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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa VI

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Yep, and he cut down some poor northern soldier is his standard fashion (i.e. "nearly in half"), it's noted in Ned's chapter.

I wonder without Sandor, how would Sansa ever learn that Petyr betrayed her father...

See if we think of Tywin's downfall, it wasn't at the hands of one of the peasants who had suffered through Tywin's vicious personality, or someone who had been raped by Gregor Clegane (whom Tywin had unleashed repeatedly) but at Tyrion's hands over the Tysha incident.

Now with Petyr, it would most likely be for the father betrayal.

If it's not to protect Rickon. Either are options.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SystemsOfSurviva

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AFFC – ALAYNE II (SANSA III)

Summary and Analysis

Sansa’s final chapter in AFFC begins with a mature depiction of Alayne, making final preparations for the descent from the Eyrie and taking charge of the difficult task of making Sweetrobin amicable and agreeable to the journey. Sansa has obviously grown accustomed not only to being in charge of the Eyrie’s household, but in having to lie to Sweetrobin in order to be able to control the boy’s behaviour and thoughts. The lies that she found difficult to repeat in the first chapter, now come smoothly and effortlessly:

“Did Maester Coleman send you?” the boy asked.

“No,” she lied. “I heard my Sweetrobin was ailing.” After his encounter with the chamber pot the maester had come running to Ser Lothor, and Brune had come to her. “If m’lady can talk him out of bed nice, “ the knight said, “I won’t have to drag him out.”

We can’t have that, she told herself.

Throughout Sansa’s conversation with the boy, she is willing to do anything and say just about anything in order to get him calm enough to be dressed by the maids. Her approach with the boy is understandable given how much this conversation illustrates the extent of Sweetrobin’s spoiled nature, but later during her conversation with the maester it becomes clear just why such an approach is dangerous. Even though Sansa as yet does not realise the true danger that the boy is in, she has taken on the role of Littlefinger’s surrogate, working to allay the boy’s fears in order to keep up appearances:

“Who would want to hurt my Sweetrobin? Your lords and knights adore you, and the smallfolk cheer your name.” He is afraid, she thought, and with good reason. Since his lady mother had fallen, the boy would not even stand upon a balcony, and the way from the Eyrie to the Gates of the Moon was perilous enough to daunt anyone.

Sansa has mastered the art of manipulation when it comes to Sweetrobin, knowing just what to say and how to say it, in order to get the boy to behave, yet she realises that Sweetrobin often takes liberties with her that he would not dare to with Petyr:

“I want a hundred lemon cakes and five tales!"

I’d like to give you a hundred spankings and five slaps. You would not dare behave like this if Petyr were here. The little lord had a good healthy fear of his stepfather.

As she is about to call the servants in to get him ready, Sweetrobin throws his arms around her neck and kisses her:

It was a little boy’s kiss, and clumsy. Everything Robert Arryn did was clumsy. If I close my eyes I can pretend he is the Knight of Flowers. Ser Loras had given Sansa Stark a red rose once, but he had never kissed her … and no Tyrell would ever kiss Alayne Stone. Pretty as she was, she had been born on the wrong side of the blanket.

As the boy’s lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt when his cruel mouth pressed down on her. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.

It made no matter. That day was done and so was Sansa.

What’s interesting in this passage is that Sansa never actually names Sandor. Obviously we know she’s talking about him, but the fact that he remains nameless helps to contribute to the idea that he could be any hero in a song. Her memory of that event has cast Sandor in the role of the dashing knight who comes and takes two things associated with romance and passionate attraction – a song and a kiss – leaving the fair maiden behind with some mere token of that affection. Sansa’s words reveal both a longing and a bitterness over having been left with “nothing but a bloody cloak” and her attempt to quickly dismiss this as belonging to Sansa’s world, an identity that she believes she won’t be reclaiming anymore, makes one naturally suspect that she isn’t so comfortable with putting these thoughts to rest, but feels compelled to do so because of circumstances. However, this leaves us with a tantalising question: if Alayne is made to reclaim the identity of Sansa Stark, will this mean that she will necessarily have to confront and deal with these feelings for Sandor Clegane? And yes, I think this passage confirms without a doubt that Sansa has feelings (of that kind) for Sandor. When Sweetrobin kissed her, she first thought of thinking about Loras Tyrell, but isn’t able to do so because she admits that Loras never kissed Sansa; but of course, we as readers are aware that Sandor never kissed her either. So on the one hand, we can appreciate Sansa’s growth from an idealistic young girl, romanticizing handsome knights like Loras, however, when it comes to Sandor, she’s still invested in a fantasy that has no basis in reality. The true feelings that she has for Sandor are responsible (IMO) for this discrepancy. Sansa’s maturity, involving her acute disenchantment with love and marriage, is preventing her from engaging in unrealistic fantasies of the Knight of Flowers, however, her romantic attachment to Sandor Clegane has only grown stronger, and her own memories have continued to resist the truth that he did not kiss her. Essentially, the fleeting infatuation with Loras Tyrell has passed, but her feelings for Sandor are much more substantive and real, and as such, continue to endure.

