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From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa IX

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(Rethinking VIII)

(Original Rereading Sansa links)

Our 9th incarnation, same rules apply: Constructive, critical discussion and analysis of Sansa's arc. Most definitely not a place for trolling, or noting your hatred for the character. The latter doesn't contribute to any worthy insight and that's ultimately what we're striving for in this thread series.

Rethinking VIII ended with a fantastic discussion of Sansa and the snow castle scene, the relevance of clothing symbolism and a continuing look at how Sansa will chart her path to agency and empowerment. We're also going to be embarking on a couple of thread projects, namely a Sansa FAQ which will strive to provide factual responses and credible interpretations to the central questions and misunderstandings relating to Sansa's storyline in the novels. Also, there will be a kind of manifesto, detailing the "official" Pawn to Player perspective on Sansa's development, which will help newcomers to get a quick grasp of the underlying assumptions of many of the theories we develop and discuss on the thread.

Our last thread also houses some very useful and insightful posts on the larger relevance and influence of the female characters Sansa encounters throughout the books, as well as analyses on important scenes that benefitted from a closer gaze: link to updated resource post here.

Finally, newcomers are very very welcome. We appreciate that joining an established thread can be a bit daunting, but there's always room for new insights and fresh perspectives which can often be quite illuminating and beneficial to the oldsters ;) Some of you may not be able/willing to tackle the monstrous reread threads, or all of the rethinking, but some familiarity with previous content is still recommended.

And as always, all my love to those who continue to make rethinking sansa such a fulfilling and enlightening journey.

:grouphug:

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Here is the Post that was Promised discussing some of the very interesting things that Sansa heard just before Aunt Lysa went flying out the Moon Door. I feel this is often missed, first, because of the dramatic tension in the Lysa/Sansa/Petyr interaction and Sansa’s near escape from death; second, because we have had little to no follow-up thoughts from Sansa on the subject. When her mind returns to the scene it is always focused on Lysa’s murder and her own near-miss.

“NO!”…”You can’t want her. You can’t. She’s a stupid empty-headed little girl…” Here we see another person who underestimates Sansa. It’s the same refrain: “stupid,” “empty-headed,” “little girl.” Lysa is deranged with jealousy and wants to belittle her supposed rival, but it’s interesting the terms she used.

Petyr, on the other hand, is more wary. After Lysa spills her story about the moon tea and aborting Petyr’s child, Petyr says, “You ought not to talk so much. We don’t want Alayne to know more than she should, do we?”

But Lysa throws caution out the Moon Door. After reminding Petyr that she had persuaded Jon Arryn to give him his first post, Lysa is “sobbing hysterically” – she is beyond seeing sense.

“No need for tears…but that’s not what you said in King’s Landing. You told me to put the tears in Jon’s wine, and I did! For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her that the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said! That was so clever…”

Whoa. The beans have been spilled, and how! Littlefinger reacts very coolly, reassuring Lysa that he would always love her and stay by her side. He ignores Sansa, who is still in Lysa’s clutches on the threshold of the Moon Door. Petyr commands Lysa to let her go, and Sansa “crawled from the Moon Door on hands and knees and wrapped her arms around the nearest pillar. She could feel her heart pounding.”

The import of Lysa’s words does not register with Sansa right now, because Lysa nearly killed her. She’s in a state of numb shock. Then a few more falsely reassuring words from Petyr, and Lysa flies. Petyr, cool as a cucumber, asks Sansa if she is okay, then tells her to let the guards in. “This singer [Marillion, a silent witness to the whole event] has killed my lady wife.”

So there it is in all its glory: Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn and told Catelyn that the Lannisters did it on Petyr’s orders. Petyr has murdered her aunt and framed Marillion. Sansa now has some real dirt on Petyr. What can, or will, she do with it?

