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From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIII

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Good catch about the gray armor, QoW! And gray is one of the Stark colors.

I agree about Sansa being very much like Ned (and in the analysis of Ned and Sansa, this came up again and again). I want to add something that I had forgotten on first read and only caught because I'm doing a re-read of various storylines in AGOT through ASOS: Robb was born at Riverrun (Ned left Cat with her father while he was off at war). Sansa was the first of the Stark children born at Winterfell. Robb, as we all know, King in the North though he was, spent most of his time in the Riverlands and died there. I think Sansa's bieng the first of Ned's children actually born at Winterfell is significant, though maybe I'm crackpotting at a tiny detail. :)

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No, I don't think that's a bad theory. The mine: Sansa will return to Winterfell where lied Lady's bones. The bones of their wolves also are at the crypts.

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I've only had a chance to browse lately and finally read through and caught up. Wonderful posting all around. Milady and Queen of Winter, you two have just been on fire.

Well, it's always struck me that Sandor seems like a "Northman" to me, even though he's a Westerman. (He even has the coloring of the Starks--dark hair and grey eyes :rolleyes: ). But it's also something in his demeanor that makes me feel the North would be a good place for him.

Also, the North has no knights, probably due to the fact they follow the Old Gods, and not the Faith of the Seven. It makes me think of Sandor and his refusal to be called "Ser" or thought of in any sort of knightly terms, even when he became part of the Kingsguard.

<snip>

I'm so glad you made note of this. Even from my first read Sandor always struck me as having a certain "of the North" quality though I never took the time to dissect it. When he spoke of entering Robb's service, even before entertaining whether he would be accepted or not, I thought he would fit in. I can't remember when it first occured to me but it was there and stood out as a conscious thought my first read. In the LtL thread we noted the "Bloody Southron Fools" theme and how the Northmen and the Wildlings were so similar and the Southron knights were the foreigners in part of their own kingdom. So much so that when Tycho the Iron Banker shows up in a three tiered hat he still fits in more than the southerners that he accompanies. I suspect something about Sandor struck me as having a Northern sense of honor, but whatever it was the connection stood out and was a memorable one. Glad I'm not alone.

On Sansa as a wolf in sheep's clothing. This post by Tze talking about Lysa and Sansa's clothes in the Snow Winterfell chapter describes it best.

The Saint was indeed a TV series starring Roger Moore and I'd be shocked if Martin didn't watch it (and highly surprised if he didn't read the books as well.) The characters are polar opposites but there is still the "true knight" at heart aspect despite Sandor and Simon both possessing criminal/villain surface characteristics and roles.

Loved the Ser Bonifer Hasty posts. That always struck me as a big ripening plot detail but I always tied it to the newly armed Faith. Your takes are so much more interesting and fit perfectly as well.

It was honey (sweet, sincere courtesy) that first won Sandor over before he was soothed by the song. Although he does confess in the BwB cave, his first confession is really to Sansa after the Tourney. I'm not sure what to make of his dual rebirth or if he we should view him as having dual confessions as well. The cave is certainly a rebirth but then we have another with the Quiet Isle where we literally hear his "last dying words" with Arya. One for Sandor one for the Hound? Not sure if that fits, but the two rebirths bears further investigation.

Milady, love the I am no Ser legal brief both in content and presentation. Sansa probably has the most poetic chapters in terms of imagery and description. Snow Winterfell, the cloud castles, and the frozen Alyssa's Tears above ants below passages are the one's that jump out. I don't remember any other specific poetic references or phrasing by Sandor. I think there's a strong poetry and the Beast connection in the modern incarnations so I think that's something to be on the look out for.

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Good catch about the gray armor, QoW! And gray is one of the Stark colors.

I agree about Sansa being very much like Ned (and in the analysis of Ned and Sansa, this came up again and again). I want to add something that I had forgotten on first read and only caught because I'm doing a re-read of various storylines in AGOT through ASOS: Robb was born at Riverrun (Ned left Cat with her father while he was off at war). Sansa was the first of the Stark children born at Winterfell. Robb, as we all know, King in the North though he was, spent most of his time in the Riverlands and died there. I think Sansa's bieng the first of Ned's children actually born at Winterfell is significant, though maybe I'm crackpotting at a tiny detail. :)

No, you and me both. I read the Cat chapter in AGOT where she travels with Robb back to Riverrun and she remarks that she left when he was still in swaddling clothes and how he wears plate and mail.

Robb was the only Stark child born in Riverrun, and he died in the Riverlands too. The others were born in the north. It may be a bit morbid to consider and I hate tying it into the "X is no Stark" which tend to run rampant on the forums, but I do wonder if the rest of the Starks are automatically meant more for the North since they were born there, all of them.

Ragnorak,

On Sandor as possible northman/first men blood: I share your views on this, too. It will be great to get more of the North in TWOW since we've not had a huge amount of it. Only really Alys Karstark and the mountain clans. Cat's chapters have some, but there they are all mixed up with Riverlanders and speaking about a particular purpose, so you get no real "feel" of what it's like to live in the north.

