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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa V

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And what is wrong with the love that young people feel? I think you should resist making general judgements on the nature of love and instead focus on what is presented to us in the text. The emotions that we see present between Sansa and Sandor are precisely those that can benefit a mature relationship in the future. I cannot see what sense it makes in the slightest to try to undermine what is shown to us as a very serious appreciation of the flaws and imperfections of a man, and a deep understanding of what it is that torments him. She also values his frank honesty and the help that he gave her in KL. These are not things that have sprung from an immature mind, but rather someone who is realising what it is that truly matters.

I will admit that I might have an easier time accepting the notion of a future relationship had Sansa been older during the time that she was with Sandor in KL. However, my purpose with these last few posts has not been to undermine what's in the text, but rather to express my disquiet regarding any future developments in romantic directions for SanSan. I do think that Sansa's age impinges on this, and her POVs mostly evince immaturity. It may be that her emotions regarding Sandor are more mature, and therefore more likely to remain with her, but I don't believe it to be insignificant that she was prepubescent for a large part of the time they spent together.

Again, this puzzles me. This hypothetical meet up in the future has to be based on the relationship they managed to form in the past. Yes, Sansa may be more mature, and Sandor less harsh, but the feelings they express to one another will be as a result of what took place when she was 11-12.

The past will always be there, but there might be an opportunity for a reevaluation and reappraisal under less extreme circumstances.

Then we have to examine the reasons for her choice, not attack the choice itself. It seems to me like her appreciation for Sandor is based on his honourable principles such as loyalty and honesty, along with her sexual attraction to him. These do not strike me as twisted or unhealthy things.

We do have to examine the choice itself as well, because that pertains to the future of the relationship. Also, we must consider the circumstances of the choice and whether they make it twisted or unhealthy.

Then you should have mentioned those good things. As for the bad things, well, he's harsh and can be verbally cruel, he was also violent towards her on the night of the BB. Outside of those things I don't know about the bad bad things you are speaking of. He does have emotional issues, but overall, when we're talking about the benefits of their interaction, those clearly outweigh his negative personality traits. And yes, a foundation is built on the good and bad; no one is perfect.

This relates to the previous point regarding the choice itself, i.e. Sandor's character. I think Sandor's character outside of his immediate interactions with Sansa is relevant, because it is not at all unlikely that that character influences his behaviour even with Sansa. And I would attach more negative weight to their last scene together, on the night of the BB that you alluded to.

I have no idea how these two things correlate. You claimed that his continued protection of her would be "creepy", and my point to counter this was simply to ask why should it be creepy? This is something standard in Westerosi society where a woman is expected to be protected by her husband. I then said that even without this, Sandor continues to show personal responsibility to Sansa and I see nothing wrong with this.

With "creepy," I obviously did not refer to societal perception, but my and other readers' judgments. And I don't think we can use Westerosi standards as an argument for anything, unless we're willing to accept them as they apply in different situations.

That's all well and good, but again I don't understand why you claimed that Sandor protecting her would be creepy. If you were making a point regarding the power imbalance, my response would be similar to Lyanna's upthread. Sansa is (hopefully) moving towards greater power and autonomy in her life, and is not in the same kind of captive situation she was back in KL. However, within the domains of personal relationships, I see nothing wrong with a man wanting to protect his lover/wife and vice versa. Sandor has protected Sansa with hard power mostly, but she's also done her fair share of protecting him as well.

Power imbalance is an issue, and it will remain an issue until we see what becomes of Sansa and how her and Sandor's relationship develops.

His scars are horrific, but why is it hard to believe that she might simply not be bothered about them anymore? Look at the erotic dream she has in the Fingers:

So even in her fantasies, his scars are present, and she hasn't seen him now for many months. Sansa has come to terms with Sandor's appearance and still wants him. Why should her seeing him again cause a change, when she's seeing him as he is even in her dreams?

I don't think you can say that Sansa has come to terms with Sandor's appearance and still wants him without seeing how this less shallow Sansa would behave in Sandor's presence. Reality is more immediate than recollection or even a dream, and she is having these dreams in Sandor's absence.

EDITED TO ADD: Completely off-topic, but I am simply amazed by the reply rate of this thread. Will this perpetual Sansa-thread overtake the R+L=J thread, and if so, will it be stickied?

