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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa

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Any argument to sway Robert would have been useful. Sansa should have told the truth.

What do you believe Sansa could/should have said, that would have changed Robert's mind regarding Lady being put down?

No one was disputing that Lady was innocent and that Nymeria was the wolf that attacked Joff. I am just curious how you think anything Sansa said would have changed the outcome for the wolf?

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No I didn't mean for everyone to step aside, I just don't want everyone getting ahead of themselves. The point of a re-read is to really focus on one character's arc for the purpose of seeming their development more clearly. We are meant to be discussing the character within each relevant chapter. She hasn't met LF in her first chapter.

Edit: Rather than discussing points with preconceived ideas, we can look at the character from the beginning of the story, but with the benefit of hindsight. In fact although both Brashcandy and I will be giving Chapter Summaries and Analysis, it would be good if those interested in the thread, also reread the relevant chapters at the same time.

Oh. I get what you mean. I meant stepping aside from discussing that far ahead in the story.

Yeah, that would all be understandable except for the part you skipped, where he tried to kill her sister. I don’t care who it is, crush, boyfriend or husband, I would never stand idly by while they tried to kill one of my siblings and I would certainly never defend them afterwards or lie to cover it up. After seeing him do that, he would immediately cease to be any type of “dreamboat” for me. I would not be concerned at all about the health of anyone who had tried to kill my little sister. The only thing at that moment that would concern me is helping her get to safety, not getting help for the person who just tried to kill her.

Also, she wasn’t too flustered when Arya got the sword and she was screaming at her to leave Joffrey alone. She never once told Joffrey to leave Arya alone while he was swinging it at her; the only thing she was whining about then was her day being ruined, even after noting the fear in her sister’s eyes. There is no excuse for that.

There is also no excuse for lying after the fact. She continued to tell people that Mycah attacked Joffrey, after the poor kid was already dead, knowing that that was not the truth. First she claimed that she didn’t remember, and then she told people that Mycah attacked Joffrey, which also contradicts her sister’s story.

Also, as to not having her point of view, most of this happened in her point of view. She spends most of the point of view criticizing Arya's actions and even criticizing Ned for not reprimanding Arya, because she had the gall to pick flowers for him, but she has not one negative thought towards Joffrey while he is trying to kill her sister. She even goes on to help him afterwards. To me that says something about her character. She had no use for her family until she found out she had no one else on her side.

That's why I never felt bad for her losing her wolf. I felt bad for the wolf, that it had to be killed, but never for her. Wolf packs are supposed to defend each other and protect each other. She didn’t do that for her sister, so she lost her wolf. To me, that seems right.

Honestly, I don't think it ever occured to Sansa that Arya could have been killed. This all happened in what 30 seconds? She didn't have time to register what happened during it. And naivety at the point probably stopped the thought that she could have actually seen her dreamboat, a 13 year-old, actually murder her 9 year-old sister in front of her eyes.

If you still like her in spite of her not protecting her sister, that is fine, but don't pretend that that was for Arya's benefit. It was not. If she had really cared about her sister's safety, she would have been trying to help her get out of there and get her to safety, not helping the person who just tried to kill her. She also would not have lied about what happened and she also would not have blamed Arya and not the Joffrey, who started the whole thing. This was long after she was supposedly scared and confused.

Yep. Because there's no way anyone, much less some as wise and worldy as a sheltered 11 year-old girl, could be scared for a long time after such an event. I mean it's not like the camp was in a panic and choas during all these times and she was put in front of the most powerful adults in the country and asked to support her current family or the one she will be joining in a few years for the rest of her life.

Yeah, fuck that bitch. Clearly, she hates Arya and that was her only motivation. Certainly, not a vulernable and rightfully scared 11 year-old.

I'm more bothered by the fact that it seems like you think what Arya did was wrong. Was it unwise of her to hit the Crown Prince, sure. But it was clearly the right thing to do. We don't know how far Joffrey's abuse of Micah would have gone, but slicing his face open was much too far already. Good for Arya. And probably nothing Sansa had done differently would have prevented Cersei from ordering Lady killed; Cersei is just being cruel. But that doesn't mean it was ok for Sansa to lie. And it definitely doesn't mean it was in any way Arya's fault.

Really, the only one who did not do wrong was Mycah. Seriously, was bashing the person with an actual sword in the head with a stick a smart thing?

I hate that it sounds like I am defending Joffery. I'm not. He was the instigator and shares the majority of the blame. But Arya escalated the matter and shares a little of it too (as does Sansa for her testimony later). But when dealing with an armed person, you do not provoke them. That is what gets people killed.

Arya had good intentions. But she was reckless and did something stupid. I'm not saying this marks her for life. She was 9. She saw a friend being hurt and reacted. But it doesn't change the events that happened as result.

Anyways, blaming Arya or Sansa is missing the point. They share some blame, but it was Joffery who deserves most of it.

Sansa deserved not so much to be punished, but to be talked to by her father and convinced of the importance of telling the truth, especially when one's family is involved. As I've said before, I cannot understand why, seeing the true characters of future KIng Joffrey and his doting mother, Ned didn't send his little girls back home with poor Lady's body - if I had been their parent, I would not Sansa being married to one and in the power of the other; and I wouldn't have wanted Arya within a thousand miles of Cersei; especially since good ol' King Bob was totally ineffectual. I think Ned has a similar capacity for self-deception as Sansa; he seems to have convinced himself that his daughters would be fine, or else convinced himself not to have A Talk with Sansa supposedly because she was upset about her wolf's death but really because Ned himself felt some guilt about it.

As I said before, I think that both Ned and Catelyn let their daughters down by the decisions they made. Sansa and Arya both displayed poor judgment; both were out of their element (the friendly, warm environment of Winterfell) and unprepared to deal with Joffrey's evil nature and Cersei's vindictive nature.

I am really, really hoping that there will eventually be a Sansa/Arya reunion. I don't think they'll ever be best friends; but they need to realize that they are stronger together than they could be apart; and that they are family and should work together. And Sansa does owe Arya an apology.

That would have been politcally disasterous. It's basically a big "screw you guys" to Robert and his court. Not a good way to start his job as the new Hand.

(1)I am extremely suprised that people assume Joffrey would have shown any restraint in his actions with Mycah. Had the boy simply submitted to being cut and maimed, it might be left at that. However any person is going to try to at least flee the situation, if not try to fight back to protect themselves. If he flees, he probably survives (I think they described him as older/stronger than Joffrey, therefore could probably outrun him), or if he tries to defend himself in anyway he would only enrage Joffrey (exactly what happens when Arya attacks him), which would result in his death. I do not have all the books here but from memory I cannot think of a situation where Joffrey curbed his own actions, it was always due to the intervention of others.

Arya attacked him to protect Mycah, not out of any sense of revenge or malice towards an obvious piece of trash of a human being. Points for Arya.

(2)To keep this post on topic, when re-reading this scene yesterday, I was struck by the fact that the "The noble and pure" Sansa said nothing to Joffrey when he was cutting Mycah, and in fact admonished Arya when she told Joffrey to stop. I do not have my book here with me but I think the line was something like "Just stay out of this Arya". She feels nothing for the possible harm that will be inflicted upon Mycah. And as Wolf Maid said in one of her posts, she tells Arya to stop when she begins to attack Joffrey, but says absolutely nothing to Joffrey when he gets enraged and trys to kill Arya.

