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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa IV

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The reason I think LF would be a bad choice is because he betrayed Ned, he murdered Sansa's aunt, he means to kill sweetrobin and he's just in general, a very immoral man. He will do anything; trick, cheat and lie, to get ahead.

That's it, in a nutshell. In addition, LF is the one who betrayed the Sansa-Willas plot and thus is responsible for her marriage to Tyrion, in a way. He is also responsible for Sansa being taken hostage in the first place, by betraying Ned with the Gold Cloaks (a game changing move). He likely urged Joff to have Ned beheaded, against Sansa's pleading. He started the entire war in the first place, by murdering Jon Arryn and then blaming it on the Lannisters/Tyrion. Moreover, LF is the one who had Jeyne Poole broken by torture in a brothel and then shipped to Ramsay Snow. In addition to what LS noted above, this is more than enough for Sansa to use the strangler...

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Very interesting post, LadyoftheNorth, and you are right, posters should be open to consider every plot possibility. i had mentioned this possible turn elsewhere, Sansa does so far not show outright or even mild dislike towards Baelish although she, given her past experiences, should be aware of LFs more than fatherly intentions.

By Wouter:

Does nobody think Sansa would actually have been relieved at least somewhat that Tyrion had someone else to have sex with - would mean a better chance for her to escape the same?

It's a bit of an exaggeration to say that Tyrion thinks invariably negative about Sansa - and that he wants her is still understandable (minus the pedophile part, that is, but different times and different mores and all that). Sansa is pretty, for one, and Tyrion is well aware of that. She is not a whore, which Tyrion knows Shae is (and thus her "love" for him is only professional, as Tyrion must know deep down). She is educated. Sansa is also really charming; Tyrion more than once notes this, most notably when she is greeting people just before Joff's wedding feast started. It's not surprising that he sorta-kinda desires her, being married to her yet being separated from her by a wall as high and unyielding as the big Wall in the north. In a couple years time, he will have to go in the queue forming up of men who are very much charmed by Sansa.

agree

But of all those points you mentioned in the post above Sansa is simply not aware. She might though learn about them after she has started a relationship with LF, then break with him and turn against him.

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It would be humorous if LF arranges the Willas marriage...then a lowborn warrior with nothing to offer comes up and challenges Willas to a dual....simply because he loves her......then LF will be (in a way) looking at himself and Cat so many years ago......especially if Sansa says YES and wants the penniless lowborn soldier to win

yea ok that was too fanfic even for me.......

SO.....we just had a tyrion chapter but when was the sansa chapter???????

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ASOS - Tyrion VI

Summary

The chapter opens with Tyrion and Sansa having dinner together. It is an awkward meal, with both of them making banal comments on the state of the food:

“The pease are overcooked,” his wife ventured once.

“No matter,” he said. “So is the mutton.”

“Why? Some cook should be sorry. Not you. The pease are not your province, Sansa.”

“I… I am sorry that my lord husband is displeased.”

Tyrion’s mood has darkened since the arrival of Oberyn Martell and the ensuing conflict with the Tyrells. We learn that a fight broke out in Flea’s Bottom leaving casualties on both sides and that Lady Olenna has called Ellaria Sand “the serpent’s whore.”

In order to make Sansa feel better about the meal, Tyrion calls on Podrick to fill his plate with even more peas, but rues:

That was stupid … Now I have to eat them all, or she’ll be sorry all over again.

After the supper ends, Sansa requests leave to be able to visit the godswood, and Tyrion entertains the idea of joining her, even though he cannot understand this kind of religious faithfulness. Sansa immediately objects to this thought however, telling Tyrion that he would find it boring. He agrees with her, and thinks that she knows him better than he thought.

After Sansa leaves, Tyrion resumes work on trying to track down debts owed to the Crown, but is soon called to meet with his father. On arriving at the Hand’s solar, he sees Cersei and Joffrey, the latter bouncing up and down, and Cersei with a “smug little smile” on her face.

