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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XVI

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I hope everyone had a lovely New Year's day :) It's hard to believe that nearly an entire year has gone by since Rapsie and I decided to launch the first PtP on rereading Sansa, and it's amazing to look at what has developed out of that and the quality of discussion we've been able to foster here. This thread is truly a collective effort, and it grows stronger because of all of you. As we embark on a new year, and our first anniversary on Jan 16th, I'd like to invite ideas on future projects and interesting topics relating to Sansa that you all might like to explore as we continue on, so feel free to PM* me with suggestions! We'd also welcome any relevant insight you'd like to contribute, or any constructive information found on the wider web. It should be clear by now that the task of rethinking Sansa involves exploring knowledge from a variety of disciplines, and I hope to see this tradition continue. Those of you who are lurking and would like to join us, what better time to do so than at the start of a new year? Remember, going over old territory with fresh eyes and new ideas is always rewarding. xx

*or you can send me an email at: [email protected]

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Here's something I found in the that may serve as foreshadowing for Sansa:

From AFfC Prologue:

In the apple tree beside the water, a nightingale began to sing. It was a sweet sound, a welcome respite from the harsh screams and endless quorking of the ravens he had tended all day long.

The apple tree in Norse mythology is a symbol of rebirth and beauty, the apple is also known as the "forbidden fruit". The nightingale is a symbol of love, and the song of a nightingale is depicted as a sorrowful lament. Ravens are associated with, as well as BR and the Old Gods, death.

The nightingale may be Sansa, referred to as a "singing, little bird" by Sandor. It may foreshadow Sansa's rebirth as a strong, beautiful woman: Sansa STark went up the mountain but Alayne Stone is coming down, and Sansa giving Sandor a song as he lays dying (from taking a mortal wound defending her) during or after a battle, under the watchful eye of BR or Bran, or in winter.

The apple tree brings me idea of Myranda and Lothor Brune (Myranda redded as an apple, and Lothor Brune the apple eater).

The nightingale brings me idea of LF with his mockingbird. But also it brings me the idea that the nightingale sings until its death. Right now Sansa is the daughter of the mockingbird (for that she can be the nightingale).

Also the whole sentence, it seems as is bringing hope, that the bad news will be changing. (The ravens are the portraits of the bad news, even also the ones that fly between the world of the living and the deads, as the cats).

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The set up you're describing also reminds me of the Narnia series where each of the siblings got to be a king or queen with Peter (the oldest) being High King.

It reminded me of that as well. Maybe the Starks could do something like that as well. Maybe Sansa (or Jon if he decided to leave the NW) could be the main leader but the rest of the Stark siblings would be kings/queens as well.

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Here's something I found in the that may serve as foreshadowing for Sansa:

From AFfC Prologue:

In the apple tree beside the water, a nightingale began to sing. It was a sweet sound, a welcome respite from the harsh screams and endless quorking of the ravens he had tended all day long.

The apple tree in Norse mythology is a symbol of rebirth and beauty, the apple is also known as the "forbidden fruit". The nightingale is a symbol of love, and the song of a nightingale is depicted as a sorrowful lament. Ravens are associated with, as well as BR and the Old Gods, death.

Interesting. There's a lot of apple imagery in this chapter, and my reading was that it foreshadows the deception Pate suffers at the end. Perhaps the nightingale with its sweet sound fits in with this betrayal as well. Mollander finds a withered apple on the ground, which is soon cored by Alleras's arrow. A bit later on he notices another apple which is wormy and is able to split it in two again (he shoots at a third one but misses). Pate of course spends the entire chapter thinking about the girl of his dreams, who's called Rosey - bringing to mind the colour of apples; and they're all gathered at the inn drinking cider. As bgona notes above, the two characters associated with apple symbolism in Sansa's arc are Myranda Royce and Lothor Brune. She compares herself to an apple, which might hint that she can't be trusted, and Lothor is the apple-eater who might protect Sansa or die in the attempt, instead of Sandor.

ETA: Overall this chapter might have more significance for theories on the Targaryens though and the dragons have three head business :)

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This may be of interest.

Helen Fisher is a distinguished biological anthropologist who has done extensive research about love, and essentially concludes, love is chemical. There are three discrete and interrelated emotion-motivation brain systems associated with mating, reproduction, and parenting (she refers to these as the three stages of love: lust, infatuation, and attachment):

Lust - The sex drive. A craving for sexual gratification. Evolved to initiate the mating process with any appropriate partner.

Infatuation - Also known as romantic love, or falling in love. Characterized by feelings of longing for an emotional union, sleeplessness, frequent thoughts of her/him, as well as a powerful sense of empathy toward and willingness to sacrifice for her/him. Also, brooding and feelings of despair if there is a setback. A focus on the positive qualities of the beloved, as well as specific events and objects associated with her/him. Evolved to enable individuals to choose among and prefer specific mating partners.

