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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa V

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Am I the only one that when hear something about Amethyst of Assai, or anything of Assai thinks of poison?

I won´t talk about Medusa as Sansa until we reach that chapter. But something relevant is the resemblance about how The Gorgone died and The Mirror Shield Knigth that is so many times mentioned on the books.

Not at all relevant: my favorite Medusa is the one of Marvel.

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This is a really long chapter! With so many important things and I must say that again you are doing it: you are taking really good points.

I will try to get in some of the points, but I feel kind of lost cause I am really busy this days and I´mnot able to follow as I wish.

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I can see the resemblance, only I think Littlefinger assumes the role of Neptune and Lysa the role of Minerva. Neptune is portrayed holding a trident while Littlfinger is made Lord Paramount of the Trident. Minerva changed Medusa's locks into snakes out of jealousy and the incident at the temple, whereas Lysa had Sansa's auburn hair dyed a dark brown and tried to kill her due to jealousy for the Petyr's move on Sansa in the godswood, a place of supposed sanctity.

:) Perfect.

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I hope that Sansa doesn't get greyscale and turn others to stone, or be decapitated by anyone... :bawl:

I know! But those allusions to Medusa and co. are pretty provocative :) and we do have those greyscale/grey plague mentions in AGOT. Also, LF's grandfather's sigil is the stone head of the Titan of Braavos, so perhaps it could be alluding to this. She might have to take down LF, thereby "beheading" the stone/savage giant. Also, there's headless Robert Strong and Tyrion to consider, along with her fear of Ilyn Payne who's in the business of chopping off heads.

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ASOS – Sansa V

Summary

Bells are tolling across the city.

Sansa felt as though she were in a dream. "Joffrey is dead," she told the trees, to see if that would wake her.

She reflects that he was not dead when she left, but was kneel and clawing at his throat. The sight made her flee from the room. She bumps into a similarly fleeing Lady Tanda who tells her,

"You have a good heart, my lady," she said to Sansa. "Not every maid would weep so for a man who set her aside and wed her to a dwarf."

Sansa feels hysterical at her words and tries to choke down laughter. The bells continue ringing as they had for Robert. She thinks about Joffery being dead. Then reflects

Why was she crying, when she wanted to dance? Were they tears of joy?

She begins to change her clothes to the clothes she had hidden the night before last but finds it slow going without her maids. Her hands are a bit clumsy, though she thinks she is not as frightened as she should be. She reflects that the gods were cruel to take the handsome king at his wedding, but Sansa thinks “The gods are just” and remembers that Robb died at a wedding too. She thinks it is Robb and Margaery she is crying for. She feels sorry for Margaery, being two times a widow.

She finally removes her dress and retrieves the clothes she has hidden in the bole of an oak and begins to put them on. She remembers Ser Dontos’s instructions that she must “Dress warmly”and dress dark”. She has no black dresses so has a brown woolen dress with pearls on it that she hides beneath a dark green cloak and has simple sturdy brown shoes.

The gods heard my prayer, she thought. She felt so numb and dreamy. My skin has turned to porcelain, to ivory, to steel.

She goes to remove the net from her hair and finds it difficult and for a moment and wished Shae was there to help her, but eventually pulls the net free and lets down her hair. She looks at her hairnet in the moonlight and then realizes one of the amethysts is missing. She looks closely at it and sees the empty space has a dark smudge in it.

A sudden terror filled her. Her heart hammered against her ribs, and for an instant she held her breath. Why am I so scared, it's only an amethyst, a black amethyst from Asshai, no more than that. It must have been loose in the setting, that's all. It was loose and it fell out, and now it's lying somewhere in the throne room, or in the yard, unless .

She remembers that Ser Dontos said the hairnet was magic and it would take her home, but that she had to wear it to the wedding feast. She rubs her hands over the missing stone casing, unable to leave it alone as the hairnet stretches over her fingers. She wonders “What kind of magic” and then thinks that the cruel king, who had once been her prince “a thousand year ago” was dead.

She is then fearful that Ser Dontos lied to her about the hairnet and therefore lied about the escape. She wonders what would happen if he never comes, or there is no boat, no escape…”What would happen to her then?”

There is a rustling of leaves and she cries out to see who is there. Ser Dontos appears and tells her that her Florian has come. He is drunk and is using her arm to stand straight. Sansa wrenches away and demands to know what type of stones are in the hairnet. Ser Dontos says they were black amethysts and Sansa accuses him of lying and when he says there was magic in them, she responds that “There was murder in them.” Ser Dontos begins to chortle and says Joff choked on his pie and talks about silver and stones and magic.

Sansa continues

The bells were tolling, and the wind was making a noise like he had made as he tried to suck a breath of air. "You poisoned him. You did. You took a stone from my hair..."

Ser Dontos tells her to hush and that they must go as people are searching for her and Tyrion has been arrested. This shocks Sansa, and Ser Dontos informs her that the Queen thinks he poisoned Joff. Sansa wonders if she wished Joff dead and thinks about the grumkins who create magical items that make wishes come true and then reflects she’s too old to believe in them.

