Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Rapsie

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa II

Recommended Posts

Also neither girl wishes to leave KL, it is only when Arya finds out she can keep Syrio that she is happy. She did try to comfort Sansa though and Sansa was very rude in her response.

Just in an effort to be completely fair, Arya was in a position here that made it much easier for her to be the bigger person than it was for Sansa. After all, Arya was getting everything she wanted: She was getting to leave King's Landing (a place she doesn't seem to have particularly liked, apart from her "dancing lessons"), she was going back to her beloved Winterfell, and what's more, she was even going to be able to keep both Syrio and her lessons with him. That was a pretty sweet deal for her. On the other hand, Sansa (at the exact same time she watches Arya being given everything she wants) had just had everything she had ever wanted ripped away from her in one fell swoop, and was given little to no explanation for it. Arya did the right thing in trying to be nice, and she deserves full credit for it... but if I'm being honest, given the situation at that moment, I would have thought a little less of Arya if she hadn't tried to be the bigger person there (as I would have of Sansa had the situation been reversed).

None of that excuses or mitigates Sansa's awful response to her, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Lemoncake - As sweet (and heartbreaking) as Ned's words were about finding her someone "brave and gentle and strong" can you imagine being that age and fixated on a boy you like, and your father making a decision that you have to leave whilst presenting you with some abstract options in place of the real thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Lemoncake - As sweet (and heartbreaking) as Ned's words were about finding her someone "brave and gentle and strong" can you imagine being that age and fixated on a boy you like, and your father making a decision that you have to leave whilst presenting you with some abstract options in place of the real thing?

Oh yes. When I was that age, being told things like what Ned said to Sansa, "Someday, when you're old enough...," was infuriating rather than comforting, even when it was meant in a kind and reassuring way. There's no excuse for Sansa's snotty behavior, but I do understand her anger. From her point of view, it must have seemed like she was getting a really raw deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also you are being sent back to a Castle you longed to get away from. Cat had filled Sansa's head with dreams of the South and it is understandable that she would be upset to leave.

Also the Ned/Robert and Sansa/Joff worship comparison is fantastic and very apt. Ned refused to see the truth about Robert. Even Jon talks about being disappointed when seeing Robert compared to his father's stories. Ned should have gone North after the Direwolves, or at least after the Dany assassination plot, or perhaps when Ned's men were slain and Robert instead of finding out what was going on and why Cat imprisoned Tyrion, automatically sided with the Lannisters. He should have at least sent the girls to the Eyrie or Riverrun on pretense of helping their Aunt and Cousin or seeing their ailing Grandfather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that this probably was the point. It's still seems a bit out of place though, because I could believe that this would be the case with someone still sheltered and protected from a lot of the realities of her environment, but that's not so with Sansa. It's like the experiences don't fit with the characterisation until that final moment when Joff reveals his true colours. Is this what it took for Sansa to finally get it? Well perhaps.

That's why I changed the post! :lol: Cause it didn't make sense to me either at this point in time. I really think GRRM put himself in a hole when he decided it was Sansa that was going to be the one to betray her father. Both Sansa and Ned were betrayed by their naivety in telling people their plans without considering the consequences. It's just Sansa had to be far more in your face with it for her going to Cersei to be believeable and I have to say I COULDN'T when she did! God I hated her. I wanted to beat her blue for that. lol

I guess to show that during times like this the innocent can die with the guilty just as easily, if not more so, and a woman like the Septa who has no political or personal value to anyone isn't going to be spared when the bloodlust is upon the soldiers. Look at what happens to Jeyne - she's just the daughter of a minor employee in the Stark household, and had it not been for the Lannisters' plot to involve her in the Boltons' treachery, she would have been disposed of long ago or at least left in LF's brothel to service clients. War has awful awful consequences for great and small alike.

True, in a matter of a day every single one of her beliefs had been executed. Like not harming women and children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mindrot - It's actually clear on re-read just how much Sansa is like Ned, and Arya is like her mother IMO. Think about it - the accusations that you levelled at Sansa for her behaviour in these early chapters are directly paralleled with Ned's:

1.- Sansa's going to Cersei - so does Ned, except his revelations are much worse and much more idiotic

2.- Sansa swooning over Joff - basically Ned refuses to see the truth about his Robert for a long time and delays to his demise

3. When you think about it, the things that disappoint us in this chapter about Sansa have no effect on anything outside of her relationship with her sister. Her behaviour doesn't cause any negative impact until later, and that is absolutely mitigated by Ned's folly in telling Cersei of his own plans. As for her naivete shown during the gallery session, isn't Ned's naivete arguably even worse?

