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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa

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@Elba - that was an interesting read, thanks :) It's really interesting how women have been forced into these stifling binaries of "virgin goddess" or "wicked harlot" throughout history, and I think we see some of the same attitudes at play in the analysis of female arcs in ASOIAF. It's ok when a woman has sex within the confines of a marriage, but dare she step outside of that to take hold of her own sexuality, and it's a problem. Also, I've noticed when it comes to Sansa, this resistence to engage with her as a developing young girl, who's beginning to have sexual feelings and desires. I think what Martin is trying to show is that women and their sexuality does not have to be removed from women and their pursuit of power. Sansa shouldn't be required to be a Virgin Queen in order to know happiness and independence as a ruler, and someone like Dany shouldn't be content to simply be the Mother of Dragons.

(*hope my rambling made some sense)

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Sorry this is about 2 weeks late now, but here is the foreshadowing write up for AFFC!!!

AFFC – Foreshadowing

Life is not a song – Life unfortunately is becoming a song

(also know as the Do You Know the Way to San Jose / Winterfell analogy)

“With a dream in your heart you’re never alone,

Dreams turn to dust and blow away”.

So the small town girl dreams of the city and the wonderful adventures she will have there. The reality does not live up to the expectation. That does not mean that the girl is not living in the city. It means that she had never anticipated the truth behind the dreams. Now she just wishes to return to the peace and safety of her old life, but doesn’t know how to get there.

Similarly Sansa initially thinks of life as a Song. However she had never really understood the truth behind those songs: impossible love, heartbreak and death. The songs maybe pretty but that lives of the people on who they were based, were not always. Sansa’s life in Winterfell was hardly song worthy: it was however safe and loving. Since her father’s death she has been a captive and had to fear for her life. While unpleasant, this is part of being a hostage.

However her forced marriage, dramatic escape via cliff face at a wedding where the King is murdered, followed by a disguise in the Eyrie, helping the young and sickly Lord down from the Eyrie, are all worthy events in any song. Sansa’s life has become the stuff of songs, just when she seems to have lost her faith in them.

SONGS

Up until AFFC we have repeatedly seen mention of songs in Sansa arc. AFFC is no different.

Although she tries to drown them out and doesn’t want to hear them, Marillion

sang of the Dance of the Dragons, of fair Jonquil and her fool, of Jenny of Oldstones and the Prince of Dragonflies. He sang of betrayals and murders most foul, of hanged men and bloody vengeance. He sang of grief and sadness.

The Dance of the Dragons is a song that recounts the civil war that erupted between members of House Targaryen. It is usually sung by two singers, one female, one male. It is not one song, but a collection of ballads woven together to tell the story. (From Wiki)

Interestingly it is sung twice in front of Sansa. Once at Joff’s wedding and then at the Eyrie. Could this relate to her having a role in the upcoming battle between Aegon and Dany?

Jonquil and her Fool A song that has been central to Sansa and one of the main two songs associated with her arc, along with Naerys and the Dragonknight. Given the recent discussion about not saying Sandor’s name but referring to him obliquely I note that instead of saying Florian and Jonquil, Florian has become “her fool”.

A bit off topic but in the Hedge Knight we learn a little more about the tale of Florian and Jonquil and it seems to involve a giant and a dragon and Florian Slaying the Giant. However it is described as

sad and sweet both, with a sprightly swordfight at the end, and a nicely painted giant.

I wonder if Sandor will in fact die for Sansa whilst slaying a giant. Although there is still the possibility of two giants: the one in Bran’s dream and the Savage Giant Sansa is meant to slay. The nicely painted giant made me think of LF and his mocking bird symbol.

It also says

I like how you make them move, Jonquil and the dragon and all. I saw a puppet show last year, but they moved all jerky.

Now the puppets are being moved by a Dornish woman. I wonder if this is hinting at Arienne Martell having an involvement in scheming with Aegon (or later on Sansa). Also the kerky movements could be a hint at Sandor’s wounded leg.

Jenny of Oldstones and the Prince of Dragonflies The Prince of Dragonflies was Duncan Targaryen , also known as Duncan the small, who gave up his crown for the low born Jenny of Oldstones who wove flowers in her hair. Apparently Sophie Turner’s clothing in the TV series is decorated in Dragonflies.

This could foreshadow a link to the Targs (perhaps Aegon) or it could symbolise her giving up her birthright to marry someone lower born than she is. Or I hate to say it, but as he was known as Duncan the Small, it could be a Tyrion reference. Then again, he was only small compared to his namesake Duncan the Tall who was nearly 7 feet tall.

