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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa IV

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Continuing with our discussion from the last thread. Rethinking Sansa III can be found here.

Please remember that this is a place for serious and constructive discussion of Sansa's arc. The thread is based on the original From pawn to player re-read threads. If you're interested in locating those threads, you can find the links to them in the last thread incarnation. I'm going to repost what I noted in the last thread for further clarification:

And just as a general notice: this thread is open to those who want to "critique" Sansa's character - meaning to offer and explore constructive criticism relating to her arc, not for those who wish to simply expound on how the character holds no value to them and think she's shallow/weak or needs to grow up. A simply reread of the threads will bring needed enlightenment on those views, and you would be sparing all of us the headache of having to respond. And let me just clarify: I have absolutely no problem with engaging a poster who is genuinely interested in talking about Sansa, and who may have an opposing viewpoint about certain aspects of her arc. However, the basic starting premise should be an awareness that this is a thread where Sansa is always already assumed to be an important and meaningful character within the story, who has shown credible development over the course of the four books. I respect well thought out arguments which are based on textual evidence and interesting insight.

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It would be awesome if Sansa could rule as regent for Bran or Rickon Stark, or, Jon+Dany's baby (assuming they die). She could either pull a "Mormont" and keep her Stark surname to pass onto her babies, or she could take Clegane. Sandor would raise the kiddies while Sansa ruled as Lady of Winterfell, or as Queen Regent of the North, or Queen Regent of the 7 Kingdoms, or whatever is left of them.

Then, when Sansa is finished as regent (her brothers are 16, or her niece or nephew turns 16), she and Sandor could either remain at Winterfell (there's room), or go back and refurnish the Clegane keep, which is by law his. And do some magic wicca voodoo hoodoo santeria cleansing rituals to get all the bad mojo out. :)

That's way more complex than Sansa becoming Lady Clegane and having a lot of Sandor-babies and just being a mother.

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No, I said it would be NICE for Sansa to marry someone she loved. Sandor is of a minor noble house.

It would be awesome if Sansa could rule as regent for Bran or Rickon Stark, or, Jon+Dany's baby (assuming they die). She could either pull a "Mormont" and keep her Stark surname to pass onto her babies, or she could take Clegane. Sandor would raise the kiddies while Sansa ruled Winterfell or as Queen Regent of the North (or hell, of the 7 Kingdoms, or whatever is left of them).

Then, when Sansa is finished as regent (her brothers are 16, or her niece or nephew turns 16), she and Sandor could either remain at Winterfell (there's room), or go back and refurnish the Clegane keep, which is by law his. And do some magic wicca voodoo hoodoo santeria cleansing rituals to get all the bad mojo out. :)

That's way more complex than Sansa becoming Lady Clegane and having a lot of Sandor-babies and just being a mother.

I'm not too sure about the possibility of Sansa becominga regent even if she did get out of Littlefinger's clutches. She would need backing in the north and needs to be seen to have the propensity to offer good guidance to Rickon. This isn't to say she wouldn't play a role in Northern Politics or rebuilding Winterfell, but I think her position with rebuilding the Starks will be more subtle than becoming a regent.

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I'm not too sure about the possibility of Sansa becominga regent even if she did get out of Littlefinger's clutches. She would need backing in the north and needs to be seen to have the propensity to offer good guidance to Rickon. This isn't to say she wouldn't play a role in Northern Politics or rebuilding Winterfell, but I think her position with rebuilding the Starks will be more subtle than becoming a regent.

How do you mean more subtle? You mean more like Varys in KL? I'm honestly interested in what you mean by this.

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From Jarl the Climber:

I've been trying to put a post together, I've got some thoughts about some things I've read on this and some other threads but I'm not happy with how its coming out so I will summarize a few thoughts quickly.

1. I do not consider Westeros to be a patriarchy. If you said the U.S. was one in the 18th or 19th century I would essentialy agree with you but Westeros is blood based aristocracy that favors male inheritance and dominance but values preserving bloodlines over the necessity of having a male ruler. Women can inherit under the right circumstances and this right has been respected for the most part sometimes grudgingly. The preference for males is because of the prevalence of warfare and the role that men are required to play in it. Male privelege extends to the lower classes because of their greater labor capacity in a labor intensive economy and because they are needed as soldiers. I think lower class women have a lot less security but probaly have more choices in some things than a highborn woman. I do not think a Father has the power of life and death over his family like in anceint Rome. To disown a child is the most drastic step and if you come from a modest family what do you really have to lose.