4. Ultimately, playing the blame game can't work - whilst we can recognize and discuss each character's weaknesses, Ned and Sansa were too naive and unprepared for a game of thrones that chewed them up and spit them out mercilessly.

I would argue only that they are similiar in their naivete in understanding the politics of Kings Landing. I agree entirely on your points I put as #4.

1. This is only similiar in the fact that both of them talk to Cersei, the reasoning behind WHY they talk to Cersei is completely different: Sansa goes to Cersei to reveal all of Neds plans in the hopes that she will be able to stay in KL with Joff and live some fantasy life that is foolish. All of her reasons for talking to Cersei are selfish, and self-centered (not quite the same thing). Ned goes to Cersei to SAVE HER LIFE, and the lives of her children (possibly, I am not sure if Robert would have Tommen and Myrcella murdered, I think he would find a way to get Joff though (one can only hope). Ned does this because he is a good and honorable man, even when dealing with people that are so far removed from good and honorable its almost embarrassing. The difference is night and day as to why they choose to go to Cersei. While I would not call this naive on Neds part, he truly had no other person he could talk to without blowing the whole scandal BEFORE Cersei would have a chance to flee, he chose her because he wanted to save her life.

2. I need to re-read some more of Neds chapters, but I think he had a pretty clear idea of Roberts inability to be a good King. He has no idea how the realm is being ruled for the 15 years he is in Winterfell and Robert it King. Robert comes to him to ask (demand) that he become his Hand. Ned goes to KL where he is woefully unprepared to deal with his enemies ('You will not find a more wretched Hive of scum and villany' are the words that always come to mind when I think of Ned entering KL. Ned knows Robert is stubborn, and IMO does as much 'wrangling' of Robert as he can without being beheaded by him (the scene were they talk of assassinating Dany comes to mind, also when Ned finds out the crown is in huge debt etc). As much power as Ned has, he is still only Hand, and has to follow the Kings orders.

I will say for sure that Ned casts a favorable light upon Roberts actions, but that is because they were so close before Robert became king, and he has a hard time seeing the new Robert accurately. Sansa has none of that bond with Joff, and when shown clear evidence that Joff is a scumbag, chooses to ignore it. I think these 2 circumstances are too dissimilar to say Sansa is behaving like Ned. There is a level of naivete with both of them certainly. But that naivete is taken to an extreme level with Sansa, where as Ned is more unequipped to handle the type of 'Warfare' that is KL Politics.

3. I agree that most of it revolves around her relationship with Arya, but again I have to point out the "un-Starkness" of Sansa's behavoir:

She lies about a dream to Jeyne

She lies about Mycah attacking Joff

She tells Arya that she will be queen one day and the Arya will be FORCED to call her "Your Grace" etc, I get the feeling she said this to her sister in a very superior, stuck up way. Implying that Arya, her own sister, is beneath her.

She tries to blame Arya for the argument about Mycah, when it was very clearly her fault when she lied about Mycah attacking Joff

Also she calls Robert and old drunken fool etc, caring not at all that he is King. Yet people will defend why she went to Cersei because she is naive, when she has seen (and been hurt by) the queens own demands. She is able to discern that Robert is a drunken fool in the limited time she has observed him, but ignores Cersei (again probably because of Joff, foolishness)

All of these actions are very Un-Stark of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Mindrot : She didn't go to Cersei specifically to reveal all Ned's plans. However that will becoming up in Thursday's chapter review and I'll talk about it then.

Anyway addressing your points.

I will say for sure that Ned casts a favorable light upon Roberts actions, but that is because they were so close before Robert became king, and he has a hard time seeing the new Robert accurately. Sansa has none of that bond with Joff, and when shown clear evidence that Joff is a scumbag, chooses to ignore it.

