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From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIV

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So much to read :D , we really need the like buttons back! :frown5:

Lady Lea I loved your B&B post--definitely well thought out and put together. :thumbsup:

I feel some of the comparisons you pointed out are eerily similar in relation to Sanas's arc. :)

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Wonderful post Lyanna Stark! And what a brilliant commentary by other posters! Just a tiny nitpick, though. Tyrion and Sansa's last interaction before their marriage was just before he set out to command the city's defences before the Battle of Blackwater, I think, when he notices her standing in a courtyard waiting for Joffrey. I could be wrong, in which case... :blush:

You are quite right, they do have a short interaction before the Battle of the Blackwater. :) and although Sansa may wish for the destruction of all Lannisters, she still prays for both Tyrion and the Hound in the Sept. (Although not Joffrey.)

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Very interesting analysis, Lady Lea and interesting counteranalysis by Milady of York.

What I found interesting from reading the link (sadly I can't read the original since I have little French) was the sanitisation of the tale in English and the constant harping on the wealth and luxury that the Beast is able to provide for Beauty. It reminds me of a reading of the tale as one designed to make palatable for young girls marrying much older men in order to secure or improve their own as well as their family's status in society. And I do feel that to a great extent Sansa desires these things from her own marriage initially though she would not know this consciously of herself. I think that part of her storyline might be devoted to stripping Sansa of the delusion that she is somehow entitled to have a life of wealth and honour by reason of her birth. I'm not expressing myself very well here. I'm in a hurry. Petyr Baelish is a self-made man as was his father before him and this is admirable despite his creepiness. (It is also this very sense of entitlement that Varys also has a great issue with and GRRM would be aware that modern audiences would sympathise with these characters in this regard) She is now his daughter, a proclaimed bastard, one who has to rely solely on her looks, cunning and character to get what she wants. She has the potential to be more than her claim. This has already somewhat happened to Danaerys and Jon.

Milady, I haven't read the whole of the translation and was wondering whether it states explicitly somewhere in Villeneuve's version that Beauty is a step-daughter and that the roses signify periods of the Beast's life?

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Regarding the Beauty and the Beast:

After a while, Beauty’s eyes grew accustomed to the Beast’s ugliness, but she found his conversation dull and stupid, his compliments clumsy and his questions foolish, though his manners were gentle and he complied to her every wish (seriously, she has a monkey theatre).

This on the other hand is a bit interesting, since it makes you wonder what, exactly, is going on. His conversation was dull and stupid, his compliments clumsy and his questions foolish, yet his manners were gentle. That seems to be a bit of a contradiction there?

Sansa does seem to grow used to the Hound's ugliness, but the opposite happens with Tyrion. In that case, I'd say she came to accept the Hound's look, but she definitely rejected Tyrion's. Neither Tyrion nor Sandor suffers from "dull and stupid" conversation though, exactly, although Tyrion's and Sansa's interaction at their marriage and during being married is painful enough to read, but not because it's stupid.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - BY MME DE VILLENEUVE - PART 2

Every night, the Beast would ask her how her day went and then ask the question that would put an end to Beauty’s good humour: “do you want to sleep with me?”. She always answered “no”, but one night she wondered: “What is to be the end of all this? The question he puts to me every time, ‘will I sleep with him’, shows me that he persists in loving me: his gifts to me confirm it. But though he does not insist on my compliance, and though he does not show resentment to my refusals, who is to say that one day he will not lose his patience, and that my death shall be the result?”.

Very astute observation by Beauty, and something we have discussed in the PTP. The Beast seems unfazed by Beauty’s refusals, not like Tyrion, who looked like he had been “slapped in the face” when Sansa said she might not ever want to sleep with him. And still Beauty feared that one day the Beast would lose his patience and kill her. We don’t get any POVs from Sansa when she is married, but I think it is only natural that this would also be something that she would think about. One day, Tyrion would take what was “his” (and indeed he does think about it), and no one would stop him.

I'm glad you highlighted this, LL, since many readers seem to naturally take for granted that Sansa was under no strain at all during the marriage and didn't need to fear that at any moment Tyrion would renege on his promise. Sansa's situation is even worse since Tyrion occupies her bed every night, and notes that he could no longer bear to sleep naked, and had commanded Sansa to wear a sleeping shift, observations which communicate his sexual longings.

Regarding the Beauty and the Beast:

This on the other hand is a bit interesting, since it makes you wonder what, exactly, is going on. His conversation was dull and stupid, his compliments clumsy and his questions foolish, yet his manners were gentle. That seems to be a bit of a contradiction there?

Sansa does seem to grow used to the Hound's ugliness, but the opposite happens with Tyrion. In that case, I'd say she came to accept the Hound's look, but she definitely rejected Tyrion's. Neither Tyrion nor Sandor suffers from "dull and stupid" conversation though, exactly, although Tyrion's and Sansa's interaction at their marriage and during being married is painful enough to read, but not because it's stupid.

