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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIII

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Wow, brashcandy, that's a pretty powerful post. The Dany and Drogo example particularly calls to mind the prophecy of three mounts at the HotU, where they seem to be linked to erotic encounters.

As for the Cersei extract, I find it particularly exciting in light of Bran's vision of Jaime 'armoured like the sun, golden and beautiful'. Cersei's perspective shows unGregor 'blotting out the sun'. Along with the being that Gregor has become, the imagery of the giant in armour connects the two scenes and I think it's safe to assume that Jaime is being supplanted, 'blotted' in Cersei's world. So Cersei's protector and champion will definitely have devastating impact on Sandor and Jaime who will quite possibly be championing the Stark girls sometime in the future as well?

I'm glad you liked it :) And great observation on RS now blotting out the sun/Jaime!

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Wow, brashcandy, that's a pretty powerful post. The Dany and Drogo example particularly calls to mind the prophecy of three mounts at the HotU, where they seem to be linked to erotic encounters.

As for the Cersei extract, I find it particularly exciting in light of Bran's vision of Jaime 'armoured like the sun, golden and beautiful'. Cersei's perspective shows unGregor 'blotting out the sun'. Along with the being that Gregor has become, the imagery of the giant in armour connects the two scenes and I think it's safe to assume that Jaime is being supplanted, 'blotted' in Cersei's world. So Cersei's protector and champion will definitely have devastating impact on Sandor and Jaime who will quite possibly be championing the Stark girls sometime in the future as well?

I'm glad you liked it .And great observation on RS now blotting out the sun/Jaime!

Hold those thoughts ladies! ;)

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That is a good one.

I just want to point out that the Hound was Cersei former protector first as well. Both he and Jaime did decided to rather be Sansa's knnight in a way. Jaime never even met her, though, yet he abbadons everything when Brienne sais she needs him to save her.

Thank you for pointing that out.

Regarding your next point, Jaime has met Sansa. First at Winterfell, then the journey to King's Landing, then at King's Landing. I don't remember any actual encounters, though so I guess your point still stands.

It would also be pertinent to read Lady Lyanna's fabulous post listing the similarities between Jaime and Sandor to which she has very kindly provided a link for on page 9 of this thread.

On a different note, wouldn't it be fabulous if Sansa did truly slay unGregor and save her 'protectors' from his ominous shadow? Or maybe, assuming it is unGregor in the Ghost's prophecy, she will slay him after he has 'blotted' both the sun and the hound?

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A thought: in keeping with our main beauty and beast theme for this thread, I've noticed that the women whose arcs are paralleled with Sansa's throughout the series seem to have claimed their "beasts" at the end of ADWD. Not surprisingly, the language of this "possession" is fairly erotic and suggestive. Will we seeing a similar scenario play out if/when Sansa meets her beast?

Dany and Drogon:

Cersei and Robert Strong:

There's an interesting "orgasmic" similarity in Dany's and Cersei's responses.

The interesting thing about these two examples you cite is the rebirth in the actual scenes. In the Jon/Dany reread we talked about the symbolism in the Shield Hall and how it looked like the inside of a whale (just before his stabbing) and how it fit with a descent into the underworld/rebirth motif. This led to connecting Dany's fighting pit scene with Drogon with similar imagery.

Jaime's dream in the caverns beneath Casterly Rock has birthing imagery to it. There are a number of parallels between this dream and Cersei's walk that ends with Robert Strong picking her up, especially the birth symbolism. Not only have their protectors been reborn but these very scenes are rebirths for Dany and Cersei as well.

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Let me just sheepishly wander back to the courtly love theme. Because that interested me a lot.

When it comes to courtly love regarding Sansa, Pod can come into the picture as well. He is a lesser younger knight, who serves her "husband", yet he does have admiration towards her. Not to mention he is on the "Lets rescue Sansa" mission. And I, as one of the few Sansa/Pod shiper will clutch to that. Excuse me myladies for my heretics, I do also love Sandor, and I love their relationship, but I never shipped it romantucally. Though you do have fascinating discussions about the B&B theme, since this theme never interested me that much, I have not that many smart thing to add that to that discussion. I just read it in awe. Maybe the reson for my Pod Sansa bias is that he is one f the few guys in her life who is not a beast (and not related to her).

However I am aware that the Sandor and Sansa relationship has romantic undertones as well.