So far in the text one have one instance (the fight between Arya and Joff) where Sansa sees Joff's true colours. He spent the day being lovely to her, then the fight happened. While standing up for Mycah was laudable, Arya attacking Joff was her completely flying off the handle. She hit the back of his head with a stick so hard he was bleeding and then proceeded to hit him again, before he retaliated. It can be argued that he was defending himself from attack just as much as he was on the offensive. Arya is a great character, but even in this first book her violent streak is scary.

Sansa did hate Joff after Lady was killed, yet her father at no point broached the possibility of breaking the engagement. Then at the Tourney feast he is completely charming. She is only 11 years old and this is her first proper crush and the boy her father still has no problem with her marrying. One bad incident compared to several good ones can sway people's judgement. Up until Darry, Sansa had known Joff for about 2 months and he had been perfectly charming.

This is not the same as Ned and Robert's friendship. However this is not a "new" Robert that Ned is seeing. He and Ned argued and stopped speaking over the deaths of Elia and her children. Ned also knew Robert refused to make Jaime take the black, he knew that Robert was flawed and either chose to forget, or chose to ignore this. In fact if R+L=J turns out to be true, then Ned actually hid his own nephew from his best friend Robert for fear that Robert would have Baby Jon murdered: an act far worse than the Arya/Joff fight.

She lies about a dream to Jeyne : Arya hids Needle and lies to Sansa about her "Dancing Lessons"

She lies about Mycah attacking Joff: True

She tells Arya that she will be queen one day and the Arya will be FORCED to call her "Your Grace" etc, I get the feeling she said this to her sister in a very superior, stuck up way. Implying that Arya, her own sister, is beneath her.: Very similar to when Robb and Jon are fighting with swords and Jon calls out Lord of Winterfell and Robb tells him plainly that he could never be Lord of Winterfell because he's a bastard.

She tries to blame Arya for the argument about Mycah, when it was very clearly her fault when she lied about Mycah attacking Joff: When does this happen?

Also she calls Robert and old drunken fool etc, caring not at all that he is King. The text says she forgot her courtesies because she was upset. Also that sounds very like something Arya would say as well.

Yet people will defend why she went to Cersei because she is naive, when she has seen (and been hurt by) the queens own demands. She is able to discern that Robert is a drunken fool in the limited time she has observed him, but ignores Cersei (again probably because of Joff, foolishness). To be fair almost every time she's seen him he's been drunk and he scares her. It is out of desperation that she goes to the Queen.

All of these actions are very Un-Stark of her. :

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rapsie- she blames the fight on Arya when they are summoned to their father that day. Before Arya can blame Sansa, she decides to pre-empt it by blaming Arya: a bit of of a childish attempt to shift the responsibility from yourself, essentially.

I agree with your point that a lot of reason why she continues to be so fascinated with Joff is because she really doesn't know him. They don't seem to have had a lot of interaction at Winterfell, outside of formal dinners etc, where Joff would have been courteous and charming; on the road they have a lovely picnic, before the madness with Mycah (she hates him initially, but forgives him), and then later at the tourney feast he is back to being polite and attentive. Joff - except for that one time when he attacked Mycah, and let's remember this was under the guise of "protecting the honour of Sansa's sister," Joff has managed to hide his more unattractive qualities. This doesn't mean that Sansa's ability to whitewash his behaviour and to actively lie to create a more flattering image of Joff isn't disturbing though.

I'm interested as well in the lie she tells to Jeyne. We read:

"I had a dream that Joffrey would be the one to take the white hart," she said. It had been more of a wish, actually, but it sounded better to call it a dream. Everyone knew that dreams were supposed to be prophetic. White harts were supposed to be very rare and magical, and in her heart she knew her gallant prince was worthier than his drunken father.

Now, Sansa's comment about dreams being prophetic - she certainly has a lot of dreams coming up that will warrant analysis, and I think this early assertion by her is particularly relevant to the role dreams play in her life - either by foreshadowing or expressing some latent desire.

