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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player? Rereading Sansa VI

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ASOS- Sansa – Foreshadowing

ASOS covers a shorter time period than ACOK, but there is a lot in I in terms of Sansa’s foreshadowing and development. BrashCandy is doing the development and here is some of the foreshadowing, much of which expands on previously discussed and foreshadowed points.

In AGOT Sansa makes a statement about dreams being prophetic. We see several chapters in this book with dreams and it would be interesting to see if they are prophetic.

Forshadowing

Home and family

In Sansa's dreams, her children looked just like the brothers she had lost. Sometimes there was even a girl who looked like Arya.

This seems to suggest lots of boys and one girl. Throughout Arya’s chapters in ASOS, she is constantly mistaken for Sandor’s son/daughter. Of course Jon also has very Stark features. The two people who don’t are Tyrion and Aegon. (Could this tie into foreshadowing of at least one illigetimate child for Sansa?)

On the morning of Joff’s Wedding she awakes from another dream of family.

That was such a sweet dream, Sansa thought drowsily. She had been back in Winterfell, running through the godswood with her Lady. Her father had been there, and her brothers, all of them warm and safe. If only dreaming could make it so…

Now I am not sure if there is a prophetic meaning to this one, but it highlights the happy home she lost and her desire we have seen from the end of AGOT for Home and the life she had known previously.

Her thoughts regarding the Fingers are also interesting as she finds the place dismal, but safe and friendly. There maybe some foreshadowing that this will be her final home in ASOS

“Here?” She did not want to go ashore here. The Fingers were a dismal place, she’d heard, and there was something forlorn and desolate about the little tower. “Couldn’t I stay on the ship until we make sail for White Harbor?”

“From here the King turns east for Braavos. Without us.”

But … my lord, you said … you said we were sailing home.”

She thought wistfully of Highgarden with its courtyards and musicians, and the pleasure barges on the Mander; a far cry from this bleak shore. At least I am safe here. Joffrey is dead, he cannot hurt me anymore, and I am only a bastard girl now. Alayne Stone has no husband and no claim. And her aunt would soon be here as well. The long nightmare of King’s Landing was behind her, and her mockery of a marriage as well. She could make herself a new home here, just as Petyr said.

There is possible foreshadowing here of Sansa ending up on the Fingers

However there is also the Snow Castle scene, which could easily foreshadow Sansa rebuilding Winterfell.

"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.

Joff and Tyrion

Whenever she closed her eyes she saw Joffrey tearing at his collar, clawing the soft skin of his throat, dying with flakes of pie crust on his lips and wine stains on his doublet. And the wind keening in the lines reminded her of the terrible sucking sound he’d made as he fought to draw in air. Sometimes she dreamed of Tyrion as well. “He did nothing,” she told Littlefinger once, when he paid a visit to her cabin to see if she were feeling any better.

Tyrion is twice lumped in her mind with Joff after she escapes and I think it is indicative of the fact that what ever else Tyrion is, he is always going to be a Lannister, even if it is a better one than Joff or Cersei.

Ser Ilyn Payne

it was still her marrying Joff, not Margaery, and on their wedding night he turned into the headsman Ilyn Payne. She woke trembling.

Ser Ilyn has featured in Sansa’s chapters almost as much as Sandor. In Sansa’s first ever chapter, she sees Ser Ilyn and then backs into Sandor. Her constant thoughts of him seem to suggest some foreshadowing of a future meeting which could be very unpleasant for Sansa.

Although further discussion of this point by Fireeater also suggested that it may have been foreshadowing of Joff’s death at his own wedding.

Ser Ilyn was meant to be the one who killed Lady, but it was Ned who said she is of the North and

She deserves better than a butcher
. Interestingly Sandor describes himself as a Butcher in ACOK.

Stories and Tales

Marg says

I shall have the finest knight in the Seven Kingdoms protecting me day and night, as Prince Aemon protected Naerys. So our little lion had best behave, hadn’t he?
Given that Ser Garlan is also her brother, I wonder if this was foreshadowing of his role in Joff’s death?

This is also the scene where Marg’s Hawk takes down a Heron, while Sansa’s takes down two smaller ducks.

Her escape also echoes an event that could be the basis for a song.

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

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

Sansa has continually had references to stories in her arc. While they maybe stories, they are based on actual events and it is possible that there is some foreshadowing that she herself will be the subject of one of these songs in the future.

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The Clouds

There were clouds massing in the eastern sky pierced by shafts of sunlight. They look like two huge castles afloat in the morning sky. Sansa could see their walls of tumbled stone, their mighty keeps and barbicans. Wispy banners swirled from atop their towers and reached for the fast fading stars. The sun was coming up behind them, and she watched them go from black to grey to a thousand shades of rose and gold and crimson. Soon the wind mushed them together, and there was only one castle where there had been two.

