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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIV

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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 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.

Gods! The Starks are the oldest of the great houses, the former Kings in the North, and wardens of the North until Tywin was imprudent enough to appoint Roose Bolton. At the time of the Harrenhal Tourney, Ashara's father should have thrilled to marry his daughter to the second son of House Stark. The Daynes, not that much older a house than the Starks, if at all, are bannermen to house Martell and probably not as important as house Yronwood and by a fair margin too.

The Cleganes would be regarded as little more than up jumped hedge knights by the houses of the North and the Riverlands; even by the Boltons, who would nevertheless like the idea of SanSan precisely because the shame and scandal of it would get Sansa out of the way of Ramsey's marriage to "Arya", and their claim to Winterfell.

Unfortunately, what you are saying here is just a non-starter.

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Unfortunately, what you are saying here is just a non-starter.

It seems like you've assumed that my highlighting parallels between Ned/Ashara and Sansa/Sandor was meant to suggest that Sandor would have been considered a viable match for a Stark daughter at that point in time, but that's not the case, and neither is it even relevant to the discussion. Anyways, whilst Ned would never have envisioned a romance between his daughter and Joffrey's sworn shield, the only attributes he privileges are "brave, gentle and strong."

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Alas, it seems I misread your post; sorry about that. I seem to be doing that more often of late: maybe it has something to do with being sixty-three :-(

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Gods! The Starks are the oldest of the great houses, the former Kings in the North, and wardens of the North until Tywin was imprudent enough to appoint Roose Bolton. At the time of the Harrenhal Tourney, Ashara's father should have thrilled to marry his daughter to the second son of House Stark. The Daynes, not that much older a house than the Starks, if at all, are bannermen to house Martell and probably not as important as house Yronwood and by a fair margin too.

The Cleganes would be regarded as little more than up jumped hedge knights by the houses of the North and the Riverlands; even by the Boltons, who would nevertheless like the idea of SanSan precisely because the shame and scandal of it would get Sansa out of the way of Ramsey's marriage to "Arya", and their claim to Winterfell.

Unfortunately, what you are saying here is just a non-starter.

Why have I forget this?? I should remember that!

Old-Growth is good to have all age rating here!! This gives us a lot of different point of view. And about misreading: we all sometimes do it. It doesn´t mind age. ;)

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Brilliant post Milady. :)

One thing stood out to me for slightly different reasons:

“Lady,” she whimpered softly, wondering if she would meet her wolf again when she was dead.

Interesting considering Sansa is now "dead" to much of the world, in that only Alayne exists (GRRM's own words, more or less). Indication that she will meet her wolf replacement while still "dead", i.e. still posing as Alayne Stone?

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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:

So "Streetcar Named Desire" is on TV tonight, and it just made me think how when I saw a lot of movies based on Tennessee Williams' plays when I was in my teens...I loved them, but was often like, "wait, what?" And a lot of the reason for this was because because of the filming restraints and sensibilities when these movies were being made, in the 50s and 60s, they couldn't portray a lot of things that happened in the plays. So they would compensate for that with euphemisms like "I saw him crying" for a character who was actually gay...something I didn't get at all until I actually read the play later. (And it's actually been a while since I saw the movie, so I hope I'm remembering that correctly--but there were a lot of things like this with different T.W. movies). Maybe audiences at the time understood what some of these euphemisms meant, unlike me, who was watching it 40 or so years later?

Obviously GRRM is a modern writer writing for modern people, but it is interesting to consider stuff like this!

Arabella, what are the names of some of these Pakistani movies you refer to? Thanks!

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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 .

it would be interesting to work on the discrepancy between Sandor's words and actions with regard to knighthood.

We definitely are going to learn a bit more about these discrepancies with our little project on l'amour courtois, Mahaut. The Hound is two metres of pure contradiction. He does prattle on and rants about knights, but he sure does display many knightly traits in his behaviour toward the little bird, and some out of it, because as you pointed out, the rules of courtly love also aimed at a more moral conduct for men by imposing precepts that could result in a more refined and nobler behaviour outside of amorous interaction, too. Milady was surprised to find out that he, although we cannot say he’s the epitome of knighthood like Ser/My lady Brienne, does in fact follow so many of the Precepts and of those he doesn't, one is ambiguous and at least two cannot be held against him, because they're for a certain situation we haven’t seen him in… yet.

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Thank you, Caro and Lyanna. You’re tempting Milady into analysing other scenes. :)

And I love the hand imagery here:

Quote

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.

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.