In terms of the specific "dream" she has above, does anyone think it's a possible foreshadowing of Robert's demise and Joffrey's ascension to the throne? Basically, Sansa seems to have wished into being Joffrey's triumph in the hunt - which occurs via his father's fatal injury. The "hart" is a medieval reference to a mature stag, and the stag is the emblem of Robert's house. Robert was symbolically hunting himself, and Joffrey "wins" on the day by becoming King over his "drunken father."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rapsie- she blames the fight on Arya when they are summoned to their father that day. Before Arya can blame Sansa, she decides to pre-empt it by blaming Arya: a bit of of a childish attempt to shift the responsibility from yourself, essentially.

Thanks Brashcandy! I completely didn't get that was the fight that was alluded to. Also, that was very childish of her.

This doesn't mean that Sansa's ability to whitewash his behaviour and to actively lie to create a more flattering image of Joff isn't disturbing though.

:agree:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She tells Arya that she will be queen one day and the Arya will be FORCED to call her "Your Grace" etc, I get the feeling she said this to her sister in a very superior, stuck up way. Implying that Arya, her own sister, is beneath her.

You know, that part of the dialogue always makes me smile because somehow it remembers me of the fights I used to have with my own sister.

me: "Well, I have better grades than you"

sister: Throws pillow to my face

sister: "Well, at least i'm not scared of dogs"

me: Throws pillow to her face.

I think that any eleven year old girl who has a reason to believe that she will be a queen, and also has a sister of a similar age she usually fights with, is going to tell her something like that some day. I know I would have at that age. So would my sister. Nah, that's just children fighting. I find worse her comments that Arya should have died instead of Lady (isn't that a bit similar to Catelyn's reply to Jon, now that I think about it?) or how she treated her when she was trying to make her feel better.

Seems that Sansa is used to blame Arya, or to get angry with her when something bad happens to her. However, I do remember that Arya does the same thing with Sansa at least once, in her first chapter, when both of them are talking about Jon. Arya replies to something Sansa has said, the septa hears her and then she thinks that it's Sansa's fault to call the septa's attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Mindrot : She didn't go to Cersei specifically to reveal all Ned's plans. However that will becoming up in Thursday's chapter review and I'll talk about it then.

Anyway addressing your points.

So far in the text one have one instance (the fight between Arya and Joff) where Sansa sees Joff's true colours. He spent the day being lovely to her, then the fight happened. While standing up for Mycah was laudable, Arya attacking Joff was her completely flying off the handle. She hit the back of his head with a stick so hard he was bleeding and then proceeded to hit him again, before he retaliated. It can be argued that he was defending himself from attack just as much as he was on the offensive. Arya is a great character, but even in this first book her violent streak is scary.

Sansa did hate Joff after Lady was killed, yet her father at no point broached the possibility of breaking the engagement. Then at the Tourney feast he is completely charming. She is only 11 years old and this is her first proper crush and the boy her father still has no problem with her marrying. One bad incident compared to several good ones can sway people's judgement. Up until Darry, Sansa had known Joff for about 2 months and he had been perfectly charming.

This is not the same as Ned and Robert's friendship. However this is not a "new" Robert that Ned is seeing. He and Ned argued and stopped speaking over the deaths of Elia and her children. Ned also knew Robert refused to make Jaime take the black, he knew that Robert was flawed and either chose to forget, or chose to ignore this. In fact if R+L=J turns out to be true, then Ned actually hid his own nephew from his best friend Robert for fear that Robert would have Baby Jon murdered: an act far worse than the Arya/Joff fight.

Good points about Ned and Roberts relationship, but I still do not believe there is a valid comparison between Ned/Robert and Sansa/Joff if for no other reason than Neds hand is forced at almost every turn in this book. He does not want to become Hand, he does not want to leave Winterfell, but he cannot deny Robert (His only other option would be to swear off the seven kingdoms and crown himself King of the North?)

While Sansa is forced into her betrothel to Joff, if she had her wish she would be a little Joff-Baby machine pumping out little psychopaths for him.

Sansa is lying about the dream to Jeyne to impress her, Arya hids needle so that no one takes it from her, I dont remember why she lies about Dancing Lessons, but the motive for the lie is more important than lying itself. 2 people lying do not make them similiar. Maybe I am wrong here

I vaguely remember the part where Robb tells Jon he will not be Lord of Winterfell because he is a bastard, so I could be mistaken here but I think he was simply stating a fact, not trying to insult Jon. Not the case with Sansa and Arya. In fact I think the relationship between Jon and Robb is a stark (no pun intended) contrast to the relationship between Sansa/Arya. One is very clearly "Starkish", Winter is coming, the pack survives etc, the other is far from that. A point that I know Ned makes to Arya, perhaps not to Sansa I do not recall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm playing catch up so this might be a long post...

