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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa VIII

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I just posted a "hi" on LJ (I'm chrysantza over there). Definitely read "Whipping Girl!" It's chock full of great insights. I'm re-reading it now with Sansa-centric and ASOIAF-fandom centric eyes and nodding my head. Femininity gets the short end of the stick, and so I would add does motherhood (in much of the fandom). In HP fandom, Molly Weasley also got a lot of flack for being a stay-home mom. Not nearly the flack that Catelyn does, however - Molly had a lot of defenders.

I think Sansa can be strong - strong enough to be Queen of the North (or of Westeros) or similar on her own terms, not just because some man puts her on the throne. She can do it by keeping her essential Sansa nature of kindness, lovingness, compassion and maternal instinct, not by killing people left and right and stepping up to the throne over the dead body of her cousin Sweetrobin (or any of her friends). Now if she wants to rid the realm of Littlefinger, she can be my guest; if she wants to rid the realm of Freys and Boltons, ditto. Note I said "rid the realm" not "kill." What sweeter punishment for Cersei to be sent to the Silent Sisters for life, or Littlefinger to be deprived of his ill-gotten gains and sent to Sheepshit Manor and left to contemplate what he's lost and will never get back?

Your post made me think about Clueless some more as we were talking about it earlier in the thread. Sansa could be QitN or of Westeros although I'm not certain this is her path. But, I like what you point out on how she could get rid of her enemies. In Clueless, Cher doesn't get back on top by taking out her enemies. She get's involved in school community projects and helping her father. That really does sound like Sansa, doesn't it?

Also, WK, I read your articles about Thor and Loki. Now I'm finding myself with a crush on Loki, how did that happen?

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Also, WK, I read your articles about Thor and Loki. Now I'm finding myself with a crush on Loki, how did that happen?

It's the cheekbones.

Toujours les pommettes!

I know what you mean, I spent half of Thor hoping he'd win. :crying:

All this talk about Clueless is making me want to watch the movie.

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Your post made me think about Clueless some more as we were talking about it earlier in the thread. Sansa could be QitN or of Westeros although I'm not certain this is her path. But, I like what you point out on how she could get rid of her enemies. In Clueless, Cher doesn't get back on top by taking out her enemies. She get's involved in school community projects and helping her father. That really does sound like Sansa, doesn't it?

Also, WK, I read your articles about Thor and Loki. Now I'm finding myself with a crush on Loki, how did that happen?

Totally! Cher doesn't take revenge on anyone; she's class conscious but still nice to people; she's totally empathetic (look at how she deals with her teachers) but still doesn't realise Christian is an Oscar Wilde-reading, Barbra Streisand ticket-holding, friend of Dorothy; she's naive and beautiful, and even though people put her down because they think she's stupid and shallow, she's actually a really nice person, she's clever, dutiful, helps other people and has a really strong character! :)

Also I think the biggest question here is how didn't you have a crush on Loki before? Did you see that fabulous scarf he was rocking in Avengers? And the hair? And his cheekbones!

I know what you mean, I spent half of Thor hoping he'd win. :crying:

Hm, me too :(

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It's the cheekbones.

Toujours les pommettes!

I know what you mean, I spent half of Thor hoping he'd win. :crying:

All this talk about Clueless is making me want to watch the movie.

Also I think the biggest question here is how didn't you have a crush on Loki before? Did you see that fabulous scarf he was rocking in Avengers? And the hair? And his cheekbones!

Hm, me too :(

The hair, the cheekbones, and the eyes. And yes, I was rooting for Loki for most of the movie too. Thor was an annoying dork nugget for most of the movie.

I've got Clueless and Thor, I think I'm going to rewatch both of them tonight.

Totally! Cher doesn't take revenge on anyone; she's class conscious but still nice to people; she's totally empathetic (look at how she deals with her teachers) but still doesn't realise Christian is an Oscar Wilde-reading, Barbra Streisand ticket-holding, friend of Dorothy; she's naive and beautiful, and even though people put her down because they think she's stupid and shallow, she's actually a really nice person, she's clever, dutiful, helps other people and has a really strong character! :)

I'm glad someone else besides me can quote whole lines from the movie. Yep, there are quite a few surprising parallels. And look at who she ends up with at the end too, Josh. The guy who seems the complete opposite of everything she wants but then realizes he's actually perfect for her. Sounds just like Sansa, doesn't it?

Now I have to decide which to watch first.

