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Vulture interview hints at "controversial" Sansa chapter in TWoW

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I doubt "controversial' means Sansa dies, since this chapter is presumably from the first half of TWOW.

Sansa killing Littlefinger would not be controversial. Everyone's itching to see him get taken down. Ditto for Sansa doing something awesome (outmaneuvring Littlefinger, saving Sweetrobin, etc. etc.).

Sansa being raped--by Littlefinger, or anyone else (Harry, Ser Shadrich, whomever)--would probably not be described in a word as "controversial." Shocking, wrenching, brutal, difficult to read, heartbreaking, sure, but "controversial"? That suggests something polarizing to me, and are there any pro-rape fans in the house? I don't think so...The only way I see Sansa being raped being summarized as "controversial" is if it's described in graphic detail, to the point where it seems gleefully shocking and gratuitous.

It could be "controversial" if it involved something sexualizing Sansa in a creepy, gross way, like Littlefinger getting whores to train Sansa as Viserys did for Dany and Littlefinger did with Jeyne. Again, that would likely only be controversial if it was depicted in graphic detail, as opposed to the way it worked out with Dany and Doreah (talking for several hours).

So what would be controversial or polarizing? Something that fans would argue about. What has been controversial or polarizing for fans with respect to Sansa? What are the things that fans always argue about when it comes to Sansa as a character and whether she's awesome or awful? About two main things, by my count:

1. Sansa failing to stick up for Arya when asked for the truth after the Joffrey/Arya incident in AGOT; and

2. Sansa going to Cersei in AGOT.

These actions are controversial because they are often put forward as evidence of Sansa's lack of...whatever (moral fibre, loyalty, goodness, Starkness, what have you). Sansa fans argue that they aren't, because of Sansa's age/naivete/gullibility/trusting nature/what have you. And the debate continues.

So what would be controversial in the same vein as these two actions, in the context of Sansa's arc? Sansa taking action that might be interpreted as Sansa's lack of moral fibre. That really only sounds like one thing to me: Sansa knowingly acquiescing to Sweetrobin's murder. And hey, it fits: if Sweetrobin is going to die, it's probably going to be in the first half of TWOW, which probably covers the Sansa chapter this is referencing, since GRRM isn't that far into TWOW yet. So my money is on this choice.

If Sansa did knowingly acquiesce to Sweetrobin's murder, it would be extremely controversial. Without knowing how exactly it would shake out in TWOW, I'm guessing many would argue that Sansa had no choice, that Littlefinger was manipulating her, that she was just trying to restore her family's legacy (through going along with Littlefinger's plan), that Sweetrobin was going to die anyway and it was a mercy to spare him, etc. etc. Many would counter that this was proof positive that Sansa had crossed the line, that she was irredeemable, that Littlefinger had successfully corrupted her, etc. etc. I can envision the flame wars being visible from space.

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This response is inspired by tze's fantastic analysis in the "Pawn to Player" thread found here:

http://asoiaf.wester...x/page__st__340

If Sansa is pattering herself after Jon Snow, or if her storyline mirrors Jon Snow's, then one important aspect that she has not experienced but which Jon Snow has is breaking vows with sex. In his case it's breaking his NW vows with Yigritte to save himself from death by the wildings. Notwithstanding that he enjoyed it, he still broke vows that he intended to keep.

I remember that post! Such great stuff--thanks for the link. I don't think Sansa would deliberately (or even unconsciously) have Jon in mind if she used sex as a means of getting what she wanted as that was a part of Jon that came to life after he left Winterfell, but it would be an interesting parallel storyline-wise if that ended up happening.

Doubtful, in my view. What would be the point, with her off in her own little corner of the world?

Precisely. I'm not going to say "Sansa's going to survive the series" because she may very well die at some point, but no way does she die yet. Far too much build-up for there not to be some sort of payoff coming up.

(And welcome to the boards!)

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Hmm back in September there was a comment from Elio Exact quote: "I think Lemoncake fans will have some enjoyment from a chapter we read."

I wonder if it is the same one.

