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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa VIII

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@Arya_Nym,

Ah yes! I had forgotten the reasoning behind Sansa's creation. I do think that Martin took it to an unfavorable extreme however, and this influences a lot of the negative perception of Sansa. As we've noted before, he does a great job of showing how Arya comes into conflict with the societal expectations, but not so good in highlighting how Sansa wishes to simply fulfill those duties.

@Kittykatknits - great post. I am crossing my fingers that Arya can one day return home. As you noted, Arya and Sansa are focused now on surviving and there's a lot of pain and fear connected to those past identities. Both girls have been powerless and are anxious not to know such weakness again, so I think we have to take any "commitments" they make with a grain of salt.

Regarding that bolded statement, I could not agree more. I think Sansa in GOT was so successful, it failed, if that makes sense. He takes great pain to show Arya's conflict. But Sansa's desires in the first book come off as childish delusions to many readers. Sansa is never put in context the way that Arya is. As I said in my post, first impressions count and this is what happens to Sansa so often. Her portrayal in the first book prevents people from fully understanding or appreciating the changes her character has undergone.

My fingers are crossed as well that she will return home. When worry sets in, I just remind myself that Jojen Reed said the wolves would return. I firmly believe him.

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Brilliant write up ARYa_Nym. :thumbsup:

How inferior Arya felt wrt Sansa really stands out in those quotes. It was only exacerbated by their environment too, with Sansa toeing the line all the time and Arya not fitting in anywhere. Poor Arya. :crying: Cat seems to have followed the trend of mothers almost everywhere in that she's blinded by unconditional love for her children and doesn't realise how being so unhappy with Arya's behaviour and allowing Septa Mordane to say things like Arya has blacksmith hands really affected her daughter. (My own mother certainly had a lot of these tendencies, she'd say the most horrifying things and then be totally blank and go "What? don't you understand I love you anyway??" My one goal with motherhood: don't be like that. I probably will anyway, but one can try!)

Another interesting thing is how people always assume that Arya had none of Sansa's romantic notions, nor that she ever wished to be regarded as pretty or anything "girlish" like that, but although she mostly doesn't care, there's the wish to go back to Lady Smallwood, who said she was pretty. Then there is the opinion that knights should save women and children. While Arya had fewer notions than Sansa, she certainly has them. In fact, it seems to me where Sansa has more naive notions around romance/feelings, Arya has them when it comes to justice. Perhaps reflecting what their story arcs will eventually be about and the issue they will face? Arya is getting taught about giving the gift of death and she has encountered both death as mercy, death as meted out justice and pointless, cruel deaths. Sansa has had five arranged marriage alliances, she's been around unhappy and bitter wives, baseborn children and unwed paramours.

When Edric Dayne told her the story about Ashara she said that Sansa would have found it romantic but it was stupid to her. She got mad when she learned that her father was the lover. The story was of Ashara killing herself over the man she loved.

However, as Cat of the Canals her cover story is that her father was killed because he fought a bravo over her mother's beauty which has similar romantic notions.

It seems both Arya and Sansa are having their romantic notions torn down, but it's also interesting to see how they both still keep this core of belief that they have a hard time letting go of, sort of like Needle.

Sansa also probably would have thought the Ashara story romantic back in AGOT. As of AFFC though? She'd probably just thought it sad. She hates Marillion singing and sees the songs as only tragedy, murder and death (I suppose she can now relate to the real content of the songs).

Since Sansa and Arya are my two favourite characters, I really, really hope they will get to meet up again and work out their differences. Their stories have been intertwined since AGOT and paralelled quite a lot, with them learning somewhat similar skills (reading and understanding people) with Sansa focusing more on the politicial stage and Arya more on the personal. As for whether or not Sansa would be happy to see Arya or not be horrified by what she has become, I'm sure there will be conflicts, but both Arya and Sansa have been through so much that their original views of eachother may linger, but who they are as of AFFC/ADWD are two different people from who they were in early AGOT. Both Sansa and Arya have learnt to appreciate different things in others, and found strengths in themselves they did not realise they had.

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Regarding this quote:

"(3) Arya was one of the first characters created. Sansa came about as a total opposite b/c too many of the Stark family members were getting along and familes aren't like that. Thus, Sansa was created; he ended by saying they have deep issues to work out."

I wonder if this means Sansa's story is somewhat seperate to the rest of the Starks (this is probably a vain attempt at thinking her story was always tied to Sandor), but it seems as though most of the characters have had their endings plotted out since the first book. I also agree with Arya_Nym about the foreshadowing of Dragons and Seamonsters and the Titan of Braavos. Indeed the foreshadowing in the first book seems much more obvious than in the later books (when GRRM realised the Internet was letting everyone share their discoveries), which is also why I think the line about 'get her a dog, she'll be happier for it' is significant.

