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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa VIII

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Looking forward to what you people will come up with wrt the riot scene - personally I always thought it a pity we don't have Sansa's POV when it actually happens. We only have her memories, but I'm not sure I trust those completely, and of course they don't tell us what she was actually thinking at the time.

I actually think it was quite beneficial that we got to see them through Tyrion's POV :) As Valkyrja noted, it's one of the only times they are seen together in public, and it's the only time we as readers "see" them outside of Sansa's POV. And it's not simply that they're together, but the actual dynamics of that interaction: Sandor as hero, Sansa as the damsel, her arms wrapped tightly around his chest. Seeing this outside of Sansa's POV helps to confirm Sandor's role as her "true knight" even if that perception has been widely mocked by Sandor himself, and Sansa's gradual disillusionment.

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Yes!!! Here are Sansa's "crimes":

1. She is put in the position of the antagonist against Arya and Tyrion, who are consistently the most favorite characters in the series.

2. She was not close to Jon, the 3rd most popular character in the series. Note that we have hints all of the other Stark siblings were closer to Jon.

3. It is mentioned many times that she looks like her mother, also one of the most hated characters in the series.

4. She does not use a sword and does not know any magic.

5. She "betrayed" Ned, one of the most popular and beloved characters in the series.

6. She had the gall to be made a prisoner and have her agency taken from her. To make it worse, she did not "do something".

7. Martin is playing the long game with her and readers don't see that easily enough.

Are there any others that I am missing?

Yes, your example on POV is what I notice more and more on re-reads. I'm pretty familiar with the big theories and whatnot that are out there. My focus with the book right now is better understanding the characters and impact of POVs and unreliable narrator. The idea that Sansa should trust Tyrion is one of the strongest examples that I can think of where the use of POVs is not taken in to account. The killing of Lady is another one.

The idea that Sansa should trust Tyrion is absurd.

1. She is a prisoner. Tyrion has no intention to help her escape or regain her agency (ie not letting her escape but give her some power and control back over her life). The fact that he is nice to her is a moot point. He may be genuine, but if she fell in love with Tyrion or trusted him, that would be Stockholm Syndrome, not actual love or trust.

2. Not trusting Tyrion is Sansa's greatest show of strength. Considering the emotional and physical abuse she suffered, developing Stockholm Syndrome would be super easy. But she correctly recognizes Tyrion is an enemy (she is a Stark, and he is actively helping his family, the Lannisters, that are warring on her family) even if he is a nice one.

Sansa is the classic iron hand in a velvet glove. Not giving in to Tyrion was where she showed her iron.

Good points. I agree that the popularity of Tyrion and Arya took a hit, but I'm not sure how much of one. I still think there is a good chance Tyrion is going to become a villian in the series. I don't hate Dany, there is some I like about her and some I don't. But, she doesn't come close to deserving the amount of hate this board inflicts on her. My theory is that her "crime" is that she suffered from the Mereen knot. If her first Dance chapter had her walking on a boat to head back to Westeros, I think perception of her character would be much more positive. Instead of doing that, Martin chose to bring characters towards her. I understand why he made that decision but the reaction to it doesn't surprise me.

I had been gone since shortly after DWD. The treatment of Dany is very different.

Tyrion's self-pity and witty sense of humor both stood out to me the first time I read the books. I found him humorous and the pain he felt from the judgment's of others reasonated with me. It did not hit me until I better understand the POV structure just how insulting his humor is. Most of the funny statements, while witty,can be demeaning to those he is speaking too. He attributes the dislike to his looks but I think it's more the way he speaks to people. I just don't think Tyrion realizes it.

Well, it probably is a chicken and the egg scenerio really.

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I actually think it was quite beneficial that we got to see them through Tyrion's POV :) As Valkyrja noted, it's one of the only times they are seen together in public, and it's the only time we as readers "see" them outside of Sansa's POV. And it's not simply that they're together, but the actual dynamics of that interaction: Sandor as hero, Sansa as the damsel, her arms wrapped tightly around his chest. Seeing this outside of Sansa's POV helps to confirm Sandor's role as her "true knight" even if that perception has been widely mocked by Sandor himself, and Sansa's gradual disillusionment.

Oh, I don't disagree with that - I'd still have liked to have Sansa's POV though ;)

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The idea that Sansa should trust Tyrion is absurd.

1. She is a prisoner. Tyrion has no intention to help her escape or regain her agency (ie not letting her escape but give her some power and control back over her life). The fact that he is nice to her is a moot point. He may be genuine, but if she fell in love with Tyrion or trusted him, that would be Stockholm Syndrome, not actual love or trust.

2. Not trusting Tyrion is Sansa's greatest show of strength. Considering the emotional and physical abuse she suffered, developing Stockholm Syndrome would be super easy. But she correctly recognizes Tyrion is an enemy (she is a Stark, and he is actively helping his family, the Lannisters, that are warring on her family) even if he is a nice one.