Nothing, right now. Sansa is terribly aware that she is in a very bad position, personally and politically. To the Lannisters and their allies, she’s a wanted woman. To the North, she’s persona non grata as “Lady Lannister.” She thinks all of her siblings are dead. She is terribly, dangerously dependent on Petyr and she knows it. In her first chapter – notably, from the POV of Sansa, not Alayne – she is worried about having to lie to Lord Nestor Royce about Marillion killing Lysa. And she insists in her mind that she is not Alayne, but “Sansa Stark, Lord Eddard’s daughter and Lady Catelyn’s, the blood of Winterfell.” But she knows that “If not for Petyr Baelish it would have been Sansa who went spinning out the cold blue sky to stony death…”

She continues to contemplate that in King’s Landing, “Littlefinger had never lifted so much as his little finger for her.” Instead, Tyrion, Sandor, and Garlan Tyrell were the ones who went out of their way for her. And now she was with Petyr and there was nowhere left for her to go: “I have no place but here, Sansa thought miserably, and no true friend but Petyr.”

As she collects her wits preparing to lie to Lord Royce and comforting Sweetrobin, Sansa recalls the conversation but blames Lysa: “She was mad and dangerous. She murdered her own lord husband, and would have murdered me…” Sansa remembers what she heard but blames Lysa for being “mad.” I think right now she is too traumatized from her own near-murder and is desperately trying to cover her own butt to have had the fact that Lysa murdered Jon Arryn on Petyr’s orders sink in. Plus there is the power of denial – Littlefinger is her only friend and refuge. She can’t think of him as a cold-blooded murderer. As I see it, given what she’s been through and what her current position is, she is dissociating, which many victims of abuse and trauma do in order to save their own sanity.

However, there is some subtext here, and it is about the power of singers and storytellers to spread damaging rumors. Recall that Edmure Tully hated minstrels because one made fun of his bout of “whiskey dick.” When the Vale lords come to the Eyrie to hear the accusations against Marillion, they complain he has made up derogatory songs about them.

Well, guess who loves to sing? Guess who is now the protégée of the master of the well-placed word? If Sansa wants to, she could use the power of song and story to undermine her opponents. People underestimated Littlefinger all his life (short, weak, poor, cheerfully self-deprecating) just as they have been underestimating Sansa (silly little girl, stupid, weak). Later in this chapter Petyr says to Sansa, “You see the wonders that can be worked with lies and Arbor gold?”

Sansa is not a swordfighter. She is not a battle queen with dragons. But she is intelligent, charming, and has learned how to lie and how to cover up her true emotions behind an icy wall of courtesy. She is already learning fast; she has observed that if Petyr “were removed, or…killed,” “Lord Nestor’s claim to the Gates will suddenly be called into question. It was clever of you to see it.” And in a later chapter, she susses out that Lyn Corbray is working on Petyr’s payroll without him saying anything.

Throughout AFFC, when Sansa’s thoughts turn back to the Moon Door Incident, it’s always around the fact that she narrowly escaped with her life, and that her aunt had died. But the facts revealed by Lysa before she went flying are there and ticking away like a time bomb. Meanwhile Petyr is not as cautious around her as he should be – partly because he underestimates her like everyone else, and partly because Sansa with her resemblance to Catelyn, is his one weakness.

I predict that Sansa will be able to use the power of words and intellect – which, after all, was what got Petyr into his position of power – to establish her own agency and power and to do what she wants to do. She overheard that damning conversation for a reason and it will be interesting to see where she goes with it. I do think it is important.

And the fact that she is learning to be a tactician rather than a battle commander is revealing how she will get her power back. I am confident that she will end the story as Sansa Stark of Winterfell - whether she is Queen of the North, regent for Rickon or Sweetrobin, Lady Clegane, Lady of the Formerly-Known-as-the-Dreadfort (it would be interesting to see if she could rehabilitate and rename that place) or purveyor of wool and mutton to the lords of Westeros. :) Another reason why I don't think she will marry HtH and lead an army from the Vale to take back the North - leading an army is not her style, but using words and cleverness and persuading people to help her and take her part, is. I think she will take Littlefinger down and he won't know that the trout he has caught has turned into a wolf and is about to eat him alive until it's too late.

