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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XVII

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Ok, so maybe she wouldn't get the featherbed, but do you girls think she'd settle for a straw pallet? :P

(at the QI)

Might be a bit prickly :blink: , but you know---the things you do for "luurrve"!" :wub: ;)

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Ok, so maybe she wouldn't get the featherbed, but do you girls think she'd settle for a straw pallet? :P

(at the QI)

Yes! :)

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hehe :) Ok, in all seriousness, that was an insightful post on the clothing symbolism QoW, and I liked your thoughts on how it relates to Arya as well. It's very interesting how both sisters are associated with more "earthy" qualities, and we know that Sansa is exploring a sense of freedom through Alayne Stone -a character who would wear no crown, and couldn't be kissed by any Tyrells. The song explores the idea of sexual freedom and power for women, which are very relevant themes in Sansa's storyline.

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There is a lot of emphasis put on Sansa's clothing throughout the series. In our first introduction to her she is sewing. At the tournament she wears green, which could symbolise her immaturity as well as tie into her crush on Loras.

Then we see her choice of dress being explored through the gown Cersei gives her (that is ruined) and then dyed black which is befitting of mourning, but we also see her symbolically choosing a silver chain and also wearing silver bracelets at Ned's execution, both of which symbolise her status as a prisoner*.

Then we have Joff's moonstones being a reoccurring feature, as was her choice in dresses to please him, in order to quell his wrath. We also have her dream about the gold gown, which is ominous as the only other associations with golden gowns have been death related. Although in those cases it has been Olenna, Cersei and Joff (although his corpse was in gold armour not a gown, it corresponds to her dream).

We then have her Wedding dress, which is not of her choosing just as her marriage is not. The dress is beautiful and Stark colours, which although not mentioned and a bit crackpot, may also have given her the strength not to kneel.

After that the next dress of importance is the one she wears to Joff's wedding. Here she is wearing silver, but it is lined with purple which is a Royal colour, but also fits the amythests. Amythests were regarded in the Middle Ages as going dim when poison was present and I can't imagine that is just coincidence within the books. In her outfit we have poison and royalty intertwined.

Then she changes into a dark brown dress covered in freshwater pearls and a dark green cloak. Here we have a juxtaposition to the amythests as pearls represent purity and innocence. Brown and green both tie into the forest connection mentioned above. Also despite the pearls it is a plainer outfit. She notes the simple but sturdy shoes she puts on. Her attire has gone from opulence to muted, foreshadowing her role as Alyane Stone.

Also notable is that she has no black dresses. As black is a colour of mourning, it seems she is not even to be allowed to visibly display her grief after the loss of her family. Although I doubt it is a plot point, the lack of public ally displaying grief may again count against her in the eyes of the Northerners. Indeed it could be argued that as far as anyone in the North is aware, she has turned against her family.

Then we have her dress on the boat. She is given a cedar chest full of simple wool and linen clothing. Although she does have a feather bed. Then in the Snowcastle scene she wears blue lambs wool and white fox fur. She is a picture of winter in this scene and it fits with building the Snowcastle. Everything about her dress affirms a connection to the North.

After that we see her dressed in Tully red and blue. LF makes a point of telling her it is too Tully and that she must choose something else. It is the fact that it it pointed out that her choice relates to house colours that makes me believe the choice of dress scene is important. The fact she rejects the purple and the blue / silver choices and goes with a plain dark brown dress that has gold thread embroidered into Autumn leaves and the simple velvet ribbon of Autumn gold seems important in terms of choice and her choosing her own fate.

Notably, we never see her choose to wear Lannister colours, or anything that could be associated as Lannister colours.

This is only a rough run through though and I'm sure there is more interesting relationships between clothing in the series. For example when she chooses the Brown dress, Cersei is choosing a similar attire to visit the High Septon.

*Thanks to whoever pointed the silver bracelet thing out as I can't remember who first brought it up.

