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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XVI

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GRRM gives us a glimpse at the scene where the Elder Brother was Sandor's confidant by showing us the scene with Brienne. Look how many times Jaime's name comes up. And also of course, the voyage, the bear pit, the ride back, Oathkeeper, that's all Jaime, too.

Brienne didn't tell the Elder Brother she dreamed of Jaime fastening a cloak around her shoulders (more cloak symbolism!), but he's a smart guy, so I expect he got the drift, just as he did when Sandor said Sansa, Sansa, Sansa (or more likely, Little Bird, Little Bird, Little Bird).

All of it came pouring out of Brienne then, like black blood from a wound... the voyage down the Trident, dueling Jaime in the woods, the Bloody Mummers, Jaime crying "Sapphires," Jaime in the tub at Harrenhal with steam rising from his body, the taste of Vargo Hoat's blood when she bit down on his ear, the bear pit, Jaime leaping down onto the sand, the long ride to King's Landing, Sansa Stark, the vow she'd sworn to Jaime, the vow she'd sworn to Lady Catelyn, Oathkeeper, Duskendale, Maidenpool, Nimble Dick and Crackclaw and the Whispers, the men she'd killed... "I have to find her," she finished. "There are others looking, all wanting to capture her and sell her to the queen. I have to find her first. I promised Jaime. Oathkeeper, he named the sword. I have to try to save her... or die in the attempt."

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This is actually a great point and it reminds me of something else. In Lancelot, the knight of the cart by Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot dishonours himself as a knight by climbing in a cart in order to save Guinevere. In those days, carts were used to transport garbage and criminals sentenced to death so that people could mock them in their last moments. Climbing in that cart is therefore an unknightly act and Gawain who travels with Lancelot actually refuses to do it. However, Lancelot is considered as the ultimate courtly knight/lover because Guinevere’s rescue is more important to him than his honour. Funnily enough, later on, Guinevere blames him for having hesitated to climb in the cart because a perfect courtly knight/lover wouldn’t have :D .

Interesting point. I never knew about this tale, so it is all new to me.

I wonder if GRRM also used (triwsted) it a little bit in regard to Viserys being the "Cart King" among the Dothraki.

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When it comes to wives "stolen" in wildling culture, I think there's also a distinction between that and a truly forced marriage. Seems to me that wildling women are sometimes stolen as wives because they are willing to be stolen. Their people are free to love whom they choose, and they have no worries about marrying above or below their station. Perhaps for cultural reasons (their own ideals of virtue, the need for the man to prove his desire and courage by capturing her, etc.), they make a display of resisting, but often it is just for show*. Their own families protect them from the thief, but I think that's maybe only to the degree they think she needs it. If she really needs it, they take it very seriously. After all, they do love their daughters and sisters, so they would not want her taken away by someone they thought meant her harm.

(* There are similar customs to this in real life, in some cultures and situations.)

When the wildling women are truly unwilling / forced, they probably just escape at the first opportunity (their marriages are not formal, and more common-law anyway, so the woman is probably not considered "spoiled" for having been married before), or just as likely try to kill the man who actually abducts & rapes them. This is the meaning of the expression that a man can own a woman and a man can own a knife, but not both. If (by forcing himself on her) he truly treats her as property and not a free woman, she is considered within her rights to cut his throat, geld him, bash his head in, etc. In other words, rape is an act that makes them enemies, not sanctified as a legitimized couple. There is no law saying he cannot (for the wildlings seem to have no formal laws), but the man who rapes does so at his own peril.

Compare this to "kneeler" custom, where rape is technically a crime yet takes place all the time, and more often the woman (or her family) is powerless to retaliate if the man is higher born. Punishment occurs at the discretion of the ruling Lord, only if he is in the mood to keep order or be just. Is that better? Worse ? Hard to say. It is all very arbitrary: Depends whether you have the lords like Stannis Baratheon and Eddard Stark, or those like Roose Bolton or Gregor Clegane. Even a man like Randyll Tarly, as prejudiced as he is, punishes rape because it is morally unseemly and promotes disorder.

d. Traditional arranged marriage, a type that was the common practice in the Middle Ages and it seems it is in Westeros as well, in which the parents choose their offspring's future spouse with some input from them. That is, the bride/bridegroom were asked to agree to the match, because the Church didn’t accept forced marriage, though pressure could be used on the reluctant children by the parents; but if a guardian (not a parent, mind you) used emotional blackmail, threats or other forms of pressure, he/she was moving into forced marriage territory and was risking the Church’s disapproval; even so, the guardian could bribe the clergyman in charge to turn a blind eye to it.

Sansa’s marriage is a forced one, not an arranged one, and I don’t buy that argument that this was historically what happened in medieval times. Let’s see how incorrect that assumption is by using the same “it was historical” argument against it: Cersei, as Queen Regent had the authority to find her ward a match, but not the authority to force her to marry against her will. She threatened Sansa with violence, and so she went to the sept to marry, but she didn’t agree and it was obvious to all by her tears and her refusal to kneel, and the fact that the septon didn’t say a thing makes me wonder if he was offered something, i.e. bribed, because a more independent septon, such as the current High Sparrow, would’ve at the minimum raised an eyebrow, not for Sansa’s sake but due to religious zealotry, as this was a farce in a holy place, and the fool at the sept would’ve enraged him, because if the Faith is similar to Catholicism in this as well, then allowing a jester into the sept was sacrilegious. The fact that her guardian, which in this case is also her gaoler, forced her to marry could’ve been a valid ground for annulment in the Middle Ages, because the Church was the only institution with the power to marry and to annul, much like the Faith in Westeros, and in the eyes of the Church threatening someone in order to force him or her into a ceremony that was supposed to be sacred was a reason to grant the ward an annulment. We do not know if the Faith has a similar stance, because GRRM didn’t write it, but… the reaction to the forced marriage of Lady Hornwood showed the Westerosis’ disgust, and that, to me, is an indication that the Faith, as part of the same society, might be in agreement with the Roman Catholic Church concerning this.

In other words: arranged marriages were historically accepted. Forced marriages weren’t. Big difference, and pretty important.

Well, considering these points, yes, in medieval times (and even before) they did recognize a difference between arranged marriage and forced marriage (which was just a hair's breadth away from abduction and rape).

Marriages were arranged by families, usually on favourable terms to both families, but sometimes as spoils or reparations after a war. (Henry V's marriage, for example).

