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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIII

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(Rethinking XII)

(Original Reread links)

(Resources 1, 2, 3)

Welcome to the new thread, and a special hello to those who have joined us recently. :)

Our main project for this thread will be exploring the Beauty and Beast mythology and how it relates to Sansa's arc. We still have a few contributions on the male influences to be completed as well. However, general discussion on Sansa can flow as it normally does, bearing in mind to keep it constructive and productive.

Examining the Beauty and the Beast motif in ASOIAF:

A From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa Project

a. Origins, History and Symbolism of Beauty and the Beast:

1. Origins of the tale in ancient Greece and Rome: Milady of York.

2. The tale in other early civilisations: Milady of York

3. Medieval retellings of the tale across Europe up to the Renaissance.

3.a Northern Europe: Valkyrja

4. Psychological interpretations of the symbolism in Beauty and the Beast: KittensRuleBeetsDrool

5. Modern retellings I: bgona

6. Modern retellings II: Lady Lea

b. Beauty and the Beast in Popular Culture:

1. TV series: brashcandy and Valkyrja

2. Films:

2. a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: caro99

2. b La belle et la bête: Lady Lea

3. Influences in Literature: Elba the Intoner.

4. Music: bgona.

c. Beauty and the Beast and ASOIAF: brash, Milady of York

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Reposted from Rethinking XII:

There are many legitimate arguments to be made about Sandor and his deathbed freak-out, but all of them are made that much weaker simply by the fact that, yes, it WAS a deathbed freak-out. When Sandor was rambling on about he should have humiliated and murdered Sansa quite painfully, he's trying to get a small child to kill him. Bringing Arya's sister into things might have been an attempt for him to get his quick(er) death. This has been pointed out in other threads.

Of course, Sandor also made earlier comments about the "wolf bitch" wanting to kill the "pretty bird" during his conversation with Arya about siblings, so we really aren't sure if he thought this would produce results, or if he expected Arya to be all "Wow, isn't that funny, that's what I've always wanted to do to her as well, we should team up." I'm pretty sure Arya doesn't want to murder her sister a la Tyrion('s attitude towards Cersei) , but Sandor may not know.

As far as his rant goes, he's dying from an infected wound, so we really can't take anything he says at face value, or at any value, really.

This may or may not have been brought up previously, but I just thought I'd add a little Sansa theory to the giant pile that seems to have been assembled by fandom, because I found it interesting even if its been mentioned before. If it has, sorry, I'm stupid, hit me over the head with a watermelon.

As most of you probably remember, Sandor originally started calling Sansa "little bird" because her polite mimicry reminded him of a pretty little talking bird. While this has gained a lot of subtext (romantic and otherwise) as the series has progressed, Sandor's comment was sparked by Sansa's courtesy. As he escorts Sansa away from the first tourney feast, Sandor goes on one of his mini-rants about how some septa trained her to say exactly the right things, spills the beans about his murderous brother, and then leaves it at that after a death threat or two. Pretty standard Sandor stuff.

The reasons for him calling her pretty bird - her copycat verbiage - have seemingly been swept to the sands of time, but I wanted to point out a few parallels I noticed and even nudge a budding silly theory or two into the light.

Sandor calls her a pretty bird, because she mimics the words of others. After LF whisks Sansa creepily away and makes her pose as his bastard child, Sansa takes on LF's sigil of a mockingbird.

What does a mockingbird do? It mimics the calls of other birds.

This is made even more interesting when Sansa travels to the Eyrie, where she is surrounded by other birds. As a proper little mockingbird, she says what Petyr tells her to say, and all is as well as Sansa's craptastic life is probably going to get. Even though she's traveled from King Landing and is getting Manipulation 101 lessons from Petyr, she still hasn't changed fundamentally. She's still saying exactly what other people tell her to say, and she's still not a real player, at least not yet. She's getting closer, but try as she may, she's still just a pretty little talking bird. An increasingly badass pretty little talking bird who may or may not be crushing on a guy missing half his face? Yes. But a little talking bird all the same.

My theories are both kind of nutty. GRRM may have purposefully included this symbolism, or I may just be turning nothing into something, but either way, it's fun to guess. One way I think GRRM could take things (if he meant this to happen) is to have Sansa shed her bird persona completely. She stops being a bird, becomes a wolf, and goes on to be a great lady in her own right. There are people who hope she becomes Rickon's regent, and others who think she's the rightful Queen in the North (Dornish law is totally on her side in this, and Dorne rocks. It is known.). Either way, if she starts saying the things she wants to say instead of the things she's told to, Sansa will become far more powerful or get herself killed. Let's hope for the former.