2. I don't think the highborn women will necassarily feel that the death their husbands, brothers and sons is empowering towards them. Their inheritance relies on there being a certian amount of stability. Look at how things worked out for Lady Hornwood. Aly Karstarks Uncle planned to marry her, rape her, and after getting an heir or two out of her kill her, she escaped this fate by marrying a complete stranger but he seems like a real sweetheart. Right now some of Neds former bannermen are forced to sit back and let Ramsey rape a girl who they may or may not know is not the real Arya because for the time being they lack the power to stop it.

3. With Winter coming will this exploitation of womens claims get worse as things start to break down in the South with the various competing claims. Remember Aegon and JonC have to keep the Golden Company happy and they want land as well as gold. The Ironborn are scumbags. Like Asha says when most men give her that look they are thinking of her claim not her teats. I guess Dany will finally come along to westeros and burn all these bad rapey, marry them, get a kid from them kill them guys with her dragons if she ever gets to Westeros unless she needs them to get the throne of course.

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How do you mean more subtle? You mean more like Varys in KL? I'm honestly interested in what you mean by this.

I'm thinking whatever Sansa's experience in the Vale she will become more jaded than she's ever been and all the lot more at being capable of pulling the strings behind the scene. I don't see her as being a Varys figure but in a very morbid way actually becoming somewhat of a child Bealish and Cat could have had. Absolutely captivating but a small-time chess master. Nothing as grand as Bealish/Varys but someone more capable of tying a region in knots. Which she could do to the North in order to bow to Rickon/Bran/Jons will.

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Jarl the climber

I don't think Westeros can be described as anything BUT a patriarchy, especially because of the examples you gave below.

When a woman is the only claimant to her lands, she is used by other males, often abused, actually. Like Lady Hornwood, who was starved to death and ate her own fingers. Or held hostage like Sansa Stark and forcibly married to a royal family member.

Arianne Martell should be able to rule in her own right by the laws of Dorne, yet Prince Doran wanted her to rule as Queen with Viserys (ugh, what a terrible terrible match that would've been!). Instead, Doran would rather Arianne be a brood mare and have his son Quentyn rule Dorne.

How is this not a patriarchy?

Men still desire sons from their wives, and are disappointed with only girl children (see Stannis; his only heir is Shireen, and he isn't very happy with Selyse). Women under Targ law could not hold the Iron Throne at all. Women can only inherit after all of her male siblings are dead or if she has none.

All female children are subject to a male patriarch (usually their father), who arranges marriages for them, and controls their upbringing and education. If the father dies, it becomes the Uncle, Brother, or even the Father's Brother who takes over this role. That's the very nature of a patriarchy.

Women cannot be Maesters, nor can they be High Septon. They can only be childbearers (if nobility), Silent Sisters, or Septas. Smallfolk ladies have a bit more freedom, but not much: washerwomen, innkeepers, whores, etc. There aren't many choices at all for women in Westeros. Men on the other hand, have many.

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I'm thinking whatever Sansa's experience in the Vale she will become more jaded than she's ever been and all the lot more at being capable of pulling the strings behind the scene. I don't see her as being a Varys figure but in a very morbid way actually becoming somewhat of a child Bealish and Cat could have had. Absolutely captivating but a small-time chess master. Nothing as grand as Bealish/Varys but someone more capable of tying a region in knots. Which she could do to the North in order to bow to Rickon/Bran/Jons will.

Ah, I see. So with LF's political genius and Cat's political savvy, Sansa could rally the North to her brother's causes, House by House?

That would be a very interesting role for her, actually. Do you see her ever marrying in this scenario?

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Ah, I see. So with LF's political genius and Cat's political savvy, Sansa could rally the North to her brother's causes, House by House?

That would be a very interesting role for her, actually. Do you see her ever marrying in this scenario?

Yes. But I am thinking that the Vale will be very unstable when she leaves and would have to act quickly once its in this state. This may be incorporating a bit about the mountain clans or even having some support from the Riverlands if possible. This will be made the all trick by her Lannister last name. Its going to depend on how she'll play it to get the support of the Northern clans. Will she bring herself as a victim or someone who managed to frame her dwarf Husband?

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Yes. But I am thinking that the Vale will be very unstable when she leaves and would have to act quickly once its in this state. This may be incorporating a bit about the mountain clans or even having some support from the Riverlands if possible. This will be made the all trick by her Lannister last name. Its going to depend on how she'll play it to get the support of the Northern clans. Will she bring herself as a victim or someone who managed to frame her dwarf Husband?

Hmm, I never considered Sansa trying to rally the Mountain Clans to her side, but she could try to do this using Tyrion as her husband (the idea) to do so. I think Sansa as half-Tully could rally a lot of the Riverlands bannermen pretty easily, but they might hate the whole Lannister last name thing, so that would be a difficult balancing act. Also, the Northerners will be suspicious of her with a Lannister last name as well. But with Cat+LF's political savvy she might be able to pull it off.