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Great post KRBD! Although I tend to be fairly confident that we'll see Sansa thinking about what she heard and putting it all together, I do sometimes wonder if Martin will have it play out in such a fashion. Either way, it seems that "open knowledge" isn't what will bring LF down. As Ned learnt the hard way with Cersei, finding out the truth is really only half the battle, and then the real game begins. Sansa is in a better position to play this game more effectively than her father did, given as you noted LF's romantic interest in her which seems to be clouding his judgement, along with her developing skills and natural talents in subterfuge and manipulation. The point is not having the information, but what one does with it and I am really intrigued by the singer/songwriting element you mentioned. Songs are a great way to hide/reveal/create the "truth" and the irony of using this as a weapon against "Life is not a song" Littlefinger is incredible. :) I'm going to think more on this, but please expand if you have any additional thoughts.

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There have been a number of threads, posts, and comments made in the past week or so that have had me thinking of Sansa’s future storyline. Most of our forecasting regarding Sansa’s future has centered on a few points: taking down LF, saving SR, seeing Sandor again, her agency, and her chances to find love/family/marriage. But, discussion elsewhere has led me to wonder if we are missing something else. I admit that there is a fair amount of crackpot and assumptions going on here but I think that some of this may actually be correct.

First of all, we know that WoW will probably open up with two big battles in Mereen and Winterfell. It was pretty apparent this was coming at the end of Dance and the WoW chapters that we have from Martin have all confirmed that. They’ve been Victarion, Tyrion Theon, Arianne, and Damphair. In other words, they hint at what we already knew was coming but don’t tell us anything new. We also know that Martin had some finished Sansa chapters but left them out of both Feast and Dance.

He’s also chosen not to release any future Sansa chapters via his web site or in readings. I believe this is because the next chapter in Sansa’s storyline has some major plot points and we are going to see action moving in a much faster pace than we did in Feast. I think the purpose of Feast was to give Sansa time to grow as a character which we saw via her sexual awakening, growing political skills, and her sense of self that she described as being “bastard brave”. So, if I’m right, then we are going to see the development of the HtH plotline and Sansa’s changing thoughts about LF happening rather quickly. She is no longer isolated up in the Eeyrie and I think this will force events to move forward. It’s becoming time for Sansa to act.

Some other things that I’ve noticed this week have been talked about in other threads as well as this one. The first one is about general foreshadowing and has several quotes from each of the books. The other is the currently active thread on whether Jon broke his vows or not.

-Martin confirmed in interviews recently that he considers the Starks to be heroes, and Sansa is just as much of a Stark as the rest of her family.

- Martin’s inspiration for ASOIAF was the image of the direwolf in the snow with the wolf pups. In other words, even though there are lots of other characters in the series, I think the Starks are very much the central characters.

- In Dany’s final Dance chapter, she sees an army of ants going over a wall just like an army going over The Wall in Westeros, foreshadowing an invasion by the Others. It has also been theorized on this board that the wall will come down eventually, perhaps in WoW.

- Dany dreams of fighting at the Trident. The Trident was also the deciding battle in Robert’s Rebellion.

-Jon has dreamed of fighting those armored in ice (sorry, too lazy to look up exact quotes on some of this)

-Martin has hinted and it has been theorized that the Starks have connections to the First Men and Children of the Forest. Their words also hint that they exist in part to fight against the forces of winter. We know the story of Bran the Builder and the Wall and that Starks in the past were also likely wargs.

So, here are some other things that we know about Sansa: she is able to persuade and bring people to her with her words, flattery, and courtesy. In Storm, Tyrion is watching her and thinks that she would have made a good queen. We’ve also seen her do just this with Sandor and Dontos and it looks likely she will do it again. Sansa is learning the skills of a politician and how to play the game and there are signs that she will get quite good at it. She has a great deal of empathy; a skill that I think will be very useful in the future. We also know that the Vale is one of the few areas with a fresh army that will likely not be used to reclaim WF along with ample food stores. If you look at a map, the Riverlands is, geographically speaking, the heart of Westeros. We also know that Arya, currently in Braavos, is relatively close to both the Vale and the Riverlands. The QI is here and contains a healer that can do what the Maesters in the citadel cannot. Many different stories have been centered on the Riverlands, giving us a chance to get to know its geography and understand the area.

