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


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32 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

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.

Well, he’s currently checked in at Quiet Isle Rehabilitation Center, so I suspect that when Sandor resurfaces, he’ll have already faced a lot of his anger and regrets on his own.

The knife thing is definitely messed up, but is it any more messed up than incest, or Jon nearly beheading Ygritte, or Renly seducing his squire, or Jaime and Brienne beating the crap out of each other? All the relationships are toxic to one extent or another. (Plus, as we found out last week, it may have been semi-retconned by the comics at least).

Their connection reads as very sexually charged to me, but we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully we’ll get the rest of the series someday. . .

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12 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Well, he’s currently checked in at Quiet Isle Rehabilitation Center, so I suspect that when Sandor resurfaces, he’ll have already faced a lot of his anger and regrets on his own.

:P

12 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

The knife thing is definitely messed up, but is it any more messed up than incest, or Jon nearly beheading Ygritte, or Renly seducing his squire, or Jaime and Brienne beating the crap out of each other? All the relationships are toxic to one extent or another. (Plus, as we found out last week, it may have been semi-retconned by the comics at least).

yes. although all relationships in the series are toxic to an extent with modern standards, I do believe this one's a bit more messed up .

Jon - Ygritte and Jaimie -Brienne were both foes and both tried to kill each other.

Renly-Loras could be counted closer to Sandor-Sansa since in both relationships one person is obviously in a position of power. but the difference is Renly never effectively tried scaring Loras into submission , whereas Sandor did; and I'm not only referring to the dagger incident now, I'm also referring to many times that he frightened her knowingly for instance in book one after the tourney when he took her to her chambers. and yes the comic book page gave a more positive view on this couple but still after what Ran said , I gathered George is not that involved in these books and might have easily overlooked / missed this page. after all , he is an extremely busy man.  

finally , as for insect, we should remember the very definition varies  from culture to culture and country to country even in our world. for example, in some countries marriages between first-cousins is not only acceptable but it's also encouraged ; whereas in other countries such thing is not only frowned upon but is also illegal. so, it could be overlooked without much difficulty. 

12 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Their connection reads as very sexually charged to me, but we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully we’ll get the rest of the series someday. . .

seems somewhat sexually charged to me as well .but again , I'm not sure it will stay this way. after all, the kiss never happened and was only in her mind:)  

hopefully we will... and not when our hair has gone gray and our sight has impaired...

Edited by EggBlue
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1 hour ago, EggBlue said:

:P

yes. although all relationships in the series are toxic to an extent with modern standards, I do believe this one's a bit more messed up .

Jon - Ygritte and Jaimie -Brienne were both foes and both tried to kill each other.

Renly-Loras could be counted closer to Sandor-Sansa since in both relationships one person is obviously in a position of power. but the difference is Renly never effectively tried scaring Loras into submission , whereas Sandor did; and I'm not only referring to the dagger incident now, I'm also referring to many times that he frightened her knowingly for instance in book one after the tourney when he took her to her chambers. and yes the comic book page gave a more positive view on this couple but still after what Ran said , I gathered George is not that involved in these books and might have easily overlooked / missed this page. after all , he is an extremely busy man.  

finally , as for insect, we should remember the very definition varies  from culture to culture and country to country even in our world. for example, in some countries marriages between first-cousins is not only acceptable but it's also encouraged ; whereas in other countries such thing is not only frowned upon but is also illegal. so, it could be overlooked without much difficulty. 

seems somewhat sexually charged to me as well .but again , I'm not sure it will stay this way. after all, the kiss never happened and was only in her mind:)  

hopefully we will... and not when our hair has gone gray and our sight has impaired...

All valid points. We’ll have to see what Sandor is like as a character once he checks out of rehab. If this were real life, I would say the bridge has been burned, but I’m willing to overlook certain things in fiction if the author decides to develop the character in a more positive way as time goes on. For example, I would consider Ned a bad husband in real life for refusing to let Cat even ask about Jon’s mother, but I can overlook that here based on how their relationship developed afterwards. I would also feel differently if this series were aimed at teens rather than adults. 

