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Sansa, the Mountain Clans, the “Ivy Special Ops Team,” and an Avalanche


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It has been years since I read a post on Westeros.org by @sweetsunray detailing her Giant’s Lance Avalanche theory. The evidence laid out in the essay is convincing in an “of course!” sort of way, but a key factor is missing: What – or rather, who – initiates the avalanche? Mountain people (and ski patrols) know about snow. They know when conditions are right for an avalanche and they know how to get one started. My first whirlwind read of the books left me thinking that the Mountain Clans had a role to play in Sansa’s story line, but it takes more than a breezy read to find supporting evidence. A more leisurely re-read finds me having just finished the last Alayne (Sansa) chapter in AFFC, I thought I’d re-visit Westeros.org to see what recent thinking has been about the Vale. Thanks to @Phylum of Alexandria (I lived there for 25 years and am okay with thinking about its residents as a distinct phylum) for including a link to Shadrich, Morgarth and Byron – Mythological weave of Ice & Fire (sweeticeandfiresunray.com) where SweetSunRay’s excellent work is compiled. The extended Shadrich, Morgath, and Bryon (nicknamed the “Ivy Special Ops Team”) essay is outstanding – love it all. But again, the role of the Mountain Clans is given short shrift. I’m posting here to point out GRRM’s clues that Sansa will meet the Mountain Clans again and what that might portend.

To start at the beginning, As Tyrion and Bronn are leaving the Vale after the Trial by Combat, they are waylaid by the Clans in AGoT Tyrion VI. Tyrion makes the clans his allies through promises.  

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But Gunthor raised a hand. "No. I would hear his words. The mothers go hungry, and steel fills more mouths than gold. What would you give us for your lives, Tyrion son of Tywin? Swords? Lances? Mail?"

"All that, and more, Gunthor son of Gurn," Tyrion Lannister replied, smiling. "I will give you the Vale of Arryn."

 

 Tyrion has clearly thought about how to achieve the most extravagant and vengeful promise, but “was never given the chance” to flesh out his plan. He introduces his father to the new allies in Tyrion VII (AGoT)  

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Tyrion was about to tell his lord father how he proposed to reduce the Vale of Arryn to a smoking wasteland, but he was never given the chance. The door banged open again. The messenger gave Tyrion's clansmen a quick, queer look as he dropped to one knee before Lord Tywin. "My lord," he said, "Ser Addam bid me tell you that the Stark host is moving down the causeway."

 Whatever Tyrion’s plans may have been then, bringing the clans into his orbit laid the groundwork for Sansa’s arc to intersect with the clans. The “Ivy Special Ops Team” theory speculates that Ser Byron is actually Sandor Clegane glamoured with the important role of being able to conclusively identify Sansa. Why not? But Sandor’s familiarity with Sansa is not unique in the Vale.

 In ACoK Sansa tells us numerous times that she works hard to look her best in public because Joffrey demands it. She is successful and it is noticed.  In Tyrion VI (ACoK), Acting Hand Tyrion sits on the Iron Throne from which he can look over the crowd:

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 Courtiers filled the gallery while supplicants clustered near the towering oak-and-bronze doors. Sansa Stark looked especially lovely this morning, though her face was as pale as milk

 On his return from Kings Landing, Ser Cleos Frey tells Catelyn:

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 His brow was damp with sweat. "I saw Sansa at the court, the day Tyrion told me his terms. She looked most beautiful, my lady. Perhaps a, a bit wan. Drawn, as it were." (Catelyn Vi ACoK)

 Although both Tyrion and Ser Cleos are talking about the same event, it’s likely that Sansa’s daily demeanor is studied by everyone at court because of her beauty, her care in making sure that she looks her best, and the gossip/news value of her relationship with Joffrey.

