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Rapsie

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa II

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The truth is that Sansa keeps inside her to much things. She didn´t have somebody o something where to left her emotions. Maybe because of that makes so surprising to see her in this chapter with all the emotions and being just a common spoil teenager.

You're right. The overwhelming sense we're getting from Sansa's chapters in AGOT is how open she is during this time. She's trusting, sympathetic, friendly, excited and engaged with the things happening around her, and it's sad to see the contrast between now and later (in ACOK) when she starts to shut down her emotions. Particularly in this chapter, she's able to let loose of all the anger and frustration she's feeling, without having to worry that her life is in danger. I think it marks the end of an innocent childhood for her, and perhaps this is another reason why GRRM embellishes it so with youthful details such as the gossiping with Jeyne and sharing "dreams" about the future, looking for lemoncakes, getting up early to see the soldiers off, and feeling excited. All of these are elements of a childhood that was effectively lost after this chapter, and I think we are meant to mourn them as Sansa and Jeyne will certainly come to do as well.

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I had envisioned Sansa being brought to Payne for execution, with hopefully a last-minute reprieve, after Sansa has been brought to King's Landing and surrendered to Cersei's 'justice'. But it could be that GRRM plans to end the series with Arya as the last Stark standing, or Arya and Rickon, both of them fierce and independent kids who are prone to striking first and asking questions later, rather than the more passive, gentle Sansa...

I really think Sansa, if anyone, is a survivor, mostly because she has less of the wolf-blood, as someone upthread said. Those with wolfblood seem to die early deaths. Ned would have survived if he'd kept his head down and learned the ways of the wiley southerners, and Sansa is learning how to do this. There's also the vision, or allusion, don't remember what character it was assigned to, where Arya is found dead in the snow with a needle clutched in her frozen hand. I don't think that bodes well. I absolutely LOVE all the Starks though and until GRRM hits me over the head with another gruesome death scene, I absolutely refuse to believe that any of them are going to die. (Obviously I believe Jon is alive, if not well) I refuse. NO!

Brashcandy, regarding the blood orange scene, I thought the comparison someone made between Sansa's reaction there, and her reaction to her period was really insightful (maybe it was you?). What I got out of the scene was that the sanguine stain ruined Sansa's pure, ivory gown. Later, the spilling of actual blood, Ned's, shatters her innocence. Both events are marked by violence, the ruin of her gown by Arya's voilence, and of course Ned's violent execution. Interesting that after Ned's execution, it's the same gown that is then dyed black.

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Something hit me about Littlefinger's infamous line to Sansa: Life is not a song, sweetling.

Sansa has focussed much of her creative energy, her hopes and dreams, in the old songs, songs of love and bravery and chivalry - Jonquil and Florian, etc. Littlefinger admonishes her for her reliance on these songs as learning tools.

But...what is the name of this series of books? A Song of Ice and Fire (bold italics mine)! And what about Rhaegar, who supposedly altered his entire life and priorities because of old legends/lore; and who apparently (according to his younger sister's dream long after Rhaegar's death) believed that his son Aegon's song will be the song of Ice and Fire, which seems to be significant.

So what is GRRM saying? On the one hand, he has the machiavellian but self-deluding schemer Littlefinger admonish the naive maiden that life has nothing to do with fairy tales/legends/songs that emphasize virtue. On the other hand, the series is not called 'A Trial of Ice and Fire', it is called A Song of Ice and Fire; a phrase which ties into an apparent revelation by the mysterious and influential Prince Rhaegar, that his newborn son's life will be the Song of Ice and Fire. As we all know, Rhaegar threw the Seven Kingdoms into chaos; and it's been hinted that his discoveries about old legends and prophecies might have caused him to elope with Lyanna and set the spark to the tinder that burned so many...

And then there's the future interaction where Sansa sings a song to the enraged Hound, which soothes both of them and seems to bring a tenuous peace into their troubled hearts in a frightening time; which seems to be a moment where a song is indeed involved in real life.