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She reflects that Tyrion hated his nephew, but wonders how he knew about her hairnet. She thinks, Tyrion brought Joff wine and then wonders how you can make someone choke by putting a stone in their wine. Then she starts to worry that

If Tyrion did it, they will think I was part of it as well, she realized with a start of fear. How not? They were man and wife, and Joff had killed her father and mocked her with her brother's death. One flesh, one heart, one soul.

Ser Dontos tells her they must go and she hides her face with her hood. She keeps her head down and they move through the castle sticking to the shadows. They stop momentarily on the serpentine steps for Ser Dontos to vomit and Sansa thinks “My poor Florian”. She then notices that despite telling her to dress darkly, under his brown cloak he is wearing his old surcoat with the colours of House Hollard which are quite bright.

"Why are you wearing your surcoat? Joff decreed it was death if you were caught dressed as a knight again, he ... oh..." Nothing Joff had decreed mattered any longer.

"I wanted to be a knight. For this, at least."

They cross a small courtyard and enter a long gallery where Ser Dontos has to light a taper so they can see. There are several rows of armour there.

Along the walls stood empty suits of armor, dark and dusty, their helms crested with rows of scales that continued down their backs. As they hurried past, the taper's light made the shadows of each scale stretch and twist. The hollow knights are turning into dragons, she thought.

They finally emerge outside the RK on a cliff face and Ser Dontos tells her they must climb down. Sansa is worried she’ll fall as Bran had done. Ser Dontos explains that there is a stone ladder and shows her were it is. She reflects that is still a long way down and asks if there is another way. Ser Dontos tells her it is the way and it will be okay for a strong young girl like her to make the climb. He then says he is the one who should be afraid and asks her if she remembers how he used to fall off his horse and how Joff wanted his head, but that Sansa saved him.

He's weeping, she realized. "And now you have saved me." "Only if you go. If not, I have killed us both."

It was him, she thought. He killed Joffrey. She had to go, for him as much as for herself. "You go first, ser." If he did fall, she did not want him falling down on her head and knocking both of them off the cliff.

She promises to follow after him and after a count of ten Sansa eases herself over the cliff.

The castle walls loomed large above her, and for a moment she wanted nothing so much as to pull herself up and run back to her warm rooms in the Kitchen Keep. Be brave, she told herself. Be brave, like a lady in a song.

Sansa dared not look down. She kept her eyes on the face of the cliff, making certain of each step before reaching for the next.

Despite her fear and occasional slips she continues down the steps. She keeps telling herself to take “one more step”, reflecting that if she stops she will be found there still clinging in fear in the morning. She doesn’t realize when she reaches the bottom and falls on to her back.

When she rolled onto her back and stared up at from where she had come, her head swam dizzily and her fingers clawed at the dirt. I did it. I did it, I didn't fall, I made the climb and now I'm going home.

Ser Dontos tells her to be quiet and they make their way along the beach. Close by they find a man in a half hidden skiff and they quickly get in the boat. They begin to row out into the bay past the wreckage of the BBW.

She asks how far they must go and is told to be silent as sound travels over water. Ser Dontos begins to tell her but the oarsman again tells Ser Fool to be quiet. It is nearly dawn when they see a small trading galley. When they reach it a rope ladder is thrown over the side, the oarsman helps Sansa up to the ladder.

Sansa thanked him for his kindness, but received no answer but a grunt.

She trembles on deck and hears someone say she’s cold and put their cloak round her shoulders and ask her if that is better and tells her the worst part is over. She knows it is Lord Petyr’s voice but thinks, “he’s in the Vale”. Luthor Brune is beside him. Ser Dontos calls up from the boat that he needs to be off before he is noticed as missing and LF says he’ll want his payment of 10,000 dragons. He says yes and archers come forward and shoot him three times. Lothor Brune then chucks a lit torch on the boat and it and Ser Dontos begin to burn.

"You killed him." Clutching the rail, Sansa turned away and retched. Had she escaped the Lannisters to tumble into worse?

Sansa says he saved her, but LF says he sold her for a promise of money. He then tells her that her disappearance will make her a suspect in Joff’s death and Lord Varys and the Gold Cloaks will be hunting for her. He then tells her that Ser Dontos had been working for him all along and how he knew after she had saved him that he would be the perfect catspaw.

Sansa feels sick at this news. LF asks her if she remembers what he said to her the day her father sat on the Iron Throne.

The moment came back to her vividly. "You told me that life was not a song. That I would learn that one day, to my sorrow." She felt tears in her eyes, but whether she wept for Ser Dontos Hollard, for Joff, for Tyrion, or for herself, Sansa could not say. "Is it all lies, forever and ever, everyone and everything?" "Almost everyone. Save you and I, of course."

He then mentions the note about the Godswood and tells her that it had to be the Godswood as it is the only place in the RK where Varys can’t spy on people. He then says she has had a long and trying day and escorts her to her cabin.

Already the little boat was no more than a swirl of smoke and fire behind them, almost lost in the immensity of the dawn sea. There was no going back; her only road was forward. "Very weary," she admitted.

LF talks about the feast and asks her if Tyrion enjoyed his dwarves. Sansa queries this and LF tells her he had to get them from Braavos and hide them in a brothel until the wedding. He says it was an expense, only exceeded by the bother as it was difficult to hide them and Joff only agreed to have them when LF pointed out how much Tyrion would hate them.

