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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa V

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On a related note, I have often wondered if Tyrion's abhorrence of Lollys stems more from the fact that she is lackwitted rather than her looks. He needs someone who can challenge him intellectually and who he can carry on conversations with and he is not going to get that from Lollys (not that I am trying to justify the comments he makes about her, but I do wonder about that). He is also not getting the conversational challenge from Sansa either and that could be what frustrates him more than anything.

Both Sansa and Tyrion are not providing each other with what they need. Of course, the entirety of the blame for this miserable situation falls on Tyrion's shoulders. As it is, I do have to question this idea that Tyrion wants Sansa (in particular) to challenge him conversationally. Sure, I suppose that he wishes she was more open, and accomodating to him, and certainly he might appreciate a woman with more "wit" and boldness, but overall, my feelings are that Tyrion wants a pretty wife in his bed who thinks that the sun rises and sets on him - basically a Tysha 2.0. When he's with Shae and feeling guilty, he thinks:

Why should I feel guilty? My wife wants no part of me, and most especially not the part that seems to want her.

Then he goes on to think that he can't trust Sansa because she betrayed her own father. He might desire Sansa to come willingly to his bed, but he's still harbouring a lot of mistrust towards her too. Tyrion chose Sansa IMO purely on the basis of two things:

- her looks

- Winterfell

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From Rapsie:

Just a friendly reminder to everyone (myself included) that this is a re-read thread, rather than general opinions about Sansa's life in general.

We are building a picture of her chapter by chapter, so if possible can we stick to the present chapter only bringing in other comments or chapters if they are relevant. :)

Also for those new contributors, welcome to the forum. The next Sansa chapter review and analysis will be up on Thursday. If you can read it in advance it would be great. Also if you can read through the previous threads (big ask, I know) you will see how we have built up our development of the character, with some new finds in terms of foreshadowing and character assumptions.

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By Elba The Intoner:

.... I have to say that I still don't get the feeling that Tyrion thinks Sansa is stupid. He clearly doesn't know her at all and is trying to figure her out (sort of, as we see when he thinks about going to the Godswood with her). The scene at the beginning of this chapter is the first time we really see them interact since their wedding and it's clear they are so far apart and just going through the motions. Tyrion is definitely frustrated by her courtesy armor but that doesn't mean he finds her stupid. In fact, he thinks to himself that "She knows me better than I thought." This suggests to me that he doesn't consider her a lackwit, he just is having a hard time getting anything out of her at all. In the coming chapters I can give more evidence of this but I don't want to get ahead of the reading too much.

........

I also :agree: with the first part of Elba The Intoner's post

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Both Sansa and Tyrion are not providing each other with what they need. Of course, the entirety of the blame for this miserable situation falls on Tyrion's shoulders. As it is, I do have to question this idea that Tyrion wants Sansa (in particular) to challenge him conversationally. Sure, I suppose that he wishes she was more open, and accomodating to him, and certainly he might appreciate a woman with more "wit" and boldness, but overall, my feelings are that Tyrion wants a pretty wife in his bed who thinks that the sun rises and sets on him - basically a Tysha 2.0. When he's with Shae and feeling guilty, he thinks:

Then he goes on to think that he can't trust Sansa because she betrayed her own father. He might desire Sansa to come willingly to his bed, but he's still harbouring a lot of mistrust towards her too. Tyrion chose Sansa IMO purely on the basis of two things:

- her looks

- Winterfell

Oh yes, I do agree with you here. I did not mean to suggest that Tyrion's need for intellectual stimulation is one of the reasons he wanted to marry Sansa. It's very clear that he just thinks of her as a pretty little girl still. I just think it's another source of frustration for him and further proof of how far apart they are. My point with Lollys is that I don't think he would be as repulsed by her if she happened to have some brains. Maybe I should have phrased my sentence about Lollys above as whether Tyrion's abhorrence of her is due to the fact that she is lackwitted as well as her looks, instead of saying lackwitted rather than her looks.