There were several interpretations of this scene discussed.

BrashCandy gave an excellent anaylsis of this: The cloud castles that she sees in the sky appear to foreshadow the eventual downfall of House Lannister, which aligned with the Freys ( the first image she sees appears to be that of “twin” castles) to bring about the destruction of the Starks (black and grey) but whose power is about to crumble (via their union with the Tyrells).

Wouter also suggested the clouds could represent the Tyrell – Lannister union and how it woud become ruinous for the Lannisters.

Queen of Winter also raised the issue that it could symbolize her marriage to Tyrion as the Houses had been joined, but the relationship was crumbling to dust.

I think I mentioned that it could foreshadow Cersei burning the Tower of the Hand and the eventual destruction of the RK itself. (We have already had Sansa’s desire to see Baelor’s Sept burnt to the ground and Cersei’s desire to build a new Castle across the River. KL may not survive very much longer.)

Affairs and Illegitimate Children (Sorry to BrashCandy if this conflicts with Sansa’s development as both are related)

One of the major issues we have seen in Sansa’s arc so far is her attitude towards Bastards. Jon was always her half-brother and her curiosity if Arya was a bastard. We have seen her horror at the notion of having to bear Joff’s illegitimate children and in ASOS we see the issue raised again, and a slight change of view point from Sansa on the issue. On the way to the wedding it is curiosity she views Ellaria Sand.

Sansa glanced at the woman curiously. She was baseborn and unwed, and had borne two bastard daughters for the prince, but she did not fear to look even the queen in the eye. Shae had told her that this Ellaria worshipped some Lysene love goddess. “She was almost a whore when he found her, m’lady,” her maid confided, “and now she’s near a princess. Sansa had never been this close to the Dornishwoman before. She is not truly beautiful, she thought, but something about her draws the eye.

Then when she meets LF he tells her that he was the first man that slept with her mother.

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

So we also see Sansa introduced to the idea that love and arranged marriages do not always work and that people look elsewhere for love, even if in this case it is not true.

The Return of the Dragons

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

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

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

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

The Savage Giant

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.

Sandor Clegane and the UnKiss

From Sansa’s first chapter we see her think several times about Sandor Clegane

The same smallfolk who pulled me from my horse and would have killed me, if not for the Hound.

I wish the Hound were here. The night of the battle, Sandor Clegane had come to her chambers to take her from the city, but Sansa had refused. Sometimes she lay awake at night wondering if she’d been wise. She had his stained white cloak hidden in a cedar chest beneath her summer silks. She could not say why she she’d kept it. The Hound had turned craven, she heard it said; at the height of the battle, he got so drunk the Imp had to take his men. But Sansa understood. She knew the secret of his burned face. It was only the fire he feared.

Sansa wondered what Megga would think about kissing the Hound, as she had. He’d come to her the night of the battle stinking of wine and blood. He kissed me and threatened to kill me, and made me sing him a song.

As brought up by Child of Summer, the addition of the UnKiss gives the BBW scene all the components of the Westerosi wedding: a vow, a song, a kiss, being wrapped in a cloak and even the symbolic bloody white sheet.

Also she gets down on the floor and wraps herself in Sandor’s cloak. Compare this to her wedding with Tyrion where she refuses to kneel for him to put the cloak on her and refused to kiss him (although he kissed her). This could have implications for the future.

Also what will be the ramifications of the UnKiss? GRRM has said it will be important. But will it be important inregards to Sandor or to her dodgy memory?

Her thoughts seem to go back to Sandor again after Lysa’s wedding to LF.

A dog can smell a lie, you know, the Hound told her once. She could almost hear the rough rasp of his voice. Look around you, and take a good whiff. They’re all liars here, and everyone better than you. She wondered what had become of Sandor Clegane Did he know that they’d killed Joffrey? Would he care? He had been the prince’s sworn shield for years.

The other remained, looming over Sansa in the darkness. “Lord Petyr said watch out for you.” It was Lothor Brune’s voice, she realised. Not the Hound’s no, no, how could it be? Of course it had to be Lothor.

She dreamt of Joffrey dying, but as he clawed her at his throat and the blood ran down her fingers she saw with horror that it was her brother Robb. And she dreamed of her wedding night too, of Tyrion’s eyes devouring her as she undressed. Only then he was bigger than Tyrion had any right to be, and when he crawled into bed his face was scarred only on one side. “I’ll have a song from you,” he rasped, and Sansa woke and found the old blind dog beside her once again. “I wish you were Lady,” she said.

From a narrative point of view the UnKiss coupled with the constant thoughts about Sandor should suggest that if they do not meet again, there at least has to be more signifigance to their interactions, otherwise why would it be included.

Edit: Also after all the mentions in the text something further (even if it is momentarily) really seems like it has to happen between them. For it not to would for me be the same as Patchface and his freaky prophecies turning out not to be anything, or AA etc not having any meaning etc.

