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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XVII

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(Rethinking XVI)

(Original Reread links)

(Resources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7)

Welcome to Rethinking Sansa 17 everyone. This is a special thread considering that in a few days we'll be celebrating our official one year anniversary, and today saw the release of another sample chapter from TWOW - Arianne's POV. Although we're disappointed that we didn't get Sansa, it's clear that any female POV in the novel has relevance for illuminating themes which are present in Sansa's story line and helping us to understand where Martin is going with her arc. The ending of the last thread saw some discussion on this.

Please use the resource section to find critical material on our past projects, and be mindful of the serious nature of the thread. Trolling is not welcome here.

We will be continuing directly from the last thread, where we discussed the theme of love and marriage. You can look forward to more in depth discussions of other issues relevant to Sansa and the female characters in the upcoming weeks.

Very important: Discussion of the spoiler chapter is allowed, but you must use spoiler tags, and give a warning that your spoiler concerns the Arianne sample chapter.

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Discussion of Arianne spoiler chapter

Loved this!

I saw real growth of Arianne as a character. Quite a bit of introspection from her. Did anyone else find some similarities in her growth that were similar to Sansa?

I did notice that her feelings towards Damon Sand. But, equally, I noticed his reaction. He wanted Arianne despite their difference in station and was not happy with just a night in bed.

And that duty vs. desire just keeps popping up. Seems like particularly good timing considering our recent discussion on marriage too. I'm growing more curious on how they will find the balance between the personal and political. I'm wondering more and more if we will get hints to the answer as we learn more of both Dornish and wilding culture.

Oh, yeah. And squee!!!

I actually think Sansa is being set up as much more smarter and capable. I've written my thoughts in the discussion thread on TWOW, but basically Arianne is still depending on her seductive wiles and worried they won't work on Jon Con; she refuses to read the books on how Dorne withstood the conquest and the foreshadowing in the chp with her losing the cyvasse game doesn't look promising. I think where this chapter is relevant concerns the duty vs desire theme, and the info it gives on Dorne's sexual politics.

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Brash tossed out a question for our consideration as the new thread is born (wowie kazowie, the seventeenth of its name!).

Yes, I believe the marriage system in Westeros is screwed up – but not because marriages are arranged, per se. It’s screwed up because of how little power women and smallfolk have vis-à-vis nobly born men. And I think the rot is showing up now because of the war, whereas before it could be swept under the rug.

One thing that having a central ruling dynasty instead of seven separate kingdoms does is keep the realm more at peace. No Kings of the Riverlands going to war with Kings of Casterly Rock, for instance. There seem to have been past battles such as the fate of the Raynes of Castamere, the Blackfyre rebellion and others but nothing that embroiled the whole continent.

But the Targaryens are notoriously inbred, and Jaime and Cersei Lannister are themselves product of a marriage between first cousins, so the inbreeding actually started earlier than Joffrey and his siblings. There are very good reasons to discourage brother/sister mating and Joffrey and Mad King Aerys are two of them.

Cersei is embittered about not being born a man because in most of Westeros, being born a woman is to be born into a subordinate role. While there were women heads of lordships (like Anya Waynwood) in many cases a woman in power was viewed with suspicion and it was thought much better to have a man instead. And if a woman’s husband was a philanderer, there was NOTHING she could do but endure it if the husband wouldn’t listen to tears or pleadings. Cersei couldn’t divorce Robert’s cheating ass or insist on marriage counseling. The IMO horrible and screwed-up sexual double standard is in full force. Robert can cheat, Cersei has to suck it up. And HER cheating is dubbed “high treason” though that might be the incest factor, not strictly the cheating.

And in practice if not in principle, a father held tremendous sway over even his grown offspring. I don’t know if Tywin Lannister is typical but notice how he dictated the lives of his grown children Cersei and Tyrion. This may be because he’s their liege lord as well as their father, but there’s no “I’m going to get a job and my own apartment and Dad won’t be the boss of me!”

