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Rapsie

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa II

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I´m trying to point out some of my ideas in this chapter. But I have a serious muscular contraction in both arms and in my neck and it is going to be difficult to put all the things. That it´s the reason why my posts are so short lately.

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My analysis (in main ideas).

Tyrion POV:

- Sandor bringing Sansa and not making any report until she is being healing. As somebody pointed in another thread she should have to be really scared, and she should be grab really tigh to the chest of The Hound.

- Tyrion not caring really for Sansa as a girl, she is only an exchange person. A secure for his brother Jaime.

- Sansa trying to comfort Tommen, and also how she tries to intercede between the woman with the dead baby, the crowd and Joffrey. Joffrey demonstrated that he abused not only of Sansa but also of his brother.

Sansa Chapter:

- Sansa really hidding her feelings again. Plus all her hormones disturbed. Plus all the PSTS, it is normal that she feels low and has more bitterness that we have read in any of her chapters.

- She realizes that she can´t ask Dontos for really help (all the city goes mad and he is only telling her to be patient).

- Dontos tells Sansa a big truth: if your enemy believes that you are dumb, you will have advantage of your enemy cause they won´t able to seize all your strengths. Sansa should understand that not matters what say about you, what matters is what you believe of you. Joffrey and Cersei believes that she is dumb, but she should analyze and realize that she is smart. (I have beging to like her and her naivity more in contrast all the others characters that are so dark and serious).

- Dontos wants to kiss Sansa in her lips, but she is clever enough to kiss him in his cheek (also she does that with LF until he gets tired and makes her kiss him at his lips).

- Crying for everything: two explanations again Moonblood and Post Traumatic Syndrome.

- Sandor was already in the roof of the tower (maybe as another day somebody pointed, I don´t know if it was in this thread or in another, that he wanted to be near her). When she gets there, she doesn´t see him.

- Again he keep her from falling.

- All their conversation seems to me as a lovers fight, I don´t know why. (In RL they should be calling each other as sooner as they came back home after the arguing). They have treat each one enough to be able of express with sincerity.

- Maybe due to all her hormones she spoke to him fiercely that why are accostumed to (it is something that happens to me, near my bloodmoon I argued easyly with my husband for silly things). And Sandor in response spoke more rughly (he felt that she is scared of him, not she was only having "moonblood" pain and she didn´t even know it). Sandor, you should calm down a little to understand her properly.

- Sandor realizes that she can look at him. And she obligues her to look at him. She says that the worst were his anger´s eyes.

- About the crowd attacking, she remembers that Sandor makes run their enemies and that he laughs and his face was transformer. But in which way? In a kind of joy that he has been able to realize his objetive or in a terrorific way?

- She realizes that she didn´t act right not going to thank him. And probably that got him angrier. He was proud of his act.

- So clever the analysis that he begins telling that he likes to kill people, and after ending that Knigths are to kill people!

- All their encounters are at dark, where no other can see it.

- Bad things that the Hound says: telling Ned dancing leg´s at his death and taking off the sword and trying to threatened her. Really good that point of willings! Both treated as equals.

- I´m sure that he was there looking at all the fires and thinking that he would have to fight there. And hating it.

- First time that he calls monster to the Imp.

- About the dream: I also notice that she doesn´t call to the Hound, the only one that rescue her. What kind of sign can be that?

- I can understand how horrorified she was of having her period in that moment. She doesn´t want nothing with Joffrey. And she gets in that madness of burning everything. Sure that all the castle after was comenting the incident. And The Hound sure knew of that.

- About the sentence of feeling that her blooming will be more magical and less dirty. That brings me at my head that men don´t like to speak about this things. They block out. Like it is too much for them. And they don´t realize that it is something natural and beautiful.

- Breakfast with Cersei will be like the worst after. I´m sure that Sansa only wanted to be alone.

- Robert always was hunting when Cersei was having her babies? That tells a lot about how Robert´s temper. Always running for real responsabilities.

- Cersei justifies Joffrey acts due to what hapen at the Trident. That´s too much! She is justifying cruelty acts as a response of cowardy.

- Nobody believes Sansa (not even she) when she tells that she loves Joffrey. But it is the only thing that protects her.

