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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa III

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The next chapter will be coming soon, I expect. My chapter was late in coming and Rapsie has had a very busy week, so our normal schedule has been pushed back a bit.

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I was thrown back by his attitude when he realized everyone (smallfolk) hated him when in his eyes, he was doing all these marvelous things. Thing is, nothing he did helped the smallfolk. Unleashing his thugs aka clansmen, on the smallfolk definitely made things worse!

He didn't think much of Sansa because he didn't view her as a person any more than any of the other Lannisters. When he "saved" her at the beating, it wasn't done for her benefit, but for how "foolish" Joff was acting. it was done as a reprimand towards Joff. he also has this insecure need to be loved and wanted by the beautiful princess he feels is his right and entitlement. If he LOVED shae as much as he claimed, then why was he trying to woo Sansa and wanted to bed her so bad? If I were Shae, I would view that as betrayal. Especially as she was Sansa'a maid. She had it rubbed in her face that she was literally NOTHING but a whore to him.

He doesn't love the woman. He loves the object that is a woman. Sansa wasn't an actual living being to him. Sure he felt sorry for her but he only gave her reprieve due to her age. Somehow I doubt he would've granted her reprieve if she had been older. Now if Sansa had been ugly, fat....Lollys! If he had been forced to marry Lollys...we wouldve seen a different side to him.

I have a working theory that Varys and/or Littlefinger were actively pushing public opinion against Tyrion because they were upset at how he played the Myrcella/Tommen issues. I can't say that I have solid textual evidence for it, though.

I totally agree about Sansa's age and beauty contributing heavily towards Tyrion's willingness to spare her.

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So sorry this is so late. Very busy week!! Anyway first up is the sansa development summary from ACOK, followed by Sansa Chapter II.

ACOK: Sansa Development

The development of Sansa’s character in ACOK is quite substantial, but then according to the vague timelines floating around, the book does cover nearly ten months. By the end of AGOT, Brash nicely summed up Sansa’s arc that starts with her as the naïve girl with a fairytale world view, which rather than diminishing slowly into a realistic world view, has her world smashed out from under her feet.

BRASHCANDY

All in all, AGOT represents a radically transformative experience for Sansa. She has arguably had one of the most shocking character arcs in this book, going from a sheltered girl, utterly in love with her betrothed, to experiencing violence from his command at the end. One would expect that these things would have embittered Sansa, but there's still the sense at the end of AGOT that she's able to recognize the monsters from the men.

As of ACOK:

  1. Sansa is now a shadow of her former self. With no friends or allies in court she is completely alone. She is now completely at the mercy of Joff who delights in having the KG beat her.
  2. She still has her compassion and sense of right and wrong, speaking up for Ser Dontos when no one else would, but is suddenly aware of the dire consequences of speaking her mind.
  3. She has begun to learn to be wary of people and not take things at face value. She begins to see that courtly manners are a façade.
  4. She now just wants to return home, rather than have a life in the south.
  5. Despite her isolation, she manages to build skewed friendships with Ser Dontos and the Hound. Both of whom give her advice and try to help her, but neither are ideal companions.
  6. She learns about the terrifying nature of what being in physical danger and being rescued by a “knight” actual entail and how different it is from the stories she has read.
  7. She has her first period, accompanied by tremendous amounts of fear for her for what the consequences of that may entail.
  8. She experiences battle from the perspective of women and non-military men.
  9. She also gets lessons in Queenship.

At the beginning of ACOK we see that Sansa is still willing to speak her mind on occasion, but is fast learning to hold her tongue and kept her real thoughts to herself. We also see how mentally strong she is that she can cope from being plunged from a stable, loving and supportive environment, into the cruelty and neglect of KL.

ASOS - Sansa II Summary

“A new gown?” she said, as wary as she was astonished.

Sansa is with an old dressmaker who is fitting her for a new dress; a present from Queen Cersei. The seamstress tells her that the Queen has said she is now a woman and must have a woman’s dress.

Sansa reflects that she needs a new gown as she has grown three inches in the last year and most of her old gowns were ruined by the fire she had set trying to destroy the evidence of her first period.

The seamstress says she will have a bosom as lovely as the Queen’s. Sansa blushes and thinks that the stable boy was gaping at her and that grown men looked at her chest as well.

She enquires about the colour and the seamstress states that she will decide the colour and tells her she shall have other garments as well.

and all else befitting a … a lovely young lady of noble birth.

Sansa asks if it will be ready for the King’s wedding and the seamstress says much sooner and that all other work has been put aside to finish the dress.

During the fitting, Sansa wonders why Queen Cersei wishes a new dress is prepared for her.