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hehe :) Ok, in all seriousness, that was an insightful post on the clothing symbolism QoW, and I liked your thoughts on how it relates to Arya as well. It's very interesting how both sisters are associated with more "earthy" qualities, and we know that Sansa is exploring a sense of freedom through Alayne Stone -a character who would wear no crown, and couldn't be kissed by any Tyrells. The song explores the idea of sexual freedom and power for women, which are very relevant themes in Sansa's storyline.

Well, I'm glad that you enjoyed it Brash. I do agree that the song could represent the burgeoning of her own desires as she matures. The only thing I can come up with about the crown, is that many times Sansa is referred to as having regal bearing, etc---perhaps by seeming that way to someone--in their eyes--makes her a "Queen".

Also it makes me wonder if the part about "....and bind my hair with grass"--would that be "autumn" grass? Autumn grass, maybe we'll see her wear gold ribbons in her hair.....Hmmmmm...... :rolleyes:

And yes Rapsie, I remember that in depth analysis that had been done with Sansa's clothing. Thank you for giving us a refresher because I didn't have a chance to look for the main posts! :thumbsup:

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Great stuff Rapsie.

After that we see her dressed in Tully red and blue. LF makes a point of telling her it is too Tully and that she must choose something else. It is the fact that it it pointed out that her choice relates to house colours that makes me believe the choice of dress scene is important. The fact she rejects the purple and the blue / silver choices and goes with a plain dark brown dress that has gold thread embroidered into Autumn leaves and the simple velvet ribbon of Autumn gold seems important in terms of choice and her choosing her own fate.

I agree with this, and I think it supports what we've been saying about how Sansa has made other allegiances and has other ties that LF knows nothing about. Sure, he can recognize the very obvious House Tully connection, and her need to disguise this, but her change of dress into those warm autumn colours now has its own significance for Sansa alone. He also tells her to avoid the colours of sky blue and white due to their association with House Arryn, which could hint that Sansa at least for now won't be turning to these expected sources for assistance (no marriage to the Vale heir) or it might hold ironic meaning, in that these are the very connections that she will use to undermine him.

Notably, we never see her choose to wear Lannister colours, or anything that could be associated as Lannister colours.

True. Remember her comment at the wedding breakfast about the Lannister bride cloak looking threadbare? :)

This is only a rough run through though and I'm sure there is more interesting relationships between clothing in the series. For example when she chooses the Brown dress, Cersei is choosing a similar attire to visit the High Septon.

I also think bloody cloak she keeps in her chest has relevance for this topic, in addition to her appreciation for the rough wool the first time Sandor gives his cloak to her in the throne room. FWIW, the colours of house Hardyng are red and white - a field of red and white diamonds.

*Thanks to whoever pointed the silver bracelet thing out as I can't remember who first brought it up.

I think this came up in the Arya reread, but yeah, I can't remember who noted it.

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@Rapsie, that was impressive indeed

There are few things we men are not good at, and paying the details when it comes to clothes is one of them. It`s like Anna Karenina, when Tolstoy really did the homework with fashion of 1870s. I always felt that Sansa in show was desperatly bad dressed.

Also, her dresses in Eyrie, those without embalishment are actually, as I see it, her connection with Starks and North. Their beauty is inside, just like hers.

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Rapsie what a great post on the dress symbolism. I know it was discussed throughout the Pawn to Player reread but having it summed up all in one place really makes it easier to see how it is all related to her character growth and changes. It just so happens that Sansa's still liking pretty dresses in AFFC keeps coming up as an example of hos Sansa hasn't changed at all. SandSnake No. 9 just made this very point in the "Whom will Arya marry" thread. When Petyr told Sansa/Alayne to change her dress because it is too Tully, does she cry and whine and say "no, this is the prettiest dress and I want to keep it on"? No. She goes and makes a very mature choice to wear a simpler dress with simpler jewelry, and the dress recalls Arya's acorn dress that she wears at Lady Smallwood's keep and the dress Cersei chooses to wear when she goes to the High Septon. But because Sansa, gasp, still likes pretty dresses in AFFC she hasn't changed at all and is still the same snobby biotch she was back in AGOT since, you know, GRRM does not write realistic 3 dimensional characters who change as their story goes on! Okay, rant over.