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Wow, that's a great summary of all the foreshadowing so far, Rapsie! =)

Just two thoughts here:

1) Littlefinger as the giant: now that I think about it, I really don't think LF is really planning to marry Sansa to Harry the Heir. Why give away his most precious prize? I think LF needs Sansa to "seduce" Harry for some reason, but in the end he wants to marry Sansa himself. And if he does marry her before everybody finds out that Rickon is alive, that would immediately make him Lord of Winterfell, and it really would be like a giant menacingly stepping over the walls of the castle (of snow, since winter has finally come). In this scenario, it would come down to Sansa to finish him off, maybe when she finds out that Rickon is alive (who knows, LF might want to kill the boy to keep Winterfell... :dunno: )

2) Sandor Clegane and Sansa:

Edit: Also after all the mentions in the text something further (even if it is momentarily) really seems like it has to happen between them. For it not to would for me be the same as Patchface and his freaky prophecies turning out not to be anything, or AA etc not having any meaning etc.

You know, I agree 100% with this; GRRM said that the "unkiss mismemory" would eventualy mean something, but I don't think it's just a problem of Sansa misremembering things: I think it's her relationship (or future relationship) with Sandor that will become somewhat important in the future, because of all the emphasis put in that kiss memory. If it was just a matter of Sansa losing her memories, we would get some more glimpses of things that are misremembered. But why insist in Sansa remembering with full detail a kiss that never happened? As you say, there are so many mentions in the text that something just has to happen, or it will be really frustrating...

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EDIT: I don't know if we're allowed to talk about this here, but

While watching episode 3 of the second season, I realized Cersei calls Sansa "little dove"... this is the second time she calls her this way, the first one in the first episode of season 1... perhaps they will use this nickname to introduce Sandor's "little bird"?

It could very well be used to introduce to the audience the little bird nickname. but i was excited to see the scene with Shae got we got to see a look of the place where the UnKiss may be portrayed possibly! :wub: & we also get a glimpse of a chest by the foot of Sansa's bed which made me think of the chest where she has her summer silks and Sandor's white cloak hidden!

anyways, sorry for getting off-topic. i don't have time to read the ASOS overall analysis tonight (back to school unfortunately :frown5: ) but first thing i'll do as soon as i can get a free moment tomorrow :)

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Summary: Sansa’s development in ASOS

Generally speaking, this book is the one with the clearest sense of Sansa’s movement from pawn to player, as she is freed from her captivity with the Lannisters, and the marriage with Tyrion, and is now receiving a kind of mentorship from one of the paramount game strategists, Petyr Baelish. However, this being ASOIAF, nothing is ever that simple, and the tumultuous upheaval that characterizes Sansa’s experiences in ASOS has resulted in a character at the end of the novel who is deeply confused and uneasy about the ones supposedly looking out for her best interests, and about her own place in a future that she struggles to envision.

* Becoming a real player

  • Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion highlighted a lot of her natural game playing attributes which Littlefinger is now seeking to hone and sharpen. Her ability to conceal what she is really thinking, to keep her cool under pressure, and to fool others into believing that she has accepted her fate were all qualities and strategies that enabled Sansa to effectively make her escape from Kings Landing. Tyrion notes in watching how she interacts with the other nobles at Joffrey’s wedding:

She is good at this, he thought, as he watched her tell Lord Gyles that his cough sounding better, compliment Elinor Tyrell on her gown and question Jalabhar Xho about wedding customs in the Summer Isles. His cousin Lancel had been brought down by Ser Kevan, the first time he’d left his sickbed since the battle. He looks ghastly…Yet when Sansa praised his valor and said how good it was to see him getting strong again, both Lancel and Ser Kevan beamed. She would have made Joffrey a good queen and a better wife if he’d had the sense to love her.

Tyrion is quite cognisant here of Sansa’s potential, not seeing it as merely being courteous, but recognizing the shrewd talent of charming others and putting them at ease – something that is invaluable in a political environment. To put this in context, compare it to the Sansa of AGOT – managing to identify Renly and Barristan Selmy, but doing so in a very childish, eager way to please and impress those around her. The Sansa of ASOS is much more sophisticated, and more importantly, is no longer naive about the realities of the world around her, and is also discerning concerning those she can trust. Look at the ones she is speaking to in Tyrion’s description above – Ser Gyles, a Tyrell, Xho and Lancel Lannister – and we should understand just what Martin is trying to underscore here. Sansa is becoming adept at masking her true feelings, and treating her “enemies” or those who have otherwise betrayed and disappointed her, as friends.

* No longer belonging in a pure world?