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Ragnorak I love the post. Thanks.

I see the downfall of Arya as being at the same level both Sansa and Arya.

The trees that keep Winterfell able to rebuilt makes me think about Bran. He is the one that is the strength and the union of all (of the three balls: Rickon, Arya and Sansa). They will be the three to rebuilt Winterfell.

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Totally out of topic.

My daughter is learning to play chess and today we were playing a pawn run. I guess that she has learn this to know the movements of each piece. At this game: the pawn has to reach the end of the enemy field to be turn out to a Queen.

Then the pawn run beguins and when a pawn or the Queen reach that end enemy field it gets the Knight.

After another knight or a tower, then the bishop and the last piece is the king.

This can be applied to Sansa: she was a pawn when she arrives at KL. There she was at the enemy field and she became a "Queen" (she was bethroyed to the prince and she is the heiress of the North, until Rickon reappears) and she got a knight (Sandor, maybe she got two knights or more: Jaime and Brienne). If you watch the movements of the knights, they are erratic, they move making a L. This can be aplied to all the movements of Brienne, Jaime and also Sandor. They are not straight movements. And right now the three of them are at Riverlands (the middle field).

The Queen is a powerful piece, can move in all directions and the amount of squares that she wants. More than the king that has poor movements only one square at each movement (this reminds me to the king boy Tommen and right now Bran or Rickon). But all the pieces must defend the king cause his death means the end of the game.

Right now Sansa is with one of the bishops: Petyr. The other bishop that I see is Varys. The bishop always moves on diagonal, sideways. And sideways it is an adjetif that feets so properly with both.

GRRM likes chess (he used to arbitrate chess tourneys). This can be an explanation for the introduction about cyvasse at ASOIAF. In addition, it must be remembered that the chess was introduced at Europe at the Middle Age thru arabs (one of the major places of introduction was Spain).

The roots of the chess came from the Indian Chaturanga where it was played by 4 opponents.

I remembered that we had a chaturanga at home. And the colors that it has was black, white, red and green. But this is not relevant cause the colors are not stablished (or at least I couldn´t find out that).

What I found interesting are two things about that game:

- That gotting the drowned man you win when they got no more movements.

- And that the player that got naked to the other king first wins. By naked it was mean to take all the other pieces player.

Hope that you like this. And that it makes you think about.

Edit: Just to add that they are two books (at least that I recall) that use also chess as a part of their plot. One is The Eight by Katherine Neville and the other one is La Tabla de Flandes by Arturo Perez-Reverte (that GRRM has already said that he admires him).

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Totally out of topic.

My daughter is learning to play chess and today we were playing a pawn run. I guess that she has learn this to know the movements of each piece. At this game: the pawn has to reach the end of the enemy field to be turn out to a Queen.

Then the pawn run beguins and when a pawn or the Queen reach that end enemy field it gets the Knight.

After another knight or a tower, then the bishop and the last piece is the king.

This can be applied to Sansa: she was a pawn when she arrives at KL. There she was at the enemy field and she became a "Queen" (she was bethroyed to the prince and she is the heiress of the North, until Rickon reappears) and she got a knight (Sandor, maybe she got two knights or more: Jaime and Brienne). If you watch the movements of the knights, they are erratic, they move making a L. This can be aplied to all the movements of Brienne, Jaime and also Sandor. They are not straight movements. And right now the three of them are at Riverlands (the middle field).

The Queen is a powerful piece, can move in all directions and the amount of squares that she wants. More than the king that has poor movements only one square at each movement (this reminds me to the king boy Tommen and right now Bran or Rickon). But all the pieces must defend the king cause his death means the end of the game.

Right now Sansa is with one of the bishops: Petyr. The other bishop that I see is Varys. The bishop always moves on diagonal, sideways. And sideways it is an adjetif that feets so properly with both.

GRRM likes chess (he used to arbitrate chess tourneys). This can be an explanation for the introduction about cyvasse at ASOIAF. In addition, it must be remembered that the chess was introduced at Europe at the Middle Age thru arabs (one of the major places of introduction was Spain).

The roots of the chess came from the Indian Chaturanga where it was played by 4 opponents.

I remembered that we had a chaturanga at home. And the colors that it has was black, white, red and green. But this is not relevant cause the colors are not stablished (or at least I couldn´t find out that).

What I found interesting are two things about that game:

- That gotting the drowned man you win when they got no more movements.

- And that the player that got naked to the other king first wins. By naked it was mean to take all the other pieces player.

Hope that you like this. And that it makes you think about.

Edit: Just to add that they are two books (at least that I recall) that use also chess as a part of their plot. One is The Eight by Katherine Neville and the other one is La Tabla de Flandes by Arturo Perez-Reverte (that GRRM has already said that he admires him).

:bowdown: Yet another awesome post in this O so awesome thread!

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No, you and me both. I read the Cat chapter in AGOT where she travels with Robb back to Riverrun and she remarks that she left when he was still in swaddling clothes and how he wears plate and mail.