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@Lyanna: I agree to your LF/HtH theory! Sansa is one of his aims (prices) in the game. He cannot have Cat, so he wants Cat’s daughter who looks like her (but however, I hope that in the very end he will get the final kiss by UNcat). Don’t get me wrong, I like him playing his cards and it is intriguing to see how he controls and reacts to the game, but his behavior to Sansa is too creepy in mypersonal regard. LF doesn’t take HtH for serious, Harry is just a (play-)boy, I can imagine that Harry likes to play the rich and charming heir of the Vale and hopes to be the great lord soon. IMO, Harry would be not disappointed if Sweetrobin dies within the next time to overtake his heritage. Since this is LF’s plan too, perhaps they stick together (or LF with Lady W., Harry’s aunt?).

Sansa transfers more and more into Alayne (“..father AND I…” have more important things to consider… or so which is fine from a certain point of view. She seems to adopt LF’s “you and I against the world” influence, however, I am convinced that this is only a glance of LF influence. Sansa herself will never lose her empathy and taking care for others and I could see Sansa keeping SR away from them with the help of Lothor and Mya, rushing to a certain healer on QI, meeting a certain gravedigger there….

@ Kittykat: I LOVE your Mad Mouse theory! That’s it (however it would be too nice to be real)!!!

@ Lyanna: Your Mad Mouse/Varys thoughts are intriguing. Sansa’s marriage can then be annulled and the way is open for charming Harry (and LF already is in pole position). Great stuff!

There is another question I have for you: IN CASE, Jeyne Westerling (yeah, I am sticking to the theory of the real Jeyne who is on the run with the Blackfish and the false one – her sister – who is with Sybel) is pregnant from Robb – I assume their child will be the heir of Winterfell. Or am I wrong?

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Arya is getting taught about giving the gift of death and she has encountered both death as mercy, death as meted out justice and pointless, cruel deaths. Sansa has had five arranged marriage alliances, she's been around unhappy and bitter wives, baseborn children and unwed paramours.

This. I'm actually going to do a write up today on how Martin is using the erotic to explore the development of Sansa's agency (He does this with Daenerys as well). However, what I realised from looking at the 'Pairing you can't stand thread' is that people are so close minded (and freaked out) about the possibility of 'San/San' occurring, that they completely miss what Martin is showing about the importance of desire and sexual agency. Sansa's development into a player didn't begin with Littlefinger in the Vale; it started through her confrontation and exploration with the erotic, and this is what is going to see her achieve that longed for autonomy, not any of LF's schemes and plots. More on this in the essay later...

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Just a quick interruption, I keep seeing that Sansa has been betrothed five time, but I can only remember four: Joffrey, Willas, Tyrion, and now Harry. Who's the fifth betrothal?

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Just a quick interruption, I keep seeing that Sansa has been betrothed five time, but I can only remember four: Joffrey, Willas, Tyrion, and now Harry. Who's the fifth betrothal?

Sweetrobin.

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Brilliant write up ARYa_Nym. :thumbsup:

How inferior Arya felt wrt Sansa really stands out in those quotes. It was only exacerbated by their environment too, with Sansa toeing the line all the time and Arya not fitting in anywhere. Poor Arya. :crying: Cat seems to have followed the trend of mothers almost everywhere in that she's blinded by unconditional love for her children and doesn't realise how being so unhappy with Arya's behaviour and allowing Septa Mordane to say things like Arya has blacksmith hands really affected her daughter. (My own mother certainly had a lot of these tendencies, she'd say the most horrifying things and then be totally blank and go "What? don't you understand I love you anyway??" My one goal with motherhood: don't be like that. I probably will anyway, but one can try!)

My mother had these tendencies as well. She had certain ideas of what I should be interested in growing up. The fact that I liked computer and reading was completely baffling to her. I saw both Ned and Cat not realizing how their actions influenced their daughters in GOT. I re-read the the chapters from Robert's death to the chapter where Jon kills a wight yesterday and was once again struck just how little Ned had talked to Sansa while in KL. Cat doesn't realize how she has impacted Arya and I think that Ned does something similar. The morning that Robert died, Ned thinks to himself that there is no point burdening Sansa with information, that he would wait until they were all back in WF. Just as Cat seemed better able to relate to Sansa, Ned was better able to do the same with Arya. Sansa had absolutely no information on what was going on. I think parents have favorites, or at least the child they better relate to, Ned and Cat are no exception to this rule.

"(3) Arya was one of the first characters created. Sansa came about as a total opposite b/c too many of the Stark family members were getting along and familes aren't like that. Thus, Sansa was created; he ended by saying they have deep issues to work out."

I wonder if this means Sansa's story is somewhat seperate to the rest of the Starks (this is probably a vain attempt at thinking her story was always tied to Sandor), but it seems as though most of the characters have had their endings plotted out since the first book. I also agree with Arya_Nym about the foreshadowing of Dragons and Seamonsters and the Titan of Braavos. Indeed the foreshadowing in the first book seems much more obvious than in the later books (when GRRM realised the Internet was letting everyone share their discoveries), which is also why I think the line about 'get her a dog, she'll be happier for it' is significant.

That statement of Martin's has always bothered me as it sounds like he set Sansa up to be in opposition to her family, the odd one out. It leaves me with the feeling that Martin would agree with those who say that Sansa is not a Stark.