What’s also fascinating about Sansa’s thoughts here is that she has a sensory memory attached to the kiss:

She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own.

Not only does she remember a kiss taking place, but she recalls the actual sensation the kiss made. My reading of this is that it’s pure wish fulfillment at work, but of course Martin doesn’t want to give too much away by actually having her describe how the kiss made her feel (Sandor’s mouth is described as cruel, but not the kiss). I think it’s important to note the gulf between Sansa’s first thoughts of this kiss back in ASOS when she is with Margaery’s cousins and now that she’s by herself in the Vale. Back then, her memory of the kiss was a little childish, an attempt to differentiate her “mature” experiences from the still innocent ones of the Tyrell girls. But this time, there’s none of that. Sansa now seems to be infusing the memory of the unkiss with more sexual meaning, thinking of how it felt, more than simply remembering that it happened. Obviously we can attribute a lot of this to her growing up, and experiencing events like her own marriage and that of LF to Lysa which bring sex and sexuality out into the open. Still, Martin seems to be continuing to weave a thread that was started back in ACOK in the relationship between Sansa and Sandor, and which continues to bind them together up to this point. In the two times that Sansa thinks of the Hound in this chapter, she’s not thinking of him as a protector or savior, but rather as a man with whom she has shared very intimate experiences.

By contrast, Sansa’s thoughts of Littlefinger now echo the ones she had earlier of the Hound, when it’s arguable that she was still largely appreciative of his courage and guardianship. She says of LF:

I wish he were here. He would know what to do.

The earlier feelings of doubt and mistrust over LF all but seem to have disappeared in this chapter. Sansa seems to have truly adopted the identity of Alayne and the concomitant faith and reliance on her “father” that this entails. She’s also aligned her concerns with those of LF’s, with the result being that Sweetrobin’s health is being placed at risk:

Coleman only wanted the best for his charge, Alayne knew, but what was best for Robert the boy and what was best for Lord Arryn were not always the same. Petyr had said as much, and it was true. Maester Coleman cares only for the boy, though. Father and I have larger concerns.

This appears like a very callous reflection by Sansa, and strictly speaking, it is; but I don’t think it’s meant to portray Sansa/Alayne in a negative manner. Rather, I believe it highlights the danger that we’ve been noting ever since LF took Sansa under “his wing.” LF’s modus operandi is to put political concerns over those of people, and unfortunately, by implicating Sansa in his crimes and letting her know of the grave risks if they should ever be found out, he has managed to seduce her into embracing his vision, one that she now espouses in association with him. I know there’s a belief by some that Maester Coleman didn’t do a good enough job of making Sansa understand the serious threat that the sweetmilk presents to Robert, but I personally don’t agree with this. It’s not a matter of Sansa not caring, but rather that she seems to believe that she can’t afford to care. This perhaps is another pitfall of playing the game and becoming a player: you lose sight of the human costs of your actions, you begin as Sansa does here, to see people as two entities, rather than one, and you make the mistake in thinking that what affects one entity won’t affect the other. A sophisticated player like LF is all too aware of this human cost, and how to expertly exploit it; Sansa is prioritizing the necessity of her survival and unaware just yet that this might be bought with her cousin’s life:

It will mean my head if I am found, she reminded herself as she descended a flight of icy stone steps. I must be Alayne all the time, inside and out.

This assertion eerily echoes what LF told her in the first chapter of AFFC:

You are Alayne, and you must be Alayne all the time. Can you do that? Can you be my daughter in your heart?

At that time, Sansa answered by agreeing with what LF wanted to hear, but now she is determined to commit to this identity unreservedly.

Her thoughts on Lothor Brune’s feelings for Mya Stone reminded me of something that the old Sansa would be interested in (romance/matchmaking), but this time the specific details of that romance, a low born knight’s interest in a bastard girl is particularly suited to the concerns of someone like Alayne Stone.

Alayne wondered what Mya Stone made of Ser Lothor. With his squashed nose, square jaw, and nap of woolly grey hair, Brune could not be called comely, but he was not ugly either. It is a common face but an honest one… Sober, he was a quiet man, but a strong one. And Petyr says he’s loyal. He trusts him as much as he trusts anyone. Brune would be a good match for a bastard girl like Mya Stone, she thought. It might be different if her father had acknowledged her, but he never did. And Maddy says she’s no maid either.