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2 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

All valid points. We’ll have to see what Sandor is like as a character once he checks out of rehab. If this were real life, I would say the bridge has been burned, but I’m willing to overlook certain things in fiction if the author decides to develop the character in a more positive way as time goes on. For example, I would consider Ned a bad husband in real life for refusing to let Cat even ask about Jon’s mother, but I can overlook that here based on how their relationship developed afterwards. I would also feel differently if this series were aimed at teens rather than adults. 

In addition to all the other things mentioned about the messed up Sandor-Sansa interactions, my problem with that ship is how little they 'courted' for lack of a better word. They didn't spend any real time together and know almost nothing about each other. Sandor simply lusted after her and she made up a story in her head about being kissed by him, which doesnt spell romance in the way Sansa desired before being abused by Joffrey. Sandor was the sole pusher of the 'sexual charge' in their interactions, she didn't seem to care too much about him, which is why this ship bothers me.

If Sandor comes out of rehab with a more positive outlook towards realtionships and tries to woo Sansa, gets to know her rather than browbeat or intimidate her, it is something I might be on board with. But I don't really see that happening. Of course, I could be wrong :D

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15 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

In addition to all the other things mentioned about the messed up Sandor-Sansa interactions, my problem with that ship is how little they 'courted' for lack of a better word. They didn't spend any real time together and know almost nothing about each other. Sandor simply lusted after her and she made up a story in her head about being kissed by him, which doesnt spell romance in the way Sansa desired before being abused by Joffrey. Sandor was the sole pusher of the 'sexual charge' in their interactions, she didn't seem to care too much about him, which is why this ship bothers me.

If Sandor comes out of rehab with a more positive outlook towards realtionships and tries to woo Sansa, gets to know her rather than browbeat or intimidate her, it is something I might be on board with. But I don't really see that happening. Of course, I could be wrong :D

George had said that all the Starks have varying degrees of warging abilities, so I don’t think she made up the Unkiss so much as had some kind of premonition or split moment of telepathy. She no longer has a wolf to warg into like her siblings, so it may be coming out in other ways. 

We need @Le Cygne here to give us all the theories lol.

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10 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

George had said that all the Starks have varying degrees of warging abilities, so I don’t think she made up the Unkiss so much as had some kind of premonition or split moment of telepathy. She no longer has a wolf to warg into like her siblings, so it may be coming out in other ways. 

Even if she didnt make it up, it still makes the situation rather creepy and dubcon.

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On 12/10/2021 at 10:47 PM, 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.

So much! So much profound relevant ominous stuff brewing in the background - Alyssa, Stoneheart, Nettles, dragons, the curiously animated Mountain and Eyrie, the Moon everywhere....  Sansa's not going to leave this place, not for marriage, not for kidnap, not for rescue, not anything - the business of her life is right here. And how strange that will be.

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On 12/10/2021 at 9:14 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

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.

If an author makes a big deal about how free and lawless a culture is, then he needs to do some work before assimilation with their old enemies looks viable. This work he has not done. What he has done is say that there is not enough food in the north, even for the kneelers who grew it - so there needs to be lots of de-population before winter comes and everyone locks down and starts eating. To be honest, from a wildling perspective, this looks like a problem more to be solved by war than marriage. They are good at war. Luckily, a lot of war has happened already. Unluckily, Rhllor's flames say that all the wildlings are going to die.

But this is realism, and I prefer themes. Wildness and control are one of the books' earliest themes - look at Ned's summer born children, all wild, uncontrollable. Bran was forbidden to climb, and his parents found him asleep in a tree. They gave in. Ned says forbid Arya anything, and it became her heart's desire. Take away Needle, and she'll get herself a morning star. He gives in. And then there's Rickon.