His father offered him a roll of parchment. Someone had flattened it, but it still wanted to curl. “Roslin caught a fine fat trout,” the message read. “Her brothers gave her a pair of wolf pelts for her wedding.”

Unable to contain himself, Joffrey announces that Robb Stark is dead. Tyrion muses to himself:

First Greyjoy and now Stark. Tyrion thought of his child wife, praying in the godswood even now. Praying to her father’s gods to bring her brother victory and keep her mother safe,no doubt. The old gods paid no more heed to prayer than the new ones, it would seem. Perhaps he should take comfort in that. “Kings are falling like leaves this autumn,” he said. “It would seem our little war is winning itself.

Cersei lets him know that it was Tywin who won that war, not the whims of fate. After this, Tywin speaks about the conditions of the other battles being fought in and around the Riverlands, stating that he will be merciful to anyone who decides to bend the knee. This will not happen at Harrenhal, however, as he plans on sending Gregor Clegane to deal with the Brave Companions residing there. Joffrey is against the talk of sparing any traitors and announces that he wants everyone’s head on a spike, particularly Robb Stark’s, which he will make Sansa kiss.

“Sire,” Ser Kevan said, in a shocked voice, “the lady is now your aunt by marriage.”

Cersei claims that Joff doesn’t mean it, but the boy is insistent that he will indeed make Sansa kiss the head.

“No.” Tyrion’s voice was hoarse. “Sansa is no longer yours to torment. Understand that monster.”

Joff returns the insult, with Tyrion upping the ante to remind him that kings are “dropping like flies.” For his part, Tywin tries to counsel Joffrey that a king must show mercy or else no one would ever bend the knee to them. Instead of letting the issue die, Joffrey hits back that Lord Tywin was a coward and that it was his father, Robert, who really won the war. Tyrion thinks:

Oh my, hasn’t this gotten interesting?

The tension ends with Tywin suggesting that Joffrey be given dreamwine to sleep, and when the boy departs he accosts Cersei for letting him believe that the boy cared nothing for his father. Cersei replies:

Why would he? Robert ignored him. He would have beat him if I’d allowed it. That brute you made me marry once hit the boy so hard he knocked out two of his baby teeth, over some mischief with a cat. I told him I’d kill him in his sleep if ever did it again, and he never did, but sometimes he would say things…”

Stating that it’s clear some things needed to be said, Tywin dismisses Cersei. Tyrion mentions that the boy is more like Aerys the third, than Robert the second, and Tywin notes that he requires a “sharp lesson.”

The following conversation between father and son reveals that Tywin has no intention of turning Gregor Clegane over to the Martells for justice, instead planning to place the blame all on the already dead Amory Lorch. Tywin has also made Roose Bolton Warden of the North and arranged a marriage alliance with Arya Stark. When Tyrion posits that Arya must be dead, Tywin basically confirms that it will all be an elaborate ruse, using another girl as Arya.

“Perhaps Littlefinger succeeded where you and Varys failed. Lord Bolton will wed the girl to his bastard son. We shall allow the Dreadfort to fight the Ironborn for a few years and see if he can bring Stark’s other bannermen to heel. Come spring, all of them should be at the end of their strength and ready to bend the knee. The north will go to your son by Sansa Stark… if you ever find enough manhood in you to breed one. Lest you forget it is not only Joffrey who must needs take a maidenhead.”

Tyrion thinks that he hadn’t forgotten, but was hoping Tywin had. He responds sarcastically:

“And when do you imagine Sansa will be at her most fertile… Before or after I tell her how we murdered her mother and her brother?”

ASOS – Tyrion VII

It is the middle of the night (before Joffrey’s wedding) and Tyrion is planning a secret rendezvous with Shae.

Tyrion dressed himself in darkness, listening to his wife’s soft breathing from the bed they shared. She dreams, he thought, when Sansa murmured something softly – a name perhaps, though it was too faint to say and turned onto her side. As man and wife they shared a marriage bed, but that was all. Even her tears she hoards to herself.