If she keeps her bird persona, there's still a chance she'll become her own person. Bastards are obviously given more freedom in this series than high ladies, and Sansa seems to believe that the freedom outweighs the stigma. SR obviously adores her and sees her as a kind of cool big sister/mom/crush, and while most people find SR creepy, I actually find him kind of adorable sometimes, and believe that with the right parenting, the damage Lysa did by coddling him can eventually be undone, even if he'll still be sickly and small. If LF doesn't kill SR and Sansa keeps being just strict enough, I think SR might someday end up a powerful lord, if not a terribly good one. With someone like SR on her side, Sansa would have a lot more power than most, especially since she's pretty much got SR wrapped around her dorsal feather. Just because Sansa remains a bastard bird doesn't mean she can't begin to sing her own song.

And, of course, it is socially acceptable if, hypothetically, a bastard girl wanted to marry a rather lowborn not-quite-knight with only half a face, provided said not-quite-knight was cleared of certain allegations and is not deceased. Just saying.

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/wiggles into the new thread

Yay for thread migration!

On the Beauty and the Beast thing: while the Beauty and the Beast is pretty evident through much of the books, I'm finding it interesting to see how the theme is slowly reversing itself/meeting in the middle. Jaime, once the shiniest knight of them all, is now a cripple and supposedly not as attractive as he once was, when he was still the Beauty in his and Brienne's Beauty and the Beast equation. Likewise, Sansa (once a highborn lady) is still beautiful, but is now a bastard. I wonder if she'll end up losing most of her beauty as well...

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/wiggles into the new thread

Yay for thread migration!

On the Beauty and the Beast thing: while the Beauty and the Beast is pretty evident through much of the books, I'm finding it interesting to see how the theme is slowly reversing itself/meeting in the middle. Jaime, once the shiniest knight of them all, is now a cripple and supposedly not as attractive as he once was, when he was still the Beauty in his and Brienne's Beauty and the Beast equation. Likewise, Sansa (once a highborn lady) is still beautiful, but is now a bastard. I wonder if she'll end up losing most of her beauty as well...

Good points. With regard to Sansa, her true beauty resides not in physical attributes, but her innate qualities of compassion and kindness. This is what LF is trying to mar and ruin with his corrupting influence.

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Good points. With regard to Sansa, her true beauty resides not in physical attributes, but her innate qualities of compassion and kindness. This is what LF is trying to mar and ruin with his corrupting influence.

THISTHISTHISTHISHTISTHSITHSITHSLAKJSGLKJFS

Which coincides with what makes Sandor (her Beast) so scary to her! It's not his burny toasted face - it's his angry angry eyes. And if he's on the QI, then they ARE meeting in the middle.

Jaime imagines Brienne as more womanly than he remembers, but... I'm not sure if she'll be getting more attractive. Maybe getting her cheek removed made her hotter.

Another thing: Both main Beauty and the Beast relationships reflect different aspects of each relationship. Jaime and Brienne are Beauty and the Beast physically, because in personality, they're much closer than either of them would like to admit. Sandor and Sansa reflect the emotional side of things, as Sansa is naive and then broken, while Sandor is just pissed all the freaking time.

Hmm.

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/wiggles into the new thread

Yay for thread migration!

On the Beauty and the Beast thing: while the Beauty and the Beast is pretty evident through much of the books, I'm finding it interesting to see how the theme is slowly reversing itself/meeting in the middle. Jaime, once the shiniest knight of them all, is now a cripple and supposedly not as attractive as he once was, when he was still the Beauty in his and Brienne's Beauty and the Beast equation. Likewise, Sansa (once a highborn lady) is still beautiful, but is now a bastard. I wonder if she'll end up losing most of her beauty as well...

It may not be in looks, but I've always thought of Jaime as the Beast rather than the Beauty. Going back to what brash had said about beauty being on the inside.

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It may not be in looks, but I've always thought of Jaime as the Beast rather than the Beauty. Going back to what brash had said about beauty being on the inside.

Not to mention how Brienne is often referred to as 'the Beauty'.... :)

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Not to mention how Brienne is often referred to as 'the Beauty'.... :)

Yep, it's meant in mockery yet she's a very beautiful person, in the same ways that Sansa is.

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Putting in spoilers as this is OT:

I just saw the Avengers for the first time tonight and loved it. As soon as Loki made his appearance, my first thought is that I hope he wins. My next immediate thought was that my desire pretty much guaranteed that this would happen.

For those who were also Thor fans, I knew there are a few of us.