All the songs he sings seem to be sad ones though, and I think it could foreshadow that Sansa’s song will not be a happy one in the end. It also highlights that not all songs are nice ones and echoes Cersei’s comments about there being a dearth of good sacking songs.

HIDING and HOME

Since standing on the battlements of the Red Keep and forced to look at her father’s head, Sansa has wanted to go home. She has wanted to be safe again. We have seen LF tell her that her home is gone and she will now have to make her own home. We also see her take on a new identity. One that grants her more freedom, but also keeps her tied to LF. Here we see a juxtaposition between home/ safety and power/ politics.

She wanted to crawl back into bed and hide beneath the blanket, to sleep and sleep.

Littlefinger and Lord Petyr looked so very much alike. She would have fled them both, perhaps, but there was nowhere for her to go. Winterfell was burned and desolate, Bran and Rickon dead and cold, Robb had been betrayed and murdered at the Twins, along with their lady mother. Tyrion had been put to death for killing Joffrey, and if she ever returned to King’s Landing the queen would have her head as well. The aunt she’d hoped would keep her safe had tried to murder her instead. Her uncle Edmure was a captive of the Freys, while her great-uncle the Blackfish was under siege at Riverrun. I have no place but here, Sansa thought miserably, and no true friend but Petyr.

I never asked to play. The game was too dangerous. One slip and I am dead.

Sansa is now hidden as Alayne and I think the change of POV title could be foreshadowing who she is as a person. As Alyane she has finally found some safety. However she still feels like a Stark: which identity is she being built up to assume permanently. However we have seen in ADWD the very definite change in title that accompanies Reek’s transformation to Theon. Will Alyane become Sansa again? Will she know her name?

Also LF mentions the Fingers. It is still noticeable that bleak as it is, it is still a safe refuge.

Still, where would you have us go, Alayne? Back to my mighty stronghold on the Fingers?” She had thought about that.

DEAD MEN

bgona: 20th April post 221

- Sansa calls Marillion the dead man. Even staying him alive. Why try to give us GRRM that idea that is a dead man?

Another subtle foreshadowing that Sandor Clegane is not dead. After all not all dead men are dead.

BIRDS

We have seen the continued allusion to Sansa and birds. In AFFC this continues.

The snow-clad summit of the Giant’s Lance loomed above her, an immensity of stone and ice that dwarfed the castle perched upon its shoulder. Icicles twenty feet long draped the lip of the precipice where Alyssa’s Tears fell in summer. A falcon soared wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.

CLOTHING

There was a gown of purple silk that gave her pause, and another of dark blue velvet sashed with silver that would have woken all the colour in her eyes, but in the end she remembered that Alayne was after all a bastard, and must not presume to dress above her station. The dress she picked was lambswool, dark brown and simply cut, with leaves and vines embroidered around the bodice, sleeves, and hem in golden thread. It was modest and becoming, though scare richer than something a serving girl might wear. Petyr had given her all of Lady Lysa’s jewels as well, and she tried on several necklaces, but they all seemed ostentatious. In the end she chose a simple velvet ribbon in autumn gold.

The choice of gown here maybe a reference to Sandor Clegane’s House colours or contrast with Cersei’s visit to the High Septon. Sansa also turns away from the purple (Royal colours) gown and the blue and silver gown (House Arryn).

Indeed, clothing has been symbolic for Sansa ever since the first book and her ruined dress.

As noted by

Brashcandy 25th April post 203

This is a girl who wrapped herself in a bloody cloak from as far back as ACOK, and later kept it between her summer silks. She's long recognized or at least been subconsciously affected by the symbolic value of garments, and this is why I do think that Martin was trying to foreshadow a relationship with Sandor Clegane when he had her dress in those house colours.

Another comparison was made:

Elba the Itoner 25th April post 298

However, the dress that Alayne picks reminded me of the acorn dress that Lady Smallwood gave Arya to wear when she was with the BWB at Acorn Hall. They are both trying to be kept in disuises that hide their high born status so perhaps that is another parallel between them we are being reminded of.

So Sansa and clothing again comes to the fore. Whether the clothing choice echoes Arya, Cersei or Clegane colours all seems up for dispute.

THE UNKISS

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.

The kiss that never was has already been said by GRRM to be important. Oddly I have a friend who has just started reading the books in the last couple of months. He completely missed that the Hound hadn’t actually kissed her (He also missed the R+L=J and thought Jon’s mother was Elia of Dorne and the Patchface Prophecies and the Red Wedding hint from the House of the Undying). I do wonder how much we read into things and how much of this re-read has actually highlighted very subtle foreshadowing.