You're forgetting the infamous conversation about whether the peas were overcooked, Lyanna :) We do know Tyrion is capable of being a witty conversationalist, but I do think we can characterize their interactions as predominantly dull, with Tyrion seemingly at a loss for what to say, and Sansa remaining firmly behind her courtesy armour.

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You're forgetting the infamous conversation about whether the peas were overcooked, Lyanna :) We do know Tyrion is capable of being a witty conversationalist, but I do think we can characterize their interactions as predominantly dull, with Tyrion seemingly at a loss for what to say, and Sansa remaining firmly behind her courtesy armour.

Oh, true, I remember the awkward overcooked peas conversation. :)

It always struck me as more awkward and painful than "dull and stupid" though, but I concede. ;)

It really is one of the striking things about the Tyrion/Sansa interactions, especially during their marriage, that almost all their conversations are either stilted and awkward, or they seem to absolutely not understand the other person's wavelength, not to mention that they want completely different things out of the marriage (Tyrion wants the cottage with the white picket fence and the happy, pretty wife, Sansa wants Out.)

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Milady, I haven't read the whole of the translation and was wondering whether it states explicitly somewhere in Villeneuve's version that Beauty is a step-daughter and that the roses signify periods of the Beast's life?

Yes, you can read it in the English edition linked, the merchant’s children are six sons and six daughters, not three boys and three girls. At the end of the tale, it’s revealed that Belle’s parents are a king and a good fairy.

The palace is under a spell by the evil fairy who raised the orphan Prince who is Beast, so it’s implied that the garden is also magical, which extends to the roses. And it’s winter, not summer. Understanding what the roses mean is more a question of symbolism and reading between the lines, observing the surroundings and why the garden in winter, the storm, the enchanted castle, the statues, the everything. That’s why I said “… on the surface.” To me, the analysis has overlooked much of the symbolism present in the small details, and doesn’t show that it’s a point-counterpoint type of narrative and that there’s more of the Cupid/Psyche dynamic than just a nod and the important link in the dream sequence is out of the analysis. In fact, this one is more like the Roman tale than Beaumont’s when it comes to their interactions.

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Well, let's all bear in mind that LL's analysis is yet unfinished, and try as we might, no single contribution is going to be exhaustive, but will hopefully contribute interesting ideas, which can spark further insights.

Oh, true, I remember the awkward overcooked peas conversation. :)

It always struck me as more awkward and painful than "dull and stupid" though, but I concede. ;)

It really is one of the striking things about the Tyrion/Sansa interactions, especially during their marriage, that almost all their conversations are either stilted and awkward, or they seem to absolutely not understand the other person's wavelength, not to mention that they want completely different things out of the marriage (Tyrion wants the cottage with the white picket fence and the happy, pretty wife, Sansa wants Out.)

:) I know. It's like Sansa's and Tyrion's particular representation is B&B gone bad. There's very little development, the Beauty is decidedly not amused, and neither is the Beast.

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OMG! So many great posts in just a few short pages! Lyanna great analysis of Tyrion. I am really interested to see what comes up in part II of your analysis which sounds like it will be from Tyrion's POV but part it really brought into focus for me the idea that Tyrion becomes more of a beast to Sansa's mind the more they are forced to be together. It was a very amorphous thought I had sort of noticed while reading but couldn't put my finger on it, and I think you managed to express it well. He becomes uglier to her as time goes on and they are forced together as opposed to the traditional plot of B&B. It's also fortuitous that the Tyrion analysis should be posted at almost the same time as the B&B analysis as I think it's clear that Tyrion does represent a version of the beast as does Sandor.

Lip service, maybe? Because I personally don’t see how such a thing could make her feel she had a choice, when she knew she didn’t, and he did know better than her that was the case. It sounds like asking the unjustly condemned whether they wanted to die by burning or by beheading: whatever their choice, they were still going to die, the only difference was in the amount of pain they would suffer. Tyrion or Lancel, it was still a Lannister. And a Lannister meant someone from the House whose head had just outlined the plan that would get her mother and her brother killed. And to make things worse, this particular Lannister was no innocent member of this family. No, this Lannister had just spoken to the mastermind behind the Red Wedding, and this Lannister, even if he didn’t participate actively, knew that her relatives would die somehow thanks to the Lannisters.

I also think we are minimising a little how the murder of her last living relatives–for her– reinforced her decision to armour herself in her courtesies more than ever and the impact it had on her decision to reject Tyrion, totally and irrevocably. If there was before a possibility of their forced marriage being at least tolerable, then that ruined it for good.

Great point! Again it really brings into focus how Sansa comes to view Tyrion and the Lannisters which is really left pretty unclear in the books. We get some lines from Sansa that they made her a Lannister, how she wants to teach her children to hate Lannisters, etc., but it gets buried because Sansa is so internal and also because we get no POV from her at all during the marriage. In fact, I don't know how I didn't see this before, but I just realized the irony of Sansa not wanting to be a Lannister and resenting that she was made one - because when she so desperately wanted to marry Joffrey, she unknowingly was wishing to become a Lannister. Joff is not a Baratheon at all.