 In addition to her regular appearances at court, GRRM makes sure that the reader is aware that Sansa is specifically known to the clansmen. In Sansa III (ACoK), Joffrey has Sansa stripped and beaten in open court. The scene is well known because Tyrion puts a stop to it and the Hound covers her with his cloak. Both Bronn and Timett son of Timett are with Tyrion in the throne room. What happens next has not been as thoroughly discussed by the community. Sansa is brought to Tyrion’s (the Hand’s) apartments where she watched over by clansmen.  

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"Fear is better than love, Mother says." Joffrey pointed at Sansa. "She fears me."

The Imp sighed. "Yes, I see. A pity Stannis and Renly aren't twelve-year-old girls as well. Bronn, Timett, bring her."

Sansa moved as if in a dream. She thought the Imp's men would take her back to her bedchamber in Maegor's Holdfast, but instead they conducted her to the Tower of the Hand. She had not set foot inside that place since the day her father fell from grace, and it made her feel faint to climb those steps again. (Sansa III ACoK)

 

 

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In the Tower of the Hand Sansa is cleaned up, tended to by Maester Frenken, and falls asleep. When she wakes, she finds Chella of the Broken Ears clan guarding her door:

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It was dark when she woke again, not quite knowing where she was, the room both strange and strangely familiar. As she rose, a stab of pain went through her legs and brought it all back. Tears filled her eyes. Someone had laid out a robe for her beside the bed. Sansa slipped it on and opened the door. Outside stood a hard-faced woman with leathery brown skin, three necklaces looped about her scrawny neck. One was gold and one was silver and one was made of human ears. "Where does she think she's going?" the woman asked, leaning on a tall spear.

"The godswood." She had to find Ser Dontos, beg him to take her home now before it was too late.

"The halfman said you're not to leave," the woman said. "Pray here, the gods will hear." (Sansa III ACoK)

 

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 Later, Tyrion offers clansmen as guards:

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"You may sleep here tonight. I'll give you some of my own men as a guard, some Stone Crows perhaps—"

"No," Sansa blurted out, aghast. If she was locked in the Tower of the Hand, guarded by the dwarf's men, how would Ser Dontos ever spirit her away to freedom?

"Would you prefer Black Ears? I'll give you Chella if a woman would make you more at ease." (Sansa III ACoK)

 

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 Sansa refuses, returning to her own quarters, but the clues have been delivered: Sansa is recognizable to everyone who frequented King Joffrey’s court and, in particular, to clansmen of the Mountains of the Moon who also understand that “the halfman” thinks she’s important.

The clans have returned home. There are no POVs to tell the reader for a certainty that the clans know that Tyrion and Sansa married or that both are now on the run, but both are topics of conversation among travelers and at every inn. In ASoS, Arya hears that the clans have become more dangerous since returning to the mountains: 

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His [The Hound’s] dream of selling Arya to Lady Arryn died there in the hills, though. "There's frost above us and snow in the high passes," the village elder said. "If you don't freeze or starve, the shadowcats will get you, or the cave bears. There's the clans as well. The Burned Men are fearless since Timett One-Eye came back from the war. And half a year ago, Gunthor son of Gurn led the Stone Crows down on a village not eight miles from here. They took every woman and every scrap of grain, and killed half the men. They have steel now, good swords and mail hauberks, and they watch the high road—the Stone Crows, the Milk Snakes, the Sons of the Mist, all of them. Might be you'd take a few with you, but in the end they'd kill you and make off with your daughter." {Arya XII ASoS).

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 One of Sansa’s skills is understanding familial relationships and implications for inheritance:  

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"Which brings us back to the five remaining daughters of Elys and Alys. The eldest had been left terribly scarred by the same pox that killed her sisters, so she became a septa. Another was seduced by a sellsword. Ser Elys cast her out, and she joined the silent sisters after her bastard died in infancy. The third wed the Lord of the Paps, but proved barren. The fourth was on her way to the riverlands to marry some Bracken when Burned Men carried her off. That left the youngest, who wed a landed knight sworn to the Waynwoods, gave him a son that she named Harrold, and perished." He turned her hand over and lightly kissed her wrist. "So tell me, sweetling—why is Harry the Heir?"