Something to think about, from Arianne's sample chapter:

Even Arianne from Dorne was limited in who she could marry. She could, it seem, sleep with Daemon Sand, but had to marry someone of suitable rank. And Arianne seems to have an almost Cersei-like idea of a woman's weapon - she's thinking, "Hm, how can I seduce JonCon in order to get information out of him?" I know she's on a covert mission and can't just say, "Hi there, Jon! Dad and I are wondering if this is really Prince Aegon. Why doesn't he have dragons? Where is Daenerys, and where is my little bro?" but still it seems as if she jumps to seduction as the most powerful weapon in her arsenal.

I will say that the Sand Snakes do appear to be considered full members of the family and Doran cares about what happens to them. And Ellaria is welcome in her father's house. Arianne might not be allowed to marry a bastard, but Oberyn's bastard daughters are full members of the family and it seems that Ellaria is a full member of her family of origin. I do think this is different than the rest of Westeros, because Catelyn is upset and hurt that Ned wants to raise Jon alongside his trueborn children; apparently while a father is supposed to provide for his bastards, they aren't regarded as full members of the family in most cases.

The war has brought these flaws into high focus. Marriages that otherwise wouldn’t have been forced through, like Sansa and Tyrion, are arranged so that one side can win in the war. The war also seems to be the reason Sansa was married off so young. Even after Sansa was first betrothed to Joffrey, their marriage was to be delayed for several years. Ned’s speech to Sansa about “when you’re older I will find a better husband for you, one who is brave, gentle, and strong” means that he has no intention of letting twelve-year-old Sansa marry. In the earlier generation, fifteen seems to have been the youngest age for girls to marry (Lyanna, Lysa Arryn). When a grown man marries a young teenage girl, there is going to be a power imbalance in his favor even in a modern democracy where women have full rights as citizens; in patriarchal Westeros the imbalance would be even more extreme.

The smallfolk have few rights vis-à-vis their lords and that is another problem. Tysha’s parents couldn’t say, “Tywin Lannister, we are throwing your ass in jail and suing you and your family for every penny you have.” Tywin got away with his crime until Tyrion took a personal revenge on him, but the point is that Tywin thought he could get away with Tysha’s gang-rape and in fact did until Tyrion caught him with his pants down, so to speak.

And Ramsay Bolton has gotten away with torture, rape and murder left and right and no one is doing anything about it. Ned probably would have called him to account had he lived, but Ramsay has been allowed to get away with an awful lot. While everyone is outraged at his treatment of “Arya Stark,” no-one but Wyman Manderly appears to give much thought to his smallfolk victims.

Screwed up? Yes. Because of arranged marriages? No. Because of the lack of rights of people who aren’t males of noble birth? This. And I think that Sansa’s arc is one of the plotlines that is shining a light on just what is women’s agency in Westerosi society and how their subordination plays out in their relationships and how their lives turn out (spoiler for Arianne sample:

and Arianne's story arc seems to be following a very similar, albeit not nearly as traumatic, path if we are to judge by this chapter)

.

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I actually think Sansa is being set up as much more smarter and capable. I've written my thoughts in the discussion thread on TWOW, but basically Arianne is still depending on her seductive wiles and worried they won't work on Jon Con; she refuses to read the books on how Dorne withstood the conquest and the foreshadowing in the chp with her losing the cyvasse game doesn't look promising. I think where this chapter is relevant concerns the duty vs desire theme, and the info it gives on Dorne's sexual politics.

Yes, I agree. I did notice that her immediate instinct with Jon C. was to wonder if she could seduce him. It's still her primary weapon it seems and she was left wondering what she could do if this was not an option. The big thing that I noticed was her consideration on who to trust which is what reminded me of Sansa. Back in Feast, she seemed very rash though, which is not at all a Sansa trait.

I also got the impression that the deaths of Oberyn and Quentyn are just the start of bad things for Dorne, it's going to get much worse. The foreshadowing of the cyvasse game and the dance with dragons both indicate that Dorne is going to have to engage and eventually pick a side. I know Doran has been waiting until he is sure of his position but I don't think that's going to be an option for him much longer.

The problem with Damon Sand was as a marriage partner, not as a potential paramour which goes back to some of our recent discussion. I'm still trying to decide on some of her thoughts as heir to Dorne and Aegon.

I completely agree that Sansa is going to be smarter than Arianne. Actually, I didn't see anything that changes my mind that the Starks are at the center of the story. I enjoyed this chapter but I still think Arianne and Dorne are just a small part of what is really important. Martin has been developing Sansa as a character since the beginning of the story and in the end I'm expecting her to easily outshine Marg, Arianne, and many others.