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Oh yes, I do agree with you here. I did not mean to suggest that Tyrion's need for intellectual stimulation is one of the reasons he wanted to marry Sansa. It's very clear that he just thinks of her as a pretty little girl still. I just think it's another source of frustration for him and further proof of how far apart they are. My point with Lollys is that I don't think he would be as repulsed by her if she happened to have some brains. Maybe I should have phrased my sentence about Lollys above as whether Tyrion's abhorrence of her is due to the fact that she is lackwitted as well as her looks, instead of saying lackwitted rather than her looks.

I mean, look, Lollys is Lollys. If she wasn't lackwitted then I'm sure her overall appearance could have been greatly improved. Right now, she drools and eats a lot, especially after the rape. It's perfectly understandable why Tyrion would not consider Lollys an ideal wife, but intellectual stimulation rarely seems to cross Tyrion's mind at the best of times (when it comes to women). Let's look at this question from Sansa's perspective and why she doesn't want Tyrion. We know it's because of two main things: he's a Lannister, and she's completely turned off by his looks. Would she like Tyrion more if he was only a dwarf and not a Lannister? Perhaps (but she recognizes already that Tyrion is better than his family). Would she want him in her bed? No. And the reverse is true as well. Make him a tall, handsome man, and he's still a Lannister.

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Oh yes, I do agree with you here. I did not mean to suggest that Tyrion's need for intellectual stimulation is one of the reasons he wanted to marry Sansa. It's very clear that he just thinks of her as a pretty little girl still. I just think it's another source of frustration for him and further proof of how far apart they are. My point with Lollys is that I don't think he would be as repulsed by her if she happened to have some brains.

I think Tyrion would still have joked about feeding it to the goats, but if Lollys didn't have extreme learning difficulties (which is what I assume she has) then I think you are right, that Tyrion would have seen her as less repulsive than he does. I do think he regards Sansa as stupid though. Not in terms of learning difficulties, but in terms of seeing her as having her head in the clouds: he thinks of her as having a head full of songs and tells the singer that the last thing she needs is more songs. An airhead maybe a better description. From his chapter where he thinks about the marriage when discussing it with his father, he thinks of her as

Sansa Stark, he mused. Soft-spoken sweet-smelling Sansa, who loved silks, songs, chivalry and tall gallant knights with handsome faces.

Ironically we know at this stage that Sansa is perfectly willing to love a lame Willas, and has learned that Knights are not what they seem and desperately wants away from KL and wants to have a family and bring them up to hate Lannisters. He knows very little of her but a surface idea.

In previous chapters we have seen Cersei, Joffery and the Queen of Thorns refer to her as stupid and Tywin refer to her as tractable. All of them have not even a clue that she is planning an escape attempt, even Varys. She is watched by servants and the KG, and although they don't think of her as clever, there are so many things that could have given her away, that she manages to cover up such as her reason to Tyrion for why she won't accepted his offer to have her stay in the Tower of the Hand and let his Wildlings guard her and keeping tremendously calm and not giving anything away when Cersei talks about her treasons in the Godswood. Even the reason she gives to Tyrion for not coming to the Godswood is taken at face value.

I would imagine given the popular image of these people, that she is stupid, Tyrion would think that too. Certainly his thoughts about her see to indicate it. He doesn't think of her as a "lackwit" though, so maybe dumb and naive are better descriptions for his opinion of her.

What is clear from his chapters and from hers, is that people do not think of her as all that bright. They do not see the internal workings of her mind and most (Tywin, Tyrells etc) have not witnessed the year she had in Joffery's hands and the way she learnt to compose herself through iron self-control. The only people who vaguely saw behind her mask were Sandor Clegane and Ser Dontos.