The deck rocked beneath her feet, and Sansa felt as if the world itself had grown unsteady. "They think Tyrion poisoned Joffrey. Ser Dontos said they seized him." Littlefinger smiled. "Widowhood will become you, Sansa." The thought made her tummy flutter. She might never need to share a bed with Tyrion again. That was what she'd wanted ... wasn't it?

LF shows her her cabin saying it is a little snug but points out

a cedar chest under the porthole. "You'll find fresh garb within. Dresses, smallclothes, warm stockings, a cloak. Wool and linen only, I fear. Unworthy of a maid so beautiful, but they'll serve to keep you dry and clean until we can find you something finer." He had this all prepared for me.

She questions LF, saying that Joff gave him Harrenhal and made him Lord Paramount of the Trident, why would he betray him. LF says he had no motive to kill Joff and is a thousand leagues away in the Vale as far as anyone is concerned.

Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.""What ... what game?" "The only game. The game of thrones."

LF then tells her that she is old enough to know the truth about him and her mother. He tells her

There was a time when Cat was all I wanted in this world. I dared to dream of the life we might make and the children she would give me ... but she was a daughter of Riverrun, and Hoster Tully. Family, Duty, Honor, Sansa. Family, Duty, Honor meant I could never have her hand. But she gave me something finer, a gift a woman can give but once.

He then says in a better world she may have been his daughter and to put Joff, Dontos and Tyrion from her mind as they will never trouble you again.

You are safe now,that's all that matters. You are safe with me, and sailing home."

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Analysis

This is a pivotal chapter for Sansa and the culmination of nearly a year waiting for the escape plan to happen. If we reflect on her behaviour on the day of the wedding, and remember that she had been waiting for the day for a year, it explains how nervous she was. She was finally going to be free of the Lannisters and her “torment”. This chapter therefore is very much a mix of emotions. The horror of Joff’s death and her lack of knowledge about the future or where she thinks Ser Dontos is taking her and the secrecy of it all cause a variety of responses. Overall she manages to handle the situation well. We see how she has prepared for her escape and despite being criticized in posts for liking dresses etc, she shows is more than happy to leave her finery behind in order to escape. We also see her growing awareness and heightened level of suspicion with the hairnet. She is very quick to discern something is amiss. Her escape through the RK is a fraught one and echoes the night she first went armed to the Godswood. We see her yet again discover that people, such as Ser Dontos are not all they seem and she finally begins to get her first lessons in the game of thrones.

One of the first things is this chapter is her conversation with Lady Tanda. We never truly get to see how the “court” view Sansa, especially those who have seen her treatment from when her father dies onwards. We know from her previous chapters that she has been shunned and with the brief exception of a couple of weeks with the Tyrells, the only people who have spoken to her willingly seem to be Ser Dontos and Sandor Clegane. So Lady Tanda’s statement says a lot about the possible true feelings of some of the court.

"You have a good heart, my lady," she said to Sansa. "Not every maid would weep so for a man who set her aside and wed her to a dwarf."

I think this statement would suggest a very sympathetic view from the court under different circumstances.

That she feels like laughing, and then ends up crying is a very understandable response. She has kept all her feelings pent up inside and the joy of her escape is also compounded with the death of someone she hated. That she still thinks fondly and sympathetically for Margaery again highlights what a nice character she is. Her tears for Robb also reflect the fact that she has been unable to grieve fully or openly and had no one to comfort her when she has lost her entire family (as far as she is aware).

Like her sympathy for Marg at a time when she could have been thinking only of herself, her common courtesy to Oswell exemplifies her nature and one of her best traits: never forgetting her courtesy to others.

Sansa thanked him for his kindness, but received no answer but a grunt.

In terms of her escape, while it isn’t as risky as some of the other characters’ actions, Sansa having to smuggle clothing to the Godswood again highlights that she did actually have to participate in her escape and hiding clothing actually carried a risk: if caught she would have to explain it and there may have been questions asked, or she may have been watched more closely. She had to get the clothing without her maids seeing, which would have been tricky as their rooms were beside Sansa’s and they could flit in and out.

Sansa’s love of songs also play an undercurrent in this chapter. She values the ideals of songs and Sansa herself seems to inspire others to those ideas themselves. We see Ser Dontos wanting to be a knight for the rescue and to an extent Sandor Clegane has been inspired by her songs as well, as much as he derided them. When she climbs down the stone staircase she thinks she must be

Be brave, she told herself. Be brave, like a lady in a song.
. Rather than a naïve thing to hold on too, I think her wish to be like a “a lady in a song” is again a good part of her character. She is being inspired to be brave and those songs give her strength. She may realize she is too old to believe in Grumpkins, but she has not yet lost her idealism about courtly behaviour. Also ironically if she ever does become the Younger Queen, her escape from the RK may indeed make her the brave lady of a song in the future.

We also get the first glimpse of Sansa benefitting from the fall of another and her reaction to it:

"Widowhood will become you, Sansa." The thought made her tummy flutter. She might never need to share a bed with Tyrion again. That was what she'd wanted ... wasn't it?

