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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa V

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You and I will both throw a tantrum, brash! :bawl: Yeah, I've been thinking it's going to take three books to wrap everything up. <_< At the pace some of the characters stories are moving, I don't see a way it can be done in two.

Count me too on that tantrum :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: !!!

Myself, I think 4 books would be more reasonable...

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Has GRRM ever said if TWOW is going to be as long as ASOS or anything like that? A lot of things can happen in a book that long...

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As long as it doesn't involve more details/descriptions of various bodily functions, or more of Dany's wearing 'floppy ears' and fooling around in Meereen, I can stand a nice long book. Preferably one with Sansa making multiple appearances (and getting the h*ll away from Littlefinger)...

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Oh absolutely! I agree with him trying to "turn over a new leaf". I think the rational side of him is saying he's obviously done with the Lannister's, and he did need to find a new "employer". He wasn't too thrilled with working for the Lannisters, so yes, I could see where he might hope to be taken in by Robb, elevating himself from his current status as a "dog" (who's tired of being kicked)

This is interesting in light of that he earlier didn't seem to mind being called "dog" or that he preferred that to being a Ser something, Suddenly, he seems far more interesting in not being mocked and kicked. Perhaps it has to do with self worth and that he felt that he wasn't actually a monster after all, after his interaction with Sansa and his time as a Kingsguard?

LF even notes that the white cloak does things to a man, although LF was referring to something different with the Kettleblacks. I think we've seen some of that with both Sandor and Jaime actually. They've had to reconsider things like duty, obligation and honour.

He might fit in rather well with the Starks and their lot, actually. (I digress here, but I always liked the line he gave Arya, after he gave the gift of mercy to that man from House Piper, "Leave him for the wolves and wild dogs. Your brothers and mine.”) B)

Oooh good catch :) Yes, this does hint far more to a...kinship? Than the whole "what does a dog do with lions?"

Although I am still wondering what dogs actually DO to wolves. :lol: I think Arya is still wondering as well.

Oh and thank you for your kinds words, QoW, :cheers: this thread is super brilliant. Thanks to Rapsie and Brash for creating it. :thumbsup:

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Outstanding summaries and analyses by Brashcandy and Lyanna!

Littlefinger certainly wastes no time in shocking Sansa through his murder of Dontos and then taking her away through rough weather on his ship. He also verbally 'divorces' Sansa from her husband, Tyrion, another man who at least showed her some kindness, by telling Sansa how Tyrion threw his first wife into a gang-rape and implying that he would eventually do the same or worse to Sansa herself. This is cruel, not only to poor Ser Dontos (he could have spared him and brought him to the Fingers and kept him under house arrest or something); but to Sansa, LF is isolating her physically and emotionally from the current influential males in her life (that he knows of, at least). LF wants Sansa to be totally dependent on him; hence his framing her as well as her husband for a king's murder, and denigrating as well as murdering poor Dontos, who at least got Sansa out of the Red Keep.

Was anyone else mildly surprised by Sansa's rather mild reaction to Dontos's death? She seemed rather more concerned about bloody Tyrion than she did about Dontos...of course I'm not blaming her for it by any means, however, the fact that she'd have any concern whatsoever about Tyrion surprises me a bit.

The state of Casa-Baelish-on-the-Fingers and its people is indicative of LF's priorities. Petyr Baelish has become a man of great wealth and influence, but has done nothing to improve the state of his ancestral home or the men and women who serve it and him. Everything is disheveled and shabby, including the servants. Why couldn't he have sent back some coin for their upkeep, so that there would have been more guards (as he evidently promised) and perhaps medical help for the stye in the eye of Kella's child? Sansa, who grew up in a castle where the servants were valued and treated with dignity and given decent clothing and housing, must see some shortcomings there.

Fascinating and very astute observation. Though interpretations will vary of LF's behavior here, I think it shows his attitude towards life and most people. He interacts brilliantly with all of his servants, great and small, young and old; he knows just how to charm them and get on their level and exactly what to say to make them feel special and happy.

But look closer, and you see the fact that he has really done as little as possible for them. Does he regard them (his people and servants) as people or merely as yet more tools to be charmed, mostly disregarded, and possibly used if the time comes? Brashcandy mentioned that she thought LF's interactions with these people showed genuine affection on his part. I'm not so sure about this. IMO, it seems LF is just doing what he usually does-- saying exactly what he has to say to charm and manipulate those around him, while seeing them from a detached, apathetic, mocking viewpoint.

Sure he can turn on the cosmopolitan charm with the help and make smalltalk with them the way Ned Stark never could; however, if he genuinely feels any duty, or genuine affection towards these people, I would be shocked. As usual, LF continues to make a splendid impression on many he meets, but secretly regard the vast, vast majority of people as mere tools to be used, manipulated, and preferably discarded (his treatment of poor Dontos exemplifies this.)

Though it is frequently noted that Sansa is learning from LF how to be, politically speaking-- i.e., how to play the game and manipulate those around her so that perhaps she can eventually defeat him-- I think she could also learn from him how not to be. His disregard for his people, use and abandonment of those who have outlived their use, and other things are all very un stark like. Sansa, who appears to be (through adversity, as we see here) to be defining herself more and more as a Stark, must eventually fully recognize these gaping shortcomings in her would be mentor.


She did indeed Raksha! :

"You are well born, and the Starks of Winterfell were always proud, but Winterfell has fallen and you are really just a beggar now, so put that pride aside. Gratitude will better become you, in your present circumstances. Yes, and obedience. My son will have a grateful and obedient wife.”

Notice the part about the "obedient wife" popping up again.


I think this is GRRM yet again pounding in the message that women who break the patriarchal rules of their society are, in fact, horrible and detrimental to other women.

As with Cersei, he portrays Lysa, a woman who has broken some of the key patriarchal rules of her society, as a hypocrite and oppressor of other women.

In an earlier scene, Cersei is shown complaining that Robert hit, raped, and used her, and that she was given to him for such treatment. Traditionally, feminists have assumed that in order for a woman to help other women and support feminism, they often must break the patriarchal rules of their society and/ or object to them as unjust. GRRM's message seems to be the opposite of that.

He seems to imply at every opportunity that such women are not, in fact, positive or good for other women, but just the opposite. Dirrectly after ranting about the injustice of her society, Cersei Lannister degrades and insults and disregards the safety of other women, showing disgust and contempt for them and then totally abandoning them when they need her most, apparently utterly apathetic to whether or not they get raped.

It is Sansa, the good woman, who never critiques or rebels against the patriarchal society or blames her treatment at Tyrion and joffrey and others hands on the fact that she is a woman and she lives in an unjust patriarchal society, who is there to comfort the women. Because women who rebel against the patriarchy are weak, stupid, and horrible for other women, whom they naturally do not care about at all. (Or so the books seem to imply repeatedly.)

