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Rapsie

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa II

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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.

They played her like a fiddle.

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.

I missed the Arya and Cat lines. But in a similar vein that's why I think the "I'll be a Queen just like you, I promise" line has weight to it and possibly something of a threat (even though it wasn't meant that way.)

@ Brashcandy

I also think though that Sansa will be a better person as Queen than Cersei is and be more like the Queen Sansa imagined Cersei was.

Also Littlefinger. Ugh :ack:

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Although on first reading I was disgusted by Sansa's declarations of undying faithfulness to Joff, upon reread I had a different take on it entirely. I think Sansa has absolutely started to recognize the danger she and the remainder of her loved ones are in. With 11 year old logic, she clings desperately to the one playing card she thinks she has ...her betrothal to Joff.

Apparently betrothals are not as easy to set aside as simply saying "wedding's off.". Remember at the later council session when Joff formally sets Sansa aside, they require permission for Joff to set aside his vow to marry Sansa. Although we as readers know that the council can have the betrothal thrown out in an instant, Sansa apparently feels that she is still somewhat protected by that vow, and she tries to play it to avert disaster. She seems determined to remind the adults, often and specifically, of what a good WIFE she WILL be to Joff ...not COULD be. To me the distinction in tense is deliberate and intended to remind that there has been a binding betrothal performed.

I don't believe, whatever her words actually were, that her pleading was so much about romantic distress over Joff, as it was a desperate attempt to use whatever persuasion she could think of to sway things in her own favor. She does obviously still not have any grasp on the fact that Joff is crueler than all the adults combined, and believes that he will protect her if she can just convince them to retain her connection to him. But first she believes she must win over the council, demonstrating that she has a good grasp on whom really holds the power here. Joff may be able to speak for her or save her father, but only if she can remain his betrothed. And that, he too has very little control over.

Overall, IMO this chapter demonstrates Sansa's first, if clumsy and completely transparent, attempt to be a player rather than a pawn. She knows what she has to do to survive and have any hope of helping her family: she has to remain Joff's betrothed. And she is willing to do, say or sign anything that will enable her to hold onto that one thing that might be a dim light at the end of this utterly unfamiliar tunnel.

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That's an interesting take on it LadyoftheNorth, but I don't think the evidence in the scene supports it. Even before Sansa is brought to the small council, she's thinking about Joff, and dreaming about him. She thinks that everything will be alright once she can see him and is disappointed when she comes to the chamber and he isn't there.

Throughout the entire meeting, there is real desperation when she talks about wanting to continue the betrothal. This is a girl that absolutely cannot see any other alternative but to marry her Prince. I think all the fighting and the real evidence of death and destruction makes Sansa cling all the more to her fantasy. Joff has become her lifeline, and now he's her father's as well. Sansa believes that she'll be able to convince Joff after they are married to eventually pardon her father, but the marriage itself is an absolute must for her. She has chosen to believe that she needs Joff, not simply to spare her family, but because she's madly in love with him.

Her Prince loved her. Nothing else mattered.

Sansa wanted Joff desperately, but she did not think she had the courage to do as the Queen was asking.

"I'm not like Arya," Sansa blurted. "She has the traitor's blood, not me. I'm good, ask Septa Mordane, she'll tell you, I only want to be Joffrey's loyal and loving wife."

Sadly, whilst Sansa has finally grasped the gravity of what is happening around her, she places blind faith in Joffrey, and the idea that he will be gallant and magnanimous, and merciful towards her father. Sansa's journey to full realisation is slowly occuring, but I think she's very much a pawn in this chapter.

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I'm trying to think of whether I was as naive as Sansa at the age of 11, and if I would have effectively (though Sansa does not quite realize it) turned my back on my family and become the patsy of my father's captors.

