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Heresy 238 The Song of Sansa the Snow Queen

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

The bolded ["Rhaegar never denied it"] remains the primary hurdle I have with this theory as well; upon his return from Dorne, Rhaegar interacted with Jaime, and marched to the Trident with Barristan, yet neither man recalls Rhaegar proclaiming his innocence, or presenting himself as a man who has been falsely accused. 
 

This is of course perfectly true, and there's no getting over or around that in considering this question, but what's rather more interesting is what he doesn't say.

First the facts, as we know them. Prince Rhaegar, the second man in the kingdom, abducts a young noblewoman in broad daylight, thus triggering a dangerous rebellion, but then disappears for months on end in the midst of the biggest crisis since the Blackfyre business

Popular legend has it that he abducted Lyanna for love and ever since has been rogering her senseless in a ruined tower in the mountains. Yet his middle name is duty. What little he does say, is that he intends to put the kingdom to rights. There's no explanation, justification or excuses for the abduction. That suggests that he considered that what he had done was for the good of the state and needed no justification from him, ie; he had done it to prevent a greater evil*

The ballad-singers version came later

 

*making a third head for a prophesied dragon doesn't count, that's metaphysics not realpolitick

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7 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

It's amazingly Tully, that's what strikes me. A hint of past loyalties perhaps?

Yes, but I'd say it also speaks more to the Tullys' old allegiances

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1 minute ago, Black Crow said:

Yes, but I'd say it also speaks more to the Tullys' old allegiances

It does? I'm fascinated, do tell.

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40 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

It does? I'm fascinated, do tell.

It's simple enough. This is consistent with the Reeds oath to Bran - swearing by earth and water.

Looking more broadly, the Targaryen Dragonlords were suddenly looking at a very dangerous set of alliances; The Stark Kings of Winter; the Baratheon Stormlords, the Tullys of the Riverlands and the Arryns in the Vale.

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7 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'm quite fascinated by the Mad Mouse showing up at this point because his sigil (albino mouse)  harkens back to the KotLT.  I don't think he is meant as a distraction but may be Howland Reed in disguise come to protect the Stark heiress.   As he says, this mouse runs towards danger.  Especially since Ned would have died if it wasn't for Howland.  We don't know where the Shady Glen is located but it's a reference to mountainous areas and their valleys.  The bendy blue and brown representing the lands and waters he has crossed.  This is consistent with the Reeds oath to Bran - swearing by earth and water.

 

1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

It's amazingly Tully, that's what strikes me. A hint of past loyalties perhaps?

Can't avoid thinking that there is a mudman thread to pull there. First thought goes to the sigil of House Tully:

Quote

Mud red and watery blue

 With "mud red" we go a bit north to the sigil of House Mudd from the place now known as Oldstones:

Quote

A golden crown studded with emeralds, on a red-brown field

From there the leap to the mudmen/crannogmen (their old neighbours to the north ) is not too big (Mallisters are Andals and Freys didn't exist at the time of the Mudds)

Edited by Tucu

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42 minutes ago, Tucu said:

From there the leap to the mudmen/crannogmen (their old neighbours to the north ) is not too big (Mallisters are Andals and Freys didn't exist at the time of the Mudds)

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Bran II

Bran was almost certain he had never heard this story. "Did he have green dreams like Jojen?"

"No," said Meera, "but he could breathe mud and run on leaves, and change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word. He could talk to trees and weave words and make castles appear and disappear."

 

A Dragonfly Among the Reeds - Is Howland Reed the Grandson of Duncan the Small? - General (ASoIaF) - A Forum of Ice and Fire - A Song of Ice and Fire & Game of Thrones (westeros.org)

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42 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

It's simple enough. This is consistent with the Reeds oath to Bran - swearing by earth and water.

Looking more broadly, the Targaryen Dragonlords were suddenly looking at a very dangerous set of alliances; The Stark Kings of Winter; the Baratheon Stormlords, the Tullys of the Riverlands and the Arryns in the Vale.

Brandon was promised to Catelyn, but Ned wasn't promised until after Robert needed help. Prior to Stoney Sept it was just the forces of Jon Arryn and his wards Robert and Ned. The World Books states that in 276-277 Catelyn was 12 years old when Hoster told her that he had promised her to Brandon and she thanked him for making such a splendid match. Meanwhile, wasn't Ned ten years old when he was sent to Jon Arryn? These alliances weren't new when Lyanna went missing, and King Aerys didn't seem concerned until Brandon showed up at Kings Landing making threats. 