I do think that Sansa's storyline has been plotted out since the beginning and that there is significance about that line. If we heard it in Feast, I would be much less inclined to say so. Basically, he's saying that a dog will be better for her than a wolf. The wolves, which are meant to be companions to the Stark children. That seems to imply more than a mob rescue and a couple pieces of advice (I exaggerate some for effect). There are several quotes that have already been found within this community in GOT that have turned out to have meaning. Now, after have read Dance, I can see that BR was warging Mormont's raven even then. I also picked up a line from Ned to Selmy on how honorable knights can not protect the king from himself, contrast that with Jaime who later says the exact opposite.

@ Kittykat: I LOVE your Mad Mouse theory! That’s it (however it would be too nice to be real)!!!

@ Lyanna: Your Mad Mouse/Varys thoughts are intriguing. Sansa’s marriage can then be annulled and the way is open for charming Harry (and LF already is in pole position). Great stuff!

There is another question I have for you: IN CASE, Jeyne Westerling (yeah, I am sticking to the theory of the real Jeyne who is on the run with the Blackfish and the false one – her sister – who is with Sybel) is pregnant from Robb – I assume their child will be the heir of Winterfell. Or am I wrong?

Thank you. :) It's crackpot but anything is possible right?

As to Jeyne, I'm not sure that I agree with this theory or not. I can see the evidence for it or not but don't know if I like it in the story or not. But, if she is pregnant, then yes, her child would be the heir to WF. However, I think that this is what Rickon is for. He is so young, I can't figure out another way for him to have an impact on the story unless that is to bring Davos to Skagos for some reason.

This. I'm actually going to do a write up today on how Martin is using the erotic to explore the development of Sansa's agency

Really looking forward to reading this. I think many see Sansa's story with the focus on politics, learning to play the game. Looking at her through this lens really limits one's ability to see what else is happening.

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This. I'm actually going to do a write up today on how Martin is using the erotic to explore the development of Sansa's agency (He does this with Daenerys as well). However, what I realised from looking at the 'Pairing you can't stand thread' is that people are so close minded (and freaked out) about the possibility of 'San/San' occurring, that they completely miss what Martin is showing about the importance of desire and sexual agency. Sansa's development into a player didn't begin with Littlefinger in the Vale; it started through her confrontation and exploration with the erotic, and this is what is going to see her achieve that longed for autonomy, not any of LF's schemes and plots. More on this in the essay later...

Looking forward to reading this!

I think the problem with Sansan is that people get freaked out by the age difference. They think Sansan fans wanted something to happen while she was still 12 in KL. Also most people think Sandor is much older than he really is (I blame it on the tv show). At the same time, a huge portion of the fandom is totally ok with Dany/Drogo which DID happen when she was, what, 13? So I can't really see why Sansa couldn't choose Sandor in the future, like it's been hinted over and over again in the books.

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Did you guys see Tze's post here: http://asoiaf.wester...97#entry3407397 ?

I kind of love it. Cersei really is kind of an "evil stepmother" to Sansa, in that she's the "mother figure" that replaces Cat's presence, and she is quite mean to Sansa. There's the snow and dwarfs thing (I lol'd at this). And right now, the "real Sansa" could be seen as being "dormant", hidden underneath the Alayne veneer. We also know that the (un)kiss is one of the things that tie her to "Sansa Stark". Maybe it could be what finally breaks the Alayne façade for good and "wakes up" the "real Sansa Stark", an empowered Sansa that will finally be a player.

ETA: maybe Beauty and the Beast really isn't the fairy tale her story is supposed to be like

Yes, it really struck me when I saw the movie "Mirror, Mirror" this spring. I took my kids and niece over spring break and it all just jumped out at me, especially the part about the evil stepmother really just being afraid of someone younger and more beautiful coming along to take it all away from her and also how the evil stepmother's actions to keep that from happening actually lead to her downfall in the self fulfilling prophecy way. Of course, the dwarfs was another obvious one, and I believe one of the dwarfs name in the movie was Wolf! At the end when Snow White's father returns to her I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw the actor playing Snow's father was Sean Bean. :laugh:

Great job with the Arya write up Arya_Nym! It really struck me just how much both girls are actually envious of the other in certain things. Both girls pick up on how one of their parents seems to indulge the other one, Ned indulging Arya and Cat indulging Sansa. But in the end it does seem that both have thoughts that they'd like to see each other again and wouldn't care about what the other had been like before. Also, I think there's a connection with some of Sansa's thoughts on the active vs passive nature of some of the characters. When Sansa goes to Cersei and says she felt as wicked as Arya that day, then later makes the comment about how she wished Dontos had some of the Hound's ferocity, it made me wonder if Sansa was seeing Arya's willfulness as a sort of ferocity that she was trying to emulate that one time. I think she admires that quality in Arya as she does with the Hound.

ETA Brash I am really looking forward to reading your analysis too! BTW, I never congratulated you on reaching 5000 posts and Lyanna on her 20,000. I am in awe of both of your prolificness. ( I know that's not a word but it works).

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. I also agree with Arya_Nym about the foreshadowing of Dragons and Seamonsters and the Titan of Braavos. Indeed the foreshadowing in the first book seems much more obvious than in the later books (when GRRM realised the Internet was letting everyone share their discoveries), which is also why I think the line about 'get her a dog, she'll be happier for it' is significant.