I did something extremely stupid when I was about eleven; when I was away from home, at camp; and I trusted someone in authority. I did not break faith with my family, the incident was far more trivial than what Sansa went through; my family was not even involved, but I was trying to prove loyalty to someone unworthy of it. So I understand how Sansa could come to trust Cersei; I think, for Sansa, Cersei had become a surrogate mother, at least in Sansa's mind, because her own mother was not there and there was no one else with a comparable maternal influence over her in King's Landing. (of course, Sansa had had to convince herself that Cersei was not at fault for Lady's death and that Arya was)

But I think, in Sansa's place, I would not have given my boyfriend higher priority than my father. I would like to think that I would have refused to write any letters or sign anything until I had seen my father; but it's been a long time since I was that young.

What's obvious is that Sansa is very young, woefully naive and ignorant, and isolated, and being played by master manipulators. She seems to flail about, emotionally, as her world is turned upside down - she's a good girl, not a traitor, Arya's the one with traitor's blood, no, her father's not a traitor, but if he said those things it was because someone told him untruths or because he was feverish, and she's got to be able to stay with Joffrey, he'd never hurt her father.

Sansa's infatuation for Joffrey seems to be her emotional anchor here; which is sad; since it should be her faith in her family and her pride as a Stark daughter. Sansa actually believes that her father might have done something wrong; because Cersei tells her so and threatens her with loss-of-Joffrey if Sansa is so recreant as to insist on Ned's innocence. But there are a few lines in Sansa's thoughts that tells me she is still thinking of her father, and has faith not just in Joffrey, but in her own abilities to save Ned:

Her gallant prince would never hurt her father, no matter what he might have done [sansa still has faith in Joffrey, he is still her Prince Charming. She thinks of Joffrey as a paragon of virtue here while actually thinking that her father might have done something wrong]. If she went to him and pleaded for mercy, she was certain he'd listen. [Here, Sansa begins to think of actually doing something herself to influence Joffrey, perhaps a subconscious nod to Joffrey's actual capability of hurting Ned] He had to listen, he loved her, even the queen said so. Joff would need to punish Father, the lords would expect it, but perhaps he could send him back to Winterfell, or exile him to one of the Free Cities across the narrow sea. It would only have to be for a few years. By then she and Joffrey would be married. Once she was queen, she could persuade Joff to bring Father back and grant him a pardon. [as bad as Sansa's judgment is here, she is envisioning herself as having some agency. She doesn't think of Joffrey as the one who will pardon Ned and restore him to court on his own initiative; she pictures herself intervening on her father's behalf, persuading her king-husband to show mercy to him].

I actually think that Sansa's irritation with Jeyne's continual weeping might be because Sansa would really prefer not to acknowledge what might be happening to all the Stark retainers and guards. Jeyne is crying the tears that Sansa refuses to even admit are necessary. Sansa is trying to be a brave princess; but she's really a scared little girl, too; and Jeyne's misery is a vocal reminder of Sansa's own fears.

As for Sansa's running off to tell Cersei of Ned's plans to take her away; I see that not as an act of unforgivable tragedy, but the escapade of a preteen girl who's going to her mother-surrogate for help because Dad won't let her see the boyfriend - that was, I think, how it was to Sansa. The sad thing is that she had no idea of the consequences of her action. Why wouldn't Ned even think of locking Sansa in her room with the Septa, with Stark guards outside the door instructed not to let her out, until they were ready to go to the boat?

And I'd have liked to smack Littlefinger across the face...Perv! He's already obsessing about Sansa's likeness to Cat, alright.

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I agree with everything you've said here, Raksha. Sansa is basing all her hopes on Joff's love for her in this chapter, and this kind of naive romantic idealism is what makes her so vulnerable to Cersei and co. This is the beginning of her position as prisoner and pawn of the Lannisters, although she doesn't quite know it yet.

It's interesting that after Jeyne's arrival in her room, Sansa seems to regain her composure and begins to act more maturely.

.... The only time the door opened was late that night, when they thrust Jeyne Poole inside, bruised and shaking. "They're killing everyone," the Steward's daughter had shrieked at her. She went on and on. The Hound had broken down her door with a warhammer, she said. There were bodies on the stair of the Tower of the Hand, and the steps were slick with blood. Sansa dried her own tears as she struggled to comfort her friend. They went to sleep in the same bed, cradled in each other's arms like sisters.

