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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XV

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Not without giving away the whole story! And that would be really unfair. It is a really important idea in that story. So if you like the Sandor not a knight but living by chivalric ideals then I am sure that you will enjoy the Hedge Knight.

Don't read the wiki or anything either before reading the story - too many spoilers. Just chase your friend and make sure they lend you the book! :)

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BCandy, gracias, los hilos que amablemente me señalas, sin embargo, no satisfacen mis dudas totalmente.

Pudiera ser como dice pipper que el vino lo que indica es que Sandor está embriagado con la proximidad de Sansa (
), pero entonces ¿qué es oscuro, rojo como la sangre- verdadero- que él le ofrece y le dice que es lo único que necesita un hombre o una mujer?¿Sólo la embriaguez de él? ¿Sentimientos?¿Él le está diciendo que beba de la embriaguez de él?, porque ahí veo más que esa embriaguez, él se está refiriendo a algo que beberían los dos:

¿Qué quiere decir Sandor? ¿Qué quiere decir nuestro songwriter? ( ;

Lo pregunto porque GRRM siempre juega a la contraria, rompiendo la tradición:

A su novela (que además es un conjunto de libros) la nombra
A
Song
, sus “Nieve” son bastardos(Jon), sus príncipes son monstruos (Joffrey),sus enanos son gigantes (Tyrion,LF y entre ellos dos mismos el sentido de por qué lo son está invertido), sus bestias son bellas (Brienne), sus bellas son bestias (Cersei), (GRRM sin duda alguna no es un Lannister: es un zorro :), The Hound es un Hombre (Obvious),sus lobas son pajaritos y viceversa (Sansa), sus gatas son perras(Cat), sus chicas son lobas, perras gatas, (USING THE OWN WORDS OF George R.R. Martin), puppy, even etc.…. (Arya), los caballeros no son caballeros (un largo etcétera), los que no lo son se comportan como tales, sus damas salvan a los verdaderos caballeros (: de los monstruos que los atacan a ellos, y los peores monstruos no son reales sino que habitan en sus mentes, los matarreyes salvan a las doncellas , la doncella salvada es fea, la doncella misma es The knight que va a salvar a otra doncella , la bastarda es una dama, la doncella que bailó con el oso fue salvada por un hombre, la otra doncella que bailará con el oso al hacerlo salvará al hombre, “las peores batallas no son físicas porque se desarrollan en el corazón de los hombres”. Su frío quema (“Nothing burns like ice”), los adoradores del fuego creen en las sombras (Melissandre).

FIRE IS
GREEN
! (valyrian y es el más intenso “se filtra en la ropa, la madera, el cuero y hasta el acero, y hace que también ellos ardan”), hasta sus rosas son azules! (Lyanna) , en fin….¿por qué entonces en un capítulo tan extraordinariamente simbólico como el de la serpentine utiliza los adjetivos tradicionales oscuro, rojo como la SANGRE -TRUE- para el WINE?, Me da la impresión de que aquí GRRM me está diciendo algo más y lo que está invertido no es el significado del COLOR, sino precisamente la SANGRE y el VINO. ..Creo.. que en cuanto al color se refiere a lo que representan tradicionalmente: la oscuridad y la fuerza de algo verdadero pero de qué? Son sentimientos? “la embriaguez”?, no sé ,tiene otros significados pero no logro atraparlos, pero sin duda, el vino y la sangre son otra cosa, o algo más que solely sangre, que verdaderamente vino, ahí habría un intercambio entre ellos muy personal, muy poderoso, porque es “todo lo que necesita un hombre o una mujer”

¿Alguien sabe que significa para GRRM el
rojo
?¿en los libros se da
alguna otra
significación
a
l vino y a la sangre
?

La cosa está ahí, la huelo, la siento, pero no logro saborearla.

Gracias le doy al lector que responda mis dos preguntas. ( :

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Honestly, if the sum total of your argument against Cat ..

No, dear, the sum total of my argument is not against Cat, is About the real nature of the character of this character, her daughter: Sansa

GRRM IS NOT A LANNISTER, Is A fox (in the best meaning of the word ( :. He plays with us: He calls Arya : wolf bitch (half wolf =Ned) ( half bitch/fish=Cat (in Braavos, remember?))

He plays with the antonyms. With the real nature of Sansa, of Arya, of Cat.

GRRM plays with our minds.

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Interesting! butter: (And the joker is a card of a game too!)

One other facet of the Fool is it's historic association with Death. Death is sometimes depicted wearing Fool's clothes, the implication being that Death is the greatest joker of them all (lots of tales and parables portray Death as a cunning trickster). More to the point of mortality, it suggests "Death always has the last laugh."

Maybe, Suggests a Gravedigger :cool4:?....A Joker card, of course.... ( ;..

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Could be , Sandor, the Joker of the Game?

LRRH, Please don't spam the thread with multiple back to back posts. If you have additional points to make, that's what the edit function is there for. Writing an entire post in Spanish could also be considered an attempt to troll, considering that we all use English here to communicate. You seem to be fairly proficient in it, so I'd ask that you use it. Further, please respect the serious nature of the thread, which is focused on Sansa. If there's a question you want answered concerning Sandor specifically and his relationship with her, perhaps it would be better to start a thread seeking such responses.

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Ok everyone - I finally finished my Phantom essay. I'm Posting it in parts as it is really long. Here it is!

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

As part of delving into the Beauty and the Beast theme and Cupid and Psyche as the first such story in history, I will be addressing this theme's influences in literature. First up, Phantom of the Opera.

A few words on setting -

Some of these stories take place in a grand building that almost becomes a character in and of itself. This is the case with the Grand Opera House in Paris where almost all of the action takes place. It has a very interesting history:

The building was conceived on a gigantic scale. . . . The Opera was conceived not merely for performances on stage but as a setting for grand state occasions, for galas and balls, festivals and feasts. It was to be a palace both for culture and society, a gathering point for the new middle classes where they could parade and show off their finery.

(Source 1. The Complete Phantom of the Opera by George Perry, pp. 10-11, published in the US by Henry Holt & Co. 1988)

When the Opera eventually opened in 1875 it would cover a site of nearly 3 acres, stand 17 stories high with 7 of them below street level, and basements so large that they could store complete stage sets. (Source 1. p.14) The site chosen for the building was problematic because it had an underground stream, but this was turned to advantage by creating a lake beneath the stage in the fifth basement which is still there to this day. (Source 1. p.11)

But the most interesting part of its history is that it played a significant role in the Franco-Prussion War of 1870, when the construction was halted and though unfinished, was taken over by the Communards (the working classes who rose up during the revolution that followed the new republic after the reign of Napolean III came to an end.) The members of the Commune of Paris made the Opera its central base of operations and this included a military prison. There was plenty of room to imprison enemies in the large underground chambers. (Source 1. p.13)

in some of the Opera's deep cellars, which seem to extend into the dark infinity of Piranesian voids, there is a perpetual chill, …. It is easy enough to imagine that the first notion of the great building being haunted by tormented prison spirits took hold during the period of the siege and Commune. (Source 1. p.14)

The Phantom of the Opera was published in 1911. It's author, Gaston Leroux (1868-1927), was inspired to write the story after visiting the Paris opera house and exploring the lower cellars. (Source 1. p.28) His background was as a journalist and roving reporter so he was a painstaking researcher. “Leroux explored every inch of the Opera before writing his novel. He remembered particularly the sinister lake in the depths of the building where he stumbled over the bones of a prisoner who had died during the Commune.” (Source 1. p.10, caption under the photo of the lake). There was also a real life accident in 1896 in which one of the counterweights from the Opera's grand chandelier fell on the audience which Leroux had remembered, (Source 1. p.28) and famously put in this story. Because of his background as a journalist, he presents the story as if it was true, incorporating the horrific accident with the chandelier from 1896, and he himself is the narrator presenting his research and documentation. For example, in the Prologue, he as himself explains that this body that he stumbled upon was in fact that of the Opera ghost, not some prisoner of the Commune. This idea of mixing real events and people with fictional and blurring the lines of truth and imagination was a new and innovative style of writing then. However, the basic theme of the story itself is a very old one. This critique of the story seems relevant to our discussion –

The story, however, was typical of many other Leroux novels, in which a heroine was placed in extreme danger by a mysterious figure on the outside of society. To be fair, such a plot is one of the most basic there is. (Source 1. p.30)
Yes, it is in fact a tale as old as time.

