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Rapsie

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa II

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I haven't posted on this topic in a long while either but I've very much enjoyed reading everyone's nuanced commentary on who Sansa is as a person and where her story might go. I really have little to add! One of the things I didn't pick up on as much from the first read is that even in book one Sansa acts as comforting "mother" to someone (Jeyne.) Obviously this role is more explored with Sweetrobin, but it renews my hopes that Sansa's destiny is tied up in nurturing people--like maybe her brother Rickon, which is my unabashed hope for her and the Stark family. :P

I thought Sansa's unforced kindness to Tommen, and the way she urges Joffrey to support him, was remarkable, considering what she has suffered at the hands of Tommen's mother and brother. And she does not have anything to gain from being nice to the child; since Tommen has practically no influence at this point. It also shows the difference between family life in Winterfell (before King & co. came to visit) and Baratheon-Lannister family life in King's Landing; Sansa grew up in a home where older brothers helped and cheered on the younger ones rather than mocking them.

I do think Sansa would make a great mother. She does take on the role of mother to SweetRobin, a child she has regarded as a brat and a burden, because she could see how sad and lonely and longing for a mother he was; and she does have a tendency for kindness to the young and the threatened...

Chavalah, I love your avatar - I have the Fiddler movie on dvd and have watched it many times; it is still my favorite interpretation of the musical.

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It also shows the difference between family life in Winterfell (before King & co. came to visit) and Baratheon-Lannister family life in King's Landing; Sansa grew up in a home where older brothers helped and cheered on the younger ones rather than mocking them.

I just want to point out that one of the most genuinely affectionate relationships in ASOIAF is the one between Jaime and Tyrion Lannister. Jaime sincerely cares for his "little" brother - it's Cersei who torments Tyrion. Tyrion never bets against his brother in tournaments, and that's the way Cat eventually realizes LF lied to her about the dagger. Their relationship is only damaged, perhaps forever, when Jaime arranges the escape of Tyrion and confesses Tysha was really a country girl, not a whore hired for an act.

The family dynamic is different in each family, but both are fiercely loyal to family members.

Edit: And of course, Jaime wants to kill Ned in the street when he hears Tyrion has been taken by Cat.

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Welcome Elba!

About The Hound looking after Sansa, IMO, in this chapter I believe it is a coincidence (in the chapter of GOT not, I believe there is as Fragile Bird has appointed). I didn´t notice that the room of Sansa was the last one on the tower. Now I know why The Hound was there in other chapter (or at least I think so).

Anyway, he begame to look after her as the bethroyed of Joffrey, but this interest (that was "only job") changed to something completely different.

I just have rereaded (again! jejeje) the part that The Hound talk about the wine and that it is all that a man needs. At the begining I though as you that he after said that a man needs wine or a woman. But in this reread I change my mind, and I understand that he says that a man or a woman only needs wine.

Please keep saying your opinions, it is interesting having more (and anything that makes me reread again any chapter is welcome!).

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

About Dontos: He is not my favorite character. He is an alcoholic (well as many in Westeros), but worse he has a kind of stupidity. He lies to Sansa when he is saying the bow in the trees (and he knew what he was doing), he was so drunk during the Joffrey´s tourney that he was half-naked (who is so fool that get in such degree of drunkness to be in front of the main authority of your country). Well maybe stupidity is too hard, it can be change to he is to ill (as an alcoholic) that it can make me feel pity for him (but I don´t why something stop me of doing).

LF not only kill him so Sansa can look at him as her unique resquer, but also cause he is the only one that can tell that is a LF plan. And we know how LF hates to have his hands dirties.

Dontos didn´t know that the hairnet was poisoned. LF didn´t trust him that much. Probably he told him some lie.

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It also shows the difference between family life in Winterfell (before King & co. came to visit) and Baratheon-Lannister family life in King's Landing; Sansa grew up in a home where older brothers helped and cheered on the younger ones rather than mocking them.