Her eyes widened. "He is not Lady Waynwood's heir. He's Robert's heir. If Robert were to die . . ." (Alayne II ASoS)

 

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The likelihood that Timett son of Timett is the son of Elys’ and Alys’ fourth daughter has been theorized before. What is needed to make it clear that Timett’s claim supercedes Harry the Heir’s is bringing Timett and Sansa (and/or Littlefinger) together.

 Finally, after all these words, here’s my theory:

·       On the day of the Tourney, with the Vale’s knights, gentry, commons, assembled at the base of the Giant’s Lance, the Mountain Clans precipitate an avalanche that descends on the Gates of the Moon. Many people die – including Harry -  and many are trapped beneath the snow such as those on the Lord’s viewing stand – Sweetrobin, Sansa, Littlefinger, the Royce’s and other Lords Declarant.

·       It seems likely that the “Ivy Special Ops Team” survives as well – maybe their pavilion is located well away from the base of mountain.

·       If Sansa’s warging/skinchanging ability is ever to develop this is the time. It is widely accepted that sensory deprivation, particularly sight, is key - Bran’s time in Winterfell’s crypts, Arya’s blindness at the House of Black and White. Sansa could reach out to John Arryn’s favorite falcon to help pinpoint where rescuers should dig.

·       Whether helped by telekinesis or not, those on the Lord’s viewing stand are rescued after some period of time.

·       The clans are wildlings – they steal women.

·       Sansa is recognized and conversations ensue.

 Tyrion tells us that Sansa “is good at this” – “this” being soothing and flattering people, making them feel special – and she’s been tutored in statecraft by Littlefinger as well as by observation. She can suggest marriages  - Timett and Miranda seems like a pretty good match for example. The aftermath of all this is that Sansa helps bring about an alliance of the Vale powers that be and the wildlings, much as John Snow tried to do at the Wall. Marriages are made, the forces of the Vale are integrated, Team Ivy is strengthened by the inclusion of the Special Ops Team, maybe the Blackfish shows up and helps pull the forces together. The Vale becomes perhaps one of, if not the, most powerful military force in Westeros. Littlefinger remains an important player, but Sansa’s star is rising. She doesn’t fully understand about Littlefinger until she meets up with Jeyne Poole. He has until then.

 But that’s a story for another day.

 What do you think?

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So, your theory is that the mountain clans start an avalanche to wipe out and kill as many of the Vale lords as possible. The clans for some reason then decide to dig out and rescue survivors instead of letting the snow finish off even more Vale lords. The survivors for some reason decide to form multiple marriage alliances with their "rescuers". All because some adolescent girl has a pretty face and talks sweetly to everyone. Also, even though the "mountain" clans actually live in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon, I suppose they know all about mountain snow and formation of avalanches because they have mountain in their name.

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I love avalanche theory - have done ever since sweetsunray posted here; though to be fair Catelyn gave us a pretty good hint from the start (if she says it would be easy to start an avalanche, I think we have to believe it, else what's that line for?)

Personally, I thought Tyrion would set it off - if he gets his hands on a dragon, he will need to retreat sharpish from Dany's wrath (her present attitude is 'my dragons' and I don't think she's ready to let go.)

So where better to go than the Vale? - remote and hard to reach, the place where his wildling army is, the place where Checkov's oxen await to attract a hungry dragon.

The wildlings could succeed on their own, but that wouldn't  fulfil the theme that a Lannister always pays his debts, and Tyrion did promise to deliver the Vale.

I'm not expecting Sansa to play marriage broker though - she won't be pleased to be negotiating with the killers of her friends and the knights of the tourney. And Myranda won't want to marry Timmett, who is just not her type: 'Every clan in the Mountains of the Moon feared the Burned Men [...] And even the other Burned Men feared Timett.' , and 'even Bronn kept a respectful tongue around Timmet. If a man was mad enough to put out his own eye, he was unlikely to be gentle to his enemies.', and "Timett killed a man [...] pinned his wrist to the table and ripped out his throat barehanded".