The Beauty is a young, pretty singer named Chrisine Daae. She has blue eyes and golden hair. (Chapt. 5, p.9) We'll see more about her background in a bit.

The Beast a/k/a the Opera ghost or Phantom, and known to Christine as Erik, is described in detail as being very thin with a skeleton frame, deep set eyes with fixed pupils that look like two big black holes as in a skull, yellow skin stretched tightly over his bones, a missing nose and three or four long dark hairs. (Phantom of the Opera, Kobo e-book, Chapt. 1, p.5) So basically, he looks like a walking skeleton.

The handsome lover, a/k/a Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny, is a handsome yet shy stripling just over 21 years old but looked 18, with “a small, fair mustache, beautiful blue eyes and a complexion like a girl's.” (Chapt. 2, p.6)

Now, I don't know about the rest of you but personally I don't find this description of Raoul all that appealing, though maybe this was the standard for handsome in the 1880s. Also, I need to confess here that I did not recognize at first how Raoul fit into the B&B theme or Cupid and Psyche motif and I really struggled with how a character like Raoul fit. It was not until some of the wonderful discussions we've had on this topic on this thread, that a light bulb went off and I facepalmed myself and thought, “Duh! It's so obvious.” In a story that is supposed to be based in a “real” world without magic, the beast and the beautiful lover are not one and the same, but have been split into two separate personas. The Beast character's outward appearance is not going to magically transform into a beautiful specimen at the end of the story the way it happens in B&B, though inner transformation is a different issue. Here the two combined traits of the Beast in the original story have been split into two different characters. Maybe this was always obvious to many of you who know this story, but I am ashamed to admit it took me a little while to see it.

Since this essay is going to be really long, I thought I'd split it up in to three sections, discussing the three major events of the story. The events at Christine's father's grave at Perros, the night when the Phantom first takes Christine to his lair, and the final showdown between Christine, the Phantom and Raoul.

PART I – CHRISTINE'S TRIUMPH AND THE EVENTS AT PERROS.

The main story between these characters begins on the night when Christine has just had the most triumphant performance of her life, singing with a seraphic almost superhuman quality that no one had ever seen or heard before. It was so transforming that Christine sobs and faints at the end of it. (Chapt. 2, p.3) Christine had sung before but had always been rather ordinary and in the background so this performance was a real departure for her, especially since she was not known to be taking singing lessons with anyone. Raoul had come to the Opera on a few occasions before and had seen Christine in the background. He remembered her from his childhood and that night he had been watching the performance as well and is stunned at the change. He wants to go and see Christine because he is worried about her fainting and says “'she never sang like that before.'” (Chapt. 2, p.8) He gets to Christine's dressing room just as she is coming to, but it seems she does not recognize him even when he explains that he is the little boy from their childhood who ran into the sea to rescue her scarf. (Chapt. 2, p.12) She asks to be left alone but Raoul waits behind as everyone leaves because he wants to talk to her in private. Once he thinks Christine is alone in her dressing room he goes to her door but stops before knocking as he hears two voices inside. One is Christine's and the other is of an unknown man. The man says to Christine, “'you must love me!'” Christine replies, “'How can you talk like that? WHEN I SING ONLY FOR YOU!'” (Chapt. 2, p.15) She then tells the man how that night she gave him her soul and she is dead. Raoul is devastated for he realizes that he loves Christine and he wants to know who this man is that he has come to hate. He waits until Christine leaves her dressing room expecting to see the man with her but she is alone. She walks off without seeing Raoul who then goes into her dressing room to look for the man but there is no one there. It is completely empty. (Chapt. 2, pp.17-18)

At the same time as this excitement with Christine is going on, there has been further strange events happening back stage. Rumors had been spreading for a few months of a ghost who wore gentleman's dress clothes, “who stalked about the building, from top to bottom, like a shadow, who spoke to nobody, to whom nobody dared speak and who vanished as soon as he was seen, no one knowing how or where.” (Chapt. 1, p.3) A man named Josef Buquet, the chief scene-shifter, had claimed to have seen the ghost and was the first to give a description of the ghost as a dress suit covering a skeleton with a death's head. (Chapt. 1, pp. 4-5). Now Joseph Buquet has been found dead, hanging between two large pieces of scenery in the third cellar underneath the stage (Chapt. 1, pp.17-18). The talk amongst the dancers and workers at the Opera is that this was due to the “Opera Ghost.” That night's performance marked the change over in management of the Opera to two new managers, Monsieur Moncharmin and Monsieur Richard, but they do not believe in the Opera Ghost at all and think someone, possibly the former Opera managers, are playing an elaborate prank on them.

After that Christine does not sing in public again and even seems afraid to do so. Raoul writes to her many times asking to see her but never gets a response until one morning he finally gets a note from Christine. It says that she has not forgotten the little boy who ran into the sea to rescue her scarf for her when they were children. She is writing to tell him that tomorrow she is going to fulfill her “sacred duty” to her father, whom Raoul knew and who was fond of Raoul, as it is the anniversary of his death. She is going to Perros where he is buried with his violin, in the graveyard of a little church near where they used to play as children. (Chapt. 5, p.2) Raoul decides to head to Perros to meet up with Christine there and see the grave of her father. As he travels he thinks back fondly on the story of the little Swedish singer. Here's where we get Christine's background.

Her father was a peasant from a small town near Upsala in Sweden. He taught Christine the musical alphabet before she could read. (Chapt. 5, p.4) He was himself a very talented musician and fiddler and became known throughout Scandinavia for his playing. His wife died when Christine was 6 and the two of them traveled the countryside wandering from fair to fair, he playing his fiddle while his daughter listened to him or sang to his playing. She “never left his side.” (Chapt. 5, p.4) One day a man named Professor Valerius heard them and took them in along with his wife “Mamma” Valerius.

He maintained that the father was the first violinist in the world and that the daughter had the making of a great artist. Her education and instruction were provided for. She made rapid progress and charmed everybody with her prettiness, her grace of manner and her genuine eagerness to please. Chapt. 5, pp.4-5)

Valerius and his wife moved to France and they took Daae and Christine with them. Mamma Valerius came to treat Christine as her daughter. (Chapt. 5, p.5) [i'm not going to spend much time discussing Mamma Valerius's role other than to mention that to me she becomes like the mysterious witch in Beauty and the Beast who gives Belle advice about trusting her heart. Mamma Valerius is the only person to whom Christine confides about hearing an Angel of Music and Mamma tells Christine to pursue that “relationship.”] One summer they all went to stay at Perros where, during a week of festivals and dancing in that area, Daae went off to play his fiddle in the villages and he took Christine with him.

They gave the smallest hamlets music to last them for a year and slept at night in a barn, refusing a bed at the inn, lying close together on the straw, as when they were so poor in Sweden. At the same time, they were very neatly dressed, made no collection, refused the halfpence offered them; and the people around could not understand the conduct of this rustic fiddler, who tramped the roads with that pretty child who sang like an angel from Heaven. (Chapt. 5, p.6)

It was there that Raoul had first heard Christine sing when he was a boy. One day after he heard her sing he went looking for her and came upon her at the beach on a windy day that blew Christine's scarf out to sea. He said he would get if for her and ran into the sea fully dressed to rescue it. They became friends and during that season would play together almost every day. Raoul's aunt convinced Daae to give him violin lessons and he learned to love the same songs Christine had loved. (Chapt. 5, p.8)

They also greatly enjoyed hearing stories, especially tales of old Breton legends. But their favorite was when Daddy Daae would sit down with them at twilight and tell them legends of the land of the North. (Chapt. 5, p.8) There was one legend about a girl named Little Lotte who loved most of all to hear the Angel of Music when she went to sleep.

The Angel of Music played a part in all Daddy Daae's tales; and he maintained that every great musician, every great artist received a visit from the Angel at least once in his life. . . .