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I'm wondering whether GRRM is actually saying that songs, whether hymns or prophecies or romantic lays, do have a certain importance in people's lives but should not be the only source of inspiration...

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I had that same thought when I first read that LF line. I chuckled at myself because of the irony given the title of the series. Song here is probably interchangeable with story, and used in other contexts in the same manner, like "singers of the songs of the earth," aka, those who tell and thereby preserve the story and life of the earth. The fact of the matter is, a full life always is a Song, it's a story of change and growth, struggle and triumph. It's just not nearly as easy living it as it is to hear about it afterwards. Because Sansa doesn't yet understand the pain and difficulty of forging the songs, she is naive, but LF isn't exactly right.

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And there's a certain irony in Littlefinger, who's been singing a song to himself that's utterly untrue, the 'Song of the Love of Petyr and Cat and How She Gave Him Her Maidenhood' (my title for Petyr's delusion), for 20 years, telling Sansa that life isn't a song...

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Brashcandy, regarding the blood orange scene, I thought the comparison someone made between Sansa's reaction there, and her reaction to her period was really insightful (maybe it was you?). What I got out of the scene was that the sanguine stain ruined Sansa's pure, ivory gown. Later, the spilling of actual blood, Ned's, shatters her innocence. Both events are marked by violence, the ruin of her gown by Arya's voilence, and of course Ned's violent execution. Interesting that after Ned's execution, it's the same gown that is then dyed black.

Yes, it was me ;) I really did find the similarities to be striking. In terms of the overall significance I think we're seeing a painful transition from innocence to experience, but it's also noteworthy in that Sansa seems to have a penchant for bloody white things - (Hound's cloak anyone?)

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I'm wondering whether GRRM is actually saying that songs, whether hymns or prophecies or romantic lays, do have a certain importance in people's lives but should not be the only source of inspiration...

I think this is a really profound point, Raksha. You have, as you say, LF telling her life isn't a song, but a song is precisely what stills the rage in Sandor and provides comfort in a violent moment. I think GRRM is saying that the song has to be in harmony. Ice and fire have to balance each other out. It can't be coincidental that the Hound has been marked by fire, and Sansa represents ice. (not shipping here, I swear! :lol: ) Sansa's song can still be innocent, but there needs to be a recognition of the terrible things in life, which she still hasn't grasped in this chapter. But all of this will be very interesting to talk about come that chapter in ACOK!

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Oops; I missed the fire/ice dichotomy with fire-scarred Sandor and winter-daughter Sansa. Even if one doesn't ship them; the contrast and coming together in that one moment was pretty powerful.

Littlefinger really is not so worldly-wise as he thinks he is; even if he is extremely intelligent and manipulative.

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I took the title as possibly a courtship between Jon and Dany.

But I really don't know, it seems like the titles never tell us about the story.

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I also thought of the title, but you just exposed pretty good!

For me the title is more due to the fact that it is needed fire to win The Others (in ice and snow). Cause the real danger are The Others instead of all the kings below the Wall.

They need the dragons to fight against the Others, for that the dragons will come back to Westereos.

However the association of Sandor (fire) and Sansa (ice) makes me realize that it´s one of the hints of R.R. Martin (probably there are more inside of other characters).

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Side topic, Arya's burst of violence while somewhat disturbing, I think are natural. I think it is in our nature to be violent with faced with opposition. We have to learn to control those impulses. Arya has not learned to do that yet. She reacts with violence (hitting, screaming, throwing an orange, etc.) because that is her natural defense. Sansa appears to be a bit more tractable and has learned to control her impulses a bit better, but as we all know she still lacks good judement.

Disclaimer: I know we are discussing Sansa here and not Arya, but I think the yin/yang portrayal of the sisters is important to understanding Sansa. So ...