The imagery is very compelling, indeed. On the other hand, not all hand touching and wrist-grabbing have the same significance. This a life or death scenario, and therefore all of Sandor’s bodily movements here are not to be interpreted as unconscious, emotionally-driven gestures of affection but conscious ones. He’s in full fighter mode and moving accordingly, all of his gestures are his warrior reflexes at work and are fuelled by the survival instinct, and the need to both protect himself and the little bird from an angry mob that could’ve harmed them both. Sansa had her hands on the reins, so the rioter pulled her by what was nearer to him and Sandor cut him, using his free hand to shove her back into the saddle so they both could ride away to safety in the Red Keep.

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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.

Thank you very much, Arabella.

This is a “relationship in the making,” we’ve seen it forming from zero, and still hasn’t finished but is still unfolding in Sansa’s memories. The beauty of it is, as you put it, “seeing” it develop before our very eyes. We haven’t that anywhere else in the books. There are loving couples, sure, but we do not see them evolving, not even the few ones that have formed in the course of the storyline. Personally, I think one of the difficulties that preclude people from both noticing the clues or understanding them for what they are may be the fact that it’s a relationship where feelings and thoughts are mostly communicated through touching and gazing, not so much verbally. Body language was more important for people of past times because it conveyed the emotions of the characters and helped them have a fair grasp of what motivated their behaviour, in a time when TV and mass media entertainment didn’t exist and most people could not read. As we got more and more industrialised and more people are literate, our ability to accurately read non-verbal clues began to diminish, and now we are more verbal and pay less attention to non-verbal clues as to verbal ones, be it written or spoken. Which is a pity, because, as psychologists and anthropologists have discovered, the total impact of a message is about 7% verbal (words only) and 38% vocal (including tone of voice, inflection and other sounds) and a stunning 55% is non-verbal!

Hence the importance of reading Sansa’s chapters very, very carefully and paying more attention to what is being done as much as -or even more than to- what is being said, to understand something fairly accurately. It takes a conscious effort to learn to read that way, or else one could just miss it.

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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.

Suddenly the focus of the scene is narrowed to one man's hand replacing another man's hand. I don't think this is just the mechanics of the rescue, that could be told another way.

I think this shows he is very much aware at every moment what is going on with her, and we see that in the other scenes as well, when he catches her before she can fall.

And in the sense of him replacing another, we see something similar in her dream, where Sandor replaces Tyrion, and there are other times he comes between her and another, or she moves from another to him.

“Here, girl.” Sandor Clegane knelt before her, between her and Joffrey. With a delicacy surprising in such a big man, he dabbed at the blood welling from her broken lip.

She stepped backward [away from Ser Ilyn] and bumped into someone [him].

Joffrey reached for her, and Sansa cringed away from him, backing into the Hound.

Sansa backed away from the window...

Then something stirred behind her, and a hand reached out of the dark and grabbed her wrist.

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Milady I have been thinking about all that and I am starting to believe that indeed GRRM due it on porpose.

Sansa was riding, to pull down a person from a horse it is easier another than the hand (people can take the reins without reaching the hand). It is easier to make a person loose her balance (the legs, the body). It is with the legs how you really control the horse. In addition, Sandor arrives and cut his arm. He could have kill the man or damage him in another way. No, he cut the arm with the hand that was grasping her.

I have remember that at Spain when a person wants to marry to another, the man goes to the family to request her hand. I am not sure if it is said the same way at England. But I could believe that yes.

All the hands at POV are relevant, furthermore the HAND´s tourney were Sansa and Sandor create their bound.

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More than just some information, I would say. Sandor was her sworn shield before he was Joffrey’s, who said he was more his mother’s dog than his. Cersei tends to underestimate people, and doesn’t watch her behaviour much in the presence of servants and retainers, and he, as bodyguard, was closest to her most of the time, like he was with Joffrey. He not only knows a lot of LF’s skeletons in the closet and most of the Lannisters’, but the Queen Regent’s dirty secrets, including probably the paternity of her children–if he doesn’t know, at least he suspects it. The fact that he was so confident that he'd be of use to Robb Stark also points to the fact that he knew the value of the information he had about his former overlords, and how damaging it was.

I associate Littlefinger more with a Giant than with a Titan, because the latter were –some of them, at least– not afraid of siding with lesser humans against the gods for a good cause, or even risking their status for their good, as Prometheus did. On the other part, Giants were mostly destructive, never creative; they never aided anyone but themselves and every move of theirs was for their own goals.

You’ve made me remember which the Giants’ two major weaknesses are: violence and selfishness. Which led to uncontrollable destructiveness. They knew how to win battles –by force–, but they did not know how to win a war– with strategic planning and cooperation/allies. Or, in other words, they’re so destructive that they tend to destroy themselves as well, for lack of self-control.