Sansa is the classic iron hand in a velvet glove. Not giving in to Tyrion was where she showed her iron.

:bowdown: :agree: It's actually "new" and unique to read about a princess who doesn't end up fallinf for her captor. That's why i don't agree with those who say she has some sort of Stockholm Syndrome when her thoughts of Sandor come about. Like some of you said confessed on doing, i also would go sneacking around my sister's book collection while baby-sitting her daughters, when i think i was around 13 and i remember finding this book where a rich british girl visiting the middle-east in the early 20th century is kidnapped by this caravan and the leader is tall handsome and in the end the girl falls madly in love with him and never wants to leave his side (at the start the guy doesn't respect her wishes on wanting to go him, reminding me of the lannister's lust for sansa's claim, throwing away her own thoughts on the matter).. Maybe i should read the book again to get a new perspective, but from what i remember of it, i didn't like it and thought it unbelievable.. this book came to my mind right now with the way Sansa refused to let the Lannisters break her and in the way she refused Tyrion. Sure, he was "nice" for a lannister with her, but it speaks volumes that she didn't give in into his "nice" treatment of her as some would have it believe. For those who say she wasn't a Stark, well i think refusing her husband and leaivng KL without him means she has gumption and is a northern wolf. she broke her pattern of chirping out her courtesies and never giving her thoughts away with tyrion for which i applaud her.

If she ends up being more inclined towards Sandor, it's nice to know that this wouldn't be because Sandor was the only one to show her some kindness in KL, but because their relationship was slowly built and developed, and one which benefitted both of them as they questioned the other's believes and learned to see past the phyisical issue. If the Stockholm issue had been involved she might have very well gone with him during blackwater.

And so my biggest hope at present for Sansa is that, if her past actions are anything to go by, she won't break under LF's pressures. When the time comes she'll say "No". What i fear with this is that i think LF won't be as respectful of Sansa's wishes in the way Sandor was (accepting that she wasn't going with him) or Tyrion at first with the whole "I'll wait till you are ready and want me" line...

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Regarding people's wish to claim Sansa is suffering Stockholm syndrome, suffers from victimisation and is completely resigned, I think it must rest on a really shallow reading on her chapters since looking at the definition, it doesn't fit her at all. She's buckling down and surviving, but she doesn't give up.

Wiki's short list of symptoms of victimisation is helpful (albeit perhaps not 100% correct, it is still pretty useful to look at as a tool).

I also think people trying to force the Stockholm syndrome label onto Sansa is because she starts to develop positive feelings for Sandor. But what people seem to miss is that this goes hand in hand with him acting selflessly around her and trying to help her. She doesn't develop any of these feelings for Tyrion, Cersei, Joffrey or even Lancel. The Lannisters are the captors, Sandor is a retainer on his way to breaking away from them. It's also interesting to note that the riot and the Battle of the Blackwater are two incidents where Sansa's view of him seems to make some "jumps", in so far as she wishes Dontos had his ferocity and she wishes the Hound was there instead of Ser Ilyn. Then once Sandor has deserted we see the real transformation begin. And by that point, it is also clear to Sansa (and the readers) that his loyalty does not lie with her captors. Hence: not Stockholm syndrome.

Had she fallen for Tyrion, then yes, it would fall within that part of the definition.

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Lots of thread catching up to do.....

I'm hoping that his access to her is going to be a bit more difficult now that they are in a busy castle with lots of prying eyes and ears. Of course, this doesn't rule out special "daddy time" in his solar, but he's going have to be careful if he wants to keep up the facade of their relationship. Sansa meanwhile might be finally testing out her warging skills on a few dogs or birds, and strengthening her relationships with Mya Stone and Lothor Brune - things which will gradually work to her advantage.

I like your prediction better so I'll go with it. We've seen how Sansa is his weakness already. Is it possible that being with her at the same time may cause LF to make futher mistakes? I'm thinking of the snow castle scene here, he had not planned to kill Lysa yet however his kissing of Sansa forced him to take action. If he has Sansa around but can not do anything about it, it may put some cracks in his armor.

Loved this K3. But I think you meant that Cher's crush on Christian is like Sansa's crush on Loras.

Thank you. And yes, I did. I copied that directly from Word without any edits at all, thanks for the correction. I'm surprised it made as much sense as it did.

Yup, this. Plus of course there's the image of Sansa - beautiful and gentle - which leads people to assume that she's weak willed and passive. As for Sansa not revealing her thoughts to us, that is made clear in the final one she shares with the Hound. After he departs what is she feeling or thinking? Something leads to her to the unkiss, but we have no idea what exactly.

