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From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa

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Welcome to the Sansa Stark reread thread!* This is a project run by myself and Rapsie, and we’re interested in charting the growth of this fascinating character from the moment we meet her in AGOT as Ned Stark’s innocent, sheltered daughter, all the way to her adopted identity as the bastard Alayne Stone in A Feast for Crows.

Sansa is a very internal character – her thoughts and emotions are subtly drawn, and lots of details can be missed on a first reading. We hope that with a sustained focus on her arc, it will allow for richer analysis and opinion on the direction she will take in the upcoming novels. Few characters have sparked as much controversy and confusion as Sansa in the series. She’s often maligned as a betrayer to her family, somehow lacking in essential “Starkness” and much too passive in her resistance to the Lannisters.

The purpose of this character reread is to offer a close analysis of Sansa’s development, chapter by chapter, throughout the series. Rapsie and I will alternate chapters, offering a summary and analysis which will then be left open to comments. We will endeavour (fingers crossed) to stick to the schedule of 2 chapters per week.

Sansa’s relevance as a POV character cannot be overstated. In focusing on her arc, we’re hoping to explore a range of topics relating to her character growth, as well as her interaction and relationships with other central characters (Arya, Ned, Cersei, Joffrey, Sandor, Littlefinger) and her experiences in Kings Landing and the Vale.

(*This thread is inspired by the great work that Alexia and My Dog is Named Danerys are currently doing in their Dany arc reread)

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AGOT – Sansa I

Summary

The chapter begins with Sansa at breakfast and feeding her direwolf, Lady, under the table. Septa Mordane is unhappy about this, and comments that when it comes to Lady, Sansa is just “as wilful” as her sister Arya. Sansa is excited because it’s the day that the Queen has promised to take them out riding with her in the royal carriage, and she’s also feeling immensely happy about her engagement to Prince Joffrey:

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

The only concern that Sansa has about enjoying her day is Arya. She fears that her sister will be as obstinate as ever, and will not dress nicely to meet with the queen. Setting off to find Arya, she locates her on the banks of the Trident, trying to brush out Nymeria’s fur. Arya promptly informs Sansa that she has no intention of joining her for the outing with Cersei and instead plans on going upstream with the butcher’s boy Mycah to search for Rhaegar’s rubies.

“Rubies,” Sansa said, lost. “What rubies?”

Arya gave her a look like she was so stupid. “Rhaegar’s rubies. This is where King Robert killed him and won the crown.

Sansa regarded her scrawny little sister in disbelief. “You can’t look for rubies, the princess is expecting us. The queen invited us both.”

“I don’t care,” Arya said. The wheelhouse doesn’t even have windows, you can’t see a thing.”

“What could you want to see?” Sansa said, annoyed. She had been thrilled by the invitation, and her stupid sister was going to ruin everything, just as she’d feared. It’s all just fields and farms and holdfasts.”

“It is not,” Arya said stubbornly. If you came with us sometimes, you’d see.”

The sisters continue to argue for a while, until Sansa, unable to convince Arya to return even with the promise of lemon cakes and tea, returns to camp, feeling “alone and humiliated”. She wonders how she and Arya could be so different even though they were only born two years apart. Noting that it would have easier to understand if Arya had been a bastard, indeed she looked so much like their half brother Jon, Sansa remembers when she was little asking her mother if Arya really was her true daughter.

When she reaches back to the camp, she meets an excited crowd gathered around the queen’s wheelhouse. She learns that the council has sent two riders to escort the King back to KL. These two knights are decked out in all their finery and splendour, one of them wearing the white cloak of the Kingsguard. However, Sansa becomes alarmed upon glimpsing another stranger, Ilyn Payne, and nervously retreats when he catches her gaze. She ends up bumping into Sandor Clegane.

Strong hands grasped her by the shoulders, and for a moment Sansa thought it was her father, but when she turned, it was the burned face of Sandor Clegane looking down at her, his mouth twisted in a terrible mockery of a smile. “You are shaking, girl,” he said, his voice rasping. “Do I frighten you so much?”

