratty as she was in the novel, but they were/are kids, their behavior  was to be expected and eventually we see them mature(although Robb sadly not enough). I think I’ve heard mention that perhaps some people dislike her for not acting the way a good character who is noblewoman aught to in a fantasy setting-like she should hate all things feminine to be warranted respect. I don’t know about that. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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2 hours ago, LadyOlenna said:

I disagree. Just one sentence from time to time would make a difference. Sansa is written in a way that makes her not really likeable.

Hence her being shown in her first chapter is risking a beating and her perspective possibly something much worse to save randomn drunk Knight Joffrey would like to kill.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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23 hours ago, The Ned's Little Girl said:

1) She was also lying to protect Arya, since if she definitively said what happened - that Arya and Arya's wolf attacked the crown prince - Arya could have at minimum lost one of her hands.

1a) Sansa had told her father the whole story during the time Arya was missing. Yet Ned never spoke up and corrected or clarified Sansa's story. Try shifting some blame to the adult in the room.

2) Cersei doesn't need any justification to demand a wolf pelt, least of all from a preteen girl.

2a) Robert is the one who let Cersei get away with her demand for a wolf pelt, just because he didn't care to listen to his wife nag at him all night. Try shifting some blame to the adult in the room.

3) Lady doesn't die because of Sansa's weakness. She died because Ned killed her.

3a) After Ned killed Lady, he sent her dead body home with a few servants to have her buried in Winterfell. Why didn't he send Lady alive back to Winterfell? Who would have been the wiser? Try shifting some blame to the adult in the room.

TL;DR Quit blaming the small children. Adults bear the responsibility for underage kids.

 

First off let me say, I understand why her wolf had to die (or I guess maybe flee with Nym?) but she had to lose it for her story arc,  I get it.  If you read the text, after the He said/She said of Joff and Arya, it is clear that Robert is frustrated and thinks this is a waste of time.  He just wants to know the truth, he already knows Joff is a little shit, so he wants to side with Arya naturally.   He asks SANSA to confirm who's side is correct.  If she would have told the truth and said Joff was DRUNK (which she mentions specifically in her own chapter during the incident) and was instigating the entire thing, SHE would have given Robert all the ammunition he needs to side with Arya, try to teach his 'son' a lesson etc, and it negates as much of Cersei's demands as well, the initial demand of Nymeria's skin is completely reasonable and would be hard to deny, Robert just says she has to spend Lannister Gold for it.  It's only her later snide softly spoken barb about "We have a wolf" that forces Robert to concede something concrete to her on the spot.  

 

1.  Southerners believe the Prince, Northerners believe Arya most likely, until SOMEONE can confirm what happened.  Arya does not deny that the Prince was attacked, she just said it was in defense of mycah.  Joffs story is that the two of them ASSAULTED him, they would just chop off her hand either way, she attacked the Prince in both stories.  The wounds on Joffs arm are pretty clear indication that the wolf bit him.  What does Sansa lying about what she remembers protect Arya from?  nothing.  It only enrages Arya (remember these are Ned Starks kids, lying about something this important is reallllly bad, they would know this), and Arya attacking Sansa gives Cersei all the leverage she needs to demand something happen on the spot.  

1a.  Ned calls Sansa forth to TELL THE TRUTH, he already knows who is correct, but she is the eyewitness.  If Ned steps forward and says "Well...she told me the day it happened that my other daughters story is 100% accurate....she just cant seem to remember now....?"  Both he and Sansa look stupid and it accomplishes nothing since all the Northerners already believe Arya.  Sansa needed to step up to the plate and tell the truth, she does not, and her wolf pays the price.

2.  She needs enough leverage to get Robert to agree to something concrete on the spot for Lady to die, she only gets that leverage from Sansa lying.  Sansa was the only person that could give more ammunition to Cersei, and she does it.

3.  She dies because Sansa lied.  If you don't want to blame Sansa entirely, thats fine.  Arya attacking her was very stupid also.  but remember where it originates from. 

3a. Ned Stark told his King he would do it himself....you think he is going to surrender all his honesty to save a wolf?  He would have lied directly to his King, which is not in his character.

Cersei cannot be refused Nyms pelt, that is for certain, but the clear testimony that Joff was in the wrong would give Robert all leverage to chastise Joff and deny Cersei any reason to demand more.  Certainly she may still have demanded Lady, but her stance would be much weaker if Sansa had told the truth.  