Yeah, we don't have any idea what leads to the unkiss at all. We've had some great discussion about the meaning but we don't know yet. Sometimes with Sansa you have to look at future actions or thoughts to figure out what she may be thinking in a particular moment. After Sandor leaves, she wraps herself in his cloak but we have no hint from Sansa on what she is actually thinking. Is she reflecting on what he said or did? The closest we get afterwards is when she tells us that she kept his cloak hidden underneath the summer silks. We need to use that act to better help us understand what she is thinking. It's the same thing about the dream she has after LF's wedding. She relays the dream to us, a man crawls in to her bed demanding a song but again we don't know what she thinks. Is she upset, happy, excited? She never tells us then but her further thoughts provide hints. She reflects on the kiss and then later thinks of Sandor and the marriage bed. To me, this provides some evidence that the dream of Sandor in her bed was a positive one and provide support that it was indeed an erotic one.

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It's hard for me to imagine why anyone should dislike Molly Weasley. I thought that feminism, originally, was supposed to give women choices; so that they could have opportunities to fairly compete in the workplace or, if they preferred and could afford to, stay at home and care for the kids. She's kind-hearted, a good mother; and you definitely want her fighting at your side in a magical Armageddon.

Of course, I completely agree with you. Just pointing out why IMO it is so much easier for fandom to like her. She is somewhat stereotypical as a fictional character. It was more a comment about Cat than Molly.

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ETA: Yes, brash, I'd love to discuss the riot scene in more depth. I just re-read it the other day, and I noticed that in Tyrion's PoV of that scene, Sansa comes across as extremely sweet and gentle, especially in comparsion to Joffrey. You see how she tries to calm him, but of course he doesn't listen. Her gentleness makes the the dread after realizing that she's been lost in the chaos all the more palpable. She really does seem like the damsel in distress here, and Martin specifically shows that the supposed knights in this situation are to daft and powerless to do anything. The rest of the Kingsguard is too craven to even go back out to get Sansa. I'd also forgotten that they initially thought the Hound had gone down in the mess as well like the knight who was overcome by the crowd (Ser Preston?), as he could not be found at first. It was like a prelude to the Blackwater when Sandor really cannot be found because he has fled. (It makes the fact that he went for Sansa *yet again* during the Blackwater much less surprising.....of course he would come for her --- to him, she was once again in mortal danger.) It is all the more dramatic when Sansa and Sandor both return on horseback together, one of the few times when they are even 'seen' together in public. Tyrion's PoV is more concerned about the relief felt that Jaime's life won't be forfeit than about the curiosity of that scene, however, so much of this gets missed by readers.

I really like this take on it. He saw her in danger and went to get her which lends credence to the idea that this was also his purpose the night of the BBW. I like the way the different characters are shown during the riot too. Joffrey is cruel and makes the situation worse, reflecting his style of kingship as he made the war worse by killing Ned. Then, we have Tyrion who is observant and watching the growing restlessness of the mob yet his thoughts convey a certain amount of ruthlessness. His concern is safety for the party and protection for Sansa because of her status as a hostage. He isn't thinking much on the small folk themselves. Cersei is relatively ineffective, just as she is the night of the BBW. Then we have Sansa who I think is once again acting closer to a queen than Cersei is. It's clear she senses the tension within the crowd, showing that she is as observant as Tyrion is. Yet, she is also the only one that is seeking to do something about it by appealing to Joffrey. We know that Joffrey has a temper and has punished Sansa in the past for speaking up so I thinking this was a courageous act on her part. She's the one that is displaying compassion for the small folk here and tries to do something about what she is seeing. Tyrion notices it but I don't think he really thinks through what it is that he's actually seeing.

And there's also the fact that Flea Bottom's burning and Tyrion orders him to go back, and then sees the fear of Sandor's face. He goes, but remarks that "it's not because he ordered, but because he wants to find his horse". In the Blackwater we get the same thing, Tyrion ordering him to go into the wildfire, and the fear on his face, but by then he just had enough and quits.

I think we are seeing a few different things going on when it comes to Tyrion sending him back out to Flea Bottom. It's obvious that Sandor doesn't want to follow Tyrion's orders. It's partly because of the fire but also because of his feeligs towards Tyrion. We know that he hates Tyrion and I would imagine that he did not like taking orders from him at all. We all see evidence that Sandor is willing to face his fear when he has enough reason. Yes, he's afraid of fire but he has some coping capabiilties, at least to an extent. He won't do it for Tyrion but he'll do it for Stranger. This makes me wonder a little bit about his thoughts the night of the BBW. He wasn't fighting for Tyrion and we can see a pattern of him breaking away from the Lannisters before then too. Did he have reasons to fight that we don't know about or that he has not yet revealed?

I actually think it was quite beneficial that we got to see them through Tyrion's POV :) As Valkyrja noted, it's one of the only times they are seen together in public, and it's the only time we as readers "see" them outside of Sansa's POV. And it's not simply that they're together, but the actual dynamics of that interaction: Sandor as hero, Sansa as the damsel, her arms wrapped tightly around his chest. Seeing this outside of Sansa's POV helps to confirm Sandor's role as her "true knight" even if that perception has been widely mocked by Sandor himself, and Sansa's gradual disillusionment.