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And Sansa did her best to convince everyone that she still fancied Joffrey after he had killed her father and that she wanted to be Joffrey's queen even after he had her beaten. It was certainly not the acting hand who was allowed to look behind her façade. Was Sansa ever truly aware of the amount of hatred between Joffrey and Tyrion? Tyrion himself was certainly not willing to tell her, this might have endangered his life, so Sansa had no reason to confide anything in Tyrion, she must have believed him loyal to his king - which he was in a way, to the institution, not to the person Joffrey. So everyone just had to get the impression that this girl is pretty shallow. Cersei certainly never doubted the fact that Sansa was infatuated by her golden perfect son, since she was so herself and, well, Cersei sees herself as reasonable. To every other outside observer Sansa's behaviour at that time must have seemed outright blind.

But we can discuss Tyrion's view on Sansa (does he take her for rather childish? Yes he does) and Sansa's view on Tyrion (is she repulsed by his looks? Yes she is) now. But it is highly unlikely that they will meet each other in the next time to come, they are a continent away from each other. And after Idontknowhowmuch time they may meet in totally different circumstances, probably both matured and ready to form new opinions.

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I think Tyrion would still have joked about feeding it to the goats, but if Lollys didn't have extreme learning difficulties (which is what I assume she has) then I think you are right, that Tyrion would have seen her as less repulsive than he does. I do think he regards Sansa as stupid though. Not in terms of learning difficulties, but in terms of seeing her as having her head in the clouds: he thinks of her as having a head full of songs and tells the singer that the last thing she needs is more songs. An airhead maybe a better description. From his chapter where he thinks about the marriage when discussing it with his father, he thinks of her as

Ironically we know at this stage that Sansa is perfectly willing to love a lame Willas, and has learned that Knights are not what they seem and desperately wants away from KL and wants to have a family and bring them up to hate Lannisters. He knows very little of her but a surface idea.

In previous chapters we have seen Cersei, Joffery and the Queen of Thorns refer to her as stupid and Tywin refer to her as tractable. All of them have not even a clue that she is planning an escape attempt, even Varys. She is watched by servants and the KG, and although they don't think of her as clever, there are so many things that could have given her away, that she manages to cover up such as her reason to Tyrion for why she won't accepted his offer to have her stay in the Tower of the Hand and let his Wildlings guard her and keeping tremendously calm and not giving anything away when Cersei talks about her treasons in the Godswood. Even the reason she gives to Tyrion for not coming to the Godswood is taken at face value.

I would imagine given the popular image of these people, that she is stupid, Tyrion would think that too. Certainly his thoughts about her see to indicate it. He doesn't think of her as a "lackwit" though, so maybe dumb and naive are better descriptions for his opinion of her.

What is clear from his chapters and from hers, is that people do not think of her as all that bright. They do not see the internal workings of her mind and most (Tywin, Tyrells etc) have not witnessed the year she had in Joffery's hands and the way she learnt to compose herself through iron self-control. The only people who vaguely saw behind her mask were Sandor Clegane and Ser Dontos.

Yes, actually an airhead is an accurate way to describe how Tyrion thinks of Sansa at this point, but to me that is different from thinking she is stupid. I know it sounds like I just contradicted myself so I'll try to explain this by saying that often times a smart person can still come off as an airhead and it is only once we get to know them better that we realize that they are not so stupid after all. One of my favorite examples of this is from Wicked, not the musical so much as the book by Gregory Maguire. Elphaba comes to see this very thing in the character of Galinda, who at first comes off as being an airheaded pretty face who is only concerned with being popular. Then when Elphaba and Galinda are forced to live with each other and they actually have conversations, a wonderful exchange takes place. Galinda makes some astute comment about something they learned that day and Elphaba exclaims "you are smart!" It's just that in this case Sansa is now so guarded that there is no way Tyrion will ever get to know her better to realize how smart she is.

So, with regard to the second part of the quote above that I highlighted, I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't think Tyrion thinks of Sansa as stupid in the same way as Cersei and Joffrey do. Being stupid is very different from being "airheaded", which is also different from being mentally disabled like Lollys. Does that make any sense at all? I said in an earlier post a while ago that it is very subtle, and I know what I am trying to say I am just having a hard time explaining it (I've been working on this post for a while and I think I have to give up for now).