It's from when she's with Roose Bolton in the next book. Someone noted how in ASoS she was with Sandor and one of the trees that was going to collide with the boat and swallow them looked like a kraken.

When Arya and Sandor cross the trident they use a ferry called 'the two headed water horse' (it's a wooden boat with a horse head at each end and a hut with a fire in the middle), cost of passage is three dragons and part of the way across they need to fend off an uprooted tree that Arya thinks looks like a kraken....When Sandor describes the ferry Arya reflects that she's never heard of a horse that can run on water - an echo of Ned: 'I'll fear the Dothraki when they teach their horses to run on water'.

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/66352-moments-of-foreshadowing/page__st__160#entry3380335

In ASoS, Jorah mentions a kraken to Dany as well.

“In the Seven Kingdoms, there are tales of dragons who grew so huge that they could pluck giant krakens from the seas.” Dany laughed. “That would be a wondrous sight to see.”

I'm quite convinced that she'll get involved in their storyline. The seamonster might be Euron because

of Moqorro's vision:

"Have you seen these others in your fires?" he asked, warily.

"Only their shadows," Moqorro said. "One most of all. A tall and twisted thing with one black eye and ten long arms, sailing on a sea of blood."

Brilliant write up ARYa_Nym. :thumbsup:

Another interesting thing is how people always assume that Arya had none of Sansa's romantic notions, nor that she ever wished to be regarded as pretty or anything "girlish" like that, but although she mostly doesn't care, there's the wish to go back to Lady Smallwood, who said she was pretty. Then there is the opinion that knights should save women and children. While Arya had fewer notions than Sansa, she certainly has them. In fact, it seems to me where Sansa has more naive notions around romance/feelings, Arya has them when it comes to justice. Perhaps reflecting what their story arcs will eventually be about and the issue they will face? Arya is getting taught about giving the gift of death and she has encountered both death as mercy, death as meted out justice and pointless, cruel deaths. Sansa has had five arranged marriage alliances, she's been around unhappy and bitter wives, baseborn children and unwed paramours.

It seems both Arya and Sansa are having their romantic notions torn down, but it's also interesting to see how they both still keep this core of belief that they have a hard time letting go of, sort of like Needle.

Sansa also probably would have thought the Ashara story romantic back in AGOT. As of AFFC though? She'd probably just thought it sad. She hates Marillion singing and sees the songs as only tragedy, murder and death (I suppose she can now relate to the real content of the songs).

Since Sansa and Arya are my two favourite characters, I really, really hope they will get to meet up again and work out their differences. Their stories have been intertwined since AGOT and paralelled quite a lot, with them learning somewhat similar skills (reading and understanding people) with Sansa focusing more on the politicial stage and Arya more on the personal. As for whether or not Sansa would be happy to see Arya or not be horrified by what she has become, I'm sure there will be conflicts, but both Arya and Sansa have been through so much that their original views of eachother may linger, but who they are as of AFFC/ADWD are two different people from who they were in early AGOT. Both Sansa and Arya have learnt to appreciate different things in others, and found strengths in themselves they did not realise they had.

Thanks.

Yes. Arya does have notions of justice and has been naive. The most evident is when she saved Rorge and he threatened to rape her again. She was aghast because she thought that he would be grateful to her. Dany kind of did that with MMD.

Dareon sung a similar story like the Ashara one and Arya's solution was violence.

He is a man of the Night’s Watch, she thought, as he sang about some stupid lady throwing herself off some stupid tower because her stupid prince was dead. The lady should go kill the ones who killed her prince. And the singer should be on the Wall.

I think she still cares about justice/revenge but as Nymeria and not as herself.

"...Queen Cersei.Her morning prayer. Or was it? No, she thought, not mine. I am no one. That is the night wolf's prayer. Someday she will find them, hunt them, smell their fear, taste their blood. Someday."

Some people have theorized that Needle might be ruined or the KM took it though so IDK. She buried it where they could see.

I am also wondering, as brashcandy did, on the potential for a reunion between the two sisters. Their stories are running in parallel and both are picking up similar skills. I see so many ways that their strengths can complement each other that I find myself wondering how they could work together. I think I'll be disappointed if nothing comes of this. My ideal scenario is that the two of them work together to rebuild WF but I realize that may not be realistic. This may not be the case but Arya still has Needle which means she isn't quite willing to walk away from her Stark identity. Perhaps Sansa will take responsibility for the Starks in a more public sphere while Arya will do so in the private? Martin's idea for this series started with the direwolves in the snow so I'll cling to the idea that this story is ultimately about the Starks until Martin proves me wrong. I will also cling to hope, even a futile hope, that Arya will return to WF until the last page of the books.