  • Undoubtedly, the bitter experiences that Sansa endures in this novel – the false friendship of the Tyrells, forced marriage to Tyrion, death of her family, “betrayal” by Dontos, etc – have all played a part in stripping away the remaining vestiges of her innocence and idealism. For Sansa, maturity has come with a heavy cost as she’s become more involved in the schemes of others both as a pawn (the land grab by the Lannisters) and as an unknowing player (wearing the poisoned hairnet to the wedding feast). The effect of all this is that we see a young girl who has become disillusioned with her life (particularly the claim to Winterfell) and longs mostly for the peace and stability of a home free from political intrigue. The marriage to Tyrion almost crippled her emotionally, but it’s noteworthy that Sansa never allows herself to succumb to absolute despair and depression. She may have been a victim, but above and beyond what stands out in ASOS is how Sansa functions as a survivor. From the forced marriage to Tyrion, all the way to her aunt’s attempt to take her life, Sansa is able to fight back in small, but significant ways.

* Marrying the Beast; embracing bastard identity

  • One of the standout examples of Sansa’s development in this book has to be her willingness to marry Willas Tyrell – a man who is crippled, who she freely admits could be as unattractive as his father, and who isn’t ever going to morph into his brother, Loras. Despite Sansa’s attraction to the latter, she is able to reconcile her thoughts to marrying Willas and being a good wife to him. She recognizes the value of marrying someone who is kind and trustworthy, and in being able to have freedom in making the choice. Her later acceptance of her bastard status as Alayne Stone is also another significant development in Sansa’s character during ASOS. Bastardy might come with certain societal stains, but Sansa appreciates the freedom it can give her from having to worry about being taken advantage of because of her claim. Generally, throughout ASOS we see her being able to revise her initial expectations and opinions, a sign of how much she has matured.

* Sexual desire and fantasy

  • This book marks the beginning of Sansa’s sexual maturity, and in large part this is focused on the figure of Sandor Clegane. The Sansa of AGOT had childish dreams of marrying Joffrey and having his babies, but in ASOS she’s reached the point where she’s having much more concrete fantasies of men like Loras Tyrell, and the dream of Sandor climbing into her bed:

Wed to Ser Loras, oh … Sansa’s breath caught in her throat. She remembered Ser Loras in his sparkling sapphire armor, tossing her a rose. Ser Loras in his white silk, so pure, innocent, beautiful. The dimples at the corner of his mouth when he smiled. The sweetness of his laugh, the warmth of his hand. She could only imagine what it would be like to pull up his tunic and caress the smooth skin underneath, to stand on her toes and kiss him, to run her fingers through those thick brown curls and drown in his deep brown eyes. A flush crept up her neck.

And she dreamed of her wedding night too, of Tyrion’s eyes devouring her as she undressed. Only then he was bigger than Tyrion had any right to be, and when he climbed into the bed his face was scarred only on one side. “I’ll have a song from you,” he rasped, and Sansa woke and found the old blind dog beside her once again.

We can also add the unkiss memory to this as well, along with Martin’s symbolic and erotic description of Sansa eating a pear with the juice running down her chin. What’s interesting about ASOS with regards to the relationship between Sansa and Sandor is that even though he isn’t around her anymore, Martin does not neglect to develop the bond we saw between them in ACOK. Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion and her inability to feel real compassion or desire for him is made more glaring due to the overwhelming empathy she feels for Sandor during the BBB scene, and the intimate connection between them when she touches his face. Further, the introduction of the kiss mismemory and her thoughts about missing him highlight the continued relevance that he plays in her life.

* Family ties that bind

  • Despite her prolonged captivity in Kings Landing, becoming Lady Lannister, and then Alayne Stone, and constantly being disappointed in her desire to go home, Sansa’s connection to Winterfell and the memories of her family and the North are stronger than ever. She may not want to be married off for her claim, but she’s still invested in her identity as a Stark and proud of her Northern roots. She longs to tell Marillion:

I am a Stark of Winterfell

and corrects Littlefinger’s assumption of Winterfell as a cold, dreary place.

Being able to literally rebuild Winterfell illustrates the power of that connection Sansa feels to her home, and the further she moves away from it in time and space, the closer she seems to grow to it spiritually.

* Can this little bird still sing?

  • I thought my song was beginning that day, but it was almost done.

Overall, Sansa’s development in ASOS begs the question of whether becoming a player is worth the loss of idealism and optimism that seems to come along with it. By the end of the book we are seeing a much more cynical and world-weary Sansa, one who despite her unwillingness is becoming more ensnared in the machinations of Littlefinger. His constant mind games and revolving identity as father figure, romantic suitor and game teacher is having an adverse effect on her development. She may be learning the game, but LF’s usefulness as a mentor has to be seriously weighed against the danger he represents as a sexual predator and corrupt influence.