But why? Sansa wondered when she was alone. It made her uneasy. I’ll wager this gown is Margaery’s doing somehow, or her grandmothers.
She thinks about Margaery’s unfailing kindness and how the arrival of the Tyrell ladies had changed everything: she now had company and was finally getting High Harp lessons and feeling she had friends. She immediately is ingratiated into everyday life amongst the Tyrells. She thinks about each of the personalities of the little cousins and lastly thinks about Megga who is dying to be kissed.

Sansa wondered what Megga would think about kissing the Hound, as she had. He’d come to her the night of the battle stinking of wine and blood. He kissed me and threatened to kill me, and made me sing him a song.

Megga comments on Joff’s beautiful lips and how Sansa must have wept when she lost him.

Joffrey made me weep more often than you know, she wanted to say, but Butterbumps was not on hand to drown out her voice, so she pressed her lips together and held her tongue.

One of the cousins Elinor, is betrothed to a Squire. She says he wore her favour in to the BBW and another cousin says how that made him brave and she wished she had someone to wear her favour.

They are children, Sansa thought. They are silly little girls, even Elinor. They’ve never seen a battle, they’ve never seen a man die, they know nothing. Their dreams were full of songs and stories, the way hers had been before Joffrey cut her father’s head off. Sansa pitied them. Sansa envied them.

She then thinks that Margery is different though, and although sweet, has a little of her grandmother in her. She recalls Margery taking her Hawking and seeing the devastation of the aftermath of the BBW. Her Merlin brings down three ducks but Margaery’s peregrine takes down a Heron. In a moment out of the guards’ earshot Margaery tells Sansa that Willas has an Eagle and squeezes her hand and calls her sister. Sansa then thinks how she always wanted a sister like Margaery and instead got Arya who was been unsatisfactory as sisters went. She wonders how she can let her sister marry Joffrey, so reiterates Joff’s cruel nature, and asks her not to marry him as he’ll hurt her. Margaery says she believes her, but doesn’t appear to bothered, because Loras is in the KG and says

I shall have the finest knight in the Seven Kingdoms protecting me day and night, as Prince Aemon protected Naerys. So our little lion had best behave, hadn’t he? She laughed, and said “Come, sweet sister, let’s race back to the river. It will drive our guards quite mad.”
Sansa thinks she is so brave. Sansa thinks that Aegon the Unworthy feared the Dragonknight but had his other mistress and KG member Ser Toyne killed when he found out about their affair. She thinks Loras is a Tyrell and would have an army behind him, but thinks that Joffrey will only restrain himself for a little while and when he stops, there maybe a second kingslayer. She was surprised Margaery did not see it too, but then thinks that Margaery is older than her, so must be wiser and that her father must know what he is doing and that she is just being silly.

She thinks that when she told Ser Dontos of the marriage to Willas, she had thought he would be pleased, but he told her that she shouldn’t marry him and that

these Tyrells are only Lannisters with flowers.
He begs her to forget about the Tyrells and says the escape plans are made for Joffrey’s wedding night and that is not so long to wait. Sansa rebukes him by saying something could go wrong and that when she wanted to escape he wouldn’t take her and now there is no need because Willas will protect her.

Dontos tells her that the Tyrells care nothing for her

It’s your claim they mean to wed.”

“My claim?” She was lost for a moment.

“Sweetling,” he told her, “you are heir to Winterfell.”

He pleads with her again, not to change their plans, but Sansa wrenches free from his grasp and since then had not visited the Godswood.

But she had not forgotten his words, either. The heir to Winterfell, she would think as she lay abed at night. It's your claim they mean to wed. Sansa had grown up with three brothers. She never thought to have a claim, but with Bran and Rickon dead ... It doesn't matter, there's still Robb, he's a man grown now, and soon he'll wed and have a son. Anyway, Willas Tyrell will have Highgarden, what would he want with Winterfell?

She thinks about Willas and what he will be like, deciding

If I give him sons, he may come to love me. She would name them Eddard and Brandon and Rickon, and raise them all to be as valiant as Ser Loras. And to hate Lannisters, too. In Sansa's dreams, her children looked just like the brothers she had lost. Sometimes there was even a girl who looked like Arya.

She then thinks about Willas again.

She could never hold a picture of Willas long in her head, though; her imaginings kept turning him back into Ser Loras, young and graceful and beautiful. You must not think of him like that, she told herself. Or else he may see the disappointment in your eyes when you meet, and how could he marry you then, knowing it was his brother you loved? Willas Tyrell was twice her age, she reminded herself constantly, and lame as well, and perhaps even plump and red-faced like his father. But comely or no, he might be the only champion she would ever have.

She then recalls that

it was still her marrying Joff, not Margaery, and on their wedding night he turned into the headsman Ilyn Payne. She woke trembling.