Sansa is startled, but she notes to herself that Sandor is not so terrifying as the other man. Joffrey orders Sandor to leave her alone, and she quickly recollects herself in order to apologize to Payne and greet the two knights, Barristan Selmy and Renly Baratheon. Cersei tells her that unfortunately she has to cancel their tea date, but suggests that Joffrey can entertain Sansa for the day. Sansa is overjoyed at the prospect of spending an entire day with her betrothed, and agrees to leave Lady behind at the camp as well as Joffrey’s bodyguard, the Hound.

Her happiness, however, is bitterly short-lived. After picnicking and riding for a while, they come across Arya and Mycah play-fighting with wooden sticks. Joffrey begins to taunt Mycah, telling him he’s no knight and only able to beat little girls. He places his sword point against Mycah’s cheek and draws blood. Arya becomes enraged and attacks Joffrey, hitting him at the back of his head with the stick. Sansa begins to scream for them to stop but the fight escalates. Mycah has run off, and Joffrey begins to come at Arya with his sword, Lion’s Tooth. Nymeria appears suddenly and lunges at Joffrey, biting his arm and flinging him to the ground. Calling off Nymeria, Arya throws Lion’s Tooth into the river and takes off with her horse and the wolf. Sansa is left with the injured Joffrey and tries to comfort him to no avail. He lashes out instead and tells her to get help and leave him alone.

Analysis

The chapter really lays the groundwork in pointing out the essential differences between Sansa and Arya. Whilst Arya prefers to go exploring and thinks nothing of getting dirty and tearing her clothes, Sansa is almost the exact opposite. She enjoys dressing nicely, hates the thought of going off playing in the mud and by the river, and wants nothing more than to enjoy what she considers to be the civilized company of the Queen and Myrcella. In fact, the only similarity the girls seem to share is their affection for their wolves, with Sansa just as intent on keeping Lady around her, even whilst breakfasting.

I found Sansa’s relationship with her wolf here to be really heart warming. It’s clear that she loves the animal just as much as Arya does Nymeria, but often it seems to be overlooked due to how soon Lady dies in the book (and what some people assume is Sansa’s culpability in the death). When she is scared by Ilyn Payne, she instinctively reaches to Lady for comfort, and the wolf is very protective of her too, snarling at Sandor in that first meeting.

Sansa's innocence and naivety are prominent in the chapter. She thinks she is in love with Joffrey, even though she doesn’t know him well, and is shocked when Arya declares that she doesn’t like the Queen. Her love of lemon cakes is noted too. It’s clear that she tends to take people at face value. She believes that Cersei is kind and honourable, because she’s beautiful and that’s how Queens are supposed to be. We see the same thing with Joffrey – he fits her ideal image of what a Prince should look like, and she’s immediately enamoured with him.

I have to admit that I am sympathetic to Sansa in her argument with Arya. The latter seems intent to buck tradition at all costs, and I can understand Sansa’s frustration in trying to get her to do this one thing. However, it’s evident that there’s no enmity between the sisters. They are simply two very different individuals, and both of them are stubbornly set in their likes and dislikes.

I’m interested in why Arya claims that she doesn’t like the Queen. Is it because she is a better people reader than Sansa is, or is it that she’s responding to Cersei’s own dislike of her? I’m assuming that Cersei would have shown slight distaste towards Arya’s behaviour during the journey back to Kings Landing, and perhaps Arya picked up on it?

I was also very impressed with how Sansa handled the introductions to Barristan and Renly. It really highlighted her skill at courtesy, something that we see later on, and her ability to recollect herself and her manners, even in frightening situations.

Sansa knew the name, and now her courtesies that Septa Mordane had taught her over the years came back to her. “The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard,” she said, “and Councillor to Robert our king and to Aerys Targaryen before him. The honor is mine, good knight. Even in the far north, the singers praise the deeds of Barristan the Bold.”