Additionally we have Sansa matchmaking a bastard girl with a lowly Knight.

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.

There is the possibility that Sandor does have his name cleared, but would it be too much for both Sansa and Sandor (accused of crimes they didn’t commit) to have their names cleared? That seems like too much of a “happy ending” for a GRRM novel.

As Brashcandy stated 29th April post

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.

Certainly we are having foreshadowing since ASOS of Sansa’s disillusionment with marriage and desire to find a love of her own and her growing acceptance of Bastards and of highborn women not being faithful.

A TIME FOR WOLVES

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

A little bit dreary my interpretation of this. I am not sure any of the Starks bar Rickon, will be returning to being Starks. Jojen’s Greendream told him that the Wolves will return, but I wonder if this signifies the actual remaining Dire-Wolves and not the Starks. With Sansa disinherited (potentially) and wanted for murder in KL, it is very possible that she does decide to stay Alyane Stone. Equally Bran is becoming a Tree, and Arya may remain a FM. Rickon will remember so little of his childhood that the essential values of Cat and Ned are lost to him and although a Stark, he will not have that connection with the past that his siblings did due to losing everything at such a young age. I think possibly the Starks will play a dramatic role in the future books, but it will never be revealed as such. Currently Sansa, Arya and Bran are all becoming behind the scenes players who pull the strings of events without others being aware of them.

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Up until AFFC we have repeatedly seen mention of songs in Sansa arc. AFFC is no different.
Given all the symbolism of songs in Sansa's arc, what do you make of Sweetrobin's fear of singing ?

Foreshadowing ? of what ?

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@ Scorpion Knight

I'm not sure. I thought the betrayal for love might be Barristan for Lemore (of she is Ashara). Or it could be three betrayals Dany comits herself. The prophecy sword and all....

@ Queen of Spades

really good question. I don't know if it is part of the foreshadowing, but SR not wanting songs around could now symbolize that rather than listening to one, Sansa is now playing her part in one. (sorry thinking of the original Pirates of the Caribbean film and Barbossa's line about Ghost Stories to Elizabeth Swann).

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Rapsie, I really liked your point about how Sansa's life is turning into a song just when she may have stopped believing in them. Between having a secret forbidden "love", keeping up a fake identity and becoming entangled in the political claims for the North, her story is going to make a hell of a song.

Given all the symbolism of songs in Sansa's arc, what do you make of Sweetrobin's fear of singing ? Foreshadowing ? of what ?

Yeah, I agree with what Rapsie said above in not thinking that it's quite foreshadowing (but certainly open to hearing what others think). We know he can't stand to hear songs after his mother's death, so it might just be reflective of his very sensitive and brittle nature.

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Given the recent discussion about not saying Sandor’s name but referring to him obliquely I note that instead of saying Florian and Jonquil, Florian has become “her fool”.

That makes me think of Sandor’s answer to Sansa’s proposal of singing the Jonquil and Florian song for him:

A fool and his cunt! :lol:

The kiss that never was has already been said by GRRM to be important. Oddly I have a friend who has just started reading the books in the last couple of months. He completely missed that the Hound hadn’t actually kissed her (He also missed the R+L=J and thought Jon’s mother was Elia of Dorne and the Patchface Prophecies and the Red Wedding hint from the House of the Undying). I do wonder how much we read into things and how much of this re-read has actually highlighted very subtle foreshadowing.

I can’t blame your friend, apart from the un-kiss, which of course I didn’t miss since I was already shipping SanSan on my first reading, I didn’t get any of those hints at first.

I don’t mind it though; it made my second time around much more interesting even if I felt like such an idiot ( :bang: ) for missing so many important things!!!

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Great round-up of all the foreshadowing, rapsie! :)

I am finding some of the potential meanings to be rather depressing, however... :frown5:

** I apologize that I've not had much of substance to contribute lately other than emotionally-based short responses. I'm going through a bit of a tough period in RL and I can feel it seeping into my posts.

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I think Elizabeth Tudor's decision to turn her maidenhood/marriageability into a prize on the political market was made out of political skill - she could continue to advance England's interests by negotiating her own price and shuffling alliances - and her own personal history.

I don't want to see Sansa go the Virgin Queen route but I do see some parallels. Elizabeth saw what happened to the women her father married. Sansa was the woman that man either used or attempted to use for their own purposes. After all this, it's possible she would decide not to marry for the same reasons as Queen Elizabeth. I hope not but I wouldn't dismiss it as a possibility.