I think more than anything it highlighted Joffrey's depravity, because Mrycella is still very supportive of her little brother. There's an interesting part in that chapter which is very telling on how Sansa is beginning to see what Joff really is like. All the while, she has been careful to hide her true feelings, she was aghast when she spoke out about Dontos and relieved when she got off the hook. But Joff's lack of support for his brother Tommen seems to really shock her, and I think this is where she realises that Joff would have been an awful father. She says something to the tune of not being able to stop herself from making him understand why he should encourage the boy. And let's remember that this more than anything is what she craved with Joffrey, the two of them as parents. And just btw, who comes across as looking a lot more parental and reassuring? The Hound.

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I thought Sansa's unforced kindness to Tommen, and the way she urges Joffrey to support him, was remarkable, considering what she has suffered at the hands of Tommen's mother and brother. And she does not have anything to gain from being nice to the child; since Tommen has practically no influence at this point. It also shows the difference between family life in Winterfell (before King & co. came to visit) and Baratheon-Lannister family life in King's Landing; Sansa grew up in a home where older brothers helped and cheered on the younger ones rather than mocking them.

I do think Sansa would make a great mother. She does take on the role of mother to SweetRobin, a child she has regarded as a brat and a burden, because she could see how sad and lonely and longing for a mother he was; and she does have a tendency for kindness to the young and the threatened...

Her relationship with Tommen is also something I did not consider previously; thanks for pointing it out. I definitely think that the "nurturing younger brothers" vibe comes naturally to her. I always wished that some of the memories that the Starks harbor, particularly Sansa's about the snow fight with Arya and Bran, were actual, written scenes rather than recaps. I think there is a treasure trove of genuine, innocent love between the Stark siblings (which sadly contributes little to the current story except in the form of sad nostalgia.)

I feel strongly that Sansa is The Mother of the Starks now--her siblings are greenseers, warriors, child fugitives (or just plain dead. :-/) If the Starks are going to get back together as a family (lol, look at me being waaay too optimistic about GRRM's "the wolves will return" line,) then they will need a nurturer. Or at least someone to bear children and continue the line, which Sansa is also the best suited for out of the surviving Starks.

Chavalah, I love your avatar - I have the Fiddler movie on dvd and have watched it many times; it is still my favorite interpretation of the musical.

Thank you, Raksha! I love the movie/musical, too...Chava's alwyays my favorite character because my mother also married outside of the faith. Which plays partially into my affinity for the Starks and their "interfaithness," lol. :P

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I just want to point out that one of the most genuinely affectionate relationships in ASOIAF is the one between Jaime and Tyrion Lannister. Jaime sincerely cares for his "little" brother - it's Cersei who torments Tyrion. Tyrion never bets against his brother in tournaments, and that's the way Cat eventually realizes LF lied to her about the dagger. Their relationship is only damaged, perhaps forever, when Jaime arranges the escape of Tyrion and confesses Tysha was really a country girl, not a whore hired for an act.

The family dynamic is different in each family, but both are fiercely loyal to family members.

Edit: And of course, Jaime wants to kill Ned in the street when he hears Tyrion has been taken by Cat.

Jaime did care about Tyrion, and, except for the Tysha incident, which was orchestrated by Tywin, treated him kindly and with love. I was speaking mainly about the male relationships in the Baratheon/Lannister family in King's Landing - Robert, Cersei, Joffrey, Tommen. Joffrey never supports Tommen; and most people seem to laugh at Tommen. (I was really impressed when the Hound, who takes great pains to show how un-sentimental and tough he is, commented on Tommen's courage when the kid picks himself up after falling and goes up for another try, despite the crowd having laughed at him) It isn't until AFFC, I think; that Jaime even has a vaguely fatherly conversation with Tommen or even starts thinking of him as a real child rather than a 'squirt of seed'...

