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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa

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Thanks, I knew stuff was going on with the weirwood but I wasn't sure. Ok, so warging is warging. Other separate abilities are apparent.

Man, I have to think some more before I post...the brain is whirling again.

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We are discussing her character growth chapter by chapter. So it's best to focus on what's in that chapter.

Also it is important to look at her individual character as a separate person from the men around her. Both the Sansa Appreciation thread and the Sandor thread discuss their relationship quite often and unless it is relevant to the chapter at hand or refers to a chapter we've read, then it would be better to discuss it in those other threads.

So far I think the two chapters discussed have already shown that she has started out as a rationalist, with a rather fairytale and naive world view, but we are also seeing her ability to keep composure under pressure, her knowledge about the nobility and their House Sigils and her ability to recognize even strangers based on what she knows about their houses etc.

Excuseme but I thought that I was doing that: discuse the character in each chapter and the intra-relation with other characters. I had state my opinion about the Septa, Arya, LF. However, due to the fact that I have realized that I´m a fan of Sansa/Sandor relationship always I will always see more things that maybe others that pointed in that direction than others that are no fan of that relationship. Everybody can agree or disagree with my points of view. For that I´m here. To discuss with others and find things that I haven´t see.

I´ve only excused myself of speaking to much to others as a recall that another follower has done in general, not to me in particular.

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Like I've pointed out LF should probably get at least equal time given his importance to Sansa's narrative, but since Hound fans all seem to loathe him, it's not gonna happen. I know there are LF fans out there but they seem notably absent in this thread so far. :P

I plan to be around and talking quite a lot about Littlefinger and his role in Sansa's development when we get to those chapters. It's just that, as others have stated, there's not a lot to talk about yet. But for what it's worth, I love Littlefinger as a character. As a person, he makes my skin crawl, but as a character he fascinates me, and I have many ~feelings about his scenes with Sansa. So prepare yourself for some upcoming LIttlefinger tl;dr from me! :P

Getting back to the current chapters: In the Eddard chapter following this one, I remember him noticing that Sansa was wearing the rose that Ser Loras had given her. That makes me facepalm in embarrassment for the poor girl. I remember being that age and making a fool of myself over a boy. Thank goodness I outgrew it quickly.

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Just that Bran tuned into his abilities faster (with the help of Meera and Jojen) and Jon is in a better, clearer mental space then the other two and being older might be a help too. And Sansa has nobody, no help in this, she is distressed, and can't recognize it for herself, if warging powers or something else is what is happenening and not just merely fantasizing. My question is that not only is Bran warging, but he is seeing the future possibly in dreams too? And if he is, is that connected to warging or a separate power unto itself? I am still reading, so I am not clear if that is how its working or if Martin, even by book 5, has not revealed the extent of what some powers can really do. It was just yesterday that for some reason I took a step back and it could still be this, but I thought about her misremembering being a psycological crutch, or mental defense mechanism, and then it occurred to me that I'm tired of her victim role. It's been a lot. And for me I had recently read her wedding to Tyrion and then I thought about unkiss again. And a few other things. And then I thought of Bran and Jon and wondered...maybe something else is really going on in her mind? Maybe she is dreaming of things to come and blurring it with a reality she thinks happend, Unkiss, the climb into bed, and maybe other things. And if it is helping her to cope too so be it. But I am limited. I am in the middle of SOS still, so there are many pieces I am missing in regard to the series and what has happened exactly past the point I am at. Spoilers can only take me so far.

I think that are a thing going about Sansa didn´t want to speak about dreams and made the story that she dream about Joff haunting a white piece. I don´t remember where I readed. But that made me think about warg dreams.

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I like Littlefinger, but tbh for me there is not much to say about him until later books. When we get there it's a plethora of material as well as some things to consider retroactively. But in AGoT we do not see the machinations that were going on that we learned were going on then in a later novel. If that makes sense...

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Sorry, it is of the third chapter and rereading I feel different that what I remembered. Tomorrow I will discuss that theme.

------------------------

It´s true. She carries the red rose in the next day of tourney. That makes me smile. It´s so innocent. She was so proud that Ser Loras gave it to her (to all the others white, red to her).

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Perhaps that is another area we can turn the discussion towards until the next chapter comes along: Sansa's response to Loras.