All the positively portrayed feminist women in these books are safely within the patriarchy—Asha follows her father and only later steps up because all the men trying to take over are stupid, crazy, or dead; the sandsnakes worship their daddy and later submit to Doran by swearing upon their dead patriarch; Brienne is allowed all of the privileges she currently has by her father, and pretty much obeys him in everything; etc.

Here we see it again with Lysa and Sansa. Lysa and Cersei are two of the only women who break their societies patriarchal rules, and are demonized extensively for it. Cersei cuckholded her husband and chose the father of her own children and now refuses to get married and insists upon ruling herself; Lysa slept with a man while a girl (against her daddy’s express orders!), did not love the man she married, possibly cheated on him, and then killed him.

She never obeyed her husband, but here is shown trying to get Sansa submit and obey her son. Once again, women who rebel against the patriarchy, rule themselves, desire independence and autonomy—evil, hypocritical bitches. Contrary to the commonly held belief that women must recognize the patriarchal structures in their society and fight against them, GRRM would have it that by rebelling against the patriarchal structures of her society, Lysa destroys good females like Sansa, and cares nothing for the rights of women in general.

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She never obeyed her husband, but here is shown trying to get Sansa submit and obey her son. Once again, women who rebel against the patriarchy, rule themselves, desire independence and autonomy—evil, hypocritical bitches. Contrary to the commonly held belief that women must recognize the patriarchal structures in their society and fight against them, GRRM would have it that by rebelling against the patriarchal structures of her society, Lysa destroys good females like Sansa, and cares nothing for the rights of women in general.

I actually got a quite different vibe from Sansa's interaction with Cersei and Lysa. Both of them are adulteresses (I am convinced LF and Lysa had some interaction in KL and that sweetrobin is LF's son), but the main issue they display is not one of differing from the ideal patriarchal structure but that they perpetuate the sexism they are both complaining and rebelling against.

Instead of Cersei coming gleefully to Sansa telling her how she would have torn her hair out if someone had tried to marry her to the imp, imagine a scenario where Cersei told Sansa basically "Look, I know this is gonna suck donkey balls, but with some clever application of tansy tea, old crone magic and huge amounts of alcohol for your husband, you can get away with taking a lover instead". Or just being supportive, but she's not.

Enter Lysa, who tells Sansa in some detail about her awful marriage to Jon Arryn and how she had to be dutiful. While Sansa was not too keen on sweetrobin anyway, Lysa's greatest crime here is perpetuating that which she herself found so awful in telling Sansa she needs to be obedient and dutiful.

Both Lysa and Cersei fail at something I feel is often undervalued in discussions of feminism, and that is sisterhood and solidarity with fellow women. This also seems to be their greatest crime here, not their own tarnished pasts. In fact, as was discussed above, Sansa is instead getting a better cross section of "real" women without pristine pasts in Cersei, Lysa, Mya Stone and Myranda Royce. Sansa is even fine with her mother shagging Littlefinger is she did it out of love.

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Hello, everyone :) I've been lurking around here for quite a while, but I was waiting for this chapter re-read to jump into the scene xD (still trying to figure out how to add an avatar, please excuse my blank face...)

Maybe you can help me out a little bit with the whole Tyrion/Sandor dream: the first time I read that part, I felt that it was actually a nightmare and not really an "erotic" dream, in which Sansa remembers that terrifying wedding night with Tyrion and then kindof adds the same "menacing" feeling of the Blackwater Battle by including Sandor's features in the dream... and then I came to the forums and realized that most people take that "nightmare" as an erotic dream including Sandor... I really like the Sandor/Sansa pairing (I'm a fool for "Beauty and the Beast" like stories xD), but maybe because English is not my native language I didn't quite get the whole meaning of that dream... did you ever think, at first reading, that it was all a bad dream of death and sexual threat? Is there any sign that I'm missing that gives us a hint about the nature of her dream?

I find it quite frustrating really that GRRM didn't include any kind of reaction from Sansa when she woke up.. Was she scared? Was she confused? Or maybe she was actually thinking of Sandor??

IMHO, young children just fear being hurt (unable to comprehend death or sex but able to understand pain they fear being bullied/hit, which is the rejection of their personhood)and having no friends (their personhood being so unappealing that nobody will like them, since they don't comprehend sexual love and status).

Men fear death, since when a person is dead they lose their personhood and become a corpse, and failure on some level (since this will make them undesirable to women).

Where as for a lot of women, in history, but not necessarily modern women, the fear of rape which represents to women in traditional societies, the ultimate rejection of their personhood, right to chose, right to bear the children of the man they chose... becomes quite obsessional that they would rather die than be raped: think of the popularity of stories like St Agnes and Lucretia, amongst medieval female audiences, that Sita remains a popular heroine amongst modern Indian women(and only a magical curse saves Sita from actually being raped), with people like Saint Augustine trying to convince women that it was possible to have a life after rape, or my elderly step-grandmother, once told my mother that she would rather jump out of a window than be raped... whilst the obsession a lot of women have with being thin, beautiful, well dressed etc, stems out of a fear of being rejected by men who they do want and desire, even though the obsession with thinness can actually lead to ones own death (and renders you unattractive to most normal men long before it kills you).

I think the former obsession amongst some women stems from the fact that it does not benefit the rational man (the man who wants children) to kill a woman.

For instance, a weak society would be invaded by their more powerful neighbours, the men would usually be killed and the women captured and raped and whilst women fear this outcome (whilst mysoginistic works tend to view this as a hysterical or shallow objection), women can usually rest assured that if men follow their reproductive instincts, they will be left alive (but this won't really be a pleasant life at all, since they will lack freedom, their children will be half-rapist and will be second-class citizens).

It is only when a man's goals do not include children (knowledge, money but especially power) that he will view women as worthless or useless. That is why the scene in La Amistad, goes against all reason and hence manages to be the most distressing scene in the movie, because the slave traders by valuing money, murdered the women because they were less economically profitable than the men.

sidetrack about La Amistad under spoiler:

This subsequently blew up in their face, since the men mutinied and killed them (which would not have been possible had the slave owners killed the men and kept the women). I would also say that killing the women (an evil and unreasonable act) probably spurned the men on even further. Even if the men had not rebelled and obtained their freedom, once they arrived in Puerto Principe, the slave buyers would have discovered that they had no way of breeding slaves, and thus would have to continuously rely on slave traders. From this perspective the slave traders were getting rid of a source that made them unnecessary to slave buyers in the long term. However because the system of slavery meant that slave traders could not see the Africans as people they failed to realise that these men who loved wives, fiancees, sisters and women generally, would have a huge incentive to kill them (and indeed the slave captains had effectively killed their hostages, thus removing previous disincentives), thus they were not able to anticipate the 'mutiny'. Furthermore, since they had to dehumanise the Africans to enslave them, this meant that not only did they have to think of Africans as selfish (too selfish to love women), but also too stupid to overcome the shackles they had set up (malnutrition and chains, that the slave traders used to neutralise the undeniable physical advantage of great numbers). Fortunately for the cause of human freedom, the La Amistad rebellion was made possible by a

rusty file+courage+intelligence+numbers

heck even today, when I have an encounter with a creep my first thought is "this man wants to sleep with me and I think he is a creep" rather than "he is going to murder me".