She will need some awesome bodyguards though (maybe Sandor can fit in here, for you? as a bodyguard?).

So do you think she will ever get an annulment of the Tyrion marriage?

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From Valkyrja

I love Sansa and Sandor's connection and think it would be great if they could find a way to be together (married?) at some point, though I am not sold that a marriage between them will actually happen. I agree that it is not a political impossibility though. It *is* significant (and heartening) that we have seen some types of female-choice relationships (like Asha/Qarl, Alys/the Thenn dude, etc.) and I do think that this will tie into Sansa's storyline, which I hope will include further resistance to full submission to a patriarch-arranged marriage. Yes, she may play her part in LF's schemes, but I obviously hope that she subverts said plans at the same time (I have no clue how that will play out). I think that her thoughts about being wanted only for her claim show more than simple sad acceptance of this fact...or at least, I hope it signifies more. Because I don't think I want to read an entire storyline that consists of Sansa doing LF's every bidding and becoming completely twisted by him. I don't mind her 'appearing' to do this, as long as she is coming to a point where she is also trying to resist, mainly because what LF wants for her is not what she wants. Also, LF uses very questionable means to achieve his ends, and while I could handle Sansa 'dabbling' in this moral grey area (like Bran and Arya are doing in their training), I think it would be very difficult for me to see Sansa (or Bran and Arya, for that matter) fully embrace the 'dark side'...that is, of course the Dark Grey Side, lol.

That said, I can and do see Sandor coming back into Sansa's storyline. There has been too much reference to him for this not to happen, imo. I do agree that the Hound's terrible reputation is going to come back to haunt Sandor, but I am really not sure how that is going to play out. Either way, it is possible he may have to 'answer' for those crimes, even the ones he did not commit, perhaps in another trial by combat. He may die in that, or in a fight against Robert Strong, or some other way. Or he may live. I agree with Lyanna Stark in that I think it would actually be better for Sandor to live (for all his sins, he has suffered greatly already) though I am still unconvinced that he will survive the series, mainly just because I am trying not to get my hopes up too much, GRRM has dashed my hopes too many times.

But putting aside the whole thing about Sandor/Gravedigger answering for the Hound's reputation for a moment, let's say he enters Sansa's storyline again: what kind of role will he play in relationship to her? And for how long? Again, I don't know, but I can't help but go back to the text to look for possible symbolism and foreshadowing. There are some mixed messages depending on how you interpret said symbolism, but it is definitely there.

First, as early as AGoT, you have the whole 'get her a dog, she'll be happier for it' throwaway remark by Robert, which some take to mean that Sandor is a type of replacement for Lady. Then you have Sandor's own "A hound will die for you, but never lie to you", which could be seen as foreshadowing that Sandor *will* become Sansa's 'dog', but that he will subsequently die for her. However, it could also be read less literally, because, as the SSM quote remind us, the Hound persona already *has* died. Perhaps, in his mind, Sandor has let the Hound part of him die in part because he feels he failed Sansa? (See: his last words to Arya.)

Of course, as Brashcandy has noted above, we also have the "I'll have a song from you", and the symbolism of the white cloak, the (un)kiss, and the blood (which Sansa is still thinking on even in AFFC). Sandor gives Sansa his cloak twice while they are at KL together, perhaps third time is the charm. ;) And we all know that cloaks = marriage, or at the very least, protection in Westeros. Yes, the cloak means something else for Sandor as well, about the hypocrisy of the ideals of knighthood and especially the hypocrisy of the kingsguard. Also, with the blood, we have Sandor who is actually physically present when Sansa 'flowers' with her first moonblood (and no, I'm not talking about the creepy scene in the tv series, see rather: ACoK scene between them on the roof before the battle -- the second time he stops her from falling from a great height, it is because she felt sick due to her period starting), and the blood that stains the cloak on the night of the Blackwater, the blood on Sandor's face as she cups his cheek. Later, she associates him with the kiss (however much that is made up,and for good or ill, for Sansa he is associated with that significant moment). She later seems to take pride that she has kissed a man (and the Hound of all people) whereas the Tyrell girls are still giggling about kissing boys. Again, these are significant moments when Sansa is starting to 'become a women' at which Sandor is present.....perhaps there will be a 'third' time here as well. ;) (So to answer the question, yes, I think there are signs pointing to him taking her maidenhead, though I am still ambigous about an outright marriage. More on that later....)