She's able to put aside her own fears and be a comfort to Jeyne. We see this kind of composure and dignity later on in ACOK at the Battle of Blackwater when Cersei flees, but Sansa remains to counsel the women on what is taking place outside the castle. Instead of breaking down when she sees others are frightened, she draws strength from it, and doesn't forego her courtesies or her kindness. This is an admirable character trait, and one which Martin displays time and again in relation to Sansa's behaviour under pressure.

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Stop this madness.....

Sansa is your typical highschool chick who likes the quarterbacks, there is no 'Hey, I'm going to become like LF even if I'm just thirteen years old'.

People, think, what possible benefit could this have? Why would you even want this? How could this contribute to the story in any way?

Imho, she's just going to grow up a bit, but no, not a player in any sense of the word.

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Stop this madness.....

Sansa is your typical highschool chick who likes the quarterbacks, there is no 'Hey, I'm going to become like LF even if I'm just thirteen years old'.

People, think, what possible benefit could this have? Why would you even want this? How could this contribute to the story in any way?

Imho, she's just going to grow up a bit, but no, not a player in any sense of the word.

I don't understand this resistance to seeing Sansa's role as a future player in the game of thrones, when her entire arc has largely been centred around political intrigue and courtly dynamics. If Arya can be training as an assassin, Bran as a powerful greenseer, Jon at the Wall as Lord Commander, and even Rickon being scouted as heir to Winterfell, what in the name of the seven is so hard to conjure up about Sansa as Queen and game player, especially since she's being tutored by one of the masters in the art?

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Stop this madness.....

Sansa is your typical highschool chick who likes the quarterbacks, there is no 'Hey, I'm going to become like LF even if I'm just thirteen years old'.

People, think, what possible benefit could this have? Why would you even want this? How could this contribute to the story in any way?

Imho, she's just going to grow up a bit, but no, not a player in any sense of the word.

Your seeing this from a modern world view, in her world she would be sort of required to take up the mantel she may not like it but it's the way in Westeros and as of right now she is a real innocent naive child making normal mistakes and it's not until later she starts learning what these fairy tales actually cost her and her family.

So far her arc is showing her slowly entering maturity and learning how to be cunning, the actual path we don't know is: Will she be a better person and use her lessons wisely for her and her family's resurgence or she becomes an actual mini female Littlefinger.

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I don't understand this resistance to seeing Sansa's role as a future player in the game of thrones, when her entire arc has largely been centred around political intrigue and courtly dynamics. If Arya can be training as an assassin, Bran as a powerful greenseer, Jon at the Wall as Lord Commander, and even Rickon being scouted as heir to Winterfell, what in the name of the seven is so hard to conjure up about Sansa as Queen and game player, especially since she's being tutored by one of the masters in the art?

See also: Daenerys becoming a conquering queen at the ripe old age of 14 or 15. These books are full of characters doing extraordinary things at ridiculously young ages.

It's one thing if people do not believe Sansa will become a player, or do not like the idea. But to summarily dismiss the mere possibility of it as absurd is pretty short-sighted, in my opinion. Especially when there are scenes in the books that show Littlefinger actively teaching her to play the game.

Getting back to this particular chapter, I was pleasantly surprised by how hard Sansa initially resisted Cersei & Co. Of course they still played her like a fiddle, but I still think it's to her credit that she put up much more of a fight than they probably expected.

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Getting back to this particular chapter, I was pleasantly surprised by how hard Sansa initially resisted Cersei & Co. Of course they still played her like a fiddle, but I still think it's to her credit that she put up much more of a fight than they probably expected.

Yes, it was nice to see. I think readers can easily overlook it because she capitulates in the end, but she doesn't follow their command blindly. At first she insists that her father wouldn't do such a thing, then even after she is shown the letter, she still wants to talk to her father to be able to prove his innocence and make sure he wasn't hurt. Her resistance seems to be so unexpected that for the first time in the meeting we see Cersei having to drop the sweet, benevolent act and to apply the ultimate pressure on Sansa:

You disappoint me Sansa," the queen said, with eyes gone hard as stones."