I'm glad you said this; it's good to know I'm not alone in feeling this way. I'm not excusing Sansa here; I was Stannising (read: grinding my teeth) in frustration with her as much as anyone. But at the same time, I've always felt that GRRM was really overdoing it here, and trying too hard to beat us over the head with how naive Sansa is and how she lives in a detached dream world. Perhaps he was doing it so that it would be even more powerful when she's smacked in the face by brutal reality just a few chapters later, idk.

But, for whatever reason, I do personally think he went too far here. Tbh, the first time I read this chapter, it took me a little out of the story. I couldn't suspend disbelief enough to buy that even someone as naive and good at self-delusion as Sansa could go this far.

Upon rereading, I felt the same way actually. I think this over the top depiction of naivety to the point of stupidity in this one chapter is why people so adamantly hate Sansa. Honestly, I'm not sure Sansa's complete obtuseness here is at all consistent with her later development where she's really observant, sharp, and a generally good judge of character. I get that she really fits events into her preconceived notions but a handful of her father's men were just murdered and Ned himself was almost killed, just escaped with a torn up knee. It would have been more realistic if Sansa had had a moment of uncertainty where it seems she's seriously doubting Joff and Cersei and starting to see the danger of KL, but then was provoked by another event, maybe something Arya does, into sticking with her previous position.

@Mindrot

I agree with you that the motivation to a lie, or any action for that matter, is really important. That does subtly differentiate Ned spilling the beans to Cersei, and Sansa spilling the beans to Cersei, and many of the lies previously mentioned. Ned, through naivete that's comparable to Sansa's, tells Cersei about his discovery because he wants to give her a chance to flee. He doesn't think it's right that she should just die. He is very very naive in thinking that she's going to take his advice, but his action is pretty selfless. Sansa tells Cersei about their escape plans because she doesn't want to be wrenched away from KL; the nature of the motivations is different.

However, I disagree with you about Ned's willful ignorance of Robert's true nature, and Sansa's willful ignorance of Joff and Cersei. Ned and Robert were foster brothers from a really young age, eight I think. I have an extremely hard time believing that Robert never showed any of his lesser tendencies before he became King. He was certainly a master whorer since he was old enough to want sex and get it, which in Westeros seems to be around 13 or 14. While his youthful indiscretions probably weren't enough to make anyone think he's a bad person, Ned should have seen that Robert is a coward when it comes to conflicts off the battle field. He walks away from everything, and doesn't often take the honorable path. It was only when Robert condoned and built his throne on the murder of children, that Ned had any major falling out with him, and even then, the passage of years made him forget Robert's true nature. I think this is really similar to Sansa's reaction against Cersei after Lady's death, with her trusting Cersei again a few weeks or months after. The two are really similar in this sense.

I read this chapter after the discussion for it had already started, so the little positive bits in an otherwise angsty chapter really stood out to me. I liked that after Sansa notes that Jeyne's crush on Dondarrion will come to nothing because of her low birth, she notes that "It would have been unkind to say so, however, so Sansa took a sip of milk and changed the subject." She's acutely aware and has an excellent memory for all things related to heraldry, but she's still quite considerate of people's feelings, at least when she's in a good mood.

This part also made me laugh. I thought it was really cute:

" 'Are there any lemon cakes?' Sansa did not like being interrupted, but she had to admit, lemon cakes sounded more interesting than most of what had gone on in the throne room....The kitchen yielded no lemon cakes but they did find half a cold strawberry pieand that was almost as good. They ate it on the tower steps, giggling and gossiping and sharing secrets, and Sansa went to bed that night feeling almost as wicked as Arya."

I was more of an Arya myself when I was really young, but I can still understand how much it sucked for Sansa to think she was suddenly going to leave all that. In Winterfell must seem like a really bleak place after KL, little chance for merryment and dressing up, and three brothers (not counting Jon at the wall) and a sister who might as well be a brother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Martin's overdoing it - the bit about Hodor at the end was what sealed that opinion in my mind. I mean, it just came across as completely cruel and thoughtless to insult Arya via a comparison to Hodor - the gentle giant of Winterfell.

