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Greywater-Watch

Sansa's betrayal consequences partly overestimated?

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11 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

Well, I'm glad you stopped by. Any good games going on?

Not so much lately, unfortunately. It was better a few months ago when there were still elimination games and guessing games. They're doing Pictionary, but I'm not that into that.

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2 hours ago, Annara Snow said:

Not so much lately, unfortunately. It was better a few months ago when there were still elimination games and guessing games. They're doing Pictionary, but I'm not that into that.

Yeah me either. I wish it was still like before the update :(

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1 hour ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

“So young,” said Wyman Manderly. “Though mayhaps this was a blessing. Had he lived, he would have grown up to be a Frey.”

Oh my god! this is such a cold hearted savage quote :laugh: :laugh:

the sad thing about being a Fray is really, that there are so many of them- doesn't even matter, if you live or die. :(  But the old horrible weasel just won't die! I'm really looking forward to his death, but on the other hand he already had a long and (full)filled life (with children and to young wives) :angry: even if he dies a painful death, it just won't feel satisfying enough.

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17 minutes ago, Nagini's Neville said:

Oh my god! this is such a cold hearted savage quote :laugh: :laugh:

the sad thing about being a Fray is really, that there are so many of them- doesn't even matter, if you live or die. :(  But the old horrible weasel just won't die! I'm really looking forward to his death, but on the other hand he already had a long and (full)filled life (with children and to young wives) :angry: even if he dies a painful death, it just won't feel satisfying enough.

Haha! Yes it is very savage. I like it because it shows that while the Frey's may have gotten away with it for now, Winter is coming & The North Remembers! 

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8 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

What is your deal? You are posting things just to try to cause an issue but calling someone else a troll? Grow up. If you don't have anything to add to the discussion, move on. 

I'm calling a troll a troll.And that is not you.

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18 minutes ago, redriver said:

I'm calling a troll a troll.And that is not you.

I know it isn't me but I don't see anyone else here posting things just to be inflammatory except you. We are all just discussing things civilly. If you don't agree with someone explain why. I'm not trying to be rude but clearly whoever you are trying to get a rise out of doesn't wish to engage (thankfully) 

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1 minute ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

I know it isn't me but I don't see anyone else here posting things just to be inflammatory except you. We are all just discussing things civilly. If you don't agree with someone explain why. I'm not trying to be rude but clearly whoever you are trying to get a rise out of doesn't wish to engage (thankfully) 

I do.

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:20 PM, Nagini's Neville said:

You confusing it with the show. She didn't pick his pocket. And also the Hound doesn't exactly say, he should have raped Sansa. He only does that on the show as well. In the book his words have a different meaning.( But Arya probably understood it that way.) I don't think it's so easy to stab yourself. Especially when you are in so much pain and weak and delirious from fever. The man, who the Hound gave mercy to also didn't give it to himself. And now he is begging her to give it to him and there is no indication, that she thinks he could do it himself.

You are correct about the pocket picking but not about the rape words. Here's the quote:

Quote
When Arya did not move, he said, "I killed your butcher's boy. I cut him near in half, and laughed about it after." He made a queer sound, and it took her a moment to realize he was sobbing. "And the little bird, your pretty sister, I stood there in my white cloak and let them beat her. I took the bloody song, she never gave it. I meant to take her too. I should have. I should have fucked her bloody and ripped her heart out before leaving her for that dwarf." A spasm of pain twisted his face. "Do you mean to make me beg, bitch? Do it! The gift of mercy . . . avenge your little Michael . . ."
"Mycah." Arya stepped away from him. "You don't deserve the gift of mercy." (aSoS, Arya XIII)

Several things are said and happening in this scene, but Sandor definitely says he "should have fucked her bloody and rip her heart out", aka "wish I'd raped her".

What Sandor in fact is doing simultaneously is "confessing". His body language is that of a man expressing shame, regrets and guilt. He confesses he laughed about killing Mycah, combined with sobbing over it at the same time. It's Arya  who picks up on the sobbing cue. Arya's not just listening to what he says, but also how he truly feels about that. Even if she cannot put it into conscious thought or words (this level of empathy occurs in a subtextual manner), this type of emotional display always touches Arya time and time again, and disables her from killing someone. His next sentence confirms it's a confession of regrets: he confesses guilt over letting others beat Sansa while he wore the white cloak.