As for controversy:

a) She could be helping to poison Sweetrobin.

b )Seduce Harry the Heir, though that would be a bit of a jump with little character development.

c) Have some sort of altercation with the Mad Mouse

d) Sandor shows up? Probably least likely. Sigh.

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d) Sandor shows up? Probably least likely. Sigh.

Why would that be controversial? "Controversial" suggests something that fans will take issue with. If Sandor rolled into the Vale to drop truth bombs and help extricate Sansa from her messy situation with Littlefinger, I think fans would be too busy fist-pumping and high-fiving each other to complain.

If GRRM sunk SanSan, that would be controversial.

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Sansa being raped--by Littlefinger, or anyone else (Harry, Ser Shadrich, whomever)--would probably not be described in a word as "controversial." Shocking, wrenching, brutal, difficult to read, heartbreaking, sure, but "controversial"? That suggests something polarizing to me, and are there any pro-rape fans in the house? I don't think so...The only way I see Sansa being raped being summarized as "controversial" is if it's described in graphic detail, to the point where it seems gleefully shocking and gratuitous.

You don't think that the choice of an author to have a 13-year-old female character raped, even non-graphically, is controversial? Maybe not to the legion on fans who've been discussing this for years and who have built up some expectations, but for the average reader, or show-watcher, I'd bet that it would indeed be controversial because plenty of them would take issue with it--not that it was a good or a bad idea (as you say, there are no pro-rape fans), but that it was included in the first place, even if it fits in with the context. Anything involving sexual violence stirs up some controversy, especially if it involves those who could be considered children, however much they might be considered "women grown" in the book.

If Sansa did knowingly acquiesce to Sweetrobin's murder, it would be extremely controversial. Without knowing how exactly it would shake out in TWOW, I'm guessing many would argue that Sansa had no choice, that Littlefinger was manipulating her, that she was just trying to restore her family's legacy (through going along with Littlefinger's plan), that Sweetrobin was going to die anyway and it was a mercy to spare him, etc. etc. Many would counter that this was proof positive that Sansa had crossed the line, that she was irredeemable, that Littlefinger had successfully corrupted her, etc. etc. I can envision the flame wars being visible from space.

I agree with you on that line of thought--don't know how likely it is that it would happen, but it would be interesting to think about what could possibly push Sansa over the edge into "irredeemable" territory.

Hmm back in September there was a comment from Elio Exact quote: "I think Lemoncake fans will have some enjoyment from a chapter we read."

Poisoned lemoncakes! She's going to host a lovely tea and serve poisoned lemoncakes! SOLVED.

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So what would be controversial in the same vein as these two actions, in the context of Sansa's arc? Sansa taking action that might be interpreted as Sansa's lack of moral fibre. That really only sounds like one thing to me: Sansa knowingly acquiescing to Sweetrobin's murder. And hey, it fits: if Sweetrobin is going to die, it's probably going to be in the first half of TWOW, which probably covers the Sansa chapter this is referencing, since GRRM isn't that far into TWOW yet. So my money is on this choice.

If Sansa did knowingly acquiesce to Sweetrobin's murder, it would be extremely controversial. Without knowing how exactly it would shake out in TWOW, I'm guessing many would argue that Sansa had no choice, that Littlefinger was manipulating her, that she was just trying to restore her family's legacy (through going along with Littlefinger's plan), that Sweetrobin was going to die anyway and it was a mercy to spare him, etc. etc. Many would counter that this was proof positive that Sansa had crossed the line, that she was irredeemable, that Littlefinger had successfully corrupted her, etc. etc. I can envision the flame wars being visible from space.

I agree, it's important to consider what "controversial" might mean in this context and I also agree that something like "killing Littlefinger" wouldn't be it.

I think controversial could either mean "inviting criticism of Sansa" or "inviting criticism of Martin".

In the latter case, yes, anything sexual between Sansa and LF would fit the bill, because I suspect many people would perceive it as gratituous. Would I put it past Martin? Sadly, no. And it would annoy me, because I don't really see what it might add to the narrative. Having that threat constantly hanging over Sansa is already harrowing enough. And even if Sanse learns to use her feminine wiles to manipulate LF, I should hope she can do so out without having to go quite as far - we've already had the "vulnerable child-bride empowered through sexiness"-storyline with Dany and Drogo and I wasn't too keen on it then either.