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Valky, you have no idea how many times I recommend your Mother post on Sansa; it's actually a little obscene :)

Wow! Well, thank you. :) I must admit I had to rec it myself at one point in the last P2P thread because someone had wondered if Sansa was going to become the next Cersei, and I felt the post helped address that particular issue. :P

Some may accuse this thread of 'reading into' GRRM's works too much, but I feel that some of the symbolism he includes is so blatant that people are just missing/ignoring it because they skim Sansa's chapters, or don't view her as a 'real' character, but as more of an annoying proxy for the reader. :rolleyes:

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Sansa was annoying at the beginning, and I think most of fandom continues to judge her based on her personality then, instead of now. I hope she finds a friend in the Vale; that might help humanize her for some people, if they can see that/how some other person can find her valuable.

Personally, I found Catelyn FAR more annoying than either of her daughters, and I really don't get what LF sees in her. Arya's scary, but at least she's no Catelyn.

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Welcome to the threads, Beets, even though my name is anti-beet! :) It is a tribute to Tommen (who is a fellow cat lover!).

BTW, I like Catelyn, Sansa and Dany who all of them seem to get much flack from the fandom. Jeyne Westerling, OTOH, I don't hate her (losing the kingdom was Robb's fault, as well as Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey) but I don't get the fandom love for her as I find her bland and boring. But to each their own, right?

On a tangent, I read a recent interview with GRRM about the TV series. He mentioned that he found Arya one of the easiest characters to write. I wonder if that has something to do with the fandom at large liking her more than Sansa? GRRM has also said he finds Tyrion's chapters easy to write as he can relate to him, and I surmise that some of this "I have an easier time writing these characters" translates because the chapters flow?

In any event, yay new thread. Agreeing with BC and K3 about Sansa's beauty being on the inside as well as the outside. I think it is this, more than anything else, which will make her the "more beautiful" Queen who casts Cersei down, if indeed it is Sansa and not Dany (IMO the only two possibilities, though wouldn't it be fantastic if it were Brienne! As mentioned, Brienne has much inner beauty).

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Thank you for opening this thread so we can go on with our project and further discussions, brashcandy,

Milady will be posting the first part of our project soon. A small warning, sers, my ladies: it will be long, as in "really, really long", because, unfortunately for her, Milady cannot get rid of her love for ancient history and mythology and she apparently writes too enthusiastically. The result? You'll see it soon enough.

So, supply yourselves with some tea and lemoncakes biscuits, beer, wine for the beer-teetotallers, Coca Cola or whatever else is pleasing to you, and a comfortable seat, for you'll read about a very, very old tale still present in a very, very modern world.

But first, Milady would like to comment on MaryaStone, bgona and caro99's thoughts on how "take" has been understood by non-English speakers. Milady just borrowed a copy in French and found out the translator understood Sandor's confession the same way as the Spanish translator did.

And I meant to take her too = Et j’avais envie de la prendre, elle aussi.

I should have = J’aurais dû.

I should have fucked her bloody = J’aurais dû la baiser à mort

And ripped her heart out = et lui arracher le coeur

before leaving her for that Imp = avant de la laisser pour ce putain de nain.

Prendre means to take, but also to grab. No sexual connotations here. What struck Milady as curious is that baiser means fuck in French vulgar slang only, its principal meaning is to kiss.

Interesting, isn't it? It's certainly so for Milady. Perhaps some charitable soul lurking here can enlighten Milady about how it was translated into German and Portuguese?

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And I meant to take her too = Et j’avais envie de la prendre, elle aussi.

I should have = J’aurais dû.

I should have fucked her bloody = J’aurais dû la baiser à mort

Very interesting.

It's also interesting how both Spanish and French interpret the "bloody" part as "to death"...I think that term by itself is more ambiguous in English as well, though of course "ripping her heart out" isn't... :)

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Whoa. Translations make you look at things very differently. Interesting. I look forward to the long long analysis, Milady.

Kittens, we must find a way to rise above the beet-hating. Kittens and beets must unite, for the good of the realm! UNITE! UNITE!

I can definitely see how fan favorites are easier to write - you have to worry less about reaction, for one, and characters you like are easier to write for as you tend to empathize more. Dany's alright, I just didn't like the way her relationship with Drogo was portrayed, which has kind of colored my understanding of her for most of the books. Without Drogo, she'd definitely be one of my favorite characters. Sansa, of course, is a given - the character development she goes through made her one of my favorites for sure. I like Renly for shallow reasons (he's so pretty and so tragic and so dead). People give me weird looks when I tell them I'm a SR fan, though. Yes, he's creepy sometimes, but... he's just a little kid. And Sansa being his mother figure is kind of cute. :worried:

Speaking of which! What are you people's opinions on little Robiny sweetness? He's definitely a brat, but I think he can change with good parenting, and while I wouldn't term LF good parenting, if he doesn't kill SR, I think there's potential there for an interesting plotline. What say you?