However, there's a difference between what was tolerated in theory and what was tolerated in practice. Thanks to corruption or coercive pressure, church authorities would sometimes make marriages or unmake them, or just turn a blind eye to the circumstances that surrounded them. After all, men (even supposedly holy men) are sinners too, and the medieval church was not exactly a great example of absolute moral consistency. They did put a price on their religious approval or disapproval of anything.

In the ASOIAF context, I think it is the same: The High Septon at the time was either timid or crooked and so he probably knew better than the cross the Lannisters or else simply took a bribe of some kind for sanctifying what was clearly a forced "marriage" of an unwilling girl who was a prisoner of war, as a prelude to her rape.

It had been mentioned before in the context of Tyrion's marriage & annullment to Tysha that Tywin Lannister managed to arrange that too. He can do so because he is rich, powerful, and feared. A (drunk) septon was willing to marry Tywion and Tysha, but it was a real marriage, neither forced nor arranged. It was also consummated already, which normally is a big deal. However, angry Lord Tywin finds out and next thing you know the same septon is rushing to annul it like it never happened. (Not to mention morally overlook what became of Tysha afterwards.)

So the end conclusion is that unless you are dealing with a true fanatic (like the High Sparrow), the Faith is vulnerable to the same weaknesses in morality as lords and knights are in regard to loyalty.

The only successful arranged marriage we find in the books is that of The Ned and Catelyn, and I agree that the reason for this “isn't burning passion but mutual respect, a willingness to work on their marriage, and compromise,” as KittyKatKnits and Brashcandy have said. This ties well into what I once read in a Scientific American article on arranged marriages and what made them successful. According to some studies conducted by social psychologists in segments of the population that still stick to this custom in India and the U.S., there were about 30 factors responsible for happiness in arranged marriages, of which the key ones are:

Actually, as another example, I think the Tyrells have successful arranged marriages. Lady Olenna is not a true Tyrell, but she is the unofficial ruler of the House (the cause of her husband Luthor's riding off a cliff notwithstanding - heh!). Mace Tyrell and his wife Alerie seem quite well suited to each other and their family quite stable. Hoster Tully and his wife Minisa Whent had what seems to be a very a viable marriage (strange references to Tansy notwithstanding). And this is a cringe-worthy example, but so too Balon Greyjoy and his rock wife Alannys Harlaw, at least prior to the Greyjoy Rebellion. (That certainly puts the "iron" in ironic.)

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You make a lot of interesting points, but I feel the need to respond to that last bit.

1. That abused women are too afraid to murder their abuser in the night is not a sign of their (un)happiness. Abused people feel they are powerless even when they in fact can change the situation.

2. The wildling "marriage" not a good standard. What little we see is highly sympathetic for a culture that blurs the line between marriage and rape and imprisonment. In theory, it works the way Ygritte says, and everyone is happy. But I am sure that more than occasionally, a wildling woman is "captured" by a man who utterly disgusts her. Moreover, we know the wildlings often kidnap women from the North on their raids south of the Wall. I highly doubt they are happy in their marriages.

Honestly, I see the wildling marriage as similar to arranged marriage in that it is the luck of the draw that gets you a good marriage (though I'm guessing the consequences of a bad wildling marriage is worse).

My wildling comments were a bit stream of consiousness and I didn't intend to "blame" Craster's wives. In the Seven Kingdoms it is the patriarch (or possibly matriarch in Dorne) that has exclusive rights to arrange marriages. Neither the husband or wife to be have to have any say even though they sometimes do. In unhappy marriages like Cersei/Robert the man can take a mistress but the woman can't especially because of paternity questions surrounding heirs. There are no real political or land issues among wildlings so these factors vanish. Additionally, although it is the man that steals the woman she is by no means obligated to stay "stolen." Unlike the rest of Westeros both parties have a say in staying in the relationship or leaving. I also imagine stabbing your would be husband isn't required to leave. Mounting a horse and riding off is probably sufficient. Ygritte's knife comment was in response to Jon specifically asking about abusive men. IIRC she says if she didn't like/want the man she'd just leave.

Aside from Ygritte's comment about knives one of the NW mentions to Sam(?) that Mormont left the axe there and Craster sleeps. Life is hard up North and there is an expectation of a certain rugged individualism to survive. I doubt the wildling way could work in Kings Landing, Highgarden or Essos-- the harsh life is almost a prerequisite (as KBRD explains with Bear Island and The Neck.) But mostly I thought of Craster and his wives because they could technically escape (I understand why they don't.) Lady Hornwood, Jeyne Poole, Sansa and even a Cersei don't have that escape option. A wildling woman can slit her husband's throat because he hit her and announce it over breakfast to the village while a Cersei would be executed for regicide if she tried the same. Sansa can't just walk away from Tyrion and have the world view her leaving as freeing her. North of the Wall she could.

There are no marriage vows so for a wildling couplehood to work out they both have to work to stay vested in the relationship since they are both essentially free to leave at anytime. Though survival seems to trump love in a similar way to politics in the south. Ygritte's assessment of men was all about survival and little about kindred spirits and romance. There's also the bit about Jarl being called Val's plaything so I'm not sure if stealing can work both ways. One of the key elements to this wildling difference is how they view things. No woman is X's leavings-- X is the guy who couldn't keep her.

Despite the positive aspects to the greater freedom I think KRBD is right. There is a romanticized element to the wildlings. There's a reason there aren't Braavosi singles cruises making regular stops at Hardhome (and personally despite a certain primal caveman appeal I wouldn't want to try dating in a place where a woman staring at me and fondling a knife is a mixed signal.) Still there's a level of equality, freedom and a positive set of values that is absent in the "more civilized" parts of Westeros.

KKK- I think Dorne is the only place, including what we've seen of Essos, where paramours are that accepted. The equality matters and so does the far less puritanical view of sex, but I think the public acceptance of paramours is a bit separate. The dancing slaves Dany sees certainly implies a liberalized view of sex but even as a single Queen I don't think Meereen was very accepting of Dany keeping a paramour. The paramour role in Dorne strikes me as a society placing a greater value on love and carving out a place for it not just a greater acceptance of promiscuity or sexuality. I got the impression that a Dornish paramour was a primarily a love interest not simply an ongoing sexual affair. Am I misreading that? In KL Ellaria was defined by her bastard birth, but in Dorne she seemed defined, even given social status to bluntly speak her mind to Doran, by the love Oberyn bore for her.