So in terms of the sexy dream that Sansa has, I think both Tyrion and Sandor are present in it, because Sansa having been abused fairly savagely from a younger age, unlike most women is able to see the threat of being murdered and hurt, but because a lot of her abuse had a sexual connotation, she has a tendency to mix sex up with death.

So even though she is attracted to Sandor, (and her attraction to him is a reaction to the abuse that is inflicted upon her), her basic and premature sexual experience is of violence and abuse, thus when Lysa's wedding works it's magic (sexual sounds, sort of like listening to a porno in another room), followed by Marillion's attempt (obviously sexual in nature)+Sansa's own teenage hormones=imagine Tyrion (her most sexual experience, but an abusive one) who then becomes the Hound (a violent man who desires to protect her from abuse).

This is why Baelish is such a threat to Sansa: he professes to love her whilst abusing her (ie unwelcome sexual attention) her threatens not only to separate love from marriage (which her marriage to Tyrion and conversations with Lysa served to do), but could ultimately serve to separate love from sex, whilst his attempt to mix up sexual love and paternal love could cause Sansa to associate men and male sexuality with something inherently abusive and disgusting (that is to say incest).

In real life, when women fall into this trap (dissasociating sexual love from marriage and associating sexual love with death and filth) they withdraw from the game of human love (since that usually involves loving men, and men are frightening and disgusting) and become obsessives in the game of religious love (since Jesus is like the perfect husband: he listens to all your problems, never hits you and never does anything gross like get an erection).

Thus I think two of Sansa's future trials are to avoid falling into those temptations: the first temptation would be to separate love from marriage in favour of an adulterous relationship-ie to succumb to the temptation that Lysa represented-which would be essentially unfair on her husband, and as Lysa's example shows, likely to end in one's own downfall.

Or complete withdrawalfrom sexual love in favour of abstract divine love (which would be to succumb to the temptation that someone like Brienne might represent, and that Sansa would find alluring because of the things that Petyr does to her), which due to its abstract nature, cannot reciprocate in this lifetime (for instance Renly could not respond to Brienne's feelings, so she was forced to withdraw from typical female life-made easier by her unusual strength and height- to gain his attention) thus leading to a one sided miserable relationship that ends in death-failure to reproduce at all (and Brienne's love for Renly and Jaime will most likely cause her doom).

I suppose their would be a final temptationafter that, but I am not yet sure what it could be. ,

On whether or not Sandor got the song Sansa sang.. I don't think he's stupid he's just been stuck in traction for many years and no one gave a damn about him, since his family is gone also he has had no emotional ties ( guys need that stuff too) to help anchor him, if he remembers the song on the QI ( I believe it's him ) and he talks to EB I think he will find peace and solice, the negative side of that is Sansa may loose her dog.

As far as Sansa's dreams well... noway in hell am I broaching that with my daughter, and my wife tells me she never had dreams like that at 12.

I think Sansa's birthday is around the 15th of December. So she was 13 by the time she escaped with Baelish.

I & I hadn’t really thought of it but yes- I’m sure that at least some kissing would’ve happened if Sandor suddenly appeared to save her from Marmillion. It would also have been nice if Sansa had dreamed of Sandor saving her from Marmillion, replacing Lothor. But who knows? Maybe she’ll either dream or live in the future Sandor saving her from LF?

But maybe George wants Sansa to save herself without the help of a love interest to make her character arc even more ironic, but that's talk for another day.

** & agree that George wants to leave us with some homework with all the hints about San/San. He does this with almost every other character so though I hate to wait for years to find out what will happen to Sansa and Sandor, I still like the fact that George lives us with situations that the readers must try to figure out things for themselves. It makes for some compelling reading.

You, know I think Sansa's story line is basically the damsel in distress storyline from the POV of the damsel in distress (which is often categorised as a rebirth plot-like Sleeping Beauty). But because she is the POV, then she is automatically forced into the hero's role.

If Sansa's story is the Quest then I would say that a happy ending (unity with Sandor) is possible.

But if Sansa's story is the voyage and return then Sandor is completely doomed, though Sansa could find herself married to some random Northerner who has previously never been seen before, but looks an awful lot like Sandor (without the scars)...

:whip: No rest for you, QoW, get back online! :lol:

More lovely Greek connections! But I'm hoping that the island isn't a real dark underworld, and that Sansa could actually find some happiness there.... so maybe we'll see Sandor standing watch on the island, huh? ;)

Dear lord if Sansa remains Alyane stone and ends up at the Fingers-even with Sandor-then we may as well just say that Sansa is destined to die in chilbirth a week before her 18th birthday.

I guess this is why the hero has to leave the fantasy land and return home in the voyage and return plot (because staying in the fantasy world is inimical to human existence).

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Both Lysa and Cersei fail at something I feel is often undervalued in discussions of feminism, and that is sisterhood and solidarity with fellow women. This also seems to be their greatest crime here, not their own tarnished pasts. In fact, as was discussed above, Sansa is instead getting a better cross section of "real" women without pristine pasts in Cersei, Lysa, Mya Stone and Myranda Royce. Sansa is even fine with her mother shagging Littlefinger is she did it out of love.

But that's just my issue-- their lack of sisterhood, solidarity, and feeling for other women is portrayed as synomous with their rebellion against the patriarchy. It is portrayed that "adulteresses" as you call them (at least one of whom was married to a husband who was at least equally unfaithful to her as she was to him, the other to whom was married to an ancient guy-- meanwhile Stannis is married to an ugly chick so its a-okay he's flaunting his gorgeous young mistress in front of her) are naturally hypocritical, hateful, and prejudiced towards other women. It is only the women who don't rebell against the patriarchy, or who are "strong women" In ways that pose no threat to the patriarchy whatsoever (Asha, Arya, Brienne, the sand snakes et. al.) who are portrayed positively.

Lysa and Cersei's taking male rights for themselves are not only demonized, they are portrayed as naturally concurrent with distain, persecution, and hatred of other women. Furthermore, Lysa and Cersei's legitimate complaints about the way they have been treated (utterly appalling, in both cases) are made to look like weakness, stupidity, and self indulgence on both their parts. The arguemnt that "oh yes, they have sufferered, but that does not make it okay for them to be evil," is not one that I am mounting. It is simply the fact that their complaints themselves are made to look pathetic, whiny, the products of weak, disordered, hateful minds. In both cases, Sanas's reaction is basically "ew."