A clan victory would be a humanitarian disaster for the Vale.

 

Edited by Springwatch
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It would be pretty interesting if Shadrich’s attempted kidnapping led to Sansa ending up back with the Vale clans and we got to see how she dealt with them. It would be good practice for when she is (presumably) back among the northerners.

I disagree with most of Preston Jacobs’ theories, but I like his one about how Harry might die by a lance through the groin like his ancestor, Humphrey. Either way, I don’t think Harry is long for the world, nor do I believe Sweetrobin is going to die anytime soon. 

I very much believe that Littlefinger’s ultimate plan is to marry Sansa to Aegon. He’s very intent on teaching her how to seduce young men, and the “three queens” line is ominous. If George really wants to be poetic, he can have Aegon marry Arianne first and then try to take Sansa as a second wife, just like Rhaegar did with Elia and Lyanna. That said, I don’t think LF’s plan will work out, since a) Tyrion is still alive, and giving Sansa a husband who refuses to drop dead was probably very deliberate in the planning of the series, and b) it would be a bit of a regression for Sansa to fall for the prettyboy prince again. I doubt Aegon is anywhere near as cruel or mad as Joffrey, but that isn’t really saying much. Maybe Aegon will fall hard for her, and maybe she’ll like him well enough (and maybe we, as the readers, will even feel sympathy for him), but I don’t think it’ll be enough for her to want to marry him and be his queen. Perhaps Sansa will have learned enough by then to find her own way out of Littlefinger’s scheme.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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23 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I very much believe that Littlefinger’s ultimate plan is to marry Sansa to Aegon.

That's much more believable than the supposed plan he gave to Sansa. My main problem with it, though, is that Littlefinger seems to want Sansa for himself. Perhaps he's OK with someone else having her first as long as he eventually gets her.

Tyrion's continued existence is going to be an ongoing issue for Sansa's story. I agree with you that this might have been deliberate on Martin's part. Aegon as king, however, might be one of the very few in a position to have her marriage to Tyrion annulled.

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18 minutes ago, Groo said:

That's much more believable than the supposed plan he gave to Sansa. My main problem with it, though, is that Littlefinger seems to want Sansa for himself. Perhaps he's OK with someone else having her first as long as he eventually gets her.

Tyrion's continued existence is going to be an ongoing issue for Sansa's story. I agree with you that this might have been deliberate on Martin's part. Aegon as king, however, might be one of the very few in a position to have her marriage to Tyrion annulled.

Yeah, that’s why I also think he might end up marrying Arianne before meeting Sansa, to add another obstacle.

The cognitive dissonance between LF wanting to use Sansa as his pawn while also wanting her for himself will probably be his downfall.  Despite his reputation for brilliance, LF also seems to disconnect from reality a bit when he first kisses her, just like Lysa does. He doesn’t seem to realize the potential consequences of him getting caught kissing his niece/fake daughter right out in the open.

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2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

It would be pretty interesting if Shadrich’s attempted kidnapping led to Sansa ending up back with the Vale clans and we got to see how she dealt with them. It would be good practice for when she is (presumably) back among the northerners.

It would be the performance of her life, no doubt about it, but I don't think the clans are meant to be typical of  Ned's people. Kneelers kneel, and wildlings are meant to be wild, and that's just the magical fantasy rules of this world.

1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The cognitive dissonance between LF wanting to use Sansa as his pawn while also wanting her for himself will probably be his downfall.  Despite his reputation for brilliance, LF also seems to disconnect from reality a bit when he first kisses her, just like Lysa does. He doesn’t seem to realize the potential consequences of him getting caught kissing his niece/fake daughter right out in the open.

Agree, LF is a bit crazy (or a lot), and a split personality besides: crazy LF who loves chaos and would probably like to rape her; and almost normal Petyr, who is a bit of a crook but wants the best possible marriage for his beloved daughter. He'd settle for King Aegon, but I bet he'd despise him.

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2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Yeah, that’s why I also think he might end up marrying Arianne before meeting Sansa, to add another obstacle.