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It may be that her emotions regarding Sandor are more mature, and therefore more likely to remain with her, but I don't believe it to be insignificant that she was prepubescent for a large part of the time they spent together.

I don't think it's meant to be insignificant either. I believe Martin deliberately wants us to see the progression of the relationship and how it impacts on Sansa's development through her prepubescence to maidenhood and to womanhood. It always helps to heighten the contrast between her immature infatuation with Joffrey/Loras and her mature appreciation for Sandor. These are all "relationships" taking place at the same time, but theirs is the only one that survives through the carnage of KL and that still has meaning to her. As she grows, her appreciation for it increases, and we are taken through each of those stages.

The past will always be there, but there might be an opportunity for a reevaluation and reappraisal under less extreme circumstances.

Indeed. I do believe it will be beneficial to have them interacting in more ideal circumstances, but I don't think it means we should disregard their previous interactions because of the atmosphere that was surrounding them at the time.

We do have to examine the choice itself as well, because that pertains to the future of the relationship. Also, we must consider the circumstances of the choice and whether they make it twisted or unhealthy.

As I noted to you earlier, I think these are valid concerns and questions, but I think that the text has already answered them for the most part. Sandor and Sansa aren't ever going to represent your typically healthy, normal relationship. Intrinsic to their relationship is the fact that it emerged from a very oppressive, abusive situation. They would never have formed the bond they did had Joffrey been lovely and kind, had Sansa's father not died, had she not been kept a hostage, etc etc. Sandor isn't the man a rational person would choose for Sansa, and he's definitely not the person her father had in mind when he talked of finding her someone brave, gentle and strong. But with all this in mind, it still doesn't mean that what they were able to foster together, and that what they were able to take away from such an environment isn't meaningful or beautiful in its own way. Circumstances matter, but in a sense they triumphed above the circumstances. Sansa wasn't supposed to bond with anyone, and Sandor definitely wasn't supposed to switch his allegiances from Joffrey to Sansa. But these things happened, and they matter more to me than worrying about the less than ideal conditions they occurred under.

This relates to the previous point regarding the choice itself, i.e. Sandor's character. I think Sandor's character outside of his immediate interactions with Sansa is relevant, because it is not at all unlikely that that character influences his behaviour even with Sansa. And I would attach more negative weight to their last scene together, on the night of the BB that you alluded to.

Well you're entitled to your opinion about the BB episode. I think that we must consider the totality of events during that episode: beginning, middle and end. It's like any good story, if you only focus on the climax you're missing the ultimate theme of the conclusion.

I don't think you can say that Sansa has come to terms with Sandor's appearance and still wants him without seeing how this less shallow Sansa would behave in Sandor's presence. Reality is more immediate than recollection or even a dream, and she is having these dreams in Sandor's absence.

Well it's clear now that you're choosing to ignore textual evidence in order to keep making such a claim. I pointed out to you that in Sandor's presence, she noted to herself that the burns are not the worst part and touches his face on the burned side. I also pointed out that in her dreams of him his scars are still present, so she's not denying this aspect of him. I can say no more on this. If you want to believe that she'll be disgusted when she sees him again, feel free.

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You are mischaracterizing my position. I did not bring up Sandor's "worth," and I used it with quotation marks in response to a poster that did. My argument did not rest on Sandor's "worth"; I said that I had misgivings regarding their relationship because of his moral shortcomings, and that those failings probably won't make for a good relationship. A female character may very well feel genuine desire for a man who is less-than ideal; in my mind, this doesn't invalidate her desire, but I don't see why I have to accept the relationship as good and healthy because of that.

His moral shortcomings aren't really our concern as it happens, but Sansa's. If she [by authorial fiat] makes a decision that she can live with them, then that is her own decision.

Also, what constitutes a "good and healthy" relationship? As a child whose parents went through two divorces and three marriages (to eachother) I'm not even sure I know anymore, nor that I should apply my standards to other people. If it works for them, good. If it doesn't, shame, but at least I hope they walked in to it with their eyes open and made their own decisions and mistakes along the way.

Choice is not irrelevant, but it does not void the concerns--not that all concerns are valid, mind you. However, this part you quoted did not actually concern Sandor's suitability as a match for Sansa, but rather whether he was redeemed (in a moral sense) or not. My main concern there was simply to express my feeling that he was not redeemed of his past mistakes, if indeed such a thing was possible.

