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From Pawn to Player: Rethinking Sansa XIX

Milady of York

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Sorry to let to two days go by without finishing the "Who is Sansa (Sylvia)" post. For the moment on to Gerald Finzi's setting. This comes from a collection of five songs to Shakespeare that Finzi wrote as part of a birthday tribute to composer Ralph Vaughn Williams. Finzi's title for this collection was "Let us Garlands Bring" from the last line of this song. It is lively and energetic---our first performance doubly so.

Robin Hendrix, mezzo-soprano:


This was an encore to a recital and our red haired mezzo lets it all hang out on this one. Some of our Broadway fans may prefer this approach. :)

Jason Hardy, bass


A basso for once---not bad singing too...

Brian von Rueden, baritone:


Again more demonstrative; nice baritone voice.

Andrew Scoglio, baritone


A more restrained and sweeter reading: some unfortunate extraneous noises: just pretend that this was a vinyl recording :)

We need a soprano, so here is one:

Claire Gendler, Soprano


This has four Finzi songs---"Who is Sylvia" is the fourth in the set. Enjoy the other three or tap the picture and use the bar to move past the first three to reach the fourth. Lovely voice, and she obviously enjoyed singing the second song in the group "O Mistress Mine" (so maybe do listen to all four. :)

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i am ashamed to admit it's been a while since i read the books now, so all those references were lost on me at the moment. i loved this one though

"Here and there the stone was shattered from the strain of countless seasons, with all their thaws and freezes. Patches of snow clung to the rock on either side of the path, blinding white."

and i think there was another reference i recall i noticed when i did the mya stone analysis so yeah, definately agree with you about the sansa stark winning over the alayne stone identity.

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Hello all,

First of all Le Cygne thank you so much for gathering all those quotes and sources in one place. I haven't read through them all yet but I read the first group and they are all so perfect. Loved the Jane Eyre quotes too!

Greensleeves those quotes you provided were really interesting and like Caro noted I do think they are very significant in regards to the stone vs snow dynamic. But what really startled me while reading them just now, is that I have just read Jon's latest chapter in the Jon reread, where he meets Sam in AGOT, and the Tyrion chapter before that where Tyrion visits the top of the Wall with Jon before he leaves, and the imagery is very similar. Here they are:

From Tyrion III, AGOT -

The top of the Wall was wider than the kingsroad often was, so Tyrion had no fear of falling, although the footing was slicker than he would have liked. The brothers spread crushed stone across the walkways, but the weight of countless footsteps would melt the Wall beneath, so the ice would seem to grow around the gravel, swallowing it, until the path was bare again and it was time to crush more stone.
Just after this Tyrion meets up with Jon who has drawn night guard and Ghost.

From Jon IV, AGOT -

That afternoon, the watch commander sent him to the winch cage with four barrels of fresh-crushed stone, to scatter gravel over the icy footpaths atop the Wall. It was lonely boring work, even with Ghost along for company, but Jon found he did not mind. On a clear day you could see half the world from the top of the Wall, and the air was always cold and bracing. He could think here, . . .

It was late afternoon before Jon finished graveling the paths. He lingered on high to watch the sun go down, turning the western sky the color of blood. . . .

Given all the similarities between Jon and Sansa that we have been discussing of late, I thought this imagery was very significant. From the Tyrion chapter we see that the ice on the Wall always eventually subsumes the stone. Jon then is given the task of laying down more stone over the icy path at the top of the Wall, but it's basically a futile effort if you think about it because the ice will always eventually take over. However, Jon does not mind the work and likes being on top of the Wall where it allows him to meditate. It's like he gets revitalized by being there just like Sansa seems to be doing on her trip down from the Eyrie.

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Brashcandy- Wonderful linking of the mountain as father and mother in Sansa and Jon chapters respectively. The Hound's and Jon's burn injuries had occurred to me but I forgot to include them in my post. Your post made some other links clearer:

>'The wind skirled around [sansa]' Jon is climbing up the Skirling Pass in the Frostfangs. Also, the wiki notes that another path into the Fangs is the Giant's Stair. We know that the Eyrie and the Gates of the Moon are on the Giant's Lance.

> Jon ACOK, 'One step and then another, and I will not fall.'

Sansa ASOS climbing down a cliff from the Red Keep, 'One more step, and one more step.' 'I did it, I didn't fall...'

Good observations Arabella; I had forgotten about Sansa's climbing down the cliff in KL. In both these experiences, Sansa is walking in the footsteps of her parents, and if we add Jon's perspective of the mountain as mother, whilst Sansa is made to see it as a more reliable father, then perhaps it's foreshadowing these two being the ones to assume the parental roles for the Stark family. Not joining together as husband and wife, but being instrumental in bringing the family back together and restoring the Stark legacy in Winterfell.

Very nice analyses greensleeves and Elba - I like the point about the snow ultimately being triumphant over stone, and we see that Randa was the one to suggest they spend the night at Stone, whilst Mya decides against it. Maybe a clue as to which woman will ultimately prove most helpful to Sansa? Concerning the passages Elba highlighted, although the ice eventually reclaims the stone, the latter is still necessary in allowing smooth passage. So again, another complementary image that underscores the benefit of working together.

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Stone and Snow, father and mother, the rebuilding of Winterfell and the ultimate reestablishment of the Starks. I like it. Very optimistic picture building up for the Starks.

Le Cygne, I have to thank you for putting everything together. It gives a clearer perspective from the writer. I love the Bronte references since Jane Eyre's intelligence and agency in what was mostly a man's world are still remarkable in terms of literary culture.

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Hi guys,

I’m a bit busy these days but I would like to thank Old-Growth and Le Cygne for their very interesting and entertaining posts.

Le Cygne, I’m currently writing an essay on knighthood and Sansa. So all these quotes are gold for me; I absolutely loved them. Thanks for this great post :)

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I loved those Beauty and the Beast quotes...bc of this thread I've been watching (and am almost done with) the series. There are quite a few ASOIAF connections (and now, er...I wish I had written them down) but just for example, there's a character who has half of his face burned off, a character named Snow (the murdering psychopath sort of Snow, not Jon), reference to a comet. And also that line of Vincent's you mentioned, Caro :)...