At this point in the story, just what does Martin want us to think about Sansa? I do think that in reread her positive qualities are more noticeable though, and this is perhaps why this chapter is particularly jarring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe Martin's portrayal of Sansa in the first book is a deliberate attempt to convince the reader why Sansa, an innocent, naive, and trusting girl, is so out of place in a world of backstabbing, plots, and "the game of thrones." She also serves as a vessel to contrast Arya with, and make Arya more likeable in comparison.

When he was writing the series, he must have had in mind all of the horrible events that were going to happen to these characters. Sansa's over-the-top innocence and delusions/illusions about how the world really is serves as a greater contrast to the type of person she will be once the bad things start happening to her, also making her more sympathetic later on.

Personally, I felt the attempt to make Sansa seem like a silly, stupid girl in contrast with the stereotypical tomboy warrior girl Arya was overdone. Because of it, I know I personally disliked Arya intensely and liked Sansa from the start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I felt the attempt to make Sansa seem like a silly, stupid girl in contrast with the stereotypical tomboy warrior girl Arya was overdone. Because of it, I know I personally disliked Arya intensely and liked Sansa from the start.

This is interesting. My own reaction wasn't nearly as extreme as yours, as I happen to love Arya. But I'll admit I don't love her nearly as much as GRRM seems to want the reader to love her in this first book, and that is in part due to what you've said. He just seemed to be trying so hard to make me love Arya, and so hard to make me dislike Sansa (particularly in this chapter) by comparison, that instead I found myself intrigued by Sansa and wanting to understand her better. Which of course led to me seeing things the way she might have seen them, and then sympathizing with her, and gradually, by the end of the book, I was an unashamed fan of hers. By contrast, I often felt a slight twinge of annoyance whenever Arya did or said something ~amazing~. The annoyance wasn't really directed at her, though. Rather, it was directed at the fact that I felt like I was having her ~awesomeness~ shoved down my throat, and I just wanted to tell GRRM, "Okay, okay, I get it, she's amazing, I love her, now will you please just relax?"

It's strange, because I'm not usually that rebellious of a reader. I usually tend to like the characters an author wants me to like and dislike the ones they want me to dislike. But I did have sort of a contrary reaction in the first book where Sansa and Arya were concerned.

DISCLAIMER: Just to be clear, I adore Arya, and the feelings I've talked about above are mostly restricted to the first book. It annoyed me far less in later books. As for Sansa, I do think that GRRM means for her to come off much more sympathetically in later books; I don't think he's trying to make her unlikeable later on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but the motive for the lie is more important than lying itself. 2 people lying do not make them similiar. Maybe I am wrong here

No, that's a very good point. While I think she said she couldn't remember because she was afraid at Darry, she did keep up the party line at KL despite knowing it wasn't true and did try and blame Arya for the fight she had with Arya as you said.

DISCLAIMER: Just to be clear, I adore Arya, and the feelings I've talked about above are mostly restricted to the first book. It annoyed me far less in later books. As for Sansa, I do think that GRRM means for her to come off much more sympathetically in later books; I don't think he's trying to make her unlikeable later on.

On this reread I am actually taken aback at how violent Arya is; in response to almost any argumentative situation she responds with violence first. While I too initially adored her character, her violent tendencies make her a little bit scary.

This Sansa chapter seems almost at odds with what we have learned about her character from the previous ones. Given she has already been shown to be very empathetic, her lack of any real emotion surrounding Jory's death or the villager's plight seems unrealistic, especially when in the same chapter she sees Yoren and works out that the Night's Watch is not as it seems and feels sad for him. Her naivete seems overdone in this chapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On this reread I am actually taken aback at how violent Arya is; in response to almost any argumentative situation she responds with violence first. While I too initially adored her character, her violent tendencies make her a little bit scary.

Oh yes, I agree. It's something about her that I've found worrying throughout the series. I'm not entirely sure I was supposed to be bothered by it in the first book, though... or even the first three books. On the contrary, I often got the feeling I was supposed to be cheering her on whenever she reacted to something with violence. I can't read GRRM's mind, of course, but it's definitely the impression I got.

