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From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa VI

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And we're off with another thread :)

The next chapter (to be done by Rapsie) will be Sansa VII - the final one in ASOS.

Please remember that this is a re-reread thread, so we're taking our analysis chapter by chapter. Discussion of and reference to previous chapters is always welcome.

(The tag section wasn't available, so for those new to the thread this is a project run by Rapsie and yours truly :) )

New posters, new voices, are always welcome.

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Holy carp the board has been ridiculously awful today! :bawl: :bang:

Talk about going through serious withdrawal! :stillsick:

Looking forward to the next chapter, but sad that we're almost done.

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Holy carp the board has been ridiculously awful today! :bawl: :bang:

YEAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

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ASOS - Sansa VII

Summary

Sansa wakes up in the Eyrie and momentarily doesn’t remember where she is. She had dreamed she was little again and sharing a bed with her sister Arya. She reminds her self that it is her maid in her room with her, and it is the Eyrie, not Winterfell

And I am Alayne Stone, a bastard girl.

She sometimes dreams of Ser Ilyn Payne and wakes with her heart thumping, but this dream had been of

Home. It was a dream of home.

She thinks that the Eyrie is not home. It is a small Castle and outside it are only the sheer sides of the mountain. The old servants tell her that the halls had been full of laughter when her father and Robert were boys there, but those days were gone.

Her Aunt kept a small number of servants and rarely allowed guests to get further than the first Castle (Moon) at the bottom of the Valley. Apart from her Old Maid, Sansa’s only companion is Robert who is 8 but more like a 3 year old.

And Marillion. There is always Marillion
When he played at dinner she feels he is singing directly at her and this doesn’t please her Aunt who dotes on him and has already sent two serving girls away for “lying” about him.

She notes that Lysa was as lonely as her, because LF spends more time at the bottom of the mountain than at the top. He has been meeting with the Corbrays for the last four days and Sansa has picked up gossip overheard from the servants that the Vale Bannermen don’t like the marriage and begrudge LF his authority as Lord Protector of the Vale. House Royce was nearly in revolt over the Vale’s failure to help Robb and the Waynwoods, Redforts, Belmores and Templetons were supporting them.

There is trouble with the mountain clans and Lord Hunter’s death has been seen as suspicious and his eldest son is suspected of murdering him. It is far from the lovely place Lysa told Sansa it would be. She realises she can’t get back to sleep so gets out of bed and opens her window.

Outside the flakes drifted down as soft and silent as memory. Was this what woke me?

She looks out over the garden where the snow is falling. The sight reminds her of cold nights at home in the “long summer of her childhood” and she remembers that the last time she had seen snow was the day she left Winterfell. She remembers Robb had snow in his hair as he hugged her goodbye and that Arya was trying to make a snowball.

It hurt to remember how happy she had been that morning. Hullen had helped her mount, and she'd ridden out with the snowflakes swirling around her, off to see the great wide world. I thought my song was beginning that day, but it was almost done.

She dresses in layers of warm clothing, a blue dress and a hooded cloak of white fox fur.

She descends the stairs to the garden and opens the door and holds her breath while she takes in the beauty of the

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. All color had fled the world outside. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here.

She goes out into the snow anyway. The snowflakes brush her face lightly like lovers’ kisses and standing

beside the statue of the weeping woman that lay broken and half- buried on the ground, she turned her face up to the sky and closed her eyes. She could feel the snow on her lashes, taste it on her lips. It was the taste of Winterfell. The taste of innocence. The taste of dreams.

She finds she has fallen to her knees but can’t remember falling. The sky is now a light grey and dawn is coming. She thinks that it is another new day, but it is the old days she wants.

It was the old days she hungered for. Prayed for. But who could she pray to? The garden had been meant for a godswood once, she knew, but the soil was too thin and stony for a weirwood to take root. A godswood without gods, as empty as me.

She begins to make snowballs, remembering a snowball fight between her Arya and Bran. They had ambushed her and then she had chased Arya until they were out of breath and she slipped and fell. Arya went to see if she was okay and when discovering she was, hit her with another snowball and Sansa pulled her down into the snow. Jory had pulled them apart laughing.

Sansa then looks at her snowballs and thinks there is no one to throw them at. She thinks she could make a snow knight and then gets another idea. She begins to push the snowballs together to make a cylinder. She the puts windows in it and makes battlements and turns it on end to make a tower. She thinks that she needs to build walls and a keep.

As the snow keeps falling the castle gets bigger. She builds two walls, the inner wall being taller and then towers and turrets, and keeps and stables etc. It started off as a castle, but has become Winterfell. She makes the godswood out of twigs and uses bark for the gravestones in the lichyard. She is soon soaked and cold but keeps on building as snow Winterfell is all that matters. Some things are hard to remember but most of it comes back easily to her. She is building when she hears her maid call to her from above and ask if she wants breakfast. She declines and keeps on building.

As it gets lighter, servants occasionally come out to look at her and what she is building and go back inside. Sansa ignores them all. Lysa comes to the window dressed in blue with fox fur and stares down at her. Maester Coleman looks down at her for a while curiously and then goes inside.

She is having problems building bridges and ends up cursing when they fall down.

A voice then tells her to pack snow round a stick. She realizes it is LF and doesn’t know how long he has been watching her. She queries his advice and he says it will give it strength to stand.

Petyr said. "May I come into your castle, my lady?" Sansa was wary. "Don't break it. Be . . . “

". . gentle?" He smiled. "Winterfell has withstood fiercer enemies than me. It is Winterfell, is it not?"

Lf tells her he always imagined Winterfell as a cold and dismal place, but Sansa says it was warm and lovely. LF then steps over both walls in one step and begins to help Sansa use sticks to build the glass gardens. Sansa says that is just right and LF touches her face saying it is too. She doesn’t understand. He says he smile is just right and asks her if he can make another. She builds the walls of the glass gardens while LF puts the twig roves on them. They continue building the castle but Sansa can’t think how to make Gargoyles. LF asks her what Gargoyles look like covered in snow and she says lumps, so they make lumpy snow gargoyles. They make the broken tower as a normal tower and then Sansa garbs a handful of snow from the top to make it appear broken and throws the snow in LF’s face.

LF tells her that was unchivalrously done and Sansa says.

"As was bringing me here, when you swore to take me home." She wondered where this courage had come from, to speak to him so frankly. From Winterfell, she thought. I am stronger within the walls of Winterfell.

LF then tells her he has been false in one other thing and tells her that something would please him more than helping her build the castle.

"This." Sansa tried to step back, but he pulled her into his arms and suddenly he was kissing her. Feebly, she tried to squirm, but only succeeded in pressing herself more tightly against him. His mouth was on hers, swallowing her words. He tasted of mint. For half a heartbeat she yielded to his kiss ... before she turned her face away and wrenched free.