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Welcome to the thread, Elba! J

About Dontos, he isn’t my favorite character but I like him well enough. Just as sansa says, he is just silly. His life must have been very sad for him to turn into such a drunk, and to even have a 12 year old know he was just useless. We know he is disappointed with his life, but after trying to imagine what his life must have been like, I can’t hate him. I think as a child he was spared from the mad king’s wrath by ser Barristan. Dontos might have been really happy at this prospect and excited about what a great knight he would be. But since life turned up not as good as he would have liked (sort of like with Sansa), he may have been ashamed to even looked at the famous Barristan the bold after this. So when Barristan is dismissed he is all alone in King’s Landing. So he gets even more drunk. Sansa saves him, making him starting to feel he is in debt to her, and when LF hatches out his plan to him, he sees it as the last hope he has to win his honor back. Dontos is not completely stupid though. He knows IMO what the hairnet purple stones are, or he wouldn’t have gone on about how magical they were. He must have disliked joff a lot after he turned him into a fool, so probably no regrets on helping killing him. And LF just keeps creeping me out more and more. Apart from avoiding his plans be spilled out by a drunk Dontos, he also kills him so that sansa can only rely on him. I don’t think Dontos would’ve said anything about helping sansa, even drunk. But maybe if cersei caught him and had him tortured… well, i don’t think his resolve is that strong.

And of course sansa would be a great mother. Whether she keeps looking out for sweetrobin, or she takes over rickon’s education, she will do a great job. Another thing she beats cersei at: motherhood and being a queen. And since I think sandor would also be a great dad, if they ever have a kid together, that child is going to be very blessed.

What I am not so sure is about whether or not sandor was stalking sansa in this particular moment. I know it is sort of odd that he just happened to appear out of the blue into sansa, but fate/GRRM have their odd ways of having things turn up. We know he was drinking before the serpentine steps, so he could just have returned from it and seen sansa running along the castle in the black of night, and so he went to investigate. If he had been following her earlier, why wasn’t he at the godswood? Or maybe they just happened to be destined to meet right there and then..? by the rooftop scene though he was keeping out an eye for her. I’ll explain this better when we reach that chapter, but maybe at that point he likes to go over to the rooftop of sansa’s tower to think and have his hangovers pass? I’m not sure the white tower of the KG was very pleasant for him, so he went to the place where his LB was..?

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Thanks for the warm welcome, all!

First of all, Bgona, regarding your comment which I copied below (not sure how to quote yet) -

"I just have rereaded (again! jejeje) the part that The Hound talk about the wine and that it is all that a man needs. At the begining I though as you that he after said that a man needs wine or a woman. But in this reread I change my mind, and I understand that he says that a man or a woman only needs wine."

Let me just say Wow! Really good point. I had only read this one way, that the Hound was saying "all a man needs is wine, or all he needs is a woman". But if that is what was meant then it should have been written with a comma before the "Or a woman" statement. But, it was written as a separate sentence and that just completely changed the context so that it could mean that "all that a man or a woman needs is good wine". What a great observation! It's amazing how the most minor of grammatical changes can completely change the meaning of a sentence. This is one of the things I love about these books - that nothing is ever so simple as it seems.

I definitely agree with the comments that in the last chapter discussed and this one, Sansa is showing a lot of courage and she is actively taking part in her situation. You know, when I first came on the boards I must say I was quite surprised at how much Sansa hate I saw. People think she is so passive and dumb, wimpy and only interesting because of the things that happen around her but not for anything she does herself. Really? Saving Ser Dontos's life at risk to her own was not only courageous but was her actively doing something. So was her act of encouraging Joff to go and comfort Tommen, and her going to the Godswood when she has no idea who sent the note or what to expect.

As for her being "dumb" my first thought was, if she is so dumb then why do both Littlefinger and Tyrion think she is smart? These are the two characters that I think most people, myself included, view as extremely intelligent and they both comment on her intelligence at different times. I also thought that when we hear how both Joff and Cersei think she is dumb that, given who that is coming from, that must be a clue from GRRM that she must in fact be the opposite.

However, I did notice in the last chapter when she tells Joff that she should make Dontos a fool rather than kill him, Joff says something along the lines of "maybe you're not as stupid as I thought." This is very telling to me. She even manages to get Joff to rethink his preconceived notion about her being stupid.

Caro99 - I think you are right that if the Hound had been following Sansa the entire time then he would have shown up at the Godswood. I do think he went looking for her that night though, and your idea that by the rooftop chapter he goes over to the rooftop of Sansa's tower to be near her and let his hangovers pass is very intriguing. I like it.

