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From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XV

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Well, ...Queen, copied it

(Link to Sansa Eyre), but do not know why I have a sneaking suspicion that someone else was reading it yesterday. :idea: :thumbsup:

Yes I saw that. I was thinking 'wow did they read my mind'. Maybe they did read the thread,though. Although if they did then why didn't they comment? :huh:

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[mod] Let's please try to keep this as focused a discussion as possible. Thus, please discuss the Jane Eyre stuff in its own thread. Further, as a courtesy to others, do not quote a giant post just to say "I agree." Make an excerpt, keep it focused. Further, do not double and triple post -- edit your original post if at all possible. Thank you. [/mod]

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I am finding in all the books I am looking at that the setting is key to the story. I just started reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame and learned that it's actual title is Notre Dame de Paris, a clear statement that the story is as much about Notre Dame as it is about Quasimodo and Esmerelda. I know that Jane Eyre has an imposing setting as well in Thornfield Hall and I agree that the setting of the red keep and Maegor's Holdfast where most of Sansa's and Sandor's interactions take place really fits with what is happening between them. Sansa definitely is haunted by what has happened to her and her family there just as the Opera where Christine and Erik interact seems to be haunted by a Phantom.

Hmmm, seems to me like we need to begin considering the gothic elements in Sansa's story line, particularly during her time at the Red Keep. There's tons of scholarly work on the Female Gothic, so it might be worth exploring those theories and applying them to these analyses. Any Gothic specialists in the thread? :)

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I am not. But yesterday I was thinking about it. The gothic as the a darker than the romantic period. Anyway I remember that GRRM told that the love at his books are romantic (as the period). And that means a lot of feelings, pain, absence or death of the lover, etc...

I also recall tgat he says that will end bittersweet. I can be wrong about both GRRM, it is IIRC.

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Another difference is that while Erik wants Christine to sing for him, Tyrion does not want that from Sansa and in fact thinks songs are the last thing she needs to hear. So, the main point here that I am trying to make as I rush to type this out is that there has to be an underlying acceptance first before the kiss takes place, otherwise it is just forced and serves to hurt the two people in the relationship further rather than help them mature and transform into something better.

I wonder if the singing and song as expression and the wish to hear it from someone can be seen as a wish to experience a deeper, personal connection with that person. We see Brienne wishing that she'd sang to Renly, and Sansa's love for songs is well known. Then we have Lyanna who was moved to tears by Rhaegar's singing, too. Clearly in ASOIAF, there is a similar type of reciprocity when it comes to singing. It can mean something deeply personal, and is not just necessary an exhibition of skill. Tyrion himself has a sentimental relationship to songs, as he often whistles or hums "The Seasons of My Love", which is Tysha's song, and she sang it to him.

So the association between songs and stories is clear even to Tyrion, which makes it interesting that he does not approve of Sansa hearing more songs, while still wanting her to love him. He wants her to love him, but does not want to do anything to create an emotional connection. Littlefinger seems to view songs in a rather similar light in that he is trying hard to convince Sansa life isn't anything like a song, and that what is in the songs is false. That speaks to a complete lack of romanticism in his personality. He's stripped those parts away, while Tyrion still has them, just in a twisted form after the Tysha incident. That leaves us with the one lone romantic, Sandor, who expresses an actual wish to hear a song, although of course he goes about it in an arse about face way by using crude language and projecting a hardarse macho image, perhaps to hide that a wish for a song is kind of, well, soppy, sentimental and romantic, really?

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In addition: Sandor cried when Sansa sang to him.

Can we add sing+tears as a sentimental connection? As with the Phantom?

About LF: I believe he is more dissillusioned about songs than desconnected. Due to this dissillusion, he uses them at his own purposes.

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About LF: I believe he is more dissillusioned about songs than desconnected. Due to this dissillusion, he uses them at his own purposes.

Contrary to a lot of other people, I don't actually believe that Littlefinger is disillusioned. I think he does no longer have romanticism in him, it's just gone. He is cold and unfeeling, a psycopath. Sandor is disillusioned, Littlefinger is empty inside. He tries in vain to somehow recreate a better, more perfect version of his ideal relationship with Cat, but that's not really true romanticism, that's a cynical try to recreate feelings that are actually gone, scoured away.