Rickard Stark's "southron ambitions" included marrying Brandon to a Riverlands lord. It was out of the ordinary for the Starks, but many other houses south of the Neck intermarried and nobody thought of them as "dangerous alliances". It's true Ned was a ward of Jon Arryn and this too may have been unusual - for the Starks - but Rickard was on friendly terms with Jon Arryn from when they fought together in the Stepstones. Before we can declare that Rickard's actions were "dangerous" we have to know what "southron ambitions" meant, because right now it seems to me that Rickard's actions were only unusual for the Starks.  

 

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30 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I like that one as a long bet and it fits nicely with the scene with Little Prince Bran and Lady Meera at the tumbledown tower:

Quote

They used Meera’s helm for a cooking pot, chopping up the catch into little cubes and tossing in some water and some wild onions Hodor had found to make a froggy stew. It wasn’t as good as deer, but it wasn’t bad either, Bran decided as he ate. “Thank you, Meera,” he said. “My lady.”

You are most welcome, Your Grace.”

 

Edited by Tucu

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Prince Rhaegar, the second man in the kingdom, abducts a young noblewoman in broad daylight, thus triggering a dangerous rebellion, but then disappears for months on end in the midst of the biggest crisis since the Blackfyre business

But isn't that what stupid princes do since the dawn of time?

The situation of Westeros before the tourney of Harrenhall reminds me of Europe 1914. Everybody is secretly preparing for war and scheming new alliances while officially being on friendly terms. All it needs is a cardboard prince and some wolfblood to start the inevitable war.

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12 hours ago, alienarea said:

But isn't that what stupid princes do since the dawn of time?

The situation of Westeros before the tourney of Harrenhall reminds me of Europe 1914. Everybody is secretly preparing for war and scheming new alliances while officially being on friendly terms. All it needs is a cardboard prince and some wolfblood to start the inevitable war.

It is indeed, but my point was that having done the dirty deed he then vanished during the ensuing crisis and afterwards made no excuses, explanations or attempts to justify himself. And yes, arguably that behaviour is only human but its also at odds with the virtuous character portrayed by his apologists

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23 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

It is indeed, but my point was that having done the dirty deed he then vanished during the ensuing crisis and afterwards made no excuses, explanations or attempts to justify himself. And yes, arguably that behaviour is only human but its also at odds with the virtuous character portrayed by his apologists

I don't care for his apologists ;)

Do we have a quote or SSM by GRRM on what he intended with the character?

On an abstract level we have the evil prince (Rhaegar) abducting the female lead (Lyanna) causing a war with her true love (Robert) who defeats and kills the evil prince. That is one of the oldest fantasy tropes.

GRRM, of course, spins the trope by having Lyanna die (no happy end), making Robert a womanizer, and Rhaegar an emo harpist lost in mythology.

Next trope is Jon as the true heir in hiding and Dawn as the magical sword to save the day (also in hiding).

And, getting back to the thread, Sansa being a victim first, then learning political intrigue to take revenge (and reclaim the family castle?) is a trope as well.

How do you negotiate with a White Walker? Plus, in the original outline Sansa is not a main character.

This circles back to my current understanding that ADwD is the end of the series. Five books like five acts as in a drama. The main characters from the outline have reached their endpoints: Jon (dead), Bran (tree), Arya (assassin), Daenerys (Vaes Dorhrak), Tyrion (exiled, whoring and drinking).

 

 

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1 hour ago, alienarea said:

I don't care for his apologists ;)

Do we have a quote or SSM by GRRM on what he intended with the character?

We don't, because of course he's already dead long before the story starts - which makes much of this discussion moot and renders the accusation by one witless clown a few years back, that I "hate" Rhaegar [because I wouldn't buy into the R+L=J/AA thing] ridiculous

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I'm on the fence regarding Sansa's fate. She seems to be repeating Ashara's life, for the most part. I have seen a few parallels to Lyanna too, but Arya already repeated most of Lyanna's life. Instead of dying Arya became "no one". I still believe Ashara is alive, living out her life in her family home as a "no one" named Wylla. Flipping these parallels I'd expect Sansa's true identity to be revealed, but her chances of survival afterward aren't looking good. She survived being pushed from a tower, but then again, I think Ashara did too. If one sister gets to live and one has to die, my money is on Arya living and Sansa dying. There may be a way for Sansa to survive. If Shadrich is Howland he has to abduct Sansa. He failed with Lyanna, so he may just succeed in saving Sansa.