Thanks Caro! :)

I'm thinking about this... do you guys think "love the one who loves you" is good advice?

I suppose it could be useful advice for arranged marriages (like Mordane's advice to try to find beauty in every man) as it is quite practical, but it definitely negates the wishes and the agency of the woman.

My mother always told me to not waste love on someone who doesn't love me, but I think it's not quite the same advice.

Lady Lea what a great B&B summary. I really loved reading it and can't wait for the rest. As for your question, the love the one who loves you line is interesting. Was the woman in the vision the Beauty sees who says this telling her to open her mind and "see" that the Beast is the handsome man in her dreams? I agree that it really only works for arranged marriages, which was the standard at the time that these stories were written, and like others have said, it totally rejects the idea that the girl should have any say in who she wants to be with. But even more, who's to say that the men these young girls were being married off to really loved them? To apply this to Sansa and Tyrion, Tyrion treated her well enough, yes, but he didn't really love her, he loved the idea of a Tysha replacement with a happy family living in a house with a white picket fence.

When we get to the rest of the Tyrion analysis, I wanted to bring up the irony of both Tyrion and Sansa wanting to be loved for themselves, but how their marriage to each other was a disaster because it doesn't allow either one of them to be those things - for Sansa she doesn't want to be married to a Lannister and Tyrion has always been first and foremost a Lannister, emphasized by the comment that he tells her he can be the Knight of Flowers in the dark and she knows that's ridiculous, and for Tyrion that he's looking for his Tysha replacement which Sansa can never be.

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Yes, you can read it in the English edition linked, the merchant’s children are six sons and six daughters, not three boys and three girls. At the end of the tale, it’s revealed that Belle’s parents are a king and a good fairy.

The palace is under a spell by the evil fairy who raised the orphan Prince who is Beast, so it’s implied that the garden is also magical, which extends to the roses. And it’s winter, not summer. Understanding what the roses mean is more a question of symbolism and reading between the lines, observing the surroundings and why the garden in winter, the storm, the enchanted castle, the statues, the everything. That’s why I said “… on the surface.” To me, the analysis has overlooked much of the symbolism present in the small details, and doesn’t show that it’s a point-counterpoint type of narrative and that there’s more of the Cupid/Psyche dynamic than just a nod and the important link in the dream sequence is out of the analysis. In fact, this one is more like the Roman tale than Beaumont’s when it comes to their interactions.

I may be wrong, but if I recall correctly, the statues are the servants of the castle. The good fairy petrified them so that they couldn't reveal what had happened to the prince.

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I'm thinking of a couple of things re the Sansa and Tyrion interactions post-marriage:

- Tyrion's another one who spills some personal beans to Sansa; he tells her of his first marriage to Tysha, on his and Sansa's wedding night (!). Apparently it featured a drunken septon and some pigs for witnesses. It's clear to me that the Tysha marriage was valid, albeit somewhat on the lines of a Gretna Green type clandestine marriage. But here Tyrion is, telling Sansa some personal stuff, just as Sandor did and later Littlefinger will do. In retrospect, it's really to bad that Ned wasn't induced to confide in Sansa more, but to him she was a young girl who needed to be sheltered. Even Cersei confides in Sansa, albeit bitterly and nastily (I doubt she was so open about saying she used that other woman's weapon with just anyone, though it seems obvious to us).

I wonder if this is a part of Sansa's latent warging ability - she lost her wolf so early and so she had no opportunity to actually warg, unlike Bran and Jon. We've speculated on here that Sansa's lost warging ability has manifested itself in a great sense of empathy; I also think she gets people to let down their guard around her perhaps by telegraphing "I am safe, I will listen, I will not judge [at least outwardly]."

- Another thing about the Tyrion/Sansa interaction is that, in Tyrion's eyes, she remains utterly a Stark despite her own laments that they have made her a Lannister. She wouldn't bend her "stiff Stark knees" so he could cloak her with Lannister colors - he had to stand on a fool's back, which indicates that trying to make a Lannister of Sansa is a false fool's errand. Later, on the way to Joffrey's wedding, Tyrion complains to himself that she had a wall of courtesy as icy as the great wall in the North. Ice, remoteness, refusal to bend - all Northern characteristics which once again give the lie to anyone who thinks that Sansa is not a Northerner at heart.

They haven't made a Lannister out of her, but Sansa seems to be turning her unwanted marriage to her advantage later on in AFFC to keep from being married off to Sweetrobin and later Harry the Heir for her claim. She doesn't want the Lannister marriage, but she can still wield it as an armor (like her courtesy armor) to keep from being used as marriage market shark chum.

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Hi Milady! Ah, I didn't know it was a Victorian translation. I used it because it was the only one I could find that translated the whole story. You mentioned you had a book, right? Can you tell us the title so that if someone is interested in a more modern translation they can find it?