While he definitely says he should have raped Sansa, his face also twists in a spasm of pain. We can suppose this is because of his physical pain, but it also betrays that when Sandor thinks of harming Sansa, the idea pains him.

Arya steps away from him and this, declaring he "doesn't deserve the gift of mercy". A part of her is upset and angry, and making her consciously think "he doesn't deserve a painless death", but there's also a level of "he doesn't deserve to die" beneath it.

Sandor's confession was written to be variously layered and subtextual. Arya's response to it as well. He says things to provoke her that he doesn't truly mean (the rape part), and she mirrors this in her answer, especially when she says he shouldn't have hit her with an axe and should have saved her mother.

If you have the ability to read the nuance in Sandor's words, then you're supposed to read the nuance in Arya's actions. That you don't, reveals you're biased towards Arya.

 

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:24 PM, Nagini's Neville said:

I think she should have given him mercy, if she was truly empathetic with him in that moment. I don't blame her for it of course, but she is not empathetic here. He is suffering. She could have left after killing him. 

I think it's empathy that stayed her hand, and she tried to rationalize her inability to kill him to herself with the lingering feelings of resentment she has. But no, I don't believe Arya refrained from giving him mercy out of resentment at all.

And I don't believe she should have given him mercy.

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:59 PM, Nagini's Neville said:

1.He grabs her face 2.she is forced to look at him "His fingers held her jaw as hard as an iron trap." Being held as hard as an iron trap implies, that you cannot escape. He is physically forcing her and she has no way in the case he might do something else to defend herself against him.This is a very scary and threatening situation. And it does surprise me very much, that I have to point that out, imo that is very obvious. No wonder 3. she starts to cry - you forget,  Not a sign of being fearful of him for you?

"She was sad for him, she realized. Somehow, the fear had gone away. The silence went on and on, so long that she began to grow afraid once more, but she was afraid for him now, not for herself."

This is after his story and it implies, that she was afraid of him before. And her crying indicates that as well.

She was afraid of him earlier, yes... but she was afraid of him before he forced her to look at him, both as he escorts her to her room as well as a chapter before that. And then he tells his story and she is afraid for him.

I don't know what the hell you're debating here: I agreed that Sansa empathizes with Sandor after his story. I agree that Sansa was always initially fearful of him. I disagree part of the reason she was afraid of him. And I disagree that you conclude on this sole incident that Sansa is heroically above average empathic when "faced" with a horrible story of abuse, while she fails to feel anything for a stranger who died right in front of her earlier that day.

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:36 PM, Nagini's Neville said:

Well, this is a case study on yourself by yourself. And also -excuse me-but by no means an empirical one. We have exactly one probant and one researcher here and they are both you yourself. So I apologize, but that's not really meaningful. That's not telling me anything. And even if there was evidence for a "natural born empath" (the environment is always a factor, that you cannot exclude) there is no evidence that Arya is one. That is just your interpretation and that's fine.

Well, you "asked" me who I consider an "empath", and I answered.

Your "comprehension of empathy" is such that you consider a paragraph of a girl "feeling absolutely nothing" for a stranger dying right in front her "an empath".

Of course it's just one "case" (and the word you're looking for is "anecdotal")... What you don't seem to understand about "evidence" is that the exception does not confirm the rule. You apply the avareged development psychogoly to declare a character written within that average range as "exceptional" and "above average". That's not how it works. Someone is exceptional and above average (or below average for that matter) when their development is faster/slower, significantly different outside of the "average range", when it deviates from the age ranges and stages development psychology claims.

And while I indeed gave you anecdotal evidence, there exists a trail of measured empirical evidence: both for EQ as well as IQ I'm in the 1% percentile (above average). The empirical measuring was done by psychologists who perform standardized tests on all children in kindergarten, elementary and HS + MENSA staff.

And what a complete cop-out on "there's no (empirical) evidence that Arya is one".

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

You are correct about the pocket picking but not about the rape words. Here's the quote:

Several things are said and happening in this scene, but Sandor definitely says he "should have fucked her bloody and rip her heart out", aka "wish I'd raped her".