And thanks for those quote on Vincent and Catherine kissing, that all becomes a little confusing in season 3 :).

ETA: and there is a GRRM cameo at one point! That was exciting LOL.

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After reading Le Cygne's excellent outline of Martin's views on writing and particular themes in his novels, I've found the following to be most intriguing:

1. Just how cagey he's always been about the Sandor/Sansa relationship:

This careful circumspection on Martin's part is significant in my opinion because it suggests that the relationship is important and that he's actively developing it to have some meaning in the future. This isn't to say that Martin talks fast and loose about most plots in his novel, but there's a noticeable hesitancy to reveal too much when talking about this pairing, and we have his precise statements that the unkiss will eventually "mean something." To compare, he has allegedly said openly that Dany/Drogo was a love match (does anyone have the exact quote and source of this?), and that Arya/Gendry are on different paths (I believe this was said at a book signing to a fan). With the former relationship, Drogo is dead, and has been for since the very first book of the series, so it's understandable why Martin could afford to be open about his intentions there. In contast, Martin says when asked about a possible Sansan reunion:

Why, the Hound is dead, and Sansa may be dead as well. There's only Alayne Stone.

His response concerns their notorious/real identities, and given the near certainty that Sandor is the gravedigger on the Quiet Isle, it's another convenient avoidance of the question.

If what he said about Arya/Gendry is true and he wasn't trying to be clever - as in "different roads lead to the same castle" - then it could be viewed as an implicit dismissal of that possibility. There's also a lot more textual evidence highlighting a match for Sansa/Sandor than there is for Arya/Gendry which would align with Martin's noted preference for leaving foreshadowing clues.

The other statement that caught my attention is the one from the fan reports concerning the romantic undertones in the relationship. I think the date of the correspondence (1999) is also important because it's before ASOS was published. The fan is talking about romantic undertones between them in AGOT-ACOK, and Martin doesn't want to either confirm or deny. He tells the fan to read the book and decide for themselves, which is something we know he values:

Man, that's something that's for the readers to figure out. If it's a symbol that I've carefully worked in there in a subtle way, it's because I'm trying to be suggestive, to make people think. If you see it and start wondering about it, that's on purpose. But I'm not going to start singing out, 'It's a symbol! It's a symbol!' Each reader has to read it and decide for themselves what the symbols are and what they mean. That's part of what you do in a complex work of art, one that's deliberately structured and is relatively ambiguous, so that each reader can drawn their own conclusions."

GRRM, Asshai, 7/2012

Now the date of the correspondence tells us a couple things:

a. That Martin was aware from very early on that people were interested in the Sansan relationship and were questioning whether it was romantic or not.

b. That the development of the relationship in the next two novels is a deliberate continuation of the romance fans were detecting back then. In ASOS we have the full-fledged exploration of Sansa's sexual awakening, comprising of the unkiss memory and fantasies. Instead of providing an answer, Martin lets the books speak for him, which is why he tells the hosts of Geek and Sundry that he "played with it in the books" in response to the comment that the tv show has stoked the fires of such queries; and then what amounts to as solid an admission as we're ever going to get when examining the entirety of Martin's published statements on the two:

"There's something there."

2. His preference for phallic symbols - sword/knife/dagger - when writing about sex/sexuality:

Le Cygne has already provided the numerous examples highlighting this preference, but what I also noted is the strength and agency that Martin awards to the women in these situations and afterwards in their recollections. Both Sansa and Ygritte were in fear for their lives, but Ygritte comes to believe that this is the night that sealed her romance with Jon; and not only does Sansa develop the unkiss memory, but on the night itself, she reclaims control through her song, and is able to show Sandor compassion via her caress. Brienne was skilled enough to match Jaime in sword fighting, and Dany and Asha actively desire Qarl and Daario as lovers. I think this authority on the part of the women has to be stressed, otherwise you can easily run into interpretations where readers believe that it's more victimization than sex, violence rather than desire. And I'm not trying to create a false dichotomy or to ignore the problematic behaviour in some scenes, but I believe that the evidence shows that Martin is interested in depicting complex relationships, where agency on the part of both partners is profoundly critical to ensuring not only erotic fulfilment, but ethical relations as the end result.

(LC - what about their rooftop encounter right before Sansa gets her period, and even the dream itself?)

3. Martin as a "romantic" writer:

George has always been a richly romantic writer. Dry minimalism or the cooly ironic games of postmodernism so beloved by many modern writers and critics are not what you're going to get when you open something by George R. R. Martin. What you're going to get instead is a strongly - plotted story driven by emotional conflict and crafted by someone who's a natural-born storyteller, a story that grabs you on the first page and refuses to let go. You're going to get adventure, action, conflict, romance, and lust, vivid human emotion: obsessive, doomed love, stark, undying hatred, unexpected veins of rich humor ... and something that's rare even in science fiction and fantasy these days (let alone the mainstream) - a love of adventure for adventure's sake, a delighting in the strange and colorful, bizarre plants and animals, exotic scenery, strange lands, strange customs, stranger people, backed by the inexhaustible desire to see what's over the next hill, or waiting on the next world."

Gardner Dozois on GRRM, Dreamsongs, 2003

"I don't think I'm a misanthrope, or gloomy. I think love and friendship are very important parts of what make life worth living. There is room for happiness. But that having been said, there are some basic truths. One of them is that death waits for all of us at the end. Whether it's the Middle Ages or today, sooner or later we are all going to be ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. I think that colours things. Any happy ending where everything is resolved, and everything is jolly, maybe rings false because of what is coming for us.