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@bgona, I hope your pain goes away soon, and you're back to full posting capacity. :(

I agree now that he probably wasn't following her, but was up on the roof already and saw her when she got there. It adds some interesting insight into Sandor's character as well, as he was most likely up there to escape the feeling of claustrophobia with all the fires and ash, and maybe to reflect and prepare himself for what was to be a hellish battle. It's interesting that both he and Sansa choose this place to go to that night.

Sansa was cranky in this chapter for sure. PMS and PTSD do not mix well :)

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- All their conversation seems to me as a lovers fight, I don´t know why. (In RL they should be calling each other as sooner as they came back home after the arguing). They have treat each one enough to be able of express with sincerity.

- Maybe due to all her hormones she spoke to him fiercely that why are accostumed to (it is something that happens to me, near my bloodmoon I argued easyly with my husband for silly things). And Sandor in response spoke more rughly (he felt that she is scared of him, not she was only having "moonblood" pain and she didn´t even know it). Sandor, you should calm down a little to understand her properly.

...

- About the crowd attacking, she remembers that Sandor makes run their enemies and that he laughs and his face was transformer. But in which way? In a kind of joy that he has been able to realize his objetive or in a terrorific way?

...

- About the dream: I also notice that she doesn´t call to the Hound, the only one that rescue her. What kind of sign can be that?

(snipped for space)

Feel better, bgona! I think you noted a lot of good points. Poor Sansa, I'm sure the whole castle was talking about the nutty girl who tried to burn her bed! You're right, the guys probably noted the period thing in passing but changed the subject pretty fast.

I think GRRM tells us that, in laughing, Sansa notes how Sandor's face is transformed, to contrast it later with Sansa's assessment that the anger in his eyes is what she really finds objectionable. So I think the transformation was a positive one, and one that may have planted the seed in Sansa's mind that his scars do not necessarily have to make him ugly.

I also think that she doesn't call to him in her dream because she has never had to call on him to save her. He watches over her without being asked, and is always there to catch her or intercede for her. It's like, unconsciously, she's secure enough that he would never truly let harm come to her (unlike Ser Ilyn) that she knows she doesn't have to ask him for help. He will come.

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Quote

The mob surged around her, shrieking, a maddened beast with a thousand faces. Everywhere she turned she saw faces twisted into monstrous inhuman masks.

Reguarding this dream of Sansa's which "everyone knows are prophetic", I thought the gods were trying to reach her and warn her that "Winter is Coming". I also wondered especially at the weasels eating her belly if it was in reference to the Red Wedding. I just thought it wouldn't be a dream of the past it has to be future or a possible future.

I think it was her reliving just how close to death she came to an angry mob and how she stilled cling for a hero to save her but her "TRUE" Knights are either dead or far away and the actual hero isn't what she truly considered's a "TRUE" Knight, he's rude, crude and not good looking at all total opposite of what she was taught growing up.

As for the weasels, I think it's her starting to realize people are using her for her titles and holdings that she brings OR her body is betraying her at a time she wished it wouldn't (hope as a guy this came out right).

ETA: Spelling-W key on my 9" asus.

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(snipped for space)

Feel better, bgona! I think you noted a lot of good points. Poor Sansa, I'm sure the whole castle was talking about the nutty girl who tried to burn her bed! You're right, the guys probably noted the period thing in passing but changed the subject pretty fast.

I think GRRM tells us that, in laughing, Sansa notes how Sandor's face is transformed, to contrast it later with Sansa's assessment that the anger in his eyes is what she really finds objectionable. So I think the transformation was a positive one, and one that may have planted the seed in Sansa's mind that his scars do not necessarily have to make him ugly.

I also think that she doesn't call to him in her dream because she has never had to call on him to save her. He watches over her without being asked, and is always there to catch her or intercede for her. It's like, unconsciously, she's secure enough that he would never truly let harm come to her (unlike Ser Ilyn) that she knows she doesn't have to ask him for help. He will come.

Great insight! Particularly on the last one where she doesn't call for him!! It makes sense now :)

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i Agree....she doesn't call out for him because she didn't need to. He saved her. Part of that dream, too, was her disillusionment with knights in general. She called for KNIGHTS to rescue her....and none did. The man who DID rescue her...wasn't a knight.