Given the similarities that Martin has established between Sandor and Lothor, it seems fair to say that this passage is as a much about Sansa and Sandor as is it about Brune and Mya. We’ve noted this before, but again we see how Sansa has come to value other things outside of birth and good looks. She’s able to appreciate that Lothor, with his values of honesty and loyalty, would be able to give a girl like Mya Stone a good life. As noted, it’s tempting to read this as a direct parallel to the relationship between Sandor and Sansa as well: if Sansa was to remain as Alayne Stone, then a man like Sandor ( with cleansed reputation), even though he might never become a knight, would make a good match for her. However, the reason why these two don’t correspond to this “ideal” match is because their relationship started and developed when Sansa was still Sansa Stark, highborn maiden of Winterfell. Alayne thinks of Sandor and the bedroom incident as belonging to the past life of Sansa. So whilst it’s clear that bastard girls and lowborn men can find happiness together, it’s quite another thing to apply this as foreshadowing for Sansa’s future with Sandor. Their relationship is a lot more complex and subversive, and Sansa’s thoughts on Sandor are a thousand times more complicated as a result.

When she climbs into the basket with Sweetrobin to descend to the castle Sky, she thinks for a moment of how long it took for Lysa to fall that distance, but quickly admonishes herself:

No, I mustn’t think of that. I mustn’t!

IMO, this self-rebuke emphasizes what Sansa’s strategy has been in order to complete her identification with Alayne, and to steel herself against her fears and doubts. We saw it earlier with her thoughts on Sandor – the determination not to indulge in thoughts and memories that might remind her of another time, when she was “another” person, and now with those thoughts of Lysa which threaten to bring back the guilt she feels over the event. For Sansa to survive, even her thoughts cannot be treasonous to the reality that she has constructed for herself. I think it highlights the deep-seated insecurity she continues to feel, and that ultimately these thoughts will betray her, not necessarily to someone else, but to her own self. She isn’t comfortable with this role she has to play, although she’s doing a damned good job of it, and I expect that given the plans that Littlefinger reveals to her at the end of the chapter, we’re going to see some rebellion start to happen.

During the journey in the basket and later on across the narrow strip of mountain, Sansa plays the role of damsel in distress in order to calm Robert’s fears and prevent the little boy from having another shaking fit. Learning to play the damsel in distress whilst not actually being one appears like it’s going to be a cornerstone of Sansa’s game playing, particularly in how she relates to men. The strategy is successful in controlling Sweetrobin, and it’s noteworthy that another “game-player” and experienced woman like Randa Royce employs the same practice when dealing with Sweetrobin:

Lord Nestor’s daughter proved to be a short, fleshy woman, of an age with Mya Stone, but where Mya was slim and sinewy, Myranda was soft-bodied and sweet-smelling, broad of hip and extremely buxom. Her thick chestnut curls framed round red cheeks, a small mouth and a pair of lively brown eyes. When Robert climbed gingerly from the bucket, she knelt in a patch of snow to kiss his hands and cheeks. “My lord,” she said, “you’ve grown so big!

“Have I?” said Robert, pleased.

“You will be taller than me soon,” the lady lied.

Sansa is now entering a world of players, leaving behind the relative safety she enjoyed in the Eyrie. She is no longer the girl that went up the Mountain with hopes of her aunt being good to her:

Sansa Stark went up the mountain, but Alayne Stone is coming down. It was a strange thought.

Alayne Stone is coming down with far greater concerns than Sansa had going up, as well as with greater sophistication in playing the game and being wary of adversaries. It’s interesting how Sansa seems to draw strength from her identity as bastard girl who has survived harrowing trials. She doesn’t close her eyes and let her mule lead the way, instead thinking:

… that seemed more something Sansa would have done, that frightened girl. Alayne was an older woman and bastard brave.

Her thoughts on being a bastard like Jon Snow further highlight how the identification with Alayne might have positive effects. Her understanding of what it’s like to be a bastard, to have people believe that it makes you unworthy of proper treatment and lacking in morals and values creates a bond with Jon that might not have come about otherwise.

If their initial conversation is anything to go by, Randa’s role in Sansa’s life will be to introduce the girl to a decidedly more mature way of thinking about men and their relationships with women.

Despite herself, Alayne found herself warming to the older girl. She had not had a friend to gossip with since poor Jeyne Poole. “Do you think Ser Lothor likes her as she is, in mail and leather?” she asked the older girl, who seemed so worldly-wise. “Or does he dream of her draped in silks and velvets?”

“He’s a man. He dreams of her naked.”

Randa may be looking for the shock factor, but there’s an essential truth to her comments here, one that Sansa will undoubtedly encounter now that she is about to live at the Gates of the Moon and being charged with winning Harry’s heart. When Randa asks her about whether she knows what goes on in the marriage bed, we read:

She thought of Tyrion and of the Hound and how he’d kissed her, and gave a nod.