She thinks that she does not want Margaery to suffer and that she had warned her. She thinks that he plays the perfect Knight with Margaery as he had once done with her, but also thinks that she will see his true nature soon enough. She thinks that she most light a candle to the Mother to protect Margaery and a candle for the Warrior to protect Loras.

She then thinks that she will wear her new gown for the ceremony at the Great Sept of Baelor, while the seamstress finishes her measurements. She thinks Cersei must be having a dress made so she doesn’t look shabby at Joff’s wedding. She thinks that she will wear an old dress to the feast as she wants to keep her new dress pretty for taking to Highgarden to meet Willas.

She thinks

Even if Dontos was right, and it is Winterfell he wants and not me, he still may come to love me for myself. Sansa hugged herself tightly, wondering how long it would be before the gown was ready. She could scarcely wait to wear it.

Analysis

Poor Sansa. She is right to be wary about the gown. Sansa after the last dress Cersei gave you I would be worried about gifts of dresses or hoping for dresses in future.

Anyway this chapter is one where we sees her hopes for what her married life will be with Willas.

Sometimes she would whisper his name into her pillow just to hear the sound of it. "Willas, Willas, Willas." Willas was as good a name as Loras, she supposed. They even sounded the same, a little. What did it matter about his leg? Willas would be Lord of Highgarden and she would be his lady. She pictured the two of them sitting together in a garden with puppies in their laps, or listening to a singer strum upon a lute while they floated down the Mander on a pleasure barge. If I give

him sons, he may come to love me. She would name them Eddard and Brandon and Rickon, and raise them all to be as valiant as Ser Loras. And to hate Lannisters, too.

Her notions of married life are still slightly whimsical to a degree however unlike the Sansa on AGOT, she is prepared to love a man who is lame, potentially unattractive and one that might not even love her, just what she represents as a claim. She thinks of her children as being like the family she’s lost and he idea of bringing them up to hate Lannisters, underlines why there was a fundamental problem for her and Tyrion as a couple. Her thought that she can maybe make Willas love her for herself, is both pragmatic and sad. Even sadder still is the dress she is having made, that she hopes to woo Willas in, is the very dress that will shatter her dreams of a beautiful wedding and happy marriage or even a happy married life.

This chapter also shows us a more hopeful side of Sansa and how she has begun to hope again in the company of the Tyrell ladies. I think it is debatable how many of them are being put up to it as it were and although Marg and TQoT have an interest in keeping her sweet (unlike Cersei and Joff they use love rather than fear) I am not certain it is all completely pretence.

We also see her reflect on the UnKiss with Sandor.

Sansa wondered what Megga would think about kissing the Hound, as she had. He’d come to her the night of the battle stinking of wine and blood. He kissed me and threatened to kill me, and made me sing him a song.

However rather than just mention the kiss as a passing thought, she expands on it and almost romanticizes what was actually quite a traumatic encounter. It is especially important as the kiss didn’t happen in the first place. Now this is a major mis-memory and a purposeful one by the author. Is the reason for it to illustrate that Sansa is an unreliable narrator or does it signify Sansa and Sandor meeting again and the unkiss having some fallout at that point, or does it signify something else entirely?

Also it is interesting that Sandor asks for a song. For a grown man to request a song is in and of itself is more akin to Sansa’s songs and stories than real life. In real life men do not request songs. Knights do not care about songs.

There are a few other potential points of interest in terms of possible ideas about foreshadowing the future for Sansa. The first concerns the seamstress who remarks that she has made Cersei’s clothes for many years, and that Sansa will have a bosom as lovely as the Queen’s. Is this another hint that Sansa will be the younger and more beautiful Queen?

We also see Megga fawning over Joffrey’s beautiful lips, which is similar to the Sansa of AGOT, who thought Joff had beautiful lips and then when her father’s head was cut off, thinks that they are actually rather wormy looking.

We also see her maturity has risen sharply for her age as she sees the other girls with their stories and hopes and dreams and thinks of them as children. The sad part being of course that she is a child as well, but her childhood has been cut short and is about to be cut even shorter still. Oddly she used a familiar phrase….

, they know nothing.

What is it with redheads and thinking people know nothing…. :rolleyes:

We then have Sansa’s dreams. Since AGOT when Sansa says dreams are prophetic, it has been interesting to see what hers contain.

She dreams of children who look like her dead brothers and sometimes of a sister who looks like Arya. Whether this is prophetic or not is debatable. Certainly the Tully looks are strong, but it is curious that she only sometimes dreams of a daughter who looks like Arya. Of course there is the possible foreshadowing relating to the Hound here, as Arya whilst travelling with the Hound is constantly mistaken for his son/daughter.

Anyway, moving swiftly, her other dream was more frightening.

it was still her marrying Joff, not Margaery, and on their wedding night he turned into the headsman Ilyn Payne. She woke trembling.