Attachment - Characterized by feelings of calm, security, social comfort, and emotional union. Evolved to enable individuals to cooperate with a reproductive mate until species-specific parental duties have been completed.

These three systems regularly act in concert with each other, but also independently of one another.

Why We Love, Helen Fisher, on lust:

Men and women are often sexually stimulated by different things, however. Men like to look. They are sexually turned on by visual stimuli... Women are generally more turned on by romantic words, images, and themes in films and stories...

Anatomy of Love, Helen Fisher, on how infatuation leads to attachment:

To see her smile, to hear his voice, to watch her walk, to recall a charming moment or witty remark - the slightest perception of one's sweetheart sends a tidal wave of exhilaration through the brain... What a great equalizer this passion is - reducing poets and presidents, academics and technicians, to the same stuttering state of anticipation, hope, agony, and bliss.

Then, as infatuation wanes, a new sensation saturates the mind - attachment. Perhaps this is the most elegant of human feelings, that sense of contentment, of sharing, of oneness with another human being...

ETA quotes...

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"Wolves were harder. A man might befriend a wolf, even break a wolf, but no man could truly tame a wolf. "Wolves and women wed for life," Haggon often said. "You take one, that's a marriage. The wolf is part of you from that day on, and you're part of him. Both of you will change."

Regarding the quote on wolves here. Tyrion has clearly failed at breaking or taming Sansa, the wolf (sometimes in sheep's clothing,but still a wolf) and "wolves and women wed for life" indicates an active choice, a participation, on the part of the wolf or woman. It goes hand in hand with how you can't tame a wolf, in that you cannot make it choose you of its own accord, unless perhaps you break it. None of the remaining Stark children have been broken though.

I also wonder if her interactions with Tyrion has really changed Sansa. I lean towards that she has learnt things, but not that she has changed that much, at least not profoundly, because of it. It reinforced her already existing misery, it made her trust the Lannisters even less, but it seems the interactions with Sandor and Littlefinger and her experience of being tormented by Joffrey and Cersei, and perhaps even the Tyrells' betrayal, are the experiences that have really propelled her character development more so than any interaction with Tyrion. Their marriage is characterised by Sansa stonewalling him completely, using the things she has already learnt and on the night of her wedding vocalising what she has come to realise: that being forced without a choice isn't right, and it isn't fair.

Hence I would not take Haggon's words to mean Sansa and Tyrion are forever united because they were formally wed. Sansa did not wed him, she was pressured into the marriage without the choice. She did not choose Tyrion; in fact, she did what she could to silently resist. Remember also Ygritte's words, that a man can have a knife, or a man can have a woman, but not both.

A man can own a woman, and a man can own a knife, Ygritte had told him once, but no man can own both.

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Hmm. I would say that in that passage Haggon was not being poetic about the nature of marriage rather he was discussing practically the issues involved in warging.

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Regarding the quote on wolves here. Tyrion has clearly failed at breaking or taming Sansa, the wolf (sometimes in sheep's clothing,but still a wolf) and "wolves and women wed for life" indicates an active choice, a participation, on the part of the wolf or woman. It goes hand in hand with how you can't tame a wolf, in that you cannot make it choose you of its own accord, unless perhaps you break it. None of the remaining Stark children has been broken though.

He has not tried breaking her at all, and if he tried taming her, his attempt consisted of fewer words than can be counted in your paragraph. So I do not think that Tyrion's interaction with Sansa demonstrated her 'inner wolf', except when she refused to bend over and kiss him during the ceremony, which was neither an attempt to break her, nor did it provoke anything other than laughter at the Imp rather than the whole Lannister family.

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He has not tried breaking her at all, and if he tried taming her, his attempt consisted of fewer words than can be counted in your paragraph. So I do not think that Tyrion's interaction with Sansa demonstrated her 'inner wolf', except when she refused to bend over and kiss him during the ceremony, which was neither an attempt to break her, nor did it provoke anything other than laughter at the Imp rather than the whole Lannister family.

Tyrion did not set out to, no, but Tywin did through Tyrion, to be sure. Marrying Sansa to Tyrion was one of Tywin's methods in creating a "Rains of Castamere" on the Starks.

Lummel,

I am sure it was not Haggon's intention, but is seems rather unavoidable that certain ponderings can be made based on it regardless. After all, the writer put Haggon's thoughts so wonderfully poetically. ;)

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Hmm. I would say that in that passage Haggon was not being poetic about the nature of marriage rather he was discussing practically the issues involved in warging.

Yes, but GRRM wrote it as part of the same fiction series rather than it being a historical document. Thus, the speculation, right or wrong, is valid.