No one ever sees the Angel; but he is heard by those who are meant to hear him. He often comes when they least expect him, when they are sad and disheartened. Then their ears suddenly perceive celestial harmonies, a divine voice, which they remember all their lives. Persons who are visited by the Angel quiver with a thrill unknown to the rest of mankind. And they can not touch an instrument, or open their mouths to sing, without producing sounds that put all other human sounds to shame. (Chapt. 5, p.10)

Daddy Daae tells Christine that one day she will hear the Angel of Music. He will send him to her when he is in heaven. (Chapt. 5, p.11) Christine and Raoul meet up again at Perros three years later and they have feelings for each other but eventually they part. Raoul says he will never forget her but he is sad because he knows Christine could never be his wife as he is the Vicomte de Chagny. Christine kept up with her singing and made wonderful progress until her father died, “and, suddenly, she seemed to have lost, with him, her voice, her soul and her genius.” She continues to live with Mamma Valerius and enters the Conservatory only to please her. (Chapt. 5, p.12)

ANALYSIS

First, the legend of the Opera Ghost sounds awfully similar to our dear Hound, who seems to have quite a bit of legendary status himself. He stalks about like a shadow, seemingly appearing out of thin air and vanishing the same way. This is similar to the Hound who on the Serpentine Steps and rooftop scene of Maegor's seemed like a shadow moving to stop Sansa and keep her from falling. Also, neither one of them is a great conversationalist and hardly anyone talks to the Hound. His status as a fighter is also well known.

As for the Beauty, we have a pretty young girl who is charming, full of grace, eager to please, loves to sing and greatly enjoys stories. Sound like another character we know of? Oh and she's a Northern girl from Sweden! She was also very close to her father, even sharing the same bed with him as a child and never leaving his side for long. Her father instills in her this idea of being visited by an Angel of Music, a rather romantic notion if you think about it. He maintains a strong presence in her life even after his death. Christine loses her voice and her soul when she loses her father. I think the same could be said of Sansa once Ned dies.

The Father Figure -

I think it's important to recognize the influence of the Beauty's father in all these stories, and fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White, in which the father's absence seems to be more strongly felt than the mother's absence. That's why I focused on this part of the story in Phantom, which details just how close Christine and her father were with each other and how his death affects her very deeply. I would say with Belle also there is a significant hold that her father has on her. (However, the role of the father specifically seems minimal in Psyche's story unless I've missed something). This is carried even further with Christine and Sansa who loved their fathers and who are still very much under their fathers' influences even after their deaths.

Also, there is a “fish out of water” quality to the father's story which reminds me of Ned. Once they move to Paris, Daddy Daae becomes sad and begins “to pine away with homesickness”, and grow weak. He regained some strength that summer they went to Perros, “in a far-away corner of Brittany, where the sea was the same color as in his own country. Often he would play his saddest tunes on the beach . . . .” (Chapt. 5, p.5) Ned also seemed uncomfortable and homesick for the North and Winterfell once he went south, and I think we can pretty much all agree that he did not fit in well at King's Landing. Daae's pining away for the sea reminds me of Ned thinking of the Godswood at Winterfell.

PERROS -

When Raoul gets to Perros he finds Christine at the Inn of the Setting Sun. He tells her he loves her but that seems to distress Christine somewhat. He also asks her why she acted as if she did not recognize him that night in the dressing room, and confronts her about the voice he heard in her dressing room and Christine goes pale. He tells her how he heard the the whole conversation in her dressing room and Christine runs off in some distress and confusion. (Chapt. 5, pp. 17-19) Feeling bad about their argument, Raoul takes a walk to the little church where Christine's father is buried. [i am including the imagery in quotes because it exemplifies all the flower imagery and rose symbolism that we have discussed in this thread, By the way, this takes place in the winter with snow on the ground]:

Raoul walked away, . . . to the graveyard in which the church stood and was indeed alone among the tombs, reading inscriptions; but, when he turned behind the apse, he was suddenly struck by the dazzling note of the flowers that straggled over the white ground. They were marvelous red roses that had blossomed in the morning, in the snow, giving a glimpse of life among the dead, for death was all around him. It also, like the flowers, issued from the ground, which had flung back a number of its corpses. Skeletons and skulls by the hundred were heaped against the walls of the church, . . . . (Chapt. 5, p.20)

Christine meets him near the church after this and she reminds Raoul about the legend of the Angel of Music. She confesses that her father is now in heaven and she has been visited by the Angel of Music just as her father said would happen. (Chapt. 5, p.22) She explains that she has heard the Angel of Music in her dressing room and that Raoul heard him too. That was the voice he heard that night when he went to talk to her after her triumphant performance. The reason she flipped out on him earlier at the Inn was because she thought she was the only one who could hear him. She was truly shocked that Raoul could hear his voice too. (Chapt. 5, p.24)

That night Raoul hears Christine stir in her room at the Inn, and sees that she is leaving the Inn and walking towards the churchyard. He follows her and though he is making noise with his footsteps Christine does not seem to hear him. She is all in white and seems to be in a trance but the moon is full and it is a clear winter's night so there is plenty of light. Raoul sees her enter the graveyard and go towards her father's grave. He does not see anyone else there. She is praying there when at the last stroke of midnight she looks up towards the sky and stretches out her arms as if in ecstasy. When he gets nearer he hears the most beautiful perfect music playing. It is a violin playing the Resurrection of Lazarus but he has never heard it played so beautifully, as if with a divine art, not even when he was a boy and heard Christine's father play it. (Chapt. 5, pp.28-30) Though he can see no one playing the music, he seems to hear a noise that sounds like a chuckling coming from the skulls in the heap of bones next to the church. Christine is absorbed and never seems to see Raoul and she leaves but Raoul stays to investigate if the musician was hiding in the pile of bones somehow. One skull rolls up by his feet, then another, then he sees a shadow glide along the wall of the church and enter it. He runs to the shadow, catching hold of its cloak and when the shadow turns around, he sees a death's head looking at him from a pair of scorching eyes. Raoul describes it as coming face to face with Satan, and then he passes out and remembers nothing more. (Chapt. 5, pp.30-32)

ANALYSIS -

I included this scene because it shows how enraptured Christine becomes by her Angel of Music and believes him to be heaven sent by her father. She goes into a trance like state when she hears him. It exemplifies how drawn she is to this creature, who at this point she has not seen yet. She has only heard his voice. So, at this point she really believes she is being visited by a heavenly being that was meant just for her and to whom she gave her soul when she so triumphantly that night.

Sunset and Midnight/Angel vs Devil:

There is a lot of sunset imagery surrounding Raoul and Christine. When they were children they would sit on the hill at twilight and listen to Christine's father tell them stories, and the Inn that Raoul and Christine stay at in Perros is called the Setting Sun. On the other hand, the imagery associated with the Phantom and Christine is midnight and death. He looks like death walking though she has not seen him yet. When she goes to hear him play the violin in a thrall, it is in a churchyard by a her father's grave at midnight. Also, her father is dead but Christine has come to associate the voice with her father, as she believes he is the Angel who her father promised to send her. Remember that Raoul heard her tell the voice how she sang only for him, that she gave him her soul and now she is dead. Of course, when Raoul comes face to face with him, he thinks he has confronted Satan. Then of course there is that description of the red roses bursting through the snow in the graveyard by the church, giving the appearance of life amongst death. This whole scene takes place in winter which symbolically represents death, but even in death there is life. This is reaffirmed by the image of the Phantom as a living corpse.

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PART II – THE PHANTOM TAKES CHRISTINE TO HIS LAIR

The next significant event happens at the opera the night of the accident with the chandelier. The Opera Ghost had sent a note to the two managers of the opera demanding that Christine be the one to sing the lead role that evening rather than the opera's resident diva, Carlotta. The managers don't follow the Opera Ghost's instructions, Carlotta goes on stage and suddenly begins croaking in place of singing, causing an uproar, and then the chandelier crashes down on the audience killing a woman. (Chapt. 7) Christine disappears after the performance and is missing for two weeks. (Chapt. 8) When she eventually reappears at her home with Mamma Valerius, she is wearing a gold ring around her finger and proclaims that she will never marry, but she does promise to send for Raoul again. (Chapt. 10) But the real interesting stuff comes when Christine eventually tells Raoul about what happened and where she went the night she disappeared. They start meeting again daily at the opera and growing close again, even acting as if they are secretly engaged. They know it can only last for a month because at the end of the month Raoul is supposed to go off on a sailing expedition and Christine is supposed to go back to HIM. They always stay at the opera though and roam only through the upper floors, never below the stage because “EVERYTHING THAT IS UNDERGROUND BELONGS TO HIM!” (Chapt. 11, p. 12) One day Christine takes Raoul all the way up to the roof of the opera house. They sit down on the roof under the statue of Apollo holding his lyre to the “crimson sky.” (Chapt. 12, p.1) The sun in setting on a beautiful spring evening. [Here's that sunset imagery between Christine and Raoul again.]

