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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa X

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The Arya Re-Read will hopefully be starting in November. With all these re-reads, there will be some really interesting textual and character analysis going on!

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House Draper is really interested in this too, and perhaps Winter's Knight could jump on board, but I do think that HD's suggestion of waiting until Learning to lead is finished is wise. And I would caution to have a firm plan in place before attempting such a major reread/rethink. These projects are not easy :)

I by no means feel the need to "start" the thread, but I'd passionately contribute :) So if any of you have, like, something in-depth to start us off with, by all means, get it grrrll. But yeah, I think there might be an uprising if we start it before Learning to Lead ends. People might feel personally affronted if Dany gets too much positive attention. :rolleyes:

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House Draper? There are Mad Men fans here?

Love that show!

The Arya Re-Read will hopefully be starting in November. With all these re-reads, there will be some really interesting textual and character analysis going on!

There is also the Tyrion re-read and a Stannis re-read starting soon too. Much better discussion than the hate threads.

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Lady Lea and I are planning a Jaime re-read later on this year. We've been discussing approaches via PM. We want to do both Jaime and Cersi and have talked about whether to approach them together or separately. I love Jaime almost as much as I do Sandor and we both agree that Cersei is in need of serious analysis on this board beyond the usual threads that we've seen.

It might be interesting to parallel them. Tracking both their journey's side-by-side. They came into this board together and so they shall leave it!

ADDENDUM: I was just thinking how interesting it would be to do a Cersei thread from a feminist approach, like what we're doing with Sansa, so I'm not totally sold on Cersei/Jaime together. Hmmmmm......

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If the focus is on Rethinking Dany rather than re-reading her, then a list of topics which tend to be the most controversial in Dany's storyline could be proposed to be hashed out by the thread hosts. That's just my suggestion though :).

I like the idea of doing a Rethink as opposed to a Re-Read, but that's mostly because I lent my books to my brother and only have GOT right now. Plus, I like the really focused topics.

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House Draper? There are Mad Men fans here?

Holler! I found my avatar photo and laughed for about five minutes straight and couldn't resist.....Donald of House Draper, perched on the Iron Throne, cig in hand. Brilliant.

EDIT: Sorry for bombing the thread with off-topic posts! I'm done, I swear.

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I like the idea of doing a Rethink as opposed to a Re-Read, but that's mostly because I lent my books to my brother and only have GOT right now. Plus, I like the really focused topics.

I think it would be cool to have a Reread and THEN a Rethink for Dany, just like Rapsie and Brash did with Sansa.

Kitty and I haven't decided if we want to do Jaime and Cersei together or apart, so if any of you have any opinions/suggestions/ideas, please feel free to PM us!

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I agree that Cersei and Jamie might be better served apart. Their stories are different, and most importantly, the BIG EVENTS happened differently. Jamie lost his hand a while ago. We can see how he is dealing with it. Cersei's imprisonment and walk of shame just happened. It's hard to tell how she will deal with it. I'm not saying either character should be ignored, but they are at two different points of their stories, so they are hard to compare.

Also, imagining Don going head-to-head is hilarious. I also am reminded of TV Littlefinger talking about fucking his problems away, and Don taking a more literal approach.

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I think it would be cool to have a Reread and THEN a Rethink for Dany, just like Rapsie and Brash did with Sansa.

Kitty and I haven't decided if we want to do Jaime and Cersei together or apart, so if any of you have any opinions/suggestions/ideas, please feel free to PM us!

I'm all for shamelessly ripping off borrorwing the P2P model.

Holler! I found my avatar photo and laughed for about five minutes straight and couldn't resist.....Donald of House Draper, perched on the Iron Throne, cig in hand. Brilliant.

EDIT: Sorry for bombing the thread with off-topic posts! I'm done, I swear.

I admire your patience! got midway through season 2 before bursting into tears and devouring a block of chocolate while re-watching BBC's Pride and Prejudice.

Also, I agree that the Cersei re-read should be separate from the Jaime one. I also think it's a brilliant idea.

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I think it would be cool to have a Reread and THEN a Rethink for Dany, just like Rapsie and Brash did with Sansa.

Kitty and I haven't decided if we want to do Jaime and Cersei together or apart, so if any of you have any opinions/suggestions/ideas, please feel free to PM us!

Yeah, it would probably behoove us to do the same. My brother better speed read so I can get my books back.

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I agree that Cersei and Jamie might be better served apart. Their stories are different, and most importantly, the BIG EVENTS happened differently. Jamie lost his hand a while ago. We can see how he is dealing with it. Cersei's imprisonment and walk of shame just happened. It's hard to tell how she will deal with it. I'm not saying either character should be ignored, but they are at two different points of their stories, so they are hard to compare.