I didn't think about Pod at all, but I think it's a valid point. I read Pod like the shy and clumsy boy growing into a competent squire and eventually later into a great knight. Thinking of it: are there any similarities between Dunk&Egg and Brienne&Pod. I haven't read the novellas so... :blushing:

Back on B&B topic. Has anybody looked at the words used to described the different beast characters? For instance Sandor is very often animalized in Sansa's chapters: his nickname is the Hound, Joffrey calls him dog as well. His laugh is "like the snarling of dogs in a pit". He snarls and growls instead of talking... These are the exemples I can think of, but I'm pretty sure there are more.

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The interesting thing about these two examples you cite is the rebirth in the actual scenes. In the Jon/Dany reread we talked about the symbolism in the Shield Hall and how it looked like the inside of a whale (just before his stabbing) and how it fit with a descent into the underworld/rebirth motif. This led to connecting Dany's fighting pit scene with Drogon with similar imagery.

Jaime's dream in the caverns beneath Casterly Rock has birthing imagery to it. There are a number of parallels between this dream and Cersei's walk that ends with Robert Strong picking her up, especially the birth symbolism. Not only have their protectors been reborn but these very scenes are rebirths for Dany and Cersei as well.

Very interesting. Fits in perhaps with Sansa's observation that she went up the mountain, but Alayne Stone is coming down? Also, I agree with your inclusion of Willas Tyrell as one of the beasts, and think he merits some discussion.

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Our illustrious Brashcandy asked me to do some research on Celtic myths (specifically The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn), it's taken me longer than expected to get this information together, so I have to thank her for her patience. :grouphug:

Are there crackpots ahead? Might be! (But it was fun doing research!)

Myths, Dogs, Love and Heroes Part One.

"In the Ulster Cycle of Gaelic/Irish myths, The Morrigan is a goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty. She sometimes appears in the form of a crow, flying above the warriors, and sometimes she also takes the form of an eel, a wolf and a cow. She is generally considered a war deity comparable with the Germanic Valkyries, although her association with a cow may also suggest a role connected with wealth and the land.

She is often depicted as a trio of goddesses, all sisters, although membership of the triad varies; the most common combinations are Badb, Macha and Nemain, or Badb, Macha and Anand; Anand is also given as an alternate name for Morrigu. Other accounts name Fea, and others. "

First, I think that GRRM naming some of the islands in the Vale region "The Three Sisters" might be a poke at the triple goddess aspects to be found in ASOIAF.

Anyway, we have yet another comparison to a triple goddess scenario similar to Maiden/Mother/Crone (Morrigan representing the Crone aspect)

"But some feel that her connection to cows presents her as a goddess of sovereignty, stating that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king."

Could the part about "protecting a King" be referencing Sweetrobin? Granted he's not a King, but he will be the Lord Protector of the Vale....if he lives long enough. We know Petyr is disgusted by him and Sansa knows that if Robert gets too much sweetsleep, there is a chance he won't wake up.

Then there's Petyr's plan to wed Sansa to Harry the Heir. If something happens to Robert, the Vale becomes his. We also know Sansa doesn't want another arranged marriage. Will she do something to protect Sweetrobin?

I think she might, because doing this serves two purposes: one saving her cousins life and two, by Robert being alive- in the end, it protects herself from another unwanted suitor.

As for the The Morrigan and her ambiguous relationship with the hero, Cú Chulainn:

"Cúchulainn encounters the Morrígan, but does not recognize her, as she drives a heifer from his territory. In response to this perceived challenge, and his ignorance of her role as a sovereignty figure, he insults her. But before he can attack her she becomes a black bird on a nearby branch. Cúchulainn now knows who she is, and tells her that had he known before, they would not have parted in enmity.

She notes that whatever he had done would have brought him ill luck. To his response that she cannot harm him, she delivers a series of warnings, foretelling a coming battle in which he will be killed. She tells him, "it is at the guarding of thy death that I am; and I shall be".

In their interactions, Sansa was the only one to really get through Sandor's armour. Her courtesy was a spear that pierced his proverbial armour. We know as he lay "dying" that he had numerous regrets over things he had or hadn't done, and that he felt a lot of loathing/self hate towards himself.