Exactly! Ned was a very compassionate, indulgent, and broad-minded parent, but he was not necessarily a careful one, particularly with his daughters. I think he dismissed Sansa as his adorable pretty little girl, who was such a good girl, so well-mannered, who would never do anything wrong. But he did not know her extremely well. I cannot fathom why he did not, during the several weeks after Lady's death, try to have a talk with Sansa about the importance of always being truthful, and the dangers that awaited them in King's Landing. Ned observed that Sansa was troubled and unhappy during that time, and decided not to trouble her further by infringing on her distress. I think Ned saw a side of his older daughter that puzzled him, that he did not know how to deal with, and backed off because it was easier.

Not a great insight on my part but you made me think of the scene during the first season of GoT when Ned gave Sansa a doll while he had a great conversation with Arya in the same episode. We know that Ned never seemed to connect with his older daughter but I liked this example as it really illustrated just how disconnected they are.

It's crazy to think that it was actually Sandor who ended up picking up Ned's slack in this regard, isn't it?

Sandor gave her the advice to save herself some pain by giving Joffrey what he wants. I think it's the first useful advice she is given in the entire series. Looking at her character, I think it's also the single most important lesson she is given by anyone. She uses this basic premise to deal not only with Joffrey but Tyrion and Littlefinger later. Sansa has become very good at observing others and determining how best to present herself based upon that. I can't recall of any particular insight that Ned offered her, not that I think of it.

It's really interesting how women have been forced into these stifling binaries of "virgin goddess" or "wicked harlot" throughout history, and I think we see some of the same attitudes at play in the analysis of female arcs in ASOIAF. It's ok when a woman has sex within the confines of a marriage, but dare she step outside of that to take hold of her own sexuality, and it's a problem. Also, I've noticed when it comes to Sansa, this resistence to engage with her as a developing young girl, who's beginning to have sexual feelings and desires. I think what Martin is trying to show is that women and their sexuality does not have to be removed from women and their pursuit of power. Sansa shouldn't be required to be a Virgin Queen in order to know happiness and independence as a ruler, and someone like Dany shouldn't be content to simply be the Mother of Dragons. (*hope my rambling made some sense)

Made lots of sense. I would say this focus on either the virgin or harlot still exists within our culture today which is pretty sad. I very much agree, this informs much of the scrutiny we see of female characters within ASOIF. It happens within the text itself and within the larger fandom. As to Sansa, from what I have observed of much of the fanbase, I don't think many are able to see Sansa as a character with a sexual side. She made a very strong negative impression in the first book that has stuck with many readers even after Feast. I don't think it's a big leap to speculate that if we see Sansa further develop her sexuality or to begin physical exploration that it would come as a shock to many readers. Depending on how Martin presents it, I'd say its possible that readers could view it as further example of her exploitation. Or, we could see scenarios where she receives some of the same criticisms as Dany and Cersei for having sexual relationships outside marriage. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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I was excited when I realized the dwarf on High Heart (?) - the hill Arya comes to with the BWB - and her prophecy about a maiden with purple snakes hissing in her hair referred to Sansa and the hairnet she wears that the Tyrells use to poison Joffrey, because of the next part of the prophecy in which the maiden would slay a giant in a castle made of snow. I was dying to figure out who the giant was.

However, I recently re-read the sequence where Littlefinger murders Lysa Arren and noticed that before that happens, when Sansa builds the castle of Winterfell, Sweetrobyn pretends his doll is a giant trying to destroy the snow castle and Sansa "slays" the doll/giant, pulling off its head and (I think?) mounting its head on the snow castle. Is this all the prophecy refers to, do people think? Or does it pre-figure something a little more meaningful? I was sort of disappointed once I realized this might be it, although that would also be a little funny.

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:lol: I know there are Sansa "The Virgin Queen" advocates out there, but I just hope and pray that this isn't where GRRM will have her storyline end up. From the very beginning, Sansa has wanted children and a family, and I'd really like to see her enjoy this part of life.

I also want to see her happy, however, I think that it's very important that she remain a virgin until after her marraige to Tyrion is anulled...I think we were informed via Cercei and Margery situation that the Faith has the right to try and punish, or at very least, not allow annullment, if Sansa does not remain a virgin. I would rather see her out of the loveless forced marraige to Tyrion than be stuck with it, and publicly condemned as an adulterer - it seems like that would be a pretty bad political mistake as well.

Also - it's occured to me, but has anyone else thought of it? Maybe LF has arranged for Sansa to be exposed to sexually open women to help her to be more aware of/open to his icky advances? He is a devious guy, that so far hasn't seemed to slip up, maybe he still hasn't, and maybe he has multiple ways he is trying to get Sansa.