I came up with a knight theory years ago:

A brave, handsome knight rescues the fair damsel in distress and takes her as his bride. Once there, he leaves her (alone) in his shiny, pretty castle while he runs off on some glorious quest for the king and the honor of it all.

After a few years, the new princess starts to feel a little lonely and sad. She doesn't have any friends or family as she is in HIS castle and, as usual, he is off playing "hero of the day".

Sooooo....she takes up horseback riding to pass the time.

Hey....the stable boy is pretty cute!

Well, as her knight in shining armor is never home, and the stable boy is there every day.....she starts to spend a little too much time with him.

Naturally, while she is cozying up with the stable boy, her dashing knight gets kidnapped by a fairy queen and, being a man, allows himself to be seduced by her.

He's gone for a while, having endless sex with the fairy queen. Eventually he gets bored and makes his grand escape.

Said knight in shining armor comes home and finds his princess literally rolling in the hay with the stable boy. Being a knight, he has them each beheaded.

Moral of the story? Forget the knight in shining armor! He is never home, is most likely too busy being seduced by fairy queens and will just behead you when he gets back and finds that you like the stable boy.

Keep your head, let the stable boy keep his, and go for the stable boy in the first place as he's always home AND you will end up with him in the end anyways!

:)

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Moral of the story? Forget the knight in shining armor! He is never home, is most likely too busy being seduced by fairy queens and will just behead you when he gets back and finds that you like the stable boy.

Keep your head, let the stable boy keep his, and go for the stable boy in the first place as he's always home AND you will end up with him in the end anyways!

:)

I think the moral of her story is: don't wait for the hero to save you.

Be him/her !

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My analysis (in main ideas).

Sansa Chapter:

1 - Dontos wants to kiss Sansa in her lips, but she is clever enough to kiss him in his cheek (also she does that with LF until he gets tired and makes her kiss him at his lips).

2- Sandor was already in the roof of the tower (maybe as another day somebody pointed, I don´t know if it was in this thread or in another, that he wanted to be near her). When she gets there, she doesn´t see him. / - Again he keep her from falling.

3 - Sandor realizes that she can look at him. And she obligues her to look at him. She says that the worst were his anger´s eyes.

4- About the crowd attacking, she remembers that Sandor makes run their enemies and that he laughs and his face was transformer. But in which way? In a kind of joy that he has been able to realize his objetive or in a terrorific way?

5- All their encounters are at dark, where no other can see it.

6- I´m sure that he was there looking at all the fires and thinking that he would have to fight there. And hating it.

7- I can understand how horrorified she was of having her period in that moment. She doesn´t want nothing with Joffrey. And she gets in that madness of burning everything. Sure that all the castle after was comenting the incident. And The Hound sure knew of that.

Lots of interesting points here.

1 - This reminds me that there's a scene where Sansa thinks she could kiss Dontos - blotchy cheeks, broken veins and all. I forget exactly when this is but she's not against kissing faces she finds unattractive. (It's also the first time, I think, that she considers giving a man a kiss as a reward, a kiss she knows he wants, btw.)

2 - The thing that's strange is, to have caught her that fast, he would have had to have been literally a step or two away. How did she not see him?

3 - She can look but he doesn't like it when she doesn't just accept what he's telling her without question. He's probably used to getting his way via intimidation and, when that doesn't work, and he's looking like the bad guy in a way he doesn't like, he tells her to stop looking and go away. Real mature, Sandor.

4 - I always assumed it was in a terrifyingly joyous way. Granted, these were starving peasants and not trained knights, but he was also defending his little bird so . . . double thrill.

5 - Their solo encounters are mainly at night. It just adds to his general menacing aura. If she ran into him out in the gardens or something, it wouldn't have the same dangerous vibe.

6 - This is really sad. :( I'd never thought about what he was doing up there pre-Sansa's arrival.

7 - I don't have my book handy but what's the next scene Sansa has with Sandor after getting her period? Just wondering if he acts differently, no doubt having heard she flowered.

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@Starbirdy, their next scene is the one where he accosts her in her bedroom, and offers to take her away.

The scene where she thinks she could kiss Dontos is when he intervenes in the court and tries to spare her beating by pelting her with melons.