These were the two quotes that I thought really captured ASOIAF as whole and Sansa's journey in particular, with there being a whole range of emotional conflicts and challenges to her world view, along with the drama inherent in all her relationships and how much she's developed in the time frame of the novels. There's an idea that ASOIAF is a deeply nihilistic work, but what has always stood out to me are precisely those romantic elements which I think characterize the experiences of the central characters and the mood of the work itself. Whilst Martin's work is filled with death and disaster, I think the overarching point is that choices have consequences, and if we're being realistic, most times bad choices will lead to bad consequences. While we don't know what will yet to happen to Sansa, Martin has shown her as possessing the kind of temperament and skills that should aid her in the crises that are sure to develop.

And finally, in light of the debate on what Sansa's controversial chapter could mean, this needs to be highlighted:

"At this point, for a number of years really, decade and a half or so, I've known the broad strokes, where everything is going, where everything is going to wind up. But the fine details you still discover in the act of writing. Sometimes, although you know the broad strokes, sometimes you change a broad stroke, where suddenly you are writing and you get a better idea, or a different idea, or something happens in a chapter and it's going to lead to a different place than you thought you were going. So it's partly a preplanned thing, and partly an organic process... The best thing is when an unpredictable twist comes out of somewhere, but you've laid the groundwork for you, and then when the reader goes through on that reread, you go, oh, he was playing fair with me, look, he foreshadowed it here and he put that thing here, and he did that here, and now he pays it off. It's not just something you're pulling out of your butt at the last minute."

GRRM, Texas A&M University, 3/2013

Le Cygne, thanks again for collecting the information and bringing such interesting parallels and similarities to our attention. I'll be adding it to the resources and it will serve as the PtP's very own SSM archive :)

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Hello all,

Long time lurker here. While I've never actively participated, the PtP threads have been my favorite since I've been a member of this forum. Milady of York kindly invited me to participate in the Beauty and the Beast project, an invitation I accepted with enthusiasm. I will be posting my essay on Mme. de Beaumont's tale and Jean Cocteau's film adaptation shortly (in sections due to the length). Before I do, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Milady for her feedback and suggestions, as well as for inviting me to be a part of such an amazing project. Writing the essay was not only incredibly insightful for me, but a tremendous amount of fun.

I did write a summary of Mme. de Beaumont's version, but it wasn't much shorter than the tale (which is quite short), so I'm posting the link. I highly recommend reading it, as well as watching the film (which can be found on YouTube w/subtitles). It is absolutely spectacular!


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As usual, these days I'm too busy to hang out online much - but I want to thank all the wonderful posters, and especially Le Cygne for compiling all those quotes! That really has to go into our Resources list. Also to Lyanna Stark for discussing Sansa, Ned, etc. a few posts back - an excellent summation of what most likely happened.

As far as the "controversial chapter" - that certainly has provided fodder for discussion here! :D I still think that Ran's saying "controversial in some parts of the fandom" means it's not going to be a Great Big Hairy Deal or a horrible tragedy, but rather something that will spark a lot of discussion and debate. For all we know, it's all about Myranda inviting Sansa to her first orgy. :D

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Comparative Analysis of La Belle et la Bête and A Song of Ice and Fire: Part I


Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont published her much shortened version of Madame de Villeneuve's La Belle et la Bête in 1756, sixteen years after Mme. de Villeneuve's publication. The primary theme in the Beauty and the Beast tales is that one can never judge a book by its cover and beauty is more than skin deep. In a time when arranged marriage was common, Mme. de Beaumont's version was intended as moralistic instruction for young upper-class girls on manners and ensuring a successful marriage through virtue, patience, humbleness, and hard work, all qualities that would enable the wife (typically much younger than her husband) to see through a husband's physical flaws while taming his bestial side. While the narrative of both versions are quite similar, Mme. de Beaumont's version provides a different social perspective, supporting the merging of the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy through marriage, which she believed was the best way to guarantee the aristocracy's success. Mme. de Villeneuve, on the other hand, supported a "pure" aristocracy and criticized the nouveau riche.

Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont's reasons for writing a concise version of Mme. de Villeneuve's La Belle et la Bête brings to mind Sansa's own upbringing. Sansa, born into a great house, spent her youth being groomed to marry a great lord or even higher in station, a marriage that would be arranged by her parents. Her education was typical of what a female of her social class would receive – learning letters, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, sewing, and learning courtesies. From Eddard's, Arya's, and Sansa's POVs, the reader learns that Septa Mordane is Sansa's primary teacher, and has taught Sansa that a lady "must always remember her courtesies" and "courtesy is a lady's armor."

In 1946, famed film director Jean Cocteau's critically acclaimed adaptation of Mme. de Beaumont's La Belle et la Bête was released. While the film's storyline does not diverge much from Mme. de Beaumont's version, the film is intended for an adult audience. While Mme. de Beaumont wrote her tale as a lesson for girls and young women, Cocteau, whose health suffered greatly as a result of World War II, wanted to instill the message to survivors of the war that anyone who has unhappy childhood can grow up to be a beast. Whereas Mme. de Beaumont's version conjures thoughts of Sansa's upbringing and education, Cocteau's opinion that an unhappy childhood could create a beast invokes thoughts of Sandor Clegane, who, as a child, was abused, tormented, and emotionally and physically scarred by his older brother, Gregor.

The Tale

In La Belle et la Bête, Belle's father, a former wealthy merchant who has fallen on hard times, incurs the wrath of Beast by picking a rose for Belle from Beast's garden, after Beast allowed the merchant to stay the night in his palace (while never making himself known). As punishment, Beast demands the merchant's life or one of his daughters. Belle, ever virtuous and self-sacrificing, saves her father by insisting over her father's protest that she will go to Beast's palace as his captive.

When Belle first meets Beast, she is terrified. Yet, while she's horrified by Beast's appearance, she forces herself to remain composed: "When [belle and father] had supped they heard a great noise, and the merchant, all in tears, bid his poor child, farewell, for he thought Beast was coming. Beauty was sadly terrified at his horrid form, but she took courage as well as she could, and the monster asked her if she came willingly; 'ye -- e – es' said she, trembling."