Isn’t the Beast also stripped of his identity and individuality and reduced to his physical appearance, according to this logic? Or are we told what his ”name” is in the sense we understand names to be today? No, he’s only Beast, which is not a name, just like Hound or Imp aren’t strictly names either, but Belle can be both a name and a description, lots of names were and are just words for beauty, beautiful, precious, etc. Now look at the Greco-Roman tale: if we were in the shoes of Greek-speaking or Latin-speaking readers from that time, we’d be saying Love and Soul instead of Cupid and Psyche, which sound like names to us, but for the ancients could and would sound merely like words used every day, descriptions of what they are or the role they play, much like you think about Beauty’s perceived lack of a name, and it, instead of annulling their identity, was in fact what set them apart. For them, names were very meaningful, a statement to the bearer’s individuality, no matter how ridiculous they might sound to us if translated; so no giving their babes a name just because it sounded pretty or was en vogue, like we do now. Cupid’s brothers are called Requited Love, Uncontrolled Desire and Yearning!

Besides, why do you automatically assume she’s referred to as Belle solely for her appearance? Isn’t she supposed to be beautiful on the inside as well, isn’t she gentle, compassionate, cheerful, etc.? Belle fits her well then, it encompasses both her looks and her personality. Beast, on the other hand... And one more thing: her other qualities are more evident in Beaumont’s tale, because she placed more value in being a cultivated lady than Villeneuve ever did, who focuses more on looks and a meek character.

Context is important before making such assumptions, apart from what I explained, when in fairy tales “names” are either not mentioned at all and replaced by generic ones –you’ll read a lot of phrases like ”Cook said…” ”Frog went to…” ”Mouse hurried along the…” ”Rose Red thought that…” ”Butterfly flew toward…”–it’s done mostly in the case of anthropomorphic images of immaterial entities, it’s not about individuals. When there’s a name recognizable as such it usually alludes to that person’s most outstanding quality, be it physical or internal, following the ancient example.

I thought about this Milady, and I wanted to clarify - we don't have the names of anyone in this story, not the father or the sisters, not the youngest daughter, but as to how she got the name "la Belle", Villeneuve says: "Au milieu de la plus haute splendeur, si son mérite la fit distinguer, sa beauté lui fit donner par excellence le nom de la Belle", so I didn't assume, it's right there on the tale that she distinguishes herself because of her merits, but it was because of her beauty that she received this name of "la Belle".

As for the Beast - he is the one who presents himself as such, he doesn't want people calling him anything else in fact, he insists he's "la Bête". Since it isn't other people doing that to him, but himself, I saw it as different from the situation in how la Belle got her name.

Thanks for mentioning that line I’d touched in the ”trial.” But the cursing doesn’t parallel the quoted line. There are equivalents of the Beast’s cursing to Sandor’s that are in the books, but this I’m no lord line isn’t one.

Here's the full line: "Tais-toi, maudit harangueur! Je n'ai que faire de tes flatteries, ni des titres que tu me donnes, je ne suis pas Monseigneur, je suis la Bête, et tu n'éviteras pas la mort que tu mérites".

She blamed herself, too, because she thought she’d set the whole thing in motion by asking for a rose her father had no money to buy with, for it was no wild flower to be found anywhere in the countryside as you seem to imply. Besides, they were her stepsisters and him her adoptive father. He was not her real father.

I'm following the order of the story ;) But she does say explicitly that she asked for a rose because it wouldn't set her father back financially (while her sisters asked for the most lavish gifts) and that she didn't think finding a rose in the middle of the summer would be too difficult. She couldn't imagine that her father would end up finding a magical rosebush in the middle of winter ;)

Anyway, back to writing! Thank you so much for the support, everyone. I'm trying to follow the order of the story to get more details in, which is why I'm trying not to mention "spoilers".

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - MME DE VILLENEUVE pt 3

When Beauty goes to her father’s house, bringing a few chests of gold and jewelry, she finds that her family is living well (off the money the Beast had given the father when he took Beauty), they even had slaves. Her father tells her that when they moved up in life again, her sisters had many proposals, and he was about to marry them off. When he saw the riches Beauty had brought him, he counseled her to marry the Beast immediately. “Do not take heed your eyes. You have been increasingly exhorted to let yourself be guided by gratitude. By following her inspirations you are sure to be happy. It’s true that you have only received such advice from dreams, but they are too frequent to be random. You have been promised considerable advantages, it is enough for you to overcome your repugnance. So next time the Beast asks if you want to sleep with him, don’t refuse him. You have confessed to me that he loves you tenderly. Do whatever is necessary to make your union to him indissoluble. It is more advantageous to have a husband with an amiable character than one whose only recommendation is a handsome person. How many girls have married rich Beasts, beastlier than the Beast, who is only one by figure and not by sentiments or actions?”