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5 hours ago, alienarea said:

On an abstract level we have the evil prince (Rhaegar) abducting the female lead (Lyanna) causing a war with her true love (Robert) who defeats and kills the evil prince. That is one of the oldest fantasy tropes.

GRRM, of course, spins the trope by having Lyanna die (no happy end), making Robert a womanizer, and Rhaegar an emo harpist lost in mythology.

It’s all certainly a trope, I just don’t know if we’ve actually seen any spin on it, yet.  The Rhaegar/Lyanna seduction vs abduction angle is taken straight from the Paris/Helen of Troy tale.  

This bit probably being a wink at Rhaegar playing the part of Paris:

Quote

“As a young boy, the Prince of Dragonstone was bookish to a fault. He was reading so early that men said Queen Rhaella must have swallowed some books and a candle whilst he was in her womb.”

In Greek mythology, Paris’ mother allegedly dreamed that she gave birth to a burning torch.

And the Helen of Troy tale certainly did not have a happy ending for Helen.  In my opinion, that’s where the Greek tale is more interesting than this one.  In most sources, Helen found herself villified (rightly or wrongly) for the part she played in the war.  Somehow Lyanna seems to avoid that brush from either side of the war.  Perhaps because Aerys’ actions overshadowed everything else.

So if GRRM is truly going to break away from the trope, he’d have to find a way that Lyanna was neither seduced nor abducted by Rhaegar.

 

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44 minutes ago, Melifeather said:

I'm on the fence regarding Sansa's fate. She seems to be repeating Ashara's life, for the most part. I have seen a few parallels to Lyanna too, but Arya already repeated most of Lyanna's life. Instead of dying Arya became "no one". I still believe Ashara is alive, living out her life in her family home as a "no one" named Wylla. Flipping these parallels I'd expect Sansa's true identity to be revealed, but her chances of survival afterward aren't looking good. She survived being pushed from a tower, but then again, I think Ashara did too. If one sister gets to live and one has to die, my money is on Arya living and Sansa dying. There may be a way for Sansa to survive. If Shadrich is Howland he has to abduct Sansa. He failed with Lyanna, so he may just succeed in saving Sansa.

I think Tucu’s observation is my favorite.  Sansa rebuilding Winterfell come dawn.  It kind of lines up with one of GRRM’s favorite references, Gone with the Wind.  Where after the war and the devastation of her plantation, the formerly self absorbed, entitled Scarlett, takes it upon herself to rebuild Tara.

ETA: granted she marries Rhett to do it.  Hmm, maybe Littlefinger is GRRM’s Rhett Butler as well … eww.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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55 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think Tucu’s observation is my favorite.  Sansa rebuilding Winterfell come dawn.  It kind of lines up with one of GRRM’s favorite references, Gone with the Wind.  Where after the war and the devastation of her plantation, the formerly self absorbed, entitled Scarlett, takes it upon herself to rebuild Tara.

ETA: granted she marries Rhett to do it.  Hmm, maybe Littlefinger is GRRM’s Rhett Butler as well … eww.

GRRM's quote about Gone with the Wind was:

Quote

Book or show, which will be the “real” ending?   It’s a silly question.   How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?

How about this?  I’ll write it.   You read it.  Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.

In the movie version Scarlett only had the one child - Eugenie Victoria "Bonnie Blue" Butler, but in the book she had three. The other two were Wade Hampton Hamilton and Ella Lorena Kennedy. How this translates to GRRM's cryptic words is up for debate, but I think he's saying the more important child was featured and the other two were background material. In the end the movie basically told the same story, just condensed...if you call a nearly four-hour movie "condensed".

 

I really hope the books are very different than the show.

Edited by Melifeather

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2 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think Tucu’s observation is my favorite.  Sansa rebuilding Winterfell come dawn.  It kind of lines up with one of GRRM’s favorite references, Gone with the Wind.  Where after the war and the devastation of her plantation, the formerly self absorbed, entitled Scarlett, takes it upon herself to rebuild Tara.