Again you conflate redeeming with Sansa's choice. His redeeming is totally irrelevant to Sansa's feelings for him. His wish to become a better person, his breaking down in the Riverlands etc are compelling actions before it does not follow the tired trope of being changed by love. He is doing it on his own. Sansa having feelings for him is something she is developing based on their interactions which is completely disconnected to whatever redemption Sandor may be in for. Redemption doesn't make him more or less of an object for Sansa's desire, it doesn't suddenly make him magically eligible while before he was not.

And I also beg to differ that choice does not void the concerns. Who picks someone else's partner? Do they? Or does someone else? Who has a right to decide? The people involved? Or the people who are not involved?

As for the Mycah incident, interestingly enough he does not need redeeming in Sansa's eyes for this since she completely absolved him for that already in AGOT when talking to Arya.

Dany can sleep with whomever she wants to sleep with; that doesn't oblige us as readers to like that person or that relationship. As it happens, I don't really care about Dany's trysts; I thought it pretty amusing that she rejected the Quentyn, much as I suspect she would have rejected "Aegon."

Oh true, we don't need to necessarily like Daario, but I mentally cheered for Dany when she made the decision to sleep with him, since it was her own decision to sleep with a man she desired and to whom she was not sold or indebted. She simply did it because she wanted to. Not because Daario is noble, or heroic, or worthy, or morally wonderful, but because she wanted to, which is extremely liberating. Dany's choice mattered.

The opposite is shown when she marries Hizdahr despite not wanting to and it makes her absolutely miserable: the absence of choice.

Whether or not Sansa will continue to think about Sandor the same way in the upcoming novels or whether something will come of it, I cannot say. If it doesn't, well, GRRM has wasted a huge amount of foreshadowing and character development. And he doesn't normally :)

Also: the Crown Princess? Everything about that institution is reactionary, painful and should be abolished. Yuck. :ack:

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Dr. Pepper, thank your for your fair critique. I will first provide a specific response to some of your points, and then make a more general statement.

I wouldn't want to become too philosophical about this, but my feeling is that fictional characters can come to redemption very cheap indeed. In real life, the standard is different, more restrictive, and more appropriate.

I don't know that real life redemption standards are more restrictive than fictional ones. I think one's perception of this depends very much upon one's culture or knowledge of how other cultures deal with redemption. I'm American and so it's easy for me to see where your argument might be coming from as Americans tend to identify criminals as criminals for life, even if they have served their penance in prison and repented and go on to live productive lives. The label 'heinous' criminal still follows because they often have to sign in with probation officers and/or register as an offender and/or document it in all job applications. The culture in America (I would almost say most Western countries) is very anti-redemption, which makes it easier for offenders to repeat their crimes. This is not the case in other countries I've lived in. Samoa, for example, traditionally is quite opposite with America when it comes to issues of penance and redemption. There are specific acts of penitence that lead directly to forgiveness and redemption. The offenders slate is literally wiped clean.

However, I wouldn't say that it is impossible for "bad people" to find redemption or to become "worthy" of love or forgiveness. Premised on that notion, what positive growth Sandor has enjoyed has still not served to redeem him in my eyes.

When I was reading, I often saw Sandor as a conscripted soldier under a Nazi regime. Unlike his brother, he didn't seek out victims. He was following orders in the best way he knew how based on what he knew and understand about the world he was living in. He wasn't murdering and raping because he wanted to, he was murdering because his liege ordered him to and these were the rules he was taught to follow. He was a decent -if inherently flawed and angry - individual, unlike his brother. That he began to break faith with his liege (when he tried to stop Sansa's beatings, for example) and that he eventually did desert his post and his liege and committed no further murders or grievous crimes and seems to have been incredibly remorseful for the things he did in the name of the throne tells me that this is not an evil man, just a flawed man who was part of an incredibly flawed system.

I don't see how that follows. No, I certainly don't think someone who has always been good, whatever that means, is always worthy of respect and can never do anything cruel and terrible. Relatedly, if one does something sufficiently cruel and terrible, one ceases to be good.