What Sandor in fact is doing simultaneously is "confessing". His body language is that of a man expressing shame, regrets and guilt. He confesses he laughed about killing Mycah, combined with sobbing over it at the same time. It's Arya  who picks up on the sobbing cue. Arya's not just listening to what he says, but also how he truly feels about that. Even if she cannot put it into conscious thought or words (this level of empathy occurs in a subtextual manner), this type of emotional display always touches Arya time and time again, and disables her from killing someone. His next sentence confirms it's a confession of regrets: he confesses guilt over letting others beat Sansa while he wore the white cloak.

While he definitely says he should have raped Sansa, his face also twists in a spasm of pain. We can suppose this is because of his physical pain, but it also betrays that when Sandor thinks of harming Sansa, the idea pains him.

Arya steps away from him and this, declaring he "doesn't deserve the gift of mercy". A part of her is upset and angry, and making her consciously think "he doesn't deserve a painless death", but there's also a level of "he doesn't deserve to die" beneath it.

Sandor's confession was written to be variously layered and subtextual. Arya's response to it as well. He says things to provoke her that he doesn't truly mean (the rape part), and she mirrors this in her answer, especially when she says he shouldn't have hit her with an axe and should have saved her mother.

If you have the ability to read the nuance in Sandor's words, then you're supposed to read the nuance in Arya's actions. That you don't, reveals you're biased towards Arya.

 

I agree. I think what NN was saying (I may be wrong) is that Sandor is saying he should have raped her before he left her. So, he should have done the most horrible thing to her he can think of rather than leave her there because that was worse - if that makes sense? 

That's how I take what he is saying. 

So not that he literally should have or wished he would have but that he should have done anything rather than leave her to her fate in KL. 

I agree with the rest though. He is trying to provoke Arya into giving him the gift of mercy but his body language & expressions give him away. It lets us know & on a subconscious level, Arya know, that he actually feels bad for these things. 

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

I think it's empathy that stayed her hand, and she tried to rationalize her inability to kill him to herself with the lingering feelings of resentment she has. But no, I don't believe Arya refrained from giving him mercy out of resentment at all.

And I don't believe she should have given him mercy.

Yes exactly. She wants to because she is angry with him for the things he has done but can't because she is empathetic & Sandor is expressing guilt & emotion for what he has done. She tells herself he doesn't deserve the gift because it's easier for her to cope with but really she thinks he doesn't deserve to die. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 2:39 AM, Nagini's Neville said:

I think NLG's argument here was that it would have been better for Arya to be called a liar, than if Sansa had called Joffrey a liar and backed her up.

Both Renly and Robert make clear in their response to Arya's story that they have no intentions to harm Arya over it. Renly's laughing and Robert confronts Joffrey with being so bad at swordsplay that a little girl like Arya can even disarm him. So, the Sansa was protecting Arya just doesn't hold up.

The only adult in the room making demands was Cersei. So, the question is whether you believe that Cersei would have demanded Robert to say "kill" Arya for striking at Joffrey. Personally, I doubt that Cersei would have gone that far, not because she doesn't want Arya dead. After all, she had Jaime search for Arya with the purpose to have her killed. But during the King's justice scene she as well as anybody else could see that Robert didn't think Arya was wrong or bad for disarming Joffrey, but Joffrey being the "unskilled" one. Cersei does like to make demands of Robert, but she aims and pushes for demands that she knows she can pressure Robert into. Getting Robert to agree to chop the heads off Ned's children for this incident was never in the cards. That's exactly why she had Jaime search for Arya: to kill her without needing Robert's approval.

So, let's say that Sansa had told the truth. Robert would have dismissed the case as child's play and would have further put blame on his own son for it. However, Cersei would never fully rest about it and would seek some form of retaliation. She would still have demanded for a recompensation in some form and that would have been: kill those dangerous wolves. So, imo, no matter what Sansa or Ned had done, in the end Cersei would have still demanded that the direwolves would be killed. And in the end, Robert would have acquiesced to the demand to avoid further hassle with Cersei.