At the end, Sansa chooses to put her faith in Joffrey, not in the council, because she believes that Joff loves her dearly and wouldn't hurt her father.

Well, we know how wrong she was about that, but I also wonder if this wasn't where LF decided to maybe counsel Joff to get rid of Ned. Perhaps seeing the love and loyalty Sansa had towards her father, convinced him that getting Ned out of the picture entirely would leave her more vulnerable and available for his schemes.

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Stop this madness.....

Sansa is your typical highschool chick who likes the quarterbacks, there is no 'Hey, I'm going to become like LF even if I'm just thirteen years old'.

People, think, what possible benefit could this have? Why would you even want this? How could this contribute to the story in any way?

Imho, she's just going to grow up a bit, but no, not a player in any sense of the word.

Following this logic, no one would EVER grow up to become any kind of player. Not even Cersei was raised to play any kind of game of thrones ...she was raised to become a brood mare for the highest ranking husband her father could sell her to. Robert and Ned would be dead by Aerys' command, not rebelling; Littlefinger would be ruling over his little pile of rocks, Varys would be part of a mummer show, Ramsay Snow would be quite dead rather than legitimized heir to House Bolton ...half the point of these books is people taking their destinies into their own hands and rising above what they were raised or expected to become. If that is not a trope that you find compelling, I cannot imagine why you read the books at all.

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When Littlefinger was Sansa's age or a bit older (can't remember exactly and I don't have the books handy), Catelyn told him to eat mud; and he did and became quite sick. Littlefinger himself was a naive, romantic kid well beyond Sansa's age.

While I wish that Sansa had more a more pragmatic streak and better understanding of the world around her, she is still only eleven and still fully capable of developing both as she matures.

I don't want to see Sansa become either Cersei Mark II or Littlefinger Lite when she grows up. My hope is that she becomes a great lady as charismatic as Cersei can be but with compassion as well as pragmatism. And that she utilizes Littlefinger's example and teachings selectively; such as in the depth of Littlefinger's preparations and political acumen rather than his cynicism and tendency to corrupt people...

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When Littlefinger was Sansa's age or a bit older (can't remember exactly and I don't have the books handy), Catelyn told him to eat mud; and he did and became quite sick. Littlefinger himself was a naive, romantic kid well beyond Sansa's age.

I can only imagine the conversation leading up to that:

LF: Catelyn, my sweet, I love you so! Won't you cast aside your father's wishes and run away with me?

Cat: Petyr, how many times do I have to tell you it's not going to happen?

LF: But Cat, my love for you is like a red red rose----

Cat: NO!!!

LF: You're so cute when you're coy! :wub: You know you love meeee!

Cat: Erm, no. I'm actually completely fed up with you. You can go eat mud for all I care! :bang:

LF: ........Ok, anything for you my sweet. *proceeds to skip down to the riverbank*

Cat: *FACEPALM*

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Stop this madness.....

Sansa is your typical highschool chick who likes the quarterbacks, there is no 'Hey, I'm going to become like LF even if I'm just thirteen years old'.

People, think, what possible benefit could this have? Why would you even want this? How could this contribute to the story in any way?

Imho, she's just going to grow up a bit, but no, not a player in any sense of the word.

This doesn't have much to do with the topic in general, but you've made me think of something:

All the girls love the quarterbacks when they are at highschool. What did you expect? Would you expect them to prefer the unattractive guys? Chicks like attractive boys just as much as boys like the hot chicks at high school, that's all.

Sansa is like any other girl in this aspect. The problem is that she doesn't realise Joff is a piece of shit. But she is eleven in the first book. Everyone was less clever and had much to learn at that age and what's worse, they usually thought they were very smart, smarter than their parents.

Some people in these threads seem to have forgotten what it felt like to be a young teen and think that our friends could understand us better than our parents, that our parents were old-fashioned and didn't understand us as well as our cool new friends. We even paid more attention to what other adults said than to our own parents, specially if they looked trendy and cool like Cersei. And if those adults didn't tell us off and didn't tell us what to do like our parents, then we liked them more.