She asks him what he is doing and he says kissing a snow maid. She tells him he should be kissing Lysa. LF says Lysa has no cause for complaint and then tells Sansa she is very beautiful in several terms.

He then says

Let me warm you, Sansa. Take off those gloves, give me your hands."

"I won't." He sounded almost like Marillion, the night he'd gotten so drunk at the wedding. Only this time Lothor Brune would not appear to save her; Ser Lothor was Petyr's man.

Sansa tells him that she might have been his daughter and he shouldn’t kiss her, but LF says she isn’t and is even more beautiful than her mother. Sansa pleads weakly with him but is interrupted by SweetRobin who has seen the Snow Castle. Sansa tells him it is meant to be Winterfell.

"Winterfell?" Robert was small for eight, a stick of a boy with splotchy skin and eyes that were always runny. Under one arm he clutched the threadbare cloth doll he carried everywhere. "Winterfell is the seat of House Stark," Sansa told her husband-to-be. "The great castle of the north."

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YEAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

It's been making me utterly daft! (Glad to see that I wasn't alone though! Misery loves company, eh?)

I get 10 minutes on and then everything goes to shite! :bang:

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Sweetrobin says it is not so great and says here comes a giant to knock the castle down. He stands his doll in front of the Castle and says,

"Tromp tromp I'm a giant, I'm a giant," he chanted. "Ho ho ho, open your gates or I'll mash them and smash them." Swinging the doll by the legs, he knocked the top off one gatehouse tower and then the other. It was more than Sansa could stand. "Robert, stop that." Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll's head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow. Lord Robert's mouth trembled. "You killlllllllled him," he wailed.

SweetRobin (SR) then begins to shake and has a fit. Sansa is horrified but LF grabs SR and calls for the maester. Servants arrive immediately and the maester shortly afterwards and gives him dreamwine. and takes him to his chambers to be leeched.

My Lord Husband, Sansa thought, as she contemplated the ruins of Winterfell. < > She wondered if Lord Robert would shake all through their wedding. At least Joffrey was sound of body. A mad rage seized hold of her. She picked up a broken branch and smashed the torn doll’s head down on top of it, then pushed it down atop the shattered gatehouse of her snow castle.

The servants look at her shocked but LF laughs.

“if the tales be true, that’s not the first giant to end up with his head on Winterfell’s walls. “

“Those are only stories,” she , and left him there.

She returns to her bedchamber and sits by the fire. She thinks she will be punished by Lysa for her actions but also thinks she doesn’t mind if Lysa sends her away. Lysa send anyone away who displeases her son.

Sansa thinks that she would welcome being banished. The Gates of the Moon were a larger castle with more going on and Myranda Royce who runs them for her father was said to be frolicsome. Her best friend is King Robert’s bastard daughter Mya and Sansa thinks that as Alyane her bastardry would not stand much against her.

I will tell my aunt that I don’t want to marry Robert. Not even the High Septon himself could declare a woman married if she refused to say the vows. She wasn’t a beggar, no matter what her aunt said. She was thirteen, a woman flowered and wed, the heir to Winterfell. Sansa felt sorry for her little cousin sometimes, but she could not imagine ever wanting to be his wife. I would sooner be married to Tyrion again.

She thinks if Lysa knew that, she’d send her away for sure. Then she thinks she’d be away from Robert and he bratty behaviour, his runny nose, Marillion and away from LF and his kisses.

I will tell her. I will!

Later in the afternoon she is called for by Lysa, and Marillion is sent to fetch her. He leers at her, but she has become used to it. She thinks he is attractive, but that he is hated by everyone except her aunt and SR. She has heard he has molested others girls who unlike her had not had Luthor Brune to help them.

She notes that Lysa would not have a word said against Marillion. He sang to SR every night and mocked Lysa’s suitors in verse, but Lysa had given him gold, gifts, jewels, a horse and Jon Arryn’s favourite falcon. He was always gentlemanly with her, but arrogant with others when she wasn’t there.

Sansa says thank you and that she knows the way, but Marillion insists on taking her as he has been instructed to “bring her”. Sansa does not like the sound of this.

Marillion tells her he is composing a new song about a bastard girl who’s beauty breaks everyone’s hearts called “The Roadside Rose”. He tells her it will “melt even your frozen heart”.

I am a Stark of Winterfell, she longed to tell him. Instead she nodded, and let him escort her down the tower steps and along a bridge. The High Hall had been closed as long as she'd been at the Eyrie.

Sansa now was curious as to why Lysa was there as she liked her Solar and her husband’s chamber for interviews. The get to the hall with two guards outside. Marillion tells the guards that no one is to enter while Alyane is with Lysa. The men agree and let them pass. Marillion barrs the door behind them.

Sansa feels uneasy about this. She looks uncertainly around the room and sees Lysa sitting in a chair on the dias of weirwood. The chair beside her (SR’s) was empty. Sansa walls down the marble pillared hall towards Lysa.

Lysa looks austere, dressed in a cream coloured gown and a necklace of sapphires and moonstones, but her face is puffy beneath a thick layer of make-up.

Sansa curtsies before her and says “You sent for me.” Lsya says she did and then tells her she knows what she did. Sansa smoothes down her dress and asks if SR is well and apologizes for destroying the doll and begins to explain that she did not mean to rip the doll, but Lysa cuts her off.

"Will you play the coy deceiver with me?" her aunt said. "I was not speaking of Robert's doll. I saw you kissing him."

The hall seems to grow colder. Sansa exclaims that he kissed her.

Lysa's nostrils flared. "And why would he do that? He has a wife who loves him. A woman grown, not a little girl. He has no need for the likes of you. Confess, child. You threw yourself at him. That was the way of it." Sansa took a step backward. "That's not true."

Sansa begins to back away but Lysa asks her where she is going and if she is afraid of punishment. She tells her she has to tell the truth. Sansa says she was building the snow castle, then LF helped her and kissed her.

Lysa screams at her, questioning if she has no honour and if she takes her for a fool. Then rages on about her being taken for a fool. She asks her if she thinks she can have any man because she is young and beautiful. She then tells her she knows her kind, and that her big eyes and smiles will not win LF because he’s hers. She then tells her that

"They all tried to take him from me. My lord father, my husband, your mother ... Catelyn most of all. She liked to kiss my Petyr too, oh yes she did." Sansa retreated another step. "My mother?" "Yes, your mother, your precious mother, my own sweet sister Catelyn. Don't you think to play the innocent with me, you vile little liar. All those years in Riverrun, she played with Petyr as if he were her little toy. She teased him with smiles and soft words and wanton looks, and made his nights a torment." "No." My mother is dead, she wanted to shriek. She was your own sister, and she's dead. "She didn't. She wouldn't."