ETA:

It just occurred to me that Daemon's request to marry Arianne would have taken place while she was secretly engaged to Viserys. Still to soon to say what will happen in the future but I do think that is worth noting.

Also - KRBD did a better job of getting to the similarity that I saw between Sansa and Arianne than I did. I'm tired.

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Thanks brash for posting the link.

I have several wildly thoughts going on, but not much on this topic that wasn't already said. I am curious about why Doran sent Ser Daemon. Especially since he seems to be not on board with the whole dragon train. Maybe he doesn't have his heart so set on real Aegon/Arianne as most people on the boards (including myself) thought. Or maybe Ser Daemon is just anti-dragon because he loves Arianne. I'm interested in this because it will make a difference if he is cautious sworn shield or jealous lover.

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Thanks brash for posting the link.

I have several wildly thoughts going on, but not much on this topic that wasn't already said. I am curious about why Doran sent Ser Daemon. Especially since he seems to be not on board with the whole dragon train. Maybe he doesn't have his heart so set on real Aegon/Arianne as most people on the boards (including myself) thought. Or maybe Ser Daemon is just anti-dragon because he loves Arianne. I'm interested in this because it will make a difference if he is cautious sworn shield or jealous lover.

I've long been suspicious of Doran's motives with regard to his children; he's quick to send them on these missions for the ostensible reason of promoting Dornish interests of fire and blood with the Targs, but there's always a niggling issue with their preparedness and companions. With Quentyn we saw that a book which would have been very useful in helping the boy to understand dragons was instead left in Arianne's tower where she was held for her role in the plot to crown Myrcella. Now Doran sends Daemon Sand - Arianne's old lover, and as you note, someone who doesn't seem very enthusiastic about dragon alliances. Either Martin means for Doran to be confirmed as daft, or there's something else going on. I think it's interesting that Arianne questions Daemon two times about Targ associated men - Viserys and Jon Con - and in both replies his answer is the same: "I never knew the man." Viserys would have been Arianne's husband and Jon Con is the one she wonders whether or not she would be able to seduce. And the whole business with "not knowing" might be meant to foreshadow Arianne's inability to confirm Aegon's true identity, or having serious doubts, although this may not prevent her from making an alliance. Indeed, her making an alliance with the fake Targ would make sense, given that her loss of Viserys, and her doubts about Dany. I can see her and Daemon hooking up pretty soon though... and I have no idea how it will play out from there.

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So to attempt to reorient the discussion after the tizzy of a new chapter: we were moving into a discussion in the last thread concerning the role of men in creating more equitable relations regarding marriage in Westeros. Jon has emerged as one of the prime candidates involved in this restructuring, with the marriage of Alys to the Magnar of Thenn, and his open minded views on women's roles in society. Indeed, all of the Stark boys are surrounded by unconventional women, and the Stark girls are shaping up to be considerably non traditional in their own ways. Besides these three - and Rickon is much too young to have any real impact as yet - who could we posit as beginning to question or change the same politics as usual?

Discussion of the men in Sansa's life is also relevant here. We know the danger a man like LF represents, but what of someone like Tyrion? He's still her husband, and his thoughts in ADWD might have been fairly bitter, but they were also suspiciously ambivalent. How much of a problem could Tyrion pose in the future? Harry the Heir is her betrothed, but we as yet don't know much of a personality. If his track record with women is any indication, we know he's irresponsible and a bit of a player. There's Sandor of course, the man Sansa continues to think about, and essentially the only man to whom her consent seemed to truly matter.

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Discussion of the men in Sansa's life is also relevant here. We know the danger a man like LF represents, but what of someone like Tyrion? He's still her husband, and his thoughts in ADWD might have been fairly bitter, but they were also suspiciously ambivalent. How much of a problem could Tyrion pose in the future? Harry the Heir is her betrothed, but we as yet don't know much of a personality. If his track record with women is any indication, we know he's irresponsible and a bit of a player. There's Sandor of course, the man Sansa continues to think about, and essentially the only man to whom her consent seemed to truly matter.