I think Milady of York covered the bases for the essential elements to a successful arranged marriage. I would just add that the open acceptance of one sided infidelity and the fathering of bastards undermines those elements. It places far less pressure on the husband to make the relationship work. Children can be a very powerful bonding element in a relationship but the public acceptance of bastards (despite their potential political usefulness in Westeros) allows a man to essentially enjoy intimacy and fatherhood outside of his marriage. One look at Cat and Jon in our heathiest example of an arranged marriage shows how unhelpful that aspect of Westeros can be to their institution of marriage.

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There are no real political or land issues among wildlings so these factors vanish. Additionally, although it is the man that steals the woman she is by no means obligated to stay "stolen." Unlike the rest of Westeros both parties have a say in staying in the relationship or leaving. I also imagine stabbing your would be husband isn't required to leave

There are no marriage vows so for a wildling couplehood to work out they both have to work to stay vested in the relationship since they are both essentially free to leave at anytime. Though survival seems to trump love in a similar way to politics in the south. Ygritte's assessment of men was all about survival and little about kindred spirits and romance. There's also the bit about Jarl being called Val's plaything so I'm not sure if stealing can work both ways. One of the key elements to this wildling difference is how they view things. No woman is X's leavings-- X is the guy who couldn't keep her.

Exactly.

As for wildling women sometimes being the ones who really do the stealing, clearly that's the case sometimes.

Ygritte stole Jon, if one is truthful. Jarl and Val, maybe also. Even Alys Karstark managed to steal herself a Thenn, though her relatives will probably not see it that way.

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Well, considering these points, yes, in medieval times (and even before) they did recognize a difference between arranged marriage and forced marriage (which was just a hair's breadth away from abduction and rape).

However, there's a difference between what was tolerated in theory and what was tolerated in practice. Thanks to corruption or coercive pressure, church authorities would sometimes make marriages or unmake them, or just turn a blind eye to the circumstances that surrounded them. After all, men (even supposedly holy men) are sinners too, and the medieval church was not exactly a great example of absolute moral consistency. They did put a price on their religious approval or disapproval of anything.

In the ASOIAF context, I think it is the same: The High Septon at the time was either timid or crooked and so he probably knew better than the cross the Lannisters or else simply took a bribe of some kind for sanctifying what was clearly a forced "marriage" of an unwilling girl who was a prisoner of war, as a prelude to her rape.

I already pointed out that you could bribe the clergy to turn a blind eye to forced marriage and bribe or intimidate the Church to grant an annulment.The same goes for other felonies, there's also a vast difference between what was punished in theory and what was punished in practice, because you could bribe the royal or ecclesiastical officials to avoid fines and other punishments. My point is against the argument that forced marriage and arranged marriage were both accepted and similar, which wasn't the case. Forced marriage was condemned, arranged marriage wasn't, and they were different morally and legally speaking.

Actually, as another example, I think the Tyrells have successful arranged marriages. Lady Olenna is not a true Tyrell, but she is the unofficial ruler of the House (the cause of her husband Luthor's riding off a cliff notwithstanding). Mace Tyrell and his wife Alerie seem quite well suited to each other and their family quite stable. Hoster Tully and his wife Minisa Whent had what seems to be a very a viable marriage (strange references to Tansy notwithstanding). And this is a cringe-worthy example, but so too Balon Greyjoy and his rock wife Alannys Harlaw, at least prior to the Greyjoy Rebellion. (That certainly puts the "iron" in ironic.)

We do not "see" any of these marriages, we hear about them and get glimpses into their interactions. In the case of Ned and Cat, we get to see their daily life, their interactions, their conversations, gestures, etc., in their POVs, and we can judge them more accurately, I'd say. We do not have enough information about the other marriages you mentioned, only their external image and bits here and there, and that's not enough for me to say whether they're as happy as the Starks were.

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We do not "see" any of these marriages, we hear about them and get glimpses into their interactions. In the case of Ned and Cat, we get to see their daily life, their interactions, their conversations, gestures, etc., in their POVs, and we can judge them more accurately, I'd say. We do not have enough information about the other marriages you mentioned, only their external image and bits here and there, and that's not enough for me to say whether they're as happy as the Starks were.

Indeed, we really only get a window into the family life of a few families - Starks, Lannisters, and Baratheons primarily. Martells and Greyjoys secondarily.

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It means that the preoccupation with love and marriage - what some people assume to be central to Sansa's story line, might actually be secondary to the more important issues concerning identity and agency. It is by understanding her own needs and desires, free from the patriarchal conditioning of women like Septa Mordane and Lysa Tully, and achieving real autonomy, free from the puppet strings of men like Littlefinger, that we will see Sansa able to negotiate with the longings of her heart. If this person is meant to be Sandor, then I think we only have to look at how Martin has portrayed the nature of his affection for Sansa, and the influence he's had on her, to understand just why it might be successful after all.

- Commitment – a determination to make the relationship a good one, on both parts. This is no one-sided task. The interesting part is that they found that because of commitment, in arranged marriages love tends to grow over time, and it surpasses the love in other marriages about five years out. This is the factor most responsible for a happy marriage, whether arranged or not.

- Communication – self-explanatory.

- Accommodation – make changes necessary for the marriage to be satisfactory. Also applies to both partners.

- Vulnerability – this is a bit difficult to explain without getting into shrink terminology, but I’ll try. This is sort of a byproduct of commitment, when you are committed to your marriage, then you are saying you’re going to be with your spouse through thick and thin, through sickness and in health, in prosperity and in poverty, etc., which makes you feel vulnerable to the other person and two people feeling vulnerable at the same time brings them together. Thus, “the reason commitment is so powerful in creating an emotional bond is because it’s the ultimate expression of vulnerability. When you make a strong commitment to be with someone no matter what, what you’re saying is, “I am entirely vulnerable to you. No matter what is happening, I will be there for you.” And if two people are making that kind of expression of commitment to each other, that brings people very close, and if they each live up to the commitment, that brings them even closer over time,” in the words of the study’s author, Dr. Robert Epstein.

- Sharing – adventures, secrets, personal space, etc., to build intimacy and love.

