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brashcandy

From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XVIII

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Oh gods Milady! I just bow down to that essay on Sandor. Wow. I hope it helps people who think Sandor meant to harm sansa as he 'said' in his deathbed confession actually has a lot more to it than what appears on the surface. You've done a great job in exploring and explaining Sandor's mind. It's fascinating that after everything Sandor has suffered and lived through, the one subject he can't forgive himself for is what he didn't do for Sansa... Again, beautiful research!

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Amazing details Milday, really fascinating to read. :)

I love that we got a theoretical take confirming the interpretation a lot of us has had (more or less) for quite a while now.

EDIT: petition to put the three part essay directly in the resource section! :)

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Milady, I wanted to slowly read essays so I wouldn`t miss a word and it was worthy...

It`s amazing, such profound, insightful and beautifully written essay. Congratulations...

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This is an amazing post Milady!

I don’t really have anything to add since this isn’t my area of studies. But thanks for the graphics; they’re really helpful (especially the blue and the green ones) and they highlight a pattern in the story and in Sandor’s behavior that I hadn’t noticed before and that I find very interesting :).

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I love that we got a theoretical take confirming the interpretation a lot of us has had (more or less) for quite a while now.

Indeed, that was the beauty of it. I really like Milady's focus on looking at the deathbed dramatics as a symptom of all the stress and physical suffering he's experiencing, and the parallel with the earlier 'confession' was truly insightful.

EDIT: petition to put the three part essay directly in the resource section! :)

Oh of course! :) it would have always gone there in any case since it's an official B&B contribution. I will add it as soon as I get to an actual computer.

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:thumbsup:

Very nice essay.

Nice to see that Sandor is on a road to recovery not "magically" healed by his near death experiences.

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Milady, your essay is wonderful! And the last paragraph, perfect. :)

I love that we got a theoretical take confirming the interpretation a lot of us has had (more or less) for quite a while now.

I meant to say, yes to this.

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Milady, I am blown away! I read your essay this afternoon and had to come back and read it again tonight. This is one of the finest pieces on Sandor Clegane I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I've copied it into a word doc and intend to share it with anyone who's read and taken his deathbed confession at face value. If they don't "get it" after reading this, there's no hope for them.

My apologies for my continuing lurker status, but please know I read as often as I can and am constantly amazed by this thread and those who contribute to it. Thank you!

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@Milady, you`ll have to pardon me for stealing your thunder, but I have written another essay. This was slow month so we all had time to put some of our thoughts on paper. My piece is about readers who generally don`t like Sansa. And before I start another series of essays, this one will have to do the work. I hope you`ll all enjoy reading it...Comments, reactions and certainly critics are more than welcome

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WHY PEOPLE DON`T LIKE SANSA?

There is universal truth about people. We like to judge. There is nothing better for our self-esteem than to look someone from above and prove our superiority. Whether we vote for contestants on dance or singing contests, or we disapprove someone else`s lifestyle, it`s the feeling that judging gives us that matters. So, naturally, when it comes to imperfection, we are all keen to judge.

But, it`s a vicious circle. Imperfection is part of our lives, and we can`t change it. But also, our flaws are always being analyzed by variety of people. And it doesn’t stop when you enter literary fantasy world.

Traditional fantasies are simple. There is a good and the bad guy. You know whom to hate and whom to love. There is a moral behind each and every one of them. It`s almost like you have the big sign which says `hate me` pointed in chosen villain. And we all do that. We all hated Sauron and Saruman, and their downfall didn`t bother us much. J. K. Rowling made a step forward, so hating Malfoy family was more difficult. But if Rowling made a step, Martin have done entire marathon. With few exceptions, there is always a character we both support and judge.

Sansa Stark, face known to all of us, has been one of the most discussed characters in the forum. Most of the people don`t like her, whether it`s because lying for Joffrey or ratting her father to Cersei. Everything what Joffrey had done to her was, by some fans, well deserved. Rarely people make a pause to just contemplate her character in giving situation.

As I have already pointed out in previous essays, Sansa is just the product of society she lives in. She is created and shaped by the mold established for thousands of years. The medieval times, such as Westeros, are far behind us and we think of them as `dark ages` of human civilization. And of course, thoughts, emotions and desires of such girl can`t be positively understood by 21st century readers.

And then it occurred to me. Sansa Stark is being hated by females because she represents their tragic past, and by males because she could be their tragic future. And the more I think about it, the more I see I am right.

21st century women have a lot. I wouldn`t dare to say all, but we made a great progress into accepting the fact that we are same. There are part of the worlds in which medievalism is in its full power, but civilization has progressed and we have too. On the other hand, we have Sansa whose dreams are so passé. Women don`t dream anymore of marrying the prince, it`s education, professional success and happiness that counts. As of course, it should.

Long ago I realized that the harshest judge to one woman is another woman. So, it`s quite normal to see that the harshest Sansa`s judge is the modern woman. Sansa for modern woman is shallow, ignorant and plain. Some woman may pity her, and even disregard her as tragic. Not realizing or understanding her story, by not seeing the whole picture, women had made a choice. And again, this kind of insensitivity and lack of female solidarity, for me is just sad.

And now it`s our turn, boys. You would think that men support Sansa. And you probably wouldn`t be far from truth. She represents damsel in distress and there is nothing we men like to do more than to be the saviors of the day. But through two books, Sansa is helplessly trapped in KL. Unlike Arya, who like men are doer, Sansa is enduring everything. While Arya is making a change, Sansa is steady. And that`s what`s bothering men the most. We don`t analyze female problems very well. We feel discomfort in presence of female tears. Logically, Sansa don`t have a chance with male readers. She isn`t sassy, she isn`t fighter and she is not easy. For men, Sansa is not very likable.