Your thoughts on Arya not wanting to be Arya sound very much about Sansa's thoughts on not wanting to be Sansa. Sansa is the one that was pushed around, kept a prisoner, and married off. She finds strength in her Alayne persona just as Arya finds that in her roles with the FM. In these threads, we have talked a lot about Sansa's arc being about agency. How can Sansa have control over herself while also reclaiming the Stark name and identity without going back to being that pawn, shackled by her claim and status as a noble maiden. How can she find and exert her own power without a patriarch to potentially usurp it from her? If we look at Arya, what would it take for her to obtain her agency while also being Arya again. We know she does not want the life of a wife and mother, even though her parents had planned that future for her. But, now Arya Stark would not only be without a patriarch, she would not have a mother figure either. There is no Septa telling her how to be a proper life or a Lady Catelyn to arrange a marriage to further family interests. I guess what I am saying is that there seems to be a possibility for Arya to live something closer to the life that she wants without entirely forsaking her name or identity as a Stark. Is the only way for a woman in Westeros to obtain their agency giving up their identity? I hope that is not the message that Martin will send with these two sisters.

Last question: In some previous discussions, we have compared this series to LoTR and have talked about Frodo who was unable to go home again. Are we certain that this is Arya rather than Bran?

Hope this all makes sense. I was listing off my different thoughts and impressions while constantly going back to the original posts.

I'm not sure because there's two lines which people think is foreshadowing in AGoT. GRRM was asked about the Needle line but wouldn't confirm or deny that it was. Then there's the line where Jon told her that different roads sometimes lead to the same castle so maybe Arya and Sansa could see each other then. & she did think once in AGoT about finding Nymeria and going to either Winterfell or the Wall.

Since we know that Jon is not Frodo since he's taller I think that leaves Bran and/or Arya. It could be both or just one. I think Arya and Nymeria follow the story of Queen Nymeria very closely already. The only way I see him having her survive if she does what Nymeria did and cut ties to her past. Her wolf has already found a new pack as well and may not go back to her old one.

Both Arya and Sansa have the option of having a life of obscurity or reclaiming their names. I think Arya might stay long enough with the FM where it gets to the point where she can't just leave them because she knows too much though.

In ADWD at the end when she said no one the KM didn't say you lie for the first time so maybe that's supposed to be significant. Of course an apocalypse could interrupt everything so who knows.

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Oh yes, and another thing I'd like to note is that Arya has been criticized before but I don't think in this thread for her reaction to Sansa's marriage with Tyrion.

That's stupid, Arya thought. Sansa only knows songs, not spells, and she'd never marry the Imp.

I think because of her age her ability to use reason and logic has its limits and she has a blind spot when it comes to herself and her family.

She didn't understand that there was going to be someone married in her place either. I don't think she understood Sansa's situation. She's done this before like when she refused to believe that Catelyn would release the Kingslayer and couldn't perceive of why she would do that. She was actually ashamed when she was told that Cat freed him. She also got mad at the Hound for not letting her save her mother. She wasn't able to reason that she would die.

“…You’re not worth spit to me now, and I don’t want to hear your whining. I should have let you run into that bloody castle.”

“You should have,” she agreed thinking of her mother. "

I dont' think her reaction or lack thereof to Sansa's wedding was out of character for her or a reflection of Arya being indifferent.

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Oh yes, and another thing I'd like to note is that Arya has been criticized before but I don't think in this thread for her reaction to Sansa's marriage with Tyrion.

I think because of her age her ability to use reason and logic has its limits and she has a blind spot when it comes to herself and her family.

She didn't understand that there was going to be someone married in her place either. I don't think she understood Sansa's situation. She's done this before like when she refused to believe that Catelyn would release the Kingslayer and couldn't perceive of why she would do that. She was actually ashamed when she was told that Cat freed him. She also got mad at the Hound for not letting her save her mother. She wasn't able to reason that she would die.

I dont' think her reaction or lack thereof to Sansa's wedding was out of character for her or a reflection of Arya being indifferent.

You're right, I don't think she was being indifferent. She didn't even understand the things they said about the fake Arya. I think in the moment she was too preocupied with watching those men carefully, and wanting revenge, that she didn't even process what they were saying. Also, as hardened as she is, she is still 11. Maybe she didn't even think about how Sansa could be forced into a marriage and what that meant.

(great analysis as usual Arya_Nym!)

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I dont' think her reaction or lack thereof to Sansa's wedding was out of character for her or a reflection of Arya being indifferent.

:agree:

I completely agree with this. Both Arya and Sansa have been unable to really understand everything that has been going on with their family. Arya isn't wrong either when she thinks that Sansa would never marry the Imp. Sansa certainly didn't WANT to marry Tyrion.

For both the Stark sisters the time since Ned's beheading has just been one big rollercoaster of death, destruction and sorrow, so no wonder they're not instantly able to process everything. Plus they are both still really young and can't put things into a larger perspective. Yet.

Hence why I wonder if Arya and Sansa haven't been "parked" for awhile with their respective tutors for them to grow and process the information they have been privy to so far. Both Arya and Sansa have enough pieces that should they add them together, they could get a pretty good idea of what has been going on. I don't think any character will every be completely omnipotent (not even Varys or LF) but it seems acting on limited information is always a bad idea in ASOIAF, or at least almost always a bad idea. Sansa and Arya are also both being trained in different ways to find out information. To succeed, they will need information. LF knows it in how knowledge is power and knowing people's motivations allows you to move them.