(To borrow a reference from popular culture, Littlefinger reminds me of Jon Irenicus, Bioware's villain who is obsessed with his former love and does anything in his power to recreate that love, but ultimately fails, and in the process only ends up torturing the replacements and the woman he once loved. He even proclaims in the end that when he once again faces the woman he

: he is empty inside. Whatever he was once capable of feeling is gone. Littlefinger to me seems a similar type of person. He has sacrificed his capability for love and meaningful human interaction in exchange for power and the quest for power.)

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I wonder if the singing and song as expression and the wish to hear it from someone can be seen as a wish to experience a deeper, personal connection with that person. We see Brienne wishing that she'd sang to Renly, and Sansa's love for songs is well known. Then we have Lyanna who was moved to tears by Rhaegar's singing, too. Clearly in ASOIAF, there is a similar type of reciprocity when it comes to singing. It can mean something deeply personal, and is not just necessary an exhibition of skill. Tyrion himself has a sentimental relationship to songs, as he often whistles or hums "The Seasons of My Love", which is Tysha's song, and she sang it to him.

So the association between songs and stories is clear even to Tyrion, which makes it interesting that he does not approve of Sansa hearing more songs, while still wanting her to love him. He wants her to love him, but does not want to do anything to create an emotional connection. Littlefinger seems to view songs in a rather similar light in that he is trying hard to convince Sansa life isn't anything like a song, and that what is in the songs is false. That speaks to a complete lack of romanticism in his personality. He's stripped those parts away, while Tyrion still has them, just in a twisted form after the Tysha incident. That leaves us with the one lone romantic, Sandor, who expresses an actual wish to hear a song, although of course he goes about it in an arse about face way by using crude language and projecting a hardarse macho image, perhaps to hide that a wish for a song is kind of, well, soppy, sentimental and romantic, really?

I like these ideas. Music and song have been with us since the beginning of humanity and often serve to create a deeper emotional and/or spiritual connection between singer and audience. I also find it meaningful on that level that:

- Sandor wants a song from Sansa. Not just in a literal sense or the metaphorical sense of sexual pleasure, but a deeper emotional connection. It's been said many a time but I think Sandor's rage at life and emotional armoring now are proportional to what a sensitive and idealistic little boy he once was. Not only was his faith in the ideals of knighthood (that he once probably idolized, hence his playing with a toy knight) dashed, his faith in the love of family was also dashed - his own brother, his flesh and blood, was the one who left him maimed and his father colluded with it.

- Tyrion doesn't want Sansa to be around music or songs because of what Lyanna said above, she is not giving him the emotional connection he wants from her.

- Petyr and his "Life is not a song" I think is symbolic of his total coldness and ruthlessness. Petyr the mischievous little boy is now Littlefinger the cold-blooded sociopath. There is no room for songs in LF's life because he is not capable of those feelings. I don't think he cares whether Sansa loves him or not, just so he can have her - and I think he just wants to have/possess her, not just sexually but in the literal meaning of making her his thing, his possession. Sansa is his weakness, but not for love, but for covetousness and greed. (And overconfidence - he's blabbing to her left and right about how he manipulates people and is a liar.)

- We don't hear that Eddard Stark sang or played an instrument, but he loved to sit by the fire and tell stories of heroes. Here is where Sansa gets her love of songs and stories from - in this, again, she's her father's daughter. In the double standards of the fandom, it seems fine that Ned not only liked to tell stories of heroes but that he believed that life was a heroic tale, but Sansa gets flack for her love of song. I just think this is one more area where father and daughter are alike.

Music and singing was actually something that high-born women were expected to know in the "real" Middle Ages and Renaissance. Even peasants knew how to sing the many ballads and tell the tales that were circulated. Remember they didn't have TV or the Internet or even mass-marketed books to keep them occupied. In isolated castles on long cold nights, women who could play the lute or harp and sing were essential entertainment, perhaps the only entertainment that was available. The Starks probably loved to listen to Sansa play her harp and bells and sing when it was dark and snowy and there wasn't much to do.

We also see Margaery singing and playing musical instruments with her family and bed-maids. I'm rather surprised that Cersei isn't more musical; I don't doubt that she was trained to sing and play an instrument because it would be part of her noble-lady repertoire. Perhaps she couldn't sing very well and this was something she envied in Sansa, who seems to have a notable musical talent beyond what would be expected in a noble girl inculcated in the decorative arts.

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We also see Margaery singing and playing musical instruments with her family and bed-maids. I'm rather surprised that Cersei isn't more musical; I don't doubt that she was trained to sing and play an instrument because it would be part of her noble-lady repertoire. Perhaps she couldn't sing very well and this was something she envied in Sansa, who seems to have a notable musical talent beyond what would be expected in a noble girl inculcated in the decorative arts.