Villeneuve doesn’t waste a single opportunity to vilify Beauty’s sisters and call them jealous, but the father is often referred to as “a good man”. Is he? I think he totally forgot about the one time when the Beast was about to kill him for picking a rose and then held his daughter captive. (keep in mind that to the merchant the rose was just a rose, not a magical rose) Does he really want his daughter to marry “an amiable man” or a really rich guy who sometimes sends chests filled with treasures to him? He’s seen the Beast. He wants his favourite daughter to sleep with the Beast in order to secure that union. I think this shows that this whole ‘sleep with’ thing is actually about sex and not just sleeping – making a union indissoluble is like consummating a marriage, and right afterwards he starts referring to the Beast as a husband.

Anyway, this is why I think Tywin was lying to Tyrion when he said everyone always refused his offers of marriage. Everyone knows that Tyrion is a Lannister from the main branch and thus very rich – in fact he was the heir apparent, since Jaime was in the Kingsguard. As ugly as he might be, if he had a nice subservient wife he would make for an “amiable” husband as well. So I find it really hard to believe that there wasn’t a single lord in need of some money or power who would give his daughter’s hand in marriage to Tyrion. Consider that Karstark offered his daughter to anyone who would bring him Jaime Lannister (and it almost turned to be Vargo Hoat), and that Walder Frey keeps finding noble and young girls to marry.

I also think he was just bluffing when he mentioned Lollys. There was no way Tywin would ever allow for such a union, because he hates being mocked, and imagine the easy target they would be as a couple: “the lackwit and the dwarf”.

Olenna Tyrell taught Margaery that she should value a kind husband more than a handsome or gallant one. Do you think she would counsel Margaery to sleep with the Beast?

But still Beauty resisted. She could not imagine herself choosing a husband that was not only horrible, but also stupid, boring, and had no interesting conversation. Besides, she would have no other company but him. “It is not in my power to endure such a union, and I would rather perish at once than be dying every day of fright, sorrow, disgust, and boredom. There is nothing to plead in his favour, except the consideration he shows in paying me very short visits, and presenting himself before me but once a day. Is that enough to inspire love?”. Her father thought that the exquisite riches and furniture of the palace showed that the Beast could not be quite as stupid as Beauty thought.

Go Beauty! I really like that she insists on marrying someone she loves (like Sansa), and that she is not blinded by the Beast’s riches – she knows exactly what she is grateful for (her life, her comforts, not having to endure the Beast’s company a lot, etc), but does not confuse gratitude with love.

And her father, again showing how materialistic he is, says that the Beast cannot be so stupid because he has a really nice palace with beautiful furniture and the likes. We don’t know much about the Beast at this point, but if I were in the story and had to guess, from the extent of his wealth, and the fact that he doesn’t work, I’d say he was a noble. And if that is the case, then he didn’t pick out anything in his house, he inherited everything. Yes, Beauty’s father is a merchant and “new money” but I think even he would have considered the possibility. I think it is just more convenient to suppose that the Beast made his own fortune (erm, how exactly?) and bought all that stuff.

During her two-month stay at her father’s new house, Beauty became the center of attention in the city. She had many admirers, and even her sisters’ fiancés wanted to break off their engagement to declare their love for her, and the men even started fighting amongst themselves, though Beauty did her best to discourage all affections, tried to get them to return to their fiancées, acted cold and distant, said she was only staying for two months – but nothing worked. Beauty was getting quite annoyed by all of this, and the fact that her sisters now had another reason to hate her.

At the end of the two months, Beauty had a dream where the Beast lay dying, cursing her for being the cause of his death. The lady also appeared and chastised her for taking too long to do her duty; that she had promised to be back at the end of 2 months and they had expired, and one day more would be fatal to the Beast; that the trouble she was causing at her father’s house and her sisters’ anger should only make her want to go back even more.

We don’t actually know anything about this lady at point in the story, but really, blaming Beauty for “causing trouble” at her father’s house? When she had been very explicit about not returning anyone’s affections? That is so not cool. It’s like Lysa blaming Sansa for “enticing” Littlefinger.

So Beauty went back to the Beast’s palace. She wanted to see the Beast, but also wanted to see the Unknown man in her dreams. She started to question herself. “One moment she reproached herself for not returning the affection of a lover who, under a monstrous figure, seemed to have a beautiful soul; the next she was sad about giving her heart to a fantastic image who had no existence except in her dreams. She questioned whether she should prefer a phantom over the real love of a Beast. The dreams in which she saw her beautiful Unknown advised her not to heed her eyes”.

That night the Beast did not come to visit her, and, concerned, she started looking for him. She missed her boring conversations with the Beast, and was surprised to have so much feeling for him. She reproached herself for not having married him. Then she found him, nearly dead. She revived him and said: “How you have worried me! I did not know how much I loved you. The fear of losing you made me recognize that I was attached to you by stronger ties than those of gratitude. I swear to you that I had determined to die if I had failed in saving your life”.

The Beast replies: “You are good, Beauty, to love a monster so ugly; but you do well; I love you more than my own life. I thought you would never return: it would have killed me. Since you love me I will live. Go rest, and be certain that you will be as happy as your good heart deserves”.