So I wanted to quote myself here in addition to Milady of York's post because something curious just occurred to me. I deliberately used the word "negotiate" in my post above when speaking of Sansa's "longings" in order to suggest that not only would she have the power to make such a choice, but that it wouldn't follow the traditional (cliched) script of love matches, where the couple is presented as being overwhelmed with desire for another, and it being "written in the stars" so to speak. When considering this, along with Milady's list on the factors that make arranged marriages successful, it struck me that the relationship between Sansa and Sandor has critical elements of an arranged relationship, mixed in of course with recognizable details of a love match. Lyanna Stark and Kittykat will remember our time spent in other threads where we highlighted that contrary to popular belief, the Sansan relationship is not one where Sansa is falling over herself, or consciously engaged in fantasies about Sandor. Rather we see it developing over time, defined by the strange commitment and compassion that grows between them, and continuing to flourish even when they're apart. I could find examples between them for every point on Milady's list, and vulnerability in particular could be considered as the trademark of their interaction, never mind the misunderstanding that some readers hold about Sandor's rough and tough demeanor. And we've noted the dismal portrayal of love matches in the series, with this being cited as one of the main reasons why the Sansan relationship is doomed to fail. Well, what if it was never a love match to begin with? Certainly it looks like it will end as that, but so did Cat and Ned, the ones we consider to have the most realistic relationship in the series. Negotiating with the heart's longings means coming to a compromise - not a compromise of self, as Tyrion wanted Sansa to do, or a compromise of values as Littlefinger is preaching, but perhaps a compromise for a certain non-knight, non-noble? I could see that... :) How many times did GRRM describe Sandor's touch as not "ungently" or "gentle"? Sansa herself feels safe and protected around him. I think Ned's words are all that remain to be said:

"Sweet one .... listen to me. When you're old enough, I will make you a match with a high lord who's worthy of you, someone brave and gentle and strong.

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GRRM has certainly set up the SanSan relationship with foreshadowing as well as circumstances: King Robert recommending to Ned that he get his daughter "a dog"; Ned himself promising Sansa a worthy lord "brave and gentle and strong". Sandor is, like Sansa, a descendant of the First Men; tall and grey-eyed like the traditional Starks, and the dogs on his sigil are physiologically/genetically very close to wolves (and refer to dogs who have killed lions, the sigil of the Starks' enemy, the Lannisters).

Sansa and Sandor are bound by a relationship of interconnected inspiration, trust, compassion (Sansa's) and protection and honesty (Sandor's). Of the men who have, personally or politically, laid claim to Sansa (or tried to) - Joffrey, Willas Tyrell (though we don't know if he consented to the offer made in his name), Tyrion, Littlefinger, Harry-the-Heir, and Sandor - Sandor is the only one who unhesitatingly wants Sansa for herself, rather than any connection to a Great House. He is also the only man since her father who has been completely honest with her; something which Sansa remembers.

It's a shame, and a sad comment on the state of marriages and male-female relationships in Westeros, that the most consistently honest and true of Sansa's suitors is a violent alcoholic child-killer. Sandor is not really good marriage material and may never be. It would be equally valid, in terms of literary convention or good storytelling, to have him die gloriously for Sansa or have him forge himself into a man truly worthy to be her husband by becoming more self-disciplined (which would be harder for him than dying gloriously for Sansa)....

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1 My wildling comments were a bit stream of consiousness and I didn't intend to "blame" Craster's wives. In the Seven Kingdoms it is the patriarch (or possibly matriarch in Dorne) that has exclusive rights to arrange marriages. Neither the husband or wife to be have to have any say even though they sometimes do. In unhappy marriages like Cersei/Robert the man can take a mistress but the woman can't especially because of paternity questions surrounding heirs. There are no real political or land issues among wildlings so these factors vanish. Additionally, although it is the man that steals the woman she is by no means obligated to stay "stolen." Unlike the rest of Westeros both parties have a say in staying in the relationship or leaving. I also imagine stabbing your would be husband isn't required to leave. Mounting a horse and riding off is probably sufficient. Ygritte's knife comment was in response to Jon specifically asking about abusive men. IIRC she says if she didn't like/want the man she'd just leave.

Aside from Ygritte's comment about knives one of the NW mentions to Sam(?) that Mormont left the axe there and Craster sleeps. Life is hard up North and there is an expectation of a certain rugged individualism to survive. I doubt the wildling way could work in Kings Landing, Highgarden or Essos-- the harsh life is almost a prerequisite (as KBRD explains with Bear Island and The Neck.) But mostly I thought of Craster and his wives because they could technically escape (I understand why they don't.) Lady Hornwood, Jeyne Poole, Sansa and even a Cersei don't have that escape option. A wildling woman can slit her husband's throat because he hit her and announce it over breakfast to the village while a Cersei would be executed for regicide if she tried the same. Sansa can't just walk away from Tyrion and have the world view her leaving as freeing her. North of the Wall she could.

There are no marriage vows so for a wildling couplehood to work out they both have to work to stay vested in the relationship since they are both essentially free to leave at anytime. Though survival seems to trump love in a similar way to politics in the south. Ygritte's assessment of men was all about survival and little about kindred spirits and romance. There's also the bit about Jarl being called Val's plaything so I'm not sure if stealing can work both ways. One of the key elements to this wildling difference is how they view things. No woman is X's leavings-- X is the guy who couldn't keep her.

Despite the positive aspects to the greater freedom I think KRBD is right. There is a romanticized element to the wildlings. There's a reason there aren't Braavosi singles cruises making regular stops at Hardhome (and personally despite a certain primal caveman appeal I wouldn't want to try dating in a place where a woman staring at me and fondling a knife is a mixed signal.) Still there's a level of equality, freedom and a positive set of values that is absent in the "more civilized" parts of Westeros.

KKK- I think Dorne is the only place, including what we've seen of Essos, where paramours are that accepted. The equality matters and so does the far less puritanical view of sex, but I think the public acceptance of paramours is a bit separate. The dancing slaves Dany sees certainly implies a liberalized view of sex but even as a single Queen I don't think Meereen was very accepting of Dany keeping a paramour. The paramour role in Dorne strikes me as a society placing a greater value on love and carving out a place for it not just a greater acceptance of promiscuity or sexuality. I got the impression that a Dornish paramour was a primarily a love interest not simply an ongoing sexual affair. Am I misreading that? In KL Ellaria was defined by her bastard birth, but in Dorne she seemed defined, even given social status to bluntly speak her mind to Doran, by the love Oberyn bore for her.