It could also symbolise Cersei's lack of ability of forming more meaningful emotional contacts. We know Jaime sang mockingly to Brienne before he started to "change" for the somewhat better, but in AFFC he uses a singer to try and, in his eyes, reach a peaceful solution to the siege of Riverrun. Cersei seems to be able to use songs and singers for her own advantage, like at Joffrey's wedding when Sansa is upset and says to Tyrion that "she didn't do that". Littlefinger does the same when he employs singers to plant the seed of Loras becoming Kingsguard with Mace Tyrell. Both Cersei and LF use songs for cynical gain.

On the other hand, Tyrion does have a sentimental relationships to songs through "Seaons of my love", but he's also really bitter about it. If we're looking purely on Sandor, Tyrion and LF from a song symbolism point of view, that means Littlefinger is the coldest and most emotionally "dead" person of the three, and I think that fits with what we've seen in the novels, too. While Sandor and Tyrion may have their own problems pertaining to songs and singing, Littlefinger is outright rejecting them as in any way true. (I see Tyrion's rejection of Sansa's singing as a projecting of his own bitterness and difficulty with Tysha more than an outright rejection of the songs themselves: he simply thinks they're too painful, and he is too bitter about the whole thing.)

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Contrary to a lot of other people, I don't actually believe that Littlefinger is disillusioned. I think he does no longer have romanticism in him, it's just gone. He is cold and unfeeling, a psycopath.

...

Littlefinger to me seems a similar type of person. He has sacrificed his capability for love and meaningful human interaction in exchange for power and the quest for power.)

After reading you, Lyanna, I have change my mind. He could have began dissillusionated but he had ended disconnected to them.

Anyway I can´t remember if he was a song lover (he liked tales, but songs?). Even he ended also using the tales as he did with Sansa and Dontos being her Poor Florian.

About singers: he used a lot to get Loras as a kingsguard (as you have pointed out before), but also he used Marillion to have a whipping boy for his Lysa murder.

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This is sort of off topic from the conversation at hand, so apologies. I know there were a few PtP threads that dealt with LF's plans for Sansa, and how Harry the Heir might play out. I'm going to keep searching through to find those conversations, but in the meantime, does anyone remember if the Tyrells came up as part of LF's future plans for her? I remember a lot of HtH discussion, but if the Tyrells were mentioned it is eluding me at the moment....specifically, the thought occurred to me that he and the Tyrells are still working together, and Sansa is being groomed as a Tyrell match, stemming from the possibility that LF might get the Vale in his own right through a different chain of events than the one he listed to Sansa. Has this been discussed as a possibility?

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This is sort of off topic from the conversation at hand, so apologies. I know there were a few PtP threads that dealt with LF's plans for Sansa, and how Harry the Heir might play out. I'm going to keep searching through to find those conversations, but in the meantime, does anyone remember if the Tyrells came up as part of LF's future plans for her? I remember a lot of HtH discussion, but if the Tyrells were mentioned it is eluding me at the moment....specifically, the thought occurred to me that he and the Tyrells are still working together, and Sansa is being groomed as a Tyrell match, stemming from the possibility that LF might get the Vale in his own right through a different chain of events than the one he listed to Sansa. Has this been discussed as a possibility?

I think the only time LF mentions the Tyrells is when he clues in Sansa as to how the Purple Wedding plot was pulled off and his aside reference to the war of the three queens (assuming one of the three is a Tyrell.) I assume LF and the Tyrells have some further understanding. Harrenhal is the Lannister payment for brokering the alliance. It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume he's getting something from the Tyrells for brokering the assassination. Even if the plot was a one night stand of sorts it still leaves a big opening for future plotting.

The black amethysts. "But... if not Dontos, who? Do you have other pieces?"

"You could turn King's Landing upside down and not find a single man with a mockingbird sewn over his heart, but that does not mean I am friendless." Petyr went to the steps. "Oswell, come up here and let the Lady Sansa have a look at you."

I found the choice of "friend" peculiar given LF's nature but in this sense I think we can say that the Tyrells are his friends.

"Lancel found her the Kettleblacks, which delighted your little lord husband, since the lads were in his pay through his man Bronn." He chuckled. "But it was me who told Oswell to get his sons to King's Landing when I learned that Bronn was looking for swords. Three hidden daggers, Alayne, now perfectly placed."