ETA: granted she marries Rhett to do it.  Hmm, maybe Littlefinger is GRRM’s Rhett Butler as well … eww.

Littlefinger is the key here. No-one expects LF to survive beyond dawn. No-one expects Winterfell to be rebuilt before dawn (I've a feeling Winterfell's burnt and broken status is somehow important anyway, and besides, we've got to place the doll-giant somewhere).

Therefore the snow castle does not mean a literal Winterfell; it's some other power base she builds with Littlefinger. I'm beginning to think that power base has to be centred on the Eyrie, which is one of the mad magic castles (the justification for the crazy castles has not yet arrived), and a castle of snow besides. The building with LF motif is repeated in Winds (?)

Spoiler

when he gives her an Eyrie made of lemoncakes - all the lemons in the Vale. The very thing she's fixated on. He promises her Winterfell too - it's kind of a hybrid situation - maybe she needs to take control of the Eyrie and whatever is represented by hag's fingerbones, and the weirwood thrones - and turn it towards Winterfell.

 

Edited by Springwatch
word

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38 minutes ago, Springwatch said:

Littlefinger is the key here. No-one expects LF to survive beyond dawn. No-one expects Winterfell to be rebuilt before dawn (I've a feeling Winterfell's burnt and broken status is somehow important anyway, and besides, we've got to place the doll-giant somewhere).

Therefore the snow castle does not mean a literal Winterfell; it's some other power base she builds with Littlefinger. I'm beginning to think that power base has to be centred on the Eyrie, which is one of the mad magic castles (the justification for the crazy castles has not yet arrived), and a castle of snow besides. The building with LF motif is repeated in Winds (?)

  Hide contents

when he gives her an Eyrie made of lemoncakes - all the lemons in the Vale. The very thing she's fixated on. He promises her Winterfell too - it's kind of a hybrid situation - maybe she needs to take control of the Eyrie and whatever is represented by hag's fingerbones, and the weirwood thrones - and turn it towards Winterfell.

 

Sansa builds her Winterfell after Dawn. Dressed in white she drifts silently towards the location during the Night.

Edited by Tucu

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Therefore the snow castle does not mean a literal Winterfell; it's some other power base she builds with Littlefinger. I'm beginning to think that power base has to be centred on the Eyrie, which is one of the mad magic castles (the justification for the crazy castles has not yet arrived), and a castle of snow besides. The building with LF motif is repeated in Winds (?)

This is my favorite WOW quote and perhaps the biggest clue to Sansa’s role as the Winter Queen and perhaps Littlefinger’s grandiose plans for her:

Spoiler

"A beautiful bastard, and the Lord Protector's daughter." Petyr drew her close and kissed her on both cheeks. "The night belongs to you, sweetling, Remember that, always."

I’m starting to come around to the idea of Littlefinger carving out a Northern Kingdom, and crowning Sansa as it’s Queen.  The kingdom comprised of the North, the Riverlands, and the Vale.  Sansa is already the presumptive heir of Winterfell, Baelish has been given Harrenhal and at least the title of Lord Paramount of the Trident.  Now he seems to be maneuvering Sansa to wed Harry the Heir perhaps to ultimately give her or her line the inheritance of the Vale as well.

ETA: And it just occurred to me the carrot that Littlefinger will have to convince the lords of the Riverlands and the North:  all the food that he is having the Vale lords under his thumb save up.  Littlefinger knows a Long Night is coming.

Edited by Frey family reunion

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

Sansa builds her Winterfell after Dawn.

It's a strong image, and I'm not going to argue against Sansa restoring Winterfell after the long night. It's a reasonable scenario. But I'm certain LF and the doll-giant will not appear - so I'm expecting another iteration of the event which does include them.

1 hour ago, Tucu said:

Dressed in white she drifts silently towards the location during the Night.

At night she's drifting and dreaming and I think she has a ghostly sensation as well. And before dawn there's that missing slice of time, for which my prediction is she'll be effectively dead, in the same way that Jon is. Cold preserves, and the ice Wall will preserve Jon, and the Eyrie (the cold castle) could preserve Sansa. 

Pure speculation I know, but it solves a few problems, such as Sansa's undeveloped psychic skills - if she's forced to dream, Bran can build his bridges to her and start uniting the wolf-pack. Hard to see how it will happen otherwise.

 

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