Her meeting with Sandor is curious. She backs into him and her first impression is that he’s her father. The kind of protective role that he’s to play in her life seems to have been hinted at fairly early by Martin then, and it’s noteworthy to see that she doesn’t think he’s as scary as Ilyn Payne.

Sansa’s devotion to Joffrey also had me rolling my eyes! But in a poor girl kind of way. She genuinely believes that he’s a decent boy, and is ecstatic over getting to spend the day with him. When he asks her what she wants to do, she tells him “Whatever you’d like to do, my prince” and even feigns liking to ride to please him. Ah, the things we do for love! (Ok, wrong choice of words, but you understand) She also thinks that Joffrey rescued her from Ser Ilyn and the Hound, an exaggeration that again underscores her innocence, and her desire to have a fairytale romance. She compares Joff to two legendary knights here, Serwyn of the Mirror Shield and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. We will see a later reference to Aemon again, but I was very interested in the reference to Serwyn. He was a member of the KG and according to the Wiki:

Serwyn, better known as Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, is a famous and legendary member of the Kingsguard.[1] He is still a favorite of the smallfolk.[2]

Legends

According to song, he once saved Princess Daeryssa from Giants.[3] He slew the dragon Urrax by approaching the beast behind his shield so the dragon only saw its own reflection, Serwyn then speared Urrax through the eye.[4] He was haunted by ghosts of all the knights he killed.[5]

Hmmm, foreshadowing relating to another member of the Kingsguard perhaps? *coughsandorcough* Also, something to bear in mind about the grand fight in the Eyrie suggested by the prophecy of the girl with purple serpents in her hair slaying the savage giant; and will Sandor help in this fight and be a dragon slayer??

For some reason, I didn’t remember the fight between Joffrey and Arya being as nasty as it really was. Joffrey’s natural cruelty is really shown in the way he treats Mycah, but was Arya right for attacking him? In retrospect, it would have been better for everyone if she had kept her anger down, and had let Joffrey grow tired of tormenting Mycah, but I can understand the rage she felt at Joffrey’s casual wickedness and Mycah’s helplessness. The situation is completely overwhelming for someone like Sansa, however, and all she can do is cry and try to plead for them to stop. Again, I sympathise with how helpless she felt, and the sense of despair over the incident that got so quickly out of control.

I do wish that Sansa had wised up to Joff’s true nature in this chapter, especially after he lashes out when she tries to comfort him, but I can see why that would not be a realistic expectation. She’s so completely enraptured with the idea of him as her perfect Prince that his words probably didn’t do more than make her feel a bit hurt at the time.

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ill say this to be fair: i find her to be a little less stupid in tv series GOT than book GOT,cause they dont mention how she betrayed her dad in the tv show....

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Sorry I don't (at the moment) have anything of great substance to add, but I do remember a line from this chapter that I always loved, where Sansa is hugging and petting Lady, and then it goes something like, "Lady licked her cheek. Sansa giggled." I just thought that was the cutest, most innocent image.

Sorry for being all squishy and sappy, but there are so few sweet, warm moments in this series that whenever I come across one, it really stands out in my memory.

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ill say this to be fair: i find her to be a little less stupid in tv series GOT than book GOT,cause they dont mention how she betrayed her dad in the tv show....

I think this gets overstated. She told Cersei that Ned planned to leave the city but I'm not sure anything would have changed if she hadn't.

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I remember the first time I read Sansa's POV I really didn't like her. Now rereading I don't find her irritating at all (I confess I did at first), on the other hand, even when she is snobby (because she sometime is), I still can'T help but enjoy it greatly.

What I noticed on the reread is that she drank wine, and she was dizzy, even before the whole Arya/Joff incident she wanted to go back.

Another line that struck me, it is not really about Sansa but Barristan:

The green knight laughed again. “Barristan the Old, you mean. Don’t flatter him too sweetly, child, he thinks overmuch of himself already.” He smiled at her. “Now, wolf girl, if you can put a name to me as well, then I must concede that you are truly our Hand’s daughter.”