Probably a poor comparison on my part. I guess my real question when making that analogy was, what does it take for a remorseful soldier to be redeemed enough to be worthy of love or forgiveness? Can Sandor ever hope to escape the identity of murderer? If Sansa decides that he's worthy in her eyes, is that not enough to prove that there's something redeemable in the man?

To this I would say that a person's past is part of his or her present. Past actions inform the character of the present, and it's not so easy to erase the past. I don't want to suggest some facile balancing effort, where the person must undo all the harm it has caused to be considered redeemed, but the past should weigh heavily. Consider the other characters in ASOIAF who have behaved terribly, many of them guilty of worse crimes than Sandor; what would it take for them to redeem themselves? If Gregor foreswore his raping and murdering ways after confessing to a religious authority, would he be forgiven? Would Ramsay be forgiven, if he gave up his title, got married and treated his wife with love and respect, and lived out his days as a humble labourer? This would strike me as a perversion of morality and justice, since these characters' past actions are so horrible; some proportionality of past crimes and subsequent redemptive effort seems warranted.

Gregor and Ramsay's actions are very different from Sandor. Sandor doesn't go on killing and raping sprees, he doesn't get annoyed with an inn keeper and then rape his daughter, he doesn't send women out in the woods so he can hunt them down and rape and flay them. Gregor and Ramsay are inherently evil and cruel and feel no remorse for their actions. Could they one day? Perhaps, but incredibly unlikely. They are psychopaths. In real life, they'd be sentenced to being humble laborers in prison for the rest of their life or sentenced to death because we know psychopathy is not curable.

Sandor on the other hand is like any other knight. He kills when he's ordered to do so. The thing that sets him apart is that he recognizes that the ideals of knighthood are a bunch of bullshit.

I suppose what galls me most about SanSan is the seeming lack of acknowledgement of the twisted aspects of this relationship, more than Sandor's unsuitability. The past is important, and I sometimes feel that Sandor is whitewashed, and excuses or irrelevant comparisons are offered to absolve him.

I admit that I whitewash Sandor. I whitewash him in the same way that I whitewash nearly every other character that has been guilty of killing a person (Arya, Ned, Robert, Robb, Jon, Dany, Brienne, etc...). Baring characters like Joffrey, Ramsay and Gregor, I overlook the killings and just accept that it's a fact of the world they live in. Arya has had to kill in self-defense and she's killed for no reason except she was told to kill. Ned has killed in war and to execute deserters. Jon has killed, Dany has killed. When I take the killing part away from Sandor, he isn't inherently evil. He's flawed and scarred and angry, yes, but not evil. He has protected women and the weak. This might be more than we can say for Loras. He has questioned the authority and the general status-quo. This might be more than we can say for Barristan the "Bold". He's been a pretty good teacher to Sansa, even if his methods are unsavory.

I don't particularly care for SanSan shipping and haven't formed an opinion one way or the other, and that's mostly because I'm just not a shipper. I'm not shipping any character(s). I'm so unromantic. :P But, I can't say I will be particularly upset if Sansa makes her own choice and decides that Mr. Flawed-and-Scarred Sandor Clegane is the man she wants so long as she is aware of what a relationship with him would entail. I'm invested in Sansa being able to make her own choices.

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Well it's clear now that you're choosing to ignore textual evidence in order to keep making such a claim. I pointed out to you that in Sandor's presence, she noted to herself that the burns are not the worst part and touches his face on the burned side. I also pointed out that in her dreams of him his scars are still present, so she's not denying this aspect of him. I can say no more on this. If you want to believe that she'll be disgusted when she sees him again, feel free.

Ah, I was ready to "like" the entirety of your post as a reasonable expression of an opinion, however contrary to mine own, but then I arrived at this paragraph. *Sniff* Oh well.

Yeah, that she touches his burned face is a point in your favour, and I should have mentioned it, but don't think it settles the issue. Moreover, I made the distinction between the impression that dreams and reality have, respectively. She may not deny that aspect of Sandor's (his scars), but that doesn't mean that she has come to terms with Sandor's appearance; it only means that in her recollections (which certainly are flawed, e.g. the UnKiss) and her dreams, she doesn't seem disgusted with his appearance. What I suggested with my initial post was that we should temper our reading of Sansa's imaginings in light of the fact that they are just that, imaginings, and when confronted with reality, things might not develop as anticipated.