Later that evening as Belle sat to sup, she heard Beast and felt sadly terrified. Beast asked if he could watch her sup, to which she responded while trembling, "that is as you please." Beast told her she was the mistress and she could do as she wanted. He also asked her if she thought he was ugly. Unable to lie, Belle told him she did think he was ugly, but also believed he was very good-natured. Beast agreed, then told Belle to eat and amuse herself, as everything in the palace was hers to enjoy and he only wanted her to be happy. Beauty communicated her graciousness and told Beast that his kindness made his deformity much less noticeable. Beast confirmed that he was still a monster, but Belle replied that there were many among mankind who deserved that name more than him. As her fear of him began to subside, Beast asked her to marry him. Fearful of making him angry, she was unable to answer right away, but then told him no. Beast hissed frightfully, but left the room, turning back now and again to gaze upon Belle. As soon as Belle was alone, she felt great compassion for Beast, finding it a pity that someone so good-natured had to be so ugly.

For the next three months, while Belle felt content, Beast visited her nightly to talk to her, but, while rational with plain good common sense, she found him dull. But each day, Belle found some redeemable qualities in Beast, and she had come accustomed to his deformities and looked forward to his company. However, the only thing that she found disconcerting was he proposed to her every night. She declined, but promised him she would never leave him entirely. She did, however, long to see her father again and asked if she could visit him. Beast consented, but told her if she didn't return, he would die from grief. Beauty couldn't bear the thought of his death and promised to return in a week. Beast told her as soon as she was ready to come back, all she had to do was take her ring off before going to sleep.

The next morning Belle awoke in her father's house and as elated as she was to see him, she found she missed Beast terribly and fretted over his well-being, realizing she sincerely loved him. Yet, her jealous, petty, and materialistic sisters tricked Belle into extending her stay with her family by pretending to miss her with the hopes that Beast would die of heartbreak. On the tenth day, Belle dreamed of Beast, who, in a dying voice, accused her of ingratitude. Belle woke up startled and panicked, and asked herself how she could have refused Beast's marriage proposals after all he'd done for her, thinking, "Why did I refuse to marry him? I should be happier with the monster than my sisters are with their husbands; it is neither wit, nor a fine person, in a husband, that makes a woman happy, but virtue, sweetness of temper, and complaisance, and Beast has all these valuable qualifications. It is true, I do not feel the tenderness of affection for him, but I find I have the highest gratitude, esteem, and friendship; I will not make him miserable, were I to be so ungrateful I should never forgive myself." Beauty took off her ring and placed it on the table before going back to sleep. The next morning she woke in Beast's palace, where she found him dying from heartbreak. Belle begged Beast not to die, asking him to be her husband, which transforms Beast into a handsome prince.

The Film

While Cocteau's film stays fairly close to Mme. de Beaumont's version, the surreal, fantastical, and haunting interpretation of the childhood classic is intended for an adult audience, as it is teeming with strong sexual undertones. Cocteau also slightly changes Mme. de Beaumont's version by adding a subplot introducing a new character, Avenant, a handsome young man who courts Belle.

In Mme de Beaumont's tale, at the beginning Belle lives with her two sisters and three brothers, along with her successful father right before he loses his fortune. Belle's sisters are petty, jealous, materialistic, and prefer leisure over hard work while her brothers, who remain nameless and fairly nondescript, appear to be humble and hardworking. In Cocteau's film, Belle's family has already fallen on hard times. Belle's sisters are portrayed as they are depicted in the tale; however, instead of having three brothers, she has one brother, Ludovic, who is lazy, hapless, and prone to gambling and drinking. Avenant is Ludovic's scoundrel friend who professes to be in love with Belle and proposes marriage on numerous occasions. Belle is secretly in love with Avenant, but she declines his proposals in order to stay and care for her father.

The film also diverges when Belle's father is caught stealing a rose from Beast's garden. Instead of staying the night to return back home to get one of his daughters on his own horse, Beast gives Belle's father his own horse—a beautiful white stallion named Magnificent who obeys the command "Go where I am going, Magnificent. Go, go, go!" by whomever rides him. Also, rather than the father returning with Belle, Belle steals off on her own on Magnificent. When she first sees Beast, unlike Belle in the tale who forces herself to remain composed in spite of her fright, the film character faints from terror.

In the added subplot, Ludovic and Avenant's character flaws are further revealed when Ludovic sinks the family further into poverty after leveraging his father's newfound wealth against a bad investment. Avenant and Ludovic, upon hearing about Beast's wealth after Belle returns for a visit, conspire to kill him and steal his treasure, receiving help from Belle's sisters who delay Belle from returning to Beast when promised.

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Comparative Analysis of La Belle et la Bête and A Song of Ice and Fire: Part II

Thematic Comparison of La Belle et la Bête and Sansa and the Hound

There are many similarities between Belle's relationship with Beast and Sansa's relationship with the Hound in both the tale and the film; however, in GRRM's world, there are many twists to this trope. Sansa shares a similar initial reaction of fear when she first sees the Hound as Belle in the tale does when she first meets Beast. Belle is sadly terrified when she first sees Beast, but forces herself to remain composed. When Sansa first meets the Hound, it's when he places his hands on her shoulders and she backs into him and thinks it's her father (foreshadowing that he will replace Ned as protector). When she turns, she is frightened by his terrible burned face, but then recognizes he is not so half as terrifying as Ser Ilyn Payne.

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, his

mouth twisted in a terrible mockery of a smile. "You are shaking

girl," he said, his voice rasping. "Do I frighten you so much?"

He did, and had since she first laid eyes on the ruin that fire

had made of his face, though it seemed to her now that he was

not so half as terrifying as the other.

Sansa is also frightened when Joffrey orders the Hound to escort her back to the Red Keep and finds it difficult to look at him, but, much like Belle, she recalls her courtesies and tries not to notice how ugly he is: "Sansa could not bear the sight of him, he frightened her so, yet she had been raised in all the ways of courtesy. A true lady would not notice his face, she told herself."