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Cersei certainly never doubted the fact that Sansa was infatuated by her golden perfect son, since she was so herself and, well, Cersei sees herself as reasonable. To every other outside observer Sansa's behaviour at that time must have seemed outright blind.

Actually, hardly anyone believed Sansa's act, expecially not Cersei. She knew Sansa was pretending, and really hated Joffrey, but she was still determined to make the girl marry her son. It's one of the reasons why she is so adamant that Sansa look unhappy when the announcement is made that Joff will marry Margaery instead.

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Cersei in Tyrion's first ACOK chapter:

“The girl was wet with love. She would have done anything for Joffrey, until he cut off her father’s head and called it mercy. That put an end to that.

Cersei when Sansa gets her first period:

“Joffrey will show you no such devotion, I fear. You could thank your sister for that, if she weren’t dead. He’s never been able to forget that day on the Trident when you saw her shame him, so he shames you in turn. You’re stronger than you seem, though. I expect you’ll survive a bit of humiliation. I did. You may never love the king, but you’ll love his children.”

“I love His Grace with all my heart,” Sansa said.

The queen sighed. “You had best learn some new lies, and quickly. Lord Stannis will not like that one, I promise you.”

Sansa's final ACOK chapter

Sansa felt curiously light-headed. I am free. She could feel eyes upon her. I must not smile, she reminded herself. The queen had warned her; no matter what she felt inside, the face she showed the world must look distraught. “I will not have my son humiliated,” Cersei said. “Do you hear me?”

“Yes. But if I’m not to be queen, what will become of me?”

“That will need to be determined. For the moment, you shall remain here at court, as our ward.”

“I want to go home.”

The queen was irritated by that. “You should have learned by now, none of us get the things we want.”

Tyrion's version of discretion:

“Perhaps the dagger will please him more.”

When the dwarf grimaced, his scar tightened and twisted. “The boy’s earned himself a dagger, wouldn’t you say?” Thankfully Tyrion did not wait for her reply.

Sansa speaking to Dontos after she fled the hall during Joff's poisoning:

Her dwarf husband had hated his nephew, she knew. Could he truly have killed him?

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Then he goes on to think that he can't trust Sansa because she betrayed her own father. He might desire Sansa to come willingly to his bed, but he's still harbouring a lot of mistrust towards her too. Tyrion chose Sansa IMO purely on the basis of two things:

- her looks

- Winterfell

And the ironic fact it is that Tyrion is the one that kill his father. Instead If Sansa wouldn't have tell to the Queen about his father wouldn't change his capture. Only by doing that act, she put in danger to Arya and herself

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Relating to the prophecy of the younger queen: we see that the Tyrells have rejected Cersei because she is "too old and used" but were more than willing to marry Sansa to Willas. Could this be taken as another clue that Sansa is/will be the younger, more beautiful queen?

----

Thanks for those quotes Alexia, and I'll add one more. Cersei and Sansa during the BBB:

"I pray for Joffrey," she insisted nervously.

"Why, because he treats you so sweetly?" The queen took a flagon of sweet plum wine from a passing serving girl and filled Sansa's cup. "Drink," she commanded coldly. "Perhaps it will give you the courage to deal with truth for a change."

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@ Woman of War

Some of the views you have expressed above don't seem quite true to the text. As it is a re-read, it would be helpful if you could provide quotes to back up some of your points. For example:

So everyone just had to get the impression that this girl is pretty shallow. Cersei certainly never doubted the fact that Sansa was infatuated by her golden perfect son, since she was so herself and, well, Cersei sees herself as reasonable. To every other outside observer Sansa's behaviour at that time must have seemed outright blind.

Please see the quotes provided by Alexia and BrashCandy above. We will have later POVs from AFFC that indeed touch on people's shame at not doing more to help her. If you can provide textual evidence that "everyone just had to get the impression that this girl is pretty shallow" then please provide it.