Let me put it like this. I agree that Sansa's thoughts and dreams of Sandor is evidence in favour of the proposition that she has come to terms with his apperance. However, I contend that this piece of evidence is made weaker when we consider that Sansa thinks these thoughts when she is away from Sandor, and is therefore not reminded of the reality of his horrific injuries.

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EDITED TO ADD: Completely off-topic, but I am simply amazed by the reply rate of this thread. Will this perpetual Sansa-thread overtake the R+L=J thread, and if so, will it be stickied?

Let's go for it!! :)

Let me put it like this. I agree that Sansa's thoughts and dreams of Sandor is evidence in favour of the proposition that she has come to terms with his apperance. However, I contend that this piece of evidence is made weaker when we consider that Sansa thinks these thoughts when she is away from Sandor, and is therefore not reminded of the reality of his horrific injuries.

She makes a comment in ASOS that Tyrion is even uglier than the Hound, but then later in ASOS she seems to have dreams that indicate she harbours attraction to him, and then she considers that Lothor Brune has a homely but honest face and she seems to value his positive traits which are rather strikingly similar to Sandor (she even comments on the "sobriety" angle, heh).

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His moral shortcomings aren't really our concern as it happens, but Sansa's. If she [by authorial fiat] makes a decision that she can live with them, then that is her own decision.

Also, what constitutes a "good and healthy" relationship? As a child whose parents went through two divorces and three marriages (to eachother) I'm not even sure I know anymore, nor that I should apply my standards to other people. If it works for them, good. If it doesn't, shame, but at least I hope they walked in to it with their eyes open and made their own decisions and mistakes along the way.

It remains to be seen if it does indeed "work for them," and I suspect that it would not.

Again you conflate redeeming with Sansa's choice. His redeeming is totally irrelevant to Sansa's feelings for him. His wish to become a better person, his breaking down in the Riverlands etc are compelling actions before it does not follow the tired trope of being changed by love. He is doing it on his own. Sansa having feelings for him is something she is developing based on their interactions which is completely disconnected to whatever redemption Sandor may be in for. Redemption doesn't make him more or less of an object for Sansa's desire, it doesn't suddenly make him magically eligible while before he was not.

Have I said that Sansa's feelings for Sandor should be contingent on his redemption? And I don't see how I have conflated anything. I won't begrudge Sansa her choice, but she has yet to actually make a choice. Do you see me suggesting more wholesome alternatives for Sansa's affections, or that she should choose someone "worthier" than Sandor? I do say that the fact of his moral shortcomings does not bode well for any future relationship between the two.

And I also beg to differ that choice does not void the concerns. Who picks someone else's partner? Do they? Or does someone else? Who has a right to decide? The people involved? Or the people who are not involved?

Again, I'm not making a choice for anyone, I am explaining why I'm suspicious of SanSan, and I reject that the only consideration should be whether she accepts him or not. If Sansa chooses Sandor, she is welcome to him, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to prevent her choice, but this doesn't mean that I can't question her choice, and it doesn't mean that I have to appreciate the relationship.

As for the Mycah incident, interestingly enough he does not need redeeming in Sansa's eyes for this since she completely absolved him for that already in AGOT when talking to Arya.

Well, that is a point against Sansa in my book, but doesn't really matter to my argument. I am not preventing Sansa from choosing whomever she wants to choose, I express concerns regarding Sandor's character, which very well can impinge on any future romantic relationship between the two. This bears directly on our thoughts as outsiders on this ship, and whether we want to see it realised or not. Again, I don't see this as me trying restrict her choices or picking suitable husbands for her.

Whether or not Sansa will continue to think about Sandor the same way in the upcoming novels or whether something will come of it, I cannot say. If it doesn't, well, GRRM has wasted a huge amount of foreshadowing and character development. And he doesn't normally :)

Oh, yes, let her keep thinking about him. Let their relationship matter, because Sansa's interactions with Sandor have significantly shaped her... but I do dearly hope they don't end up together.

Also: the Crown Princess? Everything about that institution is reactionary, painful and should be abolished. Yuck. :ack:

Yes, I quite agree. There's also a curious misogyny where she, the Crown Princess, becomes the nominal Head of State as Queen upon her Father the King's death, but her husband and consort does not become King, implicit to which is that the King is naturally superior to the Queen. In comparison, had the Crown Prince been the eldest child, his wife would have become Queen upon his coronation as King.