Regarding Sansa remaining Alayne Stone: I too am torn about this possibility. I've always thought that she was just on a long journey like Bran and Arya, and that part of this journey required her to shift her indentity for a time under a different name (just like Arya's facechanging and taking of different names), but that eventually she would reclaim her 'true' identity. However, upon thinking about it further, I am no longer certain the outcome will be so clear-cut. The theme of identity is most obviously exemplified by Theon/Reek's arc in ADwD, 'you have to remember your name'. Theon does remember his name, but it is not like simply remembering his name makes him whole again, or makes him the person that he was before. He is still incredibly damaged, and had to be forced intitially by Roose Bolton to reclaim his identity. Twistedly, Theon even keeps encouraging poor Jeyne Poole to pretend to be Arya....to 'remember her name'. :( I think the point here is that if you go long enough under a different name and identity, the line between which is your true name and which is your fake name is blurred. I still think that at least some of the Starks will return by the end of the series, so someone at least needs to remember their name. Whether Sansa will or not, I cannot say yet. :)

So, are there any signs pointing to Sansa remaining Alayne Stone (other than the So Spake Martin quote)? I could be going crazy, but I think I remember somewhere that in the tv series, they've made a conscious decision regarding Sansa's wardrobe (I think they said it was a 'hint'?) to have her dresses decorated with dragonflies (she also wears a dragonfly necklace iirc). What the heck would dragonflies have to do with Sansa's storyline??? I thought to myself. At first, I thought perhaps it was a hint that Sansa would becoming involved with/married to a Targaryen. But then I remembered......dragonflies are *not* dragons.....

I was re-reading the Dunk and Egg stories, and the imagery of the dragonfly is one that comes up throughout The Hedge Knight. In the beginning of the story, Dunk sits under his elm tree musing that a dragonfly is nothing like a dragon. Then, at the end when Dunk is speaking to Prince Maekar regarding whether or not he should come live in Summerhall with Egg, or instead take Egg on the road with him, to live roughly amongst lower ranking landed knights, hedge knights, and smallfolk:

Quote

What shall it be, Dunk? he asked himself Dragonflies or dragons?

Dunk feels strongly that it would be good for Egg to live amongst the people, in disguise, and flat out tells Maekar that it will be in Egg's best interest to do so (look what happen with Aerion who was so pampered as prince of the realm, he notes):

Quote

Maekar Targaryen, Prince of Summerhall, reguarded Dunk of Fleabottom for a long time, his jaw working beneath his silvery beard. Finally he turned and walked away, never speaking a word. Dunk heard him riding off with his men. When they were gone, there was no sound but the faint thrum of the dragonfly's wings as it skimmed across the water.

So, here we have dragonflies vs. dragons seeming to represent a choice between two paths: that of highborn life, and that of lowerborn life.

But it seems to mean more than that as well, as seen in regards to what we know about Ser Duncan the Small, known as the Prince of Dragonflies. From the wiki:

Quote

Prince Duncan fell in love with a woman known as Jenny of Oldstones and loved her so much he gave up his crown for her and married her against his father's wishes. It was possible that after this he became known as the Prince of Dragonflies.

So here we have the dragonfly imagery being taken further, to show that Egg's own son later decided to reject the crown because of his love for Jenny of Oldstones.

I would not even have brought this up if I didn't remember the thing about tv!Sansa's wardrobe supposedly being some sort of meaning. I could be totally reaching here, but I think it could be taken to signify that Sansa might do something similar in the future.

From ASoIaF text itself, we know that Sansa loves the story of Queen Naerys and Aemon the Dragonknight (which is a story of forbidden love) at the beginning of the series, but I'm not sure how she thinks of it at present. The reality behind that song was quite dark, imo, with Naerys quite a sad, mistreated figure, whom Aemon loved but did not seem able to fully protect. Not sure if it represents Sansa's situation at KL, or if it represents more generally how naive Sansa was in having that song as her favourite, due to not really understanding the true story behind the song.

Edited to say: Sorry again for how long this is, I've been trying to catch up on this fast-moving thread and more people kept posting before I was done with this....so I apologize for how disjointed it is.

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Hmm, I never considered Sansa trying to rally the Mountain Clans to her side, but she could try to do this using Tyrion as her husband (the idea) to do so. I think Sansa as half-Tully could rally a lot of the Riverlands bannermen pretty easily, but they might hate the whole Lannister last name thing, so that would be a difficult balancing act. Also, the Northerners will be suspicious of her with a Lannister last name as well. But with Cat+LF's political savvy she might be able to pull it off.

Not too sure how much exposure how much exposure to the Northern Mountain Clans Sansa had (or she could transfer that knowledge to the Vale clans) but she may use her bastard status to learn more about 'outsiders' as it were and may use this to her advantage. She's already shown to be quick on the uptake when it comes to Littlefinger schemes so I think by the end of TWOW she'll become comfortable in shifting chess pieces even if its just one member of the mountain clan.

But yeah the Lannister name is the big hurdle here. And how Sansa will identify herself.

So do you think she will ever get an annulment of the Tyrion marriage?