We learn that after Sansa finds out about Robb’s and her mother’s death she does not break down in front of Tyrion, but waits until she is alone to vent her grief.

Tyrion had considered going to her then, to offer what comfort he could. No, he had to remind himself, she will not look for solace from a Lannister. The most he could was to shield her from the uglier details of the Red Wedding as they came down from the Twins. Sansa did not need to hear how her brother’s body had been hacked and mutilated, he decided; nor how her mother’s corpse had been dumped naked into the Green Fork in a savage mockery of House Tully’s funeral customs. The last thing the girl needed was more fodder for her nightmares.

It was not enough, though. He had wrapped his cloak around her shoulders and sworn to protect her, but that was as cruel a jape as the crown he Freys had placed atop the head of Robb Stark’s direwolf after they’d sewn it onto his headless corpse. Sansa knew that as well. The way she looked at him, her stiffness when she climbed into their bed … when he was with her, never for an instant could he forget who he was, or what he was. No more than she did. She still went nightly to the godswood to pray, and Tyrion wondered if she was praying for his death. She had lost her home, her place in the world, and everyone she had ever loved or trusted. Winter is coming, warned the Stark words, and truly it had come for them with a vengeance. But it is high summer for House Lannister. So why am I so cold.

Tyrion and Sansa have been given new spacious apartments and he’s relieved to be out of Maegor’s Holdfast and away from Cersei. There’s also been a change in maids, with Shae and another woman named Brella looking after Sansa and their chambers. Tyrion meets Shae in a room in the castle bowels filled with dragon skulls. She teases him at first, making him catch her and then they have sex.

“My giant,” she breathed as he entered her. “My giant’s come to save me.”

When he states that they should go back before Sansa wakes, Shae advises that he should give her dreamwine, which would allow them to even have sex beside her without her waking. She is able to sense that Tyrion is concerned about something, and he confesses:

“My wife. My sister. My nephew. My father. The Tyrells.” He had to move to his other hand. “Varys. Pycelle. Littlefinger. The Red Viper of Dorne.” He had come to his last finger. “The face that stares back out of the water when I wash.”

Shae reassures him that she loves his face and kisses his scarred nose. Tyrion wants to believe her, but admonishes himself for his folly:

All the sweet innocence of the world was in her voice. Innocence? Fool, she’s a whore, all she knows of men is the bit between their legs. Fool, fool.

He recalls the conversation he had with Varys, where the eunuch told him that he wouldn’t lie if Cersei requested the truth about Shae and how she came to be appointed as one of Sansa’s maids. Varys thinks that Tyrion is a fool for risking all for this girl, and Tyrion thinks that he is right:

The risk he was taking left him tight as a drumhead, and there was guilt as well. The Others take my guilt, he thought as he slipped his tunic over his head. Why should I be guilty? My wife wanrs no part of me, and most especially not the part that seems to want her.

He considers telling Sansa about Shae, since even the honourable Ned Stark had fathered a bastard, but ultimately decides this would be foolhardy:

No, I dare not. Vows or no, his wife could not be trusted. She might be maiden between the legs, but she was hardly innocent of betrayal; she had once spilled her own father’s plans to Cersei. And girls her age were not known for keeping secrets.

He decides at the end that the only safe route would be to let Shae go; perhaps send her to Chataya’s or arrange a marriage between her and a knight who seems enamoured with her. These thoughts are fleeting though, as he admits his desire for Shae often gets in the way of making any concrete arrangements.

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Does nobody think Sansa would actually have been relieved at least somewhat that Tyrion had someone else to have sex with - would mean a better chance for her to escape the same?

Sansa knows that Tyrion has whores. He even told her in the wedding night (and Sansa told that to her Aunt Lysa).

Thanks about the Tyrell´s girls (these last days I didn´t have much time and I miss somethings).