Lysa asks her how she would know and asks if she was there when Lord Bracken and Lord Blackwood came to visit and talk about their feud. She says that Cat danced 6 times with LF because she counted. She notes that when her father and the Lords were talking in her father’s solar, Edmure got drunk and LF tried to kiss Cat, but she laughed at him. Lysa says he looked so hurt she thought her heart would break and says LF drank until he passed out. She asks Sansa if she remembers that and Sansa says she wasn’t born then. Lysa says she was and not for Sansa to presume to tell her what was true. That she knows what is true and that Sansa kissed LF. Sansa tries to say LF kissed her, but Lysa cuts her off.

"Be quiet, I haven't given you leave to speak. You enticed him, just as your mother did that night in Riverrun, with her smiles and her dancing. You think I could forget? That was the night I stole up to his bed to give him comfort. I bled, but it was the sweetest hurt. He told me he loved me then, but he called me Cat, just before he fell back to sleep. Even so, I stayed with him until the sky began to lighten. Your mother did not deserve him. She would not even give him her favor to wear when he fought Brandon Stark. I would have given him my favor. I gave him everything. He is mine now. Not Catelyn's and not yours."

Sansa’s strength fades from her after this and she is as frightened of Lysa as she was of Cersei.

"He's yours, my lady," she said, trying to sound meek and contrite. "May I have your leave to go?"

Lysa says she can’t go.

"If you were anyone else, I would banish you. Send you down to Lord Nestor at the Gates of the Moon, or back to the Fingers. How would you like to spend your life on that bleak shore, surrounded by slatterns and sheep pellets? That was what my father meant for Petyr. Everyone thought it was because of that stupid duel with Brandon Stark, but that wasn't so.

She says her father would have turned her out like her Uncle if she had refused to marry Jon Arryn and how he told her that she should be grateful Jon Arryn was willing to take her because she was “soiled”. She says it was Petyr she was meant for. She says she is telling Sansa all this so she knows how much LF and her love each other and tells her that she was going to have LF’s baby and that he “was stolen from her” and that she wasn’t going to let Jon Arryn have SR sent to be a ward on Dragonstone and then tells her that she won’t steal LF from her.

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Sansa trying to placate with what she wants her to hear and says she won’t try to kill LF again. Lysa accuses her of being a wanton and grabs her wrist and tells her there is something she wants to show her. Lysa tells Marillion to play ‘The False and the Fair’. Marillion begins to sing.

Lysa pulls her arm.

It was either walk or be dragged, so she chose to walk, halfway down the hall and between a pair of pillars, to a white weirwood door set in the marble wall. The door was firmly closed, with three heavy bronze bars to hold it in place, but Sansa could hear the wind outside worrying at its edges. When she saw the crescent moon carved in the wood, she planted her feet. "The Moon Door." She tried to yank free. "Why are you showing me the Moon Door?"

"You squeak like a mouse now, but you were bold enough in the garden, weren't you? You were bold enough in the snow."

Lysa then goads Sansa into opening the moon door, telling her that at least her mother was brave. She lifts the last bar and the door blows open. She tries to move back from the door but Lysa pushes her forward and tells her to look down. Sansa tries to wrench free but Lysa holds her tight. Sansa looks out over the 600ft drop and is terrified. Lysa asks if she still wants her leave to go. Sansa says no, not by the Moon Door and tries to push backwards. She tries to garb the Weirwood frame but it is slippy and Lysa keeps pushing her forward. Sansa screams. Marillion keeps singing.

Sansa is hysterical with fear and has one foot dangling over the edge, but manages to get a hold of Lysa’s braid. Both women are teetering on the edge of the precipice. In the background Sansa can hear the guards banging on the door.

Marillion stops singing and LF appears shouting at Lysa “What is the meaning of this”. Lysa loosens her grip enough for Sansa to get free. She falls to her knees. LF asks Sansa what’s going on, but Lysa interrupts and says that she is the trouble and she kissed him. Sansa begs for LF to tell her they were just building a castle. Her aunt screams at her to be quiet. Lysa says she was going to marry her to SR and she was teaching her a lesson. She tells LF she wants Sansa sent away.

LF says they can send her back to KL but Lysa has to let her away from the door. Lysa screams “NO” and tells LF he can’t want her.

She's a stupid empty-headed little girl. She doesn't love you the way I have. I've always loved you. I've proved it, haven't I?" Tears ran down her aunt's puffy red face. "I gave you my maiden's gift. I would have given you a son too, but they murdered him with moon tea, with tansy and mint and wormwood, a spoon of honey and a drop of pennyroyal. It wasn't me, I never knew, I only drank what Father gave me. .. "

LF tries to calm her but she continues on hysterically.

"Tears, tears, tears," she sobbed hysterically. "No need for tears ... but that's not what you said in King's Landing. You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did. For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said.

LF tells her that they are together after all the storms they have weathered and tells her to unhand Sansa and come and kiss him. Lysa throws herself into LF’s arms and Sansa crawls to the nearest pillar. Her heart is pounding and she realizes that her right shoe has fallen out the moon door.

"My sweet silly jealous wife," he said, chuckling. "I've only loved one woman, I promise you."

Lysa Arryn smiled tremulously. "Only one? Oh, Petyr, do you swear it? Only one?" "Only Cat." He gave her a short, sharp shove. Lysa stumbled backward, her feet slipping on the wet marble. And then she was gone. She never screamed. For the longest time there was no sound but the wind.

Marillion can barely speak, the guards are pounding on the door, LF pulls Sansa to her feet and tells her to unbar the door and let the guards in because Marillion has killed his wife.

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Analysis

This chapter despite the ending centres a lot about Sansa and her dreams of home and her longing for her family and the happier days of her childhood. We also see a serious attempt on her life by someone who should have kept her safe.

A longing for “Home” and feeling safe have been a feature of Sansa’s story since she was shown her father’s head by Joffrey in AGOT. We saw in the last chapter LF telling her that the home she knew was gone and she would have to make her own home. She is clear that the Eyrie is not home. At least on the Fingers, however dismal it was, she felt safe. We also see her reflect that the Eyrie (which we have heard the tales of from Eddard) as no longer being a lovely home, which certainly adds into the idea that home is the people around you, not a static location. Perhaps again in foreshadowing of Sansa remaining on the fingers Lysa does say to her

back to the Fingers. How would you like to spend your life on that bleak shore, surrounded by slatterns and sheep pellets?

She also thinks life as a bastard at the Gates of the Moon would not be too bad. So despite her initial horror, she is beginning to see some positives in her disguise.