Thinking of Tyrion here is pretty straightforward, given that she was married to the man and was expected to go through with bedding him. However, once again, Martin gives us a fairly surprising thought about the Hound, which confirms how Sansa is seeing him in a very intimate light. She thinks of “how he’d kissed her,” suggesting that the Hound’s kiss was not chaste or innocent, but rather makes her think of the sexual activities between a man and a woman. That no kiss actually takes place, underscores the point that Sansa has created this fantasy of the Hound, and that she feels desire for him.

Sansa as the bastard girl Alayne now has two very different “role” models in Mya Stone and Randa Royce, with Mya serving to reflect the tenacity and courage that Sansa has learnt from her bastard persona, whilst Randa plays a familiar part to Sansa, that of the friend whom she can share gossip and stories with as she did with Jeyne Poole. Obviously we don’t know yet the relationship Sansa will develop with either girl, but they both appear to be ideally suited to teaching Sansa some lessons that she use to her benefit. On the topic of sex, love and marriage, Mya’s and Randa’s experiences reflect the same ones that Sansa has heard from Cersei, her aunt Lysa and about her mother, Catelyn. Ironically, Sansa’s lack of desire for her husband, but the clear attraction she feels for someone as “unsuitable” as the Hound, places her in closer understanding to what these women have gone through.

When they finally get reach the Gates of the Moon, and Sansa encounters the three knights meeting with Littlefinger, her response to the men is to be flirtatious and genial. She certainly gives no inkling of being a frightened girl wanted for kingslaying back in King’s Landing.

Alayne laughed. “Are you louts?” she said, teasing. “Why, I took the three of you for gallant knights.”

This natural, yet artful way of speaking to men is something new for Sansa, and she masters it wonderfully, giving us a glimpse of what is to come if she has to turn on the charm during her time at the Gates of the Moon in order to play this dangerous game. Considering that one of these knights is actually looking for Sansa Stark, her performance here of a confident and bold young woman was important in helping to perhaps throw Ser Shadrich off her scent.

And now we come to the most disturbing part of the chapter: LF’s behaviour with Sansa. After she tells him that she’s glad he back, he replies:

“I would never have known it from the kiss you gave me.” He pulled her closer, caught her face between his hands, and kissed her on the lips for a long time. “Now that’s the sort of kiss that says welcome home. See that you do better next time.”

“Yes, Father.” She could feel herself blushing.

At this point, LF is not even bother to conceal his desire for Sansa, but is still making her keep up the ridiculous charade of viewing him as a father figure. It’s a twisted, and abusive relationship that he is forcing Sansa to endure, not to mention running the risk of having someone see them and blowing Sansa’s cover. That statement above, where the “yes, father” is juxtaposed with the description of Sansa’s blushing, perfectly captures the unnatural nature of this relationship, where Sansa has to view LF as a father, but is being made to face the discomfort of his sexual desire for her. As LF goes on to outline his plans for Sansa, he places her in more compromising positions, making her sit on his lap, and putting his fingers on her lips. Earlier in this chapter, Sansa noted that LF had told her that young girls were always happier with older men and that innocence and experience make for a perfect marriage. Based on his obvious desire for Sansa, along with those little words of wisdom, I feel confident in saying that I don’t expect that Littlefinger is truly planning on marrying Sansa off to Harry the Heir. I don’t know what he has planned, or how he plans to achieve it, but I believe that the only man he plans on having Sansa marry is himself, and that he is planning on ruling in the Vale, the North and the Riverlands.

His comments at the end of the chapter could have left no doubt in Sansa’s mind that LF is planning on killing off Sweetrobin, and now of course we have to wait to see what she will do. Before his revelation, she could have continued to delude herself into thinking that LF was looking out for the best interests of Lord Arryn of the Vale, but now it’s been confirmed that Robert Arryn has to die in order for Sansa Stark to be reborn. Sansa’s reaction to the Harry marriage pact might give us a clue to which way she will lean:

Petyr Baelish took her by the hand and drew her down onto his lap. “I have made a marriage contract for you.”

“A marriage…” Her throat tightened. She did not want to wed again, not now, perhaps not ever. “I do not … I cannot marry. Father, I …” Alayne looked to the door, to make certain it was closed. “I am married,” she whispered. “You know.”