Also, I'm working on an OP that I need someone to look at for me first. I want to make sure it won't get me banned. Any volunteers?

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Also, I'm working on an OP that I need someone to look at for me first. I want to make sure it won't get me banned. Any volunteers?

*raises hand*

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I just want to say how much I LOVE and appreciate this thread and all of the Sansa threads that came before it. Such insightful, intelligent, in-depth observations on one of the most relateable and fascinating characters in the series.

A big Thank You to all who have shared their opinions and theories on Sansa Stark. I am relatively new to this series myself, and lack the time and familiarity with the novels to really join in on the discussion. But i lurk often, and am constantly amazed and immensely satisfied that so many others share my same thoughts on Sansa. The level of detail and social awareness placed onto this character is truly a pleasure to read.

*back to lurking :cool4: *

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I just posted a "hi" on LJ (I'm chrysantza over there). Definitely read "Whipping Girl!" It's chock full of great insights. I'm re-reading it now with Sansa-centric and ASOIAF-fandom centric eyes and nodding my head. Femininity gets the short end of the stick, and so I would add does motherhood (in much of the fandom). In HP fandom, Molly Weasley also got a lot of flack for being a stay-home mom. Not nearly the flack that Catelyn does, however - Molly had a lot of defenders.

That's because Molly is the stay at home mum. that's pretty much her entire character. She is a non-threatening female, whose entire life revolves around the men in her life, and her only female daughter is the main love interest for the protagonist. That's her arc. (maybe I'm getting a little too worked up now) The shit I see posted about Cat being a terrible mother because she didn't go home to her youngest sons. Ie. home, here she belonged. It makes my blood boil.

BTW Kittykk, Can't wait to see what that OP is going to be!!

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Ladies, do not even get me started on HP cause I will go on for dayyyys! :) I'm trying to restrain myself!

Kitty gurl, spill that tea, I'm so curious!

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4. Thoughts on Martin's depiction of Sansa, whether positive or negative?

Overall, very positive, with a few glaring exceptions along the way in AGOT. Sansa is truly I think one of the strongest characters in ASOIAF and Martin has managed to depict this without sacrificing her femininity or her compassion for others. The relationship dynamic between her and Sandor is also one of the best within the novels and it's really fascinating how Martin shows them challenging and changing one another, whilst also gradually developing romantic feelings. I just hope that we're going to continue to see the proper development of her story in the next two books and this will entail IMO:

- the continued focus on sisterhood in her story - this time with a genuine relationship fostered with Mya Stone and/or Randa Royce.

- no more victimization

- continued exploration of her sexual awakening

- reconnection with Sandor for a myriad of purposes

- genuine attempt to save Sweetrobin

- political* success which does not subjugate personal happiness

- no sustained identity crises

* Political here not only referring to Queenship, but perhaps regent to one of her brothers, helping to rebuild Winterfell or success in private enterprise.

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Overall, very positive, with a few glaring exceptions along the way in AGOT. Sansa is truly I think one of the strongest characters in ASOIAF and Martin has managed to depict this without sacrificing her femininity or her compassion for others. The relationship dynamic between her and Sandor is also one of the best within the novels and it's really fascinating how Martin shows them challenging and changing one another, whilst also gradually developing romantic feelings. I just hope that we're going to continue to see the proper development of her story in the next two books and this will entail IMO:

- the continued focus on sisterhood in her story - this time with a genuine relationship fostered with Mya Stone and/or Randa Royce.

- no more victimization

- continued exploration of her sexual awakening

- reconnection with Sandor for a myriad of purposes

- genuine attempt to save Sweetrobin

- political* success which does not subjugate personal happiness

- no sustained identity crises

* Political here not only referring to Queenship, but perhaps regent to one of her brothers, helping to rebuild Winterfell or success in private enterprise.

I'm so exhausted right now (just came back in from my little sister's wedding....at which she served lemoncakes!!) but I just had to say that I agree with your hopes completely. I fear, though, that perhaps some at least are overly optimistic......or maybe GRRM has convinced me that he'll pretty much never give me what I want in this series...... :/

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Yes, I am always happy to watch Clueless again and now I really have to watch Thor. My son should be into that. Regarding Clueless parallels, the reason why Cher and Sansa develop their initial crushes is because both guys are their ideals of the perfect man -handsome, charming, well dressed, charismatic, polite.