Okay, but GRRM does not do this for all people who are persecuted. Jon S. is shown as legitimately pissed by being mistreated for his bastardy. Even more to the point, Tyrion is portrayed as righteously angered and outraged because his father will not give him Casterly Rock because of his deformity-- the same complaint that, let me note, is the exact same one that Cersei is portrayed as nutty, insane, whiny, ridiculous, and spoilt for holding.

Sansa's hatred of inhering property is also an interesting paralell to Cersei's "wicked, unnatural" desire to inherit Casterly Rock, and her possible seduction of Jaime to get it.

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But that's just my issue-- their lack of sisterhood, solidarity, and feeling for other women is portrayed as synomous with their rebellion against the patriarchy. It is portrayed that "adulteresses" as you call them (at least one of whom was married to a husband who was at least equally unfaithful to her as she was to him, the other to whom was married to an ancient guy-- meanwhile Stannis is married to an ugly chick so its a-okay he's flaunting his gorgeous young mistress in front of her) are naturally hypocritical, hateful, and prejudiced towards other women. It is only the women who don't rebell against the patriarchy, or who are "strong women" In ways that pose no threat to the patriarchy whatsoever (Asha, Arya, Brienne, the sand snakes et. al.) who are portrayed positively.

I think this is the main point where we disagree: to me, it's strongly implied that their lack of sisterhood and solidarity is the problem, not their nature as "adulteresses". If this is the case, I will change my mind and agree with you if we see Daario being Dany's downfall, Asha getting her "just punishment" for her lose sexual morals and Arianne getting married off to someone like say, Willas for a sedate and quiet homelife. If this comes to pass, then yes, I'd say that the status as adulteress or threat against the patriarchy equals downfall.

Until then, I think we're seeing something of the opposite. Brienne is definitely someone who breaks down the norms of a patriarchal society and we're seeing that she's getting more respect through the series, not less. Arianne has also reached a certain autonomy away from her father (albeit still in its infancy), Sansa readily accepts her mother's status as not being a maid when she married Ned. Dany chose her own lover in Daario.

I'm also not sure why you feel Asha is not threatening the patriarchal structure since she makes a play for the Seastone Chair, despite being at a disadvantage due to her gender. Sure, she fails (initially) but she is still a leader figure and it looks like she may definitely make another play for it later through Theon if given a chance.

Sansa's hatred of inhering property is also an interesting paralell to Cersei's "wicked, unnatural" desire to inherit Casterly Rock, and her possible seduction of Jaime to get it.

Cersei would inherit it in her own right though, while Sansa's claim is the vehicle with which she is bartered off like a piece of meat. Sansa recognises the role her claim plays in her powerlessness in the patriarchy, where she is only worth as much as her claim is + maybe her maidenhead. Cersei's claim is a source of power for her; Sansa's claim to Winterfell is a weakness to her and ultimately her level of freedom and autonomy would be higher without it.

Tbh not sure if this is the correct thread for this analysis, but I'd be happy to continue in another thread. :)

This is why Baelish is such a threat to Sansa: he professes to love her whilst abusing her (ie unwelcome sexual attention) her threatens not only to separate love from marriage (which her marriage to Tyrion and conversations with Lysa served to do), but could ultimately serve to separate love from sex, whilst his attempt to mix up sexual love and paternal love could cause Sansa to associate men and male sexuality with something inherently abusive and disgusting (that is to say incest).

The incest context he's got going with Sansa is definitely the freakiest part of their already freaky relationship. It would be bad enough if he only acted as her older protector/warden and had an interest in her. As it is, the extra added dimension of inferred incest makes it ten times as creepy. The worst part of it is that LF seems to almost revel in the duplicity of it.

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But that's just my issue-- their lack of sisterhood, solidarity, and feeling for other women is portrayed as synomous with their rebellion against the patriarchy. It is portrayed that "adulteresses" as you call them (at least one of whom was married to a husband who was at least equally unfaithful to her as she was to him, the other to whom was married to an ancient guy-- meanwhile Stannis is married to an ugly chick so its a-okay he's flaunting his gorgeous young mistress in front of her) are naturally hypocritical, hateful, and prejudiced towards other women. It is only the women who don't rebell against the patriarchy, or who are "strong women" In ways that pose no threat to the patriarchy whatsoever (Asha, Arya, Brienne, the sand snakes et. al.) who are portrayed positively.

Lysa and Cersei's taking male rights for themselves are not only demonized, they are portrayed as naturally concurrent with distain, persecution, and hatred of other women. Furthermore, Lysa and Cersei's legitimate complaints about the way they have been treated (utterly appalling, in both cases) are made to look like weakness, stupidity, and self indulgence on both their parts. The arguemnt that "oh yes, they have sufferered, but that does not make it okay for them to be evil," is not one that I am mounting. It is simply the fact that their complaints themselves are made to look pathetic, whiny, the products of weak, disordered, hateful minds. In both cases, Sanas's reaction is basically "ew."

Okay, but GRRM does not do this for all people who are persecuted. Jon S. is shown as legitimately pissed by being mistreated for his bastardy. Even more to the point, Tyrion is portrayed as righteously angered and outraged because his father will not give him Casterly Rock because of his deformity-- the same complaint that, let me note, is the exact same one that Cersei is portrayed as nutty, insane, whiny, ridiculous, and spoilt for holding.

Sansa's hatred of inhering property is also an interesting paralell to Cersei's "wicked, unnatural" desire to inherit Casterly Rock, and her possible seduction of Jaime to get it.

you know on the basis of this post, I would say that Sansa's final temptation-the one she will have to face- will probably be Winterfell.

Ie whether Sansa will put her need for freedom, agency and the ability to influence society in a way that's more progressive (for instance Sansa as lady of Winterfell could change society to make it more equitable for women etc, as well as her experience with Baelish giving her a better idea about economics) above Rickon's right as the male heir?

Now it might seem correct for Sansa to fall for this temptation (and the whole Sansa as Queen of the North has a beautiful ring to it), since the law in favour of male primogeniture is inherently sexist, especially in this case as Rickon is 5 year old raised by Wildlings, and Sansa has rich political experience (or will have by the time she comes to face this ordeal) with a plan for society that would be better for the North as a whole (I am guessing economic liberalisation and a greater emphasis on rule of law).

But temptations, even very strong ones, are to be resisted (this is what differentiates, heroes, heroines, and villains and villainesses from us mere mortals), so for instance, the repercussions of Lysa Rivers cheating off her aged in-keep husband and then poisoining him to be with her lover, would be harmless for society as a whole.