Now, to get to my point, I’m starting to wonder if Sansa’s story is just to cause LF’s downfall and then return to WF. Martin has been putting a lot of effort in to developing Sansa’s skills at the game and I think we are going to see them play out quite a bit. Sansa is also a Stark, the heroes of the story. If this is the case, why would she sit out the battle against the others in the Vale and then make her way home? I think Sansa is somehow going to use her skills of diplomacy to help in the fight. There are a couple of ways this could happen:

-Persuading the Vale to lend their army and food to fight against the Others

-Restore order and peace after the battle is done

-Use her skills of flattery, courtesy, empathy to negotiate or help different factions work together. Much has been made that Sansa has connections to the Riverlands, Vale, the North, and Westerlands. I don’t think she is meant to rule all these areas but this is a way that her ties to each of them may impact the storyline.

- We’ve talked in the past that Sansa may have a friendship with Dany and this could be how it is introduced in the storyline.

If we follow the LoTR model again, then this could be the final battle and then the closing of the series would be the return home, back to WF just as the hobbits return to the Shire.

I know this is mostly crackpot and supposition on my part but I’ve had all these ideas floating in my head the past couple days and wanted to try and put some sense to it. Anyone else think that Sansa being a part of the battle against the Others is a possibility?

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Kittykatknits, since you bring up the Riverlands you reminded me of something: Assuming Brandon has a destiny not wholly of this earth, and if Rickon is alive he'll be the heir to the North and/or Winterfell, Sansa is pretty close in line for inheriting Riverrun (assuming it's not going to be combined with Winterfell).

Edmure is alive, but we don't know if he's going to stay alive. His wife Roslin is pregnant, but is 1) a Frey, 2) described as physically wispy and delicate, and 3) Catelyn noted that the Rosbys, Roslin's mother's family, have a poor track record when it comes to health and fertility. I am almost certain that Roslin will die in childbirth and the baby won't survive. (She's a Frey. Why would she be the only Frey standing at the end of the series?) Unless Edmure lives to remarry, (and crackpot but awesome - he could marry Wylla Manderly, who is one of my favorite minor characters). Riverrun would then pass to his uncle Brynden Blackfish - who is described as an absolutely adamant bachelor. So no kids of his own to inherit.

Catelyn was the eldest Tully sister. Sansa is her older daughter. She could very well inherit Riverrun or at least be its regent for a while. It would be interesting if Sansa, who looks so much like a Tully, would wind up as the lady of Riverrun.

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Kittykatknits, since you bring up the Riverlands you reminded me of something: Assuming Brandon has a destiny not wholly of this earth, and if Rickon is alive he'll be the heir to the North and/or Winterfell, Sansa is pretty close in line for inheriting Riverrun (assuming it's not going to be combined with Winterfell).

Edmure is alive, but we don't know if he's going to stay alive. His wife Roslin is pregnant, but is 1) a Frey, 2) described as physically wispy and delicate, and 3) Catelyn noted that the Rosbys, Roslin's mother's family, have a poor track record when it comes to health and fertility. I am almost certain that Roslin will die in childbirth and the baby won't survive. (She's a Frey. Why would she be the only Frey standing at the end of the series?) Unless Edmure lives to remarry, (and crackpot but awesome - he could marry Wylla Manderly, who is one of my favorite minor characters). Riverrun would then pass to his uncle Brynden Blackfish - who is described as an absolutely adamant bachelor. So no kids of his own to inherit.

Catelyn was the eldest Tully sister. Sansa is her older daughter. She could very well inherit Riverrun or at least be its regent for a while. It would be interesting if Sansa, who looks so much like a Tully, would wind up as the lady of Riverrun.