This will seriously depend on what the situation in Kings Landing though. I hate this common held belief on this forum (not by any one you lovely smart people of course!*) that Tyrion will arrive with Danys dragon and Sansa will dramatically fall at his feet and stay married to him for their houses? WTF? First of all, the tension between their houses wouldn't be fixed by marriage (Tyrion even said so) and secondly, this takes the assumption Dany will be silly enough to believe she can bind Northern loyalty by a force marriage being upheld.

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Not too sure how much exposure how much exposure to the Northern Mountain Clans Sansa had (or she could transfer that knowledge to the Vale clans) but she may use her bastard status to learn more about 'outsiders' as it were and may use this to her advantage. She's already shown to be quick on the uptake when it comes to Littlefinger schemes so I think by the end of TWOW she'll become comfortable in shifting chess pieces even if its just one member of the mountain clan.

But yeah the Lannister name is the big hurdle here. And how Sansa will identify herself.

Sure. But they have to be married though or Brashcandy will cry. That's like censorship or something.

This will seriously depend on what the situation in Kings Landing though. I had this common held belief on this forum (not by any one you lovely smart people of course!*) that Tyrion will arrive with Danys dragon and Sansa will dramatically fall at his feet and stay married to him for their houses? WTF? First of all, the tension between their houses wouldn't be fixed by marriage (Tyrion even said so) and secondly, this takes the assumption Dany will be silly enough to belief she can bind Northern loyalty by a force marriage being upheld.

Perhaps if LF offhandedly mentions the Mountain Clans and blames Tyrion for their new strength in arms, Sansa could get the picture. She could represent herself as "Wife of Tyrion" to the Mountain Clans, to win their loyalty, and maybe take down LF? If he isn't already dead.

Then she could march with them to the Riverlands, and use her Tully heritage (without compromising the Mountain Clansmen's loyalty to her as Tyrion's wife) to call those banners.

Then up North, with a huger army, to help 1) Fight off the Others, 2) Retake and rebuild Winterfell, and/or 3) Join with Dany/Jon and help whatever battles they're fighting, like against Ironborn?

ETA: I also think the Tyrion marriage is a problem, and neither of them were happy. It shouldn't be hard to get it annulled, and even perhaps the old gods could be used to do this and we wouldn't even need the High Septon. It was never even consummated, so no one in the realm would consider the marriage valid. (I sincerely hope it stays that way - the only way to repair Lannister-Stark ties would be for the Sansa/Tyrion generation to stay apart, then perhaps their children or grandchildren can wed?).

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<mod gloves>

Disagreeing with someone's opinion is one thing, ad hominem attacks are another, very unwelcome one.

Secondly, as some of you already know, San/San is a delicate subject with the moderating team; let's keep this examination of Sansa broadly-based, please.

</mod gloves>

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I also think the Tyrion marriage is a problem, and neither of them were happy. It shouldn't be hard to get it annulled, and even perhaps the old gods could be used to do this and we wouldn't even need the High Septon. It was never even consummated, so no one in the realm would consider the marriage valid. (I sincerely hope it stays that way - the only way to repair Lannister-Stark ties would be for the Sansa/Tyrion generation to stay apart, then perhaps their children or grandchildren can wed?).

Yeah. The fact that Sansa was so shaken by the prospect of getting married again shows how damaged she has become due to the whole Tyrion situation. That's why I am so hesitant about her marrying again. That and who knows what Harry the Heir story has in stall for her. Not sure if she'll be confident enough to present herself to the Mountain Clan as Tyrion's wife. She may need an entourage for that PR move.

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Question for the thread:

It's a given that Sandor is instrumental to Sansa's development, in that he's the one who first confronts her about her empty courtesies and her idealising of knights and chivalry. She learns a lot from him relating to this theme of appearance vs. reality, and she comes to value him as a good friend and confidante. We also know about the romantic/sexual connection developing between the two as well.

I think we've discussed it before briefly, but do you guys realise that in every single incident connected to Sansa's sexual development or awakening, or when she's in sexual danger, Sandor is either present or mentioned or thought about?

1. In ACOK, he tells her that one day he'll have a "song" from her.

2. He saves her in the riot where she would have been sexually assaulted.

3. He's present for her first period.

4. The blackwater night that spawns the unkiss memory

5. Wondering for a brief moment if Lothor Brune was Sandor when he rescues her from Marillion

6. The dream after Marillion tries to rape her where he replaces Tyrion in the marriage bed

7. Thinking of him kissing her when SW does

8. Thinking of him when Randa asks her if she knows what goes on in the marriage bed

Basically, would it be reasonable to theorise that Martin is planning on Sandor being the one to take her virginity, or is he merely meant to act as the catalyst for her sexual awakening?