Ser Ilyn features in nearly every chapter she is in, which is something I had missed until now. Is it just a natural fear of him as a grimm specter or is there again some foreshadowing of him killing her at some point?

Edit: Also I forgot to note that it is evident that the seamstress knows that it is a wedding dress. She has to stop herself from letting something slip. How many people actually knew about the wedding before hand, whilst Sansa was left in the dark?

Edit II:

Also forgot, there is yet another reference to Naerys and the Demonknight, and also Marg referring to Joff as a Lion, not a Stag. Again, it seems that everyone is very aware that Joff is probably not Robert's. son.

I shall have the finest knight in the Seven Kingdoms protecting me day and night, as Prince Aemon protected Naerys. So our little lion had best behave, hadn’t he?

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Rapsieeeeeeeeeeee :) Nice review! I'll be giving my thoughts soon, and LOL at the "you know nothing" comment; redheads indeed.

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Nice review Rapsie

it was still her marrying Joff, not Margaery, and on their wedding night he turned into the headsman Ilyn Payne. She woke trembling.

I think Ilyn Payne might represent death, and Joff turning into Ilyn might foreshadow Joff's death at his wedding.

As for Willas Tyrell, she probably thinks beggars can't be choosers, and he's her best bet to get away from KL and the Lannisters. Sansa telling Dontos about the Tyrells' marriage plan results in Dontos telling Littlefinger, who tells the Lannisters. Littlefinger tells the Lannisters, knowing they'll prevent this and keep Sansa in KL, otherwise Sansa leaving KL to go to Highgarden will upset his plans for her.

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I failed to see the joke behind that comment. Which other redhead makes the statement "they know nothing" ? Catelyn? Elizabeth Tudor? I am not oblivious to the almost creepy similarities between them.

@ fire eater I hope you are right, because to me Sansa can't die. She is mustn't absolutely die. I will be crushed.

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I failed to see the joke behind that comment. Which other redhead makes the statement "they know nothing" ? Catelyn? Elizabeth Tudor? I am not oblivious to the almost creepy similarities between them.

Ygritte "You know nothing Jon Snow"

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Owh. I forgot about that silly me :)

I'll have to check, but I think Mel might say it as well in ADWD.

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Nice one Rapsie. :)

Interestingly in this chapter, Sansa calls the "Kingslayer stew" of Joffrey, Margaery and Loras the same way as Olenna Tyrell did, without anyone telling her. It shows that Sansa is getting shrewder and she is getting better at judging people, even though she herself and basically everyone around her considers her stupid. FWIW I think Sansa will play "stupid" later on to get people to underestimate her.

Regarding Willas, this bit is so sad. I also felt that the last of "old Sansa" with her head up the clouds, wanting to marry a gallant knight died with the dream of Willas and Highgarden. Now I think she knows she will have to marry for her claim. What she needs to learn is to think like Littlefinger and use it to her advantage, with a husband she can rule and "move" as a player (for some reason I am thinking sweetrobin might be it, he has high rank but no real power and is physically weak and mentally not very sound).

That said, one has to wonder why Willas at "twice Sansa's age" is still unwed. I doubt the Tyrells were saving him, so you have to wonder if there is something else "wrong" with him? Perhaps he takes after Loras in this regard? I doubt being a cripple would matter much for such a highborn lord when it comes to marriage. Sure, Tywin claimed nobody wanted Tyrion and took it as an insult, but Willas was injured and not born that way. The Tyrells naturally want to present Willas in a good light, but I can't help but think that the Tyrells are really Lannisters with flowers. Maybe Sansa WAS lucky after all, although we only have Littlefinger's word that Willas is boring.

I did notice Sansa wanted "puppies" as well, hahaha. Is it just me, or does Sansa have a fondness for dogs or various kinds post losing Lady? :P She gets on well with the one at the Fingers and her she thinks of puppies.

Regarding Ser Ilyn Payne, yes I think to Sansa he represents death, and perhaps she thinks a marriage to Joffrey would mean death to her. It may also be that Joffrey's own wedding means death, only HIS death.

She dreams of children who look like her dead brothers and sometimes of a sister who looks like Arya. Whether this is prophetic or not is debatable. Certainly the Tully looks are strong, but it is curious that she only sometimes dreams of a daughter who looks like Arya. Of course there is the possible foreshadowing relating to the Hound here, as Arya whilst travelling with the Hound is constantly mistaken for his son/daughter.

Perhaps it's the warg in her making her "see" her actual brothers and Arya (as they are actually NOT dead and neither is Arya). It seems the other Stark children also have this dream power to see, or feel, eachother remotely, perhaps through the warginess.It also makes sense that Sansa's ability will be fairly weak compared to the more "northern" siblings Jon, Arya and Bran who have more tangible visions and direct interactions.