I disagree that Arya's violent tendencies are normal or natural. I have four kids (does not make me a child psychologist, but I do have some experience with the age at which most kids learn to stop reacting to problems with violence, ie, hitting, kicking, biting, etc.). Arya is wayyyyy past the age when she should be able to control those tendencies. I believe that is why Ned found her a "dancing master" ...so that she could channel some of that destructive rage into something more constructive and learn some self control. Consider that Bran is of an age with Arya, yet is not at all violent. Sansa has never been violent, nor any of the other Stark kids. Arya seems alone in this.

Her outbursts may be put down to frustration about a certain amount of gender identity issues - clearly she would rather have been born a boy and be able to do what boys do. But even boys are not permitted to simply attack people, throw things at them, and generally act like brats when thwarted. That is why I find Arya's natural inclinations disturbing, and very worrying as she continues down her life path. She seems to be convinced (now) that she was put into the world to be a killer. And she revels in her talent at it.

I do find Sansa's words in this chapter unacceptably cruel, but consider that at least she only uses WORDS to express her anger and frustration, which is at a much higher pitch than Arya's. She does not throw the orange back at Arya, or attack her physically. She uses words (which are admittedly cruel, but much more socially acceptable than launching yourself at someone bodily). So to me, even in this moment when we see a slightly uglier side of Sansa, we are also still seeing her self control and raising. If she had not made the comment about Arya dying, I would actually find it funny that the worst thing Sansa could think of to say to Arya was to compare her to Hodor. Not funny in the insult to Hodor, but in that Sansa's limited life experience has allowed her only one idea of the worst thing she could wish on her sister - marriage to a mentally challenged stableboy.

It is also interesting that Cersei thinks of a couple of characters (Falyse in particular) that perhaps they should marry Moon Boy due to their stupidity. Another parallel, however unconscious, between Sansa and Cersei? Because I really do believe that as we go on, we are going to see more and more that Sansa and Cersei truly are sisters in fate in many, many ways.

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Sometimes there are children more violents than others. And Arya is the most violent of all the Stark children. It may shock you due to the fact that it is a girl (but sometimes they are girls more violents than boys).

And not having more her parents, she is getting in a more violent way. I really think that GRRM did it for a reason. Seen all Stark children: all are kind of masters in one subject. Robb as a great warrior, Jon also leading, Sansa is going to be a great politician, Arya an assessin, Bran a wiseman, only keeps Rickon that for the moment only we know that he is a really wildling.

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Sansa Chapter IV Summary

Sansa and Jeyne have been locked in a room in Maegor’s Holdfast for three days and the Queen has finally asked to see Sansa. She is trying to put on a dress without the aid of servants and finding it difficult. At the same time she is trying to reassure Jeyne who is crying and desperate to see her father. Sansa reflects that Jeyne is “Such a child.”

She then thinks back to the first day in the room and how she had cried too and also been terrified when the killing began. She reflects that she has heard the sounds of sword on sword all her life but that it is different when it is real because of the sounds and screams of dying men. She notes

In songs, the knights never screamed nor begged for mercy.

Again she notes she wept and called to see her Father, Septa,the King and her Prince but was ignored until Jeyne Poole is thrown into the room with her and tells her they are killing averyone and that the Hound had broken in her door with a warhammer and that there were bodies and blood on the stair of the Tower of the Hand.

Sansa dried her own tears as she struggled to comfort her friend.

She notes on the second day the iron portcullis is down and that the Lannister guardmen are on the walls and everything was silent apart from Jeyne’s sobs. Some servants bring them food and clothes but seem terrified too and when she tries to talk to them

they fled from her as if she had the grey plague
Then at sunset bells start tolling and Sansa notes that the King is dead, but doesn’t know how she knows it and wonders if that was what the fighting was about.

She wonders if Joffery is king or if he has been killed too and is afraid for him and her father.

She dreams about being Joff’s Queen.

The next day Sansa gets taken to see the Queen by Ser Boros. Her takes her to the council chambers passing a dead body being retrieved from the dry moat on the way. Sansa averts her eyes in case it’s someone she knows.