In the film, Belle faints from terror when she first sees Beast. The scene is somewhat similar to Sansa, who is consumed with terror and panic in face of Stannis' attack on King's Landing, nearly falls when she buckles over from a sharp pain to her stomach:

A stab went through her, so sharp that Sansa sobbed and clutched

at her belly. She might have fallen, but a shadow moved suddenly,

and strong fingers grabbed her arm and steadied her.

After Belle faints, Beast very gently lifts Belle and carries her to her room he has prepared for her. This gentleness calls to mind each time it's described that Sandor gently touches Sansa.

"Do as you're bid, child," Clegane said. "Dress." He pushed

her toward her wardrobe, almost gently.

"Here, girl," Sandor Clegane knelt before her,
her and

Joffrey. With surprising delicacy in such a big man, he dabbed

at the blood welling from her broken lip.

The Hound gave her a push, oddly gentle, and followed her

down the steps.

A continuing theme in Sandor and Sansa's relationship is Sandor, who is clearly drawn to Sansa, feeling rejected, angry, and frustrated when he thinks Sansa can't bring herself to look at him. He's also annoyed by her courteous behavior and mocks her: "Some septa trained you well. You're like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren't you? A pretty little talking bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite." Sandor sees through the shallowness of Sansa's wall of courtesy, whereas in Mme. de Beaumont's version, Belle's courtesy, which demonstrates she's pure of heart, is exactly what is required for her to establish a connection with Beast. Sandor, on the other hand, will have none of it.

Like Belle, Sansa's feelings for the Hound change over time, beginning with when Sandor tells her how he received his burns. Sansa is sad and frightened, but more frightened for him than for her.

Sansa could hear his ragged breathing. She was sad for him, she realized.

Somehow, the fear had gone away. The silence went on and on, so long

that she began to grow afraid once more, but she was afraid for him now,

not for herself.

As Sansa becomes more familiar with Sandor, she starts to look past his terrible burned face, but remains frightened by the anger in his eyes—the anger that gave birth to the Hound and fuels the Hound persona.

"The little bird still can't bear to look at me, can she? You were glad

enough to seem my face when the mob had you, though. Remember?"

Sansa made herself look at that face now,
look. It was only

courteous, and a lady must never forget her courtesies.
The scars

are not the worst part, nor even the way his mouth twitches. It's

his eyes
. She had never seen eyes so full of anger.

In the film, when Belle comes to after fainting, she awakens to find Beast leaning over her. She's clearly terrified, and Beast backs away from her, telling her she must never look into his eyes. Beast also stands behind Belle when she's dining so she doesn't have to look at him. Yet, this is what Sandor wants—he wants Sansa to be able to look at him.

Belle, when she returns to visit her sickly father, assures him Beast harbors no malicious intent: "He suffers. One half of him is in constant struggle with the other half. He's more cruel to himself than he is to human beings." Belle tells her father that while he appears terrifying at first, it's really his eyes, they look so sad that she has to turn away to keep from crying. Her father asks if Beast has threatened her, to which Belle replies, "He comes to me only at times when his cruelty is not too frightening. Sometimes his bearing is almost noble. Other times, he's unsteady and seems stricken with some infirmity."

Sansa has a similar relationship with Sandor. She turns away from Sandor's eyes, which are full of rage rather than the sadness in Beast's eyes. Belle tells her father Beast comes to her when he's not "too terrifying" and "his bearing is almost noble." Sansa's experience with the Hound is similar. He's there to provide advice on how to handle Joffrey, saves her from the rioters, prevents her from falling, and offers to help her escape from King's Landing while promising to keep her safe. Of course, in many of these encounters, the Hound is "unsteady" and "seems stricken." Sansa often encounters the Hound when he's drunk and distressed, as he is when she runs into him on the Serpentine steps, when he catches her from falling, and most of all when she finds him in her room during the Battle of the Blackwater.

While Sansa finds herself occasionally afraid of the Hound, he is the one person who she feels comfortable enough to let her guard down. Like Belle, Sansa thinks fondly of her beast when he isn't around, taking into consideration his hard lessons about the hypocrisy of knights and being surrounded by liars. She also thinks that he wouldn't hurt her at times when she feels threatened, wishing he was with her. "I would be gladder if it were the Hound, Sansa thought. Harsh as he was, she did not believe Sandor Clegane would let any harm come to her."

In both tale and film, Belle tells Beast that "Among mankind are many that deserve that name [monster] more than you, and I prefer you, just as you are, to those, who, under a human form, hide a treacherous, corrupt, and ungrateful heart." Sansa, upon seeing Joffrey's true colors, often refers to him as a monster, while her opinion of Sandor continues to improve over time. And while Sandor cannot be considered good-natured, she does recognize that he does do what he can to protect her, and begins to develop clear feelings for him and since Sandor's desertion, Sansa's feelings have continued to develop and are becoming more sexual. She imagines that the Hound kissed her before taking a song from her and dreams of him in her marital bed. She has also kept his cloak and compares all men to him.

In Cocteau's film adaptation, Avenant, Ludovic's extremely handsome friend who courts Belle (and whom Belle is secretly in love with), is actually quite the scoundrel. After Belle returns home for a visit, Avenant plots with Ludovic and Belle's sisters to kill Beast and steal his treasure. They steal a golden key given to Belle by Beast, a key to all his treasures, and ride Magnificent to the palace. Once there, Avenant and Ludovic find a pavilion where Beast keeps his riches. Avenant breaks through the glass ceiling, and as Ludovic lowers him in, a statue of Diana launches an arrow into Avenant's back, turning him into the beast just as Beast turns into a handsome prince who resembles Avenant (played by the same actor) when Belle looks upon him lovingly. There are clear parallels between Avenant and Joffrey. Joffrey, who Sansa once believed she loved and thought her Prince Charming, turns out to be the real monster in Sansa's life, the monster the Hound tries to protect her from. In the film, Belle experiences a higher form of love from Beast than the material and sexual desire from Avenant. In A Song of Ice and Fire, Sansa often laments that she's only wanted for her claim and not for herself. However, Sandor is the one person who has shown a romantic interest in Sansa without interest for her claim.