As for Ned - he never truly realized the value of the wolves, until he learns from Cat that Summer saved Bran's and Cat's life against the catspaw. Just like Robert he saw them as pets, and as potential dangerous pets. He didn't want to kill them, because he recognizes that they only act by instinct and therefore are not "evil" and because he knows it grieves his daughters who love their "pets". But again when push comes to shove, I don't think he would have decided to turn back North with both his daughters over the life of Lady. He too would in the end acquiesce to Robert's decision. But neither Robert nor Ned would kill Lady without Cersei demanding it.

I would also stress that Cersei wanted those wolves dead and planned to get them killed somehow, even if Joffrey had never happened upon Arya playing with Mycah. The moment she saw Lady behave protectively towards any potential threat to Sansa earlier the day of the incident, her mind bent towards getting rid of them. There's just no way she would allow the wife of her son to have a protector who might be willing to kill Joffrey in the case Joffrey hurt Sansa someday. And not only does Cersei know that there is a high chance that one day Joffrey would harm Sansa, she would defend Joffrey having that right. It's not as if Cersei ever did or try anything to stop Joffrey from having Sansa being beaten. Cersei aims to destroy Loras for similar reasons: her son's wife is not allowed to have their personal loyal guard/protector.

No matter what scenario would have played out at Darry's, Lady's death would have been demanded, and she would have been executed by Ned at that time. Let's say that Nymeria had been caught, Cersei would still have pushed for Lady's death. And no matter what scenario would have played out, Robert would never have agreed to have Arya phsyically harmed by his decree. So, imo the moment Arya was found and safe from Jaime looking for her, Arya would never have come to harm, and Lady would always have been killed.

IMO George writes situations that seem to be the result of a domino-effect, but upon closer inspection are quite insular, or the seeming provocation was just an easy opportunity for a villain to do what they wanted to happen.

The argument that it would have been worse for Arya if Sansa had told the truth is a false argument. That it would have been better for Lady if Sansa had told the truth is also a false argument. The situation just reveals something about Sansa's values at the time and it's left tot he reader to decide whether they agree with those values or not. It also causes a deep rift between the sisters that go beyond children squabbles. While Arya did not realize that Robert would never have agreed to harm a hair on Arya's head, she ended up believing her sister would possibly get her killed in order to be liked by her fiance, even if Sansa attempted to remain neutral. And no matter Sansa's intentions, and it being understandable from Sansa's POV to say "I don't remember", it's just as understandable that the sister - who feared for her life for the past days, was hunted and had little to eat - to feel deeply betrayed by Sansa.  But hey, if only Arya wasn't so "annoying" quick to anger, right?

 

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:42 PM, Nagini's Neville said:

Imo he just took her obedience for granted, while he always had to take care of Arya, because she was always acting out. He basically didn't worry to much about Sansa. Imo that's also why he asked her to speak out before the King. He just expected her to obey like always. And didn't consider the position he was putting her in. Imo he just didn't think to much about what was going on with her in general. Not in an ill-intentioned way, but he had a lot to do and she was always functioning and seemed happy, while Arya seemed unhappy about being a lady and wasn't functioning.

Agreed.

I think it's important to realize though that this is the first situation where Ned ever has to be a parent to either of his daughters. From Arya's first chapter we learn that those who rear the girls are her mother Catelyn and the Septa. The maester may be one of her teachers, but he's not "rearing" her hands on. This is typical for a patriarchal society: women are responsible for rearing daughters and the boys until they are at the age of being a page, and fathers rear only the boys once they are old enough to get from behind the mother's frocks. So, up until then Ned Stark only parented Jon, Robb and Theon, directly and had started to rear Bran (likely since he was 5). We know this, because in Bran's chapter where Jaime pushed him, Bran remembers Cat asking Ned to be the authority over him and punish him for his broken promise of not climbing anymore. In the Godswood chapter, Ned expresses it's time for Cat to help get Rickon under his parenting wing, when he tells her Rickon is getting old enough not to be afraid anymore.