Just found another section where Sansa thinks of Arya and Winterfell.

She had last seen snow the day she'd left Winterfell. That was lighter fall than this, she remembered. Robb had melting flakes in his hair when he hugged me, and the snowball Arya tried to make kept coming apart in her hands. It hurt to remember how happy she had been that morning.

And then a bit later:

She remembered a summer's snow in Winterfell when Arya and Bran had ambushed her as she emerged from the keep one morning. They'd each had a dozen snowballs to hand, and she'd had none. Bran had been perched on a roof on a covered bridge, out of reach, but Sansa had chased Arya through the stables and around the kitchen until both of them were breathless. She might even have caught her, but she'd slipped on some ice. Her sister came back to see if she was hurt. When she said she wasn't, Arya hit her in the face with another snowball, but Sansa grabbed her leg and pulled her down and was rubbing snow in her hair when Jory came along and pulled them apart, laughing.

What do I want with snowballs? She looked at her sad little arsenal. There's no one to throw them at.

It seems to me that Arya and Sansa grew apart when they got older more than anything. If they were around 2 years apart, that should be fairly natural.

But :crying: at Sansa's thoughts on Arya and Bran here.

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:agree:

I completely agree with this. Both Arya and Sansa have been unable to really understand everything that has been going on with their family. Arya isn't wrong either when she thinks that Sansa would never marry the Imp. Sansa certainly didn't WANT to marry Tyrion.

For both the Stark sisters the time since Ned's beheading has just been one big rollercoaster of death, destruction and sorrow, so no wonder they're not instantly able to process everything. Plus they are both still really young and can't put things into a larger perspective. Yet.

Hence why I wonder if Arya and Sansa haven't been "parked" for awhile with their respective tutors for them to grow and process the information they have been privy to so far. Both Arya and Sansa have enough pieces that should they add them together, they could get a pretty good idea of what has been going on. I don't think any character will every be completely omnipotent (not even Varys or LF) but it seems acting on limited information is always a bad idea in ASOIAF, or at least almost always a bad idea. Sansa and Arya are also both being trained in different ways to find out information. To succeed, they will need information. LF knows it in how knowledge is power and knowing people's motivations allows you to move them.

About the bolded sentence I have been thinking something similar for a while. It was right after I heard how GRRM originally had planned a five year jump after the 4th book. If you look at where the girls end up in AFFC, they are both in spots where they could easily have hung out for a while just getting their training before being put back in the crux of the action. (Actually so are Bran, Rickon, Jon and Dany). It's also a reason why I don't understand the objections to San/San and Arya Gendry (I want those two to get together as much as SanSan!) based on age differences. It just seems so obvious to me that the basis for their relationships were established at a young age, before either girl really understands it but the bond is there, and then after the five year gap, they would be at a point where it could take a more romantic turn. It's like Maggie and Ralph in The Thorn Birds. They first met when Maggie was 10 and they formed a bond, but it wasn't until later, when she is older that it turns into something else.

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Arya_Nym: your observations on Arya are great. Have you thought of doing a similar thread to this one with her chapters? You've picked up a lot of foreshadowing I've missed or not seen mentioned elsewhere. :)

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Oh yes, and another thing I'd like to note is that Arya has been criticized before but I don't think in this thread for her reaction to Sansa's marriage with Tyrion.

I think because of her age her ability to use reason and logic has its limits and she has a blind spot when it comes to herself and her family.

She didn't understand that there was going to be someone married in her place either. I don't think she understood Sansa's situation. She's done this before like when she refused to believe that Catelyn would release the Kingslayer and couldn't perceive of why she would do that. She was actually ashamed when she was told that Cat freed him. She also got mad at the Hound for not letting her save her mother. She wasn't able to reason that she would die.

I dont' think her reaction or lack thereof to Sansa's wedding was out of character for her or a reflection of Arya being indifferent.

I wonder why people would criticize Arya for her reactions to Sansa's marriage? I thought it was rather appropriate considering her age and her knowledge of events at the time. The Hound understood what was going on but he's older and would have a much better understanding of the political situation that Arya. Her reactions seemed very understandable to me.

Also, have you considered doing an Arya re-read here on this board? I know it would be an ambitious undertaking but I think it would be a great experience. I see many readers who seem to view Arya as a warrior princess BAMF type and I think that misses a lot of the nuance out of her character.

Hence why I wonder if Arya and Sansa haven't been "parked" for awhile with their respective tutors for them to grow and process the information they have been privy to so far. Both Arya and Sansa have enough pieces that should they add them together, they could get a pretty good idea of what has been going on. I don't think any character will every be completely omnipotent (not even Varys or LF) but it seems acting on limited information is always a bad idea in ASOIAF, or at least almost always a bad idea. Sansa and Arya are also both being trained in different ways to find out information. To succeed, they will need information. LF knows it in how knowledge is power and knowing people's motivations allows you to move them.

It seems to me that Arya and Sansa grew apart when they got older more than anything. If they were around 2 years apart, that should be fairly natural.