Belle finally realizes her true feelings for Beast while they are separated. It's when she's visiting her father that she discovers she's actually in love with Beast. And it's this love for Beast that eventually transforms him from a hideous monster into a handsome prince. While Sandor has a long way to go before he can mentally and emotionally heal, it's Sansa who acted as the catalyst to his shedding of the Hound persona by reaching out to him and showing him true compassion and empathy during one of his darkest moments.

At the end of the film, when Beast transforms into a handsome prince, Belle seems hesitant and a little taken aback, indicating she prefers Beast the way he was. Many fans of the original tale and the film complained that they liked Beast as he was. This was actually intentional on the part of Cocteau. Viewers are supposed to miss Beast and be upset about the transformation. According to Cocteau, "The 'trick' does work, and when the syrupy-sweet, smiling Prince Charming miraculously appears, we immediately long for the old, melancholy monster. Even Belle seems unsure that she likes the transformation."

There has been a lot of discussion as to what will become of Sandor Clegane. Will he be a completely transformed person? A sanitized version unrecognizable from the rage-filled, ferocious warrior? Will the rage be gentled while the ferocity remains? Many ASoIaF fans hope the transformation won't be too dramatic and he'll still be the same man minus the pain, rage, and self-loathing.


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Comparative Analysis of La Belle et la Bête and A Song of Ice and Fire: Part III

Thematic Comparison of La Belle et la Bête and Sansa and the Hound (continued)

Highborn Falls in Love with Lowborn

As brought up earlier, Mme. de Beaumont wrote La Belle et la Bête not only as instruction on how to ensure a successful arranged marriage, but to encourage the upward mobility of middle-class women by marrying into the aristocracy. Belle, in both tale and film, is a merchant's daughter and Beast is a member of the aristocracy. Even though Belle's father loses everything, Beast still considers her worthy enough for marriage. Sansa and Sandor's relationship is an inversion of this trope. Sansa is the one who is highborn, the oldest daughter of a lord to one of the greatest houses. In comparison, Sandor is lowborn. And less than that, he isn't even a knight and is called "dog," a moniker and reputation he actually prefers and reinforces.

In further contrast to Beast, who dresses nobly and owns a spectacular palace, the Hound dresses plainly even though he has money (one can assume his positions as the King's Sworn Shield and a member of the Kingsguard are fairly lucrative, and he won 40,000 Dragons at the Hand's Tourney). Sansa often notices his drab clothing and his dull soot-grey armor, which is much more similar to the Northmen than the southron knights. Conversely, in La Belle et la Bête, it is Belle, due to her modesty, who dresses plainly, while Sansa prefers beautiful gowns.

I Am No Ser

In addition to their external ugliness, there are some similarities between the Hound and Beast. Already pointed by Lady Lea and Milady of York, the Beast responds angrily to the merchant's addressing him as "lord": "My name is not My Lord", replied the monster, "but Beast. I don't like flattery. I like people who say what they think." This sounds very similar to the Hound's "I'm no Ser" and "I hate liars and gutless frauds" remarks. The Hound also values brutal honesty ("a dog will never lie to you") over flattery, and doesn't indulge Sansa when she compliments him, both after the Hand's Tourney and after she thanks him for saving her during the riot.

"Spare me your empty little compliments, girl…and your

I am no knight. I spit on them and their vows."

"I should have come to you after," [sansa] said haltingly. "To

thank you, for…for saving me…you were so brave." "Brave?"

His laugh was half snarl. "A dog doesn't need courage to chase

off rats."

A True Lady Never Forgets Her Courtesies

Another twist to the trope is the theme of courtesy. Belle uses courtesy to see past Beast's outer ugliness and discover his inner beauty. This is Mme. de Beaumont's key lesson—courtesy is essential in developing a relationship with a husband and ensuring a successful marriage. Conversely, Sansa uses courtesy to protect herself from those she doesn't trust. It's her armor. Yet, the one person at King's Landing she can let her guard down for is the Hound, who shows contempt for Sansa's courtesies. He's the only one able to break through that barrier since he desires Sansa for who she actually is—not for her claim.

The lesson in courtesy invokes thoughts of Sansa's marriage to Tyrion and their wedding night when Sansa recalls what Septa Mordane taught her: "Look at him, Sansa told herself, look at your husband, at all of him, Septa Mordane said all men are beautiful, find his beauty, try." Sansa, while telling herself that Tyrion has been kind to her, is unable see past Tyrion's ugliness (and "Lannister-ness"), and, in contrast to Belle, who uses courtesy to bond with Beast and see past his ugliness, Sansa uses hers in protest, refusing to let down her guard around Tyrion, frustrating him in the process. In addition to this icy courtesy, Sansa, all of twelve years old, sums up all her courage to tell Tyrion she will never desire him.


There have been many interpretations of the Beauty and the Beast tale with regard to Beauty's agency, some arguing it's Mme. de Beaumont's intention to strip Belle of any agency at all (in the film, Belle is much more assertive), completely succumbing to Beast and only putting others' needs ahead of hers, and others arguing the tale is actually a symbol of female empowerment, in that Belle discovers her own feelings and acts upon her own wishes and desires as soon as she realizes her feelings for Beast. Sansa is largely perceived by readers as being a character stripped of any agency, but her resistance to Tyrion suggests she can and will assert herself. She also does this on several occasions with Joffrey: pleading for her father's life, telling him her brother might bring her his head; and saving Dontos by lying to Joffrey. Littlefinger may have further stripped Sansa of her agency, but here's to hoping that might change. Sansa has indeed demonstrated she's a young woman of strength and can eventually determine her own destiny. Particularly poignant is Sansa drawing upon her roots to find strength. Referring to Littlefinger in her thoughts:

I am not your daughter,
she thought
I am Sansa Stark,

Lord Eddard’s daughter and Lady Catelyn’s, the blood of Winterfell.

http://asoiaf.wester...v/#entry3726258; http://asoiaf.wester...40#entry3696115

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Comparative Analysis of La Belle et la Bête and A Song of Ice and Fire: Part IV

Symbolism in La Belle et la Bête

La Belle et la Bête is filled with symbolism, but due to the limited scope of this essay, only a few will be discussed.