But there is more to that. Sansa is woman of the past, but can she be the man of the future? In Sansa, many see tragic fate you wouldn`t want for yourself. Endurance isn`t something we man are good at. Yes, we can endure physical, but not emotional stress. Unlike women, we always search for means to ease the pain (alcohol, drugs, adultery). But, time has come for men to change. We will have to understand that there is nothing bad in staying home and waiting wife to come from work. Just as they have done for so long.

Readers have judged Sansa for so long. They have put her in a box where they believe she is supposed to be. But, boxes don`t exist in Martin`s world of fantasy. To do so, to think inside the boxes, is to miss the full beauty and impressiveness of `Song of ice and fire` world.

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Wow, Milady, that was a brilliant essay on the Hound. I particularly liked the analysis of the disintegration of the Hound schema in order for a new positive identity as Sandor to take its place; symbolically this is clearly what is happening in the novel, but it's fascinating to see it from a psychological viewpoint.

Mladen, your essay was really interesting as well. I particularly liked this section:

Sansa whose dreams are so passé. Women don`t dream anymore of marrying the prince, it`s education, professional success and happiness that counts. As of course, it should.

Although it's good that marriage is no longer seen as the be-all and end-all of a woman's life, I think that a lot of the resistance to Sansa comes from the fact that she is seen as 'anti-feminist' by women as well as men because it's assumed that she isn't proactive. As the re-read project has shown, one can be feminine and proactive, and one doesn't have to fit into a traditionally 'masculine' role to be strong.

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Milady.. My compliments, too, on an excellent essay . A very good read.( In both contexts.)

But .. :D .. I can't help picking up on one point, though ; the reference to ( and disapproval of ? ) the use of the word redemption. Since I said I felt there would be a resolution of the Sansa / Sandor relationship and perhaps some redemption for Sandor just a few posts previously , I feel I should clarify...just in case anyone mistook my meaning.

Of course , I didn't mean that Sandor needed redeeming in my eyes , but that the character yearns for some degree of redemption in his own eyes... some act or purpose that would ease his sense of guilt and shame , and so contribute to his healing... He may never fully achieve that , but I hope he may .

Believeing that Sandor is the Gravedigger , I find it so poignant when he bends down to scratch Dog behind the ear. That simple act speaks volumes to me on an intuitive level. Yes , Dog helps to identify Sandor for us, but he conveys more than that.

Dog exemplifies many of the positive attributes we value in our " best friends ". He's friendly , loyal to Meribald and is his companion / assistant in doing good for the people . A helper dog extraordinaire. He's brave and strong ; a guide and a protector. He lives a humble life , but with a noble purpose. He's everything we think a dog should be.

House Clegane was founded as a result of the actions of 3 brave dogs, who gave their lives defending Tytos Lannister...( killing a lioness in the process ..!!..but let's leave the prophetic aspect of that aside . It may have been touched on earlier ) .. The very sigil of the house proclaims nobilty born of loyalty, bravery and self-sacrifice. It can't be lost on the disillusioned Sandor that within one generation mention of the house came to evoke viciousness, cruelty and mindless obedience, instead. "Dog" is now synonymous only with "Cur"...I'm sure it will occur to him ( or has already ) that a cruel master can corrupt or destroy a good dog. But a new, better master can often still bring out the good qualities..

His greeting of Dog hints that he recognizes the ideal in Dog , and as he rests and regains his strength, he'll be moved to try to become the kind of dog he should have been, could have been in a more benign environment. Just as he urged Sansa to discard her unrealistic ideals, she sparked a reawakening of his own ideals that were all but dead.

Being a dog , he'll need to do this in the service of a deserving Master..a person or cause he believes in. I don't think he'll stay on the Quiet Isle.

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Mladen, fascinating take on why people (mis)judge Sansa and I also loved Daphne´s addition.

What I find very interesting in this instance is that people not only judge Sansa harshly they also also judge her as if she was an adult with a fully developed personality. The same is actually done with her sister: In the end people see Sansa as docile, subservient damsel-in-distress and Arya as pro-active protofeminist. But this is a bit ridiculous because they are still children and even without the story unfolding there is so much room for change. In an AU where everything is well Sansa probably still would lose some of her illusions, for example she might be confronted with other marriages that are not as happy as that of her parents. Arya still might be a "tomboy" but there is a decent change that one day she would like to have a family, too.

So why are people so harsh towards an eleven-year-old? At 13, fan-favorite tyrion thought a marriage with a commoner might work out. An even older LF was ready to fight a trained warrior for the hand of a girl far above his social station. But somehow Sansa is the one who is unforgivable naive?

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To the amiable people who have taken a time to read that long piece: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. It was a pleasure to write it.

Milady has just a clarification to make, to avoid possible misunderstandings: the use of the term healing instead of "redemption" isn't personal disapproval or discounting of that notion, it was a statement in regard to a very specific professional concept, for this notion isn't one that has relevance in the scientific specialties of neuropsychology, psychiatry and experimental psychology, as it is from a different subject area.

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Malady that was a brilliant essay. It gives us fans real hope that Sandor will recover, be gentled and with your last piece on the coincidence of Sansa's dream and the Hound's 'death' they will meet again. My beating heart!

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Milady, just wonderful and I believe dead on in terms of your assessment. A pleasure and delight to read. It also has the side effect of serving as praise for Martin's writing that it can lend itself to such a detailed analysis. On a separate note-- a Medieval flagon being 3.78 litres is the best tidbit of trivia I've heard in years.

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