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9 hours ago, LadyOlenna said:

Sansa is written in a way that makes her not really likeable.

Absolutely agree.

The first mentions of Sansa are through her parent's eyes, and Jon's. She is 'charmed and gracious', 'radiant', 'only eleven', 'might someday be queen', 'would shine in the south'. We don't actually see her onstage at this point (or rather, just a glimpse of her, as she walks to the dais on Joffrey's arm).

Then we get to Arya's point of view:

Quote

Arya’s stitches were crooked again.
She frowned down at them with dismay and glanced over to where her sister Sansa sat among the other girls. Sansa’s needlework was exquisite. Everyone said so.

(AGoT, Ch. Arya I)

Arya is the poor honey that gets unfairly compared to the popular, perfect girl with the fine, delicate hands. The problem isn't that everyone including Arya judges Sansa on her appearance rather than her performance, even in the trivialised 'womanly arts'. (I say trivialised, because Arya is the only point of view that actually mentions needlework, which she hates because she would rather fight. This isn't the kind of novel where we see women busily sewing clothes before children outgrow them, or before men march off to battle with them, or winter comes. It is the kind of novel where women only do the laundry in order to chat at the well. But we do see boys training in the yard with sword and lance as a matter of course. It is clear that the work of ladies of Winterfell do is mostly decorative, and that Arya is not content to be purely ornamental, like Sansa.)

We learn pretty early that the problem is Sansa cares more about society than her family

Quote

“Poor Jon,” she said. “He gets jealous because he’s a bastard.” 

(AGoT, Ch. Arya I)

Milkshake duck. Sansa isn't beautiful after all.

At that point in the narrative, Sansa is still a stranger to us. We have already met Jon. We know from Bran's first chapter that Jon is intelligent, kind, helpful, protective of his younger brother, a natural leader, quietly observant, a bit out of the ordinary. We have seen him from inside his own skin, and know his angst isn't jealousy, but something more serious, a need to make something of himself, combined with a life-long oppression imposed upon him principally by Catelyn, legitimated by ugly 'southern' societal norms that Sansa is too ready to substitute for common (Northern) decency.

(I say 'southern' here, because at this point we have been told Catelyn and her attitude towards bastards, is of the south, and she regards Eddard's attitude towards Jon, as one of his strange Northern quirks. Much later we learn that Bolton's bastard only came to the Dreadfort after his legitimate son had died, and Lord Hornwood's bastard lived with the Glovers. Also that bastards are not shunned in Dornish society. But in Game of Thrones this is presented to us as a societal difference between Winterfell and King's Landing, Eddard and Catelyn, husbands and wives, men and women.)  

On behalf of the reader, Arya points out indignantly that Jon is family. Sansa smugly corrects this to "our half-brother" , and flat out lies “Arya and I were remarking on how pleased we were to have the princess with us today,” when the septa wants to know why they are arguing.

Arya adds another item to our inventory of Sansa before she flees to Jon's protection - Sansa is good at sewing and dancing and music, but she can't do the math.

In Jon's second chapter we learn that Arya and Jon have a private joke 'Don't tell Sansa', implying that they know Sansa as a spoil-sport and a dob artist.

It isn't until the two girls have reached the South, below the neck, that the reader gets to see Sansa from her own point of view.

We learn Sansa is wilful, takes it for granted that it is one rule for her and another for Arya. That the little snob wants nothing so much as to fawn over royalty and do her best to wheedle her way into the affections of a prince that we have already seen (through Arya's eyes) is a cowardly and pretentious little turd.  Sansa has no appreciation of nature, and is ignorant of history, except in so far as 'history' means knowing the sigils of the most prestigious houses and which is more important that which. When they argue, all the reason is on Arya's side of the argument, Sansa must make do with a sense of superiority, mixed with attempts to shame Arya by expressing how appalled and embarrassed she is to have a younger sister like her. 

When it comes to ignorance, she is quick to decide that women who live in bogs are ignorant, and Arya with them. She doesn't like associating with people of low birth, or of uncertain birth. She claims they smell, just looking at them makes her feel sick.