With our knowledge of things that come later, we can look at early interactions between Sansa and Sandor and read lots of things into every word, look and touch. However, I think it goes without saying that at thiis point, Sansa certainly would not characterize her interactions with Sandor as having any romantic tinge whatsoever. She is sorry for him, and afraid of him, but certainly unaware of any other undercurrents that may appear later.

Her response to Loras, however, is immediately and almost over-the-top romantic, as only a young and idealistic teen/tween girl can be. She has established now her own view on the difference between a knight and a "true knight.". Obviously she has placed Loras very squarely in the latter category. Is she right in doing this? Is Loras a "true knight?" Would Sansa be horrified if she knew what is evidently reasonably common knowledge - that he is homosexual? Would her response to that be empathy and sympathy that he cannot openly share life with whom he really loves, or would it be such an aberration in her mind's view of "true knight" that she would be unable to continue thinking of him that way? It is almost surprising that this is not a little piece of "reality" for Sandor to share with her, to shore up his argument that people are all liars and not what they seem.

Sansa obviously reads a *great* deal into the red rose. Is that because she genuinely has a romantic interest in Loras, or because it fits in so perfectly with her daydreams? Is she even able at this very tender age to have romantic feelings (I remember having crushes at 11, but nothing that could even remotely be classified as real romantic or sexual feelings)? Or is it more along the lines of what a young girl feels as she stands at a Justin Bieber concert, convinced that he is singing each song secretly just for her somehow?

My personal opinion is that it is closer to a "groupie" type crush than an actual romantic response. As to how she would react to the idea of his homosexuality, I think first someone would have to explain to her what it MEANS. I think her initial reaction would be immense shock. After that ...I am genuinely on the fence. Part of me wants to believe that her natural empathy would find his situation tragic and sympathetic. Another part of me thinks that she would find it so unnatural and dishonest (from her POV, one of the most iconic knights in the realm not being what he seems) that it would repulse her; especially as she is beginning to learn what it can mean when someone is not what they present themselves to be.

Thoughts?

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For me Loras is one "true knight". How can I explained? That he loves a man is like he loves a married women.

However I don´t think Sansa knows what homosexual means. She will be completely shocked! Imagine the Septa teaching her about that concept! :lol: I have no idea how she could react to that knowledge. But I´m certain that I will be surprised as I´m in all the books.

Yes, probably its more a "groupie" sense (I don´t know why but I aged Sansa older at 14-15 years).

She was so flatered with the red rose. Joffrey knew that Ser Loras had given to her (so it made Joffrey wanted to be the nicest man and for that he treated her so good after the tourney).

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Sansa is a romantic. I think after the initial shock, she would be 'okay with' Loras, probably even admire his devotion to his partner in love, and his 'true knight actions' towards that person.

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Sansa is a romantic. I think after the initial shock, she would be 'okay with' Loras, probably even admire his devotion to his partner in love, and his 'true knight actions' towards that person.

This is what I tend to believe as well, though it is hard to say. But Loras's line about "no candle can replace the sun" is totally the kind of thing that would have made Sansa (especially the Sansa at this point in the story) sigh dramatically over the tragic romance of it all.

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This is what I tend to believe as well, though it is hard to say. But Loras's line about "no candle can replace the sun" is totally the kind of thing that would have made Sansa (especially the Sansa at this point in the story) sigh dramatically over the tragic romance of it all.

Remember that she's pretty ok with LF's story about Cat giving him her maidenhood? I think it's another example of Sansa's remarkable ability to integrate things that may be outside of her value system and come to terms with them. I would expect the same attitude towards discovering Loras' sexuality, although she would be majorly bummed.

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Remember that she's pretty ok with LF's story about Cat giving him her maidenhood? I think it's another example of Sansa's remarkable ability to integrate things that may be outside of her value system and come to terms with them. I would expect the same attitude towards discovering Loras' sexuality, although she would be majorly bummed.

I actually don't remember that (does not mean it did not happen, after 5000+ pages I have forgotten a few things lol) so I now cannot wait to get to that chapter.