In the Council Chambers are Littlefinger, Pycelle, Lord Varys and the Queen. Sansa notes that they are all wearing mourning clothes. Sansa notes that the Queen smiles the saddest and sweetest smile she has ever seen, but wishes Joffery was there. Sansa tells the Queen that no one will tell us what has happened. the Queen queries the “us” and discovers Jeyne Poole is with Sansa. The Queen is displeased and Sansa asks if Jeyne can see her father. Pycelle lowers his eyes and Sansa starts to get anxious and thinks no one would harm a steward as he doesn’t even wear a sword. Littlefinger offers to find a place for Jeyne. The Queen says “not in the city” and orders Boros to escort Jeyne to Littlefinger’s apartments. Sansa asks why Jeyen can’t see her father and then gets scared and says Jeyne’s a good girl and hasn’t done anything wrong. The Queen says Jeyne has upset Sansa and motions for Sansa to sit beside her. Sansa notes Varys ringing his hands and Pycelle looking at a paper but

she could feel littlefinger staring. Something about the way the small man looked at her made Sansa feel as though she had no clothes on. Goosebumps pimpled her skin.

The Queen tells Sansa, she and Joff both love her and tells her to be brave and then Varys says her father is a traitor. Sansa says he wouldn’t do that but the Queen shows her the letter Ned stent to Stannis. Sansa begins to panic and says it’s a mistake. The Queen says she knows Sansa is innocent but how can she let a traitor’s daughter marry her son. Sansa wails that she loves Joff. and thinks it’s not fair that he is taken away from her. The Queen says she knows Sansa loves him, otherwise why would she have come to her. Sansa then thinks about how she told the Queen about her father’s plan to send her away.

She was the good girl, the obedient girl, but she had felt as wicked as Arya that morning, sneaking away from Septa Mordane, defying her lord father. She had never done anything so wilful before, and she would never have done it then if she hadn’t loved Joffery as much as she did.

She had wanted to go to the King, but he was rough-voiced and often drunk and frightend her, so she went to the Queen instead, and then was taken to the room in Maegor’s by Arys Oakheart.

Returning from her memories to the Council Chambers, she pleads that they have to let he marry joff and that she’ll be a good wife to him and that

I’ll be a Queen just like you, I promise.

The Queen and Varys begin to talk about Sansa’s love and says it would be a shame not to let her marry, but Pycelle says she is a traitor’s daughter and betrayal will come naturally to her. Sansa protests and Littlefinger says that she is more like Cat than Ned. The Queen says if she could believe Sansa wasn’t a traitor, then she could marry Joff, but remember’s the fight between Arya and Joff.

Sansa exclaims that she is not like Arya

She has the traitor’s blood, not me. I’m good, ask Septa Mordane, she’ll tell you, I only want to be Joffery’s loyal and loving wife.

The Queen says she believes her and if the rest of her family do nothing treasonous then it will be fine. The Queen asks her to write letters to her family to tell then of her father’s treason and not to worry as they will tell her what to say. Sansa is still unsure and asks to see her father but is then told she has disappointed the Queen with that response. Sansa feels herself on the verge of tears and says she only meant…pauses and then asks if he’s hurt and what will become of him. The Queen says the King will decide.

The king! Sansa blinked back her tears. …..Her gallant prince would never hurt her father, no matter what he might have done.
She goes on to think that her father might have to be sent back to Winterfell in exile or across the narrow sea for a few years, but will be able to come back when she’s Queen. Then she worries that it might not happen if her family rebel so agrees to write the letters. She writes four letters, to Cat, Robb, the Tully’s and to Lysa.

She goes back to her room and sees that Jeyne and all her things have gone, and gratefully thinks they’ll be no more weeping, but that somehow it was colder in the room. She builds a fire and reads her favourite tales. As she is drifting off to sleep, she realises that she hasn’t asked about Arya.