Again I think this really highlights the level of awfulness of Sansa’s marriage. When she hears Tyrion is going to be killed and she will become a widow, the first thing she feels is her tummy flutter, which seems to be a good thing, but she then feels a pang of conscience about an innocent man being killed. I think this highlights that while Sansa wants out of the marriage, she doesn’t want Tyrion to necessarily be killed. Although she doesn’t seem too cut up about it either. Of course there is still the possibility of annulment.

Sansa saw the embattled ramparts of one of the Imp's winch towers looming above, but the great chain had been lowered, and they rowed unimpeded past the spot where a thousand men had burned.

I wonder in any way if this is symbolic of the end of Sansa’s marriage: she had been chained to the Imp, but now the chain has been lowered and she is moving on past it? It maybe a stretch but there could be some reference in the following line to her getting free from her marriage in an easier way such as annulment. Although this maybe reading too much into the text.

We also see LF’s start to teach Sansa how to play the “game”, LF says

Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next.
Sansa is already quite skilled at this, without knowing she is. While not a player, she has already developed an essential skill and unwittingly used it to her benefit in her escape plans.

She may have developed this skill as a basic survival mechanism, but it has worked. For example Sansa never dropped her courtesy armour with Tyrion and therefore was able to make sure that Tyrion didn’t get to know her and therefore suspect her true intentions. She did in fact keep him confused as we see at the feast when he thinks she wishes to be in Marg’s place and then later when he can’t think where Sansa would have got poison from. People underestimate her intelligence.

We also see LF begin to give her useful pieces of advice should she ever return to KL.

No other place in the Red Keep is safe from the eunuch's little birds ... or little rats, as I call them.
This is very useful information if she wants to hide anything from Varys. Also due to her previous visits and well known religiosity, no one would find it suspicious for her to go there.

There was also some possible foreshadowing during her escape.

The hollow knights are turning into dragons, she thought.

Eddard Stark goes past these same statues in AGOT and thinks of them as

relics of the Targaryens, black steel with dragon scales cresting their helms, now dusty and forgotten.

Ned thinks of them as dusty and forgotten and indeed the Lannisters have forgotten the threat of the Targaryens. Sansa sees them almost coming to life before her: a sign that the dragons are going to return. Indeed the reference to “hollow knights” could also be foreshadowing of those who are going over to the Targaryen side such as Barristan Selmy, who LF described as a naked Knight. Also it could represent a threat that was always seen, but thought to be empty. Like the armour, the Targs and Targ supporters are hidden away, but they are still there and as of ADWD we have Dany being talked about and (F)Aegon on the scene.

Also the reference to black steel echoes both Jon and Dany’s dreams about being armoured in black. We may see this armour again.

We also see more hints that she might be a future younger Queen.

There was no going back; her only road was forward. "Very weary," she admitted.

So far in the re-read, we have seen a potential parallel between Sansa and Cersei being set-up, however these words here seem to parallel Dany, and her view that if I look back I am lost. With her father’s and brother’s murder and forced marriage at an even earlier age, Sansa has also now got a slight parallel to Dany as well. Again if they ever meet, I wonder if they will be allies as Sansa will be empathetic to what Dany has been through. Certainly both girls have a desire for home and safety: Dany and the house with the red door, and Sansa and Winterfell.

Okay a little bit of a crackpot theory coming up:

a cedar chest under the porthole. "You'll find fresh garb within. Dresses, smallclothes, warm stockings, a cloak. Wool and linen only, I fear. Unworthy of a maid so beautiful, but they'll serve to keep you dry and clean until we can find you something finer." He had this all prepared for me.

We know from the chapter where Sansa has her dress made that she has grown considerably in the last year, so this begs the question how LF found clothes that would fit her exactly or if these clothes are some of her own or if they were an approximate fit. Anyway pondering this, we know Shae was more than just Sansa’s maid, but what about her other maid Brella. She is suggested to Tyrion by Varys, but that does not mean that she is not in the employ of LF, in the same way the Kettlebacks are.

At some point Sansa may have to be cleared of killing Joff. The only evidence against her, was her disappearance and Shae. Now Shae is dead and the fact that she was with Tywin and also killed by the Imp, may become common knowledge if Cersei loses power and either the Tyrells or Aegon take over. This could throw a lot of suspicion on her testimony. The other maid however didn’t testify. She is mentioned by Brienne three different times in AFFC.

Brienne had hunted down a certain Brella, who had been one of Sansa’s maids. The woman told her that there was little warmth between Sansa and the dwarf. Perhaps she had been fleeing him as well as Joffrey’s murder.
The woman Brella had told her how Joffrey had stripped Ser Dontos of his spurs, how Lady Sansa begged Joffrey for his life. He helped her flee, Brienne had decided, when she heard the tale. Find Ser Dontos, and I will find Sansa. She should have known there would be others who would see it too.
In King’s Landing, Brienne had found one of Sansa’s former maids doing washing in a brothel. “I served with Lord Renly before m’lady Sansa and both turned traitor,” the woman Brella complained bitterly. “No lord will touch me now so I have to wash for whores.” But when Brienne asked about Sansa, she said, “I’ll tell you what I told Lord Tywin. That girl was always praying. She’d go to the sept and light her candles like a proper lady, but near every night she went off to the Godswood. She’s gone back north, she has. That’s where her gods are.”