Joffrey stiffened beside her. “Have a care how you address my betrothed.”

“I can answer,” Sansa said quickly, to quell her prince’s anger. She smiled at the green knight. “Your helmet bears golden antlers, my lord. The stag is the sigil of the royal House. King Robert has two brothers. By your extreme youth, you can only be Renly Baratheon, Lord of Storm’s End and councillor to the king, and so I name you.”

Ser Barristan chuckled. “By his extreme youth, he can only be a prancing jackanapes, and so I name him.”

There was general laughter, led by Lord Renly himself.

I just find find it hipocratical him critisising Renly because of his youth and calling him a fool for that(early tweny), when he himself decided to choose a teenager as a royal he would serve (and not Stannis for example). At least Renly is not the grudgebearer type, but the one who could laugh even at himself. I really miss him. Sorry a little off.

Another one, just to admire her a little bit, when she got scared by Payne, it was noticable by everyone and she was really scared and embrassed, but even in that situation she was able to speak up, politly:

The two stranger knights exchanged a look. “Payne?” chuckled the young man in the green armor.

The older man in white spoke to Sansa gently. “Ofttimes Ser Ilyn frightens me as well, sweet lady. He has a fearsome aspect.”

“As well he should.” The queen had descended from the wheelhouse. The spectators parted to make way for her. “If the wicked do not fear the Mng’s Justice, you have put the wrong man in the office.”

Sansa finally found her words. “Then surely you have chosen the right one, Your Grace,” she said, and a gale of laughter erupted all around her.

“Well spoken, child,” said the old man in white. “As befits the daughter of Eddard Stark. I am honored to know you, however irregular the manner of our meeting. I am Ser Barristan Selmy, of the Kingsguard.” He bowed.

Now rereading the Joff/Arya/Sansa situation I actually think all of them were guilty for how it played down. Joffey is of course the main culprit since he was the one who hurt Mycah first, but Arya was reckles and too active while Sansa was too passive, and just standing there. I think actually even their direwolves represent it, Nymeria the overly vicious who wouldn't even obey to Arya, and Lady the extremly calm one, who is very obedient. But no matter how sweet she is she still started to get aggresive when she felt someone was threatening Sansa. Sansa bears that subtleness as well, we can see that later, when she responds to Joff about how Robb might give her his head, she has that wolfness in her as well.

Another bit not about Sansa but about Joff. he was boasting to her about how his father smashed Rhaegar there at the Trident (later it is important because we learn that he wanted to prove himself to robert, so the reason he sends anassassin after bran is because one of Roberts remarks), and how when he saw arya and Mycah playing at first he was just curious, but when he heard Sansa saying arya he wanted to play the chilvarious knight to save his bethrodeds sister (he didn'T care that arya, didn't needed it). I just find it somewhat funny that he was playing the saviour when he was such a jerk. I guess he saw himself as the charming prince.

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Re-reading Sansa's chapters in a game of thrones makes me wish she got hit in the face with a morning star.

She does get less annoying further through the series, but in the first book she KILLS me.

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Re-reading Sansa's chapters in a game of thrones makes me wish she got hit in the face with a morning star.

She does get less annoying further through the series, but in the first book she KILLS me.

Is this because of Sansa herself though, or in comparison to Arya? I sometimes feel as though Sansa has been set up (unfairly) as the foolish sister, too naive and gullible to realise the truth about Cersei, whilst Arya is portrayed as wise and insightful. She knows better than to trust Cersei and at least she fights Joffrey. It all seems a little forced to me. I think Arya dislikes Cersei at this point because she represents all that Arya disdains, not that she is somehow more insightful than Sansa is into Cersei's true nature. What do you guys think?