Additionally, I've always felt that her bedding scene with Tyrion - where she could derive no desire from the pity she felt - was meant to contrast with the opposite reaction Sandor is able to inspire in her.

I think it is very possible that this may happen. Or, at least, she may want it to happen. I agree that he is tied to her sexual awakening somehow, I just don't know what exactly it means in terms of the storyline. Butterbumps wrote up a great post already that expresses my thoughts. When you put that list together like that, it's a bit overwhelming. To be honest, I don't spend much time dwelling much on this really. My big concern for Sansa is that she will be in control when it happens. Of course, that means she chooses the time, place, and partner. I just don't want her to be in a arranged marriage where she is just waiting for it to be over, or, god forbid, with LF.

In the show, not the books. He's the last person she talks but to isn't seen again in the chapter other than as an absence in her dream of the riots.

<snip>

Actually, he is there right when she gets her period. It happens on the rooftop scene. She is standing there, feels a sharp pain and then says that she would have fallen but then suddenly a hand reaches out and grabs her wrist. He is literally there when she gets it. It's different in the show as we see him standing over her bloody bed the next morning. But, the conversation that occurs on the rooftop is also in the same episode, just in a condensed fashion.

I don't disagree with this analysis, but the truth of it does not dispel the powerful emotional draw of vengeance, to both characters and readers.

I'm not sure if there is any distinction, when the person dispensing justice is related to the victim.

I can see what you are saying, I guess I just have a different view on it. There are many on this boards who want to see Sansa bring about LF's downfall but the common methods I've seen stated are pushing him out the moon door, stabbing him, or poison. I don't want her to go that route at all. Rather, I'd prefer that she gather evidence and he be punished in a legal manner. Made to pay for his crimes because he hasn't just caused harm to the Stark but also to Lannister, Arryns, and others. That, to me, feels more like justice.

I should also add that I'm not a fan of the valonquar prophecy because, to me, it implies a vengeance element to it. I do think Jaime is going to be the one to kill Cersei eventually but the whole think just reeks to me of vengeance for her crimes against him. I have other concerns about that whole prophecy but I'll not derail this thread with a long tangent.

Even in physical combat, it really depends on the weight class. Sure, I could not take out Ser Gregor, or Jaime, or The Hound. I'll concede that. But, I could take out my dad, if I needed to, and he isn't a string bean. He's 6'0", and lots of muscle. Being quick is a huge advantage in combat, as seen with the trial by combat between Oberyn and Gregor.

Skill in any particular fighting method is also important - against a drunk, unskilled male (not of the Gregor-like proportions), I could definitely do significant damage while deflecting his blows (for the record, I'm trained in boxing, muay thai (kickboxing) (5 years), and general MMA (2 years).

<snip>

ETA: Btw, I'm not a huge muscle chick! I just do strength training, cardio, boxing/kickboxing on a regular basis and eat a lot of protein. I'm fast and when I'm having a good day, very good with the kickboxing skillz. My weight class is very small for a guy, I'll concede that (135lbs=bantamweight)

ETA2: Sorry, I'm a huge nerd!

I agree with you. I did marital arts for several years and was able to take on men who were bigger and stronger than me. I'm not huge either. But, at 5'4", 125 pounds, I could hold my own against much bigger men. In fact, often, those with really big muscles were slower But, technique and speed could have a huge advantage. The ones that I would struggle the most with were men who were closer to me in size and fast. At a tournament, I once had my ass handed to me (no other way to describe it) by another woman who was only a bit bigger than me. That was easily the most lopsided fight for me ever. So, long story short, I agree.

Do you have any guesses at future events that might bring the two back together? I assume that this has already been discussed, and I missed it.

I've read the QI chapter with Brienne a few times recently and each time I have been struck with just how much detail Martin put in to describing it. We even have lots of information on the women's quarters there. It's information that is not really required just to learn about the gravedigger. I believe we will see it again and the most likely scenario is that Sansa will be there with others. It sounds nice and romantic, but I don't think think Sandor will go off on some adventure to go rescue his little bird. I could be wrong though.

I'm thinking that GRRM may have set up the Mormont ladies (who "claim" to mate with bears, but probably just have commoner husbands and keep the line of female inheritance going) so that Sansa could marry a commoner or lesser noble like Sandor and still keep her "Stark" inheritance (if she has any). And if she ends up a regent to Rickon or Jon/Dany's child should they both die, is there any reason she would need to marry a noble?

Just a thought.

ETA: I love this thread so much, and I'm sorry I'm not half as intelligent and analytical as all of you are!

I had never even considered this idea. I had always assumed the "bear" line was just a colorful way to say "mind your own business" - although that might actually be applicable, in this case.

Anyways, very interesting.