That was the first time Beauty heard the Beast pronounce so long a speech. She thought it was not very eloquent, but it was sweet and sincere all the same. She had expected to be scolded, and from this moment started to have a better opinion of the Beast’s character – no longer thinking him to be so stupid, she started to think his short answers were even a mark of prudence.

At night Beauty dreamt of her Unknown, who said the only way for her to be happy was to marry the Beast. The lady also appeared and said she was pleased, but Beauty protested that she was partial to the Unknown and could not consider the repugnant Beast loveable. The lady smiled at her objections and said that her feelings “were not incompatible with her intentions to fulfill her duty”.

Beauty seems torn about the Beast. She says she is bound to him by stronger ties than those of gratitude, and says she would have died if she had failed to save him, but then says he is repugnant and unloveable. She thinks his conversation is boring, but misses it all the same.

This lady, when appearing to Beauty, always seems to characterise her union with the Beast as a "duty". She does not explain why she has a duty to marry the Beast, only that she does.

The next time the Beast asked if Beauty wanted to sleep with him, she said trembling “Yes, I am willing, as long as you pledge me your faith, and I pledge you mine”. “I do”, said the Beast, “and I promise never to have any wife but you”. “And I”, said Beauty, “take you for my husband, and promise you a tender and faithful love”. There was a big fireworks display and then Beauty went to her room with the Beast.

So, what do you think? Did Beauty love the Beast? Was she succumbing to pressure? Was it a mixture of "well this isn't so bad" and duty?

Beauty dreamt that the Unknown was telling her “How deeply I am obliged to you, charming Beauty. You have released me from the frightful prison in which I have groaned for so long a time. Your marriage with the Beast will restore a king to his subjects, a son to his mother, and life to a whole kingdom. We shall all be happy”. Beauty was annoyed that the Unknown wasn’t sad about losing her. The lady also appeared in order to thank her.

That night, Beauty had slept on the edge of her bed, to make room for her giant husband. He snored at first, but when she fell asleep she heard nothing more. When she awoke, there were no sounds, so she thought the Beast had gotten up and left already. What was her surprise when she opened her eyes and saw the Unknown sleeping beside her, and not the Beast! She understood then that they were one and the same. She tried everything to wake him up, call him, shake him, kiss him, sing to him, but nothing worked. The spell was finally broken when a carriage arrived.

Inside there was the lady from her dreams and other distinguished persons. She discovered that the lady was actually a fairy, and the Beast was actually a prince under a spell. A woman that arrived in the carriage was the Queen, the prince’s mother, and she said she was very pleased with Beauty for saving her son. However, when she learned that Beauty was only a merchant’s daughter her distress could not have been greater. “I am very grateful to her for what she has done, powerful spirit, but I cannot refrain from pointing out to you the incongruous mixture of that noblest blood in all the world which runs in my son’s veins with that obscure blood which the person you want to marry him to comes from. I confess I am little gratified by the supposed happiness of the Prince, if it must be purchased by an alliance so degrading to us, and so unworthy of him. Is it impossible to find in the world a maiden whose birth is equal to her virtue? I know many excellent princesses by name; why am I not permitted to hope that I may see him the possessor of one of those?”

Well. For a story that has put such great importance in gratitude so far, the Queen seems like a major ingrate. Her son had an elephant's trunk until a couple of hours before, and she cannot stop going on about Beauty's shameful origins. I know blood is really important, but considering the circumstances, I really think the Queen could have at least tried not to humiliate Beauty in front of everyone. Besides, the spell had to be broken by someone who was so generous that they could marry a huge monster because he had a kind nature. I really don't think the Prince would be getting such a bad deal here - Beauty may not be wealthy or noble but she is good-looking and kind.

The Fairy turned to the Prince and said: “Your mother condemns the engagement you have entered into with Beauty. She considers that her birth is too much beneath yours. For my part, I think that her virtues make up for that inequality. It is for you, Prince, to say which of us your own feelings coincide; and that you may be under no restraint in declaring to us your real sentiments, I announce to you that you have full liberty of choice. Although you have pledged your word to this amiable person, you are free to withdraw it. I will answer for her, that Beauty will release you from your promise without the least hesitation, although, through her kindness, you have regained your natural form; and I assure you also that her generosity will cause her to carry disinterestedness to the extent of leaving you at liberty to dispose of your hand in favour of any person on whom the Queen may advise you to bestow it. What say you, Beauty? Have I been mistaken in this interpreting your sentiments? Would you desire a husband who would become so with regret?”

I admire that the Fairy seems to think that Beauty’s virtues make up for her low birth, but look at what she does here. The Beast knew full well the origins of the Beauty when he took her in – in fact, he had met her father first, and heard of his misfortunes. Still the Beast and the Unknown pledged their love and their word to Beauty, and the Beast asked her incessantly to sleep with him. When she finally acceded, with a promise of marriage, suddenly the Fairy speaks for her, saying that she’d be happy to let the Prince go. Really? So the Fairy doesn’t think it’s the Prince’s “duty” to keep his word to Beauty, like it was her “duty” to sleep with him? Not cool, Fairy.