Yes, I agree, it was important to see them through Tyrion's POV. I have always thought it rather amusing that Tyrion, who can be incredibly observant and capable of picking up subtext, completely missed what he was really seeing. Sandor left his post to go get Sansa, taking a risk that the rest of the KG did not want to do. He showed an affectation for her that no one else did. His statement about Lollys also hints that he was rescuing Sansa, not just trying to help whoever he could find. Then, we have his worry over her injury and use of the nickname "little bird". Yet, Tyrion never reflects on any of it or what this may mean. Is it because the stress of those events make it difficult to reflect on what may be happening? Or, and what I think is the more likely option, does his opinion of Sandor as the Lannister "dog" prevent him from seeing what else may be happening? Jaime is the Lannister that always struck me as coming the closest to seeing Sandor as a person.

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Yes, I agree, it was important to see them through Tyrion's POV. I have always thought it rather amusing that Tyrion, who can be incredibly observant and capable of picking up subtext, completely missed what he was really seeing. Sandor left his post to go get Sansa, taking a risk that the rest of the KG did not want to do. He showed an affectation for her that no one else did. His statement about Lollys also hints that he was rescuing Sansa, not just trying to help whoever he could find. Then, we have his worry over her injury and use of the nickname "little bird". Yet, Tyrion never reflects on any of it or what this may mean. Is it because the stress of those events make it difficult to reflect on what may be happening? Or, and what I think is the more likely option, does his opinion of Sandor as the Lannister "dog" prevent him from seeing what else may be happening? Jaime is the Lannister that always struck me as coming the closest to seeing Sandor as a person.

I think this is it. Tyrion might claim to have an affinity with bastards, cripples and broken things, but he's still a Lannister at the end of the day, and that often narrows his vision to a recognition of power and social standing. I should add here that Tyrion is a typical Lannister in my opinion, much like Cersei and Tywin, whilst Jaime does display different attributes from his family.

When Tyrion sees them ride in on the horse he's focused on Sandor's strength as a warrior, and in that moment everyone believes Sandor is operating as the Lannister retainer, whilst we can recognize the much more personal investment he had in saving Sansa that day. There's also the prior incident in the throne room, where Sandor gives Sansa his cloak, another moment where Tyrion was present, but the undercurrent between the two goes unnoticed.

What's interesting is that in both these incidents Tyrion has made a "call" for Sansa to be assisted/rescued, but Sandor is actually the one who acts first. When she's beaten he calls out enough and during the riot he stays behind to rescue her. Further, in those "calls" made by Tyrion, it almost seems as though he is being used to facilitate greater intimacy between Sandor and Sansa. And whilst Sansa develops the unkiss memory before she is married, it is her marriage to Tyrion, and the absolute lack of desire she feels for him, that allows her to make the transference of Sandor as mere kisser, to Sandor as potential bedmate.

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The idea that Sansa should trust Tyrion is absurd.

1. She is a prisoner. Tyrion has no intention to help her escape or regain her agency (ie not letting her escape but give her some power and control back over her life). The fact that he is nice to her is a moot point. He may be genuine, but if she fell in love with Tyrion or trusted him, that would be Stockholm Syndrome, not actual love or trust.

2. Not trusting Tyrion is Sansa's greatest show of strength. Considering the emotional and physical abuse she suffered, developing Stockholm Syndrome would be super easy. But she correctly recognizes Tyrion is an enemy (she is a Stark, and he is actively helping his family, the Lannisters, that are warring on her family) even if he is a nice one.

Sansa is the classic iron hand in a velvet glove. Not giving in to Tyrion was where she showed her iron.

Well, it probably is a chicken and the egg scenerio really.

First, welcome to the re-thinking Sansa threads! Yes, I agree. If she had done any more than she did with Tyrion, it would have looked like Stockholm syndrome to me as well. A jailer is still a jailer, even when they are being nice to you. And I love the description of Sansa as an iron hand in a velvet glove, describes her quite well. She appears to be courtesy and flattery on the outside but it hides an incredibly strong sense of will and self.

Yes, I think you are right about the chicken and egg scenario. It's a defense mechanism for him I think.

:bowdown: :agree: It's actually "new" and unique to read about a princess who doesn't end up fallinf for her captor. That's why i don't agree with those who say she has some sort of Stockholm Syndrome when her thoughts of Sandor come about. Like some of you said confessed on doing, i also would go sneacking around my sister's book collection while baby-sitting her daughters, when i think i was around 13 and i remember finding this book where a rich british girl visiting the middle-east in the early 20th century is kidnapped by this caravan and the leader is tall handsome and in the end the girl falls madly in love with him and never wants to leave his side (at the start the guy doesn't respect her wishes on wanting to go him, reminding me of the lannister's lust for sansa's claim, throwing away her own thoughts on the matter).. Maybe i should read the book again to get a new perspective, but from what i remember of it, i didn't like it and thought it unbelievable.. this book came to my mind right now with the way Sansa refused to let the Lannisters break her and in the way she refused Tyrion. Sure, he was "nice" for a lannister with her, but it speaks volumes that she didn't give in into his "nice" treatment of her as some would have it believe. For those who say she wasn't a Stark, well i think refusing her husband and leaivng KL without him means she has gumption and is a northern wolf. she broke her pattern of chirping out her courtesies and never giving her thoughts away with tyrion for which i applaud her.