I think if Tyrion and Sansa are going to meet again (whether they remain married or not) then it is not going to be a happy reunion, their marriage was full of pain, on both sides, and even though Sansa does now seem to realise that Tyrion was nice to her, I don't think its enough to make her 'forgive' or accept him. (I say 'forgive' because the only things in their marriage he needs forgiving for really are being a Lannister and not being a knight from one of Sansa's songs, neither of which are really his fault.) Saying this, I think Tyrion's days are numbered and doubt they will meet again.

As to Littlefinger, I find that relationship extremely creepy, but I think Sansa thinks/will think of him at some point as her kind of saviour, but then I believe that that view will sour. He's too caught up in Cat still!

Harry the Heir is interesting, I really want him to be all that Sansa dreams of wanting, and the betrothal is dependant on him liking her anyway, which seems very contrary to Westerosi marriages in general, though maybe that is simply because she is currently Alayne. Though the head of the house that Harry is ward to must have some suspision of who Alayne really is or she wouldn't have agreed at all.

However, no matter what happens, for a true marriage it will depend whether Sansa is Sansa or Alayne, we already know that she is losing herself, so to speak, so maybe that is risking her marriage to Harry the Heir being Alayne's marriage and not Sansa's.

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I think if Tyrion and Sansa are going to meet again (whether they remain married or not) then it is not going to be a happy reunion, their marriage was full of pain, on both sides, and even though Sansa does now seem to realise that Tyrion was nice to her, I don't think its enough to make her 'forgive' or accept him. (I say 'forgive' because the only things in their marriage he needs forgiving for really are being a Lannister and not being a knight from one of Sansa's songs, neither of which are really his fault.) Saying this, I think Tyrion's days are numbered and doubt they will meet again.

That's funny, given that she was all set to marry Willas Tyrell, who in his crippled state could never be mistaken as a knight. Hell, considering Tyrion's amazing feats during battles, he's only not a "Ser" in name himself. And while it's not his fault that he's a Lannister, he should definitely be held responsible for he does in their name. One of those actions was to participate in the forced marriage of a girl in order to secure a lordship for himself. I think Sansa has every reason in the world not to very forgiving.

As to Littlefinger, I find that relationship extremely creepy, but I think Sansa thinks/will think of him at some point as her kind of saviour, but then I believe that that view will sour. He's too caught up in Cat still!

I don't believe that at any point in these books we've seen LF "caught up in Cat". His attentions were turned to Sansa very early in AGOT.

However, no matter what happens, for a true marriage it will depend whether Sansa is Sansa or Alayne, we already know that she is losing herself, so to speak, so maybe that is risking her marriage to Harry the Heir being Alayne's marriage and not Sansa's.

Actually, there's credible evidence that shows she's not "losing herself" at all. If you'd like, I could highlight the relevant information.

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I've long been suspicious of Doran's motives with regard to his children; he's quick to send them on these missions for the ostensible reason of promoting Dornish interests of fire and blood with the Targs, but there's always a niggling issue with their preparedness and companions. With Quentyn we saw that a book which would have been very useful in helping the boy to understand dragons was instead left in Arianne's tower where she was held for her role in the plot to crown Myrcella. Now Doran sends Daemon Sand - Arianne's old lover, and as you note, someone who doesn't seem very enthusiastic about dragon alliances. Either Martin means for Doran to be confirmed as daft, or there's something else going on. I think it's interesting that Arianne questions Daemon two times about Targ associated men - Viserys and Jon Con - and in both replies his answer is the same: "I never knew the man." Viserys would have been Arianne's husband and Jon Con is the one she wonders whether or not she would be able to seduce. And the whole business with "not knowing" might be meant to foreshadow Arianne's inability to confirm Aegon's true identity, or having serious doubts, although this may not prevent her from making an alliance. Indeed, her making an alliance with the fake Targ would make sense, given that her loss of Viserys, and her doubts about Dany. I can see her and Daemon hooking up pretty soon though... and I have no idea how it will play out from there.

I had a couple thoughts when I woke up this morning.

It hit me that the beginning of Arianne's chapter reminded me a bit of Quentyn's back in Dance. The feeling that their father is depending on them and the sense of responsibility.

I was also thinking of the dragon piece and the two cyvasse games. Seems like there could be multiple ways to interpret that. I'm not wondering if it points to Doran repeatedly looking to the dragons for his revenge and and ultimately failing. The first time was with Viserys, the second with Dany, and now the third with Aegon?