Songs and stories have always symbolized Sansa’s innocence and childlike outlook, but in this book she is taking a much more mature appreciation of their relevance. First when she escapes with Dontos and thinks that she must be brave like a lady in a song. Next during her dream, when taking a song becomes symbolic of having sex, and finally in the Eyrie, when she tells LF that the tales of giants ending up on Winterfell’s wall were only stories. Sansa may yet be able to sing, but certainly her song will be completely different from any she would have known as a young girl.

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@ BrashCandy

Excellent analysis of her development!

Songs and stories have always symbolized Sansa’s innocence and childlike outlook, but in this book she is taking a much more mature appreciation of their relevance. First when she escapes with Dontos and thinks that she must be brave like a lady in a song. Next during her dream, when taking a song becomes symbolic of having sex, and finally in the Eyrie, when she tells LF that the tales of giants ending up on Winterfell’s wall were only stories. Sansa may yet be able to sing, but certainly her song will be completely different from any she would have known as a young girl.

This may become clearer to Sansa as she gets older, but at least some of the tales she loved as a child had real people behind them. Naerys and the Dragonknight for example, highlights love outside marriage and the dangers of it for a Queen, but it is also a very real account of an unhappy marriage, some thing she now has experience of and has escaped from herself. While they are hardly after school specials, they do have their own lessons.

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Great summaries, Rapsie and Brashcandy!

Sansa has matured remarkably in the nearly three years of the saga of ASoIaF, from a sheltered and naive and somewhat superficial child to a survivor of abuse and an apprentice politician. She's also had so many promises and dreams shattered; it's no wonder that she takes a far more cynical view of songs. I wonder, though, if 'Alayne''s telling herself that her song is done and so is Sansa is less a statement than a wish, a way of shielding herself from the pain of more broken dreams; especially since her emotional connection to Winterfell and her true family stays strong.

One 'song' that I am sure is not done is that of The Hound and the Little Bird - though Sansa might be far older and wiser when she finally meets her Hound again. I don't know if they will ever get together permanently, though.

I really wanted to see Sansa meet Willas. I haven't given up hope that she might end up Lady of Highgarden one day. Her determination to make a marriage with him work, and be a good wife to him even though he was not a knight in shining armor, or Loras, or might be unattractive, was touching, and a sign of how far Sansa Stark has come. It would be interesting, not to mention bittersweet, if she does eventually meet him in the future and they're both wed to others - she could either be intrigued or glad she escaped a marriage to him.

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Really great summaries Rapsie and brash. :bowdown:

  • * Marrying the Beast; embracing bastard identity

  • One of the standout examples of Sansa’s development in this book has to be her willingness to marry Willas Tyrell – a man who is crippled, who she freely admits could be as unattractive as his father, and who isn’t ever going to morph into his brother, Loras. Despite Sansa’s attraction to the latter, she is able to reconcile her thoughts to marrying Willas and being a good wife to him. She recognizes the value of marrying someone who is kind and trustworthy, and in being able to have freedom in making the choice. Her later acceptance of her bastard status as Alayne Stone is also another significant development in Sansa’s character during ASOS. Bastardy might come with certain societal stains, but Sansa appreciates the freedom it can give her from having to worry about being taken advantage of because of her claim. Generally, throughout ASOS we see her being able to revise her initial expectations and opinions, a sign of how much she has matured.

This is, I think, a really interesting and pivotal point in Sansa's development and also something I think will have further impact down the road. Contrasting Sansa's acceptance of bastardy with Cat's and Cersei's traditional views of it, it's clear that Sansa's changing view makes her able to see options and possibilities where Cersei an Cat saw threats, shame and embarrassment. Sansa is younger and not yet set in her ways unlike Cat and Cersei (who also both had other reasons to worry about bastardy) and get to see this from the "other side", of actually posing a bastard herself and embracing that lack of status. It makes Sansa more "modern" compared to Cat and Cersei in that her personal moral compass is deviating more from the general Westerosi traditional one and she's more prone to seeing all sides of the story.

It also enables her to "see" other types of power than the traditional ones of birthright and military might. Littlefinger cleverly uses financial pressures, people's amibtion for their children, keeping tabs on embarrassing secrets and a number of other more "soft" alternatives to the "hard power" of the traditional world of men. She also has Dontos' words that he gets to know far more secrets as a fool than he ever got to know as a knight, and how useful it is to be underestimated due to a lack of hard power and social standing.

Regarding Willas Tyrell, I am *dying* to have some POV where we get his description. He seems like a really fascinating character; intelligent, a decent strategist, forgiving to the man who maimed him, thoughtful and kind to his siblings, quite unlike blustering, ambitious, rather foolish Mace, but of course, he may still look like him, poor sod. I am also inclined to think Sansa could have done far worse than being paired off with Willas.