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Analysis

These two chapters really help to cement just how ill-suited Sansa and Tyrion were as a couple, with Martin rolling out the quintessential symbol of a broken marriage: the awkward and strained conversation around the dinner table. Every day that the marriage continues heaps more misery and bitterness onto their respective lives. Both try to overcompensate for the lack of love and affection by being overly polite and courteous, but it’s a poor show regardless.

Sansa’s one hope now remains in the godswood – not in prayer as Tyrion believes, but in the secret plan to escape after Joffrey’s wedding. Still, despite using the godswood as a cover for the plot, religion remains a prominent part of Sansa’s life, as Tyrion notes that she frequents the sept as well:

He had become accustomed to his wife’s nightly devotions. She prayed at the royal sept as well, and often lit candles to Mother, Maid and Crone. Tyrion found all this piety excessive, if truth be told, but in her place he might want the help of the gods as well.

As we noted back in other books, religion has taken on an increasingly relevant purpose in Sansa’s life, and there’s no pretence about her dependence on it to provide comfort, hope and wisdom. She’s no longer the child who only turns to the Seven because she likes the pageantry of that religion, but is now open and receptive to the deeper value of both the old gods and the new. Tyrion, on the other hand, is cast in the role of Sansa’s younger self, as she tells him that he won’t like the godswood because it has no candles or songs or priests.

His essential disconnect from Sansa is also evidenced by his unemotional response to the news of the Red Wedding. Now of course I’m not arguing that Tyrion should have cried tears over the demise of Robb and Catelyn, but still, outside of his acknowledgement that the news will be distressing to Sansa (something that even Moon boy could have noted), we see very little concern about the lives of two people who’ve been callously murdered by his father, and his own investment in the murder of Sansa’s family is acknowledged when he speaks of the “we” who did the killing. Tywin may have written the letters and hatched the plot, but the culpability rests on the entire Lannister family, and Tyrion’s hopes for Winterfell and the North make him particularly blameworthy in the entire enterprise.

This chapter also touches on the depths of Joffrey’s depravity and the uneasy relationship that was developing between him and his Hand. Tywin, for all his cunning and cruelty, is still mindful about following a certain code of conduct and “honour” when it comes to granting mercy to traitors, but Joff shows glimpses of what a truly mad king he potentially would develop into when he got older. Kevan’s astonishment when he hears Joffrey’s wish for Sansa to kiss Robb’s head may suggest that he would have been a forceful guardian of Sansa had she been married to Lancel. Tyrion’s objection to Joffrey’s perverse desire also underscores Sansa’s central predicament as a Lannister bride and hostage. Tyrion may oppose Joffrey, but the dangers to Sansa being in such an environment are evident, and even though she may no longer be Joffrey’s or Cersei’s pawn, she is still Tyrion’s pawn, and the end of the chapter makes clear that eventually he would have been expected to start using her to satisfy the requirements of his father’s plots.

As we see in the two chapters, Tyrion is no longer deluding himself that Sansa wants him as a husband or lover, and he also understands why this is, and shows some sense of guilt over it. His admission that the wedding was a farce and that he cannot protect her undermines the marriage even further. Tyrion knows that he isn’t the kind of man Sansa needs or desires, not in name or stature. Instead of protecting her, he has been involved in the destruction of her family. His feeling of coldness whilst thinking that the Lannisters are enjoying a high summer foreshadows the coming events of Joffrey’s death and the murder of his father. The cold winds will soon be blowing for everyone.

I was surprised that Tyrion would accuse Sansa of having betrayed her father, and not have taken into account the girl’s distress over being sent away or his own sister’s deviousness. Either way, he completely fails to accord Sansa with any growth or maturity and this is to his detriment. The irony is evident when he talks about girls her age not being known to keep secrets as we know that Sansa has been keeping a huge secret for a very long time. Tyrion continues to lust after Sansa, but he has very little understanding of how she has developed from a child to a young lady. Admittedly, Sansa hasn’t wanted to let him get to know her, but there’s still a basic difference in personalities between the two of them that doesn’t promote sincerity and/or closeness.