We also see a strong attachment between Sansa and Arya in this chapter. Sansa thinks of Arya more than she has done in any previous chapter. Her freedom from KL also seems to let her reflect on her family, something that Sansa could not really do previously without sinking into despair. In conjunction with this idea, this chapter again highlights Sansa’s love of family and how she misses her Sister and brothers. She has previously talked of it hurting too much to remember Jeyne Poole and Septa Mordane and it really seems that she desperately misses them. While at Winterfell she wished to see the “great wide world” and thought that her song was beginning. This is quite a natural urge, but she wasn’t to know how awful KL was to be for her. It is sad that she seems to see her time in Winterfell as the end of her happiness without hope to the future, but given all she has lost, it is understandable to think that little good can lie ahead of her.

This chapter also reflects incidents from two of Arya’s chapters: one from ASOS and one from AFFC. The first is the incident with Sweetrobin’s doll. Sansa ripping the head off the doll is similar to Arya ripping the little girl’s doll in half in the village on the outskirts of the Vale. In both instances, both girls get fed up with little children who are trying to play with them as fellow children and the girls destroy their dolls. A reflection perhaps of their own destroyed childhoods.

She wouldn't, though, so finally Arya took the doll away from her, ripped it open, and pulled the rag stuffing out of its belly with a finger. "Now he really looks like a soldier!" she said, before she threw the doll in a brook.

It was more than Sansa could stand. "Robert, stop that." Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll's head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow.

A mad rage seized hold of her. She picked up a broken branch and smashed the torn doll’s head down on top of it, then pushed it down atop the shattered gatehouse of her snow castle.

The destruction of Robert’s doll could be the vision that the Ghost of High Heart described to Arya of Sansa slaying a Savage Giant in a Castle of Snow. However comparing the following from Sansa and Arya:

Arya in AFFC (and could be foreshadowing of the “Savage giant”.) When Arya sees the Titan of Braavos in AFFC she thinks

He could step right over the walls of Winterfell.

While Sansa’s chapter here LF

stepped over both walls with a single long stride
While there is the possibility the Savage giant was the doll or still could be Tyrion or Gregor, this comparison (especially knowing the Titan is LF’s actual sigil) seems to suggest it is LF whom Sansa will slay.

We also see yet again that Sansa gets a lot of her information from overhearing what servants say. In KL it was from the washerwomen around the well and in the Eyrie it is from the servants. This also echoes what Ser Dontos told her about people happily saying things in front of people they thinks are unimportant or stupid, when he reflects that now he is a fool people will say anything in front of him. Even Lysa calls her an “empty headed little girl” and then proceeds to tell her that she sent the Starks the info saying the Lannisters killed Jon Arryn, that she had her baby forciably aborted and that she poisoned Jon Arryn with LF’s help. Sansa now has a large amount of very important information that few others have.

We also see that despite his death and it being a lost cause and possibly treasonous, the Vale Lords still express loyalty and support for Robb (and presumably by extension, all the Starks). This support may very well transfer to Sansa. She really is an ace up LF’s sleeve. If and when they discover that he rescued her from KL and has been hiding her, then he will have their full support. That he doesn’t appear to have used her for a bargaining chip with them (even privately) will stand in his favour. However he is also subtly letting it slip who she might be. After all, how would his bastard daughter raised by the faith in Gulltown know how to build a scale model of Winterfell and he had no lack of servants or the maester observe her build the Snow Castle. Her hair has been seen as Red at the Fingers by a few of Lysa’s knights and ladies. They will know it is dyed. Gossip may already be circulating. It is a masterful move in the game.

We also see her being more assertive when she thinks that she is not going to marry Robert. She thinks favourably of both Joffrey and Tyrion in comparison to him, which suggests that she would rather have some agency in her own choice of husband. We also see her try to tell Lysa what she thinks she wants to hear and it making the situation worse. Although horrible, this is another valuable lesson in the game and about judging people and their motivations.

In terms of religion, which has been a support to Sansa until now, we see her try to pray to the Gods, but the Eyrie lacking a Godswood.

A godswood without gods, as empty as me.
This would seem to suggest that Sansa is almost placing more value on the Old Gods than the Faith as she queries who to pray to as there is no Godswood. It also may signify a slight lack of faith beginning to grow in her. She is looking for something to fill the void within her and then begins to build the snow castle. It seems from this that again what she really wants is home.

In terms of foreshadowing the scene in the garden is interesting. She falls to her knees next to the statue of Alyssa Arryn which is broken on the ground from where Bronn killed Vardis Egen in Tyrion’s trial by combat. The imagery is interesting as she refused to kneel for Tyrion yet falls to her knees beside the statue, which played such an important role in freeing him and causing her further misery and stopped her father from being exchanged for him. The statue is also of Alyssa Arryn who didn’t cry for the death of her family so is condemned by the Gods to weep until her tears hit the floor of the Vale in the form of a waterfall whose waters never touch the bottom of the vale.

She sees the garden as Ghostly and being in Whites and Blacks and Greys and thinks “A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. “ This again could foreshadow her staying Alyane, as the colours of House Stark seem very present in this description and the idea of ghostly fits with the Starks being “dead” and gone.

What is interesting as why she would think she doesn’t belong in a “pure world”?

Sansa’s attire has also had some symbolic meaning in the past (or at least has seemed to). So is the cloak with the white fox fur hood the one from the chest that LF mentioned? We again we see her connected to a white cloak. This could just be good imagery from GRRM, but it does tie into her using both Barristan Selmy and Sandor Clegane’s White Cloak’s as protection and comfort. However blue and white are the colours of House Arryn, so could this be foreshadowing of a marriage to Sweetrobin or Harry the Heir?

Since AGOT Sansa has said that dreams are prophetic. We also know that she, like her siblings, is a Warg and that wargs can slip their skin in their sleep. So her dreams are again interesting in this chapter.

I completely missed until this re-read just how often she thinks or dreams about Ser Ilyn Payne. I do think that this much foreshadowing would suggest she and he may meet again and not in a good way for Sansa. Both he and Ser Gregor were the two monsters she describes in AGOT and Ser Ilyn has been present in her arc since her first chapter in AGOT (as well as Sandor Clegane.) Given Bran’s vision and Ser Gregor’s possible transformation to Ser Robert Strong, it is possible Sansa may meet all three figures again.

The game Come-into my Castle has taken on a rather sinister connotation in Sansa’s circumstances. Tyrion makes the foul joke about raping her with the line that he has a mood to come into her castle and then in this chapter we have LF

Petyr said. "May I come into your castle, my lady?" Sansa was wary. "Don't break it. Be . . . “

Ugh!!!!!!! :ack:

SR also wants to break through her castle gates, which she reacts badly to and similarly reflects her lack of enthusiasm about their future marriage.

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My apologies for the huge delay.......I was on holiday and stupidly thought this would be easy to do while I was away.

Edit: Not to mention how tricky getting on here has been today!!

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Horrah for the new Sansa thread!