I took the bear line as a hint that woman rule on their own there on Bear Island.I think it also implied that the women choose the father of their children. I admit though, I absolutely love the Mormont women and the whole Mormont family. I think they offer some great insights and potential for how woman can rule. I'm hoping we learn ever more about them. Second favorite house behind the Starks.

I know that this is incredibly late to jump in now, but I wanted to express I'd wondered something similar, or at least, that given the number of men who have been willing to take this from her, that Sandor would be the man she'd want to give it to, which I find incredibly interesting even if it's not consummated. I believe that the instances of sexual awakening you highlighted are clues that Sandor is the object of/ catalyst for Sansa's desire, but I wonder if Martin will provide this release. I know that this is almost as big a cliche as "white knight rescues and beds his willing damsel," but I wonder if their relationship will remain much more in the trope of courtly love-- the desire is more meaningful than the orgasm, so to speak. I don't believe in the dichotomy between sacred and profane love such that one is superior or more pure than the other, so I'm not trying to say that sex would be "base" or "wrong." Just that there is so much food for thought in terms of the stereotype of the "true knight" at play here, I thought maybe a very conscious yearning for the "ugly, deformed, ruined knight" could be almost as beautiful condition. (and I say "conscious yearning" because I'm not sure that Sansa can fully articulate what it is that she feels for Sandor yet).

Nothing to add just wanted to say I really like this and completely agree. You stated my opinions quite well. Good point about conscious yearning that addresses something I have noticed with Sansa as a character. She is very internal which is why I believe many miss what is happening with her. In fact, Sansa often does not reveal what she is thinking to the readers at times, which I do sometimes find frustrating. But, I've noticed that Sansa sometimes refuses to dwell or reflect on events when she is not ready to do so. I believe her feelings for Sandor fit perfectly here.

I'm somewhat conflicted on Sandor in some ways. I really think Sansa deserves the perfect knight, the knight in shining armor right out of the stories. Not so much that I want one to come and rescue her but I also think she deserves the best too. Sandor has dull, grey armor (can you be any more obvious there, George?), he's ugly, rude, uncouth, an alchoholic, an ass, and emotionally stunted. If, and it is a very big if, Sansa wants him some day then I'm fine with that. To me, it makes for a more intersting story than married with two kids and a mortgage in the suburbs but that does not, by any means make it health either. Sandor isn't the best for her but if she wants him, then I'm happy for her in that choice. But, I do think she would need to make a concscious decision about that, fully understanding what it would mean to her. Not sure where I'm going with this, if anywhere, just thoughts in my head.

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I'm thinking whatever Sansa's experience in the Vale she will become more jaded than she's ever been and all the lot more at being capable of pulling the strings behind the scene.

I think her entire series arc has been, among other things, a hard education in politics. I, too, hope that it's about to pay dividends.

Ah, I see. So with LF's political genius and Cat's political savvy, Sansa could rally the North to her brother's causes, House by House?

That would be a very interesting role for her, actually. Do you see her ever marrying in this scenario?

I think Sansa has the potential to rally the Knights of the Vale, the beleaguered Lords of the Trident, and maybe even the Northmen as well - but the Vale would depend upon marrying Robert or Harry.

Hmm, I never considered Sansa trying to rally the Mountain Clans to her side, but she could try to do this using Tyrion as her husband (the idea) to do so. I think Sansa as half-Tully could rally a lot of the Riverlands bannermen pretty easily, but they might hate the whole Lannister last name thing, so that would be a difficult balancing act. Also, the Northerners will be suspicious of her with a Lannister last name as well. But with Cat+LF's political savvy she might be able to pull it off.

Sansa is currently incognito, because she would be dragged back to the Iron Throne if she declared herself openly. Ergo, the only situation in which the she can reveal herself to the North and the Riverlands is, by necessity, a situation that would make her an unambiguous enemy to the Lannisters.

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Then she could march with them to the Riverlands, and use her Tully heritage (without compromising the Mountain Clansmen's loyalty to her as Tyrion's wife) to call those banners.

Why do I feel the Riverlands situation is going to get really bloody in the next few books? The Freys assume they are safe now but I think there's about to be a rude surprise. So if Sansa journeys there I think her life could be considered forfeit. Then again there's always the possibility she could catch Greyscales in the Vales if her luck is bad enough.

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I think it is very possible that this may happen. Or, at least, she may want it to happen. I agree that he is tied to her sexual awakening somehow, I just don't know what exactly it means in terms of the storyline. Butterbumps wrote up a great post already that expresses my thoughts. When you put that list together like that, it's a bit overwhelming. To be honest, I don't spend much time dwelling much on this really. My big concern for Sansa is that she will be in control when it happens. Of course, that means she chooses the time, place, and partner. I just don't want her to be in a arranged marriage where she is just waiting for it to be over, or, god forbid, with LF.