I think the connection with these two mythological figures is that in trying to connect Sansa with the Morrigan aspect, she's not representing physical death--but only a transformation--she triggers something in Sandor that will change him. In many cultures death is often thought of as a "transformation", it doesn't mean only physical death but can also mean "the passing away" of certain things/concepts. (It's like GRRM saying "The Hound" is dead, but Sandor is at rest.) Again, assuming he's now on the QI, surrounded by those rather interesting monks, and the somewhat mysterious Elder Brother--I have to say I'm really interested to see just what GRRM, has in store for Sandor.

As for the Morrigan's sister, Macha, it seems there are a few legends/myths that originate from the one name. One is of Macha Mong Ruad ("red mane"), she is, according to medieval legend, the only Queen in the List of High Kings of Ireland:

"Her father Áed Ruad, alternated ruling Ireland along with his cousins , Díthorba and Cimbáeth, each one ruling seven years at a time. Áed died after his third stint as king, and when his turn came round again, Macha claimed the kingship. Díthorba and Cimbáeth refused to allow a woman to take the throne, and a battle ensued.

Macha won, and Díthorba was killed. She won a second battle against Díthorba's sons, who fled into the wilderness of Connacht. She married Cimbáeth, with whom she shared the kingship. She pursued Díthorba's sons alone, disguised as a leper, and overcame each of them in turn when they tried to have sex with her, tied them up, and carried the three of them bodily to Ulster. The Ulstermen wanted to have them killed, but Macha instead enslaved them and forced them to build the stronghold of Emain Macha (Navan Fort near Armagh), to be the capital of the Ulaid,...

Macha ruled together with Cimbáeth for seven years, until he died of plague at Emain Macha, and then a further fourteen years on her own, until she was killed by Rechtaid Rígderg".

I found the part where it states Macha "overcame the three men who wanted to have sex with her", very interesting. Yes, Sansa did have help repelling unwanted advances and obviously I don't think Sansa can physically overcome a man, due to strength and size issues, that passage does make me think of the men who have tried to coerce her into having sex: Marillion the Bard, and Tyrion.....who will be the third? I'm betting it's Petyr Baelish. :stillsick:

The meaning of the name Nemain is somewhat muddled, as it depends on which language root you choose, but one of the interpretations is:

"The meaning of the name has been various glossed. Squire (2000:45) glossed the name as 'venomous' presumably relating it to the Proto-Celtic *nemi- ‘dose of poison’ ‘something which is dealt out’ from the Proto-Indo-European root *nem- ‘deal out’ (Old Irish nem, pl. neimi ‘poison’ )."

This of course, made me think of the Strangler poison, the black amethysts in the hairnet that Sansa presumably has stashed someplace. (I often wonder as well, did Lysa use her entire supply of the Tears of Lys when she poisoned Jon Arryn? Could some of it still be hanging around? Everyone has left the Eyrie though.) So we speculate again, could this be how she brings about Petyr's downfall? Or could it mean something else entirely--maybe not poison directly--but, maybe Sansa herself is the catalyst, meaning she is the "pretty poison" that might lay Petyr low?

More about Cú Chulainn:

Cú Chulainn's childhood name was Setanta, which means " mythical son of Sualtam". There is some conflict as to who is father was, Sualtam (a mortal man) or Lug/Lugh (an Irish diety) who is also represented by a triad god/triple god aspect (Esus, Toutatis and Taranis--which is something else I'd like to explore).

Cú Chulainn is associated with dogs in Celtic myth, his name translates to "Culann's Hound". Culann was a smith whose house was protected by a ferocious watchdog. Cú Chulainn gained his better-known name as a child after he killed Culann's fierce guard-dog in self-defense, and:

"offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared. It was prophesied that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame, but that his life would be a short one. He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy or ríastrad, in which he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe."

I think I'm seeing a sort of symbolic connection with Lady and Sandor again, where Sandor replaces Lady as a "protector". Also, above it states that he will "take the dogs place until a replacement could be reared." Now in the case of Sansa , who is the "replacement" that will be reared? It doesn't specifically say another dog--just "a replacement".

It's a play on words similar to Cersei's prophesy of the woman who will take everything from her. It doesn't specifically state another Queen will take her place, merely "another", which leaves it open to the readers' interpretation. ( Quote: Queen you shall be... until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear ).

So in relation to Sansa, "The Hound" is dead, but we still have Sandor. Sandor--the real Sandor himself, is going to replace the Hound.