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QoW and Rapsie, great posts! (I miss "like!" Though I understand why it had to go if it crashed the servers.) Great insightful readings into what clothing symbolizes for Sansa and the other characters in the series.

I remember it was also pointed out in an earlier P2P thread about the similarity of Sansa's and Cersei's dress choices at a similarly crucial time in each of their arcs - where Sansa seems poised to start coming into greater power and wisdom and Cersei's personal Fortune's Wheel is about to come crashing down hard.

Elba - the Sansa haters get me down, too. :( I agree with you. Sansa might feel a pang of regret at leaving the fancy dresses behind, but she understands why she has to and doesn't whine about it. If it's a crime for liking pretty dresses, middle-aged me is going to spend the rest of her life in prison without possibility of parole. :D It's the old "Real Women Don't Wear Dresses" fallacy at work again.

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Yep I completely agree with you KRBD. I often joke when I am having the same argument with my kids over and over again about something that I should just record myself saying it and play that over and over - put your things away, no electronics at dinner, etc. I feel like I should do something similar for these same arguments that keep popping up time and time again about Sansa, ie. just because Sansa likes pretty dresses doesn't mean she is useless or a mean girl, just because she picked out a pretty dress first doesn't mean that she whines about only wanting to wear pretty things and that she hasn't changed, just because she doesn't shank a man to death to get out of King's Landing as Arya had to do to get out of Harenhall doesn't mean she's not brave, that there are different ways one can exhibit bravery, etc. I should really make up a little cheat sheet with these common arguments and keep them on my computer so that when someone makes one of these ridiculous comments I can just copy and paste the response into the reply.

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QoW and Rapsie, great posts! (I miss "like!" Though I understand why it had to go if it crashed the servers.) Great insightful readings into what clothing symbolizes for Sansa and the other characters in the series.

Thanks, KRBD :) . I know! I miss the like button too! It’s a quick way to let people know you agree with them/support what they’re saying.

Speaking of marriage, has anyone thought of some of the similarities between Catelyn’s younger days and Sansa’s situation?

No books with me ATM, so forgive me if I miss something. More crackpots ahead

Catelyn: Betrothed to Brandon Stark (the Wild Wolf) when she was 12 years old–in order to strengthen ties between the Tullys and the Starks. Does she love Brandon? I don’t think it was said she ever did.

Befriends Petyr Baelish when young, and he develops an obsession for her.

When Petyr reveals his feelings for her, he is rejected by her and her family, not to mention getting his arse kicked by Brandon in a duel, and is banished from Riverrun.

Brandon and her father, Hoster Tully are killed by the Mad King. She loses both her intended and her father in the same fell swoop.

She is then betrothed to Ned Stark (the Quiet Wolf), whom she grows to love and has a family with.

Sansa: This is more complicated.....

I think she is 12 years old when betrothed to Joffrey, as suggested by King Robert, in order to strengthen ties between the Baratheons and the Starks.

Joffrey, who is now King is just as cruel and batshit crazy as the Mad King (history repeating itself?). He kills her father Ned Stark, by beheading him.

Later on Joffrey is poisoned/killed–though, that’s certainly no big loss!

Similar to her mother she’s lost her father and her bethothed.

Afterward, she’s wedded to Tyrion, whom she has no love for and doesn’t wish to marry.

Sansa is then whisked away by Petyr Baelish, (whom earlier remarked on Sansa’s physical resemblance to her mother, Catelyn) for use in his own plots and schemes for power.He has s strange relationship with her, seemingly using her as a twisted Catelyn substitute. Sansa is leery of him and uncomfortable with his advances.