This is normal in young boys and girls. Just imagine you liked a chick and your father told you you could never see her again and that he'd look for someone better for you, someone kind, good and well behaved, without explaining to you why your girlfriend was so bad for you.

Would you accept that? Who would? Ned didn't explain anything to Sansa and she believed herself in love with Joff. It was Ned himself who arranged the marriage for her and suddenly he changed his mind and decided to put an end to her betrothal without any explanations. That was a mistake. He should have told her why they had to leave. Of course he couldn't because this would have spoiled the plot, as we know, but Sansa's behaviour is understandable and believable because she is only eleven, not even an adolescent.

Was she wrong? Of course she was, just as wrong as Ned when he told Cersei he knew the truth about her children, just as wrong as Littlefinger when he challenged Brandon, or like Tyrion when he trusted Shae and took commercial exchange for a real relationship. As smart as Tyrion is, he made a silly mistake.

Everybody can make mistakes but they can learn from them and this is what Sansa is doing, very fast. I'd hate it if she became a player because, personally, I don't like that kind of games and would prefer her to preserve her idealism to a certain extent, but she can learn if that's what she wants.

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I don't understand this resistance to seeing Sansa's role as a future player in the game of thrones, when her entire arc has largely been centred around political intrigue and courtly dynamics. If Arya can be training as an assassin, Bran as a powerful greenseer, Jon at the Wall as Lord Commander, and even Rickon being scouted as heir to Winterfell, what in the name of the seven is so hard to conjure up about Sansa as Queen and game player, especially since she's being tutored by one of the masters in the art?

I don't know about other posters, but maybe we should define just what qualifies as "being a player in the Game of Thrones." Does it mean lying and deception? Does it mean secretly scheming to get your enemies killed? Does it mean using people who trust you? Do game players have any loyalty? Are they capable of love? Personally, I think Littlefinger is an expert game player, but I wouldn't want to see Sansa take on his morality.

I would love to see Sansa evaluate people more clearly and use her knowledge to keep herself and people she rightly loves safe. In her current environment it could lead to some badassery, to quote another thread. In some instances that might be considered "playing the game." Arya, Bran, and Jon have all grown and become more powerful in their very different ways. None has taken on Littlefinger's dubious morality (my example is Littlefinger's machinations in getting Ned Stark killed so that he might have easier access to Cat and/or Sansa).

Just to go back to a previous thread, I've gotta say I disagree with the majority who post that Arya overreacted in the chapter when she disarmed Joffrey at the Trident. Joffrey had said that he, "wasn't going to hurt him (Mycah)... much." That means that Joffrey, with his sword, INTENDED TO HURT an unarmed subject. Joffrey had already drawn blood. Arya's response (hitting Joffrey on the head with a rock) was an appropriate use of force on an armed assailant who had stated his intention to further injure an unarmed person. It's unfortunate that the assailant was the heir to the throne, but imo, Arya's actions were entirely appropriate and laudable. Only tyrants can do whatever they please. Arya listened with her ears and did the right thing. Would that everyone at court had had

Renly's response and laughed at Joffrey for trying to punish Arya to hide his own weakness. Imo, Cersei may have wanted a wolf pelt because Joffrey's arm was injured, but for Joffrey I believe the biggest injury was to his pride.

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Just to go back to a previous thread, I've gotta say I disagree with the majority who post that Arya overreacted in the chapter when she disarmed Joffrey at the Trident. Joffrey had said that he, "wasn't going to hurt him (Mycah)... much." That means that Joffrey, with his sword, INTENDED TO HURT an unarmed subject. Joffrey had already drawn blood. Arya's response (hitting Joffrey on the head with a rock) was an appropriate use of force on an armed assailant who had stated his intention to further injure an unarmed person.

Joffery had pricked Mycah's cheek and was being an asshole, but the correct response is to try and talk to someone and calm the situation down, not immediately hit someone over the back of the head with a stick and then hit them again.