But since Lysa Tully was born into a great family (albeit as a woman she was denied agency) she is automatically forced to be a heroine, because for someone born into that level of responsibility to fail at heroism is to slip into villainhood.

Now temptations like "love douchey Joffrey" "submit to Tyrion" "become deluded by Baelish's lies" "cheat on husband" and "become a nun" are minor temptations... because Sansa is the only person who benefits from them. This might seem mad since loving Joffrey, submitting to Tyrion, believing Baelish all have repercussions that are immediately negative

But back in AGOT Sansa had no idea that Joffrey was a monster: thus the temptation that Joffrey represented was loving the song of status and admiration (she listened to the song and she was imprisoned in KL), submitting to Tyrion would have been the temptation to abandon her identity as a human being and allowing the Lannisters to dictate her morality (listening to corrupt society's false definitions of morality) and to submit to such a temptation would have turned Sansa into a sow waiting to be slaughtered, succumbing to Baelish's lies whilst it is easy to believe the man who rescued her (ie believing in a dishonest person), will make it impossible for her to recognise Baelish as the monster that he is, and thus she would be consumed by the monster.

Likewise to marry Harry Harding without loving him and then cheat on him with the Hound would be to succumb to self-indulgence (choosing status to indulge one's vengeful urges and then indulging ones sexual urges with someone else), Sansa has examples in Lysa and Cersei on why this does not turn out well for the women in question (even if neither woman actually had a choice in their marriage-which goes to show that denying people agency causes them to become monsters).

Likewise for Sansa to become a Septa (or otherwise refuse to marry) due to fear of male sexuality, would be to abandon the quest (since agency/property ownership and sexual love are abandoned when one enters into a convent).

So since all of these previous tests where temptations, where an underlying theme was that a corrupt society brings out bad outcomes (Joffrey good looks and status conceal an evil nature, Tyrion imprisons her because as a dwarf he has no other way to gain agency and freedom, Baelish lied because high class contempt for the lower classes forced him to lie, Lysa and Cersei cheated because they were denied agency in their marriages, Brienne fell under Renly's and Jaime's spell because society placed no value on plain women, thus tempting them into abstract love).

It would be especially tempting for Sansa to be offered Winterfell, because such a status would enable her to affect much social good: loosen economic restrictions to encourage social mobility, give women more freedom in their marriages, patronise music and art that promotes inner (Brienne) beauty over outer (Joffrey) beauty, give men like Tyrion a way to gain agency without imprisoning women...

Unfortunately to fall to such a temptation would mean that she would have learned nothing from her previous ordeals: which is that selfishness (on the part of Joffrey, Tyrion, Baelish, Lysa and Cersei and Renly) and therefore taking the easy way out (listening to the siren song, turning into an animal by submitting to corruption, falling prey to illusions, indulging one's beastly impulses, fearing real life and loving abstractions) never works out well: either for society or the individual in question.

Therefore Sansa would have to turn down the temptation and follow the rule of law (unfair as that is), because that's best for society as a whole (since it would be impossible to promote rule of law if one was personally corrupt).

This seems very unfair: why should an individual submit to arbitary and cruel laws just for the sake of society? What's the point of society if one has no rights in it? No investment? Why should Sansa die (by lacking the property and agency that Winterfell represents) that others may live (namely Rickon, a 5 year old raised by Wildlings)?

The answer to that is: if you have imagination, intelligence and self-control then you can both follow the rule of law without dieing.

For instance to slay and escape all those monsters (Joffrey, Tyrion, Baelish, Lysa/Cersei and the monstrosity that is the convent system) and see through the temptations they represent (status, submission, blindness, self-indulgence and abstract love) one needs imagination, intelligence and self-control (the last one is a particular temptation since imaginative, intelligent and self-controlled people tend to thrive in convents).

Thus Sansa would have the skillset to gain agency and love. In fact love is especially important here, since by taking Winterfell (thus gaining agency) she would lose love (Rickon would be a threat to her, and it would not be possible to marry Sandor).

Indeed this is perhaps why Sandor is necessary at all, since hopefully it would be her love for him that would render the temptation of power (absolute freedom and agency over others) unpalatable (since such power would make love impossible and thus power would be pointless).

This doesn't mean that Sansa would run off with Sandor on his mighty stead :ack: , since Sansa is the heroine here and Sandor is just a love interest that happens to be male.

Therefore Sansa as a heroine (rather than just a love interest) does have to have agency (the love interest gets love, but the hero or heroine needs agency as well as love). So using her skill set (self-control, intelligence, imagination) it should not be hard to conspire herself into position of Rickon's regent (thus giving her effectively 10 years of power to institue some of these legal and economic changes mentioned earlier) control the kind of education Rickon receives (one that would make him a better king than Joffrey) and into position of gaining her own castle (thus gaining long term agency but not so much agency that the responsibility demands a status orientated rather than love marriage) which would enable her to have the financial resources to make cultural changes (funding arts and literature).

the mark of heroes is they are magna-sum rather than zero-sum thinkers and I hope that Sansa is a magna-sum thinker.

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As long as it doesn't involve more details/descriptions of various bodily functions, or more of Dany's wearing 'floppy ears' and fooling around in Meereen, I can stand a nice long book. Preferably one with Sansa making multiple appearances (and getting the h*ll away from Littlefinger)...

Yeah, I was definitely looking at Dany when I said some of the characters stories were taking a loooong time. I even had it written in the post initially, but removed it as an afterthought. :P

I actually got a quite different vibe from Sansa's interaction with Cersei and Lysa. Both of them are adulteresses (I am convinced LF and Lysa had some interaction in KL and that sweetrobin is LF's son), but the main issue they display is not one of differing from the ideal patriarchal structure but that they perpetuate the sexism they are both complaining and rebelling against.

This was something that had crossed my mind as well. At one point you see Petyr reminding Lysa of "all they had been through" in order to be "together". It's highly ironic that Petyr, who apparently thinks of himself as a highly intelligent player of the Game, might be the father of a very sickly, weak, whiny, unlikeable, little boy.

Sansa is even fine with her mother shagging Littlefinger is she did it out of love.

I'm not sure I would say she was fine with it exactly, maybe more like she didn't know what to make of the statement.( :o)

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This is interesting in light of that he earlier didn't seem to mind being called "dog" or that he preferred that to being a Ser something, Suddenly, he seems far more interesting in not being mocked and kicked. Perhaps it has to do with self worth and that he felt that he wasn't actually a monster after all, after his interaction with Sansa and his time as a Kingsguard?

LF even notes that the white cloak does things to a man, although LF was referring to something different with the Kettleblacks. I think we've seen some of that with both Sandor and Jaime actually. They've had to reconsider things like duty, obligation and honour.