Anyway, I just got through reading volume one of the Fervor thread. Phew! You know what it really solidified for me? That one of the biggest issues with how Sansa is perceived is that she goes up against the two most favored characters in the entire series - Arya and Tyrion. It's so frustrating because it seems to really blind people to some of the things Sansa has done and to her strengths. Plus it seemed to lead to some real contradictory thoughts like, Sansa doesn't do anything, but when she does do something like defy Ned or shut down Tyrion then she's castigated for her action. Also, it really brought to light Kittykat's recent comments about the POV structure. People kept throwing out things about why she should trust Tyrion that were solely based on what we as readers know about him but not what Sansa would have any reason to know. It was very frustrating, but at least I will be hyper aware of this the next time I do a reread.

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Yes, I am always happy to watch Clueless again and now I really have to watch Thor. My son should be into that. Regarding Clueless parallels, the reason why Cher and Sansa develop their initial crushes is because both guys are their ideals of the perfect man -handsome, charming, well dressed, charismatic, polite.

Anyway, I just got through reading volume one of the Fervor thread. Phew! You know what it really solidified for me? That one of the biggest issues with how Sansa is perceived is that she goes up against the two most favored characters in the entire series - Arya and Tyrion. It's so frustrating because it seems to really blind people to some of the things Sansa has done and to her strengths. Plus it seemed to lead to some real contradictory thoughts like, Sansa doesn't do anything, but when she does do something like defy Ned or shut down Tyrion then she's castigated for her action. Also, it really brought to light Kittykat's recent comments about the POV structure. People kept throwing out things about why she should trust Tyrion that were solely based on what we as readers know about him but not what Sansa would have any reason to know. It was very frustrating, but at least I will be hyper aware of this the next time I do a reread.

The PoV issue is really interesting. During my most recent re-read of AGoT and ACoK, I pretended that I knew nothing of some of the other characters' chapters. I read Sansa's chapters as if they were a stand-alone story, and to me she seemed much more of a protagonist* even as early as in AGoT than simply Arya's foil.

*Obviously, Sansa is always a protagonist and sympathetic character to me. What I mean is that if I did not have a different context already for her chapters (aka the rest of the ASoIaF chapters in AGoT), I would have no reason not to read Sansa's chapters straight, and be just as shocked as she is when her dreams turn to dust. I just wish other readers could put themselves in her shoes this way....as brashcandy said, we are learning here to not just read and re-read Sansa's PoV, but also to *see* through her point of view. :)

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This is going to be a bit of a tangent post regarding how Sansa and other characters are described:

Haven't read the Fervor thread (and from what you are saying here I doubt I ever will). However, regarding the POV structure, I think Tyrion's popularity took a hit with ADWD, and even Arya's did. In comparison, Jon Snow's popularity seems to be on an all time high, and criticising him or his story arc for anything will easily get you so beaten up you need a full kevlar armour. Stannis is moving into the same territory, although he was not as popular before. Dany is on her way down as a lot of people found her difficulty to lead annoying and her lack of burninating things with her dragons thoroughly disappointing.

Personally, I think the POV structure and how it describes the various characters a rather clever and sometimes almost deceptive way of describing the characters. While having a novel written from the third person limited is not so unusual, the way it is employed with a myriad of POVs and how they sometimes describe, or think about, the same situations, makes it easier that certain POVs appear "stronger" or more important, as if certain voices drown out others. Tyrion's and Arya's are two such voices in ACOK for instance. You have Ned,. Dany and Tyrion in AGOT, while in ASOS you probably have Tyrion, Jon and Arya. At least this is how I initially read the novels. Judging by the "strength" of their POV voices, this was how I originally saw it. But then on rereads, the "landscape" starts to change. Only by really paying attention to all the POVs and the details in the chapters can you really get a grip on the character.

It's like when people think Jaime is completely oblivious and never feels bad about throwing Bran out of the window. Now, Jaime is a contradictory and complex character and sometimes he thinks well of himself, and sometimes he doesn't, but it's pretty clear from his thoughts about sinners to Ser Bonifer Hasty that he knows he has done an enormous about of wrong in his life. I think sometimes, people expect wallowing, or they expect a lot of waxing on regret, which they are not always going to get.

Sansa's thoughts on Arya and Jon are similar: a lot of people tend to think since they are brief, they may as well be non existent, but they are still there. Sansa even thinks to herself she cannot let herself wallow and she thinks too much crying is "unseemly".