Finally, I was just thinking about something that happened in the very first Sansa chapter in AGOT, and it struck me as something very telling about Sansa's character that showed up very early on. (Again this is something that I picked up on the reread and did not notice the first time around). The chapter starts off with Sansa arguing with Arya about going to tea with the Queen and Arya says she would rather go riding. Sansa thinks about how she hates riding because it's so dirty and smelly. Then later when Joff asks her to spend the day with him he suggests they go riding and Sansa says "Oh I love riding!" On the one hand this response made me chuckle because it is so like a young girl trying to gain favor with her crush by pretending to want to do something he likes to do, but now I think that there is something more to this. It may be the first time that we see Sansa adapt her thoughts to make her reality appeal to her ideals. If Joff likes to go riding and he is dashing and beautiful, then riding must not be so unpleasant after all. Oh Sansa! If only she had stuck with her convictions and told Joff that she finds riding unpleasant but perhaps they could spend time together getting to know each other over tea and lemoncakes then that fight at the Trident might never have happened!

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Re Sandor on the roof

I bet he was there on a regular basis, literally standing guard over Sansa. :drool:

Don't you just want to break out in song?

When this old world starts getting me down

And people are just too much for me to face

I climb way up to the top of the stairs

And all my cares just drift right into space

On the roof, its peaceful as can be

And there the world can't bother me

That's The Drifters, of course. And GRRM is my vintage, so maybe he has an inside joke here!

Edit Oh yeah, teaspoons, itsy bitsy teaspoons, another tasty morsel! :lol:

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Re Sandor on the roof

I bet he was there on a regular basis, literally standing guard over Sansa. :drool:

Don't you just want to break out in song?

When this old world starts getting me down

And people are just too much for me to face

I climb way up to the top of the stairs

And all my cares just drift right into space

On the roof, its peaceful as can be

And there the world can't bother me

That's The Drifters, of course. And GRRM is my vintage, so maybe he has an inside joke here!

Edit Oh yeah, teaspoons, itsy bitsy teaspoons, another tasty morsel! :lol:

Yes I love that song! Have you ever heard it sung a capella? The first time I heard it was a capella and it was lovely.

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Re Sandor on the roof

I bet he was there on a regular basis, literally standing guard over Sansa. :drool:

Don't you just want to break out in song?

When this old world starts getting me down

And people are just too much for me to face

I climb way up to the top of the stairs

And all my cares just drift right into space

On the roof, its peaceful as can be

And there the world can't bother me

That's The Drifters, of course. And GRRM is my vintage, so maybe he has an inside joke here!

Edit Oh yeah, teaspoons, itsy bitsy teaspoons, another tasty morsel! :lol:

Mine also, so if he doesn't finish b4 I kick I'm gonna haunt his ass for everrrrrrrr!

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Elba, I read the Spanish translation and in Spanish also the meaning changes. Anyway also in Spanish you can think in both meanings. I just keep thinking if you are right or if I read right this time. Right now, I am fluctuate to the both meaning idea, as he wants to keep it vaguely.

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We haven't reached the relevant chapters yet, but I always had the impression that Tyrion didn't really know Sansa at all and like the others thought she was a bit stupid.

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We haven't reached the relevant chapters yet, but I always had the impression that Tyrion didn't really know Sansa at all and like the others thought she was a bit stupid.

Hmmm, Rapsie. My chapter (coming soon!) talks a bit on this. :)

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Hmmm, Rapsie. My chapter (coming soon!) talks a bit on this. :)

Excellent! Looking forward to it.

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We haven't reached the relevant chapters yet, but I always had the impression that Tyrion didn't really know Sansa at all and like the others thought she was a bit stupid.

Well, when we get to the relevant chapters we can delve into it more but I admit it's somewhat subtle. As of the chapters we are at now Tyrion and Sansa have had very little interaction and it does appear that Tyrion doesn't see her as very smart at first but I think it's because he's just thinking of her as a sad little girl at this point so far.

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ACOK – Sansa III

Summary

Sansa has been summoned to Joff’s court and the Hound is waiting for her outside her room. She is very nervous as the Hound has warned her, “the longer you keep him waiting, the worse it will go for you,” and she thinks that whilst Sandor is “always rough-tongued,” something about the way he had looked at her was distressing. She gets dressed quickly and leaves with the Hound, asking him what about what she has done.