But Riverrun isn't the Tully's anymore. So unless anyone changes that, it's Frey's castle. Now, of course I think something will happen to that Frey and most other Freys for that matter, but someone still has to bestow it on the Tullys again. The Lannisters won't, nor will Stannis if he ends up king. Dany considers the Tullys traitors, so there would have to be a pardon there. And Aegon, who knows.

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I know this is mostly crackpot and supposition on my part but I’ve had all these ideas floating in my head the past couple days and wanted to try and put some sense to it. Anyone else think that Sansa being a part of the battle against the Others is a possibility?

I see it's time to dust off my Sansa dragonrider theory :) Seriously though, besides my pet theories and crackpots, I do think she will and she must play a prominent role in the battle somehow. It likely won't be in the fighting, but you make a strong case for how she can use her skills of courtesy and diplomacy to good effect. I think she could go a long way in helping Dany personally, and perhaps this will come into play through her connection to Tyrion, but outside of that, as you noted, there's the Vale army with its full strength, along with ample food stores which she could redirect to help defeat the Others. All of this connects to her growing self confidence and autonomy as well. With the landscape of Westeros changing so rapidly, those who distinguish themselves in whatever field stand a good chance of being able to experience the rewards for that service.

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But Riverrun isn't the Tully's anymore. So someone still has to bestow it on the Tullys again. The Lannisters won't.

Tyrion might, to mess with his siblings!

(Ignore. Sorry, Brash! I promise never to mention the marraige in this thread. I don't care for it either, really, and don't know why it's been intriguing me lately, other than as a big potential WHOA moment when their nuptials come back to haunt the pages of Winds. It's like a land mine waiting to be triggered somehow. I can see it being some kind of victorian novel ending where surprise surprise everything turns up roses and the lowly characer(s) inherit the property rights thanks to some mystery benefactor's will, etc.)

Also, in related news, y'all sure do like Sansa a lot! Has she become some kind of virgin mary type focus for helping ASOIAF readers through this vale of tears? Her suffering is our suffering. Like Westeros' everywoman.

Hey you know who'd make a good child-fostering buddy for sweetrobin to bond with after the dust clears? Rickon.

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Oh, how I would love for Sansa and Dany to meet! The more Women Being Awesome Together, the better!

I do think that Sansa has a role to play in the war against the Others. She is a true Stark, after all, and it is clear that to be a Stark is to be someone special with regards to the North. I like to think that she will be reunited with Arya and they will be able to work together. Sansa and Arya have so many complementing strengths that as a duo they would be able to get a lot done.

Since Sansa is learning from Littlefinger, the guy who used his wits to attain his position, I don't think she's going to come howling down from the Vale at the head of an army. After all, it was LF who promised her an army (if she marries Harry) but Littlefinger is full of shit, and Sansa knows it. But she is learning how to use her native strengths to her advantage. I believe her role to play will be more on the intelligence end of things; she is learning the power of giving people what they want, telling them what they want to hear, using spies and moles to spread rumors and trick people (she really caught on quickly about Lyn Corbray working for LF!) and the importance of having money. This last is interesting to me because Arya notes that the only place where she is smarter than Sansa is in the numbers department. I think Sansa is going to wise up about numbers pretty quickly, since LF is a financial genius and has been using that to his advantage. (I don't see her investing in whorehouses, but it would be amusing if she could answer "Where do whores go?" with "The whorehouses that I own and whose profits saved Westeros! Now didn't you say a Lannister always paid his debts...?"

Motheroftheothers: if Sansa were to be foster mom to both Rickon and Sweetrobin at once she would have her hands full, wouldn't she? :D

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Also, in related news, y'all sure do like Sansa a lot! Has she become some kind of virgin mary type focus for helping ASOIAF readers through this vale of tears? Her suffering is our suffering. Like Westeros' everywoman.

She's one of my faves, but I'd gladly discuss other people, unfortch there are no such threads for the Tyrells or Cersei or Arya, and I joined the forum too late for the Sandor threads.

I really want a Cersei and Arya rereads, y'all!

Hey you know who'd make a good child-fostering buddy for sweetrobin to bond with after the dust clears? Rickon.