Sansa changes from saying that she does not want to be married to bringing up the reason why she cannot be married off. So she’s still hiding that strong aversion to marriage from LF, whilst he believes that all will be well when Cersei finally collapses upon herself, and Sansa is “safely widowed.” LF might tout Harry’s gallantry and his handsome looks, but these are qualities that Sansa no longer dreams about, at least not in the traditional sense as related to knights and knighthood. She’s just spent the chapter thinking about kissing Sandor Clegane, former Lannister dog and horribly disfigured man, and has grown to embrace her bastard identity and the freedom it affords her. Further, we’ve seen the pricks of conscience when she thinks about what happened to Lysa. Going along with the murder of Sweetrobin in order to fulfill a marriage contract she does not want, and to be with a young boy whose type she sees fit to ridicule rather than desire anymore, really doesn’t seem likely, even with the temptation of reclaiming Winterfell in the offer. Sansa has played LF’s game for a while now, but she’ll have to start playing for herself if she wants to achieve true independence and happiness. Right now, IMO, Sansa is legitimately a game player, but she’s playing under conditions that are abusive and hurtful to her personal development. She’s going to have remove Littlefinger as the game/Queen maker, and establish her own vision for her future.

Questions/thoughts on the chapter:

  • Who are the three queens? I’m thinking they are Cersei, Daenerys, and Margaery.
  • Littlefinger’s distaste for the similarity in names between Elys and Alys – I wonder how he would feel about Sandor and Sansa? ;)
  • Will Myranda Royce be jealous when the marriage to Harry the Heir is announced given Alayne’s status as a bastard girl and her own hopes to marry him.
  • Sansa exclusively refers to Littlefinger as Petyr in this chapter, perhaps showing that she’s come to ignore the troubling nature of the man’s other identity, yet, by the end of the chapter, Littlefinger seems to be fully back in operation. Surely she can no longer think of him as the genial Petyr and “father” after this?
  • As Sansa is descending down the Mountain she thinks that the wind is howling fiercely, noting that:

It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.

Perhaps this might be foreshawdowing of the eventual return of the wolves/Starks in TWOW?

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That was an excellent analysis Brashcandy. :)

(is it the last one?? :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: )

Sansa not calling Petyr Littlefinger once in this chapter makes me feel that she is totally experiencing some sort of Stockholm syndrome. I have read in other threads some posters saying that Sansa had that syndrome with Sandor. That’s BS since they have been apart for a while and her feelings for him only seem to grow with the distance.

On another hand, Sansa arrived at the Eyrie with a lot of suspicions toward Petyr, suspicions that were either lost or repressed. Since Littlefinger has shown his dark side to Sansa in many occasions, I don’t see why she would trust him more by the end of AFFC than she did in ASOS.

Sansa is stuck with him, so I think she just tries to make the most of the situation by not letting the traumatising parts of her life truly reach her. You can totally see that when she won’t allow herself to think of what happed to Lysa, and also by how she doesn’t seem to get emotionally involved with SW. Her lack of reaction when Petyr kisses her points also in that direction.

On another matter, am I the only one who wonders what cruel lips are? What is it supposed to look like? What does it mean? :dunno:

Why would you call lips cruel??

It’s kind of weird…

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Yes, the last one :crying: :crying: We will do out final summaries later on in the week, and then this re-read shall be over. It's been a blast and I'm really looking forward to all the responses on this last chapter, and thoughts on what's to come when she reappears in TWOW.

@Maroucia - you're right that describing his lips as "cruel" is kinda weird :) I think some of it can be attributed to Sandor's general personality - harsh and uncouth - but also it's a bit of Sansa projecting her thoughts/desires onto him as well. Given that on the actual night, she thought he was going to kiss her, but we know he actually doesn't, she's had to create this memory only based on what she would imagine the Hound's kiss to be like, and the feeling of being overwhelmed, and powerless (but seemingly in a good way) all comes into play in that description I think.

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Excellent analysis Brashcandy. :) Feels kind of sad to be at the end, doesn't it? At least the last chapter is shock full with stuff to discuss!

Sansa as a character has by the end of AFFC toughened up a lot and she's not easily outraged by controversial things anymore. In this chapter, she sweet talks and lies to Sweetrobin and it's obvious the castle staff relies on her to do it, which puts Sansa in a more proactive role of responsibility and taking charge. She then meets Mya Stone and Myranda, and especially Randa seems keen on shocking Sansa, but she doesn't even flinch or think anything judgemental when Myranda talks about bedding Marillion who is a. the guy who tried to rape Sansa and b. definitely not Myranda's husband. (Although Myranda does manage when she describes how her husband died while shagging her :lol: ) I really hope Myranda can get more chances to comment on things in the next book if she continues like she did here, I think she's hilarious and quite healthy for Sansa to have around to provide a different perspective from the chaste, dutiful and highly ideal worldview that Septa Mordane taught her.

It's fairly clear from this and her thoughts on Jon Snow that the Sansa of AGOT who asked Cat if Arya was a bastard is long gone. Now she thinks fondly of her bastard brother, associates with bastards and women who take lovers freely and it doesn't bother her one bit, nor does she think badly of them for it. In fact, even if she knows Mya Stone is not a maid, she states it as a matter of fact and nothing more. This is further reinforced by flirty-Sansa at the end, which is a side of her we've never seen before and is far more mature, wordly and aware of how she comes across to other people, especially men.