In the passage above where it states Culann's original guard dog was "fierce", Lady, sensing Sansa's fear, did try and protect her from Ilyn Payne (and Sandor too). Here is that passage again:

".....but Sansa could not take her eyes off the third man. He seemed to feel the weight of her gaze. Slowly he turned his head. Lady growled. A terror as overwhelming as anything Sansa Stark had ever felt filled her suddenly. She stepped backward and bumped into someone.

Strong hands grasped her by the shoulders, and for a moment Sansa thought it was her father, but when she turned, it was the burned face of Sandor Clegane looking down at her, his mouth twisted in a terrible mockery of a smile. “You are shaking, girl,” he said, his voice rasping. “Do I frighten you so much?”

He did, and had since she had first laid eyes on the ruin that fire had made of his face, though it seemed to her now that he was not half so terrifying as the other. Still, Sansa wrenched away from him, and the Hound laughed, and Lady moved between them, rumbling a warning."

Also, could the part about the prophesy "that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame, but that his life would be a short one"--relate to the Hound persona again? We don't know exactly when Sandor was given the moniker "the Hound" and I would say the Hound was more infamous, than famous. So it could be that Sandor had the Hound nickname for 10-15 years--and given a person's life span, is that a short amount of time?

Or could this mean something more ominous, like Sandor sacrificing himself for an ideal,etc. I might be leaning more towards the former, only because I think Sandor's days as a "dog" are gone. (More on that in another post!).

Now, I'd like to move on and talk about some other nifty stuff I turned up.

I did some digging on the subject of dogs in mythology. In the past I've talked about how the three dogs in the Clegane arms might be a shout out to Cerberus, and how Orthrus might parallel Gregor.

In Chinese legend there is a dog called "Panhu". Read on:

"There are various myths and legends in which various ethnic groups claimed or were claimed to have had a divine dog as a forebear, one of these is the story of Panhu. The legendary Chinese sovereign Di Ku has been said to have a dog named Panhu. Panhu helped him win a war by killing the enemy general and bringing him his head and ended up with marriage to the emperor's daughter as a reward. The dog carried his bride to the mountainous region of the south, where they produced numerous progeny.

The basic Panhu myth is about a dog who married a princess. The emperor of China in the course of losing a war which he was waging with a neighbor to the west, offered to marry his daughter to anybody that would present him with the head of his enemy. This was accomplished by a large dog. This presented a dilemma to the emperor, who couldn't stand to see his daughter married to a dog. Accounts vary, but eventually the dog and princess procreated copiously."

"There are also various variant versions. In some the dog became transformed into a human, except for his head."

Personally, I'm not sure if Sandor's future story arc involves him killing his brother. But it's been speculated that Sandor might at some point fight Robert Strong, and we have heard that there is a large skull that was sent to Dorne that was supposed to be the Mountain's--though that is also up for speculation.

Because nothing is ever simple in ASOIAF, as usual, I'm thinking this could go a few ways.

It could be that Sandor does fight his undead brother--but --what about Robert Strong's head. He never takes his helmet off--so we don't know if he's got one.

The bringing of the "head" could be a reference to Sandor's "Hound" helm, currently in the possession of Lem Lemoncloak who is with the Brotherhood without Banners. I think it might tie into Sandor getting his name cleared of the crimes committed by Rorge while wearing the helm. In the case of the "dog" becoming human, that once again, points to a possible transformation in Sandor's story.

As for the "dog" marrying "a princess"...well....I guess we have to see! :P

Then we have the tiangou (Chinese: t'ien-kou; literally "Heavenly Dog") is a legendary creature from China. The tiangou resembles a black dog or meteor, which is thought to eat the sun during an eclipse.

This brought to mind Robert Strong and how after Cersei's "walk of shame", he approaches to carry her into the Red Keep:

"A shadow fell across them both, blotting out the sun."

In past threads, many people have likened "the sun" to Jaime wearing his golden armour--specifically when you look at Bran's dream about Sansa and Arya:

"There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood."

The idea entered my mind that it might also refer to Oberyn Martell and his fight against Gregor. I was thinking of how Gregor obliterated Oberyn at the end of the "duel". (Though I feel the former just fits better).

The tengu of Japanese folklore was derived from the Chinese tiangou. The tengu is usually depicted as a bird, or man with a long nose and other bird-like characteristics, while the tiangou is a dog.