Seems to me that wildness must be a valuable quality in a hero (because the Stark children are heroes). And this makes a lot of sense in a world of mind control. So much as I don't like grrm's wildling cultures, I'm not going to rejoice when they get tamed - not yet.

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On 12/12/2021 at 1:45 AM, 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 completely agree that Sansa becoming bitter and jaded by her experiences with men would be a tragedy for her, not a victory. 

Sansa is only 13-14 in the books. Does she have time for a relationship before the books end?

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17 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Sansa is only 13-14 in the books. Does she have time for a relationship before the books end?

This all goes back to the age issue and the five year gap. George originally planned for each book to span several years, and the five year gap was supposed to be a substitute when that didn’t end up happening. I think this is most noticeable in the Mercy chapter—it’s a lot more believable if Arya is 16, not 11. Hopefully GRRM can figure out a way to stretch the timeline more going forward. My crazy proposal is that he should just go back and retcon all the ages. Either way, I very much doubt the story can only be finished in two books.
 

On 12/12/2021 at 10:09 AM, EggBlue said:

:P

yes. although all relationships in the series are toxic to an extent with modern standards, I do believe this one's a bit more messed up .

Jon - Ygritte and Jaimie -Brienne were both foes and both tried to kill each other.

Renly-Loras could be counted closer to Sandor-Sansa since in both relationships one person is obviously in a position of power. but the difference is Renly never effectively tried scaring Loras into submission , whereas Sandor did; and I'm not only referring to the dagger incident now, I'm also referring to many times that he frightened her knowingly for instance in book one after the tourney when he took her to her chambers. and yes the comic book page gave a more positive view on this couple but still after what Ran said , I gathered George is not that involved in these books and might have easily overlooked / missed this page. after all , he is an extremely busy man.  

finally , as for insect, we should remember the very definition varies  from culture to culture and country to country even in our world. for example, in some countries marriages between first-cousins is not only acceptable but it's also encouraged ; whereas in other countries such thing is not only frowned upon but is also illegal. so, it could be overlooked without much difficulty. 

seems somewhat sexually charged to me as well .but again , I'm not sure it will stay this way. after all, the kiss never happened and was only in her mind:)  

hopefully we will... and not when our hair has gone gray and our sight has impaired...

I just remembered, George wrote the Battle of the Blackwater episode for the show, which removed the knife entirely and added the “you won’t hurt me” exchange. Still technically doesn’t retcon the books, but it could be a good sign for the future :thumbsup:

George has been writing these books for so long that it makes me wonder if he has a lot of moments that he wishes he could go back and change. I do recall him saying there was a character he regretted killing off a few years ago for plot reasons.

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38 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

This all goes back to the age issue and the five year gap. George originally planned for each book to span several years, and the five year gap was supposed to be a substitute when that didn’t end up happening. I think this is most noticeable in the Mercy chapter—it’s a lot more believable if Arya is 16, not 11.

the characters are younger than they should be due to medieval references; on the other hand, they are younger than what they do in the later books due to the age gap. but there is still more!! they feel too developed for their age since the begining.. and not just considering medieval marriages. : 4 year old Rickon acts like 7 at least? 3 year old Rhaenys runs for protection from a father who hadn't been around the last year? Viserys II who got lost at 7 has zero problems reconnecting with his siblings after 5 years? and don't even let me start with the fight between 3-8 year old Velaryon princes with 10 year old Aemond:D oh ! and it seems some characters are written exactly like their age .. for example 8 year old Tommen.. 

38 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Hopefully GRRM can figure out a way to stretch the timeline more going forward. My crazy proposal is that he should just go back and retcon all the ages. Either way, I very much doubt the story can only be finished in two books.