Why Sansa left Sandor off her list two chapters ago:

So, Sansa lists her potential friends and people she could run/flee/turn to in an earlier chapter and she left out Sandor Clegane although she (in the same chapter) remembers that he saved her from the mob. It could be as simple as she doesn't know where he is, but then she doesn't know where Tyrion or her uncle the Blackfish are either. Instead, I think it has to do with this:

As the boy’s lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt when his cruel mouth pressed down on her. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.

It made no matter. That day was done and so was Sansa.

What’s interesting in this passage is that Sansa never actually names Sandor. Obviously we know she’s talking about him, but the fact that he remains nameless helps to contribute to the idea that he could be any hero in a song. Her memory of that event has cast Sandor in the role of the dashing knight who comes and takes two things associated with romance and passionate attraction – a song and a kiss – leaving the fair maiden behind with some mere token of that affection. Sansa’s words reveal both a longing and a bitterness over having been left with “nothing but a bloody cloak” and her attempt to quickly dismiss this as belonging to Sansa’s world, an identity that she believes she won’t be reclaiming anymore, makes one naturally suspect that she isn’t so comfortable with putting these thoughts to rest, but feels compelled to do so because of circumstances.

What was surprising to me on a reread, it's how clearly Sansa expresses bitterness since he left her. It's like she wants to rebuke him for leaving her, which makes an interesting and almost direct parallel to his own thoughts in his "death" scene with Arya and how strongly he reacts to her having been married off to the Imp. This is why I think that if these two meet up again, I don't think they'll be easily parted. Sansa really has, unconsciously perhaps, placed him in the position of the "knight" and he has done the same on his end, while both of them couldn't be more busy being cynical about knightly values, songs etc.

It's also clear from her not naming him in this sequence that her feelings on this are complex and maybe something she is not really ready to accept herself. She shoves it out of her mind with "that belonged to Sansa" and thinks dismissively of herself back then as "just a frightened girl".

I think her leaving him out of her "list" has partly to do with that bitterness, that in a sense he's already "left" her and broken the promise her gave her of protecting her. It's probably also mixed up with the fact that had he not cocked it up so royally by being drunk out of his head and pulling a knife on her, she might have reconsidered. Even if her mind has glossed this over, as it seems. Then on top of that, it's her budding feelings of attraction to him, which comes out twice in this chapter, and most strongly in when she thinks of him after Randa's "marriage bed" comment, since there is no logical reason for her to put him in that context if not for that.

So in many ways, Sandor Clegane has come to represent, in his own backwards way, knightly values and the heroes from the songs in her head, and how can she afford to think that in her current state? Add to that the fact that he abandoned her in Kings Landing and I think she had good enough reason to leave him off the list.

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That was surprising to me on a reread, it's how clearly Sansa expresses bitterness since he left her. It's like she wants to rebuke him for leaving her, which makes an interesting and almost direct parallel to his own thoughts in his "death" scene with Arya and how strongly he reacts to her having been married off to the Imp. This is why I think that if these two meet up again, I don't think they'll be easily parted. Sansa really has, unconsciously perhaps, placed him in the position of the "knight" and he has done the same on his end, while both of them couldn't be more busy being cynical about knightly values, songs etc.

Very insightful and I agree with you on this. Both of them unconsciously placed one another of the roles of "knight and damsel" (but I think he might realize it, his feelings for her, anyway ;) ). And I do think Sansa's bitter towards Sandor for leaving her (whether she consciously realizes it or can admit this to herself, I'm not sure), especially since he told her if she came with him:

“I could keep you safe,” he rasped. “They’re all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I’d kill them.”

I'm not ready to write these two off just yet! :D The whole arc that was set up between them, leads me to believe that if (or more than likely it's only going to be when) Sandor hears what happened with Sansa, (not to mention how many different people are looking for her), that he's going to get it into his head to try and attempt to rescue her. Part of it is because of him bungling up and leaving her behind in Kings Landing, and him promising that he could keep her safe. (The other part, yeah come on, he really fancies/loves her!). I think that promise and his failure to carry through with it haunts him/eats away at him, and he's going to do something to rectify his past errors. B) (Hurry up Sandor!)

It's also clear from her not naming him in this sequence that her feelings on this are still complex and maybe something she is not really ready to accept herself. She shoves it out of her mind with "that belonged to Sansa" and thinks dismissively of herself back then as "just a frightened girl".

I think her leaving him out of her "list" has partly to do with that bitterness, that in a sense he's already "left" her and broken the promise her gave her of protecting her. It's probably also mixed up with the fact that had he not cocked it up so royally by being drunk out of his head and pulling a knife on her, she might have reconsidered. Even if her mind has glossed this over, as it seems. Then on top of that, it's her budding feelings of attraction to him, which comes out twice in this chapter, and most strongly in when she thinks of him after Randa's "marriage bed" comment, since there is no logical reason for her to put him in that context if not for that.