The cognitive dissonance between LF wanting to use Sansa as his pawn while also wanting her for himself will probably be his downfall.  Despite his reputation for brilliance, LF also seems to disconnect from reality a bit when he first kisses her, just like Lysa does. He doesn’t seem to realize the potential consequences of him getting caught kissing his niece/fake daughter right out in the open.

Well, because of the Others, some of the wildlings are surely going to assimilate to one degree or another. We’re already seeing it with that Thenn who married Alys Karstark and started his own house, and a few of the wildling men who joined the Watch in ADWD.

A lot of people characterize LF as this ultra-controlled and calculating man, but the scene where he essentially assaults Sansa proves that isn’t completely true. I think it also indicates that his “love” for Cat was more about her beauty/power/prestige than it was about her as a person, and how being her husband would have reflected on him. If he really loved Cat, he would have gone to be with her after Ned’s death and tried to win her over. Instead he started pursuing her younger, prettier, even more highborn teenage daughter. 

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On 12/8/2021 at 2:09 PM, Springwatch said:

I love avalanche theory - have done ever since sweetsunray posted here; though to be fair Catelyn gave us a pretty good hint from the start (if she says it would be easy to start an avalanche, I think we have to believe it, else what's that line for?)

Yes. I think the avalanche will have something to do with Alyssa's Tears: the legend or the waterfall. We saw Bronn topple the statue of Alyssa during the trial by combat, leading to the defeat of "Jon Arryn's good right hand" and the exoneration of Tyrion. There are plot points and symbolism linking Catelyn / Lady Stoneheart to the statue. There is the "toppling" of Lysa through the Moon Door. 

But the mountain clans could be linked to the avalanche as well: the Eyrie is built on the "shoulder" of a mountain called The Giant's Lance. I have read this as a parallel to Gregor Clegane, who is known as The Mountain That Rides and who uses a lance to kill Ser Hugh of the Vale in one of our first glimpses of him. Ser Gregor, Tyrion and the mountain clans come together for an improbable (but Pyrrhic) success in "holding the river" at the Battle on the Green Fork (defeating Stark bannerman Roose Bolton). If the avalanche in the Vale begins on the Giant's Lance, we may see teamwork again involving the mountain clans working with the Mountain that Rides.

On 12/8/2021 at 2:09 PM, Springwatch said:

Checkov's oxen

Love this! Dragon fodder makes perfect sense!

Another set of clues about Sansa in the Vale may come from the story of Nettles. I think there is a parallel between Prince Daemon (husband of Rhaenyra) and Petyr Baelish (who I suspect is a Blackfyre descendant). There are ambiguous stories about the relationship between Prince Daemon and Nettles - some say they were lovers; others say he treated her as a daughter. After incurring the wrath of the queen, Nettles escapes to the Vale and the Mountains of the Moon on a dragon called Sheepsteeler. One of these days I will write up my grand unified theory of peach and sheep symbolism but, for now, I'll just say that Renly eating a peach is linked to the dragon eating sheep. 

Wordplay (a near anagram) also links Nettles and Tanselle, from the Dunk & Egg stories. I believe Tanselle is a symbolic Missy Blackwood, mother of Bloodraven. Her arch rival was Barbra Bracken, mother of Bittersteel. We see the Missy / Barbra rivalry starting to emerge in the dialogue of Miranda Royce as she descends from the Eyrie with Alayne and compares the size of their bosoms. So I love the idea that Sansa will bring about a betrothal and wedding between the mountain clans and Randa Royce. It is a neat parallel to the Alys Karstark marriage to the Thenn but it may also put to rest the ancient Bracken / Blackwood enmity as currently embodied by Alayne and Myranda and resolves "ownership" of The Teats.

I don't think Sansa will marry anyone, in spite of Littlefinger's plans (or fake plans). She is destined to fly deeper into the Mountains of the Moon, like Nettles, escaping all of the machinations of the highborn houses and royal manipulators. She may return to Tyrion in some way, shape or form, but I don't think they will consummate their marriage. 