There is this bit too from AFFC (jumping ahead again, sorry!), when Brienne meets the Elder Brother on the QI, and the Elder Brother says this:

The man who raped and killed at Saltpans was not Sandor Clegane, though he may be as dangerous. The riverlands are full of such scavengers. I will not call them wolves. Wolves are nobler than that... and so are dogs, I think.

I would have liked to have heard Sandor's "deathbed confession/fevered confession" to the EB, and what exactly it was that was said to him. The EB knew about Sansa Stark, before Brienne mentioned her name. :)

Oooh good catch :) Yes, this does hint far more to a...kinship? Than the whole "what does a dog do with lions?"

Although I am still wondering what dogs actually DO to wolves. :lol: I think Arya is still wondering as well.

Perhaps the "pack" sticking together? ;) (Lions have 'prides', dogs and wolves have 'packs').

Yeah, I'm wondering too! Maybe we'll find out! :lol:

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Tbh not sure if this is the correct thread for this analysis, but I'd be happy to continue in another thread. :)

Lyanna, you'll hear no complaints from me :) I'm enjoying the debate, will weigh in a bit, and I absolutely think this is the right thread. Sansa's relationship with other women and the larger question of how Martin is portraying women who question and challenge these patriarchal boundaries are necessary topics to explore, especially as we're turning to AFFC shortly.

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Was anyone else mildly surprised by Sansa's rather mild reaction to Dontos's death? She seemed rather more concerned about bloody Tyrion than she did about Dontos...of course I'm not blaming her for it by any means, however, the fact that she'd have any concern whatsoever about Tyrion surprises me a bit.

Sometimes I wonder about the choices Martin is making when he portrays how Sansa reacts to certain things. It's interesting that we should be talking about how women are demonised for challenging the partriarchy, because at least with respect to Sansa and Arya, I've always felt that the latter was given constant authorial validation, whilst Sansa is depicted as foolish and naive for going along with the "princess ideal" when it comes to marriage and motherhood. Consequently, a lot of the bad decisions that Arya makes escape censure by readers, whilst Sansa becomes the poster child for what happens to people who break solidarity with their families. Martin has gone on to make up for this a bit, by showing that Sansa's idealism is an intrinsic character trait, and that although she did need to see and experience some hard societal truths, it is something that still sustains and can actually embolden her. The worry for me is that unless you're a very attentive reader - and a lot of readers aren't - you're going to miss the nuances in Sansa's reactions and the changes in her characterization. This is one of the primary reasons why Rapsie and I created the thread, as a matter of fact. Further, some of her responses might also strike some of us as completely unrealistic. Even having the slightest bit of concern for Tyrion might seem odd, but given the nature of their relationship - not so much open hostility as simply a general awareness especially on Sansa's part that she cannot offer this man love or desire, I do think it's understandable that she would display some concern for him being wrongly accused. Whereas a character like Arya paints with a broad brush - everyone connected in whatever fashion to the betrayal of her family, murder of her friend, and death of her father needs to die, Sansa, perhaps because of the conditions of her captivity, has had to be a lot more discerning and selective. This is why she is able to foster relationships with men like Sandor and Dontos, and why in the marriage to Tyrion she was able to view him with some pity. Sansa has always had to work within the constraints set by her captors, and right now LF is a master jailor. The risk is that because of his mind games, and his portrayal of himself as her liberator and not her oppressor, she'll begin to over-identify with him and lose sight of the values and morals that define her character. More on this of course when we get to discuss the next chapter and move into AFFC :)

As for her reaction to Dontos's death, I have to disagree with you that it was in any way mild. She actually vomits, and wonders to herself if she has left the Lannisters only to fall into worse hands. But again, when the devil is pretending to be an angel, it's hard to decide whether you're in heaven or hell.

Fascinating and very astute observation. Though interpretations will vary of LF's behavior here, I think it shows his attitude towards life and most people. He interacts brilliantly with all of his servants, great and small, young and old; he knows just how to charm them and get on their level and exactly what to say to make them feel special and happy.

But look closer, and you see the fact that he has really done as little as possible for them. Does he regard them (his people and servants) as people or merely as yet more tools to be charmed, mostly disregarded, and possibly used if the time comes? Brashcandy mentioned that she thought LF's interactions with these people showed genuine affection on his part. I'm not so sure about this. IMO, it seems LF is just doing what he usually does-- saying exactly what he has to say to charm and manipulate those around him, while seeing them from a detached, apathetic, mocking viewpoint.

Sure he can turn on the cosmopolitan charm with the help and make smalltalk with them the way Ned Stark never could; however, if he genuinely feels any duty, or genuine affection towards these people, I would be shocked. As usual, LF continues to make a splendid impression on many he meets, but secretly regard the vast, vast majority of people as mere tools to be used, manipulated, and preferably discarded (his treatment of poor Dontos exemplifies this.)

IMHO, LF's interactions with his smallfolk did show genuine affection on his part, but as is the case with anything to do with Littlefinger, it can never be divorced from an innate mockery/condescending attitude to people, especially those who are content to live a simple life on a desolate island that LF palpably abhors. For him, these people aren't worth bothering about - they don't threaten his existence at court, or ask him inconvenient questions about his activities. The lie that Sansa concocts about being Alayne Stone is not for Kella and co., but for Lysa and the entourage she is bringing from the Vale. What I found interesting though is that LF's condescending attitude and constant jokes about the homely nature of life on the island, reveals a man who is perpetually insecure despite his attempts to hide it. His humble upbringing has done more to shape him as a person than the lavish life he now lives, and it's something that he feels deeply ashamed about. He attempts to make fun/light of these things on the island with Sansa, but had she perhaps been older and more attune to reading human behaviour, she would have noted that the issue is not with these smallfolk, but rather with LF. It's how he perceives a life like this as being worthless and undignified.

Though it is frequently noted that Sansa is learning from LF how to be, politically speaking-- i.e., how to play the game and manipulate those around her so that perhaps she can eventually defeat him-- I think she could also learn from him how not to be. His disregard for his people, use and abandonment of those who have outlived their use, and other things are all very un stark like. Sansa, who appears to be (through adversity, as we see here) to be defining herself more and more as a Stark, must eventually fully recognize these gaping shortcomings in her would be mentor.

I can agree with this somewhat. I do think there is value in his mentorship of her, although most readers seem to believe that LF has gotten a blank slate, when we've seen on this thread that Sansa was naturally and instinctually playing the game and learning some of the rules long before she was "rescued" by him. Learning from him and keeping true to her identity and all that entails will be Sansa's challenge. She has to learn to see with both eyes - her own and that of the wolf's. (or little bird :) ) She can't only be content to see how LF is making moves against his enemies, but to interrogate LF as well. This is the only way she will find that automony and happiness we all desire for her.