Another one, just to admire her a little bit, when she got scared by Payne, it was noticable by everyone and she was really scared and embrassed, but even in that situation she was able to speak up, politly:

I agree. There was real finesse in how she recaptured her composure and was able to be so charming to both Renly and Barristan (not easy to do considering the age difference between the men), who can't manage to be civil to one another.

Now rereading the Joff/Arya/Sansa situation I actually think all of them were guilty for how it played down. Joffey is of course the main culprit since he was the one who hurt Mycah first, but Arya was reckles and too active while Sansa was too passive, and just standing there. I think actually even their direwolves represent it, Nymeria the overly vicious who wouldn't even obey to Arya, and Lady the extremly calm one, who is very obedient. But no matter how sweet she is she still started to get aggresive when she felt someone was threatening Sansa. Sansa bears that subtleness as well, we can see that later, when she responds to Joff about how Robb might give her his head, she has that wolfness in her as well.

Yeah, it's clear that for everyone's sake Arya should have bottled her fury, but I'm so torn on the issue because poor Mycah was an innocent and Joff was being a colossal ass. It's clear though, that sometimes it is best to be passive and let an unpleasant situation pass, because reacting to it violently can lead to even bigger problems. This is something Arya needed to learn.

I do wonder how the situation would have turned out if both Lady and Sandor had come that day. Probably a lot better, but can we be sure that Sandor would have restrained Joffrey? At least he might have prevented Arya from bashing his head in.

Another bit not about Sansa but about Joff. he was boasting to her about how his father smashed Rhaegar there at the Trident (later it is important because we learn that he wanted to prove himself to robert, so the reason he sends anassassin after bran is because one of Roberts remarks), and how when he saw arya and Mycah playing at first he was just curious, but when he heard Sansa saying arya he wanted to play the chilvarious knight to save his bethrodeds sister (he didn'T care that arya, didn't needed it). I just find it somewhat funny that he was playing the saviour when he was such a jerk. I guess he saw himself as the charming prince.

Yup, he really enjoyed pretending to be a gallant knight, but as soon as he's injured and not in control of the situation he starts shouting for mommy, and lashes out cruelly. The chapter really gives good insight into everyone's essential characteristics.

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Sansa annoys me because of her immense immaturity. She is so obsessed with "the songs" and she is so "in love" with Joffrey that she is completely blind to everything that is going on around them (even when the Lannisters and city watch are butchering her Father's men).

For a family that is generally very grounded and mature, Sansa is so naive, and because she is naive (and stupid for her false belief that life is a story/song) her family suffers. Yes, the only thing she did was tell the queen that Ned was planning on sending them home, but that then relays to the Queen that Ned is planning something that he deems unsafe to have his children present for.

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Hence she becomes less annoying as the series progresses...not because she grows up on her own, but because she is literally forced to grow up. She doesn't ever figure anything out without a hard lesson, but at least as these things happen, she becomes less annoying.

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Nice analysis of Sansa's first chapter in AGOT. I am currently re-reading the book as part of my re-read of the series before I take on the Dunk and Egg novellas. A few observations of my own to add/expound upon regarding this chapter:

1) I completely agree that Sansa's naivety is glaringly manifest right away. Later on, we see how the Hound calls her out on this, as the two characters interact more in KL, particularly at the Hand's Tourney festivities.

2) I liked the mention of the differences between Sansa and Arya, especially how Sansa and her naivety regarding the character of others seems contrast starkly with that of her younger sister. Arya, seems to be able to pick up on the nuances and subtleties of character to which Sansa is oblivious. Arya is ostensibly like Jon in this regard. I recall his earlier chapter in AGOT, when he succinctly summed up the true nature of the Lannisters (particularly Cersei and the kids) with rare insight for a teenager, as he eyeballed each one walking to their high seat before the feast for King Robert commenced in Winterfell.

3) In my opinion, Sansa did not pick up on Joffrey's true nature when he lashed out at her because the prince had just been humiliated by Arya and had taken a fairly bad wound to the arm from Nymeria (the Queen later remarks that he will have those scars permanently), and was therefore fairly traumatized as a result. In this context, I can not fault Sansa for failing to recognize the glimpse into Joffrey's darker side, as she probably figured he lashed out because of his misfortunes by the river and was acting out of the ordinary as a result.