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AGOT – SANSA III

Summary

The third Sansa chapter sees her still engaging in the storybook discourse of monsters and true knights. Sharing a cold supper with Jeyne, she’s upset that her father did not send Ser Loras after Gregor Clegane for his terror campaign in the Riverlands. Ned chose to send Beric Dondarrion instead, but Sansa laments the loss of seeing a true story come to life:

Her father’s decision still bewildered her. When the Knight of Flowers had spoken up, she’d been sure she was about to see one of Old Nan’s stories come to life. Ser Gregor was the monster and Ser Loras the true hero who would slay him. He even looked a true hero, so slim and beautiful with golden roses around his slender waist and his rich brown hair tumbling down into his eyes.

Her fantasy dashed, she remembers expressing her displeasure to Septa Mordane upon leaving the gallery about her father’s judgement. The Septa scolds her, but Petyr Baelish intercedes and agrees that some of Lord Eddard’s decisions “could do with a bit of questioning.” Commenting on Sansa’s wisdom and beauty, he engages her further by asking her just why she would have sent Loras instead. Sansa explains her ideas about heroes and monsters, and LF utters one of his infamous lines in the series:

The king’s councillor smiled. “Well, those are not the reasons I’d have given, but…” He had touched her cheek, his thumb lightly tracing the line of the cheekbone. “Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day to your sorrow.”

His comment makes Sansa feel uneasy, so she decides not to share this part with her friend. Jeyne thinks that Ned should have sent Ilyn Payne, but Sansa believes he’s basically a “second monster” and thinks of how much he creeps her out: “He made her feel as though something dead were slithering over her naked body.” When Jeyne goes on to talk about Ser Beric, Sansa notes to herself that Jeyne’s crush on the man is hopeless. She’s of too low birth and very young, but Sansa decides that voicing these objections would be unkind.

The conversation shifts to talk of Prince Joffrey, with Sansa sharing her hopes that he’s the one to kill the white hart on the hunt with the other nobles. She tells Jeyne that she dreamt it, admitting to herself that it was only a wish, but it was more convincing to claim it was dream which everyone accepts are prophetic. Jeyne mentions that she has seen Arya in the stables that day walking on her hands, but Sansa has no desire to wonder about what Arya has been up to, and continues relating what happened at court that day. She tells Jeyne about the disgusting appearance of the Night’s Watch man, Yoren, and admits to pitying her half-brother Jon if this is really what the Watch is like.

In the morning, Sansa gets up early to watch Beric and the other men heading off to capture Gregor Clegane. She is excited by what is happening and thinks that it was like a song coming to life. Going down to breakfast, she is pleased to encounter Arya, given the general desertion of the Tower of the Hand, and proceeds to fill her in about why the place is so empty. Arya wants to know what Gregor has done, but asserts that Jaime Lannister and the Hound should also be made to pay for their crimes. This sparks a heated dispute:

It’s not the same,” Sansa said. “The Hound is Joffrey’s sworn shield. Your butcher’s boy attacked the prince.”

“Liar,” Arya said. Her hand clenched the blood orange so hard that red juice oozed between her fingers.

“Go ahead, call me all the names you want,” Sansa said airily. “You won’t dare when I’m married to Joffrey. You’ll have to bow before me and call me Your Grace.” She shrieked as Arya flung the orange across the table. It caught her in the middle of her forehead with a wet squish and plopped down into her lap.

“You have juice on your face, Your Grace,” Arya said.

It was running down her nose and stinging her eyes. Sansa wiped it away with a napkin. When she saw what the fruit in her lap had done to her beautiful ivory silk dress, she shrieked again. “You’re horrible,” she screamed at her sister. “They should have killed you instead of Lady!”

At this outburst, Septa Mordane orders them both to their chambers and promises Lord Stark will hear of the argument. Sansa is livid, tearing off her dress and hurling it into the cold hearth before collapsing in tears on the bed and falling asleep. Around mid-day, Septa Mordane comes to her room to announce that Ned wants to see her. Waking from her sleep, Sansa has a fleeting thought that Lady is in the room with her, but remembers that she was only having a dream of them running together, but she can’t recall the rest.

She goes to her father, and Arya arrives as well. Anxious to avoid his censure, Sansa blames the argument on Arya, saying her sister started it first, but Ned is in no mood to entertain the fight. Seeing her father’s displeasure, Arya offers an apology to Sansa, and suggests that she could wash the dress to try to remove the stain. All this is forgotten though, when Ned announces that he’s sending them both back to Winterfell. Devastated, Sansa immediately states she doesn’t want to go, and so does Arya, although she seems to be willing to accept if Syrio is allowed to go North with them.