Right now, she’s still married to Tyrion. Lysa wanted to marry her to her son, Sweetrobin. Petyr Baelish wants to marry her to Harry Hardying (though quite frankly, a lot of us believe he wants her for himself). We haven’t seen Harry yet–so we really can’t comment too much on him. We do know that he’s already sown some oats, and has a bastard child.

My question is, who is going to be Sansa’s "Ned". My vote is still with Sandor. I already pointed out in an older thread how, Sandor has already been "beheaded" by losing his Hound helm, and "died" on the banks of the Trident. The Hound (a.k.a. The Dog), the vicious killer is now on the QI, hopefully becoming a better man. (I’m finding it ironic that Brandon was the "wild wolf", Ned the "quiet wolf". Could it be the vicious "dog", becomes more subdued one? Hmmmm.). We also know Sandor has similar coloring to the Northmen, dark hair and grey eyes. Ned has the same coloring as well.

Clipped from the wiki:

"Eddard is in his mid-thirties. He has a long face, dark hair and grey eyes. His closely-trimmed beard is beginning to grey. His dark grey eyes reflect his moods, turning soft as fog or hard as stone. Among his enemies, Eddard has the reputation of having cold eyes. They are thought to reflect his frozen heart."

Also we know this part from AGOT:

"Strong hands grasped her by the shoulders, and for a moment, Sansa thought it was her father, but when she turned, it was the burned face of Sandor Clegane looking down at her...."

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Hi Queen of Winter it's nice to see you back on here. I have one minor correction to the above. Hoster Tully did not die when Brandon Stark did. Brandon and Rickard Stark were killed by Mad King Aerys at the start of Robert's rebellion. Hoster does not die till the end of Clash I think. Catelyn is with him when he dies.

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Hi Queen of Winter it's nice to see you back on here. I have one minor correction to the above. Hoster Tully did not die when Brandon Stark did. Brandon and Rickard Stark were killed by Mad King Aerys at the start of Robert's rebellion. Hoster does not die till the end of Clash I think. Catelyn is with him when he dies.

OMG you are absolutely correct! (See what happens when my thoughts run away with me!).*hangs head* Thank you for the correction Elba!

And it's nice to be back, I really missed the threads!

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Interesting parallels QoW :) Sandor does have an older, much more notorious brother in Gregor - not that I'm suggesting that Brandon was anything like the Mountain - but Sandor has definitely lived in Gregor's "shadow" and losing the Hound identity is a way of finally putting his hatred and associations with his brother aside.

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Great posts about the clothing. Brashcandy, Queen of Winter and Rapsie, I wish I could like your posts :(.

I’ve found something interesting in my notes on medieval literature that could be related to Sandor’s bloody cloak. I hope it hasn’t been discussed.

In Chrétien de Troyes’s Perceval, the story of the Grail, there is a famous passage about three drops of blood on white snow. On his way to meet Arthur’s army, Perceval sees in the sky a group of geese trying to escape a falcon. One of the geese is isolated and the falcon catches it and pulls it to the ground. But the falcon doesn’t kill the goose and flies away because the time isn’t right (so says the text). The goose isn’t hurt and flies away too, leaving three drops of blood on the white snow. Fascinated by what he’s just witnessed, Perceval rides to the place where the two birds fought. When he sees the blood on the snow, Perceval falls into a trance because the two colors (white and red) remind him of Blanchefleur’s complexion.

This whole passage is an allegory of Perceval’s desire for his beloved Blanchefleur. Thus, the goose stands for Blanchefleur and the falcon for Perceval as he is an excellent hunter. Perceval is right to see Blanchefleur in this symbolic image. He associates the blood and the snow with her fair complexion and bright cheeks. However, he fails to see another Blanchefleur: the one who earlier in the narrative came to his room, naked under a white shift and red cloak. So, after the birds/lovers’ “fight”, only three drops of blood are left on the crumpled snow/sheet where the bird/woman struggled.