Also, imagining Don going head-to-head is hilarious. I also am reminded of TV Littlefinger talking about fucking his problems away, and Don taking a more literal approach.

I could probably write an essay on the parallel themes in Mad Men and ASOIAF, but mostly I just wanna see Don Draper snark the shit out of everyone in Westeros, including Tyrion. He would own that throne so fast.

Erggh, I did it again! Okay, Sansa and Sandor:

Love seeing the deliberate uses of The Hound vs. Sandor. Thank you for outlining all of this, Bronn! I can only hope that the SanSan "alliance" goes from being Westeros' best kept secret to its most fortuitous. Littlefinger needs a good blindsiding and Sansa's the girl to do it, especially when we look at how much she actually keeps to herself. So aside from aiding her in escaping LF's clutches, how might Sandor really play into Sansa's journey? I dislike the idea of him saving her from the machinations of LF; I'd love to see Sansa achieve this of her own accord. It seems only fitting that the "master of schemes and secrets" be defeated by the scheming and whispers of a girl who learned at an early age to save face.

Because The Hound is such a physical being, it's no wonder that he responds to physicality. I think, though, with his transformation into Sandor at the QI and an anticipate reunion with the Little Bird, that their relationship would turn into something much gentler and more cerebral.

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I could probably write an essay on the parallel themes in Mad Men and ASOIAF, but mostly I just wanna see Don Draper snark the shit out of everyone in Westeros, including Tyrion. He would own that throne so fast.

Erggh, I did it again! Okay, Sansa and Sandor:

Love seeing the deliberate uses of The Hound vs. Sandor. Thank you for outlining all of this, Bronn! I can only hope that the SanSan "alliance" goes from being Westeros' best kept secret to its most fortuitous. Littlefinger needs a good blindsiding and Sansa's the girl to do it, especially when we look at how much she actually keeps to herself. So aside from aiding her in escaping LF's clutches, how might Sandor really play into Sansa's journey? I dislike the idea of him saving her from the machinations of LF; I'd love to see Sansa achieve this of her own accord. It seems only fitting that the "master of schemes and secrets" be defeated by the scheming and whispers of a girl who learned at an early age to save face.

Because The Hound is such a physical being, it's no wonder that he responds to physicality. I think, though, with his transformation into Sandor at the QI and an anticipate reunion with the Little Bird, that their relationship would turn into something much gentler and more cerebral.

I don't think The Hound will save her. The knight-in-shining-armor moment came at BBW. Sansa rejected it. I wouldn't be surprised if The Hound never showed up until after the Vale.

Honestly, I think he may play a part with Arya and Sansa finding each other. Beyond wanting to get back to Winterfell, he is one of the big ties to their stories. And I believe he still has meet with Arya for her story to continue. Arya needs to forgive him. She started to, but she needs to consciously acknowledge it. She also needs to acknowledge that doing horrible things does not make one irredeemable (a concern of hers when she thinks about seeing her family). The "learning" themes with Sansa have been ended. Only their personal connection remains. So, I mainly see development of that is some way or another including romantic (considering Dany/Drogo, the age thing doesn't make it out of play, especially when there was supposed to be a five year gap). With his wound, I dunno how good in combat he would be. So, I'm not sure what role he'll play beyond their relationship and maybe bringing the sisters together (he's also probably one of the few who know Arya is alive that Sansa trusts).

And I'm glad everyone likes Sandor vs The Hound theme. And I would like to thank Lady Candace for the help with it (and by help, I mean I shamelessly stole it when she was applying the distinction with Littlefinger).

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Arya isn't really all that perceptive, or at least she's not as good at putting 2 and 2 together as people think. Maybe it's because she's too young. But she's actually told about the fake Arya going to Bolton and doesn't even consider what it means, she doesn't understand it when they say that Sansa married Tyrion, and she doesn't even realise that Sandor can't stop talking about her sister ("the pretty bird", "your pretty sister", and then the way he talks about her being courteous and a proper lady and "good for her", etc). Maybe it's because people always talked about Sansa favourably when near Arya. And if I was her, I don't think I would have thought much about his angry dying confession because it sounded like what he *really* wanted was to rape Sansa even though that's not really what he was saying.

But for the tourney, it is queer that no one asked why she was rooting for the Hound, isn't it? I mean, Littefinger was there, and he was always asking her about her opinions at the time (he asked why she thought sending Loras after Gregor in the Riverlands would be a good idea). And he knew who she was betting on, because she was all "is the Hound the champion now?" and "I knew the Hound would win". Even Ned, who was super jealous of Loras giving her a flower, didn't think twice on it, maybe because he thought the Hound was too lowly and ugly to ever merit Sansa's attention.