Robb was the only Stark child born in Riverrun, and he died in the Riverlands too. The others were born in the north. It may be a bit morbid to consider and I hate tying it into the "X is no Stark" which tend to run rampant on the forums, but I do wonder if the rest of the Starks are automatically meant more for the North since they were born there, all of them.

A few weeks ago I had a look at the structure of a GoT because I thought this division in various points of view is too specific to be random. I found that all Sansa's chapters (except the last one) follow or precede Ned's chapters. I believe it's too peculiar to be ignored as no other characters (even among the Stark children) follow such a repetitive pattern... except one: Jon Snow who also often follows or precedes Ned's chapters. Am I completely insane, or is there something interesting here? I mean the structure of a GoT shows that Sansa is strongly connected to Ned.

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A few weeks ago I had a look at the structure of a GoT because I thought this division in various points of view is too specific to be random. I found that all Sansa's chapters (except the last one) follow or precede Ned's chapters. I believe it's too peculiar to be ignored as no other characters (even among the Stark children) follow such a repetitive pattern... except one: Jon Snow who also often follows or precedes Ned's chapters. Am I completely insane, or is there something interesting here? I mean the structure of a GoT shows that Sansa is strongly connected to Ned.

No, I think that's a great observation, especially when you consider the realization we made a couple threads ago that Sansa walks in the footsteps of both her parents - Ned in King's Landing when LF is taking him to see Cat, and her mother in the Eyrie. For those interested in what Mahaut has noted:

Sansa I then Eddard III

Sansa II then Eddard VII

Eddard XI then Sansa III then Eddard XII

after Ned is captured, we have: Arya IV then Sansa IV

Sansa V then Eddard XV

Arya V - Ned's execution, then Bran VII, followed by Sansa VI

Of course, the content of this organization houses some contentious debates, namely about Sansa's responsibility in Ned's death. Outside of that, it would be interesting to discuss the deeper relevance of this juxtaposition, and the parallels between their experiences in KL.

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Good catch about the gray armor, QoW! And gray is one of the Stark colors.

I agree about Sansa being very much like Ned (and in the analysis of Ned and Sansa, this came up again and again). I want to add something that I had forgotten on first read and only caught because I'm doing a re-read of various storylines in AGOT through ASOS: Robb was born at Riverrun (Ned left Cat with her father while he was off at war). Sansa was the first of the Stark children born at Winterfell. Robb, as we all know, King in the North though he was, spent most of his time in the Riverlands and died there. I think Sansa's bieng the first of Ned's children actually born at Winterfell is significant, though maybe I'm crackpotting at a tiny detail. :)

Oooh, I like that! Good one KRBD. :thumbsup:

No, I don't think that's a bad theory. The mine: Sansa will return to Winterfell where lied Lady's bones. The bones of their wolves also are at the crypts.

Hmmm, I'm not sure bgona. Are they in the crypts themselves or just buried at Winterfell? (I don't remember). :huh:

I've only had a chance to browse lately and finally read through and caught up. Wonderful posting all around. Milady and Queen of Winter, you two have just been on fire.

I'm so glad you made note of this. Even from my first read Sandor always struck me as having a certain "of the North" quality though I never took the time to dissect it. When he spoke of entering Robb's service, even before entertaining whether he would be accepted or not, I thought he would fit in. I can't remember when it first occured to me but it was there and stood out as a conscious thought my first read. <snip> I suspect something about Sandor struck me as having a Northern sense of honor, but whatever it was the connection stood out and was a memorable one. Glad I'm not alone.

Thanks Ragnorak! And yes, good point about him saying he was going to serve Robb. I really do think that Sandor is a Northman at heart. I'm glad to see there are others who think the same as well. :)

(Let's not forget too that Arya is mistaken for his son or daughter when traveling together. And Sansa also dreamed about having a daughter who looked like Arya. ) :rolleyes:

The Saint was indeed a TV series starring Roger Moore and I'd be shocked if Martin didn't watch it (and highly surprised if he didn't read the books as well.) The characters are polar opposites but there is still the "true knight" at heart aspect despite Sandor and Simon both possessing criminal/villain surface characteristics and roles.

I thought the similarities intriguing. ;)

Loved the Ser Bonifer Hasty posts. That always struck me as a big ripening plot detail but I always tied it to the newly armed Faith. Your takes are so much more interesting and fit perfectly as well.

I'm so glad that you liked them. It was lurking in the back of my mind for some time. I think there's definitely a hidden meaning there.

It was honey (sweet, sincere courtesy) that first won Sandor over before he was soothed by the song. Although he does confess in the BwB cave, his first confession is really to Sansa after the Tourney. I'm not sure what to make of his dual rebirth or if he we should view him as having dual confessions as well. The cave is certainly a rebirth but then we have another with the Quiet Isle where we literally hear his "last dying words" with Arya. One for Sandor one for the Hound? Not sure if that fits, but the two rebirths bears further investigation.