The three dogs on the Clegane shield are black, and Sandor does have black hair and a hooked nose (which can also be called roman, aqualine or beaked--referencing "like the beak of an eagle",etc).

Quoting more about the Tengu here:

Tengu,( "heavenly dogs") are a class of supernatural creatures found in Japanese folklore, art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known yokai (monster-spirits) and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (revered spirits or gods). Although they take their name from a dog-like Chinese demon (Tiangou), the tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics. The earliest tengu were pictured with beaks, but this feature has often been humanized as an unnaturally long nose, which today is widely considered the tengu's defining characteristic in the popular imagination Buddhism long held that the tengu were disruptive demons and harbingers of war. Their image gradually softened, however, into one of protective, if still dangerous, spirits of the mountains and forests.(This might be a link to Sandor possibly tempering his rage-- He might be more "focused" but he's still dangerous).

Tengu are associated with the ascetic practice known as Shugendo, and they are usually depicted in the distinctive garb of its followers, the yamabushi.

"Shugendo; is a highly syncretic Buddhist religion or sect and mystical-spiritual tradition which originated in pre-Feudal Japan, in which enlightenment is equated with attaining oneness with the kami (Kami can take on a few meanings. One of them being soul, another "natural forces" or even : In other cases, such as those concerning the phenomenon of natural emanation, kami are the spirits dwelling in trees, or forces of nature). We did speak briefly of trees I think, a few threads back....

"Yamabushi (Literally: "Mountain Warrior") are Japanese mountain ascetic hermits with a long tradition as mighty warriors endowed with supernatural powers. They follow the Shugendo; doctrine, an integration of mainly esoteric Buddhism of the Shingon sect. For the most part solitary, they did form loose confederations, and associations with certain temples, and also participated in battles and skirmishes alongside samurai on occasion. Their origins can be traced back to the solitary Yamabito. There has also been cross-teaching with samurai weaponry and Yamabushi's spiritual approach to life and fighting."

"Yamabushi began as yamahoshi, isolated clusters (or individuals) of mountain hermits, ascetics, and "holy men", who followed the path of shugendo;, a search for spiritual, mystical, or supernatural powers gained through asceticism. Men who followed this path came to be known by a variety of names, including kenja, kenza, and shugenja. These mountain mystics came to be renowned for their magical abilities and occult knowledge, and were sought out as healers or mediums...."

I know I wouldn't be the first to make the connection, but here we have "warrior monks" who live a simple life, who are isolated, and who were sought out as healers. All of these things bring to mind the Elder Brother and the Quiet Isle. The Elder Brother is known as a spectacular healer, being able to cure difficult cases that no other healer could fix. The Quiet Isle is secluded from the rest of the world. And if the Elder Brother was a Knight, how many of the others on the QI were Knights too?

The Faith of the Seven have many "sects" within the Faith Militant. And Bonifer Hasty has his "Holy Hundred". Interesting enough Bonifer Hasty, like Ser Barristan, is also another who loved above his station (lost love/unrequited love, seems to be a theme in ASOIAF):

According to Barristan Selmy, Princess Rhaella and Bonifer Hasty were once infatuated with one another prior to the princess' official betrothal to her brother Prince Aerys. Ser Bonifer once wore the princess' favor in a tourney in which he defeated all challengers to name Rhaella his Queen of Love and Beauty. Their love was ultimately a brief thing. It could never have been otherwise; Ser Bonifer was of far too low birth to even be considered as a suitor for a princess of royal blood. When Rhaella married Aerys, Ser Bonifer found solace in religion, saying that only the Maiden could replace Rhaella in his heart.

Part Two to follow........................

EDIT: formatting, spelling.

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:bowdown:

The Irish symbolism is unnervingly close. Fantastic post - I look forward to picking over it and looking closer at the symbolism!

As far as the tengu are concerned, I'm not too sure about that aspect of things. In most of the stories (or at least the stories I know) tengu are tricked somehow by the main character, and while the main character usually receives their righteous comeuppance, the tengu serve in an antagonistic or initiating position, as opposed to as a foil or friend, the only exception I can think of being a kid who goes into the forest and ends up getting trained by a tengu in a Karate-Kid-style montage-type expository sequence.