The Hound tells her that it’s because of Robb and Sansa immediately gives her stock answer, that Robb is a traitor and she has no nothing to do with his actions. She thinks that if Robb has harmed the Kingslayer it will mean her life. The Hound snorts at her reply, telling her they’ve trained her well, and by this time they’ve reached the lower bailey where a crowd has gathered. Her senses make random observations as she passes through the gathering, Lord Gyles coughing, stablehands eyeing her insolently, the Redwyne twins averting their gazes, and a mewling cat on the floor, dying slowly with a crossbow quarrel sticking from its ribs. Ser Dontos is the only one who approaches her, in his new get-up as a fool, and tries to offer comfort, squeezing her arm and telling her to be brave.

Joffrey is in the centre of the crowd, winding the crossbow, with Meryn Trant and and Ser Boros at his side. Sansa immediately feels alarmed at the sight of the two meanest KG knights, and drops to her knees in front of Joffrey:

Kneeling won’t save you now,” the king said. “Stand up. You’re here to answer for your brother’s latest treasons.”

“Your Grace, whatever my traitor brother has done, I had no part. You know that, I beg you, please-”

“Get her up!”

The Hound pulled her to her feet, not ungently.”

Joffrey orders Ser Lancel to tell Sansa what Robb has done, and Sansa notes that she had

always thought Lancel Lannister comely and well-spoken, but there was neither pity nor kindness in the look he gave her.”

Lancel proceeds to claim that Robb’s men had used an army of wargs to surprise Ser Stafford Lannister, killing thousands of men and then feasting on their flesh. Sansa is horrified and unable to speak, but Dontos interjects when Joff questions her silence, telling him, “the poor child is shocked witless.”

Joff tells Sansa that he has not forgotten the unnaturalness of the Starks and how her “monster” savaged him. Sansa is quick to Lady’s defence however:

“That was Arya’s wolf,” she said. “Lady never hurt you, but you killed her anyway.”

Joff, countering that it was Ned and not him who had killed Lady, then brags about how he killed a peasant the previous night who had dared to come to the palace asking for bread. He tells Sansa that he is not able to kill her otherwise his uncle Jaime would lose his life, but can still punish her to teach Robb a lesson. He orders Sandor Clegane to hit her, but Ser Dontos intervenes, telling Joff “Let me beat her!” and proceeding to pelt Sansa with fruit whilst the crowd laughs. Sansa hopes desperately that this will enough to satisfy Joff but:

Joffrey did not so much as snigger. “Boros. Meryn.”

Ser Meryn Trant seized Ser Dontos by the arm and flung him brusquely away. The red faced fool went sprawling. Broomstick, melon and all. Ser Boros seized Sansa.

“Leave her face,” Joffrey commanded. “I like her pretty.”

Boros slammed a fist into Sansa’s belly, driving the air out of her. When she doubled over, the knight grabbed her hair and drew his sword, and for one hideous instant she was certain he meant to open her throat. As he laid the flat of the blade across her thighs, she thought her legs might break from the force of the blow. Sansa screamed. Tears welled in her eyes. It will be over soon. She soon lost count of the blows.

“Enough,” she heard the Hound rasp.

“No it isn’t, the King replied. “Boros, make her naked.”

Boros shoved a meaty hand down the front of Sansa’s bodice and gave a hard yank. The silk came tearing away, baring her to the waist. Sanssa covered her breasts with her hands. She could hear sniggers, far off and cruel. “Beat her bloody,” Joffrey said, “we’ll see how her brother fancies - ”

“What is the meaning of this?”

Tyrion’s demand ends Sansa’s torture, and she drops to her knees, covering her chest. Tyrion goes on to castigate Joffrey and then orders someone to give Sansa something to cover herself. Sandor Clegane takes his cloak from back and tosses it to her. Sansa thinks that:

The coarse weave was scratchy against her skin, but no velvet ever felt so fine.”

She is then led from the court, and taken to the tower of the Hand, while servant girls tend to her wounds:

As they scrubbed her down with soap and sluiced warm water over her head, all she could see were the faces from the bailey. Knights are sworn to defend the weak, protect women and fight for the right, but none of them did a thing. Only Ser Dontos had tried to help, and he was no longer a knight, no more than the Imp was, nor the Hound… the Hound hated knights… I hate them too, Sansa thought. They are no true knights, not one of them.