Anyway, a few words on the last chapter before the analysis of the new one goes up...

I think this chapter is where things start to get really interesting with Sansa, and that this in the following few chapters represent yet another major turning point in her life, psychological progression, and world view. I especially find the Sansa/ LF/ Lysa dynamic intriguing. However, before I get to that, a brief word re: GRRM’s portrayal of Lysa in this chapter. (If anyone feels the first half of this post gets a little too O.T., please just let me know and I’ll cut it.)

As many have noted, Lysa’s behavior towards Sansa is quite shabby here. However, I have two issues with how GRRM is choosing to portray her here—first, imo, by making Lysa a ridiculous caricature who wines about her late husbands onion breath rather than a woman in deep psychological pain over numerous miscarriages, GRRM robs us of a potentially fascinating (and more complex) interaction between the two women.

Secondly, I feel that for a good chunk of the chapter, Lysa is being rather brutally caricatured—for all the wrong reasons.

It starts when Lysa is introduced. To use Brashcandy’s quote from her summary:

Could that by my aunt? Lady Lysa was two years younger than Mother, but this woman looked ten years older. Thick auburn tresses fell down past her waist, but beneath the costly velvet gown and jeweled bodice her body sagged and bulged. Her face was pink and painted, her breasts heavy, her limbs thick. She was taller than Littlefinger and heavier; nor did she show any grace in the clumsy way she climbed down off her horse.

Now, I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with Lysa being chubby, clumsy, and homely and also happening to be evil. But (for starters) something about Sansa’s description simply doesn’t ring true here. It almost seems as though GRRM is projecting his own feelings of disgust and thoughts about Lysa onto Sansa, even though it wouldn’t make much sense for Sasna to be thinking them. I mean, would a barely 13 year old kid really notice that her aunts “body sagged and bulged” and she had “saggy breasts?” That simply doesn’t seem like the sort of thing a 13 year old kid would think. It sounds like the sort of thing a grown man or woman would think.

Furthermore, Sansa’s disgust and disapproval here seem rather uncharacteristic, judging from everything we’ve seen from Sansa in the past—she seems incredibly put off by Lysa’s old appearance, chubby face, clumsiness, the fact that she is taller and heavier than LF (but why in God’s name would Sansa care about that?) The description seems to drip with disgust. I guess some disgust makes sense, but surely not the amount present here. Furthermore, this simply seems at odds with Sansa’s attitude in the past towards the homely people she encounters—Lolys, Margary’s Septa, even Tyrion, the son of her enemy house—she felt compassion for all of these people. (She is disgusted by the prospect of sleeping with Tyrion, yes, but she is still able to feel sympathy for him and see him as a human being.) Her disgust for Lysa her seems less like Sansa’s own general attitude and perspective than that of the author, judging by his portrayal of people like Lolys, Selyse, and Lysa herself.

This attitude continues here and throughout other chapters. And, just to note, I don't think it's wrong-- it just doesn't sound at all like Sansa as we've gotten to know her from every previous chapter.

Obviously, Lysa's treatment of Sansa is horrible and deserves caricature. However, imo, the author appears to spend more time and effort caricaturing and mocking her for wanting sex and feeling sexual desire; he constantly focuses to what feels like an excessive extent on her physical appearance, and mocks her for everything, including the things that, imo, she deserves some sympathy for (such as the silly unrequited love for LF-- and why is Lysa so self deluded/ stupid/ ridiculosu for allowing herself to believe this when Tyrion does the exact same with Shae, a bloody prostitute, and is portrayed as sympathetic and human for it?)

Though she deserves sympathy for many things (all the misscariages, the horrible marriage, etc.)-- GRRM seems to consistently mock her and imply that all her misfortune is due to weakness and stupidity on her part. Sure, I (and I'm guessing some others here) may have pitied Lysa as well as disliked her for her horrible treatment of the totally innocent and defenseless Sansa. However, I'd argue that GRRM does very little in the text to inspire real sympathy for Lysa-- even all her totally legit complaints are portrayed as silly and petty during her little speech to Sansa in which she says she always hated Jon A. because he had bad breath, that she blames him for all the misscarriages, etc.

Anyway it seems that Lysa gets caricatured, mocked, ridiculed and degraded for most of all for the fact that she wants love and sex.

To quote that wedding night:

and true to her word, he aunt screamed. …they heard most every word. “Petyr,” her aunt moaned. “Oh Petyr, Petyr, sweet Petyr, oh oh oh. There Petyr, there. That’s where you belong.” Lady Lysa’s singer launched into a bawdy version of “Milady’s Supper,” but even his singing and playing could not drown out Lysa’s cries. “Make me a baby, Petyr”, she screamed, “Make me another sweet little baby. Oh, Petyr, precious, precious PEEEEEETYR!” Her last shriek was so loud that it set the dogs to barking, and two of her aunt’s ladies could scarce contain their mirth.

Well... okay then. But honestly, I cannot help but wonder-- what the hell is the point of including this? To me it appears that Lysa is being portrayed as foul, revolting, grotesque, and ridiculous for enjoying sex, something that it is taken for granted that Tyrion and other ugly men will (and deserve) to enjoy.

Okay, so Lysa is a shitty person, so its fair that GRRM treats her like this. But the reason remains, why?

GRRM’s utterly different attitude towards ugly males and ugly females can be observed in his different portrayals of the sexuality of Tyrion vs. Lysa. (Obviously, Tyrion is “better” than Lysa, however, that’s not my point. Let’s just look at how their sexuality alone is portrayed.)

With Tyrion, GRRM expresses some of the deepest and visceral sympathy shown in these novels. He shows Tyrion’s inability to get the gorgeous teen girls he lusts after without having to pay them as tragic. Tyrion feeling entitled to love with a beautiful girl, paying one to play this role, and then getting outraged and murdering her after she cares about him no more than he cared about her is chronicled with deep and utter sympathy. Though some people here might argue how much you actually pitied Tyrion, in the end, the fact is this—GRRM portrays him in a way that indicates GRRM felt great sympathy for Tyrion’s situation, and portrayed it that way for readers. Yet when you look closer, Tyrion is just an ugly guy who wants gorgeous girls, feels entitled to them, and feels betrayed when the ones he pays to sleep with him end up not loving him. GRRM portrays Tyrion’s desire to shag Sansa and him not being able to get a hot young girl with every bit as much sympathy as he describes Sansa’s kidnapped hostage situation.

Lysa attitude is utterly different—and revealing. Not only does GRRM not sympathize with Lysa being looked down upon by gorgeous members of the opposite sex or not being able to get hotties to sleep with her (as he does with Tyrion), he portrays the very fact that Lysa desires love and sex as foul, revolting, ridiculous, and hilarious. With Tryion, GRRM utterly sympathizes with him convincing himself that a gorgeous young girl loves him; Lysa is portrayed as grotesque and self deluded for ever believing that any man, much less LF, would ever want her.