So again we see LF as the opportunist rather than the long term architect of a scheme. His initial plan was to have Bronn hire them (which failed) but then he seizes the opportunity of Cersei's guard being sent away. His MO seems to be gather assets, create chaos, deploy assets near chaos and exploit.

Who is The Heir after Harry is dead? Wouldn't it be Edmure and then Sansa? (Bran, Rickon, Sansa but LF believes them to dead.) Sansa is also the heir to Winterfell, Harrenhal, and Riverrun-- the latter two after Edmure. Nestor and Albor Royce (of the recently bribed by LF Gates of the Moon Royces which also includes Myranda) are heirs to Winterfell after the Stark children.

I don't think LF has a grand plan so much as a wealth of opportunity. My suspicion is that wants Riverrun, the Riverlands, and Sansa as his wife if he even has any specifics to his end game. If the Lannisters fall his claim to the Riverlands/Harrenhal, the Frey claim to Riverrun, and the Bolton claim to Winterfell are almost certainly off the table. Curiously, they all revert to Sansa (assuming as I suspect LF is that Edmure will be no more.)

As a Tyrell aside when I was looking at ship names in the BwB from Davos (that chapter is filled with symbolism and foreshadowing) I noticed this:

Lord Velaryon's silver-hulled Pride of Driftmark had moved into her position to port of Wraith, and Bold Laughter was coming up fast, but Harridan was only now getting her oars into the water and Seahorse was still struggling to bring down her mast.

The old woman is not boring, though, I'll grant her that. A fearsome old harridan, and not near as frail as she pretends. When I came to Highgarden to dicker for Margaery's hand, she let her lord son bluster while she asked pointed questions about Joffrey's nature.

The other references to the ship I assume is supposed to be Olenna are:

Harridan and Seahorse had slipped into their places now, and Lord Celtigar’s Red Claw beyond them.

Piety, Cat, Courageous, Sceptre, Red Raven, Harridan, Faithful, Fury, they had all gone up, Kingslander and Godsgrace as well, the demon was eating his own. Lord Velaryon’s shining Pride of Driftmark was trying to turn, but the demon ran a lazy green finger across her silvery oars and they flared up like so many tapers.

One looks like Aurane Waters might be plotting with the Tyrells and Celtigars and the other looks like dragons are going to roast everyone. I don't want to derail the Sansa discussion but the point is the foreshadowing of the Tyrells doesn't seem to point toward Sansa or LF and Sansa's value in terms of claims is much stronger in three other kingdoms rather than in Highgarden. I suspect LF would be equally open to using any of these opportunities that present themselves except for his Sansa fixation which will likely influence him and probably through willful intent on Sansa's part.

ETA: I forgot the unknown but important point which is whether or not the fate of Sansa was discussed during the Joffrey plotting. I suspect not but if it was that means LF backstabbed the Tyrells already. It is openly stated that LF spilled the beans on the Tyrell wedding intentions for Sansa so it wouldn't be unreasonable for Olenna to know he did that. It wouldn't be a betrayal if she never came up but it isn't exactly a gesture of kindness. Either way we can assume that Olenna knows Sansa is with LF and that he was always scheming to steal her away. This may impact (positively and/or negatively) any future schemes the two may hatch.

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Dunno Ragnorak. Firstly Bronn was successful in hiring the Kettleblacks - that was just a few chapters earlier in our Tyrion reread. Tyrion is laughing because Cersei is off plotting with the Kettleblacks little realising that for every penny she paid them Bronn gave them too. Here we learn that the joke was on Tyrion too as they were Littlefinger's all along.

I rather disagree that the Tyrells and Baelish are friends. Really because of Sansa. The Tyrells original plan is to marry Sansa to Willas. Sansa tells Ser Dontos - who is in Littlefinger's employ who tells her that the Tyrells are horrible (what a surprise when he's been promised a fortune in gold to get her from the Red Keep to Baelish's ship). So who else than Baelish dropped a word in the right ear and made sure that Sansa was safely married to Tyrion - a man he was already planning to have murdered and couldn't be carried off to Highgarden? Since we know from ADWD that Baelish volunteered to Cersei to marry Sansa it is fair to assume that the interests of House Baelish and Tyrell are diametrically opposed over Sansa and hard to see how they reanimate their alliance now that Petyr has stolen a premier heiress from them.

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Lummel, I don't think LF has a single friend other than his own reflection (which I somehow suspect is a relationship poisoned by jealousy.) I only meant "friend" in the sense that he employed the word. Someone he trusts more than Dontos but less so if they get enough of what they want to feel they no longer depend entirely on LF.