After this, Maester Frenken comes to see her and gives her dreamwine to sleep. He tells her that when she wakes it will seem a bad dream, but Sansa thinks, “No it won’t, you stupid man.”

Upon waking, she is at first disoriented, but the pain in her legs soon reminds her of all that happened.

She tries to leave the room to go implore Dontos to take her away now, but she is stopped by a woman outside her room who tells her that the Imp has left orders for her not to leave.

Tyrion soon arrives and Sansa asks if she is his prisoner. Tyrion, replying that she is his “guest”, suggests that they have a talk. He explains to her why Joffrey was so angry, because it was an important victory for Robb, but advises her not to take it as a sign that her brother will win the war. Sansa questions whether there was truly sorcery involved, but Tyrion scoffs at the suggestion. He questions Sansa on her love for Joffrey, and isn’t convinced about her protestations of love for the king. Inquiring about whether she has flowered or not, he tells her that he does not intend for her to ever marry Joffrey and that she should pray for her brother to bend the knee, and in so doing he would be able to send her home:

“If it gives you any solace, I do not intend that you ever wed Joffrey. No marriage will reconcile Stark and Lannister after all that has happened, I fear. More’s the pity. The match was one of King Robert’s better notions, if Joffrey hadn’t mucked it up.”

When he suggests leaving Sansa in the Tower of the Hand with armed guards outside, she protests for fear of not being able to go to Dontos. She lies and tells Tyrion that the place would give her bad nightmares as it was where her father’s men were slain.

Tyrion Lannister studied her face. “I am no stranger to nightmares, Sansa. Perhaps you are wiser than I knew. Permit me at least to escort you safely back to your own chambers.”

Analysis

This chapter is always a tough one for me to read for obvious reasons. And yes, let me just start by stating that some time spent in a dungeon with Ramsay Bolton as jailer-in-chief is what I would have considered adequate punishment for the likes of Joffrey, Ser Meryn and Ser Boros.

Ok, onto the analysis. The chapter is closely paralleled with the one in AGOT when Sansa petitions Joffrey to be merciful to Ned. The essential difference between the chapters is that this time the blinders are off. Sansa knows exactly the kind of person Joffrey is now and it’s for herself that she’s now pleading for mercy. I thought a chart would be useful in helping to illustrate the parallels:

AGOT – SANSA – THEN

ACOK – SANSA - NOW

The attempt by the crowd to act as though she doesn’t exist. (then)

Same attitudes, except now the crowd is filled with all types of people and she is met with more hostility – the “insolent” look of the stablehands. (now)

Sansa feels no danger for herself, she is only there to ask her beloved to spare her father’s life. (then)

Sansa is acutely aware that Joffrey is a monster, and is very worried that she could be punished harshly. (now)

Joffrey is still playing the “gallant”. Trying to appear to be fair and just. Acts as though he really cares for Sansa. (then)

There are no such illusions this time. Joffrey is revelling in his perversity. The dead cat on the ground, bragging about killing peasant and set on punishing Sansa for her brother’s actions. (now)

The coldness of court officials like Pycelle and Cersei. (then)

Lancel now takes on that role here. The same sense of betrayal that Sansa felt in having once believed in Lancel’s kindness. (now)

Barristan’s cloak is used by Sansa to protect her dress when she kneels in front of the king. (then)

Sansa uses the Hound’s cloak to cover her nakedness after her dress is ripped by Ser Boros. (now)

Whilst the chapter in AGOT ended with Sansa feeling triumphant in her faith in Joffrey, the tone and mood of this chapter are of bitterness and despondency. What we’re seeing in this chapter is Sansa’s continual loss of naive beliefs in true knights that protect the weak and helpless. Her conscious agreement with the Hound on this is important. She has realised that no one else besides Dontos attempted to help her, and neither Dontos nor the Imp are knights. Sansa’s realisation here is profoundly bittersweet. We can admit that she needed to come to this awakening, she needed to grasp the inherent fallacy of believing that knights possess a code of honour, but it’s still awful to watch the process through which she must learn these harsh lessons, and it’s painful to see the crumbling of a young girl’s idealism. Sansa is no longer the innocent girl thinking that things will be better when she awakes. Her thought concerning Maester Frenken’s platitudes underscores the loss of that childish belief that circumstances can change overnight, and now she is much more intent on making sure that things change by trying to reach Ser Dontos in the godswood.