(3)Her decision to "Not remember" the events later is in no way an attempt to "keep the peace" as others have posted. She looks at Arya, then looks at Joffrey, then says "I dont remember". Its very clear that she is only "not remembering" because if she tells what actually happened, it hurts Joffrey. She 'lies' to protect him. The wolves are deemed dangerous not just in Cersei's eyes, but in Roberts as well, therefore they must be killed. Had Sansa told the truth of what happened, there would have been a much better chance at Neds plea of "Robert for the Love you bear me, please do not ask this of me" (just from memory), that he simply could send the wolves away. NO ONE can say for sure what would have happened, but by telling the truth Sansa would have given herself a much better chance at keeping her wolf alive, even if its sent back to winterfell for the remainder of her story arc.

1. Joffery didn't start murdering peasants for fun until after he became king. At this point, he still wants to be look good in Robert's eyes.

Also, Joffery wanted a reaction. Mycah was doing what was best. Do not give him one until her gets bored and goes away.

Of course, then again, with Joffery, he might have just killed Mycah. But I kinda doubt it.

2. You're being way too harsh on Sansa.

The exact quote from the book of Sansa admonishing Arya when she told Joffery to stop was:

Sansa, was afraid. "Arya, you stay out of this."

Sansa was scared over Joffery's actions. Likely, she told Arya to stay out of it because she was (correctly) worried that Arya would do something to make it worse.

Her cries to stop it come in between the two attacks. Nothing suggests she mean only for Arya to stop.

And her telling Arya to leave Joffery alone, well let's look at that scene:

Arya = Holding a sword with a direwolf at her side.

Joffery = On the ground, bleeding and crying.

Does it seem that unreasonable to tell Arya to leave Joffery alone?

I'm not saying Sansa's actions were perfect, but they are understandable and not some betrayal to her family.

3. It's better to say her testimony was like Arya's defense of Mycah: good intentions (she didn't want to betray either her future husband or her sister) but ultimately reckless and destructive.

Tried to kill Bran, didn't he?

To impress his dad. And he hid it. He wasn't openly slaughtering peasants until CoK.

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I think that when we judge Sansa we forget that she is just a little girl. She is scared and she don't have anyone to really advice her. Because Ned does what he can, but I think he doesn't really understand her...

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A grown man or woman, experienced in the ways of the world, would have been terrified speechless to be hauled in front of the king and queen, and asked to tell the truth of a story that paints their son as a coward, a bully, and a liar. Yet people expect Sansa to have handled it all with defiant aplomb? Especially given that, yet AGAIN, Ned had in no way prepared or helped her to see this coming, and how to answer. She was left with nothing but her eleven year old wits and confusion to rely upon. Frankly I believe that Sansa was not being entirely untruthful when she said that she did not remember exactly what had happened, and what she did remember was probably so distorted from simple shock and terror, that she could have actually made matters for Arya worse by opening her mouth.

Let's say, for example, that she said this: "well, Prince Joff was cutting this butcher's son on the face, because he had seen him fighting Arya with sticks and thought he was defending my sister. My sister then came up behind him and whammed him over the head with a log.". The uproar that would have followed simply that much of the tale would probably have prevented her from going much further with it, and might very well have cost Arya a hand. And if she did continue her story, what would she say? "After Arya hit Joff, he turned and began swinging his sword at her." Well, to the people in the room that matter, the response to that is going to be, "of course he did, he had been attacked from behind and reacted to defend himself.". There is simply nothing Sansa could have said that would have improved Arya's situation one iota (and really, Arya came out of the whole thing pretty much completely unscathed; Mycah and Lady paid the price for the entire shatstorm), and anything Sansa did say would probably have made Arya's role look even worse. No one in that hall was going to give a rat's butt if a butcher's boy got cut up a little by the crown prince, they all share Sansa's bred-to-the-bone belief that there are the people who matter, and then everyone else.

She wasn’t lying to protect Arya. That was strictly for Joffrey. As I mentioned before, Arya never denied hitting Joffrey. She admitted it. Her whole defense was that she was protecting Mycah. They already knew she hit him and there was no uproar. Renly made the joke about Arya being able to disarm Joffrey with a broom handle in the middle of her story, so she obviously told them what happened. All Sansa had to do was back her story up.

I wouldn’t have blamed Sansa if it was just that she was too scared to jump in, but that doesn’t excuse her from lying about it. And even if she was too “confused” to remember, as some people like to claim, that doesn’t explain why she continued to lie about the incident afterward and told people that Mycah attacked Joffrey, basically calling her sister a liar. It also doesn’t excuse the fact that she blamed Arya and not the person who tried to kill her and still claimed to be in love with Joffrey after seeing that. Even a five year old would know to steer clear of a person that shows that type of behavior. This was her point of view and the only concern that she showed was for her day being ruined and for the person that tried to kill her sister, none for her sister. That is my problem with the character.

Honestly, I don't think it ever occured to Sansa that Arya could have been killed. This all happened in what 30 seconds? She didn't have time to register what happened during it. And naivety at the point probably stopped the thought that she could have actually seen her dreamboat, a 13 year-old, actually murder her 9 year-old sister in front of her eyes.

Then she is an idiot. If you are 11 and you don't know that getting hit with a sword could kill a person, then there is seriously something wrong with you. Even if it didn't register to her at that minute, it should have later on.

Yep. Because there's no way anyone, much less some as wise and worldy as a sheltered 11 year-old girl, could be scared for a long time after such an event. I mean it's not like the camp was in a panic and choas during all these times and she was put in front of the most powerful adults in the country and asked to support her current family or the one she will be joining in a few years for the rest of her life.

Yeah, fuck that bitch. Clearly, she hates Arya and that was her only motivation. Certainly, not a vulernable and rightfully scared 11 year-old.

I never said that she hated her Arya. She obviously didn't care about her at all. Hence the whining about her day being ruined while her sister was about to get gutted. Even after she noted the fear in her sister's eyes, she never once thought to try to protect her, she was only worried about Joffrey. You don't have to be wise and worldly to defend your family. That should be instinctual.

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(1)Then she is an idiot. If you are 11 and you don't know that getting hit with a sword could kill a person, then there is seriously something wrong with you. Even if it didn't register to her at that minute, it should have later on.

I never said that she hated her Arya. She obviously didn't care about her at all. (2)Hence the whining about her day being ruined while her sister was about to get gutted. Even after she noted the fear in her sister's eyes, she never once thought to try to protect her, she was only worried about Joffrey. You don't have to be wise and worldly to defend your family. That should be instinctual.

1. Sansa of course knows from a logical standpoint that getting hit with a sword could kill themselves. However, people often tell themselves the worst will never happen and simply don't factor it in. I find entirely believable that an 11 year-old girl simply can't process the idea that the situation could have easily been Joffery killing Arya (and quite possibly Sansa).