So like I said this maybe crackpot. but Brella is washing in a brothel. LF owns brothels and I find it odd that Brella couldn’t even get a job with some rich merchant family. It seems a bit of a leap from lady’s maid to brothel clothes washer. Also what Brella tells Brienne gives us some clue as to how others may also be viewing Sansa’s disappearance: that she may have been fleeing Tyrion (which she was). Brienne reflects that Ser Dontos must have helped her flee and that others will work out the same thing. While the story may not have been circulated too widely while Joff and Tywin lived, it seems like the stories of Sansa’s bravery in the face of Joff’s cruelty are becoming common knowledge. This reminds me of what LF did with the Tyrells and the stories of Joffrey, but in the opposite way. If Brella is an LF spy, are she and others helping to spread stories about Sansa in a positive light, that will have the majority of the court’s sympathy on her side should she reappear in KL. This is vast speculation, the fact she is mentioned three times in AFFC seems to suggest she maybe important in future. Could Brella be used as a witness in a trial to clear Sansa of murder if she returns to KL?

Also in favour of her being an LF spy is what she what told Lord Tywin, about looking in the North to find her, when Sansa is actually in the Vale. Has she been told to say that?

Also on a side note, the mention of a cloak in the chest reminds me of the Sandor Clegane’s cloak that she hid under her summer silks. What happened to it?

One last query with the chapter was the following line:

I could never abide the weeping of women, Joff once said, but his mother was the only woman weeping now.

What’s interesting about this phrase is that we only ever saw Joff say that exact phrase in front of Sandor and Tyrion. How and when did Sansa hear him say it? Is this a slip on GRRM’s part?

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What’s interesting about this phrase is that we only ever saw Joff say that exact phrase in front of Sandor and Tyrion. How and when did Sansa hear him say it? Is this a slip on GRRM’s part?

Evidence that Sansa was warging back then perhaps? Tyrion hears a wolf howling just before he came outside and overheard Joff make that remark.

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Primarily, this chapter always reminds me of/intensifies my concern that Sansa is doing her "selective and revisionist memory" thing again with regard to LF. The concept of Stockholm Syndrome gets tossed around on the forum a lot, usually in connection with Theon, or Dany's feelings for Drogo. But I get the strongest sense of it in Sansa's attitude toward LF.

I don't want to jump ahead and start discussing the signs she shows of SS in future chapters, so I will stick to noting my observations of all the huge, flashing warning signs she should have kept first and foremost in her mind in this chapter.

The most major one, of course, is that Sansa was able to realize that she could easily be suspected as Tyrion's accomplice, so LF should have been able to figure that out too. Either he is not as clever as he thought himself and did not see that coming, or he DID see it coming and went forward anyway with a plan that would put Sansa in far more mortal peril than she'd been in as Tyrion's wife/a Lannister captive. Neither is very comforting.

Then there is the fact that he has been carrying out this plan/ruse for a year, with no suspicion or notice. The fact that he coldly used Dontos as an accomplice, then just as coldly murdered him. The clothing in her cabin that was apparently made for her. His ease in obtaining and passing on such a clever murder weapon. His secret plotting with the Tyrells. And (IMO) most chillingly, the idea that he murdered his king for no particular reason whatsoever. He excuses it with some lofty blather about keeping your enemies confused, but in the end what it really amounts to is an astounding betrayal of a House that has been very good to him. We may hate the Lannisters, but certainly LF had absolutely no cause to - it was their patronage of him that allowed him the status to carry out all his other plans.

All of this, unfortunately, seems to sort of slide right past Sansa. I am sure at the time she was simply too exhausted to puzzle it all out, but it disturbs me in the chapters to come, how she seems to have pretty much forgotten all of it, except the fact that he misled her about taking her "home." Given Sansa's progressively growing perceptiveness, one would think she might have realized that going to Winterfell would be insane for a number of reasons, but she apparently got to the idea of returning there and went no farther with her thought process. I think this indicates that, far as she's come, she is still very unworldly and has a hard time thinking in abstract, predictive terms. Someone says they will take her home, she automatically assumes that means Winterfell, although she knows none of her family is left there and it is the first place the Lannisters would look for her.

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Wonderful analysis, Rapsie! I love your crackpot on the maid, Brella, and the foreshadowing with the Targaryen armor was spot on. I wonder if "hollow knights" could also be a hint that that Aegon is a fake Targ?

Anyways, one thing that creeped me out in the chapter was how quickly LF begins invading Sansa's personal space, and it's a bit TMI to tell a young girl that her mother gave you her virginity. Grade A pervert.

Anyways, he's good for one thing, and that's teaching the game! You're so right when you said that his first lesson was something that Sansa had been doing naturally, and it's exciting to see someone at least valuing her as worthy to be taught and not assuming that she doesn't have anything between her ears.

More to say later...