I think this is GRRM yet again pounding in the message that women who break the patriarchal rules of their society are, in fact, horrible and detrimental to other women.

As with Cersei, he portrays Lysa, a woman who has broken some of the key patriarchal rules of her society, as a hypocrite and oppressor of other women.

In an earlier scene, Cersei is shown complaining that Robert hit, raped, and used her, and that she was given to him for such treatment. Traditionally, feminists have assumed that in order for a woman to help other women and support feminism, they often must break the patriarchal rules of their society and/ or object to them as unjust. GRRM's message seems to be the opposite of that.

He seems to imply at every opportunity that such women are not, in fact, positive or good for other women, but just the opposite. Dirrectly after ranting about the injustice of her society, Cersei Lannister degrades and insults and disregards the safety of other women, showing disgust and contempt for them and then totally abandoning them when they need her most, apparently utterly apathetic to whether or not they get raped.

It's a concern of mine as well, but this is why I'm hoping that Mya and Randa will be the correctives to this example set by Cersei and Lysa. Admittedly, Mya is only a bastard, and Randa only a daughter of lesser nobility. I think in the case of Cersei and Lysa, in their minds, they simply cannot afford to be very kind to other women. Lysa sees Sansa as a threat to her relationship with Petyr, and Cersei views other women as mere pawns in a game that she has to win. I do agree with Lyanna here that the central problem is the lack of sisterhood, and the perpetuation of the very same injustices upon others that you fought against yourself. But I don't think that Martin is portraying all women in power in this light. He may have missed his mark in not having some nuanced representation of sisterhood from that generation of Cat/Cersei/Lysa, and there's a credible argument to be made that he goes overboard in portraying Cersei's antipathy towards other women.

It is Sansa, the good woman, who never critiques or rebels against the patriarchal society or blames her treatment at Tyrion and joffrey and others hands on the fact that she is a woman and she lives in an unjust patriarchal society, who is there to comfort the women. Because women who rebel against the patriarchy are weak, stupid, and horrible for other women, whom they naturally do not care about at all. (Or so the books seem to imply repeatedly.)

Ok, this is where we definitely disagree. On just a semantic level, I don't think we can call Sansa a "good woman" and the reason I quibble with this term is because it's inherent to an understanding of her actions in KL and afterwards. Sansa is still a child/maiden/young lady, and there's a reason why we're seeing her actively constructing her opinions and feelings about people and situations around her. It's the reason why, when she does something remarkably mature and compassionate, that Martin describes it as being instinctive, or natural. And I do believe it's a mischaracterisation to say that Sansa doesn't rebel against the patriarchy. When she didn't kneel for Tyrion, that was an act of public rebellion. When she refused to sleep with him or to communicate with him past banal pleasantries, that was an act of private rebellion. Telling herself that she will rule through love and not fear, might seem to us as a slight against Cersei, but the larger importance of this is that Sansa is adopting a remarkably different stance to the "rule through fear" policy employed by the grand patriarchs like Tywin Lannister. Sansa may not yet be able to articulate the source of her oppression like Cersei does, but she does feel it and resent it nevertheless. That's why she is so dismayed by Lysa's Tully attempts to procure her as a good wife for Sweetrobin, and why she laments that she'll never be married for love.

All the positively portrayed feminist women in these books are safely within the patriarchy—Asha follows her father and only later steps up because all the men trying to take over are stupid, crazy, or dead; the sandsnakes worship their daddy and later submit to Doran by swearing upon their dead patriarch; Brienne is allowed all of the privileges she currently has by her father, and pretty much obeys him in everything; etc.

Here we see it again with Lysa and Sansa. Lysa and Cersei are two of the only women who break their societies patriarchal rules, and are demonized extensively for it. Cersei cuckholded her husband and chose the father of her own children and now refuses to get married and insists upon ruling herself; Lysa slept with a man while a girl (against her daddy’s express orders!), did not love the man she married, possibly cheated on him, and then killed him.

She never obeyed her husband, but here is shown trying to get Sansa submit and obey her son. Once again, women who rebel against the patriarchy, rule themselves, desire independence and autonomy—evil, hypocritical bitches. Contrary to the commonly held belief that women must recognize the patriarchal structures in their society and fight against them, GRRM would have it that by rebelling against the patriarchal structures of her society, Lysa destroys good females like Sansa, and cares nothing for the rights of women in general.

I don't know if I would consider Asha and Brienne to be safely within the partriarchy, or at least in the case of Asha, her safety died when her father did, and now she's at the mercy of sadistic uncles like Euron and Victarion. For a woman like Brienne, her very looks have always made her an outsider. She cannot benefit from "passing" as just another woman, whilst undermining the norms of what women can and can't do. She's no Lyanna Stark basically. Sure, she has the benefits of a rich father, but that has brought little comfort or happiness. For Brienne, life cannot be lived at the margins, but painfully outside of them, as a kind of freak who has failed the requirements of womanhood and manhood. What is admirable about Brienne is that she damned determined not to fail the ones of knighthood. She may not be accepted or respected as "one of the boys" and she certainly won't be desired for her looks as a woman, but she can achieve some happiness and sense of identity through sticking to the idealistic codes of knighthood, and operating through them to help bring about positive change.

Even though Lysa's act of killing Jon Arryn was wrong, it's not something I condemn her for. I feel more rage against her for her treatment of Sansa and the same goes for Cersei. I do believe that Sansa has learnt something valuable from both women, though, maybe not in how one might wish to conduct their public life, but perhaps something important to do with private, intimate experiences to do with sex, marriage and love.

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Due to the website being down and lack of time, I’ve not been able to read all the comments , although those I’ve seen are great. Anyway I apologise if this goes over what’s been said before.

There does not seem to have been one chapter so far in the series, including ADWD, where there was not something either in terms of foreshadowing or meaning significant about the location or setting of a chapter. So WHY do we see a narrative point of view do we see from the Fingers?

Lysa and LF’s wedding could have been held just as easily in Gulltown or the Eyrie and LF’s conversation with Sansa about being Alayne could have been held on the boat. Two possible reasons, and probably the main reasons, we see the Fingers are to see how much LF despises his home and the fact that his grandfather had the Titan of Braavos as his symbol (helping the Sansa slaying the Giant theory and also adding to the hiding who you are theme that has been set up with Sansa and Arya). However given Sansa’s dislike of the Fingers as a bleak and dismal place, and LF’s comments about her having to make her own home, and going home, it only being a lovely place if you are a Stone (which I think ties into Brashcandy’s analysis) and Sansa’s own thoughts about how at least she is safe as Alayne because she has no husband and no claim does seem like possible foreshadowing that she will end up there. Also Eddard killing Lady, may also signify that rather than being a great lady herself, she will become almost one of the smallfolk. Depending on her choice of husband though, this maybe a happier fate than it first appears. Certainly LF’s smallfolk are happy and love LF. However there is still the option of her becoming the younger Queen, which would completely negate this.