I want to point out, I'm pretty sure it never occured to Arya either. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure trying to murder her on the Trident would fit in with the reasons she wanted Joffery dead. But Arya, like Sansa at that point, was rather sheltered and the concept of dying just seemed inconceivable.

2. Actually, if anything, this is evidence of my first point. Her sister ruining her time with her prince? She could see that. Her prince murdering her sister? Not so much.

Please, don't get me wrong. Sansa should have told the truth. It was wrong not to. However, it doesn't mean she doesn't care about Arya. Nor did she commit an unforgivable betrayal.

One last thing, (I'm not sure if it was you who brought it up) but has anyone considered that Sansa is telling the truth when she says Mycah attacked Joffery? The same way she is telling the truth about the Hound kissing her.

Humans are quite capable at convincing themselves that something happened that did not (it's actually really, really easy), and Sansa has done this at least once.

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AGOT post: Sansa I : Eddard’s Chapter

Summary

After the fight at the Trident Arya goes missing for 4 days and is eventually found by Jory Cassell, but is taken straight to the King and Queen rather than her father when they return to Castle Darry. When Ned is informed,, he asks that Sansa be brought before the King as her voice maybe needed while he goes straight to the audience hall at Darry. The first thing he notes is that the Hall is too full and mostly full of hostile Lannister men. Arya is distraught and Ned goes to comfort her and ask why she was not brought to him. Robert says he thought it best the matter was settled quickly. Joff and Cersei then give their version of events and Arya gives hers.

After Arya’s version, Renly is escorted out of the chamber as he descends into fits of laughter that a little girl with a stick, unarmed Joff. Ned then asks Sansa to step forward and give her version of events, which he knows will clear Arya.

His eldest daughter stepped forward hesitantly…{dress description}….She blinked at her sister, then at the young prince, “I don’t know,” she said tearfully, looking as though she wanted to bolt. “I don’t remember. Everything happened so fast, I didn’t see…”

Arya immediately calls Sansa a liar, knocks her to the ground and begins hitting her. She is pulled off Sansa, still kicking at her, by Jory. Ned notes that Sansa is

pale and shaking

Cersei then says that Arya is as wild and filthy as her wolf and demands she be punished. Robert and her then proceed to argue very publically. Cersei says Joff will carry the scars for the rest of his days and Robert says maybe that should teach him a lesson and plans to end matters there, but Cersei asks what will happen to the wolf. Jory says the wolf has gone.

Cersei offers a reward for any man who brings back the wolf pelt and Robert rebukes her. Cersei and Robert then proceed to engage in snide and derogatory comments to each other. Until Cersei triumphantlypoints out that they still have a wolf, namely Sansa’s wolf Lady. Robert curses her but says so be it. Ned pleads for Lady’s life but Robert overrules him and tells him that the wolf would savage her one day and to

get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it.”

Sansa then realizes that Lady is to be killed and pleads for her pet’s life. Arya defends Lady and demands she be left alone. Ned again pleads for Lady as a brother and for the love Robert once had for his sister, but Robert ignores him,. Ned then asks that he at least do it him self, but Robert does not respond and instead curses Cersei and leaves.

Cersei calls for Ser Ilyn, but Ned says that he will do it himself. He leaves the hall to the sounds of his daughter wailing. After Lady is dead, he runs into Sandor Clegane who has killed Mycah.

Analysis

This chapter highlights the fallout from the fight and as we will later see, the fight was the instigator of Joff’s hatred of Sansa because she saw him humiliated. What is interesting is that Sansa had told her father what had happened the same day and yet 4 days later, Ned had not talked to the King about it and no one else had asked for or heard Sansa’s version of events, which strikes me as odd. We do see in the next Ned chapter though that considerable fuss was made about Joff’s injuries as one of the first things he is told when he reaches KL is that everyone is praying for Prince Joffery after his attack. Therefore I am amazed Sansa was not questioned earlier , or Ned had not had a quiet word with Robert.

Anyway moving on to Sansa. At the end of her first chapter, what was meant to be a wonderful day with her betrothed went horribly horribly wrong. Her sister is now missing and her betrothed seems to hate her and everyone is trying to find her sister.

Ned notes how intimidating and hostile the audience chamber at Darry is and when Sansa is brought forward to speak, she is hesitant and tearful, which would imply that she is scared and out of her depth. The fact she looks from Arya to Joff suggests that she is in a quandary over what to do, so chooses to say she doesn’t remember because then she is not picking sides. This was not the right thing to do, but an understandable one for a scared 11 year old who is being forced to pick between her sister and her betrothed (the boy whose family one day she is meant to become part of). I don’t think this was a deliberate attempt to side with Joffery, but a non-decision to try and extract herself from being involved in this terrifying position. Indeed during this scene, both girls are extremely scared and upset and even Ned feels the lack of friendly faces.

The fact that Arya immediately attacks her when she says she doesn’t remember and quite brutally does not help Arya’s case at all: I would say Arya’s reaction is overkill, but also understandable as she is terrified and her sister isn’t supporting her.

At this point Robert wants to call it quits and just have the issue left alone. This is where I think it turns into a fight and power play between Robert and Cersei more than anything else. Cersei had said back in Winterfell that she didn’t want the wolves coming south. Now she has the opportunity to do something about it and manages to have Lady killed. The importance of this scene is that it sets up the future tormenting of Sansa by Cersei and Joffery.

NB: Somepeople also believe that Robert’s line “get her a dog she’ll be happier for it” maybe foreshadowing a friendship between Sansa and Sandor Clegane.

AGOT Sansa II

Summary

It is the day of the Hand’s Tourneyand Sansa, Jeyne and Septa Mordane travel there in a litter with yellow silk curtains. Many Knights are there and have setup there pavilions around the Tourney grounds.

The splendor of it all took Sansa’s breath away.
And she notes that it is better than the songs. She has dressed beautifully and notes that everyone is looking at her and smiling.

Various Knights and Houses are then described. Sansa notes that Jory looks like a beggar compared to other Knights and that Septa Mordane “sniffs” when he appears. As the Jousting goes on both girls cry out when riders clash, but unlike Sansa, Jeyne covers her eyes when ever a man falls, but Sansa notes she is made of sterner stuff and does not show too visible an reaction, and Septa Mordane compliments her composure. Then Ser Gregor’s Lance goes through the Goret of Hugh of the Vale and Hugh is killed not ten feet away from Sansa. Septa Mordane has to remove Jeyne who had started weeping. Sansa however sits composed with her hands in her lap,

watching with a strange facination.
. She notes he is nothing to her, but then realizes he will be forgotten and no songs will be sung for him and feels sad.

The jousting then continues and lots of Knights, Lords, etc who will play a larger role over all the books are introduced. At the end of the day, only four participants are left: Ser Gregor, Jaime Lannister, Ser Loras Tyrell and Sandor Clegane. During the course of the Tourney Ser Loras hands out white roses to various ladies, but hands a red ne to Sansa. Sansa is very enamoured of Ser Loras. Whilst overwhelmed by his gallantry, a man approaches Sansa. She notes that he is short, and nearly as old as her father. The man states

You must be one of her daughters….You have the Tully look
. Sansa is immediately ill at ease and states that she is Sansa Stark. Septa Mordane introduces him as Lord Petyr Baelish. He states that
Your mother was my queen of beauty once….You have her hair.
He then proceeds to brush her cheek as he pushes back a lock of hair. Then quite abrupty leaves.