Rose: Belle asks her father for one thing, a simple rose. Her father picks a rose from Beast's garden, enraging him and demanding either Belle's father's life or one of his daughters. A rose, among other things, symbolizes love, beauty, female sex organs, and the heart. Sansa receives a red rose from Loras, the Knight of Flowers, during the Hand's Tourney, and he compliments her beauty. However, this is an empty gesture on Loras' part—all show, no substance. The rose in La Belle et la Bête has also been interpreted as a symbol of Beast's masculinity (the thorns) and Belle's femininity (the petals of the flower). However, the Hound, who comes to Loras' defense, is the one who takes on the role of the masculine.

He doesn’t remember
, Sansa realized, startled.

is only being kind to me, he doesn’t remember me

or the rose or any of it
. She had been so certain that

it meant something, that it meant
. A

rose, not a white.

Ser Loras had given Sansa Stark a red rose once, but

he had never kissed her… As the boy's lips touched her

own she found herself thinking of another kiss.

She could still remember how it felt, with his cruel

mouth pressed down on her own.

Snow: The passing seasons play an integral part in La Belle et la Bête, often contrasting with the season in the Beast's garden. Snow can represent purity, chastity, and virginity. Snow is extremely significant in Sansa's story, as it is in the entire ASoIaF series. One of the most significant scenes relating to Sansa in the entire series is the snow castle chapter, in which the snow connects her to Winterfell and symbolizes Sansa's purity and innocence before it was lost. It can also symbolize her virginity, which is threatened by Littlefinger.

Give me one of your daughters and She must come willingly: In the days when many marriages were arranged, women rarely had a voice in the choice of their husbands, who were selected by their parents. Marriages were often made for political or social reasons, especially in higher society. Since the thought of being given to a man (especially a beast) is scary, the Beauty and the Beast tales deal with the issues of learning to love one's spouse after marriage. Belle comes to love the Beast after living in his house. But Belle also must replace her father willingly. In the tale, Belle's father, while he initially protested, was eventually willing to sacrifice his daughter to Beast. In a twist to this trope, Ned agrees to betroth Sansa to Joffrey (the real beast), even though he's suspicious of the Lannisters and has doubts about Joffrey's nature, which becomes apparent after the Arya/Mycah incident and the killing of Lady. Despite this, Ned, for political reasons, still continues with the plan to marry Sansa to Joffrey.

Mirror: A mirror symbolizes truth and representation of a person's heart. In both tale and film, Beast gives Belle a magical mirror enabling her to not only see her family, but allowing her to read their emotional state. While Sansa does not have a magical mirror, the Hound is her window to the outside world, as he's the one who helps her see the hypocrisy, danger, and lies that surround her. In return, Sansa acts as Sandor's mirror as she is the one who forces Sandor to really look at his inner self. Through his contact and connection with Sansa, he struggles with his passive acceptance of the status quo and beings to break away from the Lannisters, culminating in the clear beginning of a mental breakdown in Sansa's room the night of the Battle of the Blackwater.

Ring: Rings symbolize marriage, union, bond, and female love. In the tale, while Belle is starting to develop feelings for Beast, she misses her family dearly, especially her father, and asks to visit them. Beast consents, but tells her if she doesn't return he will die from heartbreak. Belle promises to return and Beast says she only need take off her ring and lay it on her nightstand before going to sleep and she will wake in Beast's palace. In the film, the ring is replaced with a glove, which Belle places on her right hand when she wants to be transported to her father's home from Beast's palace, and vice versa.

In ASoIaF, the cloak takes the place of the ring and glove. Instead of exchanging rings, the betrothed exchange marriage cloaks. Sansa protests her marriage to Tyrion by refusing to kneel and accept the Lannister cloak. When she does willing accept a cloak, it's the Hound's, both when he covered her after she had been stripped naked by his brothers of the Kingsguard and on the night of the Battle of the Blackwater. The way she accepts, wraps herself with, and keeps the cloak symbolizes her deepening connection to Sandor.

Sandor Clegane unfastened his cloak and tossed it at her.

Sansa clutched it against her chest, fists bunched hard in

the white wool. The coarse weave was scratchy against

her skin, but no velvet had ever felt so fine.

She found his cloak on the floor, twisted up tight, the white

wool stained by blood and fire. The sky outside was darker

by then, with only a few pale green ghosts dancing against

the stars. A chill wind was blowing, banging the shutters.

Sansa was cold. She shook out the torn cloak and huddled

beneath it on the floor, shivering.

Knife: In the film, when Beast first approaches Belle while she's eating, Belle toys with a knife, which is a clear phallic symbol. This is also the case when Sandor places his sword at Sansa's throat and then, again, places a dagger at her throat when he demands her to sing for him.

Fairy: An evil fairy is responsible for putting a curse on the handsome prince, turning him into a dim-witted beast. A twist to this in ASoIaF is Gregor cursing Sandor, turning him into the Hound.

Dogs: Worthy of mention, in the film, Beast's palace is surrounded by a wall adorned with ferocious hunting dogs which are typically hounds.

Smoke/Blood: In the film, smoke is used to symbolize blood since it was considered unseemly to depict actual blood during that era. Blood can symbolize the essence of life, mortality, and sacrifice. After Beast hunts, his hands smoke. In two very sexually charged scenes, Beast goes to Belle's room late at night while smoke emanates from his hands. Both times, Belle demands to know why he's there. In the first scene, Beast offers Belle a gift—a pearl necklace that magically appears in his hand. Belle tells Beast to get out, but after he leaves, takes the necklace. In the second scene, Belle, noticing he's covered in blood, tells him to clean himself up. She also wants to know why he's come to her room so late. Beast asks her forgiveness for being a beast, which angers Belle. He then demands she close the door to her room because he can't bear her look because it "burns like fire."