 

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3 hours ago, Seams said:

Yes. I think the avalanche will have something to do with Alyssa's Tears: the legend or the waterfall. We saw Bronn topple the statue of Alyssa during the trial by combat, leading to the defeat of "Jon Arryn's good right hand" and the exoneration of Tyrion. There are plot points and symbolism linking Catelyn / Lady Stoneheart to the statue. There is the "toppling" of Lysa through the Moon Door. 

But the mountain clans could be linked to the avalanche as well: the Eyrie is built on the "shoulder" of a mountain called The Giant's Lance. I have read this as a parallel to Gregor Clegane, who is known as The Mountain That Rides and who uses a lance to kill Ser Hugh of the Vale in one of our first glimpses of him. Ser Gregor, Tyrion and the mountain clans come together for an improbable (but Pyrrhic) success in "holding the river" at the Battle on the Green Fork (defeating Stark bannerman Roose Bolton). If the avalanche in the Vale begins on the Giant's Lance, we may see teamwork again involving the mountain clans working with the Mountain that Rides.

Love this! Dragon fodder makes perfect sense!

Another set of clues about Sansa in the Vale may come from the story of Nettles. I think there is a parallel between Prince Daemon (husband of Rhaenyra) and Petyr Baelish (who I suspect is a Blackfyre descendant). There are ambiguous stories about the relationship between Prince Daemon and Nettles - some say they were lovers; others say he treated her as a daughter. After incurring the wrath of the queen, Nettles escapes to the Vale and the Mountains of the Moon on a dragon called Sheepsteeler. One of these days I will write up my grand unified theory of peach and sheep symbolism but, for now, I'll just say that Renly eating a peach is linked to the dragon eating sheep. 

Wordplay (a near anagram) also links Nettles and Tanselle, from the Dunk & Egg stories. I believe Tanselle is a symbolic Missy Blackwood, mother of Bloodraven. Her arch rival was Barbra Bracken, mother of Bittersteel. We see the Missy / Barbra rivalry starting to emerge in the dialogue of Miranda Royce as she descends from the Eyrie with Alayne and compares the size of their bosoms. So I love the idea that Sansa will bring about a betrothal and wedding between the mountain clans and Randa Royce. It is a neat parallel to the Alys Karstark marriage to the Thenn but it may also put to rest the ancient Bracken / Blackwood enmity as currently embodied by Alayne and Myranda and resolves "ownership" of The Teats.

I don't think Sansa will marry anyone, in spite of Littlefinger's plans (or fake plans). She is destined to fly deeper into the Mountains of the Moon, like Nettles, escaping all of the machinations of the highborn houses and royal manipulators. She may return to Tyrion in some way, shape or form, but I don't think they will consummate their marriage. 

 

Yeah, I don’t think any of LF’s marriage plans will work out. If Sansa becomes Lady of Winterfell, then she’ll have to get married eventually (unless Arya gets married instead and her kids become Sansa’s heirs, which is what I suspect will be the case with Theon and Asha), but even then I don’t think that will be until the very end of the series, and not to someone of LF’s choosing. 

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18 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Yeah, I don’t think any of LF’s marriage plans will work out. If Sansa becomes Lady of Winterfell, then she’ll have to get married eventually (unless Arya gets married instead and her kids become Sansa’s heirs, which is what I suspect will be the case with Theon and Asha), but even then I don’t think that will be until the very end of the series, and not to someone of LF’s choosing. 

Sansa not having a husband or heirs of her own is reminiscent of Elizabeth Tudor. It is defintly possible.

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1 hour ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Sansa not having a husband or heirs of her own is reminiscent of Elizabeth Tudor. It is defintly possible.

yes, that is quite possible. though I suspect the author might give her a bastard (with a father of her choosing of course) to continue Stark line; just like her ancestor who had Bael's child... a Bastard Stark. 

also , I personally find it infuriating that Sansa - a sweet girl with sweet dreams - should leave all her ideals behind because of all the horrible men who came in her way to finally become this all iron lady. she used to believe in knighthood , chivalry and love ; her problem was that she was inexperienced and was fooled by masks and glamour. it will be a a more powerful story in my opinion if she keeps her beliefs and hopes and acquires agency in the same time. and I hope she experiences love , otherwise it would mean Joffrey and Littlefinger have paralyzed her in that regard.