Sansa and Septa Mordane then attend a feast. They are given places of High honour and Sansa sits next to Joffery. He has not spoken to her since the incident at the Trident and she feels her throat tighten. She notes that

At first she thought she hated him for what they’d done to Lady, but after Sansa had wept her eyes dry, she told herself that it had not been Joffery’s doing, not truly. The queen had done it ;she was the one to hate, her and Arya.

Sansa looks at him and trembles , afraid that he might ignore or be cruel to her, but instead he is charming and pays her compliments all evening. As the evening progresses, it is one of the most magical Sansa has ever known, with singers, fools and Joff being sweet to her all evening. She notes that his arm is still troubling him, but that he does not complain about it. There are many courses and Sansa can’t eat more than two Lemoncakes, much as she loves them, although she thinks about attempting a third. Robert is getting drunk and Joff suddenly suggets that she goes back to the Castle and asks if she needs an escort. At first she says no, but seeing Septa Mordane, drunk and passed out beside her, says yes. Joff orders Sandor Clegane to take her back to the Castle.

Sandor laughs at her and asks if she thought Joff would walk her back, then pulls her too her feet and says they must go as he is drunk and may need to kill his brother tomorrow. Sansa is terrified and tries to wake Septa Mordane. But she doesn’t wake. Sansa notes

the feast was over, and the beautiful dream had ended with it.

Sandor and her return by torch light over the Tourney grounds. She is frightened of him and doesn’t want to look at him but feels she must as that is what a true lady would do. She comments on his gallantry and calls him Ser. Sandor snarls that he is not a Knight and she should spare him her empty little compliments and then asks what she thought of his brother and if he was gallant. At last she says no man could withstand him and feels proud of herself for answering. Sandor then mocks her and she tells him he is unkind. Sandor then begins to talk about Gregor and then holds her chin and forces to look at his face in the torchlight. Half his face has been burned away and Sansa begins to cry. Sandor lets her go and snuffs out the torch and asks her if she has a compliment for that. He then tells her the story of what happened to his face. After he finishes, Sansa realises she feels sad for him and is no longer afraid. A long silence ensues and she becomes afraid not for herself but for him and rests a hand on his shoulder and tells him his brother was no true knight. They travel in silence back to the city. Sandor escorts her to her room and tells her if she tells anyone what he told her, he’ll kill her.

Analysis

This was probably one of Sansa’s happiest days: life was even better than the songs she had imagined. She is the centre of attention and everyone is smiling at her and Loras gives her a red rose. What is sad in retrospect that most of this seems to be part of the “game”. She is the betrothed of the Crown Prince, the future Queen, and everyone is trying to get on her goodside and she doesn’t see it. For her it seems like a song. Indeed how little anyone is actually concerned about her is highlighted in AFFC when she says that Bronze Yohn saw her at the Tourney and LF basically says she was one of many girls and he wouldn’t have really noticed her.

This is also the first time we see Sansa’s ability to keep her composure regardless of what is going on around her. Her reaction to seeing a man gruesomely die in front of her is almost disinterested. Yet she is praised for it by Septa Mordane. This chapter also highlights something personally I had never realised before, that Septa Mordane is a snooty bitch. Indeed people seem to blame Cat for Sansa being a bit snobby, but I am beginning to think her governess had a lot to answer for.

It is also the first time Sansa meets Littlefinger. What is fascinating is she is immediately ill at ease with him. His comments are on a reread, incredibly ugh! and creepy. One of the things Sansa is accused of is not being a true Stark and yet in this scene when LF mentions her Tully look, she immediately identifies herself as a Stark.

Her thoughts at the feast are interesting as it is clear she initially did blame and hate Joff after Lady’s death. However she tells herself it wasn’t him, it was the queen and Arya. Now clearly this is unfair to Arya and a whitewashing of Joff, however he was still the boy she was destined to marry. Her own father had killed her wolf when the Queen’s ordered Lady killed, and despite everything, he had not broken off her betrothal or it seems really spoken to her about it. So I can see where it is easier to make yourself believe that your future husband isn’t evil, because believing it that young would suck. All the same she is afraid of Joff, but Joff then worms his way back into her affections.

His arm still being painful is interesting as this must have been at least a month and a half after the trident incident. Whether he was faking it or not is up for debate, but if not, then he was quite badly injured. Although knowing Joff I would hazard a guess at attention seeking.

Sansa’s journey home with Sandor Clegane is another interesting point. All throughout her conversations with Joff and others, she is at pains to say the right things and recites courtesies she has learnt. When she tries this with Sandor, she is mocked and rebuked. She is afraid of him, but actually tries to answer his questions honestly, rather than with her learned phrases. The fact she lays a comforting hand on his shoulder and feels fear for him after he tells her his story also highlights one of the best aspects of Sansa’s personality traits: her compassion and empathy.

Indeed Sansa imagines what it is like to be in stories and songs and therefore can perhaps visualize and understand others better. What is interesting is that in this chapter both LF and Sandor reveal something very personal about themselves to her and then get uncomfortable about their disclosure of information.

It is also important chapter as we are introduced to a wide range of characters within the story.

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Sorry, posted this before I saw that the next chapter analysis was up.

1. Sansa of course knows from a logical standpoint that getting hit with a sword could kill themselves. However, people often tell themselves the worst will never happen and simply don't factor it in. I find entirely believable that an 11 year-old girl simply can't process the idea that the situation could have easily been Joffery killing Arya (and quite possibly Sansa).

I want to point out, I'm pretty sure it never occured to Arya either. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure trying to murder her on the Trident would fit in with the reasons she wanted Joffery dead. But Arya, like Sansa at that point, was rather sheltered and the concept of dying just seemed inconceivable.

2. Actually, if anything, this is evidence of my first point. Her sister ruining her time with her prince? She could see that. Her prince murdering her sister? Not so much.

Please, don't get me wrong. Sansa should have told the truth. It was wrong not to. However, it doesn't mean she doesn't care about Arya. Nor did she commit an unforgivable betrayal.

One last thing, (I'm not sure if it was you who brought it up) but has anyone considered that Sansa is telling the truth when she says Mycah attacked Joffery? The same way she is telling the truth about the Hound kissing her.

Humans are quite capable at convincing themselves that something happened that did not (it's actually really, really easy), and Sansa has done this at least once.

Sansa does not, at this time (at the hearing or at any time on the way to King's Landing that we know of) say that Mycah attacked Joffrey. Ned implies, in his thoughts, that Sansa had told him the truth about the incident on the same day(night, actually). When Sansa is summoned before the court, all she says is:

"I don't know....I don't remember. Everything happened so fast, I didn't see..."

You are right that people can deceive themselves in memory. It remains to be seen whether Sansa will make it a pattern, a recurring weakness, or something that happened twice when she remembers other events quite clearly in later books.