There will be more to come in Part 3 of my project (if you can stand to read more from me!). I'm still working on sorting out my thoughts, and getting things in order though. It will hopefully address some of those issues (along with caves, Sandor's trial,etc).

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Thanks Petit Oiseaux et bienvenue.

Queen of Winter I don´t are sure right now if their bones are at the crypts or just buried at Winterfell. I can´t look the books right now.

But at least they are at Winterfell. And they are another wolves buried at the crypts, the ones of the Kings.

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<snip>

There will be more to come in Part 3 of my project (if you can stand to read more from me!). I'm still working on sorting out my thoughts, and getting things in order though. It will hopefully address some of those issues (along with caves, Sandor's trial,etc).

Looking forward to it.

I'm still fascinated by this dual rebirth. I can't think of any other character who has something similar (but could be my memory). They're both full judgment/death/resurrection moments too with the second a less formal trial by Arya where she's the judge, jury, but declines executioner. Both happen in the same book as well and he isn't even a POV character. Are there any other non-POV characters with a rebirth? Maybe Jorah and he is another beast.

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Thanks, Ragnorak. I hope we'll be finding more and more little yet very revealing poetic details like those already uncovered.

Do you have notice the shaggy adjetive? Maybe it can be as a reminder of Shaggydog.

Martin uses the word "shaggy" a lot: the Old Bear's "shaggy grey beard," Robb's "shaggy and windblown hair," Gendry's "shaggy and unkempt" appearance when Ned met him, the "shaggy garrons," many a direwolf is described as having a shaggy fur, etc...

But there is only a canine that is described as big and shaggy, although the colour of his fur isn't mentioned (that I've read so far), and that's Meribald's companion, Dog, whose ear the Gravedigger scratched:

"... he was a huge, shaggy creature, ten stone of dog at least, but friendly." (AFFC, pp. 868 e-book)

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Lady is buried in Winterfell's lichyard, where "the kings of winter buried their most trusted and loyal servants." And yes, Sansa even build a lichyard in her snow castle :)

Nice catch on having the Sansa/Eddard chapters being so close to one another! I had only noticed this when the tourney was happening and when we have ned's last chapter and varys talks about bringing him Sansa's head.

Bgona, as i told you earlier today, great topic about chess!!

& about Cersei's walk of shame: It's really tough for me to read it as well. no matter what she did before, i always feel for her when that is happening. I did notice the Sansa and her little wolf reference, but i was more concerned with the revelation of LF asking for her hand just after Ned had died (thanks in a big part to petyr!), but now that we are pointing out once more the similarities between sansa and ned, i think it is important that Sansa was in cersei's mind during the WoS. it was symbloic that she was beside Ned, but since i believe Sansa is the younger more beautiful (girl? the text never says "queen") from cersei's prophecy, the fact that she was actually regretting some of her behaviour towards sansa is relevant. when people say dany is the most beautiful version cersei dreads to encounter, i don't buy it cause if a targaryen suddenly conquers westeros, she and cersei would have no personal history for cersei's prophecy to be ironic. She has been assuiming that it was Margaery, but back in AGOT- did she ever think it could be sansa? she doesn't i think expect her to be Sansa at all anymore though, but since i don't want cersei and sansa to see each other again, i don't know how cersei would come to realize who the younger version was

EDIT: where is the LIKE buttom?? :(

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I think Sansa actually inverts quite a bit of the "Beauty and the Beast" story, rather than sticking to the traditional arc. B&TB is a story in which a girl chooses imprisonment with a Beast---a transformed Prince who has shut himself away from the world---in exchange for her father being set free by the Beast; she and the Beast then fall in love, and the Beast is transformed back into a handsome prince. Sansa starts out on that path . . . but while Sansa is definitely imprisoned, her father ultimately isn't set free by the "beast" Joffrey, he's executed. The expected results never materialize: Sansa's imprisonment does not save Ned, Joffrey is never transformed out of his "beast" self, and Sansa falls out of love with, and ultimately escapes from, him---this is the exact opposite of the "Beauty and the Beast" plot arc. The same thing happens with Tyrion: the new male head of Sansa's House, Robb, is again killed, Tyrion never transforms from his physical "beast" state, and Sansa never falls in love with with him either. The Beauty neither loves nor transforms these Beasts.

The idea of self-sacrifice, via self-imprisonment, is a strong element of B&TB---but Sansa never chooses to be imprisoned by Joffrey, Tyrion, or Sandor. She actively flees from the first two, and refuses to isolate herself on the road with the latter. There's an argument that her time with Littlefinger basically has her more accurately following the story by choosing imprisonment with a beast in exchange for her father---just with Littlefinger in both the "beast" and "father" roles---but I think it's hard to judge right now, given the open-endedness of Sansa's current storyline (especially given the chances of Sansa killing Littlefinger, which certainly would throw a huge wrench in any parallel or inversion to B&TB).