So in many ways, Sandor Clegane has come to represent, in his own backwards way, knightly values and the heroes from the songs in her head, and how can she afford to think that in her current state? Add to that the fact that he abandoned her in Kings Landing and I think she had good enough reason to leave him off the list.

Agreed! :agree: I don't think Sansa can quite put into words how she feels about Sandor. And I think in a way, she's torn between wanting someone to come and help her, and trying to get herself out of the situation she's in, by herself. She might come to realize that if you trust in the right person, that it's ok to ask for help. Unfortunately, seeing where she is right now, one doesn't know who you should trust (not LF though, that's for sure). It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.....

EDIT: On the subject of trust: if Sandor does somehow devise a plan to rescuse Sansa, if he reveals himself to her in some way, seeing how it went last time in KL (and factoring in her feelings that he abandoned her), will she trust him enough to leave with him?

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Agreed! :agree: I don't think Sansa can quite put into words how she feels about Sandor. And I think in a way, she's torn between wanting someone to come and help her, and trying to get herself out of the situation she's in, by herself. She might come to realize that if you trust in the right person, that it's ok to ask for that help. Unfortunately, seeing where she is right now, one doesn't know who you should trust (not LF, though, that's for sure). It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.....

Yes, it's definitely something I think she will have to struggle with: her wish for someone to trust and rely on, and then her having to get by on her own in a world "where the monsters always win". We saw her considering begging Bronze Yohn Royce to help her, but reconsidering. She's pondered all the possible people she could call on for assistance, and came up short. In having to hide who she is even to friendly people like Myranda and Mya Stone, she really is very alone. The only one who knows is Littlefinger, and even if she is now playing his game alongside him, she definitely does not fully trust him or like him. She does see him as a guardian of sorts, but that's more in a "he would know how to sort this situation out" and not in a "I know he'd always keep me safe" way.

On the other hand, it has also forced her to become stronger, bolder and more worldly, which will very likely serve her well in later life. It's also encouraging to see her interact with Mya and Myranda as actualy female friends and have normal, friendly conversations with them as more or less an equal. Even back in the Jeyne Poole days, Jeyne wasn't Sansa's equal, and Sansa was always prettier and higher in rank, but now she is younger, less experienced and lower or the same rank as Mya and Myranda. It seems fairly certain that these two are setup to be Sansa's "teachers".

Judging by how LF acts at the end of this chapter, it seems more and more certain he wants Sansa for himself as well, and that the Harry the Heir marriage will just be another power play by him.

As much as I get freaked out by LF's interest in Sansa, his teaching methods are pretty good and interesting as well. He seems to trust her to take charge of things like Sweetrobin and the household when he's not around and he clearly values her brain and encourages her to figure things out. He seems honestly proud when she can see through his wiley ways with Lyn Corbray, Nestor Royce and the sellswords in this chapter, but at the same time, it's obvious he is keeping a lot of information to himself. He's performing a balancing act in that he's training someone to become himself, but he also wants to use that person as a pawn. As we see here too, Sansa has already started using his own methods against him, and keeping her real motivations from him. LF still seems to think Sansa is infatuated by gallant and handsome knights, while she herself seems anything but.

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Sansa, or rather Alayne will find friends in Randa and Mya, those girls are said to be as close as sisters. Hopefully, their friendship will break her isolation imposed by Petyr. As for Robert, perhaps he can grower closer to Alayne to the point she grows fond of him.

An idea I just want to throw out there, maybe you could analyze the Cersei chapters and in a way, compare them to Sansa's. I admit I'll miss your re-reads.

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Judging by how LF acts at the end of this chapter, it seems more and more certain he wants Sansa for himself as well, and that the Harry the Heir marriage will just be another power play by him.

The Harry marriage is something I have a feeling won’t come to fruition, I have my thoughts on this (which I won’t post about now), but I think LF has something else up his sleeve. But I definitely think he wants Sansa for himself nonetheless. :ack:

As much as I get freaked out by LF's interest in Sansa, his teaching methods are pretty good and interesting as well. He seems to trust her to take charge of things like Sweetrobin and the household when he's not around and he clearly values her brain and encourages her to figure things out.

Well, granted Sansa is young, but seeing where she came from/how she was raised (probably to be married off to someone of high rank), I think she would have some idea of how to run a household. I do agree with you that LF is teaching her how to think for herself and to figure things out, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He might come to regret that! ;)

….it's obvious he is keeping a lot of information to himself. He's performing a balancing act in that he's training someone to become himself, but he also wants to use that person as a pawn. As we see here too, Sansa has already started using his own methods against him, and keeping her real motivations from him. LF still seems to think Sansa is infatuated by gallant and handsome knights, while she herself seems anything but.