I also got the feeling I was supposed to look down my nose at Sansa for the heinous crime of (gasp!) liking embroidery and not wanting to get dirty, and that didn't work on me either. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do see some of her positive qualities as well in the chapter - her not mentioning to Jeyne the reasons she would be unsuitable to marry Beric, and her feelings of pity for Jon over the NW, but even with these, Martin framed them as a bit of arrogance and smugness on Sansa's part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent analysis and thought-provoking comments!

A few thoughts of my own...

If I were in Sansa's shoes, reared on fairy tales and songs of knightly valor, I would have been equally excited about the pageantry of the departing Stark men led by Beric; and I probably would not have thought about the gravity of their mission and the possibility of many deaths in battle. She's eleven; and though she's had an introduction to Reality, she has yet to see a pitched battle, and has led a sheltered life.

I can't give her a pass for lying about Mycah and being generally bratty about insisting on marrying Joffrey and giving him beautiful golden-haired babies; but I don't find these to be the worst sins of ASoIaF characters. And Sansa is young. She and Arya both behave like bratty sisters; yes, Arya lies about Mycah; that's wrong; and lording it over Arya because Sansa will be queen one day is a very childish thing to do, but Sansa is still a child (as is Arya). Arya was also wrong to ruin Sansa's dress; and fits in with Sansa's general complaint about Arya spoiling things. Arya retaliates physically, Sansa retaliates with hurtful words and/or lies. This is their pattern. They're acting like squabbling sisters; which, of course, they are.

GRRM pretty obviously favors Arya as a character; I have found her reliance on violence to be troubling. Why did Ned not discipline her for having physically attacked Sansa at the Mycah Inquest? (and why didn't Ned call Sansa out on her lie about not remembering what happened) I adore Ned, but he seems to have a knack for avoiding difficult parental duties relating to his daughters. Sansa reminds me of the stereotypical mean girl in junior high, or snobbish rich girl. In a horror movie, Sansa would be the first victim; while Arya would be stalked throughout the movie, fight back and end up alive, with monster/stalker dead, with or without the help of a boyfriend. (I wonder if GRRM is a fan of the TV version of Buffy, Vampire Slayer. Buffy is the physically small, powerful monster-slayer being raised by a struggling single mother; while the most popular girl in school is the rich and pretty and superficial snob Cordelia. Eventually, Cordelia joins Buffy's 'gang' of monster-fighters; and then Cordelia's family loses all their money, she becomes a bit more humble, eventually moves to the Buffy spinoff "Angel" as a regular among the souled vampire's good guy team, helping the helpless but still coming out with snappy lines).

I'd be a bit creeped out by a much older man I barely knew stroking my face too. I wondered whether Littlefinger was not just trying to caution Sansa with his famous Life is not a song line, but empathizing, too. Petyr Baelish was quite the hopeful little idealist at Sansa's age, and when a little older, he challenged his beloved Catelyn's intended, the son of an extremely powerful family, to combat for her; regardless of Brandon's being a powerhouse and Petyr's not being warrior material (not to mention that Catelyn had no romantic feelings for Petyr whatsoever, something that Petyr has never admitted, even to himself, in 20-odd years).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never saw Sansa as the mean girl from school stereotype, and I don't understand how people seems get to that conclusion so often. I mean, what do they have in common? That she likes dresses and girly things? Those stereotypical mean girls usually are (or at least that's how I've seen them portraid in TV) not too naive, or idealistic dreamers, and they certainly forget their courtesies often among their peers. It's true that Sansa has snobby thoughts once in a while, but she normally doesn't rub those thoughts on people's faces because that wouldn't be kind. A TV Mean Girl would have told Jeyne that her crush on Berric Dondarrion was foolish. I guess that what I'm trying to say is that Sansa never seem the kind of person that I would call a bully. I don't count sister fights, because I consider that a symmetrical relationship (and I'm sure all sisters fight).

I can understand better why people thinks Sansa is stupid. If I had to compare Sansa to a modern stereotype, I'd say she is like the Elle Woods of Westeros. Come on Sansa! You will show them you are smart!

PS: I know that nobody said that she really was a mean girl, I was just saying that I never made that association.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×