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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIV

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I've been re-reading a lot of my old feminist film theory notes for the essay I'm planning, and they highlight how in classic narrative cinema the woman is not only there as an object - to be looked at - but even when she's given the power of the look, typically in women's films and horror movies, she ends up having to be punished within the story or have the threat she represents otherwise negated through processes like fetishism and voyeurism. To look/to gaze is to desire, and obviously to have access to the power and control that is implicit in the male gaze. It's interesting that in the relationship between Sansa and Sandor, she is (nearly) punished on the night of the Blackwater, not for looking, but for her refusal to look, which reveals Sandor's desire to be desired.

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I've been re-reading a lot of my old feminist film theory notes for the essay I'm planning, and they highlight how in classic narrative cinema the woman is not only there as an object - to be looked at - but even when she's given the power of the look, typically in women's films and horror movies, she ends up having to be punished within the story or have the threat she represents otherwise negated through processes like fetishism and voyeurism. To look/to gaze is to desire, and obviously to have access to the power and control that is implicit in the male gaze. It's interesting that in the relationship between Sansa and Sandor, she is (nearly) punished on the night of the Blackwater, not for looking, but for her refusal to look, which reveals Sandor's desire to be desired.

And that's what differentiates him from all other men in her life: his desire to be desired by her, not to impose his desire on her or cajole her into desiring him back. He is not going to let her delude herself regarding his appearance, because he himself has no illusions about it: he knows he's disfigured and that women aren't going to look at his face lovingly... But, like we were discussing once, he knows his physical fitness and ability as a warrior, a protector and a provider has no cracks, and that's something he has to offer if a woman were willing to look at him in the face and accept him as he is, because he's not going to transform into a beautiful Prince Charming in the dark. The problem with Sandor is, then, his attitude, his bitterness, not so much his scars in itself. It's about the how, not the what.

And that, as you know, is a theme for another paper I'm preparing. Looking forward to yours, by the way.

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That was a great post Milady, I absolutely enjoyed reading it ^_^. I feel like there's nothing I can say about it. However, I just wanted to comment on the following lines:

And the biggest irony in this scene is that, by declaring this to her, Sandor Clegane, the Hound, the No-Knight, the Knighthood hater, is following the Second Precept the courtly love tradition imposed as a rule for a knight’s behaviour with his lady: Never lie to her.

I wanted to keep that piece of information for my big essay on courtly love. Where did you find it :D ?

Just a quick remark: the "do not lie" rule doesn't only apply to the relationship with the lady. In the 12th century, in France, a new and more refined way of life emerged. Courtliness was an important part of this new way of life. Courtliness was about refined manners but also about moral elegance. For this reason, the "do not lie" rule also has an important meaning in real life and isn't only related to courtly love.

Anyway, whatever he says, I think Sandor displays many knightly behaviors. Now, you see why I wanted to write about Sandor and (courtly) knights ;).

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Anyway, whatever he says, I think Sandor displays many knightly behaviors. Now, you see why I wanted to write about Sandor and (courtly) knights ;).

FWIW, I think Brienne will be Sansa's true knight---I mean no romantic relationship, just friend and protector as Brienne swore to be. It would get interesting if Brienne decided that the safe place to take Sansa was the Quiet Isle :-) Getting Sansa out of the Vale is the problem with this idea: PedoPetyr is hardly going to release Sansa to Brienne---perhaps a kidnap plot by the Mad Mouse that gets Sansa as far as the Crossroad's Inn. Throw in assistance by Gendry and the Blackfish; stir well.

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Milady that was an interesting essay.

In all their "meetings" he grasps her. From the night of the Hand Tourney, the serpentine, the Maegor´s Holdfast roof and the night at BBB. The night of the Hand´s Tourney, he grasps her after that she has touch his shoulder, so she is the one that initiates the contact as a way of looking at.

It came to my mind after reading the ask for the song before the door of her bedroom as a way of asking, asking for intimacy and asking as a "may I enter".

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Before I go on to read the second part of Milady's AMAZING essay, I want to say that I'm beating myself over the head at this point at not having consciously grasped this before. When I was growing up, in a very conservative society, cultural restraints did not allow for the depiction of intimacy in explicit forms. Not even a peck on the cheek or forehead. Directors of TV plays used such micro-gestures and the gaze to depict an enormous range of emotions, amongst which was the grabbing of the wrist. Those plays and mini-series are still regarded as the most romantic drama serials ever made in Pakistan.

It's one of the reasons that Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle's performances in Pride and Prejudice were so powerful and familiar. Richard Armitages smouldering gaze and a hand-shake became he ultimate erotic gestures in North and South. It is possibly one of the reasons that amongst so many storylines in ASOIAF, it is this 'seen' relationship (as opposed to the implied R+L) that arouses so much debate and why not many in the more 'culturally advanced'(?) parts of the world can see the implied romance.

Marvellous and thought-provoking, Milady! On to read the second part! :read:

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I know Arabella!!!