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@LadyoftheNorth

I see your point here, but we have to remember that LF counterbalances his disloyalty to House Lannister by telling Sansa of his original loyalty to her mother, strengthened by his claim that Cat gave him her virginity. And honestly at this point, if I had been in Sansa's shoes, I wouldn't be questioning his motives just yet either. The relief of finally being away from my captors would be too great, as I suspect the case is with her here. He's also tried to paint Dontos as a callous mercenary who just sold her for gold, and she does resist this characterization of the man, but again, she's on shaky ground, having no one else to feed her information and trying to process all these new developments. It will be interesting to explore this debate in the coming chapters though :)

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The most major one, of course, is that Sansa was able to realize that she could easily be suspected as Tyrion's accomplice, so LF should have been able to figure that out too. Either he is not as clever as he thought himself and did not see that coming, or he DID see it coming and went forward anyway with a plan that would put Sansa in far more mortal peril than she'd been in as Tyrion's wife/a Lannister captive. Neither is very comforting.

I'm absolutely certain he did see it coming that Sansa might be seen as an accomplice. After all, I doubt he means for Cersei, the Tyrells et al to sit the Iron Throne for a long time, (or at least Cersei he seems to assume will self-implode,) which means he assumes Sansa will be seen in a more favourable light by whatever faction comes after the Lannister heavy one. I'm sure LF is not in the dark about Dany moving in, or that the Tyrells and the Dornish aren't exactly fast friends.

Then there is the fact that he has been carrying out this plan/ruse for a year, with no suspicion or notice. The fact that he coldly used Dontos as an accomplice, then just as coldly murdered him. The clothing in her cabin that was apparently made for her. His ease in obtaining and passing on such a clever murder weapon. His secret plotting with the Tyrells. And (IMO) most chillingly, the idea that he murdered his king for no particular reason whatsoever. He excuses it with some lofty blather about keeping your enemies confused, but in the end what it really amounts to is an astounding betrayal of a House that has been very good to him. We may hate the Lannisters, but certainly LF had absolutely no cause to - it was their patronage of him that allowed him the status to carry out all his other plans.

I agree, it emphasises even stronger that LF is only in it for himself, he has no loyalty to anyone. Or, his loyalty is what suits him at the moment. That's why I am convinced he is pro slowly poisoning sweetrobin even if he suspects sweetrobin is his real son. He's just that ruthless. LF is a man without morals. His lofty blather seems to be meant here to deflect Sansa and to try and make playing the Game of Thrones more as a game and less like murderous intrigue.

However, I don't think he had no reasons to murder Joffrey. Not that he minded Joffrey as such, but that it was a means to an end to create confusion and more importantly, to frame Tyrion for kinslaying. Not how he moves to tell Tywin about the Tyrell plot to marry Sansa to Willas? Instead LF indirectly forces Sansa into a shot-gun Lannister wedding, and he then coldly proceeds to plan on how to off Sansa's husband. With no care or concern for how Sansa feels about it, either. Tyrion didn't force himself on Sansa in bed, but how could LF know that? To achieve his goal, he was perfectly fine with his little dreamgirl being subjected to marital rape. So yes, LF is scum. Clever and manipulative, but scum all the same.

Regarding LF's murder of Dontos, we see LF using a tactic he often does. Tell something that is close to the truth, or give someone most of the information but not all, and it will be near enough that people will believe it. After all, Sansa can't know for certain Dontos isn't asunreliable as LF says.

All of this, unfortunately, seems to sort of slide right past Sansa. I am sure at the time she was simply too exhausted to puzzle it all out, but it disturbs me in the chapters to come, how she seems to have pretty much forgotten all of it, except the fact that he misled her about taking her "home." Given Sansa's progressively growing perceptiveness, one would think she might have realized that going to Winterfell would be insane for a number of reasons, but she apparently got to the idea of returning there and went no farther with her thought process. I think this indicates that, far as she's come, she is still very unworldly and has a hard time thinking in abstract, predictive terms. Someone says they will take her home, she automatically assumes that means Winterfell, although she knows none of her family is left there and it is the first place the Lannisters would look for her.

From this chapter, I think Sansa is more focused on "I want to get the hell out of here" than anything else. Her first goal is to be free of Kings Landing and of the Lannisters, and she manages this thanks to LF. It's only natural she'll feel gratitude towards him since she has no idea about the bigger picture, she doesn't know he betrayed Ned, or that he's constantly trying to frame Tyrion etc etc. That said, she's still a bit suspicious of him, and she never completely lets down her guard around him, which I think shows she's learnt her lesson on not trusting anyone and to expect people to tell lies.

I agree with you though that she does have a hard time thinking in abstract, predictive terms, but she still doesn't have the entire picture clear in her head, and she hasn't really been challenged before to think on the realm, the powerful families and the lords in that way.

Also on a side note, the mention of a cloak in the chest reminds me of the Sandor Clegane’s cloak that she hid under her summer silks. What happened to it?

Last time we hear about it is when it's in her chest of summer silks, which I assume would have been moved with her other things to hers and Tyrion's apartments. Cersei sets fire to the Tower of the Hand in AFFC though and it's mentioned that all the wordly belongings of Tyrion Lannister went up in flames. My crackpot theory is that LF is asking Cersei to send him some tapestries, and hidden within those tapestries are Sansa's clothes and stuff. Both Cersei and LF mention the tapestries separately too. LF also apologises in this chapter for not having any nice clothes for Sansa, and we know in the Eyrie she sometimes wears her aunt's stuff, and we know LF likes to "pamper" her a bit to make her feel grateful to him, the slimy creep.