Also, I think it's demeaning to women to argue that a female should be sexually active to be a 'real' woman. That sounds like a like used by a male who wants to coerce a female into sleeping with him. We can be fully actualized women with or without sex. I personally won't care if she ends the series as a virgin or not, as long as it's her choice. For me, if Sansa is able to end the series by living a life of her choosing, and not one that is forced upon her, regardless of what that entails, then I'll be happy with her development.

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This thread is moving along so quickly but based on Lummel's interest in post #337, and inspired by Queen of Winter's posts on mythology, here is some explanation of the bibilical figures of Lilith and Jezebel that I got from a discussion yesterday. I should qualify it though that the materials I have were put together by a woman who is an ordained Rabbi and she is the one who led the discussion. Lilith - Lilith especially seems relevant to the discussion of the virgin queen idea in particular. From jewishvirtuallibrary.org, Lilith is a female demon assigned a central position in Jewish demonology, but also appears in the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic and in Babylonian demonology as well. She was considered a part of the mazikim, or harmful spirits which have various roles. One of them, Ardat-Lilith, is to prey on males, while others were considered to prey on women in childbirth and their children. In Scripture, there is only one reference to Lilith, in Isaiah 34:14, as being among the beasts of prey and spirits that will lay waste to the land on the day of vengeance. The legend of Lilith appears in it's most complete form in a text from the 8th - 10th centuries called The Alphabet of Ben Sira. It sets out to explain the widespread custom by that time of creating amulets against Lilith. In this text Lilith is the "first Eve" who was created at the same time as Adam from the same earth. Because of this she asserted to Adam that she was equal with him and when she refused to submit to him she fled the Garden of Eden. Alphabet of Ben Sira, 23a-b: According to myth and legend, Lilith was the first woman, created before Eve. She was Adam's absolute equal. In the Garden of Eden, long before the eating of the apple, the Holy One created the first human beings - a man named Adam, and a woman named Lilith. Lilith said, "We are equal because we are created from the same earth." On Adam's request, the Almighty sent forth three angels after her and the angels threatened her saying that if she did not return 100 of her sons would die every day. She refused saying that she was created expressly to harm newborns but she had to swear that whenever she saw the images of those angels in an amulet she would lose her power over the infant. So here we see how the legend of the Adam's wife who preceded the creation of Eve merges with the earlier legend of Lilith as a demon who kills infants and endangers women in children. From these traditions, the image of Lilith became fixed in the demonology of the Kabbalah where she has one of two primary roles, the strangler of children and the seducer of men. In the Zohar and other sources, Lilith is referred to as the harlot, the wicked, the false and the black. It became very common to protect women who were giving birth from the power of Lilith by affixing amulets over the bed and four walls of the room. The Alphabet of Ben Sira explains that the amulet should contain not only the names of the three angels who sought her out but their form as well. (The Alphabet of Ben Sira is one of the earliest and most sophisticated of Hebrew stories written in the Middle Ages.) In modern times, feminists have reconfigured the Lilith myth claiming that it reveals male anxiety about women who cannot be kept under patriarchal control. In feminist versions of the creation story, Lilith demands equality with Adam. Her expulsion from the Garden of Eden indicates not that she is evil, but the intolerance of male entities, Adam and God, who insist on defining and controlling women. Jezebel - (from jewishvirtuallibrary.org) Jezebel was born about the end for the first decade of the ninth century and killed in the insurrection of Jehu in 841 B.C.E. King Ahab arranged for the marriage between himself and Jezebel as it sealed a mutually advantageous alliance between Israel and the Tyrian Empire. (I Kings 16:31) She was a worshipper of the Tyrian Baal religion. Jezebel became an enemy of the prophet Elijah and in the stories about Elijah she is described as the prototype enemy of the god of Israel and his prophets. "She is depicted as a zealot for the deities of her homeland, who slaughtered the prophets of YHWH (I Kings 18:4) and supported the prophets of Baal and Asherah (I Kings 18:19). She is also a vigorous character with a strong will who was also literate (I Kings 21:8). Jezebel was considered to have instigated the judicial murder of Naboth, a man who defied her husband Ahab, (I Kings 21) and the story depicts Ahab as a weakling dominated by his wife. Jezebel is considered to be the instigator of the sins of her husband, "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work of wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." (I Kings 22:25) During the insurrection of Jehu, after Jehu murdered her son, Jezebel adorned herself queen, perhaps as a gesture of defiance to Jehu who ordered her to be thrown out a window. Modern feminist interpretation of Jezebel from "Listen to Her voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible", by Miki Raver - Jezebel is mistakenly remembered as a harlot because she painted her face before going to her doom. Her final act was to ring her eyes with kohl and adorn her hair. She prepared to look her best, as any royal person would before an encounter with the public. The ancient female religion for which Jezebel stood was accompanied by an autonomy for woman and considered an offense to Yahwism. In the Goddess religion, priestesses were not under the control of men, kinship was traced matrilineally, and proud sexual priestesses owned property, had legal rights, and were free to relate with many men. --------------------- I found that Lilith in particular has some meaning for a discussion of the virgin queen idea. The mythology surrounding her being a destroyer of newborns reminds me of Lysa in many ways, with her struggle for bearing a live child. Jezebel is not as relevant to the story of the virgin queen per se, but it very much has to do with the history of a powerful queen (she is viewed as the power behind her husband's rule) trying to subvert patriarchal restrictions and how her name is perceived later on because of it. ETA It's also interesting to note that the story of the creation of Adam and Eve that we all know relates to the idea of a virgin queen. Eve was specifically created for Adam and from him so that he would not be alone. The inherent meaning of this is that a man was meant to have a woman by his side. So, obviously any woman who does not want to be with a man must be abhorrent in some way.