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He has not tried breaking her at all, and if he tried taming her, his attempt consisted of fewer words than can be counted in your paragraph. So I do not think that Tyrion's interaction with Sansa demonstrated her 'inner wolf', except when she refused to bend over and kiss him during the ceremony, which was neither an attempt to break her, nor did it provoke anything other than laughter at the Imp rather than the whole Lannister family.

What Lyanna said. And although Tyrion did not actively set out to break Sansa, it would have nevertheless been the end result of that awful marriage if she had not kept up her courtesy armor and refused his attempts at intimacy. I'm unsure about your point on how the laughter is directed at Tyrion and not the entire Lannister family. He's carrying out his family's wishes, and this is Sansa's way of showing that she's rejecting their attempts to turn her into one of them. As for it demonstrating her inner wolf, I'll let the text speak:

Sansa tried to run, but Cersei's handmaid caught her before she'd gone a yard. Ser Meryn Trant gave her a look that made her cringe, but Kettleback touched her almost gently and said, "Do as you're told, sweetling, it won't be so bad. Wolves are supposed to be brave, aren't they?"

Brave. Sansa took a deep breath. I am a Stark, yes. I can be brave.

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In the apple tree beside the water, a nightingale began to sing. It was a sweet sound, a welcome respite from the harsh screams and endless quorking of the ravens he had tended all day long.

We know that the nightingale is the symbol of LF. Right?

Then, If we add the rest of the quote of the Prologue. This nightingale sings: "Gold for iron" "gold for iron"..( The Throne? ( ;). This is not the song of love. Is the anti-song (exactly that LF did with Marillion and Dontos. He sang a song, but was a lie.)

The ravens are white. They announce the winter.

So, I think they are foreshadowing the advent of the Stark. After all the motto of their House is precisely: "Winter is coming".

In this passage that you quoted, don´t speak about death. At least , not for the Hound, hate yes, death not. On the contrary: Look at that:

“The sea is wet, the sun is warm, and the menagerie hates the mastiff.”

He has a mocking name for everyone...

As if he wants to bite you

and later:

“Dragons and darker things,” said Leo. “The grey sheep have closed their eyes, but the mastiff sees the truth. Old powers waken. Shadows stir. An age of wonder and terror will soon be upon us, an age for gods and heroes.” He stretched, smiling his lazy smile. “That’s worth a round, I’d say.”

“We’ve drunk enough”

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As we embark on a new year, and our first anniversary on Jan 16th, I'd like to invite ideas on future projects and interesting topics relating to Sansa that you all might like to explore as we continue on, so feel free to PM* me with suggestions! We'd also welcome any relevant insight you'd like to contribute, or any constructive information found on the wider web. It should be clear by now that the task of rethinking Sansa involves exploring knowledge from a variety of disciplines, and I hope to see this tradition continue. Those of you who are lurking and would like to join us, what better time to do so than at the start of a new year? Remember, going over old territory with fresh eyes and new ideas is always rewarding. xx

Hello! Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary to this PtP Sansa endeavor. I only discovered you all a few months ago and have a lot of threads to catch up on, but do consider myself one of your "lurkers" and intend to come out of the woodwork in this new year. Great work, theories, connections. Thank you all for championing Sansa Stark.

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Hello! Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary to this PtP Sansa endeavor. I only discovered you all a few months ago and have a lot of threads to catch up on, but do consider myself one of your "lurkers" and intend to come out of the woodwork in this new year. Great work, theories, connections. Thank you all for championing Sansa Stark.

Heyyy Ashkhen, official welcome to the thread! You have honorary status as our first new member for 2013, so congrats :)

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There's a lot of apple imagery in this chapter

They are 3 apples. The third:

The fresh apple-"The" Apple, plucked from the tree, to be traversed, falls in the river Honeywine-entirely-if we think about the meanings of honey that appear in the bear and the maiden fair and the true wine offered by Sandor to Sansa, the conclusions of that passage are very differents... .

A dragon buys the virginity of a girl.

I don´t understand this yet , hands to the play!

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a man can have a knife, or a man can have a woman, but not both.

Haggon didn´t say that "marriage as institution" is what unites forever both the woman or the wolf.

What unites them forever, which means wedding according to Haggon is the act of take the body of the other, enter in another's body, her mind, her soul, is:

"..take one, that's a marriage."

The wolf is part of you from that day on, and you're part of him. Both of you will change."

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Again the number 3.

What it may represent? Maybe Cersei children?

The white ravens means change of season.

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Goodness me! I've just had a truly heretical thought! I've always been rather suspicious of Jon's having a red-headed lover. Never dawned on me that Sansa's fantasy lover aka the Hound has black hair and grey eyes like Jon!