George put both Cat and Ned in reversed parenting roles. Ned leaves for KL and has no son with him whatsoever, only the daughters. He's completely out of his debt with the rearing of daughters, and relies on Septa Mordane doing it when they start out. Likewise, Cat is initially out of her debt in her task with the sons. She knows how to be the nursing role to a son. This is why she ends up neglecting Robb and Rickon. Before Ned left, Robb was Ned's responsibility, and she likely had already started to let go of Rickon after Ned's remark about Rickon (months before that). But she is used to taking care of the boys when they're sick. So, she sits at Bran's bed all the time. Without Ned being there, it's not enough of course. It requires a fire and an assassination attempt to force Cat to adjust her parenting role. And then she goes overboard, acting too much, taking too much responsibility upon herself without consulting much at all.

After the Trident incident, Ned realizes he needs to step up the plate, and naturally he relies on the info his wife n odubt gave him: complaining about Arya and praising Sansa for being such a good girl. If Catelyn and Mordane never realized how Sansa's teasing (and Jeyne being outright mean) was a negative factor that was part of the equation of Arya's behavior, then Ned knew it even less. Only at the Hand's tower and witnessing the cat fights between Arya and Sansa does he start to realize some of the dynamics. So, he begins to take up the rearing role, but only starts with Arya, for she's the daughter Cat and Mordane complained about. But he's not Cat, let alone Mordane. He does it the only way he knows how - having a heart to heart with Arya similarly to how he would have a conversation with any of his sons. He's also the first who starts to pick up on Sansa's passive aggressive nastiness towards Arya. Sansa showed this type of behaviour for a long while already, but it certainly flew under Mordane's radar, as well as Cat's, who only apparently was called in to reprimand her daughters when Mordane asked for help, and Mordane has a bias against Arya. So, when Sansa is rebuked for her venomous words to Arya, it's likely the first time that any parent actually did so.

In a way, Mordane and Catelyn allowed Sansa to "run wild" in her passive aggressiveness towards Arya, who was their scapegoat just as well. Ned's the first to try and put a stop to it, but he does it the wrong way: by ordering it, expecting her to be obedient, and smarter, and more grown.

So, yes, their parents failed them in a way. I too wish Ned had the realization to have a heart to heart with Sansa in the way he had one with Arya. But equally, given the gender parenting roles in the feudal society, I don't think it's realistic to ask of the recent parent who's only been doing this for the last six months, to do a better job at rearing Sansa, when those who did it for 11 years before that also failed at it when they constantly praised Sansa for being what came easy to her and being understanding and indulging in her ostracising her sister.

And I certainly think that modern standards of parenting are impossible to apply here for some poisters here to call either Ned or Cat "bad" parents. In comparison to most nobles they're the better ones, and Ned succeeds in Arya where all others before him failed. Ned failed with Sansa, because neither Cat let alone awful Mordane ever seemed to realize the underlying issues that were brewing long before that. 

@Mystical you blame Ned for Mordane's irresponsibility. But it's Mordane who was irresponsible, and how was Ned to know of it? What experience does he have with rearing daughters, let alone septas? He was fostered to Jon Arryn at a young age. So, he never witnessed anyone rearing Lyanna. Jon Arryn had no children when he had Ned and Robert for wards. Since, Catelyn is the very first Lady of Winterfell of the Faith at Winterfell and the Starks have always held to the Old Gods, Septa Mordane is the very first Septa to ever have reared daughters at Winterfell. And Catelyn never complained about the woman. I do consider Mordane having done an awful job of it, both with Sansa and Arya from the very beginning. But since in his society, a lord and a lady are not expected to be the hands-on parent 24/7, he's the least to blame of not knowing how bad she was at doing her job.

Edited by sweetsunray

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1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

@Mystical you blame Ned for Mordane's irresponsibility. But it's Mordane who was irresponsible, and how was Ned to know of it? What experience does he have with rearing daughters, let alone septas? He was fostered to Jon Arryn at a young age. So, he never witnessed anyone rearing Lyanna. Jon Arryn had no children when he had Ned and Robert for wards. Since, Catelyn is the very first Lady of Winterfell of the Faith at Winterfell and the Starks have always held to the Old Gods, Septa Mordane is the very first Septa to ever have reared daughters at Winterfell. And Catelyn never complained about the woman. I do consider Mordane having done an awful job of it, both with Sansa and Arya from the very beginning. But since in his society, a lord and a lady are not expected to be the hands-on parent 24/7, he's the least to blame of not knowing how bad she was at doing her job.