But it is highly unlikely that they will meet each other in the next time to come, they are a continent away from each other. And after Idontknowhowmuch time they may meet in totally different circumstances, probably both matured and ready to form new opinions.

Again if you can provide foreshadowing of this or a textual hint to it, or a reference from all the analysis we have done of Sansa's character so far it would be helpful.

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Sansa is stupid to people like Cersei and the Queen of Thorns because she has shown herself to be such a poor player of the Game of Thrones. Cersei I am sure thinks about how she undermined Ned, because Ned was "honourable" and that was a weakness to be exploited, and Sansa's weakness on the honour front was so glaring she was easy to manipulate and undercut. Sansa was loyal to the throne, expecting honour in exchange for that loyalty, whereas the Lannisters play the game with a different set of rules.

The Queen of Thorns is as sharp as the thorns she's named for, and will cut you if you try to pluck her. Her sharpness makes her see things very, very quickly, and her grandaughter has that same sharpness. Sansa, though getting better, still does not have that quickness. Look at the missteps she made with Loras when he came to escort her to the Tyrell women the first time. Sansa wears her courtesy armour so well that Lady Olenna thinks she's slow, not understanding how Sansa's coping mechanism works. Lady Olenna also probably thinks that Sansa should have reached out to the Tyrells as allies against the Lannisters, being a, what, 13 year old alone without a friend in a hostile court.

Joffrey, well Joffrey's too far gone at this point to see Sansa as anyone but a toy for his amusement.

Tywin sees her as tractable, an interesting word to use. Easily managed or controlled, docile. Well, to date he has no reason to believe otherwise, and once she's told to marry Tyrion, she lives up to his image of her.

And I have more to say, but my computer is crashing - new laptop, or bloody SQL issue?

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And the ironic fact it is that Tyrion is the one that kill his father. Instead If Sansa wouldn't have tell to the Queen about his father wouldn't change his capture. Only by doing that act, she put in danger to Arya and herself

We know from one of Tyrion's chapters in ACOK that Cersei told Tyrion, Sansa had told her, her father's plans (as in all his plans) because she wasn't going to tell her brother the truth that , "Yeah, Ned found out about me and Jaime, and Jaime trying to kill Bran, and offered me mercy and a chance to escape and live in exile before he told Robert, so I had the King murdered and then with the help of LF etc destroyed the King's will, arrested Ned and then had him threatened with his daughter's life to make a false confession that he was after the throne."

This maybe why he thinks

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.

So although we know that Sansa only spoiled her and Arya's escape, Tyrion thinks she is responsible for telling everything to Cersei. This could again be construed as one of the reasons why Tyrion thinks she is stupid, or certainly why he doesn't trust her.

We know all she did was tell Cersei that her father was sending her away and she wanted to stay with Joffery, but it is thought she did more.

@ Brash

I think it was you who noted earlier, that from their wedding until Joff's there is no Sansa chapter, as if she didn't have a voice in that time. This is an interesting idea for the next chapter as it seems like she almost stopped speaking completely during that period, apart from her courtesies.

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@ Brash

I think it was you who noted earlier, that from their wedding until Joff's there is no Sansa chapter, as if she didn't have a voice in that time. This is an interesting idea for the next chapter as it seems like she almost stopped speaking completely during that period, apart from her courtesies.

Indeed. Before the Tyrion marriage, Sansa at least kept up her spirits, but that event plunged her into a depressed state of mind that might only be comparable to the time just after her father had died. As we're going to see in tomorrow's chapter, she really really resents being a Lannister.