We can also add the unkiss memory to this as well, along with Martin’s symbolic and erotic description of Sansa eating a pear with the juice running down her chin. What’s interesting about ASOS with regards to the relationship between Sansa and Sandor is that even though he isn’t around her anymore, Martin does not neglect to develop the bond we saw between them in ACOK. Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion and her inability to feel real compassion or desire for him is made more glaring due to the overwhelming empathy she feels for Sandor during the BBB scene, and the intimate connection between them when she touches his face. Further, the introduction of the kiss mismemory and her thoughts about missing him highlight the continued relevance that he plays in her life.

I often wondered why GRRM added that extra level of brutality to the BBW scene, and then had Sansa retcon the entire event, while Sandor seems to remember it as it was (and feel really ashamed about it, too!). If they ever end up talking about it, the WTF factor could have the potential of being very high, especially since they were both intoxicated. "You remember it wrong" "No you!"

As Sansa grows up and gets some distance from the whole debacle with Ned's beheading and Joffrey's tormenting her, she also sees clearer who were on her side. She names Dontos, Tyrion and the Hound and even clearer, she is gradually less and less afraid of Sandor Clegane until it seems even despite the assault at the BBW, she believes her would not really hurt her and she does not seem afraid of him anymore. She still seems really scared of Ser Ilyn though, and I can't decide if this means she will eventually have real reasons to fear for her personal safety when he is concerned, or whether he just symbolises death, as an executioner. It could be argued that both Ser Ilyn and Sandor are nowhere near her at the moment so she should stop being afraid of either, but Sandor is often put as a contrast to her feelings regarding Ser Ilyn, so as to be placed as a protector_from_death, or well, general harm.

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Brava ladies! All excellent analyses! :)

Well done, Rapsie & brash! :thumbsup:

Regarding the foreshadowing and the character development.... I very much believe some of the things you touched on will become even more important going forward in Sansa's story .

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Really great summaries Rapsie and brash. :bowdown:

Thank you very much :)

This is, I think, a really interesting and pivotal point in Sansa's development and also something I think will have further impact down the road. Contrasting Sansa's acceptance of bastardy with Cat's and Cersei's traditional views of it, it's clear that Sansa's changing view makes her able to see options and possibilities where Cersei an Cat saw threats, shame and embarrassment. Sansa is younger and not yet set in her ways unlike Cat and Cersei (who also both had other reasons to worry about bastardy) and get to see this from the "other side", of actually posing a bastard herself and embracing that lack of status. It makes Sansa more "modern" compared to Cat and Cersei in that her personal moral compass is deviating more from the general Westerosi traditional one and she's more prone to seeing all sides of the story.

It also enables her to "see" other types of power than the traditional ones of birthright and military might. Littlefinger cleverly uses financial pressures, people's amibtion for their children, keeping tabs on embarrassing secrets and a number of other more "soft" alternatives to the "hard power" of the traditional world of men. She also has Dontos' words that he gets to know far more secrets as a fool than he ever got to know as a knight, and how useful it is to be underestimated due to a lack of hard power and social standing.

Really great, great points. She truly has adopted a more modern perspective on bastardy and how power functions in this world, and I do think that it will be instrumental in allowing her to develop as an independent individual and a progressive public figure. Recognizing the value of soft power is also crucial when we think of the limited opportunities for women in patriarchal Westeros, and the necessity of playing the game without being seen to do so. And this of course also has relevance for Sansa's future choices to do with men, relationships and sex. In a way, knighthood and the chivalric codes that go along with belong to this world of hard power, but all of Sansa's most meaningful and impactful experiences have been with the men who either disavow this order completely, and/or have been victims of it's inherent hypocrisy and brutality. By showing Sansa having an intimate connection to and sexual fantasies of Sandor Clegane, Martin is giving legitimacy to an alternative for personal romance in Sansa's life. The days of marrying because it makes the most political sense and ensures solid marriage alliances could be over, at least for Sansa Stark. What her experience has taught her, and what we as readers have seen from other examples in the series is that these types of marriages are often made in view of much more mercenary and callous considerations: land grabs, securing military help, and mindless pursuit of power and prestige.

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Great analyses Brash and Rapsie! i wanted to point out one more thing regarding foreshadowing and this is the bird/flying references that also seem to keep popping up with Sansa. Birds are known for singing and Sansa still likes songs and uses them for strength as we saw when she was fleeing Kings Landing with Dontos. Also, the rumors going around about how Sansa disappeared are that she sprouted wings and flew away. If you look at where she "flew off" to, she ends up in the Eyrie, which is symbolic of a bird's nest and where birds would make their home. And of course there is sweetrobin's term for sending people out the moon door (as Sansa almost was) as making them fly. Do all these bird and flying references foreshadow that Sansa will warg a bird or perhaps another flying creature like, say, a dragon? I have to think that all these references mean something like this will happen.

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@ Elba,

Interesting thoughts on the meanings of bird symbolisms in Sansa's chapters.

I would like to add a few things to it.