Beauty replied that the Prince was free, she renounced the honour of being his wife. When she entered the engagement, she thought she was taking pity on something below humanity, there was no ambition in her thoughts. The Fairy then reproached the Queen: “Do you consider that princesses, who are so by the caprice of fortune, better deserve the high rank in which it had placed them than this young maiden? For my part, I think she should not be prejudiced by an origin from which she has elevated herself by her conduct”. The Queen replied that Beauty’s virtues were indeed incomparable, and that she was entitled to whatever reward she chose – except her son. The Queen would even let her marry any noble from her court, and elevate his title so he was very near the throne. Beauty said all she wanted was to go back to her father.

The Prince finally said that he did not wish to be parted from Beauty, and that if that was to be, then he preferred to go back to being a Beast and stay with her.

The Fairy said that they were meant to be together, and that she would not separate them. She reproached the Queen’s pride. But Beauty exclaimed: “Do not expose me to the misery of being told all my life that I am unworthy of the rank to which your kindness would elevate me. Reflect that this Prince, who now believes that his happiness consists in the possession of my hand may very shortly perhaps be of the same opinion as the Queen”.

Very smooth, Queen. She doesn't think Beauty is good enough for her son but should be good enough for another noble. I don't think there's any reason to assume that any other noble would be happy in taking a merchant's daughter for a wife, especially one who had been engaged before...

Anyway, I think Beauty is really sensible here in thinking that the Prince would one day feel the same as the Queen, and she really shows that she too has a sense of pride and dignity.

In ASOIAF when Sansa is no longer deemed worthy of Joffrey, Cersei considers other nobles to marry her, when all Sansa wanted was to go back to her family. Cersei, of course, didn't see it as any kind of reward, but as an opportunity to make an advantageous alliance to a Lannister.

The Fairy explained that that wouldn’t happen, because Beauty actually was noble. She was the Queen’s niece and the Fairy’s niece. The Queen’s brother had married the Fairy’s sister, and so Beauty and the Beast were actually first cousins. The Fairy said she wanted to see how much the Queen trusted her with the well-being of the Prince, and that’s why she didn’t say anything sooner.

Everyone was satisfied now, and Beauty and the Prince could marry without any further obstacles.

Ohoho twist! They were cousins all along! I really would have preferred if this wasn't part of the story, it seems a bit of a cop-out ("no need to worry about class differences - she's a secret noble!"). But, here is it, folks. Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve.

There's a second part to the story where it's all about the Beast and how he was turned, I'm going to do it a bit later today - it's interesting.

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You guys are so serious! I used to be this way about Blake. For your sakes I will continue to hope and pray Marty doesn't just have Sansa drink poison and die. :dunce: Also, there might be a couple bucks to be made here from all this scholarship in this day and age when college classes are popping up about every damn thing, surely some women's lit teacher somewhere will actually slap a course title on your notes and teach it as a class. The trick is finding that person---or being that person! Imagine if Game of Thrones 201 appeared on the roster of electives one could choose from, wouldn't all college students immediately sign up? That's how it worked with the Death & Dying class at my college, everybody just enrolled in that thing to have a class in common. And isn't the real money to be made in textbooks? Textbooks and cellphones.

In unrelated news, I must admit in shame that I've gone back to thinking about some of the other characters. :blushing:

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - MME DE VILLENEUVE pt 3

It's interesting how everyone has their own selfish reasons for wanting to see Beauty married off to the beast, with very little concern for her feelings or even quite bothering to explain why she must marry this man besides the call to duty. Like you, I think Beauty's insistence on not marrying the Beast "just because" was quite admirable and reflects Sansa's own preoccupation with genuine feelings as she gets older. Jealous sisters seems to be a running feature in these stories :) In Villeneuve's tale we see Beauty as a threat to her sister's happiness when the other men want to pursue her, and likewise there are parallels in Sansa's story with the Littlefinger/HtH/Randa storyline. Also, Randa appears to be expecting Sansa to put in a good word for her with LF, whilst Sansa wants to play match maker for Mya and Lothor.

Beauty also values having others around her and resents being isolated at the Beast's castle, another reflection of Sansa's desire to be at the Gates of the Moons instead of the Eyrie. Also, before and after the marriage to Tyrion we see a similar kind of isolation in KL, made worse when the Tyrells shun her after the wedding. Indeed, one of the reasons the marriage to Willas Tyrell was so attractive was the chance to be in an environment where she could relax and be around stimulating scenes again.

So, it's not until after Beauty sleeps with the Beast that he transforms, am I right? Again, this reminds me of the wedding night scene with Tyrion, where he presents sex as a kind of transformative experience: In the dark, I can be the Knight of Flowers.

I think Beauty gradually came to see more positive qualities in the Beast, and ultimately she is able to give her consent based on these considerations. It's interesting how dreams form such an important part of the story, where Beauty is able to explore her conflicted feelings over her situation, and this is why I think the Unknown suitor is particularly important, since he presents her with an alternative choice, even though he is isn't real, it still allows for more complex negotiation with her sexuality and desire.