Quote

It was a great honor to ride with the queen, and besides, Prince Joffrey might be there. Her betrothed. Just thinking it made her feel a strange fluttering inside, even though they were not to marry for years and years. Sansa did not really know Joffrey yet, but she was already in love with him. He was all she ever dreamt her prince should be, tall and handsome and strong, with hair like gold.

Quote

It would have been easier if Arya had been a bastard, like their half brother Jon. She even looked like Jon, with the long face and brown hair of the Starks, and nothing of their lady mother in her face or her coloring. And Jon’s mother had been common, or so people whispered

(AGoT, Ch.15 Sansa I)

Arya and Jon are not inclined to reject their family, the way Sansa would like to. At the wall, Jon can bring himself to miss Sansa, even though he has nothing more endearing to remember her by than that she

Quote

never called him anything but “my half brother” since she was old enough to understand what bastard meant.

(AGoT, Ch.19 Jon III )

At the time, we did not know that GRRM was building up to a time when Alayne would be a bastard. This was how the character was introduced to us.

Apart from ignorant misjudgements of everyone and everything, and being vain, and revering rank,

Quote

All she wanted was for things to be nice and pretty, the way they were in the songs. 

(AGoT, Ch.15 Sansa I)

Unlike Arya's point of view, Sansa's chapters have lines like this, exposition, in the third person, but not in the voice of an eleven year old girl. Rather, in the voice of a narrator who doesn't care enough to specify the 'things' prissy little girls regard as 'nice and pretty' and care so much about.

At lines like this I'm always pushing away a vision of an old fat man in a pink tutu with a silver wand, turning clumsy fouettes and singing 'la la la, I'm a blushing young maid'. In both Sansa and Daenarys's point of view, there is this kind of conniving thing in the narrative, like the author is assuming the reader is cliché of a heterosexual teenage boy who will strongly identify with Jon and Arya, and who isn't going to be interested in the details of what a mere sex object like Sansa thinks and feels, because she obviously isn't interested in nice guys and is so stupid and serve her right.

There is nothing sympathetic in the way her feelings and thoughts are presented in her first chapter. After we have had our patience tried with Sansa's idiotic arguments and disappointments,  she takes fright at the look of Illyn Payne, and trembles like a leaf, enabling Joffrey to 'rescue' her from this entirely imaginary crisis (at his mother's instruction) . When the queen further instructs them to spend some time together, Joffrey decides they could go riding, and Sansa decided on the spot that she really loves riding, in spite of what she said to Arya earlier.  They then set off on what looks a lot to me like a premeditated date-rape attempt on Joffrey's part (no Hound to watch them, a sword, a lot of summerwine, find a secluded spot by the river) but Arya spoils everything by being sensible enough to know a real threat when she sees one and to fight back against a cowardly bully rather than do what he says. 

So Joffrey reveals his sadistic true colours by attacking a boy without a weapon who he knows could be executed if he raised a hand against him. When he is beaten by Arya and Nymeria, he reveals his genuine contempt for Sansa also, but in the next chapter we see she prefers to keep her pretty illusions and dreams of becoming queen, lying to the King, again thinking it is one rule for her and another for Arya, that it is 'only' Arya and Nymeria who are facing the King's justice. Sansa isn't haunted by the fact that Mycha is killed by the Hound for his part in the affair. It seems she isn't even aware that this has happened. But she feels the full injustice of her wolf dying for Arya's wolf's actions.

We are given reason after reason to despise Sansa in Game of Thrones. For the sake of being Joffrey's queen, she betrays her own family, leading to her father's dishonourable confession and execution. She only starts earning reader sympathy (well, writer sympathy, really) in Clash of Kings, by being imprisoned, and beaten, and threatened with sexual assault by the boy who killed her father.

It is not quite enough sympathy for us to feel any concern or pity for her when grown men like the Hound and later Tyrion threaten her with sexual assault. Cos that is what it is really, when some guy twice her age strips naked in front of an almost-thirteen year old that he claims is still a child, and demands she do the same, and  look at his erection, and cops a feel of her boob before heading off to the sofa.

It is also assault when a twenty-something year old guy lurks in the darkened bedroom of a twelve year old. We know he really is intending to lurk not just because he is in her bed, but because he does not give her any inkling he is in her room until she retreats to the safety of it, whimpering for her dead wolf. Also because, instead of saying something like "Hello Sansa", he grabs her, gags her and threatens to kill her, before mocking her for being frightened of everything and demanding she look him in the face. And sing for him. At knife-point. It is hard to tell if he intended to rape her but thought better of it at the last minute, or if he was going to offer to take her with him, or take her hostage, or just say goodbye.