When Sandor and Arya met Polliver and the Tickler at the Inn, they were told that Sansa killed Joffrey, turned into a wolf and then grew bat wings and flew away. Bat wings look a lot like dragon wings… So we could say that Sansa was described as a wolf with dragon wings… Which could definitively foreshadows that she could, at one point, ride a dragon in some way or another…

Dany’s stillborn child was also said to be born with bat wings, but I don't think this is linked in any way…

Also, as birds are able to fly in the air instead of falling down, it’s interesting that Sansa’s interactions with Sandor had a lot to do with him preventing her from falling in many different times.

  1. On the battlements, when she thought of pushing Joffrey down.
  2. In the serpentine stairs
  3. From her horse in the riot
  4. On the rooftop of Maegor's Holdfast

I don’t know if it has any meaning, but it sure is recurrent…

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Well, if any of ya'll have been paying attention ;) you will know I subscribe to the Sansa Dragon Rider Theory. It all involves her and Daenerys becoming best friends when Tyrion directs Dany to land in the Eyrie, using the sky cells as dragon nests, and in order to take advantage of the Vale's resources. Lots of lemoncakes and laughter ensues (over LF flying out the moondoor).

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@ Elba,

Interesting thoughts on the meanings of bird symbolisms in Sansa's chapters.

I would like to add a few things to it.

When Sandor and Arya met Polliver and the Tickler at the Inn, they were told that Sansa killed Joffrey, turned into a wolf and then grew bat wings and flew away. Bat wings look a lot like dragon wings… So we could say that Sansa was described as a wolf with dragon wings… Which could definitively foreshadows that she could, at one point, ride a dragon in some way or another…

Dany’s stillborn child was also said to be born with bat wings, but I don't think this is linked in any way…

Also, as birds are able to fly in the air instead of falling down, it’s interesting that Sansa’s interactions with Sandor had a lot to do with him preventing her from falling in many different times.

  1. On the battlements, when she thought of pushing Joffrey down.
  2. In the serpentine stairs
  3. From her horse in the riot
  4. On the rooftop of Maegor's Holdfast

I don’t know if it has any meaning, but it sure is recurrent…

Sandor seems the anchor of Sansa.

Sorry to have miss so much, but I just wasn´t able. Right now I´m true lost. Hope to get through something coherent.

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Some more interesting Greek myths here, this time in relation to Petyr:

Pan: in Greek religion and mythology, Pan is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Ancient Greek language, from the word paein, meaning "to pasture"

I'm drawing a parallel from Pan to LF, after all he comes from the Fingers (a wild and forlorn place), and has plenty of sheep. Also he's the companion of nymphs (beautiful, nubile maidens--- I'm thinking of his brothels here!) Also note, at times Pan is referred to as a Satyr...look how Petyr spells his name. ;)

Pan's greatest conquest was that of the moon goddess Selene (in Roman myth," Luna"). He accomplished this by wrapping himself in a sheepskin to hide his hairy black goat form, and drew her down from the sky into the forest where he seduced her.

Now, it is said that : In post-Renaissance art, Selene is generally depicted as a beautiful woman with a pale face and long, lustrous, black hair. One of her symbols is a crescent moon.

Could this relate to Sansa? She is dyeing her hair, but it's not black, rather a burnt brown. Also, while she's obviously not an Arryn, she is living at the Eyrie, and the Arryns' sigil does contain a white moon, albeit a full moon.

And then there is Echo:

Sometimes the young and beautiful nymph Echo would distract and amuse Zeus' wife, Hera, with long and entertaining stories while Zeus took advantage of the moment to ravish the other mountain nymphs. When Hera discovered the trickery and was so annoyed she punished the talkative Echo by taking away her voice, except in foolish repetition of another's shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was repeat the voice of another.

Sandor said this to Sansa:

"You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.

Interesting enough:

Pan, a lecherous god, fell in love with Echo, but she ran away from him. He became so angry when she refused him, he created such a "panic" causing a group of shepherds to kill her.

There is also this: Pitys, another nymph Pan was infatuated with, who to escape him, was turned into a tree:

"Sing also of Pitys who hated marriage, who fled fast as the wind over the mountains to escape the unlawful wooing of Pan, and her fate--how she disappeared into the soil herself...."

Now we know Sansa can't turn into a tree, but how "she disappeared into the soil herself"...could that mean she might take refuge in a cave ? Or even better, that she "flees across the mountains " of the Vale or more specifically: the Mountains of the Moon .