I noticed lately too that the Hound has a very "Stark"-like look with dark hair and grey eyes and it's interesting people assume automatically he is related to Arya. I wonder if this will have some sort of bearing later on? I mean sure, lots of people have the Stark colouring, but Arya is said to really have the Stark features and look like Lyanna (and Jon). If people assume Sandor is her father, there must be something making them believe that apart from that both look dirty and unkept. (I have a crackpot theory for this but it will have to wait for the AFfC section. :P )

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@Queen Cersei, very well said, and I do mostly agree with you. Those three chapters that Sansa spent under Cersei's tutelage were fascinating for what they revealed about both women, and whilst at the time it was necessary for Sansa to reject Cersei's advice, if we can call it that, it's interesting how in her later arc we might see her having to utilize the same manipulative, feminine wiles that Cersei advocated in ACOK. We know that Cersei and Sansa are paralleled in many ways throughout the book, but of course what separates one from the other is that Sansa still retains a compassionate, innocent side that is seldom present in Cersei's interaction with others, at least genuinely. Cersei in my view, represents what Sansa could have become, a woman reacting against the constraints of gender, time and place, and completely determined to seize power no holds barred. Sansa on the other hand, has always wanted more of a familial existence, and power, if she gets it, will not be something she actively sought. There is no right or wrong here. Both positions are valid, but it will be the approaches that determine success.

As for the contrast between Cersei behaviour during the battle and later on in AFFC, I do agree that AFFC really characterized Cersei as completely incompetent and campy, but I would still argue that the early books do hint at an innate recklessness that could lead to mistakes if not checked.

And yes, Shae's behaviour is understandable in light of what these lowborn girls face, even without the threat of battle and pillaging. It's a fact that sex as a commodity is oftentimes the only thing these girls have to trade and bargain with and when we consider what happens to Alayaya in this current chapter, being whipped and scourged, one cannot blame them for the heartlessness and bitterness they may show towards the nobility and other women. Still, to bring this back to Sansa, there is something to be said for having kindness and empathy for others, especially ones like Lollys, who have been terribly victimized and cannot even articulate their suffering. This is the quality that Sansa has that truly makes her shine.

I love this project and all the clever observations you and fellow posters make (and your avatar is really awesome^^)!

Agree with you and Queen Cersei that Sansa´s compassion is what makes her a truly outstanding character. Yet in defense of Cersei I also have to add that Cersei was not lucky enough to have parents like Ned and Cat. While Sansa was raised to be a ethical, warm and compassionate person Tywin only taught his children to regard themselves as superior and detest "weakness" in every form.

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Double post since the edit function seems borked at the moment.

Cersei is such an interesting character and set up as a paralell to Sansa. It's also nice to see a woman so bitter and angry with a patriarchal society as Cersei, but of course, she goes about getting the upper hand in a completely arse about face way! The Queen of Thorns has clearly managed to play the Game despite being female, simply by being more shrewd than most, while Cersei uses her looks, birth and riches as LF points out. He also (I think correctly) says "but only one of those is really her own" and he also states she wants power, but doesn't know what to do with it.

With LF training, Sansa can surely become more like tQoT than Cersei. She's already learnt to see through people, now she just needs to learn how to gauge what they're really after, and then find a method to move them through this. So a woman playing inside the system. I agree that GRRM has plans for Sansa, with the way she was presented as a vapid, shallow creature and then being put through the grinder completely. She goes from being starry eyed and naive to being guarded and reflective, but still avoids becoming bitter and cynical like Cersei. It's also always interesting to see a female character in a more traditionally female role be both interesting and show some massive character growth.

I agree with you the Sansa way will prove to be more successful than the Cersei way, yet I am not sure how well Oleanna´s way of playing the game really works and if Sansa should adapt him.* When we look at the Tyrell´s decision during the course of the novel it stands out that the grand strategy is dominated by Mace:

- first phase: Trying to use Margaery as a bait for Robert (was there ever a precedent for a king setting his fertile wife aside?)

- second phase: Supporting Renly as king, Marriage between Renly and Marg

- Alliance with the Lannisters - marriage to a king who is believed to be the product of incest thus not legitimate

Oleanna objected to phase II and phase IIi and did this with very good reason. Yet she was totally unable to change the Tyrell strategy. She had only the power to make changes on a tactical level (like replacing sadistic Joff with sweet and traceable Tommen). I do not doubt that QoT is highly intelligent and perceptive but as a player her range is very limited

*I do not want to derail this threat by discussing the Tyrells but given the topic female power we can include Sansa in the discussion, too