Christine there confides in Raoul that she is afraid to go back to live with the demon underground but if she does not go back terrible things will happen.

I know one ought to be sorry for people who live underground … But he is too horrible! And yet the time is at hand; I have only a day left; and, if I do not go, he will come and fetch me with his voice. And he will drag me with him, underground, and go on his knees before me, with his death's head. And he will tell me that he loves me! And he will cry! Oh, those tears Raoul, those tears in the two black eye-sockets of the death's head! I can not see those tears flow again! (Chapt. 12, pp.2-3)

But even so, she does not want to run off with Raoul right there and then as Raoul proposes because it would be too cruel to Erik. She wants to let him hear her sing one more time tomorrow evening and then Raoul can come to get her in her dressing room at midnight and take her away. (Chapt. 12, p.3) Christine then tells Raoul that she has never seen him by daylight. The first time she saw him she thought he would die because of the very fact that she had seen him! (Chapt. 12, p.4) Then she tells the story of what happened to her that night when she first saw him.

The terrible night when Carlotta croaked like a toad onstage and then the chandelier came crashing down on the audience, Christine ran offstage in fear back to her dressing room. She is worried that the voice might have been injured in the crash as she knew it would come to see her performance, so she figures if the voice was safe it would come to her dressing room. She calls for the voice but does not hear a response, then she suddenly hears beautiful music, “a long, beautiful wail which I knew well.” (Chapt. 12, p.12) It is the music from the resurrection of Lazarus which she had heard at her father's grave at Perros. The music has a profound effect on her, as if commanding her personally to stand up and come to it. She does so and somehow, extraordinarily, her dressing room seems to lengthen out with the mirror in front of her and she somehow ends up outside her room without knowing how. (Chapt. 12, pp. 12-13) She then finds herself in a dark passage with a faint red glimmer in the distance and she cries out.

My voice was the only sound, for the singing and the violin had stopped. And, suddenly, a hand was laid on mine … or rather a stone-cold, bony thing that seized my wrist and did not let go. I cried out again. An arm took me round the waist and supported me. I struggled for a little while and then gave up the attempt. I was dragged toward the little red light and then I saw that I was in the hands of a man wrapped in a large cloak and wearing a mask that hid his whole face. I made one last effort; . . . my mouth opened to scream, but a hand closed it, a hand which I felt on my lips, my skin … a hand that smelt of death. Then I fainted away. (Chapt. 12, p.14)

When Christine comes to, she sees a white shape standing beside the man's back shape in the darkness. The white shape turns out to be a beautiful white horse named Cesar who had been stolen from the opera's stables earlier that day by a black shadow. Christine recognized Cesar and remembered hearing how he had been stolen by the Opera ghost. She had never believed in the ghost. Now she is beginning to wonder if the voice and the Opera ghost are the same. (Chapt. 12, p.15)

Christine's eyes begin to adjust as she is being carried by the horse, the black shape holding her up, and notices that they are moving through along circular gallery down into the lower cellars of the opera. She sees figures down there which she describes as demons, “quite black, standing in front of boilers, and they wield shovels and pitchforks and poke up fires and stir up flames . . . .” (Chapt. 12, p.16) Then, as the demon figures eventually disappear as they go further down their winding path, Christine describes how “Cesar walked on, unled and sure-footed. . . . We seemed to turn and turn and often went down a spiral stair into the very heart of the earth.” (Chapt. 12, p.16) This goes on until they finally reach the edge of a lake.

ANALYSIS -

Abduction from the dressing room - OK, I know I am not the only one to read this as almost exactly like the scene in Sansa's bedroom the night of the Battle of the Blackwater. We have Christine running in fear from a scary situation back to her room, a song which calls to her, then silence, then being grabbed by the wrist and the waist, a little red light in the darkness (like fire in the black sky), then a man with a mask wearing a cloak. Then she tries to scream again and the man's hand covers her mouth to keep her from screaming, and the hand smells like death. The order is not exactly the same, and in Sansa's case she sings the song, but otherwise it's the same situation. Also, Christine is telling this to Raoul while they are on a rooftop at sunset when the sky is crimson, reminding me of the rooftop scene between Sansa and Sandor the evening before the battle, when fires are already burning on the horizon.

Psyche/Persephone descent into the underworld - Obviously Christine's spiral path downwards is very clear detailed imagery of a descent into hell. It reminds me of the circles of hell in Dante's “Inferno”, and it also evokes for me Persephone's journey to the underworld. We also have the demons who are stoking the fires of hell, and note that when Christine first begins telling her story to Raoul, she now refers to Erik as a Demon. Also, there is a lot of black and white imagery associated with the Phantom, just as there is a lot of sunset imagery associated with Raoul. Cesar, the beautiful white horse, is stolen by a shadow, for example. I just had to include the description of Cesar because it is an awesome horse with a cool name and clearly the Phantom has a great appreciation for him, just like our Hound has with his horse Stranger.

There's also an image that evokes the ferryman crossing the river Styx when Christine describes their journey across the lake. Her “gruesome escort” jumped into the boat, took the oars and “rowed with a quick, powerful stroke;” (Chapt. 12, pp.17-18) When they reach the other side of the lake the man in the mask picks her up and carries her to his lair and tells her not to be afraid. She is in no danger so long as she does not touch the mask. (Chapt. 12, pp. 18-19) He takes her gently by the wrists, has her sit down in a chair in an ordinary looking drawing room, and goes down on his knees before her. She realizes that the voice was just a man under the mask and she starts to cry. He says that it is true he is not an Angel, nor a genius, nor a ghost, but Erik. (Chapt. 12, pp.19-20)

Though Christine is horrified by him, she also does not hate him because she thinks of the man there at her feet. He loves her, and lays at her feet an “immense and tragic love”, and has carried her off for love. She at first stands up and demands that he set her free that instant, and he offered to do so, but then he rose too and he sang, and she remembered that he was the voice. “That night, we did not exchange another word. He sang me to sleep.” (Chapt. 12, pp.23-24) So, in this case, the Beast figure is the one who sings and calms the fears and anxiety of the Beauty who realizes that he will not harm her.

THE PHANTOM'S LAIR -

The next day Erik shows Christine around his apartment. When they get to his bedroom she says it felt like she was entering the room of a dead person. It is hung with black curtains, and in the middle of the room is a red brocaded canopy underneath which is an open coffin. Erik says that is where he sleeps and explains, “'One has to get used to everything in life, even to eternity.'” (Chapt. 12, p.27) (Also, Christine notes later that there are no mirrors in his apartments (Chapt. 12, p.28)) There is also a large keyboard of an organ in the room and a desk with a music book on it. Christine goes over to look at it and sees Don Juan Triumphant. He says he composes sometimes, and that he has been working on that piece for twenty years. When he is finished with it, he will take it with him in that coffin and never wake up again. (Chapt. 12, p.27)

ANALYSIS -

It seems that Erik is a vampire a la Bram Stoker's Dracula. A walking corpse and no, he does not sparkle in the sunlight ;-) Anyway, it is interesting that the masterpiece he is working on is called Don Juan Triumphant because Don Juan is a tale about a man who is known as a womanizer or libertine. See this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan. Does this suggest that once he has successfully seduced a woman he will have fulfilled his mission in life? Or in a less cynical interpretation, is he looking for the love of a good woman and once he has that love he will be fulfilled?

THE GAZE -

Erik sits down at his keyboard and begins to play and as he does so Christine is overcome with curiosity.