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Let me put it like this. I agree that Sansa's thoughts and dreams of Sandor is evidence in favour of the proposition that she has come to terms with his apperance. However, I contend that this piece of evidence is made weaker when we consider that Sansa thinks these thoughts when she is away from Sandor, and is therefore not reminded of the reality of his horrific injuries.

I think the scene in her bedroom during BB went a long way in shifting Sansa's appreciation towards Sandor in a romantic way. Out of this comes the unkiss and the keeping of his cloak. She then suffers the disillusionment with Loras, and is able to differentiate between how a man behaves when he likes you and when he doesn't. She is then married off to Tyrion and has to confront a fully aroused man in her bedroom. Then we have the realisation about what a "song" means when Marillion tells her he'll have her singing louder than the Lady Lysa. During the majority of her time in KL, Sansa was still very naive and sheltered concerning male sexuality and desire, so it's not surprising that we see her thoughts about Sandor coming later on. Essentially, these had more to do with her lack of readiness/experience, than her being turned off by his scars (even though she found them unpleasant to look at). This is why when she dreams of him, the scars are present. Even noting that Tyrion is uglier than Sandor reveals that his ugliness is something she could keep in perspective.

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I gotta go to bed but I'll put something together for you in the morning. I reread it several times, picturing them in my head until I saw it. Brashcandy and Lyanna Stark first pointed it out to me, I didn't get it at first.

Kittykat, I don't recall you making good on this promise to Lady Lea :) Forgive me if I missed your response.

Is that something she's going to have to work to maintain, do you think? Or is it one of those discoveries about self that you just don't turn back from, even if you hide it sometimes (the power of being underestimated, and all).

I think it's what you say here. I believe it's just going to become a natural part of her identity and how she views herself. Right now she's focused on "being" Alayne, but over time Alayne will be integrated into Sansa (after all, Alayne's strengths are Sansa's strengths) As for being Alayne Stone in her heart as LF wants, I don't think it's possible for her to do this. Her heart belongs to Sansa - it's where she keeps the memories of Winterfell, her family and Sandor alive. LF is not going to be able to claim this.

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<snip>

I meant to put this together for you this morning but today sucked balls so sorry this is a little late.

As I'd mentioned, all that was happening between them on the serpentine steps didn't really click with me until brashcandy and Lyanna Stark told me how to look at it. Since then, I've been rereading several scenes with this approach and its made a huge difference in helping me understand what is actually happening.

So, Sansa is quickly moving down the serpentine steps, lost in thought about Dontos and going home (I love that she things of Florian taking her home when she actually reels in to the Hound). From the description, we know that Sansa is moving quickly in an effort to get back to her room unnoticed, not necessarily paying attention to what may be around her. Then, all the sudden Sandor lurches out. We know that she isn't paying attention but from the way he stops her, we can tell that he deliberately moved out from the doorway to stop her. At this point, Sansa doesn't just bump in to him, she "caromed into him and lost her balance". In other words, she ran in to him at a high speed, likely with a fair amount of bodily contact as it was enough for her to start falling down. Sandor reaches out and grabs her wrist before she actually falls down - but notice that he doesn't let go. He says something to her, laughs, and then says something else. They talk for awhile - and he's holding on to her the entire time. She tries to wriggle free, but he makes a point of maintaing that contact with her. At this point, he shakes her in an effort to find out where she has been but still does not let go. Sansa answers:

"The g-g-godswood, my lord," , she said, not daring to lie. "Praying...praying for my father, and...for the king, praying that he'd not be hurt."

So look at how she says this, not so much at what she is saying. Sansa is pausing, trying to think of what to say, in other words, it is taking a bit for her to get all those words out. And Sandor is still holding on to her. He replies to that comment before finally letting go. At this stage, he's made a conscious decision not just to grab her to keep her from falling but to maintain that contact. He doesn't need to, she's not going to trip and she's not trying to run away, but he's still keeping a form of physical contact between them. The only reason why is because he wants too.