Sansa, however, is inconsolable. She tells her father that she loves Prince Joffrey “as much as Queen Naerys loved Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, as much as Jonquil loved Ser Florian. I want to be his Queen and have his babies.” Ned replies gently that Joffey is not the one for her, but when she is older he will make a match with someone worthy, “someone brave and gentle and strong.”

When Sansa insists that Joffrey is the only one she wants and that she will give him a son that is as brave as the wolf and proud as the lion, Arya is derisive, telling her this won’t happen if Joff’s the father, and besides that he’s a stag not a lion. Sansa enraged, declares that Joff is nothing like his old drunken father, thereby inadvertently giving Ned the final piece of the puzzle surrounding the Lannisters’ treachery. Advising the girls to tell no one of their plans, he sends them off. Arya attempts to comfort Sansa, telling her that it will not be so bad, and that they’ll get a chance to be with everyone again, Bran, Robb, even Old Nan and Hodor. However, this only serves to increase Sansa’s anger:

Hodor!” Sansa yelled. You ought to marry Hodor, you’re just like him, stupid and hairy and ugly!” She wrenched away from her sister’s hand, stormed into her bedchamber, and barred the door behind her.

Analysis

Wow. If I had to find a name for this chapter it would be Sansa Surprises, but not really. The last two chapters have seen her at various times upset, frightened, unsettled, excited and happy, but this one has all of that plus the added whopper of a rage and anger directed primarily at her sister. I have to say that I was largely disappointed with Sansa’s behaviour in the chapter, and somewhat surprised by what seemed like an even more entrenched belief in a fantasy world, where true knights go to slay monsters. I can see why Martin would have wanted his early characterization to be consistent, and I completely agree with the value of this given what Sansa has to experience later on, but it’s still a bit perplexing to the extent that we see her naivete here, at least to me. Given the events on the road with Lady’s death, the revelation by the Hound, and then the first hand witnessing of Gregor’s terror at the tourney, I would have thought to see a girl that is slightly more aware of the dangers around her, and that what she thought happened in fairytales doesn’t function the same way in real life.

And yet I can see why she would, or at least I can understand why she comes to think that all of this is playing out like one of her songs. Maybe the reverse becomes true oddly enough. The conversation with Sandor, Lady’s death, and Gregor’s near assault of Loras at the tourney, have convinced her that yes, monsters do exist in the real world, and they need to be defeated in order for the story to have a happy ending. Who better to defeat a monster but a “true knight”? Sansa has indeed modified her initial thoughts in light of what Sandor tells her, but this modification has not made her any more enlightened or “smarter” about what life is really about. If anything, it seems to have convinced her that there’s a need for true knights more than ever, and hence her displeasure with her father’s decision not to send Loras.

This view results in the sage warning of Littlefinger when he learns the real reason why Sansa wanted her father to dispatch Ser Loras instead of Beric. Their exchange is quite revealing, and really highlights two things which become clearer (and more disturbing) in ASOS/AFFC:

  1. LF’s desire for Sansa – the stroking of her face is in direct contrast to the Hound’s rough grabbing of her cheek to get her to look at him.
  2. He’s not only interested in manipulating her, but “schooling” her as well – He is genuinely interested in finding out why she wanted Loras sent, and is unimpressed by her answer. I think we see this later on when he asks her questions to gauge if she is thinking analytically, but in this early exchange, he can only issue some advice, which sounds ominously like a warning.

The latter quality is certainly what Sansa takes away from the conversation, and she feels disconcerted enough not to share it with Jeyne. LF’s “warning” is nonetheless prescient, but there is an uneasiness that Sansa feels around him that is firmly established in these initial meetings.

And now onto what really disappointed me concerning Sansa in the chapter: It wasn’t her emotional outburst at the end when she tells Arya she’s ugly and hairy and stupid just like Hodor – although it wasn’t her finest moment in light of her sister’s efforts to comfort her; but rather one minor detail and a fairly big one:

  • The throwaway comparison of Alyn to Jory on the morning she wakes to see Beric and the men heading off to on the hunt for Gregor:

The next morning she woke before first light and crept sleepily to her window to watch Lord Beric form up his men. They rode out as dawn was breaking over the city, with three banners going before them; the crowned stag of the king flew from the high staff, the direwolf of Stark and Lord Beric’s own forked lightning standard from the shorter poles. It was all so exciting, a song come to life; the clatter of swords, the flicker of torchlight, banners dancing in the wind, horses snortng and whinnying, the golden glow of sunrise slanting through the bars of the portcullis as it jerked upward. The Winterfell men looked especially fine in their silvery mail and long grey cloaks.