I literally snorted reading this (during class!!!) :lol:

Rickon would set his wolf on him, probably

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I predict that Sansa will be able to use the power of words and intellect – which, after all, was what got Petyr into his position of power – to establish her own agency and power and to do what she wants to do. She overheard that damning conversation for a reason and it will be interesting to see where she goes with it. I do think it is important.

And the fact that she is learning to be a tactician rather than a battle commander is revealing how she will get her power back. I am confident that she will end the story as Sansa Stark of Winterfell - whether she is Queen of the North, regent for Rickon or Sweetrobin, Lady Clegane, Lady of the Formerly-Known-as-the-Dreadfort (it would be interesting to see if she could rehabilitate and rename that place) or purveyor of wool and mutton to the lords of Westeros. :) Another reason why I don't think she will marry HtH and lead an army from the Vale to take back the North - leading an army is not her style, but using words and cleverness and persuading people to help her and take her part, is. I think she will take Littlefinger down and he won't know that the trout he has caught has turned into a wolf and is about to eat him alive until it's too late.

This is a great post!!!

Sansa as the new Lady of the Dreadfort is one of my favorite crackpot theories. It'd be renamed of course but I'd love this. I agree, Sansa's word and intellect will be how she establishes her agency and power.

Great post KRBD! Although I tend to be fairly confident that we'll see Sansa thinking about what she heard and putting it all together, I do sometimes wonder if Martin will have it play out in such a fashion. Either way, it seems that "open knowledge" isn't what will bring LF down. As Ned learnt the hard way with Cersei, finding out the truth is really only half the battle, and then the real game begins. Sansa is in a better position to play this game more effectively than her father did, given as you noted LF's romantic interest in her which seems to be clouding his judgement, along with her developing skills and natural talents in subterfuge and manipulation. The point is not having the information, but what one does with it and I am really intrigued by the singer/songwriting element you mentioned. Songs are a great way to hide/reveal/create the "truth" and the irony of using this as a weapon against "Life is not a song" Littlefinger is incredible. :) I'm going to think more on this, but please expand if you have any additional thoughts.

Someone remind me on this, but didn't LF use the singers at Highgarden to give the Tyrells the idea to put Loras in the KG? If this happens, it would end up being one of his tricks used against him.

Kittykatknits, since you bring up the Riverlands you reminded me of something: Assuming Brandon has a destiny not wholly of this earth, and if Rickon is alive he'll be the heir to the North and/or Winterfell, Sansa is pretty close in line for inheriting Riverrun (assuming it's not going to be combined with Winterfell).

Edmure is alive, but we don't know if he's going to stay alive. His wife Roslin is pregnant, but is 1) a Frey, 2) described as physically wispy and delicate, and 3) Catelyn noted that the Rosbys, Roslin's mother's family, have a poor track record when it comes to health and fertility. I am almost certain that Roslin will die in childbirth and the baby won't survive. (She's a Frey. Why would she be the only Frey standing at the end of the series?) Unless Edmure lives to remarry, (and crackpot but awesome - he could marry Wylla Manderly, who is one of my favorite minor characters). Riverrun would then pass to his uncle Brynden Blackfish - who is described as an absolutely adamant bachelor. So no kids of his own to inherit.

Catelyn was the eldest Tully sister. Sansa is her older daughter. She could very well inherit Riverrun or at least be its regent for a while. It would be interesting if Sansa, who looks so much like a Tully, would wind up as the lady of Riverrun.

But Riverrun isn't the Tully's anymore. So unless anyone changes that, it's Frey's castle. Now, of course I think something will happen to that Frey and most other Freys for that matter, but someone still has to bestow it on the Tullys again. The Lannisters won't, nor will Stannis if he ends up king. Dany considers the Tullys traitors, so there would have to be a pardon there. And Aegon, who knows.

Edmure is alive and well, no way he will die. I refuse to believe it is possible. He'll get Riverrun back, no other option is possible. It is known.

And yes, Edmure is one of my favorite minor characters. I'm conflicted about Roslin. If she makes Edmure happy, then that's great and I hope for the best. She is a Frey though and that doesn't seem to be a good last name to be had.