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The Unkiss

Now we know that on those nights Sansa stayed up thinking about the Hound, she wasn't simply questioning her decision to go with him. The question for us is what is the nature of the mismemory? Is it a) a fantasy, b - a rewriting of a traumatic experience, or c) an attempt to convince one's self that one is no longer an innocent child. It could be one of these or all of these truly, though my personal feelings are that it's strongly representative of options a & c. Sansa is as yet unconscious about any desire for the Hound, and the events of that night were so incredibly intense and emotional that it's not hard to see why her mind is playing tricks with her. However, a girl's first kiss, is a girl's first kiss, and for Sansa to reimagine that something like this took place with a man like Sandor Clegane speaks volumes. It's also noticeable because she's pretty clear on the other details of that night:

He'd come to her the night of the battle stinking of wine and blood. He kissed me and threatened to kill me, and made me sing him a song.

So she's right on all the other aspects of that scene, except for the kissing part. She had felt that he was going to kiss her, but it never happens. I think it all connects to the feelings she expressed in the first chapter - wishing he was there, keeping his cloak but unable to say why. Sansa's decision to marry Willas and make a good life with him despite him possibly being unattractive, as well as crippled, is underscored by this mismemory of another "unsuitable" man. Sure, she may still dream of Loras, but the decisions she's making and the memories she is having, reflect new and developing changes to do with relationships, intimacy and sexuality.

Sisterhood

This appreciation of the company of other girls and women has always been central to Sansa's arc and it's a pity that it has to be so shortlived. This is one of the reasons why I'm so excited to see how Martin will develop her relationships in the Vale with Mya Stone and Randa Royce. In this chapter, Sansa's harsh life experiences are contrasted with the innocent naivete and idealistic worldview of the Tyrell cousins, and there isn't much Sansa can learn from them, but in the Vale it will be a different story. Also, I hope that it's quite clear now that the Sansa we saw in AGOT wasn't some kind of weird peculiarity. These kinds of beliefs about knights and chivalry were the norm for gentle-bred, highborn girls in Martin's world, and unless you were privy to the lessons of a Lady Olenna type figure in your life, one might continue to believe in these fairytales, especially if nothing has happened to disrupt such dreams. It also shows how perception can really colour reality. Just like Sansa once did, Megga believes that the gallant Joff has lovely lips. But we know now that Sansa no longer sees Joff's mouth in this way, rather seeing it as wormy and unattractive. Part of growing up involves having a full picture of a person - their inner qualities being paramount - and until one has a full understanding of what that person is really like, there will always be mistakes in judgment and appreciation.

Animal Symbolism

I wonder if the animals that the girls take down whilst hawking had any symbolic importance. Sansa's bird brings down three ducks, and Margaery's peregrine kills a "heron in full flight."

In looking up duck symbolism, I found the following:

Ducks can elude their enemies in many ways, either by flying, running, swimming or diving for cover; therefore, they are a symbol for a resourceful person.

Ducks, along with geese (see entry below) share the same symbolism of transition due to their migratory nature. Ducks are also a Celtic animal symbol of honesty, simplicity and resourcefulness. Ducks also represent sensitivity, as they tend to be very sensitive to their surroundings. Also viewed as graceful and agile – particularly in the water, ducks are respected for their beauty and adaptation to nature.

So are the ducks then reflective of Sansa's own nature - resourceful and sensitive- being able to survive through challenging and testing times? Or is she going to take down "three ducks" in the future, three queens perhaps?

The puppies are symbolic IMO of:

- a future relationship with Sandor Clegane (the Hound)

- Sansa's nurturing qualities

All in all, the Sansa of this chapter is quite hopeful - her physical growth is matched by an emotional maturity that shows her willing to take an active part in making her dreams come true. She's no longer adamant about sticking to her ideal Prince charming, but rather accepting her "Frog" and willing to see this man as her "champion" and to be a good wife to him.

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Catching up on the thread, here. I have three areas of reflection.

1. Is Sansa a weak warg? Her connection to Lady was very strong, and what's more, Lady's behavior was less wolffish than her fellows'. Can we not infer then that Sansa actually had a great deal of control over her? Tamed wolves are not completely unknown, but they are not domestic animals. It would not be so easy for a girl with no training experience to affect such a complete transformation without a little help, I'm thinking. Maybe she has vast warging potential.

2. Is Willas's impairment enough to make him less than desirable to the women his parents would accept as his bride? I keep thinking about Elia dismissing that one guy because he broke wind and Tywin insisting Cersei look only at king-material. Maybe the Tyrells have been keeping Willas in reserve for daughters of High lords, but those girls have better fish to fry, like Joff, Robb, Edmure. Maybe his age and limp simply put him at the bottom of their lists, while girls who would be thrilled to have him don't even make his own? I can see Arianne laughing in his face.