”... Suddenly, I felt the need to see beneath the mask. I wanted to know the FACE of the voice, and, with a movement which I was utterly unable to control, swiftly my fingers tore away at the mask. Oh, horror, horror, horror!” (Chapt. 12, p.29) … “I fell back against the wall and he came up to me, grinding his teeth, and, as I fell upon my knees, he hissed mad, incoherent words and curses at me. Leaning over me, he cried, 'Look! You want to see! See! Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik's face! Now you know the face of the voice! You were not content to hear me, eh? You wanted to know what I looked like! . . . When a woman has seen me, as you have, she belongs to me. She loves me for ever. I am a kind of Don Juan, you know! . . . Look at me! I AM DON JUAN TRIUMPHANT!' And when I turned my head and begged for mercy, he drew it to him, brutally, twisting his dead fingers into my hair.” (Chapt. 12, p.31)

Eventually, Erik let's go of Christine, sobbing and dragging himself on the floor and finally crawling away like a snake to his room. (Chapt. 12, p.33) Over the course of the next two weeks Christine convinces Erik that she will return if he releases her by having faith in herself and telling Erik to let her see him without fear. Eventually he turns to her to let her see him, though she admits to Raoul that she was lying as she would close her eyes and not really look at him, but finally he has enough confidence to believe that she will return to him and he lets her go. (Chapt. 12, pp.34-35)

ANALYSIS-

The main thing here is the cost of looking at the monster without his mask and seeing his true face. This is the big reveal and is the most important factor in Cupid and Psyche, Beauty and the Beast, and the Sandor and Sansa story. Seeing what they truly face represents the loss of childhood innocence and they can never go back to what they were after their eyes have been opened. The symbolism of Erik crawling on the floor like a snake is blatantly meant to represent how Eve truly sees the Snake after she takes a bite from the forbidden fruit. Once she gains that knowledge, her innocence is lost and she can never go back to what she was before. Furthermore, there is a parallelism here in that just as Christine gazes on Erik's face for the first time and loses her innocence, she also realizes that the voice was not some Angel from heaven but a man. Her illusion about her Angel of Music is shattered from that point where she sees Erik's true face.

Also, though at first the Phantom does not want Christine to look at him, when she pulls off her mask and then is horrified she tries to turn away, but Erik then grabs her face and forces her to look at him. This is exactly what Sandor does with Sansa a couple of times. They are forcing them to see reality and it's not pretty.

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PART III – THE FINAL SHOWDOWN

The whole time Christine had been telling Raoul this story on the roof, it turns out that they were not alone as Christine had believed. As Christine admits that she loves Raoul and they kiss, the skies open up to a storm. As they flee there appears “high up above them, an immense night-bird that stared at them with its blazing eyes and seemed to cling to the string of Apollo's lyre.” (Chapt. 12, p.37) It now knows their plans to run off after Christine's performance the next night.

Now, before I get to the climax of the story and its ending, it's important to note that Erik was not just a good person with a tortured soul because of his looks and the fact that he had never been loved. He was a “monster” in many ways on the inside as he looked on the outside. Before he came to Paris, he lived in India where he became greatly skilled in using a “Punjab lasso” or noose, by which he could strangle people with great ease. (Chapt. 21, p.21) He became a pet of the “little sultana” at Mazenderan (in Persia) and would entertain her and her friends by strangling some great warrior, usually some man condemned to death, who would be given weapons to use against Erik who only had his lasso. Erik would always win by throwing the lasso around the opponent's neck. (id.) He had also had some involvement with the palace at Mazenderan. He “turned it into a house of the very devil, . . . .” (Id., p.23) He created trap doors which he could use to cause all kinds of tragedies and even built a horrible torture chamber where any wretch thrown into it could choose to put an end to things himself by using the Punjab lasso which would be left for them at the foot of an iron tree. (Id. pp.23-24) This must have been what happened to poor Joseph Buquet who must have happened upon Erik accidentally near one of the trap doors between two big sets in the third cellar that was an entrance to Erik's lair. (Id.) Erik refers to his time there as “the rosy hours of Mazanderan,” which I first took to mean that he looks on that time fondly, as he clearly does. He smiles when he thinks of his friendship with the little sultana although she sounds quite like a vicious fiend herself. But the “rosy” color could also refer to the fact that his time there was somewhat bloody as well.

The next night Christine disappears from the stage in front of everyone during the climax of her performance. Just as she finishes singing, with arms outstretched and throat filled with music, “'Holy angel, in Heaven blessed, My spirit longs with thee to rest!'” The stage is plunged into darkness for only a second and when it lights up again she is gone! (Chapt. 13, pp.21-22) Raoul goes running off to find her and comes across the Persian who knows of a way to get to Erik's chambers through a hidden door between to large pieces of scenery in the third cellar. Raoul and the Persian both end up in the torture chamber of Erik's lair, with the iron tree and Punjab lasso at it's base. (Chapt. 21, p.24) They hear Erik's voice in a nearby room saying to Christine that she must make a choice, the requiem mass or the wedding mass. (Chapt. 22, p.2) Though they hear Erik and Christine in the next room, they can't find a door to get to her.

Erik continues:

”I can't go on living like this, like a mole in a burrow! Don Juan Triumphant is finished; and now I want to live like everybody else. I want to have a wife like everybody else and take her out on Sundays . . . . You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself! If you loved me I should be as gentle as a lamb; and you could do anything with me that you pleased.” (Chapt. 22, p.3)

Soon Erik leaves Christine alone in the other room and Raoul calls out to her from the chamber. She tells him that Erik has gone mad with love and will kill himself and everybody with him if she did not agree to marry him. She has until 11 o'clock the next night to make her decision between the wedding mass and the requiem. (Chapt. 22, p.6) It seems that Erik has filled the lower cellars with barrels of gunpowder. (Chapt. 24) He plans to blow up the Opera house with everyone there the next evening for a performance depending on Christine's choice. (Chapt. 25, p.2)

Erik returns and discovers that Raoul and the Persian are in the torture chamber. (Chapt. 23) He leaves them in there assuming that eventually they will go crazy in there and try to hang themselves like anyone does who ends up in the torture chamber. At the appointed time Erik confronts Christine and asks her for her decision. Christine agrees to marry him so he does not blow up the Opera. Instead water rushes in to the floor below to soak the barrels of gunpowder, but the water keeps rising into the torture chamber where Raoul and the Persian are still alive, but the water threatens to drown them. (Chapt. 25, pp. 12-15)

Erik saves them from drowning after Christine pleads with him. (Chapt. 26, p.5) It seems that as the water was taking over and they were about to drown, Christine went to Erik and swore that she consented to be Erik's living wife. She would not kill herself, but live with him alive. It was a bargain for Raoul's life. (Chapt. 26, p.11) Erik is moved by Christine's agreement and he sets the Persian free, but it is still not enough to set Raoul free. He takes Raoul as hostage, locking him up “comfortably” in the most deserted level of the Opera, below the fifth cellar where prisoners of the Commune were once held. (Chapt. 26, p.12) Then, he returns to Christine who is waiting for him. She not only is waiting for him but she moves to him and even leans her head forward a little and lets him kiss her on the forehead! (Id., p.12) He is overcome with emotion by this little act, for even his mother would not let him kiss her nor any other woman. (Id., p.13) He is so overcome with happiness he cries and falls at her feet. He cries and Christine cries too and he feels her tears falling on his forehead, mingling with his tears and flowing on his lips. He rips off his mask so as not to lose any of her tears and she does not run away nor does she die! She remains alive with him, weeping with him. (Id.) Then Christine takes his hand and he says he has become like a poor dog, ready to die for her. (Id., p.14, my emphasis) To show her that he means it he tells her to keep the gold ring he had given her earlier as a wedding present. When she asks him what he means, he says again,

”where she was concerned, I was only a poor dog, ready to die for her … but that she could marry the young man when she pleased, because she had cried with me and mingled her tears with mine ...” (Id.)