I have a younger sister and our age difference is the same as that between Arya and Sansa. Reading their thoughts and interactions really struck home with me as it brought back memories of growing up with my sister. Obviously, their circumstances were much different than mine (thank god!) but their thoughts towards each other still strike me as rather normal. My sister and I were very close when young and then grew apart, probably when I was closer to Arya's age. We grew close again in our teenage years. I really would not be surprised if something similar happened to them.

Also, I agree about both sisters being parked but I'd say that about all the Stark children. Rickon has been parked on Skagos since the end of book two and Bran is now learning how to be a tree. The two sisters are receiving their education. I just looked through the POV chapters in Storm and Feast and that just confirms the trend. We have the new POVs of Sam and Jaime in SoS but those are characters that have been with us since the beginning. It's not until Feast that the ASOIAF world expands to include Dorne, fAegon, and the Iron Islands to a larger degree. I think Martin has parked them so he can tell these other stories and then bring the Stark kids back to the forefront when ready. I still think the characters introduced later in the series are part of the "B" story. The characters who matter are those who we met in the first two books of the series. Martin said the whole idea for ASOIAF started with the image we saw in the first Bran chapter. So, I predict the story will come full circle and we will see it's about the Starks at the end. Of course, I have a bit of a bias here too. :) So, yep, I agree with you.

Also, wishful thinking here, but I would love for the two of them to come together again, share all their knowledge, work together to rebuild WF and rebuild the Stark name. Sansa would be the public image, flattery and courtesy in public while Arya could employ her skills to take care of those problems that need a different set of skills shall we say. Surely something like this could happen right? Aside from SanSan, the two sisters together again is one of my biggest hopes.

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Some comments on two aspects of Rapsie's excellent post on Sansa's agency:

As Sansa Stark however, her claim will always be part of her agency, in either a positive or negative way. Even if her claim to the North is null and void, she would still be a claimant for Riverrun. Although HtH is mentioned, her own dislike of the idea, would suggest that somehow it will not transpire and that she will be an active force in that: we know that HtH can refuse the match and Sansa may indeed find a way to persuade him to do that.

This is an interesting aspect since should we assume that something happens at Riverrun to depose the Frey-based rulership, Sansa should she "come out" as Sansa is both a Tully, a Stark and a Lannister by marriage. Could she possibly "straddle" the divide of the Riverlands and bring it back together? Even though Sansa has never personally been in the Riverlands, she has family ties to it and has always been linked both with the POVs and secondary characters in the Riverlands, but also via information, i.e. LF and Lysa specifically. There is also the Blackfish to consider. With Edmure gone, he could hold Riverrun, but perhaps Sansa could be of help to him? Perhaps interestingly, the Blackfish commented that Cat would make a good ruler. Should he meet Sansa, will he be able to see the same capability in her?

Then there is also the fact that Sansa looks like a Tully. Nobody will doubt that she has family ties to the Tullys. We also have LF's links to Harrenhal, which sits like a big, brooding burnt out hulk or molten rock in the middle of the Riverlands. Interestingly, though Cat Sansa is related to the Whent family too, and is probably the closest to a real Whent heir of Harrenhal barring her brother Bran and Rickon. If we assume Rickon gets Winterfell and Edmure keeps Riverrun, Sansa may actually be able to claim Harrenhal since the current lady Whent has no heirs and has fled her home.

Another Riverlands related piece of infodump was when Lysa went into some detail about her childhood with Cat, LF, Hoster and then also something about Bracken/Blackwood, all of it very Riverlands centric info.

Then there is her marriage to Tyrion. His hold on the Westerlands is tenuous and his reputation as a Kinslayer may not endear him to his own liege Lords. Sansa is the sister of the Young Wolf who actively fought in the Westerlands and wiped out Steffon's army at Oxcross. Unless the massacre at Riverrun happens and the remaining Lannisters and Freys are wiped out then she is going to be facing an uphill battle to recruit any support from the Westerlands nobles. Little in the marriage would heal any rifts as it was their marriage that secured the North for the Lannisters and enabled them to enact the Red Wedding. This incident of betrayal is one which can not be other come with ease: very much like the Glencoe Massacre. It is unlikely that she would be loved in the Westerlands, and there is too much bad blood in the Riverlands for it to heal any wounds either as like the North, any children she and Tyrion may have, would have claims to both seats and no one after the RW will want a grandchild of Tywin Lannister in that position. Sansa herself should be able to foresee that the continuation of this match would cause more trouble. She firmly thinks of Tyrion as a liar and while not wanting him dead, does not want to be his wife. Indeed she may use her religious convictions and the ability to be pious to ensure the High Septon grants an annulment.

Although the HS is fanatical, annulment is permissible given certain circumstances and certainly she could persuade him of the horrors she suffered at the hands of the Lannisters.

All very good points. I am not sure why people see the Tyrion/Sansa match as a possibility since it was really just Tywin trying to landgrab and strongarm everyone to do as he told them to. In reality, even with Tywin backing it, this match was very likely never going to work out for anyone particularly well. It can never bridge the gap between Stark and Lannister. Tyrion even said so himself.