So let's hope it's "inviting criticism of Sansa".

In that case, I agree, that complicity in the murder of Sweet Robin would best fit the bill (killing LF wouldn't; most readers will probably think he had it coming). And I wouldn't be too surprised - we already got hints in her last chapter that she's fairly aware that all that Sweetsleep can't be good for him, but goes along with it for pragmatic reasons.

I would love for Sweet Robin to survive, mainly because he's so, so, so doomed, that his survival would be quite the twist. And I wouldn't want his death on Sansa's conscience.

There's another possibility though:

Shadrach, the Mad Mouse. Let's assume that he figures out who Sansa is and approaches her to reveal himself as a potential savior - he has been hired by someone close to her (eg. the Blackfish? someone from the North) and offers to spirit her away from LF and take her back to the North. He has pretty good proof that he's legit - maybe he can even get Myranda Royce to corrobate his story.

But instead of going along with the plan, Sansa rats him out to LF.

That would be controversial, I guess, especially if Shardrach is in some way established as legit before. It would seem to suggest that Sansa has finally thrown in her towel with LF inspite of all the suspicions she should have about his role in the demise of her family.

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Why does New York Magazine always score all the juicy interviews and spoilers for this series? First it was Sean Bean, then Alfie Allen, now this.

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My first thought is Sansa doing something drastic; out of character but saving-her-skin move.

But I am glad the forum didn't see this coming. Usually the Sansa predictions revolve around "game playing" lessons.

Actually, the most recent analyses on Sansa have pretty much centred on some very drastic and surprising events taking place in the Vale almost immediately.

Hmm back in September there was a comment from Elio Exact quote: "I think Lemoncake fans will have some enjoyment from a chapter we read."

I wonder if it is the same one.

As for controversy:

a) She could be helping to poison Sweetrobin.

b )Seduce Harry the Heir, though that would be a bit of a jump with little character development.

c) Have some sort of altercation with the Mad Mouse

d) Sandor shows up? Probably least likely. Sigh.

I wonder if it's the same one too. In any case, I feel fairly secure in ruling out any kind of sexual violence. Sansa has already been faced with such on at least 2 separate occasions, and while LF is clear pervert who presents a danger to her at some point, he's more concentrating on grooming her than outright coercion. I think it could involve something to do with Sweetrobin, but I maintain that it wil not be a credible development to see Sansa knowingly contributing to SR's death; so if Martin is concerned in any way, shape or form with his characterization of Sansa, then it won't be that either.

Seducing HtH? Although it would be surprising, I wouldn't deem it controversial.

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You don't think that the choice of an author to have a 13-year-old female character raped, even non-graphically, is controversial?

Eh, Drogo raped Dany several times in one of her earliest POVs, and she was Sansa's age (or thereabouts)

I think it could involve something to do with Sweetrobin, but I maintain that it wil not be a credible development to see Sansa knowingly contributing to SR's death; so if Martin is concerned in any way, shape or form with his characterization of Sansa, then it won't be that either.

What would be controversial--"controversial" implying that fans won't like it--involving Sweetrobin if it weren't Sansa acquiescing to harming Sweetrobin, though? I also strongly disagree that it would not be a credible development to see Sansa knowingly contributing to Sweetrobin's death: if this happens, it would have been foreshadowed by Sansa cooperating with framing Marillion and by Sansa's cavalier attitude towards Robin being dosed with sweetsleep despite Maester Colemon's objections.

I'm not saying it will or it should happen that way, but if it does, I don't think you can say that it's not a credible development. The groundwork was laid in AFFC for Sansa doing just this.

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Lemoncakes fans will enjoy it?

Well, that should rule out any LF/Sansa creepiness. Dito the murder of Sweet Robin.

Sansa killing LF would certainly be enjoyed by all lemoncakes fans - and everyone else, so I don't see much potential for controversy. Also, it's too early for LF to exit the stage. He's still got some aces up his sleeve (war of the three queens comment, the tapestries) and he won't be down before he's played all of them.

What kind of plot development would be welcomed by lemoncakes fans an criticised by others?