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@Starbird

Concering 2 and 5, I don't have my books with me but I thought it was dark when he caught her from falling? Consider that they don't have electricity, it gets very very dark in the small places were the light of candles and fire doesn't reach.

And Sandor does seem to sneak around alot in the dark around Sansa, I wonder if we are to think that he actually follows her around all the time or if it's combination of him keeping an eye on her AND chance meetings.

Hand't really thought about him standing around dreading to get out there with fire. My heart is sad :/

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Bgona, hope you get better soon!! And your comment about how he must have been in the roof this night cause he was looking at the fires and fearing that he might have to go near them is so heart-wrenching!! gosh, such a tortured man and yet he is hot! And I also think that their conversations sort of seem like a boyfriends relationship at times, but this particular relationship is immature, awkward, new and strange, exciting and even dangerous, which just makes is great. How sad that they didn’t have phones back then so they could make up after chilling out. Instead they had to wait till their next “chance” meeting encounter to talk once more.

& childofsummer, your view on the laughing at the mob-face transformed- anger in his eyes, was really clever!

And starbird mentioned how sansa was willing to kiss dontos. I am glad she isn’t a vain girl who only wants to be with guys who are hot, even if they are mean. But it is a little sad to think that she was willing to kill dontos (and even sandor) after she had suffered such strong and heavy situations. Avoiding a beating “drove” her to it, when if things had sort of turn out perfect with her and joff, I don’t think she would be so willing to kiss men, even if it benefit her.

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ACOK – SANSA V

Summary

It’s the eve of the battle and Sansa has been summoned to the courtyard by Joffrey to bid him a formal farewell as he goes to fight. Sansa notes that there has been singing in the Sept all morning, but the sounds of the preparation for war mingled with it to create “a strange and fearful music.” She recalls that Septa Mordane told her that the Warrior and the Mother are only different aspects of the same god, but wonders if this true exactly whose prayers will be answered.

She observes Joffrey climbing on to his horse with his armor of gilded mail and enameled crimson plate. The armor catches the sunlight ever time Joff moves, and Sansa thinks to herself:

Bright, shining and empty

She notices Tyrion is there as well, in less flashy armor than Joff, but attired in such a way that he looked like a little boy dressed in his father’s clothes. Tyrion calls to her and inquires why she has not joined with the other highborn women in Maegor’s Holdfast. Sansa informs him that she is there on Joffrey’s command and afterwards means to spend some time praying in the Sept:

I won’t ask for whom.” His mouth twisted oddly; if that was a smile, it was the queerest she had ever seen. “This day may change all for you as well as House Lannister.

As he is musing that he should have sent her with Tommen for safety, Joffrey calls to her across the yard.

He calls me as if he were calling a dog, she thought.

Joffrey brags about how he will use his new sword, called ‘Hearteater’ in battle to kill his uncle Stannis. Sansa remembers that he once had another sword called ‘Lion’s Tooth’ that Arya had thrown into the river. She hopes that Stannis will do the same with this one. Joffrey then tells her to bless his sword with a kiss:

He had never sounded more like a stupid little boy. Sansa touched her lips to the metal, thinking that she would kiss any number of swords sooner than Joffrey.

Joffrey tells her that she will kiss it again when it is bloodied with his uncle’s blood but Sansa thinks that this is only possible if one of knights does it for him. She inquires if he will be leading his knights into the battle, and tells him that her brother Robb always goes where the fighting is thickest.

Joffrey promises to deal with Robb after the battle and gallops off on his horse. A hush has descended over the courtyard and Sansa proceeds to the sept where she finds many people singing and praying:

Sansa had never seen the Sept so crowded, nor so brightly lit; great shafts of rainbow-coloured sunlight slanted through the crystals in the high windows, and candles burned on every side, their little flames twinkling like stars. The Mother’s altar and the Warrior’s swam in light, but the Smith and the Crone and Maid and Father had worshippers as well, and there were even a few flames dancing below the Stranger’s half-human face … for what was Stannis Baratheon, if not the stranger come to judge them? Sansa visited each of the Seven in turn, lighting a candle at each altar…

She finds a seat next to an old woman and a young boy, taking comfort from holding their hands. A hymn begins and Sansa remembers having been taught it by her mother at Winterfell:

Gentle Mother, font of Mercy

save our sons from war we pray,

stay the swords and stay the arrows,

let them know a better day.