And as it pertains to Sandor Clegane, there's an interesting inversion operating with the effect the "beauty" has on the "beast". In B&TB, the Beast isolates himself from human society, and the Beauty causes him to re-enter the social arena, via transforming him, with her love, from an animalistic figure into a handsome prince---into a person both operating in a hierarchical role created and sustained by human society while existing in a form celebrated by that society (a handsome prince). This is actually the exact opposite of what happens to Sandor as a result of Sansa's influence: he goes from operating in a clear-cut role in human society (sworn shield to the prince, later the king) to a more animalistic-associated (in that he's closer to the wilderness) figure divorced from the social hierarchy of his society. Sandor goes from a celebrated (more or less) position at the royal court into isolation at the Quiet Isle---the exact opposite of the Beast's traditional journey.

In a way, this seeming inversion might be more understandable if we understand just what influence Sansa appears to be having on Sandor. Sansa, never forget, is a warg. Wolves, we're told, can never be tamed, and we repeatedly see people try--and ultimately fail--to "tame" and control Sansa. Dogs by their very nature are easily tameable. Sandor Clegane starts out as a dog, obeying all of the orders he's given. He slowly becomes wilder and wilder, more and more difficult to "tame", over the course of his association with Sansa, leading to him eventually abandoning his position and the court entirely---Sansa's influence drives him into the wilderness, away from the "center" of society. This is the opposite of what we'd expect from the "Beauty's" influence on the "Beast", but what's interesting is that here, the Beauty does indeed transform the Beast into a form more like her. In B&TB, the Beast basically becomes a male Beauty. But Sansa, as a warg, is herself a "beast"---just in a more literal sense than "beasts" like Joffrey/Tyrion/Littlefinger. Sandor becomes more "wolflike" via the influence of Sansa, a warg, so in a twisted sense the Sansa/Sandor influence arc does parallel B&TB, simply with the ultimate destination of the two character arcs inverted---the Beauty is actually more of a true beast than the Beast himself, and she influences the Beast to become more of a "beast", to make himself more like her (more of a wolf than a dog).

Others have already brought up the parallels between Sandor and Ser Bonifer, and I also think there's actually quite an interesting parallel operating (inversely) between Sansa and Rhaella Targaryen. Sansa and Rhaella seem to have started traveling on the same path, but instead of directly mirroring Rhaella (and thus, suffering her fate), Sansa's plot arc seems to frequently be veering off the path Rhaella's arc took.

The queen had been cloaked and hooded as she climbed inside the royal wheelhouse that would take her down Aegon’s High Hill to the waiting ship, but he heard her maids whispering after she was gone. They said the queen looked as if some beast had savaged her, clawing at her thighs and chewing on her breasts. A crowned beast, Jaime knew.

Entering the royal wheelhouse was something Sansa strove for back in AGOT (remember how excited she was when she was permitted to ride in the royal wheelhouse with Cersei and Myrcella?), yet the royal wheelhouse was a space forbidden to Lady, and therefore to Sansa's internal "beast"---the royal wheelhouse was a place that barred Sansa's direwolf both literally (as Lady could not enter it) and figuratively (as Sansa would have to act in a certain "ladylike" fashion there). The things represented by the "royal wheehouse" are things that Sansa originally desired, but soon grew to despise; we know little about Rhaella's early life, but we do know that, in the end, she was forced into the royal wheehouse whether she wanted it or not. Rhaella has access to the royal wheelhouse because she was married to Aerys---but the price of her status, her queenship, was her physical destruction, first via Aerys's vicious rape(s), and later by her own death in childbirth. Rhaella leaves for Dragonstone (and her own death) surrounded by the benefits (the royal wheelhouse) and costs (her injuries) of her own queenship. We don't know if queenship was ever something Rhaella desired, but we do know it was something Rhaella could never escape.

Rhaella Targaryen was the beauty here, and Aerys was the beast. But again, Aerys's "beastliness" comes from his humanity, not from any association with actual animals. Because "beast" isn't necessarily synonymous with "evil monster".

The man who raped and killed at Saltpans was not Sandor Clegane, though he may be as dangerous. The riverlands are full of such scavengers. I will not call them wolves. Wolves are nobler than that... and so are dogs, I think.

Throughout ASOIAF we see characters like Rorge referred to as "beasts in human skin", and described by other characters using animalistic imagery, but in reality, such men are acting like humans, not "beasts". They have little intrinsicly in common with the literal "beasts in human skin" (the skinchangers), because when the former act, they're simply showing the worst aspects of their own humanity, they're not copying or embodying the actions of actual animals. Real animals tend not to hang each other in cages just to watch them slowly die, after all. There's a difference between a "beast" like Joffrey, who was of course simply acting like a terrible human being, and a "beast" like the Stark wargs, because in the latter case "beast" is synonymous with "animal" but not with "monster", while those like the former act out a particular amount of viciousness that only humans tend to exercise, and thus are synonymous with "monster" (or rather, the monstrous aspects of humanity) but not necessarily with "animal". As his marriage with Rhaella progressed, Aerys became more "bestial" in the sense that he began demonstrating the absolute worst characteristics of his own human nature, which does parallel what happened with, for example, Sansa and Joffrey (who was of course associated with Aerys on more than one occasion, and whose desire to rape Sansa was ultimately thwarted, while Aerys's rape of Rhaella was ultimately facilitated).