And I agree with you about Doran and his kids but not sure what to think of it. Honestly, I don't spend much time thinking of Dorne or anything in it at all.

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On men and marriage relations:

Is it too early to talk about Sweetrobin? The role of women in his life has been very unconventional by Westerosi standards. He has been coddled by a very strong mother figure his entire life and hasn't really had any male to look up to (he's terrified of Littlefinger). Now that I'm thinking about it, It seems strange that the Lord of the Vale was only accompanied by three women as he made the treacherous journey from the Eyrie.

I think he's still enough of a brat that he would demand someone get married, but that relates more to his general worldview that any understanding of the role of marriage in society. He does seem to listen more to (certain) women than to men. If he gets the chance to grow up, I will be interested to see his views on marriage and women.

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On men and marriage relations:

Is it too early to talk about Sweetrobin? The role of women in his life has been very unconventional by Westerosi standards. He has been coddled by a very strong mother figure his entire life and hasn't really had any male to look up to (he's terrified of Littlefinger). Now that I'm thinking about it, It seems strange that the Lord of the Vale was only accompanied by three women as he made the treacherous journey from the Eyrie.

I think he's still enough of a brat that he would demand someone get married, but that relates more to his general worldview that any understanding of the role of marriage in society. He does seem to listen more to (certain) women than to men. If he gets the chance to grow up, I will be interested to see his views on marriage and women.

I thought the scenes with sweetRob and Sansa were brilliant.

These scenes were the first time I actually liked Sansa as a character.:

She is kind to him even though hes a creepy little twerp, but not so kind to spoil him rotten like his mother did. She holds her composure as doesnt freak out when he does his creepy things.

She reminded me of the babysitters i had when i was a kid.

I could see SweetRobin developing some type of infatuation due to that.

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I could see SweetRobin developing some type of infatuation due to that.

Me too. He's already possessive of her (didn't he get angry at the suggestion she might be friends with one of his squires?).

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I had a couple thoughts when I woke up this morning.

It hit me that the beginning of Arianne's chapter reminded me a bit of Quentyn's back in Dance. The feeling that their father is depending on them and the sense of responsibility.

I was also thinking of the dragon piece and the two cyvasse games. Seems like there could be multiple ways to interpret that. I'm not wondering if it points to Doran repeatedly looking to the dragons for his revenge and and ultimately failing. The first time was with Viserys, the second with Dany, and now the third with Aegon?

And I agree with you about Doran and his kids but not sure what to think of it. Honestly, I don't spend much time thinking of Dorne or anything in it at all.

good point about the similar openings. As much as Arianne committed some major follies in AFFC, I have to say that I'm not too happy with her new "Father knows best" mentality. I think it does suggest that Dorne will always fail with (true) dragon alliances, but the third person I was thinking of was Jon. I'm still thinking on the symbolism though, since as you note, it could contain multiple meanings. You should check out

this thread if you're interested in the whole idea of Doran undermining Quentyn.

Patrick Stormborn also just noted the possible foreshadowing of Sansa being involved in this new dance of the dragons. Something for us to think about on what her role could be going forward. I think that discussion could be conducted without spoiler tags or we could open up a thread in the TWOW subforum.

On men and marriage relations:

Is it too early to talk about Sweetrobin?

As soon as I finished that post on the male figures, Sweetrobin was the first person to pop into my head :)

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That's funny, given that she was all set to marry Willas Tyrell, who in his crippled state could never be mistaken as a knight. Hell, considering Tyrion's amazing feats during battles, he's only not a "Ser" in name himself. And while it's not his fault that he's a Lannister, he should definitely be held responsible for he does in their name. One of those actions was to participate in the forced marriage of a girl in order to secure a lordship for himself. I think Sansa has every reason in the world not to very forgiving.

I think it should be remembered that Tyrion never really cared about Sansa until he could have his fantasy. Sure, when he stopped her mistreatment that one time, but in general, he wasn't concerned for her more than her use to him.

Tyrion has to know that the only reason Joffery didn't kill Sansa for Robb's victories it because Jamie is being held. He did try to free Jamie (I think, not 100% sure, that it was because he was afraid Joffery would kill Sansa) which would essentially leave Sansa at Joffery's mercy. Does she know? No. Is she likely to find out? Probably not. But it shows that Tyrion took an active hand in the war against the Starks.