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I agree that the translations give new insights into the books; professional translators have to be VERY good at their jobs and VERY aware of all the subtle meanings in a word or sentence. It seems then that "I should have taken her" means that Sandor wishes he had taken Sansa away from KL and not "taken" her in the sexual sense. And that makes a lot of sense to me, as he is ridden with guilt that he didn't do more to protect Sansa from Joffrey. Even if he talks about "fucking her bloody" at the end, when he is dying and delirious, I think what Sandor really wishes was that he could be Sansa's guard dog, so to speak. "Get her a dog, she'll be happier for it." He couldn't fulfill the protective role that Sansa's direwolf could have and he is beating himself up for it. Soooo...who has knightly ideals here, Sandor, hmm? ;)

Beets: Maybe we could have the Order of the Beet-Eating Kittens! And about Sweetrobin Arryn, I did an analysis of him in the last thread (it's toward the end). I agree with you that his personality disorders (and I think much of his physical weakness) is 100% due to bad parenting. Bronze Yohn Royce seemed to believe this, too, when he asked for SR to be fostered with him, mentioning that he would be trained as a squire and have other boys his own age for company. His upbringing - isolated in the Eyrie, with a smothering and mentally unbalanced mother, no kids his age for company, all the junk food he wanted, absolutely no discipline or hearing the word "No!" - that would warp the sanest kid. I think that having "Alayne" as a substitute mother will be a turning point for the poor kid. I really want him to have a chance.

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Beets: Maybe we could have the Order of the Beet-Eating Kittens! And about Sweetrobin Arryn, I did an analysis of him in the last thread (it's toward the end). I agree with you that his personality disorders (and I think much of his physical weakness) is 100% due to bad parenting. Bronze Yohn Royce seemed to believe this, too, when he asked for SR to be fostered with him, mentioning that he would be trained as a squire and have other boys his own age for company. His upbringing - isolated in the Eyrie, with a smothering and mentally unbalanced mother, no kids his age for company, all the junk food he wanted, absolutely no discipline or hearing the word "No!" - that would warp the sanest kid. I think that having "Alayne" as a substitute mother will be a turning point for the poor kid. I really want him to have a chance.

/gross sobbing

I AGREE SO MUCH. :bawl: Just... so much okay.

:frown5:

Poor SR. He's always asking for lemoncakes and stories about the Winged Knight. I think it's stuff like that that highlights that for all the "make him fly" bullcrap, he's still just a kid. He wants to be strong, but he's weak and convulsion-prone. He wants to be a knight.

Excuse me while I use up all my tissues.

I wonder what Sandor would think if he found out that not only was the Lannister marriage unconsummated, but that Sansa's doing rather better than she was at KL. Would he be less guilty? Would he be happy for her, or concerned due to the continuing presence of LF and other disturbing influences and evil people?

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Thank you for opening this thread so we can go on with our project and further discussions, brashcandy,

Milady will be posting the first part of our project soon. A small warning, sers, my ladies: it will be long, as in "really, really long", because, unfortunately for her, Milady cannot get rid of her love for ancient history and mythology and she apparently writes too enthusiastically. The result? You'll see it soon enough.

So, supply yourselves with some tea and lemoncakes biscuits, beer, wine for the beer-teetotallers, Coca Cola or whatever else is pleasing to you, and a comfortable seat, for you'll read about a very, very old tale still present in a very, very modern world.

But first, Milady would like to comment on MaryaStone, bgona and caro99's thoughts on how "take" has been understood by non-English speakers. Milady just borrowed a copy in French and found out the translator understood Sandor's confession the same way as the Spanish translator did.

And I meant to take her too = Et j’avais envie de la prendre, elle aussi.

I should have = J’aurais dû.

I should have fucked her bloody = J’aurais dû la baiser à mort

And ripped her heart out = et lui arracher le coeur

before leaving her for that Imp = avant de la laisser pour ce putain de nain.

Prendre means to take, but also to grab. No sexual connotations here. What struck Milady as curious is that baiser means fuck in French vulgar slang only, its principal meaning is to kiss.

Interesting, isn't it? It's certainly so for Milady. Perhaps some charitable soul lurking here can enlighten Milady about how it was translated into German and Portuguese?

If you're interested in Beauty and the Beast have you read these articles and discussions?

http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forbewty.html

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2001/oct2001/banbeast.html

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/boardarchives/2005/mar2005/representwomendisney1.html

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