If she ends up being more inclined towards Sandor, it's nice to know that this wouldn't be because Sandor was the only one to show her some kindness in KL, but because their relationship was slowly built and developed, and one which benefitted both of them as they questioned the other's believes and learned to see past the phyisical issue. If the Stockholm issue had been involved she might have very well gone with him during blackwater.

And so my biggest hope at present for Sansa is that, if her past actions are anything to go by, she won't break under LF's pressures. When the time comes she'll say "No". What i fear with this is that i think LF won't be as respectful of Sansa's wishes in the way Sandor was (accepting that she wasn't going with him) or Tyrion at first with the whole "I'll wait till you are ready and want me" line...

That's my hope with LF too. And is it me, or do we all seem to have expereinces with new reading materials while babysitting when younger? I used to babysit back in the 80s and early 90s for a woman who worked evenings as a nurse. It was an easy job as I was mostly around to make sure nothing went wrong. Well, she used to subscribe to a romance novel club where she would automatically get several books in the mail every month. Every single one followed a similar theme: the girl is kidnapped by the male lead who is usually a pirate, shiek, or British high lord of some sort. He treats her horrible, keeps her a prisoner, insults her, accuses her of cheating on him, maybe half have him spanking her to punish her, sex of dubious consent. She usually falls in love with him about sixty percent of the way through the book. I used to love reading them when I was younger.

Had she fallen for Tyrion, then yes, it would fall within that part of the definition.

Yes, I agree. I think it would also meet that definition if she'd tried to form some sort of alliance with him as it would indicate that she views him as a partner rather than a jailer.

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Yes, I agree, it was important to see them through Tyrion's POV. I have always thought it rather amusing that Tyrion, who can be incredibly observant and capable of picking up subtext, completely missed what he was really seeing. Sandor left his post to go get Sansa, taking a risk that the rest of the KG did not want to do. He showed an affectation for her that no one else did. His statement about Lollys also hints that he was rescuing Sansa, not just trying to help whoever he could find. Then, we have his worry over her injury and use of the nickname "little bird". Yet, Tyrion never reflects on any of it or what this may mean. Is it because the stress of those events make it difficult to reflect on what may be happening? Or, and what I think is the more likely option, does his opinion of Sandor as the Lannister "dog" prevent him from seeing what else may be happening? Jaime is the Lannister that always struck me as coming the closest to seeing Sandor as a person.

This is such an interesting point actually, since Tyrion is normally one of the most observant people in the novels, together with Varys and Littlefinger. He observes people quite well and makes lightning quick analyses, sometimes on the fly, about people, and he mostly does it really well.

Yet both Sandor and Sansa fly under his radar here, which I think, like you fine people, are because of a couple of reasons:

Firstly, as you point out here, it seems Tyrion's focus is on Sandor as a retainer first and foremost, and basically "A Lannister" by extension, like brashcandy pointed out. In that way, Tyrion doesn't see Sandor as an individual capable of any particular feelings. Remember who surprised Tyrion was at the Battle of the Blackwater when Sandor was afraid of the fire? It seemed less "Why is he afraid of the fire?" and more "What? This guy is supposed to be the epitome of a warrior, why is he afraid for?" Normally Tyrion questions motives, but he doesn't really with Sandor. When Cersei is nice to him, he wonders what she is up to, or when Varys is helpful, he wonders why, but he never once ponders "Why is the Hound afraid?" or "Why is he going out of his way to rescue Sansa?"

I mean, had Tyrion taken a step back, Sandor going out of his way to rescue Sansa must at least be extremely peculiar. It was an extremely dangerous situation, and considering he risked his own life by doing so, and combined with his proclamations that he is no knight and the strong rule the weak etc. (Tyrion being perceptive can hardly have missed this) yet nobody really reacts to it. Tyrion thinks mostly of Jaime and of his problems with Joffrey and nobody else seem to even bother. None of the Kingsguard, not Cersei, not Varys. In fact, Varys' descriptions of Sansa and Sandor also seem...perfunctory at best. It's like nobody was really interested in them. Perhaps it's what Dontos said: Tyrion is watching Cersei, Cersi is watching him, Varys is watching them, and they are watching Varys. But who cares about Moon boy? Nobody. The important people all watch eachother, but their view of Sansa is a daft little girl hostage, and Sandor is a mean brute without a brain but with a big sword.