This could be interesting in the next books. No one is ever present when they have their little convos and apparently no one knows about them. Not even Varys and LF. And when there IS something public, like the tourney, the riot, him giving her his cloak, etc, no one pays attention.

Arya is young, perhaps too much so to get it, but she seems quite perceptive of these things most times.

I think what you see there is two people (Arya and the Hound) on completely different tracks. The Hound is dying, he feels guilty for everything regarding her, maybe most guilty at having wanted her but never helping her. (And who knows what he even recalls of his confronting her while drunk in the BBW, what he was thinking at the time and what he remembers thinking later?) Meanwhile Arya - who knows close to nothing of how it was between him and Sansa - has her mind on a track that's about 50% seething hatred. She's not going to think much about the babblings of a drunken dying Lannister sword, the same man who killed her friend Mycah. That he stopped being on her death list at all is by itself an accomplishment.

As for why nobody else noticed what was up between the Hound and Sansa, it is very internal stuff. None of it would pass for flirting or wooing by any normal definition. Even the characters themselves hardly recognize it. Sansa keeps his cloak - does he even know that ? Does she even completely get what that is about ? You never see her in her POV thinking of it as a love memento or something - it's just sort of there.

Varys and Littlefinger and Tyrion are playing their game of thrones at such a high "altitude", the interaction between Sansa and the Hound probably slipped under their radar. What we have access to is the internal life of Sansa Stark, thanks to her POV. I think sometimes as readers we need to be mindful that the characters do not know each others' POV, only their own.

PS / EDIT: As for the Ned being "super jealous" of Sansa getting a rose from Loras at the tourney - umm, what ? That makes no sense, sorry. If Ned had misgivings, I can understand it - he likely knew enough about Loras to know Sansa would be barking up the wrong tree.

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I don't think The Hound will save her. The knight-in-shining-armor moment came at BBW. Sansa rejected it. I wouldn't be surprised if The Hound never showed up until after the Vale.

<snip>

And I'm glad everyone likes Sandor vs The Hound theme. And I would like to thank Lady Candace for the help with it (and by help, I mean I shamelessly stole it when she was applying the distinction with Littlefinger).

Nah, no worries. By the way, great analysis, Lord Bronn!

A few points I want to respond to...

1. Regarding the Vale, I am of a similar opinion. He already offered to get her maiden-ness out of one tower, she refused, so now she needs to get out of this one herself. Actually I think I would be a wee bit put off if Sandor were a main architect in this portion of her story. I want Sansa to take her own actions. After all, love one's self before falling in love, or in this case, take care of one's own ass before kicking ass in The Game! She needs this to more fully mature as a player and person, and so I hope she does it without his help. After that though, I'd be down for another meeting.

2. Regarding Arya, I was going to point out Sandor's face, and Arya's changing faces in her "apprenticeship," but I forgot what my connection there was. Sort of dropped the ball on that one but if someone wants to try and make sense of it, be my guest.

3. A few pages back, you mentioned that Sandor was the one to make Sansa look at her father's head, not the Hound. My take on this is that in this early stage of their acquaintance, Sandor is more of a fatherly influence than anything else. He's trying to teach her, and unfortunately some necessary lessons are gruesome ones in Westeros, thus the action in question.

Another way of looking at it is from the perspective of - when a girl is married, a traditional part of a lot of ceremonies is for the father of the bride to walk her down the aisle, and give her away to the groom, sometimes physically placing her hand in the groom's hand. This signifies that the father is giving her to the husband to protect and take care of. With Ned's passing, Sansa was bereft of that influence, so Sandor has slipped into that place. Later on, he becomes a bit more than a mentor, the feelings shifting as Sansa grows up and starts her "awakening" as a flowered woman and a maturing female - sex dreams and all!

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I am joining this long discussion very late, and am new to the forums, so please forgive me if this has been discussed elsewhere or if it is heresy on a pro-Sansa thread:

I really like Sansa, have done from the first book - even when she was a silly airhead. I love her mental development over the course of the books and how she is beginning to learn to play the Game. And I really want her to become a player in her own right and actually do something politically important herself, rather than waiting to be rescued by Sandor/Harry/Blackfish/Brienne/whomever.

I struggle however to think of what ACTUALLY she could do at this point in the story while staying true to her character:

- As has been suggested many times, she could push Littlefinger out the Moon Door or otherwise mess up his game in the Vale to cause his downfall. But then what?

- If she remains Alayne, Littlefinger's downfall would hurt her rather than help her.