So, as much as I like the idea of Sansa as Lady of Riverrun, I can't do it at the expense of Edmure.

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She's one of my faves, but I'd gladly discuss other people, unfortch there are no such threads for the Tyrells or Cersei or Arya, and I joined the forum too late for the Sandor threads.

I apologize for the brief change of subject, but what happened with the Sandor threads? I've heard a few people on the forums mention them in rather regretful tones.

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Also, in related news, y'all sure do like Sansa a lot! Has she become some kind of virgin mary type focus for helping ASOIAF readers through this vale of tears? Her suffering is our suffering. Like Westeros' everywoman. .

Sansa Stark is my honey badger.

Oh, how I would love for Sansa and Dany to meet! The more Women Being Awesome Together, the better!

I do think that Sansa has a role to play in the war against the Others. She is a true Stark, after all, and it is clear that to be a Stark is to be someone special with regards to the North. I like to think that she will be reunited with Arya and they will be able to work together. Sansa and Arya have so many complementing strengths that as a duo they would be able to get a lot done.

Yeah, I'd like for them to meet as well. I think they could be friends really.

I think she has a role to play as well and I do think the books while shift towards that storyline eventually. It's why I don't think she's going to spend the next two books in the Vale wondering what to do about LF. Besdies, I want to see Sansa showing every one how women can be awesome, even those who don't use a sword. I think she will be reunited with Arya, at least I hope so. As you say, their skills complement each other so well, I'll be disappointed if we don't see them working together on something. I'd love it if they rebuilt WF together but I'm less certain that will happen.

Hey you know who'd make a good child-fostering buddy for sweetrobin to bond with after the dust clears? Rickon.

She's one of my faves, but I'd gladly discuss other people, unfortch there are no such threads for the Tyrells or Cersei or Arya, and I joined the forum too late for the Sandor threads.

I really want a Cersei and Arya rereads, y'all!

Rickon would set his wolf on him, probably

I want to do a Jaime re-read really badly. If i ever got someone who wanted to partner with me, I'd launch it. An Arya one would be great too.

I can just see dinner time between Rickon and Ser Sweetrobin. Rickon would tell him about the time on Skaagos when he ate people and little Robert would have one of his shaking fits.

I apologize for the brief change of subject, but what happened with the Sandor threads? I've heard a few people on the forums mention them in rather regretful tones.

The mods eventually put a stop to them, I'm not really sure why. Someone else might know.

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I apologize for the brief change of subject, but what happened with the Sandor threads? I've heard a few people on the forums mention them in rather regretful tones.

Long story short, the discussions supposedly veered into too much "fanfiction" territory, and was eventually too "Sansan" centric. But they are 19 threads of pure awesome analysis if you ask me :)

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<snip>

If Sansa winds up in Winterfell I can't see her not being a part of the battle with the Others, but I don't have any immediate insights despite your very nice summation.

I was pondering ways and reasons for Sansa to get to Wintefell related to the Snow Winterfell foreshadowing. Sansa is in need of a marriage annulment and the High Septon isn't likely to grant it. He can't be bribed or threatened and Sansa can't exactly show up to make an appeal in person. How do the Old Gods deal with annulments?

If there is a Great Northern Conspiracy to draft Jon Snow or render some other disposition of Winterfell, might LF want to play his Sansa card? Sansa has a better claim to Winterfell than Jon. Might LF believe that if Winterfell is retaken by pro-Stark forces that he can get them to accept Sansa as the Stark heir? Since LF is the new Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, might he consider trying to claim that title in fact if he were married to a Tully heir?

So my crackpot crystal ball reading for today says that LF, after installing a secure enough pawn in the Vale, takes Sansa to Winterfell to get an Old Gods annulment with the intention of marrying her to claim the North and the Riverlands thus giving him control of three of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Someone remind me on this, but didn't LF use the singers at Highgarden to give the Tyrells the idea to put Loras in the KG? If this happens, it would end up being one of his tricks used against him.

Yes he did!