Sansa Chapter IV Analysis

Dear Lord, where to begin! Sansa, what happened to your brain?

I found Sansa’s almost incredible all consuming passion for Joff to almost come out of nowhere in this chapter. While it is shown is the previous one that she didn’t want to leave him, she goes almost Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction in this one. I actually found it to be an almost unbelievable jump in her characterisation.

What was well done though and actually understandable was her sneaking off to tell the King and then Cersei that she was being sent away. Since her first chapter we have had evidence of her growing rebellion and disobedience, along side her observations that Arya disobeys and there is no punishment for it, only hugs. Septa Mordane twice says that she is growing more disobedient, and when she and Jeyne sneak off to find the strawberry tart, they both feel as wicked as Arya. We have also seen Sansa question her father’s judgements, and have that questioning validated by Littlefinger and her assumption that his leg is affecting his judgment. We also have Septa Mordane, who at every available opportunity says that she must obey her father, actually offer to take her to say goodbye to Joff in the previous Eddard chapter. Then agree that Sansa shouldn’t go to say goodbye. Also while Sansa is not allowed to say goodbye, Ayra however is allowed to go off and have a dancing lesson. Even Septa Mordane is unaware of the danger they are in, (and I would have thought Ned would at least give her some clue that the girls were not to be let out of her sight) and to Sansa it is again another example of how her sister gets what she wants and Sansa doesn’t. After Sansa runs from the room, Ned says

Let her go, Septa. I will try to make her understand when weare all safely back in Winterfell.
Sigh, oh Ned, if you had just let Septa Mordane go after her. Oh Septa Mordane, if you had just told Ned that his daughter was getting a bit more wilful these days. Also Septa Mordane: The girl has run out of the room crying. DO NOT just sit down and finish your porridge. Worst Septa ever!

Anyway, while it was for selfish reasons, I can completely understand why Sansa went to Cersei. Arya is getting everything she wants and Sansa, the good one, is getting everything taken away from her so decides she will be wilful like Arya for a change. She is 11 years old and the danger of the situation has not even vaguely been explained to her. She is doing the equivilent of asking one parent for something, being told no, so decides to try the other one instead.

What is awful and ridiculously selfish about her behaviour though is almost everything that happens after that. Yes she is terrified and doesn’t know what is going on and it is admirable that she tries to comfort Jeyne despite the fact she is scared too (foreshadowing her decent down the Eyrie with Sweetrobin). However her all consuming passion for Joff to the extent that she doesn’t even think about Arya apart from basically calling her sister a traitor is awful. Her complete ignorance about the danger she is in and that her sister is in,is hard to fathom. She seems preoccupied with being Queen and with Joff and despite the death and carnage she has heard and Jeyne has described, she is still thinking of pretty weddings and her gallant prince.

One line in the piffle about her love for Joff stood out for me though and it was

I’ll be a Queen just like you, I promise.
I wonder if this is foreshadowing. Sansa and Cersei seem to be running parallel paths and given Sansa’s treatment at the hands of Cersei, it will be interesting to see what Sansa does if she ever has power over Cersei. Indeed Sansa could be a Queen like Cersei, scheming etc, but unlike Cersei, Sansa might be exceptionally good at it.

Anyway while Sansa’s behaviour seems to suggest an awareness that something untoward is going on in regards to Jeyne Poole and her desperate pleas that Jeyne is a good girl, her incredible fantasy idea that Joff will send her father away and then let him back and everything will be fine, is almost verging on the rational of someone half her age. Her behaviour is dire and forgetting to even ask about her sister seems completely out of character, so that I found this chapter both well set up and not so well set up in terms of her development.

This chapter also highlights her third interaction with Littlefinger and again her feelings are ones of unease and of him being creepy; looking at her as if she has no clothes on etc. Given that we now know he had asked Cersei if he could marry her then, this is incredibly creepy. What is interesting from Sansa’s POV though is that until she feels him looking at her like that she describes him as Lord Petyr or Lord Baelish. Only when he gives her goose bumps does she describe him as Littlefinger. it seems already at even this early stage there are the beginnings of separating him into two different personas.