I find myself in agreement with butterbumps! regarding Littlefinger. A world class schemer is emotionally intelligent in the sense that he knows the surest way to manipulate people is through their emotions, their desires, their feelings and perceptions. Gold and power come and go, they are unstable assets, but what is in your soul stays in your soul; and if you win a person by feeding him/her what his/her soul desires, you have that person on your side more firmly than if you had bought them. His idea of manipulating people is pretty unsophisticated, he’s not fully mastered one of the most crucial skills of genius puppeteers in History: know a person’s emotional weakness, which is different in each, and use it in your favour, but beware of showing your own weakness to outsiders.

Psychological & emotional manipulation requires more skill than blackmail & bribe, which are his preferred methods.

In that regard, Varys is more dangerous because he’s subtle, you cannot read him so easily, for he has control of his own emotions and can feign affability or innocuousness, almost any emotion, which LF cannot. He’s emotionally very immature himself, hasn’t gotten over his own personal grudges nor knows how to conceal his emotions successfully. And he’s still licking a decades-old wound. What sort of a highly intelligent Machiavelli would go around King’s Landing bragging about taking the virginity of a high lord’s daughter, revealing his weak spot for all to see? Tyrion was able to read him so quickly and accurately, and use his weakness against him because he didn’t bother to conceal it: he was practically shouting: See, I “love” Catelyn Stark, and still cannot get over her. And when he met Sansa… again, he shouted to the world what his weakness was.

In my humble opinion, his lack of understanding with regards to intrinsic motivation and favouring extrinsic motivation instead will be his perdition, eventually.

Oh how I've missed this thread. I lost power for a week because of Hurricane Sandy. I hope everyone on here is safe and has their power back and if they don't will get it back soon.

Anyway, I agree with everything you said Milady. And I think it's interesting that both Sansa and Sandor are underestimated when it comes to being able to take people down. I bet the other players in the game would be quite shocked to see Sansan teaming up to take down LF &/or Cersei.

About LF, I agree that he definitely doesn't hide his weakness. His "love" for Catelyn is the worst kept secret in Westeros. In fact, he doesn't even try to keep it a secret.

I also think that -as someone mentioned before- Bronze Yohn definitely recognized Sansa. Perhaps he could help her bring down LF as well.

And someone mentioned that they were planning on making a post about Phantom of the Opera. I absolutely love Phantom so I look forward to reading it. Personally I think there are definitely some similarities between Sansan and Erik/Christine but maybe that's just me liking to compare my ships to each other. :)

As always, you guys have way more awesome thoughts than I do. Keep up the good work!

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Oh how I've missed this thread. I lost power for a week because of Hurricane Sandy. I hope everyone on here is safe and has their power back and if they don't will get it back soon.

Anyway, I agree with everything you said Milady. And I think it's interesting that both Sansa and Sandor are underestimated when it comes to being able to take people down. I bet the other players in the game would be quite shocked to see Sansan teaming up to take down LF &/or Cersei.

Happy to hear you're fine after the storm! :) Yes, Sansa's relationship with Sandor is one of the "hidden daggers" that LF knows nothing about. Given how Martin has portrayed their relationship so far, I don't think we'll ever get to see Sansan as a tag team of sorts, but the real importance of their bond is how they've affected one another and what they've made each other feel and see. This kind of influence can be extremely powerful, as it exists despite time and space, and can grow even stronger as a result.

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Happy to hear you're fine after the storm! :) Yes, Sansa's relationship with Sandor is one of the "hidden daggers" that LF knows nothing about. Given how Martin has portrayed their relationship so far, I don't think we'll ever get to see Sansan as a tag team of sorts, but the real importance of their bond is how they've affected one another and what they've made each other feel and see. This kind of influence can be extremely powerful, as it exists despite time and space, and can grow even stronger as a result.

Definitely a hidden danger.

Yeah, you're right. I can dream,though :lol:

I can definitely see their bond growing stronger even when they're not with each other. I hope that they will eventually reunite but even if they don't, their relationship will continue to influence both of them.

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Regarding the physical contact, "touchy feely" and to convey feelings and emotions via body language, the other relationship we see in the novels where this takes a prominent place is Jaime and Brienne. From the very beginning when the Bloody Mummers find them fighting, and Jaime thinks something like you'd think from Brienne's reaction they had been fucking instead of fighting, onto how he thinks her touch is gentle in the Harrenhal baths, how they are tied together with Jaime's stinking hand between them etc. etc.

At some point when I have lots of spare time (hahaha) I'd be really interested to compare the two relationships and how they develop through non-verbal communication and touch, since there are a lot of those involved.

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