 I think it can easily be done for ASOIAF itself and then the whole 300 years reign of Targs could be stretched to 500 years. :) we should have a petition for it!!! though let's push it after George has finished the series so we don't overwhelm him:P

 

38 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:


I just remembered, George wrote the Battle of the Blackwater episode for the show, which removed the knife entirely and added the “you won’t hurt me” exchange. Still technically doesn’t retcon the books, but it could be a good sign for the future :thumbsup:

nice catch. I had forgotten that. yeah.. in the first seasons Sansa and Sandor's relationship dynamic was so natural and felt like it could be more in the future... but NOOOO let's have CleganeBowl and honoring rapists for elevating a woman's strength

38 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

George has been writing these books for so long that it makes me wonder if he has a lot of moments that he wishes he could go back and change. I do recall him saying there was a character he regretted killing off a few years ago for plot reasons.

:agree:

Edited by EggBlue
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Interesting. I hadn't thought of the notion that mountain clansmen like Timett would be able to identify Sansa.

I tend to think that the Mad Mouse will play more of a role though. Even if he's not Howland on a rescue mission, he nevertheless has somehow recognized Alayne as Sansa, and he will make some sort of move. Another player to consider is Lyn Corbray; Sansa's interaction with him in her TWOW chapter has a tension to it that hints at danger. 

To be perfectly honest, I do kind of worry about this Vale plotline. There are so many things bubbling up under the surface: plots, rival factions, rival claims, questionable loyalties, possible hidden identities. Then there's the tourney itself, and the mountain clans. And then on top of all that, put an avalanche there as well!

I fear that it's just going to be a jumble of random events, when what I really want is to see Sansa come into her own as a player and a leader.

I'm telling myself that GRRM plans to use such chaos in order to cut through the Vale dilemma somewhat quickly, but even there the execution is likely very tricky to pull off in a satisfying way. All I can do is wait and hope...

 

PS: I do love my city, but I chose my name to suit my music blog, and also as a nod to Philo. :) 

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On 12/12/2021 at 2:01 PM, Apoplexy said:

Sandor was the sole pusher of the 'sexual charge' in their interactions, she didn't seem to care too much about him, which is why this ship bothers me.

Sansa had an unusual interest in Sandor from the beginning. Just think of the tourney for Ned, for example. Gregor goes nuts, kills his horse, and tries to kill Loras. What's Sansa's reaction? "Sandor won." At that moment no one else was thinking that. I wouldn't say all the moments like this add up to a relationship, but it isn't fair to simply say that Sansa didn't care about Sandor.

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I think there are some very interesting ideas in here, although I'm not sure I'm sold on vision moving forward.

What if the Armies of the Vale march forth under the command of Littlefinger to defend his claim to Harrenhall, and the avalanche prevents them from being able to return to the Vale? This would provide the opportunity for the Clans to make a major move.

What if the clansmen object to the marriage between Sansa and Harry because Sansa is already married to Tyrion?

I want to believe Sansa will redeem herself and stop participating in the plot to poison her cousin and usurp his seat, using the Clans as her leverage to reveal her identity and effectively take power in the Vale.

Edited by Mourning Star
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19 hours ago, Groo said:

Sansa had an unusual interest in Sandor from the beginning. Just think of the tourney for Ned, for example. Gregor goes nuts, kills his horse, and tries to kill Loras. What's Sansa's reaction? "Sandor won." At that moment no one else was thinking that. I wouldn't say all the moments like this add up to a relationship, but it isn't fair to simply say that Sansa didn't care about Sandor.

Great point. This is when Sansa's opinion crystallises in favour of Sandor - and we know how hard it is to lose Sansa's good opinion once she's given it.

It's not about romance, it's about story. All the Stark children were raised on stories of heroes and villains. (I like to think of Bran's commentary on this chapter - something like, it was a good story, but Gregor should have been killed in the fight with his brother, and the wolf-maid should have been queen of love and beauty.)

Sandor has a sensational backstory, shared with Sansa the previous night - the innocent hero, the monstrous villain, the unresolved tragedy - as good as anything told by Old Nan. That second day of the tourney she sees the next chapter of the story come to life under her eyes - the monster is terrifying, the hero is brave and fights to a gallant victory (it was gallant, Ned more or less says it). All ends with cheering crowds, and a mighty reward from the king.