Maybe Sansa does something to successfully sabotage her marriage to Harry the Heir.

Lemoncakes fans might like that (because it keeps Sansa free for Sandor; and because Sansa doesn't want to be a pawn on the marriage market any longer and it would be nice to let her have that and give her some agency in the process).

Non-Lemoncakes fans might be against it, because it also ruins LF's plans for taking back the North on behalf of a Stark heir. A few people on these boards here seem to place quite some hope in Harry when it comes to the Northern restoration (the idea seems to be that Harry might turn out quite decent after all, and gets rid of LF as soon as he's in power) and these hopes would be dashed if Sansa finds a way to get rid of him/sabotage the marriage.

The most likely theory is that Sansa will finally do something that foils the plans of another character who's generally more popular with readers than her (eg. a reasonably competent, potentially anti-Littlefinger Harry the Heir, or the Blackfish). Sansa fans will like it, because Sansa finally gets stuff done and Sansa haters will hate it, because it ruins stuff for one of their favs.

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Lemoncakes fans will enjoy it?

Lemoncakes fans =/= Sansa fans, unless there's some terminology I'm unaware of. I think there will be lemoncakes aplenty in Sansa's first POV, which makes sense, given that Sansa bribed Sweetrobin with the promise of lemoncakes to get him down the mountain.

Sansa fans will like it, because Sansa finally gets stuff done and Sansa haters will hate it, because it ruins stuff for one of their favs.

I'm pretty sure Sansa doing something awesome would not be controversial. Everyone is hoping for Sansa to do something awesome. The reason a lot of people profess to hate her is that she hasn't done anything awesome yet. If she does something awesome, that would not be controversial in the slightest: it would be universally approved.

If Sansa does something awful, though, it would be controversial: Sansa fans would fall all over themselves defending her, and Sansa haters would be thrilled at proof positive that she was as bad as they'd always claimed.

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Why would that be controversial? "Controversial" suggests something that fans will take issue with. If Sandor rolled into the Vale to drop truth bombs and help extricate Sansa from her messy situation with Littlefinger, I think fans would be too busy fist-pumping and high-fiving each other to complain.

I don't know. A lot of people really hate the Sandor / Sansa idea so it could be controversial.

If GRRM sunk SanSan, that would be controversial.

I think HBO has already done that, sadly.

It is possible that she is assaulted. That would be grim, but would it be contorversial: most people (apart from certain poster who think she hasn't suffered enough) would be horrified by it. If however she did get seduced by LF, then that would be controversial. Or if she seduced someone.

Helping to poison SR would be the most obvious, or getting more involved in LFs plans possibly.

God, can't wait to see that chapter, but also a little worried.

Edit: Another possibility is that something within the chapter is controversial.

So far Sansa hasn't been mentioned much by other characters (in ADWD we just had Stannis describe her as Lady Lannister). I wonder if Alyane will hear unpleasant speculations about Sansa Stark?

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Couple of theories

1) LF rapes/molests her

2) LF attempts to rape/molest her and she kills him

3) somebody else (Harry the Heir) attempts to rape/molest her

4) She kills/helps kill sweet Robin.

5) She kills/betrays/helps kill someone else innocent or BlackFish or Sandor or someone we (as reader) consider to be good guy/gal

Nothing else would be considered "controversial" and that including her dying

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If Sansa does something awful, though, it would be controversial: Sansa fans would fall all over themselves defending her, and Sansa haters would be thrilled at proof positive that she was as bad as they'd always claimed.

Not necessarily. A lot of Sansa fans do see the mistakes she's made and certainly commented in the re-read on the slightly more ruthless desire she held to crush the Lords Declarant like ants as being a darkening of her character.

Sansa haters just want her to experience all sorts of awful, so no change there.

Edit: She could begin to step someone up to use for her own ends? Actually her selling Sandor out or using him to kill LF would be controversial.

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You get the sense that this precludes the chapter from being part of the paperback release of A Dance with Dragons.

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You get the sense that this precludes the chapter from being part of the paperback release of A Dance with Dragons.

So we probably won't get this chapter will we?

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Has ADWD not been released as a paperback in the US yet?

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