One of the few characters who really wallows and engages in a lot of self pity is Tyrion, so I am guessing that is why he gets so much sympathy from the readers. For instance, Dany's and Sansa's and even Cat's thoughts are normally more spare (even if Dany has a couple of really heartbreaking moments in ADWD: how people feel she's some megalomaniac evil cackling nemesis of Westeros I just can't fathom).

Anyway, to bring this back on track somewhat. People do get confused by the POV structure, and why I think it's a great way of describing the story, people who don't really catch on to how it can both expose and hide elements of the story will probably read a multiple third person limited in the same way they'd read a third person omniscient. Then in my view, you also have the varying voices with varying "strength" and then without taking a step back it's easy to get dragged along without paying much attention to why this or these particular voices should be more important or more correct than others.

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One of the few characters who really wallows and engages in a lot of self pity is Tyrion, so I am guessing that is why he gets so much sympathy from the readers. For instance, Dany's and Sansa's and even Cat's thoughts are normally more spare (even if Dany has a couple of really heartbreaking moments in ADWD: how people feel she's some megalomaniac evil cackling nemesis of Westeros I just can't fathom).

I have no idea, honestly. It's so bad that it's hard to find one Dany thread where you can have a productive discussion about her. Maybe in the Dany/Jon reread, but still...

Anyway, to bring this back on track somewhat. People do get confused by the POV structure, and why I think it's a great way of describing the story, people who don't really catch on to how it can both expose and hide elements of the story will probably read a multiple third person limited in the same way they'd read a third person omniscient. Then in my view, you also have the varying voices with varying "strength" and then without taking a step back it's easy to get dragged along without paying much attention to why this or these particular voices should be more important or more correct than others.

Salient points. The wedding chapter between Tyrion and Sansa - which has become a hot button topic around these parts- is a striking example of how a lot of readers privilege the strength of one POV's voice over another, even when we're being given the scene from Sansa's perspective. Sansa has the narrative power, and we see that eventually she gains agency within the scene as well based on her (lack of) appreciation of Tyrion's body. The fact that Tyrion is not expecting this, and that Sansa comes to this realisation based on her thorough inspection of his flaws is unequivocally clear in how the scene develops, but still there's a concerted refusal to "see" through her eyes. As I noted upthread, it comes back to male power and privilege and the internalised bias against females who dare to look and appraise. Much better to give all the power to Tyrion in this scene, rather than to see how he has the power stripped from him at every point as the night develops.

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Also, I'm working on an OP that I need someone to look at for me first. I want to make sure it won't get me banned. Any volunteers?

if you like i would be happy to take a look at it as well :)

oh and count me in on the list for loki fans! his character is very intresting and until this topic came about here i was the only one i knew who rooted for him over thor! (sure, having tom hiddleston playing him is an important factor, but i just have a thing for misundertood characters).

and i also love cher and emma both! i think emma is my 2nd favorite austen's novel, and i agree that sansa reminds me more of cher than emma. it could be an age factor, but there's just some honesty or naivety thing in cher which fits with sansa at one point or another in the books. besides helping out "outcasts" with dontos and Tai or crushing over loras and christian... the only sort of foreshadowing similarity i can think of and which i'm not sure how much i would like to see happening would be Jon Snow taking the role of Josh, and maybe LF could be mr. elton that preacher guy from emma?

& mythsandstuff, i'm heading over to read your women and geek culture thread! :)

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I know its off topic, but I have to chime in about Thor vs Loki. I totally see the appeal of the comic book/movie Loki as a character in this situation. Nevertheless, for me, Thor and Loki will always be first and foremost mythological figures, and in that case I must say that while he is an extremely fascinating being, I just can't 'fancy' Loki that way. Thor, in both comic/film and mythological form, is much more my physical type --- big, muscled, and bearded. ;) I know comic book Thor gets the piss taken out of him because he's somewhat daft (so is mythological Thor), but its kind of cute in a puppy dog type way. ;) Even then, though, I must say my personal favourite (well-known) Norse Gods are Baldr, Tyr, and especially.....Odin. Odin and Loki have more in common than most realize (both are shapeshifters and somewhat trickster figures, whereas Odin uses his powers to acquire wisdom, to try to see the future and to try to prevent Ragnarok, and Loki uses his to create chaos and bring about the downfall of the gods. I actually see a big parallel between Bloodraven and Odin and Littlefinger and Loki, but that's another story.... ;) )

Erm.....enough of my Norse god rant.....back to Sansa! Maybe Sansa is LF's Idunn ? :)

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