I think Milady of York covered the bases for the essential elements to a successful arranged marriage. I would just add that the open acceptance of one sided infidelity and the fathering of bastards undermines those elements. It places far less pressure on the husband to make the relationship work. Children can be a very powerful bonding element in a relationship but the public acceptance of bastards (despite their potential political usefulness in Westeros) allows a man to essentially enjoy intimacy and fatherhood outside of his marriage. One look at Cat and Jon in our heathiest example of an arranged marriage shows how unhelpful that aspect of Westeros can be to their institution of marriage.

1. Considering it's you, I didn't think you were.

2. I agree with Pod that it is often the case.

3. The problem I have is that not every wildling woman is a badass spearwife. If they don't think they can compete with their captor, then there is little they can do. If she escapes and gets recaptured, I am sure the experience is not pleasant for her. The same with attempted murder.

Add that the rugged individualism often means that like Ygritte, other wildlings will have little to no sympathy for the woman, nor try to aid her.

We have just been given the positive experience. It is likely the common experience, but the wildling custom leaves a lot of room open for abuse, and we don't know how they deal with such situations.

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Ok so I am continuing with my musical theatre references because there's a few songs that I've looked at that fit really well here. First of all, Le Cygne, I am really glad you brought up Brienne's love for Jaime here.

I had to put the book down reading this scene, Brienne's love for Jaime was so evident. I love their story, but my interest is always the narrative (I'm one of those English major types) and look how many times his name alone comes up. And also of course, the voyage, the bear pit, the ride back, Oathkeeper, that's all Jaime, too.

She didn't tell the Elder Brother she dreamed of Jaime fastening a cloak around her shoulders (more cloak symbolism!), but he's a smart guy, so I expect he got the drift, just as he did when Sandor said Sansa, Sansa, Sansa (or more likely, Little Bird, Little Bird, Little Bird).

Have I got the song for you! I wasn't going to mention it because I was worried it was not on topic but since you brought it up, I have been thinking about this and I think you could say that Brienne and Jaime represent an inverted sort of courtly love ideal in much the same way as they represent an inverted Beauty and the Beast story. In this case, Brienne is the knight who though highborn is not as high born as golden boy Jaime who is seemingly way out of her league.

The song I am thinking of is "I'm Not That Girl" from Wicked, my favorite musical after Les Mis. Here are the lyrics, written by Stephen Schwartz who also wrote the music. What has happened just before Elphaba, who becomes the wicked witch of the west, sings this song is that she has just had a strange, electrifying moment with handsome Fiyero. Fiyero's personality is quite a lot like Jaime's in that he doesn't take anything seriously and thinks school is a joke. Fiyero has been dating Glinda, a beautiful, popular girl with blond curly hair, and everyone loves them. They are popular and make a beautiful couple and everyone is convinced they will get married. They would be the homecoming king and queen if they had that at their school. Elphaba doesn't think she has any chance at love because she is ugly, has green skin which repels people, and no one seems to like her very much except her sister. So she's just had this strange, thrilling moment with Fiyero and she realizes that she really likes him. Now listen to the beautiful voice of

, one of the greatest vocal talents around today, singing this (with some great stills from the show) and I'm sure you'll agree that this could just as well be Brienne singing about Jaime.

Les Mis -

Since I mentioned Les Mis above and since the movie is out now, I feel I should take this opportunity to mention that I think "I Dreamed a Dream" and "On My Own" have some relevance to Sansa's story. Here are my thoughts on each.

I Dreamed a Dream (see here for info). The lyrics are here and also be sure to click on the top where it says to watch a video so you can see Ruthie Henshall singing it with the full orchestra in the background. It's breathtaking.

As for the the song, it represents the overarching theme of Sansa's character. She started off so idealistic with dreams of how she would marry a handsome lord or prince and live happily ever after, and her dream was completely crushed by reality. In fact, if you substitute the word lions, for tigers, in the line "But the Tigers come at night", it really fits as the lions represent the Lannisters and it was the beginning of the end of her dreams when they arrived. Also, this phrase:

He slept a summer by my side,

he filled my days with endless wonder,

he took my childhood in his stride,

but he was gone when autumn came.

I think this describes Sansa's and Sandor's relationship very well. They met in late summer and he only was with her for a short time and left when autumn arrives. But during their short time together he did take her "in stride" accepting her for what she is and for her true self. I wouldn't say he filled Sansa's days with "endless wonder" but he always told her the truth and made her face reality which for her was a new way of looking at the world and an eye opening experience.

I also had SanSan feels with "On MY Own", because of just how Sansa constantly thinks of Sandor and wishes he was there with her. It often reminded me of the opening phrases here:

And now I'm all alone again nowhere to turn, no one to go to

without a home without a friend without a face to say hello to

And now the night is near

Now I can make believe he's here

Sometimes I walk alone at night

When everybody else is sleeping

I think of him and then I'm happy

With the company I'm keeping

The city goes to bed

And I can live inside my head

On my own

Pretending he's beside me

All alone

I walk with him till morning

Without him

I feel his arms around me

And when I lose my way I close my eyes

And he has found me

This all evokes the images from when Sansa was taken to the fingers before she gets to the Eyrie. She really is all alone with no where to run and no one to turn to, but that night of LF's and Lysa's wedding and bedding she closes her eyes and goes to sleep and has that dream of Sandor in her bed. Also, this phrase:

I love him

But when the night is over

He is gone

The river's just a river

Without him

The world around me changes

The trees are bare and everywhere

The streets are full of strangers

When Sansa wakes up from her dream and thoughts of Sandor she remembers that she is all alone and her world does seem to change and become a more dreary place in her realization of her loneliness. She really is surrounded by strangers as she has not had the chance to make any true connections with people since her father was killed. What do you think? (Here's a link to Samantha Barks singing it at the 25th Anniversary concert and here's a link to the full lyrics.)

ETA I just found the youtube link to the visual of

performing On my Own and watching it again I realize how much I love her as Eponine. It's stunning!

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Sansa and Sandor are bound by a relationship of interconnected inspiration, trust, compassion (Sansa's) and protection and honesty (Sandor's). Of the men who have, personally or politically, laid claim to Sansa (or tried to) - Joffrey, Willas Tyrell (though we don't know if he consented to the offer made in his name), Tyrion, Littlefinger, Harry-the-Heir, and Sandor - Sandor is the only one who unhesitatingly wants Sansa for herself, rather than any connection to a Great House. He is also the only man since her father who has been completely honest with her; something which Sansa remembers.