He has Christine swear to him to come back with the ring one day when he is dead to bury him in the greatest secrecy with the gold ring, which she was to wear until then. (Id., p.15) Christine then herself goes and kisses Erik on the forehead. She had stopped crying. He alone cried. (Id.) Christine does keep this promise in the end, burying Erik with his gold ring (Epilogue, p.15) and then goes off to live a quiet life with Raoul, they withdrew from the world, taking the train from “the northern railway station of the world.” (Epilogue, p.2)

ANALYSIS -

Saved by the Kiss

As with Beauty and the Beast, we have a kiss which transforms the monster, in this case not physically, but emotionally. The kiss is what finally makes Erik break down and let Christine go forever to be with her true love. But what is striking to me in this story is that it's not a kiss from the Beauty which first causes the monster to break down. Rather it is the fact that she allows him to kiss her, even making a move to let him do so more easily, that causes his emotional transformation. Even his own mother never let him kiss her. This is how Erik describes it to the Persian, who he calls daroga:

... I even believe … daroga that she put out her forehead … a little … oh, not much … just a little … like a living bride … And … and … I … kissed her! … I! … I! … I! … And she did not die! … Oh, how good it is, daroga, to kiss somebody on the forehead! … You can't tell! … But I! I! … My mother, daroga, my poor, unhappy mother would never … let me kiss her … She used to run away … and throw me my mask! … Nor any other woman … ever, ever! … Ah, you can understand, my happiness was so great, I cried. And I fell at her feet, crying … and I kissed her feet … her little feet … crying. You're crying, too, daroga … and she cried also … the angel cried! ...” (Chapt. 26, pp. 12-13)

So, this singular, powerful act of compassion, Beauty allowing the Beast to kiss her is what transforms him, and this transformation is sealed by tears mingling together, falling on his forehead. These tears on the forehead symbolise a baptism and a baptism of course is a ceremony in which you renounce the ways of the devil. Also, we have the manly tears and the reference to him being like a loyal dog to her – need I say more? ;-) Finally, the Beauty and her handsome lover decide to go off in hiding together, to live happily ever after, to the North!

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PART IV, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE MUSICAL

I would be remiss in any Phantom discussion if I did not also bring up the musical version of this tale which became a sensation. Andrew Lloyd Webber's inspiration to write the musical (which opened in 1986), and to focus on the love story aspect of it came about after he read the original story in 1985. He had been looking to write a major romantic love story from the beginning of his career, but he had never found the right plot for it until he read Phantom. (Source 1. p.67) Hal Prince signed on as director for the same reason, “It was exactly the sort of show I wanted to do – I felt that there was a real need for a romantic show.” (1. p.69) Prince also went to the Opera house in Paris and spent many hours examining the building from the lake to the rooftop. (Source 1. p.69) Finally, they had to find a good lyricist for Webber's score. Webber's friend and prior collaborator Tim Rice was busy with a new show he was working on, and they eventually found a young unknown lyricist named Charles Hart from a musical writers' competition. “...he immediately accepted the deep romanticism of the story and the special potency of the situation in which a talented young woman is in thrall to three male figures – her high-born lover, her deceased father and Erik, the Phantom.” (Source 1. pp.69-70, my emphasis) Lloyd Webber made some adaptations from the novel to heighten its dramatic effect for the theatre and to follow the romantic thread of the Leroux novel. (Source 1. p.70)

Here is an informative link I found that sums up the differences between the book version and musical quite nicely.

It also has a cool graphic of the original cover of the book.

Relevant lyrics by Charles Hart, and of course the score is by Andrew Lloyd Webber -

I will focus on the songs from the show that go along with the scenes I described in detail above.

THE ANGEL OF MUSIC -

The Perros setting is where we first learn about the Angel of Music and this song from the show really captures the mystique of that legend. The Mirror/Angel of Music (Reprise)

CHRISTINE

Angel, I hear you.

Speak - I listen . . .

stay by my side,

guide me.

Angel, my soul was weak -

forgive me . . .

enter at last,

Master.

PHANTOM'S VOICE

Flattering child, you shall know me,

see why in shadow I hide.

Look at your face in the mirror -

I am there inside!

CHRISTINE

Angel of Music,

Guide and guardian,

Grant to me your

glory.

Angel of Music,

Hide no longer.

Come to me, strange

Angel...

PHANTOM'S VOICE

I am your Angel of Music...

Come to me: Angel of Music ...

RAOUL

Who is that voice?

Who's in there?

PHANTOM'S VOICE

I am your Angel of Music...

RAOUL

Christine.

Christine!

PHANTOM'S VOICE

Come to me: Angel of Music ......

This notion of an Angel of Music, sent by her father to help Christine, also suggests to me the idea of a Guardian Angel. This ties into Sansa and Sandor especially as we've discussed that he is her Lady replacement, and becomes her protector. Also, it could be that in a way he was sent by Ned as we know that Ned wanted to break Sansa's betrothal to Joffrey and find someone who is brave, gentle and strong. Sandor also seems to want to embody some of the more honorable Stark traits that Ned embodies as he interacts with Sansa more, which is one of the reasons why he wanted to join up with Robb after leaving King's Landing.

THE ABDUCTION TO THE PHANTOM'S LAIR AND UNMASKING -

Here are the lyrics to The Phantom of the Opera

CHRISTINE

In sleep he sang to me

In dreams he came

That voice that calls to me and speaks my name

And do I dream again for now I find

The Phantom of the Opera is there

Inside my mind

PHANTOM

Sing once again with me

Our strange duet

My power over you grows stronger yet

And though you turn from me to glance behind

The Phantom of the Opera is there

Inside your mind

CHRISTINE

Those who have seen your face

Draw back in fear

I am the mask you wear

PHANTOM

It's me they hear...

BOTH

Your/My spirit and my/your voice in one combined

The Phantom of the Opera is there

Inside my/your mind

BACKGROUND

He's there, the phantom of the opera!

CHRISTINE

He's there, the phantom of the opera

PHANTOM

Sing, my Angel of Music

Sing, my Angel

Sing for me

Sing, my Angel!

Sing for me!

The main thing that strikes me in these lyrics is of course the Phantom pleading with Christine to sing for him, and she, entranced, sings as she sings for no one else. Even the night of her triumph at the Opera, Christine had said to the voice that she sings only for him. The whole thing has a haunted feel to it.

Next, there are lyrics from the song the Phantom sings in Act I scene 6 when Christine wakes up in his lair where he's taken her the night before and she pulls off his mask. The lyrics here that I have emphasized in bold directly refer to beauty and the beast and also evoke the whole lurking shadow and "look at me" themes that are so much a part of Sandor:

First when Christine wakes, she sings of how she remembers a mist on a lake and wonders:

Who was that shape in the shadows?

Whose is the face in the mask?

Then she rips off the Phantom's mask and he screams -

Damn you ... Curse you ...

Stranger than you dreamt it -

can you even dare to look or bear to think of me:

this loathsome gargoyle, who burns in hell,

but secretly yearns for heaven,

secretly ... secretly ...

But Christine, ... Fear can turn to love - you'll learn to see,

to find the man behind the monster: this ... repulsive carcass,

who seems a beast, but secretly dreams of beauty,

secretly ... secretly …

And now for some real fun – visual aids! Youtube links to this scene -

Music of the Night into Stranger than you dreamt it -

In Music of the Night, I am very intrigued by the lyrics which suggest that light is garish, cold and unfeeling. Light represents knowledge, and in this case knowledge leads to a very not pretty reality.

Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation

Darkness stirs and wakes imagination

Silently the senses abandon the defenses

Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor

Grasp it, sense it - tremulous and tender

Turn your face away from the garish light of day

Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light

And listen to the music of the night

Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams

Purge all thoughts of the life you knew before

Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar

And you'll live as you've never lived before

Softly, deftly music shall caress you

Hear it, feel it secretly poseess you

Open up you mind let your fantasies unwind

In this darkness which you know you cannot fight

The darkness of the music of the night

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world

Leave all thoughts of the life you knew before

Let your soul take you where you long to be

Only then can you belong to me

Floating, folding, sweet intoxication

Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation

let the dream begin let your darker side give in

to the power of the music that I write

The power of the music of the night

You alone can make my song take flight

Help me make the music of the night

I must say, given the sexual undertones of the idea of singing that we made note of in the Pawn to Player thread, the term Music of the Night takes on new meaning ;-)

The first three links are from the 2004 Joel Schumacher film starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine. Personally, I think he is the weakest singer of the ones I will also show, but I think the movie in this particular grouping, from the Phantom taking Christine to his lair through Music of the Night, really does a great job of capturing the sensuality of these scenes. Also, and this may seem like a silly comment, but Gerard Butler is actually too good looking for the Phantom. He's supposed to be menacing and I don't think he really comes off that way especially because he's such a pretty boy, but that's just me. (Also, the horse is the wrong color – he's supposed to be white!)