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Very intriguing QoW. I love the parallel you've drawn between Pan and Petyr and Sansa as the moon goddess Selene (although the other nymphs could apply as well). Hmmm, have you had a look yet at the thread over on the ADWD section called Howl at the Moon? It's centred on the Moonsingers of Braavos that Arya learns about during her time with the FM, but it also considers the larger relevance of the moon in many of the characters' lives and Westerosi religion and culture. Here's some samples from the thread:

Dragonspawn:

The moon-connection i think is important... but I always assumed Sansa was the Moon-maid... only because during the Hands tourney she see's three moons turn red when she witnesses her first death.... which i thought may have been a foreshadowing of her father / mother and Robbs death... also the metaphorical implications are quite nice - during the dark of the night it is the moon that shines brightly (which i think is a sensible metaphor for Sansa coming into her own when the long night is in full swing ... helping and protecting people escaping from the others, maybe sheltering them at Winterfell but i think most likely the Eeryie) + she's the only Stark to do any singing so far...

Elaena Targaryen:

Yes the Gates of the Moon is curious here too. House Royce of the GOTM were First Men and there sigil is black portcullis over a white cresent moon, like they protect it or something. Also there are the Moon Brothers from the Mountains of the Moon Vale clans. Something else is Sansa wore a moonstone necklace when she married which may not be a big deal because they wear moonstones in the Vale.

Two other things just to add to everything is Cat of the Cannals mentions, and is around, a Moon Pool in Braavos a lot. (it's probably connected to the MS) Also a cortesan called the Moonshadow, who wears white with silver only, heard Daeron, the one Arya kills for deserting the NW, singing (I think by the Moon Pool) and she gave him a kiss.

Lykos:

ETA: The Eyrie is an eagle´s or hawk falcon´s nest. The Womb is where human eggs are nested. There is a Crescent Hall at the Eyrie. Maybe the castle was a temple of the Moonsingers. There might be some similarities of the Vale to Braavos, if we can believe this map, they´re both enclosed by mountains.

The german wikipage on the moon says in many cultures three female characters are linked to the waxing moon - the maid, the full moon - the mother and the waning moon - the crone or witch. In greek mythology they are Selene, Artemis and Hekate.

In celtic mythology they are Blodeuwedd, Morrigan and Ceridwen.

Brashcandy (replying to Lykos) :)

All very interesting. In ASOS, these are the three deities of the Seven that Tyrion notes Sansa prays to most often:

Quote

He had become accustomed to his wife's nightly devotions. She prayed at the royal sept as well, and often lit candles to Mother, Maid, and Crone.

Also, the first time Sansa's moonblood arrives is on the eve of the Blackwater battle, perhaps signalling her connection to that cycle of life and death, beginning and end? Cersei comments on it sardonically, telling her that it's apt that men will be bleeding outside, while she bleeds inside.

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@Rapsie

Nice catch with Pan and Petyr, keep it coming. Alayne is a derivation from Selene, so that analogy might work. Littlefinger, like Pan, isn't one to take to rejection kindly. If Sansa rebuffs him, it could get ugly for her, he may try to force himself on her.

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Very intriguing QoW. I love the parallel you've drawn between Pan and Petyr and Sansa as the moon goddess Selene (although the other nymphs could apply as well). Hmmm, have you had a look yet at the thread over on the ADWD section called Howl at the Moon? It's centred on the Moonsingers of Braavos that Arya learns about during her time with the FM, but it also considers the larger relevance of the moon in many of the characters' lives and Westerosi religion and culture. Here's some samples from the thread.

No, I hadn't seen that thread before brash! I really like the parts you highlighted, especially the parts about the Maiden, Mother, Crone aspect! I'm going to have to check out that thread (when I'm finished with the other thread projects I'm working on! ;) )

But you know I always thought Sansa starting her moonblood the night that Sandor left her with that cloak was telling.....

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There is also this: Pitys, another nymph Pan was infatuated with, who to escape him, was turned into a tree:

"Sing also of Pitys who hated marriage, who fled fast as the wind over the mountains to escape the unlawful wooing of Pan, and her fate--how she disappeared into the soil herself...."

Now we know Sansa can't turn into a tree, but how "she disappeared into the soil herself"...could that mean she might take refuge in a cave ? Or even better, that she "flees across the mountains " of the Vale or more specifically: the Mountains of the Moon .

I wanted to single this part out as well since we know Sansa now hates the idea of marriage, and we could see her as you noted escaping over the mountains of the moon. I wonder if the whole turning into a tree might reference Sansa's returning to her roots in the North? But I like your suggestion on the cave as well :)

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I wanted to single this part out as well since we know Sansa now hates the idea of marriage, and we could see her as you noted escaping over the mountains of the moon. I wonder if the whole turning into a tree might reference Sansa's returning to her roots in the North? But I like your suggestion on the cave as well :)

Exactly! I thought the part about marriage was critical. Damn, I'd love to see her escape over the Mountains of the Moon! (Gee, can you tell I really want her to get away from LF?!) :ack:

I thought about her Stark roots too when they mentioned the tree (especially considering Bran is probably going to turn into one). Still working on those thoughts about those caves! ;) (But I do have other thoughts/theories about other thingsin Sansa's arc on the burner too). :D

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