But going back to the riot scene:

Yes, Tyrion had several clues.

Firstly, it's not like Sandor to rescue damsels in distress. He's the non-knight.

Secondly, he points out himself that he didn't do as much for Lollys, so it was clearly a certain target he had in mind

Thirdly, the nickname usage, plus the in the situation rather snarky "put her back in her cage". He hardly seems to endorse the Lannister line here.

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This is such an interesting point actually, since Tyrion is normally one of the most observant people in the novels, together with Varys and Littlefinger. He observes people quite well and makes lightning quick analyses, sometimes on the fly, about people, and he mostly does it really well.

Yet both Sandor and Sansa fly under his radar here, which I think, like you fine people, are because of a couple of reasons:

Firstly, as you point out here, it seems Tyrion's focus is on Sandor as a retainer first and foremost, and basically "A Lannister" by extension, like brashcandy pointed out. In that way, Tyrion doesn't see Sandor as an individual capable of any particular feelings. Remember who surprised Tyrion was at the Battle of the Blackwater when Sandor was afraid of the fire? It seemed less "Why is he afraid of the fire?" and more "What? This guy is supposed to be the epitome of a warrior, why is he afraid for?" Normally Tyrion questions motives, but he doesn't really with Sandor. When Cersei is nice to him, he wonders what she is up to, or when Varys is helpful, he wonders why, but he never once ponders "Why is the Hound afraid?" or "Why is he going out of his way to rescue Sansa?"

I mean, had Tyrion taken a step back, Sandor going out of his way to rescue Sansa must at least be extremely peculiar. It was an extremely dangerous situation, and considering he risked his own life by doing so, and combined with his proclamations that he is no knight and the strong rule the weak etc. (Tyrion being perceptive can hardly have missed this) yet nobody really reacts to it. Tyrion thinks mostly of Jaime and of his problems with Joffrey and nobody else seem to even bother. None of the Kingsguard, not Cersei, not Varys. In fact, Varys' descriptions of Sansa and Sandor also seem...perfunctory at best. It's like nobody was really interested in them. Perhaps it's what Dontos said: Tyrion is watching Cersei, Cersi is watching him, Varys is watching them, and they are watching Varys. But who cares about Moon boy? Nobody. The important people all watch eachother, but their view of Sansa is a daft little girl hostage, and Sandor is a mean brute without a brain but with a big sword.

But going back to the riot scene:

Yes, Tyrion had several clues.

Firstly, it's not like Sandor to rescue damsels in distress. He's the non-knight.

Secondly, he points out himself that he didn't do as much for Lollys, so it was clearly a certain target he had in mind

Thirdly, the nickname usage, plus the in the situation rather snarky "put her back in her cage". He hardly seems to endorse the Lannister line here.

Yep, Sandor and Sansa are some of the very few times where I think Tyrion is off in his judgment or does not question when I think he otherwise would. Ser Dontos tells Sansa much the same thing, let everything think she is stupid because it causes them not to look so closely. He experiences the same thing as a fool, he hears and sees quite a bit than he otherwise would have. LF is able to do as much as he does in part because so many assume that his low born status means he has no access to power.

It looks like the trend is going to continue in some ways in the Vale too. LF is warning Sansa about Randa because she's someone who might have an agenda of her own and can not be trusted. Yet, LF seems not to spare a thought for Mya the bastard mule girl or Lothor the lowborn retainer.

People sometimes only see what they want to see and both Sandor and Sansa have continued to prove it. She's now hiding as a bastard in the open and he disguised himself as a farmer in front of knights that had seen him before.

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Yup, and even more revealing than Sandor's rescue of Sansa was his clear concern for her: telling them to get to someone to see to her cut, which in the context of all the rape and murder that was happening around them, was pretty minor.

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Actually, I think the rescue itself wasn't even that revealing. I mean, how does Tyrion know Sandor went out of his way to save her? He dismounted on Joffrey's order and maybe couldn't get back to his horse before things became ugly, which is why he was left behind. He then might have happened on Sansa by chance, whereas Lollys was just nowhere to be seen. I'm not saying that I think this is what it was like, but this is what it might have looked like to Tyrion, who after all was already galloping back to the castle and didn't see what was happening behind him. But yes to everything else. The use of the nickname and Sandor's concern for her should have tipped him off, but he was just too preoccupied and didn't pay much attention. He doesn't really think much of Sandor or Sansa anyway. They are no threat to him and of little use other than as a good fighter (Sandor) and as someone to be exchanged for Jaime (Sansa) respectively.

People sometimes only see what they want to see and both Sandor and Sansa have continued to prove it. She's now hiding as a bastard in the open and he disguised himself as a farmer in front of knights that had seen him before.

Very true. Arya profits from this too, to no small degree.