I've already blamed both parents in this thread. And since when is ignorance an excuse for anything? And Cat would be the one to have more contact with the Septa so it's really on her to make sure the Septa is not an alcoholic or a horrible teacher. But Ned is the head of his family. I do wonder how the girls would have been raised if Ned hadn't been up for Cat's southern ways. After all a Septa is not a thing of the North. Who would have been in charge of the child rearing then as far as the girls are concerned? And my main problem with Ned as a parent has little to do with pre-story child rearing. He was the parent with the girls when they left WF. How are they not his responsibility then? Or his main concern for that matter? Ned cares more about Robert, his honor (until he abandons it way too late), Cersei's children and investigating Jon Arryn's death than he does his girls, especially Sansa.

Edited by Mystical

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On 11/8/2019 at 11:35 AM, Greywater-Watch said:

When Sansa told Cersei in the first book about Ned's plan to ship his daughters to Winterfell (which I call a betrayal), well, it made her the most hated Stark for many readers. But what exactly have been the consequences of this behaviour? Or in other words, what would have happened, hadn't she told Cersei?

In my view it would have put Sansa and Arya to safety (so of course their course in the story would have been completely different. But would it have changed anything concerning Ned Stark or Rob's war?

I think there is a high probability that:

1.  Ned would have lost his life anyway.

2. It wouldn't have changed The outcome of Rob's war.

ad 1): Ned lost the game in King's Landing because he was betrayed by Littlefinger (the City Watch). His beheading was due to Jeoffrey's decision, and the Young King didn't care or understand the importance of hostages anyway.

ad 2): Rob would have gone to war anyway, his main reason was to free Ned. Whispering Wood happened independently of Sansa and Arya being hostages. He may have killed Jamie Lannister after the news of Ned's death. But Jamie didn't play much of a role in the war anymore after Whispering Woods. And I cannot see Tywin Lannister taking a different course of action with or without the Stark children hostages. Maybe Rob's position to negotiate a favourable agreement would have been better with Jamie as only valuable hostage in the hands of one of the confronting sides.

Thoughts on this?

You are forgetting Littlefinger's weird creepy attachment to Sansa. He is the one who spills the beans when she's going to Highgarden so he is clearly not above doing ugly just to keep her in KL. I'm of a mind that he already told Cersei but that Sansa's betrayal was a more convenient version of events in regards to politics.

(I know we have a lot of Cersei gloating over "the sweet gift" of Sansa's betrayal so I know I'm skating rotten ice text-wise. But it feels so right :D )

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It matters little whether the consequences were overstated or they were not.  Those chapters gave us a window into what Sansa is made of.  She is a selfish person who always puts her own interests above others.  That's like Cersei and Lyanna.  She is not the material from which heroes are made. 

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3 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

Agreed.

I think it's important to realize though that this is the first situation where Ned ever has to be a parent to either of his daughters. From Arya's first chapter we learn that those who rear the girls are her mother Catelyn and the Septa. The maester may be one of her teachers, but he's not "rearing" her hands on. This is typical for a patriarchal society: women are responsible for rearing daughters and the boys until they are at the age of being a page, and fathers rear only the boys once they are old enough to get from behind the mother's frocks. So, up until then Ned Stark only parented Jon, Robb and Theon, directly and had started to rear Bran (likely since he was 5). We know this, because in Bran's chapter where Jaime pushed him, Bran remembers Cat asking Ned to be the authority over him and punish him for his broken promise of not climbing anymore. In the Godswood chapter, Ned expresses it's time for Cat to help get Rickon under his parenting wing, when he tells her Rickon is getting old enough not to be afraid anymore.

George put both Cat and Ned in reversed parenting roles. Ned leaves for KL and has no son with him whatsoever, only the daughters. He's completely out of his debt with the rearing of daughters, and relies on Septa Mordane doing it when they start out. Likewise, Cat is initially out of her debt in her task with the sons. She knows how to be the nursing role to a son. This is why she ends up neglecting Robb and Rickon. Before Ned left, Robb was Ned's responsibility, and she likely had already started to let go of Rickon after Ned's remark about Rickon (months before that). But she is used to taking care of the boys when they're sick. So, she sits at Bran's bed all the time. Without Ned being there, it's not enough of course. It requires a fire and an assassination attempt to force Cat to adjust her parenting role. And then she goes overboard, acting too much, taking too much responsibility upon herself without consulting much at all.