I think it's interesting to compare Rhaella and Sansa, because Sansa seems in so many ways to be this generation's inversion of Rhaella, so I wonder what implications that comparison has for Sansa's eventual fate. Rhaella ended up a tortured Queen at the mercy of a mad king---something that Sansa, early in AGOT, seemed destined to become (via her betrothal to Joffrey). Joffrey made it clear that he intended to rape Sansa, as Aerys raped Rhaella---but Joffrey died before he could do so. And then there's the Ser Bonifer/Sandor Clegane parallel:

His passion was impossible, of course. A landed knight is no fit consort for a princess of royal blood.

While still a princess, Rhaella fell in love with a landed knight from the Stormlands, Ser Bonifer Hasty. Sansa is considered a princess in the North, and she has some form of relationship with Sandor Clegane, whose House (of landed knights) is of approximately the same status as House Hasty (and with Gregor's death, Sandor can make a claim to the holdings of a landed knight, so he's potentially in that weird position of beng a non-knight who's heir to the holdings of a landed knight); both "princesses" fell for "landed knights" who were too lowborn to marry.

But instead of marrying Ser Bonifer, Rhaella was forced to marry her brother Aerys, who by the end of his life "smell[ed] like a privy". In ACOK, Sansa's "brother", Theon, thinks:

A pity Ned Stark had taken his daughters south; elsewise Theon could have tightened his grip on Winterfell by marrying one of them. Sansa was a pretty little thing too, and by now likely even ripe for bedding. But she was a thousand leagues away, in the clutches of the Lannisters. A shame.

And Theon, of course, later becomes the smelly, smelly Reek. But while Rhaella ended up getting repeatedly raped by her "smelly" brother in the Red Keep, Sansa actually escaped suffering the same fate at the hands of her "brother" Theon due to her imprisonment in the same place as Rhaella---the Red Keep. We don't know if Ser Bonifer ever offered to take Rhaella away from the Red Keep, as Sandor did for Sansa, but we do know that both Sansa and Rhaella remained there---yet Rhaella suffered a fate there that Sansa did not suffer, rather ironically, because she was there. (Not in the sense that she wasn't in terrible danger at the Red Keep, obviously, simply that the end result was different for each.) Theon was a false Prince of Winterfell, just as Joffrey was a false King of Westeros. When Joffrey publicly cuts himself on the Iron Throne, people start yelling about how the Iron Throne is rejecting him---and Aerys cut himself on the Iron Throne all the time, (hence the nickname King Scab). There's this repeated emphasis on Sansa not marrying a "false" ruler, where Rhaella was forced to do just that---to marry someone ill-equipped to hold the office of King.

And had Sansa been in Winterfell rather than King's Landing, she might have eventually found herself in Jeyne Poole's position (forced to marry Ramsay). Look at Rhaella's injuries from her "beast" Aerys---she looked "as if some beast had savaged her, clawing at her thighs and chewing on her breasts"---and compare them to Jeyne Poole's injuries from her "beast", Ramsay:

The wolfskins fell away from her. Underneath them she was naked, her small pale breasts covered with teeth marks.

What Ramsay does to Jeyne echoes what Aerys did to Rhaella, and it's a fate that Sansa could easily have suffered, but has explicitly escaped, ironically due to her own imprisonment. And where both Jeyne and Rhaella hide their physical injuries, Sansa's are viewed by everyone (as Joffrey had her beaten in full view of the entire court). Yet while Jeyne is physically attacked by Ramsay, and Rhaella is physically attacked by Aerys, Sansa is not (personally) physically attacked by Joffrey---he farms out the beatings to the Kingsguard. There might be implications in the fact that "the beast" personally wounds both Rhaella and Jeyne, but Sansa's "beast" does not or cannot personally (physically) harm her.

What's also interesting is the justaposition between the failed methods of protection: Jeyne is wearing wolfskins, but she is no wolf. Rhaella is exiting from Aegon's High Hill, a place that, as a Targaryen (and just as much a descendant of Aegon the Conqueror as Aerys was), should have been a place of power for her, yet it was the place where she was actually weakest (due to the fact that Aerys, the one person who could torment her as he liked, never left the Red Keep). Sansa is separated from both Winterfell and Lady, two sources of personal protection---but as I already remarked, she would probably have suffered a terrible fate had she remained in Winterfell, and though Lady is dead, Ned had Lady's body sent to the Winterfell lichyard so that Lady's "skin" would forever be out of the reach of House Stark's enemies; and indeed, no matter how many people try to injure Sansa, her wolfskin---her wolf "self"---is always out of their reach.

Rhaella's "landed knight" love, Ser Bonifer Hasty, is the current holder of Harrenhal. Sansa's current "beast", Littlefinger, is the current Lord of Harrenhal. Rhaella was just about the only noblewoman in Westeros who failed to attend the Tourney of Harrenhal, and while Sansa has never visited it either, Sansa has been repeatedly associated with the same bat imagey that Lords of Harrenhal tended to take as their sigils. And in ASOS, we had this scene:

Sansa chose a pear instead, and took a small delicate bite. It was very ripe. The juice ran down her chin.