Now he starts rambling away about her looks and her singing songs but notice what he's doing the entire time. He's swaying while standing still, he's reeling, almost falling, in other words he's really fucking drunk. His inhibitions are down, he's not going to be as guarded as he otherwise would be. That helps to explain why he is so comfortable commenting on her body, making a sexually loaded comment at her, and touching her the way he does. He's got some liquid courage working on him right now.

Now, they start moving back to her room, with him following right behind her. He's close but not touching her until they meet Blount at the bridge. Here, Sandor lay a "heavy hand on her shoulder". He's not just doing a light touch, he's gripping her and we don't read anything about him letting go either. He's keeping that contact with her again while he talks to Boros. Afterwards, they again resume walking towards her room, while he is telling her about his House. The, all the sudden, Sandor does this:

"

A hound will die for you but never lie to you. And he'll look you straight in the face." He cupped her under the jaw, raising her chin, his fingers pinching her painfully. "And that's more than little birds can do, isn't it? I never got my song."

From the context of what we he is saying her, combined with the fact that he is reaching out to touch her, we can figure out where he is standing. Sandor, based upon his statement, is looking down at her making eye contact. Then all the sudden, he reaches out to cup her jaw and raising her face to look at him while also bringing the conversation back to the song, a sexual metaphor. So, picture that scene for a moment and think about how close he would have to be for to cup her face like that. Now picture how he has her is holding on to her face so that they are looking at each other. He's doing this the whole time he's talking about taking a song from her, he never lets go. Has the way he is holding on to her at this point made you think of anything yet? ;)

Here's a hint: :kiss: :kiss:

So, hopefully this clarifies that scene you a bit. As I said, what's unsaid is just as big as what is actually said in this scene. Adds a whole new dimension to it.

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Kittykat, I don't recall you making good on this promise to Lady Lea :) Forgive me if I missed your response.

Look again. :)

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Something that I've been considering is the extent of Sansa's identity crisis in AFfC. Before I started reading these threads, I didn't really think along those lines. I figured that Sansa was aware of her mask that she had to wear, but that she had no problem distinguishing her true self from the assumed persona of Alayne Stone. Perhaps she gained some perspective from her new vantage point, but Alayne's voice didn't threaten to silence Sansa's own. Now I'm unsure.

So, the question that I pose is this: to what extent is Sansa now Alayne? On that point, under what circumstances is the Alayne-persona more prominent (and I mean internally)? Alternatively, when does Sansa emerge? Finally, when do the two identities come into conflict?

As for the last of these questions, I would say that the conflict is most prominent around the Lord Protector, as he is himself two individuals: Petyr Baelish to Alayne Stone and Littlefinger to Sansa (if it was the other way around, it might be even more twisted than it already is).

Other questions on the same topic could include:

  • What significance, if any, is there to the naming of some of Sansa's chapters as "Alayne"?
  • What thoughts does Sansa think that it would be inconceivable for her to think had she not worn the guise of Alayne?
  • To what degree are Sansa-as-Alayne's actions instinctual? To what degree are they conscious?
  • Does Sansa like herself as Alayne? What does Sansa-as-Alayne think of her previous self?

(On an entirely unrelated note... I really like the name "Alayne." One wonder what the real Alayne was like, Petyr's mother.)

EDITED TO ADD: Woohoo! I'm a sellsword!

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Kittykatknits, that was prompt :lol: I can't believe you were doing it as I was asking.

Today ran away from me so the chance to sit down for a bit and write this up was a treat for me. There were several conversations going on today, including ones in this thread, that I wanted to take part in. Hopefully it makes some sense.

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So, the question that I pose is this: to what extent is Sansa now Alayne? On that point, under what circumstances is the Alayne-persona more prominent (and I mean internally)? Alternatively, when does Sansa emerge? Finally, when do the two identities come into conflict?

Hmmm, difficult questions :) I would say that the Alayne persona is dominant throughout AFFC, but we still see "Sansa" peeping through in some of her thoughts and actions. For example, when she notes that Mya Stone would be pretty if she dressed like a girl, and when we see her intrigued by the realisation that Lothor likes Mya, that's all Sansa right there. I don't think Alayne will ever silence Sansa, but she will speak for Sansa for the time being. Alayne seems to be more prominent and to come into conflict with Sansa when she is around Sweetrobin. She has to mother the boy, something we know Sansa Stark isn't comfortable with, but which Alayne has mastered. She also has to take a hard line when the maester is concerned with SR's illness. This is when Alayne comes to the forefront and thinks of the bigger picture.