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I don't know about other posters, but maybe we should define just what qualifies as "being a player in the Game of Thrones." Does it mean lying and deception? Does it mean secretly scheming to get your enemies killed? Does it mean using people who trust you? Do game players have any loyalty? Are they capable of love? Personally, I think Littlefinger is an expert game player, but I wouldn't want to see Sansa take on his morality.

I would love to see Sansa evaluate people more clearly and use her knowledge to keep herself and people she rightly loves safe. In her current environment it could lead to some badassery, to quote another thread. In some instances that might be considered "playing the game." Arya, Bran, and Jon have all grown and become more powerful in their very different ways. None has taken on Littlefinger's dubious morality (my example is Littlefinger's machinations in getting Ned Stark killed so that he might have easier access to Cat and/or Sansa).

Just to go back to a previous thread, I've gotta say I disagree with the majority who post that Arya overreacted in the chapter when she disarmed Joffrey at the Trident. Joffrey had said that he, "wasn't going to hurt him (Mycah)... much." That means that Joffrey, with his sword, INTENDED TO HURT an unarmed subject. Joffrey had already drawn blood. Arya's response (hitting Joffrey on the head with a rock) was an appropriate use of force on an armed assailant who had stated his intention to further injure an unarmed person. It's unfortunate that the assailant was the heir to the throne, but imo, Arya's actions were entirely appropriate and laudable. Only tyrants can do whatever they please. Arya listened with her ears and did the right thing. Would that everyone at court had had

Renly's response and laughed at Joffrey for trying to punish Arya to hide his own weakness. Imo, Cersei may have wanted a wolf pelt because Joffrey's arm was injured, but for Joffrey I believe the biggest injury was to his pride.

I guess different people have different views on what playing the game of thrones consists of. In my view, it does involve an important amount of deception and ruthlessness. Being honest and morally irreproachable isn't the key to success when playing this game.

Of course, Sansa can learn how to evalutate people and use it to her advantage and to protect the people she loves, but I don't think this would be playing the game, it would be survival. Being wise and a good observant could increase her chances at survival but that, for me, wouldn't be playing the game. That's why I wouldn't like her to become a player because I may enjoy myself reading about Littlefinger and Varys scheming, manipulating and deceiving, but I despise them while I admire Ned's honesty (although some of Davo's pragmatic common sense would have served him well).

Well, I think Arya had good intentions when she hit Joffrey but it was a bad idea and it was Mycah, the weakest person there because he was a commoner, who paid the consequences. Confronting someone who holds all the power usually leads to undersired consequences, unfortunately.

Arya was only a child and she didn't know what Joff and Cersei were capable of but it would have been better not to risk so much when there was nothing to gain. She could stand any chances because she was a high lord's daughter, but infuriating Joffrey ended up with Mycah's death and anyone could see that coming, except Arya.

As for Arya and Bran becoming powerful, I don't see them as powerful at all, maybe in the future but not now. At the moment, Arya means nothing in the big scheme of things, Bran was born with special qualities/powers and that's not something he gained himself. Rickon is only a hurt kind and Jon is making mistake after mistake, which doesn't show him as a good player, I think.

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I don't know about other posters, but maybe we should define just what qualifies as "being a player in the Game of Thrones." Does it mean lying and deception? Does it mean secretly scheming to get your enemies killed? Does it mean using people who trust you? Do game players have any loyalty? Are they capable of love? Personally, I think Littlefinger is an expert game player, but I wouldn't want to see Sansa take on his morality.

Yes, being a player does involve some level of scheming and deception to get what one wants; however, these things do not automatically have to equate to being immoral and evil. Ned could have done with some more scheming in KL especially when it came to Cersei and her children. He could have done, as I think either Renly or LF suggested, seize the children before telling Cersei, thereby having a lot more power when it came to coercing her to leave. Was Cersei wrong for locking Sansa in Maegor's Holdfast after the girl came to her with the information, or was that a smart, pre-emptive strike on Ned? This is what I mean personally by becoming a player. You're going to have to do things which may not be very nice to some people, you may have to manipulate and trick them too, but the difference is whether you can still maintain your humanity and kindness, and your concern for others, especially those who are weak and powerless. I think this is why it is critical that Sansa put a stop to LF's plans for Sweetrobin, whilst learning how to defeat him in the long-run.