During the Mycah incident and its aftermath, we see that Arya turns on Sansa with physical force, while Sansa yells at Arya to stop (stop attacking Sansa's precious prince) and also yells at both Arya and Joffrey to stop (stop fighting each other). It is a pattern that when facing danger and stress, Arya resorts to violence while Sansa urges cessation of violence and a return to an ordered world - during this sorry incident, it becomes clear that neither sister's approach works well and in fact their methods of dealing with it make the incident far worse. Arya was in absolutely no danger until she whacked the crown prince with a stick; and Mycah's doom was sealed by this action and Nymeria's attack (caused by Joffrey's chasing Arya with a sword and Arya's terror). Sansa was no help at all; but she might have been if Arya had not attacked Joffrey. Once Arya hit Joffrey in the head (spilling blood), Joffrey went crazy with rage. (and of course the worst thing is that Joffrey blames the one being who did absolutely nothing to him - Mycah - as well as Arya, who as a little girl should have been spanked and otherwise punished but not maimed or slaughtered; she was very lucky that her father's knights found her first).

Sansa clearly tries to stop both Joffrey and Arya from the moment Arya wallops Joffrey to the moment when Joffrey gains the advantage, she is yelling at them "No, no, stop it, stop it, both of you, you're spoiling it,". Her pretty little world has been invaded by blood and rage and she wants her fantasy date with her fantasy prince back. Arya's throwing a rock at Joffrey's head does provoke another "Stop it!" cry of protest from Sansa. When Joffrey gains the upper hand and pursues Arya with sword in hand and backs her up against a tree, and Sansa sees Arya's fear, Sansa does choose her prince over her sister or vice versa. The narration says that Sansa didn't know what to do: She watched helplessly, almost blind from her tears. Her own stress is obvious.

Should Sansa have run and thrust herself between the enraged Joffrey and now helpless Arya? At least begged him not to hurt her sister? Probably (and maybe gotten herself hurt in the process); it was clear that Arya was scared. It had also been clear that Arya had struck first and hurt Joffrey; drawing blood and turning the hitherto Prince Charming into a scary Beast. It is clear to me that Sansa is emotionally paralyzed by the stress of seeing the boy she believes she adores terrorizing her sister. She is not making any conscious decision to favor the vicious prince over her own sister.

I also wonder whether Joffrey's turning the complete force of his rage and "loathing" from Arya-and-Nymeria on to Sansa herself when Sansa tenderly ministers to him and commiserates and promises to bring help had something to do with Sansa's wimping out on telling the truth to Joffrey's parents a few days later. She cannot, at this time, understand why Joffrey looked at her with such hatred; and she cannot deal with it. (I can understand; Sansa became despicable in Joffrey's eyes because Sansa not only witnessed his being hurt and disarmed by a tiny nine-year-old girl, but she also voiced pity for/to him)

Everyone acted poorly here except Mycah; who followed the rules - especially Joffrey; he and Cersei are the real villains of the incident. Arya survived only because Nymeria attacked Joffrey, and because she was Ned Stark's daughter rather than a peasant child who could have been slaughtered with impunity.

Biggest tragedy is that Nymeria didn't tear out Joffrey's throat, thus saving many lives in the future.

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So, do you think she should run now and leave Robyn to deal with LF on his own? Or hang around and try to prevent her cousin's death? Leave and take Robyn with her? What do you think her best course of action is?

STAY! Sansa knows that she is LF's most VALUABLE asset right now and Robert isn't in danger yet. It is too soon since Lysa's death for him to kill him. LF is not going to hurt her AT ALL. He will not touch her, he will guard that maiden head of hers like nothing else. Yes he is creepy and keeps kissing her and crap but we already know he intends to marry her off (I will eat my laptop if in tWoW he rapes her).

Sansa is no. 1 playing peice esp considering as far as LF is concerned she is the heir to Winterfell. No one important to Sansa's arc right now knows about Rickon or Bran and I don't think Bran will be leaving his weirwood throne ever again.

Sansa has time to plan and listen she still has to get an annulment of marriage to Tyrion. She has time, she needs to stay where it is safe, meaning - food and shelter and not run off into an Autumn and go nowhere (because there is nowhere for her to go to).

I don't trust any of the Lords Declarant yet, everyone has been changing direction like flags in the wind and just like Arya nearly came a cropper with Bolton we don't need Sansa blundering into a so-called bannerman of Stark.

When her annulment comes through and she is sure that LF is about to marry her off. If she has no one to go to, I personally (with all the information I had on hand at the time and lets say nothing has changed in the political gridlock, meaning everything is just as it was at the end of aDwD) would be stealing 3 horses and bolting with my cousin Robert straight for Stannis-on-the-Wall (if he is still alive) but as far as Sansa knows Stannis is on the wall defending it and the Queen is there. It's a fair hoik but I would rather run like crazy to Stannis who at least will protect me than marry and worry everyday that if I get knocked up and have a kid I will get murdered in my birthing-bed for my inheritance.

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I actually like Sansa overall, root for her to come out of her dire situation, stronger and calling the shots, and think she's developing into one of the most interesting characters in the story. However, I don't have any desire to gloss over or try to excuse her actions at the beginning of GoT, or try to make her look better by bringing down every one around her or blaming them for "raising her" to make those decisions. There are just too many quotes for me to go back and find them all, so I will be paraphrasing a lot.

Whilst a lot of people seem to see Arya as more pragmatic, I would say this chapter also highlights that in her own way Arya was just as naïve as Sansa, because she was also convinced her life would be a fairytale: one that involved fighting and swords and doing as she pleased. (Ironically this has sort of come to pass. ) Sansa gets annoyed that whenever Arya acts in an unladylike manner her father laughs it off and hugs her (and in so doing reaffirms her bratty behaviour). I am always surprised that Ned did not make it more implicit to Arya that she could not act the way she had done at Winterfell when they were in KL or travelling with the King and Queen. If it hadn’t have been for Bran’s fall, I am certain that Cat would have talked to her and Ned about this. Ned is not used to Southron courts, Cat was. Ned’s indulgence of Arya’s wild streak and rebellious nature is one of his failings.

First, to address the issue of Ned not raising Arya right, how does that have anything to do with Sansa? I guess bringing Arya, and most oddly, Ned down a couple of notches will make Sansa's decisions in this chapter look better in comparison. However, I think Ned allowing Arya to be who she is, is one of the best examples of parenting we have in the entire series and it kind of makes my stomach turn that of all things that was targeted to highlight why Sansa's actions were more rational than Arya's. I agree that both Sansa and Arya were having like naive kids at a lot of points, with Arya's most fatal shortcoming being acting very rashly, and Sansa's being that she couldn't accept the evidence in front of her about what Joff truly was, and chose to stick to her fairy tale. I think safety concerns are entirely a moot point, neither here nor there. Those were different times, and most importantly, before the war that tore the country side up into easy pickings for every raper, looter, and murderer out there. No one else in Ned's party, including Septa Mordane, was complaining about the safety of children running around the countryside (though Septa Mordane was probably concerned about the propriety) so I don't think we need to concern ourselves with what a bad father Ned was in allowing this.

I'm sorry, but wrong. Sansa's wolf wasn't even involved in the altercation. The only reason Lady got chosen was because Nymeria was nowhere to be had. Cersei did NOT want those wolves travelling South with them, and told Robert as much. She took any opportunity to get rid of the last wolf they had.