Gentle Mother, strength of women,

help our daughters through this fray,

soothe the wrath and tame the fury,

teach us all a kinder way

She thinks that the gods must surely hear the prayers of so many people, and sings in prayer for all her family and friends, “for Dontos, and Jory Cassel and Maester Luwin, for all the brave knights and soldiers who would die today, and for the children and the wives who would mourn them.” We read:

… and finally, toward the end, she even sang for Tyrion the Imp and for the Hound. He is no true knight but he saved me all the same, she told the Mother. Save him if you can, and gentle the rage inside him.

But when the Septon begins a prayer for King Joffrey, Sansa gets up and leaves, saying her own prayer for her betrothed:

Let his sword break and his shield shatter, Sansa thought coldly as she shoved through the doors, let his courage fail him and every man desert him.

Making her way back to Maegor’s Holdfast, she encounters the Stokeworths and their maid, Shae, trying to get Lollys across the bridge. She notices that the girl’s maid looks as though she would like nothing better than to throw Lollys over onto the spikes below. Sansa speaks kindly to Lollys, encouraging her to come inside where there will be food and songs. Lollys just stares at her blankly and in the end Falyse and Shae have to drag her across. Lady Tanda tries to excuse Lollys as not feeling well, but Sansa has heard the rumour of Lollys being pregnant like everyone else.

They reach the Queen’s Ballroom and Sansa has been given honour of place next to Cersei on the dais. The room is crowded with women and just few old men and children. As Sansa is climbing to her seat she notices Ser Ilyn standing in the shadows in the back and experiences a feeling of terror:

Sansa’s breath caught in her throat. Ser Ilyn Payne seemed to sense her stare. He turned his gaunt, pox-ravaged face toward her.

Sansa questions Osfryd Kettleback on why Ilyn Payne is there and thinks about whose head Cersei might want.

When the Queen enters she is dressed magnificently all in white. She asks Sansa if she if her “red flower” is still blooming and learns that it is:

How apt. The men will bleed out there, and you in here.”

Sansa asks her why Ilyn Payne is there and Cersei replies that he is there to protect them. Sansa thinks:

I would be gladder if it were the Hound… Harsh as he was, she did not believe Sandor Clegane would let any harm come to her.

Asking the Queen why they couldn’t rely on the protection of her own guards, Cersei seizes another moment to school Sansa:

“And who will protect us from my guards?” The Queen gave Osfryd a sideways look. “Loyal sellswords are rare as virgin whores. If the battle is lost, my guards will trip on those crimson cloaks in their haste to rip them off. They’ll steal what they can and flee, along with the serving men, washerwomen, and stableboys, all out to save their own worthless hides. Do you have any notion what happens when a city is sacked, Sansa? No you wouldn’t, would you? All you know of life you learned from singers, and there’s such a dearth of good singing songs.”

When Sansa replies that true knights would never harm women and children, she thinks that the words sound hollow even as she says them. Cersei, of course, finds her statement amusing, telling her:

“No doubt you’re right. So why don’t you just eat your broth like a good girl and wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight to come rescue you, sweetling. I’m sure it won’t be very long now.”

Analysis

This is the first of the next 3 chapters where Sansa’s thoughts and experiences revolve around the fear and uncertainty of the Blackwater Battle. The role of religion in Sansa’s life is very prominent in this chapter, as is her utter and complete hatred for Joffrey Baratheon, the first of his name. This is a “quiet” chapter for Sansa, in that she’s not being assaulted or attacked or manhandled, but nonetheless offers a revealing look into Sansa’s relationship with many people.

The first one is Joffrey. Now there’s been a lot of talk on the board lately about Sansa being shallow and passive. Well this chapter pretty much knocks those assumptions to the ground IMO. She offers an astute analysis of Joffrey in his golden armor as being “bright, shining and empty”. She’s no longer blinded by the flashiness of appearances, but sees beyond what is on the surface to deceive. If there’s one good thing that came out of how awful Sansa was treated by Joffrey, it will be this awareness to look deeper into what a person is really like, and not focus on how they present themselves or what they wear.