These scenes are reminiscent of when Sandor goes to Sansa's room during the Battle of the Blackwater. Like Beast, Sandor, who's killed many men that night, is covered in blood, both his and the blood of others. His cloak is also stained by fire. After throwing Sansa on her bed and forcing a song from her, he leaves his blood- and fire-stained cloak: "He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak," thought Sansa. This can be possible foreshadowing that Sandor will one day sacrifice himself for Sansa.

Water: Water symbolizes change, cleansing, baptism and spiritual awakening. After staying with her family longer than promised, Belle dreams of a dying Beast and uses her ring to return to Beast's palace. When she's unable to find him, she fears she's caused his death and in despair searches the palace for him. Unable to find him, she remembers her dream in which Beast is dying next to a canal, she runs to the canal in the garden and finds Beast stretched out and unconscious. Fearing him dead, she throws herself on him and finds his heart still beating. To revive him, she fetches water from the canal and pours it over his head, causing Beast to stir and regain consciousness. Beast tells Belle he can now die happy because he's been able to see her once more. Belle begs him to live and asks him to be her husband: "No, dear Beast," said Beauty, "you must not die. Live to be my husband; from this moment I give you my hand, and swear to be none but yours. Alas! I thought I had only a friendship for you, but the grief I now feel convinces me, that I cannot live without you." Upon hearing these words, Beast transforms into a handsome prince.

Sandor also goes through a transformative process. When he goes to Sansa's room during the Battle of the Blackwater to offer her an escape from King's Landing, he badly botches the attempt. Sansa is too frightened to respond, and feeling rejected, Sandor is the one who throws himself on Sansa and forces her to sing him a song. Sansa, in a panic, can only think of the Mother’s Prayer. As an inversion of Belle sprinkling water on Beast's face, the Hound sheds tears over Sansa during/after Sansa sings to him, penetrating his emotional wall which has already begun to break down as a result of his PTSD brought on by facing his ultimate fear during the fighting. Since he first met Sansa, she's been a catalyst for a slow transformation, but this moment brings about a sudden realization, causing Sandor to rip off his Kingsguard cloak in shame and disgust.

Much later, Sandor also goes through a baptism, or spiritual awakening, after his fight at the Crossroads Inn with Gregor's men, but it's Arya who performs the rite by pouring wine over his wounds and giving him water. After leaving him to die, the Elder Brother arrives for the final stage; laying the Hound to rest and guiding Sandor through a rebirth.

~Le Fin~

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A very fine analysis Doglover, and it's lovely to have you making an official contribution to the B&B project :) I've only seen bits of the film, but I do know it was considered quite ground-breaking for its time, and rightly remains a filmmaking classic.

I liked your observation about how Sandor challenges Sansa to drop her courtesies with him, while for Mme. de Beaumont, this was an essential part of finding a husband and being a good wife. At that stage, Sansa was still following the Septa Mordane mode of conduct, and the Hound is quick to detect the artificiality at the core of such niceties. It's interesting then that he becomes the one to advise her to reinstitute this performance in order to conceal her true feelings from Joffrey. I think it was a crucial turning point for Sansa, really transforming that courtesy into a workable armour, and ensuring her survival in the lions' den.

I also appreciated your final section on the symbolism in the film and books. The idea of Sandor and Sansa being mirrors to each other is very compelling, and adds additional meaning to his demands for her to look at him.

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A very fine analysis Doglover, and it's lovely to have you making an official contribution to the B&B project :) I've only seen bits of the film, but I do know it was considered quite ground-breaking for its time, and rightly remains a filmmaking classic.

I liked your observation about how Sandor challenges Sansa to drop her courtesies with him, while for Mme. de Beaumont, this was an essential part of finding a husband and being a good wife. At that stage, Sansa was still following the Septa Mordane mode of conduct, and the Hound is quick to detect the artificiality at the core of such niceties. It's interesting then that he becomes the one to advise her to reinstitute this performance in order to conceal her true feelings from Joffrey. I think it was a crucial turning point for Sansa, really transforming that courtesy into a workable armour, and ensuring her survival in the lions' den.

I also appreciated your final section on the symbolism in the film and books. The idea of Sandor and Sansa being mirrors to each other is very compelling, and adds additional meaning to his demands for her to look at him.

Thank you, brashcandy. And, yes! Thank you for pointing out that Sandor is the one who provides Sansa with the crucial advice in order for her to survive:

"He wants you to smile and smell sweet and be his lady love," the

Hound rasped. "He wants you to recite all your pretty little words

the way the septa taught you. He wants you to love him ... and

fear him."

There are so many more parallels, twists, and inversions to the B&B trope one can analyze. Both the tale and the film are incredibly rich in symbolism and one can see how the Sansa/Sandor storyline is strongly influenced and inspired by the Beauty and the Beast tale.

Just a note: I've never cut and paste such lengthy posts to the board from a Word doc., and I spent about four hours fixing and re-fixing a formatting nightmare. I pretty much lost all of the citations :crying: , so, really, I'm not being academically lazy. I tried so hard to put them back in, but it just resulted in more formatting problems.

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Nice, DogLover! When you asked "Will the rage be gentled while the ferocity remains?", amen to that.

Stranger's refusal to be gelded and the gravedigger tossing the dirt at the feet of the knights is a good sign. Sansa's prayer, as well as her preferences, was pretty specific, as you stated. Gentle the rage, but she likes the ferocity.

brashcandy, I liked all your comments earlier. That's where I was going with the sexuality and other references, to show that he has his own way of telling stories (phallic symbols, and also things like Dunk and Sandor both "yank" the woman closer for a kiss).

This is a gritty, sexy fantasy, so expect a wild ride. But like you said, the "authority on the part of the woman" is a big part of things. In all of the cases I referenced, these choices were ones the women ultimately made.

Another thing I just added, Dunk thinks of the song Tom Sevenstrings sings about stealing a sweet kiss as he's digging a grave (and this is the song Arya hears just before hearing Sandor go on and on that her sister the pretty little bird sang him a song).

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