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Actually, I think the rescue itself wasn't even that revealing. I mean, how does Tyrion know Sandor went out of his way to save her? He dismounted on Joffrey's order and maybe couldn't get back to his horse before things became ugly, which is why he was left behind. He then might have happened on Sansa by chance, whereas Lollys was just nowhere to be seen. I'm not saying that I think this is what it was like, but this is what it might have looked like to Tyrion, who after all was already galloping back to the castle and didn't see what was happening behind him. But yes to everything else. The use of the nickname and Sandor's concern for her should have tipped him off, but he was just too preoccupied and didn't pay much attention. He doesn't really think much of Sandor or Sansa anyway. They are no threat to him and of little use other than as a good fighter (Sandor) and as someone to be exchanged for Jaime (Sansa) respectively.

Very true. Arya profits from this too, to no small degree.

Yes, I think this is what it looked like to Tyrion, which is what I think struck me. I'm in the middle of a Clash re-read right now and I have been noticing that Tyrion is suspicious of everyone. He has suspiciouns about the Small Council, his sister, every other member of the kingsguard, the HS, the lords at court, the men with Shae. He's questioning and observing everyone - but not the dog. Sandor is standing out to me as an exception and it's very curious as to why. The only explanation that I can come up with is that he sees what he thinks he sees with Sandor and it doesn't occur to him that there may be something else there. He does it to Sansa too and those are the only two characters he makes this mistake with.

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So all this begs the question: what is the true significance of this relationship that no one detected/suspected? I mean, does it have any relevance outside of a personal bond between Sansa and Sandor? Can it affect the game in a substantive way? Has it already done so? Does it need to?

The reason I ask these questions which might strike some of you as fairly obvious is because Martin would appear to have something planned along the lines of a great reveal that extends beyond Sandor and Sansa realising the depth of their feelings. Why go to such great extent to have this relationship remain a secret to the principal players in KL - Varys, LF, Tyrion - if it isn't meant to affect these players somehow down the road? I've theorised before on how I think it's impacted Tyrion, through the development of Sansa's erotic knowledge which strengthens her resistance to situations which call upon her to deny her authentic feelings, and I suppose this could extend to Littlefinger as well. We've seen that Sandor has been able to take a central place in her thoughts on the marriage bed, whilst LF probably believes that she only has nightmarish dreams with regard to such.

I suppose I would argue that the relationship does have "game power" simply because the personal is political at the end of the day, and these feelings do have the potential to collapse whatever plans LF might be plotting. I absolutely love the irony of LF ultimately being defeated not by game machinations or strategies, but by the strength of love between two people. What could be more redeeming and antithetical to the impersonal, ruthless politics he advocates than that?

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That's my hope with LF too. And is it me, or do we all seem to have expereinces with new reading materials while babysitting when younger? I used to babysit back in the 80s and early 90s for a woman who worked evenings as a nurse. It was an easy job as I was mostly around to make sure nothing went wrong. Well, she used to subscribe to a romance novel club where she would automatically get several books in the mail every month. Every single one followed a similar theme: the girl is kidnapped by the male lead who is usually a pirate, shiek, or British high lord of some sort. He treats her horrible, keeps her a prisoner, insults her, accuses her of cheating on him, maybe half have him spanking her to punish her, sex of dubious consent. She usually falls in love with him about sixty percent of the way through the book. I used to love reading them when I was younger.

it does seem like most girls did this at one point or another while growing up. i used to like some of the things i read too (mostly thought the general plot, not the feelings or other things so much) but then i started liking (in the romantic section) the great gatsby or thorn birds or gone with the wind. though it's funny to recall i used to think i was breaking the rules when i read my sister's romance novels... :)

anyways, moving on... about your post kitty regarding how sansa & sandor seem to pass under the radar where tyrion is concerned, i wonder if varys didn't ever find it odd? I would've thoguth LF would've learned from it sooner or later (he seems to have an eye out for sansa when she saves dontos) but i am not so sure he knows sansa ever spoke more than 3 words willingly with sandor so... but varys is another matter. he may not know that these conversations might lead to something of consequence in the future, but it would be funny if he did get the reports just never thought anything could possibly come of it and in the next book- Sandor Clegane becomes the sworn shield of Sansa Stark <3

brash, about all this:

1-. What is the true significance of this relationship that no one detected/suspected? That it will before the end get to be known by everyone, and will be all the more shocking because it will be one of the few stories around Westeros that did get their happy bittersweet ending.

2-. I mean, does it have any relevance outside of a personal bond between Sansa and Sandor? Maybe. If Sandor is meant to die (george won't be that cruel we can hope) then it can affect in a way Sansa and her future relationships with men or her husband? sort of pinning for what she could've had and lost? but even if that where the case i think she would try to make the effort to have a nice relationship with her husband.