Alyn carried the Stark banner. When she saw him rein in before Lord Beric to exchange words, it made Sansa feel ever so proud. Alyn was handsomer than Jory has been; he was going to be a knight one day.

It’s really an insignificant observation, but I think it shows Sansa’s utter lack of awareness on the danger that is facing these men, and the comment about Alyn being handsomer than Jory made me want to scream: “Jory’s dead!! Wake up, Sansa! This is life and death we’re talking about, not maidens and monsters!” It’s one of the only or very few times when I was completely exasperated with Sansa’s naivete, and wanted to reach into the story to shake her physically.

The major disappointing moment in the story comes when she asserts that Mycah was the one to attack Prince Joffrey. I’m in the camp that thinks this isn’t a mismemory, but a wilful attempt to deny the truth in order to discredit Arya’s opinion that the Hound should have been beheaded for murdering Mycah. Indeed, in this very same chapter we’ve seen that Sansa isn’t above lying to make her case more convincing: telling Jeyne that she dreamt Joffrey would be the one to take the white hart, when in truth she was only expressing a wish. If I had been Arya I would have wanted to throw something at her too (although Arya’s immediate reaction in violence is concerning once again).

There is a lot of symbolism attached to the blood orange splattering on Sansa’s white dress. One of the things that struck me was the similarity in responses between now and later when Sansa gets her period for the first time and reacts in terrified panic, trying to burn the evidence. In this scene, she storms to her room, tears off the dress and flings it into the hearth, although there is no fire going. If we take the coming of a girl’s period to signal growing up, coming into maturity, then it suggests that Sansa’s experiences will be painful and bloody.

Her absolute misery over her father’s declaration is even more understandable given the events in this chapter. Sansa has told two lies in support of Prince Joffrey, the one to Arya more grievous than the one she tells to Jeyne, and with this kind of troubling investment in the relationship with Joffrey, it’s not surprising that she reacts with such despair to her father’s decision. What is new however, is the force of her reaction. Tears, yes, but also complete rage at Arya in the end. I suppose as well that her father’s tentative allowance of Syrio to join them probably seemed to her that he was favouring Arya’s needs, and not her own. Arya too surprised me in the chapter. I wouldn’t have thought to see her offering to console Sansa and help cheer her up with thoughts of home, but it was nice to see this aspect of her character, and her understanding of her sister’s unhappiness.

There is irony again in Sansa’s comparison of her love of Prince Joffrey to the love Naerys felt for Aemon the Dragonknight – considering this was an illicit romance – but I also found her insistence on having Joffrey’s babies to be revealing. Although earlier she bragged to her sister about how she would be Queen and Arya would have to bow to her, she mentions none of those aspirations to her father, and I think this is where we see her real innocence being highlighted through this kind of “girlish” dream of having babies and living happily ever after. I think it reinforces the idea that Sansa’s desire to be with Joffrey isn’t so much about herself, or any self important wish to be Queen, but rather rooted in family life, simplistic notions of romance and marriage, and the idea of giving Joffrey children he can be proud of.

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Remember that she's pretty ok with LF's story about Cat giving him her maidenhood? I think it's another example of Sansa's remarkable ability to integrate things that may be outside of her value system and come to terms with them. I would expect the same attitude towards discovering Loras' sexuality, although she would be majorly bummed.

I thought she didn't believe him, but I'm not sure if I remember correctly, what book and chapter?

As for Loras, I think she be shocked and disgusted as she may not have known about that type of relationship.

I know it was part of the HBO series can't I couldn't find it in the book but the part where Cersei talked to Sansa and asked if she bled yet I think how that was portrayed and that looks like it would be a reaction that Sansa would give.

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I thought she didn't believe him, but I'm not sure if I remember correctly, what book and chapter?

He mentions it when they are making the escape from KL on the boat IIRC, and Sansa later thinks (in AFFC?) that it wasn't a big deal or something like that, if it was what her mother decided... Can't remember the exact page reference.