This is just such a treat for me to watch. Sarah's eyes are huge at the start! As a lover of musical theatre and someone who has performed as a hobby, I much prefer live, stage performances to movies of musicals because a great performance has such power to draw you in. And Michael's performance here is a great one!

Here's another great live performance I really love from the 25th anniversary staging at the Royal Albert Hall in London with Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine. Ramin is also stellar as the Phantom here and has a beautiful voice.

The Final Showdown -

Again I am going to link to the 25th anniversary staging at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The big difference here from the book is that it is Christine who kisses the Phantom straight off rather than her letting him kiss her as in the book, that makes the Phantom change his mind and let Christine and Raoul go. The music swells just at the moment Christine kisses him and it fits beautifully together and the Phantom's one eye that is visible also gets huge when Christine kisses him. Then she hugs him too which I really like.

This is a really long sequence so I am not going to post all the lyrics but if you want to check out the lyrics to the show, here's a good site (thanks to Bgona for the link).

And now, watch THE FINAL LAIR/THE POINT OF NO RETURN, with Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine and Hadley Fraser as Raoul. Enjoy!

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Thanks for this Elba! The Phantom, book/musical/movie, never gets old for me! I like your idea of the Beast-figure split into the Phantom and Raoul (who really is piddly in the book). Will you elaborate more on this?

Also, Sandor's way of emerging from the shadows is really very Phantom-like. As I've noted before, I really believe that GRRM woud have seen the musical when it was so big in the latter 80s and developed some ideas from there.

PS, what do you think of the song 'Til I Hear You Sing Once More' from the sequel? It reinforces the idea of the sexual connotation of 'singing' since Christine and the Phantom have slept together before their separation. Makes you wonder if the night of the Blackwater can be equated with the 'Point of No Return' scene in the musical.

Also worthy of note wrt the musical/movie is the emphasis paid to the way that the Phantom has taken over Christine's mind rather than the heart. Is this similar to Sansa's state of mind post-Blackwater?

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I don´t realized.Here is the copy in your language:

Could be -as pipper16 says in Rethinking Sansa From pawn .....-that wine is indicating that Sandor is inebriated with the proximity of Sansa? (Chapter of the serpentine), but then:

What is dark, sour red like blood-true wine-that he offers to her and tells her (it is): all a man needs. Or a woman." ?

Only inebriation? Feelings?

Does he is saying to her:

Drink of my inebriation?,

Because I see more than inebriation, he is referring to something that both will drink:

What does mean Sandor by this?

His offer could implicate a future choice of Sansa , maybe, between be a Piece in a game , or just be a Person that choose LIVE (ENJOY LIFE) instead of PLAY a GAME?

What does mean our songwriter? ( ;

I ask because GRRM always plays to the contrary, breaking the tradition:

He named his novel (which is also a set of books) A Song.

His "Snow" are bastards (Jon), their princes are monsters (Joffrey) , his dwarves are giants (Tyrion, LF and between them the sense of why they be it is reversed), his Beasts are Beauties (Brienne), His Beauties are Beasts (Cersei), (GRRM certainly is not a Lannister : Is a fox :), The Hound is a Man (Obvious), their wolves are birds and vice versa (Sansa), their cats are bitches / fishes (Cat/un-Cat ;) ), her girls are wolf bitch (Using the own words of George R.R. Martin)/ and cat(in Braavos) , even etc ..... (Arya).

knights aren´t Knights (a large etc), and who is not, he behaves as such,

Their ladies rescues to the Knight (of monsters that attack to them, and the worst monsters are not real because it lives in his minds). The Kingslayer saved to the maiden, the maiden saved is ugly, the maiden herself is The knight that go to save to another maiden, the bastard is a Lady, the maiden who danced with a bear was saved by a man.

The another maiden who will dance with The Bear, and doing it, she rescues to the man inside of him, the most important conflicts are not physicals because “the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about”.

The Cold burns! ("Nothing burns like ice"), the fire worshipers believes in shadows (Melissandre).

Winterfell is warmy!...

....FIRE IS GREEN! (Valyrian and is the most intense" it will seep into cloth, wood, leather, even steel, so they take fire as well ") Even Roses are Blue! (Lyanna), In short .... why then in a chapter so extraordinarily symbolic George R.R. Martin uses so traditionally the adjectives: “sour red, dark as blood “- TRUE WINE?, I get the impression that here GRRM is telling us something else and what is invested is not the meaning of the color,

the invested is the blood and wine ... I think .. that with the color red he refers to what traditionally representing: the darkness and the force of something real ,but, of what? They are feelings? "Inebriation"?, I know, has other meanings but I cannot catch them, but certainly, wine and blood are something more, or something more than solely blood, truly wine.

There would be an exchange between them very personal, very powerful, because it is “all a man needs. Or a woman."

1-Does anyone know what means for GRRM the red color?

2-In the Books he gives another meaning at wine and blood?

The truth is there.Inside. -_- :)

I can smell it, feel it but I can´t taste it.

Thanks I give to the readers that be capable of respond this two questions. (:

My apologies to all,

if my sentences are not well written. I do not speak English, only Spanish: in short ... a fan of someone who does everything in reverse, but doing he became to his novel in something outstanding: George R. R. Martin

I love him!! ^_^

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I appreciated the comparison between Sansa's situation and The Phantom of the Opera. I agree that the parallels are many, and the way you uncovered them was just beautiful. I also would like to read more on the topic of the beast being split in two.

However, I have to confess that I am not a fan at all of Sandor's characte. Erik, especially in the book, is such a diverse and fascinating character. His obsession and his genius are in some way one and the same. I have always believed that precisely because it comes from darkness and is seen as a saving grace, his music is capable of possessing Christine ( the lyrics of the song are IMO perfect for the moment. The words are carefully constructed to seem music themselves and the melody is just divine). But I digress, what I wanted to say was that while I understand that in a world as bleak as Westeros, his qualities might be enough to redeem him to Sansa, they are not enough for me. In a way, I think that Sansa after having spent time with Littlefinger will find it harder to be with Sandor who might be ultimately just and honorable but also, and I know many of you will disagree on the subject, painfully boring.

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I appreciated the comparison between Sansa's situation and The Phantom of the Opera. I agree that the parallels are many, and the way you uncovered them was just beautiful. I also would like to read more on the topic of the beast being split in two.

However, I have to confess that I am not a fan at all of Sandor's characte. Erik, especially in the book, is such a diverse and fascinating character. His obsession and his genius are in some way one and the same. I have always believed that precisely because it comes from darkness and is seen as a saving grace, his music is capable of possessing Christine ( the lyrics of the song are IMO perfect for the moment. The words are carefully constructed to seem music themselves and the melody is just divine). But I digress, what I wanted to say was that while I understand that in a world as bleak as Westeros, his qualities might be enough to redeem him to Sansa, they are not enough for me. In a way, I think that Sansa after having spent time with Littlefinger will find it harder to be with Sandor who might be ultimately just and honorable but also, and I know many of you will disagree on the subject, painfully boring.

You think Sandor's boring? :huh: Why? Just curious.

Great post Elba! I love Phantom of the Opera. I especially love your comparisons between Sansa/Sandor & Erik/ Christine. I think that in both cases, the "beast" changes because the "beauty" shows them compassion. I also think that it's interesting that Sandor and Erik both had horrible childhoods- Sandor with his brother burning him and Erik with both of his parents treating him badly. Not sure if that's on topic but just thought I'd mentioned it.

I think-I hope- that Sansa and Christine's stories will have a different ending. Christine ends up with the beautiful *cough cough and boring and stupid and....just don't get me started on Raoul* guy. Hopefully Sansa will end up with the less beautiful on the outside guy, although of course Sandor is beautiful and honorable on the inside. :)

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You think Sandor's boring? :huh: Why? Just curious.