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@ Lanna Stark and Lady of the North

LF tells her she will be a suspect because of her disappearance.

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Evidence that Sansa was warging back then perhaps? Tyrion hears a wolf howling just before he came outside and overheard Joff make that remark.

Perhaps Sansa cried after one of the beatings and Joffrey told her that he hated weeping woman.

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Be brave, she told herself. Be brave, like a lady in a song.

Sansa’s love of songs also play an undercurrent in this chapter. She values the ideals of songs and Sansa herself seems to inspire others to those ideas themselves. We see Ser Dontos wanting to be a knight for the rescue and to an extent Sandor Clegane has been inspired by her songs as well, as much as he derided them. When she climbs down the stone staircase she thinks she must be . Rather than a naïve thing to hold on too, I think her wish to be like a “a lady in a song” is again a good part of her character. She is being inspired to be brave and those songs give her strength. She may realize she is too old to believe in Grumpkins, but she has not yet lost her idealism about courtly behaviour. Also ironically if she ever does become the Younger Queen, her escape from the RK may indeed make her the brave lady of a song in the future.

Ah, there's that line! Be brave like a lady in a song. Very true, and I agree with your observations! And yes, maybe one day she'll have her own song.

There was also some possible foreshadowing during her escape.

The hollow knights are turning into dragons, she thought.

Eddard Stark goes past these same statues in AGOT and thinks of them as relics of the Targaryens, black steel with dragon scales cresting their helms, now dusty and forgotten.

Ned thinks of them as dusty and forgotten and indeed the Lannisters have forgotten the threat of the Targaryens. Sansa sees them almost coming to life before her: a sign that the dragons are going to return. Indeed the reference to “hollow knights” could also be foreshadowing of those who are going over to the Targaryen side such as Barristan Selmy, who LF described as a naked Knight. Also it could represent a threat that was always seen, but thought to be empty. Like the armour, the Targs and Targ supporters are hidden away, but they are still there and as of ADWD we have Dany being talked about and (F)Aegon on the scene.

Also the reference to black steel echoes both Jon and Dany’s dreams about being armoured in black. We may see this armour again.

I had forgotton about the Jon & Dany dreams about the black armour. When it came to hollow knights, I had been thinking of UnGregor, but then again, I don't know how that would tie into thoughts of dragons (if at all). :dunno:

We also see more hints that she might be a future younger Queen.

Okay a little bit of a crackpot theory coming up: a cedar chest under the porthole. "You'll find fresh garb within. Dresses, smallclothes, warm stockings, a cloak. Wool and linen only, I fear. Unworthy of a maid so beautiful, but they'll serve to keep you dry and clean until we can find you something finer." He had this all prepared for me.

We know from the chapter where Sansa has her dress made that she has grown considerably in the last year, so this begs the question how LF found clothes that would fit her exactly or if these clothes are some of her own or if they were an approximate fit. Anyway pondering this, we know Shae was more than just Sansa’s maid, but what about her other maid Brella. She is suggested to Tyrion by Varys, but that does not mean that she is not in the employ of LF, in the same way the Kettlebacks are.

So like I said this maybe crackpot. but Brella is washing in a brothel. In King’s Landing, Brienne had found one of Sansa’s former maids doing washing in a brothel. “I served with Lord Renly before m’lady Sansa and both turned traitor,” the woman Brella complained bitterly. “No lord will touch me now so I have to wash for whores.” But when Brienne asked about Sansa, she said, “I’ll tell you what I told Lord Tywin. That girl was always praying. She’d go to the sept and light her candles like a proper lady, but near every night she went off to the Godswood. She’s gone back north, she has. That’s where her gods are.”

Also in favour of her being an LF spy is what she what told Lord Tywin, about looking in the North to find her, when Sansa is actually in the Vale. Has she been told to say that?

It's odd becuse I had picked up on the former maid stating that Sansa had gone back to the North (it's even marked in my book), but didn't make the possible connection to LF. Good catch! :thumbsup:

Also on a side note, the mention of a cloak in the chest reminds me of the Sandor Clegane’s cloak that she hid under her summer silks. What happened to it?

When LF told Sansa he had a cedar chest for her, I immediately thought it was the chest from KL. I'm not sure that it is though. It might be, I guess. I do wonder what happened to that cloak myself, but in later chapters you see Sansa thinking about Sandor (wishing he were there, I think) and I would have assumed if she still had the cloak, that she would have wrapped it around her for comfort. I'm hoping it turns up! :)

One last query with the chapter was the following line:

What’s interesting about this phrase is that we only ever saw Joff say that exact phrase in front of Sandor and Tyrion. How and when did Sansa hear him say it? Is this a slip on GRRM’s part?

I remember Joff saying it in front of Sandor & Tyrion, but not Sansa. Hmmmm....