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Great stuff Lady Lea, really enjoying reading your summary of the story as I am not familiar with that version at all. :)

Jealous sisters seems to be a running feature in these stories :) In Villeneuve's tale we see Beauty as a threat to her sister's happiness when the other men want to pursue her, and likewise there are parallels in Sansa's story with the Littlefinger/HtH/Randa storyline. Also, Randa appears to be expecting Sansa to put in a good word for her with LF, whilst Sansa wants to play match maker for Mya and Lothor.

It struck me that Cersei and Margaery hold these roles, to a degree. Cersei is disdainful but probably also a bit jealous of Sansa, while Margaery is straight out manipulative, pretending to be Sansa's friend.

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It struck me that Cersei and Margaery hold these roles, to a degree. Cersei is disdainful but probably also a bit jealous of Sansa, while Margaery is straight out manipulative, pretending to be Sansa's friend.

Yes, that's a great point :) With Randa, remember her telling Sansa that she has no reason to be jealous of her breasts, because she's a bastard? But now this bastard girl is going to be making a match with the "prince" of the Vale, HtH, I wonder how it will play out. LF fits the portrayal of the merchant father, not part of the old money aristocracy, but able now to secure his beautiful daughter a prominent match. We have Sansa, not eager to get married, but placed under pressure by the promise of reclaiming Winterfell - another filial obligation.

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I added the end of the story in the last post so there wouldn't be too many parts.

It's interesting how everyone has their own selfish reasons for wanting to see Beauty married off to the beast, with very little concern for her feelings or even quite bothering to explain why she must marry this man besides the call to duty. Like you, I think Beauty's insistence on not marrying the Beast "just because" was quite admirable and reflects Sansa's own preoccupation with genuine feelings as she gets older. Jealous sisters seems to be a running feature in these stories :) In Villeneuve's tale we see Beauty as a threat to her sister's happiness when the other men want to pursue her, and likewise there are parallels in Sansa's story with the Littlefinger/HtH/Randa storyline. Also, Randa appears to be expecting Sansa to put in a good word for her with LF, whilst Sansa wants to play match maker for Mya and Lothor.

Beauty also values having others around her and resents being isolated at the Beast's castle, another reflection of Sansa's desire to be at the Gates of the Moons instead of the Eyrie. Also, before and after the marriage to Tyrion we see a similar kind of isolation in KL, made worse when the Tyrells shun her after the wedding. Indeed, one of the reasons the marriage to Willas Tyrell was so attractive was the chance to be in an environment where she could relax and be around stimulating scenes again.

So, it's not until after Beauty sleeps with the Beast that he transforms, am I right? Again, this reminds me of the wedding night scene with Tyrion, where he presents sex as a kind of transformative experience: In the dark, I can be the Knight of Flowers.

I think Beauty gradually came to see more positive qualities in the Beast, and ultimately she is able to give her consent based on these considerations. It's interesting how dreams form such an important part of the story, where Beauty is able to explore her conflicted feelings over her situation, and this is why I think the Unknown suitor is particularly important, since he presents her with an alternative choice, even though he is isn't real, it still allows for more complex negotiation with her sexuality and desire.

I totally agree, Brash. And yes, the Beast only transforms after Beauty sleeps with him.

Beauty seems to have more liberty in her dreams, she can discuss her feelings freely with the Unknown and the Fairy, and I too think it's important that she gets to explore a choice between a "possibility" of marrying the Unknown whom she loved and the "reality" of marrying the Beast whom she was torn about.

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Great review LL :) Like Lyanna, I was not familiar with Villeneuve's version, and you've done a wonderful job of presenting the essential story and the parallels to Sansa.

In the ending there, I kept getting shades of Sansa/Sweetrobin and Harry the Heir, with LF's plans to betroth Sansa as a bastard, but reveal her as the Stark heiress on her wedding day. Given Sansa's wolf identity, we're back to the inversion of the tale, where the emphasis isn't on marrying the beast, but Sansa going from beauty to beast, or finally reclaiming those aspects of her identity.

Ughh, I really hated the ending as Beauty is revealed to be a noble - and the sense that it's all a bit too convenient and cliched is exactly why I don't think the HtH marriage will ever come to pass. And to add, Sansa doesn't need marriage to reclaim her wolfhood - these things are happening organically around her - the howling of the wind, along with the fact that she's a warg.

I added the end of the story in the last post so there wouldn't be too many parts.

I totally agree, Brash. And yes, the Beast only transforms after Beauty sleeps with him.

Beauty seems to have more liberty in her dreams, she can discuss her feelings freely with the Unknown and the Fairy, and I too think it's important that she gets to explore a choice between a "possibility" of marrying the Unknown whom she loved and the "reality" of marrying the Beast whom she was torn about.

Yeah, I really like the idea that dreams have creative power and not only express unresolved/latent feelings, but can help us solve them. Dreams (and mismemories) feature heavily in Sansa's storyline, so I do think Martin wants us to focus on them and why they matter.

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