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Tyrion did not set out to, no, but Tywin did through Tyrion, to be sure. Marrying Sansa to Tyrion was one of Tywin's methods in creating a "Rains of Castamere" on the Starks.

Something Tyrion wanted no part of. He went unwillingly into that marriage as well. They basically told him "just rape her, be the monster you're expeced to be, like a dutiful little Lannister, and we'll call it a marriage". Reject it, and she would be dealt something worse, and he would as well. Though this was his side in the war, he was as estranged from it as the Hound was before deserting. The desertion of the Hound may have even prompted Tyrion's thoughts of running off to Winterfell with Sansa, so he could be as far away from his family as possible - to protect her from them, and himself as well. By then he considered all of them except Jaime his enemies. Joffrey and Cersei openly, but in the back of his mind, his father as well (and it was not long before that turned to white-hot hatred).

Yes, in his head, during his brief "marriage" he did harbour some vague hopes of perhaps making a normal marriage out of it - maybe by being protective and kind and showing her he was not just another Lannister monster, she might show him some genuine affection ? Of course it was doomed from the outset; but deep down he already knew it. It hurt him to hear that, but it also left no moral grey-area. He knew the only way he'd ever consummate that "marriage" would be to actually rape her outright, and he refused to do that.

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Something Tyrion wanted no part of. He went unwillingly into that marriage as well.

Well, yes and no, as I think the Tyrion reread thread has discussed really well. To state simply "Tyrion wanted no part of that marriage" is very much a simplification of the complex way Tyrion is justifying the situation to himself. It's discussed in depth here in the Tyrion reread, starting more or less with this analysis by Butterbumps! and then goes on for some 4-5 pages.

To say Tyrion is "unwilling" is not the whole truth as we see Tyrion in conflict about following the Lannister line and living up to his father's expectations, while at the same time having conflicting interests. Tyrion also raises valid points agains the marriage, but somehow, despite knowing these on a theoretical level, he still follows Tywin's "harsh lesson" and Tywin's wish for Rains of Castamere on the Starks (which Tyrion also fails to grasp completely, it seems, due to being blinded by his own emotional concerns, his hang-ups about his looks and dwarfism, the Tysha story, etc. ). Above all, Tyrion has a great capacity for self justification, which he uses here, especially in his turn of phrase just before the wedding when he tells Sansa "We need to do our duty". But whose duty? Sansa has no duty to House Lannister, she has no allegiance with Tyrion, she has been forced into it by Cersei et al earlier, yet Tyrion manages by this turn of phrase, to somehow put them both on the same side vs Tywin and the rest of the Lannisters, all the while he is doing Lannister dirty work. It's a bit like Tywin telling people Robert is behind the death of Rhaegar's children, i.e. a convenient turn of phrase but hardly the truth, objectively speaking. Robert benefited from their deaths, but the executioner was Tywin.

Hence Tyrion's reasons for choosing to marry Sansa against his better judgement and then choosing not to consummate despite Tywin wanting him to do so has to be viewed through the lense of the Tywin - Tyrion dynamic, and how the "harsh lessons" with Tysha affected Tyrion.

Yes, in his head, during his brief "marriage" he did harbour some vague hopes of perhaps making a normal marriage out of it - maybe by being protective and kind and showing her he was not just another Lannister monster, she might show him some genuine affection ? Of course it was doomed from the outset; but deep down he already knew it. It hurt him to hear that, but it also left no moral grey-area. He knew the only way he'd ever consummate that "marriage" would be to actually rape her outright, and he refused to do that.

I think "self delusion" more than "vague hope" is perhaps a more accurate description. It also becomes clear already at the ceremony and at the feast that whatever delusions Tyrion had about the marriage, they are disappearing ever so quickly. Sansa will not be happy with him, and Tyrion cannot protect her from Joffrey. That much is the outcome of the very first day.

I do agree that he did not want to consummate the marriage, Tywin style, and that he did not do that because he did not want to become that sort of person. Sansa's behaviour shamed him, you might say. However, we also see that Tyrion swears that he will not touch her "on my honour as a Lannister" which is in itself am ambiguous thing to say. We also see Tyrion sinking to the depths he did not want himself to later in ADWD. Tyrion's refusal to go through with the Tywin sanctioned marital rape is a milepost though in Tyrion's story, in that he refuses to repeat the Tysha story once more. The first time he did what Tywin bid him to do, but this time, he balks, and decides that he will postpone. Note that Tyrion doesn't say straight out "I will never touch you", but treats it as he postpones it, but that it may be an indefinite postponing, perhaps to make it more palatable to himself, and to be less openly defiant of Tywin's wish that the marriage be consummated.

EDIT: I feel that the time may finally come for me to finish the second part of Tyrion as influence on Sansa post. Ack, more work. :)

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