Feminists really get the Jezebel story wrong: she was a Phoenician Princess, and the Phoenicians were god monarchs not dissimilar to Pharoah, thus when Jezebel desired Naboth's vineyard, she was acting like a member of Phoenician royalty, who thought they had a right to steal the possessions of their subjects (being god-monarchs). Unfortunately the Israelites believed in the rule of law (since the king was just a servant of the people hence Ruth's son is called Obed-which means servant) and that the King was not above the law (but merely there to prevent civil war such as seen in the Battle of Gibeah), so Jezebel's behaviour was completely unacceptable. I would consider her an example not of the subversion of patriarchal rule, but as a foreigner trying to impose a more authoritarian system of government on a free people.

http://www.amazon.com/Harlot-Side-Road-Jonathan-Kirsch/dp/0345418824/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337406548&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Created-Equal-Ancient-Political-Thought/dp/0199832404/ref=pd_sim_b_1

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...There is the possibility that Sandor does have his name cleared, but would it be too much for both Sansa and Sandor (accused of crimes they didn’t commit) to have their names cleared?...

I'm not sure which crimes Sandor has been accused of that he didn't commit, but in Westerosi terms as a Kingsguard who fled his duty during war in the face of the enemy he's a pretty serious oath breaker and unlike the Kingslayer his father isn't one of the most powerful noblemen in the kingdom nor is his sister due to marry the next king.

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I'm not sure which crimes Sandor has been accused of that he didn't commit, but in Westerosi terms as a Kingsguard who fled his duty during war in the face of the enemy he's a pretty serious oath breaker and unlike the Kingslayer his father isn't one of the most powerful noblemen in the kingdom nor is his sister due to marry the next king.

The only way he would get pardoned would be by getting close to the next king, I guess. Anybody can be pardoned if they can make a major contribution to whoever wins the war. Or, in the case if his other crimes, if somebody figures out that it wasn't you doing it in the first place, just some douche wearing your helmet. I'm not really expecting Sandor to be pardoned or proven innocent, though. Sansa, I think, will either be found innocent, or the next monarch just won't give a crap about what happened to Joffrey.

Plus, if everyone somehow finds out the truth of Cersei's incest and such (there are rumors, but nobody is able to prove it), would anybody still care what happened to Joffrey?

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Nice write up Rapsie. :thumbsup:

Regarding the songs and how they are presented, in AGOT and ACOK songs were still something Sansa saw with golden tinted glasses, they were heroic tales of chivalry, gallant knights etc. Even if some of them are the same ones, In AFFC they have taken on a more sinister tone:

sang of the Dance of the Dragons, of fair Jonquil and her fool, of Jenny of Oldstones and the Prince of Dragonflies. He sang of betrayals and murders most foul, of hanged men and bloody vengeance. He sang of grief and sadness.

It seems to reflect Sansa's realisation of the politics and tragedy behind those songs. Sort of like reading about people dying to a small child isn't that sad to them as it is to someone older who has experienced loss. Once you have been exposed to the tragedies and hardship of life, you can appreciate that dimension. Sansa has certainly been exposed to grief, sorrow and loss in its most concentrated form. The betrayals and murders she's also seen way too close up front, and even been falsely accused herself.

Sansa went off to listen to "The Dance of Dragons" once in an early Ned chapter in AGOT as well I think, and since it deals with intricate Targaryen politics, perhaps it means she will somehow be involved in the struggle between f!Aegon and Dany, or at least that she will have a political role in the future.