I also want to note that out of all these men, Sandor is the only one who ever gave her a choice in the matter of his affections. When Sandor offered to take her away, and she refused, he honored that refusal and left her. I think that will be a significant point in any future relationship that they may have. He's the only person that didn't try to use her as a pawn. I see much of Sansa's arc to be about her struggle to regain her agency, so it's no surprise that she constantly remembers (and misremembers) the one man who allowed her to have a shred of control over her destiny.

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So I wanted to quote myself here in addition to Milady of York's post because something curious just occurred to me. I deliberately used the word "negotiate" in my post above when speaking of Sansa's "longings" in order to suggest that not only would she have the power to make such a choice, but that it wouldn't follow the traditional (cliched) script of love matches, where the couple is presented as being overwhelmed with desire for another, and it being "written in the stars" so to speak. When considering this, along with Milady's list on the factors that make arranged marriages successful, it struck me that the relationship between Sansa and Sandor has critical elements of an arranged relationship, mixed in of course with recognizable details of a love match. Lyanna Stark and Kittykat will remember our time spent in other threads where we highlighted that contrary to popular belief, the Sansan relationship is not one where Sansa is falling over herself, or consciously engaged in fantasies about Sandor. Rather we see it developing over time, defined by the strange commitment and compassion that grows between them, and continuing to flourish even when they're apart. I could find examples between them for every point on Milady's list, and vulnerability in particular could be considered as the trademark of their interaction, never mind the misunderstanding that some readers hold about Sandor's rough and tough demeanor. And we've noted the dismal portrayal of love matches in the series, with this being cited as one of the main reasons why the Sansan relationship is doomed to fail. Well, what if it was never a love match to begin with? Certainly it looks like it will end as that, but so did Cat and Ned, the ones we consider to have the most realistic relationship in the series. Negotiating with the heart's longings means coming to a compromise - not a compromise of self, as Tyrion wanted Sansa to do, or a compromise of values as Littlefinger is preaching, but perhaps a compromise for a certain non-knight, non-noble? I could see that... :) How many times did GRRM describe Sandor's touch as not "ungently" or "gentle"? Sansa herself feels safe and protected around him. I think Ned's words are all that remain to be said:

I do remember those discussions. To go back to the list that Milady put together, I'm reminded of previous threads where we talked about this. As you say, the two of them, if they ended up together (and that's a might big if), would not be an easy or ideal match in many ways. Sansa has had her childhood ripped from her and as we see now, does not easily trust - although for good reasons. Sandor has problems with alcohol and suffers from PTSD and just as importantly, did not have parents modeling a healthy relationship for him. Nothing about his life has been healthy really. The idea that the two of them together would seem like a RomCom or be a path of sunshine and rainbows strikes me as almost laughable really. Both are incredibly resilient but have been brutalized and abused in their own way. Both would take an awful lot of baggage in to their relationship and due to their past circumstances, both would need to work on their commitment, be willing to compromise. It'd be work, there's no HEA here.

----I had some more written but my post got partially eaten somehow and I don't have time to rewrite it. :(

My wildling comments were a bit stream of consiousness and I didn't intend to "blame" Craster's wives. In the Seven Kingdoms it is the patriarch (or possibly matriarch in Dorne) that has exclusive rights to arrange marriages. Neither the husband or wife to be have to have any say even though they sometimes do. In unhappy marriages like Cersei/Robert the man can take a mistress but the woman can't especially because of paternity questions surrounding heirs. There are no real political or land issues among wildlings so these factors vanish. Additionally, although it is the man that steals the woman she is by no means obligated to stay "stolen." Unlike the rest of Westeros both parties have a say in staying in the relationship or leaving. I also imagine stabbing your would be husband isn't required to leave. Mounting a horse and riding off is probably sufficient. Ygritte's knife comment was in response to Jon specifically asking about abusive men. IIRC she says if she didn't like/want the man she'd just leave.

Aside from Ygritte's comment about knives one of the NW mentions to Sam(?) that Mormont left the axe there and Craster sleeps. Life is hard up North and there is an expectation of a certain rugged individualism to survive. I doubt the wildling way could work in Kings Landing, Highgarden or Essos-- the harsh life is almost a prerequisite (as KBRD explains with Bear Island and The Neck.) But mostly I thought of Craster and his wives because they could technically escape (I understand why they don't.) Lady Hornwood, Jeyne Poole, Sansa and even a Cersei don't have that escape option. A wildling woman can slit her husband's throat because he hit her and announce it over breakfast to the village while a Cersei would be executed for regicide if she tried the same. Sansa can't just walk away from Tyrion and have the world view her leaving as freeing her. North of the Wall she could.

There are no marriage vows so for a wildling couplehood to work out they both have to work to stay vested in the relationship since they are both essentially free to leave at anytime. Though survival seems to trump love in a similar way to politics in the south. Ygritte's assessment of men was all about survival and little about kindred spirits and romance. There's also the bit about Jarl being called Val's plaything so I'm not sure if stealing can work both ways. One of the key elements to this wildling difference is how they view things. No woman is X's leavings-- X is the guy who couldn't keep her.

Despite the positive aspects to the greater freedom I think KRBD is right. There is a romanticized element to the wildlings. There's a reason there aren't Braavosi singles cruises making regular stops at Hardhome (and personally despite a certain primal caveman appeal I wouldn't want to try dating in a place where a woman staring at me and fondling a knife is a mixed signal.) Still there's a level of equality, freedom and a positive set of values that is absent in the "more civilized" parts of Westeros.

KKK- I think Dorne is the only place, including what we've seen of Essos, where paramours are that accepted. The equality matters and so does the far less puritanical view of sex, but I think the public acceptance of paramours is a bit separate. The dancing slaves Dany sees certainly implies a liberalized view of sex but even as a single Queen I don't think Meereen was very accepting of Dany keeping a paramour. The paramour role in Dorne strikes me as a society placing a greater value on love and carving out a place for it not just a greater acceptance of promiscuity or sexuality. I got the impression that a Dornish paramour was a primarily a love interest not simply an ongoing sexual affair. Am I misreading that? In KL Ellaria was defined by her bastard birth, but in Dorne she seemed defined, even given social status to bluntly speak her mind to Doran, by the love Oberyn bore for her.