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Great write up, I especially liked:

It’s one of the only or very few times when I was completely exasperated with Sansa’s naivete, and wanted to reach into the story to shake her physically.

One thing that frustrates me looking back on this chapter is that she lashed out at Arya by saying she should have been killed instead of Lady. Now, obviously Sansa doesn't mean this, but since she is thinking about Lady here (and again later) I wish she would take a second to dwell on who it was who ordered Lady killed, and NOT go to that person for help later on!

I don't really agree with this:

I also found her insistence on having Joffrey’s babies to be revealing. Although earlier she bragged to her sister about how she would be Queen and Arya would have to bow to her, she mentions none of those aspirations to her father, and I think this is where we see her real innocence being highlighted through this kind of “girlish” dream of having babies and living happily ever after. I think it reinforces the idea that Sansa’s desire to be with Joffrey isn’t so much about herself, or any self important wish to be Queen, but rather rooted in family life, simplistic notions of romance and marriage, and the idea of giving Joffrey children he can be proud of.

Specifically the idea of giving Joffrey children he can be proud of, I think, is wrong. Sansa has clearly not considered Joffrey for who he is but only for what he is - Crown Prince and future King. She is so taken with the idea of being married to a King and having princes and princesses for sons and daughters that she hasn't at all considered the character of the person she is going to be spending her life with. It's not that Sansa desires the power or station of being Queen like Cersei does, she desires the song-like quality of it. At this point, she is still doing whatever it takes to force herself to think that she is living a song.

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Oh I forgot to talk about the curious dream she has with Lady of them running together - was this an aspect of a warg dream - but obviously her inability to remember is because of Lady's death and the disconnect between them?

Specifically the idea of giving Joffrey children he can be proud of, I think, is wrong. Sansa has clearly not considered Joffrey for who he is but only for what he is - Crown Prince and future King. She is so taken with the idea of being married to a King and having princes and princesses for sons and daughters that she hasn't at all considered the character of the person she is going to be spending her life with. It's not that Sansa desires the power or station of being Queen like Cersei does, she desires the song-like quality of it. At this point, she is still doing whatever it takes to force herself to think that she is living a song.

Yes, well I don't think we disagree at all :) Basically what we see in this chapter is her actively trying to construct a dream world with Joffrey, and continuing to white wash his behaviour. She wants to deny the kind of person he is, and tells an outright lie to both Arya and Jeyne to convince them of his innocence and valour respectively. You're absolutely right that she's still trying to live the song, despite it going off key so many times.

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The king’s councillor smiled. “Well, those are not the reasons I’d have given, but…” He had touched her cheek, his thumb lightly tracing the line of the cheekbone. “Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day to your sorrow.”

This makes me really curious to know what reasons Littlefinger would have given for sending Loras.

Also, it seems pretty ballsy for a man to touch the Hand's daughter like that, in full view of a roomful of people, and with the girl's septa standing right there. It surprises me that no eyebrows were raised over that.

She tells Jeyne about the disgusting appearance of the Night’s Watch man, Yoren, and admits to pitying her half-brother Jon if this is really what the Watch is like.

I've nothing of interest to add here, it's just that even the slightest mention of Sansa and Jon in the same sentence makes me happy, as they're easily my two favorite Starks. So yay! Ahem. Moving on.

“You’re horrible,” she screamed at her sister. “They should have killed you instead of Lady!”

Oh, harsh, Sansa. That was not cool.

Ned replies gently that Joffey is not the one for her, but when she is older he will make a match with someone worthy, “someone brave and gentle and strong.”

No matter how many times I read that line, it makes my heart squeeze painfully. And I have to say, Sean Bean was absolutely wonderful when he delivered that line on the show. His face and voice were filled with such love and patience and gentleness, it just makes me cry ALL THE TEARS. Also, it makes me think of how poor Ned would be spinning in his grave if he knew about all the creepy men twice her age who have been perving on Sansa ever since.

In general, I agree that this chapter highlights a lot of Sansa's more negative traits. Indeed, I think this is the one chapter in all the books where Sansa is at her least likeable. I never hated her, but I didn't grow to love her character until the end of AGoT, and chapters like this are exactly why.