ETA: To clarify, let's posit what may have happened if she DID tell the truth.

Sansa: Your grace, Joff was tormenting the butcher's boy, and Arya jumped in to defend him, hitting Joff so hard the back of his head was bloody. He retaliated, they kept fighting, until Nymeria jumped in and bit his arm.

Robert: I see, thank you Sansa. Well, Ned, it looks like my son was a bit of a shit. I'll deal with him if you deal with her.

Cersei: What of the wolf that nearly tore your son's arm off?

...and it would end up exactly where it was without Sansa saying anything. The truth is Arya beat Joff up quite badly, the crown prince, and her wolf attacked him. Cersei was going to go after the wolf no matter what Sansa said. Sansa's omitting the truth had nothing to do with Cersei's decision to remove the direwolves' presence in their caravan.

Here's the thing. You say yourself here that Cersei demanded the death of a direwolf as punishment for a wolf attacking her son. Regardless of whether Robert believes Arya or Joffery, it is still the case that a wolf mauled the crown prince. The only difference is the motive. Cersei's argument was that Dire Wolves are dangerous, and she has proof of that right in front of her (Joff's arm). Hence the motive is irrelevant.

If you look at Sansa's perspective, she can A.) say that Arya's story is true - e.g. take Arya's side, B.) say that Joffery's story is true - e.g. take Joff's side or C.) say nothing. If she does A or B she increases enmity between the Royal family and the Stark family. She doens't want that, because she wants everyone to get along. C is the least likely to hurt anyone and the most likely to lead to the most good feeling between everyone, since as Robert has said, his plan is to discipline Joffery himself while Ned takes care of Arya.

Ned was not truthful during his confession in order to protect his daughters. So she did very well at doing what Ned would do.

Yeah, but the difference was that Ned lied to protect his family, Sansa lied for...many reasons but not that.

With regards to Sansa and telling the truth, it wouldn't have mattered truly. A lot of those in attendance probably knew Joff was scum already - his own father, the Hound, Renly, lots of the other soldiers probably - but it doesn't change the fact that he's the crown prince. And what could Sansa really say that would make people think badly of Joffrey even if they held him in esteem? That he had threatened the butcher's boy? Oooooh, naughty Joff! In most of these people's minds, Mycah is a non-entity, not worth even bothering about. Attacking Arya? Joff could simply counter by saying that Arya had attacked him first, which Sansa would have to admit was the truth. He could claim he was only toying with Mycah etc etc.

Regarding the Lady incident...

All Cersei had to say was, "Joff was beaten so badly his head was bloody, and the wolf savaged him. By the girl's own sister's testimony, she threw a rock at my son's head. Joff had a sword, but the girl has not a scratch on her, except those her butcher's boy gave her. Pray tell, which of the children was out of control? And what happens next time they argue? Will the wolf go for his throat? I want it dead."

All of these quotes serve one purpose: to demonstrate some serious cognitive dissonance. In all of them, you're making the assertion that Sansa made the best possible choice by refusing to tell the truth about what happened at the river bank, because somehow, this would be the choice that leads to the least conflict. At the same time, you're making the argument that no matter what Sansa had said or done, Lady, the only available direworlf, would have died anyway. I completely agree that there was nothing Sansa could do or say, to stop Cersei from having Lady killed. Cersei was hell bent on killing a wolf, and she would have done it with any excuse she had available to her. Sansa was not necessary for that.

However, I completely disagree that Sansa had some long game in mind, that she was trying to minimize the conflict between her family and the Lannisters. How can you on one hand say that she's a naive 11 year old girl just acting like, and making the mistakes of a little girl (and I completely agree with you on that) and then try to justify this one instance of less than noble behavior by saying that she was trying to actively minimize the political fall out from this incident. I call bull shit. She said she didn't remember what happened because she was scared of being put in the spot light, scared of displeasing Joff, not happy under pressure, and trying to avoid conflict for herself. In other words, she was a scared 11 year old girl acting reflexively in a situation in which she did not feel at all comfortable.

Going back to how I agree with you that Lady would have died regardless---so we agree that everything, including the results, in this situation would have been the same. The only variable is Sansa's response. Sansa is not a bad person, at any point in the story, but very few of these characters are actually bad people. They're just people, very well fleshed out, who make morally good choices, and morally bad choices, and everything in between. In a situation where nothing would have changed by her response, by lying that she didn't remember what happened, instead of telling the truth and sticking up for her sister, Sansa made a very bad choice. Her age and naivete are a mitigating factor in this, but it was still a bad choice. Stop trying to justify it.

I also want to add, that Sansa did not express a lot of concern for Arya while she was having a sword thrust at her by Joffrey. Maybe she was repressing the reality of what could happen, idk, but I have a little sister. If even my closest friends or loved ones were trying to brandish a knife at her, even "just playing" my gut reaction would be to scream at the highest octave available to my larynx, to get that thing the hell away from her. Later in GoT after all hell breaks lose and Ned is already imprisoned, Sansa speaks with Cersei about Jeyne being shut up in the room with her and crying all the time. I think this is the same scene where Sansa agrees to write the letters to her family, correct me if I'm wrong, but after after leaving, Sansa realizes she forgot to ask about Arya, who had not been seen since the Gold cloaks had started the slaughter of her father's men. I don't want to jump the gun on the re-read, but it's connected to her seeming indifference to Arya in this chapter, and might be interesting to re-approach when we get there, if anyone wants to try to analyze it objectively...

I have a part two post coming up where I focus more on Sansa and actually say good things about her but I really needed to post the above material. It just seems like this re-read thread is becoming an extension of the Sansa appreciation thread. While I understand loving a character to the point of wanting to overlook some of their flaws, I don't think that kind of subjectivity helps a re-read thread, where people might go to brush up on certain details, or objectively reanalyze early bits of a character's arc after learning new things in later books.

Edit: Sorry, I too posted before realizing that, like, ten other people had posted and we'd moved on to the next chapters -_-

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Ned notes how intimidating and hostile the audience chamber at Darry is and when Sansa is brought forward to speak, she is hesitant and tearful, which would imply that she is scared and out of her depth. The fact she looks from Arya to Joff suggests that she is in a quandary over what to do, so chooses to say she doesn’t remember because then she is not picking sides. This was not the right thing to do, but an understandable one for a scared 11 year old who is being forced to pick between her sister and her betrothed (the boy whose family one day she is meant to become part of). I don’t think this was a deliberate attempt to side with Joffery, but a non-decision to try and extract herself from being involved in this terrifying position. Indeed during this scene, both girls are extremely scared and upset and even Ned feels the lack of friendly faces.

The fact that Arya immediately attacks her when she says she doesn’t remember and quite brutally does not help Arya’s case at all: I would say Arya’s reaction is overkill, but also understandable as she is terrified and her sister isn’t supporting her.

Yeah, completely agree with this assessment.

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I actually like Sansa overall, root for her to come out of her dire situation, stronger and calling the shots, and think she's developing into one of the most interesting characters in the story. However, I don't have any desire to gloss over or try to excuse her actions at the beginning of GoT, or try to make her look better by bringing down every one around her or blaming them for "raising her" to make those decisions. There are just too many quotes for me to go back and find them all, so I will be paraphrasing a lot.