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Spoiler
Wow!! You have touch many of the suspects at the Arianne chapter.

At the view of Arianne versus Sansa is the sentence "did not waste water lightly" and Arianne not crying. Sansa is showed to have cry a lot, while Arianne has learnt not to cry easily.

Also that sentence reminds me of the arab culture that water means life but also a luxury. For that reason, many of their constructions have many fountain, pools or hearing water falling.

It is surprising the choice of 7 companions (as the 7 kingdoms and the 7 goods, even it can be associate each one with a god).

It has been so good explained before the use of sex as a woman weapon by Arienne at the Cersei way. But the sentence about "Gave him nothing but my body" I found it very powerful. It is so good to explain that feelings sometimes are not associated with sex. But also is a proof that she is also lying to herself because always you give something and you take something at that kind of relationship (more if it is prolongue at the time).

Am I the only one that see the similarities between Elia and Aria? One being halfhorse and wild, and the other Horseface and she-wolf. Neither of them are a lady.

It takes also my interest the name of the ship: Peregrin. It is not also the name of a traveler (normally a religious traveler) but also a kind of hawk, that eats snakes.

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In addition to KittyKats and BrashCandy’s comments above.

Can I match such a man with words alone?

Neither Arienne or Cersei have ever been taught how to play the Game of Thrones. Arienne’s comments highlight that until now her major strength, in her mind at least, is seduction. I can only presume Doran must have had this idea of her being a consort Queen to Viserys, who has nothing to do with politics (I think Doran is ultimately going to fail hugely). He never taught her about diplomacy and that has left her trying to fall back on what she knows works. The same is true to an extent with Cersei. Neither really know how to analyse people or read them. Arienne at least knows her weakness to handsome men.

We see she is beginning to try and work out people’s characters from their actions as we see with her analyse of Dany (even if she gets it totally wrong, it is sound reasoning). For her age however she is woefully behind the likes of Margery Tyrell in terms of political manouvering. Now compare this to Sansa: who has learnt whilst very young to hold her tougue, watch her movements and certainly began to work out the background motivations and politics of situations, even before escaping to the Eyrie. Unlike both Doran and Tywin, Sansa is being shown how the game is played and her own skills already outstrip both Arienne and Cersei. Sansa has had more growth in terms of assessing people's characters and seeing the bigger picture. Edit: Why would these stark (excuse the pun) contrasts be there is Sansa was not going to do something politically desicive in the future, which may relate to the observations about Sansa watching the Dance of Dragons. This suggests to me at least that she will watch the dance play out but not necessarily play an active part, or may be an outside influence on the end result.

Another part of the chapter which may relate to Sansa is Arienne’s questioning Dany's motive's behind Viserys death and her assumption that once Viserys was King she would have to sleep in a tent for the rest of her life and questioning whether Dany had made a power grab. This mirrors the possible thoughts others have regarding Sansa. LF has said he could raise an army for her, but I do not think this is necessarily the case. No one in the North is aware of the level of abuse she suffered in KL (given the comments about Myrcella’s maiming and Oakheart's thoughts on hitting Sansa, it seems more and more like her treatment was extreme and unusual) and although Robb and Cat assume correctly that she was forced into marriage, Robb's Will combined with those who do not know her, may have many assuming she had jumped ship with her eye on the winning side. Will she be viewed as a traitor or at least with suspicion? If she was bitter before about being made a Lannister, this may indeed cause her to lament it even further.

Then there are the ramifications of Rickon being found. While not a direct heiress any more, she is still a powerful piece in terms of a marriage alliance, but with having being traded so many times as a piece already, how will she look at marriage in the future. An unwillingness to enter an arranged marriage does not (looking at previous discussions) bode well for the outcome of any such marriage. While the Sansa who would make Willas Tyrell love her, may have indeed succeeded in that arranged marriage, the Sansa who has been through the awful experience with Tyrion, does not want to face something like that again. Edit: she no longer wants a marriage of political construct but wonders if she will be loved for herself. Again this returns to the question of agency. Whether she will make an alliance for the sake of family or if she will use her own skills to marry someone if not completely of her choice, then at least one she feels she can be happy with.