Epic stuff. Sansa never gets over this defining moment: Sandor is a True Hero, just as Cersei was the Good Queen, and Joffrey the Handsome Prince. Third time lucky, I expect.

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16 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I think there are some very interesting ideas in here, although I'm not sure I'm sold on vision moving forward.

What if the Armies of the Vale march forth under the command of Littlefinger to defend his claim to Harrenhall, and the avalanche prevents them from being able to return to the Vale? This would provide the opportunity for the Clans to make a major move.

What if the clansmen object to the marriage between Sansa and Harry because Sansa is already married to Tyrion?

Nice, I like these! I could easily see these happening. And also the Clans won't steal Sansa for themselves, which is a benefit.

16 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I want to believe Sansa will redeem herself and stop participating in the plot to poison her cousin and usurp his seat, using the Clans as her leverage to reveal her identity and effectively take power in the Vale.

This is more complicated. If Sansa was more like a fire witch, the Clans might follow her, but she really isn't. They definitely won't follow Sweetrobin either.

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20 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

To be perfectly honest, I do kind of worry about this Vale plotline. There are so many things bubbling up under the surface: plots, rival factions, rival claims, questionable loyalties, possible hidden identities. Then there's the tourney itself, and the mountain clans. And then on top of all that, put an avalanche there as well!

I fear that it's just going to be a jumble of random events, when what I really want is to see Sansa come into her own as a player and a leader.

More and more I feel that cyvasse is a useful analogy - all players have set themselves up in their home squares, and the 'true' game starts here. The player of the Vale still seems to be LF, unfortunately, and Sansa one of his pieces, though an increasingly able one - a piece that can act for herself.

I don't really want to see Sansa as leader - that seems more Arya's line. Like chess pieces, they have their own defined skills, and looking at Sansa's past, she's someone who will go among powerful enemies, and be a diplomat, an advocate and probably a mole or double agent.

But that's for later. Next for the Vale I'm expecting extravagantly high-fantasy storylines - a dragon is just the start. I'm dreaming up some tinfoil even now....

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A bit of tinfoil :). A few of the classic fairytales make guest appearances in the storyline: Beauty and the Beast, of course, many times; then Dany and her Frog Prince; and even Sansa Snow White ('her skin so white'...)  So why stop there? The Eyrie would makes a terrific Sleeping Beauty's castle. Ice preserves, after all.

So my tinfoiling is: Tyrion (aided by Viserion) triggers an avalanche onto the lords of the Vale in order to pay his debts to the Clans. Coming down, he finds out that Sansa was there and in a location under the snow. Immediately he flips into sentimental mode (I really do hate him), and orders the Clans to dig her out, followed by the full Seven Dwarves treatment - disbelief, grief, acceptance, and finally laying her out beautifully in crystal - or in our case, a castle made of snow. After a brief moment of mourning, Tyrion flies off to play the game of thrones and Sansa is left alone to be devoured by the Eyrie or something.

Of course we already have a Sleeping Beauty, who is Jon - probably in an ice cell, probably due to be revived with the holy kiss of R'hllor - but for grrm, more is always more, you know?

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1 hour ago, Springwatch said:

Nice, I like these! I could easily see these happening. And also the Clans won't steal Sansa for themselves, which is a benefit.

This is more complicated. If Sansa was more like a fire witch, the Clans might follow her, but she really isn't. They definitely won't follow Sweetrobin either.

But, Sansa has the blood of the first men and the model of the loyal northern clans to follow, her own great grandmother was a Flint. Not to mention she is the wife of the half-man who kept his word and led the clans bravely to claim their castle forged steel.

I also haven't seen it mentioned here but there is another Arryn heir (or line) out there. Baby Maegor, who was passed over when Aegon the Unlikely (Egg) was crowned, was the grandson of Alys Arryn. This means any living descendent of his has almost as good a claim to the Vale as they do to the Iron Throne.

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