And in AFFC, we had Ser Bonifer Hasty:

cutting up a pear as withered as he was, so as to make certain that its nonexistent juice did not stain his pristine purple doublet, embroidered with the white bend cotised of his House.

Both Sansa and Ser Bonifer are shown eating pears, but Ser Bonifer's pear is juiceless, whereas Sansa's is filled with juice. Is this a hint that, while Ser Bonifer went out of his way to avoid "staining" himself (by embracing the Faith), Sansa in fact will "stain" herself (by rejecting the Faith)?

Jaime thinks that Ser Bonifer and his Holy Hundred are "better known for their lovely horses than for the foes they’d slain." There are interesting implications for Sansa and Sandor in Ser Bonifer: as of AFFC, Sansa is trapped in the Vale, the first land conquered by the Andals (supposedly the Andals actually landed on Littlefinger's land on the Fingers, which I doubt is coincidental): this is a place heavily associated with the Faith, yet while there Sansa seems drawn closer and closer to the Old Gods. We last saw Sandor on the Quiet Isle, a stronghold of the Faith---but let's not forget that the brothers there dwell in a hollow hill, a place heavily associated with the Old Gods. I don't think it's safe to assume that Sandor will be, or at the very least will remain, a fighter for the Faith in perpetuity. Ser Bonifer threw himself into the Faith after acknowledging his inability to marry Rhaella, but that decision provided little actual benefit to anyone, as Ser Bonifer and his men are all show: he never saved Rhaella (and Rhaella could not save herself), and the soldiers he leads have accomplished no great deeds. (Interesting that when we last saw Ser Bonifer, he was being positioned as an enemy of the Brotherhood Without Banners, a group that is certainly not "all show".) If Sandor Clegane is meant to invert Ser Bonifer, then looking at Ser Bonifer's fate---leader of a basically useless Faith-based martial group---tells us what Sandor will not become.

Rhaella fell in love with a landed knight, but instead was forced to marry her "beastly" brother and become a Queen. Ser Bonifer did nothing to help her, instead throwing himself into a showy---but ultimately useless---religious-based order, and Rhaella apparently had neither the means nor the ability to rescue herself. Sansa inverts Rhaella in several ways, and I wonder what implications there are for Sansa in Rhaella's fate: Sansa has her own beastly nature as a skinchanger, an ability that Rhaella lacked. Will Sansa's ability to be a "beast" help to save her from Rhaella's fate? Rhaella ended up as a Queen, but the nature of her path to queenship destroyed her. Sansa was intended for Rhaella's path in AGOT, but evaded it. Littlefinger now wants to put her back on that path, but it seems likely that Sansa will again evade it. (And as a side note, the Rhaella comparison is one reason why, though I can see Aegon trying to marry Sansa, I don't think he'll ever actually succeed.)

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I tend to think the Faith will find out what he is and either have him put down, or that when Cersei flees the capital (I can't see her staying on while having lost power like she has and with the Lannisters on the wane and Aegon coming) that she'll take him with her. He might off Lancel first though, if the Faith is stupid enough to pick him as their champion, although I tend to think it will be either Loras (unburnt and not dead) or someone else.

EDIT: I might add here, I do not think it would be in keeping with the way the story is going if UnGregor got to fight Sandor or Jaime. Jaime has rejected Cersei and seems to be on another path, while Sandor is hopefully getting some much needed therapy at the QI. Often people seem to focus more on what is badass than what is realistic, or what would be good for a realistically drawn character. Like all the people who are overjoyed with Arya being a coldhearted assassin. That's not a happy person in making, and neither was Sandor. The Elder Brother described his life as writ in blood and wine, and I think Sandor's was the same.

Well, well, "a shaggy grey dog that might have been her wolf".

Say no more, say no more, nudge nudge wink wink, know what I mean? (because Monty Python are never wrong)

I wonder if the colour is significant? Cersei can't say if it's a dog or a wolf and it's described as grey and shaggy. Grey is the Stark colour and I doubt Cersei had the first clue on Lady's colouring.

Just wanted to say to this that I could not agree more. Every time I see people saying that the Hound is going to fight Robert Strong and it will be an awesome battle, blah, blah blah I just want to reach through the computer screen and shake some sense into these people. The whole point of him being on the quite isle is to get past those feelings of hate for his brother and move beyond that. It would set back his character development to the point of where he was at the beginning of the books if he did this. The only way I could see it happening is if somehow it was to save Sansa and I just don't think the way the character arc is playing out that that will happen. Same for Jaime. He is slowly, painfully divorcing himself from Cersei and to have him go back and end up being her downfall as either her valonqar or through some battle with RS would just be devastating for him.

(Ok as I was typing this Tze just posted another brilliant post with lots to think about.)