Like you, I believe that Tyrion will never get Casterly Rock. Most likely it will pass to one Cersei's children, or even Kevan's. I just cannot see the Westerlanders accept a kinslayer, especially not the person who murdered Tywin. Sansa as Lady Lannister of Casterly Rock would also be disastrous since she is from the family that was recently at war and killed a lot of westerlanders.

The High Sparrow is an interesting person. He does not seem too friendly towards the Lannisters either, so he may not be adverse to annul Sansa's marriage, but then she needs to be there in person, which while being accused of regicide would be pretty suicidal. Should he somehow deem the marriage forced though? Or if "Tysha" shows up? He does seem pretty self serving the High Septon, so as long as it works for the Faith, I can see him accept various shenanigans. Perhaps if LF agreed to use the Vale's food supplies to support the poor sparrows etc in Kings Landing?

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I don't know how many of you are on tumblr but corseque just posted a wonderful analysis of the unkiss and how it ties to the "desire for agency" theme.

http://corseque.tumblr.com/post/27615984884

I think it’s interesting to remember that if this kiss truly had taken place, this kiss would have been Sansa’s first kiss.

Sansa is a young girl with zero autonomy. She is being held prisoner; she has been terribly abused and taken advantage of. Every single one of her potential romantic partners have been controlled by people other than herself.

It is utterly important that this kiss, her first kiss, was her idea, and that she is the one who keeps embellishing it in her mind. She controls it, just like she wishes to control the world around her and shape it into a story. No matter who forcibly kisses her after that point (her forced wedding kiss is, in reality, her real first kiss) her romantic psyche will be protected by this false memory. No one can take her first kiss from her, since it isn’t real and only she knows about it. In my opinion, the unkiss has less to do with Sandor than it does with Sansa being self-preserving.

Though… it’s interesting to think that while Sansa is romanticizing this encounter, Sandor is simultaneously wandering the Riverlands doing the exact same thing, seemingly infected by Sansa’s tendency to romanticize certain things: (“And she sang for me. You didn’t know that, did you? Your sister sang me a sweet little song.”)

I think it’s so entertaining when people say things like “Sandor managed to open up Sansa’s eyes about the world really works” when what really happened was Sansa re-infected Sandor with romanticism while nimbly denying every negative lesson he growled at her (except a bit of his wonderful pragmatism).

Sorry, but Sandor could never, ever in a million years win a fight with Sansa’s strange world-bending mind powers. She is too strong - remember, he’s the one who fled, ashamed and in tears, from her compassion. His nihilistic rants held up like wet tissue paper against Sansa offering him an unselfish, comforting gesture. He spends the whole next book wandering and lost, his world collapsed.

Sansa, meanwhile, continues on, perfectly intact and still dreaming, albeit a step more realistically. (There must be true knights somewhere, just not in King’s Landing. Perhaps Highgarden is the place…)

Sansa doesn’t invent the kiss the first time she remembers the Blackwater Battle. It’s the second time she thinks of it, while she thinks about the Tyrell girls childishly playing their kissing game.

So, Sansa may be using this made-up memory in part to put a little distance between herself and those other, childish girls. Sansa later does something else like this by deciding to pass as one year older than she really is - Sansa seems determined to grow up quickly, to do her best to be as womanly and adult as she can.

And, speaking of trying to be as womanly and adult as she can - it’s interesting to notice that Sandor/’the Hound’ is oddly, heavily involved with every one of Sansa’s rites of passage to womanhood.

In the dream that Sansa has just before she wakes to find herself bleeding menstrually for the first time, she dreams of the mob and a sword which slices down and pierces her belly painfully - Sandor’s sword, the same that cut the man’s arm off during the mob.

I’m not making this up, it’s in the book. Sandor actually cuts Sansa’s menarche out of her belly in a dream.

Sansa, cut with a phallic symbol that begins and reveals her puberty! It’s an incredibly interesting image.

Also, wasn’t it the Hound who caught her by the arm when she nearly fell in shock at feeling menstrual cramps for the first time? And wasn’t it the Hound that she imagined gave her her first kiss? Remember that she thought of him at the moment she kissed her husband at her wedding? Recall that the Hound was the one who she dreamed in her marriage bed?

So, let’s put it all together: Sandor is purposefully associated in a textual level with Sansa’sfirst menses, her first kiss, her wedding, and her marriage bed.

These are very traditional rites of passage to womanhood. She’s almost using the Hound to pull herself out of childhood and into womanhood. I’m not sure how else to explain why she keeps randomly thinking of him or encountering him in key moments in her adolescent development. (By any logic, these events have fuck-all to do with Sandor. So why bring him up at those times?)

Anyway, this is the thing about this series that I would most dearly like to be explained, or, even better, to come to a satisfying conclusion. Oh, dear me, I may be expecting too much from these heart-eating books.

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I don't know how many of you are on tumblr but corseque just posted a wonderful analysis of the unkiss and how it ties to the "desire for agency" theme.

http://corseque.tumb...ost/27615984884

thanks for sharing, lady lea! that was beautiful and it's a great sort of introduction to brashcandy's write up of Sansa exploring how far can her agency go via her sexual awakening!

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