We may not get a Sansa POV until the morning of Joffrey’s wedding, but Martin has still managed to communicate her depression and unhappiness, along with the irreconcilable issues in her relationship with Tyrion. Her grief over the deaths of her mother and brother is as profound as we would have expected, and her continuing visits to the godswood reveal her resolve to fight against the life the Lannisters have forced her into. These chapters depict a marriage in crisis, but also show Tyrion and Sansa in two very different lights. Tyrion’s actions continue to entrap him further, from his grudging acceptance of his father’s plans, to his inability to commit to sending Shae away. Sansa’s role as a Lannister pawn is coming to an end, and she has managed to survive the game, and in her own small way, to outplay her husband.

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I must say about the scene of LF in the shows. It is creepy in someway. It shows so good his inmorality. And how he explains the game of thrones, that sentences is one of the sentences! So good, so well done.

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Originally, I had planned on including Sansa IV into this analysis, but Rapsie and I have decided that we'll post it instead on Thursday. Sansa IV picks up directly after Tyrion VII as she wakes from her dream and prepares for the day of wedding festivities for Joffrey and Margaery. As usual, I ask all posters to concentrate on the current chapters, and to try to minimize detailed discussion of future plot points.

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Tyrion’s mood has darkened since the arrival of Oberyn Martell and the ensuing conflict with the Tyrells. We learn that a fight broke out in Flea’s Bottom leaving casualties on both sides and that Lady Olenna has called Ellaria Sand “the serpent’s whore.”

Once again, Olenna is put in an unsympathetic light. Ellaria is shown in ADWD to be one of few truly compassionate characters in the books.

After the supper ends, Sansa requests leave to be able to visit the godswood, and Tyrion entertains the idea of joining her, even though he cannot understand this kind of religious faithfulness. Sansa immediately objects to this thought however, telling Tyrion that he would find it boring. He agrees with her, and thinks that she knows him better than he thought.

This is an interesting exchange because not only does Sansa know Tyrion somewhat already, but she is using it to manipulate him, just like she did it earlier when he had her under guard of his Vale savages in the Tower of the Hand - both times she wanted to go meet Dontos without Tyrion knowing. Sansa is effectively pulling the wool over Tyrion's eyes.

Tyrion seems to have second thoughts about Robb dying, as he thinks about the impact on Sansa for the first time (or he maybe was expecting/hoping Robb to survive but be deposed/banished/taken hostage or anything like that).

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The first thing that comes to my mind (tomorrow more) is that in this chapters Tyrion shows more concern about Sansa. Despite at the end, he realizes that they are kind of enemies (so he doesn´t trust Sansa about Shae). But he tries to prevent some damages (as Joffrey, hurting details about the RW).

Even with all this, they marriage still been unhappy, pervading both, Sansa and Tyrion.

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Tyrion's utter callousness over the murder of her family was quite evident. Why o why did he ever think or hope she could want him?

He even admits that there isn't a way for her to want him as HIS family wiped hers out and yet he still deludes himself with the fantasy.

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As we noted back in other books, religion has taken on an increasingly relevant purpose in Sansa’s life, and there’s no pretence about her dependence on it to provide comfort, hope and wisdom. She’s no longer the child who only turns to the Seven because she likes the pageantry of that religion, but is now open and receptive to the deeper value of both the old gods and the new.

The deeper value of the new Gods may be pretty limited though, as I think it is likely that Tyrion is right that the new Gods are entirely made-up anyway. The trappings might still give comfort to her, of course. As for the old Gods, after Bran's chapters in ADWD we have a pretty good idea what they are and while they certainly exist they are not exactly Gods in the traditional sense (they may answer prayer though, sometimes and kind-off).

His essential disconnect from Sansa is also evidenced by his unemotional response to the news of the Red Wedding. Now of course I’m not arguing that Tyrion should have cried tears over the demise of Robb and Catelyn, but still, outside of his acknowledgement that the news will be distressing to Sansa (something that even Moon boy could have noted), we see very little concern about the lives of two people who’ve been callously murdered by his father, and his own investment in the murder of Sansa’s family is acknowledged when he speaks of the “we” who did the killing.