On a side note:

The mention of armies in the passes, may tie in to the Cyvasse game Myrcella told Arys about. She said that Trystane was predictable and always put his armies in the passes and her Dragons came along and destroyed them. As highlighted above Doran is trying a similar strategy yet again with Arienne (sending an untrained and probably unsuitable person to treat for Dorne) while we have imagery of the same tactic repeatedly failing for Quentyn.

There may also be inverse imagery, Doran was the oldest of three children and the younger two died. Trystane is the youngest of three children and the older two may die.

Also If Daemon Sand ends up bedding both Connington and Arienne, could Arienne be at risk from Greyscale?

And on a final note we yet again see a woman receiving a sexualised punishment in the treatment of her friend Sylvia Sylva. While the men in her group are exiled for a period of time to not exactly uncomfortamble locations, Syliva Sylva is forced into marriage with a man in his 70s. Given the huge age difference and the circumstances, I can't see how this marriage could possibly work?

Another Edit: Because not only did I get Sylva's name wrong, I also spelt it differently twice within two lines. Impressive fail, me thinks.

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I think it should be remembered that Tyrion never really cared about Sansa until he could have his fantasy. Sure, when he stopped her mistreatment that one time, but in general, he wasn't concerned for her more than her use to him.

Tyrion has to know that the only reason Joffery didn't kill Sansa for Robb's victories it because Jamie is being held. He did try to free Jamie (I think, not 100% sure, that it was because he was afraid Joffery would kill Sansa) which would essentially leave Sansa at Joffery's mercy. Does she know? No. Is she likely to find out? Probably not. But it shows that Tyrion took an active hand in the war against the Starks.

Agreed, and his fantasy was based on Robb being dead so he could claim Winterfell through Sansa, which he very well knew going into the marriage.

I have been pondering something about Dorne and the acceptance of paramours since before I read the new chapter, but from what I read in that chapter it makes me question this even more. I had been wondering just how accepting of paramours the Dornish really are. The only good example we have is Oberyn with Ellaria Sand, but Oberyn seemed like the kind of guy who if you tried to tell him not to do something like that would just say "f*** off!" I just wonder if most others in Dorne would be pressured into keeping more conventional relationships and Oberyn was more of an exception than might seem at first glance. With how Daemon's request for Arianne's hand was rejected suggests to me that Dorne is not really all that different and Arianne still wanting to have a relationship with him might be acceptable for now while she is not yet married. Would it be as accepted once she was married? Similarly, Rapsie made a great point above about how poor Spotted Sylva was treated for her participation in Arianne's plan. That is not any different than what happened to Lysa, again suggesting that Dorne is not so different after all.

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Yes my point was that there was nothing loving or caring about Tyrion and Sansa's marriage, so it wouldn't be a happy reunion. Now that Sansa is away from Tyrion she doesn't seem to resent him quite as much, though that would probably different if she saw him again. Also Tyrion's carried resentment towards Sansa since their wedding when she didn't crouch down. If they do meet again I suspect that Sansa will be strong enough to reject Tyrion properly.

I do genuinely think that LF is still in love with Cat, and that his interests towards Sansa are solely to do with her claim to Winterfell, after all he did work to bump off her family.

Its awhile since I read Sansa's Alayne chapters so I'll have to look again.

Sweetrobin is interesting, I agree that he's likely to end up with an infactuation, though whether he lives long enough to attempt anything is questionable.

Personally I'd like to see Sansa choose who she marries, and the way her character is developing I think she'll soon be strong enough to do that.

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In addition to KittyKats and BrashCandy’s comments above.

Neither Arienne or Cersei have ever been taught how to play the Game of Thrones. Arienne’s comments highlight that until now her major strength, in her mind at least, is seduction. I can only presume Doran must have had this idea of her being a consort Queen to Viserys, who has nothing to do with politics (I think Doran is ultimately going to fail hugely). He never taught her about diplomacy and that has left her trying to fall back on what she knows works. The same is true to an extent with Cersei. Neither really know how to analyse people or read them. Arienne at least knows her weakness to handsome men.