Anyway, looking forward to the next chapter. I have some thoughts/ideas that I've been mulling over.......... :laugh:

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A few more observations:

"This is the way. It won't be so hard for a strong young girl like you. Hold on tight and never look down and you'll be at the bottom in no time at all." His eyes were shiny. "Your poor Florian is fat and old and drunk, I'm the one should be afraid. I used to fall off my horse, don't you remember? That was how we began. I was drunk and fell off my horse and Joffrey wanted my head, but you saved me. You saved me sweetling."

Poor, poor Dontos. You know, as I've noted before, he may have been a drunk fool, but there was a depth of sincerity in his desire to help Sansa and repay her for saving his life. Instead of the knight protecting the girl, the girl protected the knight. So far, Sansa's story hasn't played out like one of her songs, but aspects of her journey have still been very poignant and meaningful.

"He sold you for a promise of ten thousand dragons...." He smiled sadly. "All he did he did at my behest. I dared not befriend you openly. When I heard you saved his life at Joff's tourney, I knew he would be the perfect catspaw.

Sansa felt sick. "He said he was my Florian."

"Do you perchance recall what I said to you that day your father sat the Iron Throne?"

The moment came back to her vividly. "You told me that life was not a song. That I would learn that one day to my sorrow." She felt tears in her eyes, but whether she wept for Ser Dontos Hollard, for Joff, for Tyrion, or for herself, Sansa could not say. "Is it all lies, forever and ever, everyone and everything?"

"Almost everyone. Save you and I, of course."

Perfectly illustrates how LF is able to warp a good, honest moment and turn it into something base and treacherous to suit his purposes. His statement that everyone can't be trusted except the two of them again highlights his attempt to alienate the girl and convince her that he is the only one looking out for her best interests. It's a sick mind game. Sansa has finally encountered the supreme game player, a masterful manipulator who is capable of deceiving persons much older and experienced than herself.

"I had to send to Braavos for them and hide them away in a brother until the wedding. The expense was exceeded only by the bother. It is surprisingly difficult to hide a dwarf, and Joffrey... you can lead a king to water, but with Joff one had to splash it about before he realised he could drink it. When I told him about my little surprise, His Grace said, 'Why would I want some ugly dwarfs at my feast? I hate dwarfs.' I had to take him by the shoulder and whisper, 'Not as much as your uncle will.'"

Here we see just how easy it was for LF to predict how Tyrion would react to the spectacle of the dwarfs. And Tyrion fell perfectly into his hands by lacking self control, not to mention the deep insecurities about his deformity. He would have benefitted from receiving Game lesson #1 in keeping others confused about your motivations and concerns.

And finally, what I found most interesting and delightful in this chapter :)

"Put Joffrey from your mind, sweetling. Dontos, Tyrion, all of them. They will never trouble you again.

The one name that is glaringly absent? The one person that it's obvious LF has no clue about? The one development that LF was not able to predict, and the one connection that LF is not able to twist and spoil?

Do I even have to write his name?

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The one name that is glaringly absent? The one person that it's obvious LF has no clue about? The one development that LF was not able to predict, and the one connection that LF is not able to twist and spoil?

Do I even have to write his name?

Cercei? :dunno:

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@ Brashcandy

No you don't have to write his name. However LF might thank you if you did. What we have seen so far is that LF can play people like Tyrion because he knows them inside out. He thinks he knows Sansa and to an extent he does, but she has kept so much inside that he doesn't really know her either despite thinking he does. Her "friendship" with Sandor is unknown to anyone. Sandor also kept his true self hidden and therefore LF presumably would think he knows him too, if they were to meet again.

LF statement about Joff, Tyrion and Dontos is also interesting as it would suggest that the Sansa / Tyrion marriage was indeed a plot device to get both of them out of KL and present a viable reason why LF doesn't marry off Sansa at once.

Also I agree about Ser Dontos: his motives weren't purely altruistic but he did genuinely want to help her. This again may reflect the sympathy people at court truly had for her.

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A few more observations:

Poor, poor Dontos. You know, as I've noted before, he may have been a drunk fool, but there was a depth of sincerity in his desire to help Sansa and repay her for saving his life. Instead of the knight protecting the girl, the girl protected the knight. So far, Sansa's story hasn't played out like one of her songs, but aspects of her journey have still been very poignant and meaningful.

Perfectly illustrates how LF is able to warp a good, honest moment and turn it into something base and treacherous to suit his purposes. His statement that everyone can't be trusted except the two of them again highlights his attempt to alienate the girl and convince her that he is the only one looking out for her best interests. It's a sick mind game. Sansa has finally encountered the supreme game player, a masterful manipulator who is capable of deceiving persons much older and experienced than herself.

Here we see just how easy it was for LF to predict how Tyrion would react to the spectacle of the dwarfs. And Tyrion fell perfectly into his hands by lacking self control, not to mention the deep insecurities about his deformity. He would have benefitted from receiving Game lesson #1 in keeping others confused about your motivations and concerns.

And finally, what I found most interesting and delightful in this chapter :)

The one name that is glaringly absent? The one person that it's obvious LF has no clue about? The one development that LF was not able to predict, and the one connection that LF is not able to twist and spoil?

Do I even have to write his name?

With Sandor, I wonder how Sandor will even discover her....

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