I also planted the notion of Ser Loras taking the white. Not that I suggested it, that would have been too crude. But men in my party supplied grisly tales about how the mob had killed Ser Preston Greenfield and raped the Lady Lollys, and slipped a few silvers to Lord Tyrell's army of singers to sing of Ryam Redwyne, Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. A harp can be as dangerous as a sword, in the right hands.

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I want to do a Jaime re-read really badly. If i ever got someone who wanted to partner with me, I'd launch it. An Arya one would be great too.

I'd help, but I seriously need to work on my thesis :/ I'll be freeeee as a bird in like three months though, so maybe?

How do the Old Gods deal with annulments?

Well there's a theory, which I really like, that since she married before the 7, it wouldn't be recognized before the religion of the Old Gods so she wouldn't need an annulment.

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Okay, I get why the Tyrion marriage is disliked and super unpopular on this thread. It was a traumatic dirty trick the Lannisters put her through. I hear ya, but it is great protection *for right now*

The last thing I want to see at this second is her marriage annulled because then her value becomes who she can become married off to again.

If she remains unmarriable for the forseeable future she will have a lot more options. Doing all those cool things that kittykatknits mentions like

"-Use her skills of flattery, courtesy, empathy to negotiate or help different factions work together."

HtH doesn't read like the type of guy who is going to think of her as much other than his ticket to Winterfell already. And even if you think Little Finger's real agenda is to marry her himself - Eeeww! is that better? Other people deciding who she has to marry AGAIN.

I think being married to someone who is stuck on the other side of the planet is the best thing that has happened to her in a long time.

In the mean time... I'd like to think about what "an agent for good," an Anti-LittleFinger could do to help get Westeros running smoothly again.

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in need of an annulment and the High Septon isn't likely to grant it.

enter Robert Strong to take care of that problem at the source? Cercei helps everyone by helping herself to revenge on the faith. Especially Stannis. So that'd be the next layer of duh for Circe to engage in, using her energies to take down the one faction that would have strongly opposed Stannis. Speaking of Stannis, assuming he lives, isn't he going to be standing in the way of

LF takes Sansa to Winterfell to get an Old Gods annulment with the intention of marrying her to claim the North and the Riverlands thus giving him control of three of the Seven Kingdoms.

I wonder if Manderly's plan to install Rickon will force Pete to trump that with Sansa and somehow put Manderly out of business or at least out of favor, maybe even by... no, Pete wouldn't sign on with Stannis, would he? That'd be too much risk / exposure. He'd wait until it was more of a sure thing and his support instantly makes someone the winner. Although, if the Theon King thing looks like it might pan out, that'd add yet another kingdom to the list for Pete/Stannis, along with Braavosi support. Pete could offer Stannis Harenhal as a kingly seat in northern exile, since he sure doesn't want it for himself. So at some point Stannis/Pete would start looking good. Until you consider how Aegon is consolidating the South. Then Stannis looks like a very unsure bet again, and Pete wouldn't want to ally with the wrong one. Pete's expertise has been noted most in KL, and that's where I was picturing him being drawn back to (by popular demand), not further north. Winterfell is like a husk that just needs to be cleaned out of vermin for now, which nobody's probably going to rebuild until the spring that's years away. At KL, Petey can be at the center of everything again at the close, overseeing the Cercei / Aegon fiasco that's coming, and he can start leveraging Aegon to keep Varys from enjoying total success. Eh. Travel time is also a factor, winter snows too. (The relevance of all this being that Sansa may go South, not North, once the High Septon is replaced by someone approved of by Littlefinger. Sansa walking back into KL would be like her Thunderdome challenge).

Wants more books!

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In the mean time... I'd like to think about what "an agent for good," an Anti-LittleFinger could do to help get Westeros running smoothly again.

That's a great question. I think she can do a lot obviously, but she needs to establish connections with other forces for "good" in order to be able to turn the tide on LF and make improvements on a wider scale. So which ally would be best? Does she utilise her growing intimacy with Mya Stone, attempt to manipulate HtH or reach out to Bronze Yohn?

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