Anyway, I think Lysa’s attitude towards Sansa here is, as others have noted, horrible and sad. It only serves to add to Sansa’s emotional isolation. In my mind, what she needs the most right now is not a knight in shining armor, but a mother or a true caretaker—someone to hug and comfort her and genuinely look out for her best interests. Someone to be an adult so that she (Sansa) can finally be, at least in part, a 13-year-old child.

That is what she needs and that is not what she is going to get from LF and Lysa, both whom pull her into a world of adult desire and adult activities and adult jealousy when all she wants to do is be a kid. First she was a prisoner of her families enemies where she had to watch her every step, live in fear, and pretend to be something she’s not; now she is living with her own bloody family and still has to watch her every step, live in fear, and pretend to be something she’s not.

As for Lysa, I buy her attitude, however, not quite the extreme it is taken to here. I think GRRM would have been able to do something fascinating here with the dynamic between these two, however, as with Lolys before her, he seems to feel to disgusted by Lysa’s physical appearance to feel anything involving pity for her. (His attitude is pretty much the same towards Selyse Florent and every other single ugly female character not named Brienne.) In a way, she has suffered almost as much as Sansa—gotten pregnant with the love of her life’s baby at 15, had a forced abortion, been treated like an object soiled by her father, married off to a 60 year old man who does not care for her and views her as dishonorable, repeating the most traumatic ordeal of her life—the—what—like 4, 5, or 6 month along abortion 5 more times, and only having one sick kid.

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I hope you had a wonderful time on holiday, Rapsie! :)

Jumping right in now....I hope this goes through *crosses fingers*

She awoke all at once, every nerve atingle.....

Outside the flakes drifted down as soft and silent as memory.

Was this what woke me?

Even though Sansa was dreaming of home, I always took her waking up suddenly to coinciding with Sandor being badly hurt and dying after Arya left him in the Saltpans. I feel that somehow she knew something was wrong, but as we can see, she didn't know what. We know that Sandor mentions Sansa to Arya, how he "took the song from her", that she didn't give it freely, and how he "let them beat her":

He made a queer sound, and it took her a moment to realize he was sobbing. “And the little bird, your pretty sister, I stood there in my white cloak and let them beat her. I took the bloody song, she never gave it. I meant to take her too. I should have. I should have fucked her bloody and ripped her heart out before leaving her for that dwarf.” A spasm of pain twisted his face. “Do you mean to make me beg, bitch? Do it! The gift of mercy… avenge your little Michael…”

He was definitely distraught, and I think that Sansa was able to pick up on it. I think it fits, especially when you think of all the times she's thought of him out of the blue, and all the times she's "dreamed" about him. Take a look at the stories of people that form "bonds" with one another, knowing without logical means when the other is in distress or when something is wrong.

While there is the possibility the Savage giant was the doll or still could be Tyrion or Gregor, this comparison (especially knowing the Titan is LF’s actual sigil) seems to suggest it is LF whom Sansa will slay. .

That dream has sooo many possible interpretations! All of those probabilities are valid ones. :thumbsup:

I agree that Sansa is longing for home. When she starts building the replica of Winterfell, I think it shows that she hasn't forgotten her roots. She remembers her family and the time she spent there fondly. It shows that she's longing for a connection with home and her life as it had been.

And there's this after she throws a snowball at Petyr:

“That was unchivalrously done, my lady.”

“As was bringing me here, when you swore to take me home.” She wondered where this courage had come from, to speak to him so frankly. From Winterfell, she thought. I am stronger within the walls of Winterfell.

Shades of the Wolves of Winterfell! I believe she's right when she said she's drawing strength from Winterfell. It shows that family makes you strong. Remember Ned telling Arya about the pack:

“Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths."

I thought this quote intriguing, after Sweetrobin takes out her castle:

“A giant,” the boy whispered, weeping. “It wasn’t me, it was a giant hurt the castle. She killed him! I hate her! She’s a bastard and I hate her!"

Sweetrobin goes on about "her" killing the giant. Could it be possible that Petyr tries to seduce Sansa, and she kills him? Or maybe it could have to do with Gregor too. It's open to interpretation....

In terms of foreshadowing the scene in the garden is interesting. She falls to her knees next to the statue of Alyssa Arryn which is broken on the ground from where Bronn killed Vardis Egen in Tyrion’s trial by combat. The imagery is interesting as she refused to kneel for Tyrion yet falls to her knees beside the statue, which played such an important role in freeing him and causing her further misery and stopped her father from being exchanged for him. The statue is also of Alyssa Arryn who didn’t cry for the death of her family so is condemned by the Gods to weep until her tears hit the floor of the Vale in the form of a waterfall whose waters never touch the bottom of the vale.

I really liked that scene, and thought it very moving. I agree about the connection to kneeling to Tyrion. I felt that statue represented Sansa in a way, but perhaps also foreshadowed Lysa being shoved out the Moon Door. (i.e. a "broken woman", quite literally though :devil: ).

Drifting snowflakes brushed her face as light as lover’s kisses, and melted on her cheeks. At the center of the garden, beside the statue of the weeping woman that lay broken and half-buried on the ground, she turned her face up to the sky and closed her eyes. She could feel the snow on her lashes, taste it on her lips. It was the taste of Winterfell. The taste of innocence. The taste of dreams.

This might sound stupid, but to me, when she says the snowflakes are melting on her cheeks, I think those represent her tears. :crying:

Also I thought it extremely sad that Sansa thought "her song was over". I just think she needs to find other, newer songs to sing. And I believe she will find them.

She sees the garden as Ghostly and being in Whites and Blacks and Greys and thinks “A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. “ This again could foreshadow her staying Alyane, as the colours of House Stark seem very present in this description and the idea of ghostly fits with the Starks being “dead” and gone.

What is interesting as why she would think she doesn’t belong in a “pure world”?

I wondered about that too and thought it odd. Perhaps she thinks she's been "tainted" by all the horrible things she's seen? :dunno:

Perhaps again in foreshadowing of Sansa remaining on the fingers Lysa does say to her “If you were anyone else, I would banish you. Send you down to Lord Nestor at the Gates of the Moon, or back to the Fingers. How would you like to spend your life on that bleak shore, surrounded by slatterns and sheep pellets?

I thought the same thing. That could definitely mean that she's going to spend some time there again in the future.

Sansa’s attire has also had some symbolic meaning in the past (or at least has seemed to). So is the cloak with the white fox fur hood the one from the chest that LF mentioned? We again we see her connected to a white cloak. This could just be good imagery from GRRM, but it does tie into her using both Barristan Selmy and Sandor Clegane’s White Cloak’s as protection and comfort. However blue and white are the colours of House Arryn, so could this be foreshadowing of a marriage to Sweetrobin or Harry the Heir?