First, to address the issue of Ned not raising Arya right, how does that have anything to do with Sansa? I guess bringing Arya, and most oddly, Ned down a couple of notches will make Sansa's decisions in this chapter look better in comparison. However, I think Ned allowing Arya to be who she is, is one of the best examples of parenting we have in the entire series and it kind of makes my stomach turn that of all things that was targeted to highlight why Sansa's actions were more rational than Arya's. I agree that both Sansa and Arya were having like naive kids at a lot of points, with Arya's most fatal shortcoming being acting very rashly, and Sansa's being that she couldn't accept the evidence in front of her about what Joff truly was, and chose to stick to her fairy tale. I think safety concerns are entirely a moot point, neither here nor there. Those were different times, and most importantly, before the war that tore the country side up into easy pickings for every raper, looter, and murderer out there. No one else in Ned's party, including Septa Mordane, was complaining about the safety of children running around the countryside (though Septa Mordane was probably concerned about the propriety) so I don't think we need to concern ourselves with what a bad father Ned was in allowing this.

I may be off, but I don't think Rapsie was trying to do as you say. I believe that what she intended to come across was to explain the extenuating circumstances, which cannot be ignored. This was a situation involving not only Sansa, but others as well.

At least as I've known Rapsie, she is not one to try to make a certain character to look better, to "whitewash" and certainly not to try to take Ned or Arya down a few pegs.

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Sansa's coolness when faced with the death of a tourney knight is really telling for her future development I think. Sansa is very level headed and knows how to keep her cool and act rational in stressful situations. In this way, she contrasts with Arya.

I think voodooqueen earlier said that Sansa is a rationalizer and Arya is an empiricist. I think this is spot on.

A rationalizer develops a belief system first, and then retroactively fits her observations of the world into that belief system in order to explain those observations. The problem is that's a faulty method of gleaning information about the world because it's not evidence based, and it encourages adamantly sticking to your belief system until you're shaken out of it by a really world-shattering event that provides evidence you just can't explain away with your previously contructed belief system. This is why Sansa continues to believe that Joffrey and Cersei are the good and kindly Prince and Queen of her fairytales, even after confronted with evidence to the contrary on the Kingsroad.

Arya on the other hand is an empiricist who calls it like she sees it. She uses her observations of the world to shape her beliefs about the world and people around her. It's why she was such a good student of both Syrio and the FM, who teach to see with your eyes, to look past the obvious, the stereotypical, the assumed, and see what's really there. This system is flexible because it's evidence based, and can change with new evidence.

However, Arya's weakness is that she's very emotionally driven. She reacts in anger a lot, and too quickly to make good choices all the time. This is exactly Sansa's strength, she's so cool in the face of danger, she knows how to stay under the radar until she can actually do something. Not only that, but I believe she experiences the shattering of her rationalist system after Ned's execution, and then begins to adopt a more empriricist one. I suppose, more on that later, once we get to it.

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Good point about Septa Mordane, Rapsie. She is probably very proud of being in the employ of the Starks, and Sansa's manners (and beauty, though she had nothing to do with it) reflect well on her. I initially took her embarrassment at Jory's appearance at the tourney as embarrassment for him, but it could be that she wishes he were shinier for the Starks and, by extension, for herself. She has 2 failings we know about already. One is that Sansa has no head for numbers. Since Sansa would one day be running a household (had this story taken a wildly different turn), her lack of accounting ability is troubling. Second is her lousy chaperoning. When Joff asks Sansa if she needs an escort back to the castle, SM is passed out drunk with her head on the table, and Sansa's unable to wake her. That's pretty drunk. Too drunk for someone responsible for an 11-year-old at a party attended by people who've already shown themselves to be hostile to her family. Can you imagine what went through her mind when she sobered up and learned that _Sandor_ _Clegane_ took Sansa across a dark field, alone, and back to the castle? It's a wonder Ned didn't fire her on the spot.

LF's intro stood out to me when I first read GOT because it was so strange. I think he must've been caught off-guard by how much Sansa resembles her mother. Like, "holy cow, it's like Cat-as-a-teenager is standing in front of me!" He was probably rattled by it, and we know he doesn't get rattled by very much. The touch was creepy, to be sure, but Sansa was also being addressed by a high lord who she didn't know and that would've left her struggling for an appropriate form of address. Also, the guy clearly knew who she was. If someone you've never seen before comes up to you and starts saying how your mother used to be their queen of beauty, of course you're going to be weirded out by it. I still think it's strange that Cat didn't tell Sansa about LF. Like, "The Master of Coin in KL was raised with me and I thought of him like a brother. Say hi to PB when you get in town." Once LF said "your mother," that should've rung a bell.

His arm still being painful is interesting as this must have been at least a month and a half after the trident incident. Whether he was faking it or not is up for debate, but if not, then he was quite badly injured. Although knowing Joff I would hazard a guess at attention seeking.
This always reminds me of Draco Malfoy getting scratched by Buckbeak.

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A rationalizer develops a belief system first, and then retroactively fits her observations of the world into that belief system in order to explain those observations. The problem is that's a faulty method of gleaning information about the world because it's not evidence based, and it encourages adamantly sticking to your belief system until you're shaken out of it by a really world-shattering event that provides evidence you just can't explain away with your previously contructed belief system. This is why Sansa continues to believe that Joffrey and Cersei are the good and kindly Prince and Queen of her fairytales, even after confronted with evidence to the contrary on the Kingsroad.

This is false, however. While she does excuse Joffrey, she says:

The queen had done it; she was the one to hate, her and Arya. (Sansa II, Game of Thrones)

I browsed through Sansa's chapters yesterday, and there's no evidence to show that she still thought Cersei was "good". She admires Cersei's grace and composure, but says nothing about her "goodness". She goes to her with Ned's plans because she's scared of the loud, drunk King, not because she *likes* Cersei. And yes, Cersei is then sweet to her and manipulates her, and Sansa naively believes that Cersei will be honorable, but clearly that fleeting was hope was crushed.

Sansa is definitely naive, and in the first book does try to jam the messy, complex world into the archetypes of the songs and stories she'd been taught, but I think this aspect of her is overblown.

Oh, and regarding the Lady incident, since you quoted me above...I was not trying to "excuse" Sansa's lying (although I think it was an understandable reaction in the situation, and less immoral than others seem to think), merely trying to rebut the misguided notion that Sansa's decision to omit the truth directly led to Lady's death. I find that notion abhorrent, and all the evidence that we have (Cersei not wanting the direwolves there, Cersei being wayyyy overprotective of Joff, direwolves IN FACT being dangerous regardless of who started the fight, Lady's overall innocence, Robert's inability to stand up to Cersei even when he knows Joff was likely lying and the direwolf itself was innocent) tells us that Lady was dead no matter what Sansa said.

And I seriously judge anyone who says that Sansa "deserved" to lose her direwolf.