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tze, tze :) That post... no words, brilliant as usual.

The latter bit you mentioned about the brothers of the QI residing in a hollow hill, associated with the Old Gods - that's a fascinating point I never realised. QoW and I have spent time corresponding on the significance of the cave where the EB dwells - IIRC the door is made from weirwood? Plus, the description of the side of the isle where the women's cottages are always seemed significant to me, with the emphasis on the wilder landscape. (sorry for not quoting/doublechecking, but I'm travelling and don't have access to the books).

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snip of tze's amazing post!

Oh tze, you come back to this thread with a wonderful post which contains some bits we haven't IIRC really touched upon before regarding Sansa/Rhaella, but which your words ceratinly showed that the comparisons were there! :bowdown:

It is indeed very lucky of Sansa to have escaped Rhaella's fate both in KL (with Joff) & in Winterfell (with ramsay). You touched on many good points, but i wanted to touch briefly the one which reminded me of the dragonknight and naerys secret doomed love.

If i wondered about what would have happened had he Blackwater hadn't been such an important point for Sandor and fate would have been merciless enough to have sansa become joff's queen, i iwould alway associate the love triangle of the dragonknight and his brother and naerys,their sister with sandor and joff and sansa (although it can be applied with cersei/Jaime/rob as well i guess). And i think Sandor wouldn't have left her. a good thing D&D gave us on S2 was an insight of what would've happened had Sansa become the queen: Sandor would have done hateful things to spare Sansa some pain when he was all that stood before her and joffrey.

After you said these things in your post:

I think it's interesting to compare Rhaella and Sansa, because Sansa seems in so many ways to be this generation's inversion of Rhaella, so I wonder what implications that comparison has for Sansa's eventual fate. Rhaella ended up a tortured Queen at the mercy of a mad king---something that Sansa, early in AGOT, seemed destined to become (via her betrothal to Joffrey). Joffrey made it clear that he intended to rape Sansa, as Aerys raped Rhaella---but Joffrey died before he could do so.

As his marriage with Rhaella progressed, Aerys became more "bestial" in the sense that he began demonstrating the absolute worst characteristics of his own human nature, which does parallel what happened with, for example, Sansa and Joffrey (who was of course associated with Aerys on more than one occasion, and whose desire to rape Sansa was ultimately thwarted, while Aerys's rape of Rhaella was ultimately facilitated).

Of course i had to think of now Rhaella and bonifer and the mad king... Sansa has managed to escape many horrible scenarios that would have made her a Rhaella 2,so i think that means george cares about her enough to have deciced he would develop her charachter growth with the care he has

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Totally out of topic.

My daughter is learning to play chess and today we were playing a pawn run. I guess that she has learn this to know the movements of each piece. At this game: the pawn has to reach the end of the enemy field to be turn out to a Queen.

Then the pawn run beguins and when a pawn or the Queen reach that end enemy field it gets the Knight.

After another knight or a tower, then the bishop and the last piece is the king.

This can be applied to Sansa: she was a pawn when she arrives at KL. There she was at the enemy field and she became a "Queen" (she was bethroyed to the prince and she is the heiress of the North, until Rickon reappears) and she got a knight (Sandor, maybe she got two knights or more: Jaime and Brienne). If you watch the movements of the knights, they are erratic, they move making a L. This can be aplied to all the movements of Brienne, Jaime and also Sandor. They are not straight movements. And right now the three of them are at Riverlands (the middle field).

The Queen is a powerful piece, can move in all directions and the amount of squares that she wants. More than the king that has poor movements only one square at each movement (this reminds me to the king boy Tommen and right now Bran or Rickon). But all the pieces must defend the king cause his death means the end of the game.

Right now Sansa is with one of the bishops: Petyr. The other bishop that I see is Varys. The bishop always moves on diagonal, sideways. And sideways it is an adjetif that feets so properly with both.

GRRM likes chess (he used to arbitrate chess tourneys). This can be an explanation for the introduction about cyvasse at ASOIAF. In addition, it must be remembered that the chess was introduced at Europe at the Middle Age thru arabs (one of the major places of introduction was Spain).

The roots of the chess came from the Indian Chaturanga where it was played by 4 opponents.

I remembered that we had a chaturanga at home. And the colors that it has was black, white, red and green. But this is not relevant cause the colors are not stablished (or at least I couldn´t find out that).

What I found interesting are two things about that game:

- That gotting the drowned man you win when they got no more movements.

- And that the player that got naked to the other king first wins. By naked it was mean to take all the other pieces player.

Hope that you like this. And that it makes you think about.

Edit: Just to add that they are two books (at least that I recall) that use also chess as a part of their plot. One is The Eight by Katherine Neville and the other one is La Tabla de Flandes by Arturo Perez-Reverte (that GRRM has already said that he admires him).

Rather interesting that you should mention chess.

Because apparently this book says that originally the chess queen was actually a vizier (in the polygamous courts of the Middle East and India) and that the influence of powerful queens such as Isabella of Castile made the chess queen the most powerful piece on the board.

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