Her cunning is also shown to nice effect. She may not be able to kill Joff herself, but she tries her best to make sure that he does so all on his own. I couldn’t help but smiling when she plays on Joff’s ego to get him to do something reckless:

“They say my brother Robb always goes where the fighting is thickest,” she said recklessly. “Though he’s older than Your Grace, to be sure. A man grown.”

Joff is truly dumb, and of course doesn’t realise that Sansa is trying to goad him into getting himself killed, but it was still a risky statement for Sansa to make given Joff’s notorious temper. Again, Sansa isn’t a master player, or arguably even a minor one, but LF did not receive a blank slate or idiot in the Vale. She’s intelligent, and knows where to strike the weak spot of her enemy.

We also see just how much Joff’s “pouty” lips disgust her. So much so that she’d rather kiss any number of swords but him. So cross pouty lips off the list of what attracts Sansa Stark.

Now I want to focus a bit on the religious aspect of Sansa’s arc which we really see coming through here. She doesn’t merely go the sept for a feeling of fellowship and safety, but there’s a genuine sincerity to her activities whilst there. She makes sure to visit all the different gods and lights candles for each, and then participates in the singing, holding the hands of the old woman and the young boy. I think her position between these two individuals is significant. It symbolizes I believe Sansa’s development up to this point, between wisdom (and experience) represented by the old woman and innocence (and naivete) represented by the young boy. She’s in that in-between stage, also symbolized by her period which is still flowing. Not a child anymore, but not yet a woman. There are still many lessons for Sansa to learn.

I thought her memory of Cat teaching her the hymn was a nice way to establish how her experiences and memories of Winterfell can sustain and enrich her life now. When Cat would have taught her the song, Sansa’s life would have been completely different. No threats, no fears, no imminent dangers. But now, the hymn is being sung with real meaning behind it. Sansa’s life has become a battlefield, but being able to remember a hymn taught by her mother goes a long way in calming her fears (and later on as we shall see, in perhaps saving her life).

Her prayers for everyone related to her reveals that Sansa hasn’t forgotten the ones important to her and her family – dead or alive. She thinks of Jory, and Maester Luwin, her uncle Edmure, and her direct family members like Arya and Bran, Robb, Jon and Rickon. Even King Robert gets a mention, along with her grandfather Hoster Tully. Contrast this with the Sansa of AGOT, not seeming to grasp the severity of what had happened when her father’s guard had been slaughtered and Jory lost his life, and it’s evident just how mature she’s become. I think Sansa realizes here that life and death matter. People matter, even if they do not fulfill our traditional images of heroes and heroines. This is very clear when she thinks of Tyrion and the Hound, saying of the latter, “he is no true knight, but he saved me all the same.” Her prayer to the mother to gentle the rage inside Sandor, reveals a depth of concern and caring about this fierce man. She genuinely desires that he finds peace. Of course, her words here are quite ironic given what takes place two chapters from now. There is an honest sense of magnanimity to Sansa’s prayers. No one is left out, everyone is included, the North remembers.

Except of course, the North not only remembers its friends and loved ones, but also its enemies. I cheered when Sansa got up and walked out when the Septon called for prayers for Joff. Sansa’s empathy and forgiveness do not stretch so far, and this determination not to partake in a sham service for a king that makes a mockery of his crown, suggests that Sansa Stark can one day make a formidable opponent to anyone who challenges her. She doesn’t care that she has to force her way out of that sept, and she does it while saying a few choice prayers for Joffrey herself. Sansa’s prayer list is just as capable as being about vengeance (like Arya’s) as it is about being one of mercy and healing.

When she is crossing the bridge on her back to Maegor’s Holdfast, and encounters Lollys with Shae and the Stokeworths, I thought ahead to ASOS, where these three women – Sansa, Shae, and Lollys, play an important part in Tyrion’s arc. Lollys was thrown out as an offer by Tywin, when he was proposing that Tyrion marry Sansa (and eventually is married to Bronn), and of course Shae is Tyrion’s mistress. When we contrast Shae and Sansa particularly, we see how one girl is still able to have sympathy for others, even when she is virtually a prisoner, being beaten at will; and the other girl, while resenting her position as maid, has been spared the hardships that Sansa is currently enduring, or if she once experienced them, it has turned her into someone that feels no pity for others who cannot help themselves. It made me wish all the more that GRRM never embitters Sansa to the extent that she loses her humanity or ability to care about others in worst situations than herself. That Lollys’ fate could have easily been Sansa’s, makes this encounter all the more affecting.