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I have a part two post coming up where I focus more on Sansa and actually say good things about her but I really needed to post the above material. It just seems like this re-read thread is becoming an extension of the Sansa appreciation thread. While I understand loving a character to the point of wanting to overlook some of their flaws, I don't think that kind of subjectivity helps a re-read thread, where people might go to brush up on certain details, or objectively reanalyze early bits of a character's arc after learning new things in later books.

You'll notice that we are giving an analysis of the chapter - which corresponds to our own personal reading and feelings about it, in addition to a chapter summary specifically for those who need to brush up on the chapter details. Neither myself nor Rapsie are attempting to whitewash Sansa's character; indeed, the whole purpose of our project was to benefit our reading of the character by subjecting her to the more critical lens that is central to reread threads. As you would have noticed, everyone is free to voice their opinion about the chapters, and engage in debate with others that may or may not share their ideas. If you don't like a certain analysis of a chapter, then feel free to challenge it as others have done already. As for the Sansa appreciation thread, that too is not a place for mindless Sansa praising. True appreciation is always cognisant of flaws and strengths.

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First, to address the issue of Ned not raising Arya right, how does that have anything to do with Sansa? I guess bringing Arya, and most oddly, Ned down a couple of notches will make Sansa's decisions in this chapter look better in comparison.

That was not the intention at all. Ned was not a bad father, but he did have failings. Had Sansa been equally as disobedient as Arya, then I think Ned would also have brushed that off. Ned didn't mind Arya's behaviour. However both girls have also been brought up by their Mother and her "Snootyness" Septa Mordane, who are a lot less forgiving of unladylike behaviour (the table incident at Winterfell). This reflects Southron culture, which is not as free as the North. The way in which this effects Sansa is there seems to be a double standard: she behaves as a Lady should on the journey down the Kingsroad, and yet Arya is allowed to run wild and do things like run into the bogs, treat the Queen's invite as though it was just a potential choice for the day and up until the trident fight, she is just hugged and it is laughed off. It's a bit like the story of the prodical son, which to be honest I've never understood, because if I was the child who had always been the obedient one and then the nonobedient one is rewarded, then I'd be ticked off completely. The point is Sansa continually sees her sister getting away with behaviour that would be punished if their mother was there. The effect this has on Sansa is that she does slowly start to disobey as well: feeding Lady under the table for example.

Both Ned and Cat have different parenting styles and each have their failings and successes. Sansa's lady like behaviour seems to somewhat distance her from being a Northerner whilst in Winterfell, however as they travel South to KL, Sansa's behaviour becomes the norm while Arya's, which seems very accepted for a Northern girl, becomes frowned upon.

The intention was not to bring Arya down or to say that Ned was a terrible father, but that Arya needed to be reigned in, and it should have been explained to her that there would be different cultural expectations from her. For example she can fight with her brothers etc, but she has to treat the Crown Prince with respect. Although to be fair to Ned, at this point he still sees Robert as he remembered him in his youth, (food fights in the Eyrie etc) and indeed when the boys were fostered in the Vale, the culture there reflects a similar tone to the North. Had Cat been with them, it may have helped, but I think Ned was blind to the potential trouble Arya's behaviour may get her into. For example, when she knocks over Tommen: imagine if she had been caught? The fuss would have been enormous. Ned does eventually have a talk with her when they get to KL, so he does try.

EDIT: Equally Sansa needed a stern talking to about looking through the world with rose coloured fairytale glasses. Ned disapproves of her going to the Tourney for example but Sansa goes on about it, so he lets her go. He should have explained why he was against it and give her an idea of why these events were not some wonderful fairytale event. Although as Ned is taken in by fools and flatters etc, he may not have been the best judge.

It also needed to be explained to her that people in the South in particular duel with words and unlike Winterfell, there are a lot of liers, fools and flatterers.He should have talked to her about Joffery and explained that he was the one to blame, and chastised her for blaming her sister, although it is interesting that in one of his POVs, he blames Sandor Clegane and the Queen, but makes no mention of Joff.

However, I think Ned allowing Arya to be who she is, is one of the best examples of parenting we have in the entire series and it kind of makes my stomach turn that of all things that was targeted to highlight why Sansa's actions were more rational than Arya's. I agree that both Sansa and Arya were having like naive kids at a lot of points, with Arya's most fatal shortcoming being acting very rashly, and Sansa's being that she couldn't accept the evidence in front of her about what Joff truly was, and chose to stick to her fairy tale.

From a 21st century perspective I totally agree and also to an extent had they stayed in the North. However in Southron Westeros the culture is different. There is an element of when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I am not suggesting Ned should have suddenly demanded she be like Sansa, but he should have outlined some rules and boundaries for her behaviour. Indeed one of the best things he does is hire Syrio, because Arya then has a controlled outlet for her personality. Although even then it is covered as being dancing lessons.

Now whether or not Arya would have had a marriage arranged for her at somepoint is debatable. Breinne's father arranged 3 before finally giving up, although Brienne herself points out that had her second betrothed lived, she would be married by now with children.

EDIT: Also thanks Lady Candace and Brashcandy. I certainly wasn't trying to excuse or whitewash Sansa's actions but to try and see how her character develops in relation to her sister's actions and their father's reaction and how out of the 3 of them Sansa's behaviour was the most Southron, while Ned and Arya are very Northern.

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Peace or not, the Neck is still pretty dangerous place for an 8 year old going around without adult supervision all day. There are plenty of snakes, quicksand, you can get hopelessly lost in the bogs, etc. There's letting your child be herself and then there's recklessness as a parent, I think in this case Ned was doing more of the latter than the former in this case. That also applies even more to how he dealt with Bran - his "OK, you can climb as much as you want but try not to let your mother see you".

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rofl, I love how you emphasize in detail how "creepy" LF is and how "ill-at-ease" Sansa is with LF, but then deemphasize the very same feelings she has towards the Hound.

Fact is both of them are creepy as hell, and Sansa feels it deeply.

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rofl, I love how you emphasize in detail how "creepy" LF is and how "ill-at-ease" Sansa is with LF, but then deemphasize the very same feelings she has towards the Hound.

Fact is both of them are creepy as hell, and Sansa feels it deeply.

I would say that Sansa doesn't feel ill at ease with the Hound, at least not in the same way she does with Petyr. She's definitely scared of him - he's big, he's nasty, and usually drunk when they interact. But she's comfortable enough to tell him he's awful and he's going to hell. With the Hound, she knows why she's scared - he's physically intimidating. But yet I think she still pities him more than she fears him. With Petyr, I think she has trouble pinpointing what exactly it is that creeps her out (because his intentions are obfuscated and manipulative), so she's confused.

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rofl, I love how you emphasize in detail how "creepy" LF is and how "ill-at-ease" Sansa is with LF, but then deemphasize the very same feelings she has towards the Hound.

Fact is both of them are creepy as hell, and Sansa feels it deeply.

Oh Dear! Points for trying to be objective? :)

Although the description in the chapter has a certain difference. She isn't afraid of LF but it does say he made her uneasy, whereas Sandor scared the hell out of her. LF's comments and the touch were creepy. Sandor's mocking her and scaring her was nasty and dickish behaviour.

I tried to keep the wording similar to the text in terms of her feelings and impressions.

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