I love the way Japanese culture of just showing an arm arouse desire (right now thinking at a special book that the title doesn´t come to my mind, when it does I will write it).

Anyway, when I start going out with my husband, just the way that he smoke (the way his arm moves at that action) gives me a lot of feelings, that in others I haven´t had. And a simple touch multiplies that emotions.

And here you can see that small gestures that send them emotions. Sansa is just to young to notice them, but at the Vale she is "reminding" her emotions.

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My comment is probably not on topic--it's about Sansa, but not about the Beauty and Beast theme that underlies her relationships with the men in her life. In previous threads, we've seen how, mentally and psychologically, she is and grows to be more like her father. In this connection, I could not help recalling the tourney at Harrenhal where Ned, a shy young boy of fifteen, is very attracted to Ashara Dayne, a lady in waiting to the Crown Princess, no less. However, it is Brandon, his older and more socially confident brother, who has to go up to her and ask her to dance with his younger brother. Although the Ashara-Ned relationship comes to nothing, because of the Rebellion, and because of Ned's marriage to Catelyn, their names are linked in the minds of people, and it is assumed that she is Jon's mother. There are also hints of a relationship with a fisherman's daughter and Wylla, a midwife now living at Starfall, the Dayne holdfast in Dorne.

Sansa also shares this trait with her father--she is drawn to the socially prominent Joffrey, and hopes to marry him and bear his children. Of course, this comes to nothing (thank the Gods!) because he was terrible husband material. However, she might well end up with someone who might not seem to be the obvious choice for her, just as Catelyn, betrothed to Brandon Stark, was not the obvious choice for Ned. We also have to keep in mind that Martin loves to shatter his readers' expectations. Just think of what happened to Ned in AGoT or Robb in ASoS.

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FWIW, I think Brienne will be Sansa's true knight---I mean no romantic relationship, just friend and protector as Brienne swore to be. It would get interesting if Brienne decided that the safe place to take Sansa was the Quiet Isle :-) Getting Sansa out of the Vale is the problem with this idea: PedoPetyr is hardly going to release Sansa to Brienne---perhaps a kidnap plot by the Mad Mouse that gets Sansa as far as the Crossroad's Inn. Throw in assistance by Gendry and the Blackfish; stir well.

Brienne is definitely a knight but what I meant is that it would be interesting to work on the discrepancy between Sandor's words and actions with regard to knighthood.

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My comment is probably not on topic--it's about Sansa, but not about the Beauty and Beast theme that underlies her relationships with the men in her life. In previous threads, we've seen how, mentally and psychologically, she is and grows to be more like her father. In this connection, I could not help recalling the tourney at Harrenhal where Ned, a shy young boy of fifteen, is very attracted to Ashara Dayne, a lady in waiting to the Crown Princess, no less. However, it is Brandon, his older and more socially confident brother, who has to go up to her and ask her to dance with his younger brother. Although the Ashara-Ned relationship comes to nothing, because of the Rebellion, and because of Ned's marriage to Catelyn, their names are linked in the minds of people, and it is assumed that she is Jon's mother. There are also hints of a relationship with a fisherman's daughter and Wylla, a midwife now living at Starfall, the Dayne holdfast in Dorne.

Sansa also shares this trait with her father--she is drawn to the socially prominent Joffrey, and hopes to marry him and bear his children. Of course, this comes to nothing (thank the Gods!) because he was terrible husband material. However, she might well end up with someone who might not seem to be the obvious choice for her, just as Catelyn, betrothed to Brandon Stark, was not the obvious choice for Ned. We also have to keep in mind that Martin loves to shatter his readers' expectations. Just think of what happened to Ned in AGoT or Robb in ASoS.

Are you saying that Sansa might 'end up' with Sandor because the other characters wouldn't be expecting it or that she might not because they are already linked in many readers' minds? Both seem to be possibilities. What I'm hoping is that GRRM's serious when he says that he has the entire plot mapped out and had originally planned three books. If he had written only three books then I think less readers would have picked up on or even expected a romantic outcome for Sansa and the Hound. There would have been less scenes and meetings. An even more subtle connection than the one covering four books so far.

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I know Arabella!!!

I love the way Japanese culture of just showing an arm arouse desire (right now thinking at a special book that the title doesn´t come to my mind, when it does I will write it).

Are you thinking of Memoirs of a Geisha?

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My comment is probably not on topic--it's about Sansa, but not about the Beauty and Beast theme that underlies her relationships with the men in her life. In previous threads, we've seen how, mentally and psychologically, she is and grows to be more like her father. In this connection, I could not help recalling the tourney at Harrenhal where Ned, a shy young boy of fifteen, is very attracted to Ashara Dayne, a lady in waiting to the Crown Princess, no less. However, it is Brandon, his older and more socially confident brother, who has to go up to her and ask her to dance with his younger brother. Although the Ashara-Ned relationship comes to nothing, because of the Rebellion, and because of Ned's marriage to Catelyn, their names are linked in the minds of people, and it is assumed that she is Jon's mother. There are also hints of a relationship with a fisherman's daughter and Wylla, a midwife now living at Starfall, the Dayne holdfast in Dorne.