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Queen of Winter :bowdown:

That made for fantastic reading, truly. I know it was a lot to heap on your plate, and I'm so grateful that you took the time to do it. Gosh, I have so many things to mention :)

1. I really like the connection there at the end between Ser Bonifer and Sandor. I know we're naturally skeptical about Sandor and the faith, but maybe his association with the QI will play out in some kind of organized resistance.

2. The references to Japanese folklore - quite enlightening and definitely sheds light on Sandor's experiences.

3. The Panhu myth again is very interesting. I agree with your options on how this could play out in the text. As it stands, both brothers are "headless" - with Sandor missing the central symbol of his identity as the Hound.

4. Sandor as Lady's replacement/Cu Chulainn- Great observation that Sandor might be the one replacing his other beastly identity. Given Sansa's thoughts about him in ASOS/AFFC, she's much more interested in the man, not the animal. Also, the replacement could be Sansa herself, growing stronger and more capable.

5. I loved, loved what you came on with on the Morrigan, and how you tied it into the various aspects of Sansa's identity. We know Sansa is inspires transformation in others, and she fits in with the maiden and mother archetypes. The Crone could be symbolic of her gaining wisdom and knowledge. Regarding the men Macha enslaves who wanted to have sex with her, the three you gave are good choices, but HtH could be considered as well. We've talked about how she could end up utilizing the Vale resources to assist the North and the Riverlands, so maybe she'll find a functional purpose for one, if not all of these men. Or, perhaps instead of enslavement, they'll provide a way for Sansa's liberation?

Anyways, those are my initial thoughts!

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5. I loved, loved what you came on with on the Morrigan, and how you tied it into the various aspects of Sansa's identity. We know Sansa is inspires transformation in others, and she fits in with the maiden and mother archetypes. The Crone could be symbolic of her gaining wisdom and knowledge. Regarding the men Macha enslaves who wanted to have sex with her, the three you gave are good choices, but HtH could be considered as well. We've talked about how she could end up utilizing the Vale resources to assist the North and the Riverlands, so maybe she'll find a functional purpose for one, if not all of these men. Or, perhaps instead of enslavement, they'll provide a way for Sansa's liberation?

Taking a quick look at the men in question:

Marillion helped her avoid death by being a handy scapegoat for the murder of her aunt. If Marillion or LF - both of them - had not been present, then Sansa would have either taken a walk out the moon door or been executed for murder. Marillion has already saved her, though against his will - enslavement, anyone?

Tyrion was also a useful scapegoat for Joff's murder, but as Sansa didn't really commit it, this is beside the point. Until he dies, however, Sansa is protected from marriage, and her marriage to him prevented her from being executed. He also protected her from Joff.

I'm still not sure if Tyrion qualifies, which may be why everything doesn't fit quite right yet, but I'm sure that as pretty as Sansa is, there'll soon be more guys to add to the list.

Which is a very depressing thought. :shocked:

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So, I was flipping through AFFC and noticed this:

Brienne:

Meribald pronounced a prayer before the food was served, and whilst the brothers ate at four long trestle tables, one of their number played for them on the high harp, filling the hall with soft sweet sounds.

Alayne:

"Music soothes him," she corrected, "the high harp especially. It's singing he can't abide, since Marillion killed his mother."

I don't know, but put the harpist together with the healing powers of the EB, and the QI is sounding like the perfect place for Sweetrobin. :) (and maybe there might be something in it for Sansa too)

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Thank you Beets and brash. I'm glad that you both enjoyed that post. There is more to come, as soon as I can finish my thoughts, I'll post the second part. :)

@ brash, in response to your numbered post:

1. I really like the connection there at the end between Ser Bonifer and Sandor. I know we're naturally skeptical about Sandor and the faith, but maybe his association with the QI will play out in some kind of organized resistance.

Definitely skeptical about Sandor and the Faith! But I do think he has some lessons to learn from those monks. Anyway, one of the reasons I mentioned Bonifer was because of Ser Barristan saying "When Rhaella married Aerys, Ser Bonifer found solace in religion, saying that only the Maiden could replace Rhaella in his heart."