- If she reveals herself as Sansa, who would she go to with that revelation and what would that gain her? If she goes to the Royces or other lords of the Vale - being the obvious choice - it is unclear to me how they would react; at best I think she would risk just replacing Littlefinger with another "sponsor" looking to use her as a pawn. She could I guess get in touch with Stannis (if he gets himself to Winterfell and she can get access to a raven or messenger), but how would he react to her presence? - he thinks he already has Arya and soon he may have Rickon too. For the Lannisters she remains a wanted person, for Targaryens she is the "usurper's dog's spawn", and it is unclear how the Tyrells/Martells would react and whether they would care at this point.

- If John survives the Ides of Marsh, she could I guess get in touch with him, but that would be mainly with a view to getting her to a safe place in the North (or safe till the Others show up), and her greatest strenghts lie in the Game which so far has a focus more in South than North.

- To boot, she remains Lady Lannister until either an annulment or Tyrion's death (or perhaps Tyrion being presumed dead but that usually requires him being MIA for years and years), which means that her legitimate prospects for a political marriage are slim.

- I suppose she has some marriage prospects as Alayne, but those are IMO either Littlefinger himself or a Littlefinger-sponsored marriage to Harry the Heir, since with Littlefinger gone Alanyne would be too lowborn to be married into a great house. Also, it might be somewhat out of character for Sansa to become a willing bigamist...

- As Alayne, I guess she could conceivably de facto run the Vale through controlling Sweetrobin without marrying anyone. However, if Littlefinger is out of the picture, it doesn't seem to me likely that the Vale lords would accept his 14 year old bastard daughter running the show? So remaining Alayne I think means Sansa remaining a pawn for the time being

- If she could somehow overcome the Lady Lannister issue and reveal herself as Sansa Stark free to marry, she could make a more profitable marriage to any number of candidates (Willas Tyrell, Aegon, Trystane Martell), but again I struggle to see how she could arrange that herself, at this point in the story, while sitting in the Vale.

- She certainly can't follow the traditional hero's path and start wielding swords and rallying nights and/or mountain clans on her own, as that would be totally out of character.

I think Sansa would be a great peace-time queen or ruler a major house - in a strategic marriage, as regent for Winterfell while Rickon grows up, or even as Lady Lannister if Tyrion regains Casterly Rock. At this point, she has probably the best qualities of anyone in the book to be a good peace-time ruler or co-ruler - she is honourable, she would be kind to the people, she is now savvy enough in the game of politics to be clever at it, I could see her developing arts and industry - an all round renaissance type ruler.

But I do struggle to see a realistic "player" path for her at this point in the story, other than just to lear, wait, survive and be on the map when the wars are over... And maybe that is enough...

I am sure that others on this forum will have far cleverer ideas on this than me (and of course GRMM will!), so curious to hear any thoughts!

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PS / EDIT: As for the Ned being "super jealous" of Sansa getting a rose from Loras at the tourney - umm, what ? That makes no sense, sorry. If Ned had misgivings, I can understand it - he likely knew enough about Loras to know Sansa would be barking up the wrong tree.

Actually, Ned didn't even know Renly was gay. I guess it figures he didn't know about Loras either. Ned actually thought Renly was in love with Margaery when he showed Ned her picture.

As for Ned being jealous, it's in the book. It's a cute quote, actually. On day 1 of the tourney Sansa went with her Septa and Jeyne, and Jory was there so he updated Ned on the haps. Ned went on day 2:

The boy from Highgarden did something with his legs, and his horse pranced sideways, nimble as a dancer. Sansa clutched at his arm. "Father, don’t let Ser Gregor hurt him," she said. Ned saw she was wearing the rose that Ser Loras had given her yesterday. Jory had told him about that as well.

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Sorry, but quite how does that express jealousy? Or are you just pulling our legs here Lady Lea? ;)

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It's just the way that's it's written, you know? He was talking about Gregor and stuff, and then he hears Sansa whisper "oh, he's so beautiful" and clutch his arm and he sees the rose she got the day before and he just makes this really funny "hmpf" sort of comment, like, yeah, I know everything about that.

I mean, he's not jealous in a weird Elektra sort of way, just the way dads get jealous when their daughters express interest in boys. Do you have a daughter, Lummel? Because I can just see Ned's face when he sees that rose - it's the face my dad makes when I go out.

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It's just the way that's it's written, you know? He was talking about Gregor and stuff, and then he hears Sansa whisper "oh, he's so beautiful" and clutch his arm and he sees the rose she got the day before and he just makes this really funny "hmpf" sort of comment, like, yeah, I know everything about that.

I mean, he's not jealous in a weird Elektra sort of way, just the way dads get jealous when their daughters express interest in boys. Do you have a daughter, Lummel? Because I can just see Ned's face when he sees that rose - it's the face my dad makes when I go out.

Or maybe its like this .....

ETA: Sorry for the off-topic, but it had to be done. ;)

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