As for the last of these questions, I would say that the conflict is most prominent around the Lord Protector, as he is himself two individuals: Petyr Baelish to Alayne Stone and Littlefinger to Sansa (if it was the other way around, it might be even more twisted than it already is).

Yes, this is a good point too. She's gotten better at her performance around him, as evidenced by how she greets him in the final scene, but he's still capable of making her feel unsettled and disturbed. She's playing the daughter role in order to please him, but he wants the "Sansa" persona to perv on too.

Other questions on the same topic could include:

What significance, if any, is there to the naming of some of Sansa's chapters as "Alayne"?

I think just to highlight that she's now fully in performance mode. We're not meant to be "meeting" Sansa, but Alayne, and to see the concerns Alayne has and how she deals with them. Of course this doesn't mean that Sansa never appears.

What thoughts does Sansa think that it would be inconceivable for her to think had she not worn the guise of Alayne?

Hmmm... I'm drawing a blank right now. Perhaps the one about father and I having larger concerns? Maybe someone will come up with examples, but overall, besides thinking that Alayne is bastard brave, most of Alayne's thoughts seem to fit Sansa. Oh, also maybe her flirtatious behaviour with the knights LF is meeting with in the final chapter.

To what degree are Sansa-as-Alayne's actions instinctual? To what degree are they conscious?

Right now, I'd say she's fairly conscious about Alayne's actions. For example when she thinks of closing her eyes, but notes that she's now Alayne Stone and bastard brave.

Does Sansa like herself as Alayne? What does Sansa-as-Alayne think of her previous self?

Yes, I think she does. But although she's getting used to her new persona, we see that she hasn't quite yet identified with bastardy.

EDITED TO ADD: Woohoo! I'm a sellsword!

Congrats. You're moving on up ;) And I hope to respond to your (excellent) questions with more depth and analysis later on. Right now I just wanted to get my initial thoughts down.

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Congrats. You're moving on up ;) And I hope to respond to your (excellent) questions with more depth and analysis later on. Right now I just wanted to get my initial thoughts down.

You know, sometimes, when I'm feeling contrary, I decide to post something in this thread that isn't likely to get me killed by an angry mob. [insert appropriate smiley here]

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You know, sometimes, when I'm feeling contrary, I decide to post something in this thread that isn't likely to get me killed by an angry mob. [insert appropriate smiley here]

I hope we don't come across as an angry mob, Daidalos. :grouphug:

And I agree, those were good questions, and its been a looong day so I'll just have to ponder and try to come back later. :)

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Something that I've been considering is the extent of Sansa's identity crisis in AFfC. Before I started reading these threads, I didn't really think along those lines. I figured that Sansa was aware of her mask that she had to wear, but that she had no problem distinguishing her true self from the assumed persona of Alayne Stone. Perhaps she gained some perspective from her new vantage point, but Alayne's voice didn't threaten to silence Sansa's own. Now I'm unsure.

So, the question that I pose is this: to what extent is Sansa now Alayne? On that point, under what circumstances is the Alayne-persona more prominent (and I mean internally)? Alternatively, when does Sansa emerge? Finally, when do the two identities come into conflict?

As for the last of these questions, I would say that the conflict is most prominent around the Lord Protector, as he is himself two individuals: Petyr Baelish to Alayne Stone and Littlefinger to Sansa (if it was the other way around, it might be even more twisted than it already is).

Other questions on the same topic could include:

  • What significance, if any, is there to the naming of some of Sansa's chapters as "Alayne"?
  • What thoughts does Sansa think that it would be inconceivable for her to think had she not worn the guise of Alayne?
  • To what degree are Sansa-as-Alayne's actions instinctual? To what degree are they conscious?
  • Does Sansa like herself as Alayne? What does Sansa-as-Alayne think of her previous self?

(On an entirely unrelated note... I really like the name "Alayne." One wonder what the real Alayne was like, Petyr's mother.)

EDITED TO ADD: Woohoo! I'm a sellsword!

I love these questions and they have me thinking too. But, like Valkyrja, it's been a long day. I'll give you some responses tomorrow. Very good food for thought here though.

Also, I really like the name Alayne too.

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