After the Trident incident, Ned realizes he needs to step up the plate, and naturally he relies on the info his wife n odubt gave him: complaining about Arya and praising Sansa for being such a good girl. If Catelyn and Mordane never realized how Sansa's teasing (and Jeyne being outright mean) was a negative factor that was part of the equation of Arya's behavior, then Ned knew it even less. Only at the Hand's tower and witnessing the cat fights between Arya and Sansa does he start to realize some of the dynamics. So, he begins to take up the rearing role, but only starts with Arya, for she's the daughter Cat and Mordane complained about. But he's not Cat, let alone Mordane. He does it the only way he knows how - having a heart to heart with Arya similarly to how he would have a conversation with any of his sons. He's also the first who starts to pick up on Sansa's passive aggressive nastiness towards Arya. Sansa showed this type of behaviour for a long while already, but it certainly flew under Mordane's radar, as well as Cat's, who only apparently was called in to reprimand her daughters when Mordane asked for help, and Mordane has a bias against Arya. So, when Sansa is rebuked for her venomous words to Arya, it's likely the first time that any parent actually did so.

In a way, Mordane and Catelyn allowed Sansa to "run wild" in her passive aggressiveness towards Arya, who was their scapegoat just as well. Ned's the first to try and put a stop to it, but he does it the wrong way: by ordering it, expecting her to be obedient, and smarter, and more grown.

So, yes, their parents failed them in a way. I too wish Ned had the realization to have a heart to heart with Sansa in the way he had one with Arya. But equally, given the gender parenting roles in the feudal society, I don't think it's realistic to ask of the recent parent who's only been doing this for the last six months, to do a better job at rearing Sansa, when those who did it for 11 years before that also failed at it when they constantly praised Sansa for being what came easy to her and being understanding and indulging in her ostracising her sister.

And I certainly think that modern standards of parenting are impossible to apply here for some poisters here to call either Ned or Cat "bad" parents. In comparison to most nobles they're the better ones, and Ned succeeds in Arya where all others before him failed. Ned failed with Sansa, because neither Cat let alone awful Mordane ever seemed to realize the underlying issues that were brewing long before that. 

@Mystical you blame Ned for Mordane's irresponsibility. But it's Mordane who was irresponsible, and how was Ned to know of it? What experience does he have with rearing daughters, let alone septas? He was fostered to Jon Arryn at a young age. So, he never witnessed anyone rearing Lyanna. Jon Arryn had no children when he had Ned and Robert for wards. Since, Catelyn is the very first Lady of Winterfell of the Faith at Winterfell and the Starks have always held to the Old Gods, Septa Mordane is the very first Septa to ever have reared daughters at Winterfell. And Catelyn never complained about the woman. I do consider Mordane having done an awful job of it, both with Sansa and Arya from the very beginning. But since in his society, a lord and a lady are not expected to be the hands-on parent 24/7, he's the least to blame of not knowing how bad she was at doing her job.

So what way should you be for parenting in the universe of ASOIAF? Either you can be indulgent like Ned and Catelyn, or abusive like Tywin. And let's not get started on how Craster is with his children...

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4 hours ago, Mystical said:

I've already blamed both parents in this thread. And since when is ignorance an excuse for anything?

It isn't in our concept of parenting and yet it is in the parenting concept of a feudal society, because their main duty is lording lands or managing the castle.

We only know of Mordane having been drunk at the Tourney. We do not know if this was a habbit of hers, or whether she ever showed such behavior at Winterfell. What is clear is that she doesn't have a high opinion of the North and praises the South. I do suspect that Mordane was smart enough to not display such beliefs directly to Lord Stark nor Lady Stark. But she lets herself go more at King's Landing.