The Kettleblacks didn't get hired by Bronn as sellswords though which is what he tells Sansa his original intent was. Remember Bronn had that interesting "try and kill me" job interview and I don't suspect the Kettleblacks would pass or actually didn't pass. Bronn started hiring sellswords as soon as Tyrion arrived but the Kettleblacks only enter Bronn's service as informants when they start to work for Cersei. His plan worked but not because he orchestrated circumstances to bring them into Bronn's fold like a chessmaster but rather because he exploited opportunities that he didn't specifically plan beyond fueling the chaos.

Cersei needed Swann out of the picture to ensure her Kettleblack champion could win a trial by combat so I'm not sure how good they really are with swords.

Bronn observed (before Swann and the Kettleblacks join)

“The Hound is Joffrey’s dog, he won’t leave him. Ironhand’s gold cloaks should be able to handle the others easy enough.”

So guards, who Tyrion notes are less than soldiers, can take Joffrey's KG minus the Hound and Oakheart which sums up Bronn's take on teh Kettleblack opponents for a trial.

Tyrion also thinks

Amiable rogues all three, the brothers were in truth much more skilled at deceit than they’d ever been at bloodletting.

which I admit I'm assuming this came from Bronn.

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OK, I rather think that Petyr's bridge to the Tyrells was burnt when he prevented Willas from winning the super Sansa lottery so I don't think that he has any credit with them any more.

Petyr was able to work with the Tyrells because he led them to believe there was away to get Maergery on the throne. What has he got to offer them now? His interests seem to run counter to theirs.

On the other hand we know there are still people in the financial administration who were Littlefinger's placemen and the Kettleblacks (Cersei's arrest is happening at about the same time as Sansa is leaving the Eyrie so Petyr probably doesn't know that he's lost the Kettleblacks at the time he's talking to Sansa) who seem to be me to be more likely candidates to be Baelish's friends than the Tyrells who would probably happily fry up his kidneys for breakfast if they could.

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Who is The Heir after Harry is dead? Wouldn't it be Edmure and then Sansa? (Bran, Rickon, Sansa but LF believes them to dead.) Sansa is also the heir to Winterfell, Harrenhal, and Riverrun-- the latter two after Edmure. Nestor and Albor Royce (of the recently bribed by LF Gates of the Moon Royces which also includes Myranda) are heirs to Winterfell after the Stark children.

Why would Edmure and Sansa be heirs to the Vale? Why would the lesser Royces be heirs to Winterfell?

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Lysa has no claim to the Vale through marriage just like Sansa has no claim to Casterly Rock. She was ruling through her custody of Sweetrobin who obviously does have a claim as Jon Arryn's son. Sansa is his cousin and Edmure is his uncle. After Harry the Heir I believe they are the only relatives left. The lesser Royces are related to the Starks through a marriage to Ned's grandfather's sister. Cat argues for them to be named heirs over Jon during the Robb's will scene. Harrenhal comes through one of Cat's Tully ancestors marrying a Whent.

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...Who is The Heir after Harry is dead? Wouldn't it be Edmure and then Sansa? (Bran, Rickon, Sansa but LF believes them to dead.) Sansa is also the heir to Winterfell, Harrenhal, and Riverrun-- the latter two after Edmure. Nestor and Albor Royce (of the recently bribed by LF Gates of the Moon Royces which also includes Myranda) are heirs to Winterfell after the Stark children...

Probably not Edmure and Sansa unless they turn out to be descended, somehow, from the Arryns. Lines of inheritance are biological - the inheritance can't jump over to Edmure just because his sister was married to Jon Arryn nor because he is Sweetrobin's uncle.

I don't think the Royce's are the Winterfell heirs. Catelyn says that there are cousins in the Vale, but she can't remember the family name. That suggests it some obscure family and not a famous one like the Royces.

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Edmure/ Stark kids claim Harrenhal through Minisa Whent, Cat's and Edmure's mother. I was talking about the Vale as they have no blood relation to the Arryns. About Vale lordlings related to the Starks: Cat mentioned the sisters of a Lord Stark ( Rickard's aunts?) in ASOS married to three families in the Vale. I can't find the chapter but I think it was Redforts, Waynwoods and I'm not sure about the Royces. We would need to know their rank as well as whether Nestor's branch split off the major Royces after to the Stark wedding. I don't think a Stark would marry a lesser Royce, by the way. Even so, I don't think a blood relation that distant is enough to lay a claim to a seat like Winterfell much less the North.

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