Even if an attempt is made at a marriage to either one of these men, I don't think it will come to fruition. I think LF definitely intends to off Sweetrobin, as for Harry, if they marry I think he'll suffer a similar fate. Plus we all know LF wants Sansa for himself, as his Catelyn surrogate.

The game Come-into my Castle has taken on a rather sinister connotation in Sansa’s circumstances. Tyrion makes the foul joke about raping her with the line that he has a mood to come into her castle and then in this chapter we have LF

Ugh!!!!!!! :ack:

SR also wants to break through her castle gates, which she reacts badly to and similarly reflects her lack of enthusiasm about their future marriage.

I agree! It's a euphemism for what LF wants to actually do to her and it creeped me out big time! She needs to get away from him! :ack: :stillsick:

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@ Queen Cersei

You made some excellent points about Lysa and her portrayal. She at the age of 16 with no other support was given the option of marrying a man old enough to be her Grandfather who doesn't want her, or to leave and fend for herself. Her father is to blame for this. Hoster's death is portrayed as sad and yet the man is partly responsible through what he did to Lysa and LF for bringing down his own House. Lysa is never given much sympathy in the text, despite the awfulness of everything she has been through. Her own actions are far from good (in relation to plotting with LF etc) but her life has been a sad and lonely one, yet she is not given the understanding or sympathy that many of the other characters have in the text.

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Will post my thoughts soon, but just wanted to say thanks to Rapsie for that wonderful analysis, and Queen Cersei, I loved your post! Lysa was definitely subjected to authorial mockery and she's a character that I feel a lot of pity for.

*fingers crossed that the board remains up and stable*

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Oh poor sansa!!! :(

Nothing comes easily to her these days…

Queen of Winter said:

Also I thought it extremely sad that Sansa thought "her song was over". I just think she needs to find other, newer songs to sing. And I believe shewill find them.

I thought the same, but also, songs are not always about happy stories, hers is sad, but still worthy of a song.

Something I realized while reading Rapsie’s excellent analysis :) is that, as Littlefinger is using Sansa as his Cathelyn surrogate, Lysa is doing exactly the same, but in another way…

Ever since she met Lysa, Sansa have never done anything to make her aunt dislike her (before the LF kiss :ack: , that was not her fault, anyway), but we always get the vibe that Lysa didn’t have any sympathy for her niece.

To Lysa, Sansa is like a living Cat-punching bag. She can finally get out all the hatred she has over her sister, but on someone who has no way to defend herself.

It’s sad how Sansa is being used against her will in many ways, but always as representing someone else: her mother.

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OK, b4 we lose the site again, I wanted to post this yesterday.

@ Lyanna Stark:

To contrast, you have Tyrion and Arya set up as nice characters, but they do some horrendous things, too. You could even lump Theon in with this lot, in his own fashion.

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BUT!

Cersei and Lysa are in positions of control, power and safety once Ned lost his head both Sansa and Arya lost there safety net, Arya since she was outside the castle had to make some life and death decisions which carried on once Yoren bit the dust.

Arya has never had the power to decide her fate until after she left Sandor and here she decides not to kill him just to be spiteful, all incidents before Sandor were done to either save her or others lives or to escape from a dangerous area or situations and in war life preservation is #1, now if she becomes a outright killer for pay that's something else..

Tyrion has somewhat more power then Arya but again how his father and sister and westerosi society treats someone of his stature forms his mental decision making and attitudes as a whole, comparing Tyrion to Cersei, or LF, or Janos Slynt don't work as he isn't really evil persei but could be considered devious and except for accepting the force marriage to Sansa ( which happens from Dorne to the Wall not necessarily forced I need to add) and treating women as secondary citizens and perceiving himself as God's gift to women, he is understandably likable.

Theon has never had power and has never fit in either, at home or with the Starks, but was treated very well by them and after trying to envoy for Robb and seeing how his father treated him you can see why he did the things he did, yet inside all he wants to do is belong and if we take into account what we know he would have loved to be a Stark ( just like Lady Dustin ) except for taking and causing the destruction of Winterfell and he paid dearly for that.

The evilest thing he did was treat women as play things and try to push his title, not evil, just not proper.

Hence you see a lot of readers who have more pity on him then hatred.

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In this commentary on the latest Sansa chapter, I’m going to include some incredibly mild spoilers for Sansa in AFFC—just to warn anyone about potential spoilers. (Though I get the strong feeling that everyone here has already read AFFC and ADWD.)

(Anyway, if I’m breaking the norms of this thread by mentioning future chapters, please let me know.)

Reading this chapter, I was struck by something—how Sansa’s remaining idealism and hopes for her future seem tied in with her remaining childishness. I think this chapter is a major turning point in ridding all remaining childish dreams and hopes for Sansa; and is perhaps the greatest turning point for her character—even greater, in my opinion, then the one that occurs after her father’s beheading in AGOT. Looking at this chapter and some of the traits that Sansa displays in it, one can see a major difference in her character as we see it in AFFC. These changes are both admirable (from a certain perspective) and incredibly sad.

For instance, here we see a Sansa who, despite her scars, is still able to be spontaneous and take joy in childish things. Her running out to create the snow castle and spending her whole day making it, ignoring the servants and everyone else, is totally typical behavior for a 13-year-old kid. It is also hopeful that, despite everything she’s been through, she is still able to act like a normal kid. She spends all her time making the snow castle, displays some slightly childish but totally understandable and age appropriate rage at sweet Robin for ruining it; and portrays once again understandable disgust at the sight of him.

This is in stark contrast to her behavior in AFFC, though. When we next see her after the aftermath of Lysa’s death, and, really, throughout the entirety of her chapters in that book, she pretty much acts like an adult rather than a 13 year old kid. She cares for Sweet Robin, takes on adult responsibilities, and has no time for fancies or carelessness that are integral to the lives of most kids and young teenagers. More significantly, in AFFC, a sort of… sad heaviness, a weight of despair (for lack of a better term) seems to be with her wherever she goes. She seems miles away from the carelessness and spontaneous joy she displays here.

Furthermore, in AFFC, some of her sensibilities seem to change. For instance, here it seems that—ever so slightly—Sansa still looks down upon bastards. While totally understandable from her societies perspective and clearly not something that would prevent her from befriending someone like Maia, I think the fact that she considers her birth slightly higher from theirs is still there. Of course, this is connected with a an understandable and touching pride in her own family—she feels annoyed at Marrillion’s assumption she is a bastard, and wants to shout she is a stark of Winterfell. Furthermore, she still nurtures some hope for her future happiness—though she seems to believe she has left the best of her life behind her, she still feels she can get out of her situation—leave the castle and go to a place more fun and comfortable for her. Furthermore, she is disgusted by SweetRobin and the prospect of marrying him. While her dreams of the perfect marriage seem to be mostly washed up, she still knows her value and believes she can do better.