Both these chapters are written ostensibly from Sansa's point of view, but they are written with a great deal of sympathy for the male in question, and not much for her at all. There are even readers who regard Sansa as a bitch for not putting out for Tyrion on their wedding night, seeing as he treated her comparatively decently, given he would have been in his rights to rape her, like he wanted to, and had been told to. Or that see the unkiss as a complete justification for the creepy criminal behaviour the Hound displayed up to that point, and terribly romantic.

So I guess these scenes were intended more to elicit reader interest in what is going to happen to her rather than concern for what Sansa thinks or feels.  But I think her discovery that Cersei wasn't kind or good, and Prince Joffrey wasn't charming, goes a long way to making her more likeable to her readers generally. As long as her turncloak ways, her underhand treachery and lies, are being employed against her Lannister and Baelish foster-families, she becomes human and likeable. 

She might not be a realistic depiction of a thirteen year old, but she is a complex, interesting, layered and very well written character.

Edited by Walda

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On 10/18/2018 at 11:05 AM, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

Well she was just a kid, so that’s hardly fair.

I don’t see anything she did as “betrayal” really, just naivety. She couldn’t be expected to know that by going to Cersei she was going to get anyone hurt. She just thought Cersei would find a way to stop Ned sending her home. In her head, Cersei was a lovely lady.

She meant to go and see Robert but she was scared of the big, loud, drunk man so she went to see the proper, ladylike Queen instead.  I never get why people ignore the fact that she was a sheltered 12 year old who had no idea of the consequences of what she was doing when they accuse her of betraying her family.  She was simply naive and had no idea what her actions would lead to.

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10 hours ago, Silver Bullet 1985 said:

This same questions was posted a few months ago.  Okay.  I hate Sansa because she's selfish.  

How selfish was she when

1) she blurted out "you can't" when Joffrey ordered the death of Dontos Hollard

2) when she tended Lancel Lannister of all people after Cersei had deliberately struck his wounded arm

3) when she lead Robert Arryn across the narrow bridge on the descent from the Eyrie

Seems her instinctive reaction is to help people out of a sense of compassion whether it's in her interests or actually against them.

That's not selfish, it's the exact opposite.

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10 minutes ago, the trees have eyes said:

She meant to go and see Robert but she was scared of the big, loud, drunk man so she went to see the proper, ladylike Queen instead.  I never get why people ignore the fact that she was a sheltered 12 year old who had no idea of the consequences of what she was doing when they accuse her of betraying her family.  She was simply naive and had no idea what her actions would lead to.

Exactly. It’s a bit like accusing Tommen of “betraying” his family by being suckered in by Margaery.

Even as old as Sansa is now, I don’t think it’s fair to hold her to very high standards. She has had very few opportunities to make her own choices throughout the series. While her time at Kings Landing and the Vale have educated her a great deal, she’s still sheltered in a certain sense, being a prisoner and then subjected to some variety of Stockholm Syndrome with Littlefinger.

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4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Extrapolate. 

No need to. Just pay attention. Kelly Tran and  Leslie Jones  ditching tweeter due to harassment. Factions like the sad puppies and rabid puppies at the hugos.  Gamergate and hiding rabid sexism and misogyny (like doxxing and public threats of rape) as "ethics in journalism."
Sansa is just a byproduct of that. In the book, she starts as a mildly entitled little girl who does not have any experience playing the game and thusly becomes a pawn for those who do. I assume her arc will have her growing stronger in the next book and finding herself 

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2 minutes ago, Dorian Martell's son said:

No need to. Just pay attention. Kelly Tran and  Leslie Jones  ditching tweeter due to harassment. Factions like the sad puppies and rabid puppies at the hugos.  Gamergate and hiding rabid sexism and misogyny (like doxxing and public threats of rape) as "ethics in journalism."
Sansa is just a byproduct of that. In the book, she starts as a mildly entitled little girl who does not have any experience playing the game and thusly becomes a pawn for those who do. I assume her arc will have her growing stronger in the next book and finding herself 

That’s if we get a next book.

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