As I might have intimated before, I’m sympathetic towards Dontos – hell, I’m sympathetic to anyone that had the misfortune of getting mixed up with Littlefinger, but I must say that this chapter proves that Dontos did care about Sansa, and that it wasn’t simply about the money as LF tries to assert later on. He was under no compulsion to protect her here and didn’t have to risk Joffrey’s wrath by stepping in for the Hound and pretending to beat her. It highlights a positive side to Dontos’s character, something that comes through in spite of his weaknesses. Sansa herself is grateful for his actions, thinking:

My Florian. She could have kissed him, blotchy skin and broken veins and all.

Dontos could never have embodied the romantic Florian of Sansa’s favourite song, but he is nonetheless heroic in this moment, and I think this speaks to the underlying theme of Sansa’s arc – the recognition of non-traditional heroes and heroines that may never be sung about, but still perform acts of bravery and goodness, which challenge the roles society has prescribed for them – namely, fools and dogs.

Speaking of dogs, :) the Hound again remains a central figure in Sansa’s experiences and growth. She is able to sense from looking at him that she’s in real trouble with Joffrey, and after her beating, it is his opinion about knights that she remembers and agrees with. But the really interesting thing that takes place between the Hound and Sansa in this chapter is what is left unacknowledged and unspoken. First, he utters one word concerning her abuse, “Enough”. Now, there’s been a lot of debate on other threads about whether this “enough” was enough. Should the Hound have said more or done more to protect Sansa in this scene? I’m not going to get into that in this analysis, but certainly others can expand on the question if they want to.

My feelings have always been that it’s important to focus on why Martin had him say it in the first place. His words are not only necessary to reveal his unhappiness with what is happening, but I think they provide a link with his actions later when he is the one to give her his cloak. It’s like they share something in this scene, as I noted it mostly goes unspoken and unacknowledged. The Hound only utters that one word, but it speaks volumes, and Sansa doesn’t recall him saying it later, nor does she really think of how it was his cloak that she clutched desperately, but her words on how the rough wool felt finer than any velvet also says more than what is written down here. The cloak is certainly being used by Martin to symbolise the Hound relationship with Sansa: the “rough-tongued” man who nonetheless performs a vital service in helping to shield her from the horrors of the world.

Are we witnessing the beginning of something between these two? Something that defies traditional expectations and works to draw them closer?

The cloak exchange also parallels with Sansa’s earlier use of Barristan’s cloak in AGOT. In that scene she used it as a mere garment to protect her clothing, but now, Sandor’s cloak is a kind of lifeline. Her fists are “bunched hard in the white wool.” Her need for the cloak in this scene is much more critical and perhaps Martin is suggesting that she has a need for a “true knight” after all, but not the one she would have expected, indeed, it may be the one who isn’t even a knight.

In the conversation with Tyrion later on, we also see that Sansa is becoming a better liar. In the previous chapter, the Hound had warned her that everyone else is better at this than she is, but she’s quickly learning to conceal her true agenda and managing to fool one of the more intelligent persons in KL. Tyrion’s comment that perhaps she is wiser than he knew, reveals that he didn’t think much of her intellect before, but comes to feel some common bond with her in his experience of nightmares as well. This is a minor (or major depending on how you see it) triumph for Sansa, to hide her real feelings, and tell a convincing lie. Even throughout the conversation we see how she thinks one thing, but says another. It’s an important skill that she’s been sharpening ever since her captivity began.

ETA: Bugger, my chart didn't show! :)

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As I might have intimated before, I’m sympathetic towards Dontos – hell, I’m sympathetic to anyone that had the misfortune of getting mixed up with Littlefinger, but I must say that this chapter proves that Dontos did care about Sansa, and that it wasn’t simply about the money as LF tries to assert later on. He was under no compulsion to protect her here and didn’t have to risk Joffrey’s wrath by stepping in for the Hound and pretending to beat her. It highlights a positive side to Dontos’s character, something that comes through in spite of his weaknesses.