As of AFFC, all of these views are gone. From a certain perspective, some of Sansa’s changes are admirable—rather than thinking she is better than bastards, she appears to consider herself one (she reflects that she is a bastard like Jon Snow now at one point.) Rather than being disgusted by SweetRobin she tries to do all she can to care for him. However, these changes are also rather heartbreaking, and mark an increasing loss of both Sansa’s hopes and her identity. She really believes that she is, for all intents and purposes, Alayne the bastard as of AFFC. Here, she is still proud of her heritage as a Stark of Winterfell; in AFFC she has totally given up on that. Here she feels she is clearly better than Sweet Robin and can do better; in AFFC she just accepts him, and seems to hope for nothing else.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this chapter truly seems like the last one of Sansa’s childhood. She was able to hold onto some small part of that hope and ability to believe in magic even throughout her trials and trevails in Kings Landing, however, I think that with the ending of this chapter, all that was squashed.

I also think that, though it is never spelled out explicitly, Sansa feels a sort of guilt for Lysa’s death in the future. Opinions may vary on this, but I’ve always felt that she sort of did, and in doing all he can to convince her he “had to” do it and only “did it to protect her”, against his own wishes, LF is pulling one of the nastiest pieces of manipulation on Sansa he has done yet.

A random note—reading Marrillion’s chapters of AFFC, I have always felt great pity for him—singing while locked up, knowing soon he’s going to lose it and throw himself out the moon door. However, after reading this—and reviewing both Marrillion’s part in Sansa’s attempted murder and the numerous rapes he has clearly committed—I have a hard time feeling much of anything for him.

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OK, b4 we lose the site again, I wanted to post this yesterday.

@ Lyanna Stark:

To contrast, you have Tyrion and Arya set up as nice characters, but they do some horrendous things, too. You could even lump Theon in with this lot, in his own fashion.

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BUT!

Cersei and Lysa are in positions of control, power and safety once Ned lost his head both Sansa and Arya lost there safety net, Arya since she was outside the castle had to make some life and death decisions which carried on once Yoren bit the dust.

And Tyrion, who you (and, it seems, the author) insist is hard done by and that his intense misogyny and mistreatment of women is merely a reflection of this, has been in "a position of control, power, and safety" all of his life. He is a child of the most powerful family in the realm; grew up in a golden castle, gets a position of prilege as the brother of the queen; has unlimited resources to wealth and pretty much anything he wants; and must have at least a show of respect from all those around him, save for his father and his sister.

His "tragic" deprevations-- his daddy does not love him, his sister does not love him, and he cannot get the drop dead gorgeous girls between the ages of 12 and 18 that he lusts after without having to pay for them first. Somehow (due in large part to his obvious identification with Tyrion) the author manages to make this look tragic. But really, it isn't. Tyrion's lack of love from his father and sister is indeed sad; but compared to 99.99999 percent of the westeros smallfolk population, he's got it made. Compared to Sansa and Arya, he's got it made. (Indeed, one of the most disturbing issues for me is how GRRM portrays a 13 year old frequently abused hostage as equally worthy of pity as the 25 year old, powerful man of privilege who's basically just sad she won't let him sex her up.)

In fact, I'll go out on a limb here-- until they were both widowed, both Lysa and Cersei had it a hell of a lot worse than Tyrion. Most would fervently disagree with this because Tyrion get endless sympathy for his "I love hot women but they won't love me back, all I want is a hot, gorgeous young girl when I'm an ugly guy" crap, Lysa and Cersei get next to none for their specifically female situations. They are portrayed as whiny weaklings who can't hack it. However, looking at the facts themselves, they are far worse off than Tyrion until they are widowed, and even afterwards they have far less official rights and power. (GRRM makes both of their having power look disasterous; indeed, these silly women are only kept in check by the patriarchy men around them.)

Cersei was married off to a man who raped and hit her. She is portrayed as a raving, hysterical bitch who, if she had half a brain, whoudl have laid back and thought of Westeros whenever her husband wanted a shag, and learned to manipulate him to make him love her. She is complained as a weak whiner held back by nothing but her own incompetence. However, she actually had it a hell of a lot worse than Tyrion-- Tyrion always had right to his own body, Tyrion was never raped. Tyrion is so powerful that few dare tease him about his appearance; with the exception of a sex worker who looked at him in disgust, Tyrion is treated very well.

Yet Tyrion is treated as tragically persecuted and legitimately angry, Cersei as an evil crazy bitch. And the same complaint-- the fact that they feel they should inherit-- is portrayed as bitchy and ridiculous on Cersei's part; totally understandable and just and tragic on Tyrion's.

At the end of the day, Tyrion could be pretty much any rich ugly guy of privilege with a father who didn't love him. An ugly rich guy who, disgusted by unattractive women and feeling he deserves a gorgeous young one, has to pay for them. He then freaks out and we are supposed to pity him when such females do not end up loving him or being willing to conform to his ridiculous, narcissistic visions of love and the perfect woman.

Tyrion is not unlike a guy in the modern day, with ridiculously high standards, who proceeds to pay the gorgeous women he wants to sleep with them, only to feel bitter and infuriated that they end up not loving him.

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@ Queen Cercei I

Even though I agree with you that Sansa, after SOS had to put her childhood aside and act as a woman from then on, I think anyone, at any age, can once in a while, allow himself to act as a child and be amazed by simple things.

I would not look at a 50 years old person building a snow castle that look like the place where he is from and think of it as being childish; it’s only natural to try to reach your roots in any way you can…

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@ Queen Cercei I

Even though I agree with you that Sansa, after SOS had to put her childhood aside and act as a woman from then on, I think anyone, at any age, can once in a while, allow himself to act as a child and be amazed by simple things.

I would not look at a 50 years old person building a snow castle that look like the place where his from and think of it as being childish; it’s only natural to try to reach your roots in any way you can…

Certainly. And I wasn't saying "childish" to mean bad or even neccessarily immature. However, IMO, in ASOS there is a definite change in Sansa; a sadness and a heaviness that was not there before. My implications are not that she is being immature at all here or that she has totally been drained of the ability to feel all joy. It is simply that this chapter-- and her witness of Lysa's murder and it's aftermath-- is a serious milestone in her character. (Of course, that goes without saying to an extent, but...) IMO, even more than at any other point in the books (even after her father's death) here is the point when she seems to leave all childhood behind... or, rather, be forced to part with it, simply for the sake of her psychological health and survival.

Just my two cents....

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No in-depth discussion of AFFC before we get there, thank you :) No need to edit your post either, Queen Cersei, this is just a general reminder for all.

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