I would love to see Sansa evaluate people more clearly and use her knowledge to keep herself and people she rightly loves safe. In her current environment it could lead to some badassery, to quote another thread. In some instances that might be considered "playing the game." Arya, Bran, and Jon have all grown and become more powerful in their very different ways. None has taken on Littlefinger's dubious morality (my example is Littlefinger's machinations in getting Ned Stark killed so that he might have easier access to Cat and/or Sansa).

Yes, but would simply learning to "evaluate people more clearly" be enough to keep her loved ones safe? Right now, she really has no loved ones (she believes all her siblings are dead), besides a half brother at the wall that she thinks of fondly, and whose "death" she might be hearing of very soon. I suppose we could consider Sweetrobin a loved one, but it is clearly not going to be enough to sit back, be a surrogate mother to him and hope he survives. Sansa knows the kind of person LF is at the end of AFFC, and she has heard exactly what he is planning to do with Sweetrobin. Ultimately, being a player involves being active. After one has evaluated the situation and gathered the relevant knowledge, that is the time for putting these things to use.

And Bran, Jon and Arya have all done morally questionable things- Bran warging Hodor, Arya killing people for hire, and Jon in his baby switch.

Just to go back to a previous thread, I've gotta say I disagree with the majority who post that Arya overreacted in the chapter when she disarmed Joffrey at the Trident. Joffrey had said that he, "wasn't going to hurt him (Mycah)... much." That means that Joffrey, with his sword, INTENDED TO HURT an unarmed subject. Joffrey had already drawn blood. Arya's response (hitting Joffrey on the head with a rock) was an appropriate use of force on an armed assailant who had stated his intention to further injure an unarmed person. It's unfortunate that the assailant was the heir to the throne, but imo, Arya's actions were entirely appropriate and laudable. Only tyrants can do whatever they please. Arya listened with her ears and did the right thing. Would that everyone at court had had

Renly's response and laughed at Joffrey for trying to punish Arya to hide his own weakness. Imo, Cersei may have wanted a wolf pelt because Joffrey's arm was injured, but for Joffrey I believe the biggest injury was to his pride.

Rapsie has already spoken to this, but I'll just add my agreement to what she said. It was the furthest thing from an appropriate response. Arya really could have killed Joffrey that day by giving him that blow to his head. It was a reckless and dangerous response from her and it escalated the situation from tense to all out deadly. Yes, Joffrey's abuse of Mycah was wrong, and maybe Mycah would have suffered another cut or bruise that day, but it would not have been life threatening. Joff was attempting to show off to Sansa, and make himself look big by humiliating Mycah, but killing him or maiming him would have been going too far, even for Joff at this point.

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I don't know about other posters, but maybe we should define just what qualifies as "being a player in the Game of Thrones." Does it mean lying and deception? Does it mean secretly scheming to get your enemies killed? Does it mean using people who trust you? Do game players have any loyalty? Are they capable of love? Personally, I think Littlefinger is an expert game player, but I wouldn't want to see Sansa take on his morality.

The most basic definition I can think of is that a player is really skilled at the art of realpolitik, which is not necessarily ruthless, but certainly pragmatic. All the most successful players right now are quite ruthless, yes, but I don't see this as being a necessity. I know, I know, you win or you die, but you can stay alive by being quick on your feet and dogding the blows while guiding your attacker to a precipice over which they fall, just as much as by preemtively stabbing them.

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Littlefinger is the ultimate player.

Sansa is the definition of a Lady, she observes the proper courtesies no matter what is happening around her. Sandor constantly tells her she needs to get new lies.

Sansa with the aid of Petyr could turn into a serious player.

No one would ever expect the Lady Sansa, with Littlefinger in the background, holy shit she could absolutely turn into a very dangerous tool.

The courtly courtesies for the most part are nothing but empty lies, now turn these lies that shes so adept at into pieces being moved.

Shes already beginning to show signs of it as Alayne.

Cersei for one, would NEVER expect this. Shes just the weak little dove right?

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