Also the fact that she wrote a letter to Lysa, means that there is a nice identifiable piece of Sansa Stark’s handwriting there, should Littlefinger need it for anything.

In the last chapter Sansa describes her wish about the White Hart and Joff and mentions dreams are prophetic. I don’t think this is a throw away line in terms of her dream in this chapter.

That night she dreamt of Joffery on the throne, with herself seated beside him in a gown of woven gold. She had a crown on her head, and everyone she had ever known came before her, to bend knee and say their courtesies.

Given the Maggy the Frog prophecy, my first reaction to the woven gold dress, given our previous thoughts about ser Payne, was eeeeeee Sansa’s toast and I still think it might not be a good one for her future. However I thought it contrasted very nicely with Cersei’s dream in AFFC

She dreamt she sat the Iron throne, high above them all. the courtiers were brightly coloured mice below. Great lords and proud ladies knelt before her. Bold young knights laid their swords at her feet and pleaded for her favors, and the queen smiled down at them. Until the dwarf appeared as if from nowhere, pointing at her and howling with laughter. The lords and ladies began to chuckle too, hiding their smiles behind their hands. Only then did the queen realize she was naked. Horrified, she tried to cover herself with her hands. The barbs and blades of the Iron Throne bit into her flesh as she crouched to hide her shame. Blood ran red down her legs,as steel teeth gnawed at her buttocks. When she tried to stand, her foot slipped through a gap in the twisted metal. The more she struggled the more the throne engulfed her, tearing chunks of flesh from her breasts and belly, slicing at her arms and legs until they were slick and red, glistening.And all the while her brother capered below, laughing.

In Cersei’s dream, she is on the Iron Thron and it is her humiliation and and a foreshadowing of her naked walk that occur. In fact her brother laughs as her attempt to sit in the Iron thron destroys her. In Sansa’s dream however, she is seated beside the King, but people bend knee to her. I wondered if this foreshadowed sansa’s ability to play the game better and accepting a role of consort, but as everyone bent knee to her, then she is really the power behind the throne.

Lastly, the fairytales. When sansa returns to her room, she retreats in to the tales of

Florian and Jonquil, of Lady Shella and the Rainbow Knight, of valiant Prince Aemon and his doomed love for his brother’s queen.

Now the first and the last are quite well known, but the middle one has no other reference in the series. The term Rainbow Knight seems like it could relate to possibly both Brienne and Sandor. Brienne was part of Renly’s rainbow guard and since the faith have rearmed some think Sandor may join the Stars who wear Rainbow Shields etc.

Also sorry this summary and anaylsis are a day late….and are sooooo long.

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Just a few, quick thoughts: It's funny how little things can draw such a huge emotional response, but man I am really channeling Arya with regards to Pycelle in this chapter. Die Pycelle, die! Already dead? Fine, die again! What a petty little toadie, he just insists on sticking to his hard line of, "this little girl is a traitor." He doesn't even have the tact to hold his comments for private council, instead he insults Sansa to her face when he says she's not marriageable material, because he can, because now that she's so far fallen, he doesn't even have to exercise the most basic courtesies and political tact around her. Also, It's heartbreaking that they killed every unarmed member of the Stark household in cold blood, like Jeyne's father. Has least Pycelle has the decency to lower his head in what seems like shame regarding that. They could all have been kept prisoner, people like the Septa and the steward weren't threats, but they weren't good hostages either, so I guess that's why they were expendable sheeps for the slaughter. :stillsick:

I'm not sure Sansa forgetting to ask about Arya was completely unrealistic though. The last interaction they had was a fight, combined with the fact that Sansa hasn't quite grasped the complete and utter danger that her entire family, and anyone associated with them, are in right now. This is illustrated by the fact that she thinks Jeyne's father is alive and can just be returned to her. She can't even imagine right now that these people are capable or murdering her sister, a child, and of one the greatest great houses nonetheless.