Ned gives his opinion about Mordane at some point to Arya, defending her as a "good woman doing her best". That always makes me snort, because we readers know way better. Her behaviour towards Arya, in singling her out, provoked Arya to run off. It's clear she's picking on Arya, while mooning over Sansa. We've also witnessed her neglect her duty to Ned and Sansa by getting drunk enough she cannot even escort Sansa anymore as well as being a snob about knighthood and comparing the men of WF's guard badly to it, and being inattentive when LF makes a move to Sansa. 

I consider her a stupid, ignorant snob, who shouldn't be rearing any girl. But it takes time and experience for Ned to realize this. There are subtextual signs that he starts to catch on that Mordane isn't adequate enough. For example, the very next day after the first day of the tourney, Ned does join Sansa as spectator and does not rely on Mordane anymore to watch out over Sansa in that setting. He also makes sure Arya is not left under Mordane's care anymore, but her dancing master.  So, he does try to circumvent Mordane at some point in a subtle way. And he's clearly starting to question Mordane when she takes Sansa to the throne room when he deals with the appeals instead of Robert. So, he doesn't remain completely ignorant.

But even the best of modern parents may end up trusting another adult time alone with their children while being deceived by that adult.

 

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And Cat would be the one to have more contact with the Septa so it's really on her to make sure the Septa is not an alcoholic or a horrible teacher.

Yes, Cat would have known far better, and in that feudal society I consider her far more responsible than Ned in putting up with the Septa. Cat knows from personal experience what Septas' tasks. She must have had a Septa herself at one time. Then again, Cat herself is southern and considers the North as "different" and romanticises the south herself. If Mordane indulged in this within Cat's hearing, I doubt Cat intervened in it or saw any harm in it.

Also, what is your evidence that the Septa is an "alcoholic"? Has it been cited that she regularly drinks herself into a stupor? If it was a habbit, then why is Sansa so surprised to see Mordane passed out? On top of that, alcoholics require a great amount of alocohol before they pass out, far more than a non habituated drinker. Someone who is not used to drinking, but indulges in drinking once every few years, will pass out far sooner. Mordane's passing out at the party at a still decent hour indicates that she is not a habitual drinker, but indulged in it for once and too much to what she's used to, hence she passed out. It's still irresponsible of her, while she is to chaperone Sansa, but it does not make her an alcoholic.

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But Ned is the head of his family.

He is, but also a Hand, a Lord, etc. These are the reasons why in a feudal society parents aren't the ones doing the actual rearing or parenting.

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I do wonder how the girls would have been raised if Ned hadn't been up for Cat's southern ways. After all a Septa is not a thing of the North. Who would have been in charge of the child rearing then as far as the girls are concerned?

Exactly, a Septa isn't a northern thing. The Manderlys would have Septas, but at Winterfell she's the first. It seems to me that Old Nan might have had the daily rearing of Lyanna as her task during Ned's generation. When there are no governesses like Septas (nuns) doing it, then usually the wetnurse remains as immediate caretaker of the daughters (think of Juliet's wetnurse in Romeo and Juliet), while younger girls would see to the grooming like handmaids. At a certain age they may be warded out as cupbearer for a few years. We tend to think of "cupbearers" as being boys, but in actuality the cupbearer was a task for a nobleman's daughter. That's how they learn ceremony via experience while not in a position to freely talk. Sowing, needlework, weaving or spindling would be something they are set to do as the family sits together and something they learn from their mother. 

(Based on how girls were taught in the middle ages, before there was such a thing as a "governess" and nuns lived in convents. Others had their daughters sent to nunneries to be taught there, but that tends to be of later times, cost a lot of money, and usually by the age girls were reaching menarch).

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And my main problem with Ned as a parent has little to do with pre-story child rearing. He was the parent with the girls when they left WF. How are they not his responsibility then? Or his main concern for that matter? Ned cares more about Robert, his honor (until he abandons it way too late), Cersei's children and investigating Jon Arryn's death than he does his girls, especially Sansa.

Because his primary job isn't being a parent to his children, but being the Hand. You are inserting your modern day concept of hands on parenting into a society where they don't have that concept. Think of Arianne for example. She raised herself so to speak, along with her friends. Her raising herself was the norm in the middle ages.

So, contrary to what you think, Ned was a far more pro-active parent than most men of his society would be, especially when it comes to daughters.

Edited by sweetsunray

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