3. Are we sure that this is Sansa's first kiss? I mean has not Joff demanded a kiss from her? Hasn't her Florian? I really think there is little evidence that she has fantasized this kiss from what she desired to happen. At the time, she is very put off by Sandor's stench, and she's quite afraid. This doesn't seem to promote unconscious wishes, but maybe this is just my own conclusion.

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Catching up on the thread, here. I have three areas of reflection.

1. Is Sansa a weak warg? Her connection to Lady was very strong, and what's more, Lady's behavior was less wolffish than her fellows'. Can we not infer then that Sansa actually had a great deal of control over her? Tamed wolves are not completely unknown, but they are not domestic animals. It would not be so easy for a girl with no training experience to affect such a complete transformation without a little help, I'm thinking. Maybe she has vast warging potential.

2. Is Willas's impairment enough to make him less than desirable to the women his parents would accept as his bride? I keep thinking about Elia dismissing that one guy because he broke wind and Tywin insisting Cersei look only at king-material. Maybe the Tyrells have been keeping Willas in reserve for daughters of High lords, but those girls have better fish to fry, like Joff, Robb, Edmure. Maybe his age and limp simply put him at the bottom of their lists, while girls who would be thrilled to have him don't even make his own? I can see Arianne laughing in his face.

3. Are we sure that this is Sansa's first kiss? I mean has not Joff demanded a kiss from her? Hasn't her Florian? I really think there is little evidence that she has fantasized this kiss from what she desired to happen. At the time, she is very put off by Sandor's stench, and she's quite afraid. This doesn't seem to promote unconscious wishes, but maybe this is just my own conclusion.

On the unkiss - I don't think it's a conscious fantasy as in she sees Sandor in a romantic sense. But the mere fact that she thinks he kissed her is indicative of a some kind of latent desire on her part IMO. There were many other things Sansa could have misremembered about that night, but choosing to think that she shared a kiss with Sandor is extremely curious. He's not the typical person that she would fantasize about, and that's why I believe she creates it as an objective memory. By believing that it did in fact happen, she can remove/or not think about the other implications of such thoughts.

IIRC it is her first real kiss. Not counting ones she might have received on her cheeks, or the sloppy ones from Dontos. She certainly thinks of it as her only kiss so far, given that it's immediately what she remembers when the girls are dreaming about kissing boys.

On Willas - My crackpot has always been that Willas is impotent - maybe he's been unable to sustain an erection since his leg injury... Which would mean that Sansa would have been cruelly disappointed in her dreams of having those puppies on her lap. But anyways, this is just a wild theory of mine.

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I should also add that part of Sansa bringing up the kiss in the moment is because in her mind she's very different from the Tyrell cousins- they've never kissed anyone, but Sansa has kissed -shock of shocks - the Hound :)

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I should also add that part of Sansa bringing up the kiss in the moment is because in her mind she's very different from the Tyrell cousins- they've never kissed anyone, but Sansa has kissed -shock of shocks - the Hound :)

You never cease to amaze me with your analysis, you are so good! I'll have more to say later, but for now I just wanted to mention I've just come back from seeing the travelling Game of Thrones exhibit (the one with the throne!) and they have a large, clear and crisp picture of Sansa. Seeing her in the series I always thought, yah, she's cute, but this picture has her with her long auburn hair hanging down and let me tell you she's drop dead gorgeous. And of course she's a good 5 or 6 years older than our little Sansa, so she really looks like a future queen, like a young Elizabeth l or Victoria.

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The biggest difference I can see with Sansa in regards to kissing would be her reaction.

When Dontos tries to kiss her, she turns away

When LF kisses her she turns away. Marillion tries to kiss her, she turns away.

When Sandor leaned in to kiss her (or so she thought), she didn't turn away but simply closed her eyes. She was accepting of it, even if she was thinking at the time that she couldn't fight him and just wanted it over with. Still, she didn't turn away.

I don't know if that is significant or not.

Maybe I need to go back and reread so I may be misremembering here (and therefore an unreliable narrator)

***Perhaps if our erstwhile Hound had showered, brushed his teeth and chewed on some mint leaves, she may have had a different reaction *bwahahaa*

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On Willas - My crackpot has always been that Willas is impotent - maybe he's been unable to sustain an erection since his leg injury... Which would mean that Sansa would have been cruelly disappointed in her dreams of having those puppies on her lap. But anyways, this is just a wild theory of mine.

You know, the same thing occurred to me! I was reading some Tyrion chapters and got to the point where Lancel is injured and Tyrion muses that he can't "perform" anymore after his injury. I think this is mentioned later as well when Lancel is wedded to some Frey girl (the "portcullis" one who apparently was quite free with her affections). With this in mind, it struck me that Willas might be suffering from the same fate, hence why he would be more difficult to marry off.