Remember when Sandor and Arya were fighting The Tickler & Co at the Inn? Sandor just found out that Sansa had been married off to Tyrion--recall his reaction--how he sat down and started drinking,etc. Then later when he's dying, his anguish about not taking Sansa with him when he left Kings Landing. When Brienne visited the QI and spoke to the Elder Brother, he knew right away who Brienne was looking for, without her even mentioning Sansa's name. I'm positive the EB knows Sandor's thoughts about Sansa. And the EB pretty much told Brienne to stop looking for The Hound, since he was "dead" and that Sandor was at rest. Perhaps right now while he's on the QI--that solitude and distraction is exactly what he needs, maybe not to that extent. (More thoughts about that in Part Two). ;)

5. I loved, loved what you came on with on the Morrigan, and how you tied it into the various aspects of Sansa's identity. We know Sansa is inspires transformation in others, and she fits in with the maiden and mother archetypes. The Crone could be symbolic of her gaining wisdom and knowledge. Regarding the men Macha enslaves who wanted to have sex with her, the three you gave are good choices, but HtH could be considered as well. We've talked about how she could end up utilizing the Vale resources to assist the North and the Riverlands, so maybe she'll find a functional purpose for one, if not all of these men. Or, perhaps instead of enslavement, they'll provide a way for Sansa's liberation?

Ah, the only reason why I didn't mention Harry the Heir was that Sansa hasn't actually met him yet. If she does indeed eventually meet him and he tries to seduce her, we could add his name to the list.

If you think about it though, in a way Sansa has already enslaved those three men (Marillion, Tyrion and Petyr), just by being Sansa-and by being something that is beautiful and desirable. Remember Cersei telling Sansa tears were a woman's weapon, but what was between her legs was also a weapon and she had better learn to use it. I don't think Sansa would go that far, but she might find a way to have men do her bidding as well.

EDIT: grammar

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Definitely skeptical about Sandor and the Faith! But I do think he has some lessons to learn from those monks. Anyway, one of the reasons I mentioned Bonifer was because of him saying "When Rhaella married Aerys, Ser Bonifer found solace in religion, saying that only the Maiden could replace Rhaella in his heart."

And we know Sandor found his solace in the Mother :)

Ah, the only reason why I didn't mention Harry the Heir was that Sansa hasn't actually met him yet. If she does indeed eventually meet him and he tries to seduce her, we could add his name to the list.

If you think about it though, in a way Sansa has already enslaved those three men (Marillion, Tyrion and Petyr), just by being Sansa-and by being something that is beautiful and desirable. Remember Cersei telling Sansa tears were a woman's weapon, but what was between her legs was also a weapon and she had better learn to use it. I don't think Sansa would go that far, but she might find a way to have men do her bidding as well.

Good point. Perhaps we could throw SR in here as well?

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And we know Sandor found his solace in the Mother :)

Yes, very true.

Good point. Perhaps we could throw SR in here as well?

That thought had crossed my mind due to Robert always wanting to kiss Sansa and sleep in her bed. ( :ack: )

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Wow! Just amazing stuff QOW and everyone. I just wanted to chime in on a thought about the Valonqar that I think Arabella brought up earlier. We learned in Sam's POV from Aemon that Valyrian language doesn't have genders and so Aemon came to believe that Dany was the "Prince" that was promised. This got me wondering whether the valonqar will be a girl. My crackpot had been Arya, because of the way Sandor exclaims "The little sister" when he runs into her in Beric's cave. But, I just got to thinking the other day, Sansa is a little sister too!

(As I typed this 4 new responses popped up. I can't keep up!)

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Queen of Winter ~ What an excellent post! :D :D :D

I am a fan of Celtic mythology as well, and CuChulainn has long been a favourite (not in the least due to the Hound connection ;) ). Cuchulainn as a beast is interesting, as the descriptions of his transformation into a monstrous state when the ríastrad comes upon him often focus on how hideous this makes his face. (Of course, when thinking of the battle-rage, I cannot also help but be reminded of the Old Norse berserkr (bear/bare-shirt) and ulfhéðnar (Wolf-skin), who, as portrayed in literature at least, were though to transform into a similarly frenzied, monstrous state in battle.)Though, as Queen of Winter noted, he is not always in that battle-rage state, and his main role is as a protector....the protect of Ulster.