Keep up the good work!

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Nice analysis of Sansa's first chapter in AGOT. I am currently re-reading the book as part of my re-read of the series before I take on the Dunk and Egg novellas. A few observations of my own to add/expound upon regarding this chapter:

1) I completely agree that Sansa's naivety is glaringly manifest right away. Later on, we see how the Hound calls her out on this, as the two characters interact more in KL, particularly at the Hand's Tourney festivities.

2) I liked the mention of the differences between Sansa and Arya, especially how Sansa and her naivety regarding the character of others seems contrast starkly with that of her younger sister. Arya, seems to be able to pick up on the nuances and subtleties of character to which Sansa is oblivious. Arya is ostensibly like Jon in this regard. I recall his earlier chapter in AGOT, when he succinctly summed up the true nature of the Lannisters (particularly Cersei and the kids) with rare insight for a teenager, as he eyeballed each one walking to their high seat before the feast for King Robert commenced in Winterfell.

3) In my opinion, Sansa did not pick up on Joffrey's true nature when he lashed out at her because the prince had just been humiliated by Arya and had taken a fairly bad wound to the arm from Nymeria (the Queen later remarks that he will have those scars permanently), and was therefore fairly traumatized as a result. In this context, I can not fault Sansa for failing to recognize the glimpse into Joffrey's darker side, as she probably figured he lashed out because of his misfortunes by the river and was acting out of the ordinary as a result.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks, iamb!

I agree with the points you made. The reader can clearly see that Joffrey isn't very nice or gallant, plus we have info from the earlier Tyrion and Arya chapters, but Sansa probably believes that he only spoke in anger at the end of the chapter, and wouldn't see anything more disturbing.

I do remember how Jon summed up everyone during that feast :) It was pretty good indeed. But again, I have to wonder if Arya had these insights or is she just reacting to her own sense of not belonging due to being a tomboy etc. IIRC she mentions that Sansa of course got to sit next to Joffrey because she was beautiful, whilst Arya got stuck with Tommen.

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Nice analysis of Sansa's first chapter in AGOT. I am currently re-reading the book as part of my re-read of the series before I take on the Dunk and Egg novellas. A few observations of my own to add/expound upon regarding this chapter:

2) I liked the mention of the differences between Sansa and Arya, especially how Sansa and her naivety regarding the character of others seems contrast starkly with that of her younger sister. Arya, seems to be able to pick up on the nuances and subtleties of character to which Sansa is oblivious. Arya is ostensibly like Jon in this regard. I recall his earlier chapter in AGOT, when he succinctly summed up the true nature of the Lannisters (particularly Cersei and the kids) with rare insight for a teenager, as he eyeballed each one walking to their high seat before the feast for King Robert commenced in Winterfell.

I'm not trying to say that Jon or Arya AREN'T observant, because I think they are, but I'm not sure Arya's dislike of the queen has to do with her powers of observation. She just had more interesting things to be doing, and didn't want to sit around with someone she viewed as prissy.

And Jon, while also observant, incorrectly thought that Myrcella was insipid at the feast, just because she shyly smiled at Robb. I think we can agree that Myrcella has proven herself to be quite smart, so I'd say his powers of observation are also overstated (here, at least, not necessarily elsewhere).

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Thanks, iamb!

I agree with the points you made. The reader can clearly see that Joffrey isn't very nice or gallant, plus we have info from the earlier Tyrion and Arya chapters, but Sansa probably believes that he only spoke in anger at the end of the chapter, and wouldn't see anything more disturbing.

I do remember how Jon summed up everyone during that feast :) It was pretty good indeed. But again, I have to wonder if Arya had these insights or is she just reacting to her own sense of not belonging due to being a tomboy etc. IIRC correctly she mentions that Sansa of course got to sit next to Joffrey because she was beautiful, whilst Arya got stuck with Tommen.