On the other hand, you have Tywin telling Tyrion that nobody wanted Tyrion either, and that all the high lords either said no, or were insulted when Tywin tried to broker a wedding for the imp. I just thought that it would be easier with Willas since he is a cripple due to an injury and not from birth so there is nothing inherently wrong with him. However, if he is impotent after the accident, that might explain it. I feel a bit bad for poor Willas now, even if LF is right and he's a dull sort of person. :)

On the unkiss - I don't think it's a conscious fantasy as in she sees Sandor in a romantic sense. But the mere fact that she thinks he kissed her is indicative of a some kind of latent desire on her part IMO. There were many other things Sansa could have misremembered about that night, but choosing to think that she shared a kiss with Sandor is extremely curious. He's not the typical person that she would fantasize about, and that's why I believe she creates it as an objective memory. By believing that it did in fact happen, she can remove/or not think about the other implications of such thoughts.

This is a good analysis, I think. Strangely, the only two men she ever pictures in her head in anything that could be called "sexual situations" are Tyrion and Sandor. Tyrion seems to appear as he is her wedded husband, and has actually been naked in the same room with her so it's based on a very real (and very traumatic) situation (that scene always freaks me out majorly), but why Sandor appears in that context has no real explanation in what actually happens. (I am looking forward to AFfC when this comes up again. :) )

IIRC it is her first real kiss. Not counting ones she might have received on her cheeks, or the sloppy ones from Dontos. She certainly thinks of it as her only kiss so far, given that it's immediately what she remembers when the girls are dreaming about kissing boys.

I actually got a dual vibe there from her comment about Megga and that girl who is going to marry the squire and their fawning over the cute, foppy young boys: firstly, she is thinking that they are innocent/young/like she used to be, and secondly, it feels as she's also saying "You are fawning over your pretty little boys, but how would you like to kiss a real man who doesn't flinch from cutting a man's arm off?"

Interestingly, in the whole convo where they are talking about gallant knights carrying favours, her thoughts echo the Hound's views almost perfectly (although perhaps with fewer swearwords :P ).

The biggest difference I can see with Sansa in regards to kissing would be her reaction.

When Dontos tries to kiss her, she turns away

When LF kisses her she turns away. Marillion tries to kiss her, she turns away.

When Sandor leaned in to kiss her (or so she thought), she didn't turn away but simply closed her eyes. She was accepting of it, even if she was thinking at the time that she couldn't fight him and just wanted it over with. Still, she didn't turn away.

I don't know if that is significant or not.

No, she is scared and uncertain, but the point where she thinks he is trying to kiss her is just after he yanks her closer and tells her he could keep her safe and with him around, nobody would ever hurt her or he'd kill them. I mean it's not a particularly happy or tender sort of situation (far from it) but what he actually says is weirdly close to "elope with me now" sort of thing. It's like he realises what he is doing when he gets his dagger out later and tries to be all ruthless and mean again (and fails eventually). I mean Sandor Clegane is not a nice, gentle, soft hearted man. He never was, and he never will be, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't serious with his offer. Plus I am getting the feeling that despite all sorts of things, he wants her to like him, and he is hurt by her rejection.

I think this situation is also the first time in her life when she is alone in a room, in a bed, with a man. (Again something she can hold over the Tyrell girls :lol: They want to snog their little squires and what not, while Sansa's first ever encounter of a man in her bed is the Hound, drunk out of his head and maybe in a less than ideal dress. )

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Well yes she is scared but......she also (like with multiple other scenes) is able to see PAST the situation and see what lies beneath....if that makes sense.

She shows this with her subsequent compassion when she sings him that song and touches his cheek.

So perhaps, later, with time, she is able to fully think back and realise the situation wasn't as "scary and dangerous" as she initially perceived. Just as she reflects on how he wasn't craven, just afraid of the fire.

I say this because she doesn't later reflect on him with fear. Her comments about wishing he was there, etc don't reflect the thoughts of someone who was still afraid. He threatened her life. By normal accounts she should be having nightmares about the man not imagining she kissed him.

To me this says she knows his behavior wasn't truly threatening to her. He was afraid (of the fire) and pretty bummed out about how it defeated him and cost him his life (KG, job, honor,etc). So she views it with a different perspective because she knows the man.

So perhaps she is reviewing the event in a different light and projecting what she wishes would have happened if she hadn't at the time been so afraid.

Maybe she is changing her entire opinion/view of him overall with maturity and reflection. Same as she is doing with many other people and events. She is finally learning to see past the surface and look beneath.

She looked beneath the surface anger and threats of the Hound and saw the defeated, frightened man Sandor beneath. This is shown in her thoughts as the chapters continue.

Or perhaps its just nothing more than the good old bad boy fantasy to reflect stirring hormones

It is easy to romanticise about someone who isn't there.

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