I guess that he doesn't bore me more than the average background character in Westeros. But he is not a background character. GRRM fleshes him out, creates a Beauty and the Beast theme with Sansa but it seems that it's not enough to capture my attention. At first I hated Sansa (I started appreciating her more from the third book) but her chapters never bored me, except when Sandor appeared. It's just a gut feeling. I guess I have always felt him as flat by comparison to the extremely more interesting characters in King's Landing. And while in reading these threads I have gained a lot of sympathy for Sansa and her journey, I still didn't change my mind about the Hound. He is not a character I want to root for but he is not a character I particularly wanted dead either. Mostly, I don't want to read about him ever again and that's my definiton of boring in ASOIF.

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Wonderful essay, Elba! Will comment later when I have a bit more time.

In a way, I think that Sansa after having spent time with Littlefinger will find it harder to be with Sandor who might be ultimately just and honorable but also, and I know many of you will disagree on the subject, painfully boring.

I know you've already explained why you find Sandor boring, Aurelia, but would you mind also expanding on why you think Sansa might find it difficult to be with him after LF? It's an interesting perspective for sure and I'd love to hear your reasoning on it. :)

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Very interesting and thought-provoking post as usual Pod, though I don’t entirely agree with you on Sandor. True, he strongly criticises the hypocrisy of knighthood in Westeros, but I don’t think he completely rejects the system altogether. In fact, I believe he’s very much part of it and here is why I think so. Sandor has his code of honour which is:

- no lies

- no foolish promises/vows he can’t keep

- courage

- loyalty to his liege lord (well, up until the Battle of the Blackwater)

I’ve been working on the notions of knighthood and courtliness recently and interestingly enough, these are some of the key rules our own medieval knights followed (or tried to follow). I guess Westerosi knights aren’t so different from ours. So yes, Sandor mocks the ideas of chivalry and gallantry but despite what he says, he still applies key rules of knighthood to his own life. In short, there’s a discrepancy between what he says and what he does. The question is, why? The only answer I can think of is that Sandor still believes in some of the ideas of knighthood despite the sheer hypocrisy of the system. Of course, I may be completely wrong ^_^.

Well, this is the unusual thing about Sandor Clegane. He absolutely mocks knighthood as an institution, whenever possible.

Sansa telling him Gregor was "no true knight" was a big joke to him - to him, there were no "true" knights, because knighthood itself was a sort of falseness. He did have his own sort of honour, even as The Hound - a kind of self-made code of being an honest murderer.

Yet, Sansa and her idealism manage to break this shell of The Hound down. She makes it about him and his own choices, not about what lies society tells itself. Between his exposure to her and to Arya, he comes to see that he's let himself become a liar, a coward, and a man without honour - as judged by his own standards and that's what breaks him the most.

So, post-Saltpans, if Sandor Clegane returns he may be more of a "true knight". Maybe all he needs to complete the transformation is just one "true knight" to show him they actually exist. (And she may not be far away.)

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Elba, thank you for providing us with those rich details and analysis of this story :) Knowing basically nothing of the Phantom outside of hearing about different musical interpretations, I really enjoyed your essay.

In Part I you spent some discussing the history of the Grand Opera House where most of the action takes place, and it brings to mind the similar bloody history of the Red Keep, where Sansa's own family members were tortured and killed by the Mad King. As an aside, a lot of the significant interaction between Sandor and Sansa takes place in and around her bedroom, and on stairs/high places where she could fall, serving to symbolize not only the intimacy in their relationship, but also his role as her protector. There seems to be a similar connection between the setting and the relationship Christine shares with Erik. He's not just the "ghost" who haunts this space, but he haunts Christine as well.

ANALYSIS -

Saved by the Kiss

As with Beauty and the Beast, we have a kiss which transforms the monster, in this case not physically, but emotionally. The kiss is what finally makes Erik break down and let Christine go forever to be with her true love. But what is striking to me in this story is that it's not a kiss from the Beauty which first causes the monster to break down. Rather it is the fact that she allows him to kiss her, even making a move to let him do so more easily, that causes his emotional transformation. Even his own mother never let him kiss her. This is how Erik describes it to the Persian, who he calls daroga:

So, this singular, powerful act of compassion, Beauty allowing the Beast to kiss her is what transforms him, and this transformation is sealed by tears mingling together, falling on his forehead. These tears on the forehead symbolise a baptism and a baptism of course is a ceremony in which you renounce the ways of the devil. Also, we have the manly tears and the reference to him being like a loyal dog to her – need I say more? ;-) Finally, the Beauty and her handsome lover decide to go off in hiding together, to live happily ever after, to the North!

And it's interesting how the kiss is almost platonic in nature. What's foregrounded isn't the romantic nature of it - although there's a lot to unpack in the story with regard to Christine's psycho-sexual development - but that it's a gesture of acceptance and compassion. Lots of readers still believe that Sandor went to Sansa's bedroom on the night of the Blackwater to rape her, but there's credible reason to believe - based on his response to the song among other things- that what he was looking for, and what was crucially needed to save him, wasn't something sexual at all.

The distant and detached relationship Erik shares with his mother is contrasted with close and caring one between Christine and her father, but both of them clearly have separation issues. Erik is looking for the affection he never received from his mother, whilst Christine is still invested in the remnants of her father's affection through his promise to send her the Angel of Music. The discovery that Erik is the voice and his subsequent unmasking, therefore holds significance for both of them in beginning to exorcise the ghosts of their parents. As a parallel to the Sandor/Sansa relationship, we know that Sansa's influence is instrumental in propelling Sandor from a life of hate for his brother into one where he begins to discern some other purpose (we expect the EB to eventually complete this process); The lack Erik feels from his mother's cold treatment is finally healed when Christine allows him to kiss her, and Sandor is saved by the mother's song, which specifically prays for sons to be safe and protected in war.

The transformation of these men is therefore from death to life. Erik's transformation sets Raoul free, which goes to the point you were making Elba about how he's Erik's "princely" persona. We see evidence of the true knight in Sandor throughout his interaction with Sansa, and she sets him on the path to his current stay on the Quiet Isle as the gravedigger.

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I know you've already explained why you find Sandor boring, Aurelia, but would you mind also expanding on why you think Sansa might find it difficult to be with him after LF? It's an interesting perspective for sure and I'd love to hear your reasoning on it. :)

Far from being an expert in psychology, it's based on my personal perception, so is probably totally wrong ;). The time in the Vale constitutes an important passage because Sansa gets to be in continous contact with wit and intelligence. At KL, she saw only Lannisters and she learned how to defend herself but she does not consider them outside of their family name. She does not appreciate their qualities and that is completely understandable in her situation.

But, with LF she is forced to come to terms with the fact that the world is not just potential knights and their enemies but there is the figure of the person who decides the matchups in the tournament. Moreover, LF in his boosting phase explains to her the reasoning behind his plots. Whether or not he is telling the truth is irrelevant in my reasoning. She is exposed to the logic behind politics in Westeros by the Master himself, a Master she doesn't trust but that saved her life. And if I understand anything about Sansa's progress, she is now becoming a realist, and once one sheds the dreams and the hopes of a child, intelligence seems a fascinating quality to have. She is now realizing that here is a man that is not honourable, nor strong, nor a king and yet Ned Stark is dead, countless of strong knights are dead, Joffrey is dead but LF is not only alive, he seems to have everything under control. As a young girl in Winterfell, Sansa doesn't seem to have brought up to appreciate smart boys and men. KL changed her. The scene with Joffrey when she remarks that Robb is always in the thickest of the battle clearly shows that she herself has understood that being smart is the only way to survive and maybe the best way to get rid of enemies. Now, her constant company is one of the smartest men in the kingdom.

Sansa in the Vale seems to me a work in progress, so I cannot predict how much and in what ways LF will influence her. My guess is that she will not inherit LF's snubbery towards all those who can't keep up with him (not when she is losing her initial snubbery) but she will probably look for that intellectual acumen in people from now on and recognize it as a potential evil trait but a necessary one in Westeros. If that is the case, then the Hound could be found lacking in this sense. I have always pictured him as street-smart but not capable of truly playing the Game of Thrones. Granted, she might enjoy the power that comes with being smarter than everybody else and thus wanting to find someone who is beneath her in this regard but this seems an evil version of Sansa and I don't think she'll get there.

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