We see she is beginning to try and work out people’s characters from their actions as we see with her analyse of Dany (even if she gets it totally wrong, it is sound reasoning). For her age however she is woefully behind the likes of Margery Tyrell in terms of political manouvering. Now compare this to Sansa: who has learnt whilst very young to hold her tougue, watch her movements and certainly began to work out the background motivations and politics of situations, even before escaping to the Eyrie. Unlike both Doran and Tywin, Sansa is being shown how the game is played and her own skills already outstrip both Arienne and Cersei. Sansa has had more growth in terms of assessing people's characters and seeing the bigger picture. Edit: Why would these stark (excuse the pun) contrasts be there is Sansa was not going to do something politically desicive in the future, which may relate to the observations about Sansa watching the Dance of Dragons. This suggests to me at least that she will watch the dance play out but not necessarily play an active part, or may be an outside influence on the end result.

Another part of the chapter which may relate to Sansa is Arienne’s questioning Dany's motive's behind Viserys death and her assumption that once Viserys was King she would have to sleep in a tent for the rest of her life and questioning whether Dany had made a power grab. This mirrors the possible thoughts others have regarding Sansa. LF has said he could raise an army for her, but I do not think this is necessarily the case. No one in the North is aware of the level of abuse she suffered in KL (given the comments about Myrcella’s maiming and Oakheart's thoughts on hitting Sansa, it seems more and more like her treatment was extreme and unusual) and although Robb and Cat assume correctly that she was forced into marriage, Robb's Will combined with those who do not know her, may have many assuming she had jumped ship with her eye on the winning side. Will she be viewed as a traitor or at least with suspicion? If she was bitter before about being made a Lannister, this may indeed cause her to lament it even further.

Then there are the ramifications of Rickon being found. While not a direct heiress any more, she is still a powerful piece in terms of a marriage alliance, but with having being traded so many times as a piece already, how will she look at marriage in the future. An unwillingness to enter an arranged marriage does not (looking at previous discussions) bode well for the outcome of any such marriage. While the Sansa who would make Willas Tyrell love her, may have indeed succeeded in that arranged marriage, the Sansa who has been through the awful experience with Tyrion, does not want to face something like that again. Edit: she no longer wants a marriage of political construct but wonders if she will be loved for herself. Again this returns to the question of agency. Whether she will make an alliance for the sake of family or if she will use her own skills to marry someone if not completely of her choice, then at least one she feels she can be happy with.

On a side note:

The mention of armies in the passes, may tie in to the Cyvasse game Myrcella told Arys about. She said that Trystane was predictable and always put his armies in the passes and her Dragons came along and destroyed them. As highlighted above Doran is trying a similar strategy yet again with Arienne (sending an untrained and probably unsuitable person to treat for Dorne) while we have imagery of the same tactic repeatedly failing for Quentyn.

There may also be inverse imagery, Doran was the oldest of three children and the younger two died. Trystane is the youngest of three children and the older two may die.

Also If Daemon Sand ends up bedding both Connington and Arienne, could Arienne be at risk from Greyscale?

And on a final note we yet again see a woman receiving a sexualised punishment in the treatment of her friend Sylvia Sylva. While the men in her group are exiled for a period of time to not exactly uncomfortamble locations, Syliva Sylva is forced into marriage with a man in his 70s. Given the huge age difference and the circumstances, I can't see how this marriage could possibly work?

Another Edit: Because not only did I get Sylva's name wrong, I also spelt it differently twice within two lines. Impressive fail, me thinks.

Wonderful points Rapsie

This chapter also seemed to put another nail in the coffin of the Sansa/Aegon match - unless GRRM has a twist up his sleeve. On Sansa's possible role in the dance of dragons - the performance she goes to see is of a troupe of singers performing a "complex round of interwoven ballads called the Dance of the Dragons." This could suggest her watching from the sidelines, but I think the terms "complex" and "interwoven" highlight that all of the major players will somehow be drawn into these events. And there's the musical associations with the character again; perhaps she'll be the one to bring harmony to the discordant factions.

I really loved your points on how Sansa is a much more capable player, and I'm willing to bet that had Sansa heard Dany's story, she would be considerably more sympathetic and intuitive about the struggles Dany must have undergone given her own experiences. Now that I can cross Arianne out as a potential Dany BFF, my theory of her and Sansa joining forces at some point lives on :)

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