Dontos could never have embodied the romantic Florian of Sansa’s favourite song, but he is nonetheless heroic in this moment, and I think this speaks to the underlying theme of Sansa’s arc – the recognition of non-traditional heroes and heroines that may never be sung about, but still perform acts of bravery and goodness, which challenge the roles society has prescribed for them – namely, fools and dogs.

I agree, Dontos didn't do this all for the money, it's just another lie by Littlefinger to make Sansa see himself in a better light (and to make her mistrust others but him). Dontos is very brave in this scene, as Joff could have him killed easily for simply interferring.

On the thing with the Hound: I always had the impression that the Hound did react to Joff - he simply ignored the command. So Dontos was a device for Martin to not actually make Joff repeat himself and not reveal to much about the softer and more ethical side of the Hound.

Speaking of dogs, :) the Hound again remains a central figure in Sansa’s experiences and growth. She is able to sense from looking at him that she’s in real trouble with Joffrey, and after her beating, it is his opinion about knights that she remembers and agrees with. But the really interesting thing that takes place between the Hound and Sansa in this chapter is what is left unacknowledged and unspoken. First, he utters one word concerning her abuse, “Enough”. Now, there’s been a lot of debate on other threads about whether this “enough” was enough. Should the Hound have said more or done more to protect Sansa in this scene? I’m not going to get into that in this analysis, but certainly others can expand on the question if they want to.

I always had the impression that the Hound was quite close to think "Bugger that!" and attacking the two Kingsguards, maybe even killing them for this beating. It's only Tyrion's intervention preventing this to happen. Also, I also had the feeling, that he was very fast in throughing his cloak at Sansa, this being another reason for me to believe that he was ready to strike (muscles already tight etc.).

Again, this interferrence did prevent us from seeing more from the Hound.

In the conversation with Tyrion later on, we also see that Sansa is becoming a better liar. In the previous chapter, the Hound had warned her that everyone else is better at this than she is, but she’s quickly learning to conceal her true agenda and managing to fool one of the more intelligent persons in KL. Tyrion’s comment that perhaps she is wiser than he knew, reveals that he didn’t think much of her intellect before, but comes to feel some common bond with her in his experience of nightmares as well. This is a minor (or major depending on how you see it) triumph for Sansa, to hide her real feelings, and tell a convincing lie. Even throughout the conversation we see how she thinks one thing, but says another. It’s an important skill that she’s been sharpening ever since her captivity began.

This is the only point I would disagree with you: I think, like Sandor earlier, Tyrion does know Sansa is lying, but just as Sandor, he doesn't sees the need to question her further - most likely he thinks she doesn't want to be in his tower because he is a Lannister and she doesn't want one of his family near her/his men surrounding her.

I also don't agree on Tyrion thinking negativly about Sansa's intellect; it's just a phrase he uses here; he most likely never pondered if Sansa is intelligent or not, and even now he is mostly thinking about the grief his stupid nephew (and his family) is causing her.

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This is the only point I would disagree with you: I think, like Sandor earlier, Tyrion does know Sansa is lying, but just as Sandor, he doesn't sees the need to question her further - most likely he thinks she doesn't want to be in his tower because he is a Lannister and she doesn't want one of his family near her/his men surrounding her.

I also don't agree on Tyrion thinking negativly about Sansa's intellect; it's just a phrase he uses here; he most likely never pondered if Sansa is intelligent or not, and even now he is mostly thinking about the grief his stupid nephew (and his family) is causing her.

Morte, your point struck me too - there is the possibility that Tyrion might have known she was lying, but the reason I ultimately don't think he did was because earlier in their conversation he is able to figure out her thoughts when she's thinking that Robb will kill all of them, telling her to not get her hopes up basically. I think in this last bit, he genuinely believed that she was telling the truth, and having bad nightmares is something that Tyrion could probably identify with a lot.

As for his opinion of her intellect, let's say I don't think he had any reason to think very highly of it. Not in a bad way necessarily, but certainly he probably believed that she wasn't a deep thinker or very mature.

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