My impression of a Dornish paramour was as a love interest as well. Ellaria's status in Dorne, as you say, came from recognition of her relationship with Oberyn. It's obvious he loved and respected her and Doran (and others) are extending that same respect. A formal marriage is not a requirement as it would be elsewhere. I'm curious what has led to the acceptance of paramours for married women though, considering the responsibility to bear heirs. It's possible that the answers I'm looking for are not yet in the text, it may just require more information on Dornish history and culture. Or, is it merely the greater appreciation for love is enough to explain this acceptance as you point out? As to Dany and Mereen, I got the impression there was little acceptance, she was able to do so because of the dragons which gives her independent power. Unlike most of the noble women in Mereen, her power would not come from a family name.

As to the wildlings and women, I think I'm mostly struggling with scenarios where the women are unwilling. My take is that many of the women are similar to the Mormonts, their environment and circumstances means they must know how to fight and protect themselves.The fact that Jon was able to re-populate an entire castle with spear wives certainly shows how common they are. But, in Dance, it seemed like most of the women didn't have particular combat skills and were mostly concerned with keeping their children fed and clothed. From what Ygritte said, I was left with the impression that there would not be much sympathy for a woman who does not fight back or allows herself to be stolen. And we know that those do not subscribe to wildling culture certainly are as there are raids south of the wall. It could be that you are right and the situations I wonder about are extremely rare. On the whole, I think there are some valid points on the egalitarian nature of marriage and relationships within wildling culture but it doesn't seem to be without problems either.

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Can we say then based on this discussion on love and marriage that there's nothing inherently negative or faulty about those relationships which stem from traditional arrangements or romantic matches? It seems that in both cases, no matter the genesis, things like mutual respect, kindness and commitment, along with the maturity of both partners go a long way in ensuring whether the union will be successful. Of course, forced marriages do not apply, so the idea that it is Sansa's "shallowness" that prevented her from achieving a happy marriage with Tyrion is and forever will be a nonsensical assertion.

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Sandor is not really good marriage material and may never be. It would be equally valid, in terms of literary convention or good storytelling, to have him die gloriously for Sansa or have him forge himself into a man truly worthy to be her husband by becoming more self-disciplined (which would be harder for him than dying gloriously for Sansa)....

This makes Sansa his reward for goodness and puts her on a pedestal, if she is someone you need to be deserving of.

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This makes Sansa his reward for goodness and puts her on a pedestal, if she is someone you need to be deserving of.

I think what's important is that Sandor gets to a healthy place in order to have a productive relationship. I don't think being a violent man or someone with personal demons precludes an individual from either giving, experiencing or receiving the love of another person, but it does affect how that couple is able to function together on a day to day basis. The idea that Sandor isn't "worthy" enough for Sansa is problematic though and does need to be debunked.

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Wildlingrose and Raksha, I agree with you, and have made the same points about (in an earlier post), Sandor being the only man who has wanted Sansa for herself and her personal qualities and not her claim to Winterfell. I wonder if that is one reason she remembers the UnKiss - to remind herself that one of her admirers had wanted her for herself, and that she can be loved for herself.

I do think that both Sandor and Sansa have some working-through-issues to do if they are to be happy together. Both have severe cases of PTSD for different reasons. Sandor is not "incapable of love" or any of that stuff, but he comes from a background of abuse and neglect; Sansa is probably the first person to show him kindness in a long time, if not ever. And Sansa herself, while she comes from a childhood of security and love, is now severely traumatized by what she has gone through. (Plus she's thirteen and he's about twenty-nine; I know this was a normal age difference in Westeros, and since Sansa has menstruated she's thought of as an adult, but still, I hope she's a little older by the time they get together, if they do. Sandor, to his credit, never made her feel as if she were naked when he was looking at her, unlike someone else we know.)

Two more love-matches I want to mention: Tyrion and Tysha, whose failure was absolutely no fault of theirs; Tywin was to blame there. I don't know how it would have ended if they had been allowed to stay together - they were both young teenagers and from vastly different stations in life.

Then there was the Fossoway man and his wife that Tyrion saw at Joffrey's wedding banquet. They appeared to be very much in love. Which caused a bout of wangstiness in Tyrion. We don't know anything more about this couple but I'm surmising they were put there to show that an arranged marriage really could lead to love. As well, the song "My Lady Wife" I think is meant to be a symbol of married love; it was played at that same wedding banquet and Tyrion mused that romantic-minded girls and boys loved the song. So I'm led to believe that fondness and respect, if not love, was something many (most?) couples aspired to.

Dorne and paramours: I suspect that women have more sexual freedom in Dorne is because inheritance can be passed down the female line, so it's not as important who the father is. If your mother is ruling Princess of Dorne, you're a Martell no matter what. I think Doran and sibling's mother was the ruling Princess, IIRC. So Doran got his title from her. I surmise that it's not a good thing if the heiress' children are fathered by someone of low birth, but if the children are to inherit her title and lands, rather than the father's, fidelity and chastity do not take on the same importance as they do in the rest of Westeros.

Can we say then based on this discussion on love and marriage that there's nothing inherently negative or faulty about those relationships which stem from traditional arrangements or romantic matches? It seems that in both cases, no matter the genesis, things like mutual respect, kindness and commitment, along with the maturity of both partners go a long way in ensuring whether the union will be successful. Of course, forced marriages do not apply, so the idea that it is Sansa's "shallowness" that prevented her from achieving a happy marriage with Tyrion is and forever will be a nonsensical assertion.

I agree with Brashcandy. I think the ideal, if not always the result, of marriage is for the partners to have at least fondness and respect for one another, if not love. And I note that both Catelyn and Ned were eighteen when they married. I wonder if couples who are married off when they are a little older (late teens or early twenties) are in a better position to make their marriages work. Brash mentions maturity as one of the building-blocks of a good marriage, and Catelyn not only was eighteen, she had long since taken on the role of lady of Riverrun. Contrast that with her sister Lysa, who was in a terrible position and did have a forced marriage, but I think her being fifteen and not even mature for her age didn't help things.

What torpedoed the love match of Doran Martell and Mellario was something that causes many modern couples to break up: irreconcilable cultural differences. Modern intercultural couples have to work through just such things as Mellario and Doran did, but the latter didn't have the benefit of marriage counseling or Internet resources. :) If Doran had made a love match with a fellow Dornishwoman, or even someone from elsewhere in Westeros, Quentyn's being fostered out would not have been an issue.