On the flip side, I'm glad to see the context of Arya throwing the orange at her. It makes me more sympathetic to Arya over that incident than I had been before. In a similar scene in the show, when Arya throws her food at Sansa during the feast at Winterfell, I thought it was just obnoxious of her, plain and simple, because Sansa was doing nothing to her at the time. Oh, I know I was supposed to be laughing gleefully about how the spunky, irrepressible little tomboy Arya had splattered the Mean Girl Sansa with food and ruined her dress... but I actually just thought Arya was being a straight-up brat for no reason. It did not endear her to me at all.

Anyway, I think that scene in the show had colored my perception of this scene in the book, because I did not remember that Sansa had been saying something awful to her and that Arya was, indeed, provoked. I still don't think it was right of Arya (her immediate reaction of hitting/throwing/stabbing things whenever she gets upset about anything has always been something I've found worrying and off-putting about her), but I definitely understand it a lot better now.

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This makes me really curious to know what reasons Littlefinger would have given for sending Loras.

Also, it seems pretty ballsy for a man to touch the Hand's daughter like that, in full view of a roomful of people, and with the girl's septa standing right there. It surprises me that no eyebrows were raised over that.

I think someone in the books makes the point that sending Loras brings the power of House Tyrell to Ned's side, and that's what Littlefinger was thinking. As for ballsiness, IIRC, I'm pretty sure Littlefinger counsels Ned against sending Loras (probably to weaken him) and then walks over to his daughter and admits that sending Loras would have been right! Sometimes I feel like LF's whole success is not based on brilliant scheming but getting lucky and then lying about how it was what he planned all along.

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To me, this chapter is completely in line with an 11 year old (let's admit it, very spoiled) girl seeing her fondest wish torn to pieces. She does not think beyond her own daydream of being queen, to the fact that Joff and his family have proven untrustworthy and that going home would be safer. She lacks the foresight and experience that we all gain with maturity, that most things in life will work out fine, even if we don't get exactly what we thought we wanted. She is the child in the candy store being told she may not have candy now, but perhaps after dinner. And she responds with an according tantrum.

Although I was disappointed in a lot of her words and actions, I think this chapter is meant to remind us that Sansa is ELEVEN. Still a child. I have a son who is about to turn 11: and he still believes in Santa. For which I am thankful, I don't want him growing up too fast.

Sansa has had entirely too much thrown at her at once, and she simply cannot armor herself in composure and ladylike behavior anymore. Too much grief and too many disappointments too fast. She cannot take it out on her father or the Lannisters or the Septa; Arya is her only safe target and she (unfairly) gets the verbal lashings. Incidentally, Arya's line that Sansa has orange on her face, YOUR GRACE is one that cracks me up every time.

The one area where I disagree with the analysis above is in what Sansa is now focused on. I believe she knows by now that her relationship with Joff is unlikely to be the great romance she had hoped for; she has therefore fallen back on being queen and mother to heirs as her fondest desire. If the romance part cannot be a song, then by gosh she will at least be in song as a great queen and the mother of great kings. I think this is shown in what she says to Arya regarding her having to bow to her, and in her emphasis on HER feelings for Joff, what SHE will do to be a good wife/queen, how SHE will fulfill her duties. Nothing about Joff loving her, or their great budding romance, or what a wonderful husband/father he will be.

I believe Sansa has come to identify with what she sees as the long suffering Cersei with her imperfect sot of a husband. I think that is why she goes to Cersei with the news of their departure. She has come to see herself and Cersei as sisters in fate, married to kings who do not deserve them (in different ways), but still the loved and admired amd beautiful and fertile queen who will save the realm by providing heirs and mitigating their husband's nonsense as much as possible. After all, if you look at the melee situation, from Sansa's POV, it probably looks like Cersei talked Robert out of it. She has no idea it was really her father and Selmy.

I believe that Sansa has gotten her heart set on being queen, and when told this is not going to happen, she cannot see anything past the smashing of her dream. And like most children, she is willing to do whatever she has to do to get it back. How many thousands of children try to play their parents off against each other every day,in order to get their way on something. Except Sansa has something better - a monarch who can ORDER her father to do as she wishes. At that age, I am not sure how many kids in her position would not have done the same. I would not have, but that is because I was raised by an extremely strict, though loving, father; and it never occurred to me to disobey him. But Sansa has been raised in an authoritative twilight zone with an overly permissive father and an underly watchful septa. And she knows the queen can overrule her father. For most of us there was no appeal beyond a parent.

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