Definitely. I can’t wait to see what happens when Sansa finds out LF was the one behind the Stark/Baratheon “collapse” and subsequent murder of her father. If she manages to “outwit” LF (hopefully leading to his demise/destruction), by telling him lies that are “well meant”, we might be able to say that “the student has surpassed the teacher”. I just hope she can tell those lies and somehow find a way to stay true to herself. To remember who she really is. That’s going to be the challenge.

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About that bitterness Sansa has regarding Sandor leaving her in KL, I hope it won’t grow too much.

What I mean by that is, as Sansa’s memory of the unKiss could be described as being a False memory syndrome experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory_syndrome), I would hate for her to distort that event even more.

I don’t remember feeling she had that bitterness toward Sandor in ASOS, it seems like she relived the bedroom un-scene in her head so many times that it changes a little more every time she thinks about it. First she had regrets for not following him, now she resents him for abandoning her… Is it going to get worse?

What if when Sansa and Sandor meat again in TWOW, instead of being happy to see him, Sansa would be very unfriendly toward him and try to avoid him… He would think with good reasons that she would be mad because of the dagger business and

that could definitively be extremely confusing for both of them.

Of course, this is only made-up speculations from my paranoid mind… :wacko: I hope it won’t happen.

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What if when Sansa and Sandor meat again in TWOW, instead of being happy to see him, Sansa would be very unfriendly toward him and try to avoid him… He would think with good reasons that she would be mad because of the dagger business and

that could definitively be extremely confusing for both of them.

Of course, this is only made-up speculations from my paranoid mind… :wacko: I hope it won’t happen.

I think that will depend on in what circumstances she encounters him, I guess, but in general she seems to remember him as a guardian/advisor and later on as a potential romantic interest. Although with Sansa the way she is now as Alayne, it could be interesting since she is really on her guard against everyone so maybe she'll be a bit conflicted? Both because of what he represents, but also because he is a link to her "past life" as Sansa, and not the "lie" of Alayne.

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I think that will depend on in what circumstances she encounters him, I guess, but in general she seems to remember him as a guardian/advisor and later on as a potential romantic interest. Although with Sansa the way she is now as Alayne, it could be interesting since she is really on her guard against everyone so maybe she'll be a bit conflicted? Both because of what he represents, but also because he is a link to her "past life" as Sansa, and not the "lie" of Alayne.

I think she' ll be forced out of alayne stone like theon

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Sansa, or rather Alayne will find friends in Randa and Mya, those girls are said to be as close as sisters. Hopefully, their friendship will break her isolation imposed by Petyr. As for Robert, perhaps he can grower closer to Alayne to the point she grows fond of him.

An idea I just want to throw out there, maybe you could analyze the Cersei chapters and in a way, compare them to Sansa's. I admit I'll miss your re-reads.

Comparing Cersei's chapters to Sansa's might be interesting (I think Arya's would work as well). Just my two cents...... :leaving:

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Comparing Cersei's chapters to Sansa's might be interesting (I think Arya's would work as well). Just my two cents...... :leaving:

I would definitively be in for that... :wideeyed:

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Theon was "forced" or pushed by Roose to become Theon again

I think outside circumstances Force Sansa to become Sansa again

Well, I do hope Sansa's storyline won't be as brutal and violent as Theon's. :ack:

I'm not sure either how it will be, if Sansa actually discovers LF's role in what happened to Ned, she may well take matters into her own hands and "return" as Sansa to bring him down. What I do think is that she needs some sort of push or outside influence to drop her new identity. It seems fairly certain that Tyrion is not dead and isn't going to die for some time, and it also seems fairly certain getting a marriage annulment may not be the easiest thing ever with the new High Septon.

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Comparing Cersei's chapters to Sansa's might be interesting (I think Arya's would work as well). Just my two cents...... :leaving:

I would definitively be in for that... :wideeyed:

Oh yes ! Arya's chapters from ASOS, so we could get more Sandor ! :wub:

Very insightful and I agree with you on this. Both of them unconsciously placed one another of the roles of "knight and damsel" (but I think he might realize it, his feelings for her, anyway ;) ).

Well, I'm not so sure of that.

The Elder Brother says something like : "I know about this man, Sandor Clegane. [stuff about his hate, his brother and so on.] He never loved and was never loved".

So I see three possible explanations :

  1. The Elder Brother purposefully lied to Brienne (but why ?)
  2. The Elder Brother did not know because Sandor purposefully omitted to mention his feelings for Sansa...which would be weird, since he seems to have spilled everything else.
  3. The Elder Brother did not know because Sandor himself did not (want to ?) realize his true feelings for the Little Bird.

Whenever those two meet again, I feel it's going to be a bit awkward... :P

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