It could also simply be a reference to Civil War. Since Ned lost his head Civil War has been the backdrop of the entire storyline of ASOIAF and it looks like it will continue for a while longer.

I also want to see her happy, however, I think that it's very important that she remain a virgin until after her marraige to Tyrion is anulled...I think we were informed via Cercei and Margery situation that the Faith has the right to try and punish, or at very least, not allow annullment, if Sansa does not remain a virgin. I would rather see her out of the loveless forced marraige to Tyrion than be stuck with it, and publicly condemned as an adulterer - it seems like that would be a pretty bad political mistake as well.

Margaery has already been "examined" and found very likely not to be a virgin, yet the Faith said themselves the proof against her was weak. Cersei even thought that horse riding could make it impossible to determine whether a girl was still a virgin or not, and most highborn girls learn to ride fairly early. But it is true that the Faith may not be so easy to placate any more as they were.

Also - it's occured to me, but has anyone else thought of it? Maybe LF has arranged for Sansa to be exposed to sexually open women to help her to be more aware of/open to his icky advances?

LF has no choice, Myranda Royce is Nestor Royce's daughter and Mya Stone has always lived there. He can't really cart these two off somewhere.

Also, I think it's demeaning to women to argue that a female should be sexually active to be a 'real' woman. That sounds like a like used by a male who wants to coerce a female into sleeping with him. We can be fully actualized women with or without sex. I personally won't care if she ends the series as a virgin or not, as long as it's her choice. For me, if Sansa is able to end the series by living a life of her choosing, and not one that is forced upon her, regardless of what that entails, then I'll be happy with her development.

I absolutely agree that Sansa should be able to end the series living as she sees fit, but from what we have seen so far, she has no wish to spend her life without family or someone who loves her. She specifically mentions that she'd like children and she laments that nobody will love her for herself, only her claim. She fantasises about stroking Loras' chest and later of thinks about kissing the Hound, so she doesn't strike me as somebody who does not wish to have a sex life. In fact, she seems like a fairly normal girl of that age. It would be sad if she is condemned to eternal abstinence because of her forced marriage to Tyrion.

I'm not sure which crimes Sandor has been accused of that he didn't commit, but in Westerosi terms as a Kingsguard who fled his duty during war in the face of the enemy he's a pretty serious oath breaker and unlike the Kingslayer his father isn't one of the most powerful noblemen in the kingdom nor is his sister due to marry the next king.

He was wrongfully accused of the massacre at Saltpans.

Regarding the Kingsguard, I agree with you, however if he manages to align with a different faction (which seemed to have been his original intent) then all those crimes of lacking loyalty to the old King would easily be forgotten, I imagine. After all, the Tyrells were easily forgotten by the Lannisters as Margaery is now Queen. The oathbreaking bit is all politics and depend where you stand, but the Saltpans massacre may be harder to get out of.

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Any thought been given to the possibility of Sansa acting regent for Rickon as either the lord of Winterfell or King in the North? The parallels of such between Cersei and Lysa are fairly obvious and would allow her her own power base from which to become a player.

I get the impression GRRM is placing Sansa in the position of a unifying leader for many of the great houses which are experiencing a power vacuum of sorts. It seems a real possibility that the North would rally to her due to her birth in the scenario above. The Riverlands could fall in line behind her (or Edmure if he's about who would likely be an ally) also due to her birth should the downfall of House Frey eventuate. Should LF's scheming come to fruition she'll be a power in the Vale and has also a claim on the rather chaotic Westerlands through marriage (it seems inevitable that as she springs from pawn to player that she'll turn the once awful thought marriage to her advantage).

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Any thought been given to the possibility of Sansa acting regent for Rickon as either the lord of Winterfell or King in the North?

Yes, this does seem like one possible scenario of why Sansa is in "training". Two possible paths seem to lie before her if the training with Littlefinger is going to make any sense. Either she will return to the North as be acting regent for Rickon and in turn teach him. Or she will return to Kings Landing as a LF-like plotter. For Sansa's own sake I really hope she will be able to return to the north as that is what she has wanted since Ned died and that's what she's drawn strength from. I also hope that she and Arya will meet up and get to be part of a family at Winterfell again since Arya's and Sansa's skills could work very well in tandem.

The parallels of such between Cersei and Lysa are fairly obvious and would allow her her own power base from which to become a player. I get the impression GRRM is placing Sansa in the position of a unifying leader for many of the great houses which are experiencing a power vacuum of sorts. It seems a real possibility that the North would rally to her due to her birth in the scenario above. The Riverlands could fall in line behind her (or Edmure if he's about who would likely be an ally) also due to her birth should the downfall of House Frey eventuate. Should LF's scheming come to fruition she'll be a power in the Vale and has also a claim on the rather chaotic Westerlands through marriage (it seems inevitable that as she springs from pawn to player that she'll turn the once awful thought marriage to her advantage).