The abject terror that Sansa feels whenever she sees Ilyn Payne returns again, and I am now fairly convinced that he will pop up in her arc sometime in the next two books. It just seems like ominous foreshadowing that she’ll be at risk of facing his justice, or perhaps someone she loves. (Sandor for Saltpans/Arya for anyone?)

When Cersei enters the Queen’s ballroom, her dress is described for readers:

Cersei’s gown was snowy linen, white as the cloaks of the Kingsguard. Her long dagged sleeves showed a lining of gold satin. Masses of bright yellow hair tumbled to her bare shoulders in thick curls. Around her slender neck hung a rope of diamonds and emeralds. The white made her look strangely innocent, almost maidenly, but there were points of color on her cheeks.

Seeing Cersei attired this way I thought of how apt a comparison she makes with her son: bright, shining and empty. Or better yet, since she is made up to look like a blushing young maiden: white, gleaming, and rotten.

The conversation that follows shows just who the innocent is and who is the embittered realist. Cersei almost seems to be taking perverse pleasure in Sansa’s naivete, not that we would have expected any different. Her words to Sansa are true, a loyal sellsword is an absurd contradiction in terms, and if the battle is lost, it will come down to every man (and woman) for themselves, but there is no kindness in Cersei’s words, no attempt to console or reassure even when the truth is necessary. Sansa can never look to Cersei as a maternal figure, and Cersei is only interested in belittling Sansa’s inexperience.

However, even Sansa is no longer quite invested in her belief about true knights. The words are hollow as she says them because she too is aware that the real world and the people in it are a lot more callous and selfish than what exists in the songs. Her own experiences have been a constant challenge to this notion of true knights.

In her final mocking statement, Cersei mentions Aemon the dragonknight (and Symeon Star eyes) as two knights that Sansa can foolishly sit and wait to arrive to save her. Is it me or does the dragonknight get referenced a lot in Sansa’s chapters? We know that Sansa considers him one of her heroes; a brave warrior that enjoyed an ill-fated romance with his sister and brother’s wife, Naerys. We’ve already mentioned the parallels between Aemon and Sandor, both KG knights who are forced it seems to love these women from afar, and have the distinct pleasure of serving unworthy kings. Interestingly enough, when Cersei talks of how Ilyn Payne is there to protect them, Sansa mentions that she would feel safer if it was the Hound, because he wouldn’t let any harm come to her. I think this again is another hint of the connection that GRRM is establishing between the men and their stories. Cersei may mock Sansa’s belief of a true knight coming to rescue her, but the girl actually has someone in mind who fulfills that idealistic desire.

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For those interested in Symeon Star-Eyes:

Symeon Star-Eyes is a legendary knight from the Age of Heroes who was blind.

Legend

According to legend, Symeon was a knight who lost both of his eyes. He replaced them with star sapphires. He fought with a long staff with blades at both ends and would spin it in his hands to chop down two men at once.[1] He once visited the Nightfort where he saw hellhounds fighting.[

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Excellent summary and analysis Brash!

I hadn't noticed it, but Aemon the Dragonknight appears as frequently as Florian. Also I found the reference to Symeon Star-Eyes interesting as it provides a connection to Brienne. Symeon was blind and replaced his eyes with Sapphires and of course Jaime made the reference to sapphires in connection to Brienne. Also Brienne is metephorically blind in regards to Jaime. ;)

Also Symeon ended up at the Dreadfort and fought against Hellhounds.......not sure what that means, but given Jon's line to Arya about roads leading to the same Castle, I wonder if Sansa might not do something wildly unexpected and head for the Wall.....yeah crackpot, I know.

I thought walking out of the Sept was a very brave move given the number of spies around her. Also I am slightly worried that she prayed for Tyrion, as it shows that GRRM had placed him in her thoughts as well as the Hound, although Sandor does seem to feature more prominently.

Also given that Genna says Tyrion is Tywin small writ, Sansa's idea that he is a boy in his father's clothes is certainly an astute one.

I also agree that Ser Ilyne is set to play a part in her story somewhere. Between him and Pod, she is about to be surrounded by Paynes.