Actually, he is there right when she gets her period. It happens on the rooftop scene. She is standing there, feels a sharp pain and then says that she would have fallen but then suddenly a hand reaches out and grabs her wrist. He is literally there when she gets it. It's different in the show as we see him standing over her bloody bed the next morning. But, the conversation that occurs on the rooftop is also in the same episode, just in a condensed fashion.

I can see what you are saying, I guess I just have a different view on it. There are many on this boards who want to see Sansa bring about LF's downfall but the common methods I've seen stated are pushing him out the moon door, stabbing him, or poison. I don't want her to go that route at all. Rather, I'd prefer that she gather evidence and he be punished in a legal manner. Made to pay for his crimes because he hasn't just caused harm to the Stark but also to Lannister, Arryns, and others. That, to me, feels more like justice.

I should also add that I'm not a fan of the valonquar prophecy because, to me, it implies a vengeance element to it. I do think Jaime is going to be the one to kill Cersei eventually but the whole think just reeks to me of vengeance for her crimes against him. I have other concerns about that whole prophecy but I'll not derail this thread with a long tangent.

I agree with you. I did marital arts for several years and was able to take on men who were bigger and stronger than me. I'm not huge either. But, at 5'4", 125 pounds, I could hold my own against much bigger men. In fact, often, those with really big muscles were slower But, technique and speed could have a huge advantage. The ones that I would struggle the most with were men who were closer to me in size and fast. At a tournament, I once had my ass handed to me (no other way to describe it) by another woman who was only a bit bigger than me. That was easily the most lopsided fight for me ever. So, long story short, I agree.

I've read the QI chapter with Brienne a few times recently and each time I have been struck with just how much detail Martin put in to describing it. We even have lots of information on the women's quarters there. It's information that is not really required just to learn about the gravedigger. I believe we will see it again and the most likely scenario is that Sansa will be there with others. It sounds nice and romantic, but I don't think think Sandor will go off on some adventure to go rescue his little bird. I could be wrong though.

I took the bear line as a hint that woman rule on their own there on Bear Island.I think it also implied that the women choose the father of their children. I admit though, I absolutely love the Mormont women and the whole Mormont family. I think they offer some great insights and potential for how woman can rule. I'm hoping we learn ever more about them. Second favorite house behind the Starks.

Nothing to add just wanted to say I really like this and completely agree. You stated my opinions quite well. Good point about conscious yearning that addresses something I have noticed with Sansa as a character. She is very internal which is why I believe many miss what is happening with her. In fact, Sansa often does not reveal what she is thinking to the readers at times, which I do sometimes find frustrating. But, I've noticed that Sansa sometimes refuses to dwell or reflect on events when she is not ready to do so. I believe her feelings for Sandor fit perfectly here.

I'm somewhat conflicted on Sandor in some ways. I really think Sansa deserves the perfect knight, the knight in shining armor right out of the stories. Not so much that I want one to come and rescue her but I also think she deserves the best too. Sandor has dull, grey armor (can you be any more obvious there, George?), he's ugly, rude, uncouth, an alchoholic, an ass, and emotionally stunted. If, and it is a very big if, Sansa wants him some day then I'm fine with that. To me, it makes for a more intersting story than married with two kids and a mortgage in the suburbs but that does not, by any means make it health either. Sandor isn't the best for her but if she wants him, then I'm happy for her in that choice. But, I do think she would need to make a concscious decision about that, fully understanding what it would mean to her. Not sure where I'm going with this, if anywhere, just thoughts in my head.

Ah, thank you for replying to my martial arts nerd post! I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I also agree with you that I wouldn't want Sansa to choose The Hound: brutal, crass, rude, nasty, mean, and above all angry. If they end up together in a romantic way, I hope that Sandor's time on the QI is like a long time with intense psychotherapy, so that he will still be Sandor, just a psychologically healthy Sandor. If Sandor remains the same person he was in KL, then no, I think Sansa deserves better than that in a mate.

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Why do I feel the Riverlands situation is going to get really bloody in the next few books? The Freys assume they are safe now but I think there's about to be a rude surprise. So if Sansa journeys there I think her life could be considered forfeit. Then again there's always the possibility she could catch Greyscales in the Vales if her luck is bad enough.

Hmm, you're probably right there as it seems like Riverrun will end up in flames, possibly in a RW 2.0 type deal. She could go straight to the North if that's the case. The Northerners seem to be loyal to all Starks, so she should really capitalize on her family name for that. I don't think any Northmen are going to kidnap her and take her back to KL, but the Boltons might. She probably shouldn't go there without a substantial backup force from the Vale.

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