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Just a few, quick thoughts: It's funny how little things can draw such a huge emotional response, but man I am really channeling Arya with regards to Pycelle in this chapter. Die Pycelle, die! Already dead? Fine, die again! What a petty little toadie, he just insists on sticking to his hard line of, "this little girl is a traitor." He doesn't even have the tact to hold his comments for private council, instead he insults Sansa to her face when he says she's not marriageable material, because he can, because now that she's so far fallen, he doesn't even have to exercise the most basic courtesies and political tact around her.

I agree on Pycelle being a despicable toady, but I felt that he and Cersei had skilfully rehearsed this scene in terms of the roles they would play. Cersei would pretend to be the kind, judicious Queen, only seeking to do what is best for Sansa, and Pycelle would be the one to take the hard line. The payoff is clear: they get Sansa to completely crumble and decide to write the letters if she wants to prove that she's not a traitor's daughter. Yet, the persons that I felt the most anger (and disgust) for in this scene were LF and Cersei. Both of them are polite and courteous when they have to be, but behind the smiles and the comforting words, they are cold hearted snakes.

Cersei's using of Joff as the perfect bait to ensnare Sansa is cunning, but ultimately cruel. Here we have a young girl, who simply doesn't know any better (even though we argue she should). With everything falling down around her, she wants to cling to her one last hope in Joff and his mother, but of course this is futile. I think this is where we clearly see Sansa's status as pawn, being moved around by other experienced players in the game:

"Sweet Sansa," Queen Cersei said, laying a soft hand on her wrist. "Such a beautiful child. I do hope you know how much Joffrey and I love you."

"You do?" Sansa said, breathless. Littlefinger was forgotten. Her prince loved her. Nothing else mattered."

Obviously, lots of other things matter. But I do have to say that I found this chapter to be a credible continuation from the last one, where we see the beginnings of Sansa's dangerous infatuation with Joffrey. Cersei is able to masterfully capitalise on this.

Littlefinger is in the background for much of this scene, but his two main contributions as Rapsie noted, are offering to take care of Jeyne for Cersei, and looking at Sansa in a way that makes her feel as though she has no clothes on. :stillsick: :stillsick: Can someone report this man to child protection services already? I was really disturbed by his behaviour here, as Sansa notably is as well, and the fact that his desire for her is predicated on her similarities to her mother is definitely revealed:

She reminds me of the mother, not the father," Lord Petyr Baelish said quietly. "Look at her. The hair, the eyes. She is the very image of Cat at the same age."

Raise your hand if you can all but see Petyr's hard-on under the table :ack:

I'm not sure Sansa forgetting to ask about Arya was completely unrealistic though. The last interaction they had was a fight, combined with the fact that Sansa hasn't quite grasped the complete and utter danger that her entire family, and anyone associated with them, are in right now. This is illustrated by the fact that she thinks Jeyne's father is alive and can just be returned to her. She can't even imagine right now that these people are capable or murdering her sister, a child, and of one the greatest great houses nonetheless.

I agree. Sansa and Arya weren't the best of friends to begin with, and they basically spent most of their days in KL apart from one another with Arya at her dancing lessons, and Sansa attending court and other events around the castle. I can see why she would have forgotten to ask about Arya, especially having spent three days in solitary confinement except for Jeyne, and then to be brought out only to learn that her father is a traitor.

I still think we see Sansa's essential loyalty to her family, however, even though she forgot to ask about Arya. Cersei probably did not expect that she would put up as much resistance as she did. We see her trying to convince them at first that her father would never do such a thing, then she tries to see if she might be able to talk to him. Her final decision to write the letters is so she can convince her mother and brother not to go to war and endanger Ned's life:

Only... if Mother or Robb did anything treasonous, called the banners or refused to swear fealty or anything, it would all go wrong. Her Joffrey was good and kind, she knew it in her heart, but a king had to be stern with rebels. She had to make them understand, she had to!