Another parallel with the Old Norse, is that, like the Morrigan, the the figure of the valkyrja (pl. valkyrjur) is literally the ‘chooser of the slain’. Valkyries are also associated with birds, especially ravens, as these (along with eagles and wolves) are one of the three main Beasts of Battle (aka animals that appear on the battlefield to eat or carry off the dead warriors, and therefore appear frequently in Old English and Old Norse heroic poetry). Not only are valkyries associated with ravens, but also in some cases they are aligned with swans, the svanmeyjar, swan -maidens, whose swan-feathers can be stolen by those who would take them as wives until the time comes that they find their feather-cloaks again and disappear (see: the animal wife motif as seen also in Celtic lore, ala selkies.)

This also reminds me of the Norse goddess Freyja’s ability to transform into a falcon via her feðrhamr (feather-cloak), a power that is briefly ‘borrowed’ from her at one point by Loki (LF is always a such a Loki figure to me *cough hack cough*).

Another Old Norse connection to the above, is that of the Norns, who are likewise figures of the “Three Sisters” variety: Urðr (Wyrd or 'fate'), Verðandi (Happening, or 'present'), and Skuld ('debt' or 'future').

Thanks for getting my gears going.....this thread never ceases to be stimulating. :)

Edited for clarity.

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Queen of Winter, I am in awe! Where's the like button when we need it?

"But some feel that her connection to cows presents her as a goddess of sovereignty, stating that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king."

Could the part about "protecting a King" be referencing Sweetrobin? Granted he's not a King, but he will be the Lord Protector of the Vale....if he lives long enough. We know Petyr is disgusted by him and Sansa knows that if Robert gets too much sweetsleep, there is a chance he won't wake up.

Then there's Petyr's plan to wed Sansa to Harry the Heir. If something happens to Robert, the Vale becomes his. We also know Sansa doesn't want another arranged marriage. Will she do something to protect Sweetrobin?

I think she might, because doing this serves two purposes: one saving her cousins life and two, by Robert being alive- in the end, it protects herself from another unwanted suitor.

Sweetrobin isn't a king but the Arryns WERE kings before Aegon. ;)

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Thank you Elba, Valkyrja and Lady Lea. :)

Valkyrja, I did like your thoughts on the berserkr rage--it had come to my mind too when reading about the riastrad. Yes, to the Valkyries too! (Then it makes me think of the Rhinemaidens...another trinity). And I agree with you on LF being a Loki figure--I had always thought of him as being very much like a satyr as well.

Thanks for getting my gears going.....this thread never ceases to be stimulating. :)

This thread is very good for getting the old grey matter working, right? ;)

Queen of Winter, I am in awe! Where's the like button when we need it?

:blush: :blush: :blush:

Sweetrobin isn't a king but the Arryns WERE kings before Aegon. ;)

Yes, the Arryn's were descended from Andal nobility. :)

EDIT: spelling

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Wonderful job QoW.

I remember looking into Bran the Blessed to see if there were any parallels to Bran. (Bran means Crow) The actual direct storyline parallels were few but the story elements were plentiful. Bran had a sister married to someone who was abusing her. She trained a starling to fly and bring news to her brother of her plight. Bran and his half brother sailed to save their sister. His half brother sacrificed himself to destroy a magic cauldron that was raising the dead after an ambush at a wedding feast where nearly everyone was slaughtered. So there's Bran, Jeyne Poole, Ramsay, Jon, the Red Wedding, wights but they're all jumbled. There are obvious departures like the Jon figure being more of a Norse Loki type but you can clearly see a strong Celtic influence even if it lacks perfect one to one parallels. You picked up on some great ones.

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Wonderful job QoW.

I remember looking into Bran the Blessed to see if there were any parallels to Bran. (Bran means Crow) The actual direct storyline parallels were few but the story elements were plentiful. Bran had a sister married to someone who was abusing her. She trained a starling to fly and bring news to her brother of her plight. Bran and his half brother sailed to save their sister. His half brother sacrificed himself to destroy a magic cauldron that was raising the dead after an ambush at a wedding feast where nearly everyone was slaughtered. So there's Bran, Jeyne Poole, Ramsay, Jon, the Red Wedding, wights but they're all jumbled. There are obvious departures like the Jon figure being more of a Norse Loki type but you can clearly see a strong Celtic influence even if it lacks perfect one to one parallels. You picked up on some great ones.

Glad you liked the post, Ragnorak! :)

That's the thing about ASOIAF and myths-there are not many direct one to one parallels, but there are many striking similarities along the edges--sometimes its only a little--just enough to blur things up and make you look twice. ;)

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