I disagree somewhat here. I think that when Tyrion wonders why he is feeling so cold despite it being Lannister high summer, that a consideration of Sansa's (and his own, by implication) situation and a general feeling that he has been backing the wrong horse is involved. Tyrion is at least disgusted with the treatment of the bodies, and surprised that Catelyn has also been killed.

All in all, I'm not sure we can deduct from the text that Tyrion is not emotional over what has happened. He certainly is dwelling on it, and his reaction is very different from Cersei's and even from Tywin's. No smug little smile, not even quiet satisfaction. Tyrion feels cold; he's not particularly happy at this point.

This chapter also touches on the depths of Joffrey’s depravity and the uneasy relationship that was developing between him and his Hand. Tywin, for all his cunning and cruelty, is still mindful about following a certain code of conduct and “honour” when it comes to granting mercy to traitors,

Tywin is merely practical, IMO. As he says, nobody will ever kneel to you if you never show any mercy. Every single lord in the Riverlands would have continued fighting, and judging by AFFC, Riverrun (and probably some other castles, like Seagard) would have held out until the winter. The besieging troops might ever run out of supplies before the besieged themselves, in such a case. Dividing the river lords by granting separate, merciful surrenders is the smart strategy to follow. Tywin isn't doing this because he is forgiving or honourable in any way, just clever and practical.

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Once again, Olenna is put in an unsympathetic light. Ellaria is shown in ADWD to be one of few truly compassionate characters in the books.

.

Am I alone in my theory that she murded her husband?

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Tyrion's utter callousness over the murder of her family was quite evident.

Well, as I just stated I have almost the opposite interpretation of the very same text. Weird how interpretations can differ so totally...

I think "utter callousness" is best reserved for Joffrey's reaction, and then Cersei and Tywin were smug about it as well. Tyrion did show clear feelings IMO, even if those may be belated reactions to something he could have predicted (but maybe didn't want to see as he is just as capable of self-delusion as AGOT Sansa, at times).

Scorpion knight;

I wouldn't put it past Olenna, but if so probably a la Cersei by making use of the victim's own recklessness. Or maybe it was suicide to escape her, as someone jokingly said in the books!

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The deeper value of the new Gods may be pretty limited though, as I think it is likely that Tyrion is right that the new Gods are entirely made-up anyway. The trappings might still give comfort to her, of course. As for the old Gods, after Bran's chapters in ADWD we have a pretty good idea what they are and while they certainly exist they are not exactly Gods in the traditional sense (they may answer prayer though, sometimes and kind-off).

I think the relevance of religion, particularly as it pertains to Sansa's arc, is not whether there's "true" power in the respective deities, but rather what matters is the faith and inspiration that she can gather from these sources. Regardless of what may be behind them, Sansa is able to translate her religious faith into something that protects and shields her. This is invaluable as we see when she sings the mother's song for the Hound. And despite Tyrion dismissing her excessive piety and faith, he's still very wary of it, and is constantly wondering what she's praying about.

I disagree somewhat here. I think that when Tyrion wonders why he is feeling so cold despite it being Lannister high summer, that a consideration of Sansa's (and his own, by implication) situation and a general feeling that he has been backing the wrong horse is involved. Tyrion is at least disgusted with the treatment of the bodies, and surprised that Catelyn has also been killed.

I see nothing in that quote to infer that Tyrion was thinking he was backing the wrong horse. He mentions that everything has been destroyed for the Starks, and thinks that winter had come for them with a vengeance. He knows he should feel happy, because everything is going the Lannisters' way, but still experiences that strange chill.

All in all, I'm not sure we can deduct from the text that Tyrion is not emotional over what has happened. He certainly is dwelling on it, and his reaction is very different from Cersei's and even from Tywin's. No smug little smile, not even quiet satisfaction. Tyrion feels cold; he's not particularly happy at this point.