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Elizabeth one or Elizabeth of York. They were both declared bastards. It didn’t matter if it was true or not. Elizabeth Woodville was supposed to be a witch, ( or why would her husband be so attracted to her..hmm) as was Anne Boleyn, or any woman that you didn’t like. If necessary, you could impugn their Mom, or claim adultery. 

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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

yes, that is quite possible. though I suspect the author might give her a bastard (with a father of her choosing of course) to continue Stark line; just like her ancestor who had Bael's child... a Bastard Stark. 

also , I personally find it infuriating that Sansa - a sweet girl with sweet dreams - should leave all her ideals behind because of all the horrible men who came in her way to finally become this all iron lady. she used to believe in knighthood , chivalry and love ; her problem was that she was inexperienced and was fooled by masks and glamour. it will be a a more powerful story in my opinion if she keeps her beliefs and hopes and acquires agency in the same time. and I hope she experiences love , otherwise it would mean Joffrey and Littlefinger have paralyzed her in that regard.

Any ideas who this Bael figure might be?

Another option might be that we will be given an open ending regarding whether Sansa marries or not.

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27 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Any ideas who this Bael figure might be?

for Sansa? no idea... it better be a nobody decent lad. though, my tinfoil shipping screams Ned Dayne!

27 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Another option might be that we will be given an open ending regarding whether Sansa marries or not.

of course.

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3 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Sansa not having a husband or heirs of her own is reminiscent of Elizabeth Tudor. It is defintly possible.

Elizabeth I had relatives though. The only way Sansa can get away with not having heirs is if Arya does instead. Otherwise House Stark will die with her and there will be a huge succession crisis. 

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17 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Elizabeth I had relatives though. The only way Sansa can get away with not having heirs is if Arya does instead. Otherwise House Stark will die with her and there will be a huge succession crisis. 

She could perhaps designate a heir? Not a perfect solution but it could work.

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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

yes, that is quite possible. though I suspect the author might give her a bastard (with a father of her choosing of course) to continue Stark line; just like her ancestor who had Bael's child... a Bastard Stark. 

also , I personally find it infuriating that Sansa - a sweet girl with sweet dreams - should leave all her ideals behind because of all the horrible men who came in her way to finally become this all iron lady. she used to believe in knighthood , chivalry and love ; her problem was that she was inexperienced and was fooled by masks and glamour. it will be a a more powerful story in my opinion if she keeps her beliefs and hopes and acquires agency in the same time. and I hope she experiences love , otherwise it would mean Joffrey and Littlefinger have paralyzed her in that regard.

I mean, I don't think GRRM would have spent all these books building up her relationship with/longing for Sandor if it wasn't going to go somewhere. If she's going to have a love affair with anyone, he seems like the natural candidate.

I completely agree that Sansa becoming bitter and jaded by her experiences with men would be a tragedy for her, not a victory. 

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54 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I mean, I don't think GRRM would have spent all these books building up her relationship with/longing for Sandor if it wasn't going to go somewhere. If she's going to have a love affair with anyone, he seems like the natural candidate.

I agree with you. they clearly share a bond and have a unique affection for each other. she  definitely had been a great influence on him and he  had become an important figure to her. but I can't see them in a relationship/affair in a traditional sense. I know he had lust after her before and she reminisces the kiss that never happened ... but the way I see it, they will have more of a spiritual bond than anything else.. one another's guardians , allies and confidants . ... moreover , there is an issue regarding their relationship... it hasn't been exactly healthy with him putting a dagger on her throat . besides , a girl turning a guy to a better man and finally hooking up with him makes it sound like a bit of a cliché.

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