Sansa also shares this trait with her father--she is drawn to the socially prominent Joffrey, and hopes to marry him and bear his children. Of course, this comes to nothing (thank the Gods!) because he was terrible husband material. However, she might well end up with someone who might not seem to be the obvious choice for her, just as Catelyn, betrothed to Brandon Stark, was not the obvious choice for Ned. We also have to keep in mind that Martin loves to shatter his readers' expectations. Just think of what happened to Ned in AGoT or Robb in ASoS.

Salient points. Instead of Ned/Ashara mirroring Sansa/Joffrey, I would argue that they mirror Sansa/Sandor, in that Sandor, like Ashara, holds a prominent position in the royal retinue, as Joffrey's sworn shield. Also, to tease out more parallels, wasn't Ned in some ways like Sandor, living in the shadow of an older brother? Of course, Brandon is nothing like Gregor, but it's interesting to consider that Sandor and Sansa's connection is facilitated via Gregor and the story of his mad rage. The next day of course, Sansa sees that madness up front and close when Gregor attacks Loras, all leading to Sandor's eventual declaration as champion of the tourney.

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So yeah Milady, didn't think it would be possible, but after reading those detailed analyzed essays about the Serpentine Steps and the UnKiss moment, you just made me love thoes scenes a lot more!! I particularly liked the bit where we see that when Sandor pulled her closer when he told her he could keep her safe during Blackwater, he just did that (no lifting of chins) because he was only wanting to sort of protect her with his body (sorry, can't recall the way you descrobed it but it was so evocative), not expecting a kiss or anything at that tiny moment: just acceptance *fainting*

ArabellaVidal, ahh i know what you mean about the gestures from BBC's P&P and North and South! There is also in the 2005? version of P&P that moment when Darcy helps Lizzy get into the carriage for like the fraction of a second, and then i saw Keira Knightley commenting on the dvd that she thought that gesture quite powerful and touching. at the time i saw that i was barely a kid so i didn't think much of it even if i always remembered her words when i re-watched that moment, but now, after that lovely essay on grabbing wrists and lifting chins and bearing Sandor's soul in a way more openly to us, I can understand what Keira meant.

Ahh, Bgona, if you mean Memoris of a Geisha- i liked that book but haven't re-read it in years.

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Salient points. Instead of Ned/Ashara mirroring Sansa/Joffrey, I would argue that they mirror Sansa/Sandor, in that Sandor, like Ashara, holds a prominent position in the royal retinue, as Joffrey's sword shield. Also, to tease out more parallels, wasn't Ned in some ways like Sandor, living in the shadow of an older brother? Of course, Brandon is nothing like Gregor, but it's interesting to consider that Sandor and Sansa's connection is facilitated via Gregor and the story of his mad rage. The next day of course, Sansa sees that madness up front and close when Gregor attacks Loras, all leading to Sandor's eventual declaration as champion of the tourney.

Ah! The plot thickens!

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Are you thinking of Memoirs of a Geisha?

Yes, indeed! Sometimes I forgot names! Strange that I was thinking about the book and not the movie. :dunno:

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This is another interesting touch reference. Nobody else has tried to "pet him", this is about her:

He is a dog, just as he says. A half-wild, mean-tempered dog that bites any hand that tries to pet him, and yet will savage any man who tries to hurt his masters.

And I love the hand imagery here:

She’d thought she was going to die then, but the fingers had twitched, all five at once, and the man had shrieked loud as a horse. When his hand fell away, another hand, stronger, shoved her back into her saddle.

It's like GRRM zooms in the camera when they are together to the moment of contact.

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Hey all!

So I will posting a massive LF analysis shortly. It's basically a truncated LF "reread," that focuses on his relations with Sansa as well as a wider character analysis; it became so large I have to break it into a series. After some deliberating, I decided to do it by book, so I'm planning on 4 of these over the next few days, starting with aGoT tonight. If anyone desires to keep some good LF ammunition on hand, I can send any interested parties the 12 pages of raw text excerpts from book 1 (heh). Anyway, just wanted to give a heads up.

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And I love the hand imagery here:

It's like GRRM zooms in the camera when they are together to the moment of contact.

I was just thinking about that moment. It is as if Sandor didn´t let another one to grasp her wrist, not letting another to get the same contact than him.

Edit: Just to add

to Le Cygne.

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Hey all!

So I will posting a massive LF analysis shortly. It's basically a truncated LF "reread," that focuses on his relations with Sansa as well as a wider character analysis; it became so large I have to break it into a series. After some deliberating, I decided to do it by book, so I'm planning on 4 of these over the next few days, starting with aGoT tonight. If anyone desires to keep some good LF ammunition on hand, I can send any interested parties the 12 pages of raw text excerpts from book 1 (heh). Anyway, just wanted to give a heads up.

I'm happy that you've decided to do it book by book :) As for the raw material, I'd love to have it: [email protected]

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