That is a good point regarding Arya feeling like an outsider and perhaps this playing a role in her dislike of the Queen. And I had quite forgotten that part about her seeming disappointed that Sansa got to sit with Joffrey while she drew Tommen. Perhaps there is a little more Sansa in Arya than she care to recognize?

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That is a good point regarding Arya feeling like an outsider and perhaps this playing a role in her dislike of the Queen. And I had quite forgotten that part about her seeming disappointed that Sansa got to sit with Joffrey while she drew Tommen. Perhaps there is a little more Sansa in Arya than she care to recognize?

The girls are alike in some respects...poor Arya, too bad she didn't realize that Tommen is by far the better Baratheon/Lannister.

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That is a good point regarding Arya feeling like an outsider and perhaps this playing a role in her dislike of the Queen. And I had quite forgotten that part about her seeming disappointed that Sansa got to sit with Joffrey while she drew Tommen. Perhaps there is a little more Sansa in Arya than she care to recognize?

I do think so. She is resentful in her opening chapter towards Sansa for always doing everything right and impressing everyone. Obviously she doesn't hate her sister, but I do wonder if her refusal to attend the Queen's outing had more to do with spiting Sansa than actually wanting to go exploring with Mycah?

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I'm not trying to say that Jon or Arya AREN'T observant, because I think they are, but I'm not sure Arya's dislike of the queen has to do with her powers of observation. She just had more interesting things to be doing, and didn't want to sit around with someone she viewed as prissy.

And Jon, while also observant, incorrectly thought that Myrcella was insipid at the feast, just because she shyly smiled at Robb. I think we can agree that Myrcella has proven herself to be quite smart, so I'd say his powers of observation are also overstated (here, at least, not necessarily elsewhere).

Quite agree regarding Jon's initial view of Myrcella. I feel he was reacting to how she was looking at Robb, and yes, cast an aspersion on her character that we learn is not warranted. But he noticed things about Cersei and Joffrey that were pretty spot on, seeing through the smile of the former while noting the look of boredom and disdain displayed by the latter.

I suppose his observations that night were a bit hit or miss. And who could blame him? After all, he was really knocking back the wine that evening. :)

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I'm not trying to say that Jon or Arya AREN'T observant, because I think they are, but I'm not sure Arya's dislike of the queen has to do with her powers of observation. She just had more interesting things to be doing, and didn't want to sit around with someone she viewed as prissy.

And Jon, while also observant, incorrectly thought that Myrcella was insipid at the feast, just because she shyly smiled at Robb. I think we can agree that Myrcella has proven herself to be quite smart, so I'd say his powers of observation are also overstated (here, at least, not necessarily elsewhere).

Agreed. I think Jon was just being an ass. He was quite capable of it when he felt his bastardy was hurting him like when he first got to the Wall. It's just that for the most part, Cersei and her kids easy targets. Though he has grown out of it for the most part.

I do think so. She is resentful in her opening chapter towards Sansa for always doing everything right and impressing everyone. Obviously she doesn't hate her sister, but I do wonder if her refusal to attend the Queen's outing had more to do with spiting Sansa than actually wanting to go exploring with Mycah?

I think this has a lot to do with and as people have said, her dislike for Cersei is what she represents rather any personal vendetta until the Lady incident.

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Nice idea for a thread.

I like the way this chapter makes clear that while Sansa is really naive and dreamy, she's not stupid. When it was something related to her interests, she was pretty quick to figure who Renly and Baristan were, especially given how afraid she was by Ser Illin, and made very good first impression on them.

Arya is somewhat of a brat here - when the queen invites you, you are supposed to go, that's basic protocol, even 8 years old should know that when they are of such high birth. Why anger the queen unnecessary?

Best line of the chapter, BTW, as usual from the Hound - when someone asked about the direwolves -“The Starks use them for wet nurses” .

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