3-. Can it affect the game in a substantive way? Has it already done so? Does it need to? i think that if it will affect the game it will due so in the future. It could be argued that Sandor is one of the reasons why Sansa refused Tyrion and doesn't like what LF is doing around her, but i guess these 2 ocassions are most about her gaining agency and refusing to be subjected to even more torture. with LF well... we can hope Sansa will escape his pervy clucthes soon. & as you said so yourself, it could also be said that "the relationship does have "game power" simply because the personal is political at the end of the day, and these feelings do have the potential to collapse whatever plans LF might be plotting. I absolutely love the irony of LF ultimately being defeated not by game machinations or strategies, but by the strength of love between two people. What could be more redeeming and antithetical to the impersonal, ruthless politics he advocates than that?"

Nothing i think (and since this is Westeros it would be nice to see this happening in such a "cruel" world), and Sandor is a commoner compared to Sansa. It would be funny to see LF thinking that (since according to his verison of events) Cat did feel something for him, but duty was first only to have Sansa choosing the son of a lower house and not doing her duty in this regard

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Did you guys get a chance to check out the new interview by GRRM? Our very own Lady Lea played a starring role in the translation :) Anyways, there were no questions about Sansan, or S+S=?, but, I do have to say that based on the broken marriages (Doran/Mellario), and marriages with a possible hidden agenda (Tywin/Johanna) that GRRM alluded to, ASOIAF is crying out for a gosh darn genuine freaking romantic, "I just want you for you" relationship which actually works.

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The reason I ask these questions which might strike some of you as fairly obvious is because Martin would appear to have something planned along the lines of a great reveal that extends beyond Sandor and Sansa realising the depth of their feelings. Why go to such great extent to have this relationship remain a secret to the principal players in KL - Varys, LF, Tyrion - if it isn't meant to affect these players somehow down the road? I've theorised before on how I think it's impacted Tyrion, through the development of Sansa's erotic knowledge which strengthens her resistance to situations which call upon her to deny her authentic feelings, and I suppose this could extend to Littlefinger as well. We've seen that Sandor has been able to take a central place in her thoughts on the marriage bed, whilst LF probably believes that she only has nightmarish dreams with regard to such.

I wonder if it is as simple as Sandor "only" being a vehicle through which Sansa gains agency. He's got such a well developed character now it makes me wonder if there wasn't something more planned from the beginning.

It is interesting that the three information power houses all miss out on it: Tyrion, Varys and Littlefinger. I was actually a bit surprised by Varys, since he seems to know everything, but maybe even he suffers from the Tyrion and LF affliction of just being too busy watching all the "important people" that he doesn't care much for a "dull brute" and a "silly little hostage"?

Varys' little birds should have reported that they met at least, although perhaps the talk on the Red Keep and the Serpentine Steps were sort of out of the way and at least the Red Keep scene on the eve before battle, meaning Varys and the little birds may have been employed elsewhere. Both places are also outside, which may make it harder to "listen in"? Even if LF said the Godswood was the only really safe place, if we assume the "little birds" are inside the walls, being outside should offer some protection against the listening in. I also assume that on the Eve of the Battle of the Blackwater, so much else was going on nobody really bothered with what Sansa was doing. Or Sandor for that matter.

It's obvious Varys et al knows that the marriage to Tyrion was not consummated, so they most likely listened in on that conversation and checked what was going on during subsequent nights.

Varys also wasn't present at the riot, so it's perhaps natural he doesn't know every little detail about the conversation.

Judging by how he sends off hedge knights after Sansa's disappearance and the cursory description, I think her disappearance completely came out of left field for him.

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Brashcandy - I'll respond to your post a little later today when I'm able to spend more time in front of a computer. I've got some thoughts on this.

In the meantime, I wanted to bring everyone's attention to one of the questions that our amazing Lady Lea translated from the Martin interview:

6 – The dead direwolf and the six pups. Is it a sign from the gods? Is the three-eyed crow? There are those who see a symbolism in the death of the direwolf by a stag’s horn (Stark-Baratheon).

A: Both interpretations could be valid. Or not. You have to take into account that I really like including details, clues and symbolism everywhere in my books. But it wouldn’t be right that I myself point out which are the symbols and where they are. This is the reader’s job.

This question was specifically about the dead direwolf and pups but I think the important point is what I put in bold. There have been some arguments in this thread and outside of it when it comes to looking for additional meaning in the text, whether we should rely directly on what is written or not. I think Martin's response reaffirms the idea that we should not limit ourselves to just what is in the text. He is flat out telling us that he puts in symbols, he writes in such a matter than we as the readers need to do the work and understand what is really happening. It's not just a matter of limiting ourselves to what the author is saying, he is telling us that we need to do more. I think it also lends credence to some of the analysis we are doing on Sansa's character when it comes to the wolf symbolism, foreshadowing with Sandor, her sexual awakening, symbolism with clothes, symbolism with food, and our discussions when it comes to agency with Sansa. If anything, I think it confirms that Martin sends many messages to the readers, he just doesn't always spell it out in an easy to read format.

I think it's a nice confirmation of the analysis that has taken place in the PtP threads so wanted to point it out. :)

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