Also LF mentioning Cat losing her maidenhead to him has been a plot point since AGOT, which again makes me suspect that it has a bit of a Checkov’s gun quality. Sansa seems to beginning to see Love and Marriage as potentially two separate entities in one sense. Certainly her marriage to Tyrion has disillusioned her, and she thinks about someone else marrying her, which would suggest she is still hoping for another relationship at least. She also does not seem overly concerned that her mother may have slept with someone before she was married. Compare this to Arya telling people that her father only loved her mother and one of the BWB saying where did he find Jon from: Ironically Arya still believes in a simplistic view of her parents marriage, where Sansa (the supposedly romantic one) now has a more complex and cynical view of marriage and affairs. This at least suggests along possibly (with what we see in future chapters with Mya and Randa) that she may indeed have a love affair outside of marriage.

Hopefully the next summary and analysis will be up later this evening…..or early tomorrow.

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Gods, this site has been awful today :( Rapsieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! You've been missed!

Anyways, very true point on how Arya, the "realistic" one, still has very romantic notions on her parents' marriage. Even though LF is mistaken (or outright telling lies), we still know that Cat was betrothed to Brandon initially, and that Ned might have been in love with Ashara Dayne. I think this is another way we see how Sansa stories are actually important to understanding real life. Sansa loves the tales of men like Aemon the Dragonknight, Florian and Jonquil and Serwyn of the Mirror Shield. If we actually analyse these stories and songs, they're all about doomed, forbidden love, or love occuring between two people that seem unlikely to fall for one another, or a man being haunted by what he has done in his past life and seeking redemption. So, yes, whilst stories can lead one to have an unrealistic expectation for your life to be perfect, the particular stories that Sansa likes may have given her a firmer grasp on the truth about life. That sometimes people don't always get to marry the ones they love, or they may have given their affection to someone else before. Even the idea that a beautiful maiden could fall in love in a homely man is possible too.

I also liked your thoughts on the reason for showing the Fingers and what this could all entail for a future plot point. At least we know Martin isn't short on options for what the outcome of Sansa's arc could be.

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Too many great posts to reply to in full!

Queen Cersei and Brashcandy - There was one occasion that Sansa definitely flouted the patriarchy - doing an end run around her father's authority and appealing to her future mother-in-law (and role model at that time) to intercede and enable her to stay with her beloved prince, in AGOT. And Sansa has been hated and often 'demonised' for that choice ever since. The problem is, Sansa was not an adult woman at the time; she was a little girl who had no idea of what was really going on, so I don't think of Sansa as a great feminist rebel. Sansa has always seemed to go for coping mechanisms rather than direct conflicts, at least that used to be her natural tendancy; except in two instances of extreme emotional stress - the interaction with Joffrey a few days after her father's death; Sansa both confronted Joffrey on his act/breaking the promise of 'mercy' and defied him with the 'Maybe he'll bring me yours' answer. And she was beaten for her defiance, which has caused Sansa to repress any really deep feelings of anger that she might feel. The other instance where Sansa showed her anger was during her wedding to Tyrion - refusing to kneel to facilitate her bridegroom's putting his cloak over her. There's a third time that Sansa shows great anger, but we'll get to that later. On all three occasions, Sansa focuses her anger on males, not women; and on two of the three occasions, the men are her captors as well as bound to her by betrothal or marriage.

Some of Arya's less complex view of human nature and love can be explained by her age; she is two years younger that Sansa, and at this time in their development, that's a large gulf. But I think Sansa is less interested in what motivates people and more interested in their actual deeds; and not as naturally observant of details as Sansa is. She is also less patient than Sansa, and reacts quicker, which has probably saved her life on more than one occasion. Sometimes it seems like Sansa has too much anger and Sansa does not have enough; but I doubt that Sansa could have survived for long on the road that Arya took; or that Arya could have survived as a captive hostage in Cersei and Joffrey's court (at least not without being punished far more frequently and with more severity than was Sansa).

Voodooqueen - I like the idea of Winterfell being a temptation for Sansa, and the bone of contention between her need for agency and her need for love. I agree that Sansa could do a fine job of being Rickon's regent/protector in Winterfell and nurturing him to his majority. Not sure that Sansa could accomplish much in the way of being a patron of the arts in Winterfell though, at least not in the near future - the North, and especially Winterfell, will have to pour most of their human effort into surviving both an under-prepared for Winter and the Others. If the Others are eventually defeated/pushed back, and Spring does come, that would be the time for Sansa to create a great court, either at Winterfell or the Vale or King's Landing (if she marries a king there) or even Riverrun (if Edmure and his child die). I hope that Sansa does carve out a life for herself that includes some measure of power (and the ability to wield it with compassion as well as steel) and some measure of romantic and familial love.

Sansa does have many roads open to her, many destinies that she could fulfill, if she survives.

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Yay! I have finally managed to get on this site after days of trying!! Very frustrating. I was able to follow along the discussion at least and it has been a great one. The symbolism of the fruit and the analogies to greek myths were wonderful as was the discussion of women's roles in challenging the patriarchy. I have been wanting to comment on the part of the discussion that focused on Sansa's dream of the Hound getting into her bed and whether it is a nightmare or erotic. I view it as a little bit of both, which I think is similar to what VoodooQueen was saying above.

This chapter very much exemplifies the duality of love/sexual attraction in that sometimes it can be dangerous and make people do terrible things, but sometimes (hopefully more often than not) it is a wonderful experience. We have Sansa experiencing both sides here, and when you add in the erotic descriptions of the pear juice dripping down her chin, the wine flavors blossoming in her mouth like flowers, the pomegranate seeds and LF's mouth turning red from it, it really stands out. She sees how Lysa is transformed by her love for LF, it makes her look years younger and like a giggly little girl. Then as the atmosphere becomes sexually charged she is accosted by Marillion and threatened by him sexually in a bad way. Then she is saved by Lothor Brune who reminds her of the Hound who she has been convinced for some time now would never hurt her. No wonder her dream is such a mixture of nightmare (dangerous part of sex) and latent desire (the pleasurable part of sex). I really think the dream is a bit of both a nightmare and erotic.

The line that most exemplifies this for me is when she is viewing Lysa's bedding and she thinks how it could be pleasant to be undressed by or for a man who you truly love, "but by Joffrey though, she shuddered".

ETA When Petyr asks Sansa does she like to play games, that sent chills up my spine and not in a good way. It so seems like the thing a child predator would say to lure a child into his control. It was extrememly creepy!

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Sorry folks.....life...very busy...this evening hopefully....next chapter...aaarrrghhh.

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