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And Sansa did her best to convince everyone that she still fancied Joffrey after he had killed her father and that she wanted to be Joffrey's queen even after he had her beaten. It was certainly not the acting hand who was allowed to look behind her façade. Was Sansa ever truly aware of the amount of hatred between Joffrey and Tyrion? Tyrion himself was certainly not willing to tell her, this might have endangered his life, so Sansa had no reason to confide anything in Tyrion, she must have believed him loyal to his king - which he was in a way, to the institution, not to the person Joffrey. So everyone just had to get the impression that this girl is pretty shallow. Cersei certainly never doubted the fact that Sansa was infatuated by her golden perfect son, since she was so herself and, well, Cersei sees herself as reasonable. To every other outside observer Sansa's behaviour at that time must have seemed outright blind.

I think Sansa's dislike of Joffrey must have been an open secret, the kind of thing everyone knows but never acknowledges to preserve appearances. He didn't bother to hide his beatings - on the contrary, he had her stripped in the courtyard with lots of people watching and sniggering. There is no possible way anyone could have believed that she loved Joffrey after that, or that she was blind to his cruelty. People in KL were used to saying things they didn't believe or feel in order to curry favor, save their skins, etc. so they knew she was saying what she had to say to stay alive.

That she acts as they do, to preserve what safety she can, might even argue against them thinking that she was stupid, because they can see that she understands enough to play the game they're playing, at least as far as preserving the appearance she has to preserve goes. It's not shallow; it's practical.

I do not think anyone could possibly have thought that she actually loved Joffrey, and this is evidenced by the deliberately ironic comments from Tyrion ("even now?") and Cersei ("because he treats you so sweetly?") And, of course, from Sandor, who warns her that she stinks at lying.

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@ Rapsie

this is a quote from the book that you commented on:

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.

I agree with everything you said about it, but would like to add something.

To me, what Sansa did when she told Cercei about her upcoming escape from King's Landing was hardly a betrayal.

You have to look at the situation Sansa was in:

She was living in the castle of her future husband and his parents, which were her step parents. She really loved and admired Cercei and I’m sure that because she didn’t have her mother with her, she was even more willing to see Cercei as a mother figure and trust her.

Sure, she had her father with her, but he was really busy and didn’t have much time to take care of his girls. And you know how kids and teenagers always try to use their parents one against the other when they don’t get what they want. I think that’s kind of what Sansa tried to do when she informed Cercei of her father’s plans.

The gravity of the situation had never been explained to her and because she truly trusted Cercei, she really didn’t think she was betraying anyone. She never would have believed at this point, that her dear step mother could want to do any harm to her family.

And to me, this action she took surely doesn’t mean that she was stupid, it just showed that, at that point, she was still just a regular kid, trying as any kid, to manipulate her "parents" to get want she wants.

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I have run out of I likes :P .

You are right about what Cersei told to Tyrion about "Sansa betrayal" (to name as a way, even we know that it wasn´t a real betrayal).

And about Sansa being a normal teenager.

Brashcandy:

I was thinking that we didn´t have any Sansa chapter before cause GRRM didn´t wanted that we knew of Sansa escape planning before the same day of the wedding. He is the one that made the idea of Sansa "stupid" (and of many of the hate that it is against Sansa) cause he showed Sansa thru the Lanninster´s eyes.

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Brashcandy:

I was thinking that we didn´t have any Sansa chapter before cause GRRM didn´t wanted that we knew of Sansa escape planning before the same day of the wedding. He is the one that made the idea of Sansa "stupid" (and of many of the hate that it is against Sansa) cause he showed Sansa thru the Lanninster´s eyes.

Well if you remember, we already knew it was going to be the night of wedding from the Sansa chapter where she tells Dontos that she's going to Highgarden to marry Willas Tyrell. I think he wanted us to see Sansa through Tyrion's eyes during this period, and to highlight just how desolate and depressed she was. She didn't have a say in getting married to Tyrion and her not having a POV during this time compounds our appreciation of that lack of consent, along with how powerless the marriage rendered her once again. At any moment Tyrion could have demanded his "rights" and poor Sansa must have been dreading this.

Also, by giving us Tyrion's perspective, we learn that Sansa has successfully fooled him concerning her activities in the godswood; we also know that he underestimated her badly: thinking that she couldn't keep a secret etc.

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