Same with Jorah and Lynesse: cultural differences + immaturity on both their parts (Jorah is a grown-ass man but he sure thinks with the little head where petite platinum blondes are concerned!) = breakup. If Jorah had made a love match with a northern woman or Lynesse with a wealthy man from the Reach or the Westerlands, it probably would have worked out better.

Sansa shallow because she didn't make her forced marriage work? She's a terrified child surrounded by enemies, married off to a Lannister, and someone who is, by the standards of her society, a freak whose dwarfism is considered to be a divine punishment for a family's sins. If Tyrion hadn't been born a Lannister, he'd have been killed at birth or sold to a freak show (he finds out in ADWD how much his birth has sheltered him).

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He slept a summer by my side,

he filled my days with endless wonder,

he took my childhood in his stride,

but he was gone when autumn came.

Beautiful observations Elba :) I really like the seasonal symbolism here, especially considering that Sansa is keeping Sandor's cloak beneath her summer silks. The time they spent together in the late summer was integral in helping Sansa to endure her autumn months when she is married to Tyrion and suffers even more estrangement and loneliness at court. The separation was vital for their respective learning experiences, and now Sansa seems set to realize her full potential in winter. If summer was about preparation, autumn then is the transition and winter is the realization. I agree with your reading on the line "he took my childhood in his stride" and it also suggests the man actually taking her childhood away, in addition to accepting it. It doesn't happen violently or forcefully though, as "in his stride" connotes a very natural occurrence.

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I'll be starting the new thread later tonight/early morning, so you should get in any replies or relevant comments to the current discussion.

@Kittykatknits - IIRC, you mentioned in your intro to this theme that you wanted to consider the men who could play a role in shaping a better landscape for marriages in the future, and Jon looks to be at the forefront of this new horizon. We can all begin to think more on this in preparation for the new thread, and perhaps someone would like to write a short essay on just why the current system is so broken? It isn't hard to fathom when we have the likes of men like Robert Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, and Littlefinger. Are we being realistic in expecting change, or does a character like Harry the Heir signify the same politics as usual?

These are all questions you can feel free to explore when I launch Rethinking XVII. Thanks guys.

[/threadkeeping]

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I think what's important is that Sandor gets to a healthy place in order to have a productive relationship. I don't think being a violent man or someone with personal demons precludes an individual from either giving, experiencing or receiving the love of another person, but it does affect how that couple is able to function together on a day to day basis. The idea that Sandor isn't "worthy" enough for Sansa is problematic though and does need to be debunked.

I don't think Sandor is 'worthy' of any young and gently reared female as a husband, or anyone who might be a nice person; at least before his presumed retreat on the Quiet Isle. Robert Baratheon wasn't exactly worthy of young Lyanna Stark either; who knows how that marriage would have turned out if she had lived; she might have been able to handle him better than did Cersei and he might not have beaten her, but I think he would have made her feel caged and unhappy and cheapened.

I do operate from the viewpoint that Sansa deserves an eventual husband (if marriage is what she decides she wants) who is worthy of her. I do believe that a junior version of Robert Baratheon, possibly minus the drinking - i.e. Harry-the-Heir - would not be worthy of being Sansa's husband. Sansa is one of the nicer female characters in the series; she has endured tremendous emotional pain and physical abuse and danger and is still under threat; I do think she deserves a good man who can be good to her if she does want to, when she's older, have a romantic/sexual/marital relationship.

Sandor has some extremely admirable qualities; his honesty, his ferocity in Sansa's defense, his stepping up and helping Sansa when she was alone and vulnerable, his tenacity and his capacity for kindness. He is also a loose cannon, who is an emotional basket case and often unleashes a disturbing (though understandable) tendency for violence. Before he's worthy marriage material for anyone (anyone other than a woman as physically strong and arms-trained as Brienne, or someone who has some definite inhibitors, like Daenerys with her dragons), Sandor has to learn to control his rages. Someone who expresses his combined concern and romantic interest and emotional distress by pressing a knife to a girl's throat is not worthy of being her long-term companion in any capacity. Fortunately, I think that Sandor does have the ability to transform himself; though it would be difficult; because releasing his anger and fears through drinking and fighting and intimidating has been Sandor's coping mechanism since early youth.

Sansa herself is not ready to be anyone's marital or romantic partner yet. She is physically and emotionally too young; despite her growth in the last few years/books. She needs to grow up and hopefully develop a sense of ethics that encompasses honor, compassion, and pragmatism (difficult, but not impossible). Sansa has also shown a disturbing pattern of self-deception in her response to/memory of certain stressful situations and conflicts; until she can get over this weakness or compensate for it, she may not be 'worthy' to be the partner of someone who wants truth and clarity in a mate. (such men are in short supply in ASoIaF, but Ned Stark was one, and there may be others who want to be able to thoroughly trust their spouses).

I don't think the concept of 'worth' in a potential spouse needs to be debunked. If a woman has self-respect, then she will understand that the entire male population of a given country or continent is not 'worthy' to be her husband/mate/boyfriend; she practices discrimination. 'Worth' is not necessarily dependent on social status; though that can be a factor. Women with self-respect usually want a man who at the very least is not going to embarrass or frighten them. In Westeros, women of Sansa's fortunate status, daughters of noble-to-Great Houses, would want a socially presentable man who they can trust, like, someone who brings either some wealth or an impressive military record (or both) to the relationship, someone who is free of illness and can sire healthy children and be a good father to them. They don't always get what they want; but they can at least get a Mace Tyrell (not the brightest bulb on the shelf, but his children do support each other and he supports them and doesn't seem to abuse his wife, either) or a Wyman Manderly (who loves his children) or Ned Stark.

Even among the supposedly uncivilized Wildlings, the concept of men proving their 'worth' to prospective brides is known; they're supposed to prove their courage and audacity by stealing them. (which can probably backfire, but at least the wildling ladies can hopefully impose some measure of selection through this process). Among other non-noble cultures/social classes, I often think of Marya Seaworth. As a carpenter's daughter, she may have been considered something of a prize; and had many suitors among craftsmen and merchants; assuming her father was successful at his trade. Yet she chose an infamous smuggler, Davos Seaworth; and married him. Why? She probably guessed his worth; the intrinsic sum of his qualities and virtues and potential future, and judged him to be worthy of her.

It probably would be best if Sandor can improve himself, learn to control his rages and alcoholism, for his own sake rather than for the love of Sansa Stark. But there is much that is good in Sandor, and I would rather he bring it out and have a life that could bring him happiness for Sansa's sake than not at all.

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