In this passage, the role of the vision is to reveal and hide the truth at the same time. So I was wondering if there could be a similar meaning in the bloody cloak. At the moment, Sansa associates the cloak with Sandor, but she doesn’t realize his desire for her nor does she realize her own desire. The sexual meaning of the bloody cloak is still hidden to her maybe because like in Perceval, the time isn’t right yet.

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In this passage, the role of the vision is to reveal and hide the truth at the same time. So I was wondering if there could be a similar meaning in the bloody cloak. At the moment, Sansa associates the cloak with Sandor, but she doesn’t realize his desire for her nor does she realize her own desire. The sexual meaning of the bloody cloak is still hidden to her maybe because like in Perceval, the time isn’t right yet.

This is brilliant! And you're correct--Sansa cannot yet put a name to some of the feelings that she's starting to have.

Very sightful, especially the last little bit that I put in bold. Brava, Mahaut! :thumbsup:

EDIT: In an odd way, (though not really related to what you were talking about specifically) the imagery of the birds, white snow/cloak and red blood sort of remind me of a Pelican in Her Piety (relating to sacrifice,etc).....

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Catelyn: Betrothed to Brandon Stark (the Wild Wolf) when she was 12 years old–in order to strengthen ties between the Tullys and the Starks. Does she love Brandon? I don’t think it was said she ever did.

Cat expresses some admiration for Brandon, in that she seems to have thought him handsome and rather impressive. Later on when she met Ned she was initially disappointed by his more homely looks, but as we know she came to love Ned for the person he was.

-snipped-

Oh, interesting. :)

Yes, that would explain some of the cloak symbolism, and the more gritty dirty realism added is typical ASOIAF take on the subject, too.

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Rapsie,during the tournament, after the night that Sansa comforts Sandor, at the next day Sandor also wears green.

I think as Bgona says he is wearing the colors of his lady, and they are changing.

Green is the color of change ( appears in fragments of Theon, Jon, etc.) BLACKWATER, valyrian fire,etc,

The author uses the colors and dresses to give different meanings as you point out.

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In this passage, the role of the vision is to reveal and hide the truth at the same time. So I was wondering if there could be a similar meaning in the bloody cloak. At the moment, Sansa associates the cloak with Sandor, but she doesn’t realize his desire for her nor does she realize her own desire. The sexual meaning of the bloody cloak is still hidden to her maybe because like in Perceval, the time isn’t right yet.

Nice interpretation of the cloak symbolism :) As an aside, Harry the heir is known as the young falcon; are there any parallels that you glean that could be significant for his relationship with Sansa?

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I also think it confirms this thread's interpretation of the bloody cloak. I've done some research and I’ve found this great article for those who understand French. It states that Chrétien de Troyes is the first one to introduce this pattern in written literature. Before, it was only part of the oral tradition. After Chrétien, this pattern has often been re-used such as in Snow White's tale. So this bloody cloak is part of a very old literary tradition.

According to the author, there’s no doubt that the symbolism behind the motif is sexual. The small quantity of blood, the colors' contrast (red and white) and the wound indicate a sexual union, a defloration to be precise. The author also states (ladies prepare your hanky please :D ) that a “sexual union thus foreshadowed cannot remain platonic nor the marriage remain unconsumed”. The author then mentions Perceval and Blanchefleur, Lancelot and Guinevere and Tristan and Isolde as examples.

I also find interesting that this motif comes from an Arthurian romance which is basically a knight's story. This is one of the many reasons why I think we should keep an eye on the topic of knighthood in Sansa’s story.

Nice interpretation of the cloak symbolism :) As an aside, Harry the heir is known as the young falcon; are there any parallels that you glean that could be significant for his relationship with Sansa?

Dammit brashcandy, you got me :D! Give me a time bonus please and I'll try to find something very cleaver.

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