Overall, this is a very interesting chapter in terms of the further insight into Cersei and LF, along with the way it can yield varying readings. My reading is largely sympathetic to Sansa, because whilst I can see the folly behind her continued naivete, the real culprits are the adults who manipulate and bully her into doing what they want. It's a disheartening prelude to the majority of her experiences in KL from this point onwards.

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I agree on Pycelle being a despicable toady, but I felt that he and Cersei had skilfully rehearsed this scene in terms of the roles they would play.

Yeah, it's a perfect good cop, bad cop setup. Only they didn't have to work very hard at it to get Sansa to break.

Littlefinger is in the background for much of this scene, but his two main contributions as Rapsie noted, are offering to take care of Jeyne for Cersei, and looking at Sansa in a way that makes her feel as though she has no clothes on.

Yeah, it is interesting to see these early signs of him creeping, and comes together well with the later detail where we learn that he had asked to marry her. It does seem, in retrospect, that we're being guided towards a kind of reading of Littlefinger.

I wonder if this is foreshadowing.

I suspect this is possible. And I like your comparison of Sansa's dream with Cersei's. There are a few places in GoT where what seem at first read like very minor descriptive phrases turn out to be eerie looks ahead. Arya describes herself as "blind" when she finds herself in the dragon-skull room during the Ilyrio/Varys eavesdropping session. Catelyn says that her heart "felt like it was made of stone" during the march to the Eyrie with Tyrion as prisoner.

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I agree on Pycelle being a despicable toady, but I felt that he and Cersei had skilfully rehearsed this scene in terms of the roles they would play. Cersei would pretend to be the kind, judicious Queen, only seeking to do what is best for Sansa, and Pycelle would be the one to take the hard line. The payoff is clear: they get Sansa to completely crumble and decide to write the letters if she wants to prove that she's not a traitor's daughter. Yet, the persons that I felt the most anger (and disgust) for in this scene were LF and Cersei. Both of them are polite and courteous when they have to be, but behind the smiles and the comforting words, they are cold hearted snakes.

You're certainly right about this. That whole scene was set up to manipulate Sansa. Cersei does indeed counter Pycelle's assessment about marriage by "defending" Sansa. It's like she's dangling the carrot: "do what I ask sweetie and you get your little Prince with my support."

ETA:

Raise your hand if you can all but see Petyr's hard-on under the table ack.gif

*SHUDDERRR* ...yes LF is a huge huge creep.

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The more I read this the angrier I get wish Sansa could have done ala a version of Steven Kings Carrie.

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The more I read this the angrier I get wish Sansa could have done ala a version of Steven Kings Carrie.

[rant] I know. I was angry at Sansa in the last chapter, but in this one I'm angry for her. Yes, she was a naive fool for running to Cersei, but this doesn't excuse the way she is treated afterwards. Locking her in the tower, then bringing her out so that you can use her to convince her family not to rebel. Then you take away her one comfort in her best friend Jeyne, whilst she is subjected to some grade A eye-fucking by LF. Can I say how much I want Sansa to be the younger Queen and destroy these people? [/rant]

@Rapsie - I do agree that we get credible foreshadowing that she'll end up a Queen. She tells Cersei she'll be a Queen like her, but at this point she still believes in that woman's honesty and kindness. So hopefully these will be the qualities that she will espouse during her reign if it is to be.

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Sansa breaks the fundamental rule in The Game of Thrones, you don't betray your family. We can forgive her because she is a child. The books tend to be working towards her gaining some sort of redemption, later. ATM she is still paying for betraying her sister and father.

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Also, this chapter seems to mark Sansa's first real conscious decision to use courtesy as an armour:

A lady remembered her courtesies, and she was resolved to be a lady no matter what.

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