Where does he ever show any emotion? Yes, he's disgusted by the treatment of the bodies, and doesn't see why Cat had to die, but otherwise he's much more interested in how it came about. Again, here are his words and thoughts directly following the news:

First Greyjoy and now Stark. Tyrion thought of his child wife, praying in the godswood even now. Praying to her father’s gods to bring her brother victory and keep her mother safe,no doubt. The old gods paid no more heed to prayer than the new ones, it would seem. Perhaps he should take comfort in that. “Kings are falling like leaves this autumn,” he said. “It would seem our little war is winning itself."

Tywin is merely practical, IMO. As he says, nobody will ever kneel to you if you never show any mercy. Every single lord in the Riverlands would have continued fighting, and judging by AFFC, Riverrun (and probably some other castles, like Seagard) would have held out until the winter. The besieging troops might ever run out of supplies before the besieged themselves, in such a case. Dividing the river lords by granting separate, merciful surrenders is the smart strategy to follow. Tywin isn't doing this because he is forgiving or honourable in any way, just clever and practical.

Yes, I didn't mean to suggest he was an honourable man, simply that he was practical as you said, to follow an honourable code of coduct.

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What about the sharp lesson that Tyrion was promising Joffrey?

Did he keep his promise?

I have read in another thread a crackpot theory about Tywin being to one who planned Joffey’s murder. I don’t believe it since we really have no proofs at all going this way, but I do like the idea. I’m not sure Tywin would kill a family member though.

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hmn I finished Lolita last night and got to this bit.

Personally I wish I had read this when we were discussing Sansa's chapters in ACOK (when she interacts with Sandor) though this is relevant to Sansa's interactions with Tyrion.

"Once, in a sunset ending street in Beardsley, she turned to little Eva Rosen (I was taking both nymphets to a concert and walking behind them so close as almost to touch them with my person,) she turned to Eva, and so serenely and seriously, in answer to something the the other had said about its being better to die than hear Milton Pinski, some local schoolboy she knew, talk about music, my Lolita remarked:

"You know, what's so dreadful about dying is that you are completely on your own";, and it struck me, as my automaton knees went up and down, that I simply did not know a thing about darling's mind and that quite possibly, behind the awful juvenile cliches, there was in her a garden and a twilight, and a palace gate-dim and adorable regions which happened to be lucidly and absolutely forbidden to me, in my polluted rags and miserable convulsions; for I often noticed that living as we did, she and I, in a world of total evil, we would become strangely embarrassed whenever I tried to discuss something she and an older friend, she and a parent, she and a real healthy sweatheart, I and Annabel, Lolita and a sublime, purified, analyzed, deified Harold Haze, might have discussed-an abstract idea, a paintaining, stippled Hopkins or shorn Baudelaire, God or Shakespeare, anything of a genuine kind.

She would mail her vulnerability in trite brashness and boredom, whereas I, using my desperately detached comments an artificial tone of voice that set my own teeth on edge, provoked my audience to such outburts of rudeness as made any further conversation impossible, oh my poor, bruised child.

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The deeper value of the new Gods may be pretty limited though, as I think it is likely that Tyrion is right that the new Gods are entirely made-up anyway. The trappings might still give comfort to her, of course. As for the old Gods, after Bran's chapters in ADWD we have a pretty good idea what they are and while they certainly exist they are not exactly Gods in the traditional sense (they may answer prayer though, sometimes and kind-off).

The value of religion is not whether God/Gods are real.

It's value of religion is the effect it has on your character. Even the religion of the Old Gods, though it has few teachings, seems to impart some empathy, I am sure that when Ned and Co meditate before the Old Gods, they probably end up thinking about how their actions affect other people/empathise.

In this respect, the Seven do have a lot of value, since the religion has moral teachings and guidelines.

Which is pretty important for a society to function.

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Am I alone in my theory that she murded her husband?

Olenna did say she loved him, and what would she gain by having him killed? She is particularly enthusiastic about her son, Mace, whom she calls an oaf and a puff fish.

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