As long as Sansa is married to Tyrion, she is a threat to the North, not someone who will be welcome. Even if Robb disinherited her, she will still be subjected to Tyrion's whims and he could theoretically decide to make the claim for Winterfell into a contested issue. Not likely, mind you, but possible. Overall, Sansa is now a member of a family that is extremely despised in the North and responsible for the crippling of her brother, the murder of her father (Stannis interpretation of Cersei's children is likely going to be strong in the North since he's more or less aligned with the northerners now) and the dreadful charade of marrying fake!Arya to Ramsay the psycopath. I doubt she will be truly welcome before she somehow gets rid of her "Lady Lannister" title. Which means her stay in the South may be of some duration, and maybe forever. I'm not sure the northerners would ever welcome even an estranged Lady Lannister as the Lady Protector of the North.

Also, I've noticed when it comes to Sansa, this resistence to engage with her as a developing young girl, who's beginning to have sexual feelings and desires. I think what Martin is trying to show is that women and their sexuality does not have to be removed from women and their pursuit of power. Sansa shouldn't be required to be a Virgin Queen in order to know happiness and independence as a ruler, and someone like Dany shouldn't be content to simply be the Mother of Dragons. (*hope my rambling made some sense)

Completely agree. It was a bit worrisome at first when Cersei seemed to be the only woman with anything else but "dutiful marriage" in mind, but like a lot of things we took for granted in AGOT, that's been turned on its head as well. Asha and Arianne are both examples of where really free spirited women (and absolutely not chaste) are still accepted by their families and incidentally supported by their fathers quite a lot. LF seems to push Sansa into the same general direction. While LF is a super creepy git, he's definitely acting like an enabling father figure here that maybe even The Ned was not able to since his view of Sansa was of his little girl, not of a grown woman able to deceive, lie and play people. As strange as it is, LF is actually in many ways enabling Sansa to reach her full potential.

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As long as Sansa is married to Tyrion, she is a threat to the North, not someone who will be welcome. Even if Robb disinherited her, she will still be subjected to Tyrion's whims and he could theoretically decide to make the claim for Winterfell into a contested issue. Not likely, mind you, but possible. Overall, Sansa is now a member of a family that is extremely despised in the North and responsible for the crippling of her brother, the murder of her father (Stannis interpretation of Cersei's children is likely going to be strong in the North since he's more or less aligned with the northerners now) and the dreadful charade of marrying fake!Arya to Ramsay the psycopath. I doubt she will be truly welcome before she somehow gets rid of her "Lady Lannister" title. Which means her stay in the South may be of some duration, and maybe forever. I'm not sure the northerners would ever welcome even an estranged Lady Lannister as the Lady Protector of the North.

I don't really agree, not while Tyrion is so completely out of the picture and considered an enemy to the Lannisters themselves. For all anyone knows he is dead or never likely to return, and if LF's plan comes to be she'll be revealed as Harry's bride and Lady of the Vale, Tyrion would be a throw away issue at that stage. I imagine the marriage will come into play after power is consolidated in the other lands and Tyrion returns.

On the side, Jojen says Starks will again rule in WF, it can be construed in a few ways. Perhaps he's talking a generational thing, that Rickon will rule WF and his children and theirs and so on for the forseeable future. Another intepretation could be that the plurality is all important, that Starks (most likely Rickon + another) rather than just a Stark (just Rickon) will rule.

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@ Jojen said the Wolves will return. Given the way over green dreams have been, I'm not sure it means the Starks. Looking at Moat Catlin and the scene where Robb and Cat find the workout tomb of a once great King whose great Castle is gone, I'm not sure if Winterfell will be rebuilt. It may just be left as a ruin.

Also it may suffer even more damage from the Stannis/ Bolton battle. A lot of abandoned and ruined Castles in the UK are abandoned due to fire damage.

Also the people of Winterfell who have lived there as long as the Starks, are all dead (those that Ramsay still has in the Dreadfort can't be in a good way), it would cost a lot of money to rebuild and even if Sansa were to stay with Tyrion in order to try and use Lannister gold to rebuild (ugh!) the North would not accept it. I sometimes wonder if the significance of Sansa's Snow Castle was that Winterfell is gone. Anything made out of Snow melts eventually, and the Winterfell she knew is no more. All that's left are the stones: the people are gone and memories are all that is left.

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