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This chapter really shows how far Sansa has come from the shallow little girl she was in most of AGOT. She can see the contrast between Joffrey's physical beauty and inner evil; and coldly prays for his death with decisive purpose; daring to leave the Sept when actual prayers for him are called. I loved the way she prayed for those who had dead or were missing, such as Arya and King Robert (who Sansa had never really liked), along with the living family members she misses. Whoever believes that Sansa threw her family away and never thinks of the North did not read or remember this chapter. And I loved her praying for Tyrion, who was a member of the family she hated, but who had been kind to her, and of course Sandor - Sansa values kindness and loyalty.

And being Sansa, she observed Shae's nasty attitude towards Lollys; and tries to be kind and helpful to Lollys. It's amazing to me that a girl who is a frequently abused and threatened captive can still manage to have empathy to others and try to be kind when she can. In her place, I might have thought to h*ll with all of them and just run to the Holdfast ignoring everyone else; it's not as if the Stokeworths ever lifted a finger to be nice to her.

Cersei shows what a true biatch she is. There is absolutely no reason to be as mean as she is to Sansa; she could have given her the Siege: Facts of Life (and frequent Rape and Death) Lesson a bit more gently; it's not as if Sansa is an experienced warrior, she's a 12-year-old girl who is experiencing her first menstruation. It's almost as if Cersei takes a perverse pleasure in tearing down Sansa's illusions (which are practically all the poor girl has left, other than the clothes which Cersei gives her) as derisively as possible. And asking Sansa if the Red Flower was still blooming - how rude! (queens holding court usually would not ask such things in public) Their dialogue made me wonder if Cersei was jealous of Sansa, or couldn't stand it that Sansa seemed outwardly serene in spite of impending danger. Perhaps Cersei remembers how she was once a beautiful young girl who hoped to marry a prince and become a queen, and ended up as the abused wife of a drunkard; and is venting the bitterness of her own broken dreams on Sansa.

As I've said before, Sansa's preoccupation with/fears of Ilyn Payne could definitely be a premonition of a future time when Sansa is brought to him for execution as her father was - hopefully with a last-minute reprieve. I just hope that Sansa is afraid of Payne only because he executed her father.

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I don't have anything to add about the topic really, this post is actually a well wish.

Bgona I know your pain, I had a similar problem once when my lower back failed on me and left me unable to lift my arms or turn anything connected to my spine for several weeks. I couldn't even reach my arms out enough to type on a keyboard so I did the next best thing and drafted a buddy to be my typer while I dictated to him. I had to buy the guy a lot of beer as payment, but it at least kept me from going insane with pent up thoughts. Or rather any more insane than I already am :D

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I came up with a knight theory years ago:

A brave, handsome knight rescues the fair damsel in distress and takes her as his bride. Once there, he leaves her (alone) in his shiny, pretty castle while he runs off on some glorious quest for the king and the honor of it all.

After a few years, the new princess starts to feel a little lonely and sad. She doesn't have any friends or family as she is in HIS castle and, as usual, he is off playing "hero of the day".

Sooooo....she takes up horseback riding to pass the time.

Hey....the stable boy is pretty cute!

Well, as her knight in shining armor is never home, and the stable boy is there every day.....she starts to spend a little too much time with him.

Naturally, while she is cozying up with the stable boy, her dashing knight gets kidnapped by a fairy queen and, being a man, allows himself to be seduced by her.

He's gone for a while, having endless sex with the fairy queen. Eventually he gets bored and makes his grand escape.

Said knight in shining armor comes home and finds his princess literally rolling in the hay with the stable boy. Being a knight, he has them each beheaded.

And weren't their names Charles and Diana? Her beheading came later, of course, but they say the stableboy fathered son number 2....

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@Rapsie, good point on Tyrion being Tywin "writ small" and the observation Sansa makes of him on the horse.

@Raksha, yeah, I don't understand why Cersei cannot find it in herself to feel some sympathy for Sansa. It's like she sees an innocent spirit and just wants to crush it before it can fly. I would argue that in comparison, this isn't Sandor's objective. I think there's a part of him that is genuinely afraid for Sansa, while Cersei seems to delight in telling her all the sordid unpleasantries of being a woman and being helpless in the face of rampaging soldiers.

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